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Topics - Ocyid

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Well, this is actually the continuation from previous post:


Since I am not sure that the previous post is interested enough for you to read, just remember that anything you find interesting in this post might be related to the explanation in the previous post. Thus, to read the previous post is actually advisable. The funny thing is that I am not really sure somebody will eventually read this writing ::)

Anyhow, besides the "names" of God mentioned in ancient texts that I have explained in the previous posts ("Aten" and "Prajapati"), there is actually another "ancient names" of God that can be found in an ancient text that once thought to be lost: the Gathas (Avestan). This "name" of God mentioned there is "Ahura Mazda".

The Mighty – Wise Lord: Ahura Mazda
Ahura Mazda is the “Supreme Being” or “The Highest Spirit” of Zoroastrianism, title of a “Great Divinity”. The website explains that Ahura Mazda is a formless One and Only God by referring to “Gathas: 29.4”. mentions that Ahura Mazda is “One uncreated God” (second paragraph) with the reference cited “Y (Yasna) 30.3 and 45.2”. Common website like Wikipedia simply states Ahura Mazda as “Creator and Sole God” of Zoroastrianism without explaining the source. A writer in, the so-called educational website of history, describes Ahura Mazda as “the Highest Spirit worshipped in Zoroastrianism”. Most of the websites in the internet will imply that either Ahura Mazda is the “Only God” of Zoroastrianism or He simply is the “Supreme Being”. These two statements actually have different understandings, which eventually lead in different views in seeing the Divinity of “Ahura Mazda”. However, both statements actually share common ground in which Ahura Mazda is viewed as the “Highest Entity” in Zoroastrianism.

Not only in viewing the Divinity of Ahura Mazda, there are also some points of view in viewing the Zoroastrianism itself. One of them is the monotheistic value of Zoroastrianism as it has been discussed by James W. Boyd and A. Donald in their scientific journal “Is Zoroastrianism Dualistic Or Monotheistic?”. For those who are interested more can visit this website Or, if you do not have the access, you may want to visit article about Zoroastrianism: “FACT-CHECK: Is Zoroastrianism a Monotheistic Religion?”. Another point of view comes from Khosro Khazai (Pardis), the writer of The Gathas; The Sublime Book of Zarathustra, which states in that “the Gatha of Zaratustra(sic) is not a religion”. However, the term “religion” is actually mentioned in the Gathas: Yasna 44.10, 44.11, 49.6, 53.1 and 53.2. The website also posted about it in its index page of “The Religion of Ahura Mazda”.

There would be a lot of interpretations in viewing the Divinity of Lord Ahura Mazda, in viewing the position of Zarathustra as the prophet of Zoroastrianism, or in viewing the Zoroastrians itself. This is actually something natural; the way there are many interpretations in viewing verses in Quran or in viewing Islam in general – or, as it has been discussed before, in viewing the Divinity of Lord Prajâpati in Mandala X Hymn 121 of the Rig Veda or in viewing the Divinity of Lord Aten in The Great Hymn to the Aten. Again, this is something natural. Therefore, we may want to focus more on what is actually being said in the source texts themselves than the interpretations.

In the internet, there are at least two free sources of the Gathas that I could find. The one is the website with the translation from L. H. Mills, Sacred Books of the East, American Edition (1898) . The other is the website with the translation from Prof Ervad Maneck Furdoonji KANGA M.A. in Gatha-Ba-Maani. I recommend to see both translations to get the insight from the Gathas, the way I recommend to see multiple translations of the Quran from the website  for non-Arabic speaker to get better understanding for the Quran itself. Moreover, the website even provides the words-to-words version of the Gathas. However, it shall always be remembered that the translation of the Gathas is basically the translation of an extinct language by using its closest counterpart: the Vedic Sanskrit. Thus, the role or, more precisely, the “influence” of Vedic Sanskrit shall never be forgotten.

Ahura Mazda is mentioned multiple times in the Gathas. I originally use the translation by L.H. Mills from to conduct my research. From what I could find from L. H. Mills translation, the “name” Ahura Mazda is not always mentioned as “Ahura Mazda”, but also as “Mazda Ahura” and independently as “Mazda” and as “Ahura”. “Ahura Mazda” and “Mazda Ahura” are mentioned 66 times, with “Ahura Mazda” is mentioned 12 times and “Mazda Ahura” is mentioned 54 times in Gatha. While independently, “Ahura” is mentioned 129 times and “Mazda” is mentioned 181 times. Based on this translation, the flexibility of its placements may actually show that “Ahura Mazda” is not a “name”, but rather a “reference” for God or simply the “linguistic elements” used in Avestan to represent “The God” Himself. The same way “Allah” is used in Arabic, “Aten” is used in ancient Egypt, and “Prajâpati” is used in Sanskrit.

For the meaning of Ahura Mazda itself, some of the websites in the internet simply states that Ahura Mazda means “Wise Lord”, which “Ahura” means “Lord” and “Mazdā” or “Mazdāh” means “Wisdom” or “Wise” . Radu Cristian in his article Ahura Mazda in (Ancient History Encyclopedia) explains that “Mazda, or the Avestan form of the Mazdā, reflects the proto-Iranian word Mazdāh which is a feminine noun. Considered the proper name of the god, it may also come from the Sanskrit word medhās, meaning 'intelligence' or 'wisdom'” . Therefore, many may know “Ahura Mazda” simply means “Wise Lord”. However, the website, with understanding that Avestan language closely resembles Vedic Sanskrit, implies that “Ahura” might be the variant of Vedic Sanskrit “Asura= the Formless Mighty Lord”, while Mazda might be the variant of “Mahat = Greatest; or Medha = Vedhas = wise” (point 86.2)[/color].

Encyclopedia Iranica ( in its article about Ahura Mazda explains that the identification of “Ahura” as the Nameless, Exalted Asura of the Rigveda is “not universally accepted”. However, if “Ahura” is indeed a variant of the Vedic Sanskrit word “Asura”, it literally means “Powerful or Mighty”. P.L. Bhargava in his journal article THE WORD ASURA IN THE ṚGVEDA explains that “Barring seven of the latest hymns, the word asura, including its variants asurya and āsura, is always used in Rgveda as an adjective meaning powerful or mighty”. Thus, Ahura Mazda could also mean “Mighty” (Asura) “Wise” (Medhās) based on this explanation. Now, the most interesting part is that this “name” is actually mentioned many times in the Quran. The “Mighty” - “Wise”, or I would prefer the “Almighty - All Wise” Lord, is actually mentioned in Quran. However, this “name” is not mentioned by using Avestan language, but in Arabic language.

One of the “Beautiful Names” or more precisely “Divine Characteristics” of God mentioned together in Quran is the All Mighty (Al Aziz) - All Wise (Al Hakeem). Surely, these are not the only “names” that are mentioned together. There are other “combination of names” that are also mentioned together like The All Knower – The All Wise (ʿAlīman - Hakīman) in Al Insaan (76) 30, The Most High – The Most Wise (Aliyyun - Hakīmun) in Ash-Shura (42) 51, The All Might – All Knowing (L-ʿazīzi - L-ʿalīmi) in Al An’am (6) 96, and more. However, the “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu” (The All Mighty – The All Wise) is among the combinations that are quite frequently mentioned in Quran. You may want to check the Holy Quran yourself for this.

I do a little research regarding this particular “names”. Based on my findings, the “All Mighty” (Al Aziz and its variants) is mentioned at least 87 times and “All Wise” (Al Hakim and its variants) is mentioned at least 90 times in Quran. For the analysis itself, I used Indonesian language version of the Quran (Al Quran Indonesia) and make the words “Perkasa (Mighty)” and “Bijaksana” (Wise) as a keyword. The Arabic word “Al Hakim” is consistently translated into “Bijaksana” (Wise) in Indonesian language. However, the word “Perkasa” does not always come from the Arabic word “Al Aziz” or its variants. For example, the Arabic word “L-qahāru” in His Beautiful Names “L-wāḥidu (The One) - L-qahāru” is also translated into “Mighty (Almighty)” in Indonesian language. In, you can see that different translators use different words in translating this Arabic word, with Pickthall as the only one that translates it into “Almighty” (look Quran chapter 12 verse 39 as an example) . Therefore, since the Arabic word might not root from the Arabic word “Aziz”, I exclude these verses.

From 92 verses that I found, there are 87 verses left which mentions Allah as the “Al Aziz” or the “Almighty”. From these 87 verses, 47 verses mention Allah as the “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu” (The All Mighty – The All Wise). The same thing with Allah as the “Al Hakim” or the “All Wise”. From 90 verses, 47 verses mention Allah as the “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu” (The All Mighty – The All Wise). It means more than half the verses that mention Allah as the “Al Aziz” (The Almighty) and “Al Hakim” (The All Wise) actually refer to Him specifically as “The Almighty - All Wise” or in Arabic “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu”. This “combined-names” are being mentioned in these verses: Al Baqarah (2) 129, 209, 220, 228, 240, and 260, Ali Imran (3) 6, 18, 62, and 126, An Nisa (4) 56, 158, and 165, Al Maidah (5) 38 and 118, and other 31 verses of the Quran. In An Naml (27) verse 9 it is even clearly stated “O Moses, indeed it is I - Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Wise (L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu) (Sahih International translation).

Now, if we follow the formula in Ibrahim (14) verse 4 that every messengers was sent in the language of their own people, what possibly were the linguistic elements to represent The Almighty – All Wise in the language preceding the Arabic? Please note, An Nisaa (4) 164 does inform us that Allah did speak to Moses (wakallama l-lahu Mūsā taklīman). Now the question is: did God use the Arabic terms “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu” when He spoke to Moses (Musa) while Moses himself might not have spoken in Arabic language? Remember Moses might have not spoken in Arabic language is implied in Al Ahqaf (46) 12. It is informed in the verse that before Quran there was a “scripture of Moses” and Quran is a “confirming Book in an Arabic tongue” . Hence, it can be inferred from this verse that there is a possibility where Moses did not speak in Arabic language, so the book sent to him was not in Arabic (remember the formula in 14:4). And maybe that is why, Al Ahqaf (46) 12 explains that Quran is a “confirming Book in an Arabic tongue”. Moreover, it could also mean that when God spoke to Moses, He might not have spoken in Arabic but in the language of Moses or, at least, in the language that Moses could understand.

I clearly do not know in what language God possibly spoke to Moses. However, based on the explanation from An Naml (27) verse 9, the “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu” (Almighty – All Wise) God is actually already known even far before the revelation of Quran itself – or at least, during the time of Moses. Yet, the language used to “represent” Him might not have been in Arabic as it is implied in Al Ahqaf (46) 12. So, in what language God spoke to Moses? Again, I do not know in what language God spoke to Moses. Nevertheless, an ancient Holy Scripture written in an extinct language - the Old Avestan or more precisely the Gathic dialect - actually has already mentioned A God known as “Ahura Mazda” or “Asura – Medhās” in Sanskrit, which this “name” means “The Mighty – The Wise”.

Interestingly, this Holy Book has already existed even far before the revelation of Quran or even the Gospel. However, this book was once thought to be lost and only to be introduced to the Western world in the 18th century and actively studied in the 19th century. The problem is that this Holy Book is written in an extinct language. The website Encyclopedia Iranica ( informs us that scholars “in the 20th century has tended to vindicate the comparative method ” by using Vedic Sanskrit “for which Vedic provided abundant material ” for the translation of this ancient scripture. Now, since this Holy Book has been presumably long-lost and only to be restudied in the last centuries, apparently not many Muslims are aware, know, or even care of the existence of this Scripture. Thus, not many or even “no” Muslims (as far as I know) are aware that the “names” of God mentioned in this Sacred Scripture is actually mentioned multiple times in Quran, with An Naml (27) verse 9 as the “solid” evidence.

This findings actually could have mutual benefits for both Zoroastrianism and Islam alike. For Islam, this findings confirm the truth of the information provided in An Naml (27) verse 9. One of the “names” of God well-known in the ancient world is indeed The Almighty – All Wise. The thoughtfully long-lost Gathas is the evidence for this. However, the language used to represent the meaning of this “names” is not Arabic, but Avestan – an extinct language. Thus, the linguistic elements used is not “L-ʿAzīzu - L-Hakīmu”, but “Ahura - Mazda” or in Sanskrit: the “Asura - Medhās”. Again, this could also confirm the information in Ibrahim (14) verse 4 that every messengers was sent in the language of their own people. For Zoroastrianism, this finding actually confirms that the God worshiped by the Zoroastrians might as well be the same God worshiped by Islamic people (The Almighty - All Wise Lord) and may even be the same God worshiped by the so-called Abrahamic religion. Thus, it could also mean that the Gathas might be a long lost scripture well-known for Islamic or even Abrahamic religion and Zarathustra could be a prophet that is actually very well-known for Islamic and Abrahamic religion alike. It makes the Gathas in line with the Torah, Gospel, and Quran and makes Zarathustra in line with Abraham, Moses, Isa Ibn Maryam, and Muhammad. It also means there might be mutual information between the Gathas and Quran that might have never been known before. However, before we go further, The Almighty – All Wise is actually not the only “Beautiful Names of God” mentioned in both Gathas and Quran, there are other “Beautiful Names of God” that are also mentioned in both Quran and the Gathas.

In the Name of The Most Gracious - Most Merciful

Salamun Alaikum,

Hello everyone, this is my third writing regarding this subject and my fourth independent post in this forum. This is a continuation from my previous writing in this post:

I know my writing is very long and, maybe, a little bit difficult to understand. Well, I did try to make it shorter and easier. Yet, I am afraid I will miss important point in pushing my limit to do so. I know as the consequence it becomes very long and looks like very complicated (or maybe it is - sadly). I feel like -so far- I failed to point out the importance of this topic. The idea is actually very simple: to compare the verses in Quran with others ancient texts. So far, I have found that the God in Quran might actually have already been known or at least mentioned in, at least, two ancient texts - mainly recognized from His Oneness and Incomparable characteristic. It is just that the linguistic element used to "refer" to Him is different with the linguistic element used in Quran, which is Arabic. By analyzing these texts, not only we can see that narrations in the verses of Quran is true, but it also gives us insight that the narrations of history within verses in Quran are actually telling us about the "Ancient World". As far as I could understand so far (I could be wrong for this), general understanding about narrations of history revealed in verses of Quran is still viewed as the history of the "Arabs" world. Thus, any study conducted regarding the "historical elements" of the Quran is focused heavily around the Arabian Peninsula or even specifically around Saudi Arabia. Now, this is (I believe) some sort of "cultural misunderstanding".

It is true indeed that Quran was sent down to Arabic prophet, but it does not mean the content of the Quran only tells us about the history of the Arab world as well as the God mentioned in Quran is the God known only by Arabic or the so-called "Semitic" people. Is this how we see Quran? Is this how we see the All-Powerful God mentioned in Quran? Most - I believe - simply don't care...

I am truly speechless right now... If Quran, the highest of all source of information, cannot enlighten you, what am I supposed to expect?

Well, at the very least, let me fill this blank space with the story I know about the All-Powerful One God - "He" who is known and worshiped by "righteous" ancient people - "He" who has existed from the beginning and will continue on living forever - "He" who listens and sees all - the All-Knowing One and Only!

Since this "story" is quite long, I will divide this into two sections: The Long-Lost Scripture and The Almighty-All Wise. I apologize for any inconveniences that might occur before, during, and after this writing. I just want to share what I know - since, apparently, I can't expect more... So, this story begins with the discovery of what thought to be long-lost Sacred Scripture by the Western World in the 18th century...

The Avestan Gathas
In the previous discussion, we have seen that if we look beyond the “linguistic elements” or “the language”, other ancient texts actually already mentioned about the Supreme and/or the supposedly Sole God as it is mentioned in Quran. However, the linguistic element used to “represent” The God is not necessarily the same with the One used in Quran or “Allah”. Therefore, “Allah” is actually only a “linguistic element” or “Arabic word” to represent “The Glorious God” Himself, not a name.

In ancient Egypt, the “linguistic element” used was “Aten”. In Hindu, the “linguistic element” used was “Prajâpati” - the Supreme Entity during the time of Brahmanas until “His supremacy was taken over by Brahma” (George M. Williams, Handbook of Hindu Mythology, 2008) . Not only the “name” of God, the verses of Quran that indicate the “characteristic” of the God Himself or the Al Ikhlas (112) verse 1 and 4 are actually clearly mentioned in the third line of the sixth paragraph  of “The Great Hymn to the Aten” and in the 10th verse of Mandala X Hymn 121 of the Rig Veda. This implies that the God known by Muslims or at least the concept of One God is actually already known far before the revelation of Quran or even Gospel itself. Indirectly, this too actually shows the truth in Ibrahim (14) verse 4: that every prophets was sent in the language of their own people – not necessarily in Arabic. Thus, if we try to search the “name” of God in Arabic or “Allah” in ancient texts, we may not be able to find it because ancient people might have not used the same “linguistic elements” as it is used by the Arabic people. Nevertheless, if we try to look the underlying concept, the Oneness of God actually has already being mentioned in several ancient texts - only in different languages.

Other verse of Quran that will explain this is Al Ahqaf (46) verse 12. In Al Ahqaf (46) verse 12, it is mentioned that Quran “is a confirming Book in an Arabic tongue”  of the scripture of Moses. This implies that the scripture of Moses might not have been sent down in Arabic language – and maybe as well as other ancient scriptures. One of the website that I found,, even has already discussed about the similarity between “The Great Hymn to Aten” with “Psalm 104”. Now, if we still cannot go on to the understanding of this “Exclusive Names of God”, we (Muslims) are actually the one to be left behind because our own misconception in understanding the linguistic element “Allah” used in Quran. This is also why I think the discussion of “Exclusive Names of God” started by Mr. Joseph actually very important to discuss and elaborate in the first place.

Not only in “The Great Hymn to the Aten” and the “10th verse of Mandala X Hymn 121 of the Rig Veda”, there is actually another ancient text that has mentioned The God with similar characteristics as it has been mentioned in Quran. This ancient text is: Avestan Gathas. Gathas is a very ancient scripture written in Gathic or Old Avestan , while the Gathic or Old Avestan is a very ancient dialect of Avestan or Old Iranian language . It is the oldest dialect in the Avesta, the Holy Book of the Zoroastrians. The Avesta itself is the only evidence of the Avestan language.

In the explanation given in Encyclopedia Iranica about Gathas, it is explained that “According to tradition, the five Gathas are composed by Zoroaster himself”. Zoroaster or Zaraθuštra (Zarathusthra) is a prophet lived in ancient Iran and the prophet of the Zoroastrianism itself. Unfortunately, little is known about Zoroaster or Zarathusthra life, including where and when he lived. There is lengthy explanation about speculation of where and when Zoroaster or Zarathusthra lived in Encyclopedia Iranica ( The date range from 1750 BCE until 258 years before Alexander the Great, while the safest assumption of the probable location of Zoroaster or Zarathusthra as explained in that page is in the northeast Iran. Mary Boyce wrote in the introduction for her book, Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (2001), the life of prophet Zarathustra is known mainly from the Gathas: “seventeen Great Hymns which he composed and which have been faithfully preserved by his community” (page 17) .

Avestan language is considerably an extinct language in which it is no longer actively used for communication, but it does not mean it is completely lost . There are samples for Avestan alphabets in and a PDF from Dr. Ervad Ramiyar Parvez Karanjia with the title “Teach Yourself Avestan Language” in website. The full link is presented in the footnote below.

An Extinct Language
Before we start the discussion, the extinction of Avestan language, especially the Gathas or the Old Avestan language, is an important thing to be put into consideration. Encyclopedia Iranica ( so far, or as far as I know, is the best website that gives a general but comprehensive understanding regarding this matter. This website gives us basic understanding that we may need about the problem from multiple points of view. This site also gives us a good introduction regarding Avesta, Avestan Language, and Gathas in general.

The extinction of the Avestan language or especially the Gathas or Old Avestan language actually gives us advantage as well as disadvantage. Specifically for the Gathas, the advantage is that at least it can only have been written by the people who used this extinct language, not by the people outside its time-range. Thus, the information inside the Gathas has a higher chance of not being “forged”, “changed” or “counterfeited” by later people because nobody uses that language anymore, although it does not necessarily mean that the information inside the Gathas is “factual”. Simply put, any information comes from the Gathas can be said as based on “linguistic evidences” than merely “claims”, which the extinct language itself becomes the basic argument for “authenticity”.

In the article “AVESTA i. Survey of the History and Contents of the Book” from Encyclopedia Iranica, it is explained within the sub-chapter “Contents of the Avesta” there are indeed some problems with “authenticity” for the Avesta itself - such as the fabrication of the Vištāsp Yašt, which is considered by the tradition as Zarathusthra teaching for Kavi Vištāspa turned out to be “a poorly fabricated medley of quotations from the Vidēvdād”. However, it is also explained that this problem might happen for the texts compiled later (more recent). While for the older texts such as the Old Avestan texts and the old Yašts, the article explains that there is “probability” where these texts “have come down to us in their entirety”. The reason for this as it has been mentioned in that page would be: “the Parsis would have paid particular attention to the transmission of the most venerable parts of the sacred canon”.

If there is advantage, then there is also disadvantage. The disadvantage in the extinction of Avestan language (especially the Gathic dialect or the Old Avestan language) is that; since the language is extinct, the interpretation or even the translation of any texts written in that language –by itself- is a great challenge. In the website Encyclopedia Iranica, the problems in translating the Gathas are widely discussed in “GATHAS ii” . In this article, there are multiple translations of the Gathas presented as case examples and also lengthy explanation about two main methods in translating the Gathas. Unfortunately, the article does not start with the core of the problem, which is the extinction of Gathic or Old Avestan language itself. The extinction of the language, as it has not been actively used again, is actually the core of the problem in translating the Gathas. Boyce (2001) mentions in her book that the dialect used by Zarathustra (Zoroaster) is only known from the Gathas and “a few other ancient texts” (page 18). Thus, it makes the interpretation of the Gathas difficult, since many words in the Gathas are practically unknown.

The Translation of Gathas
In the translation of the Gathas, there are two main methods with Christian Bartholomae dictionary as the parting-line between the two methods. The first method relies on Zoroastrian traditions to understand the Gathas with James Darmesteter as the main supporter of this method. Other translator mentioned is Lawrence H. Mills, yet the work of Mills (at least one of them) is said to be “in its convenient arrangement of the original text with the Pahlavi and Sanskrit glosses”. In the article “AVESTA i. Survey of the History and Contents of the Book”, it is explained that this method is called traditional school, which “considered that the Avesta could only become clear with the help of the native Pahlavi commentary”.

The second method is said to be “comparative linguistics” method with Bartholomae book Wörterbuch (1904) as a reference. The method itself uses material from Vedas, ancient Indian texts, to be compared with the Gathas. Thus, those this method is called the Vedic school and those who use this method is called Vedacist. Scholars who used this method were “convinced that the best approach to the true meaning of the Avesta was the etymological one, for which Vedic provided abundant material”. Furthermore, it is explained in the article “GATHAS ii”  that “the entire history of Gathic scholarship in the 20th century has tended to vindicate the comparative method at the expense of the Zoroastrian tradition’s authority”.

These two methods pose threats for the understanding of the Gathas itself. The works of Darmesteter and Mills are considered “obsolete” with the publication of Altiranisches Wörterbuch (1904), the book of Christian Bartholomae. In the article, it is explains that the works of Darmesteter are “frequently noted” and “frequently dismissed” with the expression “falsch” (false in Germany) . Moreover, the Vedacist or those who used the comparative linguistics approach are skeptical about the native Pahlavi commentary of the Avesta, which from the Vedic school point of view “was no more reliable a guide to the Avesta”. Meanwhile, the comparative linguistics method is criticized for its threat in leading to “the way to unverifiable speculation”  of the Gathas itself. Those who are interested in this matter more can visit the website Encyclopedia Iranica ( Both the article of the translation of Gathas and Avesta I (mostly the subsection “History of Avestan Studies”) will provide information about the complexity in the translation of the Gathas itself. This is the basic reason why there are so many translations of the Gathas. One of the page in  website even provides multiple translations of the Gathas to show its readers the complexity in translating the Gathas.

Now, the basic question here would be: can we rely on the translations of Gathas? To answer this question, we may want to understand the long history of the translation of Gathas itself.

Vedic Sanskrit Role
First of all, the article in Encyclopedia Iranica ( about the translation of Gathas convinces us that the translators of Gathas, at least the ones mentioned in the article, are “competent scholars whose interpretations were informed by solid philology”  . Yet, of course, this is not enough. In the article “AVESTA i. Survey of the History and Contents of the Book” subsection “History of Avestan studies” , it is explained that question of “authenticity” for the Avesta and others texts brought by Anquetil-Duperron for the first time from India in 1762 has caused long time polemic in the Western world. It was not until the decrypting of Old Persian inscription dating from the time of Achaemenid Empire this question of authenticity was finally answered. It was revealed that the Old Persian inscription with ancient Iranian language closely akin to Avestan has proven “that the language of the Avesta was an antique representative of an independent Indo-European language, which was however more closely related to Indian than to any other branch of the family”.

To understand how close the Avestan to its Indian counterpart or the language of the Vedas, the website  offers us an explanation regarding this particular matter. In its article Varuna and his decline – Part Seven subsection “Language of the Avesta and Vedic Sanskrit” , it is explained that Shri JM Chatterji, the author of The Hymns of Atharvan Zarathustra (1967), observes the resemblance between the Avestan language and Vedic Sanskrit (the language of the Vedas) . The explanation is given in 83.1 that the relation between the Avestan and the Vedic Sanskrit is “so close that entire passages from the Gathas can be rendered into Vedic Sanskrit by application of the phonetic rules – that is by exchanging some sounds for others”. One of the examples provided by the website is presented below:

“The Sanskrit terms aham (‘I’), jihva (tounge), sapta (seven), hima (snow) and yajna (sacrifice ritual)
would become ajem, hijva, hapta, zyma, and yasna, respectively, in the Iranian texts”

For more examples and explanation, you may want to visit the website page. Furthermore, the argument given in 83.3 actually includes the statement from The Cambridge History of India, Professor T. Burrow from Oxford University, and HD Griswold in his book The Religion of the Rig Veda about the close resemblance between the language of Avestan Gathas and Vedic Sanskrit. However, since the website does not provide more detail sources of these statements, I hesitate to include these statements here. You may want to see it in the website directly for more detail.

Now, the most essential and important aspect related to Islam or specifically the Quran based on the explanation above is actually the name of the God “Ahura Mazda” mentioned within the Gathas in Avestan language and how it is translated by using its Indian counterpart: the Vedic Sanskrit.

Reference: in History of Avestan Studies
The website provides the link for the scanned version of the book

to be continued... #adding suspense effect#

General Discussions / The "Names" of God in Ancient Texts (Part 2)
« on: August 15, 2018, 04:26:35 AM »
This writing is a continuation from my previous post in this forum The topic is about to find the "names" of God in ancient texts/scriptures. In the previous post, I explained how language actually works and the importance of understanding that "Allah is NOT an Exclusive Name of God". In this post, I will show you one example of ancient text where the concept of One Supreme God was actually already mentioned far before the Quran, only not in Arabic language.

Until this point, we know that humans have been endowed with linguistic capability to make them able to give “names” to things as it has been explained in Al Baqarah (2) 30-33. Unfortunately, “name” itself is still too general to trace the “other names” of God in ancient time. Every culture might have their own label for the abstract concept of “God”. Thus, we need to be more specific in finding "The God” we are looking for. Therefore, this time we will look for the “characteristics of God” being mentioned in Quran to know "The God" we are actually looking for. Here, we simply go beyond the surface forms into the level of meanings but not necessarily reach the level of interpretation itself.

“The Great Hymn to the Aten”

I previously have given the example of Aten, the monotheistic God of ancient Egypt in this forum If we only look to the “name” of the God itself or “Aten”, we might not be able to determine whether Aten is the “other names of God” in ancient Egypt or it is not. It could simply be a general “label” for the underlying concept of “God” or even “Gods”, not necessarily The God being mentioned in Quran. This is not enough to determine whether “Aten” is other “name” or more precisely “reference” for God that we are looking for. “Aten” itself actually means “disc” , which makes it seem like the name “Aten” does not have any relation with the God being mentioned in Quran. However, if we dig deeper on the history of Aten itself, there is a hymn for the “Aten” called “The Great Hymn to the Aten” . In this hymn-poem, there are similarities between these hymns with verses in Quran. The clearest one would be the third line of the sixth paragraph which states “O sole god, like whom there is no other!”. This line is the same with Al Ikhlas (112) verse 1 and 4: “ Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One” and “ Nor is there to Him any equivalent.".

Not only on that particular line, there are other conceptual similarities between verses in the Great Hymn to the Aten with Quran as I have explained in the previous writing. Surely, deeper analysis is needed. This is actually why I am writing this essay: to invite others who are interested in this field of study to work together in order to reveal the truth about the past, since I do have my own limitation. Nonetheless, if the Great Hymn to Aten is indeed authentic text from the ancient time and its translation is correct, there is a possibility "Aten" is another “name” of God in another language, as it has been explained in Ibrahim (14) verse 4.

From the above explanation, it is actually quite clear that the things we really need in order to discover other “names” of God far before the revelation of Quran is actually the characteristics of the God itself, as they are being mentioned in multiple verses of Quran. Like the name or precisely reference of “Aten” above, the “name” itself cannot be used to conclude whether Aten is the other name of God or not, but His “Oneness” characteristic as it has been mentioned in the sixth paragraph line three is undeniable evident that “Aten” is the other name of God based on the information provided by Quran (Al Ikhlas (112) verse 1 and 4). This is actually the method of Quranic version; to use the information provided by the Quran to find the historical evidences of verses within the Quran itself. Since this method heavily rely on the Quran itself to find the historical evidences of its own verses, it can be said that this method is simply provided by the Quran by using the method implied in the Quran to prove the verses within the Quran itself.

Now, can this really work?

Yes and –to tell you the truth- it is actually quite easy, even a man like me can do my own independence research to implement this method. Only when I try to prove this, I will need help, since I do have my own limitations. Unfortunately, not many people understand or even care to even pay attention about how important this is. Therefore, I have not been able to give any hard evidences that I need to prove the effectiveness of this method. But, again, it does not mean it cannot be proven. The “name” of Aten is one of the possibility. Therefore, by using the same method, it is actually possible for us to find other “names” of God by looking deeper into other ancient texts and compare these texts with the Holy Quran itself. Based on my finding, other concepts of the Supreme One God can be found in at least two other ancient texts. These two ancient texts are the Vedic and the Avestan Gathas.

Rig Veda: Mandala X Hymn 121

The Rig Veda is the oldest of the four Vedas. It is estimated that this ancient text “was composed about 1500 B.C., and codified about 600 B.C” . In one of the Vedic Hymns by Max Müller (1891) , there is a Hymn to the Unknown God, which is Mandala X Hymn 121. In this Hymn, the concept of One Supreme God is mentioned. From my finding, the Oneness of God can literally be found at least in the 1st, 3rd, and 8th verse. Now, the more interesting thing that I found is actually in the 10th verse. In the 10th verse, the “name of God” mentioned is “Pragâpati” (Prajapati). Here, I will quote three translations I could find from  Max Muller along with J Muir  and Ralph T.H. Griffith  (1896). These translations are from Internet Sacred Text Archive:

   Muller : Pragâpati, no other than thou embraces all these created things. May that be ours which we desire when sacrificing to thee: may we be lords of wealth!
   Muir :   Pragâpati, no other than thou is lord over all these created things: may we obtain that, through desire of which we have invoked thee: may we become masters of riches.
   Griffith: Prajāpati! Thou only comprehendest all these created things, and none beside thee. Grant us our hearts' desire when we invoke thee: may we have store of riches in possession.

As you can see from the three translations above, the same concept of One God as it has been mentioned in Al Ikhlas (112) 1 and 4 has already been mentioned by this ancient sacred text – just like it has also been mentioned in “The Great Hymn to The Aten”. Even though so, the “name” or the linguistic element used to represent the concept of “God“ is not “Allah”, but “Pragâpati” or “Prajapati”. In its Wikipedia page, it is explained that “Prajapati (Sanskrit: प्रजापति) is a compound of "praja" (creation, procreative powers) and "pati" (lord, master)” with the source mentioned: Jan Gonda (1982), The Popular Prajāpati, History of Religions, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Nov., 1982), University of Chicago Press, pp. 137-141. Unfortunately, I cannot read the detail in . Hence, I cannot make it as a source, but rather an information only. Maybe, you can check the information yourself. And, if you are kind enough, maybe you could provide me with the detail – only if you will.

Not only Jan Gonda, there are several other books that discuss about Prajapati. In Handbook of Hindu Mythology (2008) By George M. Williams, Prajâpati “was first a Vedic God (Deva) of real importance, only to be reduced over the centuries to the function of a group (rank) of Gods” (page 234) . Moreover, Williams mentions that Prajâpati was the Supreme Entity and the father of Gods during the time of Brahmanas until “His supremacy was taken over by Brahma”. Roshen Dalal in Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide (2010) wrote that Prajapati in Rig Veda is “praised as the creator of heaven and earth, of the waters and of all that lives, of the one God above all other Gods” (page 311) . Similar with Williams, Dalal also mentions that Prajapati was replaced by Brahma, which is why in the later literature “Prajapati often refers to Brahma”. Still according to Dalal, Shiva and Vishnu are sometimes also called Prajapati. Moreover, several other Gods in Mahabarata and Puranas are also referred to as Prajapati. This group of Gods is called “Prajapatis” (Prajapatayah). Similar information can be found in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume 2 by James G. Lochtefeld, Ph.D. (2001). Although appearing late in the Vedas, Prajapati is “described as the creator of the universe and is considered superior to the Vedic deities” (page 518) . Moreover, Lochtefeld also mentions that “Prajapati can also be used to refer to the God Brahma, as fashioner of the universe, or the Gods Vishnu or Shiva, as the universe’s supreme deities” in later Hindu practice. Based on these information, Prajapati is apparently the Supreme God with none others besides Him before He became only as a reference for other Gods.

A little note, there is actually other explanation in Encyclopedia of Hinduism by Constance Jones and James D. Ryan (2006). In their book, there is an explanation about Prajapati “being identified with the cosmic Purusha, the source of all reality” (page 332) . In page 338, there is an explanation about how Purusha began to be called as Prajapati. Unfortunately, I cannot see the content of this book. So, the best thing I can do is to put this information here. Hopefully, this information will be very useful for those who are interested with this matter more. Even though so, I personally hope someone will help me to read this book.

In the internet, there are many explanations and interpretations given about “Prajapati” or the Lord of Creatures (Williams, 2008 and Lochtefeld, 2001) or Lord of All Born Being (Jones and Ryan, 2006) or Lord of Living Creatures (Jan Gonda, History of Religions, 1982. Page 129) . Surely, these various interpretations are something natural for a text that has been existing for more than 2000 years. However, if the text is authentic, the translation is correct, and the original text does mention about the Oneness of “Prajapati” in 1st, 3rd, 8th, and 10th verse of the hymn, Mandala X Hymn 121 of the Rigveda could be a linguistic evidence that the God (or at least the concept of One God) in Islam is actually also known by the Hindus – only linguistic element used to represent the concept of “the God” is different. This, by itself, also proves the explanation given by Ibrahim (14) verse 4 that every prophets was sent in the language of their own people, not Arabic. And, also by itself, it shows that Allah is NOT an exclusive name, but rather a linguistic element to represent "The God" Himself. Surely, this is an initial research and not a final conclusion; a further study is needed. However, this proves that if we look deeper than the “label” or the linguistic elements used to represent God in spoken or written language, we can actually find the same underlying concepts as they are narrated in Quran within other ancient texts.

Once again, there would be a lot of interpretations regarding “Prajapati” and it is actually natural for a text that has been around for more than a millennium. Therefore, the authenticity of the text and the accuracy of the translation would need to be confirmed and proven. When the authenticity of the text and the accuracy of the translation can be confirmed -no matter what the interpretations are- the linguistic elements existing within the text itself is enough to be the evidences. Please remember that anybody can interpret anything, yet we simply have to focus on what is mentioned in the text itself. Quran would be a good example of this.

General Discussions / The "Names" of God in Ancient Texts
« on: August 13, 2018, 01:43:26 AM »
The “Name” of God in Ancient Texts[/b]

In the Name of Most Gracious, Most Merciful

This is actually my third writing in this forum, a continuation from my previous post: In this writing I basically criticize about Mr. Joseph article: “‘ALLAH’ IS NOT AN EXCLUSIVE NAME FOR GOD” ( This article by Mr. Joseph is actually a very important discussion within Islam itself. However, maybe not many people either aware or care about how important this discussion is. In my critics, I do agree that “Allah” is not an exclusive name of God, it is simply a “linguistic element” used in Arabic to represent the “God” itself in spoken or written language. Nonetheless, we may want to remember that “Allah” might unconsciously have been understood as an “exclusive name” of God by the Islamic people for a very long time. Thus, it is actually very natural for the misunderstanding of many moslems/muslims to think that "Allah" is the “name” of God. Since this might have been a very long time embedded mentality, it would be quite difficult to be “changed” by simply giving an argument the way Mr. Joseph does in his article. Therefore, there might be a better way to deduce whether Allah is the “name” of God or simply a “linguistic element” used to represent The God Himself in Arabic spoken/written language. Now, the question is: how?

If we think about it carefully, Ibrahim (14) verse 4 actually gives a very basic hypothetical question to resolve this problem:

Can we find the name “Allah” in ancient texts/scriptures or can we not?

Ibrahim (14) verse 4 actually already explains that every messengers was sent “in the language of his people”. Thus, there is a big chance we won’t find the name “Allah” in ancient texts/scriptures, since ancient people who far predating the Quran might not have used Arabic as their language. Allah as the “name of God” might have been used only as long as the Arabic language as it is known now started to be used. So, how about the “names of God” before Arabic itself? Did the previous Holy Books use the same Arabic term "Allah" to refer to the Almighty Himself? Or, did they use different "names" to refer to Him?

In the following article, I provide explanation that if we see beyond the language as merely tools in delivering meanings, we will see similar underlying concepts about God found in Quran within some ancient texts that might have not been even considered before. However, before we enter to the main discussion, it would be better for us to understand how “name” itself works in the first place. Therefore, I will begin this long article with the understanding of “name” itself and hope you won’t get bored along the way.

“Name” As A Label for “Thing”

I actually have given a lengthy explanation about how verses in Quran actually give us very basic nature of language itself in my previous writing. Here, I’m just going to repeat it briefly and add a little bit.

The act of “naming” might seem like a simple act. However, if we try to understand the nature of language or look deeper to the underlying principle of how language works, we will find that “naming” is actually the most fundamental aspect of language itself. This makes the narration of Al Baqarah (2) verses 30-33 are actually very important verses in understanding language itself; the beginning, the nature, the development, and such. Even though so, my writing is actually an initial research towards this Quranic methods. Therefore, I invite you -the people of Quran- to develop this method together with me, so we can study deeper how Quran actually tells us the very basic fundamental nature of many things.

We, humans, give names to anything or everything, either abstracts or concretes. This, apparently, is the basic idea of language itself: to represent an object/objects in "real life" (concrete or abstract) with spoken or written linguistic elements. This is also why “words” are closely related with “meaning”.

A group, line, cluster, etc. of letters can be called a “word” when it has meaning. Even two letters like “oh!”, as long as it has meaning, could be called as “word”. You may google it yourself, if you don’t believe me. This shows that “words” are nothing but a representative of the real-life objects; or in simple understanding, the “words” actually only “linguistic representative” of the “definition” itself. This is the nature of language. Therefore, if we think and look deeper about it, language might have started by the act of “naming” itself, as it is explained in Al Baqarah (2) verses 30-33. As it is humans that give "names" to "objects", “name” is actually -borrowing Saeed in Semantics (Blackwell, 1998)- only a “label” we attach to the real-life object.

By “naming”, we are actually giving labels to things, concretes or abstracts. We label the act of “move at a regular and fairly slow pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn” as “walk”. We label “the move at a speed faster than a walk” with “run”. We label the action of “run at full speed over a short distance” with “sprint” and etc. The same thing is applied with verbs. In English for instance, the label for verb that indicates past action is the suffix “-ed”. That is why verbs end with “-ed”, surely with some variants in use, represent “action that has been done in the past”. “Walk” for instance, if it is added with “-ed” at the end, it represents “move at a regular and fairly slow pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn in the past”. This is actually how language works. Therefore, a group, line, cluster, etc. of letters can be called a “word” when it has meaning, since “words” are supposed to represent something. This is why although Al Baqarah (2) verses 30-33 seem like a simple narration, it is actually very important! All verses in Quran is important! Often, people or we are the ones that do not understand how important they actually are.

In reality, there is no specific rules in this act of “naming” or giving “labels” to things. If we consider how God has endowed us with our linguistic capability as He taught language to the first human (Al Baqarah [2] verses 30-33), there is almost no limitation to this act of “naming”. The limitation is simply our own creativity. This might be how there are so many languages in the world, because the humans have this “basic” ability to create their own language. This explains the arbitrary nature of language; the differences or varieties of various languages never come from the languages themselves, but rather from the creativity of the users of the languages in producing, inventing, developing, and choosing their own languages (note: this is not a rigid and final definition. Further development is needed. This definition is made to make you easier in understanding the “arbitrary” concept.) For you who are interested more in the arbitrary of language, you may want to visit this website page:

You actually can see the evidence of this in every-day life. In reality, we can create our own “words” with those who are close to us. In other words, you can choose specific “labels” for things or act and so on. The only requirement needed for that “labels” to work in an act of communication is simply to be understood by the participants in which that “labels/words” are used. Isn’t this how we create “codes” to signal some particular “information” or “action” and such that is only known by some particular people (or here, the participants)? You can create these special codes with your children that only you and your children understand for instance, like “poo-poo” for time to go to restroom or “gram-gram” for grandmother and such. Surely, higher level of participants, like an underground community or government organization, will require more complicated “codes” or “labelling” and may even need to have their own “rules” in using this “special languages”. Only when the participants are getting larger, a “convention” is needed.

The “convention” within a language is the final stage required because the “participants” or the “users” of the language are growing wider and larger. This “agreement” between “users or participants” of a language is needed to make “the flow” within an act of communication effective and efficient. Yet, it does not mean this is a very basic requirement. This “convention” is simply needed for the purpose of effectiveness and efficiency of a communication itself. If someone who does not know the convention of a language participate in that language, it is likely that this particular person will have some trouble to adjust in using that language. This often happens to us when we learn foreign language. There is actually a long and deeper discussion for this, but for now, let’s go back to the fundamental problem of “name” itself.

Since name is merely a label “attached” by humans to every objects, either concrete or abstracts, “name” can be varied, unique, or seem like it has no relation with the object itself. Again, this shows the arbitrary nature of language itself. This is also the reason why there are so many and/or various languages in the world. The same with the “name” or more precisely the “reference” of God, various people in various ages or places could have their own “label” for God. It could be anything. For example, in English, the Entity that is worshiped by the believers is labeled as “God”, in Arabic as “Allah”, in ancient Egypt as “Aten”, in Indonesia as “Tuhan”, and so on. The “label” could be anything, but it simply represents the Entity that is worshiped by their believers. Therefore, although the “labels” could be varied, the “general concept” that underlying these “labels” actually remains the same. This is how translations works!

Until this point, we are actually seeing that basically humans are the ones that produce, “invent”, develop, and use language by organs that has been endowed to us and the teaching of God as it has been mentioned in Al Baqarah [2] verses 30-33. So, language basically is our own product. We use our linguistic ability to “represent” real-life objects, either abstract or concrete. English people use the word “God” to represent the concept of “Entity” worshiped by Its believers. Arabic people use the word “Allah” to represent the same concept. And since linguistic ability is endowed to humans by God, every societies or every cultures that has existed or still exists might have their own “label” or linguistic element to represent the concept of God itself. God uses these “linguistic elements” to make us understand about Him and His messages. Surely, since every societies or every cultures might have their own versions of “linguistic elements”, God sent every messengers with the knowledge of these “linguistic elements” so they can deliver His messages clearly. This is actually what is being implied in Ibrahim (14) verse 4. Sure anyone can understand this verse clearly for it is actually quite easy to understand. But, then again, have we ever thought to use this understanding in Ibrahim (14) verse 4 to find His ancient names in ancient texts?

Unfortunately enough, understanding the underlying concept of the “name” of God is not enough in finding other “names” of God in the past. As you can see, every civilizations might have their own “label” for God, either in time or space. The easiest way to see this is by using Google Translate. Just put the English word “God” and start to translate it into another language. You will see that each nations or languages might have their own “label” for God. Similar things might also happen for every cultures within the timeline of history.

Every nations, kingdoms, cultures, tribes, etc. that have ever existed in history might have their own “labels” for God. I agree with Mr. Joseph that, in his own words, “Allah” is actually only a linguistic element that represent the concept of God in Arabic language. Therefore, it is actually equivalent with “God” in our language. God is far too great to be represented by our linguistic capability; He is far beyond any humans can ever think of or even imagine. However, Quran also mentions that there are people who literally invented “name” to their self-created Gods in at least these verses: Al A’raf (7) 71, Yusuf (12) 40, and An Najm (53) 23. Therefore, it would be wiser if we use the Quran itself as a reference point for “Beautiful Names” of God, not out of it, to avoid including false “names” of God among the “real” ones. These “names” being mentioned in Quran has meanings and, in these meanings, there are many lessons that we actually could learn. Furthermore, not only extremely meaningful, these “Beautiful Names” of God can actually be used to find the other “names” of God in ancient time. We just have to follow or see the “characteristics” of God (or “names” if you prefer) as it has been mentioned in multiple verses of Quran. Therefore, the real question here is actually not the name itself, but rather “the characteristics of God”.

This is actually why the discussion of “Exclusive Name of God” is quite important to discuss. Yet, apparently not many people are aware of, understand, or even care to discuss this. Thus, here I am trying to make you understand how important this matter actually is - of course with my own limitation. In the next discussion, I will show you the evidences of Ibrahim (14) verse 4 and also Al A’raf (7) 71, Yusuf (12) 40, and An Najm (53) 23 within the course of history itself.

Salamun Alaikum,


Salamun Alaikum

In the Name of The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful One and Only

My name is Ocyid, I am an independent researcher of Quran. I am a new member here, so nice to meet you ;D

In article about "ALLAH’ IS NOT AN EXCLUSIVE NAME FOR GOD" ( Mr. Joseph discusses about the name of Allah or the “name” of God in Arabic. This discussion is quite interesting. I am actually writing about similar thing as a sub-topic in a relevant matter but with different method within a quite long writing. Since, I believe nobody will ever read mine, I hope my writing here could give a broader insight regarding this matter.

Understanding The Problem
In his article, Mr. Joseph begins it with "It is becoming increasingly understood by many Muslims that the name ‘Allah’ is the only correct designation for God". This is interesting. The point that makes it interesting actually is not in whether God is naming himself as "Allah" or others. The point that makes it interesting is actually in how we perceive "name" itself.

It is undeniable that name is part of our identity. Yet, we may often forget that name itself actually is not something we are born with. It is how our parents referred to us so that they and other people are able to identify us. No babies ever born with a natural name, people who give birth to the baby or who "found" them are the ones who use “specific reference” so they can identify the baby. Therefore, when a baby is born, an identification bracelet is usually put on him/her to distinguish the baby with other baby, because “the name” itself is not naturally a part of the baby. This shows that "name" is actually not a natural part of us like our body parts. In an extreme example, this is why when there is an accident where the bodies of the people involved are damaged, the forensic team would identify the victims through their "unique physical appearance" like birthmark or from victims’ belongings -but not name itself, unless the name is attached to the victim (note: this is just an example, please enlighten me if you understand more about forensic). Only through physical examination, "the name" could be determined. It is indeed intriguing to think that when we were born, parents give us names to “identify” us. Yet, when we are dead, people may analyze our bodies to "identify" our names.

This shows that "name" itself does not naturally come with the "object". Humans give names to almost everything they could find. As long as we can "imagine" it or "define" it, we or "humans" can give name to it. In fact, this might (note: might) be what language essentially is all about: to represent an object/objects in "real life" (concrete or abstract) with spoken or written linguistic elements . Most people know the smallest “meaningful” unit of these linguistic elements as “word”. Language students know that the smallest unit that can still represent real-life object is called “morpheme”. Yet, to simplify it, I would use the term “word” here.

We use word to represent real-life object, since there is a limitation in "bringing" the object itself in a real-life communication. If we do not have a word for "blue whale" for instance, then when we are talking about a "blue whale" we will have difficulties in pointing this object we are talking about. Or, when we want to talk about abstract concept like "dream". If we do not have word to represent this abstract object, we will have some difficulties when we want to refer to it. The following conversation could be a simple example:

A: "Last night I experience a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in our mind when we are sleeping"
B: "You mean a dream?"

Again, this is what language is all about: to represent an object/objects in "real life" (concrete or abstract) with spoken or written linguistic elements . We commonly know this act simply by "naming". Language students know this act as "referring" or "denoting". Borrowing John I Saeed (in Semantics, page. 23), "referring" or "denoting" is an action of picking out or identifying with words. For those who are interested to this kind of problem more, you may want to read Semantics by John I Saeed. I use the 1998 edition. However, as far as I know, this discussion about "reference" in page 23 apparently only focus on "noun", but not other parts of speech. Whereas, other parts of speech than noun may actually come from the act of "naming" too.

One of the easiest example is the verb "google". The verb "google" might have not existed before the existence of "Google" itself. After that, people start using the verb "google" to refer to "an act of searching for information about (someone or something) on the Internet using the search engine Google". Therefore, basically, we “name” that act as “google”. This shows verbs too come from the act of “naming”. Maybe only some “special” words like linking verbs in English that does not represent this act, since linking verbs are only use to connect between subject and predicate or between noun and its adjective. However, quite different with noun in which it involves "concrete objects", many other parts of speech involve "abstract objects" or a “concept” in the process. Thus, it may be more difficult to prove that other parts of speech actually come from the act of naming too (or more precisely “referring”), although it is still possible. The verb "google" above is one of the examples.

I know it would be better if there are more examples. Therefore, if you have one you may want to add it in the comment below, so we can learn it together. Moreover, the examples are not limited to English only. It would even far better if the examples come from your native language, for your own better understanding.

Regardless the difference between "concrete” and “abstract”, any words may actually come from the simple act of "naming" itself or the act of representing an object/objects in "real life" (concrete or abstract) with spoken or written linguistic elements. As a proof in this modern day, we could easily look up for definition of a word. Those definitions are actually the real life object, either concrete or abstract. In elementary level, definitions are usually replaced with pictures to make it easy for the elementary level readers in understanding what the linguistic elements represent. Of course, not all real-life objects could be drawn. There is a limitation for that too. Thus, we use definitions instead to push the limitation itself.

The act of “naming” might seem like a simple action. Yet, if we try to understand the nature of language or look deeper to the underlying principle of how language works itself, we will find that the simple
act of naming is actually the most basic nature of language itself. Interestingly, this act is actually mentioned in Al Baqarah (2) verse 30-33.

In Al Baqarah (2) verse 30-33, this act of "naming" is actually narrated in the Quran. We still repeat this process in our daily life, but maybe we are too busy to notice. Above, I give you some examples. In reality, there are a lot of other examples about how "naming" seems to be our natural intuition. One of the most famous example is the naming of a continent during the 16th century. The continent itself may have been around for ages. Native may have had their own names for this continent. Yet, when foreign people came, they gave a new name for this continent. Nowadays, the continent is known with that particular name given by the "new" people. This is just one of the examples. There are many other examples in our daily life. We name our newborn child. Some give name to their inventions or discoveries. Several even give a specific name for their personal belonging (i.e. a car named Knight Rider, a motorcycle named Dorothy, a dog named Ruben, a cat named Elsa, and such). I believe you know people like this or even you are one of them. Don't worry, nothing wrong with that. Naming is our natural intuition like it has been narrated in chapter 2 (Al Baqarah) verse 30-33 of the Quran.

From this simple naming, apparently humans are able to create much more complex use of their own linguistic ability. The most important one must be “the rules of language use”. You may know this as “grammar”. Thus, from that very simple act, language might have been further developed into the language as we know now. This is why, although the narration in Al Baqarah (2) 30-33 seems like a simple narration, it actually implies a very important matter regarding language itself. It implies the nature of language and also the possibility of the beginning of language itself. This surely can be developed further.

From the teaching of God about names of “things” as it has been mentioned in Al Baqarah (2) 31, humans apparently have been able to develop it into much more sophisticated and complex forms of language. Thus, from simple naming, humans might have “created” their own language. And then from one language, humans have further developed it into various languages. Therefore, it actually could be said that it is humans that have created languages by developing them from the act of naming things taught by God. This linguistic capability or to know the name of things or simply “naming” things is actually one of our basic competency that not even the angels possess. You may want to read Al Baqarah (2) verse 30-33 yourself. This is also the reasons why there are so many languages in the world, because humans are essentially bestowed with the ability to develop their own linguistic capability like inventing new words or modifying an old language into a new one. Since the humans who create the language are dynamic, in which they can come and go, languages follow their users or the humans. This is the dynamic of language, in which language can extinct and can also be made. If you think about it carefully, the dynamic in language is actually the thing implied in Ibrahim (14) verse 4.

From this explanation, it can be actually deduced at least two things: First, it is actually humans that "create" their own language. Second, language is dynamic; in an understanding that it can be created and it can vanish. Thus, it also means language can be varied from one society to another, whether in time or space. This is the true nature of language itself.

Since it is actually the humans who (either the term is) “invent” or “develop” language, name itself is basically a product of humans too. It is basically us (humans) who give "names" to anything by using our "linguistic ability" that has been endowed to us by God since the first human. We are naming things - either abstract or concrete. So, when we think about "Allah" as the "name" of God, we unconsciously think about us (humans) give name to God.

Can we give name to God? Surely not.

Therefore, this so-called “name” is actually only a linguistic element (written or spoken word) used to represent the real ”subject” (please understand, I refuse to use ‘object’ to refer to God) in Quran to make us, the readers of Quran, easier in understanding "Who" we are talking about.

As it has been mentioned in Mr. Joseph article, the term Allah is used because initially Quran was sent down for Arabic speaking people. Thus, the language used is Arabic. You will find the “general nature” in the revelation of Holy Words (not only Quran) in Ibrahim (14) 4, while other verses that support this are: Fussilat (41) verse 44, Ash-Shura (42) verse 7, Maryam (19) verse 97, and Ad Dukhan (44) 58. Hence, the rest of the verses in which “Arabic language” is mentioned initially is addressed to the prophet or the Arabic people at that time, although it does not necessarily mean it is for those particular people only. In Quran these verses that mentioned “Arabic language” (with the exception verses that has been discussed above) are: Yusuf (Ch.12) verse 2, Ar Rad (13) 37, An Nahl (16) 103, Ta-Ha (20) 113, Ash-Shu’araa/Asy-Syua’ara (26) 195, Al Ahqaf (35) 12, Az Zumar (39) 28, Ha-Mim/Fussilat (41) 44, and Az-Zukhruf (43) 3.

From these verses, it is actually quite clear that Quran is in Arabic because the prophet is Arabic. Therefore, I quote Mr. Joseph from his article: "The reason why the Quran makes use of the word 'Allah' to refer to 'God' is because the Quran is primarily addressing an Arab audience and therefore has been conveyed in Arabic speech".

Everyone who studies Quran will understand this by reading those verses. However, apparently this is not the main problem.

As I have stated in the beginning of this writing, the biggest problem apparently is how we see name itself. Most people might still see “name” as something that we are born with; an identity that is not separated from us – mostly when it comes from a sacred text like Quran. Therefore, when Mr. Joseph stated “it is becoming increasingly understood by many Muslims that the name ‘Allah’ is the only correct designation for God”, it actually represents what Mr.Joseph observes on the surface – but maybe not the core. I am not saying he is wrong. Yet, if we go deeper into the problem, we might find what is causing that condition. Remember, by understanding the problem even more, we might be able to find a better solution.

The problem is actually quite simple; they might actually misunderstand the use of language itself. Thus, they perceive the conceptual linguistic element that represents The Almighty (The All-Seeing All-Hearing Creator) in Arabic language as the “name” of God. In a simple language, they see “Allah” as the name of God, rather than an Arabic term in representing the general concept of God in spoken or written language.
Apparently, this has always been the problem. Therefore, there are many Gods and people see these Gods as different “Entities”. Yet, if we try to understand the underlying concept within it, these words used to refer to “God” might actually refer to the same God. This is too already mentioned by Mr. Joseph in his article, but with different approach. I do not know how many people are aware of this, but this could be a major progress in finding the “truth” within the Quran itself with a very basis question as starter: can this be proven?


If we deduce from the explanation from Ibrahim (14) 4, it will actually lead us to one simple question:

How long actually God has lived?

Now, according to Quran, Allah or God Himself is The First and The Last just like it has been mentioned in Al Hadid (57) 3 or the Ever Living who does not die as it has been mentioned in Al Furqan (25) 58. If this is true (which I strongly believe it is), God must have been lived and will continue to live forever. Therefore, if Allah is indeed “the name of God”, we must have found the same name in previous scriptures or even (perhaps) ancient remains. Since Quran explains that there were preceding Holy Texts/Books before the Quran, the name of God must have been familiar too for the people before the revelation of Quran itself. Can they prove this?

Again, if Allah is indeed the “name” of God, then this name must have been mentioned in ancient texts or been familiar to ancient people before the Quran. If there is no mentioning about “Allah” in the ancient scriptures or by the ancient people, then “Allah” might have only lived or known quite recent; only as long as the Arabic language itself have been started to use. Is this the truth about God? Has He just known or existed quite recently or He actually has been known and existing for a very long time (because He basically is Eternal)?

If we think that Allah is the “name” of God, we might never find this “exclusive name of God” far before the revelation of Quran itself or before the Arabic language started to be used. Yet, if we follow the information in Ibrahim (14) 4 (as it has been clearly explained in that verse that every messengers was sent in the language of their own people), the thing we should find is actually not the “name” or more precisely “reference” used in Arabic, but the conceptual ideas within the “name” or the “reference” itself. Thus, the thing we should follow in order to find the “name” or “reference” of God before the Quran is actually the “characteristics” of the God Himself as they are being mentioned in many verses of the Quran itself. This is actually the “method” implied within the Quran itself. But before that, we just have to know the general concept of language in the first place; hence, I give you this lengthy explanation.

Discussions / The Dual Gods of Islam
« on: July 13, 2018, 06:54:17 PM »

Hi, I am the new man in this forum and I actually do not want to start to introduce myself with this post. Yet, as I see that this issue is quite pressing and I apparently have no other choice, I will have to "discuss" this matter.

I apologize for the provocative tittle or any inconvenience. If this actually has been discussed before or if I disrupt the flow of the forum itself, you may move or even remove this post.

This is going to be very long, so please bear with me for awhile. I just hope this is going to be worth it.

I am aware that most of you might already know that nowadays the focus of any study, teaching, or even mere discussion about Islam "seems to be" heavily focused on the teaching of Muhammad the prophet rather than the teaching of Quran. I guess this is why this forum was established in the first place. I too feel the same thing, maybe we, muslims or mukmin, have gone too far in studying the words and behaviors of the "messenger" that we start to forget "the messages" itself. Apparently this is the case.

I actually do not want to put this into right-or-wrong matter, but more to the reminder that everything we do has its own consequence. Whether most Muslims are aware or not, the role of Prophet Muhammad seems to move "higher" from what is clearly explained in Quran. Somehow now, the position of Muhammad the prophet has risen up from "a messenger" of "the messages from God" to the position where his name is put equally to the name of God itself. You can see the evidence in the picture below:

- there is actually a picture I attach here from Imgur, but if it does not come out... Any suggestion?-

This picture I took is from a mosque in one of the national universities in my nation. You can see that the name of the prophet is quite equal with the name of God. This kind of “position” starts to be something quite common in my nation. The thing is that the name of the prophet was actually lower than the name of God when I was a child. Several years later, his name apparently started to ascend and now become “equal” to the name of God. The interesting question is: is this really "proper" in Islam?

I do not want to exaggerate the problem or make some sensation. However, it is just that this is quite intriguing to be analyzed. Now, aside from the fact that His mosques (masjid) are actually only for Allah and there is prohibition to “invoke” others than Him in His mosques as it has been explained in Al Jinn (72) verse 18, placing other names equal to the name of God -from what my limited mind can understand- is basically a serious issue in this so-called monotheistic religion.

The core of Islam that I understand is the oneness of God. In Quran, one of the most direct understanding is by the statement of: "Nothing is equal to God" as it has been clearly informed and explicitly stated in the 4th verse of Al Ikhlas (chapter 112). You can see multiple translations of Quran regarding this particular in

You can see for yourself that despite the differences in style and chosen words within the translations of Quran in that site, the main point remains the same: there is NONE equal to God.

In Asy Syuara or Al Shu’ara  (chapter 26) verse 96-102, it is even narrated that the people who “equate” something or someone to Allah are actually the people who “manifest error”. I actually attach the word to word translation of the Quran from, so the readers can see for themselves what is actually being mentioned by the Quran. However, since many people in this forum apparently know Arabic, I don't think that is necessary. Yet, if there is doubt, you may want to check multiple translations of the Quran in especially verse 98. You can see that almost all translators use the word “equal”. Only Sahih International uses the word “equate”, which basically has the same meaning. Again, despite differences in words, the point remains the same: to make something or someone “equivalent” to God.

From Al Ikhlas (112) verse 4, it is quite clear that there is nothing equal to God and, therefore, nothing should be put equally to His Glorious Name. For the Asy Syuara (26) 96-102, many muslims might think that this verse is not addressed to them. The truth is that this verse does not address specifically who! It simply states that those who “manifest error” are those who put God the Creator equal with His Creation. Therefore, it could be anybody. It could be you or/and me. Hence, we can actually make this verse as self-introspection: is nothing really stand “next” to His name or we unconsciously add “partner” to Him? Do we truly see God as Single Creator that has NO COMPARISON or do we unknowingly see someone or something "like" Him?

I chose those verses because those verses are the ones that explicitly state "equal" in it in its various translations. But in Quran itself, the implicit understanding that there is actually "no comparison" for God exist in many verses using different words. Some of the most frequents that you may find is the use of "partners" and/or "associates" in Quran. And, remember that other languages may use different words in expressing it. In Indonesia, these words are replaced with the word "sekutu" or in English it is equivalent more with "ally". Some of the verses that mentions God has no "partners", "associates", or its equivalents are Ali Imran (3) verse 64 and 151, An Nisa (4) 36, 48, and 116, Al Maidah (5) 72, at least 12 verses in Al An’am (6): 1, 19, 40-41, 78, 81, 94, 100, 148, 150, 151, and 163, and some other verses in other chapters.

Based on my findings, the Al An’am (chapter 6) is the chapter in which “associating” or “ascribing” partner to God is largely discuss. I noted that at least 11 verses mention about this matter. In fact, this chapter begins with the statement that “those who disbelieve equate [others] with their Lord ” and a verse before the end (verse 164) also begins with "Is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? ”. Pay attention that in the opening of the Al An’am (chapter 6) it is even clearly stated that the disbelievers “equate” (others) with their Lord, which clearly means they put others in the same “level” with God.

The funny thing is that many muslims (that I know) will think that this verse is not addressed to them because they believe they worship One God only. However, these verses –again- actually did not say specifically who! Some (if it is not "most" - further research needed) of these verses do not point out specific people, but rather tell us what they do. Take for instance the opening of Al An’am (chapter 6 verse 1) above. It simply states “those who disbelieve”. It could be anybody. It could be you and me. The important thing is that one of the criteria of these disbelievers is they “equate (others) with their Lord”. Isn’t the verse clear enough for us to understand? Or am I the one misunderstand it here?

Here, I do not judge who... I would rather ask myself: do I put the name of God equal to others? Do I have to disbelieve in God who created the earth in two days (Sahih International term) and attribute others equal to Him -Fussilat (41) 9-?

The prohibition in making others “equal” to God is actually mentioned in multiple chapters and verses in Quran. However, the language used or the chosen word is varied. If we look at the 7th verse of Ali Imran (3), these differences are actually something intended by the Quran itself. Only those whose hearts in “deviation” or “perversity” are seeking “discord” or “dissension” by these multiple translations of Quran. Whereas, if we look closer to the various translations of the Quran, we actually will see the “big picture” of the Quran itself. Therefore, only by seeing multiple translations of the Quran with a clear heart and mind we will see what Quran actually tries to tell us. This problem of placing an ordinary human, no matter how noble he is, in the same level with the Omnipotent and Omniscient God would be a good example for how multiple translations of Quran is actually good for us to get even wider point of view and deeper understanding of the problem itself.

In implying there is actually nothing in the same level with God, multiple translators of Quran use different words to describe this. This is something natural in translation itself. As it has been mentioned before, in Indonesian language  for instance, the word use is “sekutu”, which its equivalence is actually much closer to “ally”. In English, different translators would use different words to describe that God has no comparison whatsoever. You could look up to the 12th verse of Ghafir (40) in as an example:

In the multiple translations of Ghafir (40) verse 12, the word “yusyrok”  is translated differently by different translators. Sahih International uses the words “(others) were associated”. Pickthall uses the words “(partner) was ascribed”. Yusuf Ali uses the words “(partners) were joined”. Shakir uses the words “(associates) were given”. Muhammad Sarwar uses the words “(other things) were considered equal”. Mohsin Khan uses the words “(partners) were joined”. And, Arberry uses the words “(others) are associated”.

At the first glance, these variation in the translations of Quran seem to refer to different things. However, if we look deeper, it actually implies the same concept. Remember that the reason we call someone as “partner” is because he or she is “equal” with us. Your co-workers are equal with you, thus you call them “partners” or “associates”. If someone is higher, you don’t call them “partner”. You call them “boss”. If someone is lower, you call them “assistant”. The supposedly same concept occur with the term “ally”. If you go on war and you have someone equal to you to assist you, you call them “ally”. If they are higher or lower, you don’t call them “ally”. If their position is higher, you call them “master” (isn't it?). If their position is lower, you call them “vassal”. This shows that despite various terms used, the basic concept is actually the same: “equality”. There is nothing "equal" to God, thus there should be nothing placed “beside” Him! It really is not necessary to place something or someone name equal to the name of God (unless the Beautiful Names of God itself), as He does not need it. This is implied in multiple verses, such as An Nisa (4) 48 and 116, Al Ma'idah (5) 72, Al An'am (6) 163, Al'Araf (7) 33 and 191, (especially) At Taubah (9) 31, and many other verses. Now, the question is: what should I call the one stand equally with God? A prophet?

No, the prophet is NOT “equal” to God. There is NOTHING EQUAL to God! Those are nothing but a symbol. The prophet is lower than God. Well, that IS the problem! Look at the man who is prostrating on the bottom right. Who do you think he is prostrating to? The One on the right or the one on the left? Who wants to responsible for this?

This might seem like a simple problem. Therefore, many will take this problem as something unimportant or not worth enough to discuss or even to look at. Some even will say that those are just symbols. It represents nothing, they say. So, how if I step on those symbols? Will you be angry? Why? Because those symbols are very sacred for us. Those symbols represent what we really believe in; those symbols represent our mentality. So, is it really "not ok" for me who believes there is nothing "equal" to God to feel "uneasy" when the name of a human is put side by side with His Glorious Name? Don't we understand the Quran?

Those who read Quran will understand that the mosque (masjid) itself is actually for Allah only, as it has been mentioned in Al Jinn (chapter 72) verse 18. Quran, through its many verses forbid us to place something “equal” to Him His Glorious Name. Why do we, as the ones who read Quran, dare to put other names equal to Him in His mosque? Who wants to take responsibility for this?

I apologize if my writing style makes you misunderstand. I do not try to diminish or even forget the role of the prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him, in spreading the Quran. Yet, don't you think we might have been exaggerating his role by far that some people even dare to put his name equal to the name of God? The prophet Muhammad is indeed important figure in Islam, but do we really necessary to place his name side-by-side with the name of The God itself? What is actually going on? Have we not trespassed a very fine line with this?

The same question is actually being asked in Yunus (10) 35 (

If you are still not aware with the real issue here, the placement of the prophet name "equal" with the name of God is actually a clear evidence of why we should focus on the Quran even more. I do not say we should not learn about "other sources outside of the Quran", all I am saying is that all those "sources" we learn outside the Quran should not "compromise" the Quran itself. I believe Mr. Joseph call this "Quran Centrist" (#CMIIMW). The same thing that I do not try to disrespect the prophet himself, all I am asking: do we have to put his name equal with the name of God?

Remember, this kind of thing is forbidden not for no reason. If this kind of thing is allowed, what do you think will happen next?

Don't the lesson in At Tawbah (9) 31 teaches you something?

For me, I am actually seeing how true Quran is... I see that those who learn Quran and try to make Islamic people back to Quran actually just implement these verses: Al An'am (6) 150-151. The only homework they have is to put aside their differences and start to focus on more important matter. We will always have our own differences, but don't we agree on the most important matter? Only by working together we can achieve our goal: One God, One Quran, One Islam!

It still amazes me indeed how Quran is always right...

Again, I apologize if I offend you in someway through my writing... never intend to... never try to...

I do not try to disrespect, diminish, or even forget the role of prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) in spreading the Quran. I am just merely asking: do we really have to place his name equal to the name of God?

I do not know where future will lead us to, but there is danger in elevating others equal to God... It wouldn't be warned multiple times if there is no danger in doing that... and even after these multiple warnings, people are still doing it... It is funny that some people criticize how many verses are repeated in Quran. The thing they do not know is that even after those multiple repetitions, not many people take the lessons to not repeat the same mistakes again...

Look at these verses: Al Qamar [54] 17, 22, 32, and 40. These verses are only repetition. And even after this many repetition, we still learn nothing. Look how true these verses are!

There are actually at least two more discussions after this, if you allow me. The first one is the danger as it has been mentioned in Ar Rum (30) verse 28 and the cause as it has been mentioned in Yunus (10) 18.

In the end, the proof that almost not many muslims have the objection when the name of the prophet is placed equally with the name of God actually shows that the term “Nothing is equal to God (112:4)” might have not been fully understood.

And if you want to determine how bad the situation is, maybe we should start looking at the mosque we are praying in and see: does the name of God stand alone or there is a companion equal to Him? Is it really proper to place the name of a human being equal with the Lord of All Things in the heaven and earth?

Sorry again for the long discussion. I just do not know where else should I put this cause I know not many will understand what I am trying to say... I actually fear and feel not a worthy person to discuss this sacred matter. But, I do not thing the Oneness of God is something that can be compromised. For me, that is the fine line that should not be trespassed and here is the only place I know to express it.

Thank you for accepting me in this forum, I hope my writing is worth your time.

Salamun Alaikum
One God, One Quran, One Islam

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