Is 'Allah' the same god of the Jews and Christians?
Yes. The word in Hebrew came from "El" and in Arabic from "Elh". The word for "god" (note the small 'g' in English) is "Elah". Compare this to "Eloi" and "Eli" in the New Testament.
The word "Allah" is the perfect word to describe the God of Jews and Christians as it does not permit gender nor plural. Therefore, when the word is used as in "Eloihim" or "Allahumma" (these would appear at first to be plural and/or female genders) it becomes clear it is the royal usage such as a king would use in referring to his royal station while make a decree of some type. The king would state, "We decree the following..." and he is actually talking about his royal position rather than plural status.
There is no word in English for the "God" of Israel, the "God" of Jesus. This explains why the spelling remains the same whether speaking of a false "god" or pagan idol and the "God" of Abraham or Moses or Jesus (peace be upon them). Note the use of the capital "g" (G). This is the only way English can present a difference between the two. In the semitic languages it is easy to distinguish the difference between a "god" and "The God" due to the structure of the word itself.
Evidence for this is quite simple. Visit any motel or hotel and remove the Bible located in the drawer next to the bed (placed they courtesy of the Gideon Society). Note inside the first few pages a reference to the translations of the Bible they have made into 27 languages. The second example they give is to the Arabic language of the passage in the New Testament from the Gospel of John 3:16. The verse begins in English; "For God so loved the world.." and in the Arabic translation the word used for "God" is "Allah."
The Arabic Bible beginning with the Book of Genesis uses the word "Allah" to represent "The God" of Creation; Adam and Eve; Noah; Abraham; Ishmael and Isaac and Israel. Page one of Genesis has the word "Allah" 17 times.
From Christian Ph.D. Robert Morey
Quran proves - "Allah" is NOT a 'moon god':
"And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Do not bow down (prostrate) to the sun nor to the moon, but only bow down (prostrate) to "Allah" Who created them, if you (really) worship Him." [Holy Quran 41:37]
The Christian acquaintance who sent me a copy of Morey's booklet also sent me five questions related to this subject. I will attempt to answer them below:
What is the significance of the crescent moon in Islam?
The Quran answers this question before you asked it. Read this verse:
"They ask you about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage." [Holy Quran 2:189]
Why does Islam follow a lunar calendar?
In both the Bible and the Quran religious festivals are regulated by the lunar calendar. Jews and Muslims have kept to these regulations which they believe to be from God. Why does Christianity follow a solar calendar?
Why is the feast of Ramadan marked by the appearance of the crescent moon?
I think you mean the fast of Ramadan. God commanded Muslims in the Quran to fast from dawn to sunset during the month called Ramadan (see Quran 2:185, 187). The beginning and end of the month is determined by the crescent (2:189) based on the instruction of God's Messenger, on whom be peace.
Why this method and not another is not for us to say but for God and His Messenger to prescribe. However, I find it an efficient method. It is a universally applicable method, and it allows for Ramadan to move through all the seasons. This allows believers to have the pleasure of worshipping God by fasting in all the various seasons: one year in the summer, some years later in the winter.
Why does the Quran place the Sabeans on the same level with Jews and Christians when scholars have clearly proven that the Sabeans were involved in the moon cult?
I am not aware that the Quran has placed the Sabeans on the same level with Jews and Christians. Perhaps you have in mind the following verse:
"Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians, whoever believes in "Allah" and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."
[Holy Quran 2:62; also 5:69]
This verse, however, does not place the Sabeans on the same level as the Jews and Christians except in a particular context. The verse speaks of four distinct communities, and offers all four the opportunity to fear not nor grieve if only they would believe in "Allah" and the Last Day and do right. The four communities are:
the Believers (i.e., the Muslims)
While they are all offered the same opportunity for improvement, nothing, is said in this verse about the validity of the existing faiths of these four communities. Otherwise the Jews and Christians who are criticized in the Quran for their deviations will not be placed on the same level with the believers. The matter becomes clear when you realise that believers here does not mean saved persons but those who ostensibly belong to the community of Muslims. They, as well as the other three groups, must do the following to be saved: believe in "Allah" , believe in the Last Day, and do right. Doing right, according to the Quran, includes following every teaching of Muhammad.
Did the Meccans worship the true God since they recognized "Allah" ? Was "Allah" one of the gods of the Ka'bah?
And if so, where did the Meccans derive the recognition and the name of "Allah" from?
First, "Allah" was not one of the 360 idols which were in the Ka'bah, although Morey has claimed this without evidence. When the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) entered Makkah victorious he went into the Ka'bah and broke the idols therein.
Second, the word "Allah" has been used all along for the name of "God" in the Arabic Bible for Jews and Christians alike. The proof is easy to verify; simple go to any hotel or motel on the earth and look in the drawer next to the bed and take out the complimentary Bible, placed there by the Giddeons and then look on page 5 or 6 where they list the examples of translations they have made into other languages. The second example given is for Arabic speakers. The verse is from the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16. Everyone knows this one; "For God so loved the world..." and the word in Arabic for "God" is "Allah." Then if you have a Bible in Arabic, look on page one in Genesis, and you will find the word "Allah" 17 times.
Next, the word for "God" to the Arabs, ever since the time of Abraham, peace be upon him, has been "Allah" and He is to them, the Lord of the Ka'bah (the black box in the center of the Holy Sanctuary in Makkah). He was the unseen God whom they would call upon when in distress. Yes, they worshipped the true God but their worship was not purely for Him. They also worshipped other gods thinking that they would act as intermediaries between them and the true God Allah.
The Arabs know of Allah because Abraham visited Makkah and together with his son Ishmael laid the foundation of the Ka'bah. The descendants of Ishmael retained some of the worship rites and beliefs from Abraham. This included their knowledge of the true God Allah.
Elsewhere we have shown conclusively that the true god, "El" of the Bible is the same as "Allah" of the Quran.
Please refer to: "Yahweh, Jehovah, or Allah - What Is God's Real Name?" by Sheikh Shabir Ally.