Tatang M. Amirin; 25; 26 Oktober 2010; 6 Februari 2011
Bisa jadi ada di antara Anda yang tanpa sengaja menemukan artikel yang menyimpulkan bahwa Ka’bah itu aslinya kuil Hindu, dan tawaf itu tradisi Hindu, dan Qur’an itu sebagian “jiplakan” dari Veda, dan bahwa Zamzam itu sama dengan Gangga. Juga bahwa kata “ka’bah” itu berasal dari kata Sansekerta “amba” yang berarti Ibu (seperti Ambu dalam bahasa Sunda, ya), dan kata ka’bah juga dari kata Sansekerta. Artikel itu tampak ilmiah, konon dari Google, disertai bukti-bukti artefak dan “logika kebahasaan.”
Lebih dari itu, bahkan sampai membuat pernyataan bahwa Islam mengajarkan perang dan membinasakan orang, termasuk membinasakan kuil Hindu yang bernama Ka’bah dan menghancurkan patung-patung di dalamnya, suatu peristiwa kekejaman luar biasa terhadap agama Hindu, yaitu ketika Muhammad saw “mengerahkan balatentara menyerbu Mekah dan menaklukannya.”
Saya tidak mau komentar langsung. “Klaim” tersebut bisa jadi sebagian ya, bisa jadi seluruhnya bukan. Analisis ilmiah (netral, tanpa tendensi, apalagi provokasi) ditunggu dari para ahlinya. Saya hanya akan menyampaikan dari satu sudut saja, kebahasaan dan kebudayaan.
Orang Sunda–saya juga orang Sunda–kadang agak emosional untuk mengklaim bahwa Sunda dulu “menguasai dunia.” Katanya kerajaan “Sunda” yang bernama Galuh itu mencakup ke Jawa Tengah dan Jawa Timur. Terbukti ada berbagai nama daerah yang menggunakan kata “galuh.” Di Jawa Tengah (Banjarnegara) ada Sigaluh. Di Jogja ada Samigaluh. Di Jawa Timur (dulu) ada (H)Ujung Galuh (dekat Surabaya). Yang menulis itu tidak sadar bahwa kata “galuh” (galih, galeh) itu merupakan bahasa “umum” yang digunakan, pada masa lalu sekalipun, di nusantara. Galuh itu artinya permata (intan, perak, emas) dan juga putri raja. Jadi, Ujung Galuh (pelabuhan jaman Majapahit) itu samalah kira-kira dengan Tanjung Perak (ujung = tanjung; galuh = perak; dan Ujung Galuh memang ada di dekat Tanjung Perak, Surabaya, sekarang). Jadi, kesamaan kata (atau serapannya) tidaklah harus menunjukkan bahwa itu ada pengaruh “kekuasaan” tertentu terhadap sesuatu wilayah.
Bahasa Sunda dan Jawa dulu dan sekarang itu masih serumpun. Banyak kata sama atau serupa yang digunakan. Belum lagi terimbas oleh pengaruh serapan bahasa Sansekerta, Arab, Portugis, Belanda, Jepang, dan juga Inggris serta lainnya yang masuk ke semua bahasa itu. Kenapa demikian? Karena manusia sejak jaman dahulu sering kali tidak terisolasi, melainkan saling berkomunikasi, baik karena urusan perdagangan, maupun urusan “migrasi,” bahkan politik (penjajahan, misalnya). Komunikasi itu menimbulkan pertukaran bahasa, dan budaya, tentu saja.
Perhatikan bentuk tulisan huruf “s” yang secara tidak sengaja saya temukan di internet ini. Huruf Arab “sin” bergigi tiga itu dalam bahasa Phoenician mirip huruf W (gigi tiga juga), begitu pula Hebrew, Aramaic, dan Syriac. Perhatikan di Yunani (Greek), huruf “sigma” Yunani bentuk giginya bukan ke atas, tapi ke kanan. Sementara dalam bahasa Cyrillic giginya tiga ke atas. Dan huruf Latin “s” itu mirip saja dengan “sigma” tapi dibentuk agak lain.
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Itulah pertukaran “aksara” di dunia. Ingat, “angka Latin” yang kita kenal, yang sebenarnya disebut angka Arab, itu memang angka Arab tapi dimodifikasi. Angka 2 “Latin” ini, sama dengan angka 2 Arab tapi digulingkan ke kiri, dan gagangnya yang panjang dipotong.
Konon, angka Arab itu sendiri–saya sudah lupa sumbernya, rasanya Nakosteen–asalnya dari INDIA. Bukankah itu menunjukkan bahwa kebudayaan dan bahasa itu memang kerap kali saling tukar saja di antara penduduk dunia?
Saya (maaf kalau salah) suka menfasirkan bahwa Rahwana, Kumbakarna, Sarpakanaka, dan Wibvisana (dalam epos Ramayana karangan Walmiki yang hidup sekitar tahun 400SM di INDIA) itu sebenarnya personifikasi dari filsafat Herakleitos (filosof dari Efesus, Asia Kecil alias sekitar TURKI sekarang, yang hidup sekitar tahun 500SM–seratus tahun lebih dulu dari Walmiki). Seratus tahun kemudian buah pikiran Herakleitos TURKI itu “disadap” Walmiki INDIA. Sekali lagi, maaf, bisa jadi tidak demikian halnya.
Bagaimana ceriteranya? Menurut Herakleitos manusia (alam) itu terdiri dari unsur api, tanah, udara, dan air. Jika dipadukan dengan rumusan tentang empat tipe kepribadian menurut Hippocratus yang disempurnakan Galenus (sekitar tahun 400 SM), walau tidak sama persis, maka paparannya akan menjadi: Api bersifat panas (orang yang memiliki banyak sifat unsur api “mudah terbakar” esmosinya, pemarah), tanah bersifat diam (orang yang memiliki banyak sifat unsur tanah bersifat pendiam, penurut, melankolis), angin bersifat angin-anginan (orang yang banyak mengandung sifat unsur angin bersifat periang tapi tak punya pendirian ajeg dan tegas, suka plinplan), dan air bersifat sejuk atau menyejukkan (orang yang memiliki banyak sifat unsur air berkepribadian bijaksana, nalar, bernurani).
Rahwana itu personifikasi api, karenanya mudah terbakar dan marah. Jika marah maka wajah seramnya bisa muncul jadi sepuluh atau “dasamuka.” Kumbakarna itu personifikasi tanah, pendiam, kerjanya cuma makan dan tidur, tak pernah berontak, tak agresif, tapi setianegara. Sarpakanaka (di Cirebon disebut Kenyowandu alias wadam–laki-laki suka laki-laki) personifikasi angin (suka “menggaet”–Sarpakanaka sebenarnya perempuan yang aslinya poliandri–diubah karena tak cocok dengan budaya Indonesia). Wibisana personifikasi air (sejuk dan menyejukkan, bijaksana).
Kalau tafsiran saya itu benar, itu artinya “filsafat/kebudayaan India” dipengaruhi oleh “filsafat” Turki (suka-suka Herakleitos disebut filosof Yunani) dan juga Yunani (Herakleitos dan Galenus). Salahkah menjiplak itu? Tidak, biasa-biasa saja. Itu alamiah.
Tapi, apakah ajaran Hindu (lewat Ramayana) itu “jiplakan” dari Turki? Belum tentu juga. Bisa saja memang ada kesamaan “berfilsafat” tentang alam dan manusia, dan “filsafat” India (Hindu?) itu dibuat dongengnya oleh Walmiki dalam bentuk epos Ramayana.
Istilah dewa yang lazim digunakan dalam agama Hindu ternyata punya latar belakang ke-Latin-an, seperti ditulis Wikipedia. Tunggu, mungkin salah! Kita balik: Kata “deity” Inggris yang berasal dari kata Latin “deus” itu berasal dari bahasa Sanskerta “div” yang berarti sinar. Jadi, orang-orang Latin itu dipengaruhi orang-orang India. Bisa jadi begitu. Itu kalau orang Hindu mau berikukuh (“keukeuh teu bisa henteu“). Bukan soal pengaruh mempengaruhi karena soal agama, tapi hanya bahasa.
Nah, ini asal-usul kata dewa menurut Wikipedia.
Kata Dewa muncul dari agama Hindu, yakni dari kata Deva atau Daiwa (bahasa Sanskerta), yang berasal dari kata div, yang berarti sinar. Kata dewa dalam bahasa Inggris sama dengan Deity, berasal dari bahasa Latin deus. Bahasa Latin dies dan divum mirip dengan bahasa Sanskerta div dan diu yang berarti langit atau sinar (lihat: Dyaus). [Tapi], kata deva (sinar, langit) sama sekali tidak ada hubungannya dengan kata devil (iblis; setan).
Istilah dewa diidentikkan sebagai makhluk suci yang berkuasa terhadap alam semesta. Meskipun pada aliran politeisme menyebut adanya banyak Tuhan, namun dalam bahasa Indonesia, istilah yang dipakai adalah “Dewa” (contoh: Dewa Zeus, bukan Tuhan Zeus). Biasanya istilah dewa dipakai sebagai kata sandang untuk menyebut penguasa alam semesta yang jamak, bisa dibayangkan dan dilukiskan secara nyata, sedangkan istilah Tuhan dipakai untuk penguasa alam semesta yang maha tunggal dan abstrak, tidak bisa dilukiskan, tidak bisa dibayangkan.
Bolehkah saya katakan bahwa konsep dewa-dewi dalam ajaran Hindu itu sebenarnya “jiplakan” saja dari kosep pemikiran dewa-dewa Yunani, hanya beda versi saja? Tentu tidak, kan! Orang di mana-mana punya sesuatu yang “harus” mereka sembah, apapun namanya.
Tentu saja saya juga tidak akan mengatakan bahwa Rukun Islam itu “jiplakan” dari epos Mahabharata, mengambil tokoh Pandawa (Puntadewa, Bima, Arjuna, Nakula, dan Sadewa) karena sama-sama ada lima, dan karena Islam baru “lahir” setelah Masehi, sementara Mahabharata ditulis pertama kali oleh Wiyasa sekitar tahun 400SM. Puntadewa yang punya sifat utama jujur dan benar, itu adalah syahadat, pengakuan akan kebenaran keesaan Allah dan kerasulan Muhammad. Bima yang tegak kokoh dan selalu berdiri tak pernah duduk–seperti tiang–itu sebangun dengan salat–karena salat suka dikatakan sebagai tiang agama Islam. Arjuna yang suka tapabrata puasa, sama dengan rukun Islam ketiga: puasa. Puasa itu seperti tapabrata. Nakula itu zakat, dan Sadewa itu haji. Yang keempat dan kelima ini entah bagaimana mengkiaskan analoginya. Teentu karenanya terlampau naif, dan tidak ilmiah. Sama dengan untuk mengatakan bahwa agama Hindu itu jiplakan saja dari agama Romawi-Yunani yang menyembah dewa-dewa.
Sekali lagi, bahasa dan budaya itu saling tukarnya banyak sekali. Siapa memberi, siapa menerima, sebagian tidak jelas. Kecuali memang bahasa itu tidak serumpun, seperti bahasa India atau Sansekerta yang banyak mengisi bahasa asli Indonesia, dan tidak sebaliknya; tetapi Jawa, Sunda, Melayu yang serumpun tidak jelas siapa memberi siapa menerima.
Apakah bahasa Arab dipengaruhi bahasa Sansekerta? Ya kita lihat saja bahasa Sansekerta itu bahasa dunia macam apa. Nanti kita nukilkan dari Wikipedia.
Salah satu yang harus dicatat adalah bahwa bahasa Sansekerta adalah bagian dari sub-keluarga bahasa Indo-Iran yang merupakan bagian dari keluarga bahasa Indo-Eropa. Jadi, banyak kesamaan dengan bahasa-bahasa di daerah-daerah “barat India,” ya wajar saja. Yang dekat dengan bahasa Sansekerta adalah bahasa Iran, bahasa Persia kuno, dan bahasa “Avestan” (Iran Timur).
Ambil contoh bahasa Indo-Eropa. Kindergarten itu bahasa Jerman yang diambilalih begitu saja ke dalam bahasa Inggris (sebetulnya mirip dengan kid garden). Hari Minggu dalam bahasa Inggris disebut Sunday, di belanda disebut Zondaag, Senin disebut Monday, di Belanda disebut Maandaag. Sangat mirip, kan? Day = daag (baca: dah); sun = zon (baca: son); moon = maan. Tidak tahu bagaimana ceriteranya di Jawa ada permainan “sondah-mandah” yang berarti Minggu-Senin–dari bahasa Belanda (?). Tentu sangat lain dengan “mandah” bahasa Sunda yang artinya embahnya (monyet).
Jadi, mungkin saja beberapa kata Arab itu sama dengan bahasa Iran dan Persia dan juga Sansekerta yang serumpun, hanya mendapatkan perubahan karena pengucapan, seperti orang Sunda bilang emam, orang Jawa bilang maem (makan). Oran Sunda bilang saat, orang Jawa bilang asat (kering airnya–sungai, kolam). Orang Jawa bilang apura, orang Sunda bilang “sampura” (hampura), alusnya apunten (Jawa), hapunten, punten, pangapunten (Sunda), artinya maaf(maaf itu bahasa Arab). Orang Jawa bilang nyuwun, orang Sunda bilang nuhun(keun), artinya minta. Orang Jawa dan Sunda sama-sama bilang “mangga” (hanya lafal jogjaan–monggo–beda dengan cirebonan–mangga), artinya silakan. Dan juga “kulo” (“kula”), artinya aku, serta “sesepuh” (yang dituakan). Orang Jogja bilang “arto” (artha) orang Sunda bilang “artos” (uang).
Nah, inilah bahasa Sansekerta itu.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sanskrit (संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam, properly संस्कृता वाक् saṃskṛtā vāk, later also संस्कृतभाषा saṃskṛtabhāṣā, “refined speech”), is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and Buddhism. Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand.
Classical Sanskrit is the standard register as laid out in the grammar of Pāṇini, around the 4th century BCE. Its position in the cultures of Greater India is akin to that of Latin and Greek in Europe and it has significantly influenced most modern languages of the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India and Nepal.
The pre-Classical form of Sanskrit is known as Vedic Sanskrit, with the language of the Rigveda being the oldest and most archaic stage preserved, its oldest core dating back to as early as 1500 BCE. This qualifies Rigvedic Sanskrit as one of the oldest attestations of any Indo-Iranian language, and one of the earliest attested members of the Indo-European language family, the family which includes English and most European languages.
The corpus of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of poetry and drama as well as scientific, technical, philosophical and Hindu religious texts. Sanskrit continues to be widely used as a ceremonial language in Hindu religious rituals in the forms of hymns and mantras. Spoken Sanskrit is still in use in a few traditional institutions in India and there are many attempts at revival.
The word ‘Saṃskṛtaṃ’ (object form of ‘Sanskrit’) in Devanagari script
The Sanskrit verbal adjective saṃskṛta- may be translated as “put together”, “well or completely formed”, “refined”, “highly elaborated”. It is derived from the root saṃ(s)kar- “to put together, compose, arrange, prepare”, where saṃ– “together” (as English same) and (s)kar- “do, make”. The language referred to as saṃskṛta “the cultured language” has by definition always been a “sacred” and “sophisticated” language, used for religious and learned discourse in ancient India, and contrasted with the languages spoken by the people, prākṛta- “natural, artless, normal, ordinary”. It is also called dēva-bhāṣā meaning the “divine language” or the “language of devas or demigods”.
Sanskrit is a member of the Indo-Iranian sub-family of the Indo-European family of languages. Its closest ancient relatives are the Iranian languages Old Persian and Avestan. Within the wider Indo-European language family, Sanskrit shares characteristic sound changes with the Satem languages (particularly the Slavic and Baltic languages), and also with Greek.
In order to explain the common features shared by Sanskrit and other Indo-European languages, many scholars have proposed migration hypotheses asserting that the original speakers of what became Sanskrit arrived in what is now India and Pakistan from the north-west some time during the early second millennium BCE. Evidence for such a theory includes the close relationship of the Indo-Iranian tongues with the Baltic and Slavic languages, vocabulary exchange with the non-Indo-European Finno-Ugric languages, and the nature of the attested Indo-European words for flora and fauna.
The earliest attested Sanskrit texts are Hindu texts of the Rigveda, which date to the mid-to-late second millennium BCE. No written records from such an early period survive. However, scholars are confident that the oral transmission of the texts is reliable: they were ceremonial literature whose correct pronunciation was considered crucial to its religious efficacy.
From the Rigveda until the time of Pāṇini (fl. 4th century BCE) the development of the Sanskrit language may be observed in other Hindu texts: the Samaveda, Yajurveda, Atharvaveda, Brahmanas, and Upanishads. During this time, the prestige of the language, its use for sacred purposes, and the importance attached to its correct enunciation all served as powerful conservative forces resisting the normal processes of linguistic change.
The oldest surviving Sanskrit grammar is Pāṇini‘s Aṣṭādhyāyī (“Eight-Chapter Grammar”). It is essentially a prescriptive grammar, i.e., an authority that defines (rather than describes) correct Sanskrit, although it contains descriptive parts, mostly to account for some Vedic forms the use of which had become rare in Pāṇini’s time.
The term “Sanskrit” was not thought of as a specific language set apart from other languages, but rather as a particularly refined or perfected manner of speaking. Knowledge of Sanskrit was a marker of social class and educational attainment in ancient India and the language was taught mainly to members of the higher castes, through close analysis of Sanskrit grammarians such as Pāṇini. Sanskrit, as the learned language of Ancient India, thus existed alongside the Prakrits (vernaculars), which evolved into the Middle Indic dialects, and eventually into the contemporary modern Indo-Aryan languages.
Jadi, beberapa kata Arab itu mungkin saja bukan dari Sansekerta, tapi dari Iran dan Persia, dan Eropa lainnya. “Kulliyah” (bahasa Arab–sekarang artinya fakultas) itu sama dengan “college” Inggris. Orang Indonesia pergi kuliah itu artinya pergi ke “kulliyyah,” pergi ke “kolej.” Seperti orang bilang mau sekolah, artinya mau pergi ke sekolah, bukan mau belajar (aslinya). “Carat” (karat) Inggris itu dari kata Arab “qiirath.” “Guitar” (gitar) Inggris juga dari Arab “qiitarah.” Begitulah, saling ambil saling serap.
Jadi, jika Ka’bah itu ada kesamaan dengan kata Sansekerta (rumpun Indo-Iran) ya bisa saja. Begitu pula Allah. Tapi rasanya bukan dari “amba” dan sejenisnya, karena kata dasarnya “Ilah” yang diberi kata-sandang-tentu “al” (the–Inggris, het/de–Belanda). Maksudnya Allah itu ilah (tuhan), tapi tuhan yang itu, bukan yang lainnya, the God bukan (another) god (other gods).
Apakah Ka’bah itu dulunya pernah dijadikan kuil Hindu, sehingga dipenuhi oleh patung dewa-dewa? Bisa juga. Saya pernah salat Jumat di Lincoln, Ingggris, yang “mesjidnya” kecil sebesar musola, dan tadinya merupakan sebuah “kapel” (chapel) yang dibeli oleh umat Islam (yang sedikit) ada di sana. Jamaahnya amat sangat sedikit sekali (dengan tujuh orang “tamu” Indonesia hanya sekitar 20-an, termasuk seorang ibu). Khutbahnya menggunakan bahasa Arab sepenuhnya, tetapi sebelum khatib naik mimbar, ia menjelaskan dulu inti sari khutbahnya dengan bahasa Inggris di muka podium.
Jadi, bisa saja setelah dibangun Ibrahim a.s. (tentu tidak menjiplak arsitektur Hindu–boleh juga dibantah bukan Ibhrahim yang mendirikan), pada kurun tertentu Ka’bah tidak lagi menjadi pusat keagamaan dan peribadatan “Islam” (agama Ibrahim a.s juga Islam.) Bisa jadi digunakan agama Hindu orang Quraisy dengan patung dewa-dewanya, walaupun belum jelas benar apakah patung-patung di situ memang patung Brahma, Syiwa, Wisnu, Durga dsb. Apakah nama patung orang Quraisy “Latta” itu sama dengan Brahma, dan Uzza itu sama dengan Durga?
Diriwayatkan oleh Ibnu Jarir, dengan sanadnya dari Sufyan dari Mansur dari Mujahid, berkaitan dengan ayat: “Jelaskan kepadaku (wahai kaum musyrikin) tentang (berhala yang kamu anggap sebagai anak perempuan Allah) Al-Latta dan Al-Uzza” (QS. An Najm, 19)
Ia (Mujahid) berkata: “Al Latta adalah orang yang dahulunya tukang mengaduk tepung (dengan air atau minyak) untuk dihidangkan kepada jamaah haji. Setelah meninggal, merekapun senantiasa mendatangi kuburnya.”
Demikian pula penafsiran Ibnu Abbas r.a. sebagaimana yang dituturkan oleh Ibnul Jauza’: ” Dia itu pada mulanya adalah tukang mengaduk tepung untuk para jamaah haji.”
Jadi, mereka (menurut versi ini), sama sekali bukan dewa-dewa Hindu. Masih ada pula “dewa” yang lain, yaitu tersurat dalam Al-Qur’an:
Dan mereka (bukan Muhammad–Pen.) berkata: “Janganlah sekali-kali kalian meninggalkan (penyembahan) tuhan-tuhan kalian, dan janganlah pula kalian meninggalkan (penyembahan) Wadd, dan janganlah pula Suwa’, Yaghuts, Ya’uq dan Nashr.” (Nuh: 23)
Mau diklaim sebagai dewa? Bisa. Wadd adalah Brahma, Suwa adalah Siwa, Yaghuts adalah Wisnu, Ya’uq adalah Guru, dan Nashr adalah “ga-NESHa” atau “Naradha.” Kalau mau, lho!
Islam Muhammad Memerangi “Hindu” Quraisy?
Nah, bagaimana dengan kekejaman Islam menghancurkan kuil Hindu Ka’bah itu? Ini agak masuk ke materi bukan budaya dan bahasa, tapi sejarah. Tak apa, kan hanya sedikit saja. Hehe.
Pada ketika Muhammad saw menjadi Nabi/Rasul dan mengajak orang-orang “Hindu” Quraisy itu masuk Islam dengan baik-baik, orang “Hindu” Quraisy itu marah besar, dan Muhammad pun dilempari kotoran unta, bahkan diejek sebagai orang gila. Bahkan kemudian semua orang Islam dimusuhi dan diusir oleh orang “Hindu Mekah” dari Mekah. Setelah di Madinah pun orang “Hindu” Quraisy itu masih juga menyerang orang Islam berkali-kali (Perang Khandaq, Perang Uhud). Kenapa orang “Hindu” Quraisy tidak toleran dengan penganut agama lain? Mungkin karakteristik orang Arab Quraisy, bukan karakteristik orang “Hindu,” karena Hindu itu damai-damai saja, termasuk ketika Sidharta Gautama menyebarkan agama Budha di India yang “Hindu” itu. Rasanya damai-damai saja.
Jadi, jika kerajaan Hindu di Indonesia satu sama lain saling berperang pun, tentu bukan karena ajaran Hindunya yang salah! Ketika (kalau itu benar terjadi) Raja Hindu Pajajaran (Prabu Wangi dan putrinya Dyah Pitaloka) serombongan dikhianati dan dibunuh habis-habisan di Bubat oleh Patih Hindu Gadjah Mada, itu bukan karena Hindu-nya yang salah, bukan karena Hindu mengajarkan untuk mengkhianati orang Hindu lain–apalagi yang bukan Hindu–dan mengajarkan kewajiban membinasakan Hindu lain, untuk kepentingan politik. Itu karena ulah Gadjah Mada yang tidak “Hinduistis.” Atau, kita saja yang salah menafsirkan peristiwa, karena tidak tahu persis duduk perkaranya, sebab kita bukan pelaku sejarahnya.
Allah Tuhan sebelum Islam?
Apakah nama Allah itu khas Islam Muhammad? Konon ada yang mengatakan itu sudah digunakan oleh orang Arab jahiliyah (“pagan”) sebelumnya. Nama ayah Muhammad “Abdullah” itu jelas menunjuk pada Allah yang bukan Allah Islam Muhammad, karena ada sebelum ada Islam Muhammad.
Islam Muhammad (yang dibawa Muhammad) jelas bukan “barang baru.” Oleh karena itulah orang Islam (pasca Muhammad) diwajibkan mengimani (meyakini) adanya “kitab-kitab yang diturunkan sebelum Muhammad” (Walladzina yu’minuuna bimaa unzila ilayka wa maa unzila min qablika”–Q.S. 2: Al-baqarah:3). Artinya ada “agama Islam” (dengan nama yang mungkin berbeda) sebelum Muhammad.
Allah boleh jadi sebutan pada tuhan yang tidak (bukan) hanya Islam Muhammad yang menggunakan. Setelah Islam Muhammad disyiarkan, sebutan Allah itu dikhususkan pada tuhannya Islam Muhammad. Itu saja. Karena istilah Allah itu sama dengan jika di Indonesia tuhan (umum), tetapi lalu dikhususkan dengan memaksudkan tuhan yang itu. Ini seperti dalam “falsafah” Jawa “manunggaling kawula lan Gusti,” (Gusti = tuhan) pasti sebutan “gusti” itu dikhaskan kepada yang tertentu, bukan Gusti Prabu Anu, Gusti Ratu Anu, dan Gusti Tuhan Anu. Begitu pula dengan sebutan “pangeran” (Tuhan), tentu bukan Pangeran Diponegoro.
Jangan pula lupa bahwa agama Kristen/Katolik pun menyebut nama tuhan dengan Allah. Ini dinukilkan dari Wikipedia.
Sepuluh Perintah Allah, Sepuluh Firman Allah, atau Dasa Titah atau bahasa Latinnya Dekalog (δέκα λόγοι) adalah daftar perintah agama dan moral, yang merupakan sepuluh perintah yang ditulis oleh Tuhan dan diberikan kepada bangsa Israel melalui perantaraan Musa di gunung Sinai dalam bentuk dua tablet (lempengan–Pen.) batu. Perintah-perintah tersebut memiliki keistimewaan yang terkenal dalam agama Yahudi dan Kristen. Frasa ‘Sepuluh Perintah’ secara biasa menunjuk kepada bacaan yang sangat serupa dalam Keluaran 20:2-17 dan Ulangan 5:6-21. Sebagian membedakan ‘Etiket Dekalog’ dengan seri Sepuluh Perintah dalam Keluaran 34 yang dinamakan ‘Ritual Dekalog’.
- Akulah Tuhan, Allahmu,
- Jangan menyembah berhala, berbaktilah kepada-Ku saja, dan cintailah Aku lebih dari segala sesuatu.
- Jangan menyebut Nama Tuhan Allahmu dengan tidak hormat.
- Kuduskanlah hari Tuhan.
- Hormatilah ibu-bapamu.
- Jangan membunuh.
- Jangan berzinah.
- Jangan mencuri.
- Jangan bersaksi dusta tentang sesamamu.
- Jangan mengingini istri sesamamu.
- Jangan mengingini milik sesamamu secara tidak adil.
Stop dulu! Perintah pertama mengandung larangan menyembah berhala. Dan ini “agama” Musa, agama Kristen, agama Katolik. Salahkah jika Islam melarang menyembah berhala (yang ada di Ka’bah), dan menghancurkannya agar tidak dijadikan sesembahan? Biadabkah Islam? Jadi agama Musa, agama Kristen, agama Katolik juga biadab karena melarang menyembah berhala?
Kembali ke sebutan Allah. Itu sama halnya dengan sebutan “kitab” (Q.S. 2: Al-Baqarah:2) “dzaalikal-kitaabu laa rayba fiihi” (kitab yang tidak ada keraguan akan kebenaran isi yang ada di dalamnya) itu menunjuk pada kitab yang tertentu, kitab yang disebut Al-Qur’an. Bahasa Arabnya menggunakan “dzalika,” yang itu (that–Inggris )
Islam Penerus agama “pagan” Arab?
Apakah Islam Muhammad hanya meneruskan agama “pagan” Arab? Bisa ya, bisa tidak. Yang tampaknya paling logis adalah “meluruskan” agama “pagan” Arab! Meluruskan karena dengan sendirinya agama”pagan Arab” itu memang bengkok, atau semula lurus kemudian menjadi bengkok (dibengkokkan), sehingga harus diluruskan kembali. Demikianlah dengan sebutan nama Allah (Tuhan). Bisa jadi sebutan yang sama tapi sudah berubah makna, sehingga harus diluruskan dibenarkan lagi, bahwa Allah yang benar itu adalah Allah yang itu (versi Islam).
Kenapa Allah bersumpah dengan yang lebih “rendah”?
Ada komentar bahwa tuhan Allah Islam itu lemah, tidak punya kekuasaan, karena ia bersumpah dengan bulan, dengan matahari, dengan bumi dan lain-lain yang statusnya lebih rendah daripada-Nya. Lazimnya jika bersumpah tentu dengan yang lebih “tinggi” (kuasa) dari diri sendiri. Jadi Allah Islam lemah karena bersumpah dengan makhluk ciptaanNya.
Ketika orang bersumpah, sumpah itu akan, misalnya, berbunyi begini: “Demi Allah (wallahi, tallahi) aku bersumpah, aku akan menjalankan tugasku sebaik-baiknya.” Atau, “Demi Allah, aku tidak berbohong.” Maksudnya, jika berbohong biarlah Allah memurkai.
Ketika Allah bersumpah, Allah berfirman (misalnya), “Demi masa (al-‘ashr).” Titik. “Demi waktu dhuha (wadh-dhuha).” Titik. “Demi matahari (wasy-syams).” Titik. “Demi jiwa (wal-nafs).” Titik. Bersumpah apa? Agar dimurkai oleh masa, waktu dhuha, matahari, atau jiwa? Tidak ada tersurat dan tersirat yang serupa itu. Jadi, beda sekali sumpahnya, kan! Loagikanya, tuhan Allah tidak sedang menunjukkan “inferirornya” di bawah makhluk-makhluknya ketika “bersumpah,” karena tidak ada konsekuensi apapun dari bersumpahnya itu terhadap dirinya.
Nah,berikut disajikan dua artikel sebagai penambah wawasan. Pertama, tentang sebutan nama Allah. Kedua, tentang agama di Arab sebelum Islam (termasuk penjelasan mengenai para berhala–yang jelas bukan Hindu!).
“God Names” Blog
Who is Allah?
Answering this question is indeed one of the chief aims of this site. We quote extensively from a very insightful piece by Abu Iman Abdur-Rahman Robert Squires who writes in an article entitled “Who Is Allah?”:
Some of the biggest misconceptions that many non-Muslims have about Islam have to do with the word “Allah”. For various reasons, many people have come to believe that Muslims worship a different God than Christians and Jews. This is totally false, since “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for “God” – and there is only One God. Let there be no doubt – Muslims worship the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus – peace be upon them all. However, it is certainly true that Jews, Christians and Muslims all have different concepts of Almighty God. For example, Muslims – like Jews – reject the Christian beliefs of the Trinity and the Divine Incarnation. This, however, doesn’t mean that each of these three religions worships a different God – because, as we have already said, there is only One True God. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim to be “Abrahamic Faiths”, and all of them are also classified as “monotheistic”. However, Islam teaches that other religions have, in one way or another, distorted and nullified a pure and proper belief in Almighty God by neglecting His true teachings and mixing them with man-made ideas.
First of all, it is important to note that “Allah” is the same word that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use for God. If you pick up an Arabic Bible, you will see the word “Allah” being used where “God” is used in English. (Click here to see some examples of the word “Allah” in the Arabic Bible.) This is because “Allah” is the only word in the Arabic language equivalent to the English word “God” with a capital “G”. Additionally, the word “Allah” cannot be made plural or given gender (i.e. masculine or feminine), which goes hand-in-hand with the Islamic concept of God. Because of this, and also because the Qur’an, which is the holy scripture of Muslims, was revealed in the Arabic language, some Muslims use the word “Allah” for “God”, even when they are speaking other languages. This is not unique to the word “Allah”, since many Muslims tend to use Arabic words when discussing Islamic issues, regardless of the language which they speak. This is because the universal teachings of Islam – even though they have been translated in every major language – have been preserved in the Arabic language. It is interesting to note that the Aramaic word “El”, which is the word for God in the language that Jesus spoke, is certainly more similar in sound to the word “Allah” than the English word “God”. This also holds true for the various Hebrew words for God, which are “El” and “Elah”, and the plural form “Elohim”. The reason for these similarities is that Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic are all Semitic languages with common origins. It should also be noted that in translating the Bible into English, the Hebrew word “El” is translated variously as “God”, “God” and “angel”! This imprecise language allows different translators, based on their preconceived notions, to translate the word to fit their own views. The Arabic word “Allah” presents no such difficulty or ambiguity, since it is only used for Almighty God alone. Additionally, in English, the only difference between “God”, meaning a false God, and “God”, meaning the One True God, is the capital “G”. In the Arabic alphabet, since it does not have capital letters, the word for God (i.e. Allah) is formed by adding the equivalent to the English word “the” (Al-) to the Arabic word for “God/God” (ilah). So the Arabic word “Allah” literally it means “The God” – the “Al-” in Arabic basically serving the same function as the capital “G” in English. Due to the above mentioned facts, a more accurate translation of the word “Allah” into English might be “The One -and-Only God” or “The One True God”.
More importantly, it should also be noted that the Arabic word “Allah” contains a deep religious message due to its root meaning and origin. This is because it stems from the Arabic verb ta’Allaha (or alaha), which means “to be worshipped”. Thus in Arabic, the word “Allah” means “The One who deserves all worship”. This, in a nutshell, is the Pure Monotheistic message of Islam. You see, according to Islam, “monotheism” is much more than simply believing in the existence of “only One God” – as seemingly opposed to two, three or more. If one understands the root meaning of the word “Allah”, this point should become clear. One should understand that Islam’s criticism of the other religions that claim to be “monotheistic” is not because they are “polytheistic” in the classic sense, but because they direct various forms of worship to other than Almighty God. We will discuss the meaning of worship in Islam below, however, before moving on it should be noted that many non-Muslims are unaware of the distinction between simply believing in the existence of only One God and reserving all worship for Him alone. Many Christians are painfully unaware of this point, and thus you often find them asking how Muslims can accuse the followers of Jesus, peace be upon him, of being “polytheists” when they were all “monotheistic Jews”. First of all, it should be clarified that the word “polytheist” doesn’t really sound right in this context, since to many it implies simply believing in the existence of more than one God. So in an Islamic context, “associators”, “man-worshippers” or “creature worshippers” might be more accurate and appropriate terms – especially since Christians believe Jesus to be both “100% God and 100% man”, while still paying lip-service to God’s “Oneness”. However, as we previously touched upon, what is really at the root of this problem is the fact that Christians – as well as the members of other religions – don’t really know what “monotheism” means – especially in the Islamic sense. All of the books, articles and papers that I’ve read which were written by Christians invariably limit “monotheism” to believing in the existence of “One Sovereign and Creator God”. Islam, however, teaches much more than this.
Suffice it to say that just because someone claims to be a “monotheistic” Jew, Christian or Muslim, that doesn’t keep them from falling into corrupt beliefs and idolatrous practices. Many people, including some Muslims, claim belief in “One God” even though they’ve fallen into acts of idolatry. Certainly, many Protestants accuse Roman Catholics of idolatrous practices in regards to the saints and the Virgin Mary. Likewise, the Greek Orthodox Church is considered “idolatrous” by many other Christians because in much of their worship they use icons. However, if you ask a Roman Catholic or a Greek Orthodox person if God is “One”, they will invariably answer: “Yes!”… …This brings us to a more important point: It should be clearly understood that what Islam is primarily concerned with is correcting mankind’s concept of Almighty God. What we are ultimately going to be held accountable at the end of our life is not whether we prefer the word “Allah” over the word “God”, but what our concept of God is. Language is only a side issue. A person can have an incorrect concept of God while using the word “Allah”, and likewise a person can have a correct concept of God while using the word “God”. This is because both of these words are equally capable of being misused and being improperly defined. As we’ve already mentioned, using the word “Allah” no more insinuates belief in the Unity of God than the use of the word “God” insinuates belief in the Trinity – or any
other theological opinion. Naturally, when God sends a revelation to mankind through a prophet, He is going to send it in a language that the people who receive it can understand and relate to. Almighty God makes this clear in the Qur’an, when He states:
Never did We send a Messenger except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people in order to make (things) clear to them.” (Qur’an, Chapter 14 – “Abraham”, Verse 4)
As Muslims, we think that it is unfortunate that we have to go into details on such seemingly minor issues, but so many falsehoods have been heaped upon our religion, that we feel that it is our duty to try to break down the barriers of falsehood. This isn’t always easy, since there is a lot of anti-Islamic literature in existence which tries to make Islam look like something strange and foreign to Westerners. There are some people out there, who are obviously not on the side of truth, that want to get people to believe that “Allah” is just some Arabian “God”, and that Islam is completely “other” – meaning that it has no common roots with the other Abrahamic religions (i.e. Christianity and Judaism). To say that Muslims worship a different “God” because they say “Allah” is just as illogical as saying that French people worship another God because they use the word “Dieu”, that Spanish-speaking people worship a different God because they say “Dios” or that the Hebrews worshipped a different God because they sometimes call Him “Yahweh”. Certainly, reasoning like this is quite ridiculous! It should also be mentioned, that claiming that any one language uses the only correct word for God is tantamount to denying the universality of God’s message to mankind, which was to all nations, tribes and people through various prophets who spoke different languages.”
Religion of the pre-Islamic Arabs
The following is an excerpt from Abdul Hameed Siddiqui’s Book The Life of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Sound Vision is serializing this book on the website.
No history of pre-Islamic Arabia would be complete without an account of the religion of the Arabs. Unfortunately the material which we possess does not enable us to form a complete and vivid picture of the religion of the ancient Arabs. Whatever we know about it comes to us through isolated statements of Greek writers and from Greek or Semitic inscriptions, poetical compilations of the old poets, the few anecdotes and traditions embedded in the later Islamic literature. Some information may also be gathered from polemical allusions in the Qur’an. Much credit goes to a few early Muslim scholars who laboriously collected and handed down to posterity, in a systematic form, information on heathen mythology and ritual. Among these scholars a specially prominent place must be assigned to Hisham al-Kalbi, usually known as Ibn al-Kalbi (819-920 C.E.), the author of Kitab al-Asnam (The Book of Idols).
Judged by the scanty evidence available, it suffices to show that Muhammad’s (may the peace of Allah be upon him) contemporaries and the generations immediately preceding them, had little of any religion.
To spiritual impulses he (the pagan Arab) was lukewarm, even indifferent. His conformity to religious practice followed tribal inertia and was dictated by his conservative respect for tradition. Nowhere do we find an illustration of genuine devotion to a heathen deity. A story told about Imru ‘al-Qays illustrates this point. Having set out to avenge the murder of his father he stopped at the temple of dhual-Khalasah to consult the oracle by means of drawing arrows. Upon drawing ‘abandon’ thrice, he hurled the broken arrows at the idol exclaiming, “Accursed One! Had it been thy father who was murdered thou wouldst not have forbidden my avenging him.” 1
The Arabs were undoubtedly indifferent towards religion, but that should not lead any one to conclude that they had no notion of religion whatsoever. They had had an idea of an All-Supreme power controlling the Universe, His Wrath and Favour, the life after death and the angels. But all these ideas had been adulterated with idolatry – that yearning of the baser self in a man for a visible object of devotion, something that the eye can see and the hands can touch, which finally develops into the worship of the creature more than that of the Creator. That the Arabs had a concept of an All-Powerful Lord can be illustrated from so many verses. Nabigha, for instance, says:
I took an oath and left no margin of doubt for who else can support man, besides Allah. 2
Zahir b. Abi. Salma in his well-known couplet affirms his faith in the day of judgement:
The deeds are recorded in the scroll to be presented on
The day of judgement;
Vengeance can be taken in this world too; 3
The Holy Qur’an eloquently testifies the fact that the unbelievers and polytheists of Arabia did not deny the existence of a Supreme Power, nor did they deny the fact that Allah is the Sole Creator of the heavens and the earth; or that the whole mechanism of nature is operated in accordance with His Command, that He pours down the rain, drives the winds, controls the sun, the moon, the earth and everything else. Says the Qur’an:
And if you ask them, Who created the heavens and the earth and constrained the sun and the moon (to their appointed task) they would say: Allah. How, then, are they turned away? (29:61)
And if thou were to ask them, Who causeth water to come down from the sky, and wherewith reviveth the earth after its death? they would verily say: Allah. (29:63)
And if you ask them Who created them they will surely say: Allah. How then are they turned away? (43:87)
And if you should ask them, Who created the heavens and the earth? they would most certainly say: The Mighty, the Knowing One has created them. (43:9)
These verses make it abundantly clear that the Arabs of pre-Islamic period believed in the existence of one Great Deity, but at the same time they entertained the notion that the All-Powerful Lord delegated His powers to some of His sacred personalities and objects – both animate and inanimate – who serve as the media through which the worshipper could come in contact with Him and thus earn His pleasure. It was under this misconception that they worshipped the idols of saintly persons, heavenly bodies and stones which were sometimes regarded not as divinities, but as the incarnations of Divine Being.
We have seen earlier that the Arabs had deep-rooted love for the tribe to which they belonged. This belief in the greatness and excellence of their tribe led them to carve a deity of their own and they sang hymns in its praise in order to win its favour. The tribe called Kalb worshipped Wadd, the Hudhayl worshipped Suwa. The tribe of Madh’hij as well as the people of Quraysh worshipped Yaghuth, the Khaywan worshipped Ya’uq. The last-named idol was placed in their village called Khaywan at a distance of two nights’ journey towards Mecca. Similarly the tribe of Himyar adopted Nasr as their god and worshipped it in a place called Balkha. The Himyar had also another temple (bayt) in San’a. It was called Ri’am, the people venerated it and offered sacrifices to it. 4
The most ancient of all these idols was Manah. The Arabs named their children after them as ‘Abd Manah and Zayd Manah. Manah was erected on the seashore in the vicinity of Mushallal in Qudayd, between Medina and Mecca. All the Arabs used to venerate her and offer sacrifices to her. The Aus and the Khazraj were her most faithful devotees. 5
Another goddess which was ardently worshipped by the Arabs was known as al-Lat. “She was a cubic rock beside which a certain Jew used to prepare his barley porridge (Sawiq). Her custody was in the hands of Banu Attab Ibn Malik of the Thaqif who had raised an edifice over her. She was venerated by the Quraysh and almost all the tribes of Arabia and they named their children after her, e.g., Zayd al-Lat and Taym al_Lat. The Arabs worshipped her till the tribe of Thaqif embraced Islam. It was on this occasion that Muhammad (may the peace of Allah be upon him) sent al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah to destroy this idol. It is recorded that when al-Lat was demolished, Shaddad ibn ‘Arid-al-Jushmai gave in verse a grim note of warning to the tribe of Thaqif:
Come not for help to al-Lat, Allah has doomed her to destruction.
How can you be helped by one who is not victorious,
Verily, that which, when set on fire, resisted not the flames.
Nor saved her stones, inglorious and worthless.
Hence when the Prophet will arrive in your place,
Not one of her devotees shall be left at the time of his departures. 6
Still another goddess who was venerated by the Arabs is known as al-Uzza. She was introduced to the people by a person known as Zalim ibn As’ad. Her idol was erected in a valley in Nakhlat al-Shamiya called Hurad alongside al-Ghumyayr to the right of the road from Mecca to Iraq about Dhat-Iraq and nine miles from al_bustan. A grand superstructure was raised around it where the people would sit and receive oracular communication. It was a common practice with the Arabs to name their children after this goddess. The Quraysh were sent to circumambulate the Ka’bah and sing hymns for these goddesses whom they called ‘the daughters of Allah’: 7
By al-Lat and al-Uzza, and Manah,
The third idols beside, verily they are the most exalted females.
Whose intercession is to be sought after.
The Holy Qur’an has vehemently repudiated such foolish ideas and said in unequivocal terms:
Have ye seen Lat and Uzza and another? The third (goddess) Manah? What? For you the male sex and for Him, the female? Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair.
These are nothing but names which ye have devised, ye and your fathers – for which God had sent down no authority (whatever). They followed nothing but fancy and what their own souls desire. Even though there has already come to them guidance from the Lord. (53: 19-23).
The Quraysh also had several idols in and around the Ka’bah. The greatest of these was Hubal. It was carved out of red agate, in the form of a man with the right hand broken off. It stood inside the Ka’bah. Beside him stood ritual arrows used for divination by the soothsayer (Kahin) who drew lots. On one of these arrows the word Sarih was inscribed and on the other was written the word Mulsaq, which means ‘consociated alien’. Whenever the legitimacy of a new-born babe was questioned the Arabs would shuffle the arrows and then throw them. If the arrow shoed the word pure, it was finally decided that the child was legitimate. If, unfortunately, the arrow bearing the word ‘Mulsaq‘ was drawn, the child was condemned as illegitimate. There were also some other arrows which could help the Arabs in the divination concerning marriage, death or the success or failure of the intending journey. 8
The idol of Hubal was widely venerated by the Arabs, especially by the people of Mecca. It was the same idol which Abu Sufyan ibn Harb addressed when he emerged victorious after the battle of Uhud saying: “Hubal! be though exalted (i.e. may thy religion triumph).” At this the Prophet replied: “Allah is more Exalted, and more Majestic.” 9
Among other idols Usaf and Na’ilah are well-known. One of them stood close to the Ka’bah, while the other was placed by the side of the Zamzam. Later, both of them were set together near the sacred fountain and the Arabs offered sacrifices to both of them. Ibn al-Kalbi writes:
The Arabs were passionately devoted to the idols and worshipped them with fervour. Some of them erected a temple around which they centered their worship, whereas the others adopted venerated idols. A person who was devoid of means to build the temple for himself or carve an idol to worship it, would fix a stone in front of the sacred House or any other temple according to his desire and then circumambulate it in the same manner in which he would circumambulate around the Ka’bah. 10
They were so deeply attached to them that when any one amongst them intended to go on a journey, his last act before saying goodbye to the house, would be to touch the idol in the hope of an auspicious journey, and when he returned home the first act that he would perform was to touch it again with reverence in gratitude for a propitious return. 11
The Arabs called these stones to which they shoed veneration as ansab. Whenever these stones resembled a living form they called them idols (Asnam) and graven images (awthan). The act of circumambulating them was called circumrotation (dawr). 12
The Arabs were, however, fully conscious of excellence and superiority of Ka’bah to which they turned their steps for pilgrimage and visitation. The worship of the stones during their travels meant to perpetuate the religious ceremonies which they had performed at Ka’bah because of their immense devotion to it.
This practice originated in the custom of men carrying a stone from the sacred enclosures of Mecca when they set out on a journey, out of reverence for the Ka’bah and withersoever they went they set it up and made circumambulations round about it as is made around the Ka’bah till at the last they adored every goodly stone they saw, forgot their religion, and substituted the faith of Ibrahim and Isma’il with the worship of the images and the idols.
It will not be out of place to mention briefly some of the practices at the Ka’bah. Amongst these practices, it is interesting to note that some came down from the time of Ibrahim and Isma’il such as the veneration of the House and its circumambulation, the pilgrimage, the vigil (al-Wukuf) on ‘Arafah and al-Muzdalifah, sacrificing she-camels and raising the voice in the acclamation of the name of the Lord (tahlil) but the Meccans had polluted all sacred performances with idolatrous practices, for example, whenever they raised their voices in tahlil 13 they would declare their implicit faith in the unity of the Lord through the talbiyah, but it was not unity pure and simple. It was alloyed with the association of their gods with Him. Thus their talbiyah was expressed in these words:
Here we are, O Lord! Here we are! There is no associate for Thee except one who is thine. Thou has full supremacy over him and over everything that he possesses. 14
The Arabs, both men and women, circumambulated the Ka’bah in a state of nudity with their hands – clapping, shouting and singing 15 and it was thought to be an act of highest piety. The argument which they advanced to justify such an indecent act was that it was unfair on their part to perform this sacred ceremony in those very clothes in which they had committed sins. They vehemently stressed this point by saying: “We will not circumambulate with the dress in which we perpetrated crimes. We will not worship Allah in the attire in which we committed heinous acts. We will not circumambulate in attire in which we disobeyed our Lord.16
The history of pre-Islamic Arabia brings into light the fact that the Arabs, besides the worship of idols, worshipped the heavenly bodies, trees and dead heroes of their tribes. “The Sun (Shams) construed as feminine, was honoured by the several Arabian tribes with a sanctuary and an idol. The name ‘Abd Shams is found in many parts of the country. In the North we meet with the name Amr-I-Shams, “man of the Sun”. For the worship of the raising sun, we have the evidence of Abd-al-Sharq “servant of the Raising one.” 17 The heavenly bodies, especially worshipped were Canopus (Suhail), Sirius (al-Sh’ira), Aldebaran in Taurus with the planets Mercury (Utarid), Venus (al-Zuhra) Jupiter (al-Mushtri) and Sale states that the temple at Mecca was said to have been consecrated to Saturn (Zuhal). 18
The Arabs’ devotion to the Sun, Moon and other heavenly bodies is unquestionable; but it is wrong to infer from this that the religion of the Arabs or even of the Semites entirely rested upon the worship of the heavenly bodies. This theory is not supported by facts. The Arabs had so many deities which cannot be explained as astral powers. 19 There were not a few deities which were supposed to possess animal forms, e.g., Ya’uq represented by a horse and Nasr thought to have the figure of a vulture (Nasr). Yauq is said to have been god of the Hamdan or of the Morad or of both tribes. 20 “Nasr, the vulture-god is said to have been an idol of Himyarites.”21
Some of the Arabian deities seem to be personifications of abstract ideas, but they appear to have been conceived in a thoroughly concrete fashion. In particular, it is to be noticed that the Arabs, form a very early period, believed in the existence of certain supernatural powers which shaped their destiny. Thus, for instance time in the abstract form was popularly imagined to be the cause of all earthly misery. The Holy Qur’an also refers to this wrong belief of the Meccans:
“And they say: what is there but life in this world? We shall die and we live, and nothing but time can destroy us. But of that they have no knowledge. They merely conjecture.” (45:24)
The Arab poets had also been alluding to the action of Time (dahr, Zaman) which brings sorrows and adversities. Then there is a fate which determines course of life and irresistibly drives them to their destined ends. No one can change the pattern wrought by fate and no action, howsoever concentrated, can alter that which is unalterable. There is, however, one other expression, Maniyah, which often appears in poetry and throws a good deal of light on the fatalist views of the Arabs. The Meccans believed that he universe had been created by the Lord, but after bringing it into existence He had retired to the position of a silent spectator and now it was the driving force of time and fate which was moving it to its destined end and bringing into being new events and episodes of life. 22
In addition to these deities the pagan Arabs looked upon their priests with the same reverence as they had for their gods. In this class figured high the care-takers of temples and other sanctuaries. The priest or temple-guard (the Arabic word is Sadin), was, like the Nordic Code, a venerable man who was regarded as the owner of the sacred precinct. As a rule this privilege of ownership and direction belonged to a clan whose chief was the actual priest, but any member of the tribe could carry out the priestly functions, which, in addition to the guarding of the sacred grove, building of the idols, and the treasury where the votine gifts were stored, consisted of the practice of casting lots to determine the will of God, or to obtain His advice concerning important undertakings. The Priest also served as an intermediary between the mortal and his Master.
Besides priesthood, there was a certain guild of seers whose members received their esoteric knowledge from spirit. Kahins, as they were called, were supposed to possess the power of foretelling the coming events and of performing other superhuman feats. Any one who was eager to known what the future had in store for him would go in their presence with presents of food and animals. Sacrifices were offered at their feet and Kahin would then lend his ear to a mysterious “voice from the heaven” known as the “oracle” and communicate it to the person concerned. 23
The pagan Arabs included the poet also in the category of those mysterious beings who are endowed with supernatural knowledge, “a wizard in league with spirits (Jinn) or satans (Shayatin) and dependent on them the magical powers which he displayed…the pagan Sha’ir is the oracle of his tribe, their guide in peace and their champion in war. It was to him they turned for counsel when they sought new pastures; only at his word would they pitch or strike their ‘house of hair’. 24
Not only the idols, the stars and the saints, were worshipped in Arabia, but the demons and jinn also were venerated in every section of their society. “These jinn differed from the gods not so much in their natures as in their relation to man. The gods are, on the whole friendly; the jinn, hostile. The latter are, of course, personifications of the fantastic notions of the terrors of the desert and its wild animal life. To the gods belong the regions frequented by man, to the jinn belong the unknown and untrodden parts of the wilderness.” 25
The Arabs also adored the graves of their forefathers and sought assistance from the departed souls in the hour of distress. They believed that the souls of the dead person had the power to incarnate itself in different bodies, both human and non-human.
The belief in signs as betokening future events, was, of course, found no less among the Arabs than among other peoples. Some birds were regarded as auspicious, other as ominous. The animals that crossed a man’s path and the direction in which they moved alike conveyed a meaning. Many of these signs were such as every one could understand; others were intelligible only to persons especially trained. One peculiar art consisted in scaring birds and drawing omens from their flight; this operation was known as Zajr. 26
The pages of history reveal the fact that fire was also worshipped in Arabia as a symbol of divine power. This practice seems to have penetrated in the Arab lands from their neighboring country Persia, where it had been rooted deeply. The Magian religion was popular particularly with the tribe of Tamim.
The Jews who fled in great numbers into Arabia from the fearful destruction of their country by the Romans made proselytes of several tribes, those of Kinanah, al Harith Ibn Ka’bah, and Kindah in particular, and in time became very powerful, and possessed of several towns and fortresses. “But the Jewish religion was not unknown to the Arabs at least about a century before. Abu Qarib Asad who was the king of Yemen introduced Judaism among the idolatrous Himyarites.” 27
Christianity had likewise made a little progress amongst the Arabs before the advent of Muhammad (may the peace of Allah be upon him). How this religion was actually introduced into this land is uncertain, but the persecutions and disorders which took place in the Eastern Church soon after the beginning of the third century, obliged great number of Christians to seek shelter in that country of liberty. “The principal tribes that embraced Christianity were Himyar, Ghassan, Rabi’a, Tagh’ab, Bahra, Tunukh, part of the Tay and Khud’a, the inhabitants of Najran, and the Arabs of Hira. As to the two last, it may be observed that those of Najran became Christian in the time of Dhu Nuwas” 28
Christianity as a religion could not, however, succeed in making a permanent hold in Arabia and could not supersede idolatry. The Christian anchorites, dwelling in their solitary cells in the country aided in gaining scattered converts amongst the Arabs. This failure of the Christian monks in spreading the Gospel among the people of Arabia may be attributed to the fact that by the time of its penetration into Arabia, it had ceased to be a living force. It was a mere hotchpotch of dogmas and transcendental hopes having no relationship with the practical life. Its promoters, the clergymen, had degenerated themselves into a class of selfseekers:
The clergy by drawing the abstrusest niceties into controversy, and dividing and subdividing about them into endless schisms and contentions, they had so destroyed that peace, love and charity from among them which the Gospel was given to promote, and instead thereof continually provoked each other to that malice, rancour, and every evil work, that they had lost the whole substance of their religion, while they thus eagerly contended for their own imaginations concerning it, and in a manner quite drove Christianity out of the world by those very controversies in which they disputed with each other about it. In those dark ages it was that most of those superstitions and corruptions we now just abhor in the Church of Rome were not only broached but established, which gave great advantages to the propagation of Muhammadanism. The worship of the saints and images, in particular, was then arrived at such a scandalous pitch that it even surpassed whatever is now practised amongst the Romanists. 29
Such were the real religious conditions of the Arabs before Muhammad (may the peace of Allah be upon him). “Causes are sometimes conjured up”, observes Muir, “to account for results produced by an agent apparently inadequate to effect them. Muhammad arose, and forthwith the Arabs were aroused to a new and a spiritual faith; hence the conclusion that Arabia was fermenting of the change and prepared to adopt it. To us, calmly reviewing the past, pre-Islamic history belies the assumption. After five centuries of Christian evangelisation, we can point to but a sprinkling here and there of Christian converts, the Bani Harith of Nairan; the Bani Hanifa of Yemena; some of the Bani Tay at Tayma; and hardly any more. Judaism, vastly more powerful, had exhibited spasmodic efforts at proselytism; but, as an active and converting agent, the Jewish faith was no longer operative. In fact, viewed in a religious aspect, the surface of Arabia had been now and then gently rippled by the feeble efforts of Christianity, the sterner influences of Judaism had been occasionally visible in a deeper and more troubled current; but the tide of indigenous idolatry and Ishmaelite superstition setting strongly from every quarter towards the Ka’bah gave ample evidence that the faith and worship of Mecca held the Arab mind in a rigorous and undisputed thraldom.” 30
1. Phillip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs (London, 1951), p. 96
2. Ibn Qutayba, al-Sh’r-wa’asl-Shu’ara, p. 110.
3. Ibid., p. 88
4. Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi, Kitab al-Asnam, edited by Ahmad Zaki Pasha. (Cairo, 1927), pp. 9-14.
5. Ibid., p. 14.
6. Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi, op. cit., p. 17.
7. Ibid, pp. 26-28.
8. Hisham Al-Ibn Kalbi, op. cit., p. 28.
10. Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi, op. cit., p. 33.
12. Ibid., p. 33
13. The formula of the tahlil is – La-ilaha illa-Allah (There is no god but Allah).
14. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya, wa’al-Nihaya (Cairo, 1932), Vol. II, 188.
15. This seems to be implied in the Qur’anic reference to the pagan Meccan: Their prayers at the House are nothing else than whistling through the fingers, and clapping of hands.” (8:35).
16. Dr. Jawad Ali: Tarikh al-Arab Qabl al-Islam, Matba’al-Ilm al-Iraqi (1955), Vol. V, p. 225.
17. Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Article “Ancient Arab”, Vol. 1, p. 661.
18. J.W.H. Stobbart, Islam and its Founder, p. 32.
19. Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Article “Ancient Arab”
20. W. Robertson Smith: Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, p. 208.
21. Ibid, p. 209.
22. Sayyid Mahmud Shakir al-Alusi: Bulugh al-Irb-fi Ahwal al ‘Arab (Cairo), Vol. II, pp. 220-21.
23. Dr. Jawad Ali: Tarikh al-Arab, Vol. V, p.177.
24. Nicholson: A Literary History of the Arabs, pp. 72-73.
25. Hitti, History of the Arabs, p. 98.
26. Jawad Ali: Tarikh al-Arab, Vol. V, p.40.
27. Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. I, p. 667 “Arabs, Ancient”, (N.Y., 1908).
28. E.M. Wherry, A Commentary of the Qur’an, (London, 1882).
29. E.M. Wherry, A Commentary of the Qur’an, (London, 1882), Vol. I, pp. 61-62.
30. William Muir, Life of Muhammad p. lxxxv.
Nah, tambah lagi. Ini artikel tentang apakah nama Allah itu menunjuk pada Dewa Bulan (karena orang Islam suka menggunakan lambang bulan sabit). Tulisan (komenar) ini ditujukan pada penulis provokator yang ternyata penipu besar, pembohong yang ilmuwan tapi sama sekali tidak menunjukkan etika ilmiah.
Dr. Robert Morey proves in his book that Allah is the name of the moon god worshipped in Arabia before Islam. Is he right?
The book you refer to is entitled The Islamic Invasion: Confronting the World’s Fastest Growing Religion, published by Harvest House Publishers, Oregon, US, 1992. 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 combating Islam. To prove his contention that Allah 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 (see quotations on pages 47-53 of Dr. Morey’s book).
Dr. Morey quoted from the Encyclopedia Britannica to support his case. But in fact the Encyclopedia says: Allah is the standard Arabic word for “God” and is used by Arab Christians as well as by Muslims (Britannica, 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 Mohammedanism, Gibb says on page 26 that both Muhammad and his opponents believed in “the existence of a supreme God Allah.” Gibb further explained this on pages 37-38 (see Mohammedanism by H.A.R. Gibb, Oxford University Press, 1969). 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 Allah 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 (Islam by Alfred Guillaume, Penguin, 1956, p.7).
How could Dr. Morey misquote like this? Furthermore, Dr. Morey 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 Il by the Babylonians and El by the Israelites was called ilah, al- ilah, and eventually Allah in Arabia (see Islam: beliefs and Observances, by Caesar Farah, Barron’s Educational Series, 4th Edition, p.28). Farah says further on page 31 that before Islam the pagans had already believed that Allah is the supreme deity. Of course they had 360 idols, but, contrary to Dr. Morey’s assertion, Allah 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 Allah is similar to the Greek term ho theos which we know is the way God is referred to in the New Testament (see Muhammad; Prophet and Statesman by William Montgomery Watt, Oxford University Press, 1964, p.26).
Dr. Morey also 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:
Since both 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. (The Call of the Minaret by Kenneth Cragg, Oxford University Press, 1964, p. 36). Further on the same page, Cragg explains that the One whom the Muslims call Allah is the same One whom the Christians call ‘the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’, although the two faiths understand Him differently.
Dr. Morey 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 truth.
Wallahu a’lam (Hanya Allah Yang Mahatahu akan kebenaran hakiki segala sesuatu). ***