Helpful Islamic Terms (tBC016)

In today’s BridgeCast I give some helpful terms in regard to Islam and the cultural storm of money following the Thanksgiving observation.

In this day it may be helpful to have an increased knowledge of Islamic terms. When you read or listen to a ‘news’ report and a term is used that you’re not familiar with, find a good dictionary or reliable source to help give you a working definition of how that term is defined and used.

Allah: This is the only Arabic word for god. This makes translation of the bible into Arabic problematic. Not because there is not a word in Arabic for god. An Arabic speaking person reading the bible in his/her language would use the word allah when they read your English word ‘god’.

In an English speaking context, we have a general word ‘god’ and a specific word for Yahweh [‘God’]. Translators generally note this with a lower case ‘g’ and an upper case ‘G’.

The necessary duty for a believer is to have a working knowledge of the definition according to the doctrine (teaching) of the different faiths.

One of note here is that the god (Allah) of Islam and the god (Yahweh) of the bible are not the same gods. Yahweh reveals Himself as triune, Allah is similar (in definition) but in no way a triune being. This is important in knowing why a Muslim is confused when you refer to Jesus as Deity (God). To a Muslim, you believe in multiple gods.

There is more, but this is a start.

Jihad*: This is a struggle or effort in god’s cause. The great jihad is the inward struggle against the passions. The lesser jihad is a defensive or legal war, to protect the interest of Islam. It is mistakenly called holy war. Jihad is the Muslim obligation to strive to teach, explain, spread, and protect the message of Islam.

Caliphate** is a form of Islamic government led by a caliph (a ruler considered a politico-religious leader of the Islamic community of believers, and rules in accordance with Islamic law.)

A caliphate is political state without separation of religion and government ruled by a religious leader called a caliph. This politico/religious ‘state’ may or may not be recognized by the community at large as legitimate. In Islam, it doesn’t need to be recognized by others, they just are and do.


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