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  1. #1
    Egyption Arrow is offline Member
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    Arrow How I refer to Allah?

    In the name of the Merciful Allah,
    Hello, when I'd like to speak about god - particularly the One in Islam, by saying : It is Allah who sent ....., is it appropriate to refer to him with it or should I say: He is Allah who sent ....? Plus, when I refer to him with the word "god", should I make its first letter " g" capitalized?
    Many thanks ahead.

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I refer to Allah?

    You will probably receive more than one answer to this.
    I refer to God (the one supreme being) as He and use a capital G.

    If I am referring to the many Roman or Greek gods, then it is a generic term, and use a lower-case g.

    Some people don't like to think about God as being male, but would still not use "It" to refer to God. Instead, they tend to recast the sentence and use proper nouns like "The Creator" and such.

  3. #3
    IvanV is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How I refer to Allah?

    Well, I'd use He. When I use She, I think of goddesses. Female deities fit me better, though.
    Jokes aside, I go with Barb.

    (By the way, Barb, is Barb short for Barbara, or...?)

  4. #4
    Egyption Arrow is offline Member
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    Default Re: How I refer to Allah?

    Well, it is the same with Arabic, which has no gender-neutral pronoun. All the pronouns used in Qur'an that refer to Allah are the male ones.
    What made me ask this is that I read a translation of koran, The Holy Qur'an: translated and brief notes with text for Maududi, includes this: “It is Allah Who sent His Messenger with the Guidance and .............". This runs counter to my knowledge about it
    in English in that it's used to refer the animal or thing mentioned, inanimated object. Plus, it could be used with persons, without a prior knowledge of their gender, as we say: is it a girl or a boy? or to know who knocked the door of home by asking: who is it? But it is different with Allah, because we already know, as moslems, that belonging to one gender or the other is a matter of some creatures , and not the creator. So, God here is not a male nor a female. In English, I know that using it with person who I already know about his gender means offense.
    So, I understand from the replies that using it in this translation is a mistake, right
    Last edited by Egyption Arrow; 22-Jul-2008 at 22:30.

  5. #5
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How I refer to Allah?

    The sentence structure is the issue, not the reference of your deity as being an "it".

  6. #6
    Egyption Arrow is offline Member
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    Default Re: How I refer to Allah?

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedqq View Post
    The sentence structure is the issue, not the reference of your deity as being an "it".
    For a learner like me, these words are too concise to understand fully.
    Besides, I'd like to ask isn't this translation, mentioned above, as the same as this example: it is me who send the boy to the market?

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I refer to Allah?

    In this case, "it" makes it a cleft sentence, or serves as a preparatory it

    See this: Learning English | BBC World Service

    it + be + adj + to + infinitive
    Here, it + be combines with an adjective and an infinitive clause to describe how something is. It is a more natural way of doing it than starting with the infinitive clause as the subject. Compare the following:
    • It's lovely to see you again. (Rather than: To see you again is lovely.)
    • It was thoughtful of you to remember my birthday.
      (NOT: To remember my birthday was thoughtful of you.)
    • If you want a good seat, it's advisable to book in advance. (Better than: To book in advance is advisable if you want a good seat.)
    • It's important not to use a mobile phone whilst you are driving.
      (NOT: Not to use a mobile phone whilst you are driving is important.)
    Learning English | BBC World Service
    Finally, we can also use preparatory it in cleft sentences and join the words that we want to focus on to the relative clause with that, who or when.
    In the example which follows, note how this construction enables us to focus on different aspects of the information, which may be important at the time:
    • My brother bought his new car from our next-door neighbour last Saturday.
    • It was my brother who bought his new car from our neighbour last Saturday.
    • It was last Saturday when my brother bought his new car from our neighbour.
    • It was a new car that my brother bought from our neighbour last Saturday.
    • It was our next-door neighbour that my brother bought his new car from last Saturday.

  8. #8
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I refer to Allah?

    Quote Originally Posted by IvanV View Post
    (By the way, Barb, is Barb short for Barbara, or...?)
    Yes, for Barbara.

  9. #9
    IvanV is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How I refer to Allah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Yes, for Barbara.
    I love that name!

  10. #10
    Egyption Arrow is offline Member
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    Default Re: How I refer to Allah?

    What can I say, Barbara? I'm so grateful for you . I wish if all teachers always reply with the simplicity and illustration that appeared in your reply, especially with learners like me.

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