Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Useful to know

File this under "I didn't know this but I'm sure it'll come in handy at some point":
The fact is that Allah is simply the standard Arabic word for "God." It is used by Arabic-speaking Muslims and Christians alike--including Arabic-speaking Catholics. If you read an Arabic New Testament, it's going to have Allah where "God" appears in the English version. When they say prayers in Arabic (e.g., the Rosary) and the prayer refers to God, they use the word Allah. I have more experience on this point than many English-speakers do since I have a lot of Arabic-speaking Catholic friends (Chaldeans, Maronites, etc.). I hang out with their priests, go over to their houses, spend time at their churches, go out to lunch with them, work on projects with them, discuss the situations in their home countries, inject snatches of Arabic into talks I give at their parishes, etc., etc., etc. And this is just not a big deal. Not only do Arabic-speaking Christians use Allah amonst themselves, they use it when speaking to Muslims . . . just like Cardinal McCarrick did! So no freaking out is required over this issue.
Tip o the hat to Jimmy Akin on this one.

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