Allah - Etymology

Etymology

The term Allāh is derived from a contraction of the Arabic definite article al- "the" and ʾilāh "deity, god" to al-lāh meaning "the deity, God" (ὁ θεὸς μόνος, ho theos monos). Cognates of the name "Allāh" exist in other Semitic languages, including Hebrew and Aramaic. Biblical Hebrew mostly uses the plural form (but functional singular) Elohim. The corresponding Aramaic form is ʼĔlāhā ܐܠܗܐ in Biblical Aramaic and ʼAlâhâ ܐܲܠܵܗܵܐ in Syriac as used by the Assyrian Church, both meaning simply "God". In the Sikh scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib, the term Allah (Punjabi: ਅਲਹੁ) is used 37 times.

The name was previously used by pagan Meccans as a reference to a creator deity, possibly the supreme deity in pre-Islamic Arabia. The concepts associated with the term Allah (as a deity) differ among religious traditions. In pre-Islamic Arabia amongst pagan Arabs, Allah was not considered the sole divinity, having associates and companions, sons and daughters–a concept that was deleted under the process of Islamization. In Islam, the name Allah is the supreme and all-comprehensive divine name, and all other divine names are believed to refer back to Allah. Allah is unique, the only Deity, creator of the universe and omnipotent. Arab Christians today use terms such as Allāh al-ʾAb (الله الأب, "God the Father") to distinguish their usage from Muslim usage. There are both similarities and differences between the concept of God as portrayed in the Qur'an and the Hebrew Bible. It has also been applied to certain living human beings as personifications of the term and concept.

Unicode has a codepoint reserved for Allāh, ﷲ = U+FDF2. Many Arabic type fonts feature special ligatures for Allah.

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