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Allah (الله) is the Arabic word for God. The word Allah derives from two root words: Al meaning "the" and ilah meaning "God" (the same God as El in Canaanite religions).
 Allah and God
A common misconception is that "Allah" is the name of a deity worshiped exclusively by Muslims. In fact, Muslims hold that Allah is the God of Abraham, the same God worshipped by Jews, Bahai and Christians, whom they claim created the universe and will be the judge of man on the Day of Judgement. Indeed, Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians refer to God as "Allah" and use the word "Allah" in their holy texts. As further proof, there's an Islamic tradition that the longer version of "Allah" is "Allahummah," which is an obvious cognate with the Hebrew "Elohim" used in the Hebrew Bible.
 Gender of Allah
Unlike the Christians and Jews who generally refer to God as male, Allah is neither male nor female. In fact, it is a specific blasphemy to call Allah "male" or "female." Allah is at one time both and neither. Because of the nature of Arabic, when a pronoun for Allah is used, it must be the male pronoun, huwa, but this is based on the gender of the word, and not the fact that it is a "male" thing.
 Earlier names
Allah is also likely the name of an earlier deity (probably the creator god) from the polytheistic pre-Islamic religions in or around Mecca. Many scholars hold to a theory that both YHWH of the Israelite (proto-Judaism) religion and Allah of the Meccan religion changed over time, eventually becoming the monotheistic god. Some people, like Jack Chick, think that Allah was a moon god named Hubal because the symbol for Islam has a moon. However, this is likely because the Muslims used a lunar calendar.
Of all of the theories, this is least likely, as Muhammad talked shit about Hubal, being one of only four polytheistic gods (along with Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat) he calls a shitstorm down upon by name.
 See also
- ↑ In Arabic, like French, Russian or German, all nouns have a gender, based on the grammatical rules of the language and not any perceived masculinity or femininity of the object in question.