Heavenly Beliefs

When mention is made of the beliefs Europeans have received from the heritage of the Arabian Peninsula or the heritage of the Semitic peoples, the first thing that draws attention is the Scriptural religions.

The three scriptural religions - Mosaic, Christian and Islamic - appeared and spread among the various peoples of the Arabian Peninsula and extended after their emigration to the neighboring countries.

But we do not mean these religions when we talk in this chapter about heavenly beliefs because they are visible and standing in our present time and need no reference to history and comparison of chronicles and stories.

We mean by heavenly beliefs all that the ancient Europeans know about the sky, its planets and their orbits and its alleged dominance over mundane creatures; its horoscope which affects all beings, whether it comes under the title of "Astrology" or under «Divination and Soothsaying».

There is no doubt that the Arabs lived in countries with clear skies than the European countries. They therefore anticipated the sons of those overcast and foggy countries in observing the stars, watching for their rising and setting the celestial vaults. Although it was easy for them to observe the stars, they constantly entertained hopes of rainfall, and of observing the meteorites and gaining experience of the most suitable times for their day and night long trips across the desert.

Their science served the city and town-life which rose in Mesopotamia, as it is established that the month- and-day division, which had been adopted by the Chaldean and Semitic countries bore the stamp of the ancient Arabic language. Intercalation in the calculation of months and the grouping of days into weeks were a relic of the Semites in these countries and remained so among the Arabs in the desert until after Islam.

Whatever speculations are made about deriving it from the Sumerian civilization of Mesopotamia the «week» (usbou') was not of the making of the Sumerians, and was not known to them before the emergence of the Babylonians.

Thus the Europeans had received from those first Arab peoples their beliefs about the week and the gods of the days, and their influence on creatures, daily occurrences and cultivation.

The European names of the days still convey the sense of heavenly beliefs, which were held by the ancient forefathers of the Arabs, and are still used in the various European languages.

In the first volume of the Book «Ikhwan Al-Safa» about the first hours of the day occurs this passage.

«1 know that the day and night, and their hours, are divided between the planets. The first hour of Sunday is allotted to the Sun; the first hour of Monday is allotted to the Moon; the first hour of Tuesday is allotted to Mars; the first hour of Wednesday is allotted to Mercury; the first hour of Thursday is allotted to Jehovah; the first hour of Friday is allotted to Venus, and the first hour of Saturday is allotted to Saturn».

However, we shall omit the division of the nights and hours because they are provided for in the division of the primary days.

The Day of the Sun is called in English «Sunday».

The Day of the Moon is also called in English «Monday». Likewise, Tuesday means the 'Day of Theors', God of war known to the primitive peoples of the North. This name is further explained by the corresponding French word 'Mardi' which means the "Day of Mars".

Wednesday' means the day of `Mercury" the «God of Ideas and Arts» known to the ancient Teutons. This name is also further explained by the corresponding French word `Mercredi' which means the day of 'Mercure' i.e. Mercury in English.

Thursday in English means the day of `Thor', God of Thunder known to the ancient Teutons, and the corresponding French word `Jeudi' indicates that it is the day of `Jehovah' (Jovis Dies) to which the Sumerians used to supplicate. It is worth noting that when the Arabs entreat to God, they say «Ya' Huw».

Friday means he Day of `Frig,. The goddess, and wife of Mercury who has the same character as that of Venus. This explanation can be clearly inferred from the corresponding French word `Vendredi' which means the day of `Venus'.

Saturday means the day `Saturn'.

Thus the names of the week days point out that belief in divination, which had been taken from Arab descendants, was deeply-rooted in the European peoples from the East to the West; and from the North to the South. This belief was linked up with the daily life, horoscopes, and the influence of the spheres on creatures and daily occurrences.

This belief is therefore of greater importance and effect on living than a borrowed calendar.

Their emotional life was impressed by the names and characteristics of these gods. They entertained the feelings of sacredness, anger, love, sentimentality and beauty.

The name of the Greatest God (Jove) or «Jehovah» is derived, as mentioned before, from the name «Ya Huw» which we (Arabs) still use to this day.

The God of War and Anger is taken in word and sense, from the ancient Sumerians, as Mars is clearly a misconstruction of the word `Mareikh'.

The God of Love or the `Fascinating Virgin' is clearly a misconstruction of the Sumerian word 'Bent'. They used to begin it with the letter 'B', but it was later miss-constructed and replaced by `V' as has happened in many other words. That happened to the other names of `Venus'; they miss-constructed `Ashtar' as `Star' (which we see). (Ashtar) means in the Arabic language of ancient Yemen `Athtar' later the Sumerians introduced it into the Northern art of the Arabian Peninsula as Ashtar or Ashtrout.

They also derived the word `Adonis' God of virility and beauty from the Canaani word 'Adonai' which means Master or God.

Thus they connected their daily life and emotions with the divine doctrines which they had taken down from Arab descendants. They had not only copied from astronomy and star tabulations, but also continued to copy from the Arabs in this branch of science until long after Islam, as will be pointed out in some chapters of this book. Their language still includes dozens of Arabic names of stars and Arabic terms of astronomy, with or without a phonetic change.