Apabila orang Kristian pun menggunakan nama Allah…..

Di Malaysia, baru-baru ini timbul satu isu mengenai penggunaan nama Allah oleh penganut agama Kristian dalam bahan-bahan penulisan mereka. Pihak berkuasa cuba melarang penggunaan itu tetapi kemudiannya, dilaporkan, menarik balik larangan berkenaan.

Hari ini, saya menerima sms dari seseorang di Singapura yang menyatakan rasa kebimbangan akan kesan penarikan balik larangan berkenaan di Singapura i.e. takut penganut Kristian di Singapura akan mengambuil kesempatan untuk menggunakan pula nama Allah untuk tujuan dakwah mereka.

Di bawah ini dikongsikan satu artikel yang menarik dan bagus mengenai isu ini.

Namun, komen dari saya ialah:

1. Tidakkah sememangnya agama Islam mengajar bahawa Allah taala adalah tuhan bagi semua manusia i.e. Muslim, Kristian, Yahudi dll.

2. Tidakkah pada hakikatnya agama Kristian itu sebenarnya datang dari Allah juga. Cuma sepanjang sejarah ia berlaku perubahan dan nabi Muhammad diutus untuk membaiki dan menyempurnakannya. Allah itu adalah Tuhan orang Kristian dahulu sebelum menjadi Tuhan pengkiut nabi Muhammad s.a.w.

3. Maka sebab itulah tidak hairan, kalau nama Allah telah digunakan lebih dahulu oleh agama Kristian dalam bahasa Arab dan bahasa suku sakatnya, sebelum kedatangan nabi Muhammad s.a.w.

4. Bahkan, nama Allah telah digunakan sebagai Tuhan yang maha agung oleh kaum jahiliyah sebelum perutusan nabi Muhammad s.a.w.

5. Allah taala mengutus nabi Muhamad bukan untuk membuat “exclusive claim” bahawa Allah adalah Tuhan untuk umat Islam sahaja, tetapi untuk menegaskan bahawa Allah adalah Tuhan semua dan Islam adalah agama untuk semua. Nabi Muhammad s.a.w diutus hanya untuk memperbetulkan konsep ketuhanan Allah sebagaimana dalam surah Al-Ikhlas yang berbeza dari konsep ketuhananan Arab jahiliyah dan penganut Kristian.

6. Oleh itu, isu penggunaan nama Allah yang berlaku di Malaysia, bukanlah sebenarnya isu  keagamaan. Tetapi ia lebih bersifat budaya i.e. orang Melayu tidak biasa dan selesa untuk berkongsi penggunaan nama Allah taala dengan penganut agama lain sedangkan ia telah berlaku beratus-ratus tahun di kalangan orang Arab, tanpa banyak masalah.

7. Adakah ini akan mengelirukan orang ramai dan membuka pintu kepada Kristianisasi anak-anak Melayu? Perkongsian penggunaan nama Allah di kalangan penganut Islam dan Kristian telah berlaku beratus-ratus tahun di kalangan orang Arab, tetapi berapa ramaikah orang Arab yang menjadi Kristian kerana dikelirukan oleh istilah ini?

8. Menjaga akidah Islam anak Melayu ialah dengan ilmu yang ditanam melalui usaha dakwah yang bersungguh-sungguh dan berkesan, bukan melalui larangan-larangan yang tak boleh dipertahankan dari segi hujah ilmu dan realiti sosial.

9. Kalau berlaku peningkatan anak Melayu yang menjadi Kristian, itu pada dasarnya adalah petanda kegagalan kita dalam menanam ilmu dan menjalankan dakwah. Bukan pada dasarnya kerana kekeliruan akibat penggunaan nama Allah oleh pendakwah Kristian.



Dec 28, 2007
The origins of the word ‘Allah’
By Farish A. Noor
CAIRO – I’M WRITING this in the company of my Egyptian friends who are Muslims, Catholics and Copts.

Eid al-Adha has come and gone, and I’ve been to several events which saw Muslims and Copts celebrating together, visiting each others’ homes and feasting on copious amounts of food.

Now in the midst of Christmas, Muslims, Catholics and Copts are once again heading for the communal table and there will be much licking of chops, breaking of bread and merry making for everyone.

It is all simply too pleasant to believe, yet it is real and this is what life is like for many in Cairo, the ‘Mother of civilisation’ and home to more than 20 million Egyptians from all walks of life.

What is most striking to an outside observer like myself – though rather banal for the Egyptians – is the fact that in all these celebrations, the same word ‘Allah’ is used to denote that supreme and singular divinity, God.

Catholics and Copts alike exclaim Masha-allah, Wallahi, ya-Rabbi, Wallah-u allam, and of course Allahuakbar day in, day out, everywhere they go. The Coptic taxi driver blares out ‘By Allah, can’t you see where you are parking?’ as he dodges the obstacle ahead.

The Catholic shopkeeper bemoans: ‘Ya Allah, ya Allah! You can only offer me two pounds for the scarf? Wallahi, my mother would die if she heard that! Ya-Rabbi, ya-Rabbi!’

Yet Malaysia is now embroiled in another non-issue: the Malaysian Catholic Herald, a publication by and for Catholics in the country, has been told that it can no longer publish its Malay-language edition if it continues to use the word ‘Allah’ for God. Worse still, the country’s Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharum recently stated that ‘only Muslims can use the word Allah’, ostensibly on the grounds that it is a Muslim word.

The mind boggles at the confounding logic of such a non-argument, which speaks volumes about the individual’s ignorance of Muslim culture, history and the fundamental tenets of Islam itself.

For a start, the word ‘Allah’ predates the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad and goes back to the pre-Islamic era. Christians had been using the word long before there were any Muslims. It is an Arabic word and thus common to all the peoples, cultures and societies where Arabic, in all its dialects, is spoken. It is also understood by millions of Arabic speakers to mean God, and little else.

One could add that as it is an Arabic word, it therefore has more to do with the development and evolution of Arabic language and culture and less to do with Islam.

It is hard to understand how any religion can have a language to call its own, for languages emerge from a societal context and not a belief system. If one were to abide by the skewered logic of the Malaysian minister, then presumably the language of Christianity (if it had one) would be Aramaic, or perhaps Latin.

The minister’s remark not only shows his shallow understanding of Muslim culture and the clear distinction between Arab culture and Muslim theology, but also demonstrates his own lack of understanding of the history of the Malays, who, like many non- Arabs, only converted to Islam from the 13th century on.

Among the earliest pieces of evidence to indicate Islam’s arrival to the Malay archipelago are the stone inscriptions found in Malay states like Pahang where the idea of God is described in the sanskrit words Dewata Mulia Raya.

As no Malay spoke or even understood Arabic then, it was natural for the earliest Malay-Muslims to continue using the Sanskrit-inspired language they spoke.

Surely this does not mean they were lesser Muslims?

The ensuing ruckus over the ban facing the Christian Herald in Malaysia forces observers to ask the simple question: Why has this issue erupted all of a sudden, when the word ‘Allah’ has been used for so long with nary a protest in sight?

Coming at a time when the Malaysian government is already getting flak from the protests by Malaysian Hindus who insist that they remain at the bottom of the economic ladder after 50 years of independence, it would appear as if the administration cannot get enough bad publicity.

The administration of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi came to power on the promise that it would promote its own brand of moderate Islam – one that was pluralist and respectful of other cultures and religions.

But time and again, the Malaysian public – first Hindus and now Christians – have felt necessary to protest over what they regard as unfair, biased treatment and the furthering of an exclusive brand of Islam that is communitarian and divisive.

This latest fiasco over the name of God would suggest that Prime Minister Badawi’s grand vision of a moderate Islam has hit the rocks, and is now floundering.

Just how the government is to regain its course is open to question, but what is clear is that some leaders should get their knowledge of their own religion in order first.

The writer is a Malaysian political scientist and historian based at the Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin; and one of the founders of the www.othermalaysia.org research site, where this article first appeared.


Why has this issue erupted all of a sudden, when the word ‘Allah’ has been used for so long with nary a protest? Coming at a time when the Malaysian government is already getting flak from the protests by Hindus who insist that they remain at the bottom of the economic ladder after 50 years of independence, it would appear as if the administration cannot get enough bad publicity.