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Different Gods? or Different conceptions of the same God?

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God? - Continued

Submitted by zzazzeefrazzee (United States), Feb 27, 2008 at 00:39

Many posting here contend that the Judaic concept of God (YHVH) could not be the same as "Allah", as the name is unpronounceable and never specifically mentioned in Islamic texts. Yet if I understand this correctly, Muslims also have a very similar, if not identical concept of "The Greatest Name" which is alluded to, but never specifically revealed.

http://www.jewfaq.org/name.htm

the concept of the "greatest Name" is also found in the Bahá'í faith:

http://www.bahai.com/Bahaullah/symbol.htm

Just a quick search and I found mention of the "Greatest Name" in the Sunnah of Abu Dawud Book of Prayer (Kitab Al-Salat) 1490:

Narrated Anas ibn Malik: "I was sitting with the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and a man was offering prayer. He then made supplication: O Allah, I ask Thee by virtue of the fact that praise is due to Thee, there is no deity but Thou, Who showest favour and beneficence, the Originator of the Heavens and the earth, O Lord of Majesty and Splendour, O Living One, O Eternal One. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) then said: He has supplicated Allah using His Greatest Name, when supplicated by this name, He answers, and when asked by this name He gives."

Interestingly, many names also mentioned in the above Hadith are cognates of the Hebrew- al-Hayy and El Chai is an excellent example, as they both mean "the living". Also interesting to note is that there are strong similarities in the traditions surrounding the writing of the name of God in both Judaism and Islam.

Both Jews and Muslims, as absolute monotheists, never subscribe to the Christian concept of Trinity. In fact, many Jews would assert that Christians cannot possibly believe in YHVH, as they reject the notion that a single God can be made of three persons, which is a "triune God" not a truly singular monotheistic entity.

David Novak, the J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto, said the following about the great Jewish Philosopher Maimonodes:

"In his aversion to what he considered to be Christian dilutions of pure monotheism, especially in its doctrine of the Trinity, much of Maimonides' philosophical critique of Christian theology is similar to Islamic arguments against it. In his earlier work, Maimonides translated his theoretical disdain of Christianity into practice. He deemed Christians to be idolators and bemoaned the fact that political necessity forced many European Jews to live in Christian societies."

http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=3103&var_recherche=Maimonides

So, if Jews contend that YHVH is God, and Christian contend that God is triune, and then Muslims object, is it correct to say that each religion worships a different God? Or is it better to say that each religion promotes a variant CONCEPT of God? Christians may claim that their concept of God is the same as Judaism, but some Jews clearly reject this. Muslims may claim that their concept of God is the same as that of the Jews, as is alluded to many times in the Qur'an, and also that of Christians as well. Of course, some Jews and Christians are going to reject that as well.

Others don't reject this. Why? They see a continuous running thread where others refuse to.

In short, I think Daniel Pipes is right. Some of you can scream all you want, but these traditions share an awful lot more in common than many adherents of each of these faiths are willing to admit.

Submitting....

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