Allah before Islam

I thought this was common knowledge, but maybe not:


What Archaeology Says about Allah

Muslims claim that in pre-Islamic times, “Allah” was the biblical God of the Patriarchs, prophets and apostles. Indeed, the credibility of Islam as a religion stands or falls on its core claim of historical continuity with Judaism and Christianity. No wonder, then, that many Muslims get uppity when the claims of Islam are subjected to the hard science of archaeology.

Because archaeology provides irrefutable evidence that Allah, far from being the biblical God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was actually the pre-Islamic pagan moon-god. Indeed, it is an established archaeological fact that worship of the moon-god was the main religion of the ancient Middle East.

But what about the Arabian Peninsula, where Mohammed (570-632) launched Islam? During the last two centuries, prominent archaeologists have unearthed thousands of inscriptions which prove beyond any doubt that the dominant religion of Arabia during Mohammed’s day was the cult of the moon-god.

In fact, for generations before Mohammed was born, the Arabs worshipped some 360 pagan gods housed at a stone temple in Mecca called the Kabah. According to archaeologists, the chief deity of Mecca was the moon-god called al-ilah (meaning the god or the idol), which was shortened to Allah in pre-Islamic times. Pagan Arabs even used Allah in the names they gave themselves: Mohammed’s father (Abdallah), for example, had Allah as part of his name.

What History Says about Allah

Historians say that pre-Islamic Arabs worshipped the moon-god by bowing in prayer toward Mecca several times a day. They would also make a pilgrimage to Mecca, run around the Kabah seven times and throw stones at the devil. And they fasted for one month, which began with the appearance of the crescent moon and ended when the crescent moon reappeared.

These same rites form the core of Islam today: Muslims bow in prayer toward Mecca; they make a pilgrimage to Mecca and run around the Kabah seven times; and they still throw stones at the devil. They also observe the fast of Ramadan, which begins and ends with the crescent moon.

Moreover, the ancient symbol of the pagan moon-god, the crescent moon, is the official symbol of Islam; it appears on the flags of Muslim countries, as well as on the tops of mosques and minarets everywhere.

Historians say that Mohammed, who as a traveling trader was exposed to Judaism and Christianity during his visits to different parts of the Middle East, tried to mimic those monotheistic faiths by taking Allah, the main deity within the Arabian pantheon, and making it the only god. Indeed, the basic confession of Islam is not that “Allah is Great” but that “Allah is Greater”. Greater than all the other idols, that is.

But Islam also draws from other pagan traditions. For example, the tale of Mohammed’s night journey into heaven parallels the Zoroastrian story of Arta Viraf. Zoroastrianism also inspired the Islamic belief that dark-eyed virgins await every man who enters heaven. And the Islamic ritual of praying five times a day? That, historians say, originates with the Sabeans, Syrian pagans who practiced an ecumenical mixture of Babylonian and Hellenic religion.

No surprise, then, that some scholars refer to Islam as monotheistic heathenism.

What Theology Says about Allah

Muslims claim that Islam is Judaism and Christianity reformed. They say the Koran confirms the truth of the Torah and the Gospels. But since those texts did not jibe with Mohammad’s beliefs, they accuse Jews and Christians of changing and distorting the original versions. Muslims therefore assert that the Koran “clarifies” the Bible.

Even if that were the case, the Koran and the Bible present ideas about God (especially about His character) that are so diametrically opposed that any reasonable observer would conclude that each book refers to a distinct deity.

The Koran, for example, states unequivocally that Allah is an unknowable and non-personal deity. By contrast, the God of the Bible allows Himself to be known and desires fellowship with human beings on a personal basis. Indeed, the Bible says that Abraham (the same Abraham who Muslims say they venerate) was the “friend of God.”

The Koran also portrays Allah as a vindictive deity who hates sinners and desires to afflict them. But the Bible says God is love.

Moreover, the Bible teaches that God loved humanity so much that He came to earth to pay the debt for man’s sin, and that that act of grace is available for free to anyone who believes Jesus Christ is their personal Savior. But Islam denies that Christ was God or that He died in order to save humanity. Indeed, Allah does not provide any way for man to be reconciled to God.

And the theological differences go on and on, so much so that the God of the Bible cannot possibly be the Allah worshipped in Islam. Unless, of course, a Dutch bishop says so.

Allah and Eurabia

Mohammed thought the Jews and Christians of his day would receive him as a prophet. But the Bible says that any new revelation must agree with what is already established in Scripture (Isaiah 8:20). So they rejected his Allah as a false god. And Mohammed replied by setting his Islam on a maniacal warpath against Judaism and Christianity that continues to this day.

The Dutch bishop and other Muslim fellow travelers think they can buy a fake peace with Islam by playing relativistic word games as a part of an “inter-faith” dialogue. But Muslims understand much better than do post-modern Europeans that ecumenical appeasement is a symptom of a Judeo-Christian civilization that is weak and dying.

The irony is that the real danger from Islam stems not so much from ordinary Muslims as it does from sickly Europeans who have subverted their Judeo-Christian heritage in search of secular hedonism. Because they live only for the moment, they are willing submit to anything, including Islam, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the pursuit of pleasure today.

It has been more than 50 years since the late Christian apologist C.S. Lewis first warned about Western Civilization’s disastrous lurch into post-Christianity. But even he would be surprised to see how quickly Islam is filling the religious and cultural vacuum that is post-Christian Europe.

It’s not that Europeans haven’t been forewarned. It’s that they couldn’t care less.


Marcus said…
I was taught by Monks that Allah in pre Islamic times was a diety of war! Carvings exist of Allah with horns that predate Islam by a 1000 years!

If true Islam is a cult!

Pablo Marcus
SE Asia
Anonymous said…
Al=The ilah=God

Therefore Bishop Muskens is quite correct to call on all faithful people of all religions to call God by the name Allah as more accurate translation of the word “Allah” into English might be “The One-and-Only God” or “The One True God”. The Arabic word “Allah” stems from the Arabic verb ta’Allaha (or alaha), which means “to be worshiped”. The Aramaic word for God is “ALAHA” ….and we all know who spoke Aramaic.

Regarding use of the word Jehovah, early bible manuscripts do not spell out the word J-e-h-o-v-a-h but instead use a ‘tetragrammaton’ from which the word Jehovah is derived. The tetragrammaton simply means a four letter word (YHWH, JHWH, YHVH or JHVH) from which you cannot read the word Jehovah, no matter how the vowels are added. Since the Jews did not articulate the word YHWH for centuries, and since even the Chief Rabbis would not allow the ineffable to be heard, they have forfeited the right to claim dogmatically how the word is to be sounded, thus making the popular use of the word Yahweh null and void. Nevertheless, YHWH occurs in the Hebrew (Jewish) Scriptures many times, in combination with the word “Elohim”, and we all know that the commonality between “Allah” and “Elohim” is “eloah” and “ilah”.

The combination YHWH/ELOHIM has been consistently translated in the English Bible as “Lord God,”. Therefore, YHWH, Yehova, Yahweh and Yahuwa all mean the very same thing. “Ya” is a vocative and an exclamatory particle in both Hebrew and Arabic, meaning Oh! and “Huwa” or “Hu” means He. Together they mean Oh He! and so instead of ‘YHWH ELOHIM’ we now have ‘Oh He! ELOHIM’;

YaHuWaH Eloh(im) = HuwaAllah = He is Allah (He is The God).

And your Ilaah is One Ilaah (2.163)

laa ilaaha illa-Allah (there is no god except Allah)

Above is a quranic verse and the shahada itself. If we take Ilaah to mean god or object of worship we are accepting that there are people that worship other things. However, this worship is incorrect as this is not Allah. Therefore, with the shahada we are confirming that there is no god (ilaah) worthy of worship except Allah, and Allah alone. One perspective is that this type of thinking enables us to understand the meaning of Allah as ‘the God’, and this term (including in pagan times) was used to refer to what they falsely believed to be the supreme god (not Allah). However, no we are correct in referring to Allah (God of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and all the other prophets) in the context that Allah is the One and Only Lord, Who alone has the power to create and command, and the power to benefit or harm; He has no partner, and none can intercede with Him except with His permission; and there is none who may be rightfully worshiped except Him.

“If one claims to have found evidence of a moon god named “Allah” in Palestine, Syria, or Lebanon, this claim applies to the respective deities of both Christianity and Islam. One of the basic Hebrew words for God, Eloh, can easily be pronounced alah without the diacritical marks. Not surprisingly, the Aramaic word for God is alah! This word, in the standard script or the Estrangela script is spelled alap-lamad-heh (ALH), which are the exactly corresponding letters to the Hebrew eloh. The Arabic word for God, Allah, is spelled in a very similar way. It is even related to the more generic word for deity, ilah.

We notice here the obvious linguistic and etymological connections between the respective words for God, in these closely related Semitic languages. We have, as clear examples: Allah, Alah, and Eloh being related to ilah, Eel, and El, respectively. So, if the tri-theists (or the Trinitarians) want to claim that Allah/Alah was the name of a tribal moon god, and that worship of such a deity is a gross pagan practice, they should not trust their Bible for including this deity in its text! Nor should they believe in Jesus’ calling on this very deity, while on the cross (as per the Biblical account).”

If you’re referring to “I am what I am”, “I will be that I will be”, etc as His "real name", then this is in fact in line with the name Allah and 99 different attributes to Almighty God given in the Qur’an of which the crowning one is Allah (“The One True God”, “The One and Only God”, “The God”, etc). The Qur’an refers to Allah as Ar-Rahman (Most Gracious), Ar-Raheem (Most Merciful) and Al-Hakeem (All Wise) among many other names.
Abu Daoud said…
Thank you Jamal. But the fact remains, the name of the God of Moses in the OT is "YHWH" which means "I am what I am" (more or less), and is a proper name, unlike Adonai (The Almighty) or El (God).

And the in Islam the proper name of God is Allah, which yes, meas "the god" and is used by Christians, but was in fact the proper name of the pre-Islamic pagan moon god.
Bill Mc said…
I have a blog at

Some of my topics cover similar material.
Elyas said…
when u say that Abdallah used Allah as part of his name do u even know wat u r talking about??!! Abd means servant or worshipper. Allah means The God. Worshiper of The God. DOH!

Look Allah is the english equivalent to gos. Thats it! muslims call God Allah because that is the name he uses in Koran

Elyas said…
english equivalent to god*
Anonymous said…
Allah is certainly used pre-islam as a name for a "top" creator deity (described as a moon god) who had 3 daughters in a system that had some 360 gods. Muslims today often do not know the history of their system's beliefs but bow to Allah as the only God.

Islam is a reformed version of the ancient Arabic beliefs that retains many of the pre-islamic rites as mentioned in the above article, as well as the kissing of the black stone.

To say Allah and YHWH both describe the same true God would be somewhat akin to saying Santa and St. Nicholas although often associated together are the same. Allah is associated in the past with arabic polytheism and today with islam. YHWH is associated with both the Jewish and Christian understanding of God.

Archaeology has proven that the Jewish Scriptures have been faithfully preserved and historical records have proven the Christian Scriptures to be the same today as were used at the time of Jesus' apostles. Ancient records have also shown Jesus' life and crucifixion to be historical facts. All of these things are denied in islam's teachings.

As an example, throughout the Jewish Scriptures we see that God is a God who is "slow to anger", waiting for people to repent before he brings punishment, (not to unbelievers but to the believers). We see God(YHWH) being extremely patient with a disobedient people, for the sake of King David.

Allah (or should I say islam) on the other hand is not slow to anger or patient with those who do not accept Allah or islam's ways.
Asiantraveler said…
A friend of mine has been comparing Islam and christiainity. He grew up in the middle east but then learned of the gospel 3 years ago, since he has been searching; he has been trying to find out if islam is true or Christianity. Also, he has been in high search of learning how or what brought others to Christianity from the islamic background. If you have any guidance or even names of people that have experienced this or could be of help, I'd love direction. I saw your blog and am not sure where to start...thank u!! Hd.

10:26 PM
Abu Daoud said…
Hello Asian Traveler, if you are interested in knowing some of the main reasons why Muslims decide to leave Islam for the Christ and his religion and his church, please read my article Apostates of Islam:

I also have written on the topic here:

I hope that helps, and pray for wisdom and guidance for you and your friend.

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