What does "Abdullah", which is the name of the Prophet's father, mean? Did Arabs have the word "Allah" in their idolatry faith before Islam?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

"Abdullah" means "Allah's slave". Arabs had faith of Allah. However, they regarded idols as means approaching them to Allah.  

This fact is mentioned in many verses in the Quran. One of them is as follows:

"Is it not to Allah that sincere devotion is due? But those who take for protectors other than Allah (say): 'We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to Allah...'"(az-Zumar, 39/3)

As it is understood from the verse, the polytheists living in the time of the Prophet (pbuh) knew Allah. However, they said, “We worship idols so that they will make us approach Allah.” They did not deny Allah wholly. They associated some idols as partners with Allah.

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