Arabic word for god

ʾIlāh (Arabic: إله; plural: آلهة ʾālihat) is an Arabic term meaning "god". In Arabic, ilah refers to anyone or anything that is worshipped.[1] The feminine is ʾilāhat (إلاهة, meaning "goddess"); with the article, it appears as al-ʾilāhat (الإلاهة). The Arabic word for God (Allāh) is thought to be derived from it (in a proposed earlier form al-Lāh) though this is disputed.[2][3] ʾIlāh is cognate to Northwest Semitic ʾēl and Akkadian ilum. The word is from a Proto-Semitic archaic biliteral ʔ-L meaning "god" (possibly with a wider meaning of "strong"), which was extended to a regular triliteral by the addition of a h (as in Hebrew ʾelōah, ʾelōhim). The word is spelled either إلٰه with an optional diacritic alif to mark the ā only in Qur'anic texts or (more rarely) with a full alif, إلاه.

The term is used throughout the Quran in passages discussing the existence of God or the beliefs in other divinities by non-Muslims. Notably, the first statement of the šahādah (the Muslim confession of faith) is "There is no god (ʾilāh) except the God (Allāh)."

See also

  • Al-Lat
  • El (deity)
  • Elohim
  • Arabian mythology
  • Dingir


  • Georgii Wilhelmi Freytagii, Lexicon Arabico-Latinum. Librairie du Liban, Beirut, 1975.
  • J. Milton Cowan, The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. 4th edn. Spoken Language Services, Ithaca (NY), 1979.
  1. ^ Wehr, Hans (1979). A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3-447-02002-2.
  2. ^ Zeki Saritoprak (2006). "Allah". In Oliver Leaman (ed.). The Qur'an: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 34. ISBN 9780415326391.
  3. ^ Vincent J. Cornell (2005). "God: God in Islam". In Lindsay Jones (ed.). Encyclopedia of Religion. Vol. 5 (2nd ed.). MacMillan Reference USA. p. 724.

External links

Look up Reconstruction:Proto-Semitic/ʾil- in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

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