Friday, February 27, 2009

The usage of the term "Allah" may even predate Islam, and have been used by Christians for centuries

I just surfed the net and found a few interesting stuff, which I thought I should share with my readers.

I must state that I have relied on internet sources, which I believe are true. If there are any errors with regard the stated facts, I hope that you would take time to make a comment...

There are some who have come out and mischievously attempted to paint a very wrong picture, i.e.

1 - That Christians have just started using the word 'Allah'
* There is evidence that usage of the Arabic word 'Allah' in facts pre-dates Islam.
* It has long been used by Arab Christians, which number 15-20 million in the Middle East, and this word can be found in the Arabic translation of the Bible/parts of the Bible. *The earliest written record of the Gospel in Arabic is 897 A.D., and of the Old Testament is in 1475 A.D.
* The word Allah is also used in the AlKitab, the Malay translation of the Bible, and first recorded published Malay translation of part of a gospel was in 1629, and the full alkitab was finally published in 1733.
* The word Allah has been used by Malaysian Christians for a very very long time.

2 - That the usage of the word 'Allah' is part of a devious scheme to confuse Muslims, in Malaysia, and probably convert them to Christianity.
Well, this is really far-fetched, as the word Allah has long been used by Christians. It has not really confused Arab Muslims or Indonesian Muslims - and there really is no example of it confusing Malay Muslims here in Malaysia. I believe Muslims in Malaya are more intelligent than that what some believe

Let us consider the facts -

a) The word 'Allah' have been used by Christians for a very long time. In its written form, it appears, amongst others, even in the translation of the Bible (or parts of the Bible) in Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia/Melayu, etc

Thus the first translations of the Hebrew Bible in Arabic appeared after the advent of Islam. In fact, the oldest dated manuscript of the Old Testament in Arabic as shown below dates from first half of the ninth century.

The Oldest Arabic Manuscript of the Old Testament (British Museum arab. 1475 [Add. 26116]). Source: Islamic Awareness Website

Sidney H Griffith has done extensive research on the appearance of Arabic Gospel. Regarding the manuscript evidence, he says:

The oldest known, dated manuscripts containing Arabic translations of the New Testament are in the collections of St. Catherine's monastery at Mt. Sinai. Sinai Arabic MS 151 contains an Arabic version of the Epistles of Paul, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Catholic Epistles. It is the oldest dated New Testament manuscripts. The colophon of this MS informs us that one Bisr Ibn as-Sirri made the translation from Syriac in Damascus during Ramadan of the Higrah year 253, i.e., 867 AD.[11]

The author went on to say:

The oldest, dated manuscript containing the Gospels in Arabic is Sinai Arabic MS 72. Here the text of the four canonical Gospels is marked off according to the lessons of the temporal cycle of the Greek liturgical calendar of the Jerusalem Church. A colophon informs us that the MS was written by Stephen of Ramleh in the year 284 of the Arabs, i.e., 897 AD.[12]

Below is the MS of the Gospel in Arabic written by Stephen of Ramleh.

Colophon of MS. Sin. Arab, No. 72, dated 896 A.D. photograph supplied by Mr. Taufiq Iskarous of Cairo, late curator of Christian books at the Sultanieh Library. The photograph, hitherto unpublished, was taken by Dr. Moritz. Mr. Taufiq Iskarous also supplies the following information from an unpublished report in Arabic by Dr. Moritz, to the Egyptian government on the Arabic MSS. in the library of St. Catherine at Mt. Sinai: "The oldest of the Christian Arabic MSS. under the heading Biblica is The book of the four Gospels, arranged according to the divisions of the liturgical year of the Greeks. It was written in late Kufic hand by Istipana, known as al-Ramli, A. Mond. 6389=A. H. Muharram, 284. On parchment, 119 pp. of 26 lines, 13x19 cmm."[13]Source: Islamic Awareness Website

Usage of the word Allah in the Arabic Bible, whereby there are about 15 - 20 million Arab Christians in the Middle East. [ Source: Muslim Answers Website]

The images below, with the exception of the first image, were taken directly from The Holy Bible in Arabic. Referred to in Arabic as al-Kitâb al-Muqadis (i.e. ,The Holy Book), this is the scripture which is used by Arabic-speaking Christians (of which there are still about 15 to 20 million in the Middle East). So that those unfamiliar with Arabic script have something to compare these images with, the first image below is a verse from the Qur'ân - which is the Muslim scripture. In the images, the Arabic word Allah is underlined in red so that it can be easily identified. Upon comparing the images, one should be able to clearly see that the word Allah appears in both the Qur'ânic and Arabic Bible images. Indeed, the word Allah appears throughout Arabic translations of the Bible, since it is simply the Arabic name for Almighty God. Insha'llah, the examples below will help quell the doubts of those who have been duped into believing that Muslims worship a different god - either by the hostile media or by Christian missionary propaganda. We hope that this serves as enough documentation for those who still have doubts about this. We could think of no other way to prove this point, except to encourage everyone to do further critical and open-minded research on their own. Please, don't forget to compare the images . . .

[Qu'ran 1:1 - English translation]

"In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful."

[Qur'ân 1:1 - Arabic transliteration]

"Bismi-Allahi ar-Rahmani, ar-Raheem"

[Qur'ân 1:1 - Arabic]

[Genesis 1:1 - English Bible - King James Version]

"In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth . . . "

[Genesis 1:1 - Arabic transliteration]

"Fee al-badi' khalaqa Allahu as-Samaawaat wa al-Ard . . . "

[Genesis 1:1 - Arabic Bible]

[John 3:16 - English Bible - King James Version]

"For God so loved the world, that . . . "

[John 3:16 - Arabic transliteration]

"Li-annhu haakadha ahabba Allahu al-'Aalama hataa badhala . . . "

[John 3:16 - Arabic Bible]

[Luke 1:30 - English Bible - King James Version]

" . . . Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God."

[Luke 1:30 - Arabic transliteration]

" . . . Laa takhaafee, yaa Maryam, li-annaki qad wajadti ni'amat(an) i'nda Allahi."

[Luke 1:30 - Arabic Bible]

[Luke 3:38 - English Bible - New King James Version]

"the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God."

[Luke 3:38 - Arabic transliteration]

"bini Anoosha, bini Sheeti, bini Aaadama, abni Allahi."

[Luke 3:38 - Arabic Bible]


Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...


Those who are likely to be confused
Are those who have stubbornly refused
To accept the truth that's historically profuse
And end up wrongly having a very short fuse

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 280209
Sat. 28th Feb. 2009.

DIASPORA said...

Europeans love to mock the salience of religion in American society, but they won’t be laughing for very long.

The de-Christianization of Europe in the name of “tolerance” is rapidly driving the spiritually shiftless continent into the arms of Islam.

And now, amidst the postmodern theological confusion that defines contemporary Europe, even Catholic clergy are jumping on the Islamomania bandwagon.

The latest post-Christian theological spectacle comes to us from the Netherlands (of Ayaan Hirsi Ali fame), where the Roman Catholic Bishop of Breda, Tiny Muskens, says he wants Christians to start calling God “Allah” because he believes such a gesture would promote “rapprochement between Christianity and Islam”.

Appearing on Dutch television, the 71-year-old cleric said:

“Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn’t we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? … What does God care what we call him?”

Inquiring minds want to know: If the bishop really thinks the names “God” and “Allah” are interchangeable, why doesn’t he ask Muslims to start calling Allah “Yahweh”, the biblical name for God? But he won’t, because he knows they won’t.

Indeed, just because Christianity, Judaism and Islam are called “monotheistic” faiths, it does not follow that Christians, Jews and Muslims pray to the same God.

So for those pre-postmoderns who believe that words still mean something, a quick survey of archaeology, history and theology-accompanied by a dose of common sense-can answer the question of whether the Allah of Islam is really the God of the Bible.

What Archaeology Says about Allah

Muslims claim that in pre-Islamic times, “Allah” was the biblical God of the Patriarchs, prophets and apostles. Indeed, the credibility of Islam as a religion stands or falls on its core claim of historical continuity with Judaism and Christianity.

No wonder, then, that many Muslims get uppity when the claims of Islam are subjected to the hard science of archaeology.

Because archaeology provides irrefutable evidence that Allah, far from being the biblical God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was actually the pre-Islamic pagan moon-god. Indeed, it is an established archaeological fact that worship of the moon-god was the main religion of the ancient Middle East.

Giant Clam in Mecca

But what about the Arabian Peninsula, where Mohammed (570-632) launched Islam? During the last two centuries, prominent archaeologists have unearthed thousands of inscriptions which prove beyond any doubt that the dominant religion of Arabia during Mohammed’s day was the cult of the moon-god.
In fact, for generations before Mohammed was born, the Arabs worshipped some 360 pagan gods housed at a stone temple in Mecca called the Kabah.

According to archaeologists, the chief deity of Mecca was the moon-god called al-ilah (meaning the god or the idol), which was shortened to Allah in pre-Islamic times. Pagan Arabs even used Allah in the names they gave themselves: Mohammed’s father (Abdallah), for example, had Allah as part of his name.
What History Says about Allah
Historians say that pre-Islamic Arabs worshipped the moon-god by bowing in prayer toward Mecca several times a day. They would also make a pilgrimage to Mecca, run around the Kabah seven times and throw stones at the devil.

And they fasted for one month, which began with the appearance of the crescent moon and ended when the crescent moon reappeared.

These same rites form the core of Islam today: Muslims bow in prayer toward Mecca; they make a pilgrimage to Mecca and run around the Kabah seven times; and they still throw stones at the devil.

They also observe the fast of Ramadan, which begins and ends with the crescent moon.

* Is Islam a Violent Faith? Violence, Hatred and Discrimination in the Koran, from an ex- Muslim..

Moreover, the ancient symbol of the pagan moon-god, the crescent moon, is the official symbol of Islam; it appears on the flags of Muslim countries, as well as on the tops of mosques and minarets everywhere.

Historians say that Mohammed, who as a traveling trader was exposed to Judaism and Christianity during his visits to different parts of the Middle East, tried to mimic those monotheistic faiths by taking Allah, the main deity within the Arabian pantheon, and making it the only god. Indeed, the basic confession of Islam is not that “Allah is Great” but that “Allah is Greater”. Greater than all the other idols, that is.
But Islam also draws from other pagan traditions. For example, the tale of Mohammed’s night journey into heaven parallels the Zoroastrian story of Arta Viraf. Zoroastrianism also inspired the Islamic belief that dark-eyed virgins await every man who enters heaven. And the Islamic ritual of praying five times a day? That, historians say, originates with the Sabeans, Syrian pagans who practiced an ecumenical mixture of Babylonian and Hellenic religion.

No surprise, then, that some scholars refer to Islam as monotheistic heathenism.
What Theology Says about Allah

Muslims claim that Islam is Judaism and Christianity reformed. They say the Koran confirms the truth of the Torah and the Gospels. But since those texts did not jibe with Mohammad’s beliefs, they accuse Jews and Christians of changing and distorting the original versions. Muslims therefore assert that the Koran “clarifies” the Bible.

Even if that were the case, the Koran and the Bible present ideas about God (especially about His character) that are so diametrically opposed that any reasonable observer would conclude that each book refers to a distinct deity.

The Koran, for example, states unequivocally that Allah is an unknowable and non-personal deity. By contrast, the God of the Bible allows Himself to be known and desires fellowship with human beings on a personal basis. Indeed, the Bible says that Abraham (the same Abraham whom Muslims say they venerate) was the “friend of God.”

The Koran also portrays Allah as a vindictive deity who hates sinners and desires to afflict them. But the Bible says God is love.

Moreover, the New Testament teaches that God loved humanity so much that He came to earth to pay the debt for man’s sin, and that that act of grace is available for free to anyone who believes Jesus Christ is their personal Savior. But Islam denies that Christ was God or that He died in order to save humanity. Indeed, Allah does not provide any way for man to be reconciled to God.

And the theological differences go on and on, so much so that the God of the Bible cannot possibly be the Allah worshipped in Islam. Unless, of course, a Dutch bishop says so.
Allah and Eurabia
Mohammed thought the Jews and Christians of his day would receive him as a prophet. But the Bible says that any new revelation must agree with what is already established in Scripture (Isaiah 8:20). So they rejected his Allah as a false god. And Mohammed replied by setting his Islam on a permanent warpath against Judaism and Christianity that continues to this day.

The Dutch bishop and other Muslim fellow travelers think they can buy a fake peace with Islam by playing relativistic word games as a part of an “inter-faith” dialogue. But Muslims understand much better than do post-modern Europeans that ecumenical appeasement is a symptom of a Judeo-Christian civilization that is weak and dying.

The irony is that the real danger from Islam stems not so much from ordinary Muslims as it does from sickly Europeans who have subverted their Judeo-Christian heritage in search of secular hedonism. Because they live only for the moment, they are willing submit to anything, including Islam, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the pursuit of pleasure today.

It has been more than 50 years since the late Christian apologist C.S. Lewis first warned about Western Civilization’s disastrous lurch into post-Christianity. But even he would be surprised to see how quickly Islam is filling the religious and cultural vacuum that is post-Christian Europe.

burhanlong said...

And one day you will discover that St Peter's name was not Peter, because Peter is not a Middle Eastern name. Are you going to change his name to Simaon (rock) in your Bible classes then. The Xnity that we recieved comes from the West. I dont think names like John, Paul, Mark and the like originates from ME. Most probably they come from Rome. Who changed theri names into European ones? And most interestingly, who chaned Esau (Isa) into Jesus? Who added the "s" at the end of his name?