The dark clouds over Malaysian skies have subsided. Despite the much feared hurricane-force thunderstorm, only a few homes were slightly damaged and a few trees uprroted. Today, Malaysian morning is lit with bright sun-shine, and Malaysian families are planning where to to spend this wonderful sunday, by the parks, by the beaches, in shopping complexes, driving along rural roads, etc.
All would prefer to ‘forgive and forget’ the events of the past week, which had put our PEACEFUL, STABLE and PROSPEROUS nation on the road of uncertainty, and possible anarchy. Thanks to ALLAH, the God Almighty, for allowing common sense to prevail over emotions, and honesty over opportunistic tendencies. On this wonderful sunday morning, its time to use our common sense again to seek for a practical and lasting solution to the issue.
For those who are neither Muslims nor Christians, they must be baffled by the sudden turns and twists of events that had almost put our PEACEFUL country on the path of self-destruction. To them, what’s there in a name…
To the Christians, they find it hard to understand, why the Muslims are so against the use of the word ALLAH, by the Christians…. afterall it has been used in Arabic-version bibles, and Malay-version bibles which have been in circulation in Indonesia, Sabah and Sarawak.
To the Muslims, they find it hard to understand the Christians insistance on using the world Allah. To them, the Portuguese, Dutch and British who started the Christian missions here NEVER used the world ALLAH in their English-version Bibles. Their old convent schools, which were attended by Muslim students too, only mentioned ‘God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost’, none ever mentioned ALLAH.
Unlike the QURAN, the Holy Books of the Muslims, with its original text in ARABIC, the earliest of Bibles were NOT in Arabic. Despite its origin in the Arab-Israeli disputed lands of the Middle-east, it was the ‘Roman-version’ Christianity which found its way to Europe and the rest of the world. Not surprising, the earliest of the Bibles were in Greek, Hebrew, Roman and English languages. And not surprising, none of the earliest versions of Bibles contained the world ALLAH.
If ALLAH is not the name of Christian God, as propogated by the early Christians, then why later Christians in Indonesia and Malaysia are so insistence of using the word ALLAH?
To the Muslims, ALLAH is the SPECIFIC NAME of the only God Almighty, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, and all within, and the ONLY GOD worthy of being worshipped. There are FALSE GODS and DIETIES, but ALLAH is the only TRUE GOD. ONENESS OF GOD is so fundamental to the Muslim faith that even if a Muslim believe in ALLAH, but still believe in other FALSE GODS, he is considered INFIDEL, outside the faith of Islam.
Since ONENESS OF GOD is so fundamental to the Muslims, they are very concerned that the use of the word ALLAH among Malay-speaking Christians would severely COMPROMISED the Muslims strongly held concept of ONENESS OF GOD, as traditionally understood by the word ALLAH. To the Muslims, the Christians have DEVIATED from the original ONE GOD to TRINITY GOD. Out of the believe in freedom of choice, the people should not be confused between the TRINITY GOD of the Christians, and the ONE GOD of the Muslims.
In Bahasa Melayu, there is the word TUHAN, which is the direct translation of the word GOD in English. The word TUHAN has long been used in our National Anthem ‘Negara Ku’ and the Rukun Negara ‘Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan’. The Christians can always use this word TUHAN. Afterall, the British and Americans NEVER insist, or even ask, for the word ALLAH to be used in their bibles and services….
What’s there in a word…. in English its called GOD… in Malay TUHAN. Malaysian Christians have to consider seriously the use of the word TUHAN, and bury the issue once and for all.