Saturday, January 09, 2010

Resolving The "Allah" Controversy...

We all want this controversy surrounding the use of "Allah" in the Catholic Herald to end -- without any lasting repercussions.

I'd like to say that in all my infinite wisdom, I have the answer.
But...my wisdom is not infinite and I don't have the answer.
It is an issue that touches on religion and, for certain, it is sensitive, no denying that.
All I can say is -- let rational minds prevail.

The latest on the case is that the High Court has granted the Home Ministry a stay of execution on the ruling allowing the Herald weekly magazine to use the word “Allah” in its Malay-language edition, pending the hearing of an appeal.

But, already some crazy/evil/irrational people have reacted in the most despicable way.

On the subject, some people believe that the solution is not with the courts.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad disagrees with the government’s effort to resolve the “Allah” controversy through the courts.

He said the law did not take into consideration sensitivity factors that could provoke tension and animosity between followers of different religions.

Dr Mahathir said in his blog that the solution to the controversy will not be achieved by making an appeal to the court as such a sensitive issue cannot be solved through law.

Perhaps, the solution lies in the constitution.

As A Kadir Jasin The Scribe proposed in his latest posting that the issue be brought before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as well as the Malay Rulers who are religious heads of their respective state.

He wrote: "Jadi saya rasa, sudah sampai masanya bagi setiap orang Islam, sama ada sebagai individu, persatuan, pasukan atau kumpulan, merayu dan mendesak Yang di-Pertuan Agong serta Raja-Raja Melayu agar campur tangan."

Perhaps, this is the way out of a very complicated situation.

Anyway, the Yang di-Pertuan AgongTuanku Mizan issued a statement yesterday, calling Malaysians to remain and respect houses of worship irrespective of religion.

To ensure peace and harmony among the followers of different religions, the meaning and reference to 'Allah' in the general context should conform to the description fixed by Islam because this practice has all this while been accepted by Malaysians of other faiths.”

Peace!

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

My question is whether the Agong and the Sultans are capable of being impartial? They are Malay rulers afterall and not Malaysian rulers. Further, does the constitution give them such power to make decisio in this matter?

Yes, Islam is provided by the federal constitution as official religion but the 20 point agreement for Sabah and Sarawak to form Malaydia with Malaya provides that these two state have no official religion.

The answer is in the constitution. other religion is free to practice their religion in any way they want, organise themselves in anyway they want but they cannot promote their religion to Muslim. that is all. beyond that it is oppressing my rights.

the question is do we respect others as having equal rights as provided by the constitution?

Habib RAK said...

Hi Nuraina,
There is only Allah for the muslims. No one can shake our iman on this. This is how we accept Allah without any reservation. To this point, there is 100% unison. Then, we also know that there are others who also pray to god. They have their own concept of God. But we know, as muslims, that there is only Allah (one God). Thus, when the non muslims pray to their concept of God, by OUR OWN faith we have to take it that they are actually praying to Allah because there is only Allah (one God). However, since the way they view God is different, we refer to them as misguided. But the bottom line is, there is only Allah for all mankind/universe (Rabl Alamin). Thus when others call Allah, how can we take offense to it? Even when their concept of Allah is different, we simply must assume that there is only Allah and we educate ourselves to understand this. The idea of imposing our view onto the non muslims is a futile one. Below is a comment that I read from another contributor (InsanMarhaen) and I think it explains it well.

Berdasarkan reaksi org ramai khususnya org melayu nampaknya ramai sangat yang KELIRU dan kerana keliru juga mereka mempertahankan kekeliruan itu...

Muslim meyakini bahawa Allah itu esa, tak beranak dan diberanakkan. Sedangkan Kristian pula menyangka Allah itu punya anak. Hakikatnya adalah kedua-dua Muslim dan Kristian merujuk Allah kepada ENTITI yg SAMA tetapi BERBEZA pandangan bagaimana sifat-sifat Allah itu.

TAPI sebahagian muslim menganggap kristian merujuk Allah kepada ENTITI yg LAIN selain tuhan maha kuasa yang satu itu, maka semestinya mereka marah dan menentang kerana menyangka ada DUA ENTITI berkongsi nama yang sama iaitu 'Allah'.

Malah ramai Muslim menganggap bahawa tuhan mereka Allah sedangkan tuhan orang non-muslim bukan Allah. Seolah-olahnya Muslim dan non-Muslim mempunyai tuhan masing-masing.

Muslim mengtauhidkan Allah, Muslim MengEsakan Allah, sedangkan Musyrikin (termasuk kristian) mensyirikkan/menyekutukan Allah. Inilah perbezaan aqidah Islam dan aqidah musyrik.

Yang membezakan antara Muslim dan kristian bukanlah tuhan mereka sembah tetapi aqidah serta pandangan mereka tentang konsep ketuhanan.

I sincerely hope, the dialogue we are having in your blog will help bridge gaps and find common ground. We cannot live for long in isolation within the shores of Malaysia thinking that we have majority and might on our side.

Anonymous said...

A compromise solution for “Allah” usage

Malaysia is a multi-religion nation, a compromise solution is needed for this sensitive issue before the situation is out of control.

My proposals are

1. Allah can only be used by the Christian churches in East Malaysia.

2. Allah cannot be used by non-Muslims for whatever purpose in West Malaysia. For example, Allah in the state anthems has to be modified to Tuhan.

www.nkkhoo.com

Anonymous said...

Muslims are easily provoked. Thats my conclusion!

sue said...

The "esteemed" Agong has called for respect to ISLAM only, non Muslim will not get justice in this country.

What about the Sikhs? Our Living Guru uses the word Allah liberally.... will this malay muslim burn ur Gurdwaras next?

Anonymous said...

Agree with anon www.nkkhoo.com;

in fact, the solution is already there, as being applied by Mahathir during his premiership. But in 2008 UMNO saw it fit to change the policy. Syed Hamid Albar and Pak Lah must answer.

Anehnymous

Anonymous said...

Oh Pls don't be naive.

Kalau orang indonesia dan orang arab boleh panggil Tuhan, Allah di negara mereka, apakah Allah di Malaysia berbeza dari yand di Indonesia.

Kalaupun Agong/Sultan bertitah, apakah itu akan menjaid kebenaran?

Kadir Jasin punya solution terlalu senang untuk segelintir rakyat.

Anonymous said...

Habib RAK,

Saya juga ada membaca komen Insan Marhaen dalam blog MM. Berbeza dengan saudara saya tidak bersetuju dengan pendapatnya. O.k kita percaya bahawa Allah dan Tuhan bagi agama lain merujuk kepada yang MAHA berkusa.

Dalam huraiannya dia menyetujui dari segi akqidah, sifat Allah bagi Muslim dan Tuhan bagi non Muslim adalah berbeza.

Saya berpendapat aqidah adalah roh atau teras kepada pegangan agama. Tanpa aqidah macam mana kita hendak mengatakan kita berpegang kepada agama tersebut? Jadi jika dari segi aqidah itu berbeza maka wajarlah panggilan untuk entiti tersebut menggunakan nama yang berlainan. Banyak nama lain yang boleh digunakan. Mengapa mesti Allah juga?

Lihatlah negara yang membolehkan penggunakan nama Allah oleh sesiapa pun! Kadangkala sukar untuk kita membezakan mereka Muslim atau non Muslim. Perkataan-perkataan yang biasa dirujuk khusus kepada orang Muslim di Malaysia, turut diguna pakai untuk Non Muslim. Contoh, 'allahyarham'.

Ini memang amat mengelirukan. Malah saya amat terkejut bahawa di sana dalam ahli keluarga ada yang menganut pelbagai agama! Mungkin kepada Islam liberal 'why not'. Itu adalah demokrasi dan hak asasi yang sebenarnya! Nau zubillah min zaliq!

Ramai berkata orang Arab,Indonesia orang Sikh dll, menggunakan Allah merujuk kepada tuhan mereka. 'So let it be' Mereka selamanya telah menggunakan nama itu. Begitu juga di Sarawak dan Sabah. Masyarakat mereka menerimanya. Siapa kita untuk menentangnya.

Masalahnya di Malaysia, orang Melayu Islam menentangnya. Tidak ada masalah timbul kepada agama lain bila mereka tidak menggunakan kalimah Allah. Aqidah mereka tidak terjejas! Jadi kenapa sekarang timbul pula keinginan yang berkobar-kobar untuk menggunakannya?

Jadi jangan marah kalau ada prasangka bahawa mereka ingin menjalankan jarum halus untuk menggugat aqidah umat Islam Melayu. Lihat negara yang begitu liberal membenarkan istilah-istilah yang sepatutnya khusus bagi agama Islam, apakah yang telah terjadi?.Oleh kerana saya orang Islam, saya berpendapat penganut agama Islam seolah-olah hilang identitinya.Dari segi aqidah siapalah kita untuk memperkatakannya.Hanya Allah yang maha mengetahui!

Pada saya perkara seperti itu akan terjadi secara senyap tanpa disedari kalau dibiarkan berlaku
walaupun mungkin akan mengambil masa pula. Hanya setelah nasi menjadi bubur barulah kita tersedar dari mimpi.

Saya sebagai Muslim mahu aqidah umat Islam terpelihara. Hidup dan mati dalam Islam. Oleh yang demikian, apa juga bentuk, walaupun sekecil mana tetapi kalau dalam jangka masa panjang akan menggugat aqidah umat Islam perlu dicegah dari awal. AlQuran juga ada menyatakan bahawa, golongan Yahudi dan Nasrani tidak akan berpuas hati selagi kita tidak mengikut cara mereka.

Rakyat Setia

austan said...

I don't understand why so many muslims in malaysia take offense when christians wanted to use the word Allah. It's not an exclusive word. It's an arabic word that means God. Apparently some people in Malaysia thinks that the Christian God is not the same as the Muslim God which is clearly in violation of the first pillar of Islam. Which part of the shahadah that some muslims in malaysia don't understand? " There is no other God but Allah and Prophet Muhammad is his messenger" which clearly states that the God being worship by the Jews, Christians and Muslims has to be one and the same. If we have true faith in our religion, than the question of being confused if the other religion is using the same word for God should not arise. By burning churches down, we will only do deservice to our religion. How can you claim to be religion of peace if you commit destruction?

Anonymous said...

Where in the Quran or Hadith that says non-muslims can't use the word Allah? Where in the Quran that says you should burn down the house of worship of other religions? Apparently some muslims in malaysia read the quran but they forgot the translation that goes with it.

Mike Tan said...

Since Bumiputras in East Malaysia have been using the Indon bibles for years and if at all it was mentioned in the agreement when joing Malaysia,we should honour it.(Islam is not the official religions of the 2 states).

It is not a problem in Peninsular.
the Christian do not use BM bibles in ther congresgations thus the controversy does not arise.

I must say the churches in Peninsular involved were unfortunate collactoral damages,Catholics on top of that.

As they say a little knowledge is dangerous.Some muslims do not know the difference between Catholics and Christians.Just as some non muslims do not know the differnce between Sunni and Shite.

selampit said...

Ah! This persistence to use the Arabic word 'Allah'.

And their main argument is that Christians living in East Malaysia have been using it for decades.

They forgot to mention that Catholics in the Philippines have been around for centuries without using the word "Allah". Last time I checked THEY ARE STILL DEVOUT Christians.

They also argue that 12 million Arab Christians in the Middle East also use the word.

They however, forget to mention the fact that Arab Christians, which are mostly Coptics and Nestorians, adhere to their own Arab Churches (Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Assyrian Church, the Maronite Church) and NOT TO VATICAN like they do (Catholicism).

Vatican, as far as I know it USES LATIN and not Arabic. Vatican is situated in Europe and not in the Middle East.

If they are so eager to use this Arabic word 'Allah' so WHY STOP at using the word 'Allah' only?

Why don't they import Arabic Bibles from the Middle East, study Arabic like we do AND READ THEM IN THE ARABIC TONGUE like we do?

Or practise Arab cultures, such as wearing thobe (Arab robe) or turbans whenever they go to their churches like we do? What about using Arabic expressions like "SubhanAllah", "MasyaAllah or "Alhamdulillah" like we do?

Or sing their hymns in Arab-Nasyid style like we do? Perhaps use Arab names like we do eh? So instead of 'John' or 'Joseph' use Yahya and Yusuf instead?

Of course they don't want that, they want TO USE THE WORD 'ALLAH' ONLY!

And they're telling us not be naive!

Anonymous said...

Yo Nuraina .... what the beef you have with "Mahaguru58" ???

The unholy "Alliance" against Peace Loving Malaysian ???



Nurul

Basree Rakijan said...

kenapa lah kjaan bn masih tak boleh selesaikan kes ini. dah berkurang agaknya cerdik pandai dlam umno sekarang ni ya?

Anonymous said...

Hiya, Nuraina, I would like to join your Muslim Bloggers Alliance initiative which I saw on Malaysia-Today. That was quite a while ago isn't it? Is it still open?

I understand it is to protect the interests of Muslims in Malaysia. One question though, is it to protect the interests of Muslims in Malaysia OVER the interests of other Malaysians? Cuz you know, Malaysians don't just consist of Muslims you know? And if the intention of the Alliance was exactly that, then it would mean you love Islam over your own Country. Which means treason has occured innit? But of course we are all just infidel pendatang haram and the Muslim Malays are the superior beings right?

Sigh.

me said...

So many solutions and all of them involve compulsion or coercion of some sort.

No one is suggesting engagement with the Christian community on the issue.

No one realises that part of the problem is not the issue itself, but the coercive methods being used to change what has been the status quo for a very long time.

And nobody likes the status quo changing no? It's the same whether you're defending the Malay status quo or the Christian status quo of using the word "Allah". It may not be rational, but it is natural.

The most ideal solution will be to NOT ban the use of the word, but to get Christians to voluntarily relinquish its use.

This will not only soothe the "feelings" of angered sections of society, it will also not set a dangerous precedent of the state regulating and imposing one communities interpretation of what is proper on another.

Of course this in itself will not alter the illiberality of those sections of society who feel that it is their right to impose their views on non-conforming sections of society for the sake of their own ideas.

Lee said...

May all Christians, Muslims and, may I add, peoples of all other faiths, fogive these crazy, evil and irrational muslims for they do not know what they are doing.May God be merciful to them.Amen.

ktteokt said...

بسم اللهالرحمنالرحيم
سمبهيڠله سبلوم اندا دسمبهيڠكن

michael said...

My simple solution.

Return to the situation before the former home minister upped the ante by issuing the ban notice.

The Church withdraws its suit in court and the catholic bishop gives a written guarantee that "Allah" would be used for its publications for Christians only.

Advice for the future.
Don't play play with religion.
They should pray pray more instead.

Anonymous said...

Let's wait for God/Allah to judge us! I hope what I read from Malaysia-today is not true.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

nurul: what beef? with mahaguru?
Mahaguru? oh yes. he is a fellow blogger. among bloggers, we call him "pro-islam" blogger. he is president (the last i saw him --i'm not sure now) of a muslim bloggers alliance. he was at first supportive of the national alliance of bloggers when it was first mooted, but i think he has some issues with the pro-tem president (Rocky) being not er, too, islamic, in his view.
but that's ok. to each his/her own.

and i don't have no beef with him.

if you must know, in my very active blogging days, i met up with diverse groups of bloggers. adn i'm glad i did.

anon:4:33PM:

for that reason you must never believe whatever you read.
to tell you the truth, i haven't gone into MT, so have no idea what you're saying.

anyway, based on what you're saying, no, I am not a member of any Muslim bloggers allliance. as i have said, i know Mahaguru. met him a few times a year or two ago at bloggers events. He's someone you can't forget because he's very vocal and makes his presence felt.

anyway, met him during those days wneh everyone wanted a piece of bloggers...all sorts of people/groups opposition adn BN politicians/NGOs wanted to meet bloggers.

but, no, i am not involved or a member of any muslim bloggers' association. and let me tell you, i'd be really kidding myself to think that i'd ever be a member of one.

i won't even be a member of a Malay bloggers association, if there was one.

so, sorry but i have no details on whatever that you are asking. i'm not the right person to ask. Mahaguru would be. just check out his blog.

some people -- including muslims -- find his blog too strong etc etc..
but i don't know whether it is still like that.

Anonymous said...

alright lah ....cukup lah ....
Fellow christians , pls stop claiming the right to use dat 'name'
we have the choice ie 'tak nak !'
Our mighty true living GOD will bless us more than we need, amen !

Rocky's Bru said...

Anon 11.01PM wrote,

My question is whether the Agong and the Sultans are capable of being impartial? They are Malay rulers afterall and not Malaysian rulers. Further, does the constitution give them such power to make decisio in this matter?

--------

Dear Anon, of course they are the Malay rulers. Isn't this Malaysia, after all?

How mo can you be ron? The Agong is the King of Malaysia, not the King of Malays.

And yes, the COnstitution gives them such power to make decision on this matter. They can't reverse a Court decision (see the Malay Mail report today) but they can make a new ruling on it if the Majlis Raja-TRaja decides to. Especially if the court decision leads to disharmony and chaos.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

why has it been so conveniently assumed that the perpetrators are Muslims?

and why are muslims and muslim leaders so quickly apologizing for the dastardly act, saying that it is UN-ISLAMIC?

there is nothing to prove that the culprits were/are Muslims.

and the dastardly acts are indeed UN-Islamic as they are UN-any religion.

also, i see in the internet pro-herald people as well as Pakatan suppoerters and leaders condemning and blaming the PM, hishamudin and the BN govt for what happened.

and these very people are inflamed that an Umno member has blamed the revered Archbishop for what ahs happened?

so, it is ok to blame the govt (or anyone) but not anyone that serves your political purpose?

it is true... both the Umno and the Pakatan people are responsible for fuelling an already volatile situation!

Anonymous said...

Bring back English into our schools, I say. Then the Christians call call HIM anything in English again. After all, as the colonials used to say, god is an English man.

The only doubt I have is for dyslexsic Christians who might misspell god.

Please don't say "Alamak" if you are a non-Muslim until this business is cleared up. I bet you 50-1 that the Appeals Court will find in favour of the Govt again. That's 1Malaysia justice.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

anon@10:27AM,

the high court ruled in favour of the Herald.
don't you think that was justice?
i believe it is.

come on, anonymous 10:27AM..this is the kind of remarks that's really so snide. not on-lah.

sue said...

Stones thrown at Sikh temple in Sentul
Jan 12, 10 12:12am

The attacks on places of worships in Malaysia escalated today with another attack - this time against a Sikh temple in Sentul where stones were thrown damaging a glass door.

Police found about 20 big stones near the broken window of the 100-year-old Gurdwara Sahib Sentul temple yesterday evening.

Temple volunteers who were doing gardening said they heard sound of broken glass at 6.45pm and went to investigate. One of the volunteers, who is a police officer, informed the police about the attack.

Temple committee chairperson Gurbial Singh said that no one spotted the assailants. He said that the Sikh scripture use the contentious word 'Allah'. Temple officials are urging devotees to remain calm.

The latest attack came in the wake of a spate of fire-bombings against churches across the nation, triggered by the High Court's Dec 31 decision to lift a government ban on non-Muslims using 'Allah' as a translation for 'God'.

The ruling in favour of Catholic newspaper The Herald, which argued for the right to use 'Allah' in its Malay-language section, was suspended last week pending an appeal, after the government argued that 'Allah' is exclusive to Malay Muslims.

Exco and MP visit temple

At least nine churches have been attacked in Malaysia since last Friday in the wake of the High Court decision.

Seven churches were firebombed - four in the Klang Valley, two in Taiping and another in Seremban.
The worst hit was Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati, Kuala Lumpur, where the ground floor of its three-storey building was gutted.

An additional two churches were attacked - a church in Malacca was splashed with black paint, while stones were thrown at a church in Miri, Sarawak, breaking one of its glass windows.

Selangor executive councillor Elizabeth Wong and Selayang parliamentarian William Leong (photo below) visited the Gurdwara Sahib temple at 10.30pm.

'Allah' in Sikh holy book

During the court hearing of the Herald case, Malaysian Gurdwara Council president Jagir Singh filed the application seeking an intervention.

In his application, he said the word 'Allah' was contained in the Sikh holy book, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Jagir said the Sikh scripture was from God and that not a single word in it could be changed, amended or replaced.

The council, which represents the Sikh community, was among those which applied to intervene in the matter.

A number of Muslim organisations - the Penang, Terengganu, and Perak Islamic Religious Councils, Malay Customs Council and the Federal Territory Islamic Council - had also applied to intervene, arguing that they too had an interest in the case.

However, their applications were rejected by the court.

ktteokt said...

Are the non-Malay policemen in Malaysia aware that they will soon be victims of this Allah stuff?

The beret they are wearing and the PDRM logo they wear on their shoulders contain the words ALLAH (الله)and MOHAMED(محمد)on it? If the issue of restricting non-Muslims from using the word ALLAH, then are these non-Malay and non-Muslim police personnel entitled to wear this LOGO?

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

ktteokt,

i hope you're just joking...

come on-lah. you know that it is not about non-muslims cannot say the word "Allah", certainly not about what you're referring to.

you know that that's not happening...this is what we want to avoid. this kind of talk.

that are people out there who talk and do crazy things. you don't be one of them-lah.

ktteokt said...

I am only speaking the truth! And this PDRM logo has been in existence since the police force came into existence! You think these brainless people will not go to that extent? Think again!

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

ktteokt,

i'm not saying you are lying about the PDRM logo, dear ktteokt.

but why are we going into that?
of course, i understand your concern. let's hope this doesn't happen, that no one falls victim to anyone because of this fiery issue.

have faith in malaysians...

MAHAGURU58 said...

Assalamualaikum Nuraina and May peace be upon the rest.

Didn't know that I was being discussed or 'cursed' here till I happened to check my sitemeter where I saw the link coming from RPK's Malaysia Today and from Malaysian Unplugged site who seems to have jumped on the bandwagon to bedevil moi!

Hehehehe..

Gee...I didn't realize that I had that sort of impact upon people, Nuraina..but then its good to know.

Thank you.

As for the Muslim Bloggers Alliance, if you really want to know what we are and what are our objectives, why don't those who are asking mosey on to our site?

www.themuslimbloggersalliance.org

We are an alliance of Muslim bloggers looking out for the interests of Al Islam and the nation in general.

We have no problems in being friends with those who mean us no harm and we are just Malaysians like yourself who just happen to be well...Muslim Bloggers.

We are open for international Muslim Bloggers to join us and at the moment we already have a few American Muslim bloggers, Sudanese Bloggers and other nationalities like our webmaster, Brother Abdylas Tynyshov, a Kyrgystan national, a Masters student at UIA.

Nuraina is not yet a member of the MBA and she is free to be with us if she wants or just wish us well.

So is Rocky. He and Nuraina are my friends and I appreciate them as they are, each a fellow Muslim and fellow Malaysian, just like the rest of you here.

Email me if you need further info and don't take idle gossip as your gospel truth.

Take care.

Wassalamualaikum.

Anonymous said...

Lee 8.20, u r wrong ,
'forgive them for they KNOW exactly wat they r DOing , ok ".

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

mahaguru,
peace to you too..

thank you for visiting.

as we all know only too well -- prejudices come from many sides..and in many forms.

take care, and wasallam, my friend.