Al-Lat (1999)

This image is a fantasia done in colored inks and acrylics, combining poses of female models. When the image had evolved to a certain point, it somehow called to mind Al-Lat, a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess whose name is cognate with a root meaning (among other things) “to moisten.”  “She is mentioned in the Qur’an (Sura 53:19), which indicates that pre-Islamic Arabs considered her as one of the daughters of Allah, along with Manāt and al-‘Uzzá.” 

I originally encountered the name of Al-Lat in works purporting to claim that Allah derived from the original feminine Al-Lat (“Lat” by itself meaning “Goddess”), but this appears to be incorrect. Nevertheless I am taken with the idea of an Arabic Goddess whose name has survived centuries of patriarchal monotheism.

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