Thursday 8 December 2016

Biblical and Qur’anic Names of God | Rabbi Allen S. Maller

But for those religions that trace their prophets back to Prophet Abraham, and his two sons Ishmael and Isaac, the many names of God simply describe different aspects or attributes of the one God’s multifaceted personality.
God’s names are appellations: titles and descriptions. Thus to say that God is a King or Judge describes one of many ways God acts. To say that God is the Compassionate One is to describe one of many character or personality traits of the one God.
While each of the many ‘names’ for the one God is only one of the many appellations of the one universal creator of space and time; both Islam and Judaism also have one special Divine name that is always in the believer’s heart and soul.
Because the Qur’an is filled with beautiful Arabic poetry, it is not surprising that the Qur’an is also filled with so many names of God.
Because the Jewish tradition reaches back more than thirty five centuries; it is not surprising that Jews have focused on many additional names for the one and only God over those many centuries.
Yet, because all the many names of God call upon the same One God, it is also not surprising that many of the 99 beautiful names of God in Muslim tradition also appear in Jewish tradition, which sometimes refers to the 70 names of God (found in Midrash Shir HaShirim and Midrash Otiot Rabbi Akiba).
Since Arabic and Hebrew are brother languages; in some cases the names even sound alike:
    Arabic                    Hebrew                                      English
Al-Raḥman            Ha Rakhaman                       the Compassionate One
Al-Raḥim               El Rakhum                             the Merciful One
Al-Quddus            Ha Kadosh                             the Holy One
Al-Bari                   Ha Boray                                 the Creator
Al-¢Aliyy               El Elyon                                   the Most High
Al-Salam                Oseh HaShalom                    the Peacemaker
Malik Al Mulk       Melek Malkay Melakim      the King/Ruler over all the kingdom/ kings
Al-Muhyi                Ha Michayah                        the Giver of Life
Al-Mumit               Ha Maymeet                         the Taker of Life
Most of the similarities between Jewish and Muslim appellations of God are not due to linguistics alone. They reflect similar philosophical views of God’s attributes.

1 comment:

  1. Jewish Leaders Reject Banning Muslim Refugees
    Rabbi Allen S. Maller

    President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees from entering the USA left much of the American Jewish community horrified — particularly as the announcement came on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    The order immediately suspends all refugee resettlement from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days; and forbids those from war-ravaged Syria from entering the country indefinitely.

    On Twitter, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the head of the Union of Reform Jewry, compared the order to the Dred Scott court decision upholding slavery in the pre civil war South; and the nasty internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

    The Anti-Defamation League’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt vowed in a statement Thursday to “relentlessly fight this policy,” noting “our Jewish history and heritage compel us to take a stand.” The ADL, a Jewish civil rights group, monitors and combats anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry across the globe.

    On Saturday, Greenblatt, noted that the presidential executive order was signed on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, likening it to passengers of the MS St. Louis, a German ship filled with 937 Jewish refugees, who were denied entry into the United States, as well as Cuba and Canada, in 1939.

    Greenblatt has already vowed to register as a Muslim if the USA creates a database of Muslim Americans. The idea of a Muslim database arose in November 2015, when Mr Trump told a reporter he would "certainly implement that. Absolutely".

    Jonathan Greenblatt said: "If one day Muslim Americans will be forced to register their identities, then that is the day that this proud Jew will register as a Muslim”.

    I predict that hundreds of American Rabbis, and tens of thousands of proud American Jews will
    sign up as Muslims if American Muslim are forced to register. After all, everyone who believes in the One God of Abraham; and faithfully follows the religion of God’s prophets; actually is a ‘muslim’ in faith.

    Let us all follow the example of Jonathan Greenblatt, and the words of Pope Francis who delivered a ringing plea to the world and his own Catholic Church to reject “the virus of polarization and animosity” and the growing temptation to “demonize” those who are different.

    Rabbi Maller’s web site is: