Arabian Religions

A 1st- to 3rd-Century Depiction

Three pre-Islamic goddesses are mentioned in the Qur’an (Q53:19-20): Al-Lat, Manat, and al-Uzza, who are considered to have been “the daughters of God.” This is a depiction of them from between the 1st and 3rd century, found in modern Iraq.

A 5th-Century Inscription

These are Arabic inscriptions from the southern part of modern Saudi Arabia, near the Yemen, dated to the 5th and 6th centuries. They show crosses, so it is likely that they were left by Christians. Others include Biblical names.

“Thawban son of Malik, in the month of Burak in the year 364” [= 470 CE].

“Isaac son of Umar”

A 6th-Century Inscription

This inscription is not in Arabia, though it is in a South Arabian script. It was erected in Axum, an ancient kingdom in modern Ethiopia. It proclaims the Axumite victory over the Jewish kingdom of Himyar in what is today the Yemen. This kingdom existed in the 5th and 6th centuries.