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Allāh

Allāh. Arab. for God: if from earlier Semitic languages (e.g. Aram., alāhā), perhaps the God (Arab. al = ‘the’). Before the birth of Muḥammad, Allah was known as a supreme, but not the sole, God. Muḥammad became aware, early in his life, of conflict between religions and of contest, therefore, between ‘gods’. From his experience in the cave on Mount Ḥirāʾ (with possible influence from ḥanīfs), Muḥammad saw that if God is God, it is God that God must be: there cannot be division of God into separate or competing beings. From this absolute realization of tawḥīd (oneness of God), the whole of Islam is derived—as indeed is the whole of the created order. Hence the fundamental mark of islām (allegiance to God) is the shahāda, lā ilāha illā Allāh… This involves Islam in necessary conflict with polytheism, idolatry, and what was taken to be the Christian understanding of the Trinity.

In the Qurʾān, Allah is described by many epithets, contributing eventually to the ninety-nine beautiful names of God. Controlling all are the two descriptions (occurring in the basmala) rahmān (merciful) and rahīm (compassionate). In later Islam, fierce arguments developed: about the status of the attributes of God (too much status would confer ontological, or truly existent, reality on them, thus converting them into something like independent parts of God); about anthropomorphic statements (e.g. the Qurʾān says that God sits on a throne: to take this literally would limit God in space. This particular issue was resolved agnostically by saying that he does so, bilā kaifa wa lā tashbīh, without knowing how and without comparison, SC. with our way of sitting; and also by tanzīh); and about the power of God to determine all things. This last issue is focused on the term qadar. The Qurʾān emphasizes the absolute power of God to determine all things, which suggests strong predestination (as held e.g. by the Jabriya); in that case, how can humans be held accountable for their deeds and be judged accordingly (the question raised e.g. by the Muʿtazilites)? The eventual solution (at least for the Ashʿarites (acquisition) was formulated in the doctrine of iktisāb, see AL-ASHʿARI).

Theological and rational reflection on God is complemented, in Islam, by the direct and immediate relation of the believer with God, above all in salāt: to everyone, God is closer than the vein in the neck (50. 16). This close and direct relation to God led into the cultivation of the experiential awareness of God, which culminated in Sūfism.

For the controlling and all-important Sūra of Unity (112), which, if a Muslim says it with conviction, leads to the shedding of sins as a tree sheds its leaves in autumn, see TAWḤĪD.

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"Allāh." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Allāh." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/allah

Allah

ALLAH

The Arabic equivalent of the English word God.

A likely etymology of the term is that it is an ancient contraction of al-ilah (Arabic for "the god") and was probably first used in Arabian cosmologies before Islam to refer to some kind of high deity who may have been considered the progenitor of a number of lesser divinities. The word Allah is best known in the West as the name Muslims ascribe to the one and only God, whom they believe to be the transcendent and partnerless creator, lord, and judge of the universe. It is important to note that according to Muslim teaching, Allah is not only the God of the prophet Muhammad but also the God of Moses and Jesusand is therefore identical to the divine being of Jewish and Christian sacred history.

While Muslim tradition recognizes Allah to be the comprehensive name of God encompassing all the divine attributes, it also ascribes to the deity an additional ninety-nine "beautiful names" (al-asma al-husna), each of which evoke a distinct characteristic of the godhead. The most famous and most frequently referenced of these are "the Merciful" (al-rahman) and "the Compassionate" (al-rahim).

see also islam.

Bibliography


Guillaume, Alfred. Islam. London: Cassell, 1963.

Scott Alexander

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"Allah." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Allah

Allah (ăl´ə, ä´lə), [Arab.,=the God]. Derived from an old Semitic root refering to the Divine and used in the Canaanite El, the Mesopotamian ilu, and the biblical Elohim, the word Allah is used by all Arabic-speaking Muslims, Christians, Jews, and others. Allah, as a deity, was probably known in pre-Islamic Arabia. Arabic chronicles suggest a pre-Islamic recognition of Allah as a supreme God, with the three goddesses al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat as his "daughters." The Prophet Muhammad, declaring Allah the God of Abraham, demanded a return to a strict monotheism. Islam supplements Allah as the name of God with the 99 most beautiful names (asma Allah al-husna), understood as nondescriptive mnemonic guides to the Divine attributes.

See S. Friedlander, Ninety-Nine Names of Allah (1978).

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"Allah." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Allah

Allah One and only God of Islam. His name is probably derived from Arabic al-Illāh, meaning ‘the God’. Allah is the omnipresent and merciful rewarder, the creator and judge of all. Unreserved surrender to Allah, as preached in the Koran, is the very heart of the Islamic faith.

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Allah

Allah the name of God among Muslims (and Arab Christians). The name comes from Arabic 'allāh, contraction of al-'ilāh ‘the god’.

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Allah

Allah XVI. — Arab. allāh, for al-'ilāh, i.e. AL-2, 'ilāh god = Aram. elāh, Heb. elōah.

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"Allah." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Allah

Al·lah / ˈälə; ˈalə/ the name of God among Muslims (and Arab Christians).

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Allah

AllahAllah, calla, Caracalla, Haller, inshallah, pallor, Valhalla, valour (US valor), Whyalla •gabbler, tabla •ambler, gambler, rambler, scrambler •Adler, saddler •handler •angler, dangler, strangler, wrangler •tackler • trampler • antler • dazzler •Carla, challah, Douala, gala, Guatemala, Gujranwala, impala, kabbala, Kampala, koala, La Scala, Lingala, Mahler, Marsala, masala, nyala, parlour (US parlor), Sinhala, snarler, tala, tambala, Uppsala •garbler • chandler • sparkler •sampler •a cappella, Arabella, Bella, bestseller, Capella, cellar, Cinderella, citronella, Clarabella, corella, Daniela, Della, dispeller, dweller, Ella, expeller, favela, fella, fellah, feller, Fenella, Floella, foreteller, Heller, impeller, interstellar, Keller, Louella, Mandela, mortadella, mozzarella, Nigella, novella, paella, panatella, patella, predella, propeller, queller, quinella, repeller, rosella, rubella, salmonella, Santiago de Compostela, seller, smeller, speller, Stella, stellar, tarantella, teller, umbrella, Viyella •Puebla •assembler, dissembler, trembler •medlar, pedlar •ländler •fin de siècle, Hekla •Kepler •exempla, exemplar, Templar •tesla, wrestler •embezzler • Rockefeller •knee-trembler • saltcellar •bookseller • storyteller

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