What؛s in a Name: Is the Creator’s Name Allah or Is His Name God?

What؛s in a Name: Is the Creator’s Name Allah or Is His Name God?

There’s an on going debate among Muslims as to whether or not they should use the word ‘god’ in place of the name Allah both in speech and writing in the English language. This stems from the desire of proponents for the use of the word ‘god’ in place of the name Allah in order to alleviate confusion in the minds of English speaking non-Muslims as to who Allah is in relations to the God of the Christians and the God of the Jews.  

Allah says in His Noble Book:

اللهُ لَا إِلـَـاـهَ إِلّاََََ هُوَ ۖ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ

Allah – there is no god except Him. To Him belong the best names. 20:1

قُلِ ادْعُوا اللهُ أَوِ ادْعُوا الرَّحْمَـاـنَ  ۖ أَيًّا مَّا تَدْعُوا فَلَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ …

Say, “Call to Allah or call to ar-Raḥmān (The Most Gracious). Whichever [name] you call – to Him belong al-Asmaa’ al-Ḥusnaa (the best names)…” 17:110

They al-Asmaa’ al-Ḥusnaa are as follow:

Allah His unique name -untranslatable
Ar-Rahman 1 The All-Merciful
Ar-Rahim 2 The All-Beneficient
Al-Malik 3 The Absolute Ruler
Al-Quddus 4 The Pure One
As-Salam 5 The Source of Peace
Al-Mu’min 6 The Inspirer of Faith
Al-Muhaymin 7 The Guardian
Al-‘Aziz 8 The Victorious
Al-Jabbar 9 The Compeller
Al-Mutakabbir 10 The Greatest
Al-Khaliq 11 The Creator
Al-Bari’ 12 The Maker of Order
Al-Musawwir 13 The Shaper of Beauty
Al-Ghaffar 14 The Forgiving
Al-Qahhar 15 The Subduer
Al-Wahhab 16 The Giver of All
Ar-Razzaq 17 The Sustainer
Al-Fattah 18 The Opener
Al-‘Alim 19 The Knower of All
Al-Qabid 20 The Constrictor
Al-Basit 21 The Reliever
Al-Khafid 22 The Abaser
Ar-Rafi’ 23 The Exalter
Al-Mu’izz 24 The Bestower of Honors
Al-Mudhill 25 The Humiliator
As-Sami 26 The Hearer of All
Al-Basir 27 The Seer of All
Al-Hakam 28 The Judge
Al-‘Adl 29 The Just
Al-Latif 30 The Subtle One
Al-Khabir 31 The All-Aware
Al-Halim 32 The Forebearing
Al-‘Azim 33 The Magnificent
Al-Ghafur 34 The Forgiver and Hider of Faults
Ash-Shakur 35 The Rewarder of Thankfulness
Al-‘Ali 36 The Highest
Al-Kabir 37 The Greatest
Al-Hafiz 38 The Preserver
Al-Muqit 39 The Nourisher
Al-Hasib 40 The Accounter
Al-Jalil 41 The Mighty
Al-Karim 42 The Generous
Ar-Raqib 43 The Watchful One
Al-Mujib 44 The Responder to Prayer
Al-Wasi’ 45 The All-Comprehending
Al-Hakim 46 The Perfectly Wise
Al-Wadud 47 The Loving One
Al-Majíd 48 The Majestic One
Al-Ba’ith 49 The Resurrector
Ash-Shahid 50 The Witness
Al-Haqq 51 The Truth
Al-Wakil 52 The Trustee
Al-Qawi 53 The Possessor of All Strength
Al-Matin 54 The Forceful One
Al-Wáli 55 The Governor
Al-Hamid 56 The Praised One
Al-Muhsi 57 The Appraiser
Al-Mubdi 58 The Originator
Al-Mu’id 59 The Restorer
Al-Muhyi 60 The Giver of Life
Al-Mumit 61 The Taker of Life
Al-Hayy 62 The Ever Living One
Al-Qayyum 63 The Self-Existing One
Al-Wajid 64 The Finder
Al-Májid 65 The Glorious
Al-Wahid 66 The Only One
Al-Ahad 67 The One
As-Samad 68 The Satisfier of All Needs
Al-Qadir 69 The All Powerful
Al-Muqtadir 70 The Creator of All Power
Al-Muqaddim 71 The Expediter
Al-Mu’akhkhir 72 The Delayer
Al-Awwal 73 The First
Al-Akhir 74 The Last
Az-Zahir 75 The Manifest One
Al-Batin 76 The Hidden One
Al-Walí 77 The Protecting Friend
Al-Muta’ali 78 The Supreme One
Al-Barr 79 The Doer of Good
At-Tawwab 80 The Guide to Repentance
Al-Muntaqim 81 The Avenger
Al-Afu 82 The Forgiver
Ar-Ra’uf 83 The Clement
Malik al-Mulk 84 The Owner of All


85 The Lord of Majesty and Bounty
Al-Muqsit 86 The Equitable One
Al-Jami 87 The Gatherer
Al-Ghani 88 The Rich One
Al-Mughni 89 The Enricher
Al-Mani’ 90 The Preventer of Harm
Ad-Darr 91 The Creator of The Harmful
An-Nafi 92 The Creator of Good
An-Nur 93 The Light
Al-Hadi 94 The Guide
Al-Badi 95 The Originator
Al-Baqi 96 The Everlasting One
Al-Warith 97 The Inheritor of All
Ar-Rashid 98 The Righteous Teacher
As-Sabur 99 The Patient One

Allah is a name which is connected to Tawhīd (Oneness in the Allah nature) and is untranslatable to or uninterpretable in English. ‘God’ or ‘the god’ is not a sufficient translation for Allah’s unique and majestic name, because the name Allah has no equivalent meaning in English.

The word ‘god’  came into the English language when the Bible was translated into Anglo-Saxon English, and comes from a pagan name for a deity – it’s a northern European understanding. The word ‘god’ isn’t found in original Scripture, The words ‘Elohim’ or ‘Yahweh’ are among the words found there. Christians have strict views on using the name Allah but are very happy to use the non-original word ‘god’ found in the King James translation of the Bible.

And although Allah has said in His noble book:

  وَإِلـَـاـهُكُمُ إِلـَـاـهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ لَا إِلـَـاـهَ إِلّاََََ هُوَ الرَّحْمَـاـنُ الرَّحِيمُ

  •   And your God is Ahadun (One). There is no god except Him, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful. 2/163

إِنَّمَا  إِلـَـاـهُكُمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا  إِلـَـاـهَ  إِلّاََََ هُوَ ۚ وَسِعَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا

  •   Surely Ilaahukum (your God) is Allah, besides Whom there is no god except Him. He has comprehended everything (with) His Knowledge. 20/98

If we observe carefully, it should be noted that Al-Ilaahu (the God) is not mentioned among the ninety names of Allah, because Ilaahu-kum which is mentioned above is not mention to denote a name but rather it used to refer to the nature of Who is being worshipped meaning: “the Deity whom you worship is named Alllah“.

فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلـَـاـهَ  إِلّاَ الله وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ۗ وَللهُ يَعْلَمُ مُتَقَلَّبَكُمْ وَمَثْوَاكُمْ

  • So know, [O Muhammad], that there is no god except Allah, and ask forgiveness for your sin, and for the believing men and believing women. And Allah knows your movement and your resting place. Verse (47:19)

اللهُ لَا إِلـَـاـهَ إِلّاََََ هُوَ ۚ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

  •   Allah, there is no god but Him; and therefore, let the believers rely upon Allah. 64/13

اللهُ لَا إِلـَـاـهَ إِلّاََََ هُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ ۩

  •   Allah, there is no god but Him, Lord of the Mighty Throne. 27/26  

اللهُ لَا إِلـَـاـهَ إِلّاََََ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ

  •   Allah! There is no god except Him, al-Ḥayyu the Living, al-Qayyuum (the Self-Subsisting, the Eternal). 3/2

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا مُنذِرٌ ۖ وَمَا مِنْ إِلـَـاـهَ إِلّاََََ اللهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ

  • Say, [O Muhammad], “I am only a warner, and there is not any god except Allah , the One, theSubduer. 38:65

And in the Hadith from Sunan Ibn Majah » Book: The Greatest Name Of Allah: The Chapters of Supplication, it has been mentioned concerning Allah’s Greatest Name:

كتاب الدعاء: باب اسْمِ اللَّهِ الأَعْظَمِ

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عِيسَى بْنُ يُونُسَ، عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِي زِيَادٍ، عَنْ شَهْرِ بْنِ حَوْشَبٍ، عَنْ أَسْمَاءَ بِنْتِ يَزِيدَ، قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏”‏ اسْمُ اللَّهِ الأَعْظَمُ فِي هَاتَيْنِ الآيَتَيْنِ ‏{وَإِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ}‏ وَفَاتِحَةُ سُورَةِ آلِ عِمْرَانَ ‏{‏ الم * اللَّهُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَىُّ الْقَيُّومُ ‏}‏ ‏.‏

Abu Bakr related to us, ʿĪsa bin Yūnus related from ʿUbaydallāh bin Abī Ziyād who related from Shahr bin Hawshab who related from Asmā’ bint Yazīd that she said:

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The Greatest Name of Allah is in these two Verses: ‘And your God is Ilaahun Ahadun (One God). There is no god except Him, ar-Raḥmān (The Most Gracious), ar-Raḥīm (The Most Merciful).” (2:163) and the opening verse of Surah Al īmrān: “ALIF LAAM MIIM. Allah! There is no god but Him, al-Ḥayyu (the Living), al-Qayyuum (Self-Subsisting, the Eternal).” (3:2)

And from the Sunan Abī Dāwūd » the Book of Prayer: Detailed Injunctions about Witr:

 كتاب الصلاة

حَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ، حَدَّثَنَا عِيسَى بْنُ يُونُسَ، عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّه بْنِ أَبِي زِيَادٍ، عَنْ شَهْرِ بْنِ حَوْشَبٍ، عَنْ أَسْمَاءَ بِنْتِ يَزِيدَ، قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏”‏ اسْمُ اللَّهِ الأَعْظَمُ فِي هَاتَيْنِ الآيَتَيْنِ ‏{وَإِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ}‏ وَفَاتِحَةُ سُورَةِ آلِ عِمْرَانَ ‏{‏ الم * اللَّهُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَىُّ الْقَيُّومُ ‏}‏ ‏.‏

Musaddad related to us, ʿĪsa bin Yūnus related from ʿUbaydallāh bin Abī Ziyād who related from Shahr bin Hawshab who related from Asmā’ bint Yazīd that she said:

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The Greatest Name of Allah is in these two Verses: ‘And your God is Ilaahun Ahadun (One God). There is no god except Him, ar-Raḥmān (The Most Gracious), ar-Raḥīm (The Most Merciful)” (2:163) and the opening verse of Surah Al īmrān: “ALIF LAAM MIIM. Allah! There is no god but Him, al-Ḥayyu (the Living), al-Qayyuum (Self-Subsisting, the Eternal).” (3:2)

(*Note that the word ‘God’ which is used in the two above hadith is not used as a name of Allah, but rather it is used to denote Allah’s divine status, quality, and  nature.)

It should also be noted for the sake of further discussion about this topic, that Arabic is the only language in which the Holy Qur’an has been revealed, and therefore every other language in which the words of the Holy Qur’an appear is only an interpretation of the words of the Noble Book. This has been confirmed by the following verses:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

  • Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran in order that you may understand. 12/2

قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا غَيْرَ ذِي عِوَجٍ لَّعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

  • An Arabic Quran without any crookedness, that they may guard (against evil). 39/28

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

  • Surely We have made it an Arabic Quran that you may understand. 43/3

كِتَابٌ فُصِّلَتْ آيَاتُهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

  • A Book whereof the Verses are explained in detail; A Quran in Arabic for people who know. 41/3 

وَكَذَٰلِكَ أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا وَصَرَّفْنَا فِيهِ مِنَ الْوَعِيدِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ أَوْ يُحْدِثُ لَهُمْ ذِكْرًا

  • And thus have We sent it down an Arabic Quran, and have distinctly set forth therein a promise of  punishment that they may guard (against evil) or so that it may serve a reminder for them. 20/113

It is well understood that different cultures have different names for the Creator in different languages and in the monotheistic sense, for example: Ishvara is a theological concept in Hinduism translating to “lord,” applied to the “Supreme Being” or God in the monotheistic sense, or as an Ishta-deva in monistic thought, however the name Allah has been sent down to the Muslims for them to refer to Him. So Why should we call Allah god? 

Allah didn’t ask us to change His name under adverse conditions. What Allah did say in His Honor Book is:

وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ…

  • And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge…6:108

Now lets reflect on the translation of this verse using the word ‘god’ instead of the Name of Allah. The word ‘god’ doesn’t give any definition to Allah’s uniqueness as  Allah has mentioned in regards to Himself when He said,

  • Say: He God is Ahadun (One). God is aṣ-Ṣamad (the Eternal, the Absolute); He has never brought any child into existence by the process of reproduction nor was He ever born at anytime or ever came into exist from any source; And there is nothing or no one comparable unto Him. 112:1-4

The word ‘god’  as used above reduces the rank and station of the One Who has defined Himself in the Qur’an as being incomparable when He says: 

…وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

  • …And there is none comparable unto Him 112:4

There is no religion other than Islam that has the unique and incomparable Name Allah to define the Creator of creation. On the other hand, the word ‘god’ is commonly used by other religions and can be applied to anyone or anything: creator or creation.

We need not waste our time trying to make Islam more palatable to the taste and sensitivities of non-Muslims by changing Allah’s majestic name to god. Our time would probably be better spent teaching people about the majesty and might of the Owner of the name Allah, the uniqueness and beauty and sweetness of utterance the name and its correct pronunciation given to us through the Arabic language. This is more noble for Muslims than worrying about whether or not people are offended by hearing the name Allah.

Using the unique Name Allah not only defines who Allah is in relations to Muslims, but also defines who the Muslims are in relations to Allah.  Allah has said in the Holy Qur’an,

قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

  • Say, [O believers], “We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us, and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants, and what was given to Moses and Jesus, and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” 2|:36

Are these words not enough to say to remove any doubt from the hearts of the people of the other Abrahamic faiths and others as to whether or not Muslims worship the God of Abraham without “throwing out the baby with the bath water” by using the word god instead of Allah to avoid confusing them.

Many people have converted to Islam over the centuries after being given daʿwah where in the name of Allah was used untranslated. Why weren’t those people negatively impacted by hearing the name of Allah at the time. In fact, most of them were happy to abandon the word god and replace it with the name Allah without any hesitation or offense.

Why now all of a sudden, are Muslims being encouraged to abandon the Name of Allah in favor of the word ‘god’, in order to enhance the daʿwah being given at this time to English speakers?

The Prophet didn’t change the name of Allah to satisfy the lack of understanding of the non-Muslims? He didn’t change Allah’s name to that of one of the many idols of the Quraish? Did he change Allah’s name to call the Christians and Jews of Madinah to Islam? Did he change Allah’s name to invite Heraclius, Emperor of the Byzantines, or to invite Chosroes II Emperor of Persian Empire, or to invite Negus the King of Abyssinia, or invite to  Harith Gassani the Governor of Syria, or to invite Muqawqis the Ruler of Egypt, or  al-Mundhir bin Sawa, Ruler of Bahrain to Islam.

Let us not become cowards in the face of danger or in our attempts to win hearts and minds.

According to the Christian version of the story of the Prophet Isa (AS) as related in the Bible, the Prophet Isa (AS) told his disciple Peter, “Before the  cock (rooster) crows three times, you will deny (disavow) me.

Let us not us disown Allah’s beautiful name for the sake of convenient daʿwah or maintaining our comfort zone or political correctness.

We know that the word god  is often used to refer to  Allah, but is it right? We don’t need a big fatwah (Islamic legal ruling) from the grand shaykh for this one.

By the way, the name ‘Allah’ is not the only word that confuses or offends some negative minded non-Muslims. The word ‘Islam’ also offends them, as does the name ‘Muhammad’, as does the words ‘As-Salaamu Alaykum’ and the list goes on. 

If we see fit to translate Allah’s sacred named to accommodate the sensibilities and sensitivities of non-Muslims, why not take matters a step further and translate the name ‘Muhammad’ so that those among them who are offended by his name won’t be put off when they hear it’s utterance.  Shall the Muslims call him Prophet ‘Praiseworthy One’ instead of Prophet Muhammad? – while Allah Himself refers to him in verses of the Qur’an by the name Muhammad like when he said:

  • Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets… 

مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَٰكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ ۗ

Are we going to resort to translating the word ‘Islam’ to English after Allah has said, 

  • “…This day I’ve perfected your religion for you and I’ve completed My favor unto you, and I’ve chosen Islam for you as a religion …” 5:3

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا ۚ

How far will this go?  Not only does translating change meaning, but it also at times change context.

Shall we give up using Arabic altogether and do as the Catholic church did when they gave up the Latin mass in order to reach a wider audience and to gain more acceptance, love, admiration and converts? Will this not diminished the need to learn Arabic among the Muslims?

Those Muslims who are proponents of the use of the word ‘god’ instead of the name Allah need to realize that at the end of the matter, it is Allah who causes people to become Muslims. Muslims don’t make Muslims. Allah said to the Prophet (SAW) in His Noble Noble book:

  • You (O Muhammad) are only a warner  35:23

(That is to say, your duty is to convey Allah’s Message to mankind but the guidance is in Allah’s Hand).

There is something awry when you change the message to accommodate people so that you can win their hearts and minds because Allah has said in His Noble Book:

 فَلَعَلَّكَ تَارِكٌ بَعْضَ مَا يُوحَى إِلَيْكَ وَضَآئِقٌ بِهِ صَدْرُكَ أَن يَقُولُواْ لَوْلاَ أُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ كَنزٌ أَوْ جَاء مَعَهُ مَلَكٌ إِنَّمَا أَنتَ نَذِيرٌ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ

  • Then would you possibly leave [out] some of what is revealed to you, or is your breast constrained by it because they say, “Why has there not been sent down to him a treasure or come with him an angel?” But you are only a warner. And Allah is Disposer of all things. 11:12

There are people among the disbelievers who have staunch hatred for Allah, His messenger, Muslims and Islam in general that are given more attention by some Muslims and their leaders than they deserve; they are given this attention in order to make Islam more acceptable in there eyes, mind and hearts. On the other hand, there are  Muslims and sincere people among the non-Muslims who readily accept the name Allah untranslated as the name of the Creator and Islam as their Dīn who deserve more attention.

Allah has said in His Noble, 

 أَمَّا مَنِ اسْتَغْنَى {5} فَأَنتَ لَهُ تَصَدَّى {6} وَمَا عَلَيْكَ أَلَّا يَزَّكَّى {7} وَأَمَّا مَن جَاءكَ يَسْعَى {8} وَهُوَ يَخْشَى {9} فَأَنتَ عَنْهُ تَلَهَّى {10}…

  • “…As for he who thinks himself without need, (5) to him you give  attention (6), even though there is no blame on you if he doesn’t become purified (from disbelief) (7)  But as for he who came to you striving (for guidance) (8) while he is fearful, (9) you are distracted from him… (10)” Chapter (80) sūrat ʿAbasa (He frowned) Verses 5-13

In our zeal to participate in interfaith dialogue and show tolerance, will “we throw the baby out with bath water” by means of a mamby pambykumbaya, I’m ok your ok approach to daʿwah?  

A simple declaration of the message is sufficient. Let us not forget that by gentle persuasion, fair exhortation, and in a non-coercive manner we should challenge false notions and concepts about Allah.  

Allah has said:

ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

  • Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided. 16:125

Our attachment to the name Allah should not distract us from keeping in mind that when we we are doing daʿwah, that Allah makes Muslims:

لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ ۖ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ ۚ …

  • There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong… 2:256

Now we’ll present some of the arguments of some those who believe that Muslims especially in an English speaking non-Muslim environment should call Allah god:

They say:

1. The name Allah doesn’t have the same effect on non-Muslim, non-Arab listeners, and few of them have the capacity to develop our sensitivity for the word merely by being constantly bombarded by it. 

2. For some, non-Muslims, the name Allah evokes a wide range of deeply ingrained cultural prejudices and negative associations, conscious or subconscious. while the word “God” can creates greater connective response in non-Muslim native speakers of English that would be virtually impossible for “Allah” to evoke even after years of positive exposure. 

3. The partial translation of There is no god but Allah…” by putting god and Allah in the same phrase is likely to create unwarranted barriers for the non-Muslim listener and induce a multitude of negative connotations. and  will inevitably require further explanation that non-Muslims probably won’t understand or accept anyway.

4. Christians and Jews are justified in wondering why—if Allah and “God” do mean the same thing—Muslims systematically avoid using “God,” 

5. As a result of misplaced attachment to the name Allah, Muslims create the impression that we do not really worship the same God, after all, or that we believe our Allah tis better than the Biblical God, the God of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the tribes of Israel, Moses, Jesus, and all the prophets.

6. Use of “God” emphasizes the extensive middle ground we share with other Abrahamic and universal  traditions 

7. Failure to use “God” conceals our common belief in the God of Abraham and the continuity of the Abrahamic tradition, 

8. The word “God” empowers us to communicate with our Jewish, Christian, and other English-speaking neighbors in a meaningful way.

9. Muslims who insist on using the word “Allah” even when addressing non-Muslims, who are unfamiliar with Islam and the Arabic language, do both a disservice to themselves and their religion.

10. The problem is that some Christian leaders in our country are spreading the notion that “Allah” refers to a pagan deity and not to the God of Abraham and Jesus (peace be upon them both). Can we use the word God to avoid this confusion?

11. Some non-Muslims are under the misconception that Allah is some particular “Muslim God” and not the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. Some religious groups encourage this misconception among their followers to keep their people away from Islam. When Muslims are too insistent upon using the name “Allah” with non-Muslims, they can unwittingly reinforce that misconception. 

12. Insisting on the use of the name “Allah” which is the Arabic word for “God” immediately creates the illusion that “Allah” is a totally different God than God of the whole world. It creates a god that belongs only to the Muslims, and this would tarnish the universality of Islam.

13.Those who insist that “Allah” is the personal name of God are somewhat short on Quranic knowledge. Let us read the following verse:

“Say, “Call Him Allah, or call Him the Rahman (The Almighty); whichever name you use, to Him belongs the “Asma al-Husna” (most beautiful names).” 17:110

14. The restriction to use the Arabic words to call God is not a condition set by God. For this would falsely imply that only the Arabic language is worthy of calling on God!

15. Moreover, if God wanted us to call Him specifically by the name Allah, He would not include the words “whichever name you use” in 17:110.

16. Believers thousands of years ago, at the time of Noah and Abraham lived long before the revelation of the Quran. They knew God and they called God with various names, this once again confirms that to insist that only the word Allah is appropriate to refer to God is incorrect.

17. Insisting upon the use of Allah at all times and refusing to use the word “God” can give non-Muslims the mistaken impression that we worship a different God than the God of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them all) or that we worship other than the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. 

18. By insisting upon the use of “Allah at all times, the Muslims create the impression that we do not really worship the same God, after all, or that we believe our Allah trumps the Biblical God, the God of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the tribes of Israel, Moses, Jesus, and all the prophets, or that we worship other than the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.

Well in fact, it is true that we Muslims do not worship the same the god, if the god in question for example is one of the many Hindu gods, or the god of the trinitarian doctrine, or the god of the doctrine that god is a man or the doctrine that god comes to us in the person of  man to dwell among us or  the doctrine of god the father and we are his children whether metaphorically or literally speaking or the doctrine that Allah and Shaytaan are at war with each other for control of the universe or the hearts and minds of human beings.  These are all concepts based in shirk (associating partners)  with Allah. 

What these supporters of the use of the word god in place of Allah fail to realize is that the word god in some quarters comes with negative connotations and baggage, that we should not want to attach to Allah, Also, the word god doesn’t ‘always refer to the God of the Abrahamic faiths. that is to say it is not a sacred word, but rather its part of negative belief systems steep in ignorance and shirk. In some communities, the encouragement of the use of the word god over the sacred name of Allah will only re-enforce and drive them deeper into their madness.

 Case in point, as mentioned above there are some religions that say god is a perfected man or that god comes in the person of a perfected man dwelled among us. They say:

God came as man in the person of a man. The hypostatic union- the Son as the visible representation of the invisible Father, that he took on human flesh – two natures in one person, 100% humanity and 100% deity. Each are their own nature that did not intermingle but made up the person the divine man.

There are others who say:

GOD is the original Black man from Asia who bas the power to build or destroy; God is the Black man who bas knowledge of himself and all things around him.

God is a original Black man, accepting and living in the realm of reality of his true nature. God – cipher is divine, having no beginning nor ending. Allah is god, the supreme being. Black man who is the original is god Allah, lord of all the worlds, supreme ruler of the universe which is everything; sun, moon and stars (god is the sun in the solar system, the woman is the moon, the child is the stars). The best part which show.s gods power. God is one. God is life. God is love. God is intelligence. God is one who possesses the supreme power and force to govern all things in existence. (the universe which is everything) God is able to do all things.

God is Allah and Allah is god. God is who knows and understands all things which is right and exact. He is the supreme being in which is all wise and equal in each and every way. God is the maker, owner, and cream of the planet earth, the original Black man, Allah. Allah is Arm, Leg, Leg, Arm, Head, the bodily structure of the hunan creation. 

As can be seen from the two above paragraphs, they mix truth with falsehood in giving definition to Allah’s essence.

They attempt to corrupt the sacred Name of Allah for their purposes while exposing their lack of common sense to realize that the Holy Qur’an was not revealed in English, therefore how can Allah’s name be the acronym  A. L. L. A. H. (Arm, Leg, Leg, Arm, Head,) which has been constructed for English words while the Qur’an was revealed in  the Arabic language. If anything was near this as a reality, then the name “Allah” should be an acronym for words found in the Arabic language and script. As mentioned previously the Qur’an, as mentioned in Qur’an itself was revealed in the Arabic language:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

  • Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran in order that you may understand. 12/2

Those who want a genuine understanding of the Holy Qur’an should learn Arabic not the reverse.

There are some who say that “dog” is “god” spelled backward. There are some who refer to idols as god.  There are some who say that god is the third of three. 

Yet none of these religions  can rightfully claim that the name of the god of their belief system is Allah. That right is reserved for the Muslims who are the followers of  the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Allah has a direct emotional and spiritual efficacy which no other word for God can replace.

We seek refuge in Allah from belief in any of these polytheistic false concepts of Him.

Muslims aren’t the only ones who take issue with the idea of referring to Allah as God or God as Allah. Let’s look at the writings of one Christian followers of the evangelical Christian pastor Billy Graham who oppose calling God Allah: 

“Muslims do not speak of God as their heavenly Father. In the Islamic faith, Allah is not only a different name for god; the deity it designates is far more impersonal than the God of the Bible. Father—the very name that Jesus gave us as the designated name for use in prayer—is a name that simply does not fit Allah as depicted in the Quran.

Furthermore, Muslims claim that Allah has no son. This represents a head-on collision between the God of the Bible and Allah. For, as the Bible makes clear, the one and only true God is most perfectly revealed as the Father of the Son, Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of John, Jesus repeatedly teaches that no one has truly known the Father, except by the Son. In one of the most clarifying verses in the New Testament, Jesus declared Himself to be “the way, and the truth, and the life,” adding, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Because Muslims deny that God has a son, they explicitly reject any Trinitarian language. From the very starting point, Islam denies what Christianity takes as its central truth claim: the fact that Jesus Christ is the only begotten of the Father. If Allah has no son, then Allah is not the God who reveals Himself through the Son. How then can calling God “Allah” not lead to anything but confusion—and worse?

Islam teaches that the doctrine of the Trinity is blasphemous. But the Christian faith is essentially and irreducibly Trinitarian. The Bible reveals that the Father is God, that the Son is God, and that the Holy Spirit is God. Jesus is not merely a prophet, as acknowledged by Muslims, He is God in human flesh. This is precisely what Islam rejects.

The Trinitarian language is the language of the Bible, and it is essential to Christianity. Indeed, the Christian faith points to Christ and announces that we can only know the Father through the Son. Confusing the God of the Bible with Allah of the Quran is not only a mistake, it is a dangerous distortion of the Gospel of Christ.

The Trinitarian nature of God is embedded within the Great Commission. Jesus tells His disciples to go into the world and make disciples of all nations and to baptize them “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Christians are those who bear the names of God even in our baptism, and those names are Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

This has become a matter of significant controversy in recent years as some Christians, including some serving with mission agencies, have argued that Christians can use the name ‘Allah’ in talking about God. In some languages, especially those based on an Arabic source, there is no generic word for god. In such a situation, it might be necessary to begin a conversation by using this word, but the Christian cannot continue to call God ‘Allah’ It is hard to imagine that anyone can hear the name “Allah” without thinking of him as claimed in the Quran (see following article). Indeed, Muslims who speak languages other than Arabic use “Allah” as the name of god. But as soon as the Christian begins to explain that the true living God is the Father of Jesus Christ the Son, the Christian is making clear that the true living God is not Allah, but our Heavenly Father.

Continuing to use the name Allah to refer to the God of the Bible in such situations invites deep confusion. Some now argue that Muslims who come to faith in Christ can even remain within the mosque and continue to worship God as ‘Allah’. It is hard to see how that is anything other than a theological disaster.

We can now see that the name of God is no small matter. The deity we name is the God we believe in. Christians believe in only one God, and He is the Father who sent the Son to save us from our sins. Allah has no son, and, thus, Christians cannot know God as Allah. In this light, Muslims and Christians do not only use different names for God; in reality, these different names refer to different gods.

God takes His name with great seriousness, and so must we. Thankfully, we are not left in the dark, groping for adequate language. God has revealed His names to us, so that we can rightly know Him. We are not called to be clever or creative in referring to God, only faithful and accurate.

We are living in challenging days. One of the most pressing challenges of our times is the task of speaking rightly about God. This is particularly challenging when Christians encounter Muslims, but it is also a challenge when Christians encounter secular people in Western cultures. But this really isn’t a new challenge. It was the same challenge faced by the children of Israel as they encountered the Canaanites, and the same challenge faced by the Apostle Paul at Mars Hill.

Our challenge is to speak truthfully about God, and the only way we can do that is to use the names God gave Himself. The God of the Bible is not Allah, and Allah is not the God of the Bible. Any confusion about that undermines the very Gospel we preach.”  

In fact, after reading the above words of Billy Graham’s, Muslims should roundly concur that Allah is not the God of the Bible of the Trinitarian Doctrine because of what Allah has said about Himself in the Qur’an: 

…سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

  • “…Exalted is He and High above what they associate with Him.” 16:1

So after hearing the discourse in the above article and not being able to persuade individuals who espouses the Trinitarian doctrine found in it that such ideas about Allah are false, all that is left for the Muslim to say is:

لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ

  • For you is your religion, and for me is my religion. 109:6

There are some Christian dissimulators however who would prefer to call god Allah in order to hide their secret evangelizing among the Muslims. Lets look closely at what is said in the following article written by a Christian Evangelist who is Arab with regard to calling god Allah. 

They write:

What Does ‘Allah’ Actually Mean?

The term Allah (Arabic: الله, Allāh) is the standard Arabic word for God and is most likely derived from a contraction of the Arabic article al- and ilāh, which means “deity or god” to al-lāh meaning “the [sole] deity, God.” There is another theory that traces the etymology of the word to the Aramaic Alāhā.

Today’s Arabic speakers from all religious backgrounds (Muslims, Christians and Jews) use the word Allah to mean God. In pre-Islamic Arabia, pagan Meccans used Allah as a reference to the creator-god, possibly the supreme deity.

The first-known translation of the Bible into Arabic, which took place in the 9th century, uses the word Allah for God. In fact, Arab Christians were using the word Allah for God prior to the dawn of Islam, and it is important to note that they were using it in place of Elohim, but not in place of Yahweh. That means Allah is a generic word for God, but not the personal name of God. (Radical Muslims in the West claim that Allah, not Yahweh or any other Bible name, is the name of the one true God.)

As an example closer to home, Christians and non-Christians alike use the word “God” in English, but that does not make the God of the Bible the same as the god of the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses or others. Another example is that when irreverent people use the expression “Oh my God!” in their day-to-day communications, they are not referring to the God of the Bible when they invoke that term.

When the prophet of Islam started his ministry in Mecca, he considered at one point uniting the Arabs under a different name for God. His favorite was Al-Rahman but he chose Allah to name his god. After the spread of Islam in the Middle East, Arab Christians continued to use word Allah since it did not have any negative connotations to them personally. Once again, it is important to understand that both before and after Muhammad, the Allah of the Arabs was not the Allah of the Arab Christians.

Today, Muslims claim they worship the same God as Christians and Jews. In fact, the Islamic propaganda machine in the West is attempting to change our English vocabulary to accommodate Islamic beliefs. Before tackling that topic, however, I’d like to address a controversial subject that is gaining momentum among American Christians, and is greatly harming the propagation of the Gospel among Muslims: the notion that Allah was the name for a pagan moon god of pre-Islamic time. I believe this theory is greatly misunderstood by American Evangelicals, and is being mixed up with the Islamic push to use Allah in our vocabulary as His name or as an alternative to the word God.

Is Allah a ‘Moon God’?

Currently, there is an ongoing debate as to whether the Allah of the Qur’an is in fact a pagan Arab moon god of pre-Islamic times. This idea has been mentioned in literature for more than a century, but only recently has it been seriously promoted. The theory is particularly used in one leading evangelical author’s books and pamphlets, which has set the stage for many Christian evangelical authors to adopt it and assert it in their writings about Islam.

This theory claims that a pagan deity, a moon god named Allah, was married to the sun goddess, and the stars were his daughters. Proponents of this theory point to the fact that the crescent moon symbol is found on many flags of Islamic countries and on top of mosques. I have encountered many questions during my seminars on Islam about Allah, and have even been challenged that I should not use the word Allah during some of my lectures on Islam because Allah is the moon god. The theory is becoming so controversial that some Christian ministries on the Internet replaced the word Allah with the word ilah (“deity god”) in the most common version of the Arabic Bible (Vandyke version) on their websites. One ministry went as far as producing CDs for the Arabic Bible exchanging the word Allah with ilah.

Such chaos is greatly harming the cause of Christ among Muslims and other Arabic-speaking individuals. Here is a summary of my objections:

It is an unproven theory, so it may well be false. Even if it turns out to be true, it has little bearing on the Muslim faith since Muslims do not worship a moon god. That would be blasphemy in Islamic teachings.

If we use the moon-god theory to discredit Islam, we discredit the Christian Arabic speaking churches and missions throughout the Middle East. This point should not be discounted lightly because the word Allah is found in millions of Arabic Bibles and other Arabic Christian materials.

The moon-god theory confuses evangelism. When Christians approach Muslims, they do not know whether they need to convince them that they worship the wrong deity, or to present them the simple Gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The moon-god theory promotes an “us versus them” mentality. Most Christians in the U.S.A. seem to be living in fear about their Muslims neighbors, but instead our Lord calls us to be reaching out in love to Muslims and not to alienate them.

As far as the moon symbol on the mosques or on the flags, the simple reason behind it is that Islam depends on the moon for their religious calendar (lunar calendar) specially during the Ramadan (month of fasting). Islam forbids symbols or pictures of God.

Can ‘Allah’ Refer to the God of the Bible?

The Islamic propaganda machine in the West is actively pushing for the use of the word Allah instead of God in the Western languages, especially in English. The sole purpose of this push is to promote Islam and render it an acceptable mainstream religion alongside Christianity in the West, not just from man’s perspective but from God’s.

A quick look at Islamic English Web sites and Islamic English literature reveals how widely the word Allah is used instead of God. Christians should be very concerned about the use of the word Allah in the English language since it is not only accommodating Islamic beliefs, but also transforming the word Allah into a NAME for the God of the Bible.

I think that what the church needs is to stand against and not to be entangled with the moon god theory, which has no scholastic proof and hinders evangelism to Muslims in the USA and the West.

I was particularly saddened to see several English Christian Web sites posting the English Bible text with the word Allah substituting for God as an attempt to witness to Muslims. In doing so, they have inadvertently asserted the Muslim claim that Allah is the name of the one true God!

Should I Refer to ‘Allah’ When I Share the Gospel With Muslims?

I have found that in a personal witnessing situation, it is best to share my faith with a Muslim by assuming that we are both talking about the same God, the One who created the heavens and the earth. The apostle Paul used that approach in Acts 17 when he came to Athens and his spirit was stirred in him when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry (Verse 16). He later addressed the pagan Greeks telling them about the one true God who is the Lord of heaven and earth who cannot dwell in temples made with hands (verses 22-24).

I have also found that the issues regarding the term Allah are difficult for many American Christians to sort through when it comes to understanding Islam. We need wisdom and we need to be vigilant. Allah should not be the subject matter of our evangelism with Muslims, and Allah should not be accepted as an alternative word for God in the English language.

As a ministry, we are committed to helping Christians better comprehend the tenets of Islam, and to support Christian workers who are actively reaching Muslims.


Arabic-speaking Christians should continue to use the word Allah in their language to address God since it is their generic word for the one true God, even though the understanding of His character is horribly messed up in Islam, which happens to share the same Arabic language. The Arab Christians will always be challenged to maintain that distinction and to remain biblical.

The Christians in the West should not be entangled with the moon-god theory, especially when witnessing to Muslims. In addition, English-speaking believers should resist the use of Allah in their own language and refrain from using it in any English Christian media or publications aimed at Muslims.

May the Lord fuel our evangelism to Muslims in the U.S.A. and abroad with wisdom, passion and love!”

The author of the above article wrote:

“The Islamic propaganda machine in the West is actively pushing for the use of the word Allah instead of God in the Western languages, especially in English. The sole purpose of this push is to promote Islam and render it an acceptable mainstream religion alongside Christianity in the West, not just from man’s perspective but from God’s.”

Actually the above view of some Cristians not quite correct, because some of the Muslims in the West want to use the word god to achieve acceptance as we have mention.  They are actively pushing for the use of the word God instead of Allah to be used in the Western languages, especially in English. The sole purpose of this push is to promote Islam and render it an acceptable mainstream religion alongside Christianity in the West, “not just from man’s perspective but from God’s.

In any case, this sounds like dissimulation which in reality is the concealment of one’s thoughts, feelings, or character or true intent; pretense.

Due to this kind of dissimulation by some evangelical organizations, The Malaysian government passed a law banning non-Muslims from using the name of Allah to refer to the god of their religion.

In Malaysia the issue of referring to god as Allah is quite the opposite. 

They have outlaw the use of the name of Allah by non-Muslims who the government suspects are attempting to convert the Muslims to Christianity by using the name of Allah as a cover for their evangelizing activities among Malay Muslims.

We will review the following article written by a Christian as a case in point:

The language used in the Bible has long been the subject of contention – not least in Malaysia, where authorities ruled this week that non-Muslims cannot refer to God as ‘Allah’.

A Muslim-majority country, many Malays believe that the national conscience must be firmly rooted in Islam, and therefore resent the influence of the Chinese Christian population who are active in evangelizing among Malays.

However, Mark Beaumont, senior lecturer in Islam and mission at the London School of Theology, says

that while there is controversy regarding the way that God and Allah are referred in Malaysia, in other parts of the world it’s considered far less of a contentious issue”

“In the Arab speaking world there’s no difficulty in calling God ‘Allah‘ – they’ve been doing it in the Christian church and in the Bible for hundreds of years,” he explains.

“In the Coptic Church in Egypt, the church in Syria, Jordan, Iraq and even Iran, it’s always been the practice to call God ‘Allah‘ using the Arabic form. Although the Arabic Bible wasn’t translated fully before Islam came, it’s obvious that people were reading the Gospels using ‘Allah‘ before the rise of Islam.

Published in: Uncategorized on August 2, 2020 at 20:18  Leave a Comment  

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