The history of the name Allh in English was probably influenced by the study of comparative religion in the 19th century; for example, Thomas Carlyle (1840) sometimes used the term Allah but without any implication that Allah was anything different from God. However, in his biography of Muammad (1934), Tor Andr always used the term Allah, though he allows that this "conception of God" seems to imply that it is different from that of the Jewish and Christian theologies.
Languages which may not commonly use the term Allah to denote God may still contain popular expressions which use the word. For example, because of the centuries long Muslim presence in the Iberian Peninsula, the word ojal in the Spanish language and oxal in the Portuguese language exist today, borrowed from Arabic (Arabic: ). This phrase literally means 'if God wills' (in the sense of "I hope so"). The German poet Mahlmann used the form "Allah" as the title of a poem about the ultimate deity, though it is unclear how much Islamic thought he intended to convey.
Some Muslims leave the name "Allh" untranslated in English. The word has also been applied to certain living human beings as personifications of the term and concept.
After the Safavids, the area was ruled by the Iranian Afsharid dynasty. After the death of Nader Shah (r. 1736-1747), many of his former subjects capitalized on the eruption of instability. Numerous self-ruling khanates with various forms of autonomy emerged in the area. These rulers of these khanates were directly related to the ruling dynasties of Iran, and were vassals and subjects of the Iranian shah. The khanates exercised control over their affairs via international trade routes between Central Asia and the West.
Thereafter, the area was under the successive rule of the Iranian Zands and Qajars. From the late 18th century, Imperial Russia switched to a more aggressive geo-political stance towards its two neighbors and rivals to the south, namely Iran and the Ottoman Empire. Russia now actively tried to gain possession of the Caucasus region which was, for the most part, in the hands of Iran. In 1804, the Russians invaded and sacked the Iranian town of Ganja, sparking the Russo-Persian War of 1804-1813. Militarily superior, the Russians ended the Russo-Persian War of 1804-1813 with a victory.
Following Qajar Iran's loss in the 18041813 war, it was forced to concede suzerainty over most of the khanates, along with Georgia and Dagestan to the Russian Empire, per the Treaty of Gulistan.
The area to the north of the river Aras, amongst which territory lies the contemporary Republic of Azerbaijan, was Iranian territory until it was occupied by Russia in the 19th century. About a decade later, in violation of the Gulistan treaty, the Russians invaded Iran's Erivan Khanate. This sparked the final bout of hostilities between the two, the Russo-Persian War of 1826-1828. The resulting Treaty of Turkmenchay, forced Qajar Iran to cede sovereignty over the Erivan Khanate, the Nakhchivan Khanate and the remainder of the Lankaran Khanate, comprising the last parts of the soil of the contemporary Azerbaijani Republic that were still in Iranian hands. After incorporation of all Caucasian territories from Iran into Russia, the new border between the two was set at the Aras River, which, upon the Soviet Union's disintegration, subsequently became part of the border between Iran and the Azerbaijan Republic.
Qajar Iran was forced to cede its Caucasian territories to Russia in the 19th century, which thus included the territory of the modern-day Azerbaijan Republic, while as a result of that cession, the Azerbaijani ethnic group is nowadays parted between two nations: Iran and Azerbaijan. Nevertheless, the number of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Iran far outnumber those in neighbouring Azerbaijan.
After the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War I, the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic was declared, constituting what are the present-day republics of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia.
It was followed by the March Days massacres that took place between 30 March and 2 April 1918 in the city of Baku and adjacent areas of the Baku Governorate of the Russian Empire. When the republic dissolved in May 1918, the leading Musavat party declared independence as the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR), adopting the name of "Azerbaijan" for the new republic; a name that prior to the proclamation of the ADR was solely used to refer to the adjacent northwestern region of contemporary Iran. The ADR was the first modern parliamentary republic in the Muslim world. Among the important accomplishments of the Parliament was the extension of suffrage to women, making Azerbaijan the first Muslim nation to grant women equal political rights with men. Another important accomplishment of ADR was the establishment of Baku State University, which was the first modern-type university founded in the Muslim East.
By March 1920, it was obvious that Soviet Russia would attack Baku. Vladimir Lenin said that the invasion was justified as Soviet Russia could not survive without Baku's oil. Independent Azerbaijan lasted only 23 months until the Bolshevik 11th Soviet Red Army invaded it, establishing the Azerbaijan SSR on 28 April 1920. Although the bulk of the newly formed Azerbaijani army was engaged in putting down an Armenian revolt that had just broken out in Karabakh, Azerbaijanis did not surrender their brief independence of 191820 quickly or easily. As many as 20,000 Azerbaijani soldiers died resisting what was effectively a Russian reconquest.
On 13 October 1921, the Soviet republics of Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia signed an agreement with Turkey known as the Treaty of Kars. The previously independent Republic of Aras would also become the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Azerbaijan SSR by the treaty of Kars. On the other hand, Armenia was awarded the region of Zangezur and Turkey agreed to return Gyumri (then known as Alexandropol).
During World War II, Azerbaijan played a crucial role in the strategic energy policy of the Soviet Union, with 80 percent of the Soviet Union's oil on the Eastern Front being supplied by Baku. By the Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in February 1942, the commitment of more than 500 workers and employees of the oil industry of Azerbaijan were awarded orders and medals. Operation Edelweiss carried out by the German Wehrmacht targeted Baku because of its importance as the energy (petroleum) dynamo of the USSR. A fifth of all Azerbaijanis fought in the Second World War from 1941 to 1945. Approximately 681,000 people with over 100,000 of them women went to the front, while the total population of Azerbaijan was 3.4 million at the time. Some 250,000 people from Azerbaijan were killed on the front. More than 130 Azerbaijanis were named Heroes of the Soviet Union. Azerbaijani Major-General Azi Aslanov was twice awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union.