The moon god – Origin of the Name Allah (part 3)
Origin of the Name Allah
The word “Allah” comes from the compound Arabic word, al-ilah. Al is the definite article “the” and ilah is an Arabic word for “god”, i.e. the god. We see immediately that (a) this is not a proper name but a generic name rather like the Hebrew El (which as we have seen was used of any deity; and (b) that Allah is not a foreign word (as it would have been if it had been borrowed from the Hebrew Bible) but a purely Arabic one. It would also be wrong to compare “Allah” with the Hebrew or Greek for God (El and Theos, respectively), because “Allah” is purely an Arabic term used exclusively in reference to an Arabic deity.
The Encyclopedia of Religion says: “‘Allah’ is a pre-Islamic name . . . corresponding to the Babylonian Bel” (ed. James Hastings, Edinburgh, T. & T. Clark, 1908, I:326).
I know that Muslims will find this hard to believe so I am now going to make many citations and present the archaeological evidence to prove conclusively that is true. Though this data will be painful for many of our readers, it is necessary to face the truth. Facts are facts, and unless you are willing to desert all logic, reason and common sense, and the evidence of your eyes, they must be faced.
“Allah is found . . . in Arabic inscriptions prior to Islam” (Encyclopedia Britannica, I:643)
“The Arabs, before the time of Mohammed, accepted and worshipped, after a fashion, a supreme god called allah” (Encyclopedia of Islam, eds. Houtsma, Arnold, Basset, Hartman; Leiden: E.J.Brill, 1913, I:302)
“Allah was known to the pre-Islamic Arabs; he was one of the Meccan deities” (Encyclopedia of Islam, ed. Gibb, I:406)
“Ilah . . . appears in pre-Islamic poetry . . . By frequency of usage, al-ilah was contracted to allah, frequently attested to in pre-Islamic poetry” (Encyclopedia of Islam, eds. Lewis, Menage, Pellat, Schacht; Leiden: E.J.Brill, 1971, III:1093)
“The name Allah goes back before Muhammed” (Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, “The Facts on File”, ed. Anthony Mercatante, New York, 1983, I:41)
The origin of this (Allah) goes back to pre-Muslim times. Allah is not a common name meaning “God” (or a “god”), and the Muslim must use another word or form if he wishes to indicate any other than his own peculiar deity” (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. James Hastings, Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1908, I:326)
Scholar Henry Preserved Smith of Harvard University stated:
“Allah was already known by name to the Arabs” (The Bible and Islam: or, the Influence of the Old and New Testament on the Religion of Mohammed, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1897, p.102)
Dr. Kenneth Cragg, former editor of the prestigious scholarly journal Muslim World and an outstanding modern Western Islamic scholar, whose works were generally published by Oxford University, comments:
The name Allah is also evident in archaeological and literary remains of pre-Islamic Arabia” (The Call of the Minaret, New York: OUP, 1956, p. 31).
Dr. W. Montgomery Watt, who was Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Edinburgh University and Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at College de France, Georgetown University, and the University of Toronto, has done extensive work on the pre-Islamic concept of Allah. He concludes:
“In recent years I have become increasingly convinced that for an adequate understanding of the career of Muhammad and the origins of Islam great importance must be attached to the existence in Mecca of belief in Allah as a “high god”. In a sense this is a form of paganism, but it is so different from paganism as commonly understood that it deserves separate treatment” (Mohammad’s Mecca, p.vii. See also his article, “Belief in a High God in pre-Islamic Mecca”, Journal of Scientific Semitic Studies, vol.16, 1971, pp.35-40)
Caesar Farah in his book on Islam concludes his discussion of the pre-Islamic meaning of Allah by saying:
“There is no reason, therefore, to accept the idea that Allah passed to the Muslims from the Christians and Jews” (Islam: Beliefs and Observations, New York: Barrons, 1987, p.28)
According to Middle East scholar E.M.Wherry, whose translation of the Koran is still used today, in pre-Islamic times Allah-worship, as well as the worship of Baal, were both astral religions in that they involved the worship of the sun, the moon, and the stars (A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran, Osnabrück: Otto Zeller Verlag, 1973, p. 36).
“In ancient Arabia, the sun-god was viewed as a female goddess and the moon as the male god. As has been pointed out by many scholars as Alfred Guilluame, the Moon god was called by various names, one of which was Allah (op.cit.,Islam, p. 7)
“The name Allah was used as the personal name of the Moon god, in addition to the other titles that could be given to him.
“Allah, the Moon god, was married to the sun goddess. Together they produced three goddesses who were called ‘the daughters of Allah’. These three goddesses were called Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat.
“The daughters of Allah, along with Allah and the sun goddess were viewed as “high” gods. That is, they were viewed as being at the top of the pantheon of Arabian deities” (Robert Morey, The Islamic Invasion, Eugene, Oregon, Harvest House Publishers, 1977, pp.50-51).
artical source: http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/moongod.htm