Allah (God) Polemical Rebuttals

His­tor­i­cal & Arche­o­log­i­cal Con­texts : Moon God Allah of Ancient Pagan Arabia ?

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Chris­tians who try to claim that Allah is the name of the moon god are influ­enced by the writ­ings of Dr. Robert Morey, who wrote as such in his book The Islam­ic Inva­sion. Regard­less, they (and Dr. Morey includ­ed) are play­ing a sil­ly game. The writ­ings of Dr. Morey are noth­ing more than the thoughts of a mid-West­ern cre­ation­ist clos­et-fas­cist and were not orig­i­nal­ly intend­ed for a wide audi­ence. Lane’s Lex­i­con defines the mean­ing of the word Allah” as refer­ring to the only one true God”, and that should have been the end of the dis­cus­sion1 :

Allah in Lane Lexicon

Going back to Robert Morey, his evi­dence” of a so-called moon deity named Allah hurts his reli­gion as much as it does Islam. The basic claim is that the pre-Islam­ic Semit­ic world (not just Ara­bia) was the home to wide­spread wor­ship of a moon god or god­dess named Allah”. The prob­lem with such spec­u­la­tions about pre-Islam­ic deities in this case is the fact that any inscrip­tion before the advent of Islam is also before the intro­duc­tion of dia­crit­i­cal marks in the Semit­ic lan­guages. Why is this a prob­lem ? Well, if one claims to have found evi­dence of a moon god named Allah” in Pales­tine, Syr­ia, or Lebanon, this claim applies to the respec­tive deities of both Chris­tian­i­ty and Islam.

The first time the word God” appears in the Bible, it is in Gen­e­sis 1:1, when it states :

    Moon God Allah of Ancient Pagan Arabia? 26
    B’reshit bara ELOHIM et ha-shama’im, V’et ha-arets.
    In the begin­ning, God cre­at­ed the heav­ens and the earth.

While Chris­tians will for­ev­er spec­u­late on the word Elo­him”, hon­est Hebrew speak­ers would admit that this archa­ic word for God has a his­to­ry that is lost to us. The roy­al plu­ral­i­ty” hypoth­e­sis may be a pos­si­ble expla­na­tion for why the word is plur­al, but this seems to have been unknown to ear­ly Hebrew speak­ers (such as the Jew­ish mis­sion­ary who, accord­ing to the Kuzari, com­pet­ed with Mus­lims and Chris­tians to con­vert the king of the Khaz­ars in the eighth cen­tu­ry). It is dif­fi­cult how­ev­er to trans­late this word to gods,” as the Hebrew text con­ju­gates the verb to cre­ate” in the sin­gu­lar. Regard­less, this word Moon God Allah of Ancient Pagan Arabia? 27 (Elo­him) is a plur­al form of a more basic root-word for God, which is Moon God Allah of Ancient Pagan Arabia? 28 (eloh).

How­ev­er, if one were to find the word eloh (alef-lamed-heh) in an inscrip­tion writ­ten in paleo-Hebrew, Ara­ma­ic, or some sort of Nabatean script, it could be pro­nounced numer­ous ways with­out the dia­crit­i­cal marks to guide the read­er. This let­ter com­bi­na­tion (which can be pro­nounced alah) is the root for the verb to swear” or to take an oath,” as well as the verb to deify” or to wor­ship”, as can be seen as fol­lows2 :

    Moon God Allah of Ancient Pagan Arabia? 29

The root itself finds its ori­gin with an old­er root, el, which means God, deity, pow­er, strength, etc..

So one of the basic Hebrew words for God, eloh, can eas­i­ly be pro­nounced alah with­out the dia­crit­i­cal marks. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, the Ara­ma­ic word for God3 is (alah). This word, in the stan­dard script Standard script or the Estrangela script Estrangela script is spelled alap-lamad-heh (ALH), which are the exact cor­re­spond­ing let­ters to the Hebrew eloh. The Ara­ma­ic is close­ly relat­ed to the more ancient root word for God, eel.4 The Ara­bic word for God, Allah is spelled in a very sim­i­lar way, and is remote­ly relat­ed to the more gener­ic word for deity”: Moon God Allah of Ancient Pagan Arabia? 30 (ilah). The fol­low­ing entry from the B‑D-B demon­strates what has been dis­cussed above5 :

    Moon God Allah of Ancient Pagan Arabia? 31

An Ara­bic exam­ple was not­ed fur­ther down in the same entry, which is the sha­ha­da in Ara­bic6 :

    Moon God Allah of Ancient Pagan Arabia? 32

We are quick­ly start­ing to notice the obvi­ous lin­guis­tic and ety­mo­log­i­cal con­nec­tions between the respec­tive words for God in these close­ly relat­ed Semit­ic lan­guages (e.g. Allah, Alah, and Eloh being relat­ed to Ilah, Il, and El, respec­tive­ly). So, in con­clu­sion, if mono­lin­gual tri-the­ists want to claim that Allah/​Alah was the name of a trib­al moon god, and that wor­ship of such a deity is a gross pagan prac­tice, they should throw their Bibles in the dust­bin for includ­ing this deity in its text. They should also repu­di­ate Jesus(P) for call­ing on a ver­sion of this deity while on the cross (as per the Bib­li­cal account).

Inter­est­ing­ly enough, there is proof from var­i­ous Chris­t­ian sources that clear­ly demon­strates the above.

    Moon God Allah of Ancient Pagan Arabia? 33

The above lex­i­cal entry7 men­tions that Ezra and the Prophet Daniel called their God as Elah”. The pas­sage above is more than enough to counter the alle­ga­tion made by mis­guid­ed Chris­tians about Allah being a moon god. For, if Allah is the moon god, then what were Ezra and Daniel worshipping ?

Fre­quent­ly-Asked Questions

What does Allah” mean ?

Allah” is the Ara­bic word for God, used pre­dom­i­nant­ly in Islam to refer to the Supreme Being. It sig­ni­fies the sin­gu­lar, all-encom­pass­ing deity who is omnipo­tent, omni­scient, and mer­ci­ful. This term is deeply root­ed in the monothe­is­tic tra­di­tion of the Abra­ham­ic faiths, shar­ing ety­mo­log­i­cal ties with Hebrew and Ara­ma­ic names for God, such as Elo­him.”

Is Allah” a dif­fer­ent God from the one in Judaism and Christianity ?

No, Allah” is not a dif­fer­ent God. The term Allah” reflects the Islam­ic under­stand­ing of the one monothe­is­tic God who is also wor­shipped in Judaism and Chris­tian­i­ty. Despite the­o­log­i­cal and doc­tri­nal dif­fer­ences among these reli­gions, the con­cept of a sin­gu­lar divine cre­ator and sus­tain­er of the uni­verse is a shared tenet. The dif­fer­ences lie more in the attrib­ut­es and rev­e­la­tions asso­ci­at­ed with God across these faiths.

Did Allah” refer to a moon god in pre-Islam­ic Arabia ?

This is a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion. His­tor­i­cal and lin­guis­tic evi­dence strong­ly sug­gests that Allah” was a term used for the monothe­is­tic God in pre-Islam­ic Ara­bia, and there is no cred­i­ble evi­dence link­ing the wor­ship of Allah” exclu­sive­ly to a moon deity. The cres­cent moon sym­bol, often asso­ci­at­ed with Islam, was adopt­ed for its cul­tur­al sig­nif­i­cance much lat­er and does not imply moon worship.

How do lin­guis­tic stud­ies sup­port the con­nec­tion between Allah” and Elo­him”?

Lin­guis­tic stud­ies high­light the Semit­ic roots shared by the terms Allah” and Elo­him,” point­ing to a com­mon lin­guis­tic her­itage. Both terms orig­i­nate from the Pro­to-Semit­ic lan­guage, which is the ances­tral tongue of both Ara­bic and Hebrew. These stud­ies show­case how lan­guage evo­lu­tion and reli­gious expres­sion are inter­twined, reflect­ing a shared his­to­ry of monothe­is­tic belief across Semit­ic-speak­ing peoples.

Can under­stand­ing Allah” pro­mote inter­faith dialogue ?

Yes, a deep­er under­stand­ing of Allah” and its the­o­log­i­cal impli­ca­tions can sig­nif­i­cant­ly con­tribute to inter­faith dia­logue. Rec­og­niz­ing the shared monothe­is­tic foun­da­tion among Islam, Judaism, and Chris­tian­i­ty helps to bridge gaps of mis­un­der­stand­ing and fos­ters a respect­ful exchange of beliefs. Such dia­logue pro­motes mutu­al respect and high­lights com­mon­al­i­ties over differences.

Why is it impor­tant to cor­rect mis­con­cep­tions about Allah”?

Cor­rect­ing mis­con­cep­tions about Allah” is cru­cial for sev­er­al rea­sons. It pre­vents the spread of mis­in­for­ma­tion that can fuel prej­u­dice and mis­un­der­stand­ing. Addi­tion­al­ly, it helps to fos­ter an envi­ron­ment of respect and tol­er­ance among dif­fer­ent faith com­mu­ni­ties. Edu­cat­ing peo­ple about the true mean­ing and sig­nif­i­cance of Allah” con­tributes to a more informed and cohe­sive society.

How do Islam­ic teach­ings dif­fer­en­ti­ate the con­cept of Allah” from poly­the­is­tic beliefs ?

Islam­ic teach­ings strong­ly empha­size the one­ness of Allah,” cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly reject­ing any form of poly­the­ism or asso­ci­a­tion of part­ners with God. This prin­ci­ple, known as Tawhid, is cen­tral to Islam­ic belief and dis­tin­guish­es the con­cept of Allah” from poly­the­is­tic deities by affirm­ing God’s sin­gu­lar­i­ty, unique­ness, and sov­er­eign­ty over all cre­ation. The Quran and Hadiths (say­ings of the Prophet Muham­mad) explic­it­ly denounce poly­the­ism and under­score the impor­tance of monotheism.


A philo­soph­i­cal thinker was report­ed to have once said of the Chris­tians that they are reformed Jews and do not even know it. Indeed, much of Chris­tian­i­ty finds its roots in the Semit­ic world, yet the believ­ers of this reli­gion are noto­ri­ous for their inter­pre­ta­tions of the faith in a Euro­pean world view. This is the rea­son they would actu­al­ly try to find fault with a reli­gion that acknowl­edges the exis­tence of the exact same God they do ; this is the rea­son they would erro­neous­ly claim that Eloh, Alah, and Allah are dif­fer­ent Gods.

In giv­ing his con­clu­sions on the issue, the Bible schol­ar and mis­sion­ary Rick Brown admits that :

Those who claim that Allah is a pagan deity, most notably the moon god, often base their claims on the fact that a sym­bol of the cres­cent moon adorns the tops of many mosques and is wide­ly used as a sym­bol of Islam. It is in fact true that before the com­ing of Islam many gods” and idols were wor­shipped in the Mid­dle East, but the name of the moon god was Sîn, not Allah, and he was not par­tic­u­lar­ly pop­u­lar in Ara­bia, the birth­place of Islam.8

Michael Abd El Mas­sih, the direc­tor of Ara­bic Bible Out­reach, echoes the same point and asserts that :

It is an unproven the­o­ry, so it may well be false. Even if it turns out to be true, it has lit­tle bear­ing on the Mus­lim faith since Mus­lims do not wor­ship a moon god. That would be blas­phe­my in Islam­ic teach­ings. If we use the moon-god the­o­ry to dis­cred­it Islam, we dis­cred­it the Chris­t­ian Ara­bic speak­ing church­es and mis­sions through­out the Mid­dle East. This point should not be dis­count­ed light­ly because the word Allah is found in mil­lions of Ara­bic Bibles and oth­er Ara­bic Chris­t­ian mate­ri­als.9

The ques­tion of why Islam adopt­ed the cres­cent moon as its sym­bol, or why it uses the lunar cal­en­dar, is addressed in our com­pan­ion arti­cle What is the Sig­nif­i­cance of the Cres­cent Moon in Islam ?

And cer­tain­ly, only God knows best !Endmark

Cite Icon Cite This As : 
  1. Edward William Lane, An Ara­bic-Eng­lish Lex­i­con (Lon­don : Willams & Nor­gate, 1863), under the entry Allah” (Ar.)[]
  2. Milon Ben-Y’hu­daah, Ivri-Angli (Ben Yehu­da’s Hebrew-Eng­lish Dic­tio­nary), under ALEF LAMED HEH (ALH)[]
  3. Accord­ing to the Lex­i­con offered at http://​www​.peshit​ta​.org.[]
  4. Accord­ing to Robert Oshana’s Online Intro­duc­tion to Basic Assyr­i­an Ara­ma­ic, which is at http://​lear​nassyr​i​an​.com.[]
  5. Strong’s H433 entry /​Gese­nius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lex­i­con, retrieved from https://​www​.bluelet​ter​bible​.org/​l​a​n​g​/​l​e​x​i​c​o​n​/​l​e​x​i​c​o​n​.​c​f​m​?​S​t​r​o​n​g​s​=​H​0433&​V​e​r​s​i​o​n​=​KJV[]
  6. ibid.[]
  7. W.E. Vine, Mer­rill F. Unger, William White Jr., Vine’s Com­plete Expo­si­tion Dic­tio­nary, Thomas Nel­son Pub­lish­ers, Nashville, TN, 1996[]
  8. Rick Brown, Who Is Allah”?, Inter­na­tion­al Jour­nal of Fron­tier Mis­sions 23:2 (Sum­mer 2006), p. 79[]
  9. Michael Abd El Mas­sih, The word Allah and Islam”, in Ara­bic Bible Out­reach Min­istries [online doc­u­ment][]


  1. John Novak Reply

    Well we know that but the pagan­ist tribes that date back pre the Koran believed in a moon god and it is a know fact that the word Allah is the Ara­bic words but you have incor­po­rat­ed the moon god as a mono­lith­ic reli­gious belief using the Jew­ish and Chris­t­ian ideas but still believ­ing in the pagan pre Mus­lim trib­al beliefs because the god of the Koran is aloof and unap­proach­able where as the god of the old and New Tes­ta­ment is a car­ing and lov­ing god who pro­tects his chil­dren the god in the Koran basi­cal­ly relies on us to be wor­thy to be saved and the god of the Bible saves us because he loves us and does not require us to per­form any works or rit­u­al to show being wor­thy of sal­va­tion it is a free gift for Chris­tians thru Jesus Christ

  2. Dr.Robert Morey proves in his book that Allaah is the name of the moon god wor­shipped in Ara­bia before Islam. Is he right ?

    The book you refer to is enti­tled The Islam­ic Inva­sion : Con­fronting the World’s Fastest Grow­ing Reli­gion. The author, Dr.Robert Morey, sees Islam as an inva­sion into North Amer­i­ca and a threat to his reli­gious her­itage. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, Dr.Morey has resort­ed to dis­hon­est tac­tics in com­bat­ting Islam. To prove his con­tention that Allaah is not the God of Chris­tians and Jews, he quot­ed from sev­er­al books in such a dis­hon­est fash­ion that the quo­ta­tions say the oppo­site of what we find in those books.
    Dr.Morey quot­ed from the Ency­clo­pe­dia Bri­tan­ni­ca to sup­port his case. But in fact the Ency­clo­pe­dia says :

    Allaah is the stan­dard Ara­bic word for God” and is used by Arab Chris­tians as well as by Mus­lims” (Bri­tan­ni­ca, 1990 Edi­tion, vol.1, p.276).

    Dr.Morey also quot­ed from H.A.R.Gibb to sup­port his case. But Gibb actu­al­ly says the oppo­site. In his book Mohammedanism, Gibb says on page 26 that both Muham­mad and his oppo­nents believed in the exis­tence of a supreme God Allaah.” Gibb fur­ther explained this on pages 37 – 38. Dr.Morey should have checked his ref­er­ences more care­ful­ly before his book went into print.

    Dr.Morey said that Alfred Guil­laume agrees with him, and he refers to page 7 of Alfred Guillaume’s book enti­tled Islam. But here is what Alfred Guil­laume actu­al­ly says on page 7 of his book :

    In Ara­bia Allaah was known from Chris­t­ian and Jew­ish sources as the one God, and there can be no doubt what­ev­er that he was known to the pagan Arabs of Mec­ca as the supreme being.” How could Dr.Morey Mis­quote like this ?

    Dr.Morey quot­ed from page 28 of a book by anoth­er non-Mus­lim writer Cae­sar Farah. But when we refer to that book we find that Dr.Morey gave only a par­tial quo­ta­tion which leaves out the main dis­cus­sion. The book actu­al­ly says that the God who was called II by the Baby­lo­ni­ans and El by the Israelites was called ilah, al-ilah, and even­tu­al­ly Allaah in Ara­bia. Farah, says fur­ther on page 31 that before Islam the pagans had already believed that Allaah is the supreme deity. Of course they had 360 idols, but, con­trary to Dr.Morey’s asser­tion, Allaah was nev­er one of the 360 idols. As Cae­sar Farah points out on page 56, the prophet Muham­mad, on whom be peace, per­son­al­ly destroyed those idols.

    Dr.Morey also quot­ed from William Mont­gomery Watt. But Watt says on page 26 of his book that the Ara­bic word Allaah is sim­i­lar to the Greek term ho theos which we know is the way God is referred to in the New Testament.

    Dr.Morey quot­ed from Ken­neth Cragg’s book enti­tled The Call of the Minaret. How­ev­er, on page 36 of Ken­neth Cragg’s book we find the fol­low­ing : Since both Chris­t­ian and Mus­lim faiths believe in One supreme sov­er­eign Cre­ator-God, they are obvi­ous­ly refer­ring when they speak of Him, under what­ev­er terms, to the same Being.”

    Fur­ther on the same page, Cragg explains that the One whom the Mus­lims call Allaah is the same One whom the Chris­tians call the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ although the two faiths under­stand Him differently.

    Dr.Morey should know that as a schol­ar he has the aca­d­e­m­ic oblig­a­tion to quote hon­est­ly. He should also know that as a fol­low­er of Jesus, on whom be peace, he has an oblig­a­tion to speak the truth.

  3. soccer is the best (AK47) Reply

    oufff this will show the mis­sion­ar­ies wats true :D

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