Allāt


Allāt

Mentioned in the Qur'an (Sura 53:20), al-Lāt (Arabic: اللَّات) was a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess who was one of the three chief goddesses of Mecca.

Descriptions

The goddess occurs in early Safaitic graffiti (Safaitic "han-'Ilāt" "the Goddess") and the Nabataeans of Petra and the people of Hatra also worshipped her, equating her with the Greek Athena and Tyche and the Roman Minerva. She is frequently called "the Great Goddess" in Greek in multi-lingual inscriptions. [cite book
last=Healey
first=John F.
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title=The Religion of the Nabataeans: A Conspectus
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series=Religions in the Graeco-Roman World
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date=2001
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location=Boston
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isbn=90-04-10754-1
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] According to Wellhausen, the Nabataeans believed Al-lāt was the mother of Hubal (and hence the mother-in-law of Manāt).

The Greek historian Herodotus, writing in the 5th century BC, considered her the equivalent of Aphrodite:"The Assyrians call Aphrodite "Mylitta", the Arabians "Alilat", and the Persians "Mitra" (Histories I:131). According to Herodotus, the ancient Arabians believed in only two gods: "They believe in no other gods except Dionysus and the Heavenly Aphrodite; and they say that they wear their hair as Dionysus does his, cutting it round the head and shaving the temples. They call Dionysus, "Orotalt"; and Aphrodite, "Alilat"." (Histories III:38).

In the Qur'an, she is mentioned along with ˤUzzā and Manāt in Sura 53:19-23. The tribe of ˤād of Iram is also mentioned in Sura 89:5-8, and archaeological evidence from Iram shows copious inscriptions devoted to her for the protection of a tribe by that name. [cite book
last=Healey
first=John F.
authorlink=
coauthors=
editor=
others=
title=The Religion of the Nabataeans: A Conspectus
origdate=
origyear=
origmonth=
url=
format=
accessdate=
accessyear=
accessmonth=
edition=
series=Religions in the Graeco-Roman World
volume=136
date=2001
year=
month=
publisher=Brill
location=Boston
language=
isbn=90-04-10754-1
oclc=
doi=
id=
pages=111
chapter=4
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]

Al-lāt is also explicitly attested from early Islamic records discussing the pre-Islamic period. According to the "Book of Idols" ("Kitab al-Asnām") by Hishām b. al-Kalbi, the pre-Islamic Arabs believed Al-lāt resided in the Kaˤbah and also had an idol inside the sanctuary:

Modern pagan views

According to Bob Trubshaw, Allat was a triple goddess of the moon, similar to Demeter. She had three aspects, each corresponding to a different phase of the moon: Q're, the crescent or maiden; Al-Uzza, the full moon or mother; and Manat, the waning moon or wise woman. The phase of Al-Uzza was worshipped at the Kaaba and served by seven priestesses. Worshippers circled the stone seven times, once for each of the ancient seven planets. [cite journal|url=http://www.indigogroup.co.uk/edge/blstone.htm|title=The Black Stone - the Omphalos of the Goddess|author=Bob Trubshaw|journal=Mercian Mysteries|date=February 1993|issue=No. 14]

See also

*Thaqif and Islam

References

*
*
*
* [http://www.pantheon.org/articles/a/allah.html See variant definition for Allat in Encyclopedia Mythica ]
* [http://answering-islam.org/Books/Al-Kalbi/ "The Book of Idols ("Kitāb al-Asnām")" by Hishām Ibn al-Kalbī]
* [http://www.muslim.org/islam/allah.htm Allah, the unique name of God]
* [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text.jsp?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0126:book=1:chapter=131 Herodotus 1:131 online ]
* [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text.jsp?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0126:book=3:chapter=8 Herodotus 3:8 online]
* [http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MH_LM/year_of_deputations_and_abu_bakrs_leadership.htm Sunni account] from witness-pioneer.org
* [http://voi.org/books/htemples2/ch11.htm RELIGION OF PAGAN ARABIA]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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