The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8



While many sincere and well-meaning Christians (and pastors!) have argued that the word “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for “God,” the facts are something quite different. Even among Islamic scholars there is general agreement that the term “Allah” refers to a pagan deity before Islam came into existence under the leadership of Mohammed.

The pre-Islamic Arab culture spoke of 360 gods of which “Allah” was one of them. The correct Arabic name for “God” is the word “Al-ilah.” It became a generic title for whatever god was considered the highest god. Each Arab tribe used “Allah” to refer to its own particular high god. For example, the moon god called “Hubal” was the god to whom Arabs prayed at the Kaa’ba and when they prayed they used the name “Allah.” Historians have said that “Allah” was the chief of the 360 gods that were worshipped in Arabia at the time that Mohammed came to prominence. Some Muslims will become angry when hearing this history about “Allah.” They don’t want to believe or accept that “Allah” was already being worshipped at the Kaa’ba in Mecca by Arab pagans before the time of Mohammed. There is also evidence that the term “Allah” was used by heathen Arabs not only in Arabia but also among the Nabateans.

The name “Allah” was well known in pre-Islamic Arabia (as even the Qur’an testifies). The feminine form of the word is “Allat” (simply means “the goddess”) “and is found in many inscriptions from North Africa as well as in Arabic inscriptions prior to Islam.

“Allah” is not a common name in Arabic for “God.” Muslims must use another word or form to indicate any other than their own peculiar deity.

Other gods mentioned in the Qur’an are all female deities: “Al-Lat” and “al-Uzza” and “Manat” which are represented by the sun, the planet Venus, and Fortune or Destiny. At Mecca they were regarded as the daughters of “Allah.”

Among the pagan Arabs before the time of Mohammed, the term “Allah” represented the chief god of their pantheon at the Kaa’ba with its 360 idols. The central shrine at Mecca, the Kaa’ba, is a cube-like stone structure that has a black stone in one of its corners (perhaps a meteorite) that must be kissed as an essential ritual of the Haj, the pilgrimage that all Muslims must take at least once in their life to Mecca.

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