Is Allah a different god?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Paul of Eugene, Dec 20, 2001.

  1. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    Maybe I'm just off base here, but it always bothers me when someone says Allah is not the same God as our God.

    Now I'm perfectly in agreement that the muslim community doesn't describe Him in a way that is consistent with what we know about Him.

    But they are talking about the One Who is the creator and sustainer of the universe, and that is only one being - God.

    By way of example. To some, President Bush is the savior of the republic. To others, he is the downfall of the nation. Yet both are talking about the same man.

    In fact, some translations of the Bible into Arabic have used Allah as the name of God in the translation.

    Anyway, that's my thinking. Any comments?
     
  2. Barnabas H.

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    Paul, was that a trick question? [​IMG]

    This topic has been discussed before on BaptistBoard.com and the bottom line is that Allah is definitely not YAHW!
     
  3. JAMES2

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    Paul:
    I guess I would say that Allah is something completely foreign to the Jehovah of the Bible. Why? For one thing God chose the Jews and created the nation of Israel. All that bless them He will bless. All that condemn them, He will condemn. Doesn't seem to me that God would bless Israel, promise them an everlasting covenant and everlasting possession of the land, then be the same God that the Muslims pray to who wants to destroy Israel. Does that make sense to you.

    Besides, the Christian God, Trinity in unity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, does not promise that if you fly a plane into a building and kill thousands of people, or blow yourself up in some mindless act of self-mutilation, you will go to heaven and be presented with a bunch of virgins. (Why anyone would want to be presented with a bunch of virgins is a rather strange concept to begin with).
    So I would say that whatever Allah is, it is not the Sovereign God of the Univese, who saves by sovereign grace, not works. My understanding, from what I have read of Islam, is it is no different than all the other pagan religions out there. Salvation is by works (blowing up innocent people, hating who groups of people, doing this, doing that etc.) No thank you, I'll continue to worship the God that did the work for me and imputes the righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ, to the regenated, born again sinner, saved by grace. Amen!!
    James2

    [ December 24, 2001: Message edited by: JAMES2 ]
     
  4. Helen

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    From Robert Morey's Islamic Invasion
    Harvest House Publishers, 1992

    Part One: on the identity of Allah and the pre-Islamic moon god

    The well-known Middle East scholar H. Gibb has pointed out that the reason that Muhammad never had to explain who Allah was in the Quran is that his listeners had already heard about Allah long before Muhammad was ever born. (1)

    Dr. Arthur Jeffery, one of the foremost Western Islamic scholars in modern times and professor of Islamic and Middle East Studies at Columbia University, notes:

    "The name Allah, as the Quran itself is witness, was well known in pre-Islamic Araabia. INdeed, both it and its feminine form, Allat, are found not infrequently among the theophorous names in inscriptions from North Africa." (2)

    The word "Allah" comes from the compound Arabic word, al-ilah. Al is the definite article "the" and ilah is an Arabic word for "god." It is not a foreign word. It is not even the Syriac word for God. It is pure Arabic. (3)

    Neither is Allah a Hebrew or Greek word for God as found in the Bible. Allah is a purely Arabic term used in reference to an Arabian deity.

    Hasting's Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics states:

    "Allah" is a proper name, applicable only to their [Arab's] peculiar God. (4)

    According to the Encyclopedia of Religion:

    "Allah" is a pre-Islamic name...corresponding to the Babylonian Bel. (5)

    For those people who find it hard to believe that Allah was a pagan name for a peculiar pagan Arabian deity in pre-Islamic times, the following citations may be helpful:

    "Allah is found...in Arabic inscriptions prior to Islam (Encyclopedia Brittanica). (6)

    The Arabs, before the time of Mohammed, accepted and worshipped, after a fashion, a supreme god called allah (Encyclopedia of Islam, ed. Houtsma). (7)

    Allah was known to the pre-Islamic Arabs; he was one of the Meccan deities (Encyclopedia of Islam, ed. Gibb). (8)

    Ilah...appears in pre-Islamic poetry....By frequency of usage, al-ilah was contracted to allah, frequently attested to in pre-Islamic poetry (Encyclopedia of Islam, ed. Lewis). (9)

    The name Allah goes back before Muhammed (Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend). (10)

    The origin 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). (11)

    ....Caesar Farah in his book on Islam concludes his discussion of the pre-Islamic meaning of Allah by saying:

    "There is no reason, therefore, to accept the idea that Allah passed to the Muslims from the Christians and Jews. (15)

    According to Middle East scholar E.M. Wherry, whose translation of the Quran is still used today, in pre-Islamic times Allah-worship, as well as the worship of Ba-al, were both astral religions in that they involved the worship of the sun, the moon, and the stars. (16)

    In Arabia, the sun god was viewed as a female goddess and the moon as the male god. As has been pointed out by many scholars such as Alfred Guilluame, the moon god was called by various names, one of which was Allah! (17)

    The name Allah was used as the personal name of the moon god, in addition to other titles that could be given to him.

    Allah, the moon god, was married to the sun goddess. Together they produced three goddesses who were called "the daughters of Allah." These three goddesses were called Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat.

    The daughters of Allah, along with Allah and the sun goddess were viewed as "high" gods. That is, they were viewed as being at the top of the pantheon of Arabian deities.

    ....The Quraysh tribe into which Muhammad was born was particularly devoted to Allah, the moon god, and especially to Allah's three daughters, who were viewed as intercessors between the people and Allah.

    The worship of the three goddesses, Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat, played a significant role in the worship at the the Kabah in Mecca. The first two daughters of Allah had names which were feminine forms of Allah.

    The literal Arabic name of Muhammad's father was Abd-Allah. His uncle's name was Obied-Allah. These names reveal the personal devotion that Muhammad's pagan family had to the worship of Allah, the moon god.

    ....The worship of the moon god extended far beyond the Allah-worship in Arabia. The entire fertile cresent was involved in the worship of the moon.

    This, in part, explains the early success of Islam among Arab groups that traditionallyhad worshiped the moon God.

    The use of the crescent moon as the symbol for Islam which is placed on the flags of Islamic nations and on the top of mosques and minarets is a throwback to the days when Allah was worshiped as the moon god in Mecca.

    While it may come as a surprise to many Christians who have wrongly assumed that Allah was simply another name for the God of the Bible, educated Muslims generally understand this point.

    ....The significance of the pre-Islamic source of the name Allah cannot be overestimated.

    ....The Qurans' concept of deity evolved out of the pre-Islamic pagan religion of Allah-worship. It is so uniquely Arab that it cannot be simply reduced to Jewish or Christian beliefs.(pages 47-53)


    Footnotes: if you would like to have the footnotes on this part of his chapter, please let me know and I will type them out for you.
     
  5. JAMES2

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    Helen:
    Thank you for the offer to type the footnotes, but that won't be necessary. Also, thank you for the great post. I admit, I haven't really looked into Islam that much but from the actions and writings of those who say they are Muslims, I had no interest. Now, I really have no interest.

    Like I said in my post, how can anyone confuse the Christian-Jewish conception of God with the pagan one of Islam. And no one should take offense at that. The facts are the facts. They can worship whoever they want. As for me, I will stay with the Sovereign God of the Universe, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Trinity in Unity, the God of the Old and New Testament.

    Thank you God for creating me. Thank you for redeeming me. Thank you for sanctifying me. Lord Jeses, Come.
    Helen, have a Merry Christmas!!!
     
  6. The Galatian

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    Mohammed believed that he had been given instructions from the God of Abraham. That he used an ancient Semitic form for god is not the issue. (Allah and Elohim are cognates)

    The basic affirmation of faith shows this:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>la ilaha illa-Llah, Muhammedar - rasulu-Llah<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The Muslim says "There is no God, but God. And Muhammed is His prophet." Not that the same term is used, except that one is a proper name, and one is a generic name.

    "Allah" is both a proper name, and a generic name for "god", as is our usage of "God" and "god". For the same reason.

    Yes, they worship the same God we do, and the same God the Jews worship. Perhaps they don't understand Him as we do. But it is very wrong to deny that Allah is the word they use to refer to the only God there is.

    [ December 24, 2001: Message edited by: The Barbarian ]
     
  7. Barnabas H.

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    Not quite so The Barbarian! Just consider this: the Arabs recognize only Allah, the Moon god, and this is what they write on some of their mosques: We worship the only god, Allah, and he has no son! Go figure...... :(
     
  8. The Galatian

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    The Muslims do not agree that Jesus is God. Neither do the Jews. But both of them worship the God of Abraham, as we do.

    They are wrong in their understanding of Jesus, but they still worship God. Muhammed went so far as to consider Christians and Jews as fellow worshippers of God, as "People of the Book" (the Bible and Torah).

    They accept that the God who spoke to Abraham and the prophets is God. And that would seem to settle the question.
     
  9. Helen

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    Barbarian, they CLAIM it is the same deity. This would logically imply that the Islamic deity has the same character and characteristics as the God of the Bible, but they have very different attributes.

    Knowable vs. Unknowable
    Jesus Christ came into the world that we might know God. In John 17:3, Jesus says that eternal life is knowing God.
    In contrast, the Allah of Islam is unknowable by man.

    Personal relationship
    The entire aim of Christianity is that of a personal relationship with God.
    This is impossible with the Allah of Islam

    Personal vs. nonpersonal
    The God of the Bible is a being with intellect, emotion, and will.
    The Allah of Islam is too far distant, too separate to be even vaguely comprehended in terms of attributes humans might share.

    Spiritual vs. nonspiritual
    In John 4:24, Jesus states that God is a spirit.
    To the Muslim, this would be blasphemous, as defining Allah in any way would be demeaning. He is simply the 'exalted one.'

    Trinitarian vs. unitarian
    The God of the Bible is a Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- three Persons; one God.
    The Q'ran explicitely denies the Trinity. The Q'ran states God is not a Father, a Son, or a Holy Spirit. It denies, furthermore, that the Holy Spirit is God.

    Limited vs. unlimited
    The God of the Bible is limited by His own nature. He cannot, for instance, lie, for He IS the truth.
    The Allah of the Q'ran has no such limitation. Lying is not off limits. He can do anything, anytime, anywhere.

    Trustworthy vs. capricious
    This follows logically from the point above. the God of the Bible is absolutely trustworthy. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is immutable.
    The Allah of the Q'ran is unpredictable and capricious. This can be seen by his actions in the Q'ran. He cannot be trusted.

    Love vs not caring
    The Bible says God IS love. We see God's love for man throughout the Bible.
    The Allah of Islam has no feelings for man, let alone love. That concept is foreign to Islamic teaching. It would be considered blasphemous to ascribe to Allah any characteristics also found in man.

    Active vs. Passive
    The God of the Bible entered personally into human history, both to reveal information to men as well as personally, as Jesus Christ.

    The Allah of Islam does not act in the history of the world, but communicates through angels, prophets and the Q'ran.

    Attributes vs. ???
    The Bible gives both positive and negative attributes of God.

    The Q'ran only gives the negative, saying what Allah is not, never what he is.

    Grace vs. Works
    The God of the Bible provides salvation free for man through grace by the work of Jesus Christ.

    The concept of grace is entirely foreign to Islam and never mentioned in the Q'ran. There is no salvation offered men, and any positive in the afterlife must be earned by each man, and is probably not available to women at all.

    In short, Allah and the God of the Bible are entirely different. Declaring them the same does not make it so. They do not share the same characteristics or relationship with man.

    One can claim Jupiter created the heavens and earth, but that does not make Jupiter the same as the God of the Bible, either! Claims have to be substantiated by more than more claims. And when we look at the Q'ran and the Bible, we find Allah and God are radically different.

    Some of the above information is from Morey's book, previously referenced. Some is from my own studies as was in my head.
     
  10. Roy

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    Barbarian: Allah was never the God of Abraham. Before Muhammed, there were over 300 gods, which Arab tribesmen worshipped. Muhammed picked out the moon god (Allah) and said that Allah is the true god, and he built a religion around him. Muhammed may have said that Allah is the god of Abraham, but that dose not make it any more so than if he had said that Zeus is the god of Abraham.
     
  11. joedad

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Paul of Eugene:
    Maybe I'm just off base here, but it always bothers me when someone says Allah is not the same God as our God.

    Now I'm perfectly in agreement that the muslim community doesn't describe Him in a way that is consistent with what we know about Him.

    But they are talking about the One Who is the creator and sustainer of the universe, and that is only one being - God.

    By way of example. To some, President Bush is the savior of the republic. To others, he is the downfall of the nation. Yet both are talking about the same man.

    In fact, some translations of the Bible into Arabic have used Allah as the name of God in the translation.

    Anyway, that's my thinking. Any comments?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Gods are symbolic.

    I see gods as the religious equivalent of flags. They symbolize differing cultural values, traditions, knowledge and history, and this explains their variety.

    joe
     
  12. Helen

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    That's an interesting point of view, Joe, but I would want to mention that just in case one of them is actually real, your opinion makes no difference to that reality at all.

    I'm not sure of a more diplomatic way of saying this (although I'm sure others would have one) but have you ever thought about really looking for the truth instead of simply having an opinion about it? Opinions come cheap. The truth is harder to find, but worth the search.
     
  13. joedad

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Helen:
    I'm not sure of a more diplomatic way of saying this (although I'm sure others would have one) but have you ever thought about really looking for the truth instead of simply having an opinion about it? Opinions come cheap. The truth is harder to find, but worth the search.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hello Helen. Merry Christmas and good morning. Everyone else is still "fast asleep".

    Don't sweat the diplomacy. I have a hide like boot leather. [​IMG]

    Thinking about gods in this way helps me understand their significance, their value, and their attraction, both individually and culturally, within human societies, presently and historically.

    Truth? Wow, that subject can be deliberated without end. To make a long story short, I accept all truth as true, but not all truth as accurate. No doubt you've heard it stated: Knowledge is Power, The Truth will make you Free. Well, in the real world, I observe that it actually operates more like this:

    Truth is Power, but Knowledge will make you Free.

    There's a big difference. For me, not having to argue the veracity of one person's or one culture's truth over another's simply leaves leaves me free to examine them all.

    Have I found any genuine Truth in all that examination? I think so. Top of the list would be that without genuine freedom truth is only an illusion.

    Hey, we're having a White Christmas here in Pennsylvania! It's beautiful!

    joe

    [ December 25, 2001: Message edited by: joedad ]
     
  14. Helen

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    I received several emails from rather irate people (only one was not angry) regarding my use of Morey's work "Islamic Invasion" as a source.

    So I looked Morey up on the web. For someone Muslims discount as being a poor researcher and full of lies, they sure spend a LOT of time and energy trying to refute him!

    Nevertheless, since Morey is held up that way by Islamic defenders, perhaps this link might help straighten out some of the differences between Christianity and Islam, including the fact that the God of the Bible is most definitely not the Allah of the Islamic faith, the history of Islam, and much more: http://answering-islam.org/

    For those interested in comparative religions as a whole, Leadership U has an excellent list of articles here: http://www.leaderu.com/menus/comparative.html

    several of which deal with Islam.

    I hope that helps.

    In Christ,
    Helen
     
  15. Helen

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    To Joe,
    I'm going to start another thread on truth so we don't wander too far off track with this thread, OK? I'll go down to general discussion and we can see what develops there.

    Helen
     
  16. Ernie Brazee

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    There is only one God, Allah is not the God of the Bilbe, but the god of their own definition and creation. The Islam god is just as false as any other pagan god.

    Ephesians 4:5One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
    6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
    7But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

    Ernie
     
  17. The Galatian

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    I don't see why anyone would be so threatened by the fact that Muslims worship the same God Christians and Jews do.

    Yes, they do say they worship the God of Abraham. Jews say that too. All people, Christians, Jews, and Muslims worship Him.

    I'm not sure making up stories about why this is not so, is something He'd want any of us to do.

    Some Jews, back in Paul's time, made the same accusations against Christians, that you are making against Muslims.

    But then I've had a few people tell me that I don't pray to the same God because I'm Catholic, and I know a few Catholics who think that Baptists don't pray to the same God because they don't accept all of the New Testament.

    And so on. I figure those who pray to the God of Abraham pray to Him. And each of us gets to decide for himself. If everyone would just accept that, the world would work the way God wishes it would.
     
  18. Ernie Brazee

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    This is the God we must worship to receive eternal life.

    John 4:21Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
    22Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
    24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
    25The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
    26Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

    John 3:e that is born of the Spirit. 9Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
    10Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
    11Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
    13And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
    14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
    15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
    16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
    18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
    19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
    21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
     
  19. The Galatian

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    I guess your point of view would be that Jews don't worship the same God we do.

    Neither Jews nor Muslims worship Jesus, but they certainly worship the God of Abraham.

    I can imagine that some Muslims might deny that we do, because we use the word reserved for Indo-European nature deities, instead of Elohim or YHWH.
     
  20. Helen

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    Barbarian, let me ask you something.

    Suppose we both know a person named Susan.

    I describe her as tall, with blond hair, blue eyes and easy laughter. She is outgoing, loves to talk on the phone and goes to visit her friends frequently.

    But the Susan you describe is short, dark, and an introvert. She prefers quiet days with just a couple of close friends and likes to stay home.

    Do you suppose, just because we each are talking about a Susan who is a female human being that we are talking about the same person?

    I think anyone, looking at the way I describe my Susan and the way you describe your Susan would know immediately we were talking about two different people.

    The Allah of Islam and the God of the Bible are far more different than those two Susans. They are not the same at all. Anyone who looks at the characteristics of these two objects of worship can see immediately that two different people are being described.

    And it does not matter that both say they are referring to the God of Abraham. The descriptions fit two different people.

    The Jews, on the other hand, describe God in exactly the same terms as Christians. It is the same God. In fact, their Scriptures make up our Old Testament.

    So there is no comparison.
     

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