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a reply to: Ploutonas
The word "Allah" is an Arabic word that means "The God". It originally consisted of two words: "Al Ilah". The word "Al" in Arabic means "the". The word "Ilah" means God. Saying the combination of the two words "Al Ilah" is somewhat awkward, so with time the Arabs combined the two words and dropped the middle vowel "i", resuling in "Allah". Since Allah means "The God" and not simply "God", it actually incorporates the concept of monothiesm (belief in one God). Monothiesm is the central and most important message of Islam. Everything else comes secondary to that.
Interestingly, the word Allah is not only used by Muslims. It is used by people of all religions who speak the Arabic language. Not all Arabs are Muslims. In fact, there are significant minorities of Arabs who are Christian (including Coptic, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and many others) and Jewish. Some of these minorities do not consider themselves ethnically Arab, while others do. Regardless of ethnic origin, they are citizens of the Arab countries they live in, and their first (and sometimes only) language is the Arabic language. These minorities refer to God as Allah. In fact, Bibles translated into Arabic refer to God as Allah. Even non-Arabs who have learned to speak Arabic would use the word Allah to refer to God.
However, the word Allah does have some special attributes that differentiate it from the word God as used in the English language. The most important, as mentioned earlier, is that Allah translates into "The God" and not simply God. Allah refers to the one true God, the creator and sustainer of mankind, and of the heavens and earth and everything else in the universe. People have taken many false dieties as Gods through the centuries. Some people have taken fire as a God. Others have taken a specific human being as a God. Others may regard an animal as a God. Some people worship many different Gods. The word Allah cannot be used to refer to any of these false Gods. It can only be used to refer to the concept of "The God", the one, the creator, the eternal, the all powerful, the most merciful God.
In the 1960s, the Hippocratic Oath was changed to "utmost respect for human life from its beginning", making it a more secular concept, not to be taken in the presence of God or any gods, but before only other people. While there is currently no legal obligation for medical students to swear an oath upon graduating, 98% of American medical students swear some form of oath, while only 50% of British medical students do. [dead link] In a 1989 survey of 126 US medical schools, only three reported usage of the original oath, while thirty-three used the Declaration of Geneva, sixty-seven used a modified Hippocratic Oath, four used the Oath of Maimonides, one used a covenant, eight used another oath, one used an unknown oath, and two did not use any kind of oath. Seven medical schools did not reply to the survey. In France, it is common for new medical graduates to sign a written oath
originally posted by: generik
a reply to: Ploutonas
not surprised in the least. i knew a dentist from Turkey who worked within their military. his wife became a christian and they had to escape due to their lives being in danger due to her leaving Islam. she because she left the "religion of peace" which is a killing offence, him because being the husband he should have either stopped her or killed her (honor killing). so this makes perfect sense since there is no way Muslims should swear on pagan gods that are not only not their god, but gods that they are supposed to wipe out any followers of.