In this post I am going provide the evidence that Islam is nothing more than the religion of Baal under the guise of Abrahamic ethical monotheism.
HUBAL: MECCA’S CHIEF DEITY
There is solid evidence connecting the pre-Islamic Allah with the moon. According to the scholarly sources, the chief god worshiped at Mecca was Hubal, whom many authorities claim was the moon god.
Hubal Chief god of the Ka ‘ba; a martial and oracular deity; a moon god. (Gods, Goddesses and Mythology, ed. C. Scott Littleton [Marshal Cavendish Corporation 2005], Volume 11, p. 137)
Hubal – an idol, the God of the Moon. Centuries before Islam, ‘Amr ibn Luhayy, a chief of the tribe of Jurhum who dwelt in Mecca before the coming of the Quraysh tribe, brought the idol to the city from Syria. It was set up in the Ka‘bah and became the principal idol of the pagan Meccans. The ritual casting of lots and divining arrows was performed in front of it.
Hubal was pulled down and used as a doorstep when the Prophet conquered Mecca and purified the Ka‘bah. See IDOLS: JAHILIYYAH (Cyril Glasse, The New Encyclopedia of Islam, Third Edition [Stacey International, 2008], p. 209; underline emphasis mine)
Of the 360 idols set up in the Ka‘bah, the most important was Hubal, the god of the moon. Upon the conquest of Mecca the Prophet cut open some of these idols with a sword and black smoke is said to have issued forth from them, a sign of the psychic influences which had made these idols their dwelling place. The Prophet turned the idol of Hubal into a doorstep. (Ibid., p. 235; underline emphasis mine)
al-‘Uzza. One of the more important idols of the pagan Arabs, closely associated with al-Lat and al-Manat. All three were considered to be females. It is known that human sacrifice had been made to them on occasion. The other principal idol of the Meccans was Hubal, god of the Moon. See IDOLS (Ibid., p. 543; underline emphasis mine)
Hubal A pre-Islamic deity represented by an idol in Kaaba that was destroyed by Muhammad when he conquered Mecca in 630. Patron of the Quraysh, leading tribe of Mecca. (The Oxford Dictionary of Islam [Oxford University Press, 2003], p. 117; underlined emphasis mine)
“The sira literature presents Mecca’s cult as a pagan one to the god Hubal, and depicts the Arabian religious environment in which Muhammad grew up as overwhelmingly pagan – the final vestiges of the ancient near eastern religious tradition…” (The Cambridge Companion to the Qur’an, ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe [Cambridge University Press, 2006], p. 24; bold emphasis mine)
“Among the many deities that the Arabs worshiped in and around the Ka‘bah were the god Hubal and the three goddesses Al-Lat, al- ‘Uzza, and Manat. Hubal was originally a moon god, and perhaps also a rain god, as hubal means ‘vapor.’ …” (Mahmoud M. Ayoub, Islam: Faith and History [Oneworld Publications Ltd., 2005)], p. 15; bold emphasis mine)
“Khuza ‘ah thus shared the guilt of Jurhum. They were also to blame in other respects: a chieftain of theirs, on his way back from a journey to Syria, had asked the Moabites to give him one of their idols. They gave him Hubal, which he brought back to the Sanctuary, setting it up within the Ka’bah itself; and it became THE CHIEF IDOL OF MECCA.” (Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources [Inner Traditions International, LTD. One Park Street, Rochestor Vermont 05767, 1983], p. 5; bold and capital emphasis mine)
“The Quraysh were wont to venerate her above all other idols. For this reason Zayd ibn-‘Amr ibn-Nufayl, who, during the Jahilyah days, had turned to the worship of God and renounced that of al-‘Uzza and of the other idols, said:
‘I have renounced both Allat and al-‘Uzza,
For thus would the brave and the robust do.
No more do I worship al-‘Uzza and her two daughters,
Or visit the two idols of the banu-Ghanm;
Nor do I journey to Hubal and adore it,
ALTHOUGH IT WAS OUR LORD WHEN I WAS YOUNG.’…
“The Quraysh had also several idols in and around the Ka’bah. The greatest of these was Hubal. It was, as I was told, of red agate, in the form of a man with the right hand broken off. It came into the possession of the Quraysh in this condition, and they, therefore, made for it a hand of gold. The first to set it up [for worship] was Khuzaymah ibn-Mudrikah ibn-al-Ya’s’ ibn-Mudar. Consequently it used to be called Khuzaymah’s Hubal.
“It stood inside the Ka’bah. In front of it were seven divination arrows (sing. qidh, pl. qidah or aqduh). On one of these arrows was written ‘pure’ (sarih), and on another ‘consociated alien’ (mulsag). Whenever the lineage of a new-born was doubted, they would offer a sacrifice to it [Hubal] and then shuffle the arrows and throw them. If the arrows showed the word ‘pure,’ the child would be declared legitimate and the tribe would accept him. If, however, the arrows showed the words ‘consociated alien,’ the child would be declared illegitimate and the tribe would reject him. The third arrow was for divination concerning the dead, while the fourth was for divination concerning marriage. The purpose of the three remaining arrows has not been explained. Whenever they disagreed concerning something, or purposed to embark upon a journey, or undertake some project, they would proceed to it [Hubal] and shuffle the divination arrows before it. Whatever result they obtained they would follow and do accordingly.
“It was before [Hubal] that ‘Abd-al-Muttalib shuffled the divination arrows [in order to find out which of his ten children he should sacrifice in fulfilment of a vow he had sworn], and the arrows pointed to his son ‘Abdullah, the father of the Prophet. Hubal was also the same idol which abu-Sufyan ibn-Harb addressed when he emerged victorious after the battle of Uhud, saying:
‘Hubal, be thou exalted’ (i.e. may thy religion triumph);
“To which the Prophet replied:
‘Allah is more exalted and more majestic.’”
(Hisham Ibn al-Kalbi, The Book of Idols (Kitab Al-Asnam), Translated with Introduction and Notes by Nabih Amin Faris, pp. 19, 23-24)
Not only was Hubal considered the chief Meccan deity he was also identified as the lord and god of the kabah. Even the black stone of the kabah, which Muslims venerate till this day, was associated with Hubal:
“… The great god of Mecca was Hubal, an idol of carnelian.” (Maxime Rodinson, Muhammad [New Press, NY, May 2000 ISBN: 1565847520], p. 16; bold emphasis mine)
“… The Ka’ba which may have initially been a shrine of Hubal alone, housed several idols…” (Ibid., p. 40; bold emphasis mine)
“… The presiding deity was Hubal, a large carnelian kept inside the temple; 360 other idols were arranged outside…” (Malise Ruthven, Islam in the World [Oxford University Press, Second edition 2000], p. 15; bold emphasis mine)
“… Although originally under the aegis of the pagan god Hubal, the Makkan haram which centered around the well of Zamzam, may have become associated with the ancestral figures of Ibrahim and Isma’il as the Arab traders, shedding their parochial backgrounds sought to locate themselves within the broader reference-frame of Judeo-Christianity.” (Ibid., p. 17; bold emphasis mine)
“… the god of Makka, Hubal, represented by a statue of red carnelian, is thought to have been originally a totem of the Khuza’a, rulers of Makka before their displacement by the Quraysh…” (Ibid. p. 28; bold emphasis mine)
“… At the center of the town was the shrine called the Ka‘ba – a large, cubical building with a sacred black stone affixed in one corner – that was the sanctuary to the pagan god Hubal…” (Fred McGraw Donner, Muhammad And The Believers: At The Origins Of Islam [Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010], 1. The Near East on the Eve of Islam, p. 35; bold emphasis mine)
“… In the Ka‘ba was the statue of the god Hubal who might be called the god of Mecca and of the Ka ‘ba. Caetani gives great prominence to the connection between the Ka‘ba and Hubal. Besides him, however, al-Lat, al-‘Uzza, and al-Manat were worshipped and are mentioned in the Kur’an; Hubal is never mentioned there. What position Allah held beside these is not exactly known. The Islamic tradition has certainly elevated him at the expense of other deities.” (M. Th. Houtsma, E. J. Brill’s First Encyclopedia of Islam 1913-1936, Volume IV, p. 591; bold emphasis mine)
“… The question might even be asked whether and how far the Ka‘ba was regarded as an astral symbol. For the affirmative there is the fact that the Ka‘ba is the object of the tawaf and that tawaf and Kab‘a are represented by Muslim tradition itself as connected with the host of spirits round the throne of God. The throne of God is, as is well known, a cosmic magnitude, and the Ka‘ba and the Black Stone are described as the throne of God’s khalifa on earth, Adam. The dance of the heavenly spirits can easily be interpreted as a dance of the planets. Moreover, golden suns and moons are repeatedly mentioned among the votive gifts (al-Azraki, p. 155 sqq.). According to al-Mas ‘udi (Murudj, iv. 47), certain people regarded the Ka‘ba as a temple devoted to the sun, the moon and the five planets. The 360 idols placed round the Ka‘ba also point in this direction. It can therefore hardly be denied that traces exist of astral symbolism. At the same time one can safely say that there can be no question of any general conception on these lines. The cult at the Ka‘ba was in the heathen period syncretic as is usual in heathenism. How far also North Semitic cults were represented in Mecca cannot be exactly ascertained. It is not excluded that Allah was of Aramaic origin. The dove of aloe wood which Muhammad found existing in the Ka‘ba may have been devoted to the Semitic Venus.” (Ibid.; bold emphasis ours)
“… Before Muhammad appeared, the Kaaba was surrounded by 360 idols, and every Arab house had its god. Arabs also believed in jinn (subtle beings), and some vague divinity with many offspring. Among the major deities of the pre-Islamic era were al-Lat (‘the Goddess’), worshiped in the shape of a square stone; al-Uzza (‘the Mighty’), a goddess identified with the morning star and worshiped as a thigh-bone shaped slab of granite between al-Taif and Mecca; Manat, the goddess of destiny, worshiped as a black stone on the road between Mecca and Medina; and the moon god, Hubal, whose worship was connected with the Black Stone of the Kaaba.” (Peter Occhiogrosso, The Joy Of Sects: A Spirited Guide To The World’s Religious Traditions [An Image Book published by DoubleDay, 1996], p. 399; underline emphasis mine)
“… At the time of Muhammad, the Ka’abah was OFFICIALLY DEDICATED to the god Hubal, a deity who had been imported into Arabia from the Nabateans in what is now Jordan. But the pre-eminence of the shrine as well as the common belief in Mecca seems to suggest that it may have been dedicated originally to al-Llah, the High God of the Arabs…” (Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet [Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0062508865; Reprint edition, October 1993], pp. 61-62; bold and capital emphasis mine)
“… Legend had it that Qusayy had travelled in Syria and brought the three goddesses al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat to the Hijaz and enthroned the Nabatean god Hubal in the Ka’abah…” (Ibid., p. 66; bold emphasis mine)
Even though Armstrong disassociates Allah from Hubal she, nonetheless, acknowledges that the latter was the chief god of the kaabah. Elsewhere she admits that the Islamic veneration of the black stone was initially a pagan practice which Muhammad adopted into his religion:
It is only our more modern culture that can afford to prize originality and jettison tradition wholesale. In pre-modern society, continuity was crucial. Muhammad did not envisage a violent rupture with the past or with other faith communities. He wanted to root the new scripture in the spiritual landscape of Arabia.
Hence Muslims continue to perform the customary rituals at the Kabah, the cube-shaped shrine in the heart of Mecca, the most important centre of worship in Arabia. It was extremely ancient even in Muhammad’s time, and the original meaning of the cult associated with it had been forgotten, but it was still loved by the Arabs, who assembled each year for the hajj pilgrimage from all over the peninsula. They would circle the shrine seven times, following the direction of the sun around the earth; KISS THE BLACK STONE embedded in the wall of the Kabah, which was probably a meteorite that had once hurled to the ground, linking the site to heavenly world. These rites (known as the umrah) could be performed at any time, but during the hajj pilgrims would also run from the steps of al-Safa beside the Kabah across the valley to al-Marwah, where they prayed. They then moved to the environs of Mecca: on the plain of Arafat, they stood all night in vigil; they rushed in a body to the hollow of Muzdalifah; hurled pebbles at a rock in Mina, shaved their heads, and on the Id al-Adha, the final day of the pilgrimage, they performed an animal sacrifice… Officially, the shrine was dedicated to Hubal, a Nabatean deity, and there was 360 idols arranged around the Kabah, probably representing the days of the year. But by Muhammad’s day, it seems that the Kabah was venerated as the shrine of Allah, the High God, and it is a mark of widespread conviction that Allah was the same as the deity worshipped by the monotheists that those Arabs in the northern tribes on the borders of the Byzantine Empire who had converted to Christianity used to make the hajj alongside the pagans. Yet for all this, in the early days of his mission, Muhammad still made the Muslim perform the salat prayer facing Jerusalem, the holy city of the ahl al-kitab, turning their backs on the pagan associations of the Kabah. This expressed his longing to bring the Arabs into the monotheistic family. (Karen Armstrong, Islam: A Short History [Random House, Inc. 2002], pp. 10-12; bold and capital emphasis mine)
HUBAL: THE ARABIC NAME FOR BAAL
Many scholars, both ancient and modern, were/are of the opinion that Hubal was simply the Arabic equivalent of the false god Baal.
For instance, F.E. Peters, though shares Karen Armstrong’s view that Hubal wasn’t Allah, nonetheless writes:
“Among the gods worshiped by the Quraysh, the greatest was Hubal …
Some additional details on this cleromantic deity, the most powerful of the pagan idols of Mecca, is supplied by the Meccan historian Azraqi …
Amr ibn Luhayy brought with him (to Mecca) an idol called Hubal from the land of Hit in Mesopotamia. Hubal was one of the Quraysh’s greatest idols so he set it up at the well inside the Kab’a and ordered the people to worship it. Thus a man coming back from a journey would visit it and circumambulate the House before going to his family, and would shave his hair before it … (Peters, Hajj: The Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca and the Holy Places [Princeton University Press, NJ, 1994], pp. 24-25)
Peters’ footnote 59 states:
“Other sources say that it came from northern Jordan.” (Ibid., p. 365)
The data points in the direction of Hubal being the Arabic for the Hebrew Ha Baal, “the Baal.” For instance, Peters’ statement above regarding Amr ibn Luhayy bringing Hubal from Mesopotamia provides evidence that the idol was a representation of Baal.
Late Muslim scholar Martin Lings, while commenting on the origin of paganism in Mecca, further supports this when he writes:
“Khuza ‘ah thus shared the guilt of Jurhum. They were also to blame in other respects: a chieftain of theirs, on his way back from a journey to SYRIA, had asked the MOABITES to give him ONE OF THEIR IDOLS. They gave him HUBAL, which he brought back to the Sanctuary, setting it up within the Ka’bah itself; and it became THE CHIEF IDOL OF MECCA.” (Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources [Inner Traditions International, LTD. One Park Street, Rochestor Vermont 05767, 1983], p. 5; bold and capital emphasis mine)
Commenting on ‘Abd al-Muttalib’s rediscovery of the well of Zamzam and its treasures, Lings writes:
“… So ‘Abd al-Muttalib continued to dig without any actual move being made to stop him; and some of the people were already leaving the sanctuary when suddenly he struck the well’s stone covering and uttered a cry of thanksgiving to God. The crowd reassembled and increased; and when he began to dig out the treasure which Jurhum had buried there, everyone claimed the right to share in it. ‘Abd al-Muttalib agreed that lots should be cast for each object, as to whether it should be kept in the sanctuary or go to him personally or be divided amongst the tribe. This had become the recognised way of deciding an issue of doubt, and it was done by means of divining arrows inside the Ka’bah, in front of THE MOABITE IDOL HUBAL …” (Lings, p. 11; bold and capital emphasis mine)
Renowned Muslim scholar Ibn Kathir noted:
Ibn Hisham states that a learned man told him that ‘Amr b. Luhayy once left Mecca for Syria on business and reached Ma’ab [the Moabites] in the Balqa‘ region. There at that time lived the ‘Amaliq [the Amalekites], the sons of ‘Imlaq or, as some say, ‘Imliq b. Lawadh b. Sam b. Nuh. ‘Amr witnessed them worshipping idols, so he asked them why. They replied that if they asked the idols for rain it came, or for victory they won it.
‘Amr then asked them to give him an idol he could take to Arab lands where it could be worshipped, and they gave him one named Hubal. This he brought to Mecca and set on a pedestal and ordered the people to worship and venerate it. (The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), Volume I, translated by professor Trevor Le Gassick, reviewed by Dr. Ahmed Fareed [Garnet Publishing Limited, 8 Southern Court, South Street Reading RG1 4QS, UK; The Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization, 1998], p. 42; bold emphasis and comments in brackets mine)
Other sources include:
“The Kaaba itself, which was the sanctuary of the Pagan Arabs, and remained such after they had embraced Islam, is a building about thirty-four feet high and about twenty-seven broad, so called from being almost a perfect square, as the name implies. In this building we find no less than 360 idols; a chief of them, Hubal, was at once the presiding god in the temple and the principal deity of the Koreishites, who were its guardians. The pre-eminence of this idol was evinced by the fact, that before it, the casting of lots with arrows took place. Prior, however, to its obtaining this honour, it passed through a term of probation, for we learn upon good authority, that for a considerable period it stood outside the walls of the Kaaba, patiently waiting for its admission. It was probably introduced when the sanctuary of the Koreish tribe was converted into the Pantheon of the whole of Arabia. The name of Hubal remains a mystery. The opinion that it is synonymous with the Babylonian and Syrian Baal or Bel is supported by the testimony of Arab authorities, according to whom Hubal was originally imported from Syria. These writers do not indeed maintain that Hubal was identical with Baal, but they admit Hubal to be an astronomical deity.
“Again, when it is stated by Abulfeda that the image of Abraham occupied the chief in the Kaaba, and that he was represented by Hubal, we may take it for granted that Hubal had a double character, like Baal, who was both the founder of the Babylonian empire and the solar deity…” (John Muehleisen Arnold, Islam: Its History, Character, and Relation to Christianity, Chapter I. The Land Of Its Birth, The Pre-Islamite Kaaba, pp. 26-27; bold emphasis mine)
“As well as worshipping idols and spirits, found in animals, plants, rocks and water, the ancient Arabs believed in several major gods and goddesses whom they considered to hold supreme power over all things. The most famous of these were Al-lat, Al-‘Uzza, Manat and Hubal. The first three were thought to be the daughters of Allah (God) and their intercessions on behalf of their worshippers were therefore of great significance…
“Al-lat, also known as Alilat, was worshiped in the shape of a square white stone. She was know to other Semitic people in Syria and Mesopotamia, and was the Mother Goddess of Palmyra (in northern Syria), whose symbol was the lion. The Nabataeans of south Jordan and south Palestine worshiped her as the sun goddess, the giver of life. In Mecca, Al-lat had a haram (sanctuary) and a hima where the Arabs flocked to perform the rites of worship and sacrifice which would bring her favour upon them.
“Al-‘Uzza was worshiped in the form of three palm trees, a stone and an idol. She was the supreme deity of the tribe of Quraysh, the rulers of Mecca immediately before Islam. She had a temple and a hima there and was offered gifts in gold and silver and adorned with jewellery. Her name means ‘the most cherished’ but she was a cruel goddess who could be appeased only by the shedding of blood, both human and animal. Like Al-lat, al-‘Uzza was associated with the goddess of love, al-Zuhara, but was more closely linked with Al-lat. The two were often worshipped together and sometimes formed a trinity with Manat or the god Hubal. Replicas of them were carried by the clans of Quraysh when they went to war to inspire the fighters with courage and devotion…
“Hubal was associated with the Semitic god Ba‘l and with Adonis or Tammuz, the gods of spring, fertility, agriculture and plenty… Hubal’s idol used to stand by the holy well inside the Sacred House…” (Fabled Cities, Princes & Jinn From Arab Myths and Legends, text by Khairet al-Saleh, illustrations by Rashad N. Salim [Schocken Books, New York 1985], p. 28; bold emphasis mine)
“In addition to the sun, moon and the star Al-Zuhara, the Arabs worshipped the planets Saturn, Mercury, and Jupiter, the stars Sirius and Canopies and the constellations of Orion, Ursa Major and Minor, and the seven Pleiades.
“Some stars and planets were given human characters. According to legend, Al-Dabaran, one of the stars in the Hyades group, fell deeply in love with Al-Thurayya, the fairest of the Pleiades stars. With the approval of the Moon, he asked for her hand in marriage. Al-Thurayya objected, saying coquettishly, ‘What would I do with a fellow like that, with no money?’” (Ibid., pp. 29-30; bold emphasis ours)
There is another indirect piece of evidence which links Allah to Baal. Franz Rosenthal, while commenting on the mass confusion which surrounded the Muslims regarding the precise meaning of as-samad (Cf. 112:2), posits a possible origin for the word. He says:
… There is enough room for suspicion to permit us having a look at some outside evidence.
There, we encounter a noteworthy phenomenon: the not infrequent religious connotation of the root smd.
In Ugaritic, smd appears as a stick or club that is wielded by Ba’l. In the Kilammu inscription, line 15, we find b’l smd, apparently, b’l as the owner of his divine club. In the Bible, the adherence of the Israelites to Baal of Peor is expressed by the nip’al of the root smd. The verb is translated by the Septuagint heteleuse (Numeri 25:3, 5; Ps. 106:28). The use of the verb doubtlessly reflects North Canaanite religious terminology.
From Arabic sources, we learn that an idol of ‘Ad was allegedly called samud, which brings us rather close to the environment of Muhammad…
In view of this material, the suggestion may be made that as-samad in the Qur’an is a survival of an ancient Northwest Semitic religious term, which may no longer have been understood by Muhammad himself, nor by the old poets (if the sawahid should be genuine). This suggestion would well account for the presence of the article with the word in the Qur’an, and it would especially well account for the hesitation of the commentators vis-a-vis so prominent a passage. Such hesitation is what we would expect if we are dealing with a pagan survival from the early period of the revelation. (What the Koran Really Says: Language, Text, & Commentary, “Some Minor Problems in the Qur’an”, edited with translation by Ibn Warraq [Prometheus Books, October, 2002, Hardcover; ISBN: 157392945X], part 5.2, pp. 336-337; bold and underline emphasis mine)
If Rosenthal is correct, then this is just additional support that Allah was the name of Hubal, and that Hubal was Arabic for Baal.
In light of the foregoing, it should not come as a surprise that a modern biography on Muhammad’s life comes right out and identifies Hubal as Baal:
Inside this holy of holies are stored all manner of sacred objects and images. These are said to include an icon of the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child and a portrait of the Prophet Abraham. But the shrine is dominated by a representation of the war god Baal Hubal, who watches over the city’s political destiny. At times of trouble the city elders can seek his advice by casting a quiver of divinatory arrows before idols and reading the future from the answers they give. (Barnaby Rogerson, The Prophet Muhammad – A Biography [HiddenSpring, An Imprint of Pauline Press, Mahwah, NJ 2003], p. 15; bold and underline emphasis mine)
The statue of the Syrian war god Hubal was hauled away, as were the divination arrows that the Quraysh had been wont to throw before the statue. (Ibid., p. 190; underline emphasis mine)
ALLAH: THE NAME OF THE IDOL HUBAL
There’s evidence suggesting that Allah was simply the name that the pagans gave to Hubal in recognition of the fact that he was the chief of all the gods. This means that the idol of Hubal was actually a statue of Allah, and therefore Allah was, in fact, one of the idols worshiped there!
In fact, the Islamic sources themselves provide indirect evidence which supports this view. For instance, Ibn Kathir shows that the god of Muhammad’s family was Hubal, and that his grandfather even prayed to Allah by facing Hubal’s idol!
“Ibn Ishaq stated, ‘It is claimed that when ‘Abd al-Muttalib received such opposition from Quraysh over the digging of zamzam, he vowed that if ten sons were born to him who grew up and protected him, he would sacrifice one of them for God at the ka‘ba.’
“Eventually he had ten sons grown up whom he knew would give him protection. Their names were al-Harith, al-Zubayr, Hajl, Dirar, al-Muqawwim, Abu Lahab, al-‘Abbas, Hamza, Abu Talib, and ‘Abd Allah. He assembled them and told them of his vow and asked them to honour his pledge to God, Almighty and All-glorious is He. They obeyed, and asked him what he wanted them to do. He asked each of them to take an arrow, write his name on it and return to him.
“They did so and went with them inside the ka‘ba to the site of their god Hubal, where there was the well in which offerings to the ka‘ba would be placed. There, near Hubal, were seven arrows which they would use for divining a judgement over some matter of consequence, a question of blood-money, kinship, or the like. They would come to Hubal to seek a resolution, accepting whatever they were ordered to do or to refrain from.” (The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), Volume I, translated by professor Trevor Le Gassick, reviewed by Dr. Ahmed Fareed [Garnet Publishing Limited, 8 Southern Court, south Street Reading RG1 4QS, UK; The Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization, 1998], pp. 125-126; *; bold emphasis mine)
The tradition goes on to say that the lot fell on ‘Abd Allah, Muhammad’s future father, meaning that he would have to be sacrificed. The Quraish convinced ‘Abd al-Muttalib to find a way of sparing his son, and convinced him to consult a woman diviner. The text continues:
“So they left for Medina, where they found the diviner whose name was Sajah, as Yunus b. Bukayr reported from Ibn Ishaq, was at Khaybar. They rode off again and went to her and sought her advice, ‘Abd al-Muttalib telling her of the whole problem regarding him and his son. She told him: ‘Leave me today, until my attendant spirit comes and I can ask him.’”
“They left her and ‘Abd al-Muttalib prayed to God. Next day they went back to her and she informed them that she had had a message. ‘How much is the blood-money you prescribe?’ she asked. ‘Ten camels,’ they told her, that being then the case. ‘Then go back to your land and present your man as an offering and do the same with the ten camels. Then cast arrows to decide between him and them. If the divining arrow points to him then add to the number of camels until your god is satisfied; if it points to the camels, then sacrifice them in his place. That way you will please your god and save your man.’
“So they went back to Mecca and, when they had agreed to do as she had said, ‘Abd al-Muttalib said prayers to God. Then they offered up ‘Abd Allah and the ten camels as sacrifice and cast the arrow. At that point the men of Quraysh told ‘Abd al-Muttalib, who was standing near Hubal praying to God, “It’s all over! Your God is pleased, O ‘Abd al-Muttalib’…” (Ibid., p. 126-127; bold emphasis mine)
It makes absolutely no sense for Muhammad’s grandfather to stand before the statue of Hubal while praying to Allah if they were not one and the same. Nor does it make sense for the grandfather to make a vow to Allah and then go before the idol of Hubal in order to fulfill it!
This basically proves that the pre-Islamic pagans like Muhammad’s grandfather took Allah as the name of the god Hubal, which is why they would pray to Allah by going before the idol of Hubal. In their minds, the statue representing Hubal was none other than an idol depicting Allah.