Al-ʻUzzā was one of the three chief goddesses of Arabian religion in pre-Islamic times and was worshiped by the pre-Islamic Arabs along with Allāt and Manāt. A stone cube at aṭ-Ṭā', she is mentioned in the Qur ` an Sura 53:19 as being one of the goddesses. Al-ʻUzzā, like Hubal, was called upon for protection by the pre-Islamic Quraysh. "In 624 at the'battle called Uhud', the war cry of the Qurayshites was, "O people of Uzzā, people of Hubal!" Al-‘Uzzá later appears in Ibn Ishaq's account of the alleged Satanic Verses. The temple dedicated to al-ʻUzzā and the statue itself was destroyed by Khalid ibn al Walid in Nakhla in 630 AD. Shortly after the Conquest of Mecca, Muhammad began aiming at eliminating the last idols reminiscent of pre-Islamic practices, he sent Khalid ibn Al-Walid during Ramadan 630 AD to a place called Nakhlah, where the goddess al-ʻUzzā was worshipped by the tribes of Quraish and Kinanah. The shrine's custodians were from Banu Shaiban. Al-ʻUzzā was considered the most important goddess in the region.
Khalid set out with 30 horsemen to destroy the shrine. It appears that there were two idols of al-ʻUzzā, one real and one fake. Khalid first located the fake and destroyed it returned to the Prophet to report that he had fulfilled his mission. "Did you see anything unusual?" asked the Prophet. "No," replied Khalid. "Then you have not destroyed al-‘Uzzá," said the Prophet. "Go again." Angry at the mistake that he had made, Khalid once again rode to Nakhla, this time he found the real temple of al-ʻUzzā. The custodian of the temple of al-‘Uzzá had fled for his life, but before forsaking his goddess he had hung a sword around her neck in the hope that she might be able to defend herself; as Khalid entered the temple, he was faced by an unusual naked dark woman who stood in his way and wailed. Khalid did not stop to decide whether this woman might be there to seduce him or to protect the idol, so he drew his sword in the name of Allah and with one powerful stroke the woman was cut in two, he smashed the idol, returning to Mecca, gave the Prophet an account of what he had seen and done.
The Prophet said, "Yes, al-ʻUzzā. According to the Book of Idols by Hishām ibn al-Kalbī Over her built a house called Buss in which the people used to receive oracular communications; the Arabs as well as the Quraysh used to name their children "‘Abdu l-ʻUzzā". Furthermore, al-ʻUzzā was the greatest idol among the Quraysh, they used to journey to her, offer gifts unto her, seek her favours through sacrifice. The Quraysh used to circumambulate the Ka‘bah and say, By al-Lāt and al-ʻUzzā, And al-Manāt, the third idol besides. Verily they are al-gharānīq; this last phrase is said to be the source of the alleged Satanic Verses. Numidean cranes." Each of the three goddesses had a separate shrine near Mecca. The most prominent Arabian shrine of al-ʻUzzā was at a place called Nakhlah near Qudayd, east of Mecca towards aṭ-Ṭā’if; the name al-‘Uzzá appears as an emblem of beauty in late pagan Arabic poetry quoted by Ibn al-Kalbī, oaths were sworn by her. Susan Krone suggests that the identities of al-‘Uzzá and al-Lāt were fused in central Arabia uniquely.
On the authority of ‘Abdu l-Lāh ibn ‘Abbās, at-Tabari derived al-ʻUzzā from al-‘Azīz "the Mighty", one of the 99 "beautiful names of Allah" in his commentary on Qur'an 7:180. According to Easton's Bible Dictionary, Uzza was a garden in which Amon were buried, it was near the king's palace in Jerusalem, or may have formed part of the palace grounds. Manasseh may have acquired it from someone of this name. Another view is that these kings drew the attention of Ezekiel. In Judaic and Christian lore, Uzza has been used as an alternative name for the angel Metatron in the Sefer ha-heshek. More he is referred to as either the seraph Semyaza or as one of the three guardian angels of Egypt that harried the Jews during the Exodus; as Semyaza in legend he is the seraph tempted by Ishtahar into revealing the explicit name of God and was thus burned alive and hung head down between heaven and earth as the constellation Orion. In the 3rd book of Enoch and in the Zohar he is one of the fallen angels punished for cohabiting with human women and fathering the anakim.
ʻUzzā is identified with Abezi Thibod who in early Jewish lore is used as another name for Samael and Mastema referring to a powerful spirit who shared princedom of Egypt with Rahab and opposed Moses to drown in the Red Sea. Manāt Ambros, Arne A.. A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89500-400-1. Burton, John; the Collection of the Qur'an. Cambridge University Press. Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels. Scrollhouse. ISBN 978-0-02-907052-9. Finegan, Jack; the Archeology of World Religions. Princeton University Press. Pp. 482–485, 492. Hitti, Philip K.. History of the Arabs. Ibn al-Kalbī
Allah is the Arabic word for God in Abrahamic religions. In the English language, the word refers to God in Islam; the word is thought to be derived by contraction from al-ilāh, which means "the god", is related to El and Elah, the Hebrew and Aramaic words for God. The word Allah has been used by Arabic people of different religions since pre-Islamic times. More it has been used as a term for God by Muslims and Arab Christians, it is often, albeit not used in this way by Bábists, Bahá'ís, Mandaeans and Maltese Christians, Mizrahi Jews. Similar usage by Christians and Sikhs in West Malaysia has led to political and legal controversies; the etymology of the word Allāh has been discussed extensively by classical Arab philologists. Grammarians of the Basra school regarded it as either formed "spontaneously" or as the definite form of lāh. Others held that it was borrowed from Syriac or Hebrew, but most considered it to be derived from a contraction of the Arabic definite article al- "the" and ilāh "deity, god" to al-lāh meaning "the deity", or "the God".
The majority of modern scholars subscribe to the latter theory, view the loanword hypothesis with skepticism. Cognates of the name "Allāh" exist in other Semitic languages, including Aramaic; the corresponding Aramaic form is Elah. It is written as ܐܠܗܐ in Biblical Aramaic and ܐܲܠܵܗܵܐ in Syriac as used by the Assyrian Church, both meaning "God". Biblical Hebrew uses the plural form Elohim, but more it uses the singular form Eloah. Regional variants of the word Allah occur in Christian pre-Islamic inscriptions. Different theories have been proposed regarding the role of Allah in pre-Islamic polytheistic cults; some authors have suggested that polytheistic Arabs used the name as a reference to a creator god or a supreme deity of their pantheon. The term may have been vague in the Meccan religion. According to one hypothesis, which goes back to Julius Wellhausen, Allah was a designation that consecrated the superiority of Hubal over the other gods. However, there is evidence that Allah and Hubal were two distinct deities.
According to that hypothesis, the Kaaba was first consecrated to a supreme deity named Allah and hosted the pantheon of Quraysh after their conquest of Mecca, about a century before the time of Muhammad. Some inscriptions seem to indicate the use of Allah as a name of a polytheist deity centuries earlier, but we know nothing precise about this use; some scholars have suggested that Allah may have represented a remote creator god, eclipsed by more particularized local deities. There is disagreement on. No iconic representation of Allah is known to have existed. Allah is the only god in Mecca. Muhammad's father's name was ʿAbd-Allāh meaning "the slave of Allāh"; the Aramaic word for "God" in the language of Assyrian Christians is Alaha. Arabic-speakers of all Abrahamic faiths, including Christians and Jews, use the word "Allah" to mean "God"; the Christian Arabs of today have no other word for "God" than "Allah". Arab Christians, for example, use the terms Allāh al-ab for God the Father, Allāh al-ibn for God the Son, Allāh al-rūḥ al-quds for God the Holy Spirit.
Arab Christians have used two forms of invocations that were affixed to the beginning of their written works. They adopted the Muslim bismillāh, created their own Trinitized bismillāh as early as the 8th century; the Muslim bismillāh reads: "In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful." The Trinitized bismillāh reads: "In the name of Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, One God." The Syriac and Greek invocations do not have the words "One God" at the end. This addition was made to emphasize the monotheistic aspect of Trinitarian belief and to make it more palatable to Muslims. According to Marshall Hodgson, it seems that in the pre-Islamic times, some Arab Christians made pilgrimage to the Kaaba, a pagan temple at that time, honoring Allah there as God the Creator; some archaeological excavation quests have led to the discovery of ancient pre-Islamic inscriptions and tombs made by Arab Christians in the ruins of a church at Umm el-Jimal in Northern Jordan, which contained references to Allah as the proper name of God, some of the graves contained names such as "Abd Allah" which means "the servant/slave of Allah".
The name Allah can be found countless times in the reports and the lists of names of Christian martyrs in South Arabia, as reported by antique Syriac documents of the names of those martyrs from the era of the Himyarite and Aksumite kingdomsA Christian leader named Abd Allah ibn Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad was martyred in Najran in 523, as he had worn a ring that said "Allah is my lord". In an inscription of Christian martyrion dated back to 512, references to Allah can be found in both Arabic and Aramaic, which called him "Allah" and "Alaha", the inscription starts with the statement "By the Help of Allah". In pre-Islamic Gospels, the name used for God was "Allah", as evidenced by some discovered Arabic versions of the New Testament written by Arab Christians during the pre-Islamic era in Northern
Set or Seth is a god of chaos, the desert, disorder and foreigners in ancient Egyptian religion. In Ancient Greek, the god's name is given as Sēth. Set had a positive role where he accompanies Ra on his solar boat to repel Apep, the serpent of Chaos. Set had a vital role as a reconciled combatant, he was lord of the red land. In the Osiris myth, the most important Egyptian myth, Set is portrayed as the usurper who killed and mutilated his own brother Osiris. Osiris's wife Isis reassembled his corpse and resurrected her dead husband long enough to conceive his son and heir Horus. Horus sought revenge upon Set, the myths describe their conflicts. Set is the son of the Earth and Nut, the Sky, he fathered Anubis. The meaning of the name Set is unknown but it is thought to have been pronounced *sūtiẖ based on spellings of his name in Egyptian hieroglyphs as stẖ and swtẖ; the Late Egyptian spelling stš reflects the palatalization of ẖ while the eventual loss of the final consonant is recorded in spellings like swtj.
The Coptic form of the name, ⲥⲏⲧ Sēt, is the basis for the English vocalization. In art, Set is depicted as an enigmatic creature referred to by Egyptologists as the Set animal, a beast resembling no known creature, although it could be seen as a composite of an aardvark, a donkey, a jackal, or a fennec fox; the animal has a curved snout, long rectangular ears, a thin forked tail and canine body, with sprouted fur tufts in an inverted arrow shape. Some early Egyptologists proposed that it was a stylised representation of the giraffe, owing to the large flat-topped "horns" which correspond to a giraffe's ossicones; the Egyptians themselves, made a distinction between the giraffe and the Set animal. During the Late Period, Set is depicted as a donkey or as having a donkey's head; the earliest representations of what might be the Set animal comes from a tomb dating to the Amratian culture of prehistoric Egypt, though this identification is uncertain. If these are ruled out the earliest Set animal appears on a ceremonial macehead of Scorpion II, a ruler of the Naqada III phase.
The head and the forked tail of the Set animal are present. A major element of Set's mythology was his conflict with his brother or nephew, for the throne of Egypt; the contest between them is violent but is described as a legal judgment before the Ennead, an assembled group of Egyptian deities, to decide who should inherit the kingship. The judge in this trial may be Geb, who, as the father of Osiris and Set, held the throne before they did, or it may be the creator gods Ra or Atum, the originators of kingship. Other deities take important roles: Thoth acts as a conciliator in the dispute or as an assistant to the divine judge, in "Contendings", Isis uses her cunning and magical power to aid her son; the rivalry of Horus and Set is portrayed in two contrasting ways. Both perspectives appear as early as the earliest source of the myth. In some spells from these texts, Horus is the son of Osiris and nephew of Set, the murder of Osiris is the major impetus for the conflict; the other tradition depicts Set as brothers.
This incongruity persists in many of the subsequent sources, where the two gods may be called brothers or uncle and nephew at different points in the same text. The divine struggle involves many episodes. "Contendings" describes the two gods appealing to various other deities to arbitrate the dispute and competing in different types of contests, such as racing in boats or fighting each other in the form of hippopotami, to determine a victor. In this account, Horus defeats Set and is supported by most of the other deities, yet the dispute drags on for eighty years because the judge, the creator god, favors Set. In late ritual texts, the conflict is characterized as a great battle involving the two deities' assembled followers; the strife in the divine realm extends beyond the two combatants. At one point Isis attempts to harpoon Set as he is locked in combat with her son, but she strikes Horus instead, who cuts off her head in a fit of rage. Thoth replaces Isis's head with that of a cow. In a key episode in the conflict, Set sexually abuses Horus.
Set's violation is meant to degrade his rival, but it involves homosexual desire, in keeping with one of Set's major characteristics, his forceful and indiscriminate sexuality. In the earliest account of this episode, in a fragmentary Middle Kingdom papyrus, the sexual encounter begins when Set asks to have sex with Horus, who agrees on the condition that Set will give Horus some of his strength; the encounter puts Horus in danger, because in Egyptian tradition semen is a potent and dangerous substance, akin to poison. According to some texts, Set's semen enters Horus's body and makes him ill, but in "Contendings", Horus thwarts Set by catching Set's semen in his hands. Isis retaliates by putting Horus's semen on lettuce-leaves. Set's defeat becomes apparent, he has been impregnated as a result "gives birth" to the disk. In "Contendings", Thoth places it on his own head. Another important epis
Nut known by various other transcriptions, is the goddess of the sky in the Ennead of ancient Egyptian religion. She was seen as a star-covered nude woman arching as a cow; the pronunciation of ancient Egyptian is uncertain because vowels were long omitted from its writing, although her name includes the unpronounced determinative hieroglyph for "sky". Her name Nwt, itself meaning "Sky", is transcribed as "Nut" but sometimes appears in older sources as Nunut and Nuit, she appears in the hieroglyphic record by a number of epithets, not all of which are understood. Nut is a daughter of Tefnut, her brother and husband is Geb. She had four or, in some sources, five children: Osiris, Isis, in some sources Horus, she is considered one of the oldest deities among the Egyptian pantheon, with her origin being found on the creation story of Heliopolis. She was the goddess of the nighttime sky, but became referred to as the sky goddess, her headdress was the hieroglyphic of part of her name, a pot, which may symbolize the uterus.
Depicted in nude human form, Nut was sometimes depicted in the form of a cow whose great body formed the sky and heavens, a sycamore tree, or as a giant sow, suckling many piglets. A sacred symbol of Nut was the ladder used by Osiris to enter her heavenly skies; this ladder-symbol was called maqet and was placed in tombs to protect the deceased, to invoke the aid of the deity of the dead. Nut and her brother, may be considered enigmas in the world of mythology. In direct contrast to most other mythologies which develop a sky father associated with an Earth mother, she personified the sky and he the Earth. Nut appears in the creation myth of Heliopolis which involves several goddesses who play important roles: Tefnut is a personification of moisture, who mated with Shu and gave birth to Sky as the goddess Nut, who mated with her brother Earth, as Geb. From the union of Geb and Nut came, among others, the most popular of Egyptian goddesses, the mother of Horus, whose story is central to that of her brother-husband, the resurrection god Osiris.
Osiris is killed by his brother Set and scattered over the Earth in 14 pieces, which Isis gathers up and puts back together. Osiris climbs a ladder into his mother Nut for safety and becomes king of the dead. Ra, the sun god, was the second to rule the world, according to the reign of the gods. Ra was a strong ruler but he feared anyone taking his throne; when he discovered that Nut was to have children, he was furious. He decreed, "Nut shall not give birth any day of the year." At that time, the year was only 360 days. Nut spoke to Thoth, god of wisdom, he had a plan. Thoth gambled with god of the moon, whose light rivaled that of Ra's; every time Khonsu lost, he had to give Thoth some of his moonlight. Khonsu lost so many times. Since these days were not part of the year, Nut could have her children, she had five children: Osiris ruler of the gods and god of the dead. When Ra found out, he was furious, he separated Nut from her husband Geb for eternity. Her father, was to keep them apart. Nut did not regret her decision.
Some of the titles of Nut were: Coverer of the Sky: Nut was said to be covered in stars touching the different points of her body. She Who Protects: Among her jobs was to protect Ra, the sun god. Mistress of All or "She who Bore the Gods": Originally, Nut was said to be lying on top of Geb and continually having intercourse. During this time she birthed four children: Osiris, Isis and Nephthys. A fifth child named, he was the Egyptian counterpart to the Greek god Apollo, made syncretic with Horus in the Hellenistic era as'Horus the Elder'. The Ptolemaic temple of Edfu is dedicated to Horus the Elder and there he is called the son of Nut and Geb, brother of Osiris, the eldest son of Geb, she Who Holds a Thousand Souls: Because of her role in the re-birthing of Ra every morning and in her son Osiris' resurrection, Nut became a key god in many of the myths about the afterlife. Nut was the goddess of the sky and all heavenly bodies, a symbol of protecting the dead when they enter the afterlife. According to the Egyptians, during the day, the heavenly bodies—such as the sun and moon—would make their way across her body.
At dusk, they would be swallowed, pass through her belly during the night, be reborn at dawn. Nut is the barrier separating the forces of chaos from the ordered cosmos in the world, she was pictured as a woman arched on her fingertips over the earth. Nut's fingers and toes were believed to touch the four cardinal points or directions of north, south and west; because of her role in saving Osiris, Nut was seen as a friend and protector of the dead, who appealed to her as a child appeals to its mother: "O my Mother Nut, stretch Yourself over me, that I may be placed among the imperishable stars which are in You, that I may not die." Nut was thought to draw the dead into her star-filled sky, refresh them with food and wine: "I am Nut, I have come so that I may enfold and protect you from all things evil."She was painted on the inside lid of the sarcophagus, protecting the deceased. The vaults of tombs were painted dark blue with many stars as a representation of Nut; the Book of the Dead says, "Hail, thou Sycamore Tree of the Goddess Nut!
Give me of the water and of the air whi
Isis was a major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Isis was first mentioned in the Old Kingdom as one of the main characters of the Osiris myth, in which she resurrects her slain husband, the divine king Osiris, produces and protects his heir, Horus, she was believed to help the dead enter the afterlife as she had helped Osiris, she was considered the divine mother of the pharaoh, likened to Horus. Her maternal aid was invoked in healing spells to benefit ordinary people, she played a limited role in royal rituals and temple rites, although she was more prominent in funerary practices and magical texts. She was portrayed in art as a human woman wearing a throne-like hieroglyph on her head. During the New Kingdom, as she took on traits that belonged to Hathor, the preeminent goddess of earlier times, Isis came to be portrayed wearing Hathor's headdress: a sun disk between the horns of a cow. In the first millennium BCE, Osiris and Isis became the most worshipped of Egyptian deities, Isis absorbed traits from many other goddesses.
Rulers in Egypt and its neighbor to the south, began to build temples dedicated to Isis, her temple at Philae was a religious center for Egyptians and Nubians alike. Isis's reputed magical power was greater than that of all other gods, she was said to protect the kingdom from its enemies, govern the skies and the natural world, have power over fate itself. In the Hellenistic period, when Egypt was ruled and settled by Greeks, Isis came to be worshipped by Greeks and Egyptians, along with a new god, Serapis, their worship diffused into the wider Mediterranean world. Isis's Greek devotees ascribed to her traits taken from Greek deities, such as the invention of marriage and the protection of ships at sea, she retained strong links with Egypt and other Egyptian deities who were popular in the Hellenistic world, such as Osiris and Harpocrates; as Hellenistic culture was absorbed by Rome in the first century BCE, the cult of Isis became a part of Roman religion. Her devotees were a small proportion of the Roman Empire's population but were found all across its territory.
Her following developed distinctive festivals such as the Navigium Isidis, as well as initiation ceremonies resembling those of other Greco-Roman mystery cults. Some of her devotees said; the worship of Isis was ended by the rise of Christianity in the fourth and fifth centuries CE. Her worship may have influenced Christian beliefs and practices such as the veneration of Mary, but the evidence for this influence is ambiguous and controversial. Isis continues to appear in Western culture in esotericism and modern paganism as a personification of nature or the feminine aspect of divinity. Whereas some Egyptian deities appeared in the late Predynastic Period, neither Isis nor her husband Osiris were mentioned before the Fifth Dynasty. An inscription that may refer to Isis dates to the reign of Nyuserre Ini during that period, she appears prominently in the Pyramid Texts, which began to be written down at the end of the dynasty and whose content may have developed much earlier. Several passages in the Pyramid Texts link Isis with the region of the Nile Delta near Behbeit el-Hagar and Sebennytos, her cult may have originated there.
Many scholars have focused on Isis's name in trying to determine her origins. Her Egyptian name was ꜣst, which became ⲎⲤⲈ in the Coptic form of Egyptian, Wusa in the Meroitic language of Nubia, Ἶσις, on which her modern name is based, in Greek; the hieroglyphic writing of her name incorporates the sign for a throne, which Isis wears on her head as a sign of her identity. The symbol serves as a phonogram, spelling the st sounds in her name, but it may have represented a link with actual thrones; the Egyptian term for a throne was st and may have shared a common etymology with Isis's name. Therefore, the Egyptologist Kurt Sethe suggested she was a personification of thrones. Henri Frankfort agreed, believing that the throne was considered the king's mother, thus a goddess, because of its power to make a man into a king. Other scholars, such as Jürgen Osing and Klaus P. Kuhlmann, have disputed this interpretation, because of dissimilarities between Isis's name and the word for a throne or a lack of evidence that the throne was deified.
The cycle of myth surrounding Osiris's death and resurrection was first recorded in the Pyramid Texts and grew into the most elaborate and influential of all Egyptian myths. Isis plays a more active role in this myth than the other protagonists, so as it developed in literature from the New Kingdom to the Ptolemaic Period, she became the most complex literary character of all Egyptian deities. At the same time, she absorbed characteristics from many other goddesses, broadening her significance well beyond the Osiris myth. Isis is part of the Ennead of Heliopolis, a family of nine gods descended from the creator god, Atum or Ra, she and her siblings—Osiris and Nephthys—are the last generation of the Ennead, born to Geb, god of the earth, Nut, goddess of the sky. The creator god, the world's original ruler, passes down his authority through the male generations of the Ennead, so that Osiris becomes king. Isis, Osiris's wife as well as his sister, is his queen. Set kills Osiris and, in several versions of the story, dismembers his corpse.
Isis and Nephthys, along with other deities such as Anubis, search for the pieces of their brother's body and reassemble it. Their efforts are the mythic prototype for mummification and other anc
Manāt was a Semitic goddess worshiped in the Arabian Peninsula before the rise of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. She was among Mecca's three chief goddesses, alongside with her sisters, Allat and Al-‘Uzzá, among them, she was the original and the oldest, her idol was destroyed after the rise of Islam and her worship disappeared in the Arabian peninsula. There are two possible meanings of the goddess' name; the first is that it's derived from the Arabic root "mana", thus her name would mean "to mete out", or alternatively "to determine", the second is that it derives from the Arabic word maniya meaning "fate". Both meanings are fitting for her role as goddess of fate and destinies. Pre-Islamic Theophoric names including Manāt's are well attested in Arab sources. Considered a goddess of fate, fortune and destiny, she was older than both Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzzá as theophoric names including hers, such as Abd-Manah or Zayd-Manah, are found earlier than names featuring Al-Lat's or Al-‘Uzzá's.
But aside from being the most ancient of the three chief goddesses of Mecca, she was very among the most ancient of the Semitic pantheon as well. Her now-lost major shrine was between Mecca and Medina on the coasts of the Red Sea in al-Mushallal where an idol of her was erected; the Banu Aws and Banu Khazraj were considered to be among the most devoted of tribes to the goddess, so much that the place to make sacrifices to her was referred to by its significance to the Khazraj, as known from a poem most written by Abd-al-‘Uzza ibn-Wadi‘ah al-Muzani: An oath and just, I swore By Manāh, at the sacred place of the Khazraj Her early representations included a wooden portrait of her, covered with sacrificial blood, but the most notable representation of her was her idol erected in al-Mushallal. When pre-Islamic Arabians would pilgrim to al-Mushallal, they would shave their head and stand in front of Manāt's idol for a while, they wouldn't consider their pilgrimage complete without visiting her idol.
An idol of her was likely among the 360 idols in the Kaaba. According to Ibn al-Kalbi, when worshipers would circumambulate the Kaaba, they would chant her name along with that of her sisters, al-Lat and al-Uzza, seeking their blessings and interception. Manat was thought to watch over graves, as indicated by a tomb inscription reading "And may Dushara and Manat and Qaysha curse anyone who sells this tomb or buys it or gives it in pledge or makes a gift of it or leases it or draws up for himself any document concerning it or buries in it anyone apart from the inscribed above"; the different versions of the story are all traceable to one single narrator Muhammad ibn Ka'b, two generations removed from biographer Ibn Ishaq. In its essential form, the story reports that Muhammad longed to convert his kinsmen and neighbors of Mecca to Islam; as he was reciting these verses of Sūrat an-Najm, considered a revelation from the angel Gabriel, Have you thought of al-Lāt and al-‘Uzzá and Manāt, the third, the other?
Satan tempted him to utter the following line: These are the exalted gharāniq, whose intercession is hoped for. The line was taken from the religious chant of Meccan polytheists who prayed to the three goddesses while circumambulating the Ka'aba. In the same month as the mission of Khalid ibn al-Walid to destroy al-Uzza and the Suwa, Sa‘d bin Zaid Al-Ashhali was sent with 20 horsemen to Al-Mashallal to destroy an idol called Manāt, worshipped by the polytheist Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj tribes of Arabia. Here a black woman appeared, naked with disheveled hair and beating on her chest. Sa‘d killed her, destroyed the idol and broke the casket, returning at the conclusion of his errand; the group who carried out this raid were devoted worshippers of al-Manat. According to some sources, among them ibn Kalbi, Ali was sent to demolish al-Manat; the attack on Somnath Temple in India in AD 1024 by Mahmud of Ghazni may have been inspired by the belief that an idol of Manat had been secretly transferred to the temple.
According to the Ghaznavid court poet Farrukhi Sistani, who claimed to have accompanied Mahmud on his raid, Somnat was a garbled version of su-manat referring to the goddess Manat. According to him as well as a Ghaznavid historian Gardizi, the images of the other goddesses were destroyed in Arabia but the one of Manat was secretly sent away to Kathiawar for safe keeping. Since the idol of Manat was an aniconic image of black stone, it could have been confused with a Shiva lingam at Somnath. Mahmud is said to have broken the idol and taken away parts of it as loot and placed so that people would walk on it. In his letters to the Caliphate, Mahmud exaggerated the size and religious significance of the Somnath temple, receiving grandiose titles from the Caliph in return. Al-Kalbi, Ibn. Book of Idols. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9781400876792. Andrae, Tor. Mohammed: The Man and His Faith. Courier Corporation. ISBN 9780486119090. Brown, Daniel W.. A New Introduction to Islam. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781444357721.
Griffo, Kedar. Religion and Freemasonry: A Violent Attack Against Ancient Africa. Lulu.com. ISBN 9780557886005. Jordan, Michael. Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9781438109855. Khan, Nas
In ancient Egyptian religion, Apis or Hapis, alternatively spelled Hapi-ankh, was a sacred bull worshiped in the Memphis region, identified as the son of Hathor, a primary deity in the pantheon of Ancient Egypt. He was assigned a significant role in her worship, being sacrificed and reborn. Apis served as an intermediary between humans and other powerful deities; the Apis bull was an important sacred animal to the ancient Egyptians. As with the other sacred beasts Apis' importance increased over the centuries. During colonization of the conquered Egypt and Roman authors had much to say about Apis, the markings by which the black calf was recognized, the manner of his conception by a ray from heaven, his house at Memphis, the mode of prognostication from his actions, his death, the mourning at his death, his costly burial, the rejoicings throughout the country when a new Apis was found. Auguste Mariette's excavation of the Serapeum of Saqqara revealed the tombs of more than sixty animals, ranging from the time of Amenhotep III to that of the Ptolemaic dynasty.
Each animal was buried in a separate tomb with a chapel built above it. Worship of an Apis bull, experienced by ancient Egyptians as holy, has been known since the First Dynasty in Memphis, while worship of the Apis as a proper god, at least according to Manetho's Aegyptiaca, seems to be a adoption, purportedly started during the reign of king Kaiechos of the Second Dynasty. Apis is named on early monuments, but little is known of the divine animal before the New Kingdom. Ceremonial burials of bulls indicate that ritual sacrifice was part of the worship of the early cow deities and Bat, a bull might represent her offspring, a king who became a deity after death, he was entitled "the renewal of the life" of the Memphite deity Ptah: but after death he became Osorapis, i.e. the Osiris Apis, just as dead humans were assimilated to Osiris, the ruler of the underworld. This Osorapis was identified with Serapis of the late Hellenistic period and may well be identical with him. Creating parallels to their own religious beliefs, ancient Greek writers identified Apis as an incarnation of Osiris, ignoring the connection with Ptah.
Apis was the most popular of three great bull cults of ancient Egypt, the others being the cults of Mnevis and Buchis. All are related to the worship of Hathor or Bat, similar primary goddesses separated by region until unification that merged as Hathor; the worship of Apis was continued by the Greeks and after them by the Romans, lasted until 400 CE. This animal was chosen because it symbolized the courageous heart, great strength, fighting spirit of the king. Apis came to being considered a manifestation of the king, as bulls were symbols of strength and fertility, qualities that are linked with kingship. "strong bull of his mother Hathor" was a common title for Egyptian gods and male kings, being unused for women serving as king, such as Hatshepsut. As early as the time of the Narmer Palette, the king is depicted with a bovine tail on one side, a bull is seen knocking down the walls of a city on the other. Apis was pictured with the sun-disk symbol of his mother, between his horns, being one of few deities associated with her symbol.
When the disk was depicted on his head with his horns below and the triangular marking on his forehead, an ankh was suggested. That symbol always was associated with Hathor. Early on, Apis was the herald of the chief deity in the area around Memphis; as a manifestation of Ptah, Apis was considered to be a symbol of the king, embodying the qualities of kingship. In the region where Ptah was worshiped, cattle exhibited white patterning on their black bodies, so a belief grew up that the Apis calf had to have a certain set of markings suitable to its role, it was required to have a white triangular marking upon its forehead, a white Egyptian vulture wing outline on its back, a scarab mark under its tongue, a white crescent moon shape on its right flank, double hairs on his tail. The calf that matched these markings was selected from the herds, brought to a temple, given a harem of cows, worshiped as an aspect of Ptah; the cow, his mother was believed to have conceived him by a flash of lightning from the heavens, or from moonbeams.
She was treated specially, given a special burial. At the temple, Apis was used as his movements being interpreted as prophecies, his breath was believed to cure his presence to bless those around with strength. A window was created in the temple through which he could be viewed and, on certain holidays, he was led through the streets of the city, bedecked with jewelry and flowers. Details of the mummification ritual of the sacred bull are written within the Apis papyrus. Sometimes the body of the bull was mummified and fixed in a standing position on a foundation made of wooden planks. By the New Kingdom period, the remains of the sacred bulls were interred at the cemetery of Saqqara; the earliest known burial in Saqqara was performed in the reign of Amenhotep III by his son Thutmose. Ramesses II initiated Apis burials in what now is known as the Serapeum, an underground complex of burial chambers at Saqqara for the sacred bulls, a site used throughout the rest of Ancient Egyptian history into the reign of Cleopatra.
Khaemweset, the priestly son of Ramesses II, excavated a great gallery to be lined with the tomb chambers.