The Worship of Asherah
I've come across a great many religious disputes in the course of my journey, but this one is very mysterious
and really hit close to home. It also touches upon all of the sons of Abraham, not just some of them, and has
remained a bone of contention between the different sects to this day. The complaint, itself, concerns the worship
of Asherah, the Queen of Heaven, and whether or not such worship can be considered a heresy. In other words,
did this practice violate the laws of God? Here is a selection concerning the complaints against the practice:
Book of Jeremiah, Chapter 7 verse 18:
YHVH: The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the dough, to bake cakes
to the queen of heaven, and pour out drink-offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke Me.
Book of Jeremiah, Chapter 44 verse 15 ~ 21:
Then all the men who knew that their wives offered unto other gods, and all the women that stood by,
a great assembly, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah,
saying: As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to
you. But we will certainly perform every word that has come out of your mouth, to offer unto the queen of
heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and
our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food, and
we were well, and we saw no evil. But since we stopped offering to the queen of heaven, we have
wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.
Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, even to all the people that had given
him that answer, saying: The offering that you made in the cities of Judah, and in the
streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the
LORD remember them?
This dispute can be answered in very simple terms. Let us first consider the Laws God gave to Israel. In particular,
the one law that deals with the very creation of the Sabbath Day itself and place this along with the complaint:
Book of Exodus, Chapter 35, Verse 1 ~ 3:
YHVH: Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day,
a sabbath of solemn rest to the LORD; whoever does any work therein shall be put to death.
You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
Book of Jeremiah, Chapter 7 verse 18:
YHVH: The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the
dough, to bake cakes to the Queen of Heaven, and pour out drink-offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke Me.
I wanted to bring more light to the fact that tending a fire on the Sabbath Day (for any reason) is unlawful.
So, I have to wonder what kind of consort the Queen of Heaven really was if she had encouraged the Jews to disobey
the laws of God? Personally, I would expect the divine consort of God to teach respect for his laws,
but this was not what happened.
What do the Muslims Believe?
A single honest recitation of the Shahadah in Arabic is all that is required for a person to become a Muslim according
to most traditional schools. The Shahadah is the first of six kalimas. The full six kalimas are displayed below, and yes,
they do most certainly address the matter of whether or not God has a partner:
1. I testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
2. I bear witness that none is worthy of worship but Allah, the One alone, without partner,
and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.
3. Glory be to Allah and Praise to Allah, and there is none worthy of worship but Allah, and Allah is the
Greatest. And there is no might or power except with Allah, the Exalted, the Great One.
4. There are none worthy of worship except Allah. He is only One. There are no partners for Him. For He is the Kingdom. And for Him is the Praise. He gives life and causes death. And He is Alive. He is Eternal.
Possessor of Majesty and Reverence. In His hand is the goodness. And He is the goodness. And He is on everything powerful.
5. I seek forgiveness from Allah, my Lord, from every sin I committed knowingly or unknowingly, secretly or openly,
and I turn towards Him from the sin that I know and from the sin that I do not know. Certainly You, You are the knower
of the hidden things and the Concealer of the mistakes and the Forgiver of the sins. And there is no power and no
strength except from Allah, the Most High, the Most Great.
6. O Allah! I seek protection in You from that I should not join any partner with You knowingly.
I seek Your forgiveness from that which I do not know. I repent from it (ignorance) I free myself from disbelief and
joining partners with You and from all sins. I submit to Your will I believe and I declare: There
is none worthy of worship besides Allah and Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) is his Messenger."
A Song of Azrael Closing Statement:
I hope you have enjoyed this thought-provoking study of the complaints that were raised concerning the worship of the Queen of
Heaven. As these Special Presentations are published, you'll find there is quite a lot of religious agreement between the Jewish
and Muslims scholars, once the matters are given enough light and consideration.
Our next Special Presentation is: Azrael and the Gift of Name.