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The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages


Biblical God in the *Quran and Islamic tradition, also termed al-Rahman ‘the Merciful One’ in some Quranic passages. Allah had been a supreme deity in the pre-Islamic Arabian pantheon, associated with three daughter goddesses, al-Lat (‘the Goddess’), al-Manat (‘Fate’), and al-Uzza (‘the Powerful One’). God’s ‘beauteous names’ (al-asma al-husna) are divine epithets, for example, al-Karim ‘the Generous’, al-Muti ‘the Giver’, used in theophoric personal names (for example, Abd al-Karim) and in prayers and supplications. Islamic tradition upholds strict monotheism and divine transcendence, condemning the attribution of any of God’s power to other entities.

Devin J. Stewart


G. S. Reynolds, ed., The Qur’an in its Historical Context (2008).Find this resource: