Manāt

A Neo-pagan interpretation of the Three Gharaniq of pre-Islamic tradition: Allāt, al-'Uzzā and Manāt

Manāt (Arabic: مناة‎  Arabic pronunciation:  oblique case, construct state; also transliterated as manāh) was one of the three chief goddesses of Mecca.[1]

History

The pre-Islamic Arabs believed Manāt to be the goddess of fate. She was known by the cognate name Manawat to the Nabataeans of Petra, who equated her with the Graeco-Roman goddess Nemesis, and she was considered the wife of Hubal.[2] There are also connections with Chronos of Mithraism and Zurvan mythology.[3] The Book of Idols describes her:

The most ancient of all these idols was Manāt. The Arabs used to name [their children] 'Abd-Manāt and Zayd-Manāt. Manāt was erected on the seashore in the vicinity of al-Mushallal in Qudayd, between Medina and Mecca. All the Arabs used to venerate her and sacrifice before her. The Aws and the Khazraj, as well as the inhabitants of Medina and Mecca and their vicinities, used to venerate Manāt, sacrifice before her, and bring unto her their offerings... The Aws and the Khazraj, as well as those Arabs among the people of Yathrib and other places who took to their way of life, were wont to go on pilgrimage and observe the vigil at all the appointed places, but not shave their heads. At the end of the pilgrimage, however, when they were about to return home, they would set out to the place where Manāt stood, shave their heads, and stay there a while. They did not consider their pilgrimage completed until they visited Manāt.
— Book of Idols, pp 12–14[4]

The ruling tribes of al-Madinah, and other Arabs, continued to worship Manat until the time of Muhammad.

The temple of Manat was raided and the idol was destroyed on the orders of Muhammad, in the Raid of Sa'd ibn Zaid al-Ashhali, in January 630 AD (8AH, 9th month, of the Islamic Calendar), in the vicinity of al-Mushallal.[5][6][7]

Some scholars have enumerated that Somnath Temple in India was attacked later by Muhammad Ghazni for an idol of Manat that had been secretly transferred to the said temple. [8]

Notes

  1. ^ Book of Idols
  2. ^ , Vol. 1. p. 380First Encyclopaedia of IslamHommel,
  3. ^ Grunebaum, p. 24
  4. ^ B. al-Kalbī writes (N.A. Faris 1952, pp.12–14)
  5. ^ List of Battles of Muhammad
  6. ^ The sealed nectar, By S. R. Al-Mubarakpuri, Pg256
  7. ^ "Sa‘d bin Zaid Al-Ashhali was also sent", Witness-Pioneer.com
  8. ^ Akbar, M. J. (2003-12-31). The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity. Roli Books Private Limited.  

References

  • Ibn al-Kalbī; (author) and Nabih Amin Faris (translator & commentary) (1952): The Book of Idols, Being a Translation from the Arabic of the Kitāb al-Asnām. Princeton University Press. LCCN 52-6741.
  • Grunebaum, G. E. von (1970). Classical Islam: A History 600 A.D. – 1258 A.D.. Aldine Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-202-15016-1.
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