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'it was only in jest'

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God? - Continued
in response to reader comment: I don't understand why Christians ever use the word Allah, anywhere, for Yahweh/God the Father

Submitted by Oliver (United States), Jul 1, 2009 at 12:35

Submitted by Charles Martel, Mar 6, 2009 11:16

I don't understand why Christians ever use the word Allah, anywhere, for Yahweh/God the Father

Clearly there is some linguistic legacy issue that is beyond my ken, but the word "Allah" clearly now has ONE denotative meaning -- the god of the Moslems. Even if it once was used as a noun meaning the Supreme Being, now it means the proper name of the Moslem god.

It is something like insisting on using "gay" according to the 1930 definition -- GET OVER IT, WE LOST THAT ONE.

I assume that Jews from Arab countries that might use Arabic vernacular wouldn't use "Allah" for Y--H (or whatever the circumlocution is--no offense).

My dear Charles,

Humm … why do 'Christians' even use the 'word' Allah, anywhere, for YHWH? Good question …

Well – as I have come to understand it (although it is unlikely that an Arabic-speaking Christian will admit it), it is merely 'linguistic pride' or a 'thumb in the eye' device.

It is my contention that in pre-Islamic Arabic the 'word' Allah was associated (as a NAME) with the principal 'god' of the Arabic pantheon – now the 'word' allah (which is the 'contraction' of al ilah – the god) can mean 'THE God' pointing toward 'the ONE God' – now there were Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians (I use those terms loosely) living in pre-Islamic Arabia who would have had to differentiate between the Allah of the Arabic pantheon and 'the ONE God' of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob – YHWH. A 'friend' of mine in this thread supplied some evidence of pre-Islamic Christians using 'al ilah' as a means of referring to the Christian God – I would suggest that the Jews would have used a similar 'device'. I believe that the Christian usage of this 'device' is evidence that the word allah was, in deed, employed as the NAME of the principal deity of the Arabic pantheon. It is important to note that in pre-Islamic Arabic al ilah and allah could mean exactly the same thing – it would be the speaker's perspective that would determine what was being addressed.

When Islam came along – everything changed – Mohammad picked up on 'the ONE God' concept and tried to associate his 'Allah' (NAME or CONCEPT??) with 'the ONE God' (allah or al ilah) of the Jews & Christians. Both the Jews & Christians rejected this 'connection' – WHY? – was it because they 'both' still associated the 'word' Allah with the NAME of the principal deity of the Arabic pantheon? – was it because they 'knew' the NAME of the GOD that they worshipped and that NAME was (IS) not allah? You be the judge.

After Islam completed domination (by the sword) of Arabia – Arabic also became dominated (by the sword) by Islam – in particular, the usage of the word Allah was now confined as a reference to 'the ONE God' of Islam and al ilah now referred to all other so-called gods. Allah was now 'specific' – while al ilah was now 'generic'. Arabic became completely Islamized. BUT today, Arabic speaking Jews & Christians persist in using the word allah when speaking about their God – WHY? – some where in the Quran there is a passage wherein Mohammad says something to the effect that 'they(?) say they(?) worship Allah to our face but when they(?) are alone they(?) whisper they(?) were only jesting' – is this an obscure clue to the contrivance of the Jews & Christians to save their lives and still reject Islam? I believe it is, but over the centuries this initial 'resistance' of using Allah to refer to 'the ONE God' has become so ingrained in their vocabulary that current day speakers are convinced it has always been so – they have either forgotten or are refusing to admit that it is still a form of 'resistance' – perhaps they still go home and whisper to themselves 'it was only in jest'.

Peace & Love

Submitting....

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