Sunday, September 05, 2010


Hubal (Arabic: هبل‎) was a moon god worshipped in Arabia, notably at Mecca before the arrival of Islam.

Hubal in Mesopotamia
Tracing the origins of ancient gods can be quite nebulous. If the name Hubal is related to an Aramaic word for spirit, as suggested by Philip K. Hitti, then Hubal may have come from the north of Arabia.

In Sumer, in southernmost Mesopotamia north of Arabia, the moon-god figures in the creation epic, the Enuma Elish. In a variant of it, Hubal is chief among the elder gods. According to Hitti, a tradition recorded by Muhammad's early biographer ibn Ishaq, which makes ˤAmr ibn-Luhayy the importer of an image of Hubal from Moab or Mesopotamia, may have a kernel of truth insofar as it retains a memory of such an Aramaic origin of the deity.

Outside South Arabia, Hubal's name appears just once, in a Nabataean inscription; there hbl is mentioned along with the gods Đu sh-Sharā (ذو الشراة) and Manawatu—the latter, as Manat, was also popular in Mecca. On the basis of such slender evidence, it has been suggested that Hubal "may actually have been a Nabataean", but the Nabataeans were cosmopolitan traders who drew on many traditions in every aspect of life.


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