What does the name الله ‘Allâh’ really mean?

God’s name in Arabic

I would like to share with you what the word “Allah” really means and how “Allah” is the God of all Arahamic Faiths. I feel that it is only fair to say that if someone wants to learn about Islam than that person should go to Islamic Scholars and not haters. Would one go to a Christian hater to learn about Christianity?

Some of the biggest misconceptions that many non-Muslims have about Islam have to do with the word “Allah.”  For various reasons, many people have come to believe that Muslims worship a different God than Christians and Jews.  This is totally false, since “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for “God” – and there is only One God. God has sent down many Prophets to spread His word to the people. Nobody knows for sure how many there were. What we know is what God has told us in the Qur’an.
God says he sent a prophet to every nation. He says:

““For We assuredly sent amongst every People a Messenger, (with the command): ‘Serve God, and eschew Evil;’ of the people were some whom God guided, and some on whom Error became inevitably (established). So travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who denied (the Truth)” [Holy Qur’an 16:36]

 

This is because one of the principles by which God operates is that He will never take a people to task unless He has made clear to them what His expectations are. The Qur’an mentions the names of 25 prophets and indicates there were others:

“Of some messengers We have already told you the story; of others We have not; – and to Moses God spoke direct.” (Holy Qur’an 4:164)

To Download the PDF file of The 25 Prophets of Islâm: Right click on Download and choose ‘Download Linked File As’
The names of the twenty-five prophets mentioned in the Holy Qur’an are as follows:

Adam

Idris (Enoch)

Nuh (Noah)

Hud (Heber)

Salih (Methusaleh)

Lut (Lot)

Ibrahim (Abraham)

Ismail (Ishmael)

Ishaq (Isaac)

Yaqub (Jacob)

Yusuf (Joseph)

Shu’aib (Jethro)

Ayyub (Job)

Dhulkifl (Ezekiel)

Musa (Moses)

Harun (Aaron)

Dawud (David)

Sulayman (Solomon)

Ilias (Elias)

Alyasa (Elisha)

Yunus (Jonah)

Zakariya (Zachariah)

Yahya (John the Baptist)

Isa (Jesus)

and Muhammad.

May Allah’s (God) Peace and blessings be upon them all.

However, it is certainly true that Jews, Christians and Muslims all have different concepts of Almighty God.  This, however, does not mean that each of these three religions worships a different God – because, as we have already said, there is only One True God.  Judaism and Islam both claim to be “Abrahamic Faiths”, and both of them are also classified as “monotheistic.”  But Islam shares with Christianity the belief of Jesus even though each of them have different approach.

First of all, it is important to note that “Allah” is the same word that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use for God [before Christianity reached Europe].  If you pick up an Arabic Bible, you will see the word “Allah” being used where “God” is used in English.  This is because “Allah” is a word in the Arabic language equivalent to the English word “God” with a capital “G”.  Additionally, the word “Allah” cannot be made plural, a fact which goes hand-in-hand with the Islamic concept of God.

It is interesting to note that the Aramaic word “El”, which is the word for God in the language that Jesus spoke, is certainly more similar in sound to the word “Allah” than the English word “God.”  This also holds true for the various Hebrew words for God, which are “El” and “Elah”, and the plural or glorified form “Elohim.”  The reason for these similarities is that Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic are all Semitic languages with common origins.

It should also be noted that in translating the Bible into English, the Hebrew word “El” is translated variously as “God”, “god” and “angel”.  This imprecise language allows different translators, based on their preconceived notions, to translate the word to fit their own views.  The Arabic word “Allah” presents no such difficulty or ambiguity, since it is only used for Almighty God alone. Additionally, in English, the only difference between “god”, meaning a false god, and “God”, meaning the One True God, is the capital “G”.  Due to the above mentioned facts, a more accurate translation of the word “Allah” into English might be “The One -and-Only God” or “The One True God.”

More importantly, it should also be noted that the Arabic word “Allah” contains a deep religious message due to its root meaning and origin. This is because it stems from the Arabic verb ta’allaha (or alaha), which means “to be worshipped.”  Thus in Arabic, the word “Allah” means “The One who deserves all worship.”This, in a nutshell, is the Pure Monotheistic message of Islam.
Suffice it to say that just because someone claims to be a “monotheistic” Jew, Christian or Muslim, that does not keep them from falling into corrupt beliefs and idolatrous practices.  Many people, including some Muslims, claim belief in “One God” even though they’ve fallen into acts of idolatry. Certainly, many Protestants accuse Roman Catholics of idolatrous practices in regards to the saints and the Virgin Mary.  Likewise, the Greek Orthodox Church is considered “idolatrous” by many other Christians because in much of their worship they use icons.  However, if you ask a Roman Catholic or a Greek Orthodox person if God is “One”, they will invariably answer: “Yes!.” This claim, however, does not stop them from being “creature worshipping” idolaters.  The same goes for Hindus, who just consider their gods to be “manifestations” or “incarnations” of the One Supreme God.

Before concluding… there are some people out there, who are obviously not on the side of truth, that want to get people to believe that “Allah” is just some Arabian “god”, and that Islam is completely “other” – meaning that it has no common roots with the other Abrahamic religions (i.e. Christianity and Judaism).

To say that Muslims worship a different “God” because they say “Allah” is just as illogical as saying that French people worship another God because they use the word “Dieu”, or that Spanish-speaking people worship a different God because they say “Dios” or that the Hebrews worshipped a different God because they sometimes call Him “Yahweh.”

Certainly, reasoning like this is quite ridiculous!  It should also be mentioned, that claiming that any one language uses the only the correct word for God is tantamount to denying the universality of God’s message to mankind, which was to all nations, tribes and people through various prophets who spoke different languages.

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).” [Holy Qur’an 49:13]

*Note*

There have been some questions by non-Muslims about the term “We” in the Qur’an. If Allâh is One, why does he refer to Himself as a “We”?  The answer is simple; The term “We” is a “Royal We”.

The majestic plural (pluralis maiestatis in Latin) is the use of a plural pronoun to refer to a single person holding a high office, such as a monarch, bishop, pope, or university rector. It is also called the royal pronoun, the royal “we or the Victorian “we”. The more general word for the use of “we” to refer to oneself is nosism, from the Latin nos. It’s most common use denotes the excellence, power, and dignity of the person that speaks or writes.

In Arabic when you talk in plural about a single person, it means you are talking about him as a great person, like in Arabic we can say “you” as in “inteh” (for single male) and “intu” for plural.  For example when I talk to someone older than me, as a matter of respect I tell him “how are you?” using the “you” for plural.  So when it says “We” in the Quran it only means Allâh, but its talking about Allah in a greater way.

Allah is One and can never be made plural.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “What does the name الله ‘Allâh’ really mean?

  1. The God of Abraham and Judaism blessed his son Israel and proclaimed he would bring forth a great nation, the God of Christianity said that the people should live in peace, and even said in a passage that you may marry a non-believer. The God of Islam curses Israel, and says that you may not under any circumstance marry a non-believer. No, the god of Islam can not e the same god of Abraham, because the god of Islam says things that go directly against what the god of Abraham said. Any who think that two being can say and behave in totally different ways but still be the same one un-changing God is beyond ignorance.

  2. Excellent explanation about Allah -o- Tala..My sincere prayer to Allah to shower HIS grace on you. Do we have any reliable dates about their birth place and dates? If possible, kindly post. Thanks

  3. Excellent explanation about Allah -o- Tala..My sincere prayer to Allah to shower HIS grace on you. Do we have any reliable dates about II their birth place and dates? If possible, kindly post. Thanks

Give your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s