Morey's Deceptive Methods:
acquaintance proudly handed me a copy of a book entitled
Moon-god Allâh in the Archeology of the Middle East
by Dr. Robert Morey. I found the author using a number of
deceptive tactics to prove his foregone conclusion that Allâh
is not the God of the Bible but rather the Moon-god of
pre-Islamic Arabia whose worship is now perpetuated within
Islam. I will classify his deceptive methods under five broad
headings for simplicity of discussion.
How Morey Quotes Professor Coon:
Let us now
discuss these deceptive methods in some detail. I quote below
from Morey's book to see how he argues that Allâh was the
After we read
this I will point out with the help of Allâh several of
Morey's deceptive methods working together:
numerous inscriptions, while the name of the Moon-god was Sin,
his title was al-ilah, i.e. "the deity," meaning that he was
the chief or high god among the gods. As Coon pointed out,
The god II or
Iiah was originally a phase of the Moon God.
was called al-ilah, i.e. the god, which was shortened to Allâh
in pre-Islamic times. The pagan Arabs even used Allâh in the
names they gave to their children. For example, both Muhammad's
father and uncle had Allâh as part of their names. The fact
that they were given such names by their pagan parents proves
that Allâh was the title for the Moon-god even in Muhammad's
day. Professor Coon goes on to say,
under Mohammed's tutelage, the relatively anonymous Iiah,
became Al-IIah, The God, or Allâh, the Supreme Being.
several problems in this short passage from Morey's book. The
first problem is that Morey has so misquoted Professor Coon
that he makes the quotations say the opposite of what Coon
actually said. Notice that he quoted Coon twice. According to
Morey's footnote, both quotes come from Carleton S. Coon,
(Washington, D.C. Smithsonian, 1944) p. 399. Very impressive!
But I was able to locate these quotes in Professor Coon's book
and I found that Morey clipped them out of a larger paragraph.
He deceptively left out a crucial part, and separated the
other two parts as though they were two unrelated quotes. Here
is what Coon actually said:
The god Il or
Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon God, but early in
Arabian history the name became a general term for god, and
it was this name that the Hebrews used prominently in their
personal names, such as Emanu-el, Israel, etc., rather than
the Bapal of the northern semites proper, which was the Sun.
Similarly, under Mohammed's tutelage, the relatively
anonymous Ilah became Al-Ilah, The God, or Allâh, the
Supreme Being. (Carleton
(Washington, D.C. Smithsonian, 1944) p.399).
from Professor Coon does not say what Dr.Morey wants to use it
for, so he applied the following methods to bend it out of
He quoted the
first sentence to show that the name Il or Ilah was the
Moon-god of Arabia up to the time of Islam's revelation. Read
The god Il or
Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon God, but early in
Arabian history the name became a general term for god.
Morey's quotation of that statement:
The god Il or
Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon god.
this quote to support his case that up to the time of Muhammad(P)
the name Allâh was the title for the Moon-god. To accomplish
his sin, Morey chopped the sentence in half to exclude the
word "but" and everything that follows that conjunction. He
did not even bother to place three dots to indicate that he
has left out some words.
problem with Dr.Morey's approach here is that he left out of
Professor Coon's statement what would disprove Morey's most
important argument against the God of Islam. Morey is proud of
repeating that Allâh is not the God of the Bible but the
Moon-god of pre-Islamic Arabia. It would have been
inconvenient for him to repeat what Coon had said as follows:
...and it was
this name that the Hebrews used prominently in their
personal names, such as Emanu-el, Isra-el, etc..."
not let his readers understand that according to Professor
Coon the same name which in South Arabia was used for the
Moon-god was also used in Hebrew names like Emanu-el which
Morey considers a name for Jesus.
problem is that Morey so separated two clipped pieces from
Coon's writing and so interwove them with his own words that
Professor Coon's meaning is lost and Morey's own meaning
dominates the text. This way it appears that Coon is
supporting Morey whereas he is not. Whereas, for example,
Professor Coon's last statement is supportive of the fact that
Allâh is not a Moon-god but rather "the Supreme Being,"
Morey's placement of it within his own text will convince a
less than careful reader that Coon agrees with Morey's
problem is that Morey does not expect his readers to spot
logical fallacies in his writings. When he claimed that the
title of the Moon-god was "al-ilah" he quoted Coon in his
support as saying that "Il or Ilah" was originally a phase of
the Moon God. Morey did not expect his readers to notice that
"al-ilah" is not the same as "Il or Ilah." But even readers
who are unfamiliar with the Arabic language can notice two
are spelt very differently, and
second quote from Coon exposes the error. There, Coon says
that "Ilah became Al-Ilah" in Muhammad's teachings.
Obviously, then, al-ilah was not the Moon-god according to
Coon but only according to Morey. Coon would be shocked to
see his writing misquoted in Morey's fashion.
problem is that Dr. Morey must have sent his manuscript
hurriedly off to press and did not have time to notice that he
contradicted himself in the above passage.
out that the Prophet's father and uncle both had names which
included the name Allâh, he quoted with approval Professor
Coon as saying that "Ilah became...Allâh" under Muhammad's
tutelage. Morey did not notice that in order for his readers
to accept everything he said in that paragraph, they must
conclude that Muhammad was present when his father was
born so he could instruct his grandfather what name to give to
Muhammad's new-born father!
My point here
is not whether Coon was right or not, or whether he was ever
an authority on Islam. My point is that Morey quoted him as an
authority and did not notice the resulting contradiction in
his own writing.
problem is that Morey draws conclusion which do not follow
from his evidence thus committing the logical fallacy known as
non sequitur. We notice the fallacy in the following passage:
both Muhammad's father and uncle had Allâh as part of
their names. The fact that they were given such names by their
pagan parents proves that Allâh was the title for the Moon-god
even in Muhammad's day.
In the above
passage Morey gives an evidence and draws a conclusion. Let us
identify the evidence and the conclusion to help us spot the
father and uncle were given names by their pagan parents and
those names included the name Allâh [as in Abd-Allâh meaning
Servant of Allâh].
This proves that Allâh was the name of the Moon-god at the
simply does not follow from the evidence. The most one can
conclude from the stated evidence is that pagans were prepared
to name their children servants of Allâh. The evidence does
not show whether Allâh was the Moon-god or the God of Abraham.
Who he was has to be established from other evidence which
Morey has done his best to conceal.
concealed evidence reveals again and again that the Arabs at
the time of Muhammad worshipped many idols but they
also believed in Allâh the high God whom they would call upon
for help. This Supreme God for them was never the moon.
problem with this passage from Morey is that his whole
discussion is irrelevant to the question. To establish that
Allâh was believed to be this or that before Islam proves
nothing for our present discussion. Morey needs to show that
in the Qur'ân Allâh is represented as the Moon-god. But this
is what is rather impossible for Morey. The Qur'ân again and
again speaks of the moon as a creation of Allâh. And Allâh in
the Qur'ân tells his creatures that they should not bow down
to the sun or the moon but that they should bow down to Allâh
who created them (Qur'ân 41:37).
How Dr.Morey Quotes From Caesar Farah
Let's look at
another passage from page 13 of Morey's book where he quotes,
this time from Caesar Farah:
scholar Caesar Farah concluded
There is no
reason, therefore, to accept the idea that Allâh passed on
to the Muslims from the Christians and Jews.
(Farah p. 28).
this quote with the entire paragraph where Morey said he
quoted it from. Here it is reproduced from Caesar Farah's
paramount deity of pagan Arabia, was the target of worship
in varying degrees of intensity from the southernmost tip of
Arabia to the Mediterranean. To the Babylonians he was "Il"
(god); to the Canaanites, and later the Israelites, he was
"El'; the South Arabians worshipped him as "Ilah," and the
Bedouins as "al-Ilah" (the deity). With Muhammad he becomes
Allâh, God of the Worlds, of all believers, the one and only
who admits no associates or consorts in the worship of Him.
Judaic and Christian concepts of God abetted the
transformation of Allâh from a pagan deity to the God of all
monotheists. There is no reason, therefore, to accept the
idea that "Allah" passed to the Muslims from Christians and
(Farah p. 28).
problem with Morey's quote is that he so separated the last
sentence from the rest of the paragraph, that he made it say
something different from what it used to say in the context of
that paragraph. Such out-of-context quotations is a common
ploy of Morey.
problem is that Morey referred to Caesar Farah as an "Islamic
Scholar". Morey tries to bolster the authority of his quoted
authorities by giving them adjectives as above. If by
"Islamic" readers think that Caesar Farah is a Muslim, Morey
has no motive to correct such a misunderstanding. And if
challenged, he could say he meant "Scholar of Islam". Then he
should say what he means.
problem is that Morey left out the important discussion from
Farah's book. That passage was saying that the God who was
called Ilah in South Arabia was called El by the Israelites.
This fact would have ruined Morey's entire Moon-god-in-Islam
theory, so Morey conveniently concealed it.
Morey let his readers know that according to two of the
Gospels Jesus was on the cross calling out to El who, if Morey
is right, is the Moon-god of Islam?
Morey Contradicts Himself:
consider a passage from pages 11-12 of Morey's book:
raised in the religion of the Moon-god Allâh. But he went
one step further than his fellow pagan Arabs. While they
believed that Allâh, i.e. the Moon-god, was the greatest of
all the gods and the supreme deity in a pantheon of deities,
Muhammad decided that Allâh was not only the greatest god
but the only god.
In effect he
said, "Look, you already believe that the Moon-god Allâh is
the greatest of all gods. All I want you to do is to accept
that the idea that he is the only god (sic). I am not taking
away the Allâh you already worship. I am only taking away his
wife and his daughters and all the gods"
This is seen
from the fact that the first point of the Muslim creed is not,
"Allâh is great" but, "Allâh is the greatest," i.e., he is the
greatest among the gods. Why would Muhammad say that
Allâh in the "greatest" except in a polytheistic context? The
Arabic word is used to contrast the greater from the lesser
(Morey pp. 11-12).
problem with this passage is that Morey contradicts himself.
In the first two paragraphs he claimed that he pagan Arabs
believed Allâh to be the greatest of all the gods, and all Muhammad
(pbuh) preached to them was that they should take Allâh not
merely as the greatest god but as the only god. Then Morey
forgot what he just finished writing and wrote in the very
next paragraph that Muhammad was preaching that Allâh
is the greatest. And, according to Morey, greatest means he is
not the only god.
problem is that Morey seems to have not the slightest idea of
what Islam is. According to him the first point of the Muslim
creed is not, "Allâh is great" but
Allâh is the
greatest (Morey p. 12).
Where did he learn that this is the first point of the Muslim
creed? If Morey is to be believed, millions of Muslims have
been teaching their children the wrong shahadah (testimony of
But, much to
Morey's shame, the first point of the Muslim creed is not that
"Allâh is the greatest," but that "there is no god except
problem is that Morey thinks "Allâh is the greatest" means
that "he is the greatest among the gods" and that this could
only be said in a polytheistic context. He does not realise
that the phrase he is referring to is, in Arabic, Allahu Akbar
which means "Allâh is greater." This phrase is a shorter from
of Allahu Akbar min kullisay' which means "Allâh is greater
than everything." You do not need a polytheistic context to
say this. This can be said to anyone in any situation. It
means that Allâh is greater than everything whether things we
perceive or things we do not.
problem has to do not with Morey's ignorance of the Arabic
language, but with his lack of care to use proper reasoning.
According to him, if the first point of the Muslim creed was "Allâh
is great" this would not imply a polytheistic context. Does he
think that polytheists are excluded from saying about any one
of their gods, "she is great"?
problem is that Morey keeps repeating the phrase Moon-god
every time he mentions Allâh as if by sheer repetition he
hopes to convince his readers that Allâh is the Moon-god. What
he ought to do is present evidence instead.
Irrelevant Archaeological Evidence
Morey makes a claim, then he discusses pages and pages of
irrelevant evidence. This gives the impression that he is
proving his claim whereas in fact he is not. My case in point
is the following claim of Morey and the subsequent evidence he
offers to support that claim:
As we shall
see, the hard evidence demonstrates that the god Allâh was a
pagan deity. In fact, he was the Moon-god who was married to
the sun good dess and the stars were his daughters.
To prove this
claim, he spent the next five pages, five illustrations, four
diagrams, and one map. But what, according to him does all of
this prove? Only that the Moon-god was worshipped in the
ancient world outside of Arabia. This information is most
irrelevant. He should get to the point of proving that
Moon-worship existed in Arabia. Whether or not it existed
elsewhere makes no difference to the point he is trying to
prove. His proving, for example, that the Canaanites
worshipped the Moon-god does not prove that the pagan Arabs
But Morey has
his own reasons for this roundabout way of doing things. After
spending almost half the book arguing a point and supporting
it with documented evidence by way of maps, illustrations,
diagrams, and quoted authorities, he leaves his readers with
the impression that he proves his points very well and
therefore he should be believed.
He needs this
credibility because when he turns to what he needs to prove he
has no evidence, and he will offer none. He will make
unsupported claims after he has already bewildered his readers
with impressive irrelevant material.
In a book of
fifteen pages, it is only on page seven that Morey turns to a
discussion of what the situation was in Arabia. But even then,
he discusses Southern Arabia which was far away from the Mecca
where Muhammad preached.
another three pages he discusses evidence that the Moon-god
was worshipped in South Arabia. He does not make any effort to
alert his readers that he was unable to gather any evidence
for the Moon-god in North Arabia. Rather, he concludes on page
gathered from both North and South Arabia demonstrate that
Moon-god worship was clearly active even in Muhammad's day
and was still the dominant cult.
But where is
the evidence concerning North Arabia? The only evidence he
furnished for Arabia had to do with South Arabia only. On page
7 he cited the findings of Arnaud, Halevy and Glaser who
Southern Arabia and dug up thousands of Sabean, Minaean and
On the same
page he cited the findings of G. Caton Thompson and Carleton
S.Coon "in Arabia." He did not say at this point that he meant
South Arabia, but on page 9 and on map #3 he did make it clear
that these findings were in
How can he
then make such a barefaced claim when careful readers will
discover the opposite on the very pages he writes? Why does he
imply that he will supply evidence for moon-worship in both
North and South Arabia when the only evidence he has is for
the South alone? Morey obviously considers Islam so evil that
he is willing to use evil in battling Islam. But if Islam is
from the Devil you do not need the Devil's ways to defeat it.
Just simply explaining it should be sufficient to expose it.
Morey needs to remember good Christian principles while he
How Morey Twists Things:
To see how
Morey is willing to bend quoted passages out of shape to make
them somehow fit his Moon-god-in Islam theory, consider the
following passage from p.8 of his book:
archeological evidence demonstrates that the dominant
religion of Arabia was the cult of the Moon-god. In Old
Testament times, Nabonidus (555-539BC), the last King of
Babylon, built Tayma, Arabia as a center of Moon-god
worship. Segall stated, South Arabia's stellar religion has
always been dominated by the Moon-god in various variations.
quotes constantly belies him but he does not seem to notice,
or he hopes his readers will not notice. Consider his
quotation of Segall above. According to Segall in the above
stellar religion has always been dominated by the Moon-god
in various variations. (Segall,
quoted Morey, p.8).
Morey, this agrees with his point that:
archaeological evidence demonstrates that the dominant
religion of Arabia was the cult of the Moon-god.
(Morey, p.8 emphasis added).
comparison of these two statements reveal, however, that they
are not saying the same things. The following are the
speaks "of" Arabia; Segall speaks "of" South Arabia.
b) Segall does
not speak of all of the South Arabia's religions. He says only
that of the stellar religions, religions that involved the
worship of the Sun, Moon, and Venus, the most dominant was the
worship of the Moon; Morey speaks of all religion. The
deception here is that from Segall's words we understand only
that the moon was worshipped more than the Sun, and Venus. But
from Morey's words we understand that the moon was worshipped
more than any other god.
My point is
not that Morey and Segall should say the same thing. My point
is that when we can see that they are saying two different
things Morey should not insult our intelligence by implying
that they are saying the same thing.
Morey's Intended Audience:
obviously thinks his readers will fall for anything. So he
does not bother to tidy up his deceptions. Page after page of
Morey's book reveals how he manipulates the evidence he is
working with. For example, on pages 5 and 7 he discusses the
findings at Hazor in Palestine. On page 6 he shows four
diagrams of the artifacts discovery there. After identifying
the findings as having came from a major temple to the
Moon-god in Palestine, Morey describe diagram 4 in the
statues were also found which were identified by their
inscriptions as the "daughters" of the Moon-god (See Diagram
that according to Morey the inscriptions identify the statues
as the daughters of the Moon-god. But did not he direct us to
look at Diagram #4? Well, Diagram #4 reveals something
interesting. Underneath Diagram #4 we find the following
Pieces of the
idols of the daughters of the Moon-god.
inscription identifies them as the
of god (Morey, p.6).
But we have
already seen that according to Morey on his page 7, the
inscriptions identified the statues as daughters of the
Moon-god (Morey, p.7).
Which page of
Morey's book are we to believe? Six or Seven? It appears that
the inscriptions did not say Moon-god. But Morey is so fond of
his Moon-god-in-Islam theory that he just simply inserted the
word "Moon" before "god" on page 7.
We still do
not know for sure what the inscription (page 6) or
inscriptions (page 7) do say. But without doing any further
checking we discover Morey's errors from the very pages he
writes. What level of readership was he writing for?
Fallacy of Equivocation:
Why did Morey
go to such great depths to invent daughters for the Moon-god?
Because the pagan Arabs just before Islam believed that their
gods al-Lat, Uzzah and Manat were daughters of Allâh. If Morey
can convince his readers that the Moon-god had daughters he
might just be able to confuse them into thinking that the
pagan Arabs believed in the Moon-god and his daughters.
And this is
the point he tries to drive home. Notice his following claim
which we find on pages 7-8 of his book:
inscriptions from walls and rocks in Northern Arabia have
also been collected. Reliefs and votive bowls used in
worship of the "daughters of Allâh" have also been
discovered. The three daughters, al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat
are sometimes depicted together with Allâh the Moon-god
represented by a crescent moon above them.
He does not
quote any authority for any of the above claims. The only
thing he has in quotes is "daughters of Allâh." Well this is
nothing new and I do not need to see an authority cited for
it. What I want to see an authority for is Morey's allegation
Allâh the Moon-god (Morey,
p.8). But these are Morey's words, and he can find no
authority to connect the name Allâh with the Moon-god.
can do better than that. For this important claim he offers no
quote of an authority, no diagram, no illustration, no map,
and no specific detail. He does not say when, where or by whom
the inscriptions were collected.
He does tell
us in his footnotes where we can find more information about
this. But after discovering Morey's misquotes one after
another I lack the time and energy to check out these writings
from which he did not have the time or energy to make a direct
I did notice,
however, that one of the authorities mentioned has nothing to
do with a discussion about Allâh being a Moon-god of any sort.
It deals with the goddess Atirat and her relation to the
Moon-god and the Sun-goddess. But this goddess Atriat is
related not to the Moon-god Allâh, for there is no such being.
From an ancient Qatabanian inscription discovered at Timna, we
know that the goddess Atriat was related to the Moon-god Amm
The Ancient Near
East: A New Anthology of Texts and Pictures,
vol.2, p.237). So I am not prepared to go on any more
wildgoose chases than what Morey has already sent me on.
If there is
something significant in those writings why does Morey not
make a direct quotation? Then we can check again for the
accuracy of his quotations.
I don't think
his is an unreasonable demand. When Morey was proving less
significant and what I call highly irrelevant points he was
busy quoting authorities. When he told us about Moon-god
worship everywhere else he furnished us with names of
discovers, dates of discoveries, names of discovery cites, and
lots of pictures to boot. Why is it that when it comes to
Northern Arabia he offers not a shred of evidence?
expect his readers to accept his most important point on faith
alone? Usually we take at face value what a writer says,
because we expect him to tell the truth. We have been seeing
again and again that with Morey we cannot afford that risk.
committed here what in logic is known as the fallacy of
eqivocation. He takes a term which meant one thing in a
certain context and the same term which means another thing in
a new context and pretends that since the term is the same the
meaning is also the same. He argues that the Moon-god of the
South Arabians had daughters, and the High God Allâh of the
Meccan Arabs and daughters, therefore they are one and the
same god having daughters.
To see how
this fallacy works, consider this argument for illustration:
believed their emperor to be the Son of God. Christians also
believe in the Son of God.
That way of
saying things imply that Christians believe in the Japanese
emperor. That, of course is not true. Now consider Morey's
Arabians believed that the Moon-god had daughters. The pagan
Arabs of Mecca also believed that Allâh had daughters.
that Allâh was therefore the Moon-god. But this is no more
true than to say that Christians believe in the Japanese
know better than to commit such a fallacy. As a teacher of a
course on logic, he should be trained in spotting such
fallacies rather than committing them. But Morey's misuse of
this knowledge reminds us that good knowledge can also be used
for evil purposes.
On page 7,
In the 1940s,
the archeologists G.Caton Thompson and Carleton S Coon made
some amazing discoveries in Arabia
On page 9 we
discover he meant "southern Arabia" but we have already dealt
with this discrepancy.
important here is that these "amazing discoveries" are
revealed by G. Caton Thompson in her 1944 book
The Tombs and
Moon Temple of Hureidha.
What did she reveal? Here is one thing, according to Mr.Morey:
An idol which
may be the Moon-god himself was also discovered (see Diagram
#6); (Morey, pp.9-10
Here he says
only that the idol "may be the Moon-god himself." But he
proudly labelled Diagram #6:
An idol of the
knows, according to his own words, that it is not certain that
this idol was the Moon-god, yet he is prepared to label it as
though it was for sure. There is no excuse for such
But I suspect
a further discrepancy. I did not have occasion to read G.Caton
Thompson's 1944 book, but her companion archeologist Carleton
S. Coon wrote in 1945 his treatise
A Problem for the Future.
Morey is aware of this writing, for he quoted from it several
discrepancy is that what Morey leads us to expect in
Thompson's book is denied in Coon's treatise! Morey showed us
a picture of a woman-like idol and claims that this may be the
Moon-god himself which was discovered by Coon and Thompson and
revealed in Thompson's book.
treatise says no such thing was discovered! About the three
astral deities of South Arabia, the Sun, the Moon, and the
Star Venus, Coon writes:
There were no
carved images of these three-the Semitic tabu against graven
images, while by no means generally applicable, was in force
in regard to the divinities themselves. What images we do
find are of people.
Coon, then, they found no graven images of gods but only of
people. Then Morey shows us the graven image of a woman and
tells us this
may be the
Moon-god himself (Morey,
So either Coon
or Morey is wrong here. And I don't think it is Coon. He was
there when he and Thompson made those amazing discoveries, so
he ought to know what he discovered.
I do not know
where this leaves Thompson because, as I have said, I did not
read her book. But it is rather odd that she would write
something in her book and then her partner writing a year
later would contradict her like that.
Morey does not mean to imply that either Coon or Thompson
claimed any such thing. Perhaps it is only his words that
mislead, not his intention. After saying that this idol may
have been the Moon-god himself, Morey claimed:
This was later
confirmed by other wellknown archaelogists
here does not mean what it says, Morey should have used some
other word we can hold him to.
important, though, and for this I give him credit, is his
reference in a footnote to three of these "well-known
archaelogists." My concern for the moment is not whether or
not they are "well-known" but my concern is to know what
exactly they said about this idol. A direct quote please? I
have developed a liking for checking such quotes.
I find it
rather interesting that when Morey refers to the idol later he
Now we have the
actual idols of the Moon-god...
(Morey, p.14 emphasis added).
What may have
been is now actual, and it has multipled: now "idols"! Is
Morey never satisfied adding to his cup of sins?
Earlier I said
that Morey spent five illustrations to prove that in the
ancient world the Moon-god was worshipped everywhere outside
Arabia. Although these illustrations are irrelevant to our
study of the history of the Moon-god in Arabia, I am
interested here in how Morey's illustrations are not always
what they are chiselled out to be!
I refer to
page 3 of Morey's book. This page contains two illustrations.
I was able to locate an illustration similar to the first one,
and an exact copy of the second in a book
The Ancient Near
East: A New Anthology of Texts and Pictures,
edited by James B. Pritchard, 1975, Princeton University
implied that these are illustrations of the Moon-god. However,
Pritchard and his group of scholars know differently. What
resembles the first illustration is catalogued #140 in Vol. 1
by Pritchard. But here it is not a Moon-god but a Storm-god.
illustration is catalogued #136 in Pritchard's Vol.1. But this
too is not a Moon-god of any kind. It is "Baal of Lightning."
That's two out
of five. Again and again what I am able to check turn out
false. Is it me or is it Morey?
Or is it
Pritchard? I don't think so. An exact copy of the second
illustration is found also in
The Bible As
History in Pictures p.206,
and there it is identified as Baal of lightning.
In the book
Tells, Tombs and Treasure, an exact copy appears on page 118.
There it is called Baal of Storm.
Archaeology of The Bible
shows an exact copy on page 80, and calls it the Storm God
Baal. Morey is alone against all the scholars, and against all
What Was the Name of That Moon-god?:
successful in proving that moon worship was prevalent in South
Arabia before Islam. But what was the name of that Moon-god?
have us believe that the name was Allâh. That is the point of
his whole booklet. The title of his book bears this out and he
keeps repeating this throughout the book. But he did not
produce a single piece of evidence to connect Allâh with the
contrary. His own evidence proves that the name of the
Moon-god was not Allâh. On page 9 Morey reports on the
findings of Coon and Thompson in Southern Arabia where they
discovered a temple of the Moon-god. What did they find? Morey
The symbols of
the crescent moon and no less than twenty-one inscriptions
with the name Sin were found in this temple (see Diagram
#5); (Morey, p.9).
So what was
the name of that Moon-god? Allâh? No! It was Sin according to
Morey's own words. But that does not stop him for claiming two
paragraphs later that the Moon-god was Allâh.
invented a clever device to save face. Now he claims that
name of the Moon-god was Sin, his title was al-ilah, i.e.
"the deity," ...
Now al-ilah which he says later becomes Allâh (p.11) is no
longer a name, but a title. Morey has a way with words.
then retract what he wrote in his book
Invasion? In that book
published just two years earlier he was calling Allâh a name
again and again. On page 48 he quoted from
Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics
that "Allâh" is a proper name.
Then on the
same page he quoted fro the
"Allâh" is a
pre-Islamic name (Morey,
Then in his
own words Morey said:
Allâh was a
pagan name (Morey,
We can go on
and on, but the point is proven. In the book
Invasion Morey quoted many
authorities who rightly said that Allâh was the name of the
high God of the pagan Arabs. Morey insisted contrary to the
authorities he deceptively quoted, that Allâh was the name of
the Moon-god. Either way, in that book of his, Allâh was a
Now, in his
book of two years later he makes an about-face. There is
nothing wrong with learning more. If Morey discovered some new
information he can acknowledge his previous error and we can
go on without much comment.
problem is not that Morey was wrong about Allâh being a name.
He was wrong about Allâh being the Moon-god. But he was right
is saying that Allâh is a name. Now Morey's problem is that
the same archaeological findings he relies on to establish
moon-worship in Southern Arabia also reveal that the name of
the Moon-god was not Allâh but Sin. Now he is trapped. To
escape this trap he claims that Allâh is a title. He has no
evidence for his claim.
previous book, however, he was clear that Allâh was a name,
not a title. He wrote:
The name Allâh
was used as the personal name of the moon god, in addition to
other titles that could be given to him (The
Islamic Invasion, p.50).
I think it was
Mark Twain who said,
the truth, then you have nothing to remember.
So, what was
the name of that Moon-god? According to Coon,
The state god
of the Minaeans was Wadd, that of the Katabanians 'Amm, that
of the Hadramis Sin, and of the Sabaeans Il Mukah. All were
the moon. (Coon, p.399).
The names of
the moon-god were Wadd, 'Amm, Sin, and Il Mukah. Allâh was
never the Moon-god, despite Morey's desperate pleading.
much of archaelogical findings in South Arabia at Qataban,
Timna, and Marib. So he speaks of
Sabean, Minean, and Qatabanian inscriptions which were
that I noticed he did not bother to quote from these
inscriptions or tell us they say. Instead, he immediately
moved on to describe findings in other areas. Hmn. This is
quited unlike Morey. I am sure that if he has some solid
evidence he would jump on it. Why so quiet about the
reason is that Morey heard about these but knows not what they
say. Another possibility is that Morey found them
inconvenient. I much prefer the first possibility, but in any
case the findings are inconvenient for Morey. The inscriptions
just do not gel with Morey's Moon-god-in-Islam theory.
inscriptions are compiled in the book we already referred to:
The Ancient Near East, vol.2, by James Pritchard. These
inscriptions show that the Moon-god was not Allâh, but Anbay,
'Amm, 'lyn, and Waddum.
inscriptions from Mareb show that they worshipped Attar and
Waddum (see Pritchard, vol.2, p.230).
Inscriptions mention Wadd, Waddum and Attar. Although their
lunar god was Waddum, they also sacrificed to Attar
(Pritchard, vol.2, p.235).
inscritions, as we have already learnt from Morey's book,
reveal that the name of the Moon-god in that region was Sin.
Pritchard's collection of inscriptions confirms this. Sin was
principal Hadrami lunar god
(Pritchard, vol.2, p.238).
we catch a glimpse of the identity of the god Attar we heard
about from the Sabaean and Minaean inscriptions. One
inscription here reads:
...to Sin, He
of 'Ilum, and to Attar, his father.
(Pritchard, vol.2, p.238).
revealing! This shows that the Moon-god Sin had a father Attar
who was also a god. So for these people the Moon-god was not
the high god.
disproves Morey. Morey kept telling us that the Moon-god was
the high god among the pagans. Now we know that he was not
only different in name from the high God Allâh but that he
also had a father. Allâh, of course, was never believed to
have a father.
inscription from Timna recognises the god 'Anbay (Pritchard,
vol.2, p.238). And this 'Anbay is
the moon divinity
'Anbay (Pritchard vol.2,
p.236). Another god 'Amm is also mentioned (p.237).
rock inscription is quite revealing. It shows the name of a
previously unknown god written as 'lyn, consonants only. What
vowels should complete that word? Pritchard and his
contributors observe that 'lyn
graphically compared with the divine epitheton in the Old
Testament, 'elyon ('lywn; e.g., Dt 32:8);
(Pritchard, vol.2, p.239).
So the God of
the Bible was worshipped here too. Would Morey make this
Back to the Real Issue:
I had to deal
with Morey's contention in some depth to uncover his
deceptions and mistakes because his speeches and writings have
misled many people. But at the end of the day his theory is
Even if he was
able to show that the North Arabs in Mecca worshipped the
Moon-god, and even if he was able to show that they used to
call this Moon-god Allah, this still does not prove that Allâh
in Islam is a Moon-god. To prove or disprove this he needs to
show what the Qur'ân teaches about moon worship.
however, clearly refutes moon-worship. The Qur'ân says:
Adore not the
sun and the moon, but adore Allâh who created them...(Qur'ân
But Morey is
not interested in letting his readers know what the Qur'ân
says. In his book
Invasion Morey gave a
description of the Sabaeans and their religion. He says:
had an astral religion in which they worshipped heavenly
bodies. The moon was viewed as a male deity and the sun as a
female deity. Together they produced other deities such as the
stars. The Qur'ân refers to this Sura 41:37 and elsewhere
Islamic Invasion, p.42).
Sura 41:37 from the Qur'ân but he did not reveal what the
verse says. But I have quoted it above to reveal what Morey
wishes to conceal. If he would let his readers know what that
verse says his deception would crumble.
He did not
even say that the Qur'ân in that verse prohibits the worship
of the sun and moon. He merely says that
the Qur'ân refers
to this in Sura 41:37 and elsewhere.
If his readers understand from this that the Qur'ân accepts
the worship of the sun and the moon, Morey's aims would be
realise that as a scholar he has an academic obligation to
make honest use of his sources. He should also recall that as
a Christian he ought to speak the truth always.
that if he can prove that the pagan Arabs at the time of the
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) worshipped the Moon-god and
called him Allâh, then he will have proved that
nothing more than a revival of the ancient Moon-god cult
Perhaps we can
help rescue him from his folly by pointing to what he has
already admitted. On pages 10-11 of his book he wrote that al-ilah
means "the deity." Well, in that case, when a message about
the true God comes to them what are they supposed to call the
true God? The non-deity? Of course they will call Him by the
names and titles they already know for deity. But they will be
no longer calling out to their pagan gods although they are
still using the same title or name meaning deity.
If Morey still
cannot understand this we can draw his attention to the Old
Testament which uses the ancient Babylonian and Canaanite name
for god "El." We do not accuse the Old Testament in that case
of idolatry. So why does Morey seek to insult the Qur'ân in
Or, we can
draw his attention to the New Testament. There God is referred
to as ho theos. Does Morey realise that the worshippers of
Jupiter referred also to Jupiter as ho theos? Would Morey then
accuse the New Testament writers of reviving the worship of
Or, read Acts
chapter 17. Athens was a major centre of idolatry, but the
people there also worshipped what they called "an unknown
god." When Paul had an opportunity to address them, he spoke
Men of Athens!
I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I
walked around and looked carefully at your objects of
worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: To An
Unknown God. Now what you worship as something unknown I am
going to proclaim to you (Acts 17:22-23).
take issue with Paul for this? You see what Paul has done. He
noticed an altar dedicated to an unknown god and realised that
in addition to all their idols, they also worshipped the true
God. Their problem, however, was that they did not know enough
about the true God, and Paul aimed to now fix that with his
In a similar
way the pagan Arabs worshipped 360 idols, but they also
worshipped the true God. Their problem was that they did not
know enough about the true God. So God commissioned his
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to fix that with his preaching.
The message of
Paul to the Athenians and of Muhammad to the Arabians
was not that they should forget about the unseen god in whom
they believed. The message was that they should come to
accurate knowledge about Him.
we may argue the point using Morey's patent argument, in which
we would present the following facts and then draw a
conclusion. This would establish the absurdity of Morey's
already convinced us that Moon worship was prevalent in the
Bible region of Hazor in Palestine, and the archaeological
findings confirm that fact.
The name of
the Moon-god corresponds with El according to Coon, whom Morey
cites as an authority.
tells us that El created the heavens and the earth.
from above facts:
conclude that the Bible recommends Moon-worship.
Morey will resist this conclusion because the Bible reject
Moon-worship. But, then, I also resist Morey's conclusion that
Islam recommends Moon-worship. Why? Because the Qurpan
condemns Moon-worship in the verse which Morey wished to
Adore not the
sun and the moon, but adore Allâh who created them...(Qur'ân
The Crescent Moon in Islam:
Morey asks a
few questions on page 14 of book to plant a thought in the
minds of his readers. He asks:
Is it any
wonder then that the symbol of Islam is the crescent moon?
That a crescent moon sits on top of their mosque and minarets?
That a crescent moon is found on the flags of Islamic nations?
That the Muslims fast during the month which begins and ends
with the appearance of the crescent moon in the sky? (Morey,
Morey does not state his conclusions about these facts. He
wants his readers to draw the conclusion that these facts
prove that Muslims are worshipping the Moon-god. But Morey
does not state the conclusion because he knows it does not
follow from those facts.
The fact that
the symbol of Islam is the crescent moon does not mean that
Muslims worship the moon. The farthest thing from the Muslim
mind is to worship anything or anyone other than God. That
would be the sin of shirk, association of another in worship-a
sin that is unforgiveable except by repentance.
No, the symbol
of a religion is not necessarily an object of worship. The
symbol of Daoism is the ying-yang symbol, but Daoists do not
worship it. The symbol of Buddhism is the eight-spoke wheel,
but Buddhists do not worship it. Muslims also do not worship
the crescent moon, just as the early Christians also did not
worship their fish symbol. And many present-day Christians do
not worship the cross although they display it everywhere.
It is another
question as to how the crescent became the symbol of Islam.
The Qur'ân and the hadith do not give this significance to the
crescent moon. And for the first several centuries of Islam
the crescent was not a symbol of Islam. Morey may have a good
point if he encourages Muslims to revert to the practice of
the ideal period of Islam, the first three generations of
Muslims, when there was no such symbol used for identifying
the religion of God. But to stretch this and conclude from it
what does not follow is to go beyond the bounds of truth.
Morey did not
make that mistake, but his book led Jack T. Chick to make it.
Whether such an effect was intended by Morey is between him
and God. Where that leaves Jack Chick is also up to God. Jack
Chick wrote a tiny booklet entitled
Allâh Had No Son
in which he depicts some Muslims in their mosque prostrating
on the floor in worship of "their moon god" (Jack T. Chick,
No Son; U.S.Chick
Publications, 1994; p.1).
however make mention of the fact that Muslims use the
appearance of the crescent moon in the sky to mark the
beginning and end of their month of fasting. It is highly
fallacious to connect this with moon worship. Many people
regulate much of their affairs based on a solar calendar. This
does not mean anything for sun-worship does it?
Muslims regulate their religious festivals and observance
using the lunar calendar. Would Morey then accuse the Jews of
Note: After I
had already written what I wrote above by way of excusing
Morey for Chick's mistake, I came across a leaflet claiming
that the crescent is the god of Muslims. The leaflet does not
name its author, but it is published by the Research and
Education Foundation of which Robert Morey is the director.
acquaintance who sent me a copy of Morey's booklet also sent
me five questions related to this subject. I will attempt to
answer them below:
What is the
significance of the crescent moon in Islam?
answers this question before you asked it. Read this verse:
They ask you
about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed
periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage (Qur'ân
Islam follow a lunar calendar?
In both the
Bible and the Qur'ân religious festivals are regulated by
the lunar calendar. Jews and Muslims have kept to these
regulations which they believe to be from God. Why does
Christianity follow a solar calendar?
Why is the
feast of Ramadan marked by the appearance of the crescent
I think you
mean the fast of Ramadan. God commanded Muslims in the Qur'ân
to fast from dawn to sunset during the month called Ramadan
(see Qur'ân 2:185, 187). The beginning and end of the month is
determined by the crescent (2:189) based on the instruction of
God's Messenger, on whom be peace.
method and not another is not for us to say but for God and
His Messenger to prescribe. However, I find it an efficient
method. It is a universally applicable method, and it allows
for Ramadan to move through all the seasons. This allows
believers to have the pleasure of worshipping God by fasting
in all the various seasons: one year in the summer, some years
later in the winter.
the Qur'ân place the Sabeans on the same level with Jews and
Christians when scholars have clearly proven that the Sabeans
were involved in the moon cult?
I am not aware
that the Qur'ân has placed the Sabeans on the same level with
Jews and Christians. Perhaps you have in mind the following
believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians,
whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day and do righteous
good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord. On them
shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Qurpan 2:62; also
however, does not place the Sabeans on the same level as the
Jews and Christians except in a particular context. The verse
speaks of four distinct communities, and offers all four the
opportunity to fear not nor grieve if only they would believe
in Allâh and the Last Day and do right. The four communities
Believers (i.e., the Muslims)
(b) the Jews
While they are
all offered the same opportunity for improvement, nothing, is
said in this verse about the validity of the existing faiths
of these four communities. Otherwise the Jews and Christians
who are criticized in the Qur'ân for their deviations will not
be placed on the same level with the believers. The matter
becomes clear when you realise that believers here does not
mean saved persons but those who ostensibly belong to the
community of Muslims. They, as well as the other three groups,
must do the following to be saved: believe in Allâh, believe
in the Last Day, and do right. Doing right, according to the
Qur'ân, includes following every teaching of Muhammad.
Meccans worship the true God since they recognized Allâh? Was
Allâh one of the gods of the Ka'bah? And if so, where did the
Meccans derive the recognition and the name of Allâh from?
was not one of the 360 idols which were in the Ka'abah,
although Morey has claimed this without evidence. When the
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) entered Meccah victorious he
went into the Ka'abah and broke the idols therein.
Allâh to the
Arabs was the Lord of the Ka'abah. He was the unseen God whom
they would call upon when in distress. Yes, they worshipped
the true God but their worship was not purely for Him. They
also worshipped other gods thinking that they would act as
intermediaries between them and the true God Allâh.
The Arabs know
of Allâh because Abraham visited Meccah and together with his
son Ishmael laid the foundation of the Ka'abah. The
descendants of Ishmael retained some of the worship rites and
beliefs from Abraham. This included their knowledge of the
true God Allâh.
have shown conclusively that the true god El of the Bible is
the same as Allâh of the Qur'ân. Please refer to
or Allâh-What is God's real name?
by Shabir Ally.
Asimovs Guide to the Bible
(US, Avon, 1968).
Tombs and Treasure (US,
Bonanza Books, 1969).
Chick, Jack T.Allâh
had No Son (US, Chick
The Bible As History (US,
Hodder and Stoughton, 1980).
The Bible As History in Pictures
(US, William Morrow and Company, 1964).
Archaeology Of The Bible
(US, Simon and Schuster, 1977).
Islamic Invasion (US,
Harvest House, 1992).
Moon-God Allâh in The Archaeology of the Middle East
(Newport, PA., Research & Education Foundation, 1994).
Passover Plot (US, Bantam,
Sources of Islam
(Scotland, T & T.Clark, no date).
The New American
Bible (US, Catholic Book
Publishing Co., 1986).
Morey's Deceptive Methods
His Use of
False Quotations and Other Dishonest Tactics to Prove that
Allâh is a Moon-god. Adapted from the book
People Ask About Islam by
Morey proves in his book that Allâh is the name of the moon
god worshipped in Arabia before Islam. Is he right?
The book you
refer to is entitled
Invasion: Confronting the World's Fastest Growing Religion.
The author, Dr. Robert Morey, sees Islam as an invasion into
North America and a threat to his religious heritage.
Unfortunately, Dr.Morey has resorted to dishonest tactics in
combatting Islam. To prove his contention that Allâh is not
the God of Christians and Jews, he quoted from several books
in such a dishonest fashion that the quotations say the
opposite of what we find in those books.
quoted from the
Britannica to support his
case. But in fact the Encyclopedia says:
Allâh is the
standard Arabic word for "God" and is used by Arab
Christians as well as by Muslims
1990 Edition, vol.1, p.276).
Dr. Morey also
quoted from H A R Gibb to support his case. But Gibb actually
says the opposite. In his book
Gibb says on page 26 that both Muhammad and his
opponents believed in the existence of a supreme God Allâh.
Gibb further explained this on pages 37-38. Dr.Morey should
have checked his references more carefully before his book
went into print.
Dr. Morey said
that Alfred Guillaume agrees with him, and he refers to page 7
of Alfred Guillaume's book entitled Islam. But here is what
Alfred Guillaume actually says on page 7 of his book:
In Arabia Allâh
was known from Christian and Jewish sources as the one God,
and there can be no doubt whatever that he was known to the
pagan Arabs of Mecca as the supreme being.
Dr.Morey misquote like this?
quoted from page 28 of a book by another non-Muslim writer
Caesar Farah. But when we refer to that book we find that Dr.
Morey gave only a partial quotation which leaves out the main
discussion. The book actually says that the God who was called
II by the Babylonians and El by the Israelites was called ilah,
al-ilah, and eventually Allâh in Arabia. Farah, says further
on page 31 that before Islam the pagans had already believed
that Allâh is the supreme deity. Of course they had 360 idols,
but, contrary to Dr. Morey's assertion, Allâh was never one of
the 360 idols. As Caesar Farah points out on page 56, the
Prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace, personally
destroyed those idols.
Dr. Morey also
quoted from William Montgomery Watt. But Watt says on page 26
of his book that the Arabic word Allâh is similar to the Greek
term ho theos which we know is the way God is referred to in
the New Testament.
quoted from Kenneth Cragg's book entitled
The Call of the
Minaret. However, on page
36 of Kenneth Cragg's book we find the following:
Christian and Muslim faiths believe in One supreme sovereign
Creator-God, they are obviously referring when they speak of
Him, under whatever terms, to the same Being.
Further on the
same page, Cragg explains that the One whom the Muslims call
Allâh is the same One whom the Christians call 'the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.' although the two faiths
understand Him differently.
should know that as a scholar he has the academic obligation
to quote honestly. He should also know that as a follower of
Jesus, on whom be peace, he has an obligation to speak the
Article taken (with Thanks) from Islam-awareness.org