Raihan-Al Biruni, 1 who accompanied Sultan Mahmud to India and compiled his work on Indian
culture, philosophy, astronomy, geography, etc., about A.D. 1031, quotes the legend of
Soma's escape from Daksha's curse. According to him Somanatha was set up on the seacoast
in such a way that the seawater, when high, would cover it at times.
The natural phenomenon of ebb and flow may have been the
origin of the legend that Soma, the Moon God, was devotedly occupied in bathing and
serving the Linga. Some Muslim writers, in view of the similarity of Somanatha to Manat,
thought that it was the same idol of Manat as was worshipped by the Arabs at Mecca before
Islam, and transported to India by its worshippers, and hence their erroneous
supposition that the idol had a human figure like the Manat of Mecca.2
1. Tahqiq ma li’l-Hind by Al-Biruni, English
translation by Sachau, Vol. II, pp.102-3
2. Zainul Akhbar of Abu Said' Abdul-Hai Gardizi, p. 86; Far rukhi's Diwan, f. 19(b);
Indian Antiquary, Vol. X for 1881, p. 22.
Author : Shri Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi