I have a little but not much knowledge of Arabic.

Although God is called Al-Karim, I hear the invocation Ya Karim, but I never heard the invocation Ya Al-Karim or Ya-l-Karim. Same for other names of God: the definite article disappears from the vocative. Just as it would in English: May the Lord have mercy on us vs. O Lord, have mercy on us

One big exception: Ya Allah, which I've heard lots. (With definite separation between the end of Ya and the start of Allah, there are three different "a" sounds. I'm not talking about yalla as in let's go.)

Now I see that when my English translation of the Quran has O God, the original is Allahuma. I don't know anything like this construction, where someone is addressed by tacking "-uma" at the end or something similar.

Though as I say, I'm not at all knowledgeable in Arabic and might easily have missed something. So is there a difference? Is Ya Allah in the Quran and I missed it? Is Allahuma preferred? Is Allahuma a unique construction?

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5 Answers 5


When I call someone in English, I would just say, for example:

Mohammad! dinner is ready.

محمد! العشاء جاهز

In Arabic, we have what's called calling prefixes. These prefixes are used before the name of what is being called (Huroof AnNada'), the callee (Al Munada).

There are a number of these calling prefixes, but ya يا is the most used one. So, when I want to call someone in Arabic I would say:

Ya Mohammad! dinner is ready.

يامحمد! العشاء جاهز

By the way, it's not correct to say:

Ya Al-Karim. ياالكريم

Ya Al-Muslim. ياالمسلم

Ya يا and ال Al (witch is the same as the in English) don't fit together. The correct usage is:

Ya Karim. ياكريم

Ya Muslim. يامسلم

By dropping Al, but the Al in Allah is part of the word so you don't drop it.

As far as Allahumma اللهمّ, Allahumma is a rare grammar. It has exactly the same meaning as Ya Allah ياالله, , the same two words but in one form.

What happened, I don't know how, is that, the calling prefix ya يا was dropped and an additional suffix that sounds umma ـمّ was added to Allah Allah-umma الله-ـمّ:

Ya Allah, guide me to the right path.

The same as:

Allahumma, guide me to the right path.

This is a rare usage. As far as I know, umma suffix only fits with Allah. It's not correct to say Mohammadumma محمدمّ or any other name, but Allahumma اللهمّ is correct.

  • 1
    +1 for the simplicity of the answer, I just add that I think the umma suffix is used with Allah when making a Dua'a Jan 24, 2013 at 23:54
  • So does this mean Ya Allah is also a unique usage (because Al- is kept)? Or is there other examples of where Ya Al- goes together? Jan 25, 2013 at 17:01
  • @abdalAhad Al in Allah is part of the word, so we don't remove Al since that will change the word.
    – user974
    Jan 26, 2013 at 0:24
  • @Sp. Is Allah the only name where Al- is part of the name? Or are there other examples? Jan 29, 2013 at 16:23
  • +1 and jazakallahu khairan for an excellent answer. I hope there are more questions that you will answer related to the Arabic language.
    – Najeeb
    Jul 13, 2014 at 5:52

Salm alykm

Firstly you asked way we don't say ya al krim becouse AllAH names are nouns and adjective not like any name like Malik but it has the same state you can't say Ya al-malik he will say you didn't call me . for more information you can say but allah is name and we say Ya-Al-lah ? for Allah is like Allahuma it chanced from Alalha the a has been deleted

Secondly you asked why allahuma efferent from Ya ALLAH and its same meaning for that arabic scholar said:

للَّهُمَّ: ( اسم ) اللَّهُمَّ : كلمة تستعمل في النداء مثل : يا الله ، وقد تجيء بعدها إلاَّ ، فتكون للإيذان بنَدرة المستثنى ، مثل : اللهمَّ إِلاَّ أَن يكون كذا وقَدْ تجيء للدلالة على تيقن المجيب للجواب المقترن به ؛ مثل : اللهُمَّ نَعَم اللَّهُمَّ: ( اسم ) صيغة نداء ودعاء مثل : يا الله ، حذف منها حرف النداء وعُوِّض عنه بميم مشدَّدة اللّهم ارحمني ، { قُلِ اللهُمَّ فَاطِرَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ } اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْنَا شَاكِرِينَ لِنعْمَتِكَ وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا إنَّكَ أنْتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ : اِسْتِعْمَالٌ لِلنِّدَاءِ الحَقِيقِيِّ اللهُمَّ تَقَبَّلْ دُعَائِي اللَّهُمَّ إلاَّ : صيغة استثناء تفيد إثبات ما فيه شك سيسافر اللهُمَّ إلاّ أن يكون قد غيَّر رأيه اللَّهُمَّ نعم : صيغة تفيد تمكين الجواب في نفس السَّامع أيوسف قائم ؟ تقول : اللهُمَّ نعم

conclusion allahma and Ya ALLAH is same meaning but the ya has been deleted and switched by huma an allah knows the right


I heard from a mufassir that "Allahumma" conveys a meaning of nearness not contained by "Ya Allah". Calling implies otherness whereas we all are dependent on Allah and only He is self-subsisting. Acknowledging this relationship adds sincerity to our prayers.


The word Allah in Arabic means the deity/god in English and the guys who answered you in the past quotes above are incorrect, the word "allahuma" is simply a plural form of the word Allah which contains the plural suffix "hum as huma" in modern Arabic grammar in other Semitic languages this is common as well as in Arabic, one example is in the Arabic form in the word "kitabhum" which translates as "their book", so the same grammar rules apply to the Arabic word "allahuma" as well.

The same word is found in Aramaic/Hebrew as elohim/alahyim found in the Torah in Barashiyth/Genesis 1:1 that they mistranslate as "God" yet in the Torah in Genesis it uses "us/we" when creating man/Adam, and the same is found in the Quraan in suratul a'laq where it uses the Arabic word "nahnu/we/us" when it states that al Insaan as man was created.

  • "the word "allahuma" is simply a plural form of the word Allah which contains the plural suffix "hum as huma" " - Please provide references for this. AND for this: "The same word is found in Aramaic/Hebrew as elohim/alahyim found in the Torah in Barashiyth/Genesis 1:1 that they mistranslate as "God""
    – Kilise
    Mar 31, 2017 at 13:36

Watch answer on Facebook video:


Or watch on youtube starting at 6:10 in the following video:


Basic answer:

The 'Meem Mushaddad' is used for emphasise. So 'Allahumma' is saying "Allah" with greater emphasise which calls all the attributes of Allah.

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