If it's OK, I'd like to agree in part and disagree in part.
As far as I can ascertain, it seems to all have stemmed from misattributed and incorrecly researched data from a certain Mr. Robert Morey. (If
someone has information about someone else who claimed Allah is a moon-god from before that, I'd appreciate it if you could provide it to me, as I
could not find any).
The origin of the idea can be traced as far back as the Ninth Century (more or less) and the so-called "Satanic Verses" (searchable), which are
53: 19-23 and
a supposed earlier verse which the current verses 21-23 are said, by some, to have replaced.
The sources for the controversy are devout Muslims, and their writings have been transmitted to us through Islamic channels. Of the various versions
of how and why Mohammed may have replaced an earlier version with the current text, I like Tabari's (searchable), but his is not the earliest.
Basically, 53: 19 and 20 invoke the three daughters of the Moon god Hubal by name (Lat, Uzza and Manat). The current text then mocks them and those
who believe in them, which is standard anti-pagan fare.
What was alleged, however, is that the original verse was, in some way or other, an acknowledgment that these goddesses would continue to play the
same intercessor role in the new montotheism as they did in the old polytheism. That is, these were Daddy's little girls, so if they asked for a
favor on your behalf, then you'd maybe get it.
The issue in this thread isn't whether the Koran was really altered, but rather that educated Muslims early on recognized a specific and important
resemblance between the new Allah and the old Hubal. Anybody else who noticed it recently, then, would be a millennium too late to claim it as their
own original idea.
As to the name, al-ilah
apparently was an epithet of Hubal, and is simply the god
literally. But he wasn't "the god," just the alpha
dog in a kennel of 300 or so. It is not news that worship often consists of shamelessly flattering the god. Allah really is the god, or so the new
Mohammed's problem was to sell a national-unity montheism to a culture of tribal-rivalry poytheists. Ultimately, he fought and won a civil war to
accomplish that. But, before then, it is very likely that he tried his best to postpone or avoid that civil war. He probably did make a number of
concessions to his pagan target audience in the interest of persuasion.
The pagans already worshipped an al-ilah
, so let's worship an allah
instead. If you have a snoot full of sand, it's the same word. One
story about the Satanic Verses is that it, too, was a concession.
Lat, Uzza and Manat were popular, so Mohammed thought he might work them in as "special spirits, favorites of Allah" rather than goddesses and
daughters (Allah doesn't have children and won't). Islamic "monotheism" has plenty of "special spirits." Why allow jinns
and not the
three popular sisters?
Even if stories like the Satanic Verses legend were true, would that make Allah the same as the Moon god Hubal? No. They are not identical, we have
already seen that. Allah has no children and is unique. Hubal does have children and is one among many.
Do they have enough in common to assert that Allah is "a version of" Hubal? That is a philosophical question, not a factual one. Is Odin a version
of Hermes? They can both be traced to a common Indo-European ancestor. And it might be a question of more or less, rather than of yes or no. Mercury
seems much more similar to Hermes than Odin does, for example.
The better question, in my opinion, is whether the "Big Three Abrahamic" religions all worship the same god. For what it is worth, I think the three
familiar Abrahamic Gods are very different from one another, even if they are all based upon some original tribal Hebrew prototype, worshipped
sometime in the remote past.
Allah might easily be judged to resemble Hubal more closely than Jesus and his Father, from one or both of whom the Holy Spirit proceeds, which isn't
really much like Yahweh, at least not as Jews tell the tale.