Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Allah Mak!! Need Another Expression!!

The only time I ever invoke Allah quite unconsciously is when I say "Allah mak", in expressing regret, like when I miss the turn while driving! Come to think of it, I think most Malaysians would have used "Allah Mak" at some time in their lives despite "lawfully" not being allowed to. Indeed we say those words even in the presence of pious Malays without them starring down at us in dismay.

But really, when looking at this entire debacle one has to ask, who benefits!! ?

Is it the confused Malay/Muslim? I don't think so. No confused Malay or Muslim has given up his religion in any of the countries where Allah is used by Christians. I cannot imagine those who claim confusion can actually point out to any Malay/Muslim who has veered from his faith just because Christians use Allah.


Then why use this argument? Well, it is a claim that no one will bother to test. And when you make such a claim it is always possible to point out made up cases. But really! I cannot imagine even the most stupid or disinterested Peninsula Malay/Muslim getting confused when a Christian uses "Allah" to reference the "Christian God"! Why? Simple really! The Islamic teachings and indoctrinations on their subjects have been so effective that there is usually hardly any space left in them for conjecture or doubts about what and who Allah is to Muslims almost the world over. The fear of Allah that has been conditioned into them has been most effective and that to a large extent is the greatest motivator that has lasted for so many centuries. The use of Allah in far greater Muslim populated areas as well as in more "less educated" Muslim populations than one might find in Malaysia, like Indonesia, Jordan, Syria or Egypt where everyone knows and are used to Christians also referring to Allah, really nullifies this argument about confusion. Unless of course the Malays want to hold themselves out as a tribe that is basically stupid! Other than UMNO wanting to present Malays as such, I really don't think anyone else holds the Malay race to be such.


The allegation that Missionaries purposely insisted that Munshi Abdullah use Allah in his translation so as to more easily reach the Malay/Muslims? Well, maybe some element of mischief might have been intended then. After all they already knew Allah albeit it being an Arabic word and not a Malay word. Tuhan already existed as a word and that should have sufficed. But then this argument would have been valid at that time. At that time when whoever appropriated the Allah word for the use of referencing the Christian God in Malay as a word in the Malay language!

Ah, but then the Allah word was already a word that would have been applied to the Christian God long before Islam came along, one might say. But, hey fine, but that was in the Arabic language as used by the Arabs. There presumably would have already existed the Tuhan word in the Malay language after all which is as generic as God is today in the English language.

Today I say "google it". But "google it" would not have meant a thing only 10 years ago. Google is the company that has come up with the most popular search engine and most widely used. One would have thought, 10 years ago, "yahoo it" might have just as well been understood. A pronoun used as a verb!! Do Google have a say over how I use "google it"?

So, "Allah" which was originally used as a noun, either was appropriated as a pronoun by the Prophet or it was appropriated by the Quran. Or is "Allah" being appropriated as a "pronoun" by the Malaysian Muslims? I guess for me deeper down, I see, that in its present use in this country, Allah is used as a pronoun, rightly or wrongly, to refer to the God that Muslims worship.

Rightly or wrongly, "Allah" has been appropriated as a pronoun amongst Muslims in Malaysia. However, in seeing no demons in its use by Christians in territories where Arabic comes from, the people of that language can be seen using "Allah" more as a noun. Or at least they see when used by Christians, it is used as a noun. That would also appear to be the case in the case of Indonesia, where the language is almost the same as the Malay language that is in contention here.

For most Muslims in Malaysia all this posturings of mine and many others would really make no sense at all. Had well been left alone there would not have been any problems whatsoever. Christians would have happily put up, like in Indonesia, stuff like "Allah ku Cinta" and what not and I cannot imagine any Muslim getting confused over it. They would have had to be a special species subordinate to the least educated Indonesian to even been miffed.


Peninsula Christians


Unlike the East Malaysian Christians the Peninsula Christians would largely be non-Malay speaking. Thus the primary source of Christian worship and learning would be English, Tamil or Chinese. But with the wisdom of our past UMNO leaders, especially Tun Mahathir Mohammad, our children are now far more fluent in Bahasa Malaysia than they are in any other language. But the Government does not want us to worship using the language of the Malays. They have not encouraged, in fact I read somewhere, even banned the publication of the Bible in the Malay language. So what do we do? Well, we import as we have done in the past and as our East Malaysian Christians have been doing all along, from Indonesia, the Indonesian language Bible, which coincidentally is the same, well almost, as the Malay language. There they use Allah!! And no problems so far in Indonesia. Of course we very much would like to export this debacle to Indonesia as well where we want to see discord and where once this was not an issue, we want to make an issue so that our Malays in Malaysia don't stand alone in this matter.

So, even if we do not use "Allah" in publications and writings originating in Malaysia, and even if we stop using Allah in our worship and confined ourselves to Tuhan, we will need to continue to import Indonesian Bibles from Indonesia as we are not allowed to publish Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia. So, this is just not going away.


Credibility of the Muslim's Position

If Allah had been the only word that was "protected", it may be argued that there was some credibility in their position. However, when you ban such words as Amin as well!! Well, the spelling may be different with it being spelt Amen in English. But the pronunciation is the same whether in English, Tamil or Chinese. And Christian prayers in any language end with Amen. Hymns sung on Sundays in most established churches end with Amen. Prayers are said as well as sung where Amen forms the main theme.

I always thought Masjid was a Malay word until my recent visit to India. In Kerala the mosques' names end with Masjid on them. I always thought "Haji" was a reverent title. But now it would seem like I may not be able to go to Jalan Haji Taib or Jalan Masjid India in case I might be in violation of someone's idiotic notion of piety! Hey, going by this idiot's reckoning I think the goings on in Lorong Haji Taib in Kuala Lumpur do more harm to the sanctity of such names than Christians worshiping employing these words.


Who Benefits?


There are so many more arguments put forward for and against the use of Allah. A lot of these arguments don't really make sense. Some are well argued and arguments based on research are to be commended for what they elucidate.

However, I do too have the right to an opinion. In addition to accepting the facts that have been put forward by both sides of this debate, I would say that it is not necessary that all the facts are necessarily relevant to this debate. Squaring up the facts from both sides and arriving at a balance of possibilities that both sides can be equally right or equally wrong, I then am left to see from an angle that does not draw from the theological, linguistic or historic perspectives.

Who benefits? Who benefits when this was a non-issue to begin with? It was a non-issue 30 years ago. It remains a non-issue today everywhere else. But it is an issue today just only in Malaysia. What made it an issue? Who made it an issue? Why did they make it an issue? How different would it be when those who made it an issue become victorious as a result?


It all began in the mid 1980s when some states in their attempt at protecting Muslims from being subject to proselytising started by invoking prohibition laws. With that in mind, words became protected. Allah was not allowed to be said and used by non-Muslims. It did not seem to matter that in so doing, a Muslim convert would have to tread through an illegal path of having to say or read "Allah" while still not yet a Muslim! The excuses they come up for that would be quite amusing really. But at this time, it would seem like those pursuing this push to protection were the religious and the Ulama. Obviously the politicians obliged.

Was it really necessary then? I am of the opinion that it was just unnecessary. The Muslim Malay should be commended for retaining their faith despite migration to Christian or Hindu dominated territories. Surely there should be no fear of them straying in Muslim dominated Malaysia.

Then what really were they saying? I think it served more as a reminder to Muslims as well as Muslim politicians alike that there was the Ulama who Muslim politicians had to submit to. And submit they did. After all it was the mid-eighties when the first fissures within the Malay community appeared with the crossing of swords with the royalty as well as amongst the politicians in UMNO. The Islamic thread happened to be the strongest thread that could bind the different parts of the Malay community together. It was not espoused as such. It was clearly used like as if it was a protective layer. Yet it had the effect of acting as a reminder that the Malay community was united. And maybe that is why, today, despite whatever PAS might say, there is this suspicion about their true intentions.

The demonising of other religions, the sectarian ideas put to kids attending Ugama classes, the hate invoked and perpetuated for anything seen to be as enemies of Islam and the cultivation of hate as a good emotion to have for anything and anyone who might be considered under the classification of "enemies of Islam" have to a certain extent developed the Muslim/Malay psyche. If hate as an emotion can be measured you might just find that for the average Malay it would in all probability be greater than that for others. The hate is in fact cultivated and nourished unlike, for instance, the Christian where he is expected to "love his enemies"!! Thus, what in other Muslim territories is a non-issue, by putting this "Allah by Christians" into that classification the perpetrators have quite successfully staged a rise in temperature amongst the Muslims in Malaysia. Any hope that this will follow on in Indonesia or the Arabic nations has sadly failed to materialise. Maybe the demonising that happens here did not happen in their countries. Even the Taliban have not made any comment on this. Maybe they are just as confused or maybe they are a little pre-occupied with other things.


UMNO would be seen as leading this thrust right now. Of course they are denying it. Well, at least the church burnings. But certainly they want to be seen as being the ones championing what they would like to classify as a violation of Islamic icons of images. Or would it be more right of me to say "impressions"? After a life time of indoctrination, what constitutes Islamic has now been reduced to what UMNO says at their whims and fancies really. Both Allah and Amin are Islamic words and therefore protected and they are the ones standing up to protect them. That is what they want the Malay people to see. It does not matter that 220 million odd Indonesians are laughing about this. It does not matter that the Arabic world is rather amused and confused. It does not matter that the entire Turkish Muslim population and the rest of the new Muslims are finding it hard to explain this quirk. So long as the disingenuous hands in UMNO see that they have a play here to turn the tide of support from PAS and the indifferent amongst the Malays to them, what does it matter? After all they know that their corrupt ways and practices don't also sit along with Islamic teachings. So why not use Islam for their benefit?


I am of the opinion that UMNO leaders actually believe that this episode will play in their favour. After all if the Malay vote is divided 35:35:30 between UMNO, PAS & Keadilan, and undecided respectively, what UMNO needs is maybe a shift of only 5% of the undecided to make it 40:35:25 and they would have their sanctimonious two-thirds majority in parliament.

Yes. As much as they might be pleading otherwise, UMNO sees itself standing to benefit from this entire episode. The Church burnings are just self-fulfilling prophesies of theirs when they claimed that Allah being used by the Christians will incite the Muslims. It has not in 1400 years in the Arabic nations and it has not for several hundred years in Indonesia. What is is that is so unique about Malaysia?


The Chrisitian Position Now?

Before the court case I was of the opinion that it wasn't essential for Christians to use the term Allah. We could use Tuhan and that would be fine. I even wrote about it. But now, with the UMNO led BN without pause after the verdict was announced very quickly submitted the appeal, where it is expected the verdict to be reversed, UMNO's hand in this entire manufactured shenanigans cannot be hidden anymore. Including the violence. The mere fact that this UMNO led government is unable to see what has so far been the greater sacrilege committed against Malaysian Christians by those motivated by the pursuit of their self-claimed Islamic interests, is sufficient evidence that they really don't care. Yes, the sacrilege committed by the two reporters on the holiest sacrament in the life of a Christian is much worse than the burning of churches. All that they do here is the burning of buildings. And that, as all Christians will tell you, is not exactly the Church!

But now? I say let us hold on to our rights!! Why? Quite simple. If we go down on this, they will then say we are confusing them when we end our hymns with Amen or end our prayers with Amen. It is only a matter of time when they will say that we are confusing the Muslims with the lie that Jesus is the Son of God. Indeed every time UMNO feels vulnerable we shall become their useful punching bag. We will be required to say that the son that Abraham was about to sacrifice when God stopped him was Ishmael instead of Isaac. And because the English, Tamil and Chinese Bibles have this "lie" written in them, these Bibles too have to be banned. Is this scenario an impossibility? Fact is, only losers dominate the leadership of UMNO. Losers use any and every means not to sink.

17 Comments:

At January 20, 2010 at 4:15 PM, Blogger shar101 said...

Bro,

Somehow I doubt you could summarise this into a concise and precise version to be published as a comment at HartalMSM.

And please don't change your style for my sake though it takes a while for me to sift through the enormity of your thought process.

Plus a 'single' alwayz helps :-)

 
At January 23, 2010 at 1:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kenapa kamu masih memainkan isu ini sedang ahli agama kedua-agama telah duduk berbincang antara satu sama lain.apa yang menyebabkan kamu berminat dgn isu ini?untuk makluman bkn umno sahaja yg 'bising'dgn isu ini,tetapi hampir keseluruhan umat islam di malaysia.sudah banyak penerangan yg diberi ttp kamu masih tidak faham@sengaja tidak mahu faham.
-insan-

 
At June 17, 2010 at 10:19 PM, Blogger shiro said...

As far as I know it's 'Alamak' not 'Allah Mak'.

 
At June 18, 2010 at 6:55 AM, Blogger Old Fart said...

Shiro, you would be right there! But I do believe Alamak is a derivative of Allah and mak!!

 
At June 19, 2010 at 6:57 AM, Anonymous astar said...

I can't believe that there is someone who actually think that alamak is a derivative of Allah and mak.U post quite a long article as if u knew everything. but this really shows that u are still stupid & ignorant.In this case, it is about about Malay language.I'm not a linguist and I don't have Kamus Dewan (i hope u r clever enough to know what that is). So i can't tell u where 'alamak' comes from. But I'm 200% sure that Alamak is NOT a derivative of Allah and mak.Not a chance. it is an expression in malay language. Just like Aduh when u r hurt.

 
At June 19, 2010 at 10:59 AM, Blogger Old Fart said...

astar,


I did say, "I do believe"....but you have not helped any in trying to change that believe, have you!!

I have often wondered what "Oh God, Oh god, Oh God No, Oh god Yes, Yes, Yes...." really refers to as well....Can't possibly be, can it?

But I can understand that the article, long as it is, is just too much for you to comprehend....but as you would notice, that is the way I write.

And oh, in case you did not notice, the subject matter is not about Allah mak, or alamak!! But then again, I suppose, that is also beyond you to discern!! Wonder what that makes you?

 
At December 19, 2010 at 7:15 PM, Blogger Zhariff said...

Old issue with a new 'insight'

I take it that what you presented here are of your own puny opinion. One which holds no water.

I must stress that the word 'Allah' is nothing like 'Haji' or 'masjid'. Why Allah is perceived as the holy word for Muslim? Because Muslim pray & used that name the entire time - eating,driving,every single action as long as they are capable of uttering. Now,ever heard a Christian practising that?

Christian & Islam are both holy religion. As we come to this, the respect granted to both are unquestionable

 
At December 19, 2010 at 7:58 PM, Blogger Old Fart said...

Zhariff,

You are right. My opinion was rather puny and one which holds no water!

So please do now enlighten me with your 2 cents worth, if you have any!!
And yes, I have heard Christians use Allah in their prayers and in their worships. Just go to church anywhere in the Arabian continent or to our neighbour, Indonesia from whom the Malay language is borrowed!!

 
At December 20, 2010 at 8:54 PM, Blogger Zhariff said...

We average Joes are not fit to discuss into detail these holy matters. We might propagate further into another grey area or worse, deviate less to the truth.

Anyway, in discussing this issue on the surface, suffice to say that Allah was primarily a Muslim saying;a holy name. Are you a Christian yourself? If you are, mind telling me if any sermon utters the name "Allah"? In daily, or make it weekly routine? That almost answers the question with a very large percentage. Put aside Indonesian Bible;if Allah was meant to be in Bible,then it would have been printed in such way hundreds of years ago in its original form.

 
At December 20, 2010 at 10:02 PM, Blogger Old Fart said...

Don't underestimate yourself. You and I are as good or as bad as the so called learned ones. Right and wrong and good and bad has nothing to do with what or how long one has immersed himself or herself in the holy books. This thing about underestimating our abilities to interpret God's intentions is one ruse that has worked very well with those who claim to be learned, or ulama, or priests or whatever. I presume you don't understand Arabic. In which case if you do read the Quran in its Arabic script your understanding of it will be as good as my understanding when I read French. And they cleverly tell you only if you read it in Arabic will you understand wholly what it is. Until then listen to what I say and just follow!Well, they did it with early Christianity. But it ended with the advent of the printing press and the Bible was made available to all and sundry.

But with Islam, you see, the Ulama were smarter. They made sure that interpretation was left to only those who were learned. And that is why you find that you will find it difficult to counter a guy who has spent all his life in a Madrassa, but does not know how to operate a washing machine, because he hasn't seen one.

As for Allah, well before your Prophet Mohammad came around the Kaaba was actually full of all kinds of statutes of gods that the peope were praying to. They called their god Allah too. Maybe I could recommend that you read No god But God for a bit of history.

This Allah issue in Peninsula Malaysia is uniquely a Peninsula Malaysian problem. Not in India, Not in Indonesia, Not in Arabic or Persian speaking countries either. Left alone even you wouldn't bother. But some UMNO idiot wanting two minutes of fame has made this into a problem. And that is what you are yourself caught up in.

If really the Christians are being mischievous in wanting to use Allah instead of Tuhan so as to confuse you, I should say the Malays have done well. How many Malays have been duped by this up till now anyway? Fact is as Malays, the race can be proud that despite having migrated to countries like Sri Lanka as well as South Africa, their Muslim faith has remained intact.

So what really is this issue all about anyway? If you are going to tell me that Islam is a superior religion as the IKIM and Muslim scholars have recently declared, I will just respond that they can speak for themselves. I often say when asked who is my God, my response is, My Morning Coffee!! Its real and it wakes me up!! Well, to me my Morning Coffee is superior. You want to dispute that?

This Allah issue is a non-isssue. In the beginning when it first started I actually advocated that the Christians actually drop using Allah because some ill intentioned and small minded people were making an issue of something that does not exist. But then when I saw what this meant to the politicians and some UMNO leaders and some of the Muslim religious people, I said %$#@ it, the Christians should take them on and not let it go.

 
At December 21, 2010 at 10:24 PM, Blogger Zhariff said...

You and I are free to discuss what ever we feel like. However due to our differences in beliefs & principles, I see that there's no better way to gently negotiate this matter than to go for simple logics, based on facts & figures. Are you Christian yourself? Or a regular citizen enjoying a brewed fight of hotly debated issues?

Your points on the Muslim scholars' are indeed weak ones. Of course every scholar regardless of religion would ensure the interpretations are meant for those learnt. How else would you expect the followers to indulge themselves in the teachings? I can throw an Algebra book to you and yet you won't be able to fathom a single digit if you are not learned & taught for it. Which still does not explain how Allah is found on every page of Quran, while the same can't be said in the Bible

So apparently, Allah was the name that the ancient worshippers called & referred to as God those days. Would you wonder why then?

Christian & Islam both believe in the prophets, other than the same belief in Hell & Heaven,angels & demons. Both believe in Adam as the origin of men, don't they? While most historians are adamant that Islam are only established in Muhammad's reign, the truth is that Islam existed way before such period of time. Ancient Arabs & other community are guided by different prophets namely Adam, Yaakob (Jacob), Sulaiman (Soloman).While these prophets preach Allah's teaching, some ancient community are more than reluctant to follow the ways of these noble individuals but to continue their devious life path. Due to elapsed presences of prophets followed by growing ignorance of the religion, statues were then wrongly addressed as the name of Allah. The worshippers still existed even in Muhammad's time, and it was his duty as the final messenger to bring glory to Islam & preserve its sacredness.Peace be upon him.

Anyway, your brand of "God" is unwittingly a bad joke. I take it as a bad joke, because seriously if it had not been one, it sort of reflects an understandable level of ignorance you possess in viewing this issue from a spiritualism perspective

 
At December 21, 2010 at 10:26 PM, Blogger Zhariff said...

You and I are free to discuss what ever we feel like. However due to our differences in beliefs & principles, I see that there's no better way to gently negotiate this matter than to go for simple logics, based on facts & figures. Are you Christian yourself? Or a regular citizen enjoying a brewed fight of hotly debated issues?

Your points on the Muslim scholars' are indeed weak ones. Of course every scholar regardless of religion would ensure the interpretations are meant for those learnt. How else would you expect the followers to indulge themselves in the teachings? I can throw an Algebra book to you and yet you won't be able to fathom a single digit if you are not learned & taught for it. Which still does not explain how Allah is found on every page of Quran, while the same can't be said in the Bible

So apparently, Allah was the name that the ancient worshippers called & referred to as God those days. Would you wonder why then?

Christian & Islam both believe in the prophets, other than the same belief in Hell & Heaven,angels & demons. Both believe in Adam as the origin of men, don't they? While most historians are adamant that Islam are only established in Muhammad's reign, the truth is that Islam existed way before such period of time. Ancient Arabs & other community are guided by different prophets namely Adam, Yaakob (Jacob), Sulaiman (Soloman).While these prophets preach Allah's teaching, some ancient community are more than reluctant to follow the ways of these noble individuals but to continue their devious life path. Due to elapsed presences of prophets followed by growing ignorance of the religion, statues were then wrongly addressed as the name of Allah. The worshippers still existed even in Muhammad's time, and it was his duty as the final messenger to bring glory to Islam & preserve its sacredness.Peace be upon him.

Anyway, your brand of "God" is unwittingly a bad joke. Seriously if you really had meant to equate your coffee with God because it's real & "wakes you up", it sort of reflects an understandable level of ignorance you possess in viewing this issue from a spiritualism perspective

 
At December 22, 2010 at 11:30 AM, Blogger Old Fart said...

Zhariff my dear friend, why confine yourself to simple logic when your mind as well as mine are elastic enough to stretch logic a little further.

You see however much I'd like to go on a high, my beloved coffee in my beloved coffee cup only gives me so much thrust to get me off my hide, after that I am very much on my own steam.

You see, you keep saying Bible. But then Al Kitab is its other name in another language. And Bible is just but the English word for it. Oh, BTW, there are Arabic Christians and there are Arabic Churches where they have never seen a "Bible" with "God" or Tuhan on it. They only speak of, pray to and sing to "Allah" ending with the sign of the cross!! As to why Allah is used in christian worship in Bahasa Malaysia, you have got to ask Munshi Abdullah that. He is the translator of the Bible to Bahasa Indonesia, and it is that Al Kitab that is available to Malaysians who need to read in the language they are most competent in. I do believe that in the Malay world Munshi is regarded as a great linguist and man of literature.

Anyway, that being so, Allah has been used in Christian worship in Sabah and Sarawak for over a hundred years. Human transmigration, politics, stupidity and power play has forced Peninsula non-Malays to now have for a language of competence, Bahasa Malaysia. So what do you think they read? Where do you think they get their terminology from?

Now, it was not a problem all along. Just, just now. Why? Political expediency? A show of ketuanan Melayu maybe?

As to your claim as well as the claim of Muslims that Adam was Muslim and Islam began with the advent of Adam and Eve, well, I will have to differ. No mention was made of that in the Pentateuch, which is the first 5 books of the Bible or the Torah, which all preceded the claim by Muslims that they and the prophets were Muslim.

You see, you got to go back to why God created man. Just in case you don't know, he did have a plan for man and he did charge man with that plan. I would not know where in the Quran I might be able to refer you to for this. But it sure does exist in the Bible as well as Torah. Leaving aside the why, you will find that God did after all make us in His image. And really if you were to look at the mirror, and look hard enough you'd see God's image that is in you. And if you see there is a difference between yourself and that image, you are really no more than a custodian of that image.

And as a custodian, have you done a good job? Now, I cannot imagine a God who is tied up in knots and chains and a God who surrenders his persona to be puppetted about by a puppet master. How much of your own faculties have you surrendered to the wishes and commands of others? In so doing have you not cast the image of God that is in you to servitude?

You see, Zhariff, you can't really depend on your elders and teachers for the answers that you seek.More often than not they are more interested in protecting their own turf. Do you have the faith to trust God that He will not allow you to dither and fall in the way side? If so, why don't you venture on your own and see. Read the Quran yourself and bear upon it your own conscience and your sense of right and wrong. Forget what you have been taught. O.k. ..just set aside what you have been taught.

Really the religion I profess does not matter much to others. Just to me! I see myself a student of religion and I like studying it. But to study religion I cannot start off with any kind of bias, preference, prejudice or hate. Neither can I subject myself to fear so that I am unable to postulate positions or views that might not exactly reflect positively or reverently upon God or any of His prophets or as Christians believe, His Son!

So, really, I am not proselytising anything here, and hopefully in the course of writing I myself get a far better understanding of religion.

 
At December 22, 2010 at 9:38 PM, Blogger Zhariff said...

I must say that your diligence in religion studies is well worthy and commendable, to say the least. As to that, I expect you to be unbiased in this issue while taking into consideration all aspects & points viewed from both religion.

Yet it's presumable for me to see that you have been leaning more to the Christian side just because hands of politics were butting in places where they shouldn't have. Politicians may have overreacted, but it will be much easier for you to douse the fire rather than flaming it up. Unless you are politically motivated, then it's easy to see the reason you resisted to comply with your initial opinion that Christians should just dropped the issue.

My take on Bible is a simple yet unshaken point so to say; if Allah was ever meant to be called by Christian as it is, then why isn't it printed with such, even one word? Coming to that, chants or prayers with 'Allah' in it would do little to justify the issue; as I had stated before, misinterpretation & confusion during the early days are to be blamed.

If Allah was Christian to be called from the beginning, do ponder: do the Christian Alaskan, Nigerian, Chielan or American for that matter, call their God 'Allah' as well?

Noteworthy, the only reason most scholars are against the using of Allah by Christian was the brand of Allah they projected. Allah with a son named Jesus? Now, such picture does not exist in Islam. Allah, to Muslim, is One, The Sole Provider, The Creator. He is not born, nor does He give birth. Jesus, or Isa as he is called in Islam, is a prophet, a servant of Allah nonetheless, son of Mary (Mariam) but never a God of any sort. So how would Allah be fit to both religion when it has so much difference all the while? The issue of confusion was of some significance, but the greater issue is the sacredness & morale in the use of Allah as The Almighty.

A Venezuelan and an American may both have their own presidents, but they are alas unique. Obama may never ever be Chavez and vice versa. Do digest on this simple analogy and hopefully, you'll come to a new insight

 
At December 22, 2010 at 9:40 PM, Blogger Zhariff said...

I must say that your diligence in religion studies is well worthy and commendable, to say the least. As to that, I expect you to be unbiased in this issue while taking into consideration all aspects & points viewed from both religion.

Yet it's presumable for me to see that you have been leaning more to the Christian side just because hands of politics were butting in places where they shouldn't have. Politicians may have overreacted, but it will be much easier for you to douse the fire rather than flaming it up. Unless you are politically motivated, then it's easy to see the reason you resisted to comply with your initial opinion that Christians should just dropped the issue.

My take on Bible is a simple yet unshaken point so to say; if Allah was ever meant to be called by Christian as it is, then why isn't it printed with such, even one word? Coming to that, chants or prayers with 'Allah' in it would do little to justify the issue; as I had stated before, misinterpretation & confusion during the early days are to be blamed.

If Allah was Christian to be called from the beginning, do ponder: do the Christian Alaskan, Nigerian, Chielan or American for that matter, call their God 'Allah' as well?

Noteworthy, the only reason most scholars are against the using of Allah by Christian was the brand of Allah they projected. Allah with a son named Jesus? Now, such picture does not exist in Islam. Allah, to Muslim, is One, The Sole Provider, The Creator. He is not born, nor does He give birth. Jesus, or Isa as he is called in Islam, is a prophet, a servant of Allah nonetheless, son of Mary (Mariam) but never a God of any sort. So how would Allah be fit to both religion when it has so much difference all the while? The issue of confusion was of some significance, but the greater issue is the sacredness & morale in the use of Allah as The Almighty.

A Venezuelan and an American may both have their own presidents, but they are alas unique. Obama may never ever be Chavez and vice versa. Do digest on this simple analogy and hopefully, you'll come with a new insight

 
At December 23, 2010 at 4:11 AM, Blogger Old Fart said...

Zhariff, so we now come to the crux of the issue. The use by Christians of Allah! Let us be more precise about it. It is the use of the word Allah by Peninsula Malaysian Christians that has become an issue with certain Malay Muslims within Peninsula Malaysia that is the bother.
It is uniquely a problem with just the Malay Muslims of Peninsula Malaysia.

And why? Well, apparently because it confuses them!! Well, at least that is what has been claimed. As far as the other arguments are concerned, I would say that you may have some valid arguments. But then again you have as much valid arguments coming from the other side as well.

You see in Peninsula Malaysia, the Christians were either Indian or Chinese or Portuguese. Most worship would have been in their very own languages as well as in English. And God was referred to in their own languages, so that unlike in Islam where universally Allah is used, I suppose in Christianity you could even call Him Jack, and it would be o.k.!!

But then when Christianity was introduced to the Indonesians, for whatever reason "Allah" was used. That is the word in the Indonesian Bible and that is the word that is used in Indonesian Christian worship.The Muslim Indonesians are not exactly complaining.

In Borneo, I suppose it would have been the same set of missionaries who brought the religion to them and they used the literature from Indonesia. And I do believe that until now the Bible that is used continues to be brought in from Indonesia and there is no Bahasa Malaysia version of it.

Now, if the sanctity of Allah was the primal concern of the UMNO leaders then they should have considered it in the 1970s when they made that blunder of a decision to make BM compulsory so that today the English language Bible is not of much use compared to the Indonesia Bible to much of the new generation. And guess, what, they get their Allah from there.

Hey, you see, all this was not a problem until just recently. Its the demonstration of power. Its ketuanan Melayu as well. They can do it, so they do. And that is why this needs to be resisted. As I told you before, one thing the Peninsula Malays can be proud of is that despite this so called confusion, I cannot see a single Malay convert because of this confusion. Indeed, Malays have migrated as a group and you have the Cape Malays in South Africa and you have the Ceylon Malays. They have all kept their Muslim faiths despite being surrounded by non-Muslim faiths. Isn't that something the race can be proud of?

So what really are you protecting? If you think you are protecting "Allah". Then think again! Are you suggesting that your "Allah" is so weak that he needs your protection? Then why bother having him as your God even?

Are you protecting the use of Allah because you really want to preserve the usage of Allah to amongst Muslims alone?

Then stand alone within the Muslim ummah because the rest don't understand what ever it is you are fighting about?

Are you protecting the use of Allah within Peninsula Malaysia because, as claimed, the Malays are confused?

Then please explain why it is hardly any Malay has converted because they have been lured by this. Also you are also undermining the the rest of the Malay diaspora who have been true to Islam despite moving to non-Muslim lands.

Its a non-issue really. But being able to do it would be something of a victory for ketuanan Melayu. And really that is why this debate is still going on. And of course they have sucked you into this debate with the focus on all the other arguments. But as I said earlier, they can all be countered and you end up square.
Cont.

 
At December 23, 2010 at 4:12 AM, Blogger Old Fart said...

This really is a ketuanan Melayu endeavour. To show to the Malays that they actually have power over the non-Muslims. For all the ketuanan Melayu talk there is really very little to show for it. But this would be something significant. And that my dear friend is why it is being resisted and I to resist it. Because this "fight" is corrupt. Because this fight is nonsensical. And this fight is just a total waste of time.

You see, even for you, until they brought it up, it was never in your wave length. A non-issue. Suddenly someone calls a foul and it has become a foul for you. It was happening right in front of you all along and you never saw a problem. The game was smooth flowing. But now someone says you cannot kick the ball with your left foot. Then you start justifying the foul with all kinds of reasons. Hey, you can call foul on just about anything you want you know. Then what next?

 

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