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Is Allah the same as God in the Bible?


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#1    Philangeli

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 07:57 PM

Hi everyone.

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 :
http://www.letusreason.org/islam6.htm
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.
*Snip*

Edited by Karlis, 17 June 2012 - 08:33 AM.
Edited for brevity

Philangeli


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#2    Rlyeh

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:10 PM

View PostPhilangeli, on 16 June 2012 - 07:57 PM, said:

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.
Today a Muslim is one who submits to the God Allah.

Islam means submission to (Allah), but originally it meant that strength which characterized a desert warrior who, even when faced with impossible odds, would fight to the death for his tribe. (Dr. M. Baravmann, The Spiritual Background of Early Islam, E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1972)
Many believe the word "Allah" was derived from the mid- eastern word "el" which in Ugaritic, Caananite and Hebrew can mean a true or false God. This is not the case, "The source of this (Allah) goes back to pre-Muslim times. Allah is not a common name meaning "God" (or a "god"), and the Muslim must use another word or form if he wishes to indicate any other than his own peculiar deity." (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (ed. Hastings), I:326.)
This is a bit of a contradiction. One moment "Allah" is generic name meaning God, next it's not.


#3    Philangeli

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:26 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 16 June 2012 - 08:10 PM, said:

This is a bit of a contradiction. One moment "Allah" is generic name meaning God, next it's not.
Well, the text from the extract says:

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.

I don't see that as a contradiction.

Muhammad Ali (the boxer) used to say, 'I am the greatest'. Did that mean we should worship him as God?

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#4    Yes_Man

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:29 PM

No they were different, same with Indian gods etc


#5    Rlyeh

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:31 PM

View PostPhilangeli, on 16 June 2012 - 08:26 PM, said:

Well, the text from the extract says:

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.

I don't see that as a contradiction.
Many believe the word "Allah" was derived from the mid- eastern word "el" which in Ugaritic, Caananite and Hebrew can mean a true or false God. This is not the case, "The source of this (Allah) goes back to pre-Muslim times. Allah is not a common name meaning "God" (or a "god"), and the Muslim must use another word or form if he wishes to indicate any other than his own peculiar deity." (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (ed. Hastings), I:326.)

So what is it, is Allah a generic title for the highest god (God) or not?

Edited by Rlyeh, 16 June 2012 - 08:35 PM.


#6    Philangeli

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:49 PM

It is a generic title for whatever god was considered the highest god

As an example, say, you support a local football team, and you consider them to be the best in the world (regardless of whether they are or not), you may give them a title, like, 'The Greatest'.

'The Greatest' is a generic title.

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#7    RazielKTB

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 10:26 PM

YES :D


#8    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 10:41 PM

Arguably, Allah shares a lot of characteristics with the fairly rule-orientated and judgemental God of the Old Testament. But less so with the "if it's not forbidden, it's permitted" God of the New Testament.

I must not fear. Fear is the Mind-Killer. It is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and to move through me. And when it is gone I will turn the inner eye to see it's path.
When the fear is gone, there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

#9    ChloeB

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 11:21 PM

Well if Allah most wonderful and splendorifical is the God of the OT, the God of the Jews, why did it take him 3 religions to get it right?  Him being all omni-everything, he should have knocked that out of the park first try right?  Why a need for another religion for this God and another, does this God not realize wars are going to be over what he didn't get right and set forth in the first try, Jews against Muslims, Christians against Muslims, etc?

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#10    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 11:51 PM

It's possible that there are three religions because there are many different people in the world - the Torah for some, the Bible for others, the Koran for more yet. Everyone's road to the destination is their own, but the map was written by the same hand.

I must not fear. Fear is the Mind-Killer. It is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and to move through me. And when it is gone I will turn the inner eye to see it's path.
When the fear is gone, there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

#11    hetrodoxly

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 12:13 AM

This old chestnut has been debated many times on this board, i'll ask two questions that i've asked before but never had an answer, Mohammed's father was called Abdallah the Arabic translation is "servant of god" who was the god he was servant of?

Allah is an Arabic boys name, would anyone really call their son "God" ?

Thank god i'm an athiest.

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#12    Philangeli

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 08:05 AM

View Posthetrodoxly, on 17 June 2012 - 12:13 AM, said:

This old chestnut has been debated many times on this board, i'll ask two questions that i've asked before but never had an answer, Mohammed's father was called Abdallah the Arabic translation is "servant of god" who was the god he was servant of?

Allah is an Arabic boys name, would anyone really call their son "God" ?
I think your question was covered in the OP:

"The name Allah, as the Qur'an 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 Africa." (Arthur Jeffrey, ed., Islam: Muhammad and His Religion (1958), p. 85.)

The literal name of Mohammed's father in Arabic is Abd Allah. His uncle's name Obred Allah. These names show the devotion of Mohammed's families pagan roots, and also prove that Allah was part of a polytheistic system of worship before Allah was made the supreme and only god from the other God's. This should be proof to the pre- Islamic root of the name of Allah to the Muslim. Remember they were pagans who used this name. He kept his family name above all the other names. Mohammad had good intentions in removing the people from their polytheistic worship however he did not go far enough in his reform.

Yes, funny how 'old chestnuts' keep popping up on forums, like 'Does God Exist', 'What is spiriituality', etc. Have you got a totally new topic you would like to put on the table that has never been discussed before?

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#13    Philangeli

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 08:12 AM

View PostChloeB, on 16 June 2012 - 11:21 PM, said:

Well if Allah most wonderful and splendorifical is the God of the OT, the God of the Jews, why did it take him 3 religions to get it right?  Him being all omni-everything, he should have knocked that out of the park first try right?  Why a need for another religion for this God and another, does this God not realize wars are going to be over what he didn't get right and set forth in the first try, Jews against Muslims, Christians against Muslims, etc?
Good point.

If Allah is, in fact, the same God as in the Bible, why did Mohammed and his armies invade and conquer Jewish and Christian territories in the name of Islam, forcing Islam onto those peoples, if those peoples already believed in the same God (Allah)?

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#14    Paracelse

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 08:52 AM

View PostPhilangeli, on 16 June 2012 - 08:26 PM, said:

Well, the text from the extract says:

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.

I don't see that as a contradiction.

Muhammad Ali (the boxer) used to say, 'I am the greatest'. Did that mean we should worship him as God?

X'cept before Islam Allah's name was Al'Lat, a matriarcal Goddess part of the Female trinity: Kore (Q're name that was used to for the Quran) the virgin Al Uzza and Manat the Threefold Moon.  Mohamed was prolly born into that religion and perhaps (I did say perhaps) he didn't like matriarchalism and created patriarchalism.

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#15    Mr Walker

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:21 AM

There are two types of god Those constructed by humans  and those who exist independent of human existence and belief.

IMO there is only one in the latter category (in this part of our universe at least) and yes, indeed, allah jehovah and most gods with  a history of physical contact  with humanity are manifestations or avatars of the one physical being.

For example i know god as a real physical being who exists in a real physical personal interrelationship with me. And i could adopt any form of worship to scaffold that relationship, or not have an exterior scaffold for it at all."My" god can be seen in islam judaism christianity but also in many oher froms of worship from pagan to gaean. It is the nature and purpose of ones relationship with god which is critical not the outward form of worship.

Sadly the outward forms are often "corrupted" to other purposes than god's and used by humans for their own reasons. On the other hand, religious fellowship has its own advantages and rewards what ever form that religion takes.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.




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