I have had various muslim friends over the years with whom I have discussed God/Allah. One thing they were quite keen on was emphasizing that Allah is the same as God in the Bible and I kind of passively accepted it.
However, after some reading, I have come to the conclusion that this may not be the case.
Apparently, Allah was one of many gods worshipped by the Arabs in Mohammed's time and Mohammed chose that particular god to be the 'numero uno' god.
Allah was historically known as a moon god (hence the moon icon on many flags of islamic countries).
Do names matter? Yes, I think they do.
What do you think?
Here is an extract from :
which analyses the origin of the name Allah.
Allah is the name of the only God in Islam. Allah is a pre-Islamic name coming from the compound Arabic word Al-ilah which means the God, which is derived from al (the) ilah (deity).
The Arabic name for "God" is the word "Al-ilah." It is a generic title for whatever god was considered the highest god. Different Arab tribes used "Allah" to refer to its personal high god. "Allah" was being worshipped at the Kaa’ba in Mecca by Arabs prior to the time of Mohammed. It was formerly the name of the chief god among the numerous idols (360) in the Kaaba in Mecca before Mohammed made them into monotheists. Historians have shown that the moon god called "Hubal" was the god to whom Arabs prayed at the Kaa’ba and they used the name "Allah" when they prayed.
Edited by Karlis, 17 June 2012 - 08:33 AM.
Edited for brevity