Allah – The Noun and the Name
The Root of Confusion*
Confusion continues to reign over some Malay Muslim scholars, as is evident from their fumbled handling of the semantics of Allah, because there is no definite article in the Malay language. It would be helpful for them to reconsider the significance of definite article in the Arabic and other Semitic languages.
Definition of Proper Noun
Confusion begins when we learned in elementary school the traditional definition of a noun: a noun “refers to a person, place, or thing.” But this definition is inadequate as it excludes words like ‘explosion’, ‘moment’, thunder, etc.
Modern linguists therefore define nouns not in semantic (meaning-based) terms but in distributive terms, that is, how they are used in relation to other syntactic categories in the language. The English language has the convenient usage of the determiner ‘the’. Hence, ‘the explosion’, ‘the moment’ and ‘the thunder’ are recognized as nouns. Continue reading “Allah:The Noun and the Name – The Root of Confusion”