Thank you for your question.

The concept of God in Islam is greatly misunderstood among non-Muslims. The reason for this is partly because some people assume that following a different religion means following a different god. Unfortunately, there are some among non-Muslims who know very well the truth about Islam and the nature of Muslims, but they lie and mislead others to keep them from seeing the beauty and truth in Islam.

The God of Islam is the God of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, David, Jesus, and finally Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon them all, and upon all those who follow in their footsteps until the Day of Judgment. Islam teaches us to invite those of other faiths to what we agree upon, and to avoid disputes as much as possible, because we worship the same God:

{And dispute not with the People of the Book (i.e. Torah, Bible), except with means better (than mere disputation) unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): Instead say, “We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our God and your God is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam).} (Qur’an 29:46)

To put it plainly, “Allah” is the Arabic word for God. It comes from “al ilah” which means “the one and only God”. The word “Allah” is used by Arab Muslims, Arab Christians, Arab Jews, and Arabic speaking members of other faiths that believe in Him. In Islam, Allah is known by His many signs in the universe and He is known by His noble qualities. Ninety-nine different names, or attributes are mentioned in the Qur’an, many of them in the following verses:

{Allah is He, other than whom there is no god; Who knows (all things) both secret and open; He is Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Allah is He, other than whom there is no god; The Sovereign, The Holy One, The Source of Peace (and Perfection). The Guardian of Faith, The Preserver of Safety, The Exalted in Might, The Irresistible, The Supreme: Glory be to Allah! (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him. He is Allah The Creator, The Evolver, The Bestower of Forms (or Colors). To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names: whatever is in the heavens and on earth, declare His Praises and Glory: and He is The Exalted in Might, The Wise.} (Qur’an 59:22-24)

Many Muslims, myself included, prefer to use the word “God” in English when discussing religion with non-Muslims. This is generally done for the sake of avoiding confusion with those who are unaware or learning about Islam. We use the word “Allah” with Muslims, obviously because we are all on the same page, so to speak. Some Muslims prefer to use the word “Allah” in all their discussions regardless of their audience, out of a strong sense of faith and using the most beautiful of God’s names, as He deserves.

I hope this has clarified things for you. Please contact Ask About Islam with any other questions you may have.