(Also Al Uzzah, al-Uzza, Al ëUzza, Al Uzza, ëUzza, and Uzza)
“The Mighty One”
“The Venus of Mecca”
al-Uzza was a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess who was considered by the Bedouin people of central Arabia to be the youngest of the three daughters of the supreme deity Allah. She formed the center of a sacrificial cult that likely practiced human sacrifice and is often considered to be only one aspect of the triple goddess Al’lat. Associated with Venus, the evening star, she was the patron goddess of Mecca and thought to have come from Sinai.
Acacias were her sacred tree, and also sometimes noted as her home. She was worshipped in the form of a black stone, whose surface was marred by a scratch or indentation that was known as the "Impression of Venus" and her cult was served by priestesses. Pilgrims would journey to her shrines and offer gifts, such as live animals. She is associated by some researches with the temple of Al-Deir at Petra because the Nabateaens worshiped al-Uzza as one of their chief deities. In that form she was depicted as a lion.
According to a belief proved untrue by scholars, al-Uzza and her two sisters, al-Lat and Manat, were also mentioned in an abrogated portion of the Qur’an, known as the Satanic Verses. Sura 53:19-20 "Have ye though upon al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?" was originally followed by "These are the exalted cranes (intermediaries) Whose intercession is to be hoped for." This was thought by some to be a compromise by Muhammad in which he proposed that the three pagan idols could be invoked to help mankind. According to the story, his followers were amazed, and he later purged the lines from the text, saying that Satan has deceived him. This never happened. The actual lines that follow are:
21: Are yours the males and his the females?
22: That indeed be an unfair division!
23: They are but names which ye have named, ye and your fathers, for which Allah hath revealed no warrant. They follow but a guess and that which (they) themselves desire. And now the guidance from their Lord hath come unto them
Lines 21, 22 and 23 are in reference to Allah's anger that the Arabs prefer to have sons and yet they attribute daughters to Him.