Illa (Arabic)

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The Arabic word illa is a negative word corresponding to the English except, only and but[1].


It is an often recurring phrase in the Qur'an, often used to give strength to statements by first negating all possibilities, and then referring to a subject. For example, in the Islamic Creed (Arabic: Shahadah‎‎):

  • أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ لله ، وأشهد أن محمد رسول الله
  • 'ašhadu 'al-lā ilāha illā-llāh, wa 'ašhadu 'anna muħammadan rasūlu-llāh
  • I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.[1]

This can also be seen in the prayer La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah, There is neither change nor power except by means of God.


  1. ^ "USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts". Archived from the original on 2006-09-11. Retrieved 2006-09-12.