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Goddesses in Arabic Mythology

Niina is a folklorist and a storyteller who loves to research and explore myths from all around the world.

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Manat

Manat was the goddess of death and faith in Arabic mythology. A sizable dark marble stone that served as her sacred site was kept in the al-Mushalla temple close to Yathrib (later known as Medina). The goddess Manat served as the head of the two Yathrib tribes. They were the Banu Awas and the Banu al-Khazraj tribes. Both the Nabateans in the north and the Hijaz tribes in the western Arabian Peninsula revered her.

The oldest of the three sister goddesses, Manat was the second most revered deity in Arabia after her father, Allah. The thunder god Quzah was Manat's spouse. Manat served as the guardian of cemeteries and graveyards for the Nabateans of the Qaysha, Taraha, and Dhu-Shara tribes.

goddesses-in-arabic-mythology

Goddess of Faith

Manawayat was another name for Manat; it is formed from the Arabic terms maniya, which means "faith," "death," and "destruction," and menata, which indicates "part and portion." She is regarded as one of the first gods to be worshipped in the Arabian Peninsula, predating even the cults centred on her sisters Al-Lat and Al-Uzza. Manat was revered by the Nabateans as the guardian of graves, and they prayed to her to condemn anyone who entered a grave. The goddess of death and the personification of death was Manat. Manat was said to have appeared at the moment of death, carrying the chalice of death. In the Sabaic language M-n-t, her name is sewn onto her garment. There are no vowels in Sabaic.

In pre-Islamic mythology, Manat was created first by Allah. Because she had the ability to alter peoples' fates at will, she was a fearsome deity. It was forbidden to break the oath that was taken in Manat's honour. The tribes of Banu Aws and Banu al-Khazraj were guarded by Manat. They shaved their heads in her honour as they went to the Manat shrine.

Mohammed gave the command to destroy pagan temples in the seventh century. The gods had left gold and jewellery as sacrifices, but they were taken. Ali ibn Abi Talib, Mohammed's adoptive son, stole the Mikhdam and Rasub from the Manats Temple and brought them to his father.

Manat was revered because she brought death with her, and life cannot live without death. She can help you embrace your inner wisdom and provide you with a life full with wonder. She was pictured with a waning moon over her head since she was the goddess of time and the passage of time.

goddesses-in-arabic-mythology

Al-Lāt: ​The Earth Mother of Arabic Mythology

People in Middle Eastern cultures worshipped a variety of gods and goddesses prior to the introduction of Islam. Wathanism is the name given to the neopagan religion of worshipping polytheist Arabic deities and spirits. The cultures of the Arab world are tribal, and each tribe had a protective deity. People used to believe in jinnis, or evil spirits, and ancestor spirits. Arabic gods represented many social mores and natural occurrences as personifications.

Al-Lat was the goddess of plenty, profusion, agriculture, wealth, development, and protection of life. She served as the chief deity of the Banu Thaqif tribe and one of the goddesses who guarded Mecca. The city of Ta'if housed her primary site of worship. The white granite cube that was the goddess's emblem belonged to the Banu Thaqif. Banu Lihyan, Banu Hawazin, Banu Khuzaá, and Banu Quraysh were among the other tribes from the region who frequently made the journey to the city to worship the goddess.

Mother of All Gods

For her, people offered little wheat cakes that the devotees had baked themselves as well as porridge (sawiq). Depending on the region, different animals represented the goddess. Nearly everywhere in the Arabian Peninsula, all the way down to southern Syria, adoration was offered to Al-Lat.

Al-Lt was one of three prominent female goddesses in the Hijaz region of the Arabian Peninsula who were all the daughters of the primordial god Allah. Al-Lat, the goddess of the ground, was in charge of ensuring that the land was fertile. She went by several names, including Umm al-Alihah, which means "mother of all gods," and Umm ash-Shams (mother of the sun goddess). Travellers were likewise under Al-protection. Lt's She was venerated in haram temples. In the city of Ta'if, every living thing was revered. It was against the law to kill people or animals or to collect or harvest plants.

goddesses-in-arabic-mythology

Goddess of Weather

Al-Lat was revered by the Babu Thaqif tribe as a sacred deity. The crop had a direct impact on the tribe's development and standing. They raised roses, figs, dates, and barley. The abundance of the tribe and the land's fertility was revered as blessings from the goddess. The more food the land produced, the more successful Al-Lat was. She rose to become the supreme power goddess.

Al-Lat is one of many goddesses in the Arabian Peninsula that are comparable to her. These goddesses' names are derived from dialects and languages of the Semitic peoples. Goddess was also known as ar-Rabbat in Ta'if (The Lady). She was referred to as Ilt, the mother of Athar, or Athiratan by Himyars. She was known as Elat to the Arameans of Syria and Ilhatan to the Hadramites. She was known as Arsay in Syria and Aretzaya in Kanaan. These names are derived from the "earth"-designating words ars in Hebrew, arets in Aramaic, and ardh in Arabic. The goddess of the earth, who also shared a deep underground residence with the deceased, ruled over their spirits in Kanan and Syria.

A clan of Nabateans lived along the Jordan River and revered Al-Lt as the mother earth and as the enigmatic lover of Dhu'l-Sharah, their protector god and the god of growth and mountain rivers. In addition to pre-Islamic literature from the beguines who prayed to Al-Lt for good fortune, protection of people, and favorable weather, archaeologists have discovered gold and jewels from Al-Lt temples in the Syrian desert.

Sources

Ajwad al-Fassi, Hatoon. (2007). Women in Pre-Islamic Arabia: Nabataea. British Archaeological Reports.

Al-Saleh, Khairat. (1985). Fabled Cities, Princess & Jinn from Arab Myths and Legends. Schocken.

Yunajjam (P.V.D), 'Amr-Athtar. (2015). Wathanism, http://www.wathanism.blogspot.com.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Niina Pekantytar