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Most Popular Middle Eastern Gods: A Friendly Guide

The fascinating world of Middle Eastern mythology encompasses a diverse range of gods and deities that hold significance in various cultures. Many have captivated the imaginations of people throughout history, playing key roles in ancient tales, religious practices, and folklore.

Some of the most popular Middle Eastern gods include Yahweh, the god of creation; Ahura Mazda, the god of light; Baal, the storm and fertility god; and El, the supreme god associated with the heavens. Each god holds unique attributes, powers, and stories that continue to pique the curiosity of scholars and enthusiasts alike.

Anatolian Deities


Teshub was the storm god and a central figure in the ancient Anatolian pantheon. He was responsible for controlling the weather and his weapon of choice was the thunderbolt. Teshub was often depicted as a warrior riding a chariot drawn by bulls. Some scholars link Teshub’s origins to the Hittite deity Tarhun and the Hurrian deity Teshup.


Hebat was an important mother goddess in the ancient Anatolian religion. As the wife of Teshub, she represented fertility and helped bring prosperity to her worshipers. Hebat was often portrayed standing on a lion, which symbolized her strength and power. Her influence extended beyond Anatolia, with worship in the Hittite and Hurrian cultures as well.


Arinniti was a solar goddess who played a significant role in the religious life of the Hittites. She was associated with the sun itself and, as such, had a strong connection to justice and truth. In some myths, Arinniti was considered the wife of the weather god Teshub. Arinniti’s cult was widespread, with many temples dedicated to her worship throughout ancient Anatolia.

Mesopotamian Pantheon


Anu was the supreme god in the Mesopotamian pantheon, ruling over the heavens. He was believed to be the father of all gods and played a crucial role in the formation of the universe. His symbol is the royal tiara, reflecting his power and majesty.


Enlil, the god of wind and storms, held an important position in Mesopotamian mythology. As the son of Anu, he had the authority to bestow kingship and was considered the patron deity of several ancient cities. Enlil’s most significant temple was in the city of Nippur.


Ishtar, known as the goddess of love, fertility, and war, was widely worshipped throughout Mesopotamia. She had different aspects, such as Inanna in Sumerian mythology, and was associated with the planet Venus. Ishtar was often depicted with symbols like the lion and the morning star.


Marduk emerged as the supreme god of the Babylonian pantheon. He defeated the chaos monster Tiamat and created the world from her body. Marduk was highly revered and his temple, the Esagila, was a crucial centre of worship in ancient Babylon.

Egyptian Mythology


Ra is the Egyptian god of the sun and creation. He is often depicted as a falcon-headed man, with a sun disk on his head. As one of the most popular deities in Egypt, he played an essential role in shaping the world and maintaining cosmic order.


Osiris is a central figure in Egyptian mythology, as the god of the underworld. A symbol of death and resurrection, he ruled over the afterlife and was associated with the annual flooding of the Nile. This event was crucial for agricultural fertility and the survival of the Egyptian civilization.


Isis, the goddess of magic and motherhood, holds great importance in Egyptian mythology. She is known for her keen wisdom and protective nature, often depicted with wings or wearing a headdress featuring a throne symbol. As the loyal wife of Osiris, Isis played a significant role in mythological stories surrounding death and rebirth.


Horus, the god of the sky, is one of the most famous gods in Egyptian mythology. Represented by a falcon or a falcon-headed man, he was believed to be the protector of the pharaohs. As the son of Osiris and Isis, his story incorporates themes of heritage and the struggle for power within Egyptian lore.

Canaanite and Phoenician Gods


El is known as the supreme god of the Canaanite pantheon. He holds the title “Father of the Gods” and is considered the head of a divine council. His primary role is the creator of the universe and mankind.


Baal is one of the most important gods in Canaanite and Phoenician mythology. This powerful deity is often associated with fertility and is considered the god of storms and rain. Worshippers revered Baal for his ability to provide life-sustaining water and crops.


Astarte is a prominent goddess in Canaanite and Phoenician religion. She is often linked to fertility, love, and war. As a mother goddess, Astarte plays an essential role in nurturing the earth and its inhabitants.


Anat is another significant figure in the Canaanite and Phoenician pantheon. She is a fierce goddess of war and hunting, known for her strength and skill. Anat’s powerful presence protects her followers and ensures victory in battle.

Arabian Pantheon


Hubal was a pre-Islamic Arabian god, often considered the chief deity in the Arabian pantheon. He was worshipped at the Kaaba in Mecca. His statue, made of red agate, stood at the center of the sanctuary. Hubal was associated with the moon and divination, and worshippers would pray to him for protection, guidance, and victory in tribal disputes.


Al-Lat, also known as Alilat or Allat, was one of the three chief goddesses in pre-Islamic Arabian religion. She was associated with the earth, fertility, and possibly the sun. As a powerful and widely revered figure, Al-Lat was oftentimes considered the mother of gods and humans, symbolizing life and prosperity.


Al-Uzza was another principal goddess in the pre-Islamic Arabian pantheon. Known for her strength, power, and beauty, she was often associated with war and protection. Worshippers would pray to Al-Uzza for victory in battles and safety during travels. Additionally, she was linked to the planet Venus as the morning and evening star, further highlighting her significance in celestial systems.


Manat was the third of the main pre-Islamic Arabian goddesses, often seen as the goddess of fate and time. She was worshipped at the Kaaba and various other locations, where sacred stones were dedicated in her honor. As a deity connected to life, death, and destiny, Manat played a crucial role in shaping the spiritual beliefs of pre-Islamic Arabia.

Zoroastrian Divinities

Zoroastrianism, an ancient Iranian religion, is one of the world’s oldest organized faiths. It was founded by the prophet Zoroaster and has some popular Middle Eastern Gods. In this section, we’ll discuss two significant deities in Zoroastrian mythology: Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu.

Ahura Mazda

Ahura Mazda is the supreme god in Zoroastrianism and is considered the creator of the universe. This deity represents wisdom, light, and truth. He is often portrayed as a benevolent being who works for the betterment of humankind. Throughout Zoroastrian history, Ahura Mazda has been venerated as the highest god, fighting against evil and chaos.

Angra Mainyu

On the other side of the spectrum, Angra Mainyu is a central figure in Zoroastrianism as the embodiment of evil. Often considered as the adversary of Ahura Mazda, this malevolent deity is associated with chaos, destruction, and darkness. It is believed that Angra Mainyu actively tries to thwart the intentions of Ahura Mazda and bring ruin to the world. It’s important to note that in Zoroastrianism, the battle between good and evil, represented by Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu, is a central theme driving the faith.

These two divinities, Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu, play crucial roles in Zoroastrian belief. They symbolize an eternal struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, and ultimately, the fates of their followers.

Pre-Islamic and Islamic Folklore Beings


Jinn are supernatural creatures in Islamic and pre-Islamic Arabian folklore. They are often depicted as shape-shifters, inhabiting a parallel world to humans. In Islamic tradition, jinn are created from smokeless fire and have both free will and the ability to choose between good and evil.


Ifrit is a powerful and malevolent type of jinn in Arabic and Islamic folklore. Known for their strength and cunning, they typically appear in stories as a challenge or foe for the protagonist. Often associated with the element of fire, ifrits are portrayed with wings and reside in hidden underground locations.


Shaitan refers to the devil figure in Islamic belief and is derived from the Arabic word that means “to be far from good.” This figure represents disobedience to Allah and temptations towards evil. While often conflated with Iblis, the first jinn who refused to bow before Adam, the term shaitan can also refer to any mischievous being, human, or jinn, that seeks to lead others astray.