And said, 'Never leave your gods and never leave Wadd or Suwa' or Yaghuth and Ya´uq and Nasr.' ([71] Nuh : 23)

The deities of Arabia worshipped by the Arabs of the Prophet's time are named here. But they are attributed to the time of Nuh, who lived more than 3,000 years before the Prophet. How were the Arabs able to preserve the memory of them for 3,000 years?

I think that if the people of Nuh worshipped them, then the memory of these deities should have been preserved by other ancient peoples. But so far I have not heard that other nations know about them.

Is there any historical evidence that these deities existed in such an ancient time? Are there the same names in the pantheons of other ancient peoples, for example, the ancient Egyptians?

  • The verse you quote is actually a quote of Nuh I don't get the relationship between this and the Arabs of the time of the prophet
    – Medi1Saif
    Oct 15 at 10:19
  • @Medi1Saif, Read the Ibn Kathir's tafsir. He quotes Ibn Abbas as saying that the Arabs had the same deities at the time of the Prophet. These words are quoted in Sahih Bukhari.
    – Insan
    Oct 15 at 12:13

1 Answer 1


The majority view is that these were idols of the people of Noah. As to how the Arabs came to worship them: One tradition is that these idols were drowned and hence buried underground due to the deluge. And after that a devil from the jinn told Amr bin Luhai about them and he re-introduced their worship among the Arabs.

ويذكر أن عمرو بن لحي كان له رئى من الجن، فأخبره بأن أصنام قوم نوح- ودا وسواعا ويغوث ويعوق ونسرا- مدفونة بجدة فأتاها فاستثارها

It was said that 'Amr bin Luhai was told by a jinn companion of his tha the idols of Noah's people: Wadd, Suwa', Yaguth, Ya'uk and Nasr were buried in Jeddah. So he dug them out and took them to Tihama.

Raheeq al-Makhtum

Some of the exegetes have noted that one alternate claim is that these were names of the idols of the Arabs and not worshiped by anyone else. The narrative takes an interlude from the story of Noah and it means that the people of Noah said 'Never leave your gods' and the Arabs did the same by saying 'never leave Wadd or Suwa' or Yaghuth and Ya´uq and Nasr'.

  • What sources is the first version based on? Is its transmission reliable?
    – Insan
    Oct 14 at 19:48
  • Well, I think the second option is excluded, since it does not correspond to the context of the surah. I think the Arab deities mentioned in the verse are the equivalents of the deities of the Nuh people. For example, Jupiter was the equivalent of Zeus.
    – Insan
    Oct 15 at 12:14

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