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The Himyar had also another temple (bayt) in San'a'. It was called Ri'am [1]; the people venerated it and offered in it




sacrifices. According to one report, they used to receive communications from an oracle therein. When the Tubba' returned from the expedition to al-'Iraq, the two rabbis (al-habran) who accompanied him to Medina came along with him to destroy Ri'am. He told them, "Do with it whatever you wish." Thereupon they demolished it, and the Tubba', together with the people of Yemen, embraced Judaism [2]. Henceforth I never heard of any mention of Ri'am and Nasr either in poetry or in proper names. Furthermore, the Arabs preserved nothing of its poetry except those poems which belonged to the period immediately preceding Islam.

Hisham abu-al-Mundhir said: I have not heard a single verse of poetry in description of Ri'am[3]. I have, however, heard some in description of the others.

These, then, are the five idols which the people of Noah used to worship. For this reason God mentioned them in His Book, which He revealed to His Prophet, "Said Noah, 'O Lord! they rebel against me, and they follow those whose riches and children do but aggravate their ruin.' And they plotted a great plot; and they said, 'Forsake not your gods; Forsake not Wadd and Suwa, nor Yaghuth and Ya'uq and Nasr.' And they caused many to err; and thou, too, shalt be the means of increasing only error in the wicked[4]."

When, therefore, 'Amr ibn-Luhayy [brought] the idols from al-Balqa, they accepted and worshipped them.




1. Buldan, vol. ii, pp.882-883; Sifah, p.203; cf. al-Hamdani, al-Iklil (al-Juz al-Thamin), ed. Nabih Amin Faris, Princeton, 1940, pp. 66-67; tr. N. A. Faris, The Antiquities of South Arabia, Princeton, 1938, pp.46-48; Buldan, vol.ii, p.906; Ryckmans, vol. i, p 35.

2. cf. al-Isfahani, p.131; Kitab al-Tijan, pp.294-297; Tabari, vol. I, pp 903-906; Buldan, vol. ii, p.882.

3. cf. a1-Iklil, p. 66; The Antiquities of South Arabia, p.47

4. Surah LXXI 20-24.




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