Thursday, January 10, 2013

To Allah Or Not To Allah?

The Spanker agrees with Pakatan on this issue. The word Allah has been used by Malaysian Christians in their Malay Bible and devotional life for centuries. The basic Christian argument is that Christians in the Middle East have been using this phrase for thousands of years. A quick check on Wikipedia shows that ‘Allah' is used by Sikhs, Bahais, Mizrahi Jews and even pre-Islamic, pagan Arabs.

The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (the umbrella body for Sikh temples) has stepped into the picture, saying any move to stop non-Muslims from using the word ‘Allah' in a religious text would be a restriction on Sikhs from practicing their religion as the phrase also appears in Sikh scriptures.

Lawyer Karpal Singh has pointed out that ‘Allah' appears 37 times in the Sikh holy book. Ever wonder why no one is explicitly calling for a ban of its usage there? It's because there is no way anybody would mistake the GuruGranth Sahib for the Quran.

The Spanker’s take? It’s a right guaranteed to us in Article 11 of our federal constitution which addresses freedom of religion.

To re-cap, the Sultan of Selangor has decreed that non-Muslims in the state have been barred from using “Allah”, saying it is a sacred word exclusive to Muslims.

A statement from Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais) secretary Datuk Mohd Misri Idris said Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had expressed shock and regret over DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng's recent statement urging the Government to allow the word “Allah” to be used in the Malay version of the Bible.

The Ruler had called for an emergency meeting with officials of Mais, the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) and the Selangor mufti on Sunday.

“The Sultan made a decision and decreed that the word Allah' is a sacred word specific to Muslims and it is prohibited to be used by any non-Muslim in Selangor, as stated in a fatwa and gazetted on Feb 18, 2010,” Mohd Misri said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia is not that reliable, this is an alternativeview of the ArabBible website on its website.

Alah is not general term for god in Arabic, its a proper for the deity of Islam.

The Sikh do not call their god Allah, they believe in a different deity called iek o khar which is not Allah, so as Bahai, As both religions evolved somewhat from Islam, they may refer to Allah, but not as their deity.Plus, Bahai is not a major religion in Malaysia, I do not know if ther are any Bahais in Malaysia maybe some, hence they should not be in the equation in the issue pertaining Malaysa

As for the Christians, no, the term Arab Christians is A Ilah which general term for god . The christian use Eloim, deos and Lord as god in their bibles. The Catholic and Protestant meanwhile look up to the Atin bible as a primary reference, not the arabic bible, Translate god into Bahasa, it willl be Tuhan , not Allah, just as god would not be translated into Vishnu and Siva which are propier nouns of Hindu deities.

Here is an explaination by the arabbible website which has a special page on Allah.The arab bible is uses the same classial arab as the Koran.They refer to god as Al Ilah, not Allah.

Islam deals with the god/God issue as well. The general term for a god is “ilaah”. This Arabic word is a common noun, and can either refer to any supposed god, or may also refer to the unique one. This is universally accepted among all Arabic-speaking peoples. Next, we can talk about the proper noun, or his actual Arabic name. The name universally accepted among Muslims that refers to the deity of Islam is “Allah”. There is a swirl of controversy these days about the linguistic origins of that name, but the fact remains that there is no controversy whatsoever about what Islam’s deity is named. “Allah” is his proper name, the name that he calls himself, and expects others to call him. If someone would like to contest this claim, let him consider the words of Edward William Lane, the sole author of the Arabic-English Lexicon. This eight-volume authoritative series not only took thirty years to compile, but is said to far surpass every lexicon ever produced in any language. Concerning the word "Allah", Lane says that according to the most correct opinions of Arab grammarians, which are more than thirty in number, Allah "is a proper name". Also, Abdul Mannan Omar, the editor of the Encyclopedia of Islam, and translator of the Qur'an into English, says directly that Allah "is not a common noun" and, like Lane, declares it to be a "proper name" (The Dictionary of the Holy Qur'an p.28, 29).