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'Allah' is the name of God used by Arabs, particularly Muslims (the followers of Islam). It is the name God uses Himself in the Qur'an.

Believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad)

and spend out of that in which He has made you successors.

For those who have believed among you and spent,

there will be a great reward.

And why do you not believe in Allah

while the Messenger invites you to believe in your Lord

and He has taken your covenant,

if you should truly be believers?

It is He who sends down upon His servant (Muhammad) verses of clear evidence

that He may bring you out of darkness into the light.

And indeed, Allah is to you Kind and Merciful.1

Oneness of Allah

One of the most important characteristics of Islamic teachings is the understanding that Allah is One. He has emphasised this though His revelations to His prophets, the final revelation being the Qur'an:

Say, "He is Allah, (who is ) One,

Allah, the Eternal Refuge.

He neither begets nor is born,

Nor is there to Him any equivalent."2

Moreover, this Oneness is absolute; the idea of Trinity is explicitly rejected:

And do not say "Three" -

Cease! (it is) better for you!

Allah is only One God.

Exalted is He above having a son.

To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth.3

The understanding of the Oneness of Allah is called Tawheed, and is a subject of great depth. It is often divided into three areas of study: the unity of worship of Allah; the unity of the Lordship of Allah; and His divine names and attributes.

Descriptions of Allah

Allah has given us some idea about Himself through His revelation. The names and attributes of Allah (often known as the Ninety-Nine Names of Allah) are found throughout the Qur'an.

He is Allah, other than Whom there is no deity,

Knower of the unseen and the seen.

He is the Most Merciful, the Most Kind.

He is Allah, other than Whom there is no deity,

the Sovereign,

the Pure,

the Perfection,

the Giver of security,

the Overseer,

the Exalted in Might,

the Compeller,

the Supreme.

Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him.

He is Allah,

the Creator,

the Inventor,

the Bestower of forms.

To Him belong the best names.

Whatever is in the heavens and the earth is exalting Him.

And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.4

He also uses vivid imagery to help us understand Him:

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.

The parable of His light is as if there were a niche within which is a lamp;

the lamp enclosed in glass,

the glass as if it were a brilliant star,

lit from (the oil of) a blessed olive tree,

neither of the east nor of the west,

whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire.

Light upon Light!

Allah guides to His Light whom He wills.

And Allah sets forth parables for the people,

and Allah is Knowing of all things.5

Finally, it is said that he who wishes to speak to Allah should pray, and that he who wishes Allah to speak to him should read the Qur'an.

1Chapter 57, verses 7-92Chapter 1123Chapter 4, verse 1714Chapter 59, verses 22-245Chapter 24, verse 35

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