UBC Theses and Dissertations
Who were the daughters of Allah? Randsalu, Donna
Who were the Daughters of Allah, the three Arabian goddesses mentioned in the Qur'an and venerated by the pagan Arabs prior to the rise of Islam, and who since have vanished into obscurity? Can we reconstruct information about these goddesses by reference to earlier goddesses of the Near East? It is our intention to explore this possibility through an examination of their predecessors in view of the links between the Fertile Crescent and the Arabian Peninsula. Moving back in time from the seventh century A.D. (Arabia) through the Hellenistic Period (Syro/Phoenicia 300 B.C.-A.D. 300 ) to the end of the second millennium, we shall examine those goddesses whose attributes most closely resemble the Arabian goddesses. By necessity, we will confine ourselves primarily to the goddesses of ancient Canaan¹ (Astarte) and Syria (Atargatis), compelling resemblances of these goddesses to the Arabian goddesses of the seventh century being the basis for their selection. This exploration, then, takes place in the Fertile Crescent, that region of the Near East "forming an arc between the head of the Persian Gulf and the south-east corner of the Mediterranean Sea"². These lands are a natural physical extension of the Arabian Peninsula and its inhabitants naturally migrated into these regions. As well, there is the linguistic, and, therefore, cultural, affinity of the Semitic peoples of the Fertile Crescent with those of the Arabian Peninsula, so that a search for the heritage of the Arabian goddesses would be likely to begin here. ¹Canaan (Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine) in early times extended from Hamath in the north to Gaza (Gen.10.19), and included lands east and west of the Jordan (Josh.11.3). ²Philip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs; From the Earliest Times to the Present, 10th ed. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1979),11.
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