What's in a name?
Whatâs in a name?
Given the recent item in the News and Events section of this website, "Unlabelled halal meat on sale in British supermarkets", and some ensuing correspondence I have received, in particular about the naming of Allah at the killing of the animal, I was reminded of a recent pull out supplement in barnabasaid, the Barnabas Fund magazine, "God or Allah: which term to use?" This can be read by downloading the May-June edition here
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The article includes arguments against using the word Allah for God but also points out that for many, many Christians Allah is the word in their language, Arabic, as God is in English â and they object to being banned from using the word Allah and it being kept exclusively for Muslim use only.
So itâs Allah in Arabic, God in English, Dieu in French, Gott in German, Theos in Greek or Deus in Latin, etc, etc. Different languages, different words or labels â but the same meaning? Yes and no! It all depends on who is using the labelâ¦
When a Coptic Orthodox Christian uses the word Allah and a British Orthodox Christian uses the word God both have the same meaning in mind, the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost, One God. On the other hand when a Jehovah Witness or a Mormon or other Unitarian uses the word God they do not have the same meaning in mind as an Orthodox Christian â same word or label, yes, but same meaning? No. And when a Muslim uses the word Allah he uses the same word as an Arabic speaking Orthodox Christian but they do not have the same meaning in mind, for the Arabic speaking Orthodox Christian means Father, Son and Holy Ghost, One God and the Muslim does not.
âWhatâs in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweetâ (William Shakespeare âRomeo and Julietâ)
And That which we call God by any other name can mean the same - but not necessarily... so what's in a name?