The linguistic origins of the Name Allah

The scholars have differed about the origins of the Majestic Name Allah.

(1) Some say that it is derived from the word “Alaha”, meaning [Abada/worshipped, making Allah “al-Ma’luh”/ the One who is worshipped.

(2) Some say that it is derived from the root “Aliha”, meaning “Tahayyar”, in reference to one being bedazzled or losing his mind as a result of extreme happiness or grief. Such a person would be described as “Walih” and a woman as “Walihah”.

It can also be used to describe a well. The Arabs say [Aynun Muwallahah/
a well that does not have water within it, almost as if it is so miserable that it has lost its water.

Another usage is the term Tawlīh which is in reference to the separation between a mother and her child, as is found in the hadith:

A mother isn’t to be grieved (“Tuwallah”) by separating her from her child.”

(3) Some say that it is derived from the root “Aliha”, as mentioned earlier, but with the meaning of “to seek refuge”. Thus, the Arabs would say “Aliha ilayhi” in reference to a person who escapes to and seeks protection in someone. Thus, when you say “La ilaha illa Allah”, it means “There is no escape but to Allah.”

(4) Others say that its roots are from the word “al-Ilah” , meaning “al-ladhi Ta’lahuh al-Qulub”, or “He whom the hearts adore”. From more than the 2700 times that the Name “Allah” appears in the Qur’an, approximately 80 came in the form of al-Ilah.

Undoubtedly, all of these meanings apply, for Allah is the One who is worshipped, and is the escape and refuge of creation when faced with hardship, and is the  One who bedazzles those who think of Him or live their lives without Him, and is undoubtedly the One that the hearts adore.

Some of these meanings will be elaborated upon later in A Life with The Divine by Ali Hammuda

Those aware of Allah's many names find deeper meaning in life's events, reflecting on His mercy or might depending on the situation. This constant remembrance is the book's ultimate goal.

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