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Islam Adopted Allah

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God?

Submitted by Jonathan Keiler (United States), Jun 28, 2005 at 09:27

It might be fair to say that Muhammad created Islam as a new variation on Judeo-Christian monothesism, but that, in order to sell it to local Arabs, and thereafter other populations, the deity had to be identified as a familiar one, in this case the dominant moon-god Allah.

His shrine, the Kabbah, became the sacred locus for Islamic belief, although it was certainly a ancient pre-Islamic pagan holy site.

In this, Islam doesn't differ in some respects from Judaism (which selected a dominant deity, Yaweh, as its God) or Christianity (which consciously and successfully adapted itself to any number of pagan deities and beliefs, thus ensuring its survival and success.)

Muslims may choose to ignore the role that a historically specific deity played in the rise of Islam, but many will always prefer a natural, if chauvanistic, attachment to Allah.
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