HOLD UP HERALD!


This is an issue that I believe most Malaysians are unaware of. It’s either because mainstream Malay newspapers did not highlight this matter as a major issue, or because the Muslim community in this country have become insensitive over issues concerning their religion. Anyway, this issue is just as big as any previous issues concerning Islam in Malaysia, if not bigger.


A few weeks back, the Herald – the weekly newspaper of the Catholic Church which publishes reports in Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil – was given the ban by the government (specifically, the Internal Security Ministry) from publishing their Malay-section of the newspaper and was ordered to drop the usage of the word ‘Allah’ to refer to their god. Yes, the Herald has been publishing in Malay and they have been using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to their god.

However, by the end of December, after protests from the Catholic Church, the government suddenly decided to reverse the ban. The newspaper’s permit was due to end on 31 December; and suddenly the Internal Security Ministry granted a new permit to the newspaper – which means that it can continue printing its Malay-section and as the permit came with no restrictions whatsoever, it also means that the newspaper can continue to use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to the Christian god.

I believe this is something that we, Muslims, must all be very concerned of. This is a matter of ‘aqidah, of tawhid, of our fundamental belief of religion and of God. ‘Allah’ is the name for our God, the God that Islam tells us to submit to. It is a name exclusively for Muslims!

We really have to question the appropriateness and the agend behind the usage of the name of ‘Allah’ by the Christians. And we really have to stand up and protest, deny the Christians from using the word ‘Allah’ in their publications! Mind, I am not promoting terrorism, I’m just calling for solidarity and firmness: proof of our solid belief and understanding in the worldview of Islam.

Islam was revealed using the Arabic language. Christianity was originally from Aramaic. Understand that the name ‘Allah’ is Arabic, not Aramaic. Yes, it is true that the name ‘Allah’ has been in use by the people in Arab countries long before Islam came. But there are several aspects that must be understood. The usage of the word ‘Allah’ by the Arab people before Islam came is because it is an Arabic word which the Arabs understood as ‘god’. It is basically some sort of translation from the original language of the Bible to allow the local people to understand the religion. So, basically if it’s in Malaysia, then they should use the word ‘Tuhan’. Secondly, the name ‘Allah’ as understood by the Arab people prior to Islam is fundamentally different from the Islamic understanding and definition of the name Allah. When Islam was revealed, it reformed the worldview, the culture, and even the language of the people around the world. Therefore, the name ‘Allah’ was Islamized when Islam came. Also, please know that before Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) came, there were other prophets who teach the same belief, the same religion, that is the religion of tawhid that teaches people to know Allah, the one and only God.

Also, as all Christians might be aware of, the translation of Bible into Malay language was only done during the 19th century; the first translation of Bible (English version) into Malay was done by Munsyi Abdullah. This means that prior to the translation, the Bible was in English. I did a research in the King’s James Version of the Bible, and found not even one occurrence of the word ‘Allah’ in that Bible. Therefore, on what grounds do the Christians in this country want to use the word ‘Allah’? It’s neither Aramaic nor Malay, and not even English! It’s Arabic. If they want to accommodate the local people, then use the Malay term ‘Tuhan’. Islam claims exclusivity to the name ‘Allah’ because Arabic is the language of Islam – it is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an.

Therefore, I believe all Muslims should stand up and protest against the usage of our Holy God’s name to refer to someone else’s god!

p.s.: below are links to two related articles which I believe is very useful.

  1. God or Allah?
  2. More about the word 'Allah'

Gombak, 11:10pm

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3 comments

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2:55 pm ×

good article...

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Anonymous
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7:17 pm ×

CRAP!!!!!

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abangkuraden
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9:53 pm ×

Good article... anyone saying any bad comments on this article should really do their research more...

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