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Who is Allah?

I have been doing some research on Islam and during one of my web browsing sessions, I learned something very interesting. Allah is the Arabic name for God. Just as people have names for God in their own languages, Arabic speakers have their name for God. For example, people who speak Spanish call God Dios. People who speak French call God Dieu. The Irish speakers call Him Dia. The Welsh call Him Duw. The Swedes call Him Gud. Well, now I think you have the idea.

What I thought was very interesting to learn was that even Christians and Jews whose native language is Arabic call Him Allah. (I am Eastern Orthodox. Yes, I know for a fact that there are Arab Christians. I have worshiped with them on various occasions.)

So, whenever one starts making fun of Allah, one should remember that Allah is just the Arabic name for God.

On the internet, I see so much hate being directed towards Muslims in general. Some of them are terrorists, but I do not believe that all of them are. I went to college with some Muslims. I remember a Muslim from Pakistan named Ahmad. He used to come over to our dorm room and visit with me and my roommate. He was not a terrorist and he showed no hatred toward Christians. I also remember asking a Muslim if they force people to accept Islam. He told me no. He said that “there is no compulsion in religion.” He said that that was in the Koran. He also told me that everyone has his own traced out way. Well, after studying some things some Muslims have put on the internet and after reading the Koran, I understand now what he was telling me.

“There is no compulsion is religion.” (Koran 2:256) The traced out way he was talking about is in the fifth chapter.

Lo! We did reveal the Torah, wherein is guidance and a light, by which the prophets who surrendered (unto Allah) judged the Jews, and the rabbis and the priests (judged) by such of Allah’s Scripture as they were bidden to observe, and thereunto were they witnesses. So fear not mankind, but fear Me. And barter not My revelations for a little gain. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are disbelievers. And We prescribed for them therein: The life for the life, and the eye for the eye, and the nose for the nose, and the ear for the ear, and the tooth for the tooth, and for wounds retaliation. But whoso forgoeth it (in the way of charity) it shall be expiation for him. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are wrong-doers. And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him in the Torah, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah – a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil). Let the People of the Gospel judge by that which Allah hath revealed therein. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are evil-livers. And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. So judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed, and follow not their desires away from the truth which hath come unto thee. For each We have appointed a divine law and a traced-out way. Had Allah willed He could have made you one community. But that He may try you by that which He hath given you (He hath made you as ye are). So vie one with another in good works. Unto Allah ye will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein ye differ. (Koran 5:44-48, Pickthall)

According to this passage in the Koran, the Jews have their traced-out way, the Torah. “The life for life” and “eye for an eye” law is in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. (See Genesis 9:6; Exodus 21:23-25; Leviticus 24:19,20; Deuteronomy 19:21.) The Christians have their traced-out way, the Gospel. Jesus gave us another law that replaces the “eye for an eye” law. (St. Matthew 5:38-42). The Muslims have their own traced-out way, the Koran. In the Koran, it says:

A kind word with forgiveness is better than almsgiving followed by injury. (Koran 2:263, Pickthall)

and

Even if thou stretch out thy hand against me to kill me, I shall not stretch out my hand against thee to kill thee, lo! I fear Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. (Koran 5:28, Pickthall)

It also says:

Such as persevere in seeking their Lord’s Countenance and are regular in prayer and spend of that which We bestow upon them secretly and openly, and overcome evil with good. Theirs will be the sequel of the (heavenly) Home. (Koran 13:22, Pickthall)

That last verse has some words in it that sound a lot like something out of the New Testament, doesn’t it? (See Romans 12:21.)

In that passage I just quoted from the fifth chapter of the Koran, it says, “Had Allah willed He could have made you one community.” If God wanted to, according to the Koran, He could have made Jews, Christians, and Muslims one community. It says, “Unto Allah ye will all return, then He will inform of you of that wherein ye differ.” That means unto God, Jews, Christians, and Muslims will return (talking about death). Then, God will “inform us of that wherein we differ.” In other words, He will judge us.

The view that I get from reading the Koran is that Muslims are supposed to tell people about their faith, but not force it upon them. According to the Koran, God judges those outside of the Ummah (the Muslim community). This is very similar to what we Orthodox Christians say. We say that there is no salvation outside of the Orthodox Church. However, we are forbidden to pass judgment on those outside of the Church. God judges them. We don’t.

One more thing. Those who want to spread the Gospel to Muslims need to remember the words of St. Paul. “Speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15) Do not make fun of the Muslims. The Koran has already instructed them:

O Ye who believe! Choose not for guardians such of those who received the Scripture before you, and of the disbelievers, as make a jest and sport of your religion. But keep your duty to Allah if ye are true believers. (Koran 5:57, Pickthall)

The Jews and Christians are those who have received the Scripture before the Muslims. The disbelievers are the idolaters. Also, remember that Arab Christians also call God Allah. So, do not make fun of Allah. Allah is only the Arabic name for God.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, one Allah. Amen.

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Categories: Islam Tags: , , ,
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  1. August 1, 2017 at 4:30 pm

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