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Reality check please

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God? - Continued
in response to reader comment: Arabs Christians have used the term "Allah"- but you obviousuly can't deal with reality.

Submitted by Oliver (United States), Mar 3, 2008 at 01:55

Yes the Nicean Creed did 'define' the 'nature' of the GOD of 'Orthodox Christianity' - any other opinion is heterodox or heresy and holders of any other opinion are not considered 'Christians'.

That said, there is no such thing as a Jewish Christian, a Gentile Christian or an Arab Christian for that matter - we Christians are all 'one in Christ' therefore a person is either a Christian or not a Christian. I believe Islam has a similar criteria - a person is either Muslim or not Muslim. Come to think of it - a person is either a Jew or not a Jew.

Correct me if I am wrong, you maintain that the word allah simply means '(the) God' and you site as proof the 'use' of the word allah by Arab Jews and Arab Christians both in their Arabic translations of their holy writ and, presumably, in their daily conversations and prayers. I, on the other hand, maintain that the word allah is the NAME of the god of Islam (Sura 1.1 "In the NAME of Allah the ...") and that Arabic speaking Jews and Christians 'use' the word allah today 1] out of ignorance that it is actually the NAME of another god 2] out of habit because that is what they have 'always' done and 3] out of complusion because, as you will see below, 'the god' can only be called allah - as far as Islam is concerned.

Yahoo Search for allah:

Columbia Encyclopedia: Allah (ăl'ə, รค'lə) , [Arab.,=the God]. Allah, as a deity, was probably known in pre-Islamic Arabia. Arabic chronicles suggest a pre-Islamic recognition of Allah as a supreme God, with the three goddesses al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat as his "daughters."

Mideast & N. Africa Encyclopedia: Allah The word Allah is best known in the West as the name Muslims ascribe to the one and only God, Muslim tradition recognizes Allah to be the comprehensive name of God.

Islamic Dictionary: Allah The personal name of the one true God in Islam. Nothing else can be called Allah.

Wikipedia Allah Some Muslim scholars feel that "Allāh" should not be translated, because they perceive the Arabic word to express the uniqueness of "Allāh" more accurately than the word "god" for two reasons:

The word "god" can take a plural form "gods", whereas the word "Allāh" has no individual plural form (it requires grammatical inflection to imply plurality).

The word "god" can have gender as male god or female god (called goddess) whereas the word "Allāh" does not have a gender since it cannot be declined to mark grammatical gender and thus normative gender.

Google search for allah:

Allah the Moon-God

This fact answers the questions, "Why is Allah never defined in the Quran? Why did Muhammad assume that the pagan Arabs already knew who Allah was?" Muhammad was raised in the religion of the Moon-god Allah. But he went one step further than his fellow pagan Arabs. While they believed that Allah, i.e. the Moon-god, was the greatest of all gods and the supreme deity in a pantheon of deities, Muhammad decided that Allah was not only the greatest god but also the only god.

Allah, the One and Only God

It is a known fact that every language has one or more [generic] terms that are used in reference to God and sometimes to lesser deities. This is not the case with Allah. Allah is the personal name of the one true God. Nothing else can be called Allah. The term has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word god, which can be made plural, gods, or feminine, goddess.

Catholic Encyclopedia Allah The name of God in Arabic.

It is a compound word from the article, 'al, and ilah, divinity, and signifies "the god" par excellence. This form of the divine name is in itself a sure proof that ilah was at one time an appellative, common to all the local and tribal gods. Gradually, with the addition of the article, it was restricted to one of them who took precedence of the others; finally, with the triumph of monotheism, He was recognized as the only true God.

Let it be noted that although Allah is an Arabic term, it is used by all Moslems, whatever be their language, as the name of God.

Allah (God)

Islam is the complete submission and obedience to Allah (God). The name Allah (God) in Islam never refers to Muhammad (peace be upon him), as many Christians may think; Allah is the personal name of God.

I do not have to be much of a linguist to recognize the difference between a word used as a generic reference to something and a word that is the NAME of that something. Especially when that something explicitly tells me what it's NAME is and it's NAME is not even remotely related to the NAME of something else. Allah is the NAME of your god - why don't you proclaim it proudly. YHVH is the NAME of the God of the Jews - He proudly proclaimed to them - and they respect His NAME so much they refuse to speak it.

OK - let me make you a proposition (no money is involved) ... I want to use allah in a paraphrase of a passage of the NT. If you will agree with meaning of this passage I will concede this debate to you. Here it is:

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Joh 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.

Joh 1:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Joh 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

Joh 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Joh 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

Joh 1:7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.

Joh 1:8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

Joh 1:9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.

Joh 1:11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.

Joh 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

Joh 1:13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Joh 1:15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'") [ESV]

I hope that it is reasonably clear that the entity identified as 'the Word' in verse 1:1 is in 'reality' the Lord Jesus Christ as identified in verse 1:14 as 'the only Son from the Father.' SO - I would like to 'paraphrase' verse 1:1 to read as follows:

John 1:1 In the beginning there was the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Lord Jesus Christ was with Allah, and the Lord Jesus Christ was Allah.

SO - what do you say - DEAL - OR - NO DEAL?

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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