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1. Orientations
a. Figures
2. Koran
3. Theology
4. Concept of divine
5. Sharia
6. Muhammad
7. Cult and Festivals
8. Mecca
9. Cultic personalities
10. Caliph
11. Structures
12. Popular religion
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14. Calendar

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99 names of God

The Arabic word for "God", used in Islam and Christianity.
The term "Allah" comes from the Arabic "al-Lah", that can be translated with "the god". In pre-Islamic times, in the polytheistic religion of Mecca, there was a god that was called by this name. Al-Lah was probably considered as the highest god, but not an acting power, and therefore rarely focused on in rituals. While Islam rejects the other deities, al-Lah is described as the one eternal, omnipotent god. "Allah" is therefore not a proper name, and also Arabic Christians use "Allah" in their Arabic Bible.
In Islam there are 99 names of God, but these are also not to be considered as proper names — the idea of actually naming God for Muslims, will be regarded as a way of reducing God into a human framework. The high number of names must be understood as an expression of the incapacity of man to grasp the total nature of God. Most common of the 99 names are ar-Rahman, the Merciful, and ar-Rahim, the Compassionate.

By Tore Kjeilen