Posted by admin Friday, 27 February 2009 16:22
Some Malays, PKR and PAS Malays included, are very narrow-minded and ignorant. And this is because they recite the Quran like parrots without understanding what they are reciting -- mainly because they do not speak the language of the Quran.
A church official says the government has lifted a ban on the use of the word "Allah" by Christian publications.
Rev. Lawrence Andrew, the editor of the Catholic Church's Herald newspaper, said today the Home Ministry is allowing the publications use "Allah" to refer to God as long as they state that the material is only meant for Christians.
The controversy first broke out in late 2007 when the government banned the use of “Allah” in Christian Malay-language texts because it allegedly might confuse Muslims.
The Herald has challenged the ban in court and argued the Arabic word is a common reference for God that predates Islam and has been used for centuries as a translation in Malay. — AP, 26 Feb 2009
Justice Lau Bee Lan, of the Appellate and Special Powers Division, also set July 7 to hear the arguments by several state Islamic councils to transfer the case to the Federal Court. — The Malaysian Insider, 27 Feb 2009
The gazette states as follows: Prohibition on use of specific words on document and publication 2. (1) The printing, publication, sale, issue, circulation and possession of any document and publication relating to Christianity containing the words “Allah”, “Kaabah”, “Baitullah” and “Solat” are prohibited unless on the front cover of the document and publication are written with the words “For Christianity”.
(2) The words “For Christianity” referred to in subparagraph (1) shall be written clearly in font type Arial of size 16 in bold.
A spokesman from the publication and Quranic text division of the Ministry said he was unaware of the gazette and would check with its legal division. A Christian church leader said this matter should first be discussed before made into law, as the churches are not even aware of this new ruling.
He expressed surprise that this new gazette has prematurely come into force when there are two cases before the courts to argue the constitutionality of the earlier prohibition by the ministry. The Catholic Church is suing the government over its insistence that they cannot use the Allah word in the Bahasa Malaysia section of their weekly publication.
The Sidang Injil Borneo Sabah (Evangelical Church) is also suing the government over confiscation of their Christian publications imported from Indonesia, which contain the word Allah.
Previously, the Home Ministry, in an out of court negotiation, had suggested that churches stamp the word “For Christians Only” on the Al Kitab and their Bahasa Malaysia publications. But this was not acceptable to the churches, which had counter-offered with the phrase “This is a Christian Publication.” The Ministry, however, rejected this counter-proposal.
PKR’s Member of Parliament for Bandar Baharu Kulim, Zulkifli Nordin, is also up in arms about the matter. And this is his response to the matter:
“Have they referred to the related decree? The ministry should not compromise on this matter. We should look at the social context where the word is used by the Malay Muslims in the country, what is the reason behind their insistence on using ‘Allah’. I am worried that the word ‘Allah’ was used with the aim to confuse the Muslims. Does God’s name follow the race or language? I have no problem with the use of the Malay language, but by using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God, it made the Muslims unhappy, I have met a lot of them who told me this.”
Were you aware that it is a crime for non-Muslims to greet Muslims with the phrase ‘Assalamu Alaikum’? It is also a crime for non-Muslims to use words such as insha-Allah, masha-Allah, Alhamdulillah, and so on. There are about half a dozen ‘banned’ words that non-Muslims may not use in their daily communication, basically all words that contain the word ‘Allah’.
About twenty or so years ago, the MCA chief for Kuala Terengganu, Wong, would speak to his Malay friends as if he was a Muslim. If you had your back to him when he spoke you would have thought that a Malay was speaking. Imagine your surprise when you turn around to find a Chinaman speaking better than even Malays could.
Wong was very free with words like insha-Allah, Alhamdulillah, masha-Allah, etc. And the Terengganu Malays loved him for that. When he contested the Kuala Terengganu state seat in the 1990 general election, he lost to the PAS candidate, Ustaz Haji Harun Jusoh. Wong won all the Malay votes at Losong and Pulau Kambing. However, he lost the Chinese votes from Kampong Cina who voted for Ustaz Harun.
Malays like to call Chinese Muslims mualap (mualaf). When I went to China more than 15 years ago I visited the oldest mosque in China. It was at Kwangchow (Canton) and was built 100 years after Prophet Muhammad’s time. That’s right, the Chinese were Muslims 700 or 800 years before the Malays and when the Malays were still Hindus, Buddhists, tree worshippers, and so on. But only the Malays are true Muslims while the Chinese are mualaps.
I met the Imam of the Kwangchow mosque and he spoke to me in Arabic. I replied, “Mafi kalam Arabi.” He was surprised because I just did my prayers in the mosque, which he assumed I would have performed in Arabic.
“You don’t speak Arabic?”
“No,” I replied.
“You can read the Quran?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“You can read the Quran but you can’t speak Arabic? How do you do that?”
“I recite only, not read.”
“So you can’t understand what you recite?”
“No,” I replied.
“What kind of Muslim are you? You recite the Quran but can’t understand what you are reciting.”
“Well, I am the same as 99% other Muslims in Malaysia. We all don’t speak Arabic and can’t understand what we are reciting.”
The Imam shook his head and went off to pray for God to have mercy on me -- and the 99% other Malay Muslims in Malaysia.
What’s all this brouhaha about the word Allah in the Malay language translation of the Bible? First, take a look at this:
[Genesis 1:1 - English Bible - King James Version]"In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth . . . "
[Genesis 1:1 - Arabic transliteration]"Fee al-badi' khalaqa Allahu as-Samaawaat wa al-Ard . . . "
[Genesis 1:1 - Arabic Bible]
[John 3:16 - English Bible - King James Version]"For God so loved the world, that . . . "
[John 3:16 - Arabic transliteration]"Li-annhu haakadha ahabba Allahu al-'Aalama hataa badhala . . . "
[John 3:16 - Arabic Bible]
[Luke 1:30 - English Bible - King James Version]" . . . Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God."
[Luke 1:30 - Arabic transliteration]" . . . Laa takhaafee, yaa Maryam, li-annaki qad wajadti ni'amat(an) i'nda Allahi."
[Luke 1:30 - Arabic Bible]
[Luke 3:38 - English Bible - New King James Version]"the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God."
[Luke 3:38 - Arabic transliteration]"bini Anoosha, bini Sheeti, bini Aaadama, abni Allahi."
[Luke 3:38 - Arabic Bible]
The word Allah is already in the Bible. It is exactly the same word that the Jews, in Hebrew, use for God (eloh), the word that Jesus Christ used in Aramaic when he prayed to God. In Hebrew, Huwa el Elah or HUWA 'L LAH means HE IS ALLAH in the verse QUL HUWAL LAH HU AHAD.
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” said Jesus on the cross. In Aramaic this is: "Eli, Eli, l'mana Sabachtani?"
The words El, Elah and Elohim are not three distinctly different words. They all represent the single Arabic word, Allah, which is also the same in Hebrew.
No, Islam does not have monopoly over the use of the word Allah. The Christians and Jews too use this same word. In fact, the biggest ‘selling point’ for Islam is that the Quran recognises all the Prophets of the Jews and Christians and that we all pray to the same ONE God, Allah. If the God of the Jews, Christians and Muslims is the same one God, would not then the name of this God also be the same? How can the name of the Muslim God be different from that of the Jews and Christians if we all pray to the same one God?
Some Malays, PKR and PAS Malays included, are very narrow-minded and ignorant. And this is because they recite the Quran like parrots without understanding what they are reciting -- mainly because they do not speak the language of the Quran. And, for sure, they do not read any of the Holy Books of the other religions because they are of the opinion that it is forbidden (haram) to do so. It is said that even Prophet Muhammad sought advice from his wife’s, Khatijah’s cousin, Warakah, a learned Christian scholar of his time, though some scholars refute this (but they do admit that Warakah was a Christian who attended Prophet Muhammad’s and Khatijah’s wedding).
And Prophet Muhammad never prohibited the Jews and Christians from using the word Allah. But then Malays think they are better Muslims and more learned than the Arabs even though Malays recite the Quran without understanding what they are reciting -- unlike the Chinese Muslims in China. And what are 16 million Malay Muslims compared to the more than 100 million in China, the mualaps, as the Malays would call them, who have been Muslims since 1,300 years ago when Malays were still praying to trees and whatnot.