lit. the (al) - God (`ilah). 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. See the article on Alaha, the Syriac Christian term for God.

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 people argue that Allah is the moon-god of the pagan Arabs before the advent of Islam. Whatever the merits of this theory, there is a clear concensus: the name "Allah" is not unfamiliar to the Arabs. Muhammad was not bringing a message about a new and so far unknown God. 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 Africa.'' (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 origin of the name Allah goes back before Muhammed ... Along with Allah, however, they worshipped a host of lesser gods and ‘daughters of Allah.’" (Anthony Mercatante, The Facts on File 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).
* According to Middle East scholar E.M. Wherry, in pre-Islamic times, Allah-worship, as well as the worship of Baal, were both astral religions in that they involved the worship of the stars, the sun and the moon. (A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran, p. 36).
* "The relation of this name, which in Babylonia and Assyrian became a generic term simply meaning 'god', to the Arabian Ilah familiar to us in the form Allah, which is compounded of al, the definite article, and Ilah by eliding the vowel 'i', is not clear. Some scholars trace the name to the South Arabian Ilah, a title of the Moon god, but this is a matter of antiquarian interest" (Islam, Alfred Guillaume, 1956, p. 7).
* 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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