Thursday, January 14, 2010


A lot have been said about this issue and a lot of tensions have been created as a result. The issue also have pique my conscience such that I had made conclusions based not on factual information but on interpolation, ie; since The Herald is English, I had assumed it was used in English publication and have commented on numerous blogs based on this erred presumption. I have since then Googled through The Net and could now make a fairly good judgement on The Issue at hand.

We should from here seek to sieve through the facts from emotive write up. Here is some facts that I have come across;

1. The term Allah have been used for God in Indonesian Christian literatures,
2. The term have also been used by the East Malaysian Christians in their literatures,
3. The Bible was called Al Kitab as the Malay term of Christian literature (Al Kitab in Islam is The Qur’an and this name is used in certain parts of the Qur’an to mean the al Qur’an) – no issue was raised on this point.
4. The translation Allah was used by Munshi Abdullah in his interpretation of the Bible into Malay in 1852,
5. The word ‘Allah’ meaning ‘God’ and has been used by Christians in Arab-speaking countries,
6. Bahasa Malaysia Bibles and publications have been restricted for use only within the churches and have been prohibited from being available in public areas
7. The term Allah had been used by the pre-Islamic Arabs in describing their highest deity. They also pray to other deities beside Allah.

Those facts seemed to give credence to the claim by the Malay speaking Christians to use the term Allah for God in BM based on historical account and general acceptance in other regions apart from Peninsular Malaysia. The fact that it was standard term used in BM Bible named AlKitab (I’m having goose flesh here) and was not subjected to objections before (or was it objected but did not become controversial???) give less credence to its objection in periodicals.

However as a Muslim, I am very unhappy about this episode. The name ALLAH used in The Qur’an and Hadiths is NOT THE SAME as per Christian Faith. The term Allah means; Allah The One and Only God, the Eternal, Absolute, No Beginning and No End, None Like Unto Him (as per Surah al-ikhlas). Beside that Allah Has No Partners... This beliefs (Tauhid) is the Core of Islamic Faith and none can belief otherwise and still claim himself a Muslim. There is no negotiation in this. Belief in Absolute Unity of Allah is the very core of the Islamic belief.

Now when christians refer to Allah, do they refer to Allah with exactly the same attributes? What is Trinity? Is it not acceptance of Jesus p.b.u.h as deity together with Allah??? Now how can that be an equivalent term??? Naming God as Allah and bundling in Jesus p.b.u.h and the Holy Spirit together into a partnership is like raping the name of Allah or pulling the name through a sewer pool. This is totally unacceptable to Muslims.

As such we need to look at higher objective. Is it such a crucial or of immediate need that the term Allah be used within the context of Christian Beliefs as opposed to Tuhan which is the direct translation of God into Malay. Why must Christians feel the need to use the term Allah which is a very specific term for Islamic concept of The One and Only God?

There are also suggestions that the term be only prohibited if used in respect of Trinity Concept and allowable if used as general term. However this will give rise to implementation issue and long, long, unease between Muslims and Christians alike. If so then every periodical will have to be vetted by JAKIM or other Islamic Authority which is definitely unacceptable to Christians. As such a clean break is best.

I would like to congratulate the Reverend Lawrence Andrew and those with him who have decided to NOT USE the term Allah in their future Malay publication. I hope this is true. Below is an exerp reported about the decision;

"Sebagai rakyat Malaysia yang cintakan negara ini, adalah menjadi tanggungjawab kami untuk membuat keputusan itu. Walaupun sedih dengan apa yang berlaku kebelakangan ini (tindakan membakar gereja), saya berasa tindakan kami boleh membantu untuk mengurangkan ketegangan dalam negara.

"Keputusan itu juga dengan mengambil kira sebarang huru hara boleh mengakibatkan rakyat terutama di kalangan miskin menanggung beban, selain menjejaskan ekonomi negara apabila pelabur bertindak untuk tidak meneruskan urus niaga mereka di sini," katanya ketika dihubungi di sini, semalam.

This I must say is a very responsible attitude from The Church. To those who haven’t heard of the Covenant between The Prophet Muhammad and the monks of St. Catherine Monastery in Mt. Sinai please checkout this link;

The Christians were deemed partners of Muslims and their right protected until Day of Judgement under Islamic Rule.


basar said...

The Muslim's shahadah : La illaha illAllah, meaning there is no God But Allah. The Arabic term for god is illah. Allah is specific for the one and only.
In any case, why only in Malaysia do the christian want to do this? Why not in the UK, or France, or US or even the Vatican?

Gukita said...

That's the whole point. Some fishy smell.. However we have to laud the stance taken to not further aggravate the issue. Hopefully they meant what was being said.