IMO, they seem to lost touch with the rest of the earth.
A youtube video of a Yemeni Jew explaining the etymology of Eloh / Allah
Etymology of the world Allah:
Both Eloh and Allah shares the same root: Eloh (Alef Lameh Heh) , Allah (Alif Lam Ha).
Where do you think the name of several of our prophets and angels derived from? .. its 'El' !! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophory_in_the_Bible
Elias (Ilyas) – Whose God is the Lord
Elisha (Ilyasa') – Salvation of God
Gabriel (Jibril) – Strong one of God
Ishmael (Ismail) – Heard by God
Michael (Mikail) – Who is like God?
So on what basis that the word Allah is reserved for the Muslims? , its not, and never was. The word Allah or Eloh, by meaning can be translated to 'The GOD' , 'The Highest GOD', or 'The One GOD'.
The name of the father of Prophet Muhammad was Abdullah. Which means 'Servant of Allah' or 'Servant of GOD'. However, that period of time, was way before the Prophet ministry was even started, but the word 'Allah' was already there, used by the polytheist arabs to refer to The Highest GOD in their polytheist society. They even went too far by assigning daughters to Allah (Al-'Uzza, al-Lat and Manah).
Theres verses in the Quran that criticises their actions of assigning daughters to GOD (all instances of the word GOD in the verses below were translated from the word 'Allah')
God says: 'Take not to you two gods. He is only One God; so have awe of Me.'. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and earth; His is the Way forever. Then will you fear other than God? Whatsoever blessing you have, it comes from God; then when affliction visits you it is unto Him that you groan. Then, when He removes the affliction from you, lo, a party of you assign associates to their Lord, that they may show unthankfulness for that We have given them. So take your joy; certainly you will soon know! And they appoint a share of that We have provided them to what they know not. By God, you shall be questioned as to that you forged. And they assign daughters for God! - Glory be to Him! - and for themselves, what they desire! and when any of them is given the good tidings of a girl, his face is darkened and he chokes inwardly, as he hides him from the people because of the evil of the good tidings that have been given unto him, whether he shall preserve it in humiliation, or trample it; into the dust. Ah, evil is that they judge! Those who believe not in the world to come, theirs is the evil likeness; God's is the loftiest likeness; He is the All-mighty, the All-wise.
In case some of you does not understood the context of the final part of the verses:: Back in those days ,the polytheist arabs killed their daughters , and kept their sons, seeing daughters as a bringer of bad luck but despite that, they assigned to GOD several daughters!!. The verses above criticised their actions.
So, the word 'Allah' was not introduced after Prophet Muhammad started preaching, thus, not reserved for only the Muslims, it simply word to refer to GOD in the Arabic language!. Even the Bible in Arab countries uses the word Allah to refer to Eloh.
Some argued that the actions might confuses Muslims to be converted to Christianity, but my take on it, it works both ways, it also makes it easier for Muslims to do Da'wah to the People of The Book. While this side of the world trying to keep the word Allah exclusive to Muslims, our brothers in the west are trying their best to make people understand that the word Allah simply means The One GOD, The Highest GOD, of which all of us Believers (both the Muslims and the People of The Book) worship, and Allah is not some sort of a different GOD or diety.
People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not, 'Trinity.' Refrain; better is it for you. God is only ONE God. Glory be to Him -- That He should have a son! To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth; God suffices for a guardian.
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is ONE LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is, `Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is ONE; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'
Say: He is GOD, the One and Only; GOD, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor begotten. There is nothing comparable to Him.
Say: 'People of the Book! Come now to a word common between us and you, that we serve none but GOD, and that we associate not aught with Him, and do not some of us take others as Lords, apart from GOD.' And if they turn their backs, say: 'Bear witness that we are people who submit (to GOD).'
Peace be unto you (english)
Salam Alaikum (arabic)
Shallom Aleichem (hebrew)
GOD Knows Best
For those who want to study Quran: I recommend Zekr. Recommended Translations : YusufAli, Arberry, AhmadAli, Pickthall, and Shakir. Or you can use the Online Quran Project. Do note that, in my opinion, if compared with the English translations, the Malay translations are very poorly done. You might not want to use it.
Similarly, download Xiphos if you want to study the Torah and Gospels. Or you can use Al-Kitab online
- Added a link which shows Allah (Alif-Lam-Lam-Ha) being used in arabic bible
- Added excerpt from Al-I-Imran 3:64
- Added link to Zekr and Xiphos