Q. I know that YHWH is used for the Personal Name of God in the Bible. His name is “I AM WHO I AM”. In the Koran does ALLAH mean “I AM WHO I AM” or does it just mean “god”?
A. YHWH (or JHVH) are the four initials Hebrew scribes use to stand for the name of God. “I am who I am” is not His name, but a declaration God made to Moses. (In Hebrew it’s “Hayah aser hayah”.) He didn’t speak His name, but said, “I am who I am. Thus shall you say to the children of Israel has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14) Most English translations include an extra “I am” after Israel in the last sentence, but according the the Strong’s concordance it doesn’t appear in the Hebrew text. In Exodus 4: 29-31 we see that the elders never asked Moses the name of the One who had sent him, but believed the signs Moses performed for them.
Some have used these four initials to support their claim that God’s name is Yahweh or (Jehovah) by adding vowels to these four initials, but this is incorrect. It was forbidden to write the name of God at all, and it could only be spoken once per year on Yom Kippur after the people had been cleansed from their sins. When the Temple was destroyed around 70 AD, the Yom Kippur ritual was changed and God’s name was not spoken again. Gradually His name was lost and by some estimates hasn’t been spoken on Earth for over 1300 years. Today the name of Jesus is the name above all names (Phil 2:9-11).
There are differing opinions, but many Scholars believe the Arabic name Allah is a contraction of the phrase “al Ilah”, which means “the god”. It does not mean “I am who I am” in Arabic.