Lat, Manat, and Al-Uzza
By Sami Zaatari
One common argument or claim put forth by Christians today is that the Quran claims That Allah has 3 daughters, those daughters being the pagan godesses of Lat, Manat, and Al-Uzza. Such a claim is very strong indeed, but is there any truth behind this claim? Does the Quran actually state that Allah has three daughters?
To back this claim up, the Christians often quote one Quranic passage, and then think they have proven their point, let us quote this passage:
YUSUFALI: Have ye seen Lat. and 'Uzza,
YUSUFALI: And another, the third (goddess), Manat?
Christians love to quote these two verses and then stop; the question we must ask such Christians is why do they stop there? Let us now quote the rest of the passages:
YUSUFALI: What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female?
YUSUFALI: Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair!
YUSUFALI: These are nothing but names which ye have devised,- ye and your fathers,- for which Allah has sent down no authority (whatever). They follow nothing but conjecture and what their own souls desire!- Even though there has already come to them Guidance from their Lord!
So had the Christians care to carry on, they would see that Allah exposes them making such a lie! Allah tells them that they the pagans have invented these false idols, and that it is something corrupt. Let us quote Ibn Kathir's tafsir:
Refuting Idolatry, Al-Lat and Al-`Uzza
Allah the Exalted rebukes the idolators for worshipping idols and taking rivals to Him. They built houses for their idols to resemble the Ka`bah built by Prophet Ibrahim, Allah's Khalil.
(Have you then considered Al-Lat,) Al-Lat was a white stone with inscriptions on. There was a house built around Al-Lat in At-Ta'if with curtains, servants and a sacred courtyard around it. The people of At-Ta'if, the tribe of Thaqif and their allies, worshipped Al-Lat. They would boast to Arabs, except the Quraysh, that they had Al-Lat. Ibn Jarir said, "They derived Al-Lat's name from Allah's Name, and made it feminine. Allah is far removed from what they ascribe to Him. It was reported that Al-Lat is pronounced Al-Lat because, according to `Abdullah bin `Abbas, Mujahid, and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Al-Lat was a man who used to mix Sawiq (a kind of barley mash) with water for the pilgrims during the time of Jahiliyyah. When he died, they remained next to his grave and worshipped him.'' Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah's statement,
(Al-Lat, and Al-`Uzza.) "Al-Lat was a man who used to mix Sawiq for the pilgrims.'' Ibn Jarir said, "They also derived the name for their idol Al-`Uzza from Allah's Name Al-`Aziz. Al-`Uzza was a tree on which the idolators placed a monument and curtains, in the area of Nakhlah, between Makkah and At-Ta'if. The Quraysh revered Al-`Uzza.'' During the battle of Uhud, Abu Sufyan said, "We have Al-`Uzza, but you do not have Al-`Uzza.'' Allah's Messenger replied,
«ÞõæáõæÇ: Çááåõ ãóæúáóÇäóÇ æóáóÇ ãóæúáóì áóßõã»
(Say, "Allah is Our Supporter, but you have no support.'') Manat was another idol in the area of Mushallal near Qudayd, between Makkah and Al-Madinah. The tribes of Khuza`ah, Aws and Khazraj used to revere Manat during the time of Jahiliyyah. They used to announce Hajj to the Ka`bah from next to Manat. Al-Bukhari collected a statement from `A'ishah with this meaning. There were other idols in the Arabian Peninsula that the Arabs revered just as they revered the Ka`bah, besides the three idols that Allah mentioned in His Glorious Book. Allah mentioned these three here because they were more famous than the others. An-Nasa'i recorded that Abu At-Tufayl said, "When the Messenger of Allah conquered Makkah, he sent Khalid bin Al-Walid to the area of Nakhlah where the idol of Al-`Uzza was erected on three trees of a forest. Khalid cut the three trees and approached the house built around it and destroyed it. When he went back to the Prophet and informed him of the story, the Prophet said to him,
«ÇÑúÌöÚú ÝóÅöäøóßó áóãú ÊóÕúäóÚú ÔóíúÆðÇ»
(Go back and finish your mission, for you have not finished it.) Khalid went back and when the custodians who were also its servants of Al-`Uzza saw him, they started invoking by calling Al-`Uzza! When Khalid approached it, he found a naked woman whose hair was untidy and who was throwing sand on her head. Khalid killed her with the sword and went back to the Messenger of Allah , who said to him,
(That was Al-`Uzza!)'' Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated, "Al-Lat belonged to the tribe of Thaqif in the area of At-Ta'if. Banu Mu`attib were the custodians of Al-Lat and its servants.'' I say that the Prophet sent Al-Mughirah bin Shu`bah and Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb to destroy Al-Lat. They carried out the Prophet's command and built a Masjid in its place in the city of At-Ta'if. Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Manat used to be the idol of the Aws and Khazraj tribes and those who followed their religion in Yathrib (Al-Madinah). Manat was near the coast, close to the area of Mushallal in Qudayd. The Prophet sent Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb or `Ali bin Abi Talib to demolish it. Ibn Ishaq said that Dhul-Khalasah was the idol of the tribes of Daws, Khath`am and Bajilah, and the Arabs who resided in the area of Tabalah. I say that Dhul-Khalasah was called the Southern Ka`bah, and the Ka`bah in Makkah was called the Northern Ka`bah. The Messenger of Allah sent Jarir bin `Abdullah Al-Bajali to Dhul-Khalasah and he destroyed it. Ibn Ishaq said that Fals was the idol of Tay' and the neighboring tribes in the Mount of Tay', such as Salma and Ajja. Ibn Hisham said that some scholars of knowledge told him that the Messenger of Allah sent `Ali bin Abi Talib to Fals and he destroyed it and found two swords in its treasure, which the Prophet then gave to `Ali as war spoils. Muhammad bin Ishaq also said that the tribes of Himyar, and Yemen in general, had a house of worship in San`a' called Riyam. He mentioned that there was a black dog in it and that the religious men who went with Tubba` removed it, killed it and demolished the building. Ibn Ishaq said that Ruda' was a structure of Bani Rabi`ah bin Ka`b bin Sa`d bin Zayd Manat bin Tamim, which Al-Mustawghir bin Rabi`ah bin Ka`b bin Sa`d demolished after Islam. In Sindad there was Dhul-Ka`bat, the idol of the tribes of Bakr and Taghlib, the sons of the Wa'il, and also the Iyad tribes. Refuting the Idolators Who appoint Rivals to Allah and claim that the Angels were Females
Allah the Exalted said,
[ÃóÝóÑóÁóíúÊõãõ ÇááøóÜÊó æóÇáúÚõÒøóì - æóãóäóæÉó ÇáËøóÇáöËóÉó ÇáÇøòÎúÑóì ]
(Have you then considered Al-Lat, and Al-`Uzza. And Manat, the other third), then Allah said,
[Ãóáóßõãõ ÇáÐøóßóÑõ æóáóåõ ÇáÇøòäËóì ]
(Is it for you the males and for Him the females) Allah asked the idolators, `do you choose female offspring for Allah and give preference to yourselves with the males If you made this division between yourselves and the created, it would be,
(a division most unfair!)' meaning, it would be an unfair and unjust division. `How is it then that you make this division between you and Allah, even though this would be foolish and unjust, if you made it between yourselves and others' Allah the Exalted refutes such innovated lies, falsehood and atheism they invented through worshipping the idols and calling them gods,
[Åöäú åöìó ÅöáÇøó ÃóÓúãóÂÁñ ÓóãøóíúÊõãõæåóÂ ÃóäÊõãú æóÁóÇÈóÂÄõßõã]
(They are but names which you have named -- you and your fathers) of your own desire,
[ãøóÂ ÃóäÒóáó Çááøóåõ ÈöåóÇ ãöä ÓõáúØóÜäò]
(for which Allah has sent down no authority.) meaning, proof,
[Åöä íóÊøóÈöÚõæäó ÅöáÇøó ÇáÙøóäøó æóãóÇ Êóåúæóì ÇáÇøñäÝõÓõ]
(They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire,) they have no proof, except their trust in their forefathers who took this false path in the past, as well as, their lusts and desires to become leaders, and thereby gain honor and reverence for their forefathers,
[æóáóÞóÏú ÌóÂÁóåõã ãøöä ÑøóÈøöåöãõ ÇáúåõÏóì]
(whereas there has surely come to them the guidance from their Lord!), meaning, Allah has sent them Messengers with the clear truth and unequivocal evidence. However, they did not adhere to or follow the guidance that came to them through the Prophets.
So as you can see these were lies invented by the pagans, they simply followed their own desires and ascribed daughters to Allah, and Allah rebuked and condemned for this since they had no authority to do so and it was a false lie. The Muslims and the prophet Muhammad destroyed all these idols, why would they destroy the idols had they believed they were the daughters of Allah? The fact is the Muslims knew this was a grave lie against Allah as Allah told them in the Quran.
And Allah Knows Best!