"Daughter-gate": Allah's Daughters: el-Lat, el-Uzza, and Manat
Muslims today do not worship Allah's daughters and view them as pagan deities. Having said that, it is important to note that Muhammad himself commanded his followers offer prayers to these "Allah's daughters". He later retracted it and blamed it on the Devil. It is this true event in Muhammad's life which was the topic of Salman Rushdie's book, "The Satanic Verses." (a book we certainly do not recommend reading for its profanity and racism.)

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Allah's Daughters:
The defrocked super goddesses of the 6th century AD!

Click to ViewHistorical notes:

  1. It is an undeniable fact of history that before Muhammed was born, the moon god "al-Ilah" (Allah) had three daughters named al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat. The first two were even named after their father. Each daughter had a separate shrine near Mecca, where Allah's shrine was located.
  2. As Muhammad grew weary from evangelizing his new religion with little success, he was tricked by the devil into adding a verse in the Koran that commanded Muslims to pray to Allah's three pagan daughters Lat, Uzza and Manat. The pagan female trinity was immediately accepted without dissent and the passage was considered part of the revealed Koran. However some time later, Muhammad got a revelation from God that the verse should be removed. After repenting of the error, Muhammad was comforted by God.
  3. Such "after the fact corrective revelations" are very common with cults. Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons also received an "after the fact corrective revelation" from God retracted the previous "divine command" allowing polygamy.
  4. The historical information confirming the "Satanic verses" is so vast and sure, only the desperate blind would deny the evidence. Undeniably factual information regarding the Satanic verses comes from respected Muslim scholars like at-Tabari and Ibn Sa'd who wrote biographical and historical accounts of the life of Muhammad.
  5. Yet some Muslims actually reject the whole "daughter-gate" story as untrue. These are an extremist minority, you know, the ones who don't believe youth should be taught history or science, but spend 8 hours a day memorizing the Koran. Yet many Muslims are trained to habitually disregard factual world history when it conflicts with the Koran. Take the fact of Christ's crucifixion. Even the Jews agree he was crucified, but the Koran says it was a case of mistaken identity. So Muslims reject the universal record of history and the Bible, but believe the Koran is true. Amazingly, some Islamic apologists actually deny "daughter-gate" ever happened. Yet their only argument is, "The Koran says it cannot be tampered with and that Satan cannot interfere with the revelation process." So, these extremists must either admit that the final prophet revealed a Koranic passage whose origin was Satan, or simply rewrite their own history and deny the whole "daughter-gate" scandal itself.

Exactly what are the Satanic verses:

Here is how the Koran once read with the satanic verses:

Here is how it reads today in the Koran:

Near it is the Garden of Abode. Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!) (His) sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong! For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest! Have ye seen Lat. and 'Uzza, And another, the third (goddess), Manat?

Near it is the Garden of Abode. Behold, the Lote-tree was shrouded (in mystery unspeakable!) (His) sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong! For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest! Have ye seen Lat. and 'Uzza, And another, the third (goddess), Manat?

These are the exalted cranes (intermediaries) Whose intercession is to be hoped for.

[Words of Satan Deleted]

What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female? Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair! (an-Najm 53:19-22)

What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female? Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair! (an-Najm 53:19-22)


Here two passages in the Koran that comment on Muhammad's "daughters-gate" scandal:

Like King David of the Bible admonishing himself of his own adultery in Psalms 51, Muhammad discusses the "Satanic verses"

  1. "And their purpose was to tempt thee away from that which We had revealed unto thee, to substitute in our name something quite different; (in that case), behold! they would certainly have made thee (their) friend! And had We not given thee strength, thou wouldst nearly have inclined to them a little. In that case We should have made thee taste an equal portion (of punishment) in this life, and an equal portion in death: and moreover thou wouldst have found none to help thee against Us!" (Koran 17:73-75)
  2. "Never sent We a messenger or a prophet before thee but when He recited (the message) Satan proposed (opposition) in respect of that which he recited thereof. But Allah abolisheth that which Satan proposeth. Then Allah establisheth His revelations. Allah is Knower, Wise; That He may make that which the devil proposeth a temptation for those in whose hearts is a disease, and those whose hearts are hardened - Lo! the evil-doers are in open schism" (Koran 22:52-53)

What scholars say about Allah's Daughters:

  1. Al-'Uzza, al-Lat and Manah, the three daughters of Allah, had their sanctuaries in the land which later became the cradle of Islam. In a weak moment the monotheistic Muhammad was tempted to recognize these powerful deities of Makkah and al-Madinah and make a compromise in their favour, but afterwards he retracted and the revelation is said to have received the form now found in surah 53:19-20. Later theologians explained the case according to the principle of nasikh and mansukh, abrogating and abrogated verses, by means of which God revokes and alters the announcements of His will; this results in the cancellation of a verse and the substitution of another for it (Koran 2 :100). (History Of The Arabs, Philip K. Hitti, 1937, p 96-101)
  2. Allat, according to recent study of the complicated inspirational evidence, is believed to have been introduced into Arabia from Syria, and to have been the moon goddess of North Arabia. If this is the correct interpretation of her character, she corresponded to the moon deity of South Arabia, Almaqah, `Vadd, `Amm or Sin as he was called, the difference being only the oppositeness of gender. Mount Sinai (the name being an Arabic feminine form of Sin) would then have been one of the centers of the worship of this northern moon goddess. Similarly, al-`Uzza is supposed to have come from Sinai, and to have been the goddess of the planet Venus. As the moon and the evening star are associated in the heavens, so too were Allat and al-`Uzza together in religious belief, and so too are the crescent and star conjoined on the flags of Arab countries today. (The Archeology Of World Religions, Jack Finegan, 1952, p482-485, 492)
  3. Prior to the rise of Islam, these three goddesses were associated with Allah as his daughters and all were worshiped at Mecca and other places in the vicinity. (The Archeology Of World Religions, Jack Finegan, 1952, p482-485, 492)
  4. The Aus and Khazraj tribes of Medina were the most prominent worshipers of Manat, while the Quraish of Mecca paid much reverence to Allat and al-`Uzza, most of all to the latter. The Quraish were the tribe to which Muhammad belonged, and Ibn al-Kalbi states that before the prophet began to preach his own message he himself once offered a white sheep to al-`Uzza. Such was the "paganism" in which Muhammad was reared and which he later came to believe it was his mission to dispel. (The Archeology Of World Religions, Jack Finegan, 1952, p482-485, 492)
  5. The same three goddesses appear -and then disappear-in an extremely curious and much-discussed place in Sura 53 of the Quran. The exact context is unknown, but Muhammad was still at Mecca and was apparently feeling the pressures of the Quraysh resistance to his message: "When the Messenger of God saw how his tribe turned their backs on him and was grieved to see them shunning the message he had brought to them from God, he longed in his soul that something would come to him from God that would reconcile him with his tribe. With his love for his tribe and his eagerness for their welfare, it would have delighted him if some of the difficulties which they made for him could have been smoothed, and he debated with himself and fervently desired such an outcome. Then God revealed (Sura 53) ... and when he came to the words "Have you thought al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?" (VV. 19-20) Satan cast on his tongue, because of his inner debates and what he desired to bring to his people, the words: "These are the high-flying cranes; verily their intercession is to be hoped for." When the Quraysh heard this, they rejoiced and were happy and delighted at the way in which he had spoken of their gods, and they listened to him, while the Muslims, having complete trust in their Prophet with respect of the message which he brought from God, did not suspect him of error, illusion or mistake. When he came to the prostration, having completed the Sura, he prostrated himself and the Muslims did likewise.... The polytheists of the Quraysh and others who were in the mosque [that is, the Meccan Haram] likewise prostrated themselves because of the reference to their gods which they heard, so that there was no one in the mosque, believer or unbeliever, who did not prostrate himself ... Then they all dispersed from the mosque. The Quraysh left delighted at the mention of their gods." (Tabari, Annals 1.1192-1193 = Tabari vi: 108-109) This is the indubitably authentic story-it is difficult to imagine a Muslim inventing such a tale--of the notorious "Satanic verses." (The Hajj, F. E. Peters, p 3-41, 1994)
  6. And what precisely are we to understand by "exalted cranes"? The Muslim authorities were uncertain about the meaning of gharaniq, as are we. 65 But what they did know was that this was the refrain that the Quraysh used to chant as they circumambulated the Ka'ba: "Al-Lat, and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other; indeed these are exalted (or lofty, 'ula) gharaniq; let us hope for their intercession." (The Hajj, F. E. Peters, p 3-41, 1994)
  7. Even though their principal shrines lay north and east of Mecca, al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat were all worshiped by the Quraysh of Mecca, and at least al-Uzza numbered no less than Muhammad himself among her worshipers. (The Hajj, F. E. Peters, p 3-41, 1994)
  8. However, in my opinion it is unthinkable that the men of the later tradition, who regarded Mohammed in every respect as a perfect example for the faithful, would have deliberately invented a story so seriously compromising their Prophet. We must therefore assume, as the historical kernel of the tradition, that Sura 53.19ff. once embodied a different wording, implying acceptance of the pagan conception of the gods, an implication which Mohammed subsequently felt to be incompatible with belief in the one God. In style and rhythm the two Satanic lines fit admirably into the original Sura, which is amongst the earliest revelations, so that it is impossible that they should have been added as late as the Abyssinian emigration. Mohammed often made additions to the older Suras, and in such cases he always employed the formal style which dominates every revelation, so that the added lines always stand out clearly from the original. Moreover, in the original version the Sura probably contained a polemic against paganism. Mohammed objected to the expression, 'Daughters of Allah,' Which his countrymen applied to the three goddesses, and declared that it was wrong to think of God as having daughters. However, he did not intend to deny that the goddesses were high heavenly beings who could make intercession to God. Such a position is really not unthinkable in the earliest period of the Prophet's career. He merely attributed to the heavenly intercessors the same position which the angels occupied in the popular religion of the Eastern Christian churches. Undoubtedly there existed at that time an actual angel cult. (Mohammed: The man and his faith, Tor Andrae, 1936, Translated by Theophil Menzel, 1960, p13-30)
  9. And in Arabian paganism, as we shall see later, the idea of subordinate divine beings acting as mediators and intercessors is not at all unthinkable. That Mohammed actually once thought of the three goddesses as interceding angels is shown by his later addition to the aforementioned Sura 53.26-29: 'And many as are the angels in the Heavens, their intercession shall be of no avail until God hath permitted it to whomsoever He shall please, and whom He will accept. Verily it is they who believe not in the life to come, who name the angels with names of females: But herein they have no knowledge: they follow a mere conceit; and mere conceit can never take the place of acceptance of truth.' Here Mohammed implies that the goddesses are in reality angels, to whom the pagans in their ignorance have given feminine names (comp. 37, 149-50: 43.18). Albeit with strict reservations, the right of the angels to make intercession is here recognized. (Mohammed: The man and his faith, Tor Andrae, 1936, Translated by Theophil Menzel, 1960, p13-30)
  10. Thus, some interpreter of the Koran who belonged to an older generation tried to explain the tradition concerning the original wording of the 53rd Sura to a later type of piety which found it obnoxious. He found the explanation in two passages of the Koran. The first was Sura 17, 75-6: 'And, verily, they had well-nigh beguiled thee from what we revealed to thee, and caused thee to invent some other thing in our name: but in that case they would surely have taken thee as a friend; And had we not confirmed thee, thou hadst well-nigh leaned to them a little.' The context shows that these words refer to a political intrigue by means of which the Quraish had hoped to drive Mohammed out of his native city (verse 78). The other passage was Sura 22, Si, where we read, amongst other things: 'We have not sent any apostle or prophet before thee, amongst whose desires Satan hath injected not some wrong desire, but Allah shall bring to nought that which Satan hath suggested. (Mohammed: The man and his faith, Tor Andrae, 1936, Translated by Theophil Menzel, 1960, p13-30)
  11. "As well as worshipping idols and spirits, found in animals, plants, rocks and water, the ancient Arabs believed in several major gods and goddesses whom they considered to hold supreme power over all things. The most famous of these were Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, Manat and Hubal. The first three were thought to be the daughters of Allah (God) and their intercessions on behalf of their worshippers were therefore of great significance. Hubal was associated with the Semitic god Ba'l and with Adonis or Tammuz, the gods of spring, fertility, agriculture and plenty. (Fabled Cities, Princes & Jin from Arab Myths and Legends, Khairt al-Saeh, 1985, p. 28-30.)
  12. "The Quran (22.52/I) implies that on at least one occasion 'Satan had interposed' something in the revelation Muhammad received, and this probably refers to the incident to be described. The story is that, while Muhammad was hoping for some accommodation with the great merchants, he received a revelation mentioning the goddesses al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat (53.19), 20 as now found), but continuing with other two (or three) verses sanctioning intercession to these deities. At some later date Muhammad received a further revelation abrogating the latter verses, but retaining the names of the goddesses, and saying it was unfair that God should have only daughters while human beings had sons." (The Cambridge History of Islam, Vol. I, ed. P.M. Holt, 1970, p 37)
  13. Since the Arabs used words expressing kinship to denote abstract relationships, the banat Allah may be no more than 'divine beings' or 'beings with some divine qualities. (Muhammad's Mecca, W. Montgomery Watt, Chapter 3: Religion In Pre-Islamic Arabia, p26-45)
  14. "19 - 30/1 The pagan goddesses: 19,2o El-Lat ... El-'Uzza ... Manat: these goddesses were specially connected with three shrines in the neighbourhood of Mecca, namely at at-Ta'if, Nakhla (on the road to at-Ta'if, and at a place on the road to Medina. The story is that when these verses were first recited, Muhammad was anxious to win over the pagan Meccans, and failed to notice when Satan introduced two (or three) further verses permitting intercession at these shrines. This story could hardly have been invented, and gains support from sura 22, v. 52/1 (see comment). At length Muhammad realized the substitution, and received the continuing revelation as it now is in the Qur'an." (Companion to the Qur'an, W. Montgomery Watt, p 244)
  15. AI-Lat, AI-'Uzza, and Manat. Among the Qur'an's references to its 7 th-century pagan milieu are three goddesses, called daughters of Allah: AI-Lat, AI-'Uzza, and Manat; these are also known from earlier inscriptions in northern Arabia. Al-Lat ("the Goddess") may have had a role subordinate to that of El (Ilah), as "daughter" rather than consort (Britannica, Arabian Religions, p1057, 1979)
  16. "Astral and tutelary goddess. Pre-Islamic northern and central Arabian. One of the three daughters of Allah." (Encyclopedia of Gods, Michael Jordan, Allat, p 12)
  17. "Manat: Goddess. Pre-Islamic... One of the so-called daughters of Allah." (Encyclopedia of Gods, Michael Jordan, Manat, p 156)
  18. Was Muhammad ready to compromise his monotheistic message to attract more converts? Was the Qu'ran even momentarily tainted by the influence of absolute evil? In context, we can see that, as Rodinson and Watt have both argued, the story does not present Muhammad as a cynical impostor. (Muhammad: A Western Attempt to Understand Islam, Karen Armstrong, Chapter 6: the Satanic verses, p 108-133, 1991)
  19. The story, as it appears in the histories of Ibn Sa'd and Tabari, says that on one occasion Satan interfered with Muhammad's reception of the divine Word. While Sura 53 was being revealed, this tradition has it, Muhammad felt inspired to utter two verses which declared that the three goddesses al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat could be revered as intermediaries between God and man. But since the Quraysh considered the banat Allah divine beings, they wrongly believed that the Qu'ran had placed them on the same level as God Himself. Thinking that Muhammad had accepted their goddesses as having equal status to Allah, the pagan Qu'raysh bowed down to make the salat with the Muslims and the bitter dispute seemed at an end. Because the Qu'ran appeared to have endorsed the piety of their fathers and to have abandoned its monotheistic message, they no longer saw Islam as a sacrilegious threat that could bring a catastrophe on the people of Mecca. The story goes on, however, that Muhammad later received another revelation which indicated that his apparent acceptance of the cult of the banat Allah had been inspired by 'Satan'. Consequently, the two verses were expunged from the Qu'ran and replaced by others which declared that the three goddesses were figments of the Arabs' imagination and deserved no worship at all. (Muhammad: A Western Attempt to Understand Islam, Karen Armstrong, Chapter 6: the Satanic verses, p 108-133, 1991)
  20. Surely any genuine prophet would be able to distinguish between a divine and a satanic inspiration? Would a man of God tamper with his revelation merely to attract more converts? Recently, however, scholars like Maxime Rodinson and W. Montgomery Watt have attempted to show that even as the story stands it does not necessarily bear such a negative interpretation. Nevertheless, the incident remained far more important in the Western than in the Islamic world; at least until 1988. (Muhammad: A Western Attempt to Understand Islam, Karen Armstrong, Chapter 6: the Satanic verses, p 108-133, 1991)
  21. The other gods mentioned in the Quran are all female deities: Al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat, which represented the Sun, the planet Venus, and Fortune, respectively; at Mecca they were regarded as the daughters of Allah... As Allah meant 'the god', so Al-Lat means 'the goddess'." (Islam, Alfred Guilaume, 1956 p 6-7)
  22. "In pre-Islamic days, called the Days of Ignorance, the religious background of the Arabs was pagan, and basically animistic. Through wells, trees, stones, caves, springs, and other natural objects man could make contact with the deity... At Mekka, Allah was the chief of the gods and the special deity of the Quraish, the prophet's tribe. Allah had three daughters: 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. " (Meet the Arab, John Van Ess, 1943, p. 29)
  23. "Ali-ilah; the god; the supreme; the all-powerful; all-knowing; and totally unknowable; the predeterminer of everyone's life destiny; chief of the gods; the special deity of the Quraish; having three daughters: Al Uzzah (Venus), Manah (Destiny), and Alat; having the idol temple at Mecca under his name (House of Allah).; the mate of Alat, the goddess of fate. (Is Allah The Same God As The God Of The Bible?, M. J. Afshari, p 6, 8-9)
  24. "It is certain that they regarded particular deities (mentioned in 1iii. 19-20 are al-'Uzza, Manat or Manah, al-Lat; some have interpreted vii, 179 as a reference to a perversion of Allah to Allat) as daughters of Allah (vi. 100; xvi, 59; xxxvii, 149; 1iii, 21); they also asserted that he had sons (vi. 100) (First Encyclopedia of Islam, E.J. Brill, 1987, p. 302)
  25. "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." ... "The worship of the three goddesses, Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat, played a significant role in the worship at the Kabah in Mecca. The first two daughters of Allah had names which were feminine forms of Allah." (The Islamic Invasion, Robert Morey, 1977, p 51)
  26. "This was especially true of Allah, 'the God, the Divinity', the personification of the divine world in its highest form, creator of the universe and keeper of sworn oaths. In the Hejaz three goddesses had pride of place as the 'daughters of Allah'. The first of these was Allat, mentioned by Herodotus under the name of Alilat. Her name means simply 'the goddess', and she may have stood for one aspect of Venus, the morning star, although hellenized Arabs identified her with Athene. Next came Uzza, 'the all-powerful', whom other sources identify with Venus. The third was Manat, the goddess of fate, who held the shears which cut the thread of life and who was worshipped in a shrine on the sea-shore. (Muhammad, Maxime Rodinson, p 16-17.)
  27. "According to this version of the story, the Quraysh were delighted with the new revelation, which in al-Kalbi's words was the traditional invocation made by the Qura'sh to the goddesses as they circumambulated the Ka'aba (Faris 17). The gharaniq were probably Numidian cranes which were thought to fly higher than any other bird. Muhammad, may have believed in the existence of the banat - al-Llah as he believed in the existence of angels and jinn, was giving the 'goddesses' a delicate compliment, without compromising his message. ... The Quraysh spread the good news throughout the city: 'Muhammad has spoken of our gods in splendid fashion. He alleged in what he recited that they are the exalted gharaniq whose intercession is approved" (Muhammad: A Western Attempt to Understand Islam, Karen Armstrong, Chapter 6: the Satanic verses, p 108-133, 1991) 

Written by Brother Andrew


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