Hard Questions

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ALLAH is is the name of GOD in Arabic. It is also the name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and his disciples. The word Allah is used by Arabic speakers, whether Muslims, Christians or Jews. It was used by Christians and Jews before Islam appeared in the 7th century AD.

If you read an Aramaic Bible, you will not find the word ‘God’, but you will find the word ‘Alah’, and if you recite it, you will say Allah and not God.

TRY This little exercise:

  1. Visit The Peshitta New Testament in Aramaic/English Interlinear format website, The URL is http://www.peshitta.org/
  2. Goto Tools> Lexicon>
  3. Enter the word God in the search field, to find the corresponding Aramaic word

Allah is most probably the name of God in Hebrew, Even the generic for god in Hebrew: eloh, is very similar to the same in Arabic: ilah

The Arabic term used for invoking God is ‘Allahum ‘ which is very similar to the Hebrew name of God ‘ Elohim ‘, or rather ‘Alohim‘ (the Hebrew alphabet does not have a letter ‘E’). This is more evident if you considered the fact that all three Semitic languages were written originally without vowels.

I have noticed a growing tendency amongst some Western Christians to blaspheme – out of ignorance or spite, or both – the name of the Creator, as spoken by their Messiah and his disciples, and as used by their brothers, the Arab Christians. This is what prompted me to write this piece.

I have nothing against using the name ‘God’ as an English term for the Creator/ Supreme God, but those who just can’t but show off their vanity by blaspheming the Arabic/ Aramaic name of the Creator, I invite them to look closer at their faith and ask them to vent their venom somewhere else.

See my other post: Allah: The God of The Quran and The Bible


  • Wikipedia:Etymology:

The term Allāh is most likely derived from a contraction of the Arabic article al- and ʾilāh “deity, god” to al-lāh meaning “the [sole] deity, God” (ho theos monos).[4] Another theory traces the etymology of the word to the Aramaic Alāhā.[4] Cognates of the name “Allāh” exist in other Semitic languages, including Hebrew and Aramaic.[3] The corresponding Aramaic form is אֱלָהָא ˀĔlāhā in Biblical Aramaic and ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ˀAlâhâ or ˀĀlōho in Syriac.[10] The term Allah is always used in the singular form; the plural form of the term does not exist in the Arabic language. Read the full article..

  • Catholic Encyclopedia:

ALLAH: The name of God in Arabic:

It is a compound word from the article, ‘al, and ilah, divinity, and signifies “the god” par excellence. This form of the divine name is in itself a sure proof that ilah was at one time an appellative, common to all the local and tribal gods. Gradually, with the addition of the article, it was restricted to one of them who took precedence of the others; finally, with the triumph of monotheism, He was recognized as the only true God.In one form or another this Hebrew root occurs in all Semitic languages as a designation of the Divinity; but whether it was originally a proper name, pointing to a primitive monotheism, with subsequent deviation into polytheism and further rehabilitation, or was from the beginning an appellative which became a proper name only when the Semites had reached monotheism is a much debated question. It is certain, however, that before the time of Mohammed, owing to their contact with Jews and Christians, the Arabs were generally monotheists.

The notion of Allah in Arabic theology is substantially the same as that of God among the Jews, and also among the Christians, with the exception of the Trinity, which is positively excluded in the Koran, cxii: “Say God, is one God, the eternal God, he begetteth not, neither is he begotten and there is not any one like unto him.” Read the full article….

Written by Rasheed Gadir

May 7, 2008 at 2:26 am

3 Responses

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  1. […] looks at the use of words that sound like Allah among early Christians and reminds us that the God of the […]

  2. […] From the excellent site Hard Questions […]

  3. Allah is not a compound of ‘Al’ and ‘Ilah'(The and generic God). That is a flat out lie and has no evidence to back it up. ‘Al’ is equivalent to ‘Ya’ in Arabic. Arabs have said ‘Ya Allah’ since before Islam. Therefore, using this logic would mean that Ya Allah = The The God! Obviously you can see the problem. Allah simply refers to the Supreme Deity that Arab Jews, Christians, and even Pagans used prior to Islam. Even the Mushriks(Pre-Islamic Pagans) believed in Allah as the Supreme Deity, but used Intercessors(idols) to worship him. The Qur’an even attests to this fact. Even Jesus called his God ALaha and was never recorded using ‘Yahweh’. We all believe and worship the same God, but we differ in how to achieve salvation. Salam/Shalom!


    August 24, 2012 at 11:25 pm

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