Tuesday, 3 March 2009

can christians use 'allah'?

continuing the debate whether christians in malaysia can use 'allah' as the name for God. see the 2 articles below. one is from raja petra and the other a report from the malaysiainsider. if it takes a wise muslim to say, what the others? :

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Allah has 99 names

Posted by admin Monday, 02 March 2009 10:21

Okay, but what about the other 99 names of Allah? Should not non-Muslims also be banned from using these words as well? If the Allah word has been prohibited, then the remaining 99 names should be equally prohibited.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Malays resent me talking about Islam. This is because I am not a ‘certified’ Muslim scholar. And the certificate that authorises one to talk about Islam is issued by the state religious authorities.

But it is not me alone who is not ‘authorised’ to talk about Islam. The PAS President, Ustaz Haji Abdul Hadi Awang, was also banned from speaking in Selangor mosques, in particular in the Masjid Mujahideen in Damansara Utama. I do not know whether this ban has now been lifted ever since Pakatan Rakyat formed the Selangor State Government soon after the 8 March 2008 general election or whether the ban still exists.

I remember once when the Umno Member of Parliament for Kuala Terengganu, Zubir Embong, was scheduled to give a talk one Friday in a mosque in Gong Tok Nasik. Before he could stand up to deliver his speech, he was politely told he should not do so because he was not ‘certified’. And this was the time when Umno was ruling the state, mind you. What more if Zubir had been a PAS man.

The analogy they use is: would you go to a carpenter to perform brain surgery when a carpenter does not have such skills? Or would you employ a dentist instead of an architect to design your house? Such arguments are valid only to a point. What about a mother who is not a doctor who looks at her child and diagnoses that the child is sick? She is not a doctor. How would she know the child is sick?

You need a brain, of course, to become a doctor. A brainless person like the Umno Youth Leader, Hishammuddin Hussein, would never be able to become a doctor. But you do not need to be a doctor to have brains. Common sense can tell you that the child is sick just by the coughing, wheezing, running nose, hot forehead, and so on. The external signs are enough to convince any non-doctor mother that her child is sick.

Of course, the mother, who has correctly diagnosed that her child is sick, may not have the necessary skills to treat the sickness or even to tell what the child is suffering from. To do that, she will need the help of a doctor. But then many mothers just go to the pharmacist to buy the right medication if she is convinced it is just the flu that is ailing her child. And plenty of rest and chicken soup thrown in may help do the trick as well.

So, do you need to possess a certificate to talk about Islam? Or would a brain and common sense be enough? I have come across many ‘certified’ Muslim preachers who actually do not know everything about Islam. For example, when I was under ISA detention in Kamunting last year, one preacher who was in charge of my religious ‘rehabilitation’ talked about the Hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad). But he did not even know how many Hadith there are on record. And he also did not know how many of these Hadith are considered authentic and how many are disputed. He was surprised when I told him the figure and he admitted that he was not aware of these facts. And this was the preacher entrusted by JAKIM to ‘rehabilitate’ me. I actually taught him rather than he taught me.

Anyway, what I had written over the many years with regards to non-Muslims using the Allah word, the New Economic Policy being un-Islamic and smacks or racism, and much more, which the Malays thought I was unqualified to talk about since I am not 'certified', has been endorsed by Tok Guru Nik Aziz, undisputedly an authority on Islam. Nik Aziz has said the same thing that I have said all along. The only thing is Nik Aziz is certified and I am not. So I get whacked while Nik Aziz is hailed as a wise Muslim spiritual leader who talks sense.

So now, the Home Minister and Arab Wannabe, Syed Hamid Albar, has signed a Gazette last month banning Christians from using the Allah word. In fact, non-Muslims are not only banned from using the word Allah , it is also a crime for them to use any word with Allah in it, such as Masha-Allah , Alhamdulillah , Insha-Allah , etc., and even words and phrases like Solat , Ka’abah , Assalamu Alaikum .

Okay, but what about the other 99 names of Allah? See the full list below. Should not non-Muslims also be banned from using these words as well? If the Allah word has been prohibited, then the remaining 99 names should be equally prohibited. Would not this be the case since the Quran specifically states that these 99 names belong to Allah based on the attributes of Allah?

Over to you, Syed Hamid, I am anxiously awaiting your response to this issue. Why ban just the one ‘Muslim’ name for God when God has 99 other names, which are exclusive only to Allah, as any Muslim, certified or not, will testify to?


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‘Allah’ is allowed for non-Muslims, says Nik Aziz

KOTA BHARU, March 1 – Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, the Pas spiritual leader and one of the country’s most respected Muslim leaders, said today that non-Muslims should be allowed to use the word “Allah.”

But he said it was up to the federal government to decide whether to allow its use by non-Muslims.

“I do not want to interfere in this matter. Let the federal government decide,” he was quoted as saying by the national news agency Bernama in Kota Baru today.

The Pas leader was responding to the intense debate over the Catholic newspaper Herald’s law suit against the federal government’s decision to ban the use of the word “Allah” in its publication.

Yesterday, the Home Ministry rescinded a government gazette issued a day earlier which allowed the conditional use of the word in Christian publications.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said a mistake had been made and the government’s ban remained in force unless the courts decide otherwise.

The government had recently ordered a ban on the Herald's Malay edition until the court makes its decision, as part of conditions for it to be allowed to continue publishing in English, Chinese and Tamil.

Muslim groups have been up in arms over the Catholic newspaper’s use of the word “Allah” and were particularly upset when the ban was rescinded on Friday.

These Muslim groups have argued that allowing Christians to use the word “Allah” would cause confusion among Muslims.

They are also suspicious about the intent of Christians, with some accusing churches of trying to use the word “Allah” to convert Muslims.

However, the Catholic Church says the word “Allah” is being used by its members, especially those in Sabah and Sarawak, who are fluent only in the national language.

They also contend that “Allah” is the accurate translation for the word “God” as opposed to “Tuhan” which they use to mean “Lord.”

The church has also pointed to the fact that the word “Allah” is also used by Christians in the Middle East and in Indonesia.

1 comment:

pearlie said...

I read the post in Raja Petra's blog and interesting to see the comments and one of them challenging the fact that no respectful muslim would name himself Allah. But I just found one - and he is among the leading Muslim scholars and leaders: http://www.islamicamagazine.com/Online-Analysis/Open-Letter-to-His-Holiness-Pope-Benedict-XVI.html click on the pdf version of the letter in English