Talk:Allah/Archive 1

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I just think it's interesting how many revisions this has gone through ... here's the original 1911 "Gutenberg" encyclopedia article that I pasted here originally, that has had the so-called "Islamic bias" removed. I do know it needed editing, revising, expanding, and to be "brought up to the times." Just something interesting to think about.

ALLAH, the Arabic name used by Moslems of all nationalities for the one true God. It is compounded of al, the definite article, and ilah, meaning a god. The same word is found in Hebrew and Aramaic as well as in ancient Arabic (Sabaean). The meaning of the root from which it is derived is very doubtful; cf. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon, p. 82, and the Oxford Hebrew and English Lexicon, pp. 61 ff.


A previous version of the "Allah" article included the following: "Allah" was also the proper name for the pre-Islamic god of the moon and travel worshiped by nomadic Arabic tribes. The name and has no femminine or plural forms. Allah was considered to be the ancestor and leader of the other gods, such as the goddesses al-Lat? and Man'at?

Anybody know why was this removed?

It seems that the moon god theory is heavily disputed and has limited support. It appears to be based on the poor quality work of only one man (Robert Mory) in the last 10 years.

Well, insofar as 'Allah' doubles as the name 'God' in Arabic we're up against the problem solved in English by capitalization, capital G for the monotheistic god of the Jews and Christians (who prefers that we NOT use his first name) versus the gods with a small G. "Allah" was undoubtedly used about all SORTS of deities, and that's where the Moon-deity argument falls down. And watch out about publishing the female-trinity bit -- isn't that what got Salman Rushdie in trouble? --Michael Tinkler.

I authored the paragraph about the moon-god theory. I read about this in "Islam" [1] by Jamal J. Elias, a Muslim author. The book is an intorduction to Islam from the POV of a liberal Muslim scholar. As Elias is Associate Professor of Religion at Amherst College, Massachusetts, and he writes on this theory as if it were fact, it seems there is more to this picture than the "poor" work of one scholar. Therefore, I have restored the paragrah, with a note on it's contoversy.

I also authored the bit about Yahweh that was taken out. Critism accepeted, it belongs in its own article. So i have put it in Yahweh. - Asa

It does seem true that Allah was the name of a moon god - and that Mohammed's father had allah as part of his name. But the name does have a feminine form - al Lat. It is not clear the connection of the moon god to the Muslim god.

Ok, first of all: Allah does simply mean "the god", rather equivalent to our capitalized "God". Hence, any major god (like this moon god, apparently) would have very likely been called "God". I did some [admittely Internet-based] research on this topic just now, and clarified a few things in the actual text. Let me know how it reads now.

Here's a question. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a dictionary, so its articles should be about topics, not words per se. So is the "Allah" article the appropriate place to provide a discussion of the Islamic concept of God? My initial thought would be yes.

But Arabic-speaking Christians would use the word to refer to the Christian God. Does that complicate the issue? Maybe. But one might argue that the wikipedia is in English (this one at least), and in English the word "Allah" is generally used to refer to God specifically with reference to Islam. Right? So the discussion of the Islamic concept of God should be under "Allah". Does this make sense? Anyone disagree?

Another question - Do Muslims take Allah to be the personal name for God or just the Arabic language word meaning God. This could be tricky since by way of comparison some Christians take Yahweh to be the personal name of God while others see it as just another description "I am what I am" (If there is only one of a class, i.e. one God, why would he need a personal name?)

Well. In the listing I have that is based on Hadith (the teaching tradition of Islam), Allah is listed as the first name among the 99 names. The names read more like titles "the Compassionate, the Merciful, etc.", but the tradition is that they are names. I'll add the list as an entry. --MichaelTinkler

Actually we already have a page under [[:ninety-nine names of Allah|ninety-nine names of Allah.

Regarding: discussion of the Islamic concept of God

I personally think the discussion of the Islamic concept of God should be listed under Islam, not Allah. Under Allah should be listed, basically, what is there right now--what the word is used for, its origins, and other basic things about it. If you're worried about it becoming to "dictionary"-ish, see the top of this page for the entirety of an Allah article from a 1911 encyclopedia--it is, I would say, less detailed than our article currently is. I think there's nothing to worry about in that respect.

Regarding: is Allah the name of God or just a word meaning God?

What's the difference? It's not an attribute, like the rest of the 99 are (the compassionate, and so forth). Do Christians/Jews consider the capitalized "God" to be the name of God or just a word meaning God? It's usually considered to be both, much, I think, the way that "God" is in English.

Again, something to think about is that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews do use the word Allah to refer to God ... it's not specifically Islamic.

There is little doubt that Jews do not consider God the name of God. In their religion one does not pronounce the name of God YHWH. Many Christians may have forgotten it and confusingly most Bible translations use LORD in small capital letters as the translation. Certainly it is an important distinction - look at the emphasis mystery religions put on names of gods.

And if you look at the list of the 99 names you'll see that lots of them end up as personal names in Arabic, much as the Protestant Puritans used names like "Mercy" or "Chastity." --MichaelTinkler

I will try to bring an answer to the problem from Turkish point of view. I am not sure about other Muslim nations but Turkish people usually (although there are no definite rules for that) use the word Allah as the special name of God. We use a different and genuinely Turkish word (tanri) to specify other gods (as ancient Egyptian gods, Celtic gods etc.). As to the gods of other monotheistic religions, I think there is some confusion for that and people may use both Allah and tanri. On the other hand, from Islamic point of view, other than being simply Al Ilah (the God) in Arabic language, Allah is indeed the special name of God and it is the most precious name for it is not a descriptive name like other Ninety-nine names of Allah, but the name of God's own presence. This is a difficult concept to define. The name Allah is accepted to comprise the meanings of all other names of the God, as well. All the names including Allah are referred to as "asma ul husna" (beautiful names) and Allah is regarded as greatest of these names. ErdemTuzun

ErdemTuzun: thanks, you managed to say that a lot better than I could have. It is indeed more than simply Al Ilah to Muslims--the greatest of the names of God, as you said. Conversely, it is true that Arabic-speaking Christians use the term Allah to speak of God.

Do you think that the most recent revision says this aptly enough? Perhaps an extra sentence somewhere stating that Allah does have special significance to Muslims, more than simply meaning "the God", as it is used by others. Hm. I'll contemplate it. --Dlugar


One important issue that has to do with the "is Allah just Arabic for God" question is that I've heard certain personages claiming something along the lines of "The Muslims are heathens - they don't worship God, they worship Allah!" (This is typically the sort of person who believes he can get to heaven by defrauding people on TV while wearing a bad haircut.) Obviously this is nonsense - perhaps we should so clarify. montréalais

I strongly want to remove the Carleton S. Coon source from this topic, as it contradicts every other source I have found. It appears to be the consensus among historians that Allah was considered the God who made everything, and idols and moon gods and lesser gods were added to him as partners. I can find nothing in Islamic or Arab history that ever suggests that there was anything above Allah, and the Quran, the best kept piece of the time, points to the fact that the Pagans of the time didnt put any idols above Allah. Leaving this source here introduces a controversy over the origins of the term when there really isn't any.

I agree with the above. Keeping the moon-god lies in there only furthers ignorance about al-Islaam among people such as Lt. Gen. William "Jerry" Boykin.

Anyone have a source for the claim that Allah was the name of God in the Aramaic language? ThaGrind 02:51, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)


The Syriac Aramaic word is 'alaah-aa, with a single l. I don't have a dictionary handy for other dialects of Aramaic. - Mustafaa 06:03, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)

There are many ways of representing other writing systems in English. The spellings in English for Aramaic are different depending on which author. About "claim that Allah was the name of God in the Aramaic language", see Prayers of the Cosmos by Neil Douglas-Klotz. ISBN 0-06-061995-3, p. 7. There are several ancient words for God in the Middle East that are cognates.Kim 金

"Alaha" (or however you want to write the Aramaic in Roman letters) means "the Oneness." That is not a proper name, but a characterization, a description that points to God. St. Thomas Aquinas knew and wrote a long time ago, in agreement with Islamic scholars, that humans cannot comprehend God. So we make do with partial understandings and partial descriptions. There is only one God. Arabs speak of him their word. Syriac speakers speak of him with their word. English speaking Christians speak of him with their word. They hear other people speaking other words and conclude they believe in other Gods. That is like one person saying that he was born on Terra and the other person calling him an alien. Kim 金 15:10, 3 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Indeed it will cause controversy to categorize Allah as "a god" as user Gabbe has done. To put Allah (or Elohim or Wakan Tanka...) on a level with Narcissus, Aphrodite, Jove, Wotan... strikes me as extremely insensitive and offensive as well as being incorrect from a taxonomic point of view. 16:56, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)


I protest the addition of Allah to Category:Judaism. Of course we are dealing with the same God, but the NAME Allah is used almost exclusively by Muslims, and this article deals mainly with the way Muslims relate to the Creator. Similarly, this article is not pertinent to Category:Christianity, as the Christians do not refer to the Lord by the name Allah. JFW | T@lk 14:49, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It sounds like you are saying, "If somebody wants to know about Allah, do not read the Torah and do not read the New Testament, read only the Koran." Do you assume that an article entitled "Allah" is actually an article that should be titled: "How the believers in Islam conceptualize God?" It would be one thing to have an article on a star called "Sol," and another thing to have an article on "How the ancient Egyptians conceptualized the sun." 15:30, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I agree. Allah is not part of Christianity or Judaism or the Bible. It may be part of names that some Christians or Jews call God, but not part of Christianity or Judaism itself. And Allah is definitely not part of the Bible. If you want to make a category called something like Names for generic gods in various languages, fine. — 16:02, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Really? Does it not follow logically from what you have said that God (Deus, Alaha, or whatever you want to call him) is not a part of '"Christianity" or "Judaism" or the "Bible"'? What are you trying to say? (Parallel argument: If Mark Twain was not a prominent American author, then Samuel Langhorne Clemens was not a prominent American author.) 15:30, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I can understand your point of view, both. But I think it is ignorant, to think that Christianity has only to do with iso-8859-1 languages or Judaism with iso-8859-8. There are millions of Arabic speaking Jews and Christians, who are familiar with the name "Allah", which is obviously not your case. Allah (الله) is in every Arabic Bible, Old and New Testament. If you don't believe me, go and check for yourself, for example here:

if you cannot read arabic, just look for الله or use an OCR.


IF the (Arabic OR Aramaic) Bible speak of Allah, THEN Category:Bible is right EVEN IF not yet existing.

IF Arabic (Christians AND Jews) are concerned with Him, THEN (Category:Christianity AND Category:Judaism) are right, too.

ELSE the Bible and Christianity are only concerned with English Christians AND Judaism only with Hebrew Jews, which is NOT TRUE.

If you have lived for a while in an Arabic speaking land like I did, and met some arabic Christians and Jews who also speak with love of Allah, you would surely have another point of view, like other millions of Christians and Jews do. Don't they count? Or do you think they are "just Arabs"?

The article is not dealing with Muslims, but with Allah, which is a main part of the lives of millions of Christians and Jews, not only billions of Muslims, which name is printed in millions of Bibles, not only in billions of Quran. I hope you can follow me now.

Muhammad 21:44, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I asked a teacher once about the hatred among religions. He said, "There is only one mountain peak. We are all trying to get to the same mountain peak. I pick my route and you pick your route. Why should you be angry if I call it Mt. McKinley and you call it Denali? Why should I be angry if you go by the south route and I go by the east route? The important thing is that we each get to the summit." So I think it is better to help people understand that even if they read Zhu Xi in Chinese and he looks at "that which was before the beginning of creation, the highest, the most ultimate, most infinite, most unknowable, the ultimate source of truth, of what is , of what will be..." and calls it the Taiji (Great Ultimate) or the Dao (Way), he has looked at the creation and has perceived and characterized some aspects of its creator. It may not be the most complete characterization, but it is not as though he is talking about some other creator. If we are starving, somebody throws a bag of gold coins through the window, several of us catch a glimpse of the benefactor, and one says he had dark skin, another says he wore a red stocking hat, and a third says he wore tall black boots, would it be the best thing for us to all fight about whose description is the true description? Would it not be better to make a composite description and then find and thank our benefactor? I think Muhammad and I will look for the benefactor. 02:16, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Kim, you'd forget for a moment this discussion was about the category only. It has snowballed a bit, hasn't it? The point remains the same that this article deals mainly with the way Muslims relate to the Creator. Addition of Allah to other categories will cloud the categorisation process and lead to confusion. JFW | T@lk 16:18, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The article needed to state that it is "mainly about the way Muslims relate to the Creator." I fixed that, although I think the whole article now needs to be tidied up a bit so that the specifically Islamic parts and the non-Islamic Allah parts can be kept apart a bit better. Once that part is clear, then what categories really apply will also be clear. I am not primarily interested in the categories, but in heading off people like the Reverend Graham who teach that Allah is a false god (or whatever, precisely, he said). 17:57, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

While it's true that Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians may use Allah to refer to God, in English the word Allah refers exclusively to God as conceived by Islam, and so putting this article in Category:Judaism or Category:Christianity doesn't make sense. Note that this is the English wikipedia, and we have an article on Allah not because it is a word used in Arabic, but because it is a word used in English. --Delirium 19:37, Jun 12, 2004 (UTC)

The Article is neither "mainly about the way Muslims relate to the Creator" nor is Wikipedia an English dictionary. We are editing an Encyclopedia, which is a compendium of ''human'' knowledge. Muhammad 10:52, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Let's not have an edit or reversion war.

Someone has reverted the changes I made to accomodate JFW's point above. I do not care which way the article is handled, only that it is clear and is not a source of error. I accept the idea that most people who come to the encyclopedia to understand what the word Allah means will know it only from the mass media, and so will want to know more about the word as it is used in the materials they have already been influenced by. So from that standpoint it makes sense to say, "This is what believers in Islam understand by the word "Allah." But there is a very serious problem here since ignorant people have asserted that followers of Islam believe in a false god. Those people need to understand that no matter how badly a Christian, a Jew, and a follower of Islam may individually misunderstand Alaha/Eloim/Allah, they are all having imperfect perceptions/conceptualizations of the same God. If we take the other alternative, then the article becomes an article on God, or maybe on the various monotheistic ways of conceiving of God. If we do that we have to write a book. Even a list and a brief definition of the religion and what it believes about God would be very long. (We would have to include Zhu Xi's idea of the Taiji, Lao Zi and Zhuang Zi's idea of the Dao, at least two kinds of Catholicism, a very large number of Protestant denominations, several sub-divions of the Jewish faith, one ancient Egyptian conception of God...)

When I edited the article I did not write it so that it implied that Islam has a "patent" on Allah. I think the article, as I left it, said very clearly that because Islam gives a "monopoly" to the term "Allah," and because there is thus a unique relationship between that term and that one religion, the article would concentrate on the Islamic teachings in regard to Allah. And the article also said in the first paragraph that other religions, among them Judaism and Christianity, use the same word or cognate forms of the same word to refer to the same supreme being. 金 (Kim) 03:17, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Kim, this article has had "Judaism" categories added and removed a large number of times. It has been removed now. If it gets added again, I will take this to arbitration, because this is a policy matter more than anything else. -- JFW
Let us see whether we can reason together. If we cannot, then adding a third person to the mix will not improve matters. If that person appears to agree with JFW, then Mohammad or somebody else may feel that the mediator is taking sides. Personally, I do not care whether the article on Allah is placed under the category of Judaism or not. -- Kim
Wikipedia articles are named in the way that most closely approaches common use of a word or name. That's why John Fitzgerald Kennedy redirects to John F. Kennedy.-- JFW
Maybe "Allah" should be redirected to "Monotheisms", and "Monotheisms" should have a fan-out to religions rooted in Old Testament sources, and then Islam should have a fan-out to various topics including "The Islamic conception of God/Allah." One of the problems with articles named according to "the way that most closely approaches common use of a word or name" is that a single word can have multiple definitions depending on who is speaking. The title of an article on "Witch" is problematical because one group will want a description of the evil creatures that exist only to cast evil spells on innocent people, a second group will want witches described from a Wiccan perspective, and a third group will want "witch" explained as a word that refers to no actual thing but is used to demonize innocent people. -- Kim
If this article had been titled "The Islamic Conception of Allah", then we would not be having so much trouble listening to each other's words. -- Kim
By the same token, someone who wants to learn about God will peruse the article so named, while if he wants to learn about the Muslim monotheistic deity, he will read Allah. I'm pleased to hear that Muslims, Jews and Christians agree that they are relating to the same Supreme Being, but NOT A SINGLE JEW will state outright that he believes in Allah! He will profess belief in Hashem]] ("the name"), the Ribbono shel Olam ("Master of the World"), Hakadosh Baruch Hu ("The Holy One, Blessed is He") etc etc BUT NEVER ALLAH. It is completely ridiculous to maintain that this article still belongs in a category of Judaism. JFW | T@lk 09:21, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Why don't you ask an Arabic-speaking Jew? Muhammad 10:52, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
So there are no Jews who live in Arabic-speaking areas and have discussions with people who believe in Islam? Whenever one says something with "all" in it, an enormous burden of proof is assumed. I cannot put myself in the position of speaking for a single Jew, much less all Jews, but it would seem to me that if someone asked somebody like Thomas Merton, "Do you believe in Allah?" then he would say, "Probably not with the exact understanding of who He is that you do, but nobody has exactly the same conception of the One as anybody else anyway. I follow Jesus. Jesus called Him Alaha. You follow Mohammed, who called him Allah. I think we believe in the same One, whatever word we use to name Him."
  • I fully agree with JFW | T@lk as on the Category:Judaism page "Allah" is showing up together with "Category:Israel and Zionism" among other things, whereas "Allah" has NOTHING to do with that section from the point of view of Jews and Judaism. It is all very well on this page of Allah to show that it has a connectedness to something "Jewish" but how can that be possible when the opposite is not true on the other side AT THE SAME TIME??? Something is not making sense and many of you don't seem to get it...IZAK 12:06, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Probably because there is no Arabic-speaking Jew editing the Article? Muhammad 10:52, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Probably each of us wants to privilege his or her own language. I think that if a Christian Syriac speaker went to a Christian church in an English-speaking area and gave a sermon entitled, "Jesus, Christianity, and the True Love of Alaha " he might cause severe and growing turmoil in the hearts of the congregation every time he mentioned "that alien god" Alaha. IZAK's position seems to hinge on the idea that the referent for the word "Allah" is not "the highest, the most ultimate..." but "the conception of God that is held by followers of Islam." Otherwise he would be saying that God "has NOTHING to do with that section [Israel and Zionism] from the point of view of Jews and Judaism," which I have to believe is something that he would never say. -- Kim
Anyway, what I tried to do with my (now reverted) edit was to get clear on the differences between "word and object," so that we would not be attacking each other needlessly. Contrary to what JFW and IZAK seem to believe, it is not my purpose to advocate inclusion of those links. Nor is it my purpose to advocate that they be excluded. To me, but not to whoever reverted my revised text, it makes sense to make it clear when the discussion pertains to the One and when the discussion pertains to the words and definitions that are used in discussions of that One in the several traditions that use the word "Allah." 金 (Kim) 16:22, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Al-Lat was a pre-islamic idol. Also the word has linguistically nothing to do with Allah. Muhammad 00:37, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Yes, Al-Lat was a pre-Islamic idol; but the word is etymologically from al+ilaah+at (as shown by the Safaitic inscriptions' spelling hn'lt, han- being the normal definite article in Safaitic), and thus is related etymologically (though certainly not synchronically). - Mustafaa 01:25, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Etymologically speaking, "ilaah" has absolutely nothing to do with "Allah". Muhammad 22:59, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Uh, no. Most authorities claim "Allaah" is etymologically a contraction of al + ilaah "the God"; a few, whose motives are suspect, claim that it's a loanword from Syriac alaahaa. I have never heard any third theory; what do you claim it comes from? - Mustafaa 23:32, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

i just want to add (im not sure this is the right location in the discussion but ..) that it seems that Allah is simply an arabic word used by arab person with any religion , its probably comes from the arabic root "A' Lu Ha" , which derives A'Aliha (gods) AL-LLAAh (alah"this article") ELAHII (related to ILAH(ilah is a god , any god))) , so probably Allah stands for "THE GOD" i.e. when talking in a context that doesnt speak about multiple gods, i belive this includes Judism Christiany and islam and probably some other religions that have only one god. --uwe

Revision n

I added one sentence. I hope doing so will produce no flames and no reversion. I also have a question about one sentence. I do not understand it clearly because of its use of the word "universal" (the link to the article on "Universal" is fruitless): 'Unlike the word "God", the name "Allah" is universal, used by Muslims world-wide, regardless of their language, as well as Arabic-speaking Christians, Jews, and others.' Which of the following sentences fit the meaning of the quoted sentence?

  • If one is a human being, one uses only "Allah" as a name for the One.
  • If one is a human being, one uses "Allah" as a name for the One.
  • If one is a Muslim, one uses only "Allah" as a name for the One.
  • If one is a Muslim, one uses "Allah" as a name for the One.
  • If one is an Arabic-speaking Christian, one uses only "Allah" as a name for the One.
  • If one is an Arabic-speaking Christian, one uses "Allah" as a name for the One.
  • If one is an Arabic-speaking Jew, one uses only "Allah" as a name for the One.
  • If one is an Arabic-speaking Jew, one uses "Allah" as a name for the One.
  • (Anything that I missed? What was the author actually trying to say?)

According to my understanding, a better formulation would be: 'The name "Allah" alone is used by Muslims world-wide, regardless of their language, as a proper noun that names "the one God". Several terms for the one God, including "Allah," may be used interchangably by people not of the Islamic faith such as Arabic-speaking Christians and Arabic-speaking Jews,' Please, anonymous contributor, explain what is wrong with this way of saying it. 金 (Kim) 22:10, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

There is a problem with the sentence: "The Aramaic word for God is alôh-ô (Syriac dialect), which is etymologically identical with the Arabic and Hebrew;" I believe that this sentence is clearly wrong. Two things that have identical origins will be two identical things. The Hamitic divide into East Semitic, North West Semitic (Phoenician, Punic Aramaic, Hebrew, Modern Hebrew, etc.) and South West Semitic (Arabic, Ethiopic, Amharici). If that analysis is correct Aramaic and Hebrew evolved out of one earlier language, and Arabic evolved out of a second early source and then the two earlier sources evolved out of some still earlier language. A similar, but weaker, proposition would be that the several words for God are cognates. That would be like saying that "deus", "deva," "deitiy", and "divus" are cognates. Unless somebody argues persuasively for the sentence currently in use, I will change it again. 金 (Kim)

The name Allah is universal because it cannot be translated accross different languages/regions. People say Allah everywhere, and they surely refer to the same. There is a major misconception about using "the arabic word for God." I havn't got the time now to check who changed Name into word, but I am editing the article and hope it won't be reverted to "word" again. Who has a problem with "Allah is the arabic name of God"? Muhammad 10:52, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure I agree with your analysis of the meaning of "etymologically identical"; I would see any two words with the same origin as etymologically identical, eg (my favorite example) "pork" and "farrow" in English, both from PIE *pork- via two different paths. But be that as it may, I've changed the sentence to be more precise. - Mustafaa 21:30, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Allah is universally used because of the importance of Qur'anic recitation (and consequently Arabic terminology) in Muslim cultures. This does not mean that it cannot be translated, only that it usually isn't, since everyone shares a common Arabic vocabulary. From a Muslim POV I do have a problem with Allah remaining unquestioned as the Arabic 'name of God' because languages are by definition worldly and created. Concepts like 'the divine' are obviously transcendant of language; in this sense, the divine cannot have a name. This is very much what classical Muslim theologians meant when they said that God could only be known by his 99 names or attributes. This problem is avoided by simply admitting that 'allah' is the Arabic translation of title 'the god/God' and not a name at all (which also explains why Arab Jews and Christians use it - since it's not a name, it obviously cannot conflict with the use of Yahweh or Jesus, which Judaism and Christianity do consider to be proper names). The fact is that unless mention is made of the al+ilah etymology, it will seem that all the translations of the Qur'an done from a non-Muslim POV are incorrect (since they almost all translate 'Allah' as 'God'). Plus, it is not at all clear from linguistic evidence that the goddess Allat and Allah are completely unrelated. The only way to maintain neutrality is to mention all POVs and make it clear that traditional Muslims hold one view, dissenting Muslims and non-Muslims another. So I am restoring the al+ilah = Allah (the deity) etymology in a way which I hope restores NPOV and will keep everyone somewhat happy, or at least equally unhappy.--Zeeshanhasan 23:39, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I like your edit, Zeeshan - but why do you say that only non-Muslim linguists give the al-ilah etymology? I've never heard that this etymology contradicts Islam in any way, and it doesn't contradict the fact that right now (synchronically) the word has no feminine, even if at some point in the pre-Islamic past it did. - Mustafaa 10:25, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Just trying to avoid getting into an editing tug of war. =) You're right of course, but I couldn't think of a better way of phrasing the alternative POVs than through the inaccurate but easily distinguishable dichotomy of Muslim/non-Muslim. But I've just changed it to 'many linguists believe'. --Zeeshanhasan 10:35, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Revision N+1

Someone, claiming to have "cleaned up grammar" has actually made some substantive changes, primarily adding the assertion that "Allah" is a moon god. 金 (Kim) 06:13, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Pre-islamic Arabic use

Just to make certain, did pre-islamic Arabic-language Jewish and Christian texts use "Allah"?

There are vanishingly few pre-Islamic Arabic inscriptions. However, the Zabad (Zebed) inscription is Christian, trilingual including Arabic, and pre-Islamic; it might answer the question. - Mustafaa 21:16, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Yes. I found [2], and I can't read the Zebed one, but it clearly occurs as the first word of the Umm al-Jimal one, which is also pre-Islamic, Arabic, and Christian. Also from an anti-Islamic site, oddly enough: "The name occurs as Hallah in the Safa inscriptions five centuries before Islam and also in a pre-Islamic Christian Arabic inscription found in umm-al-Jimal, Syria, and ascribed to the sixth century."[3]


From the Allahabad article:

Allahabad was founded, as al-Ilhahabad, by the Mogul Emperor Akbar in 1583.

So is it related to "Allah" or not? I know no Urdu.

Yeah, it means "city of God" in Persian., I believe. - Mustafaa 21:20, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)


The Wiktionary has an entry for Allah.


Is that place name derived from Allah? Might be worth adding to the list of derivatives/phrases. Or mentioning that a number of place names are, if that's the case.

Article deterioration

As the disambiguation note clearly states, this article is about the word Allah, not the Islamic conception of God. The latter has its own dedicated article, at God in Islam. Comparison of various conceptions of God goes to Conceptions of God please. The scope of this article is etymology, word usage and typography. --dab (𒁳) 09:22, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, but I added the comparison because of the "word usage" part :) --Be happy!! (talk) 09:33, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Dab, I can not understand this revert [4]? Could you please explain.
I couldn't find any reliable source for typography (I worked hard). I think the section is better to go. --Be happy!! (talk) 09:36, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
nonsense. this is the article on the word Allah. You removed anything related to the word (typography etc.) and started coatracking about God in Islam. This is not acceptable. If you want to make this about God in Islam, suggest a {{merge}} with that article properly. What so you mean you could not find any source on typography? About half of the section concerns Unicode, documentation of which is in the open, and specific fonts, which are directly linked. --dab (𒁳) 17:02, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Dab, the revision you are reverting to has grammatical problems. The new version is copyedited and flows well. I have nominate this for GA. Let's please discuss this on the talk page first. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aminz (talkcontribs) 23:06, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Shouldn't we explain what the word "Allah" means to Muslims, to Christians and to Jews and how its meaning to these people differs? The previous GA reviewer even wanted more about this. Please remember that the coverage on the concept of God in Islam or others is very minimal. I removed typography because there was no secondary sources that was talking about the typography of the name Allah. I can not simply add the section myself as it will be original research. --Be happy!! (talk) 22:09, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
The references should list their publisher (such as in USC), I recommend adding it ASAP since GA reviewers will surely point that in a review, cheers. - Caribbean~H.Q. 06:06, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Oh. Thank you! I'll do it as soon as possible. --Be happy!! (talk) 06:14, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I fixed many of the references but couldn't find anything referenced to USC except some external Qur'anic links to a USC website. --Be happy!! (talk) 06:37, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

I reverted Aminz's version back to Dab's and then merged some material, with copy edits. Let's please try to keep the comparative religion aspect to an absolute minimum, thanks. rudra (talk) 02:36, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for going through your revert and restoring sections like [5]. Sometimes I really feel why I am wasting my time in wikipedia. Two reviewers tell me to add more of something and then after adding that and nominating the article for GA, another editors blindly and reverts the page to a very earlier version of the page without paying any close attention to the changes made. What a waste of time.
Now. Would you please explain why you added the section "English_and_other_European_languages" to other usage? We don't have Muslim, Christian and other usages and then the usage of Allah in English_and_other_European_languages. That section, IMO, should come first explaining why we have this article in the first place.
Would you please also explain why you restored the typography section. As I explained above after trying much and looking through all relevant books in, I became convinced that no secondary sources exists explaining the typography of the term Allah. So, I removed the section. Could you please provide an explanation please. Thanks --Be happy!! (talk) 06:25, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
  • "English and other European languages" is taken from your version.
  • The word is used in Arabic and in other languages. Since we're all agreed -- I hope -- that it's an Arabic word, the natural order of material would have Arabic usage first, and other languages later. The ToC reflects this.
  • What exactly are you looking for regarding the typography section? Do you doubt that Unicode point U+FDF2 is "ARABIC LIGATURE ALLAH ISOLATED FORM"? Or that the Unicode standard annotates it as "<isolated> 0627 0644 0644 0647"? You don't think is a reliable source? (Otherwise you could have found your way to this, p.17 of PDF = p. 492 of Standard.)
  • Try this search. If that isn't what you want, then you'll just have to be a little clearer in what you do want. rudra (talk) 01:25, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
1. You placed "English and other European languages" at the end of the article in the "Others" section.
2. The Arabic word الله‎ is used in Arabic. The english transiliation of it is mostly related to the concept of God in Islam.
3. We need a secondary source that has analyzed the unicode of Allah. I can not do it myself as it will be original research. Someone who knows nothing about unicode should be able to verify it in a mechanical way. Similarly, that the Abjad numerals, the numeric value of الله is 66, could be personally verified if one knows what Abjad is. But for that I found a reliable source (something that you apparently carelessly removed)--Be happy!! (talk) 01:32, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
"Analyzed the unicode of Allah"?? What does that mean? The code point is simply a fact. Do you need a secondary source to "analyze" 2 + 2 = 4? You want discussion of Arabic typography? Perhaps this could help you? And, finally, you could at least try to read the ToC. rudra (talk) 01:55, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Please be careful rudrasharman about your language. I am not trolling. I have no idea what unicode is and I have no interest in learning it. If you expect the editors to learn stuff, then you don't need to source anything because they can read and check it for themselves. --Be happy!! (talk) 02:00, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
My BS-meter is quite finely tuned, thank you. I consider wikilawyering a form of trolling, because it wastes the time of everyone except the perpetrator. It took you this long to twist and turn through various non-arguments to finally come out and say that you have no clue what Unicode is and don't care anyway? Thank you so much! To address this incredibly serious concern: unfortunately, this is not the article to explain what Unicode is. A wikilink is provided for convenience, but if you like, we could add references to the Unicode standard. Will that be enough? rudra (talk) 02:41, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
You are not the kindest editor I have seen in wikipedia. --Be happy!! (talk) 02:42, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

(<-)Is there anything I can do to help? I had noticed the article when it came to GAR and started to make some minor copyedits. I'm happy to assist -- although I'm inclined to wait two or three days until the temperature here cools down. Cheers, Majoreditor (talk) 02:48, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry, if I sound annoyed, it's only because it would be even more unkind to laugh. The scope of the article is clearly explained at the top of this section, a scope arrived at from earlier discussions (See /Archive 2, threads such as this or this, where as it so happens a distinguished contributor posted this.) In particular, discussions of theological issues belong elsewhere, something that apparently was not clear to a recent GA reviewer. The article could use some copy-editing; and it seems the Unicode section will not make sense to anyone who really doesn't want to know about Unicode anyway, and therefore needs to be wikilawyered away into shape. rudra (talk) 03:52, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
FYI, I myself added the sentence you are referring to at the top of the article; all of the article (except the typography section) was written by me so I am fully aware of what's going on here; and yet I find all changes I made reasonable in my mind. As suggested above, it is best to wait two or three days. Meanwhile Rudrasharman, please take a look at the Britannica article on Allah. --Be happy!! (talk) 04:01, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I have no idea what your objections to the Unicode section might be. Stop blanking the typography section. Tag whatever you think isn't sourced satisfactorily. Your combined insistence to add idle discussion on comparative theology, in spite of the disambiguation note that this is about the word exclusively (viz., the Arabic version of God (word), not of God), and your insistence to remove actual on-topic discussion of typographical and encoding issues really makes you look pathetic here. If you are unhappy with the article's scope, make some sort of coherent suggestion, such as {{split}}ting it into Allah (word) and God in Islam. Once you have made some suggestion along such lines, we could then discuss its merits. As long as you just edit erratically, you are just annoying people. But then I take it that compiling coherent proposals is not your forte. Your statement "I have no idea what unicode is and I have no interest in learning it" is a joke. Then don't learn it, man. Nobody forces you to learn stuff, but if you cannot be bothered to do research, you also have no business editing Wikipedia. Aminz, I get the impression that editing Wikipedia is some sort of religious exercise for you (your personal way to "strive". That's your own business, but it will affect the quality of your interaction with other editors, and expose you to the dangers of WP:COI. dab (𒁳) 11:29, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

The two sentences referenced here [6] are good because they can be now mechanically checked (thanks to rudra for adding them). The rest of the section however needs similar referencing in a similar way. Dab, I don't find your comment with its aggressive tone correct nor do I feel the need to comment on it. I am striving for neutrality. Be it say removing glorifications about Muhammad [7], [8] or demonizing it. Getting back to the article, I highly doubt that the typography section could be sourced further; one thing I am kind of sure is that the academic source specifically talking about typography of Allah are rare if they exist. It does not seem to be something of importance to those writing about Allah. The text has been there for more than a year and it needs to go because there is no reason to believe the information is correct. The English term is most notable for the religous conception associated to it and it is my belief that the article was not giving undue weight to the religous conception just as the Encyclopedia Britannica article does not: Britannica starts with the statement that Allah is the standard Arabic word for God etc but covers the Islamic conception of it in more details. If you think the sections were long, we can carefully summarize them while making sure that the main points are covered; details can be moved to other article and a link could be provided from here. --Be happy!! (talk) 23:26, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

GAR closed

I've closed the GAR with no action taken. The GA fail has neither been endorsed nor overturned. I suggest that once editors are confident that the article meets the good article criteria, it can be renominated.

I also sorted out the talk archives. Please don't archive open discussions (as the GAR was). Geometry guy 18:12, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Good Practice

Shouldn't there be a section for the viewpoints against the alledged existance of Allah or a similar God? In the interests of fairness and cohesion? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:05, 14 April 2008 (UTC)


I found two apparently reliable websites [9], [10] that say the following about typography of Allah. If someone please figure out what they say and add them to the article:

[11] says:

The Allah ligature
Under Classic, the fonts al-Bayan (Arabic) and Kamran (Persian) had special ligatures for [A]llah (without the alif), salla Allah 'alayhi wa-sallam and floral parentheses. These were not standardized, so only those two fonts had them.
- To print a document with these characters in Classic, e.g. in NisusWriter 6, you must have the postscript laser file ("AlbayanPla") in the Classic Fonts folder for the characters to print correctly.
- If you convert a Classic file to OS X, these ligatures will disappear, because they were not standardized - instead of the "llah" you will probably get $. However, the font still has the ligature, only in a different place in the font. You can get the ligature back by finding $ and replacing them with the OS X "llah" character. It is a bit tricky to find that, though, as there is no key for it on the standard Arabic keyboard. You can install a special keyboard layout, like my "Arabic(2)" which lets you type the Allah ligature as Option-g. Or you can use Character Palette to point and click (you find them in "Show: Code Tables: Unicode: Arabic Presentation Forms A" down the long list). Or you can activate the Unicode Hex Input keyboard layout, where you must type Option-fdf2.
- In OS X, TextEdit and a few other applications will actually insert these ligatures automatically when you type lam-lam-ha (llah). But only in al-Bayan, this does not work in the other fonts that contain the same Allah ligature, and not for the other "signets"; there you must use one of the methods above.
In versions up to 4.0 of Bayan, you can turn the automated ligature feature off in the "Typography" cogwheel of the Font Panel, in versions 4.1 and higher (OS 10.3 and up) the option of turning it off is not available. In these versions, (Bayan 4.1 and higher) you must also type alif-lam-lam-ha to get the ligature - but the ligature still says only llah, without the alif! On the other hand, these newer versions of Bayan, 4.1 and up, correct another old error, where the hamza under alif carried a superfluous kasra vowel - at least in the isolate form.
While we are on the subject of vowels, notice what is probably a bug, but is found in all fonts except the SIL ones (under 10.4): If you type a shadda followed by a fathatan (a nunated "a" for accusative, thus e.g. for hayyan, "alive"), the consonant breaks free to display incorrectly in the isolate shape. But if you type the harakat in the opposite order, the double a first and shadda afterwards, this does not occur, so do that! This occurs only with fathatan (double a), not kasratan or dammatan (i or u)."

The other website [12] says:

A small feature of this works, among my fonts, only in al-Bayan: Type "Allah" straight without harakat (alif-lam-lam-ha) and the system will replace it with the "llah" ligature, with shadda and dagger alif. Works in all tested programs except the OpenType ones: TextEdit, Nisus, Swift, NeoOffice and Papyrus. But only in Bayan, not in the other fonts that have the samme "[A]llah" ligature such as Kamran. Notice you must type the alif, "Allah", although only "llah" appears. One issue puts the two major DTP programs at opposite extremes: the sequence lam-fatha-alif, which should become a lam-alif ligature with the vowel over the lam. Nashir cannot handle this sequence, and does not create the lam-alif ligature at all. InDesign does, and it alone places the fatha correctly over the lam. All others place it over the alif.

Thanks --Be happy!! (talk) 07:13, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

It may take me some time to figure this out. It may not be necessary for this article to provide more than a brief mention on typographical issues. Cheers, Majoreditor (talk) 15:29, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm. Good point. BTW, I think this article is saying things which might be helpful here --Be happy!! (talk) 22:00, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
I think that the important point is that Arabic type fonts often have special ligatures for [A]llah and ommit the initial alif. It can be summed up in one to three sentences. Majoreditor (talk) 17:44, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that we need to make it short. --Be happy!! (talk) 05:29, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Another picture

I wanted to add this picture [13] to the article. But it didn't work: I added the following:

Allah, Muslims sometimes add the phrase "May His glory shine" (jalla jalalahu) after mentioning the name of God

Is "May His glory shine" a good translation for jalla jalalahu?

Also, I can not understand the info provided for the image: [14]. What language is it? --Be happy!! (talk)

That is a much nicer image, excellent find. Peter Deer (talk) 17:04, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
I can not translate the caption though. Do you know what language it is? Thanks --Be happy!! (talk) 17:06, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
'sq' should mean Albanian. rudra (talk) 18:44, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll try to find someone who know Albanian. --Be happy!! (talk) 01:55, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

To respond to the question directly: This is the term of Allah (The God) in Arabic Thuluth calligraphy. The small letters mean "Praise to his Glory". Noureddine (talk) 16:32, 23 March 2008 (UTC)


I wanted to discuss why my addition of another image was reverted here [15]. Thanks --Be happy!! (talk) 01:55, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't think that this page is improved by adding more examples of Allah written in Arabic calligraphy. And IMHO the current image is much better. The image you added doesn't even represent hand drawn calligraphy, but rather a piece of computer art based on calligraphy. --Jhattara (Talk · Contrib) 08:15, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, the computer art on is based on a hand drawn calligraphy; I suspect the same one. The only difference is that it has something more to it which should be a good point rather than a bad one. And IMHO it looks much nicer. --Be happy!! (talk) 08:28, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The computer art is exactly that: computer art, while the image currently in the article is an accurate depiction of arabic calligraphy. And that something more to it is only colors and shading, either of which isn't present in regular examples of Arabic calligraphy that I have seen. --Jhattara (Talk · Contrib) 12:07, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
So, the new image has taken a hand made calligraphy and has added colors and shades to it. What's wrong with it? --Be happy!! (talk) 03:05, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
If it comes down to a debate about it then the simplest image will probably win. That being said, I think that the previous point being made that 1 is a very nice image and perhaps should be taken into consideration. Peter Deer (talk) 03:34, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The other image can be taken as well. But why the simplest image will probably win? --Be happy!! (talk) 03:39, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
In answer to that in particular, because almost all calligraphic versions are variations on the simpler form of the word, with additional signatures, bits of scripture, or diacritical marks for aesthetic value, and an image of simply the common calligraphic form of the word 'Allah' would have the highest encyclopedic value in that regard. That being said, I'm not particularly concerned, and frankly I think the latvian one is lovely. If it came down to it I could even provide an image (I'm an amateur calligrapher myself) but I don't think that is at all necessary. Peter Deer (talk) 14:51, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Now the new image is up. --Be happy!! (talk) 05:43, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Anyways, if we can use 1, then there will be no need to use any of those two calligraphies. --Be happy!! (talk) 03:47, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The computer graphic is a very nice image, but it is not exactly calligraphy, rather a computer art based on calligraphy. I agree that the image in Latvian wiki would be better than either of the graphics under debate, but first it should be moved to commons, and for that copyright disclaimers would be required. --Jhattara (Talk · Contrib) 08:58, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The new image seems to be acceptable to everybody :) --Be happy!! (talk) 05:43, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Horray for everyone winning! Peter Deer (talk) 06:33, 7 March 2008 (UTC)


I found this article very good. But I think you can add some more information about usage of "Allah" among Muslim. For example Muslims use expressions such as "Besm Allah ...", "In Sha Allah", "Alhamdo Lellah" as Zikr or i common speaking. Or there are some rules about it. We shouldn't touch it unless we have Wozu and Should keep it Tahir. There may be more information in some sources such as Britannica.--Seyyed(t-c) 13:20, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

I found some Persian articles which may be useful:Tahlil, Basmale, Tasbih, Takbir, Takbirat al-Ihram. --Seyyed(t-c) 13:43, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the review. I added some sentences re "Insha'allah" and "bismAllah" but I think it would be undue weight to mention all the variations given the coverage we have given to other topics.
Also, i think one can not generally touch the words Qur'an with ritually impure hands. Do you think it would be a better addition for this article or Qur'an article? --Be happy!! (talk) 01:53, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I added a sentence on Sufi Zikr. Cheers, --Be happy!! (talk) 05:28, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Saying Zikr doesn't restricted to Sufis. At least all Shia says Zikr and there's a book (Mafatih al-Jinan) for Zikr, Doa and ziarat.--Seyyed(t-c) 14:10, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, they do have that but without breath control. I'll try to add that. --Be happy!! (talk) 17:32, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Is it Zikr or Tasbih? --Be happy!! (talk) 17:36, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Is there any Zikr or Tasbih that is specifically focused on the term "Allah" and not generic? --Be happy!! (talk) 17:47, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Okay. I added another sentence on Zikr. --Be happy!! (talk) 17:57, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I think the difference between Zikr and Tasbih is something else. Zikr usually relates to heart not only mind and mouth. You see, Zikr is a way to reach God. There are both of them, Tasih and Zikr in Shia books.
Seyyed, I can see your point but I feel writing more about this would give undue weight to the article because the topic of the article is on the "Allah" and not "Zikr". Furthermore some editors here stressed that the main scope of this article should be the Arabic term "Allah" and not the concept of "God in Islam". That's because we should keep the section on Islam relatively short. --Be happy!! (talk) 03:40, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd say it passes in the prose category, but that's my humble opinion based on little save my perception of the readability of the article itself. I'm more of a grammar nazi than a prosebyterian. Peter Deer (talk) 21:57, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
Question for the GA reviewer. What are the specific concerns you have with the article's prose? We'd like to be able to address any issues. Thanks! Majoreditor (talk) 12:33, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

If this has already been failed, shouldn't it be removed from the GAN page? Noble Story (talk) 11:57, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually, the GA reviewer has indicated that he believes the article qualifies for GA status. Issues from the first GA review have been addressed either through subsequent edits or at GAR. Unless there is concern with article stability or there's some other concerns to raise, I think it's time to promote the article to GA status. Majoreditor (talk) 12:50, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Former reviewer mentioned this articles needs copy-editing. --Seyyed(t-c) 06:09, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

What's in a name?

The Wikipedia text seems to be the best definition of the name of God Allah. Again, Here is the same mistake, Allah is not a name, it is a common noun: "the" and "God", with all what the article "the" entails as definitions and adjectives: The Powerful, The All-Mighty, The Omnipotent, The Merciful, etc...

To return to the initial subject: Allah is God in Arabia since ever. Today's Lebanon represents the sampling of the major families of Arabia, as the tribes moved from Arabia long before Islam towards the North looking for greener grass. The story of migrations is well known but the issue is that Lebanese family names ending with Allah (like Farajallah, Khairallah, Nasrallah, Abdallah, etc...) are primarily Christian. Allah is not an Islamic feature; it is the God of the Christians of Arabia long before Islam.

that shouldnt be too much of a suprise to Muslims as Islam states that the same message was sent to the people of the world and since Islam says there is only 1 god 'Allah' it shouldn't be a surprise if previous religions sent by god has god naming himself as the same thing (i.e. Allah) - this may be an interesting thing to mention [[User:Cs1kh]] (talk) 16:46, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

How far does this name of God go back in history? The answer is as far as Arabia existed, including the time of Abraham. The definition itself opens the human mind to the difference between "God" without the definite article and "God" with the definite article. When we say "The God", the meaning goes immediately to the uniqueness because there is no other "thing", but when we say "God" a proper noun comes to our mind, just like the proper name of "a certain God" among others, which is incompatible with the Arabian mind. Unconsciously, it makes the "English" spirit of religion incompatible with the Islamic understanding of God.

For the above reasons, Muslims around the world no matter how strong they are mastering the English language cannot use the term God when they speak English. They literally say Allah. This is not because Allah is a special deity proper to Islam, but because the creator of the Universe cannot be named. In the Bible, the term "ELLaHuM" is a reference to God by Moses. The Islamic call for God is Allahumma. The etymology of this term in Hebrew (Old Arabic) means the plural of Elah. Should the interpretation lead to an epic story of the "Gods" who dwelt with the humans, is a matter of research but the issue is that Allah is incontestably the unique "God" of monotheism. Noureddine (talk) 15:04, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

One thing I think that one must remember in regards to names and especially names of God is that they are more than just pretty sounding words. Allah means essentially 'The God.' Ar-Rahman means 'The Benevolent.' Most of the 'names' of God are descriptions and praise of His attributes. If one will notice, almost all religion follows this pattern, from Judaism to Islam to Hinduism and so on. Peter Deer (talk) 16:27, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
(to Language Lover's comment) your statement "muslims around the world no matter how strong they are mastering the English language cannot use the term God when they speak English" is flawed. English is my second language (though I hope I am reasonably good at it), and when I speak about god I may use "God" (mainly when speaking to non-muslims or when speaking to English people that do not know much Islam) or I may use Allah (when speaking to Arabic speaking Muslims or when refering to Islam's belief of God to general people)[[User:Cs1kh]] (talk) 17:00, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree strongly with this. In fact, Yusuf Ali in his original translation of the Quran translated Allah to God, but publishers have by-in-large replaced his original usage of God with the untranslated Allah. It is not entirely uncommon for Muslims when speaking English to say God, especially if they were familiar with the concept of God before they became Muslims. Largely I think that it has become about Muslim identity and also about persons who wish to differentiate between their conception of God and Allah, who they don't think to be the same Being. Peter Deer (talk) 21:44, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Please remove Iran's strange flag symbol

The symbol on the Iranian flag is an aberration not echoed anywhere in the history of Islam. It's origins are cryptic at best and are the invention of Khomeini. I would welcome evidence from anyone to find this symbol used anywhere else in the history of the Muslim world. Strangely enough it coincides with the symbol of Sikhism the reasons for which remain a complete mystery.

Thus, this image in not representative of any historical renditions of the typography for Allah and should, therefore, be removed. Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

The design of the coat of arms of Iran is explained here. It's a stylized calligraphic ambigram of overlaid phrases. You are correct that it has not been used anywhere else in this form, but calligraphic renderings of "Allah" and "La ilaha ill Allah" are not new. Peter Deer (talk) 17:27, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

The Arabic Words Allah and ilah FAQ

This article has grown after some years, and it a pleasure to see so much contribution to it and its preservation.

We will establish a FAQ list of words that are undisputed as to their meaning and implications in the Arabic language:

ilah or ilaah is derived from the Arabic verb root "alh" or "alaha" which means "to deify"

ilah can mean God or god, it is applied to "anything" that is worshipped. When it is pronounced with nunation called tanween such as ilaahun or ilaahan its english equivalent is "a god".

The plural of "ilah" is "aalihat"

The feminine of "ilah" is "ilahat"

The plural of the feminine (exclusive) "ilahat" is "ilahaat' or "aalihaat"

You can add the article "al" to any of the above words as:

al-ilah = The God or the god

al-aalihat = the gods

al-ilahat = The Goddess or the goddess

al-ilahaat or al-aalihaat = the goddesses

The above are FAQ.

Now lets put somethings into perspective with these FAQs that contradict theories that many have adopted as FAQs.

The word Allah is alleged to be a contraction of the Arabic words al-ilah


The word Allah has no plural. How can it have no plural if it is a contraction of al-ilaah that has a plural al-aalihat

The word Allah is alleged to have a feminine Allat


How could Allat be the feminine of Allah if Allah is a contraction of al-ilah whereas its feminine is al-ilahat. Thus, Allat would need to be a contraction of al-ilahat to be Allahat not Allat. However this is not a reality.

If the name Allah has no plural which is widely agreed upon then logically it can have no feminine therefore it cannot have no relation to the linguistical contraction theory of the two word al-ilah. Oxy2Hydro (talk) 22:45, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

I think this would have to be condensed significantly and sourced if it were to be placed anywhere in the article, but I have no objections personally it would provide relevant and notable information pertinent to the subject and common questions and concerns about the Arabic word. Peter Deer (talk) 22:50, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

The statement on a site [16]I found actually proves that you can make Allah plural as was spoken of above. I mean if Allah is Al-Ilah, or Al-Ilaha and Ilah can be made plural and feminine then it is an error to say the word Allah is unique just because one letter (the i) was dropped in the contraction. That would be like saying an English contraction cannot be made plural because it is now a contraction (i.e Don't is made plural in some cases like Don'ts in a term used: do's and don'ts). The site in question (which is linked to this paragraph you are reading), says you cannot make Allah plural. Then why can someone say Allahyin (the dual form of Allah) and Allahumma (one plural form of Allah). This must be changed in the article. Please be truthful and not defend Muslims just because they are uncomfortable to admit Allah can be feminized and made plural. Antoine Mason —Preceding comment was added at 16:53, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Good lord, doesn't the presence of parallel Greek inscriptions from before and after the revelation where indiscriminate use of the two names Allāt, al-Ilāt or al-Ilahah and al-Lāh or al-Ilahu are translated as "The Great Goddess", "The Goddess", "The Great God", "The God" not fix this issue? The word Allah is not the only one in which the initial vowel was elided, and both have clear antecedents in Arabic languages of the entire peninsula. Check resources on Jāhilī Arabic writing, Nabataean, Sahidic, Lihyanite etc. as well as the shahadah - it's right in the shahada! (Yes, I am a Muslimah.) em zilch (talk) 14:27, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

"Moon God" revisited

What's with the "Moon God" routine? The only god in Arabia with connexions to the moon was a South Arabian divinity named Wadd "Love", whose symbol was a crescent. The "Islamic" crescent symbol was an Ottoman invention (15th century) and was not present before that time. Check scholarly works, not web pages that are obviously Islamophobic... and stop revert wars. em zilch (talk) 14:20, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Please add sources that explain wadd was the only moon god and that Allah isn't the moon god. I am going to help with this source that includes a refutation.[17].-- (talk) 18:39, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
The sources used are all unreliable - this theory of Allah corresponding with the moon god is a polemical fringe theory forwarded by not a single expert in Islamic studies. Morey, for one, is certainly not an expert by any stretch. The consensus on this page is that such material is not warranted, as one may see from the Talk: archives. ITAQALLAH 18:49, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Regardless of the theological background, you want to dismiss what you don't like as a fringe view mentioned by a few kooks when it has been mentioned by many[18] who have researched the subject.-- (talk) 18:51, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually, most of those works don't mention Morey's theory. Those that do don't appear to be reliable either. It's not that I apparently don't like the view, it's that academic scholarship doesn't give this kind of crankery the time of day. That's all. ITAQALLAH 18:54, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Morey is only was of the proponents. You simply want to censor. You don't even want to add a refutation that has been put forth. Just suppress any information you don't like at any price, huh?-- (talk) 18:57, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
So far as I know, Morey is the central proponent, and like him, others who promote it clearly have no qualification in the field of Islamic studies. Please assume good faith. Wikipedia is not the place to promote fringe theories that have no mention in reliable scholarly sources, and only seem to appear in Christian polemical tracts. ITAQALLAH 19:03, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Check out the following people

-- (talk) 19:22, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Jon Courson is not qualified in Islamic studies. John F. MacArthur is not qualified in Islamic studies. Chuck Baldwin is not qualified in Islamic studies. Incidentally, all are simply Christian apologists. The link to shows the opinion of an anonymous individual posting a comment, not that of Daniel Pipes himself. ITAQALLAH 19:36, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
What qualifies someone to talk about Islamic theology? Frotz (talk) 19:43, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:RS#Scholarship. In this case, an academic qualification in Islamic studies, available from most major universities. And being published in a press reputed for its expertise in the area, such as Oxford University Press, Brill Academic publishers, and so on. ITAQALLAH 19:50, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
You're asking for the impossible. I think no Islamic scholar would claim Allah isn't Yahweh because that would be a contradiction of Muhammad's claim.-- (talk) 20:04, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Requiring such a qualification seems to create a contradiction: In order to properly criticise Islam, one must be a Muslim. But a Muslim is not an objective critic. Is it a requirement that one be an adherent to a particular religion in order to point out contradictions in that religion's scripture? Further, Islamic studies is a very large and ambiguous umbrella. Which parts address the question of the identity of Allah? Frotz (talk) 20:07, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
"In order to properly criticise Islam, one must be a Muslim." - This is a straw man argument. ITAQALLAH 22:47, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
You don't have to be a Muslim, you have to have credible claims to knowing what you're talking about, which these individuals frankly do not. Peter Deer (talk) 21:14, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
It seems that Daniel Pipes indeed knows what he's talking about. The other three seem too wrapped up in preaching. Frotz (talk) 21:30, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Daniel Pipes doesn't appear to talk about the moon god theory at all. ITAQALLAH 22:47, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
A quick googling of ""Daniel Pipes" "moon god"" suggests otherwise. Frotz (talk) 02:11, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Why don't you provide me with a direct link to where he does? ITAQALLAH 21:19, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I did, and he says it's another name for God. Meaning "The God." You can read it in his article from Free Republic dated 28 June 2005.

Back on topic: unless there are notable, reliable, verifiable sources for the moon god theory, this cannot and should not be included. Peter Deer (talk) 05:25, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Here is another moon god article which says,"The Koran states that Abraham was the builder of this shrine, which by very definition has to be an absolute lie, as in no way would Abraham ever build an altar to pagan gods!" Please debunk this. Was Abraham really the builder of Kaabah?-- (talk) 12:35, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
It is not our responsibility to debunk anything, but I am a scholar of religion as well as being a Believer, so I am happy to give you the easy answer. A majority of Muslims believe that the Ka3ba's shrine was built by Abraham and that humanity, being fickle and pernicious and frequently doing Bad Things, added in 'helpers' or divinities borrowed from polytheists over time. It is characteristic of that article to miss the entire point of the Abraham story - like the moneylenders in the Temple of Jerusalem in the Christian New Testament or the Golden Calf in the Hebrew Bible, the idols were counter to the ideals of God and the Prophet in the story in question came as a reformer. Jesus threw a great protest, tossing over tables and wrecking the place. Moses - we all know that story. And Muhammad plead to have the idols removed, even those dearest patrons of the most powerful tribe, of which he himself was a scion, backed by God's command. That's tantamount to dissing a Texan's football team...
I digress. If you have more questions, ask a Muslim, not the talk page of "Allah". Try websites - there are a million. em zilch (talk) 13:31, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Abraham was in Ur. Next, he moved to Harran; through Canaan went to Egypt. Nowhere is there a record of his going to Mecca except what followed the Quranic myth.-- (talk) 13:44, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
So says a particular group of Christians. That does not make it fact any more than "Abraham built the Ka3ba" is fact. Still irrelevant to the current article, please move on. em zilch (talk) 14:23, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Allah as God of Israel

Is Allah=God of Israel?-- (talk) 19:24, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Albert Mohler explains the answer to my rhetorical question quite nicely: "Allah is not the father of our Lord Jesus Christ," "Allah is certainly not the God of the Bible" have scriptural backing."What Does God Care What We Call Him?" -- (talk) 19:42, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Another Christian preacher. Please note that none of these are considered reliable sources on Wikipedia. Seriously, it's like having an Imam tell us about Christianity. ITAQALLAH 19:44, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Then at least, we should mention that "Muslims are offended if you would insist that their God is a different god than the God of the world’s Christians."[19]-- (talk) 20:02, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
More links to Christian preachers. There are links on this page to guidelines and policies showing what makes a reliable source. ITAQALLAH 22:49, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Jack Chick is a cartoonist who hold that Allah is a moon god.[20]-- (talk) 22:57, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I know. He also thinks Islam is a conspiracy of the Catholic church. Enough of the fringe polemicists already. ITAQALLAH 22:58, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I just wanted to mention a non-preacher. What about Peter Tsouras who writes "Allah, the Arabian moon god, one among many in the pagan Arab pantheon" in Montezuma: Warlord of the Aztecs (ISBN 1574888226)?-- (talk) 23:09, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
A military historian specialising in weapons, armour and tactics of the Conquista period Aztec Empire is hardly a reputable source for Middle Eastern religion around the 6th century CE. Try examining the scholars who are schooled in and experts of the materials, area and culture in question. em zilch (talk) 23:17, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
  • The sources for the Allah as the moon god are diverse. Here is David Bukay who writes "Probably Allah was one of the names used for the moon god" in From Muhammad to Bin Laden: Religious and Ideological Sources of the Homicide Bombers Phenomenon (ISBN 0765803909).-- (talk) 23:21, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but no. It's a bad, bad sign when your "expert" is criticised by the ADL for racist opinions and commentary about Arabs and Muslims. Cf. David Bukay em zilch (talk) 01:54, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Just because he made some hasty remarks, it isn't justifiable to dismiss all his writings as baloney.-- (talk) 02:01, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Funny, I was thinking that given his opinions and statements, we should do just that. em zilch (talk) 03:43, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
The number of sources doesn't matter if not a single one of them are reliable. ITAQALLAH 17:16, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

God versus "the God"

Reza Aslan who is a Muslim writes in the New York Times that Allah simply means "the god."[21]-- (talk) 15:54, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

It is true that Allah is commonly used by most in the Islamic world and outside simply for the one and only god of Islam. However, its translation is "the god" according to a few encyclopedias

-- (talk) 16:04, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Allāh: al-, "the" (as in "Al Jazeera": "The Peninsula") + ilāh, "god." The idea is thus emphatically monotheistic. Cosmic Latte (talk) 16:08, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
In English, we do not use the the same way Arabic uses al-. Translation requires more than rote piecemeal changes, and people don't walk around in English saying, "Oh my the God!" and "Oh the God!", yet in Arabic the use of the al- in these positions is grammatically sound. Similarly, the shahada says, "There is no god but God", and the use of the al- on God here is not translatable. In the same way, English speakers don't always translate Arabic country names and city names with the al- attached as "the ..." Perhaps we could make a note that in Arabic, the name of God takes the al- (as God is capitalised in English)? It's certainly not the direct translation, which requires reference to the nunation of the noun as well as semantic considerations.
The literal translation is still "the God" just like "the Base" for Al Qaeda. Common usage doesn't alter the translation. Popular translation by some doesn't become literal translation.-- (talk) 19:32, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Does Arabic make any statements on how many of a noun exist? Some languages have a "the" word that states that a noun is one of many nouns and a different "the" word to state that this noun is unique. Sidenote: how many times have you heard something like "The Al-Jazeera news network"? Frotz (talk) 19:40, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
No. There is the all-purpose prefix al-, like Hebrew ha-, and there is nunation (final -n). While al- is often approximately the same meaning as "the", definiteness is communicated without it in many other ways. Nouns in idhaafa (a noun-noun structure that has many uses, including possession) cannot take al-, for example; only the final member can, which is how rasuulu l-Laahi "the messenger of God" differs from ar-rasuulu "a messenger" and rasuulu ilahi "a/the messenger of a god". Possessives count as an idhaafa structure, which is similar in English: hurayratii "my cat" - the cat is obviously definite, because you are talking about a specific one. Nunation is much more complex and can be seen in the shahada: Mu7ammadun rasuulu l-Laah - Muhammad takes nunation (-n), rasuul- does not. ("God" has no visible endings because in pausa, all endings are dropped.) In other members of the Afrasian language tree, nunation is called mimation - nun = N and miim = M.

Dissension by notable people

Here is a partial list of folks who either believe Allah isn't the God of Israel or that he is a moon god.-- (talk) 13:55, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I have already noted that Daniel Pipes' own words are that Allah means "God", the same one as that of the Jews and Christians. The rest of your list are (also) partisan activist hacks. Peter Tsouras has been attacked by the ADL, a political Jewish organisation, for his appalling anti-Arab bias. Jack Chick is infamous world-wide: he also notes that the Moon God is the God of the Catholics, who incidentally drink the blood of children and worship "Semiramis". Pat Robertson? The list continues with non-scholarly, highly and notably biased persons. Please review the standards cited in this talk article regarding sources. em zilch (talk) 14:28, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Pipes says Allah is commonly used by many who equate the God of Israel with Allah.[23] He is talking about usage not literal translation.-- (talk) 16:08, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
As goofy as Jack Chick is, let's lay out as many notable people we can who question the identity of Allah. Then we can weed out those who are not credible. Frotz (talk) 19:04, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
There are even Muslims who acknowledge "The two words, "God" and "Allah," do not mean the same thing in English. They should. Also, each of the above people make valid points and shouldn't be dismissed for being Christian. One of Albert Mohler's argument is "If Allah has no Son by definition, Allah is not the God who revealed himself in the Son. How then can the use of Allah by Christians lead to anything but confusion …and worse?”[24]-- (talk) 19:26, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
All of the above-listed persons in column 1 are members of a specific religious persuasion with considerable political motivation to license Islam as "the other, the devil's work". I don't care if a Topekan bible-thumper says "Allah is the Devil!", and neither should Wikipedia care outside of pages about said bible-thumper. If there are credible works, whip them out - I have yet to encounter any written by scholars. What makes Jack Chick any more of an expert than Axl Rose or John Madden? And Muslims who are not experts are no different than Christians who are. Their 3ilm may be lacking - and scholarship is central to Islam. The Qur'an itself identifies God as the God of the Jews and the Christians... em zilch (talk) 19:34, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
  • You are not answering their arguments like Albert Mohler's. You're mantra revolves around "hey, X isn't a *scholar* (as defined by you)" and so on.

There is sufficient controversy to merit the inclusion of the moon god assertions.-- (talk) 19:37, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

With all due respect, you're wasting your time by collating every polemical author you can find - because it doesn't really add any weight to the rationale for inclusion. Please read carefully through WP:V and WP:RS - and please understand that sources must be reliable. Reliability is determined by the criteria here. ITAQALLAH 21:16, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Protect Request

I'd like to make a semi-prot request to prevent junk/PoV spamming by persons without log-ins. em zilch (talk) 22:18, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Orientalist says Allah is the title of a moon god

Does Louis Herbert Gray qualify as a scholar who has written "Allah, the old Ilah, or title of the Moon-god"[25]?-- (talk) 22:47, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Gray lived in nineteen century/early twentieth century; and the writings on Islam from that era has come under much criticism. I don't think this counts as a reliable source. --Be happy!! (talk) 08:16, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Please provide a URL to a source that states something along the lines of "the writings on Islam from that era [1800s and early 1900s] has come under much criticism." I should also point out that if you were objective, then you would provide evidence to discredit Louis Herbert Gray's writings.-- (talk) 10:01, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
The works of scholars from that period have been hotly criticised. Edward Said wrote a seminal work on the subject: it's called Orientalism. Also, your claims of non-neutrality are akin to the pot calling the kettle black... you are coming to this article with an obvious and denigratory agenda. As a person who constantly challenges long-held assumptions of Islam with fact (as evident on this page alone!), you are transparently carrying significant baggage brought directly from extremist Christian "anti-Mohammedan" screeds. em zilch (talk) 16:52, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
This is hilarious because Edward Said himself has received a great deal criticism.-- (talk) 14:42, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

John Paul II smooching the Quran with eyes closed

Re: John Paul II smooching the Quran with eyes closed

What is the difference between fair and wildly inappropriate sources? I certainly see that page you cite as being the most insanely inappropriate source for wikipedia... ranting like madness... yeek. em zilch (talk) 01:58, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
You mean the photograph is doctored?-- (talk) 02:20, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Of course it's not doctored, but the text of the page it is on is a rampaging anti-Muslim and anti-Roman screed. The description of the photo on that page itself is inflammatory - I'd hate to use that image without understanding what happened and why he was kissing what appears to be the Qur'aan. It also says Khadijah was a Catholic and Muhammad "the antiChrist". (Same page, exact quote.) Disclaimer: I went to Catholic school and hence understand (comprehend the wording and points he writes) most of the author's rantings when they deal with Canon law and the like, although I think he's barking mad on nearly every point (i.e. where he says the basic problem facing Catholicism today is Freemasonry controling the nations of the world... wuuut?). Salaams, em zilch (talk) 12:18, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
The website is run by Father David Trosch.-- (talk) 12:23, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah: he has been suspended and is no longer a priest because he advocates terrorism. My cousin was murdered in the Brookline clinic terrorist attack in 1994. em zilch (talk) 12:54, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Contradition in the article

In the paragraph: "According to Marshall Hodgson, it seems that in the pre-Islamic times, some Arab Christians made pilgrimage to the Kaaba, a pagan temple at that time, honoring Allah there as God the Creator.[25]"

It is a well documented fact that the Kaaba has been used as a focal point and as a place of worship to god "the creator of the universe" for thousands of years. According to the Muslims Prophet Abraham built it as a place of worship to God "the creator of the universe". It was used as a place of worship by people of different faiths. They understood that it was a place of worship, built by prophet Abraham and that is why they went there. The paragraph above portrays an inaccurate image of the Kaaba, and is contradictory. It says that Arab Christians also made pilgrimage to the Kaaba, but then goes on to say that it was a pagan temple. After Prophet Abraham the people in the local area started to deviate from the teachings of Prophet Abraham and did indeed start to place their idols in the precinct of the Kaaba. But that does not mean that it was a pagan temple. Many people including the Christians who visited the Kaaba, visited it to worship God. As prophet Abraham intended. Later on during the time of Prophet Mohammed the idols were removed and it was again used as a place of worship to God. The Kaaba is a focal point where people of different ethnic groups meet to worship God. Where racism has no place. The Muslims worship God and not the Kaaba. The Kaaba is an empty building, it is a place where people meet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:24, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

That viewpoint is explicitly a particularly religious one, and it is not supported by the sources. Also, how is that a "contradiction in the article"? It's only a contradiction of your opinion with the article, not an internal one. Naahid بنت الغلان Click to talk 01:32, 6 August 2008 (UTC)