A fair question to ask Moslems is 'what isn't pilfered from Judaism and Christianity by Muhammad and Islam'? Muhammad's 'shining face' is a direct theft from Exodus 34:35, “and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face. So he would put the veil over his face until he returned to speak with the Lord.” Islam's pagan origins and appropriations are legion and munificent. As a theology the Moslem poli-cracy offers very little that is innovative, ethical or intelligent. It truly is a cult of submission – submission not to god, but to the ilah idol via prostration to Muhammad and his Koran.
Allah was a male moon deity who has no ressemblance in form, substance or import to the anthropomorphic deities one finds in Western monotheisms, or in Greco-Romano paganism. As Arab historian Tor Andrae relates, the pagan Arabs and early Muhammandans [Islam is the cult of Muhammand and is rightly known as Muhammandism], the stone idols, the celestial objects that were found in the Kabaa [or cube] in Mecca and elsewhere were slowly becoming anthropormophized:
So the ancient paganism of Arabia may in general be regarded as an undeveloped polytheism, in which a development had just barely begun which would have gradually produced a pantheon consisting of a hierarchy of gods, formed by associating together a number of independent individual divinities. [Mohammed: The man and his faith, Tor Andrae, 1936, Translated by Theophil Menzel, 1960, p.13]
The ilah or Al-Lah was roughly correlated with what other ancients would have called Hubal or the sky god. In actual fact the El-Lah was the male or perhaps female moon object venerated as the harbinger of water, cooler temperatures and an escape from the punishment of the sun. The 'life' giving power of this idol or celestial 'god', would have demanded a shrine, animal sacrifices, a holy area and donated money as a means to keep the idol contented. Andrea goes on to state:
“In the Ka'ba there was an actual idol representing the God Hubal. The sacred stone image was surrounded by consecrated territory, a Hima, which often contained rich vegetation and a natural water-supply. In the sacred grove there was frequently a spring. Thus, on one side of the Ka'ba was the well Zemzem, whose very salty and disagreeable water is still regarded by Mohammedans as particularly holy. Within a Hima an animal could not be killed, nor a tree felled.”
Some scholars posit that this widespread idol Hubal is the Al-lah, whilst most likely the 'one' or ilah is the same idol that the southern Arabians named Al-Rahman or the moon object. It is unclear if over time the Hubal idol became conflated with and the same as, the moon deity, though this is certainly plausible and possible.
In order to keep the ilah well disposed to provide the life-giving sources of rain and cooler temperature, blood sacrifice was needed. Moslems today still enage in killing animals to appease the Al-Lah deity. Only the flowing of blood could purge sin and satiate the moon object and it had to be done 'halal' or in a certain way to gain favor with the idol:
As in other lands, so in Arabia, sacrifice was the method of establishing contact with the divinity. First the sinews of the hind-legs of the sacrificial animal, usually a camel, were severed, so that it fell over; thereupon its throat was cut with an archaic knife, and the blood was made to drop upon the sacred stone. The flesh was usually eaten by the sacrificer, but sometimes it was shared by guests whom he had invited to the feast. However, some sacrifices were consecrated entirely to the divinity. The sacrificial animal had then to be left lying upon the sacred place, to feed the beasts and birds of prey. Some sacrifices were prescribed by traditional customs. [ibid p. 30])
Halal blood-letting is barbaric. The pain for the animal is intense and savage, performed on purpose to give the bloodiest possible sacrifice to the moon idol. The more painful the process, the better. After sacrificing some beasts to the glory of the Al-lah thing other rituals had to be followed and are still followed today:
“In connection with the annual sacrifices another cult form was retained, especially at the Ka'ba. During a certain month the Arabs of the vicinity assembled to walk around the sanctuary. This circumambulation, the tawaf, which even to-day constitutes the climax of the Mohammedan pilgrimage, began and ended at the sacred stone, and was supposed to proceed toward the right, that is, counter sun-wise. At the beginning or at the end of the ceremony the black stone was sometimes kissed, ..In addition, this sacred encircling is a very typical example of the shifting of motive which often takes place within the same magico-religious is rite. That is to say, the act is performed not merely in order to obtain power from the cult object, but also in order to bind with the divinity or power, to compel it or to surround it a protective magic circle. [ibid]
When I read about such acts of mindless ritualization some obvious questions come to mind. Are these rituals holy and if so how? Is Muhammadanism and the institution of mindless ritualization a religion or a cult? Why would modern Moslems including those schooled in the West, believe that kissing rocks, circling Muhammad's shrine 7 times, throwing rocks at devils, or slaughtering sheep, to be acts defined as holy and religious? The pilgrimmage, the Kabaa, the animal sacrifice, the moon idol, the sacred nature of parts of the Kabaa area all predate Muhammad by centuries. Aren't Moslems troubled by the outrageous, pre-modern and in the case of animal butchery, quite savage and irrational nature of their rites ? Or will they just scream that this is all 'religious' and 'spiritual'? A cult is not a religion. A cult is also neither intelligent nor moral.