Malaysiakini

Get over 'Allah' row and move on

YOURSAY 'Allah, Tuhan, Tua Pek Kong, whatever... I am ashamed to be a Malaysian, fighting and arguing over the right to use God's name. Who on earth can decide?'

Anwar to call meeting with Pakatan heads on 'Allah' issue

your sayRahman: ‘Allah' is a name. Names are always retained even when you translate from one language to another.

Hence, the Malays retain the name ‘Allah' in everyday usage and do not change that name to ‘tuhan'. Jesus spoke the Aramaic language. The first bibles were in Greek/Latin/Hebrew and the name used for God is Eli, Eloah or Yahweh.

Christians should have kept to those names. The English bibles translated those names to god. But God was never the name used by Jesus. Neither did Jesus use ‘Allah'.

The problem arose in Malaysia when the English Bible was translated to Bahasa Malaysia. Now who is the expert in Bahasa Malaysia?

If Christians are honest, they will consult Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka to get the correct Malay translation for God. It definitely cannot be the name ‘Allah'. It is the word ‘tuhan'.

Now why do the Christians insist on ‘Allah'? It is anybody's guess.

Geronimo: In response to Rahman's posting, for your information the matter of using ‘Allah' by the Christians was never resolved nor settled.

The case was in fact awarded to the plaintiff, the Catholic Church. Umno decided to appeal the case and it has been left in the attorney-general's (AG) office since then, collecting dust.

I am a Catholic and we use the word 'Allah' during our Sunday masses (in Bahasa Malaysia). So what? Are these bigots going to conduct another covert operation in the churches to check if we are using the word?

Perhaps someone should check with the patent office whether they have registered the word as a trademark.

Oh, by the way, where is MCA chief Chua Soi Lek and his ilks? Why are they suddenly so quiet about this issue? Don't tell me there are no Christians in MCA.

Chelsea: According to Islamic belief, ‘Allah' is the proper name of God, and humble submission to His will, divine ordinances and commandments is the pivot of the Muslim faith. Christians and Jews also use the word ‘Allah' to mean ‘God'.

The Christian Arabs of today have no other word for 'God' than 'Allah'. (Even the Arabic-descended Maltese language of Malta, whose population is almost entirely Roman Catholic, uses ‘Allah' for 'God'.)

Arab Christians for example use terms ‘Alla-h al-ab' meaning ‘God the Father', ‘Alla-h al-ibn' meaning ‘God the Son', and ‘Alla-h ar-ru-h al-quds' meaning ‘God the Holy Spirit'. (See ‘God in Christianity for the Christian concept of God')

And here in Malaysia, we have Muslims who cry out loud against its usage by the Christians. It really proves a huge ignorance of this word and its existence. It is not even a Malay word. Thanks to who? Umno.

Allah, Tuhan, Tua Pek Kong, whatever... I am ashamed to be a Malaysian, fighting and arguing over the right to use God's name. Who on earth can decide? As a human, no religion can have exclusivity over a name.

My God is Jesus. But if the Buddhists want to call their Buddha Jesus... go ahead. I would be proud and not feel threatened.

Enlightened: The problem is not the word ‘Allah' used in the Bible. It is the tendency of Christians to go around converting people and in some instances the less educated fall prey to their agenda.

This act itself shows disrespect for other religions. Taoists, Maoists, Buddhists and Hindus will be able to relate to this.

Timothy: It is nobody's business to tell nor force me on how I should address my personal god, To me, he is the ‘Allah' of Abraham, God almighty who is also ‘Allah Al Raheem, Allah Al Rahman, Allah Al Azeez'.

When I greet my Muslim and Christian friends here "Assalamuaalaikum," they would reply with "Muaalaikumusalam", and vice versa. We have no problem with that.

It is just only some Malay Muslims on this planet Earth who fear the weakening of their akidah (faith) all because of what others believe. To those people, don't go to Europe then, everyday you will find yourself having weak knees.

Keturunan Malaysia: I don't have to agree to anything on how to address God as I so please. It is all about me and Him and nobody else's business. Can anyone hear what I call him in my heart and mind?

HumptyDumpty: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng is not so smart after all. It was unnecessary for him to raise the issue now just on the eve of GE13.

If it was raised by Umno then it is a different matter. When he did that, it just opened the floodgates and the pressure is on PAS to state its stand again.

This is a sensitive topic and it is not easy for ordinary Muslims to understand the derivation of PAS' decision. In principle, PAS' decision is right. However, in context of the Malay Muslims' siege mentality, they feel threatened lest Muslims get confused.

Umno's spin is not easy to deflect as many Malay-born Muslims are still ignorant about their own religion (thanks to Umno) and many Muslim scholars are still more Malay than Muslim themselves.

Joe Fernandez: Christians should not set themselves up to be scapegoats like in the Middle East, West Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

We don't want to root for BN and be persecuted by Pakatan Rakyat and vice versa. Christians should not vote along party or coalition lines. Instead, they should vote out all incumbents holding a seat for three terms or more.

Other incumbents should be voted out if they didn't perform and/or didn't stand up for Christians when they were being attacked from all sides by fanatics. Let's see what the results show.

Not Confused: This is just a rogue PAS member trying to get headlines - a bad idea. I am Christian and will use the word ‘Allah' any time I please, and I don't give a damn about the government's jaundiced views on the use of a word that is in the dictionary.

No one, race, religion or individual can claim exclusive rights over any word. ‘Allah' has been used by many races and religions the world over for hundreds of years. Muslims, and least of all Muslim Malaysians, do not have the right to its exclusive use.

Get over it and move on.

Proarte: The 'Allah' prohibition is an example of the arrogance of power and invidious calculations by politicians who abuse Islam.

‘Allah' is a term which Malay Islam cannot hijack. With due respect, the majority of Malays have a superficial understanding of the Quran and have theologically been dumbed down by Umno, PAS and even Anwar.

If they understood the Quran, they would know that the Quran affirms the Torah and Bible as being Allah's message to humanity and that the Quran is a continuum of this process. Are Malay Muslims implying that Ibrahim of the Torah and Isa of the Bible are not Allah's prophets?

Internationally prominent Muslim scholars are bewildered over the Malaysian 'Allah' controversy. Tariq Ramadan who lectured in Malaysia recently informed us the word 'Allah' pre-dates Islam and has never been a Muslim prerogative and that the issue should never have arisen.

Sheikh Yusof Qardawi, in turn, has been quoted as calling the Malaysian 'Allah' prohibition "a joke".


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