What does "Allah" mean? – Comments by Rashid Samnakay
Say Allah, not God-In the January 2008 Tolu-e-Islam an Urdu article appeared to give a message along with on other important issues, that it is not appropriate to substitute the word GOD for Allah, when writing in the English language. This is, it says further, because the word God does not convey the same meaning of lailahaa-illallah as that of "except for Khuda there is no such being which has the right of authority" and therefore it should be written as "there is no Sovereign except Allah"
Commonly in English language the word God is given to mean 'the supreme being' and as 'the supreme Creator of monotheistic faiths' etc. Now if we insist that when referring to God we must write Allah, it means as if this name is registered in some Arabic government's Birth and Death registry and that it has issued a birth certificate to that effect, to that 'being' who is now named "Allah" specifically.
This gives the impression not only that this 'being' is for Muslims but specifically it is a monopoly of the Arab-nation and the other Muslims adopted HIM to qualify to be termed as Muslims. This can be extended to many other traditions and practices of the Arabs, such as their dress mode, copied by others to project themselves as 'good Muslims' or 'complete Muslims' . It becomes that Allah is NOT therefore a universal supreme being for the whole Creation. This gives rise to a comical situation when others say that your God is not the same as ours. Your Allah is different!
Quran tells us that divine messengers had come in all ages, places and time periods prior to Muhammad. It stands to reason therefore that they spoke myriads of languages and conveyed the concept of a supreme being and transmission of HIS message in their own languages, as Muhammad Rasulullah did in Arabic Quran by combining the two words al and ilah according to the rules that it became Allah (17-22). What is more is that the word Allah was already in vogue then, it was not manufactured for Arabic speaking people by Rasulullah.
There was not then and is not now an international common language in which a compound word could be used to give the full meaning of Allah as "the only supreme creator of the universe with total authority and control over HIS creation". In English language by using the word God, if an elaboration is required then there is no logical reason that such an elaboration could not be given. This attitude towards other people and their language smacks of linguistic racism that, they do not posses the true concept of GOD accept today's Muslims!
The writer of the Urdu article goes on to use the word Khuda twenty five(25) times in it, not counting the attribute khudawandi which are repeated number of times, because he assumes that the word Khuda in Urdu imparts the meaning completely, which as we know is not true.
This issue is raised to highlight the broadness of the Deen Islam and its acceptance of other Faiths as worthy of respect and consideration in the Universality of humanity in conjunction of HIS Unity, and to dispel the myth that Arabic and Arabs are some what holier than thou, which they are not.
Moderator - Agree, I am used to Khuda Hafiz as well. A few among us want to tighten the noose around the name Allah.
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