Professor Max Fuller in his Hibbert Lectures said: “Religion is not a new invention. It is, if not as old as the world, at least as old as the world we know. There never was a false god nor was there ever a false religion, unless you call a child a false man. All religion, so far as I know them, had the same purpose. all were links in a chain which connects heaven and earth, and which held, and always was held, by one and the same hand.”
This is truly a very charitable attitude; truly Islamic. God tells us in the Quran: “And there never was a people without a warner having lived among them (in the past). (Quran 35:24)
“And to every nation there was (sent) a guide.” (Quran 13:7)
God not partial
If God is not partial to His creatures with regard to material blessings like – fresh-air, rain, sun- shine etc., why should He be partial in regard to His spiritual blessings (The Guidance of God)? He has not been partial! There is no nation or language group on earth who does not know God by some name. This knowledge was given by the Creator Himself through the lips of His chosen messengers. The names of a very few of these messengers we know, the rest have been lost or clouded in superstition. Though all theology (knowledge of God) originated with God, mankind played fast and loose with those pure and holy concepts, adding frills and adornments where no embellishments was needed – it despoiled the language.
In the words of Mrs. Ellen G. White, a “prophetess” of the 7th Day Adventist Movement, in her Bible Commentary it is said: “Learned men had in some instances changed the words, thinking that they were making it plain, when in reality they were mystifying that which was plain.” In the Religious Annals of the world, the Jewish and Christian Scriptures called the Holy Bible abound with graphic examples of portraying God after man’s own pattern:
“Imperfect descriptions of God like a man and The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.” (Genesis 11:5)
Moses sees God’s back parts? “and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: But my face shall not be seen.” (exodus 33:23)
Wrestles with Jacob “And He (God) said, thy name shall be called no more lacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and has prevailed.” (Genesis 32:28)
Like one drunk “Then the Lord awakened as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.” (Psalm 78:65)
Regrets making man “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” (Genesis 6:6)
Smells sweet flavour “And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart…” (Genesis 8:21)
A crouching lion “He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up?” (Numbers 24:9)
Devouring fire “And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.” (Exodus 24:17)
Rested and refreshed “… in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” (Exodus 31:17)
“and was refreshed”: to commemorate the Sabbath because God became tired and needed to be rejuvenated after His six days of hard labour – Is a standing insult to God. Quran says “No slumber can seize Him nor sleep… His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them” (Quran 2:255)
Out of the Encyclopedia of 73 Books of the Roman Catholics and 66 Books of the Protestants called the “Bible” (read ‘Is The Bible word of God’), endless number of quotations can be culled to fill a book larger than this publication to illustrate man’s various imperfect descriptions of God. The above examples will suffice, I hope.
In the realm of the spirit, no nation has had as much opportunities as the children of Israel. And despite repeated warnings to the effect that: ‘Thy God is a jealous God, He shall have no other God before Him, not even of the likeness of the things on earth, or in the heavens above, or in the waters beneath the sea” (Exodus 20:3-5)
They took the golden calf for worship, and again and again reverted into idolatry. Nor is the bulk of Christendom any freer from this taint. Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, or St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome and you will have very little to distinguish them from the Temple of Somnath in India. It is a question of Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. (Two characters from English Fairy Tales, who were identical in appearance)
You do not really have to go to England or Italy to verify my statement. Why not an inspection in loco to an Anglican or a Roman Catholic Cathedral in your own town.
The concepts God
In the religious terminology of the world, we will find that every “son of man” in his own way, in his own dialect has given some beautiful attributive name for the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth.
The Zulu concept
In South Africa, the Zulus, a very virile and militant people – a nation akin to the Qureish of pre- Islamic Arabia – have given a name to God – ‘uMvelinqangi’. This word when properly articulated in its own dialect sounds identical to the Arabic word Walla-hu-gani, meaning – “And Allah is Rich” (Bounteous). It also sounds like “Allegany” of the Red Indians of North America (remember their allegany mountain).
The Origin or real meaning of the word “Allegany,” is not commonly known to the American people. But ask any Zulu as to who or what this uMvelinqangi is and he will surely explain to you in Zulu: “Hawu uMnimzani! uyena, umoya oingcwele. Akazali yena, futhi akazalwanga; futhi, akukho lutmo olu fana naye.”
This is almost a word for word translation in chapter 112 of Quran:
“Say: He is Allah the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten: and there is none like unto Him.” (Quran 112:1- 4)
Now, compare the above verses with the translation of what the Zulu actually said: “Oh Sir! He is a pure and Holy Spirit, He does not beget and He is not begotten, and further there is nothing like Him.”
Every African tribe, South of the Zambesi River, that is, in Southern Africa, have given different names to the – Tixo, Modimo, uNkulunkulu, etc., and each and every African language group will take pains to explain the same pure and holy concept as the Zulu.
It is to the glory of the African nations that though they had no written languages, and hence no written records, therefore not being able to recount the names of their respective prophets, yet not a single one of the tribes ever stooped down to worshipping idols or images of either of men or animals, until the White man first introduced his religion and gave the African his anthropomorphic concept of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, and brought the African down to bowing before the statues of Jesus, Mary, St. Joseph, St. Christopher & so on.
Out of the dozens of African tribes inhabiting this part of the world, not a single one of them ever made “umfanegisos” (images) of their God. Yet they were capable of carving out of wood, elephants and lions, and reproducing men and women also, in clay. Besides, the Zulus also had some knowledge of metallurgy. When questioned an old Zulu as to the reason, why the Africans did not make umfanegisos of their Gods, he replied, “How could we make images of Him (God) when we know that He is not like a man, He is not like a monkey, or an elephant or a snake: He is not like anything we can think of or imagine. He is a pure and Holy Spirit.”
Like the Arabs
This term, uMvelinqangi, though well known to the Zulus, was not commonly used. Again they were like the pagan Qureish of Pre-Islamic Arabia who knew the name Allah, but passed Him by, because they felt that He was too High, too Pure, too Holy to be approached, so they went for their substitutary and imaginary Gods – their Al- Lats, AI-Uzzas and Al-Manats and a hundred besides.
The Zulus too would not call upon uMvelinqangi directly, but he was better than the Arab of the Ayyam-ul-jahiliyya (days of ignorance), because he did not go after false Gods; he only invoked the spirits of his ancestors to intercede with uMvelinqangi on his behalf, exactly as the Catholics do in invoking the Virgin Mary and the Saints.
The more common term used by the Zulus for their God is uNkulunkulu which literally means – the Greatest of the Great or the Mightiest of the Mighty. More colloquially when taking oath, they would exclaim “iNkosi phe-Zulu” meaning – the Lord Above (knows), or the God in Heaven (knows), or Heaven knows, that I am speaking the truth. The word “zulu” in the language of the Zulu literally means High Heaven, and they consider themselves to be superior to the numerous other tribes of Southern Africa, being in this respect like the Querish among the dwellers of the desert before Islam.
Concept from the East
The Hindi word for God is Pramatma. In Sanskrit, the language of ancient India, “Atma” meant the soul, and “Pram-atma” meant the Great and Holy Soul, or the Holy Spirit, which is really a beautiful description of the “Father” in Heaven. The Bible says, “God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth” (John 4:24)
Not in form, shape or size, but in spirit. Despite his pantheistic interpretation of the Divinity, the name the Hindu gives the Supreme Being, in his classical language, is OM (Aum), which means Guardian or Protector. A very suitable attribute about which the Muslim can have no misgivings.
“Pantheism:” a doctrine in which people believe that God is everything, and everything is God. The Muslim puts the right emphasis when he says – “everything is god’s!” Do you realise the stupendous difference this apostrophe ‘s makes to the concept of God?
Concept from the West
The Anglo/Saxon and the Teuton in their own and other allied European languages call their object of worship “God” or words of similar sound and import, i.e. God in English; Got in Afrikaans (the language of the descendants of the Hollandse people in South Africa);
Gott in German; and Gudd in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian languages.
The ancient Phoenicians called their God – Allon – (not far from Allah if we could only hear it articulated), and the Canaanites Ado. The Israelites not only shared the word EL with the original people of Palestine, but borrowed the name of their chief deity – Ado and turned it into Adonai, and everywhere the four-letter word Yhwh occurred in their Holy Scriptures, they read “Adonai” instead of “Yahuwa.” You will not fail to notice the resemblance between the Jewish Adonai and the heathen Adonis. Adonis was a “beautiful Godling loved by Venus” in the Greek pantheon.
The Latin concept
In the Latin-dominated languages of Western Europe, where Latin had remained dominant in learning and diplomacy for centuries, the chief term used for God is Deus: Deus in Portuguese; Dieu in French; Dio in Italian; Dies in Spanish; Dia in Scotch and Irish; and Duw in Welsh.
Surprisingly in all the languages above, Deus and all the similar sounding words mean heaven.
Moulana Vidyarthi, in his monumental work – “Muhammad in World Scriptures,” (No student of Comparative Religion can afford to be without this book. It may become your priceless heir-loom) devotes a hundred pages to the names of God in the different languages. And out of a list of 155 attributive names, over 40 of them use the word “Heaven” or the “Above,” in their language in describing God. Though the Muslim chants the Asma-ul-husna (the most beautiful names), 99 as derived from the Quran with the crowning name, Allah; “Heaven” is not one of those ninety-nine attributes. Symbolically, heaven may be described as the abode of God, and in the words of Wordsworth in Tintern Abbey:
“Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean and the living air, and in the blue sky, and in the mind of man: A motion and a spirit that impels all thinking things, all objects of all thoughts, and rolls through all things.”
Concept from beyond the far East
Among all the 155 tantalising names of God in the various tongues, the one that tickled me most was – “ATNATU!” – and this I have adopted as a title of my book, instead of the original title promised – “What is His Name!” for this present publication.
What is so funny or so novel about Atnatu?
The aborgine of South Australia calls his God “Atnatu” because some philosopher, poet or prophet had programmed him, that the Father in Heaven is absolutely free from all needs; He is independent; He needs no food nor drink. This quality, in his primitive, uninhibited language, he conversely named ATNATU, which literally meant “the One without an anus – the One without any flaw” – i.e. the One from Whom no impurity flows or emanates.
When I started sharing this novel idea with Hindu, Muslim and Christian friends, without exception, their immediate reaction was one of mirth, they giggled and laughed. Most of them not realising that the joke was on them. The boot was on the other foot. Though the word “anus” is a very small word, only four letters in English, most people have not heard it. One is forced to use the colloquial substitute which I hesitate to reproduce here, nor will I use the same in public meetings because of people’s hypersensitivity:
– Because in the words of Abdullah Yusuf All, people “Had perverted their language once beautiful, into jargons of empty elegance and unmeaning futility.”
Therefore to ease the situation, in a round-about-way let us say that where you have an “input,” you must allow for an “output.” The one who eats, must have the call of nature – the toilet or the bush – and our primitive friend smelt the need, which he could never attribute to his Creator. Therefore, he called his God – ATNATU! ‘The one without the excretory system or its tail end.
God eats not!
This novel concept of God by primitive man, is not really altogether novel. God conveys the same truth to mankind, as in His Last and Final Revelation – The Quran – but in a language so noble, so sublime, as befitting its Author. But because of its very finesse, and refined manner of expression we have overlooked the Message. We are commanded to say to all those who wish to wean us from the worship of the One True God
“Say: shall I take for my protector any but Allah the Originator of the Heavens and the Earth? when it is He Who feeds but Has no need to be fed.” (Quran 6:14)
In other words, we are made to declare that – “We will not take anyone as our Lord and Protector, other than Allah, Who is the wonderful Originator of the universe.” And if any have misgivings about his so called “man-Gods” or “God-men,” then bring him down to earth, for our God is the One who feeds but is not fed. (Feedeth but is not fed: true, both literally and figuratively) He is not, in need of food. Does your man-God eat? Or doesn’t he? If he does, then he MUST submit to the call of nature – Our God Eats Not! How simple the logic, yet how stupendous the argument. Alas! We need primitive man to remind us of the potency of our weapons. We have lost the art or the knack of propagation, because for a good many centuries we have stopped preaching Islam to those around us.
The Christians are knocking at our doors. Only the spiritually blind and the “ostriches” in our midst cannot see. Kuwait had just one Arab Christian family about fifty years ago. Today there are 35 Churches in that little country. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian sect which originated in the USA a hundred years ago, are claiming that the 2nd largest group of Jehovah’s Witnesses outside their country of origin, is the Muslim country of Nigeria.
In Indonesia, the largest Muslim populated country in the world, there are over 6000 full-time Christian missionaries (Muballighs), not priests, parsons or ministers attached to their respective Churches, but propagators (Crusaders) of their Faith to the non-Christians – harassing “the heathen,” as they call them.
These Christians missionaries have more private air-strips of their own than the Indonesian Government has. They have mission ships that anchor off the islands, because Indonesia is a country of over 2000 islands, which have no harbour or docking facilities. They invite the native for refreshment and entertainment on board the ship and subtly initiate them into their blasphemy. In their operation code named “over-kill,” they are aiming to make Indonesia a Christian Nation by the turn of the century.
Of the over 60 000 missionaries raising dust throughout the world, more than half of them occupied in Africa. Africa the only Muslim continent today, is now being assailed by these modern day Crusaders who aim at making it a Christian continent, this again, by the turn of the century. Our armour, sword and shield in this battle of Faiths are in the Quran, we have been chanting it for centuries to accumulate sawab (spiritual blessings) only; but now we must bring them forth into the battlefield.
Did Jesus eat food?
“Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a saintly woman. They both ate earthly food.
see! How clear we make for them our messages. Yet see! How they are deluded away from the truth,” (Quran 5:78)
The House of Islam acknowledges that Jesus Christ, the son of Mary was one of the mightiest of Messengers of God. It acknowledges that he was born miraculously, without any male intervention; that he was the Messiah; that he gave life to the dead, by God’s permission; and that he healed the blind and the lepers, by God’s permission – but did he not eat food? “And they gave him (Jesus) a piece of broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he (Jesus) took it, and did eat before them.” – (Luke 24:42-43)
Further, the mother of Jesus was a woman of truth, a pious and saintly woman – but did she not eat food? Can’t you see the implications? Do we need an Australoid (the aborigine of South Africa) to remind us? Indeed, we do! In this battle for the hearts and minds of people, we need his “Atnatu.” In his simple rustic language, in his childish puerile way, he is telling the world that his God eats not. That the one who eats can never be his God, because he would not be ATNATU. Our primitive brother had no inhibitions. He called a spade a spade.
The Westerner is an adept at concocting names. When he invented the incandescent lamp, he called his light- bulbs or globes, “Mazda lamps.” Mazda happens to be the “God of light’ of the Zoroastrians. In South Africa today, the European is making a great success with the sale of his “Rama” Margarine. Rama happens to be the “man-God” of a substantial number of our population here. The white man calls himself, Christian, because he is a worshipper of Christ. He calls the worshipper of Buddha a Buddhist, and with the same logic he calls the Muslim a “Mohammedan” presuming that he is a worshipper of Muhammad. But the fact of the matter is, there is no such creature among the thousand million Muslims of the world.
Let us assume that there were such a lunatic, a worshipper of Muhammad who would in his misguided zeal be called a “Mohammedan.” Now if this so-called “Mohammedan,” in his zeal, went among the primitives of South Australia and with all fan-fare preached his “Mohammedenism,” urging this poor, backward nation, and asked them to accept Muhammad as their God. You could then well imagine this child of nature asking our deluded brother, “Was Muhammad ‘Atnatu’?” The answer will of course be, “No!;” even from our lunatic. What about the heroes and heroines of the world who are worshipped today by the millions of civilised men and women in our own day?
Present your candidates one by one to the native – Why don’t you try with your real or imagined “man- Gods” or “Goddesses” – and he will hit you for a “sixer” (over the boundary, as in cricket) every time with his “boomerang,” with his “ATNATU!” Is he not higher in his concept of God than the millions in Europe and America, and in Asia and Africa?
Progress in regression!
Just picture the American who lands on the moon, and his tribe who sit at home monitoring happenings on the lunar surface and also in the world by means of their satellites, like “Gods” with a finger on every pulse. Marvelous, isn’t it? Remember the Bay of Bengal Tragedy? The Americans warned Pakistan about the impending tidal wave. Remember the Ramadan War in 1973? The Americans warned Israel that the Arabs were on the move. But neither heeded the warning.
These same Americans, despite all their depravity wield a power greater than all the “man-Gods” put together. Yet this mighty nation and their counterparts in Europe and the world, are worshipping men and monkeys – Nay! The very devil himself (“The Satan Cult”) How is, this possible? “Shaitan (Satan) has made their deeds fair seeming to them. And he (the devil) is their patron today.” (Quran 16:63)
Hero and Hero-worshipping is ingrained in man. If he will not worship God, then he will worship something else. But worship he must. What can be better than a handsome man or a beautiful woman, who is one of his own kind?
Anthropomorphism, a system in which man conceives of God after his own likeness is traditional. It is modern as well as ancient. Mankind thinks of God as one like himself, in his own image. Does not the Christian Bible say, in the very first chapter of the very first Book? “And God said, Let us make man in our own image” (Genesis 1:26)
As to the word “image,” God is not talking about a physical, human likeness, which is not far from a certain family of apes. Little wonder that Darwin claimed that the monkeys are our ancestors! No! We are made in the spiritual image of the Beneficent. We are one with Him in attributes. The Holy Prophet Muhammad said, ‘Imbue thyself with divine attributes.” As Allah is Holy, we must be holy. As He is just, justice being his attribute, we must imbibe justice. As He is Merciful, we must portray mercy, and so on with each of the 99 attributes of God from the Book of Allah – The Quran. None can be one with God physically, because He is not a physical Being.
The three hypostases of the trinity
The poor (Yes, spiritually. Because materially they are the most affluent people on earth) benighted Christians misunderstood the word “image” as well as the word “us” in the preceding quotation at the very beginning of the Bible. Christians interpret the word “us” to imply the existence of a combination of “Father, Son and Holy Ghost” of their Holy Trinity. They fail to realise that in Hebrew as well as in Arabic there are two types of plurals. There is a plural of numbers as well as that of respect and honour. Here is a plural of honour which you might not have noticed:
– The quotation from the Quran about Jesus and his mother, observe the words – “See! how clear we make for them our messages.” No Muslim ever understood by these plurals, a plurality in the Godhead, neither did any Christian Arab or Jew. Ask any Jew who knows Hebrew as to the number of Gods in his Hebrew “US” from the first chapter of his Torah, and he will confirm without any hesitation what I am telling you.
The Gods of Apartheid
Apartheid: A political philosophy of keeping races apart in South Africa. The deluded souls among mankind not only imagined God in their own likeness physically, but they also gave him a racial bias and racial characteristics: “Ethiop Gods have ethiop lips bronze cheeks and woolly hair; the Grecian gods are like the Greeks as keen-eyed, old and fair.” (Anonymous)
The Greeks and the Romans jettisoned their Minervas, Appolos and Hercules’ and opted for the newest of “man-Gods” two thousand years ago, namely, Jesus Christ. These Romans became the pioneers of their mythology couched in a fresh garb to the nations of Western Europe who were tiring of their Thors and Wodenses and so took on the new creed with alacrity.
In turn the Europeans inflicted their tri-theology on their colonies. They gave a man-God, more handsome than the “Gods” of the natives. And look how they have transformed him in pictures, sculptures and in the movies. He has blond hair, blue eyes, handsome angular features like those of Jeffrey Hunter in the film “King of Kings.” But no! He does not look anything like the Jew with his proverbial polly-nose. The new “God” is more English/German/Scandinavian, in his bone structure. A white, “man-God,” as against a blue “man-God.” (Rama and Krishna are usually painted blue in Hindu religious pictures).
Compare the portraitures and you will pity the subjected people for falling “out of the frying pan into the fire.”
Who is Jehovah?
Astonishing as it may sound, it is an admitted fact that prior to the sixteenth century, the word “Jehovah,” was unheard of. Whenever the origin of this word appeared in its true Hebrew form in Jewish Scriptures (read from right to left as in Arabic) Yet, Huh, Wav, Huh; or YHWH. these four letters were preceded by a substitute word “Adonai,” to warn the reader that the following word was not to be articulated.
The Jews took meticulous care in repeating this exercise in their “Book of God” six thousand, eight hundred and twenty-three times – interpolating the words “Adonai” or “Elohim.” They sincerely believed that this awesome name of God was never to be pronounced. This prohibition was no ordinary affair: it called for a penalty of death on one who dared to utter it, and this taboo has been more successful than all the “DO’s” and “DON’T’s” of the Ten Commandments put together.
If Jehovah is the name of God, and if the 27 Books of the New Testament were inspired by Him, then it is an anomaly of the highest order, that He (Jehovah) signally failed to have His Own Name recorded in “His Word” (N.T.) the Christian addition to the Jewish Bible. The Christians claim that they have in their possession over twenty-four thousand so-called “originals” of their Holy Write in the Greek language, and yet not a single parchment has “Jehovah” written in it. Curiously this “name of God” (?) has been sacrilegiously replaced by the Greek words kyrios and theos’, which mean ‘Lord’ and ‘God.’ Yet, miracle of miracles – Alleluya! – no devil or saint has been able to eliminate the word “Allah” from the so-called New Testament of the Christians.
New fangled doctrines
A hundred years ago, all of a sudden, more than a hundred new cults and denominations of Christiandom mushroomed in the United States of America. The Seventh Day Adventists, the Christian Scientists, the Menonites, the Christiadelphins, The Jehovah’s Witnesses and the like. The founder of the last named cult, a Judge Rutherford, about whom the orthodox Christians say that he was no “Judge.” This Judge was a voracious book-worm and a prolific writer. He stumbled across the word “Jehovah” which tickled him immensely, and he made a religion out of it.
Judge Rutherford, followed by Charles T. Russell created a new “church,” which in its system of organisation and administration is second to none in the world. There is very much we Muslims can learn from their enthusiasm and methodology. Read, “Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave” by Schelin. It is not their theology I am enamoured with but their modus operandi (the way they operate).
Read, how this incorrigible sect came very close to conquering Germany before Hitler. Read, about their second come- back in West Germany. Think, why they are making a most concerted effort in Nigeria. Will the system or religion that prevails in Nigeria, be ultimately the norm of the rest of Africa! This giant is the hero of the majority of the African people south of the Sahara. Muslims must reflect.
The “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” have made the most phenomenal progress of all the religious sects of the past hundred years, on a percentage basis. The Bahaies are moving at a snails-pace in comparison, actually receding in ratio with the other Christian off-shoots. These “Witnesses” are the fittest in their fight against the other Christians as well as against the Muslims. Simply because they programme themselves five times a week in their “Kingdom Halls,” and what they learn they implement during the week-ends.
We Muslims are supposed to be “programmed” five times a day in our daily Salaat, but we have lost the true purpose of this Pillar of Islam. Our Salaat is for earning Sawaab (spiritual blessings) only. They have made the word Jehovah famous.
They knock at people’s doors, asking the question – “What is His Name?” The orthodox Christian replies – “God.” They say, “God is not a name, it is an object of worship. What’s His Name?” “Father,” says the orthodox as a second try. “Is your father God?” Of course not! So what is His Name? “Jehovah! is His Name,” says the “Witness” to both Muslims and non- Muslims alike. He has become a professor of this one word. He has made it into a religion.
Why not for a change ask him, a question or two. Ask him where he got the word Jehovah from? He will surely reply – “From the Holy Bible.” What does it say? Does it spell out the word Jehovah? “No,” he will reply. “There is a ‘tetragrammaton’ in the Bible from which the word Jehovah is derived.” What is a tetragrammaton? No one seems to have heard this highly mystical term. In the University of Illinois in the U.S.A. I asked a gathering of students and lecturers whether any one had heard this jaw-breaker! Not one of them knew its meaning! But every Jehovah’s Witness seems to know, even the commonest of them. They have really specialised – ours is a world of specialisation. They are Professors of the one word – Jehovah.
What then is a “tetragrammaton!” The Jehovah’s Witness replies, “Y H W H!” “No!” “What I want to know from you is, what does the word tetragrammaton mean?” You will find him most reluctant in explaining. Either he does not really know, or he is feeling embarrassed in replying. “Tetra,” in Greek means four, and “grammaton,” means letters. It simply means “a four letter word.”
Can you read into Y H W H the word Jehovah? I cannot. “No!”, says the Jehovah’s Witness, “we ought to add vowels to these four consonants to produce the sound. Originally, both Hebrew and Arabic were written without the vowel signs The native of each language was able to read if even without those vowels. Not so the outsider, for whose benefit the vowels were invented.
The “J” sickness
Let us add the vowels as the “Witness” suggests. YHWH becomes YeHoWaH. Juggle as you like but you can never materialise Jehovah! Ask him, from which hat he drew his “J”. He will tell you that “this is the ‘popular’ pronunciation from the 16th century.” The exact sound of the four letters YHWH is known neither to the Jews nor to the Gentiles, yet he is ramming Jehovah down every ones throats. The European Christians have developed a fondness (sickness) for the letter “J” They add J’s where there are no Jays. Look!
– Yael > he converts to Joel
– Yehuda > he converts to Juda
– Yeheshua > he converts to Joshua
– Yusuf > he converts to Joseph
– Yunus > he converts to Jonah
– Yesus > he converts to Jesus
– Yehowa > he converts to Jehovah
There is no end to the Westerner’s infatuation for the letter “J.” Now in the busy streets of South Africa, he charges people who carelessly cross them for “jay-walking,” but nobody charges him for converting Jewish (Yehudi) names into Gentile names.
The letters Y H W H occur in the Hebrew (Jewish) Scriptures 6823 times, boasts the Jehovah’s Witness, and it occurs in combination with the word “Elohim;” 156 times in the booklet called Genesis alone. This combination YHWH/ELOHIM has been consistently translated in the English Bible as “Lord God,” “Lord God,” Lord God,” ad infiniturn.
What is YHWH; and what is ELOHIM? Since the Jews did not articulate the word YHWH for centuries, and since even the Chief Rabbis would not allow the ineffable to be heard, they have forfeited the right to claim dogmatically how the word is to be sounded. We have to seek the aid of the Arab to revive Hebrew, a language which had once died out. In every linguistic difficulty recourse has to be made to Arabic, a sister language, which has remained alive and viable. Racially and linguistically, the Arabs and the Jews have a common origin, going back to Father Abraham.
For a closer affinity between Arabs and Jews read Genesis 16:12 and 25:18, and for a further elucidation, see “What the Bible says about Muhammad.”
Note the startling resemblance between the languages, very often the same sounding words carry identical meaning in both.
Hebrew Arabic English
Elah Ilah God
Ikhud Ahud one
Yaum Yaum day
Shaloam Salaam peace
Yahuwa Ya Huwa oh he
YHWH or Yehova or Yahuwa all mean the very same thing. “Ya” is a vocative and an exclamatory particle in both Hebrew and Arabic, meaning Oh! And “Huwa” or “Hu” means He, again in both Hebrew and Arabic. Together they mean Oh He! So instead of YHWH ELOHIM, we now have Oh He! ELOHIM.
Allah in the Bible
The suffix “IM” of the word “ELOHIM” is a plural of respect in Hebrew. (Remember that in Arabic and Hebrew there are two types of plurals. One of numbers and the other of honour as in Royal proclamations. Since the plural of honour is uncommon in the language of the European, he has confused these plurals to connote a plurality in the “Godhead,” hence his justification for his Doctrine of the Holy Trinity – the Father, Son and Holy Ghost).
Hence ELOHIM = ELOH + IM. Now I want you to perform an exercise. Do you see the words: YA-HUWA ELOH-IM? Place your left hand index finger on the first two letters “YA” meaning oh! and the other index finger on the “IM” a plural of respect. What you now have remaining in Huwa Eloh or Huwa Elah. El in Hebrew means God, and Elah or Eloh also stands for the same name – God.
Therefore, “Huwa el Elah” or Huwa ‘L Lah, which is identical to the Quranic expression – Huwal lah hu (meaning: He is Allah) of the verse “qul huwal lah hu ahud say: he is allah he is one” (Quran 112:1)
The above exercise proves that El, Elah and Elohim are not three distinctly different words. They all represent the single Arabic word Allah. This is not my wishful thinking. Please see below. It is a photostatic reproduction of a page from the English Bible, edited by Rev. C. I. Scofield, D.D., with his Bible Commentary· This Doctor of Divinity is well respected among the Bible Scholars of the Christian world. He is backed in his “New and Improved Edition” of this translation by a galaxy of eight other D.D.’s:
Rev. Henry G. Weston, D.D., LL.D., President Crozer Theological Seminary.
Rev. W. G. Moorehead, D.D., President Xenia (U.I,) Theological Seminary.
Rev. lames M. Gray, D.D., President Moody Bible Institute.
Rev. Elmore Harris, D.D., President Toronto Bible Institute.
Rev. William !. Erdman, D.D., Author “The Gospel of John,” etc.
Rev. Arthur T. Pierson, D.D., Author, Editor, Teacher, etc.
Rev. William L. Pettingill, D.D., Author, Editor, Teacher. Arno C. Gaebelein, Author “Harmoney of Prophetic Word,” etc.
I have not listed the above luminaries to awe you. They have been unanimous in supporting Rev. Scofield in his “New and Improved” commentary.
Please Note That In Their Comment No 1,
they concur that – “Elohim, (sometimes El or Elah meaning God)” and alternatively spelled “Alah” (line three, third word). All the eight D.D.’s above could not have been blind in dittoing the spelling “Alah” for God. How far were they from the Arabic word spelled – Allah – in English, I ask you dear reader? This is Allah’s handiwork, but the Devil (I must give him a capital “D,” he deserves it) was not slow in making a quick come-back through his agents. He succeeded in firing all the D.D.’s responsible for that debacle, and had them replaced by nine others with more impressive degrees than the previous lot. You will find them in the recent reproduction of “The New Scofield Reference Bible.” You will not be able to lay your hands anymore on the Bible with “Alah” in it. The Devil has seen to that.
My only plea
I had made some public statements regarding my discovery of the word “Alah” as alternatively spelled from the usual Christian spelling “Elah.” My plea to the Christians was this that spell the word as you like, with an “A” or an “E”, with a single “L” or double “LL’s”, but for goodness sake pronounce the word correctly, as we Muslims do. Because even with its proper Anglicised spelling – Allah: “it is so far from its Arabic original, when pronounced with a thin English consonant and feeble vowels, that many an Arab Muslim would find it unrecognizable.” (Says Rev. Kenneth Cragg, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem in his book, “The Call of the Minaret,” page 36.)
As much as the Englishman has the right to dictate to us as to how his language is to be sounded, surely we Muslims have as much right to demand a common courtesy when taking the name of God. We do not wish the word Allah to go into limbo like the “Yahuwa” of the Jews. More than 6000 times the formula “YAHUWA ELAH,” or ya”HUWA ALAH,” or “HUWAllah,” (He is Allah!) occur in the Hebrew manuscripts of the Jewish Bible, commonly called the “Old Testament,” by the Christians. If this fact is openly acknowledged by the learned men of Christianity and broadcasted as Rev. Scofield had done then the day for Muslims and Christians to worship God together would not be far distant. But the Devil will not have it. Vested interests are involved. Instead of pronouncing the word ALAH correctly, they would rather have the whole word omitted.
“Now You See It” – “Now You Don’t” is an old, old gimmick in the West. Compare the above and see how cleverly, how deftly the new band of missionaries expunged the word “Alah” from the “Authorised King James Version” of the Scofield translation of the Bible.
As a guide to one of the largest Mosques in the Southern Hemisphere, the Juma Musjid, Durban, my companions and I are often asked by the tourists, “Why Allah?” “Is He another God?” The answer of course is “NO!” There is not another God. The Muslim creed, is:
“There is no God except Allah!” makes this explicit; every Muslim must utter this unequivocal statement. And the second half is “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,” excludes even Muhammad from being associated with Allah in His Divinity. We are made to say, so – Not even Muhammad is God, or object of worship. It is Allah, and Allah alone who is the Only True God.
For further examples of the Christian gymnastics in the Bible, see “Is the Bible God’s Word?”.
Unique name for unique God
“We Muslims prefer the Arabic word Allah to the English word God, because this English word God is often misused or misapplied,” I explain to my non-Muslim visitors to the mosque, on their so-called “Oriental Tour” as arranged by the Durban Publicity Bureau, I continue, “On your last port of call, you will be ending off at a Hindu house of Prayer, called a Temple, and there, you might rightfully point out to your children the idols and the images found, as ‘the Gods of the Hindus’, and if a Hindu overhears you; he will not mind, he will not be offended, because what you said to your child is actually what he believes.
Then, again, we speak of the Gods of ancient Greece; of Gods and Goddesses, who ate and drank, who wrangled and plotted; carried away the wives of other Gods. “Further, in English, if some gentleman was to look after somebody’s child as a guardian, we would say that he is a “Godfather” to the child, and the woman – a “God- mother” to the child. And if one tried to be a bit too funny, a bit too clever, one would say -’What do you think of yourself, are you a tin God!’ We spell God with a capital “G” (God), and we spell God with a small “g” (God), which creates in your minds grades and grades of divinities.”
This Arabic word, Allah, is never used in any other sense. There is no such thing as an “Allah-father” or an “Allah-mother” or a “Tin-Allah.” Allah is a unique word for the only God. Arabic, like every other language, also has its rules of grammar, but in Arabic you cannot make a plural form for Allah, nor can you make a feminine of Allah. All this is very unlike the English word, God.
If you want to make a plural, just add an “s” (Gods); You can make God feminine by adding “dess” (Goddess); and you can make God diminutive by adding “ling” (Godling). Look at the sheer mockery the Westerner has made of the word “God,” and how his fertile imagination has run riot and havoc in denigrating the Glory and Majesty of the Incomparable Creator, Sustainer and Cherisher of all the worlds as recorded in the Oxford Dictionary:
You have a variety of choices in the list above. Take your pick like that old woman who lit one candle to St. Michael and another to the Devil. So that whether she went to Heaven or to Hell she would have a friend.
– Jupiter the God of Heaven
– Pluto the God of Hell
– Mars the God of War
– Neptune the God of the Sea and
– Zeus the God-father of them all with his many wives and many children. His Hercules, his Appolo, his Horus, his Isis and Osiris.
Sheer mythology and rank blasphemy, but to a people who believed in mythology, mythology was no mythology; it was empirical truths. And this terminology of the West lended itself well to paganistic theology, with their “Gods” and “Goddesses.” But Allah is free from all corruptions. You can do nothing with this word in the language of the Arab. You cannot manipulate it in any way!
Pearls of faith
Here is a passage of great sublimity, summing up in marvelous terse verses, the Most Beautiful names of Allah:
“He is Allah, besides whom there is no other gods; who knows (all things) both secret and open; He is Most Gracious, Most Merciful He is Allah, besides whom there is no other god; the Sovereign, the Holy One, the source of peace (and perfection), the Guardian of faith, the Preserver of safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to Allah: (High is He) above the partners they ascribe to him he is Allah, the Creator the Evolver, the Bestower of forms (or colours) to Him belong the most Beautiful Names: All that is in the Heavens and the Earth, doth declare His praises and glory. And He is the Exalted in Might the Wise.” (Quran 59:22-24)
Where is there in the religious literature of the world anything to compare with this!
“Allah” in every bible and in every language
There is no difficulty in our agreeing that in the languages of the world, every nation has given a distinctive name to God. Most of these names are attributive names, describing some aspect of God. But the proper name for God in the Semitic languages, i.e. in the mother-tongues of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad is Allah! This name is still extant in the Christian Bible in every language of the world. The Christians are boasting that they have translated their Bible into over fifteen hundred languages, more specially the translation of the New Testament. In every Gospel that I have scrutinised in the various languages I find the word “Allah” preserved
– English or Afrikaanz, Zulu or Swahili. Why not check up in your own dialect to prove me wrong. I would love to hear from you.
If what I claim is Gospel Truth, then how is it that the whole Christian world of over 1 200 000 000 people have not been aware of it. This is what effective programming or brain-washing can do. They have been trained NOT to see the obvious. Did not Jesus bewail:
“Seeing, they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” (Matthew 13:13)
From the lips of Jesus
I ask my Christian visitors, “Do you remember your Gospel narrative, that when Christ was supposed to have been on the cross, he cried out with a loud voice:
“Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
The above is a translation from the Greek manuscripts “According to St. Mark.” Obviously his Hebrew has a Greek accent. Because, his so-called originals were written in Greek. But listen to Matthew, who is supposed to have written his Gospel originally in Hebrew, which was aimed at the Jews. St. Jerome, an early Christian father of the 4th and 5th centuries after Christ, testifies as follows:
“Matthew, who is also levi, and who from a publican came to be an Apostle, first of all the Evangelists, composed a gospel of Christ in Judea in the Hebrew language and characters, for the benefit of those of the circumcision who had believed.” Of the circumcision: means those who had been circumcised. Referring to the Jewish converts to Christianity.
Naturally, Matthew’s accent would be more Semitic (Hebrew and Arabic) than that of Mark. Matthew records the same scene as Mark 15:34, but note the variation of the dialect:
Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me’? Matthew 27:46
Please memorise the words – “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani.” (Eli – pronounced like L and I in English) Utter the words – Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani; Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani, to your Christian friends and neighbours and ask them whether these words – “Eli, Eli,” sounds like “Jehovah, Jehovah!” to them?
No! is the answer if they are not deaf. Ask further, whether “Eli, Eli,” sounds like “Abba, Abba!” (meaning father, father! in Hebrew) to them! Again the reply will be “No!” if they are not deaf. Can’t they see that the cry is to Allah? “Eli, Eli – Elah, Elah, Allah, Allah!” Let them hear these words from your lips and watch their reactions. No honest per- son can help agreeing with you.
Now ask your Christian friend, if he had heard the word – “ALLELUYA.” No Christian worth the name will fail to recognise it. Whenever the Christian goes into ecstasy, he exclaims – “Alleluya! Alleluya!”, just as we Muslims might exclaim the Takbir – “Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!” Ask him, what is Alleluya? Take him to the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, Chapter 19; we are informed there that John the disciple of Jesus, saw a vision, in which he heard the angels in heaven singing, Alleluya, Alleluya. Ask him again, what is Alleluya! Is it “hip, hip, hooray; hip, hip, hooray!” Are angels in heaven singing – hip, hip, hoorays to God? Every time when God creates a new galaxy, do the angels exclaim – “hip, hip, hooray!” When He explodes a super-nova, do the angels say, “hip, hip, hooray!”? How absurd!
Then what is Alleluya! The last syllable “YA” is a vocative and an exclamatory particle in both Arabic and Hebrew meaning “OH!” In other words YA = OH, (the vocative); and YA = (!), a note of exclamation, or an exclamatory particle, or as is more commonly known an exclamation mark.
The Semite, both Arab and Jew, begins with the exclamatory particle or exclamation mark. The Westerner, in his language ends with the exclamatory particle or exclamation mark, eg. Stop! Go! Fire! Bang!
Let us repeat the above words of praise as an Arab or a Jew: ALLE-LU-YA will be YA-ALLE-LU because, as explained above, YA is always at the beginning in both Arabic and Hebrew.
YA ALLE LU would be YA ALLA HU: Meaning, “OH Allah!” (You are the Only Being Who deserves worship and Praise) “OH Allah!” (You are the Only Being Who deserves worship and Praise).
Unbiased Christians will not fail to recognise Allah as none other than his – El, Eli, Alle, Elah, Alah, Allah Call upon Him by any name, for His are the Most Beautiful names, as long as those names are not contaminated and as long as they do not conjure up in our minds the images of men or monkeys howsoever glorified they might have been.
The concept of “god the father”
There are many beautiful attributes of God, which are common to both the Quran and the Holy Bible. A lengthy thesis can be written on this. But a very interesting facet I have discovered in this that among the 99 attributes of God given to us in the Quran the word “Father” is not one of them. If the Holy Prophet was the author of the Quran as his adversaries allege, then how could he have avoided the term – Father – for God, for twenty-three years of his prophetic life! Abb, meaning father in Arabic (Abba in Hebrew), is an easier word than Rabb, meaning Lord and Cherisher; yet the attribute Rabb abounds in the Last and Final Revelation of God.
The reason for the omission of the word Abb (father) for describing God is obvious: Mankind had denigrated that beautiful concept of the loving Father in Heaven to being the Father of the “only begotten son” (John 3:16) – to being physically like a human being, because begetting is an animal act, belonging to the lower animal functions of sex.
Unique to the Quran and conclusion
Say: “shall I take for my protector any but Allah the originator of the Heavens and the Earth? when it is He Who feeds but Has no need to be fed.” (Quran 6:14)
No creature who is ever in need of earthly food can be “ATNATU!” If you can make the worshippers of the “man-Gods” to apply this touchstone to their heroes, you can retrieve millions from the impending Hell- fire. Learn a lesson from the Australoid (give him one last look on the frontispiece), who despite his abject primitiveness still stands high above the millions of the civilised men and women of both East and West who strut the world today.