- by Ignominius
There is much debate on the subject many Islamic scholars and Orientalists say that Allah is a contraction of Il -Al - The God and there is some evidence so support that view. Some of that evidence goes way back to the days of the Canaanites who worshiped Baal. Which means Lord. Baal was also sometimes referred to as el - god. The Hebrew Yahweh is almost always referred to as Elohim (which is plural).
The connection between Baal and Allah is that across Israel and Syria (in ancient times) Baal was known as Hu-Baal. In Arabia, specifically in Mecca the chief God was Hubal (or Hubaal). Being the Chief God in the Kabaa he would have been referred to as El-Al. The God.
That would be one take on the name. The other side of the coin is that it is actually a name. And this is to an extent supported by the Koran itself which says in the Shahada - There is no Ilah but Allah - There is no god but allah. It just wouldn't make sense to say ' there is no god but God' which would be 'there is no ilah but Ilah'. So Allah must be a name.
As it may well be a name it's in opposition to the revealed holy name of the Judeo-Christian God who revealed his name to Moses in the burning bush. He said he was I am that I am or as Jesus refered to him 'I AM'. Which in Hebrew just doesn't mean I am - it means I am always - or I am eternal. That name is Yahweh. Yahweh appears 6800 times in the Old Testament but the name Allah doesn't appear once. So by being the older volume the Old Testament stands with the name of the God of Abraham as 'I am' or Yahweh. The newer book claims something different . The rule of thumb is that the older is true until proven otherwise. The Koran doesn't disprove the OT but instead gives God another name. It's like me saying my name is Mark and some else saying His name is John. Who is telling the truth the originator of the name or that other person.
Also Christians who use the word Allah for God are in fact in error. Although it should be pointed out that they do use it in a way a Muslim couldn't and would call blasphemous. They add the Arabic for father to it to make it Allah the father. Which is something no Muslim could do!