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Chapter One: Defining God
Section 7: Allah
Allah is more benevolent than Yahweh and less loving than the Christian God - but all three are versions of the same deity.
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Allah first made himself known to the Prophet Muhammed at the beginning of the seventh century CE. Although he developed much later than his Christian and Jewish predecessors, the Muslim god is identical to his Jewish alter ego - all-knowing, all-powerful and, unlike the Christian God, unknowable.
Allah = Al Lah = The God.
Arabic and Hebrew are both semitic languages; that means that they have the same origins, in the same way that French, Italian and Spanish all originated in Latin.
The Arabic Lah and the Hebrew El were originally the same word.
1.7a Allah = Yahweh = God
Because they are unknowable, our only view of Allah and Yahweh comes from scripture - the Quran and Jewish Bible. The details between them differ, but the overall picture is the same. Like Yahweh, Allah is a strong, aggressive figure who loves and protects his followers as a father loves and protects his family, and who treats his enemies with anger and violence.
Allah - like Yahweh - does not gives his love unconditionally. To be accepted by the Muslim god, believers must follow strict rules, including avoidance of certain foods and intoxicants, frequent prayer and some segregation of the sexes. Unlike Judaism, not all Islamic scholars believe that Muslim men must be circumcised.
Chapter One: Defining God
Does God exist? Before we try to answer that question we
need to have a clear idea of who or what God is. How do we
describe God? What versions of God are on offer?
The real God – if such a thing exists – may be very different
from the god portrayed by Jewish, Christian or Muslim
But whichever picture of God we look at - from the
Bible and Koran to the images presented by other
faiths and believers - we are confronted by problems.
When examined closely, God's nature is so contradictory
that it is unlikely, if not impossible, for him to exist.
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The similarities between Allah and Yahweh
are not surprising. They both emerged from the same masculine, violent, desert culture
that produced not only Judaism and Islam, but other monotheistic cults such as Mithras that have since disappeared. They, and the Christian god, are in fact the same god viewed from different perspectives.
1.7b God's softer side?
Examined closely, these perspectives reveal slightly different personalities. Despite the violence and slaughter practised by many of his followers, a close reading of the Quran and Jewish Bible suggests that Allah is more benign than Yahweh. Both versions slaughter their enemies or encourage their followers to do the same (Joshua 6:21 in the Bible: "[The Israelites] devoted [Jericho] to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every
living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and
donkeys." Spoils 8:39 in the Quran: "Make war on them until idolatry is
no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme." ).
However, while Allah sometimes has good words for other "People of the Book" (The Cow / Heifer 2:62: "Those who believe, the Jews
and the Christians and the Sabians any who believe in Allah and the Last Day,
and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord."),
Yahweh, seldom shows mercy, even to his own followers if they ignore one of his commandments. And while each chapter of the Quran begins with the phrase "In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful", the phrase most often associated with Yahweh is "I am a jealous
God" (Deuteronomy 5:9).
It is only centuries later, when Christ appears, that the Jewish God's nature turns to love and forgiveness - and even that transformation is only temporary: as the Book of Revelations reminds us, in the End Days, God's return will be marked by global violence and slaughter.
1.7c The manifestation of our fear
There is not much more to be said. The Quran and the Hadith (statements or actions by Muhammed not included in the Quran) merely reinforce the basic point - that Allah is a demanding deity whose commandments must be followed - a father-figure who differs in detail, not substance, from the Jewish and Christian versions which preceded him. Allah is more benevolent than Yahweh and less loving than the Christian God - but all three are versions of the same deity.
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If God existed, he would...
admire the beauty of a universe that he did not create
recognize that eternity is meaningless
deny both heaven and hell
disown all men and women who speak in his name
denounce the harm caused by religious "morality"
help the human race to thrive without him
If God existed, he would be an atheist.
What is the difference between science and faith?
science is certain of nothing and requires proof of everything
faith is certain of everything and requires proof of nothing
Which do you trust?
"I know there is no God"
"I believe there is no God"
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