Recently there has been a ban on the use of the word Allah to refer to the Christian God.

What are the good alternatives to the word Allah in countries where it is banned?

I heard Tuhan is one of them.

  • 2
    Ironically, Allah means "God" in Arabic.
    – Double U
    Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 2:45
  • I've heard Tuhan and Bapa di surga (Father in heaven).
    – HelloWorld
    Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 15:22
  • 1
    How do Arabic Bibles translate יהוה‎ (YHWH)? Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 16:59
  • Anon, yes, I think so too.
    – tech
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 11:57
  • 1
    There is a ban? Wow who had the right to ban it? The arabic christians always used the term Allah to refer to Jehovah God
    – Zoe
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 5:05

2 Answers 2


The Christian God is given a wide range of names in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

My first thought was to clarify with a generational phrase. You might say "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," but that might confuse you with Jews. Also, Since "Allah" is the usual translation for "God" you would risk offending Muslims and breaking the law.

My second thought is "Yahweh." In the Old Testament God refers to himself as "I am." The transliteration of the Hebrew for this is "YHWH." The original vowels are unknown, but it has become common to pronounce it "Yaw - way" and spell it "Yahweh." A less popular pronunciation that has fallen out of vogue is "Jehovah."

You might also choose to say Jesus Christ, but I suspect that would even be more offensive to Muslims. It seems that believing Jesus is God is a major sticking point that upsets many Muslims.

Wikipedia has an interesting article on the names of God and gives a few other options that might work for you.

Some Quakers often refer to God as The Light. Another term used is 'King of Kings' or 'Lord of Lords' and Lord of the Hosts. Other names used by Christians include Ancient of Days, Father/Abba, 'Most High' and the Hebrew names Elohim, El-Shaddai, and Adonai. The name, "Abba/Father" is the most common term used for the creator within Christianity,[citation needed] because it was the name Jesus Christ (Yeshua Messiah) himself used to refer to God.

I am partial to "King of Kings" or "Lord of Lords." I'm sure there are those are common words, once translated into Arabic, that will not offend Muslims or break the law. From what I can tell "Tuhan" means "Lord," so using it in "Tuhan of Tuhans" would work (obviously I have Englishized the Arabic word).

  • Tuhan is a lovely sounding word. Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 19:10
  • Christianity comes out of Judaism so your comment about confusion doesn't really make sense. Most of our names for God come out of the Jewish tradition. Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 16:53
  • @crownjewel82 Are you familiar with the phrase Abrahamic Religion? All three, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, claim to have originated with Abraham. That's half the world population! Saying you worship the "God of Abraham" is indeed confusing. It only tells me that you are one of those three, which are very different in the details and even on some large issues. Going further to say "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" is still something that a Jew might say, so I as a Muslim I would be likely to think you are a Jew first, not a Christian.
    – user3961
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 22:51
  • Sorry I was assuming you were already talking with people who were aware that you were a Christian. All of the names of God I learned growing up were all names that Jews might also use, with the exception of Yahweh and Jehovah. If we needed to make a distinction to someone who didn't know we just said "I'm a Christian". Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 12:58

In the Indonesian language the best way to refer to the Almighty God is to use his Name as expressed in Indonesian - YEHUWA. The Indonesian saksi saksi Yehuwa have advertised this holy Name of God all over the island group.

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