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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.


"Allah" is a proper noun for God—the necessary being that has all perfect attributes.[1]

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[2]



"Allah" is originally an Arabic word.[3] 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".[4] But others think that the mere similarity is not enough to show that the word is not Arabic.[5]


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.[6] 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.[7] Thus it means the one who is worthy of worship and admiration. There are other proposals in this regard as well.[8]


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).[9] There are other views about the word "Allāhumma" as well.[10]

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 tahara is Haram (forbidden).[11]


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.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14]

See Also


  1. Miybudī, Kashf al-asrār, vol. 1, p. 6; Bayhaqī, al-Asmāʾ wa al-ṣifāt, vol. 1, p. 47.
  2. Bustānī, Dāʾirat al-maʿārif Bustānī, vol. 4, p. 286.
  3. Fakhr al-Rāzī, al-Tafsīr al-kabīr, vol. 1, p. 163.
  4. Fakhr al-Rāzī, al-Tafsīr al-kabīr, vol. 1, p. 163; Ṣadiqī, al-Furqān, vol. 1, p. 82-83.
  5. Muḥaqiq, Asmāʾ wa ṣifāt-i Ilāhī, vol. 1, p. 31; Subḥānī, Mafāhīm al-Qurʾān, vol. 6, p. 110.
  6. Fīrūzābādī, al-Qāmūs al-muḥīṭ, vol. 2, p. 1631.
  7. Miybudī, Kashf al-asrār, vol. 1, p. 6; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 1, p. 90; Muṣṭafāwī, Al-Taḥqiq, vol. 1, p. 119.
  8. Rāzī, Rawz al-jinān, vol. 1, p. 57; Fakhr al-Rāzī, al-Tafsīr al-kabīr, vol. 1, p. 159; Bustānī, Dāʾirat al-maʿārif Bustānī, vol. 4, p. 286.
  9. Ibn Manẓūr, Lisān al-ʿArab, vol. 1, p. 191; Rāzī, Rawz al-jinān, vol. 4, p. 251; Qurṭubī, Tafsīr al-Qurṭubī, vol. 4, p. 35.
  10. Rāzī, Rawz al-jinān, vol. 4, p.251; Qurṭubī, Tafsīr al-Qurṭubī, vol. 4, p. 35; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 2, p. 726; Fakhr al-Rāzī, al-Tafsīr al-kabīr, vol. 8, p. 3; Ibn Manẓūr, Lisān al-ʿArab, vol. 1, p. 190.
  11. Najafī, Jawāhir al-kalām, vol. 3, p. 46.
  12. Kafʿamī, al-Maqām al-asnā, p. 25-26
  13. Ruḥānī, al-Muʿjam al-aḥṣāʾī, vol. 2, p. 244, 252, 262.
  14. Āshtīyānī, Tafsīr-i Sura-yi Fātihat al-kitāb, p. 37.


  • Bayhaqī, Aḥmad b. al-Ḥusayn al-. Al-Asmāʾ wa l-ṣifāt. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, n.d.
  • Buṭrus al-Bustānī.Dāʾirat al-maʿārif al-Bustānī. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, n.d.
  • Āshtīyānī, Jalāl al-Dīn. Tafsīr-i Sura-yi Fātihat al-kitāb. Qom: Daftar-i Tablīghāt-i Islāmī, 1377 Sh.
  • Fakhr al-Rāzī, Muḥammad b. ʿUmar. Mafātīḥ al-ghayb (al-Tafsīr al-kabīr). Fourth edition. Qom: Intishārāt-i Daftar-i Tablīghāt-i Islāmī, 1413 AH.
  • Fīrūzābādī, Majd al-Dīn. Al-Qāmūs al-muḥīṭ. Edited by Muḥammad al-Marʿashī. Bierut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1417 AH.
  • Ibn Manẓūr, Muḥammad b. Mukarram. Lisān al-ʿArab. Edited by ʿAlī al-shīrī. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1408 AH.
  • Kafʿamī, Ibrāhīm b. ʿAlī al-. Al-Maqām al-asnā fī tafsīr al-asmāʾ al-ḥusnā. Edited by Fāris al-Hasūn. n.p: Muʾassisa-yi Qāʾim-i Āl-i Muḥammad, n.d.
  • Miybudī, Rashīd al-Dīn. Kashf al-asrār wa ʿuddat al-abrār. Edited by ʿAlī Aṣghar Ḥikmat. Fourth edition. Tehran: Amīr Kabīr, 1361 Sh.
  • Muḥaqiq, Muḥammad Bāqir. Asmāʾ wa ṣifāt-i Ilāhī dar Qurʿān. Tehran: Islāmī, 1372 sh.
  • Muṣṭafāwī, Ḥasan. Al-Taḥqīq fī kalimāt al-Qurʾān al-karīm. Tehran: Wizārat-i Farhang wa Irshād-i Islāmī, 1374 Sh,
  • Najafī, Sayyid Muḥammad ḥasan al-. Jawāhir al-kalām fī sharāyiʿ al-Islām. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī.
  • Qurṭubī, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-. Tafsīr al-Qurṭubī (Al-Jamiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qurʾān). Fifth edition. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 1417 AH.
  • Abū l-Futūḥ al-Rāzī, Ḥusayn b. 'Alī. Rawḍ al-Jinān wa rawḥ al-Janān fī Tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Edited by Yāḥiqī & Nāṣiḥ. Mashhad: Āstān-i Quds-i Raḍawī, 1375 Sh.
  • Rūḥānī, Maḥmūd. Al-Muʿjam al-aḥṣāʾī li-alfāẓ al-Qurʾān al-karīm. Mashhad: Āstān-i Quds-i Raḍawī, 1366 Sh.
  • Ṣadiqī, Muḥammad. Al-Furqān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Second edition. Tehran: Farhang-i Islāmī, 1365 Sh.
  • Subḥānī, Jaʿfar. Mafāhīm al-Qurʾān fī maʿālim al-ḥukūma. Edited by Jaʿfar al-Hādī. Fourth edition. Qom: Muʾassisa-yi Imām al-Ṣādiq, 1413 AH.
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan. Majmaʿ al-bayān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, 1417 AH.

External Links

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