Allah

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The word of Allah on the Darih of Imam al-Husayn (a)

Allāh (Arabic: الله) is a proper name referring to the essence of God which possesses all perfect attributes. This is the best-known name of God in Islam and has an Arabic origin. There are practical laws in fiqh pertaining to this word, such as the laws according to which it is not religiously permissible to touch the written form of this word without Tahara. One of the most important features of this word is that it appears in the Islamic slogan of Tawhid and the impermissibility of giving this name to anything or anyone other than God.

Notion

"Allah" is a proper noun for God—the necessary being that has all perfect attributes.

Equivalents in other languages: perhaps the English equivalent of this word is "God". Here are other equivalents:

  • Persian: Khuda.
  • Hindi: Khida.
  • Hebrew: Yahweh or Elohim.
  • Syriac: Allāhā
  • Chaldean: 'Elah
  • Greek: Theos
  • Latin: Deus
  • French: Dieu
  • Italian: Dio

Lexicology

Root

"Allah" is originally an Arabic word. Some people take it to be similar to Hebrew words, originating from "Il", and some take it to be originated from Syriac or Chaldean, originating from "Ilaha". But others think that the mere similarity is not enough to show that the word is not Arabic.

Etymology

Here are disagreements about the derivation of this word. Some hold that it is not derived from any root, but most etymologists believe that it is derived. The latter dispute, in turn, about its root—according to some reviews, there are about 20 or 30 different views in this regard. The widely accepted view is that "Allah" is derived from "al-Ilāh" (Arabic: الإله), from the root "ʾ- l- h" (Arabic: أله ) which means worshiping. Thus it means the one who is worthy of worship and admiration. There are other proposals in this regard as well.

Grammar

When the word "Allāh" is used as an addressee, sometimes the addressing word ("yā" [Arabic: یا], lit.: O!) is omitted, and instead an intensified (Mushaddad) "mim" is added, which turns as "Allāhumma" (Arabic: اللهم). There are other views about the word "Allāhumma" as well.

Laws of fiqh

To the word "Allāh" apply the same laws of fiqh that do to other divine names and attributes, such as the laws that touching them without cleanliness is Haram (forbidden).

Features

This name has ten distinctive features in comparison with other divine names and attributes:

  1. It is the best known and the most popular name of God in Islam.
  2. For the Quran, the word has the highest place among other divine names.
  3. It has a distinctive role at the occasion of praying and requesting something from God.
  4. It is the pioneer of all divine names.
  5. The slogan of Tawhid (there is no god except Allah) exclusively involves this name.
  6. Shahadatayn (the words for expressing one's belief in Islam) involves this name of God.
  7. It is the proper name of God and it cannot be applied to, or used about, anyone or anything except God, neither literally nor figuratively.
  8. The word denotes a sacred essence who possesses all divine attributes.
  9. It can never be used as an adjective for a noun.
  10. All divine attributes are called with this name, but the reverse is not true.

Quranic Frequency

According to some sources, if we exclude cases in which Allah is referred to by pronouns and the like, it has been used in the Quran 2,699 times. And if we add to this the five times in which the word "Allahumma" is used, the number will rise to 2,704 times. Some people have said that, taking into account "Bism Allah" and other cognates of the word, it is used 2,807 times in the Quran.

External Links

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from الله in Farsi Wikishia.