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The true meaning of "La ilaha illallah", some comments on the articles of D. Pipes

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God?

Submitted by Nuray (Portugal), Dec 23, 2005 at 15:36

Arabic: "La ilaha illallah" is translated as

(1) There is no deity but God.

This first translation is made word by word. Here Allah means God, which is a title. Pagan Arabs were polytheist. God except Allah is mentioned always in the plural in Quran, like in the following verse (which shows that pagan Arabs had difficulty to understand a single God, monotheism): "Has he made gods (all) into one God? Truly this is a strange thing!" (38:5)

This translation doesn't mean that Islam has a distinct Lord,"as claimed by D. Pipes; Because Allah says in the Quran: "Those who believe [in the Qurán], and those who follow the Jewish [scriptures], and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteously, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." (2:62)

It doesn't also implies that "Jews and Christians worship a false god" as D. Pipes writes. In the following verse Allah condemns misbehavior of followers of Christianity, although they are supposed to worship Allah. "From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them." (5:14)

(2) There is no God but Allah.

Here God means Allah, which is a name of God. Allah has 99 names including Allah. "The Most Beautiful Names belong to ALLAH: so call on him by them." (7:180)

Therefore, both translation are correct. All Muslims pray in Arabic saying "La ilaha illallah" five times a day. Non-Arab Muslims don't use their own languages during their prayers. "Muslims at times agree that God and Allah are different" as written by D. Pipes, doesn't comply with one of pillars of Islam, recognising all messenger including Jesus and Moses, sent by Allah.

Muslims prefer using the name of God in their daily life to praise their God. God wants Muslims call him with beautiful names, which follow here.

(Name/Translation/some relevant verses from the Quran)

ALLÂH Allâh (1:1)
AR-RAHMÂN The Most Compassionate, The Beneficent The Gracious (1:3)
AR-RAHÎM The Merciful (2:163)
AL-MALIK The King (20:114)
AL-QUDDÛS The Most Holy (59:23)
AS-SALÂM The All-Peaceful, The Bestower of peace (59:23)
AL-MU'MIN The Granter of security (59:23)
AL-MUHAYMIN The Protector (59:23)
AL-'AZÎZ The Mighty (3:6)
AL-JABBÂR The Compeller (59:23)
AL-MUTAKABBIR Supreme in Greatness, The Majestic (59:23)
AL-KHÂLIQ The Creator (6:102)
AL-BÂRI' The Maker (59:24)
AL-MUSAWWIR The Bestower of form, The Shaper (59:24)
AL-GAFFÂR The Forgiver (20:82)
AL-QAHHÂR The Subduer (13:16)
AL-WAHHÂB The Bestower (3:8)
AR-RAZZÂQ The Provider (51:58)
AL-FATTÂH The Opener, The Judge (34:26)
AL-'ALÎM The All-Knowing (2:158)
AL-QÂBID The Withholder (2:245)
AL-BÂSIT The Expander (2:245)
AL-KHÂFID The Abaser
AR-RÂFI' The Exalter
AL-MU'IZZ The Bestower of honour (3:26)
AL-MUDHILL The Humiliator (3:26)
AS-SAMÎ' The All-Hearing (2:127)
AL-BASÎR The All-Seeing (4:58)
AL-HAKAM The Judge (22:69)
AL-'ADL The Just, The Equitable
AL-LATÎF The Gentle, The Knower of subtleties (6:103)
AL-KHABÎR The All-Aware (6:18)
AL-HALÎM The Forbearing (2:225)
AL-'AZÎM The Incomparably Great (2:255)
AL-GAFÛR The Forgiving (2:173)
ASH-SHAKÛR The Appreciative (35:30)
AL-'ALIYY The Most High (2:255)
AL-KABÎR The Most Great (13:9)
AL-HAFÎZ The Preserver (11:57)
AL-MUGHÎTH The Sustainer
AL-HASÎB The Reckoner (4:6)
AL-JALÎL The Majestic, The Revered, The Sublime
AL-KARÎM The Generous (27:40)
AR-RAQÎB The Watchful (4:1)
AL-MUJÎB The Responsive (11:61)
AL-WÂSI' The All-Encompassing, The All-Embracing (2:115)
AL-HAKÎM The Wise (2:129)
AL-WADÛD The Loving One (11:90)
AL-MAJÎD The Most Glorious (11:73)
AL-BÂ'ITH The Resurrector (22:7)
ASH-SHAHÎD The Witness (4:79)
AL-HAQQ The Truth (6:62)
AL-WAKÎL The Ultimate Trustee, The Disposer of Affairs (3:173)
AL-QAWIYY The Most Strong (22:40)
AL-MATÎN The Firm One, The Authoritative (51:58)
AL-WALIYY The Protector (3:68)
AL-HAMÎD The All-Praised, The Praiseworthy (14:1)
AL-MUHSÎ The Reckoner
AL-MUBDI' The Originator (10:4)
AL-MU'ÎD The Restorer to life (10:4)
AL-MUHYÎ The Giver of life (3:156)
AL-MUMÎT The Causer of death (3:156)
AL-HAYY The Ever-Living (2:255)
AL-QAYYÛM The Self-Existing by Whom all subsist (2:255)
AL-WÂJID The Self-Sufficient, The All-Perceiving
AL-MÂJID The Glorified
AL-WÂHID The One (2:163)
AS-SAMAD The Eternally Besought (112:2)
AL-QÂDIR The Omnipotent, The Able (6:65)
AL-MUQTADIR The Powerful (18:45)
AL-MUQADDIM The Expediter
AL- MU'AKHKHIR The Delayer (71:4)
AL-AWWAL The First (57:3)
AL-ÂKHIR The Last (57:3)
AZ-ZÂHIR The Manifest (57:3)
AL-BÂTIN The Hidden (57:3)
AL-WÂLÎ The Governor, The Protector
AL-MUTA'ÂLÎ The Most Exalted (13:9)
AL-BARR The Benign, The Source of All-Goodness (52:28)
AT-TAWWÂB The Granter and Accepter of repentence (2:37)
AL- MUNTAQIM The Lord of Retribution, The Avenger (32:22)
AL-'AFUWW The Pardoner (4:99)
AR-RA'ÛF The Most Kind, The Clement (3:30)
MÂLIK-UL-MULK Owner of the Kingdom (3:26)
DHUL JALÂL WAL IKRÂM Possessor of Majesty and Honour (55:27)
AL-MUQSIT The Just, The Equitable (3:18)
AL-JÂME' The Gatherer (3:9)
AL-GHANIYY The All-Sufficient (2:263)
AL-MUGHNÎ The Enricher (9:28)
AL-MÂNI' The Preventer of harm
AD-DÂRR The Afflicter
AN-NÂFI' The Benefiter
AN-NÛR The Light (24:35)
AL-HÂDÎ The Guide (25:31)
AL-BADÎ' The Originator (2:117)
AL-BÂQÎ The Everlasting (55:27)
AL-WÂRITH The Ultimate Inheritor (15:23)
AS-SABÛR The Patient One



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