Monday, January 4, 2010

Should they refer to God as Allah?

When I first came to KSA, and watched those programs on TV, my first impression was…

They couldn’t possibly be all Muslims.

Yet they say Allah, Allah, Enshallah, Mashallah, Al7amdulillah…

Stupid me, I didn’t do much research about the Middle East (only KSA, and I found out that it’s the strictest country in the Middle East) so I basically thought that all of these Middle East countries are basically, very religious and covered from head to toe.

Well, I was wrong, apparently. According to my friend, all of Arabians in KSA (not including foreigners) are Muslims. But Lebanon, Egypt and Syria to name a few, have Christians and other religions as well.

And those celebrities on TV with ultra sexy attires and heavy makeup are mostly Lebanese or Egyptians, meaning that most of them are Christians. Well, there are Muslims too, but generally, most of them are Christians.

But the problem is, they have Arabic names, which gave me the impression that they are Muslims, so that was confusing.

What makes it more confusing, was that they referred to God as Allah. This is the main reason for my confusion.

In fact, I was so confused that I somehow stumbled upon a Christian preach. It was interesting, nonetheless, to hear their view. I’m always open-minded, and they were questioning the legibility of Prophet Muhammad. And while their reasoning wasn’t that legit (they claimed to say that Prophet Muhammad was under the influence of the jinn, not the angels, and he was delusional in thinking that he was the last prophet. That is laughable, because no way could those jinn have such big influence, but anyway, hope I didn’t offense anyone. It’s just something that they said, not me, really. THEM) to hear the other side of the party is always interesting.

But continuing the topic, indeed, the word ‘Allah’ does mean ‘God’ in Arabic. It’s their language, and they should use it, since it just means God, right? Regardless of which God they meant, what’s important is the belief in our hearts. Same could be said with the word ‘God’. It’s in English, but that doesn’t mean that it’s exclusive to Christians only. Everyone uses it, just on different context. It’s just the language. It’s not as if we are referring to those Greek’s and Hindu’s gods—those gods have names and it’ll be plain wrong if we were to use that.

Allah simply means God in Arabic. In the Arabic Bible, God is referred as Allah, same could be said with the prophets, excluding Prophet Muhammad of course, since Christians didn’t believe in him.

So here comes my point.

Apparently, in Malaysia, people were raging on the High court for allowing the Catholic for using the word Allah.

Read here.

Some were against it, some didn’t.

I think both have solid points.

The Bad
>Confusion overload, definitely. Malaysian’s youths are vulnerable nowadays, so no doubt that they will unconsciously sway to the wrong side of the lane. But then they didn’t get confused when people uttered God, regardless of religions. But still, better to not take chances?
>And anyway, Malaysia is not at all like these Middle East countries. We have been exposed from birth that Allah refers to the Muslim’s God, so to hear others from different religions utter the word aloud would sound very, very odd indeed. And misleading. And confusing.
>Erm…prone to blasphemy?
>Anyone wants to contribute more to the bad? :D

The Good
>Take it as a form of da3wah. The word God enlightens everyone about Christianity. Perhaps the word ‘Allah’ will expose more people to Islam.
>Unity. We all believe in the one God. Not gods, not goddess, not godling, but simply God, which is Allah, the One. We believe that there is a force that controls the universe and everything in it.
>Meh my brain just freeze.

But anyway, to avoid confusion, maybe they should just use the word ‘Tuhan’ to refer to those other Gods. This is to refrain people from disrespecting the sacred word of ‘Allah’, and avoiding from further confusions.

But hey, if they want to use 'Allah', we shouldn’t object either. We didn't have the rights anyway. The word is not exclusive to Muslims, same could be said with God; it isn’t exclusive to Christians either. It’s just the language. It means the same thing. What’s in your heart is the only thing that matters.

This reminds me of something that used to happen back when I was in secondary school.

People were reprimanding non-Muslims for saying ‘Assalamualaikum’.

I said nothing, because I didn’t know if they were allowed to say that or otherwise. I decided to save my breath for myself because I was unsure. And stupid. And my voice couldn’t be heard anyway.

But then, I realized that Assalam 3alaikum just literally means…peace on you.

So, if a non-Muslim were to say that, it’s perfectly okay apparently. There’s nothing religious in that phrase. (even those Arab Christians use it)

If they can’t use it, then we might as well couldn’t use any other forms of greetings in other language as well. Yes, hello included.


Well, this is strictly my opinion. I’m afraid I’m not that knowledgeable to discuss it further, but I figure I should just share my view. This is my blog after all.

That is all.

EDIT: Well, this is an old entry but do give this a read. It was well written and I agreed with it thoroughly. Except of course, the Malaysian's youth is very vulnerable nowadays...

But of course.

Wa qulil 7aqqu min rabbikum, faman sha falyu2min, wa man sha falyakfur. (18:30)

And said: This is truth from your God, whoever wants to believe, believe, whoever wants to disbelieve, disbelieve.

La ikra7a fiddin. (2:257)

There's no force in this religion.

(I happen to translate those ayats myself so it didn't sound THAT professional, huh? D:)

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