There has been much speculation and endless discussion among Muslim exegetes and lexicographers concerning the real significance of the Arabic word « Allah. » A well-respected Muslim commentator, Beidhawi, suggests that Allah is derived « from an [invented] root illaha = to be in perplexity, because the mind is perplexed when it tries to form the idea of the Infinite! »4 Still, « according to the opinion of some Muslim theologians, it is infidelity (kufr) to hold that the word has any derivation whatever! . . . They say that God is not begotten, and so His name cannot be derived. He is the first, and had an Arabic name before the creation of the worlds. » The author of the Muheet-el-Muheet dictionary says: « Allah is the name of necessary Being. There are twenty different views as to the derivation of this name of the Supreme; the most probable is that its root is illah, the past participle form, or the measure fi’al, from the verb ilaho = to worship, to which the article was prefixed to indicate the supreme object of worship. »
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