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Massive Online Encyclopedia of Islam : ALLAH

lit. the (al) - God (`llah). name of God in the Qur'an. The feminine form is al-`ilat.

Although the above is the most popular explanation of the name, this is probably not correct, and the source of the name has to be sought in the Aramaic language.

In the Bible, God is most often called by two names, namely 'el (and its more commonly used plural form, 'elohim) and Jehovah (YHWH, Yehovah or Yahweh). The Jews, being very reverential of God, do not pronounce the latter, and many Bible translations uses the translational device of LORD (all in capital letters) to translate the latter name. When Moses asked for God's name, God described Himself to be "I AM THAT I AM" (hayah hayah):

And Moses said unto God ('elohim), Behold, [when] I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God ('elohim) of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What [is] his name? what shall I say unto them? And God ('elohim) said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM (hayah hayah): and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God ('elohim) said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD (Yehovah) God ('elohim) of your fathers, the God ('elohim) of Abraham, the God ('elohim) of Isaac, and the God ('elohim) of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial unto all generations. (Exodus 3:13-15, KJV),
Later on, He revealed to Moses again:
And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by [the name of] God Almighty (el shaddai), but by my name JEHOVAH (Yehovah) was I not known to them. (Exodus 6:3, KJV),
It is hard to see how the name of God in the Bible became lost in the Qur'an.

Some researchers have tied Allah to the moon-god of pagan Arabs before the advent of Islam which is most probably incorrect. However, one concensus is clear: the name "Allah" is not unfamiliar with the Arabs. The following is a list of statements of very uneven authority.

* Attributes of Allah include existence without a body, without beginning, without end, self-subsistence, non-resemblance to anything in creation, oneness, life without food, spirit, body, air and blood, will (predestination), power, knowledge, hearing without ears, or or organ, seeing without eyes, light or organ, al-Kalam (speech without sounds, letters and languages). Allah is not attributed with color, brightness, spirit, image, body, dimensions, rest, motion, gender, relationship (son, wife, sister, brother, children). He is the only creator and no creates except him. Creator of everything, including evil, good, nature. Everything other than Allah is created.
* ``The name of Allah, as the Quran itself is witness, was well known in pre-Islamic Arabia. Indeed, both it and its feminine form 'Allat', are found not infrequently among the theophorous names in inscriptions from North Arabia.'' (Arthur Jeffery, Islam: Muhammed and his religion, p 85).
* ``'Allah' is a proper name, applicable only to their [Arabs] peculiar god. (Hastings, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, I.326).
* ``'Allah' is a pre-Islamic name...corresponding to the Babylonian Bel.'' (Paul Meagher,Thomas O' Brein, in ERE, I.117).
* ``The Arabs, before the time of Muhammed accepted and worshipped, after a fashion, a supreme god called 'Allah'. (Encyclopaedia of Islam, I.302).
* "The name of 'Allah' is also evident in archeological and literary remains of pre-Islamic Arabia". (Kenneth Cragg, The Call of the Minaret, p. 31).
* 'Allah' was known to the pre-Islamic Arabs and it was one of the Meccan deities. (H. Gibb, Encyclopedia of Islam, I.46).
* "The name of Allah goes back before Muhammed." (Anthony Mercatante, The Facts on Index, Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, I.41)
* "There is no reason, therefore, to accept that Allah passed to the Muslims from the Jews and Christians." (Caesar Farah, Islam : Beliefs and Observations, p. 28).
* In Arabia, the sun god was viewed as a female goddess and the moon as the male god. One of the moon god's name was called Allah. (Alfred Guilluame, Islam, p. 7.)
* Allah, the moon god was married to the sun goddess. Together they produce the three goddess (the daughters of Allah), Al-Lat, Al-Uzza and Manat. All of these 'gods' were viewed as being the top of the pantheon of Arab deities. (Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, I.61).
* Ahmad Deedat, a Muslim apologist, contends that the Bible contains the name Allah. He refers to a footnote in the Scoffield Bible where it says that the Hebrew word for God, Elohim is derived from "El" (strength) and "Alah" (to swear). (God).
It was in common use before the time of Muhammad. His father was Abdullah, meaning "abd" (servant) of Allah

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