Question: Enclosed is an article from Christian Research Journal, 25:1, titled, “Allah Does Not Belong to Islam,” directly contradicting your Q&A of Oct. 1994. Would you please comment on this, even though the question about “Allah” has been asked of you before?
Answer: Helen Louise Herndon writes:“Allah is the God Arab-speaking Christians worship. The Arabic Bible is replete with the word Allah, beginning with Genesis and ending with Revelation. Jesus Christ is even called the son of Allah in the Arabic Scriptures....Allah is simply the word or term for God....No other term exists in Arabic for the God Christians claim to be the one, true God....Allah is equivalent to the English God, the French Dieu, or the Spanish Dios....We can join our Arab brothers and sisters in Christ who often say, ‘Allah be praised!’”
To the contrary, Allah is the name of a well-known pagan deity—not the generic term for the English God, the French Dieu, or the Spanish Dios, as CRI claims. The generic word is Ilah—and it is used for God throughout the Qur’an. For example: “Allah! There is no God [Ilah] save him....Allah is only one God [Ilah]” (2:255; 4:171, etc.). This is also clear from the declaration, “There is no God [Ilah] but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.”
Allah is a contraction of Al-Ilah, meaning the chief god. Allah was the chief god in the Ka’aba, a pagan temple that held more than 300 idols.
Of Allah the Qur’an says, “Far is it removed from his transcendent majesty that he should have a son” (Sur 4:171). Then it is blasphemy to a Muslim as well as to a Christian for the Arabic Bible to call Jesus “the Son of Allah”! It is tragic that CRI would promote this delusion.
Allah was the Moon god who, by his spouse the sun goddess, had three daughters: Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat. The crescent moon still marks the beginning and end of the “holy month, Ramadan,” as it did centuries before Muhammad. Its presence on minarets and Arab flags is one more piece of evidence marking Islam as a continuation of long-established Arab paganism. Muhammad carried the rituals associated with the Ka’aba and Ramadan over into Islam almost exactly as pagan Arabs had practiced them for centuries.
Muhammad’s tribe, the Qur’aish of Mecca, were guardians of the Ka’aba. They collected the fees charged to those of other tribes who came there to worship their gods, and were known as “the people of Allah” before Muhammad was born.
Though Muhammad smashed the idols, including the one representing Allah, he kept the Ka’aba and its chief god, Allah, for the followers of his new religion, Islam, to continue to worship. In fact, for some time pagans devoted to Allah mingled with Muslims on the pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca and the Ka’aba. Finally, Muhammad issued an ultimatum: no non-Muslims allowed at the Ka’aba, and he gave them four months in which to become a Muslim or die. To this day, participation in the pre-Islamic rituals involving the Ka’aba is the highpoint of the hajj, which Muslims must perform at least once in a lifetime.