Who is Allah?

Description: Do Muslims worship the same God as the Jews and Christians? What does the word Allah mean? Is Allah the Moon-god?
By Abdurrahman Robert Squires (edited by IslamReligion.com)
Published on 20 Feb 2006 - Last modified on 26 Nov 2007
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Category: Articles > Beliefs of Islam > About God

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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. Let there be no doubt - Muslims worship the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus - peace be upon them all. However, it is certainly true that Jews, Christians and Muslims all have different concepts of Almighty God. For example, Muslims - like Jews - reject the Christian beliefs of the Trinity and the Divine Incarnation. 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, Christianity and Islam all claim to be Abrahamic Faiths, and all of them are also classified as monotheistic. However, Islam teaches that other religions have, in one way or another, distorted and nullified a pure and proper belief in Almighty God by neglecting His true teachings and mixing them with man-made ideas.

First of all, it is important to note that Allah is the same word that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use for God. 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 taallaha (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 theyve 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[1], 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, 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 Gods message to mankind, which was to all nations, tribes and people through various prophets who spoke different languages.

We would like to ask our readers about the motives of these people? The reason is that the Ultimate Truth of Islam stands on solid ground and its unshakeable belief in the Unity of God is above reproach. Due to this, Christians cant criticize its doctrines directly, but instead fabricate things about Islam that arent true so that people lose the desire to learn more. If Islam were presented in the proper way to the world, it surely might make many people reconsider and re-evaluate their own beliefs. It is quite likely that when they find out that there is a universal religion in the world that teaches people to worship and love God, while also practicing Pure Monotheism, would at least feel that they should re-examine the basis for their own beliefs and doctrines.



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Footnotes:
[1] Such as the claim propagated by Robert Morey in his work, The Moon-god Allaah in the Archeology of the Middle East. For a discussion of this work, please see the following links:

(http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Qur...h/moongod.html)

http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/195/