I refer to the letter Disallowing use of 'Allah' unconstitutional .
When debating the use of term ‘Allah’, please do not quote Indonesia which has a different historical and socio-cultural background. Also, please do not quote the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the Bible used by Christian bumiputeras in Sabah or Sarawak because in the context of Malaysia, that should not have been allowed in the first place.
And of course, please do not quote the use of the word ‘Allah’ among the Christian Arabs because it is in a totally different context.
To the Malays , the word 'Allah' is unique and exclusive. It refers to the God that they have been taught to worship and have submitted to. In the first pillar of the Islamic faith, the Muslims are ‘to bear witness that there is no other God that they worship except Allah’. This differentiates the God that the Muslims worship from the Christian God.
In the Holy Quran and supported by the Traditions (the 'hadiths' of Prophet Muhammad), the characteristics of Allah are elaborated. These characteristics are many but the main ones are that:
- Allah is One and the Only,
- Allah has no associates, and
- Allah neither begets nor is begotten.
It is very clear that these characteristics are so different from those of the God that is worshiped by the Christians (except the Christians of the Unitary Church who do not believe in the doctrines of the Trinity, the divinity of Jesus and the Original Sin, among others).
I am perplexed as to why the Church in Sabah and Sarawak uses the word 'Allah' in their Bahasa Malaysia Bible, when they could have used 'Tuhan Jesus' or whatever which is more appropriate with their concept of God unless, of course, they want to transplant their God with the God that the Muslims worship.
Sure, ‘Allah’ is also used by the Christian Arabs and not only them. Even pre-Islamic Arabs also used the term. But among themselves, the Arabs know which 'Allah' you are talking about which is not the case among the Malays.
If the Christians are so obsessed with the use of the term 'Allah' in their Bahasa Malaysia Bibles, then they should also be obsessed with the use of the original terms and names for the many concepts and prophets.
Why change the name of Esau (Aramaic, or Isa in Arabic) to Jesus or Mariam to Mary for instance? In Arabic and old Hebrew, Daud is Daud and not David. The whole thing is funny, is it not? As a matter of interest, may I assume that in the Tamil or Hindi Bibles, God is called Lord Brahman or Lord Murugan?