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Saturday, March 21, 2009

The word “Allah” and its Contentious Usage.

Much has been said about this topic as to the usage of the word “Allah”. The use of the word has been gazetted and de-gazetted, and is now waiting for the court’s ruling as to its legality to be used by the Christian community.

In an attempt to convince the Government to legalise the usage of the word “Allah” by the Christian community, the NGO like Malaysian Bar Council and activist Ronnie Klassen, have put their OnLine poll and signature campaign respectively.

The Bar Council may face legal action from the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) for holding an online poll on the use of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims in their publications.

"The issue raised in the polls can threaten the sensitivity of Muslims," the head of the religious council Mohamad Adzib Mohamad Isa said in a statement.

He said it was empowered under religious laws to lay charges against anyone misusing the word "Allah".

The Islamic religious council in central Selangor state said it would take action against the Malaysian Bar, which represents about 12,000 lawyers, for using the word as a translation for "God" in two online polls on its Web site.

The Bar Council said it would defend its use of the word.

"I haven't received a (legal) notice yet. We are prepared to challenge it," its president, Ragunath Kesavan, said.

 A signature campaign that activists in Sabah (and Sarawak) have initiated on the right of Christians in Malaysia to use the term "Allah" for God is said to have received the support of the Vatican.

Kota Kinabalu church activist Ronnie Klassen said Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew, who is in Rome on a periodic visit to the Vatican, had indicated this in an email dated March 14, in reply to his request for views and support of the signature campaign.

It is understood that the contents of the email could not have been written without the prior approval of the Holy See.

Let us examine this contentious usage of the word “Allah” from the Muslim point of view as explained in the Muslim website.

Muslim websites have provided the following information that “the true God “Eloi” (in Aramaic) of the Bible is the same as "Allah" of the Quran.”

One classic example is when Jesus was about to give up His last breath when He died on the cross: About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matt. 27:46

It is a known fact that every language has one or more terms that are used in reference to God and sometimes to lesser deities.

“This is not the case with Allah. Allah is the personal name of the One true God. Nothing else can be called Allah. The term has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word god who can be made plural, gods, or feminine, goddess.”

It is interesting to notice that Allah (Eloi) is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic.

Does “Allah” Mean God?

“The word "Allah" is the perfect description of the "One God" of monotheism for Jews, Christians and Muslims!”

Is "Allah" only for Islam and Muslims?[No! It is for All Three Abrahamic Faiths.]”

"Allah" is the same word used by Christian Arabs and Jewish Arabs in their Bible, centuries before Islam came.

On page one [1] of Genesis in the Old Testament, we find the word "Allah" (God) seventeen [17] times.

Every Hotel and Motel has a Bible placed in almost every room. The next time you check into a Hotel or Motel, you will normally find samples of verses translated in different languages. For Arabic they have translated the verse in the New Testament in Arabic from the famous verse in the Gospel John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world..." - and the translators used the word in Arabic for "God" is the very same word used by Muslims around the planet, “Allah”.  

Where does the word “Allah” come from?  "Allah" comes from the Arabic word "elah" a ‘god' or something worshiped.”

“This word (elah) can be made plural (gods), as in "aleha" and it can be male or female just as the word in English can be "goddess."

"Allah" comes from "elaha" but it brings more clarification and understanding.

Did the Meccans worship the true God since they recognized "Allah"? Was "Allah" one of the gods of the Ka'bah? And if so, where did the Meccans derive the recognition and the name of "Allah" from?

“First, "Allah" was not one of the 360 idols which were in the Ka'bah, although Morey has claimed this without evidence. When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) entered Makkah victorious he went into the Ka'bah and broke the idols therein.

“Second, the word "Allah" has been used all along for the name of "God" in the Arabic Bible for Jews and Christians alike. The proof is easy to verify. Simply go to any hotel or motel anyway in the world and look in the drawer next to the bed. There you can find a complimentary copy of the Bible, placed there by the Giddeons. Turn to page 5 or 6 where they list the examples of translations they have made into other languages.”

The second example given is for Arabic speakers. “The verse is from the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16. Everyone knows this one: "For God so loved the world..." and the word in Arabic for "God" is "Allah." Then if you have a Bible in Arabic, look on page one in Genesis, and you will find the word "Allah" 17 times.

“Next, the word for "God" to the Arabs, ever since the time of Abraham, has been "Allah" and He is to them, the Lord of the Ka'bah (the black box in the center of the Holy Sanctuary in Makkah). He was the unseen God whom they would call upon when in distress. Yes, they worshipped the true God but their worship was not purely for Him. They also worshipped other gods thinking that they would act as intermediaries between them and the true God Allah.”

“The Arabs know of “Allah” because Abraham visited Makkah and together with his son Ishmael laid the foundation of the Ka'bah. The descendants of Ishmael retained some of the worship rites and beliefs from Abraham. This included their knowledge of the true God Allah.”

Allah appears in both the Qur'ânic and Arabic Bible images. Indeed, the word Allah appears throughout Arabic translations of the Bible, since it is simply the Arabic name for Almighty God.

It has, therefore, been shown conclusively (elsewhere) that the true God, "El" or “Eloi” of the Bible is the same as "Allah" of the Quran.

Related Article - Read Here

Malay poorly understood word Allah

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