March 9, 2009

Puma Paranoia

Filed under: Muslim Urban Legends — abuaisha @ 9:21 am
Tags: , , , ,

A pair of shoes made by Puma have been alleged to contain the name of Allāh written on them in Arabic causing people to get angry and to demand that the shoes be taken down from store shelves and withdrawn from the market.

Sound familiar? It probably does.. Not so long ago some Muslims in the USA were alleging the same about a pair of Nike shoes. They caused quite a stir in the media and ended up with Nike pulling the shoes and promising Muslims to never make the mistake again.

Puma it seems didn’t take the same lesson that Nike did. They have gone and made some shoes bearing what resembles the name of Allāh written in Arabic on them, or at least that’s what some Muslims are again claiming..
Let’s be honest with ourselves, some Muslims really do have quite the imaginations. Let’s take a look at the ‘offending’ pair of shoes –

Now if you can’t read Arabic, you can take my word for it that the text in red does slightly resemble the Arabic word Allāh written in a stylised script, but what it really looks like to me is the English word ‘cool‘.
Is it really that hard to see or am I just an eagle-eyed fanatic?
Or now that I think about it, it almost resembles the Estrangelo Aramaic word ‘Lashu‘, and it might pass for the Hebrew ‘Vassi’ and if you put it in a mirror it looks like the Amharic ‘Namu‘.
How can I be so certain that what is written is none of the above? It is because every other word written on the shoe is not in Aramaic,  Hebrew or Amharic, but rather in English. Common sense dictates that therefore of all the languages to choose from, English would be the right one.
As can be seen in the image on the word that clearly says ‘you’ just below the blue circle, the letter o has an open top just like in the word cool. The font used on the shoe makes it a little bit less clear than ususal but the word is still as clear as daylight. One needn’t be a language scholar to make out the word cool on the shoe.

The anger of some people about finding a word which resembles the name of Allāh on a shoe is only surpassed by the fascination with finding similar writings on a plethora of obscure objects. Take a look for example at ‘Allāh’ written on –
a Rock, a Leaf, a Tomatoan Eggplanta BeanAurora Borealis

Sometimes its worth admitting the obvious, as fun as it might be to have your 2 minutes of fame as being the one who exposed the ‘secret threat’ of shoe manufacturers’ evil plot to discredit Islamic symbols. Let the shoes be, let’s show people that Muslims are logical, not just overly-emotional.

*Note – There is a large amount of comments coming through for this article, please note that I will not approve any comments not in English or containing abusive or foul language



  1. I strongly condemn this type of hypocritical design. I Found not only Allah also i found Mohammed above it. Puma company should apologize for this and should pull out this product from the market. Puma should not play with muslims sentiments.

    Comment by riyan — March 31, 2009 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

  2. Salam Alikom,
    is there a chance that we make sure that this picture is real or not, i mean photoshoped.
    for my self, i sent e-mail to the company, no answer. so i boycott them, but i would say we make sure before take the issue globaly, inshalah and end of the company will be soon if that was right.
    slam alikom

    Comment by Islam30 — April 8, 2009 @ 7:35 am | Reply

  3. Well everything else on the shoe luks clearly like english, it doesnt on any other word have such a big w kind of shape the word clerly luks like the word Allah in arabic. It is deliberate and stands out from all the other writing on the shoe a 5yr old arabic kid cud spot that straight away. so it is not muslim paranoia wen for years muslims have not pointed out these things and they are now because its happening. Since wen does English luk like that?

    Comment by rizzy — May 10, 2009 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

  4. Are you a muslim????hmmmmmm

    Comment by muslim — May 20, 2009 @ 7:12 pm | Reply

  5. Looks like “Cool” to me.
    Maybe I’m a self-hating Muslim?

    Comment by alhamdulillah45 — May 22, 2009 @ 10:19 am | Reply

  6. Well the writter has justified his point of view and it is clear that he wants Muslims to be objective in their approach to issues in general, while this is a good advice, it is however necessary for the whole world to be more sensitive to the religions of others. He tried his best to justify that what he sees is the word cool, with open ended ‘O’s, however, my point is that in no matter what stylised writting that is used, there is no such thing as an open ended ‘O’, for then it becomes a ‘U’, so please stop justifying PUMA’s use of the nearness to the name of Allah to the word cool on the shoe.

    Comment by Ahmad — May 23, 2009 @ 7:09 pm | Reply

  7. Mr writer if you see the word Allah , the way it is wrriten in arabic u can cleary see it ressembles with it almost fully. see this web page ,it shows some differant ways we write Allah in arabic or urdu language. I agree fully we should me open minded but we should also be right minded. I hope by seeing the web link I have sended, you would agree that this word on shoe cleary is like word Allah.
    please email me on weather you agree with me or not, my email id is, i would be waiting for your reply.

    Comment by Humayun Shakil — May 29, 2009 @ 7:44 am | Reply

  8. yeah, people can live peacefully only by respect another people belive

    Comment by odienk — June 20, 2009 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

  9. If you’re not Muslim, maybe you’ll “see” it as “cool”. As a Muslim I view it as the word Allah and I also tried to view as an English word and i saw “cuul”. Never heard any Native speaker says COOL as CUUL. People won’t write a letter in a way it resembles another letter. Tq

    Comment by Mohd Nazrie — August 10, 2009 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

  10. i totally agree with the writer of the article….. please take a HARD LLLOOONNGGGG look at the ENGLISH LANGUAGE ‘font’ used for the text….. and if anyone of you or some acquaintance is a graphic designer then that person can definitely help you understand the case…..

    another thing is that ,can please someone help me look at the shoe in actual or even virtually … because i have spent more than half an hour searching different web sites including those of puma’s and have miserably failed to find that design……. having studied marketing and learnt about the “successful sales results” of negative marketing (as at that time used by tommy heilfiger in relation to bosnia….), this may be a good example of such a strategy…..

    as for the author of this article i would say that at least some one among muslims has the moral courage to correct his brethren….. and that is how according to hadith e mubarikah you help your brethren if they are doing something wrong….
    and also according to hadith e mubarikah it is enough for someone to be a liar to pass on/ relay information without due verification ( diligence and scrutiny)… and a momin ,among other things, can not be a liar….
    so in order to preserve your iman, please take due care in whatever you say or communicate….

    Comment by raza hasan — August 21, 2009 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

    • It is not the fault of graphic digsner. It is clearlly plane to abused the Islam & muslim umma. It is a totally conspiracy of european peaple against us.
      They always held pretened to destroy the Muslim but you are really blind & dum person who support their arrogance of Allah & Islam. So be aware from their tricks and awake your religious spirit.
      watch their following web site to view these sceens.
      Enter in and then search for
      (nike and puma shoes ALLAH).
      Be a real muslim.
      Son of englishman.

      Comment by Jibran Saiqa Roomi — October 23, 2009 @ 7:44 am | Reply

    • The name is Puma El Rey Graphic Pack Flame Scarlet. You can go to this link.

      Comment by drkadir — October 23, 2009 @ 8:37 am | Reply

  11. Things like this are such an insult to Islam.

    I’ve noticed that the supposed “L” is not joined to the other letters but clearly in all the other words, all the letters are in some what form of touching a letter apart from the words that contain apostrophe’s.

    This is no way meant to represent the word “cool” but an insult to Allah’s (SWT) name to be worn on peoples feet; an insult but yet still allows Puma to have an arguement or a cover up that it says “cool”.

    Comment by Mohammed Hoque — August 21, 2009 @ 10:33 pm | Reply

  12. salam to all

    i hope these things will be wrong but 1st we should check

    Comment by azhar — October 18, 2009 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

    • azhar bhi ap ko nazar kam ata ho ga jo kah raha ho ka pahla check karna chahya.

      Comment by ALI SIDDUQUE — October 24, 2009 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  13. lanat lanat lanat at such peoples

    Comment by muna — October 19, 2009 @ 11:53 am | Reply

  14. this is clearly see that there is a arabic word ALLAH so this is not a good thing muslim should be action on this wrong work.
    MUSLIMS plzz awake up and do something for our ISLAM.

    Comment by ASAD RAHEEM — October 20, 2009 @ 7:35 pm | Reply

  15. Oh come on!
    The rest of the shoes in English.. Yeh the fonts a bit funky but it’s obvious that’s ‘cool’. why would they decorate the whole shoe in English and then bam! They put Allah. ^o)
    people are reading waaay too much into this

    Comment by bee:) — October 23, 2009 @ 6:48 am | Reply

  16. If its right then we must kill that bloody people………

    Comment by Muhammad Usman — October 23, 2009 @ 7:05 am | Reply

  17. nike is the form of enemies of islam. they did show these meaness & make such a meaningless things through out when they stablished.
    they always hurt the muslims by their products & they always exploited the islam and muslim also. So we apeal all the muslims that bycott their products and give them a meaningful answer for future.
    they are really sons of bitches.
    they are really mean and they are being bigoted to Islam & Muslim Umma.

    Comment by Jibran Saiqa Roomi — October 23, 2009 @ 7:26 am | Reply

  18. Being followers of any Prophet are of any religion imposed by ALLAH (God)including you no one will never accpet these insulting things about ALLAH.
    We will always protect our & your ALLAH (God) from these things.

    Anyway, being muslim we can not refuse of any Prophet and if we refuse we will not be remain muslims. However, its the history that the jews had same with christains and now jews and christains both doing the same with Islam & Muslims.
    If you thoroghly check your product that is the shoes you are also laughing at your own religion because ALLAH (God)is not only ours He is yours also. So it means that you are joking with your owns. Hopefully, you have got the point nothing to say else.

    Comment by Jibran, Saiqa, Kifayat, Roomi — October 24, 2009 @ 5:42 am | Reply

  19. i am a ibrahim n i want to say this word is nt allah n this word wll be cool

    Comment by Muhammad ibrahim — November 12, 2009 @ 9:29 am | Reply

  20. Assalamoalaikom and Eid Mubarak to all Muslims insha’Allah.

    Just looking at the responses here(does the word “cool” written on shoes made by PUMA resemble the word “Allah” in Arabic?)and, through a Google search, the amount of time that was wasted on all this makes me wonder if we give the ideas to our enemies. If they may mean it, boycott Puma. EVEN if they may not mean it, you can also boycott Puma. No one will die if they do not buy Puma products.
    Of course we should be angry for the name of Allah SWT. BUT even some muslims, as some who posted comments here, will tell us that we have to stop being paranoid at seeing anything that may seem like an insult. They are also right. The reason is that we should not give the fuel to those who are trying to agitate us, occupy us with useless distractions and take our eyes off the REAL INSULTS; Gaza, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq etc etc… Do we have to wait for a funny font , whether deliberate or not to think of boycotting things and companies.? Is the murder of hundreds of thousands of muslims not enough?

    We waste so much time analysing something and we KNOW or should know it will make no difference, other than cause muslims to exchange insults and worse (one comment is asking the writer “are you muslim?”).

    -Should we not be better outraged in an effective manner and boycott the hundreds of STARBUCKS on the streets of muslim countries?
    -Should we not be outraged and petition or send emails to the embassies of the two muslim countries that are insulting and accusing each other and destroying the relations between their two peoples because of what stupid football hooligans and thugs did at a football match? (having ensured, though idiotic build up and hype, that these things were very likely to happen)
    – Should we not have a campaign to boycott OUR OWN Arab and Muslim TELEVISIONS for the corruption and moral decadance they are spreading among muslims. As the Prophet SAAWS siad ” you will follow them even if they go into the lizard’s hole”. Look at us; star of the arabs, big brother house, who wants to be a millionaire, video clips, albums and CD’s of useless singers selling millions, series upon series of time wasting immoral dramas and sitcomsetc., Whgere do you want me to stop.
    – Should we urge each other and start campaigns to remind all muslims of the manners of Islam and of our prophet SAAWS. Should we not ensure that muslims stop cheating each other, lying to each other, insulting each other, talking about each other and worse and worse!!!
    – Should we not push for a culture of work and production and perfecting what we do and serving our communities and muslim nation so that we can achieve some progress. We are the nations with huge resources and wealth but are behind all those who until recently were completely destroyed by war(Germany , Japan, Korea) or were considered poor(Spain , Greece, Eastern European countries.
    – Should we not start a movement to educate our children about their social aspects and work ethics of their religion and the history of muslim civilisation so that they feel proud instead of feeling that they are seen as seeds of violance and bitterness.
    – When we start addressing the relevant issues we will no longer need to worry about how we see the top of a coca cola bottle if we put it in front of the mirror, whether or not the Danish cartoonist who drew the famous cartoons died with the whole of his family in a fire(and that Denmark is hiding the fact, in case the whole world think “Allaho Akbar it is a miracle”, or that he was turned into a pig!, or whether Shiekh Ahmad, the guard of the Prophets Mosque saw the prophet SAAWS who told him that we should all forward at least 30 emails OR ELSE “forward and you get 30000 dinars in 2 weeks, do not forward and your son will die in 4 days in a horrible accident!!!!”.
    We will work and use our time effectively to educate ourselves, read Quraan and implement it rather than send emails to “ALL MUSLIMS” asking them to “vote for Allah and that Islam is the best religion” on the website of an obscure italian newspaper.(the link usually takes you to a survey in Dutch that is completely unrelated to the subject). We will stop publicising anti islamic websites on behalf of their owners by stupidly sending the messages about how we should avoid them (with full details about how to access them!!!)to “ALL MUSLIMS” on our contact lists. WHERE DO I STOP?

    IF the Prophet SAAWS and the sahaba spent the time chasing the insults that the Kuffar and the Jews in Madinah through at them, rather than learning, building and establishing the State (AND THERE WERE many insults, much worse than we encounter) there would have been no Muslim Nation or Civilisation

    May Allah guide us all to be useful to ourselves, our families, our societies and and our Nation. May He help us to target our efforts at what will bring benefit and progress to muslims and nonmuslims alike.

    Comment by Ahmad Nassar — November 28, 2009 @ 10:25 am | Reply

    • assalam alkm brother..

      i read your article dated nov.28,2009 about the nike/puma shoes contronersy on google.
      i completely share your view . unfortunately most of our brothers unnecessarily publisize any thing written against islam even without verifying it.
      and you righly said that we have so many other big problems at hand to deal wit than this.
      may allah guide us all to SIRAT-UL-MUSTAQEEM…AAMEEN..
      please be in touch at


      Comment by muazzam — March 12, 2010 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

  21. this news of Allah shoes is very bad for all muslims.

    Comment by khuram — December 6, 2009 @ 1:46 pm | Reply

  22. when i watch the picture of this shoes i was so suffered and i condemend the pumma and nike company against this bed action.
    i totally bicatte the product the of this company and i never use the products of this company

    Comment by irfan riaz — December 10, 2009 @ 5:00 am | Reply


    Comment by ADNAN&SHERAZI — December 10, 2009 @ 5:11 am | Reply

  24. i heat nike / puma . and requst to the whole muslims peopls don’t use that;s things.

    Comment by kamran hussain — December 10, 2009 @ 6:19 am | Reply

  25. i must condem this type of mistake happend by puma and nike i really hate both of companies.

    Comment by farooque — December 10, 2009 @ 12:04 pm | Reply

  26. Islam is being of the one true religion of peace. You are being of such with this or we are being of chopping off your heads!

    Comment by Bongernet — December 10, 2009 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  27. 1. I strongly condemn this type of hypocritical design. I Found not only Allah also I found Mohammed above it. Puma Company should apologize for this and should pull out this product from the market. Puma should not play with Muslims sentiments. I appeal to all the Muslims to make a protest against the company.

    Comment by a muslim girl — December 11, 2009 @ 6:02 am | Reply

  28. A also think that the designer must apologize for his blind mistake.
    They are not able to compete the Muslims in the art gallery’s don’t make foolish artistic works. Many other fields are waiting of third class artist.

    Comment by a muslim girl — December 11, 2009 @ 6:09 am | Reply

  29. we shall be than full to the word press if release this kind of atitude against puma shose compny…

    becoz puma shose has written my ALLAH name on his shose

    ALLAH release his Qaher on them.and on this kind of company………………………………………………………………………………….?

    Comment by shakoor khan — December 11, 2009 @ 11:49 am | Reply

  30. to be honest we should speak up for any wrongs which are done wether religious or otherwise, I have read all the posts on here and agree with the comments left by Ahmed Nasser . . . please do speak against non muslims who abuse our religion but if any one talks about cleaning these bad thoughts and deeds then do please all of us start in our own homes…then muslim countries..then we a re right in trying to teach others and they will see our point but if we do the same as every1 else then who are we to point the finger or show anger. Our own muslim countries are more western motivated then the west itself…prostitutes, drugs, drink, western way of dressing esp women….boycot all that in your own countries because what islam prohibits act on that and then we truly will find true path and help and guidence from Allah Inshallah

    Comment by r zafar — December 11, 2009 @ 5:30 pm | Reply

  31. Well the writter has justified his point of view and it is clear that he wants Muslims to be objective in their approach to issues in general, while this is a good advice, it is however necessary for the whole world to be more sensitive to the religions of others. He tried his best to justify that what he sees is the word cool, with open ended ‘O’s, however, my point is that in no matter what stylised writting that is used, there is no such thing as an open ended ‘O’, for then it becomes a ‘U’, so please stop justifying PUMA’s use of the nearness to the name of Allah to the word cool on the asm

    Comment by abdul sami — December 14, 2009 @ 7:12 pm | Reply

  32. nike company is very shamless. we hate nike and puma products. get up muslims get up………………..

    Comment by talha — December 16, 2009 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  33. we muslim are still alive we no need puma or nike brand we ll walk shoesless but dont wear puma and nike brand stuff

    Comment by izhar — December 16, 2009 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

  34. Assalam-o-alaikum.Islam is a religion of peace.There should be respect for every religion.It is clear that “MUSLIMS” do not interfare in other people’s religion.If it is true that the companies have manufactured it then i think they should be strictly boycotted by Muslim countries & the companies should be closed &punished.This issue should be taken to United Nations.Now we hate these companies

    Comment by Rabia Irshad — December 20, 2009 @ 8:55 am | Reply

  35. Assalam-o-alaikum if we go through the history then we’ll come to know that many non-muslims always insulted Muslim’s Allah &Prophet(SAW).There should be respect for every one’s faith.The Muslim leaders should take this issue seriously & should let the sawdust out of.All the countries of the global village should protest against this.In last i would like to ask when the Muslims do not interfere in other people’s religion why the other people interfere in “ISLAM”? (voice of Muslims)

    Comment by Ayesha Irshad(Pakistan) — December 20, 2009 @ 5:08 pm | Reply

  36. ASWRB, Please brothers amd sisters, there are more important things than this. When I first saw it I saw a distorted word “Allah”, then I thought it looked like the word “cool”. OK Nike/Puma may be run by Jews and this could be intentional but there is worse going on with muslims in the world. So go get some real action. You will probably get more “sawab” if you made your stance more with the 5 pillars of Islam than pondering on what is written on some possible propaganda form of footwear. Anyway I am off to pray for the Ummah now so Allah Hafiz and my Allah SWT give the believers more guidance.

    Comment by Mohammed — February 17, 2010 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

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