2 readers online now  |  69 million page views

dhimmi no more

Reader comment on item: Barack Obama and Islam: An Ongoing Saga
in response to reader comment: Another tablighee and the Arabic language

Submitted by ahmadzafire (United States), Nov 13, 2009 at 18:28

The term Allah is derived from the Arabic definite article al- "the" and "deity, god" to meaning "the [sole] deity, God" The name "Allah" exist in other languages, including Hebrew and Aramaic. The corresponding Aramaic form is Elwha in Biblical Aramaic and Allah and Aloha in Syria

The contraction of al- and ilaha in forming the term Allah ("the god", masculine form) parallels the contraction of al- and ilaha in forming the term Allāt ("the goddess", feminine form).

In pre-Islamic Arabia, Allah was used by Mecca's as a reference to the creator-god, possibly the supreme deity.

Allah at Rasht Fort Pakistan

Allah was not considered the sole divinity; however, Allah was considered the creator of the world and the giver of rain. The notion of the term may have been vague in the Meccan religion Allah was associated with companions, whom pre-Islamic Arabs considered as subordinate deities. Mecca's held that a kind of kinship existed between Allah and the jinn. Allah was thought to have had sons and that the local deities of al Uzza, Man tu and al-Lat were His daughters.[ The Meccans possibly associated angels with Allah. Allah was invoked in times of distress. The Prophet's father name was 'Abdullah meaning the "servant of Allah." or "the slave of Allah"

According to Islamic belief, Allah is the proper name of God, and humble submission to His Will, Divine Ordinances and Commandments is the pivot of the Muslim faith. "He is the only God, creator of the universe, and the judge of humankind." "He is unique (Wahid) and inherently one (ahad), all-merciful and omnipotent. The Qur'an declares "the reality of Allah, His inaccessible mystery, His various names, and His actions on behalf of His creatures."

Allah scrpit outside Eski Cami(The old Mosque) in turkey. In Islamic tradition, there are 99 names for God(al-asma al-husna lit. meaning: "The best names") each of which evoke a distinct characteristic of Allah. All these names refer to Allah, the supreme and all-comprehensive divine name.[ Among the 99 names of God, the most famous and most frequent of these names are "the Merciful" (al- rah man) and "the Compassionate" (al-rahim).

Most Muslims use the untranslated Arabic phrase "insha Allah" (meaning "God willing") after references to future events. Muslim discursive piety encourages beginning things with the invocation of "bismallah"(meaning "In the name of God").

There are certain phrases in praise of God that are favored by Muslims, including "Subhana Allah" (Holiness be to God), "Alhamdulillah" (Praise be to God), "La-li-la-lah-il-al-lah" (There is no deity but God) and "Allhu Akbar (God is great) as a devotional exercise of remembering God (zikr) In a Sufi practice known as zikr Allah (lit. remembrance of God), the Sufi repeats and contemplates on the name Allah or other divine names while controlling his or her breath.

Arabic-speakers of all Abrahamic faiths, including Christians and Jews, use the word "Allah" to mean "God". The Christian Arabs of today have no other word for 'God' than 'Allah'. (Even the Arabic-descended Maltese Language of Malatya whose population is almost entirely Roman Catholic, uses Allah for 'God'.) Arab Christians for example use terms Allah al-ʼab meaning God the father, Allah al-ibn mean God the , and Allah al-rūḥ al-quds) meaning Gold Holy Spirit(See God in Christianity for the Christian concept of God).

Arab Christians have used two forms of invocations that were affixed to the beginning of their written works. They adopted the Muslim basm-Allah, and also created their own Trinities basm-Allah as early as the eight century CE. The Muslim basm-Allah reads: "In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful." The Trinitized basm-Allah reads: "In the name of Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, One God." The Syraic,Latin and Greek invocations do not have the words "One God" at the end. This addition was made to emphasize the monotheistic aspect of Trinitian belief and also to make it more palatable to Muslims.

According to Marshall Hoadgeburg if I'm correct (excuse me for a incorrect name), it seems that in the pre-Islamic times, some Arab Christians made pilgrimage to the Kaaba, a pagan temple at that time, honoring Allah there as God the Creator.

Other usage he history of the word "Allah" in English was probably influenced by the study of comparative religion 19th century; for example, Thomas Carlyon(1840) sometimes used the term Allah but without any implication that Allah was anything different from God. However, in his biography of Muhammad (1934), Tore Andre always used the term Allah, though he allows that this conception of God' seems to imply that it is different from that of the Jewish and Christian theologies. By this time Christians were also becoming accustomed to retaining the Hebrew term "Yahweh untranslated (it was previously translated as 'the Lord').

Languages which may not commonly use the term Allah to denote a deity may still contain popular expressions which use the word. For example, because of the centuries long Peninsula, the word ojalá in the Spanish Language and oxalá in the Portuguese Language exist today, borrowed from Arabic: This word literally means "God willing" (in the sense of "I hope so").

Some Muslims leave the name "Allah" untranslated in English. Sometimes this comes from a zeal for the Arabic text of the Qur'an and sometimes with a more or less conscious implication that the Jewish and Christian concept of God is not completely true in its details. Conversely, the usage of the term Allah by English speaking non-Muslims in reference to the God in Islam, Marshall G. S. Hodgson says, can imply that Muslims are worshiping a mythical god named 'Allah' rather than God, the creator. This usage is therefore appropriate, Hodgson says, only for those who are prepared to accept its theological implications.

Some scholars have suggested that Muhammad used the term Allah in addressing both pagan Arabs and Jews or Christians in order to establish a common ground for the understanding of the name for God, a claim Gerhard Bowering says is doubtful According to Bowering, in contrast with Pre-Islamic Arabian polypolytheism, God in Islam does not have associates and companions nor is there any kinship between God and jinn. Pre-Islamic pagan Arabs believed in a blind, powerful, inexorable and insensible fate over which man had no control. This was replaced with the Islamic notion of a powerful but provident and merciful God.

According to Francs Edwards Peters, "The Quran insists, Muslims believe, and historians affirm that Muhammad (pbuh)and his followers worship the same God as the Jews . The Quran's Allah is the same Creator God who covenanted with Abraham. Peters states that the Qur'an portrays Allah as both more powerful and more remote than Yahweh, and as a universal deity, unlike Yahweh who closely follows Israelites.

Submitting....

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to dhimmi no more by ahmadzafire

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)