Religion in UAE’s
Published 06 Nov 2017
Like all countries and regions, religion forms a very important aspect of UAE’s culture. This religious culture may be discovered though an examination of the relics left behind by the ancestors of the people of UAE. The country’s traditional religious culture is interesting because, like most traditional religion, it involves the worship of a very unique and uncommon icon and very unique traditions. Of all the features of UAE’s religious culture, the worship of snakes is one of the most striking. This practice of worshipping snakes has earned them the title snake worshippers.
The prevalence of the belief with the snake as a deity and the importance of this belief in the lives of people of UAE in the past are shown many of the artifacts that were found in the country. These artifacts are various and ranges from common living tools to religious items. Examples of these are potteries, weapons such as spears and arrows, stocks, knives, beads, daggers, jewelry and sticks. All these artifacts contain epigraphy of snakes. They even have a temple devoted for snake worship. This temple is located in the hill of snakes, where most of the potteries and other artifacts with epigraphy of snakes were found, and is thus called Hill of snakes. The temple was deduced to be used for snake worship due to the fact that all the objects found therein have snake epigraphs. Moreover, a skull of a snake has been found inside the temple.
The fact that even the most common of their tools have snake epigraphs can lead to a lot of conclusions. It is to be noted that while all of the objects in the temple contain snake epigraphs, not all of the objects with snake epigraphs were found on the temple. Some of these were found around the hill and on the graveyard near the hill. This shows how people in UAE in the past take their religion seriously. They may even be considered more religious than people at present because they integrate their religious beliefs in everything they do by placing the picture of their icon in their everyday tools.
Aside from a clue to their religion, these artifacts, being of a wide range of things give a very important clue to their way of living. Based on what were found, it may be safely concluded that their community has attained a certain degree of civilization. They have developed tools and have built residences for themselves. The artifacts also show that they are engaged in particular occupations such as fishing and hunting as proved by the existence of tools for such occupations.
- David C King ‘United Arab Emirates’ New York : Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2008.
- Sulṭan ibn Muḥammad al-Qasimi, Ruler of ShaI riqah’Selected speeches’ Sharjah, United Arab Emirates : Al Qasimi Publications, 2016.