Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Not Urgent for Herald to Use 'Allah'

This is my third article regarding the issue. To date my colleagues have yet to ask me about the 'Allah' issue in Malaysia.

It's either they can't be bothered with it or simply too 'afraid' to discuss the matter with me.

I second the former.

That is the difference between people in the UK and Malaysia. Many Malaysians, still 'afraid' to SPEAK UP.

Instead of speaking up, discussing the matter level-headedly, some chose to torch the churches and suraus.

Malaysians, are still young to handle some issues with 'hikmah', eventhough they are suggested to do so by religions.

Today, I will try to underline a solution for this issue. It has been dragging for years already. When the matter became a lot worse with places of worship being burnt, the best thing many of our so called great leaders did was blaming each other.

Some leaders were quick enough to visit those places with some goodies and words of support, others, politicised the issue hoping to get a run of political mileage.


Right, solution! Let us be as practical as possible. You guys want to discuss about it, conduct an open dialogue, thats fine, but please get someone who is impartial and non-partisans. I am quite sick already with people politicising the issue. It's like cancer! Even if you have to invite politicians, it's fine but make sure he/she's not a politicKING/QUEEN.

In my humble opinion, I don't see it is urgent for Herald to use 'Allah' in their Bahasa Malaysia version. The argument of Christians in Sabah and Sarawak have been reading 'Allah' in Herald cannot be used to indicate some sort of urgency. The reason why Christians in Syria, Egypt and other parts of the Middle East have been using 'Allah' for thousands of years is simply that they are Arabic speakers.

There are also stories of the pagan Meccans and Egypt Copts (Christians) referring their God as 'Allah' during Muhammad's (PBUH) time. This is simply because they were arabic speakers.

Herald wants to use 'Allah' in their Bahasa Malaysia version, not Arabic version.

Therefore, it is not timely for Herald to use it since millions of Muslims and small number of Non-Muslims in the Peninsula object to it. Malaysia then hit the headlines around the world for the wrong reason over this avoidable issue. Herald, NOT using 'Allah' in their Bahasa version will definitely ease the tension. The Christians, shouldn't feel as if they lost their 'Allah' and should never be angry about it. Herald BM in East Malaysia, can continue using the word 'Allah'.

Thing is though, I must ask, how many Bibles are written in Arabic that is available in Malaysia?

Situational point of view, unlike Muslims in East Malaysia, Muslims in the Peninsula are not comprehensively informed about the usage of 'Allah' by Eastern Malaysian Christians for decades. Of course there is a huge difference in opinions and it will take decades as well for the people in the Peninsula to absorb it. Thus, it is quite normal for the Muslims in the Peninsula to be strongly against it.

I personally think since the East Malaysians are not Arabic speakers, why bother using an Arabic word for God when you have Tuhan in Bahasa? However, since the Christians in the East has been using it for decades, I dare not take that away from them.

Now, I must ask the Muslims in Malaysia, when you read the Asma ul-Husna, do you find 'Allah' in the 99 names of Allah? When I was 8, I asked my ustazah how come 'Allah' is not included in the Asma ul-Husna? Of course she couldn't answer such a big question. It took me years only to realise that Allah is not the name of God in Islam but rather, Allah is what Arabic speakers call God, the Creator of the Universe and everything inside it.

However, since the Holy Quraan was sent down by God, through Jibril the Angel to Muhammad (PBUH) in Arabic, of course the word 'Allah' is more fond with the Muslims. Hadiths are also written in Arabic and to be fair, this is why the Muslims in Malaysia thought 'Allah' is exclusive only for Islam.

Again, Allah is a standard Arabic word for God and is used by arabic speaking people particularly from the Abrahamic faiths. Since Islam accepts the four Holy Books of Taurat, Zabur, Injil and Al-Quraan, we should not object the people who are reading the Torah (Taurat), Psalms (Zabur) and Bible (Injil) in ARABIC using the word 'Allah'. (even though it is arguable the similarities between each of the books from Islamic and non-Islamic point of view).

I know some people who claim to be 'Moderate Muslims' (MM and MM for example) or 'Liberal Muslims' (when there's no such thing as those since Islam always promotes moderation through the concept of Wasatiyyah) would welcome the idea of Herald using 'Allah' in their Bahasa version IMMEDIATELY, but for me, it is not a wise thing to do. The situation will not agree to it and it's impossible to change their mindset in one night.

There is a reason why many Malaysian Muslims are prejudiced to it.

-Why there is a need for Herald to use the word 'Allah' at such an untimely manner?

Some has labeled these people as 'Islamic extremists' and even UMNO-paid agent provocateurs. (I am not referring to the arsonists -these people should be ISA-ed ASAP).

I have to agree with these so called 'extremists' at some point.

It is not urgent and Herald is not having it in Arabic anyway.

And most importantly, most would object to it.

Some stats update:

Malaysian-Facebookers against the use of 'Allah' by Herald = 199,242. (76%)
Malaysian-Facebookers in support of Herald using 'Allah' = 62,284. (24%).

Jeg Hui


atom said...

I respect your view but i begged to differ. Simply put it; there's only one kind; mankind but in Malaysia context we are separated by Bumi/NonBumi and in religion we wanted to be differentiate again? wake up for God sake! Is this not sign of doom? Man made or God's will? All this while who had been in calculated this kind of behaviors? Trust you have the answer. God Bless

Jeg said...

fair enough mate, this is my opinion.

I just hope the end result is people can live harmoniously in Malaysia.

♥Aisyahumaira♥ said...

nice entry!

may ALLAH bless you :)

Pial Khadilla Abdullah said...

My opinion: Allah means GOD THE CREATOR. Simple.

But does it mean the same to other religions? that's the question.

For e.g. Jesus christ is son of god, so Allah cannot mean Jesus christ, for to the christians they worship Jesus christ and Jesus is not the creator.

For the Hindus and the Buddhist, they have several gods, I don't know which god is the creator to them.

Etc the list goes on for other religions.

So as for non muslims using the word Allah, I think its because they dont understand the true meaning of Allah.

It can also confuse the current Muslims as they might think the teachings are referring to Islamic teachings because of the word Allah. So if they wanna use the word Allah in Herald, I think they should specify which God they're talking about i.e God the creator or Jesus Christ the son of god. So you know what's wrong and what's right.

Does this make sense? So difficult to explain

Jeg said...


I think the issues of 'Allah' being used by Non-Muslims, cow-heads, etc shows how Malaysians are not ready for 2-party system.

Big blow to two-party system. Might as well have a monarch all the way! Like UAE what not. Aman damai. Hehe.

Jeg said...

Btw, you're right. If they're referring to Allah the One True God, the Creator, then it's OK.

But I'm just sick that politicians like Khalid Samad and Anwar Ibrahim fail to see the impact even though masjids and churches were torched down.

I believe Anwar said OK to gain the popularity from Sabah Sarawak and the Non-Muslims.

Politicians... Pfah!