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They then adopted Allat[1] as their goddess. Allat stood in al-Ta'if[2], and was more recent than Manah. She was a cubic[3] rock beside which a certain Jew used to prepare his barley porridge (sawiq). Her custody was in the hands of the banu-'Attab ibn-Malik[4] of the Thaqif[5], who had built an edifice over her. The Quraysh, as well as all the Arabs, were wont to venerate Allat. They also used to name their children after her, calling them Zayd-Allat[6] and Taym-Allat[7].

She stood in the place of the left-hand side minaret of the present-day mosque of al-Ta'if. She is the idol which God mentioned when He said, "Have you seen Allat and al-'Uzza[8]?" It was this same Allat which 'Amr ibn-al-Ju'ayd[9] had in mind when he said:

"In forswearing wine I am like him who hath abjured Allat,
although he had been at one time her devotee."

Likewise it was the same idol to which al-Mutalammis[10] alluded in his satire of 'Amr ibn-al-Mundhirt[11] when he said:



"Thou hast banished me for fear of lampoon and satire.
No! By Allat and all the sacred baetyls (ansab)[12],
thou shalt not escape[13]."

Allat continued to be venerated until the Thaqif embraced Islam[14], when the Apostle of God dispatched al-Mughirah ibn-Shu'bab[15], who destroyed her and burnt her [temple] to the ground[16].

In this connection, when Allat was destroyed and burnt to the ground, Shaddid ibn-'Arid al-Jushami'[17] said warning the Thaqif not to return to her worship nor attempt to avenge her destruction:

"Come not to Allat, for God hath doomed her to destruction;
How can you stand by one which doth not triumph?
Verily that which, when set on fire, resisted not the flames,
Nor saved her stones, is inglorious and worthless.
Hence when the Apostle in your place shall arrive
And then leave, not one of her votaries shall be left."[18]

Aws ibn-Hajar[19], swearing by Allat, said:
"By Allat and al-'Uzza and those who in them believe,
And by Allah, verily He is greater than both."




1. Ryckmans. vol. I, p. 3; Wellhausen, pp.29-34.

2. Sifah, pp. 120-121.

3. "Square" in text.

4. cf. "Jambarab" (Br. Mus. MS), p. 154.

5. Ishtiqaq, p. 183.

6. ibid., p.315.

7. ibid., p. 315.

8. Surah LII: 19.

9. Al-Aghani, vol. xv, pp.75-77, vol. xxi (ed. It. S. Brunnow, Leyden, 1888), p. 186.

10. Ibn-Qutaybah, al-Shi'r w-al-Shu'ara', ed. M. J. de Goeje, Leyden, 1902-1904, pp. 85-88; al-Aghani, vol. xxi, pp. 185-210.

11. King of Lakhm, better known as 'Amr ibn-Hind. See al-Isfahini, pp 109-110.

12. Heb. massebhah, usually translated "pillars." See Gen xxxv: 20:11; Sam. xviii: 18; cf. Gen. xxviii: 18, 22, xxxi: 13,45, xxxv: 14; Josh. xxiv: 27; George A. Barton, "Poles and Posts" in James Hastings, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, New York, 1908-1927; D.M. Kay "Massebhah" in ibid.: George A. Barton, Semitic and Hamitic Origins, Philadelphia, 1934 pp 150ff.

13. A1-Aghani vol xxi p.207; Die Gedichte des Mutalammis, ed. R. Vollers, Leipzig, 1903, p.23.

14. AH. 9/A.D. 630-631 See Sirah, pp.914-917.

15. Later became the governor of al-Basrah and al-Kufah; d. A.H. 50 / AD. 670; al-Ma'arif pp 150-151.

16. cf. Sirah pp 917-919.

17. ibid., p.871.

18. Buldan vol iv pp 337-338; cf. Sirah, p.871.

19. Al-Aghani vol x pp. 6-8; al-Shi'r w-al-Sh'ara', pp.99-102. Also Rudolf Geyer, Gedichte und Fragmente des "Aus ibn Hajar" in Sitzungsberichte der Philosophisch-Historischen Classe der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, vol.126, Vienna, 1892, Pt. xiii, see. xi, line 2.




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