No Allah but Allah

The word Allah means 'a God" in Arabic. If Allah means God why do Muslims say ,"there is no God but Allah.? Why not say "there is no Allah but Allah? I hear that said in America, I don’t know about anywhere else. What I’m talking about is English. It sounds like Allah is the name of the Muslim god when it is said like that.

The word “allah” simply means “god” in Arabic, and has been adopted by Jews and Christians as well as Muslims to refer to the God they all believe in. So, in the shahada, one is saying “There is no god but God…”. The explanation for this seemingly odd phrasing is as follows (taken from post #9 of this thread):

The shahada–Islam’s profession of faith and verbal baptism–was first composed in Arabic. A translation of the formula into English which is faithful to the original structure will be “There is no god but God…”.

Even in today’s Modern Standard Arabic, the most eloquent manner of rendering the notion of “only” is to employ the phrase “not… except”. So, a statement like “The only thing left in my fridge is a jar of fig jam” in English would become something like “Nothing is left in my fridge except a jar of fig jam” in Arabic.

(I never expected to find such an obscure point of Arabic grammar to be helpful in a discussion on CAF!)

I have heard that it can mean there is no Diety but Allah. It is pronounced different in Arabic


Allah is no more a proper name for God in Arabic than ‘God’ is a proper name for God in English. Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians also call God ‘Allah.’ As far as I’m concerned, Muslims worship the same God as I do.

The proper way to transliterate is like so:

La illaha ill’Allah.

The word for “god” or “deity” is “illah” and “Allah” is actually a contraction of “al-illah” - “The God”.

There is no god/deity but Allah.

The question is why not say “there is no Allah but Allah” in English? If your saying “there is no God but Allah” it sounds like Gods name is Allah.

But you say God is God, not God is Allah. The bible doesn’t indicate that a new revelation was given to Muhammed about the nature of God and how he operates.

By this standard, those who come from primarily English speaking countries really celebrate a pagan deity on Easter instead of the resurrection of Christ. After all, if it was about God, English speakers wouldn’t use a word based on a pagan deity to identify the day.

Allah simply means God. You should be well aware given previous threads you engaged in on the subject of that and well aware it does not refer to some deity amongst a pantheon of Gods. Islam is monotheistic and not henotheistic or polytheist in it’s view of God.

No, the proper translation avoiding Arabisms would be “there is no god but God.”

You have been told what Muslims mean by it. Now we will see whether your question was sincere or just a shoddy talking point.


I’ve said over and over that Allah means God and it is not polytheistic belief system. I am not addressing that. A Muslim person will say in English “there is no God but Allah.” I just want to know, if when speaking English, why they can’t say “there is no Allah but Allah.” Is there something wrong saying it that way? And what is the reason? Apparently there is because it is not said that way.

Thats not the question. I know “God” is of German origin , from “Gott”. Why must there be a linguistic mixture? If God and Allah are the same (in meaning they are). Why use one language that designates God in English, then one that designates him in Arabic? Whats wrong with "No Allah but Allah?

“Shoddy talking point”? You have some nerve coming off to me like that. Have I addressed you in that manner my brother? I’ve said over and over I know the the meaning of “there is no God but God”. Your not understanding the question.

I’m sorry–you’re right that I should have spoken more courteously.

“Allah” does not mean “a deity in the general sense.” “Allah” means “the true God.” So when Muslims say “there is no god but Allah” they mean “there is no deity except the One True God.”

So it would make no sense to say “there’s no Allah except Allah.” “Allah” is not a word that Muslims would use for “a god”–a being people worship, including false gods as well as the true God. “Allah” is the word Muslims use for the One True God.

They certainly could say “there’s no g/God but God.” And many of them do. But Muslims, like members of many other religious traditions, tend to be linguistically conservative when using sacred terms. Bear in mind that they don’t think the Qur’an can, strictly speaking, be translated. Arabic is a sacred language for them so they tend to use Arabic terms when speaking of sacred things.


Thats the clearest answer I’ve gotten to date. To be honest though,"there is no God but God makes more sense to me (no matter how you translate it) than “there is no deity but God.” . Thank you.

There is no God but Allah is.I do not know where

Kind of like the Jehovah Witness…there is no God but Jehovah.:slight_smile:

Good point.

I am not an expect in this but my understanding of the muslim view of Allah is non-trinitarian and the No Allah but one Allah is stating this. The Muslim view of God is not the same as the Christian trinitarian view. I may be out on a limb on this but this saying may be a mimic of the Jewish Shema which quotes Deuteronomy 6:4 which says "Hear, O Israel, The Lord is our God the Lord alone! (or one based on the translation).

There is more to it than that. Declaring that Allah is God there is an inherent relationship that is inferred. For the Muslim the relationship is Master/Slave. For the Jew the God of the Jew is not Father but rather God of Nations. Hear O Israel the Lord Our God is one was the notion that God was only for the Jew and Paul pointed out in the letter to the Romans that God is God of all and is impartial. The notion of God as Father/Son is Christian.

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