Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
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10-01-2013, 01:55 AM (This post was last modified: 14-01-2013 02:55 PM by Internet Mullah.)
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
My Refutation of Bucky Ball's Flawed Argument that Sin = Allah = Moon God

(Since he thinks that I refuted nothing).

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  So where did the Sin god come from, and how do we know that Sin developed into, and actually was Allah?

There is no connection between Sin and Allah. Sin never became Allah. The fact is that Sin was a moon god and Allah is not a moon god and never was. Why? Because there is no historical evidence nor any logical explanation to support the idea that Muhammad turned this pre-Islamic moon god into Allah. And no matter how much you try to argue and persuade me to believe that this moon god Sin was actually Allah, you will miserably fail, over and over again.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  From the mountains of Turkey, in the North, to the banks of the Nile, in the South, archaeologists have uncovered proof that people in the Ancient Near East worshiped a moon god. As shown by Drs. Sjoberg and Hall, the ancient Sumerians worshiped a Moon-god who was called many different names. The most popular names were Nanna, Suen and Asimbabbar. His symbol was the crescent moon. Just owing simply to the amount of artifacts unearthed, the worship of Sin, was clearly the dominant cult in ancient Sumer. The cult of the Moon-god was also the most popular religion throughout ancient Mesopotamia. The Assyrians, Babylonians, and the Akkadians took the word "Suen", which was one of the names of the Moon god, and transformed it into the word Sin as their favorite name for the Moon-god. As Prof. D.T. Potts pointed out, "Sin is a name essentially Sumerian in origin which had been borrowed by the Semites". ("Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur", D.T. Pots et all).

Yes, the moon god was worshipped by the ancient Sumerians, Mesopotamians, and later borrowed by the Semites. The Arabs also used to worship a moon god, called by various names (along with "Sin"), but the moon god that was particularly popular in Arabia was called Hubal, not Sin. Secondly, the fact that the name Sin is essentially Sumerian in origin doesn't in any way support your argument that Allah was Sin nor that Allah was a moon god.

And yes, it's possible that the cult of the moon god was the most popular religion throughout ancient Mesopotamia. However, it doesn't say anywhere in that paragraph that Sin was most popular in Arabia nor that the Prophet Muhammad even told anyone to worship a moon god in the first place.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The Moon-god Sin was usually represented by the moon in its crescent phase. The sun-goddess was the wife of Sin, (and the stars were their daughters). For example, Ishtar was a daughter of Sin. Sacrifices to the Moon-god are described in the Pas Shamra texts. In the Ugaritic texts, the Moon-god was sometimes called Kusuh. In Persia, as well as in Egypt, the Moon-god is depicted on wall murals and on the heads of statues. He was the Judge of men and gods. In the ancient world, the symbol of the crescent moon can be found on seal impressions, steles, pottery, amulets, clay tablets, cylinders, weights, earrings, necklaces, wall murals, etc.

The moon symbol may be found on various things like seal impressions, steles, pottery, statues, amulets, clay tablets, cylinders, weights, earrings, necklaces, wall murals, etc, but that has nothing to do with the teachings of Islam. As I explained before in this post, the crescent symbol first appeared during the Ottoman Empire by the Turks and it was only then that the symbol was adopted as a symbol for Islam.

We all use symbols to represent something even to this day: For example, every country has a flag as their symbol. The bald eagle is supposed to be the symbol for the US. A Nike shoe has symbol also (i.e. a check mark sign and Michael Jordan in the middle). So, similarly, the crescent moon is just a symbol used by the Ottoman Empire and the symbol has been adopted by Muslims to this day.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  In Tell-el-Obeid, a copper calf was found with a crescent moon on its forehead. An idol with the body of a bull and the head of man has a crescent moon in its forehead. In Ur, the Stela of Ur-Nammu has the crescent symbol placed at the top of the register of gods because the Moon-god was the head of the gods. Even bread was baked in the form of a crescent as an act of devotion to the Moon-god. The Ur of the Chaldees was so devoted to the Moon-god that it was sometimes called Nannar in tablets from that time period, (reflecting one of Sin's names).

Again, yes, the crescent moon can be found on many things, but none of that indicate that the moon god's name was Allah. See my comments above.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  A temple of the Moon-god has been excavated in Ur by Sir Leonard Woolley. He dug up many examples of moon worship in Ur and these are in the British Museum. Harran was likewise noted for its devotion to the Moon-god. In the 1950's a major temple to the Moon-god was excavated at Hazer in Palestine. Two idols of the moon god were found. Each was a stature of a man sitting upon a throne with a crescent moon carved on his chest . The accompanying inscriptions make it clear that these were idols of the Moon-god. Several smaller statues were also found which were identified by their inscriptions as the "daughters" of the Moon-god.

Those idols of the moon god were worshipped by the pagan Arabs only, not by Muslims. The Muslims worhipped Allah alone.

It is indeed true that what the inscriptions show is a strongly marked star-worship, in which the cult of the moon-god, conceived as masculine, takes complete precedence of that of the sun, which was conceived as feminine. The pre-Islamic Arab religions were, however, far more profound because the pagan Arabs perceived divinity in almost everything in their environment, terrestrial as well as celestial.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  As pointed out by Prof. Carlton S. Coon, "Muslims are notoriously loath to preserve traditions of earlier paganism and like to garble what pre-Islamic history they permit to survive in anachronistic terms". (Carleton S. Coon, Southern Arabia, Washington DC, Smithsonian, 1944, p.398)

Firstly, Coon's discussion is confined to southern Arabia as the title of his paper "Southern Arabia, A Problem For The Future" clearly indicates. So, Coon's quote concerning the alleged garbling of pre-Islamic paganism by Islamic sources has nothing to do with a moon god. And if we look at his full quote (in context), what we find is the following:

"The religion of these southern Arabian states, so intimately entwined with the social and political structure, is not easy to reconstruct. Moslems are notoriously loath to preserve traditions of earlier paganism, and like to garble what pre-Islamic history they permit to survive in anachronistic terms. Our religious sources, then, are confined to the body of inscriptions so far published, and a few superficial Greek observations" (Southern Arabia, A Problem For The Future, Volume 20, p. 398).

So, Coon is clearly talking about the religious sources of ancient South Arabia which are inscriptions and Greek-related sources in which a moon god does not even figure. What are the evidences which Coon considers to claim that Islamic sources present a garbled picture of pre-Islamic paganism? According to Coon, the section ("The Pre-Islamic Kingdoms") from which the above mentioned quote is taken, is based on the work of Ditlef Nielsen as Coon plainly says:

"The literary evidence upon which much of this section is based is drawn largely from Nielsen, et al., 1927" (Southern Arabia, A Problem For The Future, op. cit., p. 391).

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  During the nineteenth century, Amaud, Halevy and Glaser went to Southern Arabia and dug up thousands of Sabean, Minaean, and Qatabanian inscriptions which were subsequently translated. In the 1940's, the archeologists G. Caton Thompson and Dr. Carleton S. Coon made some amazing discoveries in Arabia. During the 1950's, Wendell Phillips, William Foxwel Albright, Richard Bower and others excavated sites at Qataban, Timna, and Marib (the ancient capital of Sheba). Thousands of inscriptions from walls and rocks in Northern Arabia have also been collected.

And none of those thousands of Sabean, Minaean, and Qatabanian inscriptions indicate that Allah was worshipped as a moon god in Arabia nor anywhere else.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  ]Reliefs and votive bowls used in worship of the "daughters of Allah" have also been discovered. THIS IS INCONTROVERTIBLE proof, that Allah predated any possible connection with the Hebrew god Yahweh, and they could not possibly be the same deity. The three daughters, al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat are sometimes depicted together with Allah the Moon-god represented by a crescent moon above them. The archeological evidence demonstrates the dominant religion of Arabia was the cult of the Moon god.

Yes, the fact that reliefs and votive bowls used in worship of the 'daughters of Allah' have been discovered does prove that Allah predated any possible connection with the Sumerian god Yahweh (which is not a Hebrew god), and that Allah could not be the same deity as Yahweh. I didn't deny that anywhere. My argument was that Yahweh is not a Hebrew god because it was originally a god of pagan worshippers in Sumeria, and therefore, when I say that "Allah is the same god as in Judaism," that logically means that I am not inferring that Allah is Yawheh. As I explained here, the first Jews most likely called their god by a different name such as "Allaha" or "Elah" since those are the words for god in the Hebrew and Aramaic language, as opposed to "Yahweh." And those words are found in several places in the Jewish scriptures.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  There is no doubt about that. This moon god bore absolutely no relationship, whatsoever, to the Yahweh god, and his wife, (Ahsera). They were simply two different deities. How do we know that?

I agree. There is no relationship between Yahweh and this moon god (Sin). Furthermore, those two gods have no relationship with Allah either.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  1. Archaeology and location. The cult of Yahweh flourished to the North and West, of the sites where the Sin was prevalent.The artifacts are different. The "consorts", (wives) are different. Sin had mythological children. Yahweh did not. They cannot be the same god.

Again, what you're doing is simply pointing out the fact that there are differences between Yahweh and Sin which I do not deny, but that still doesn't in any way prove that the Sin god is Allah, as you contend. If I tell tell you that there are many differences between an egg and a block of cheese, that doesn't imply that the egg is butter, nor that the cheese is butter. That is clearly a non-sequitur. Similarly, by you telling me the differences between Yahweh and Sin, that doesn't prove nor imply that Sin is Allah nor that Yahweh is Allah.

In order to argue for the idea that two things are one and the same, you would have to at least find and explain similarities between the two things. But, so far, you're simply telling me that there are differences between Yahweh and Sin, which has nothing to do about the question of whether or not Allah is the moon god, Sin.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  2. Scholarly consensus.

I'm sorry, but that is not true. On the contrary, scholarly consensus has rejected the moon god claims.

From Wikipedia:
Both Islamic and Western scholars have rejected these claims, some even calling them "insulting". It is argued that "Allah" is simply the word for "God" in Arabic, which ultimately derives from the same root as the Hebrew words "El" and "Elohim", both used in the Book of Genesis. In the words of Lori Peek, "Allah is simply the Arabic word meaning God. In fact people who speak Arabic, be they Christians, Jews or Muslims, often say "Allah" to describe God, just as God is called "Gott" in German and "Dieu" in French." - Full article

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "Allah is found ... in Arabic inscriptions prior to Islam" (Encyclopedia Britannica, I:643)

That is true, and I've already told you - here and here - that the proper name "Allah" was used by Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians long before the time of Muhammad. To anyone who knows the Aramaic language and its history in the Middle East, it is obvious that the Arabic name Allâh is an adaptation of the Aramaic word for God, Alâh or Alâhâ. Prior to the rise of Islam and for some time afterwards, Aramaic was the main language of the Jews and Christians in the Middle East (apart from Egypt, where varieties of Coptic were used), and many Aramaic words were borrowed into Arabic. The usual term for God in Aramaic was Alâhâ. It is used as the term for God in the books of Ezra and Daniel, in the Jewish translations of the Bible (the Targums), and in the inscriptions in some of the cemeteries associated with those churches.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "The Arabs, before the time of Mohammed, accepted and worshiped, a supreme god called allah" (Encyclopedia of Islam, eds. Houtsma, Arnold, Basset, Hartman; Leiden: E.J.Brill, 1913, I:302)

Yes, and this supreme god for them was never the moon god, Sin. The supreme god was called "Allah" which even the quote above plainly says.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "Allah was known to the pre-Islamic Arabs; he was one of the Meccan deities" (Encyclopedia of Islam, ed. Gibb, I:406)

Yes, Allah was one of the deities worshipped by the pagans, but note that it doesn't say anything about Him being a "moon god." The thing is that the pagan Arabs at that time believed in the supreme god Allah - but their worship was not purely for Him - as they also worshipped many other gods thinking that they would act as intermediaries between them and the supreme god, Allah.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "Ilah ... appears in pre-Islamic poetry ... By frequency of usage, al-ilah was contracted to allah, frequently attested to in pre-Islamic poetry" (Encyclopedia of Islam, eds. Lewis, Menage, Pellat, Schacht; Leiden: E.J.Brill, 1971, III:1093)

Correct. "Ilah" means "god," while Allah means "the god." Allah is a contraction of the two words "al" (the) and "ilah" (god), so "al" + "ilah" = "Allah."

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "The name Allah goes back before Muhammed" (Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, "The Facts on File", ed. Anthony Mercatante, New York, 1983, I:41)

Yes, I completely agree that the name Allah goes back before Muhammad. That's what I've been saying. But, again, that doesn't imply that Allah is a moon god.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The origin of this (Allah) goes back to pre-Muslim times. Allah is not a common name meaning "God" (or a "god"), and the Muslim must use another word or form if he wishes to indicate any other than his own peculiar deity" (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. James Hastings, Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1908, I:326)

The name Allah goes back to pre-Muslim times indeed. And secondly, yes, Allah does not exactly translate to the "God," but it means "the God," which is almost the same thing, but not exactly. The word for god in Arabic is "ilah" and Allah is a contraction of the words "al" and "ilah" (where "al" = the; and "ilah" = god).

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Scholar Henry Preserved Smith of Harvard University stated:
"Allah was already known by name to the Arabs" (The Bible and Islam: or, the Influence of the Old and New Testament on the Religion of Mohammed, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1897, p.102)

I agree. See my comments above. However, again, the fact that Allah was known by the Arabs doesn't say anything about whether or not Allah was a moon god.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Dr. Kenneth Cragg, former editor of the prestigious scholarly journal Muslim World and an outstanding modern Western Islamic scholar, whose works were generally published by Oxford University, comments:
The name Allah is also evident in archaeological and literary remains of pre-Islamic Arabia" (The Call of the Minaret, New York: OUP, 1956, p.31)

I agree, and all the ancient literary remains of the name Allah gives more proof that the Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians were using that term before the rise of Islam, as I said earlier. This is also evident from inscriptions on tombs and from a pre-Islamic inscription in the ruins of a church named Umm al-Jimal, in Jordan. Furthermore, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) claimed to preach a continuation of the message of the Jewish prophets and of the Messiah Jesus. Therefore, it stands to reason that Jesus would have used the same term for God that the Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians were using as well.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Dr. W. Montgomery Watt, who was Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Edinburgh University and Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at College de France, Georgetown University, and the University of Toronto, has done extensive work on the pre-Islamic concept of Allah. He concludes:
"In recent years I have become increasingly convinced that for an adequate understanding of the career of Muhammad and the origins of Islam great importance must be attached to the existence in Mecca of belief in Allah as a "high god". In a sense this is a form of paganism, but it is so different from paganism as commonly understood that it deserves separate treatment" (Mohammad's Mecca, p.vii. See also his article, "Belief in a High God in pre-Islamic Mecca", Journal of Scientific Semitic Studies, vol.16, 1971, pp.35-40)

Yes, the Meccan Arabs and their neighbors seem to have acknowledged Allah as the Greatest Being, and as having divine attributes which exceeded those of all other deities, idols, angels, and even jinns. There is reported to have existed at that time 360 idols in the Kaaba established by the pagans of Mecca. The 360 idols in the Kaaba probably represented the 360 days of an inaccurate solar year. This was the actual "modern" pagan worship as known to the Quraish contemporary with our Prophet (pbuh). And it was only this type of association with Allah (i.e. polytheism, or attributing partners to Allah), known as "shirk" in Arabic, that was considered to be the most unforgivable sin in Islam unless one repents and starts to believe and worship nothing but Allah.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Caesar Farah in his book on Islam concludes his discussion of the pre-Islamic meaning of Allah by saying:
"There is no reason, therefore, to accept the idea that Allah passed to the Muslims from the Christians and Jews" (Islam: Beliefs and Observations, New York: Barrons, 1987, p.28)

Here is the full quote:
Allah, the paramount deity of pagan Arabia, was the target of worship in varying degrees of intensity from the southernmost tip of Arabia to the Mediterranean. To the Babylonians he was "Il" (god); to the Canaanites, and later the Israelites, he was "El"., the South Arabians worshipped him as "Ilah," and the Bedouins as "al-Ilah" (the deity). With Muhammad he becomes Allah, God of the Worlds, of all believers, the one and only who admits of no associates or consorts in the worship of Him. Judaic and Christian concepts of God abetted the transformation of Allah from a pagan deity to the God of all monotheists. There is no reason, therefore, to accept the idea that "Allah" passed to the Muslims from Christians and Jews. (Islam: Beliefs and Observations, p. 28)

The underlined part sets up the context of that quote. However, in reality, Allah has always been a monotheistic god, a singular god.

It was only the pagans who falsely viewed Allah as a pagan deity.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  According to Middle East scholar E.M.Wherry, whose translation of the Qur'an is still used today, in pre-Islamic times Allah-worship, as well as the worship of Baal, were both astral religions in that they involved the worship of the sun, the moon, and the stars (A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran, Osnabrück: Otto Zeller Verlag, 1973, p.36).
"In ancient Arabia, the sun-god was viewed as a female goddess and the moon as the male god. As has been pointed out by many scholars as Alfred Guilluame, the moon god was called by various names, one of which was Allah (op.cit., Islam, p.7)

"The moon god was called by various names, one of which was Allah" - Again, that is a baseless claim that has been thoroughly refuted. "Allah" was not the name of any moon god, and never was. It was always used to refer to the "One God" by the Muslims and the "Supreme God" by the pagans. Whether the main deity in Mecca was the sun, moon, or other idols, the fact remains that Allah was never the name of a moon god nor a sun god. He is simply the one and only God, creator of all beings and everything in the universe.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "The name Allah was used as the personal name of the moon god, in addition to the other titles that could be given to him."

The author of that quote is Robert Morey who, as you have stated yourself, is no scholar and he is a shame to humanity. Secondly, again, there is no evidence that Allah was the name of a moon god. On top of that, everything that we know about the history of Islam and about the teachings of Muhammad and the teachings of the Quran clearly disprove the moon god theory, in addition to the fact that this moon god theory has been unanimously rejected by both Islamic and Western scholars.

Even for the sake of argument, suppose that the pre-Islamic Arabs did worship the moon under the name of Allah. This would still have no bearing on the current usage of the term or even the usage according to the Quran. Why? Because the meaning of a word is a function of how people conventionally use it to refer to things, not how it was used in the past.

Modern speakers of English, for example, say the days of the week without thinking that the names of the days were originally named after Anglo-Saxon gods. Surely, you know that it would be wrong to say that we believe in Anglo-Saxon gods just because we are using those names to refer to the days of the week, right?

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  ]"Allah, the moon god, was married to the sun goddess. Together they produced three goddesses who were called 'the daughters of Allah'. These three goddesses were called Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat."

Another quote from Morey's book.

As I explained above, the meanings of a word are a matter of social convention. If Muslims use the term Allah to refer to the one and only God, the creator of the universe, the sustainer of all life, the bestower of all blessings, the sender of all prophets and Scripture, then that is what the term means for them, and not a moon god. How it was used by the pagans does not matter. What matters is the literal meaning of the term "Allah" and especially what the Prophet Muhammad and the Holy Quran teach us about Allah. Ultimately, there are no statements in the Quran nor in the hadiths which imply that Allah is to be worshipped as a moon god. If that was the case, then we would have found many such verses. But, there is none at all.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "The daughters of Allah, along with Allah and the sun goddess were viewed as "high" gods. That is, they were viewed as being at the top of the pantheon of Arabian deities" (Robert Morey, The Islamic Invasion, Eugene, Oregon, Harvest House Publishers, 1977, pp.50-51).

Yes, the three "daughters" were viewed as being at the top of the pantheon of Arabian deities: Al-Uzzah (Venus) most revered of all and pleased with human sacrifice; Manah, the goddess of destiny, and Al-Lat, the goddess of vegetable life. Therefore, their intercessions on behalf of their worshippers were of great significance. However, as I've repeated many times, and I'll keep doing so if I have to.

Allah was viewed as the chief of the gods and a special deity for the pagans of Mecca. He was viewed as the "supreme" god or the "highest" god by the pagans of Mecca whereas the Quran, on the other hand, has emphatically warned us against the worship any other god besides Allah.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend records:
"Along with Allah, however, they worshiped a host of lesser gods and "daughters of Allah" (op.cit., I:61).

Which is, again, exactly what I've been saying. The pagan Arabs used to worship many different gods along with Allah and the "daughters" of Allah. The daughters were named Lat, Uzza, and Manat. These were the "daughters" of Allah which they used to worship, which obviously means that they believed in Allah as well. And I've put the word "daughters" in quotes because Allah doesn't actually have any sons nor daughters according to Islamic belief, as the Quran says,

"Say: He is God, the One and Only God, the Eternal, Absolute. He begets not, nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him!" (Surah 112:1-4).

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The Encyclopedia of Religion says: "'Allah' is a pre-Islamic name ... corresponding to the Babylonian Bel" (ed. James Hastings, Edinburgh, T. & T. Clark, 1908, I:326).

Yes, the name "Allah" existed way before Islam. I never denied that, did I? There are also many inscriptions of the name "Allah" dating before the time of Islam.

But none of that supports your argument that Allah is Sin or that Allah was a moon god.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  It is a well known fact archaeologically speaking that the crescent moon was the symbol of worship of the moon god both in Arabia and throughout the Middle East in pre-Islamic times. Archaeologists have excavated numerous statues and hieroglyphic inscriptions in which a crescent moon was seated on the top of the head of the deity to symbolize the worship of the moon-god. Interestingly, whilst the moon was generally worshiped as a female deity in the Ancient Near East, the Arabs viewed it as a male deity.

And it doesn't say anywhere in that paragraph that the moon god was Sin nor Allah. It only says that a particular moon god in pre-Islamic times used to have a crescent symbol seated on top of it's head. That does not necessarily mean that it was Allah. As I explained in this post, the crescent symbol was adopted as a symbol for Islam only after the rise of the Ottoman Empire. The Prophet Muhammad and the early Muslims never used the crescent symbol to represent Allah because Allah cannot be represented by anything unlike the idols of pagan worshippers.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  In Mesopotamia the Sumerian god Nanna, named Sîn by the Akkadians, was worshiped in particular in Ur, where he was the chief god of the city, and also in the city of Harran in Syria, which had close religious links with Ur. The Ugaritic texts have shown that there a moon deity was worshiped under the name yrh. On the monuments the god is represented by the symbol of the crescent moon. At Hazor in Palestine a small Canaanite shrine of the late Bronze Age was discovered which contained a basalt stele depicting two hands lifted as if in prayer to a crescent moon, indicating that the shrine was dedicated to the moon god.

Yes, and that was a moon god named "Sin" (by the Akkadians) and named "Nanna" (by the Sumerians) in Mesopotamian mythology. However, it doesn't say anything about Sin being related to Allah. There is no connection between Sin and Allah. And the fact that the idol had the symbol of a crescent moon on top of it does not mean that it was Allah either. Also, Allah cannot be represent by any kind of symbol. The crescent moon is only a symbol for Islam, but it was never a symbol for Allah. See my comments above.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The worship of stellar deities, instead of Yahweh, was always a temptation faced by the Israelites (Dt.4:19; Jer.7:18; Am.5:26; Ac.7:43). But Yahweh is at the zenith of the heavens (Job 22:12)

That is true. The worship of stellar deities was a common practice of the Israelites. They were the people who received the most Prophets, peace be upon them. The Bible speaks about this, too. The Bible is filled with condemnation of the idolatrous practices of the Israelites. They were involved in all sort of pagan practices and they even introduced idol worship in the area of the Kaaba in Mecca. They turned many, many times to idolatry and even killed their own Prophets, peace be upon them, because they worshipped idols such as Baal, Ashteroth, Moloch, and many other gods.

However, all the three scriptures - Torah, Bible, and the Quran - repeatedly describe idol worshipping as an abomination and a tremendous sin.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "The Quraysh tribe into which Mohammad was born was particularly devoted to Allah, the moon god, and especially to Allah's three daughters who were viewed as intercessors between the people and Allah."

That quote, by Robert Morey once again, does not explain how or why Allah was a moon god. The words "moon god" has been just stuck into that sentence without having any kind of proof for it's truthfulness.

Historical references again and again make it evident that the Arabs at the time of Muhammad used to worship many idols, but they also believed in Allah the "highest" God whom they would call upon for help. And nothing indicates that He was worshipped as a moon god nor that he was named anything other than "Allah."

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "The worship of the three goddesses, Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat, played a significant rôle in the worship at the Kabah in Mecca. The first two daughters of Allah had names which were feminine forms of Allah."

The names of the first two daughter's (Al-Lat and Al-Uzza) may have been derived from Allah's name indeed. In Ibn Kathir's Tafsir, it says: Ibn Jarir said, "They derived Al-Lat's name from Allah's Name, and made it feminine. Allah is far removed from what they ascribe to Him. It was reported that Al-Lat is pronounced Al-Lat because, according to `Abdullah bin `Abbas, Mujahid, and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Al-Lat was a man who used to mix Sawiq (a kind of barley mash) with water for the pilgrims during the time of Jahiliyyah. When he died, they remained next to his grave and worshipped him.''

Ibn Jarir said, "They also derived the name for their idol Al-`Uzza from Allah's Name Al-`Aziz. Al-`Uzza was a tree on which the idolators placed a monument and curtains, in the area of Nakhlah, between Makkah and At-Ta'if. The Quraysh revered Al-`Uzza.''

Al-Lat and Al-Uzza were feminine forms of Allah only according to the pagans' point of view. But, Allah, the One and Unique, is far removed from what they used to ascribe to Him. There can be no actual "feminine" form of the word "Allah" because the Islamic belief (unlike what the pagans believed) is that Allah has no gender in the first place. He is not feminine, masculine, solid, liquid, gas, nor anything that we know of from our experiences as one verse in the Quran says, "Say: He is Allah, the One and Unique; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him." (Surah 112:1-4).

The words "He" and "Him" in the Quran are used only in a figurative sense, just like when some people talk about mother nature or the earth by calling it a "She." Allah cannot be ascribed to being a male nor a female. Allah is genderless.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "The literal Arabic name of Muhammad's father was Abd-Allah. His uncle's name was Obied-Allah. These names reveal the personal devotion that Muhammad's pagan family had to the worship of Allah, the moon god" (Morey, p.51).

Those names were simply compounded with the name Allah (such as "Abd-Allah," meaning servant of God). But, I don't see how that implies anything about Allah being a moon god. As I''ve explained to you so far, the claim that Allah was a moon god is just a fabrication of a Christian polemicist named Robert Morey, and there is no historical evidence for such a claim.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  History proves conclusively that before Islam came into existence, the Sabbeans in Arabia worshiped the moon-god Allah who was married to the sun-goddess. We have also seen that it was a matter of common practice to use the name of the moon-god in personal names in Muhammad's tribe. That Allah was a pagan deity in pre-Islamic times is incontestable. And so we must ask ourselves the question: why was Muhammad's God named after a pagan deity in his own tribe?

The Sabbeans in Arabia may have worhshipped a moon god along with many other gods, but the idea that Allah was worshipped as a moon god, specifically, is an outright fabrication. Furthermore, I am very amused by the statement "history proves conclusively" followed by the words "the moon-god Allah" while knowing that the moon god claims have been thoroughly rejected by both Islamic and Western scholars. History does not prove that at all. Also, the fact that the pagan Arabs in pre-Islamic times believed in Allah and named their children after him does not prove that Allah was a moon god either. That simply does not follow. It's a logical fallacy.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  It is an undeniable fact that an Allah idol was set up at the Kabah along with all the other idols of the time. The pagans prayed towards Mecca and the Kabah because that is where their gods were stationed. It made sense to them to face in the direction of their god and pray since that is where he was. Since the idol of their moon god, Allah, was at Mecca, they prayed towards Mecca.

Even though Allah was associated as the owner of the Kaaba, He was never an idol within the Kaaba let alone a "moon god idol." When the early Muslims conquered Mecca, the Prophet Muhammad destroyed all the idols within the Kaaba because idol worship is one of the greatest sins in Islam. There was no idol called Allah, evidenced by the fact that no discussion can be found about whether or not such an idol would be spared and the others destroyed. Professor William E. Phipps, in his book "Muhammad and Jesus," on page 21 says:

"The Kaaba contained hundreds of sacred rocks and statues from many Arabian tribes, but no images of Allah. No special cult was associated with Allah. In the pre-Islamic era, Allah was recognized as the creator of the world and as the giver of rain He was revered but was considered to be aloof, so popular piety was usually directed elsewhere. Meccans turned to Allah in times of crisis, but after they were delivered, their worship drifted to other deities."

So, there is no evidence that Allah was one of the idols in the Kaaba in pre-Islamic times.

Yes, the pagans recognized Allah as the supreme creator god, but they never made an idol to represent Him. They believed him to be a remote god who retired from and was aloof from his creation. Therefore, the pre-Islamic pagans of Arabia focused their cultic worship on lesser gods represented by over three-hundred idols in the Kaaba. But, later, it was Muhammad who cleansed the Kaaba by destroying all of these idols, rejecting all the false deities, and called everyone to the worship of Allah alone.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  As we have seen, and as is acknowledged amongst all scholars of Middle Eastern religious history, the worship of the moon-god extended far beyond Allah-worship in Arabia. The entire fertile crescent was involved in moon-worship. The data falls neatly in place and we are able therefore to understand, in part, the early success Islam had amongst Arab groups that had traditionally worshiped Allah, the moon-god.

The worship of a moon god does not equal to worship of Allah because is no connection between the two. And yes, the pagans of Arabia were unaware of the unity of God and the succession of His Prophets. They believed that Allah, the one and only God, stood in need of partners who could mediate between him and his creatures and they even ascribed "daughters" to Allah while they preferred sons for themselves. They worshipped stones and statues and offered sacrifices to satans. They had had no Prophet and possessed no scripture of their own. Consequently, they were ignorant of the Last Day (Qiyamat), as also of Heaven and Hell. They revelled in blood feuds and buried alive their female infants. Sons married their step-mothers, and the same man two or more uterine sisters. And so on, till the conviction grows on the readers or listeners that many of the pre-Islamic pagans were despicable barbarians.

But, nowhere did the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Quran command us to do such things let alone worship an idol of a "moon god."

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  We can also understand that the use of the crescent moon as the symbol of Islam, and which appears on dozens of flags of Islamic nations in Asia and Africa, and surmounts minarets and mosque roofs, is a throwback to the days when Allah was worshiped as the moon-god in Mecca.

I've already explained the history of the crescent moon symbol and how it became a symbol for Islam. It was in no way associated with Allah. It is only a symbol for Islam just like the cross is a symbol for Christianity, the hexagram is a symbol for Judaism, and the bald eagle is a symbol for the United States of America. We do not attribute any supernatural powers to those symbols as they are nothing but symbols. Surely, you know that Americans do not revere the bald eagle as a god. It was just adopted as one of the symbols for their country. The same goes for the crescent symbol for Islam. And the statement that "Allah was worshiped as the moon god in Mecca" is, again, a historically unsupported claim and even a fallacious one as an argument as attested by scholarly consensus.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Nabonidus (555-539 BC), was the last king of Babylon, and he built Tayma, Arabia as a center of Moon-god worship. Segall stated, "South Arabia's "stellar religion" has always been dominated by the Moon-god in various forms" (Some scholars have also noticed that the Moon-god's name "Sin" is a part of such Arabic words as "Sin-ai," the "wilderness of Sin," etc.) Mecca was built as a shrine for the Moon-god. This is what made it the most sacred site of Arabian paganism. In 1944, G. Caton Thompson revealed in her book, "The Tombs and Moon Temple of Hureidha", that she had uncovered a temple of the Moon-god in southern Arabia.

I never denied the possibility of moon-god worship in various forms in pre-Islamic Arabia. That is very likely to be the case. However, nothing in that paragraph says that the moon god was named "Allah." The moon god may have been Sin, or Hubal, or some other name, but the name "Allah' does not appear anywhere in historical literature as the name of a moon god. At the rise of Islam, the Kaaba in Mecca is said to have contained as many as three hundred and sixty idols. It seems that over the course of time, the various pagan tribes had brought in their own gods and placed them in the Kaaba which had, as a consequence, acquired the character of being the national pantheon for the whole of Arabia. But, none of those three hundred and sixty idols in the Kaaba have been authentically verified to be named "Allah" nor that He was symbolized as a moon god.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The symbols of the crescent moon and no less than twenty-one inscriptions with the name Sin were found in this temple. An idol which may be the Moon-god himself was also discovered. This was confirmed by other well-known archeologists.

There could be a hundred more inscriptions with the name "Sin." It still wouldn't matter, because none of the inscriptions indicate that a certain idol had the name "Allah."

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  In 1944, G. Caton Thompson revealed in her book, The Tombs and Moon Temple of Hureidah, that she had uncovered a temple of the moon-god in southern Arabia (see map above). The symbols of the crescent moon and no less than 21 inscriptions with the name Sîn were found in this temple (see above left). An idol which is probably the moon-god himself was also discovered (see above right). This was later confirmed by other well-known archaeologists (See Richard Le Baron Bower Jr. and Frank P. Albright, Archaeological Discoveries in South Arabia, Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press, 1958, p.78ff; Ray Cleveland, An Ancient South Arabian Necropolis, Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press, 1965; Nelson Gleuck, Deities and Dolphins, New York, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1965).

Again, do any of the 21 inscriptions say anything about Allah? No. They are referring to "Sin," and you haven't been able to prove that Sin is Allah.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Worship of the Moon god continued in the Christian era. Evidence gathered from both North and South Arabia demonstrate that Moon-god worship was clearly active even in Muhammad's day and was still the dominant cult. According to numerous inscriptions, while the name of the Moon-god was Sin, his title was al-ilah, i.e. "the deity," meaning that he was the chief or high god among the gods.

The inscriptions say that the moon god was named "Sin." That was the proper name for the moon god. He may have been recognized as "al-ilah" (the diety), but that is not the same as "Allah." The word "al-ilah" is a general term for god in Arabic. Therefore, this term could have been used to refer to any other pagan gods of that time, not just for Sin.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  As Dr. Coon pointed out, "The god Il or Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon God." The Moon-god was called al-ilah, i.e. the god, which was shortened to Allah in pre-Islamic times. The pagan Arabs even used Allah in the names they gave to their children. For example, both Muhammad's father and uncle had Allah as part of their names.

Here is the full quote with it's context preserved:

"The god il or ilah was originally a phase of the Moon God, but early in Arabian history the name became a general term for god, and it was this name that the Hebrews used prominently in their personal names, such as Emanu-el, Isra- el, etc., rather than the Ba’al of the northern semites proper, which was the sun. Similarly, under Mohammed’s tutelage, the relatively anonymous ilah became Al-ilah, The God, or Allah, the Supreme Being." (Carleton S. Goon, Southern Arabia, p. 399)

The underlined words above are what Robert Morey snipped out in his book when quoting Dr. Coon. "The god Il or Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon god." Morey uses that quote to support his case that up to the time of Muhammad the name Allah was the title for a moon god. To accomplish this, he simply chopped off the sentence in half to exclude the word "but" and everything that follows that conjunction. He did not even bother to place three dots to indicate that he has left out some words.

Coon was saying that the word "ilah" became the generic term for god, and that the Prophet Muhammad called his god "Allah” (made up from "al" + "ilah"), but not "ilah." This is even more proof that Allah was never the name of a moon god in pre-Islamic times. If one accepts Prof. Coon’s quote, then all it is saying is that the word "ilah" (not Allah) was originally used for the moon-god, and long before Muhammad it had become the generic term for god and gods in general. That is clearly not the same as Allah.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The fact that they were given such names by their pagan parents proves that Allah was the title for the Moon-god even in Muhammad's day. Prof. Coon goes on to say, "Similarly, under Mohammed's tutelage, the relatively anonymous Ilah, became Al-Ilah, The God, or Allah, the Supreme Being."

As I said before, the fact that the pagan Arabs believed in Allah and named their children after Him does not prove that Allah was the title of a moon god. It's a non-sequitur.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The word "Allah" comes from the compound Arabic word, al-ilah. Al is the definite article "the" and ilah is an Arabic word for "god", i.e. the god. We see immediately that (a) this is not a proper name but a generic name rather like the Hebrew El (which as we have seen was used of any deity; and (b) that Allah is not a foreign word (as it would have been if it had been borrowed from the Hebrew Bible) but a purely Arabic one. It would also be wrong to compare "Allah" with the Hebrew or Greek for God (El and Theos, respectively), because "Allah" is purely an Arabic term used exclusively in reference to an Arabic deity.

Etymologically, yes, the term "Allah" is probably a contraction of the Arabic "al-ilah" (meaning "the God"). However, I'm not 100% sure if that is true indeed. The term’s origin can also 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 (or Old Testament). The word "Allah" is made-up of the following two syllables: "al" and "ilah". "Al" means "the," and "ilah" means "god." So, the two together simply means "the God" (without partners). When the above two syllables, which are the two units of pronunciations forming the word "Allah," were combined and joined together, the letter "i" became unpronounced/omitted. And perhaps that is how the name "Allah" came to be.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The Arabs worshiped the Moon-god Allah by praying toward Mecca several times a day; making a pilgrimage to Mecca; running around the temple of the Moon-god called the Kabah; kissing the black stone; killing an animal in sacrifice to the Moon-god; throwing stones at the devil; fasting for the month which begins and ends with the crescent moon; giving alms to the poor, etc.

Hmm. I noticed that you deleted the word "pagan" that was in front of "Arabs" as written in the original article which you copy-and-pasted from.

There must be a reason for that.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The Muslim's claim that Allah is Yahweh and that Islam arose from the religion of the prophets and apostles is refuted by solid, overwhelming archeological evidence, and even if true, in the extreme off chance that ALL the archaeology is wrong, then it's false anyway, as we know full well where Yahweh came from, and his mythological origins.

I have not said anywhere that Allah is Yahweh. Rather, my only contention was that Allah is the same god as the god of Judaism and Christianity. As I said before, I do not think that Yahweh is a Judaic god because it was actually a Sumerian god that may have been borrowed later by certain Jews which somehow got incorporated into the Jewish canon. And this would imply that Yahweh is not the original god of the Jews. Therefore, Yahweh is simply ruled out of the equation.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Islam is nothing more than an extension of an ancient Moon-god cult. It has taken the symbols, the rites, the ceremonies, and even the name of its god from the ancient religion of the Moon-god.

On the contrary, the Quran says that Allah is the Lord of the Worlds, the Creator of all things, the Eternal, and Ever-living, and it strictly prohibits us from worshipping the moon, sun, stars, nor anything aside from Allah. So there is no reason at all to think that Allah was a moon god.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  [The first point of the Muslim creed is not, "Allah is great" but "Allah is the greatest," i.e., he is the greatest among the gods. Why would Muhammad say that Allah is the "greatest" except in a polytheistic context? The Arabic word is used to contrast the greater from the lesser. That this is true is seen from the fact that the Arabs never accused Muhammad of preaching a different Allah than the one they already worshipped. This "Allah" was the Moon-god according to the archeological evidence.

Allah is said to be the "Greatest" only to convey that He is the greatest. That's all. It doesn't necessarily mean that he's a polytheistic god. And the fact that the pre-Islamic Arabs worshiped the moon doesn’t mean that Allah is the moon-god any more than he is the stone, tree, sun, or star god. It was the Prophet Muhammad who renounced these lesser gods and called to the singular worship of Allah. Islam came as an absolute form of monotheism, rejecting the trinitarianism of the Christians and the henotheism of the Arabs, and affirming the absolute oneness of God.

The Quran itself testifies that the pagans themselves regarded Allah as the Supreme Being. Their sin, however, consisted in the fact that they worshipped other gods besides Allah (called "shirk" in Arabic, meaning "associating partners to Allah"). And it was against this shirk that the Prophet Muhammad waged an unrelenting war.

(13-09-2012 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Muhammad thus attempted to have it both ways. To his contemporaries, he said that he still believed in the Moon-god Allah. To the Jews and the Christians, he said that Allah was their god too. Muhammad was born into a family that worship the moon god, and was steeped in that tradition. He did not break from it. He enhanced, and extended it.

As I proved in my comments above, that is totally and undeniably the opposite of what is true. I'm sorry, friend, but you just failed big time here.

I'm all ears for any other arguments that you have to prove to me that Sin is Allah.

Edit: Just wanted to get rid of your bold Comic Sans font.
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RE: Ask a Muslim - Polakmaly - 31-05-2012, 06:47 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim - Chas - 31-05-2012, 07:37 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim - Polakmaly - 31-05-2012, 08:18 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions] - Internet Mullah - 10-01-2013 01:55 AM
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