i always believed(and still do) that the word Allah means the God that we Muslims worship and the Arabic word ilah (إلاة) is a literal translation for the word God.

but i heard some people even Muslims who say that Allah is a literal translation of the word God because Many scholars say "Allah" is derived from a compound Arabic word, AL + ILAH = Allah. "Ilah" in Arabic is "God" and "Al" in Arabic is a definite article like our word "the". So from an English equivalent "Allah" comes from "The + God". Others, like Arthur Jeffery say, "The common theory is that it is formed from ilah, the common word for a god, and the article al-; thus al-ilah, the god," becomes Allah, "God." thus Arab word “Allah” literally translates to “the God”, just like greek “theos” literally translates to god. So when they say Allah, really that translates in English to “The God”, i am confused here because if the latter assumption is true then when a non-Muslim tell us who is our God and the guy don't Arabic will we just say The God? because if we do he may ask which God do we believe in, so what can we answer now?


2 Answers 2


Allah is the proper noun or name of the deity which Abrahamic monotheists seek to learn about and know. It is equivalent to the English proper noun/name "God", which refers to the same deity. The name (and thus the deity) is differentiated from any (false/lesser) "god" by the use of capitalization (which in English implies a definite article beforehand, e.g. "[the] Walt Disney" (as opposed to some random guy who might have been given the same name).

Unlike what happened with Islam and the Arabic language, Christianity predated the English language, so the English language was more influenced by the religion, not the other way around. In the end, the capitalized "God" was used as the name of the "one true" deity worshipped in Abrahamic/monotheistic traditions, while the lower case "god" was used as a mere descriptor for any false/pluralistic deity that others might imagine exists.

It wasn't until after that, that different Abrahamic believers/leaders began to imagine they or their religious traditions fully understood God and so could claim that anyone who had a different view of that same deity must be referring to a different (and therefore false) god. In reality though, the English name "God" means the exact same thing as "Allah", regardless of how people from different religions may view, describe, or reference that deity. They both imply "the one and only god, God".


Asalaam alaikum

the argument you have put forward needs more clarity for more accurate answer. it paves way for more confusion with trying to translate words literally. we must understand that there is no equivalent for many arabic words in english or any other language. arabic as a language is vast and rich compared to other languages. i hope the following give you a better understanding.

The word God has a different meaning with Allah "God means to invoke or call upon while Allah means deity or god". according to the best efforts of linguists and researchers, the most common theory is that the root of the present word God is the Sanskrit word hu which means to call upon, invoke, implore. Nonetheless, it is also interesting to note the strong similarity to the ancient Persian word for God which is Khoda (or Khuda).

Allah is a name for the One Who truly exists and Who encompasses all the attributes of Al-Uloohiyyah (Divinity), Who is described with all the attributes of Ruboobiyyah (Lordship), and that it is not permissible to call anyone else with it (Allah), as mentioned by Al-Qurtubi and others.

The meaning of the word "Allah" as Ibn ‘Abbaas may Allah be pleased with him said is: "It refers to the One Who has the right of worship on His creation (they must fulfill the right of servitude to Him). He is the true Illaah (deity) whereas all others beside Him are false gods."

"Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance." [20:14]

may Allah grant you mercy and guide you to the straight path.

Allah knows best.

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