The word Allah is the Arabic term for "God".
Islamic use of "Allah"
Allah is the most precious name of God because it is not a descriptive name like other Ninety-nine
names of Allah
, but the name of God's own presence. Muslims believe that the name of Allah had existed before the time
. It is the same God worshipped by Adam
and other prophets of Islam
. In Islam, there is only
one God and Muhammed is the last messenger.
The emphasis in Islamic culture on reciting the Qur'an in Arabic has resulted in Allah often
being used by Muslims world-wide, regardless of their native language. Out of 114 Suras in the Qur'an, 113 begin with "Bismi
'llāh ar-rahmān ar-rahīm" (بسم الله الرحمن
الرحيم) which means "In the name of Allah, the most kind, the most merciful". Muslims,
when referring to the name, often add the words "Subhanahu wa Ta'ala" after it, meaning "Glorified and Exalted is He" as a
sign of reverence, or "Az wa Jal" (عز و جل). The entire religion of Islam is based on the idea
of getting closer to Allah. Although commonly referred to as a "He", Allah is considered genderless, but there is no neuter
gender to express this in the Arabic language.
Islamic conception of Allah
The Islamic concept of mankind's place in the universe hinges on the notion that Allah, or God, is
the only true reality. There is nothing permanent other than Him. Allah is considered eternal and "uncreated", whereas everything
else in the universe is "created." The Qur'an describes Him in Sura 112: "Say: He is Allah, Singular. Allah, the Absolute.
He begetteth not nor was begotten. And to Him have never been one equal." The Qur'an condemns and mocks the pre-Islamic Arabs
for attributing daughters to Allah (sura 53:19.)
Allah is considered by Muslims to be omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. He is said to be "in
Heaven" (Qur'an 67:16) and "in the heavens and the earth" (Qur'an 66:3), but also said to be "nearer to him [man] than his
jugular vein" (Qur'an 50:16); He constantly watches all that goes on in the world, and knows all things. This suggests that
He is present in the heart as the supreme witness. "And He it is Who takes your souls at night (in sleep), and He knows what
you acquire in the day, then He raises you up therein that an appointed term may be fulfilled; then to Him is your return,
then He will inform you of what you were doing. (sura 6:60)"
Muslims do not try to draw or depict Allah in any way, according to Islamic belief it could lead to
idol worship. Instead, they focus on His 99 "Attributes" that are stated in the Qur'an, the holy book of the Muslims. Nearly
one third of the book is used describing Allah's attributes and actions. Also, "hadith qudsi" are special recorded sayings
of Muhammad to Muslims where he quotes what Allah says to him. The ninety-nine "Attributes" are frequently written in calligraphic
Arabic as a permissible decoration, which adorns mosques and homes of Muslims.
Uses of "Allah" in phrases
There are many phrases that contain the word Allah:
- Allahu Akbar (الله أكبر) (Allah is the greatest)
- Bismillah (بسم الله) (In the name of Allah)
- Insha'Allah (إن شاء الله) (Allah-willing)
- Ya Allah (يا الله)(O'Allah)
- Masha Allah (ما شاء الله) ([Look at]
what Allah has willed!)
- Subhan Allah (سبحان الله) (Glory be to
- Alhamdulillah (الحمد لله) (All praise be to
- Allahu A`alam (الله أعلم) (Allah knows best)
- Jazaka Allahu Khairan (جزاك الله خيراً)
(May Allah reward you for your deeds)