Idol-worship in Makkah

The Quraysh continued to hold to the religion of Ibrahim and Isma’il, until Amr ibn Luhayy became their chief. He was the first to deviate from the religion of Isma’il and to set up idols. He had traveled from Makkah to Syria where he saw people worshipping idols. He brought some idols back to Makkah.

Traditionally some people would take a few stones from the Haram, the sanctuary, when they traveled from Makkah as a token of respect for the holy spot. This led to the day when they began to worship any stones they liked. Later generations lost track of the reasons why stones were originally venerated and the Quraysh were happy to worship stone idols just like the people were doing in surrounding countries.