Last night I was reading a booklet on how to share the gospel with Muslims. The booklet stated this:
When we witness to Muslims, we may safely use the name “Allah” for God. It is the name Arab Christians use, and to use any other name would only bring confusion and be a disadvantage in our witness. The Muslim’s concept of Allah is incomplete. (emphasis mine)
Kinda stops you right in your tracks, doesn’t it? It did me.
Names are more than just a better way of calling out “hey you!” Names have significant meanings as to the attributes and character of the person to whom they are given. This is something forgotten in our day, but it is very important. We see this throughout the bible. More importantly we see this as a way to know and understand the very character of God.
Exodus 2:13 Then Moses said to God, “indeed when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, What is His name? what shall I say to them?”
14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.”
15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel” The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Issac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations. (NASB states ..”this is My memorial-name to all generations.”)
Allah can never make these claims. He is not the I AM. He is not the God of Abraham, Issac or Jacob. Thus his name and the claims behind it could never be a memorial-name to all generations.
Allah may be known in the Qu’ran as the Supreme One, but He is not the I AM. Nor is he truly supreme either, but that’s the ego of satan who got kicked out of heaven for believing he would ascend the throne of the Most High – Isaiah 14:14. See a similarity in the claims here?
A note regarding the scripture referenced above from the NASB states – The phrase “I AM: in Hebrew is closely related to God’s personal name (Ex 6:3 Jehovah or Yahweh or YHWH) which occurs more than 6,000 times in the O.T. Though the meaning is not completely clear to scholars, it seems to suggest the timelessness of God, the very foundation of all existence. Perhaps there is a hint to this in Rev. 1:4 “from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come.” Jesus probably alluded to this in John 8:58 “Before Abraham was born, I AM.” Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever (Heb. 13:8).
7:14″Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (The literal meaning God with us) See also Matthew 1:23
9:6 And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…”,
God is known by many other names that tell us who He is – El Elyon, the Most High; El Shaddai, Almighty God or God, all powerful and all sufficient; Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who sees, or the Lord will see to it; Jehovah Rophi, the Lord who heals; Jehovah Makkeh, the Lord who smites, Jehovah Tsebaioth, the Lord of Hosts. (Information taken from Knowing God by Name, David Wilkerson).
Jesus, highly exalted, the name above all names – Philippians 2:9; Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved – Acts 4:10-12.
As you can see and probably already are aware, God has many, many names. None of them being Allah. The names of God tell us who He is. In the same manner we can see who Allah is by the Qu’ran in which he commissions his people to kill all non-believers. He has no love for Jews or Christians whatsoever. We can see it in the news as nearly everyday someone is murdered at the hands of the followers of Allah who claim him to be great.
God does not command that His people kill unbelievers, but that we love them and show them the way to salvation through Jesus Christ. God is one of love and compassion. Allah is one of hatred, death and utter destruction. There can be no confusing the two. “God” is not the English equivalent of Allah.
I am sure whoever wrote this booklet did so with good intentions. Maybe the author was taking information from another source and hadn’t bothered to check it for himself. I certainly know what it is like to take someone who is trusted at their word. But, this author is completely mistaken. The claim that we may safely call Jehovah Allah is a pretty scary idea that should make any Christian shudder in unbelief! Someone needs to warn Arab Christians calling Jehovah God “Allah” is nothing short of blasphemy. He is not the great I AM. He is not the God of their salvation.