Among those idols, too, was dhu-al-Khalasah[1]. It was a carved niece of white quartz with something in the form of a crown upon its head. It stood in Tahalah[2], between Mecca




and San'a[3], at a distance of seven nights' journey from Mecca. Its custody was in the hands of the banu-Umamah[4] of the Bahilah ihn-A'sur[5]. The Khath'am[6], the Bajilah[7], and the Azd[8] of al-Sarah[9], as well as those Arab sub-tribes of the Hawazin[10] who lived in their vicinity and those Arabs residing in Tabalah, were wont to venerate it and come to it with sacrifice.

A certain man said:

"O dhu-al-Khalasah, wert the one wronged,
Thy father the one murdered and buried,
Thou wouldst not have forbidden the killing of the

This he said when his father was murdered, and he sought to avenge him. He, therefore, went to dhu-al-Khalasah and shuffled the divination arrows, but they resulted in a negative message forbidding him to seek revenge. Thereupon he said those verses. Some people, however, ascribe the incident to Imru'-al Qays ibn-Hujr al-Kindi[11].

Khidash ibn-Zuhayr al-'Amiri[12] refers to dhu-al-Khalasah in verses which he addressed to 'Ath'ath ibn-Wahshi al-Khatli'ami[13] concerning a covenant contracted between them hut violated by the latter. He said:

"I reminded him of the covenant that existed between us twain,
And of the age-long friendship which both of us shared;



That our witness was God and the White Quartz Idol[14] of Tabalah,
And the oath of al-Nu'man[15] when he embraced the faith of Christ."

When the Apostle of God captured Mecca and the Arabs embraced Islam, among the delegates who came to pay their homage was Jarir ibn-'Abdullah[16]. He came to the Apostle and embraced Islam before him. Thereupon the Apostle addressed him saying, "O Jarir! Wilt thou not rid me of dhu-al-Khalasah?" Jarir replied, "Yea." So the Apostle dispatched him to destroy it. He set out until he got to the banu-Abmas[17] of the Bajilah [tribe] and with them he proceeded to dhu-al-Khalasah. There he was met by the Khath'am and the Bahilah, who resisted him and attempted to defend dhu-al-Khalasah. He, therefore, fought them and killed a hundred men of the Bahilah, its custodians, and many of the Khath'am[15]; while of the banu-Qubafah ibn-'Amir ibn-Khath'am[18] he killed two hundred. having defeated them and forced them into flight, he demolished the building which stood over dhu-al-Khalasah and set it on fire. A certain woman of the banu-Khath'am thereupon said:

"The banu-Umamah, each wielding his spear,
Were slaughtered at al-Wahyab[19], their abode;
They came to defend their shrine, only to find
Lions with brandished swords clamoring for blood.
The women of the Khath'am were, then, humiliated
By the men of the Abmas, and abased."

At the present time dhu-al-Khalassah constitutes the threshold of the gate of the mosque at Tabalab.




We have been told that the Apostle of God once said, "This world shall not pass away until the buttocks of the women of Daws[20] wiggle [again] around dhu-al-Khalasah and they worship it as they were wont to do [before Islam][21]."



1. cf. Ryckmans, vol.1, p. 104; Buldan, vol.11, pp.461-463; Wellhausen, pp.45-48.

2. Sifah, p.127; cf. Buldan, vol.I, pp.816-817.

3. Text, "al-Yaman."

4. cf. Ishtiqaq, p.165.

5. ibid., p.164.

6. ibid., p.304.

7. ibid., p.302.

8. Better known as the Asd; see Shams al-'Ulum, p.3; Ishtiqaq, p.283; Sirah, p.70.

9. The range of mountains stretching from the extreme limit of Yemen north to Hejar; see Sifah, pp.67-71.

10. Ishtiqaq, p.177.

11. Al-Aghani. vol. viii, p.70. For the life of lmru'-al-Qays, see ibid., vol, viii pp.62-76; al-Shi'r w-al-Shu'ara', pp.37-56.

12. al-Shi'r w-al-Shu'ara', pp.409-410.

13. Ishtiqaq, p.306.

14. Dhu-al-Khalasah.

15. Al-Nu'man III, son of al-Mundhir, ca. A.D. 580-602, nicknamed abu-Qabuss; see al-Isfahani, p. iii; Philip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs, London, 1949, pp.83-84.

16. A1-Bajali, d. A.H. 54/ A.D. 674; Sirah, p. 56; al-Ma'arif, p.149.

17. Ishtiqaq, p.304.

18. Cf. ibid., p.305.

19. Buldan, vol. iv, p.941.

20. Ishtiqaq, p.291.

21. Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Fitan: 24.