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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The "Allah" issue in Malaysia

So, for starters I would like to copy paste and post an article that was wrote by a good friend of mine slash batchmate slash brotherhood of SOULS, OP Zainal Abidin Adlin in his fb. this issue is quite new and for those who cudnt care less to know what is going on please open up your eyes . its a damn nice article and i for one agreed on evry point made.

The "Allah" issue in Malaysia
by Zainal Abidin Adlin

Assalamualaikum, Peace Be Upon You.


This goes to all you Muslims and non-Muslims reading this with an open mind.
However, this is a Malaysian issue so if you're non-Malaysian, you'll have to do some extra background reading.

The reason for why am I even bothered to write this is because I feel that people are becoming blatantly sensitive and picking sides without actually understanding the problem. Being a fan of unity, tolerance and the intellectual revolution, it saddens me to see the people of my country fighting about while being in a state of ignorance and arrogance.

There are basically 2 main groups of people. One is for the usage of "Allah" as "God" regardless of religion. These people are mostly non-Muslims and non-Malay. The other one is against it and demands that "Allah" should only be used by Muslims. These people are mostly Muslims, making them mostly Malays. It's pathetic to see how easily a linguistic issue could lead to a national, racial and religious friction. Now, throw in some constitutional mambo jumbo and you'll get people using "freedom of expression", "freedom of religion" and other fictional freedoms as their argument's foundation.

I am going to be critical to both sides.

Now, let's establish some facts first.
1. "Allah" is not a Malay word. It is Arabic.
2. In Arabic, "Allah" does not mean god. It means "God" in a much more specific concept.
3. The Arabic word for god is "ilah".
4. The Malay word for god is "tuhan".
5. Among Arabic speaking people, "Allah" is used by Muslims, Christians, Jews, even pagans.
However, the conceptual definition of "Allah" is differs from "ilah" as such "the sole deity, God the Creator" to "deity, god".
6. Non-Arabic/Sematic & non-Abrahamic religions don't usually use "Allah" to define their God/god/gods.


>What's wrong with the ones AGAINST it?

What is the Islamic creed, the Shahada?
"Laa Ilaha Illa Allah" = "There is no god, but God"
Is your faith that weak or your understanding of your faith that poor that you feel threatened just by someone else calling their God with the same term you are?

If a Muslim does get confused and then converts to Christianity, it simply proves that you other Muslims aren't educating them right. I mean really, how hard is it to differentiate between a religion that believes that there is only one God between another religion that believes that there is God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? Not only that, it also proves that something is definitely wrong with your system. Have a taste of your own medicine you half-assed Muslims.

The fact is, the Christians believe that Jesus is the son of Allah. The same Allah we believe in. That is our common ground. The biggest difference is, we believe that Jesus is a prophet of Allah. Much more understanding and respect could come out if instead of arguing who should or should not use "Allah", to discussing why your concept of "Allah" is much more logical. That, plus educating you fellow Muslims and children about Islam and why is it distinctly clear to be the correct way of life. Better yet, use Islamic methodologies to fix our judicial, financial, education, political, and welfare system. Lead by example. Don't just tell them you're right, prove it!


>What's wrong with the ones FOR it?

Why on earth do you struggle so much to put "Allah" in your book?
It seems more like a provocation rather than an honest attempt to use a Malay word.
There are so many other terms you could use as God. From the Malay "Tuhan", to the Hebrew "Yahweh", "Elohim" or "Jehovah", the more English "God", "Lord", "Almighty" and etcetera. It's not even a Malay word, so don't claim it's for the Malay version of The Herald.

How many non-Muslims is Malaysia call their God/gods/god by the name "Allah"?
We're not an Arabic speaking country. "Allah" is not even native to the Christians or any other religions. Not only that, there's no "Allah" in Mandarin,Tamil or English. So if it's not traditional to you language-wise, culturally or religiously, why fight for it like it's your bloody right?

Think about it this way. This is hypothetical so use your imagination. Assume you're a Hindu in ancient Greece. Would you claim to use "Zeus" as Krishna, Vishnu or Rama? I doubt it. You would most probably use "Theos" which is Greek for "God".


>MY Conclusion

1. Using "Allah" to represent the unadulterated concept of "God" in Abrahamic faiths is fair enough.
2. The Institute of Language and Literature (Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka) should define what "Allah" means in Malay more specifically. So even if a non-Muslim uses that term for the sake of using the Malay language, its meaning is clear enough.
3. Muslims should put more effort in improving the state they're in rather than going amok over trivial matters. If non-Muslims could only see what true Islam is all about, you wouldn't have time to worry about apostates cause you'll be too busy taking care of reverts.
4. Non-Muslims, especially the Catholics should understand the situation of the country and be more matured. Don't tell me you're not expecting a retaliation when you take this matter to the High Court. Clearly you don't respect the people around you and their feelings. What next, the Buddhist pilgrimage to Nepal would be called "Hajj"?
5. Malaysians, come on. You're better than this. How much longer are we going to allow ourselves to be systematically divided and conquered?


Again, I hope you would all read this with an open mind and forgive me for my less than polite language. Feel free to comment, criticize, share, even re-post this around and tagging people if you think that it's worth reading. I am sorry if there are any errors in the points I've made or as a Muslim would say, Wallahu 'Alam, God knows best.

Wassalam, Peace be with you.

ok. so my point of view,

1) The ppl of east malaysia have been using "Allah" to refer as god for as long as there are christians there and this includes evrywhere else in d world ie. the middle east and also in the indonesia where the bibles are mostly in malay.

2) The word "Allah" is not exclusive to muslims only by the fact that the word is derived from arabic language and as ive sed b4 ppl aorund the world have been using it without any problems. its is made exclusive to muslim malays because we as a muslim living in malaysia have been taught since the early days to not question anything that is not mainstream. and in this case the "Allah" issue. when something that is not norm in our culture we go into rage and say "this is wrong!", "you are insulting us!" when suppose there are nothing wrong with it,really.

3) inconclusion. the word "Allah" is very much legitimate for the christians and even jew for their usage.it is their own right.fullstop.

4) but while i have no problem watsoever on the usage of "Allah" for their usage, we should all b critical and speculate on the decision of the catholic church of malaysia to pursue all out to the courts to use the word right here in west malaysia. we should question why they are so adamant about this. why not just use "tuhanku" or watever.why the fuss?what is their motives?

5) there maybe other hidden agenda for them to go all out on this. as i sed from point 2), it is not norm and the malays are easily insulted by these issues.this will create havoc and outrage and disrupts harmony between races.

6) the catholic church should study their actions beforehand and responsible for the aftermath. the usage of "Allah" shouldnt be raised at all in the first place. but if there are other true motives, the church should clarify their actions.

7) I urge that there must be mutual understanding between christians and the muslims so that harmony is intact. malays must remember that Islam is not confined within the norm of our adat but it is a knowledge that we must seek and with deep understanding. The usage is not wrong!but the ulterior motives, that we should question. dont go bollocks and say something stupid just because u feel offended. dont get confused ur sentiments with facts!.

so this concludes my 1st official issue raised.haha.gud luck reading em.comments +ve or -ve are mostly welcomed.this is a free world goddammit.

6 comments:

mcjayn said...

how did the issue come up in the first place? as far as i know, the Herald is only distributed in the church and there are very limited copies. if there are any other printed copies with the word ALLAH in any Christian articles, they are for Christians only (e.g. the Bible, hymn books, prayer books) which only Christians can get their hands on cos these are sold in churches and Christian articles centre. How it comes into the hand of a Muslim or any other religion is beyond me. Unless of course there are non-Christians who went to church undercover and try to find fault with the church's system. Who is the one with the ulterior motive now?

ammo said...

The issue starts when the catholic church goes legal in this.its the catholic church who stand in and fight all out for the usage of "Allah". Im asking u this. since when the usage of "ALLAH" bcome a norm in the west malaysia?do u urself us it? why so determine to use "ALLAH" when the we can use "tuhanku" instead?

i dont think that there are non christians went unddercover to find faults with the church's system.wheres ur proof?

pls read a here http://anotherbrickinwall.blogspot.com/2010/01/why-not-just-use-tuhan.html

and here http://www.christianpost.com/article/20070823/is-calling-the-christian-god-allah-wrong/index.html)

for a cleare poinion on this issue

Snuze said...

I like the way you clarified the issue here; concise, clinical and objective.

Well done!

Unfortunately many Malay Muslims tend to be dramatic and overwrought; reacting emotionally instead of rationally. In the end, we all get egg in our faces.

:p

~al-Barq~ said...

nice ...... permission to copy, paste, and publish this .........

Deen said...

Ammo!

Just to topup... I've actually updated the article in the website...
it's here if you guys want it...

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=232187298859

Cheers Mo!
Wassalam

farah_hanani said...

weyhhhhhhhh baru tau rebirth of ammo.