In Aramaic it means Vapour/Spirit. It was one of the most powerful of pagan Arabia's gods whose statue stood in the centre of the Ka'ba near to the well of Zamzam.
According to Ibn al Kalbi:" The Quraysh had several idols in and around the Ka'ba. The greatest of these was Hubal. It was made, as I was told, of red agate in the form of a man whose right hand was broken off….and they made for it a hand of gold…It stood inside the Ka'ba, and in front of it there were seven divinatory arrows…".
It was to Hubal in the middle of the K'ba that Abdul Muttalib,Muhammad's uncle, presented the child Muammad
(Qarawyiun fos. 14b-16a & Tabari pp 998/9).
In the 'tradition' of the Muhammadans, he plays a prominent role despite the most amazing fact, that he is never mentioned in the Quran, unlike several of the other lesser gods and godesses of the pagan Arabs, such as al Uzza, al Lat and al Manat.