The issue of the word “Allah” in the Malay Bible has now become a world issue, or at least, that’s what the Christians in Malaysia are trying to do.
It looks like they have already managed to do so, when they finally get the attention of the Wall Street Journal, which published an article on it, entitled ‘Between God and Allah’. WSJ began the article by stating that the Muslims in Malaysia have been using the word ‘Allah’ for ‘God’ since 200 years ago – which is only partly correct.
We sense a synchronized agenda of the Christians and WSJ, when both failed to acknowledge that the non-Muslims in the Peninsular have never used the word ‘Allah’ for ‘God’ because ‘Allah’ is not a direct translation of ‘God’.
The word ‘Allah’ for ‘God’ is only used in the East Malaysia and they can still continue using it without any restriction. There is no new regulation or law to stop them from doing so. There is no sudden change in the practice like what is reported by WSJ.
The restriction is only applied in the Peninsular. Again, this is not a new regulation or a new law, but has been written very clearly, ever since.
As far as Malaysians in the Peninsular are concerned, this should have never been an issue at all since Malaysia has a clear guidelines and law that disallow the word ‘Allah’ among few Arabic words, to be used by the non-Muslims in their religious documents, activities or practices. The word ‘Allah’ is strictly not allowed to be used to refer to other entity or being but ‘The One and Only God who has no son, nor father’.
Christians in Malaysia have never before questioned this Law until very recently when Father Lawrence Andrew decided to break it and challenged the court and the Sultan of Selangor by insisting on using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to Christian’s God ie ‘Father’ or ‘Lord’ in churches in Peninsular. Not enough of that, the Christians then strike again when the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) distributed bibles with the word ‘Allah’ in them.
Clearly, the Christians are asking for trouble.
The State Islamic Religious Department acted to the challenge and provocation by using their power to seize the bibles. Their raiding of the BSM’s premise took a turn on them when they are made to look like a bully and the Christians as the victim. The fact that it is BSM and Father Andrew who had broken the Law has somehow faded into thin air.
Since the case has been taken to court and since the Law is written very clearly, the Muslim do not see the needs to pay much attention to the issue in the first place.
However, it has become clear that Father Andrew and his followers are a bunch of troublemakers who just have problems abiding the law. They cannot let Malaysians of all religions live peacefully like we always do. They just have to pick a fight on the Muslims just for the fun of it. They must drag the world into their game, as spectators and judges.
There is no way to explain their stubbornness when they cannot give even one good reason why the Christians suddenly feel the need to give their God a name that is, the same name as the Muslim’s? In their argument, they say that ‘Allah’ is a common God to all religions and there shouldn’t be any issue on whatever we call Him.
Using the same argument, the Muslims asked, “if ‘name’ is not an issue why not just use any other name that does not offend anybody?”
And then the Christians argued that ‘Allah’ is the perfect Malay-translation for ‘God’.
The truth is, ‘Allah’ is an exclusive name not a general word for ‘God’ – the exact and perfect translation for ‘God’ in Malay is ‘Tuhan’.
These evangelists action makes the Muslims in Malaysia even more skeptical about the Christian’s missionary agenda. The Muslims are afraid that these missionaries will target the weak and ignorant Malay-Muslims to convert them into Christians by confusing them with the Malay-translated Bibles with the word ‘Allah’ in it.
For all we know, these missionaries can always spread Christianity just the same by using the word ‘Father’ or ‘Lord’. Therefore, it almost seems that these missionaries just want to prey on weak souls like cunning foxes.
Surely, it all will eventually come to a question of the strength of one’s faith, but then, the Muslims believe that opening the gates to let the weak souls out, will be a question needed to be answered by all Muslims. As such, might as well keep the gate closed as it will not offend or harm anybody, plus it will also help guarantee peace and harmony in the country.