The belief in one god and ALLAH is his name
The pre-Islamic age in Arabia is known as the ‘Times of Ignorance’ with the population composed of scattered nomadic tribes and the majority being pagans. One of Arabia’s pagan shrines, the Kaaba at Mecca, was the scene of an annual pilgrimage. The pagans were polytheists believing in one Supreme God and many lesser deities. Also on the Arabian Peninsula were scattered groups of Jews and Christians.
From Babylon to Timbuktu pg.44 (Rudolph R. Windsor)
"When Mohammed was born, many Arabs still were still worshipping the sun, stars, spirits, and idols. The Arabs possessed 360 idols, one for each day of the year".
Satan's Angels Exposed pg. 91 (Salem Kirban)
"The Arab of that day worshipped many gods of the sky… stars and the moon and even what they believed were sacred stones. The centre of this stone reverence was in Mecca a square structure of the sun in Mecca became their holiest shrine in the world. It was called Kaaba, which means cube".
The pre-Islamic origin of "Allah"
There is absolutely no question that Allah was worshipped by the pagan Arabs as one of many polytheistic gods. Allah was worshipped in the Kaaba at Mecca before Muhammad was born. Muhammad merely proclaimed a god the Meccans were already familiar with. The pagan Arabs never accused Muhammad of preaching a different Allah than the one they already worshipped.
Many scholars say "Allah" is derived from a compound Arabic word, AL + ILAH = Allah. "Ilah" in Arabic is "God" and "Al" in Arabic is a definite article like our word "the". So from an English equivalent "Allah" comes from "The + God". Others, like Arthur Jeffery say, "The common theory is that it is formed from ilah, the common word for a god, and the article al-; thus al-ilah, the god," becomes Allah, "God." This theory, however, is untenable. In fact, the name is one of the words borrowed into the language in pre-Islamic times from Aramaic."
Islam: Muhammad and His Religion , Arthur Jeffery, 1958, p 85)
Although "Allah" has become known as the proper name for the Muslim god, Allah is not a name, but a descriptor that means literally, "the god".
All pagan cultures have these generic terms that refer to their "top god" as "the god". In comparison to the perfect monotheism of Judaism and Christianity, "Allah" was originally no more a proper name for the Muslim God, than the word Hebrew "elohim" (gods) or Greek "theos" (gods) are proper names of the one true God of the Bible. "AHAYAH ASHER AHAYAH" ~(Exo 3:14 I AM that I AM) is the only revealed proper name for the "Elohim" of the Old Testament ( Ex 3:13; 6:3) and "Yashayah" is the only revealed proper name of "Christ" in the New Testament. (Acts 4:12).
Islam has no proper name for their god, but merely transformed, by universal use and confusion, the generic Allah into a proper name. So although today, Muslims use "Allah" as a proper name, it was never used this way originally. Allah, therefore is equivalent to "elohim" and "ho Theos" but not "AHAYAH" or "YASHAYAH". Allah is not the name of the nameless Muslim God. However Muslims will claim that Allah is the name of God that corresponds to Jehovah. Both the Father and the Son are called "ho Theos" (The God). Jesus is called "The God" many times in the New Testament: John 20:28; Heb 1:8. An important conclusion from this, is that the mere fact that "Allah" is equivalent to "elohim" and "ho Theos" does not mean they are directly corresponded. It certainly doesn't prove Allah is the same as the God of the Old or New Testament. It does not prove that Muslim's worship the same God as Christians. If this correspondence proved the Muslim god was the same as the Christian God, then because pagan religions also have generics that correspond to "the god" (Allah), this correspondence would also prove that Allah is the same god as the Buddhist god, for Buddhists also refer to their god as "the god".
What scholars say about the origin of the word "Allah":
Here are a few extracts from different learnt and respected scholars, bout what they have to say concerning the word ALLAH, its origin and involvement with the religion of Islam.
The following citations reveal that there is a general consensus among Islamic scholars that Allah was a pagan deity before Islam developed. He was only one god among a pantheon of 360 gods worshipped by the Arabs. Even if he was at times viewed as a "high god," this does not mean he was
the one true God.
The word Allah was derived from al-ilah which had become a generic title for
whatever god was considered the highest god. Each Arab tribe used Allah to
refer to its own particular high god. This is why Hubal, the Moon god, was
the central focus of prayer at the Kaaba and people prayed to Hubal using
the name Allah
"Historians like Vaqqidi have said Allah was actually the chief of the 360 gods
being worshipped in Arabia at the time Mohammed rose to prominence. Ibn Al-Kalbi gave 27 names of pre-Islamic deities...Interestingly, not many Muslims want to accept that Allah was already being worshipped at the Ka'ba in Mecca by Arab pagans before Mohammed came. Some Muslims become angry when they are confronted with this fact. But history is not on their side. Pre-Islamic literature has proved this."
G. J. O. Moshay, Who Is This Allah?, (Dorchester House, Bucks, UK, 1994),pg. 138.
Now there dwelt in Mecca a god called Allah. He was the provider, the most powerful of all the local deities, the one to whom every Meccan turned in time of need. But, for all his power, Allah was a remote god. At the time of Muhammad, however, he was on the ascendancy. He had replaced the moon god as lord of the Kaaba although still relegated to an inferior position below various tribal idols and three powerful goddesses: al-Manat, goddess of fate, al-Lat, mother of the gods, and al-Uzza, the planet Venus.
Islam and the Arabs , Rom Landau, 1958 p 11-21)
Muhammad no more invented Allah than he did al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat. The Cult of the deity termed simply "the god" (al-ilah) was known throughout southern Syria and northern Arabia," and it was obviously of central importance in Mecca, where the building called the Ka'ba was indisputably his house. Indeed, the Muslim profession of faith, 11 there is no ilah except al-ilah," attests to precisely that point: the Quraysh are being called upon to repudiate the very existence of all the other gods save this one. It seems equally certain that Allah was not merely a god in Mecca but was widely regarded as the "high god," the chief and head of the Meccan pantheon, perhaps the result, as has been argued, of a natural progression toward henotheism or of the growing influence of Jews and Christians in the peninsula." The most convincing piece of evidence that the latter was at work is the fact that of all the gods of Mecca, Allah alone was not represented by an idol.
" The Hajj , F. E. Peters, p 3-41, 1994)
The other gods mentioned in the Quran are all female deities: Al-Lat, al-Uzza,
and Manat, which represented the Sun, the planet Venus, and Fortune,
respectively; at Mecca they were regarded as the daughters of Allah...
As Allah meant 'the god', so Al-Lat means 'the goddess'."
Alfred Guilaume, Islam, (Penguin, 1956) pgs. 6-7
"As well as worshipping idols and spirits, found in animals, plants, rocks
and water, the ancient Arabs believed in several major gods and goddesses
whom they considered to hold supreme power over all things. The most famous of these were Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, Manat and Hubal. The first three were thought to be the daughters of Allah(God) and their intercessions on behalf of their worshippers were therefore of great significance.
Hubal was associated with the Semitic god Ba'l and with Adonis or Tammuz,
the gods of spring, fertility, agriculture and plenty...Hubal's idol used
to stand by the holy well inside the Sacred House. It was made of red
sapphire but had a broken arm until the tribe of Quraysh, who considered him
one of their major gods, made him a replacement in solid gold.
In addition to the sun, moon and the star Al-Zuhara, the Arabs worshipped
the planets Saturn, Mercury, and Jupiter, the stars Sirius and Canopus and
the constellations of Orion, Ursa Major and Minor, and the seven Pleiades.
Some stars and planets were given human characters,. According to legend,
Al-Dabaran, one of the stars in the Hyades group, fell deeply in love with
Al-Thurayya, the fairest of the Pleiades stars. With the approval of the
Moon, he asked for her hand in marriage. "
Khairt al-Saeh, Fabled Cities, Princes & Jin from Arab Myths and Legends,
(New York: Schocken, 1985), p. 28-30.
"That Islam was conceived in idolatry is shown by the fact that many rituals
performed in the name of Allah were connected with the pagan worship that
existed before Islam. And today, millions of Moslems pray towards Mecca,
where the famous revered black stone is located.
- Before Islam Allah was reported to be know as:
--the name of a god whom the Arabs worshipped.
--the chief god of the pantheon.
--Ali-ilah, the god, the supreme.
--the all-powerful, all-knowing, and totally unknowable.
--the predeterminer of everyone's life) destiny).
--chief of the gods.
--the special deity of the Quraish.
--having three daughters: Al Uzzah (Venus), Manah (Destiny), and Alat.
--having the idol temple at Mecca under his name (House of Allah).
--the mate of Alat, the goddess of fate.
2. Because the Kaaba, the sacred shrine which contains the Black Stone, in Mecca was used for pagan idol worship before Islam and even called the House
of Allah at that time.
3. Because the rituals involved with the Islamic Pilgrimage are either
identical or very close to the pre-Islamic pagan idol worship at Mecca.
4. Because of other Arabian history which points to heathen worship of the
sun, moon, and the stars, as well as other gods, of which I believe Allah
was in some way connected to.
This then would prove to us that Allah is not the same as the true God of
the Bible whom we worship, because God never changes."
M. J. Afshari, Is Allah The Same God As The God Of The Bible?, pgs. 6, 8-9
As we can see, idolatry was the heart of the Arab world during before and up until the time of Mohammed's birth. This gives us a clue as to whom Mohammed's message of monotheism was aimed towards. But before we go there, we want to first give more history on the events that shaped what the world knows today as the religion of Islam.
Muhammad grew up worshipping many pagan gods in the Kaaba including the moon, either called Hubal and Allah . After his conversion to monotheism, through the influence of Christians, Muhammad stopped worshipping the moon. The same is true for all Muslims since, down to the present day. However, the crescent moon is the universal symbol of Islam. Muslims will argue that there is no archaeological evidence for the crescent moon symbol being used in Islam for the first few centuries after Muhammad. Yet Muslims also claim that Koran in its completed form existed in the time of Muhammad, yet there is no archaeological evidence for this claim either.
"If a Muslim says, "Your God and our God is the same," either he does not understand who Allah and Christ really are, or he intentionally glosses over the deep-rooted differences."
Who Is Allah In Islam ?, Abd-Al Masih, Light of Life, 1985, p. 36.)