Monday, January 11, 2010

To Which Christian Is 'Allah' A Norm?

I have had a lot of fun raising awareness of the violence being incited by the Catholic establishment through their pursuit of the use of the word Allah in their Malaysia-wide publication, the Herald, over the last couple of days. People need to be made aware that the continued insults and denigration of Malays in Malaysia will have its repercussions, and we are at the moment fortunate that whilst the majority are angry, only a few churches have had to suffer damages.

I suppose now that I am laying blame on the Catholic establishment for inciting this anger, even more people will be angry towards me, but such is the cost of revealing truth. If there is anything I have learnt from the comments to my past 2 postings, it is that too many non-Malays don't even understand the issue as seen through Malay eyes. In fact, confusion is rampant, e.g. many think this is an 'East Malaysia issue', when the Herald, is distributed nationally, with a KL office!

Anyway, I have had to focus on work since yesterday, so I would like to refer Muslims, especially liberal ones who think it is all 'ok' to share 'Allah' with everyone (and that includes you Marina Mahathir) to this timely reminder by the astute JMD. In addition, I also publish here (uneditted other than punctuation and capitalisation) a write-up by a much wiser man that may shed further light on the issue as seen through educated and rational Malay eyes:
Which Norm?

The head of the Catholic church in Malaysia, in an article in the Herald, argued that the Catholic church has a right to use the word Allah as it predates Islam and therefore by implication is not specific to Islam. If this is so why is the name Allah not in the Torah or the Bible? These were the religions that predate Islam. Why was God called Yahweh in the Torah and Deos in the Bible and not Allah? I fail to see the reverend’s evidence for this in the religions that predates the prophet Mohamad (saw)

The reason it (Allah) is not in the Bible or the Torah was that the Torah was revealed to Moses in Hebrew and the Ingil revealed to Isa in the Aramaic and the Aramaic word for God is Elah as the prophet Isa calls him. Allah is in the Koran because it was revealed in Arabic. Is the reverend suggesting that Arabic was widely used before Islam? In my humble knowledge of the middle Eastern history the widely used language then as the equivalent of English today is Greek. That is why the first written Bible was in Greek. The universal name for God before Islam was Theos not Allah.

The word Allah is of Arabic origin. If its use predates the Koran it was confined to the Arabian peninsula, not even Syria or Iraq nor Egypt. Before Arab conquest of these land each had its own language and God is named in their respective languages. Hence it is ridiculous to suggest that Allah was widely used before Islam.

It boggles my mind that the Catholic Church would insist on using the Arabic name for God that was used by the prophet Mohamad (saw) but chooses to ignore the Aramaic name Elah as used by the prophet Isa (puh). Is the Church suggesting that the name Mohamad (saw) used is more important than that used by Isa’s in the hierarchy of God’s name?

This would be my argument to the High court had I been the lawyer that represented the Government.

The reverend further suggests based on his first premise that because the word Allah is part of the Malay language the Church has a constitutional right to use it in a Malay language publication. I would ask the reverend the same question. Was the word Allah part of the Malay language before Islam came to the Malay peninsula. Before that date Malays were either Hindus, Buddhist or just plain Animist. Where is the evidence that shows Allah was the word for God in the writings of the preislamic period in the Malay peninsula.

Allah was introduced to Malays by Arab traders and only became part of the Malay language when Malays adopted Islam as their religion. In the lexicon of Malay words Allah was specific to Islam and refers only to the God of Muslims not the God a Malay prayed to before he become a Muslim. Hence to argue that Allah is a general Malay word take no cognizance of its Arab origin and ignores its Islamic origin in the Malay lexicon. That will be my argument to the appeal court.

I have heard many arguments by both Malays and Christians that in the Arab world Allah is used by Christians as it is in Indonesia. If Arabs and Indonesians don’t object why should Malays. Allah is an Arabic word hence its general use in the Arab speaking world is understandable.

The practice of Islam in the Arab speaking world is not standard. Some are more liberal and others stricter. There are parts of the Arabian peninsula where the presence of a non-Muslim is regarded sacrilegious and a man could loose his head for saying Allah has a son. Why was that not used as a comparison.

It is certainly mischievous or pure ignorance to use the Arab speaking world as a norm. Which country would you choose? Some people accuse Malays of thinking they are more Muslims than the Arabs. Of course we are! We are stricter than the liberal ones like Egypt, and Lebanon and of course more liberal than the very strict one like Saudi.
The Arab norm used by Malays from the beginning was the practice of the Arabian peninsula where the first Muslim missionaries came from, not the larger Arab speaking world. For quite sometime in Malay history an Al Azhar graduates was not acceptable as religious teacher only a Madina or Meccan graduate would appointed for such post because of the conservative norms of the latter.

Like wise what the Indonesian norm is, is their choice to make. It is certainly not the norm used by Malays. Because the word Allah is allowable for non muslim religious service there, does not mean it should also be practiced in the Malay peninsula. If we Malays accept that argument than the next Indonesian practice that will be demanded will be of Christians marrying Muslim without converting as a constitutional right. I also have Indonesian acquitances who eat pork when they are abroad, something a malay would not do.

Should that also be the standard for Malays. If an Indonesian norm is to be compared to Malays it would be closer to Aceh than Java. Ultimately Malays have their own standards for Islamic practice and the Indonesian have theirs so let that be. Lakum dinnukum waliyadin. To you your religion to me mine.


Simply said...

dude. you're not taking my advise. forget work. forget about writing this drivel. go and get laid man. you'll really go blind otherwise (although I think you're already blinded by bigotry anyway)

Anak Omak said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tun Faisal Ismail bin Aziz said...

well done bro, lets do this together.. :)

donplaypuks® said...

"Malays have their own standards for Islamic practice and the Indonesian have theirs so let that be."

You mean 280 million Indon Malay Muslims (from 80% of 350 million population) have lower standards than their 13 million Malay Muslim counterparts in M'sia? On top of millions more of Middle East, Egypt, India and other Muslims?

How they rush and fall on their own sword when they seek to deceive and con themselves!!

It's YOU who are off-kilter mate, and not the rest of the World. It's your bigotry that you can't seem to rise above, like the proverbial frog in the well!!

We are all of 1 race, the Human Race

Lena said...

Someone needs a fact checker. The Bible was written in Hebrew/Aramaic (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament).
The saddest thing is that Malaysia is now just like Pakistan, Bangladesh & Indonesia.

ajoyly said...

God is not concerned with name(s). God is more concerned that man should lead a holy, peaceful and compassionate life. Coexisting amicably with fellow Malaysians of various religions.

Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah bin Sanusi said...

Anak Omak. My apologies, but I have had to remove your post as KJ is irrelevant to this discussion.

Lena. Thanks for correcting us and then further confirming the writer's contention that Allah was never in use as an expression meaning God in the bible during the days before the birth of Muhammad. Hence, Allah is indeed from the Arabic root and addresses specifically God as described via the Quran, the one and only, neither born nor bearing any child.

donplaypuks. Religion is not a democracy. By your logic, if Islam has the most adherents, then it is the right religion, so you as well as all others should join Islam! Please stop commenting on matters you have little comprehension. I would much more value comments like Simply's, constructive... by however fashion!

Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah bin Sanusi said...

By the way PH Chin, url reference you pasted is axactly why Malays get angry. You guys would rather believe the views of a 'John Doe' who pulls together garbage from the web, headed by the views of one liberal minority opinion-maker (Farish Noor) for credibility and believe that more than what we Malays say we believe?

Malays are mostly born into Islam PH Chin, and whilst not all of us are knowledgable, the majority are not so ignorant as to accept 'John Doe's' drivel. We'd rather refer to those we know know. If you truly respect Muslims, you won't be so crass as to paste the url here!

In fact, I think I'll delete it... it incites violence!

KiyoshiJoz said...

report him for abuse...simple.. case close

dr said...

Not a very educated chap are you?
Donplaypuks was referring to the percentage of Indonesian Muslims, not the percentage of Muslims in the entire world. Islam is the world's second largest religion after Christianity. According to a 2009 demographic study.
As KiyoshiJoz so rightly pointed out ( in reply to your previous post ) Are you a Malay 1st or a Muslim 1st? Alluding that Malays are more Muslim than their Arab brethren does not seem like a very "Muslim" thing to do. This points to you being the former of the two & reduces your blog to the drivel that it is. You are unfit to debate issues pertaining to Islam as you place your race before your religion & go so far as to incite discontent among fellow Muslims with your inflammatory remarks regarding Arab Muslims being less " Muslim "

Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah bin Sanusi said...

Ah dr. Thank you for reassuring me that those who hurl much criticism of me aren't really reading, let alone comprehending, what I'm writing, just assuming they know what I am thinking from the slightest glance of my words.

Words like 'if' have a heavy meaning dr which one cares to really read to comprehend... It's ok, you can read what I've written again to really understand. And please feel free to invite KiyoshiJoz and others of the same ilk to do the same. At the very least you'll help me with more hits :-)

dr said...

It is you who haven't got the right of it. But your command of the English language ( or lack thereof )precludes you from realising this so, I won't bother enlightening you - it would take too long.
The bigger issue was, however, not addressed. You malign your own Muslim brethren from the Arab continent by implying that they are less "Muslim".
No comeback?

Shamsul Yunos said...

did Jesus really speak greek?

I thought he spoke hebrew...

that's right the bible is written hundreds of years after Jesus passed and in a language he never spoke

keep in mind that the old testament is the torah

Shamsul Yunos said...

Having different standards does not mean anyone is saying the others are less Mulsim...

we drive on the left side of the road with the steering on the right side of the America they drive on the right side of the road with the steering on the left side of the car

we get 240volts 50 hertz electricity
The Europeans get 110 volts at whatever hertz they get.. those are different standards

does it mean one is superior to the other?

SO all of you accusing Akram of accusing others to be less Muslim clearly just want to provoke and make him and Malay Muslims angry

good on you

Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah bin Sanusi said...

There you go not reading again dr! How did I malign my Muslim brethren exactly? By calling some more liberal and others more strict? How is either claim malicious? Do you really understand what you are reading or as I guessed, barely grasping at words so as to provide 'comment'.

More importantly, now read this carefully, I did not write the piece entitled 'Which Norm?' which I attached...

cerberus said...

So now a Sikh gurdwara in sentul also attacked by Shamsul/Tun Faisal/anak laki sanusi fans.
dia pun haf the "A" word in their holy book. [it is not a translation].

umno claims to love islam is afraid to ban the sikh religion only show you are cowards. You should pass a law to force all sikhs to leave the country karena those singh org will not change their book.

cerberus said...

this is the major Indian festival of "ponggal"...........good time to celebrate throwing stones at indian temples also :) dia punya "Durga" pun dia panggil allah, amat, ama, dan lain lain
i think umno all afraid of tigers

Zanie said...

IF Allah came during Muhammad SAW, how come his father who died before he was even borned was named Abdullah, the servant of Allah?

Doesn't that show, "Allah" came before the prophet and not after? The word "Elohim" in Aramaic refers to Allah just like muhamadim refers to muhammad."Im" is to show the greatness, the honour.

Those who watch Ahmad deedat debate with Jimmy Sweggart would know better..

mohd muzamir said...


I don't know whether you're a mulim or not but it does not matter.

(1) If Muslims all over the world, be they arabic speaking (Middle east), spanish speaking (spain), french speaking (north and central africa), malay/indonesian speaking (M'sia/Indonesie/Brunei), tagalog speaking (Philippines), Thai speaking (Thailand), mandarin speaking (China), Hindi/Urdu/Tamil speaking (india and pakistan), Persian speaking (Iran) etc etc, can all call their God Allah (shiah, sunni etc) ..... why shouldn't christians all over the world do the same?

Of course, that is difficult to answer but my point is, when you're in M'sia and when the majority Muslims object to your usage of the word Allah, why the insistance?

It's not like you're less Christians if you cannot call your God Allah, right? Since you may call them with many different names as there is no standard in Christianity all over the world to have only one standard name for their God.

Instead of asking the majority to tolerate that, why don't you be tolerant and more understanding yourself?

(2) A malay bible for malay speaking christians should obviously use a malay version of the word God, which is Tuhan. Right? Since you guys said that in Arabic, Allah = God, which we still argue, that means Allah = God is only suitable for an arabic bible. Right?

Cerberus .... this is not about UMNO. I for instance is not an UMNO member. I was glad that UMNO lost big time in PRU 12 due to alleged corruption, nepotism, lack of leadership, silly projects etc. Until now, I'm still critical of UMNO leaders who happen to be ministers. Same thing with pakatan Rakyat-led state governments.

But this is about the insistance of / demand made by a minority group that has upset the majority, when all this while the majority has given so much to the minority even before 1957. All we're asking is your understanding.

Instead of asking only the majority Muslims to be tolerant/understanding, can you guys ask yourselves to do the same?

Susah sangat ka?

Manoq Damai '89

yes said...

Tahniah Akhram, You are the future geneation that we can be proud of.

1. For those who agrees to the Christian using the kalimah Allah please refer to the Quran Surah An Nissa ayat 171, surah Al Imran surah 64. Read carefully and make your stand.

2. This is just the begining. Once we finish this dialog about the kalimah Allah, akan timbul isu patutkah orang bukan Islam menukar agama jika nak berkahwin dengan orang Islam?

3. After that we can discuss about halalkah kita makan sembelihan orang Yahudi? dan I can assure you banyak lagi bab yang nak di diaglogkan.

To me forget, about this dialog, there is no end to it. Bagimu ugama mu, bagiku ugamaku. I don't care if you sembah batu or kayu, tapi jangan nak memandai mandai tentang ugama ku.

Ini isu ugama, ini isu akidah, ini isu ugama anak cucu kita.

Pas yang selama ini memperjuangkan ugama tiba tiba jadi terbuka ( kata mereka sendiri ) Sudahlah begitu, tidak pula beri penjelasan pada ahli. Minta ahli sokong jemaah. Dalam Pas sendiri pemimpin tak sama pendapat.

Pada umat Islam have your own stand. You are answerable to Allah ( Allah Yang Maha Esa, bukan Allah the father, the son and the holy ghost.

mns2121 said...

THAT'S why i said earlier in few blogs that the biggest mistake Tunku A Rahman done is giving them an IC.

Now more people realise the damages.. My little simple advise to them is be grateful..!!

Wake up malay.. wake up..!!

dr said...

"Some people accuse the Malays of thinking they are more Muslim than the Arabs.Of course we are!"
So, Shamsul Yunos, which part of that statement was unclear to you? Please note that neither did I write this drivel, nor did I hold it up as an example of a piece of writing that highlights the views of an " educated & rational Malay ". So who is provoking whom? Both Akhramsyah & Shamsul should not attempt to debate this matter in English when even the basics of the language escape them.
Mohd Muzamir, Kudos to you for putting things in perspective. Tolerance is indeed a 2 way street.
But violence is not & & should never be the means by which we resolve our differences.
As to Yes, I so agree with you; to those who have chosen violence over rational dialogue, kindly remember that you lot are answerable to your God. May God be merciful when he is debating the fate of your wicked souls.

Faith said...

Akramsyah - people like you make me ashamed to be a Malay Muslim.

Shamsul Yunos said...

cerberus... if you are conversant with the birth of the Sikh faith you will know why Muslims do not object to their use of the name Allah, if indeed it is used in their service

theirs is a matter of faith, a major component of their religion....

but hey I am the ignorant racist one, so you must be correct...

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