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Al-Uzza

Al-'Uzzā (Arabic: العزى) was a she-devil and the Makkan goddess of power, might and the planet Venus as the Evening Star who was worshiped by the Arabian tribes of Banu Quraysh; Banu Sulaym; Banu Ghanim; Banu Ghatafan; Banu Khuza’a; Banu Thaqif, and Banu Kinãnah. The main idol of al-'Uzza, which the goddess herself was believed to often manifest in, was a cluster of three acacia trees that were situated in the valley of Nakhla near the town of Makkah. Al-'Uzza had a second temple (bayt) in Makkah called Buss which was made of brick, and was situated not far from her shrine at Nakhla. Inside the Buss temple was another important idol of al-'Uzza: a thigh bone shaped slab of granite which was venerated and offered sacrifice to by the Arab tribes of the Hijaz, as they believed that the goddess herself spoke through the idol and would grant an oracle to the worshiper.

The goddess al-'Uzzā was also known as al-Zuhara and Kawkabtā and was venerated by these names as the ruling goddess of the planet Venus; particularly in her incarnation as the Evening Star, which itself was believed to be either a manifestation of the goddess herself or her palace in the heavens. The planet Venus as the Morning Star was believed to be a male god called Athtar and was a separate divinity to the goddess al-'Uzza. The Arabs also called upon al-'Uzza as Venus to bless and consecrate marriages. The equivalent of the Arabian al-'Uzza throughout the Semitic Middle East is the Canaanite war goddess 'Anat; the divine lover of the nature god Baal, who was named in Hebrew as l'Uzza Hayyim ('the strength of life').

Death of Al-'UzzaEdit

An-Nasa’i recorded that Abu At-Tufayl said:

When the Messenger of Allah conquered Makkah, he sent Khalid bin Al-Walid to the area of Nakhlah where the idol of Al-`Uzza was erected on three trees of a forest. Khalid cut the three trees and approached the house built around it and destroyed it. When he went back to the Prophet and informed him of the story, the Prophet said to him, "Go back and finish your mission, for you have not finished it."

Khalid went back and when the custodians who were also its servants of Al-`Uzza saw him, they started invoking by calling Al-`Uzza! When Khalid approached it, he found a naked woman whose hair was untidy and who was throwing sand on her head. Khalid killed her with the sword and went back to the Messenger of Allah, who said to him, "That was Al-`Uzza!”

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