Allah: Moon god or God of the Moon?

Before Islam, the Kaaba contained a statue representing the god Hubal, which was thought to have powers of divination.[1] Robert Morey's book The Moon-god Allah in the Archeology of the Middle East, claims that Allah is identical in origin to Hubal, who he asserts to be a lunar deity.[2] This teaching is repeated in the Chick tracts "Allah Had No Son" and "The Little Bride". It has been widely circulated in Evangelical and anti-Islamic literature in the United States. In 1996 Janet Parshall asserted that Muslims worship a moon god in syndicated radio broadcasts.[3] In 2003 Pat Robertson stated, "The struggle is whether Hubal, the Moon God of Mecca, known as Allah, is supreme, or whether the Judeo-Christian Jehovah God of the Bible is Supreme."[4]

The Quran is believed to be the verbatim Word of God (Allah) by Muslims. What has the Quran outlined about ‘moon worship’? The Quran teaches us not to worship the moon or the sun but to worship Allah (the One who created them):

And of His signs are the night and day and the sun and moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or to the moon, but prostate to Allah, who created them, if it should be Him that you worship. [Quran 41:37]

To the worshippers of heavenly bodies the Quran cites the story of Abraham (peace be upon him): When night drew its shadow over him, he saw a star. 'That', he said, 'is my God'. But when it faded in the morning light, he said: 'I will not worship gods that fade.' When he beheld the rising moon, he said: 'That is my God'. But when it set, he said: 'If my Lord does not guide me, I shall surely go astray'. The when he beheld the sun shining, he said: That must be my God: it is the largest.' But when it set, he said to his people: 'I disown your idols. I will turn my face to Him who has created the heavens and the earth, and will live a righteous life. I am no idolater'. His people argued with him. He said: 'Will you argue with me about God, who has given me guidance? I do not fear your idols, unless my Lord so willed. My Lord has knowledge of all things. Will you not be warned? And how should I fear your idols when you yourselves are not afraid of serving idols not sanctioned by God? Which of us is more deserving of salvation? Tell me, if you know the truth. Those that have faith and do not taint their faith with wrongdoing shall surely earn salvation, for they follow the right path'. Such was the argument with which We furnished Abraham against his people. We raise whom We will to an exalted rank. Your Lord is wise and all-knowing (Quran 6:76-83)

Often overlooked even by some Muslims is that the verse 83, asserts that this was an argument put forward by Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) inspired by Allah. (Thus Abraham (peace be upon him) was free from polytheism)

Furthermore, Encyclopedia Britannica states: Allah, Arabic Allāh (“God”), the one and only God in Islam. Etymologically, the name Allah is probably a contraction of the Arabic al-Ilāh, “the God.” The name’s origin can be traced back to the earliest Semitic writings in which the word for “god” was il or el, the latter being used in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Allāh is the standard Arabic word for God and is used by Arab Christians as well as by Muslims.

So Muslims do not deify the moon but worship the Creator, the One and Only True God. To say otherwise would be unscholarly and injustice.

The Muslim’s response to such slander is that: And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him."[Quran 29:46]

The purpose of the creation of the sun and the moon is to calculate the time:

It is He  who made the sun a shining light and the moon a derived light and determined for it phases - that you may know the number of years and account [of time]. Allah has not created this except in truth. He details the signs for a people who know. [Quran 10:5]

In fact the Quran teaches, associating partners with Allah is the greatest sin, in confirmation with the first [of the ten] commandments: Behold, Luqman said to his son by way of instruction: "O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah: for false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing." [Quran 31:13]

There are some people out there, who are obviously not on the side of truth, that want to get people to believe that “Allah” is just some Arabian “god”, and that Islam is completely “other” - meaning that it has no common roots with the other Abrahamic religions (i.e. Christianity and Judaism).  Allah informs: A faction of the people of the Scripture wish they could mislead you. But they do not mislead except themselves, and they perceive [it] not. [Quran 3:69]

To say that Muslims worship a different “God” because they say “Allah” is just as illogical as saying that French people worship another God because they use the word “Dieu”, that Spanish-speaking people worship a different God because they say “Dios” or that the Jews worship a different God because they sometimes call Him “Yahweh.” Allah says: O People of the Scripture! Why do you clothe Truth with falsehood, and conceal the Truth, while you have knowledge? (Quran 3:71) Lying is another violation of the [Ten] commandments - that many Evangelist Christians claim to follow.

It should also be mentioned, that claiming that any one language uses the only correct word for God is tantamount to denying the universality of God’s message to mankind, which was sent to all nations, tribes and people through various prophets who spoke different languages.

For We assuredly sent amongst every People a messenger, (with the Command), "Serve Allah, and shun false gods": of the People were some whom Allah guided, and some on whom straying became inevitably (established). So travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who denied (the Truth). [Quran 16:36].

However, most Muslims prefer to use the word Allah because prefixes and suffixes cannot be added to the word Allah, in the same way as in goddess, godfather, gods, and etc. Nothing, other than Allah can be referred to as Allah.

 

And Allah knows best

 

For Younger Readers

God teaches in the Quran, the holy book of Muslims that:

  • Do not worship the Moon, Sun or Stars

  • Worship the Maker of these planets

  • God is the Maker

  • Allah is the Arabic name for The One True God

 



[1] C. Glassé, The New Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 185

[2] The Moon-god Allah in the Archeology of the Middle East. Newport, PA : Research and Education Foundation, 1994

[3] Jack G. Shaheen, Arab and Muslim Stereotyping in American Popular Culture, Centre For Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University Occasional Papers, p. 8.

[4] Donald E. Schmidt, The folly of war: American foreign policy, 1898-2005, Algora, 2005, p.347.