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Philangeli

Is Allah the same as God in the Bible?

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Posted (edited)

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
Edited for brevity
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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.
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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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No they were different, same with Indian gods etc

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Posted (edited)

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
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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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YES :D

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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.

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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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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.

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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" ?

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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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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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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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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.

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Which god of which bible? The ot claims more then one god with the hebrew pagan god yahweh emerging as the supreme one under abraham. The nt claims jesus as god within a trinity which is a pagan ritual and the nt was written to fit the glove.

So to which "god" in the bible do you refere?

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Well, the idea of Allah was based on the original invisible omnipresent God of the Bible. The original god of the Bible is what he is just because the nomads who invented him found it practical not to have to carry a statue everywhere they go.

The original posters question is absurd. It is like asking if the American Christian God is the same as, say, Catholic Croatian God, since they don't call them the same. Croats say "bog" or "gospod", while Americans say "god" or "lord".

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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?

You agree with me then, it's Muslims who normally ignore this question.

You're a bit touchy aren't you, i can think of many topics we've probably not debated before if that's what you want, how reliable are hadiths? why did they destroy Mohammed's house in Mecca? How old is the Kaaba and have you seen it without the Kiswah? i have loads more.

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You agree with me then, it's Muslims who normally ignore this question.

You're a bit touchy aren't you, i can think of many topics we've probably not debated before if that's what you want, how reliable are hadiths? why did they destroy Mohammed's house in Mecca? How old is the Kaaba and have you seen it without the Kiswah? i have loads more.

If I am not mistaken names that have the atribute g o d are common in all religions and predate the abrahamic religions. Gottfried is a germanic name that predates the nt, Bogoljub, a slavic one that was common as well during pagan times.

It is hard to understand the difference as well as the simmilarity of the name Allah and the atribute Allah. As it was pointed out above in the case of whose god is the real one then any god that is called by a different name except god is wrong, at least that is what some "experts" here on um claim. Bog, god, dios, allah....who cares.

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If I am not mistaken names that have the atribute g o d are common in all religions and predate the abrahamic religions. Gottfried is a germanic name that predates the nt, Bogoljub, a slavic one that was common as well during pagan times.

It is hard to understand the difference as well as the simmilarity of the name Allah and the atribute Allah. As it was pointed out above in the case of whose god is the real one then any god that is called by a different name except god is wrong, at least that is what some "experts" here on um claim. Bog, god, dios, allah....who cares.

German for God is Gott, do you know of anyone called "Bog" the origins of dios are Greek deity, who cares? you or you wouldn't be replying.

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German for God is Gott, do you know of anyone called "Bog" the origins of dios are Greek deity, who cares? you or you wouldn't be replying.

Doooh. Of course Bogoljub, Bogumil, Bogoslav...

Gott is God? Realy? Dios is God too? Woow. So many gods, who is the real one? It is confusing.

I do not understand why christians have so many gods which they call gott, jesus, dios....and still claime that it is a monotheistic religion. No offence I am just lost in it all.

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Posted (edited)

~~~ ...

... Gott is God? Realy? Dios is God too? Woow. So many gods, who is the real one? It is confusing.

I do not understand why christians have so many gods which they call gott, jesus, dios....and still claime that it is a monotheistic religion. No offence I am just lost in it all.

Odas, perhaps you feel "lost" because you are considering the name "God" in different languages? :) Edited by Karlis
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Odas, perhaps you feel "lost" because you are considering the name "God" in different languages? :)

Including Allah?

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Doooh. Of course Bogoljub, Bogumil, Bogoslav...

Gott is God? Realy? Dios is God too? Woow. So many gods, who is the real one? It is confusing.

I do not understand why christians have so many gods which they call gott, jesus, dios....and still claime that it is a monotheistic religion. No offence I am just lost in it all.

Do you know of anyone called just Gott, just Bog ie do you know anyone called god, i think you'll find there's more names for god in the Quran than there is in the Bible.

Pagan gods names are often used and god used in a name eg servant of god etc.

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Including Allah?

Yes but that's also a boys name.

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