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Nice try, Oliver, but your argument is still full of holes and therefore HIGHLY ERRONEOUS!

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God? - Continued
in response to reader comment: Question: Is Allah God? Answer: Yes … and no.

Submitted by zzazzeefrazzee (United States), Mar 10, 2008 at 20:09


"‘Let it be noted that although Allah is an Arabic term, it is used by all Muslims, whatever be their language, as the name of god.' (Catholic Encyclopedia)"

Actually, this is not entirely true. Kindly allow me to digress for a moment. I think another related analogy may actually might drive home numerous points that I've been making.

Many Persianate Christians use the term خدا "Khuda" (sometimes transliterated as "Khoda"), the Persian word for "God". You can commonly find the term به نامِ خدا "Beh Nam-e Khoda" "In the name of God" used by Persian speakers of all faiths. The name "Allah" is used for formal prayers, but there really is a veritable ocean (Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, Mandaean, and Islamic- both Sunniand Shia' ) references to the term "Khuda". This usage has permeated not only all Persian dialects (including the aforementioned Judeo-PersianTâtî, a Persian dialect rendered using Hebrew Script), but also some Turkic dialects, Urdu, and other South Asia Indo-European dialects (Pashto, Kashmiri, Bangla, Dakhni, just for starters) as well.

Given the ancient pre-Christian usage of the term, is is "Khuda" a "different" God? It's funny, that so many people of different sectarian backgrounds in the region should employ this term. In addition, I should mention that I also have good friends who attend a very American Persian evangelical church very close by to where I live. There is a HUGE Persian baptist church in Dallas. So, one could ask whether you are prepared to vociferously attack their usage of the term Khuda, or do you only reserve your chosen sentiments for Arabic speaking Christians?

Sadly the Encyclopedia Iranica online is incomplete, so the entry for "khuda" is not available, but the Steingass Persian dictionary does have it:

Steingass, Francis Joseph. A Comprehensive Persian-English Dictionary, Including the Arabic Words and Phrases to be Met with in Persian Literature. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1892. pp. 448-49.



خدا ḵẖudā (from ḵẖẉud=self, and āy= coming; according to others related to S. sva-datta=self-given, i.e. self-created), God; master, owner;--ḵẖudā bar-dārad, God takes away, i.e. causes to die;--ḵẖudā jawāb dihad, God will give an answer, a formula of imprecation, if objectionable questions are raised;--ḵẖudā ḵẖudā dāshtan (kardan), To take refuge with God;--ḵẖudā-rā dost mīdārī, May God befriend you! (a form of administering an oath);--ḵẖudā na-kunad, God forbid! (m.c.);--ba-ḵẖudā, By God! for God's sake (m.c.);--ba-ḵẖudā ki, God is my witness that (m.c.);--tu-rā ba-ḵẖudā, I implore you for

God's sake (m.c.);--tū u ḵẖudā, Thou and God (i.e. may be face to face, form of ad- ministering an oath);--ḥuẓrat ḵẖudāʼi bī- zawāl, The Almighty God without end.

خدا آفرید ḵẖudā-āfrīd

خدا آفرید ḵẖudā-āfrīd, God-created.

خدا آفرین ḵẖudā-āfrīn

خدا آفرین ḵẖudā-āfrīn, The Lord Creator.

خدا آگاه ḵẖudā-āgāh

خدا آگاه ḵẖudā-āgāh, Knowing God.

خدا بین ḵẖudā-bīn

خدا بین ḵẖudā-bīn, One who always keeps God in view, pious.

خدا بینی ḵẖudā-bīnī

خدا بینی ḵẖudā-bīnī, Piety.

خدا پرستی ḵẖudā-parastī

خدا پرستی ḵẖudā-parastī, Divine worship.

خدا پسند ḵẖudā-pasand

خدا پسند ḵẖudā-pasand, Pleasing to God; a good action.

خدا ترس ḵẖuda-tars

خدا ترس ḵẖuda-tars, God-fearing, godly.

خدا جو ḵẖudā-jo, ḵẖudā-joy

خدا جو ḵẖudā-jo, ḵẖudā-joy, Seeking God.

خدا حافظ ḵẖudā-ḥāfiz̤

خدا حافظ ḵẖudā-ḥāfiz̤, God preserve you! adieu, good-bye;--ḵẖudā-ḥāfiz̤ kardan, To take leave, to say good-bye (m.c.).

خدا خوان ḵẖudā-ḵẖẉān

خدا خوان ḵẖudā-ḵẖẉān, The fore-finger (because they hold it up when confessing their faith).

As well as the Platts Urdu-Hindi Dictionary online

Platts, John T. (John Thompson). A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English. London: W. H. Allen & Co., 1884. pg 487:


P ḵẖudā [old P. qadhāi, qudhāi; Pehl. khotāi; Zend qadhāta, qa+dāta, rt. = S. sva+dhita, rt. dhā], s.m. lit. 'Having his own law,' &c.; the Supreme Being, God;--lord, master, ruler, owner (chiefly in comp., e.g. nāḵẖudā, q.v.):--ḵẖudā uṭhā-le, May God remove (him or her, by death):--ḵẖudā-parast, adj. God-worshipping, godly, devout:--ḵẖudā-parastī, s.f. The worship of God; devoutness:--ḵẖudā-tars, adj. God-fearing; virtuous, upright;--compassionate, merciful:--ḵẖudā-tarsī, s.f. The quality of fearing God; piety; goodness, virtue, uprightness:--ḵẖudā-taʻālā or ḵẖudā-ě-taʻālā, The Most High God (=allāh-taʻālā):--ḵẖudā jāne, God knows:--ḵẖudā ćāhe, If God will, God willing:--ḵẖudā ḥāfiz̤, God (be your) protector! God keep you! adieu! farewell!--ḵẖudā-ḵẖudā-kar-ke, adv. After earnest and repeated imploring of the aid of God, after much prayer; with great difficulty; by hook or by crook:--ḵẖudā-dād, adj. Given of God, granted by God; (hence) natural;--a proper name:--ḵẖudā-dānī, s.f. The knowledge of God:--ḵẖudā dikhāʼī denā (-ko), lit. 'God to be manifest'; to think of God in danger or trouble:--ḵẖudā-rasīda, adj. God-arrived, godly:--ḵẖudā samjhe, God will avenge!--ḵẖudā-se kām paṛnā, To cast (one's) burden on God; to have recourse to God for aid (in a matter):--ḵẖudā-shinās, adj. & s.m. Knowing God;--one who knows God;--ḵẖudā-shināsī, s.f. Knowledge of God:--ḵẖudā-t̤alabī, s.f. The seeking of God:--ḵẖudā-kā ghar, The abode of God, heaven; the house of God, a place of worship; a mosque;--ḵẖudā-ke ghar se phirnā, To have a narrow escape from death;--to recover from a dangerous illness:--ḵẖudā-kā nām lenā, To act justly, be just, do justice:--ḵẖudā-kare, God grant; would to God!--ḵẖudā-kī panāh, (I seek) the protection of God; God preserve (me, &c.):--ḵẖudā-kī saṅwār, ḵẖudā-kī mār, s.f. Divine vengeance or wrath:--ḵẖudā-ke māre honā, To be stricken, or to suffer, by the decrees of fate; to be unfortunate:--ḵẖudā-lagtī bolnā or kahnā, To speak as before God, to speak the truth, say what is right:--ḵẖudā nā- karda, or ḵẖudā na-kare, or ḵẖudā na-ḵẖẉāsta or na-ḵẖẉāsta bāshad, God forbid. lest (=mubādā):--ḵẖudā-wāst̤e-ki dushmanī, s.f. Unreasonable enmity.

4) "‘Christian' translations of the ‘Tanakh' (Hebrew) and the ‘New Testament' (Greek) into Arabic, dating from about the 9th century CE, use the word Allah, as opposed to al-ilah (the ‘word' used by pre-Islamic Christian Missionaries to differentiate their god from Allah), in reference to the both the Jewish god and the Christian god, respectively."

No, the Christian usage of Al-Ilah was not to distinguish it from "Allah", as the terms are really one and the same. Furthermore, the concern of some irritable Malaysians is not reflective of a trend among all Muslims. If you would bother to look at nearby Indonesia, there is no such problem. Furthermore, I have stressed to you REPEATEDLY that Arabic nations with Christian minorities have NO PROBLEM as you have implied. Yet you repeatedly fail to consider this very real scenario. I wonder why? Do confounding variables not merit your attention?

5) "...therefore, Arabic has been effectively ‘hi-jacked' by Islam, Arabic is Islamized – therefore, the very use, by non-Muslims, of the Islamized Arabic term / word / name for god (Allah), to refer to ‘their' god, amounts to a tacit approval and agreement with the underlying Islamic connotation and meaning of that term / word / name for god – that being, only Allah is ‘the one and only god' – ‘the creator god'."

Would you mind attempting to learn some of the language (and meet a few Arabic-speaking Christians) BEFORE you start making such long-winded sanctimonious assertions? By your own analogy, did Christians "hijack" (a loaded usage of course) the Greek language from the writings of the philosophers before Jesus? Did they "hijack" Latin from Rome? Did Buddha "hijack" Sanskrit from the Hindus? Did Confucius "hijack" Chinese from the Daoists? I'm certain that some Jews feel very strongly about Christians having "hijacked" the Torah. Did this supposed Christian "hijacking" of the Torah render Judaism without grounding?

In short, no matter how sanctimonious you assert your beliefs are "correct" it is VERY offensive to my Arabic -speaking Christian friends, as you deny any relevance to Arabic Christian history by implying that their language was "hijacked".

Regarding point 6, of course Jews and Muslims have no problem with the first verse of Genesis, only the term used is ELOHIM, not YHVH. Second, yes, Jews and Muslims would have a problem with inserting Jesus in place of Elohim. Your leading question is simply to create a circular argument. btw- Suffice it to say that Jews are not going to appreciate your "hijacking" of Elohim as a metaphor for Jesus.

Finally, your conclusion that "Allah cannot be the god of Christianity" is still as erroneous as it was to begin with, as you have to indulge in a litany of logical fallacies, much less conveniently overlook centuries of Christian usage to arrive at such a conclusion. Your bias is entirely derived from your chosen sectarian bias, and even hostility towards Islam. That will NEVER constitute a truly objective comparative study of the languages and religious traditions (broadly defined) in the region throughout time.


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Mark my comment as a response to Nice try, Oliver, but your argument is still full of holes and therefore HIGHLY ERRONEOUS! by zzazzeefrazzee

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