Could a Muslim ever call Allah “Father”?

This is a question I have put to Muslims living in historically Christian countries in light of the Christian practice of calling the Father “Allah” in historically Muslim countries. The response I have received has been mixed.

For example, one said, “Yes…Jesus called Him Father and Jesus was a muslim i.e. one who submits…if you’re talking about contemporary Muslims then no (!) they’ll label you a kafir.”

Another said, “Muslims would not have a problem calling god, father or labeling themselves as children of god. As long as the definitions are clear. We believe god the Almighty is beyond begetting children physically as this is an attribute of the creation and not the creator. But in a spiritual sense where we unite in piety and worship, as children of god then that is fine.”

And another said, “Muslims call God Rabb which is very close to father but not in biological sense … The literal meaning of the word is Sustainer and Master, and in that sense, a man is the “rabb” of his house. With the same root is the verb yurabbi, meaning “raise” (as in raise a child) …  it conveys not only the idea of fostering, bringing up or nourishing, but also that of regulating, completing, accomplishing, cherishing, sustaining and bringing to maturity.”

So the take away lesson for me was this: expect Muslims to be cautious about how “Father” language is used, but don’t expect them to be automatically offended by it either.

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