The claim that Allah is the pagan God because Pagans of Pre-Islamic era used this word for the Supreme Deity of their pantheon is a typical case of Non Sequitur, not just this it’s a hilarious one.
[By brother Sahel Ansary]
• the concept of ‘Allah’
Allah literally translates as “The God” or “The Deity” “The one worthy of worship” it’s a concept and every theistic worldview will by definition have this concept due to the fact it’s a theistic worldview otherwise why would you call it a theistic worldview if it doesn’t have the concept of God?
So if Pagans used this concept for their supreme deity doesn’t mean the concept becomes pagan.
Different worldview use same concepts for different things.
For example the concept of God in Islam and Christianity is different but both of these are concepts of God.
They both use the word God even when they mean different things.
• Etymology of the word Allah.
It’s the consensus of scholars that word Allah is the contraction of the definite particle “Al” and “Ilah” which becomes Al-Ilah.
It literally means – The God, even though this english translation can’t do justice with its deeper meanings in a fair manner but we get an approximate idea of what does it mean.
It means “The God” not “a god”, the deity, not a deity.
Cognates of the name “Allāh” exist in other Semitic languages, including Hebrew and Aramaic. The corresponding Aramaic form is Elah ( אלה ), but its emphatic state is Elaha ( אלהא ). It is written as ܐܗܠܐ (ʼĔlāhā) in Biblical Aramaic and ܐܵܗܵܠܲܐ (ʼAlâhâ) in Syriac as used by the Assyrian Church, both meaning simply “God”. Biblical Hebrew mostly uses the plural (but functional singular) form Elohim ( אלהים ) , tub erom ylerar ti osla sesu eht ralugnis mrof haolE ( אלוהּ ).
How can Allah be a Pagan God when this word has cognates in different languages and has been used by Monotheists even before Islam?
• Christians of Pre- Islamic Era
Some archaeological excavation quests have led to the discovery of ancient pre-Islamic inscriptions and tombs made by Arab Christians in the ruins of a church at Umm el-Jimal in Northern Jordan, which contained references to Allah as the proper name of God, and some of the graves contained names such as “Abd Allah” which means “the servant/slave of Allah”.
The name Allah can be found countless times in the reports and the lists of names of Christian martyrs in South Arabia, as reported by antique Syriac documents of the names of those martyrs from the era of the Himyarite and Aksumite kingdoms.
A Christian leader named Abd Allah ibn Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad was martyred in Najran in 523, as he had worn a ring that said “Allah is my lord”.
In an inscription of Christian martyrion dated back to 512, references to Allah can be found in both Arabic and Aramaic, which called him “Allah” and “Alaha”, and the inscription starts with the statement “By the Help of Allah”.
In pre-Islamic Gospels, the name used for God was “Allah”, as evidenced by some discovered Arabic versions of the New Testament written by Arab Christians during the pre-Islamic era in Northern and Southern Arabia.
Pre-Islamic Arab Christians have been reported to have raised the battle cry “Ya La Ibad Allah” (O slaves of Allah) to invoke each other into battle.
“Allah” was also mentioned in pre-Islamic Christian poems by some Ghassanid and Tanukhid poets in Syria and Northern Arabia.
So if Allah was a pagan God, Christians would have never used it but they did therefore one more point against this so called Pagan God claim.
• English word God
Even the english word God is said to have been originated in ancient Pagan Tribes way before before this word was ever used by Monotheists.
“A significant number of scholars have connected this root with the names of three related Germanic tribes: the Geats, the Goths and the Gutar. These names may be derived from an eponymous chieftain Gaut, who was subsequently deified”
But nobody says “God is Pagan God” because it’s a Circular sentence, if God is Pagan God then who is God? You can replace the word God with “Pagan God” and it’ll become “Pagan God is Pagan God” and it’s obvious, but who’s God? you can now insert pagan God inside this sentence and it’ll lead to an Ad Infinitum of Pagan Pagan Pagan Pagan God is Pagan Pagan ……. But it’ll still not answer who is God because the sentence is meaningless.
• What about Zeus?
The word Zeus does not denote the concept of God/Deity, Zeus is a deity, Zeus doesn’t mean a deity.
Zeus could be or could not be a deity.
It’s possible that Zeus is not God, but God is God is a tautological truth, the negation of which is contradiction.
The difference between Zeus and Allah is that Zeus is a god of Greeks, Allah means The God.
Zeus is a particular identity of a god, Allah is a concept, which means The Deity.
To understand who is Zeus you have to know what is the concept of God itself, because Zeus is a particular identity to the concept of God.
For example, BMW is a particular Car, but Car means Car, every particular car is built upon the concept of Car.
Zeus is a particular, Allah is Universal.
• How Islam defines this concept?
How Islam defines this concept is diametrically opposite to how pagans defined this concept of Supreme Deity.
The fundamental doctrine of Islam is Tawheed and it is stated in the Shahada
“There is not god but The God”
Islam denies all particulars that are associated with the concept of God, it says Only The God is God, a tautological truth, not X, Y, Z.
Islam says there’s nothing like unto Him, He’s Unique, Transcendental, Absolute, He doesn’t beget nor is He begotten, everything which exists or you can imagine is contingent except Him.
After all this, It’s unimaginable to me how can someone have the audacity to say Allah is a pagan God? It’s like saying “The God is a Pagan God” which is meaningless.