Can one symbol have different meanings? Identifying anything of significance comes with both a name and a symbol. For example, every nation in the world has a name and a flag to represent their own uniqueness. The American flag includes star and stripes while others may include a set of colors chosen by a different country. The point is there is meaning behind what represents you. We must first consider the origin and meaning behind both names and symbols.
Allah : Origin & Meaning
The word “Allah” likely comes from the Aramaic word “al-ilah” meaning “the God”. Centuries before Muhammed appeared, this generic word, meant highest God of the people. The people of Arabia used this word. At the time there were 360 gods worshipped and this was one of them. In Mecca, Allah was the chief god for the Quaraysh tribe, the tribe Muhammed belonged to. During Pre-Islamic time, Allah had 3 daughters. At the same time Muhammad's campaign against polytheism resulted in his choosing Allah as the one true God including his denial of the idea that Allah could have any daughters.
Allah in the Qur’an is very different from Yahweh of the Bible.
Comparison: Allah vs. Yahweh
Allah is a distant, remote being who only reveals his will and not himself. It thus makes this impossible to know him in a personal way. Given this oneness, their is no trinity only unity. The lack of relationship results in love having no emphasis. For a Muslim, Allah has no associates. The greatest of all sins in Islam is to claim Jesus as God’s son known to them as “shirk”. Allah is known to be a God of deception.
In the end, even for the most devout Muslim, there is no certainty of salvation due to the arbritrianess of Allah that may deny the believers good work and send him to hell. Even if ones good outweighs their bad, salvation is in the hands of the Will of Allah, arbitrary at best.
Yahweh, the God of the Bible, is very different deity. The name Yahweh originates from the time God appeared to Moses at the burning bush. Moses told by God to call him “I am, I am” translated in Hebrew as “Yahweh”. Jesus referred to himself as the “I am” in John 8:58. The Jews realized that Jesus was referring to himself as God and took up stones to stone him for what they believed was blasphemy.This link between Jesus in the New Testament and the burning bush in the Old Testament demonstrates the unity of the one God manifested to both the Jews and the Christians. Muslim's reject the deity of Jesus and as a result deny what the New Testament says of Jesus.
Allah is considered to be too holy to have personal relationships with man, but Yahweh is often described as a loving God interested in our personal struggles. Yahweh is also depicted as unchanging and One who assures the salvation of the faithful.
The Trinity allows one God to be three people and the reason God is described as the Father of Jesus.
Scholar emphasize some common beliefs between Yahweh and Allah. A few common beliefs include beliefs of a monotheistic God who is Creator of all things, omnipotent and merciful. Both claim that God has sent prophets to reveal His will and produce scriptures to guide our lives.
2 Reasons Why Allah & Yahweh Can’t Refer To The Same Person
- Their Attributes are Different
Allah’s attributes stem from his all powerful will that because it provides no basis for relationship, often promotes unprodictibility. Also, his emphasis on power being better than all other attributes leaves for unequalness among others. As a result a follower cannot know God or even be sure of the consistency of his attributes. The Trinity provides us with an eternal relationship that extends to all of creation. Also, considering his attributes are based on his unchanging nature and not his powerful will, all his attributes are equal and promote trustworthiness rather than inconsistency. This means that believers can know God and be sure of his attributes.
2. The Disagreement Regarding the Trinity by Nature & Jesus
Christians believe in the nature of God to be represented by the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), which is the only way that Jesus , the second person of the Trinity, could die on the cross to pay for our sins.
If Jesus were not God himself, then his death on the cross would be meaningless.
Muslims deny that Jesus died on the cross and reject the belief in his resurrection from the dead. Only God, defined as one essence and three persons, could become incarnate and still remain God of the universe. Muslims reject this God. Muslims believe Jesus cannot be God nor can God be a Father and cannot have a son.
Therefore, if Muslims reject God as the Father of Jesus, then Allah cannot be the same as the God of the Bible.
‘Allah’ for Arabic Christians vs. ‘Allah’ for Muslims: Aren’t they the Same?
Both Arabic Christians and Muslims both call God ‘Allah’. Does this prove mean Allah and Yahweh mean the same thing? No, when Arabic Christians mention “Allah” in their translation of the Bible, they believe “Allah” is the father of Jesus and they believe in the “Allah” of the Trinity. As a result:
the Allah of the Arabic Christians cannot be the same Allah of the Muslims!
The semantic chaos here can be made more clear if we remeber that words can have a main meaning, thats void of any feelings, and a secondary meaning thats heavily influenced by a surrounded context. There is still a world of difference between the content of the word (main meaning), even if the secondary meaning is the same. This is a very important distinction made when we refer to “Allah” and “God” (Yahweh) that leads many Christians confused and totally understanding in its regards.
By comparing the Allah of the Qur’an and the Yahweh of the Bible, it becomes apparent that they are not be referring to the same God. For the non believer of neither Christianity or Muslim religions, either the Muslim Allah is the true God or the Christian Yahweh is the true God, or neither is true.
Both cannot be true.
One thing should be sure, though, the God of Muhammad cannot be the Father of Jesus and in my belief, only one is alive today, Jesus!