By Singa Terhormat
My earlier posting, “Ya Allah”, seems to have stirred up quite a storm.
I generally do not respond to comments made to my postings in recognition of freedom of expression and also as it can lead to endless arguments and inconvenience our host, Haris, but in this case I shall make an exception to clarify and expand upon some matters.
This, Haris, will, however, be my last say on the matter here so as not to distract from the course of ABU..
In essence the earlier posting was a reminder to Muslims that:
a) The Holy Qur’an and the Prophet (pbuh) never denied the non-Muslims the usage of “Allah”. On the contrary, the Holy Qur’an stipulates that they will in fact say “Allah”.
b) For a Muslim nothing can override what God in the Holy Qur’an and/or the Prophet have decided or allowed. Hence it does not matter whether the Federal Constitution or any other legislation or body, including any Mufti, Fatwa or Syura Council, states something to the contrary. For a Muslim, God and the Prophet (pbuh) must override them all. A Muslim who pays more heed to any such legislation or body in preference to what God and His Prophet have decided takes others as partners of God and hence is guilty of polytheism.
c) Some other religions too use “Allah in their scriptures.
There you have it in a nutshell.
There were several comments made to my posting. Amongst the more pertinent ones which I wish to respond to are:
i) From Ellese—“In non Moslems (sic) countries Allah has been used to refer exclusively to ‘Muslims god”.
My response—God is God of all and not just to the Muslims. He is God of the disbelievers too, even if they do not recognize Him. Hence there cannot be such a thing as a “Muslims god”. The Prophet (pbuh) in his last sermon said:
“O people, Remember that your Lord is One.”
He did not say ‘O Muslims”. He said ‘O people”.
Further, whatever non–Muslim countries do or not do cannot override what God and the Prophet (pbuh) have decided or allowed. If one holds to that it implies that one takes the non-Muslim countries as gods beside God.
ii) From Malaysianatheart— “are you sure that “non-believers” in the context of the Qur’an refers to “non-muslims”?”
My response— Unbelievers, not non-believers, was used to refer to all non-Muslims, whatever category they may fall under.
Now Pickthal in his interpretation of the Holy Qur’an in Surah An-Nisa says:
“Lo! those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and seek to make distinction between Allah and His messengers, and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and seek to choose a way in between; (150) Such are disbelievers in truth; and for disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom. (151).
“Disbelievers” here, which is akin to “unbelievers”, refers to all non-Muslims.
iii) From Ellese again—“ Zukhruf doesn’t mean Allah permits it (sic) the use of Allah. Though it shows that previous people has (sic) used the name of Allah as their god, but the surah clearly states that all of them have misused the name of Allah to associate with other things which are wrong to the Muslims.”
Ellese also claims I mislead by ‘half quoted verse.”
My response—As you yourself say, ‘previous people has (sic) used the name of Allah’. Now the verses following the verse I quoted, that is verses 88 and 89, of the same Surah read:
“And he saith: O my Lord! Lo! these are a folk who believe not. (88) Then bear with them (O Muhammad) and say: Peace. But they will come to know. (89)”
God tells us that these people do not believe even though they use the name “Allah”. Now where does it say that God then decreed that they are not allowed to use that name? Where? God in fact confirms that they will use the name “Allah” and then does not go on to say they are forbidden to use His name but rather tells the Prophet (pbuh) to bear with them and say “Peace”. Do Muslims bear with them and say “Peace”?
iv) From Sam—he says I miss the point and that the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land.
My response—the posting was essentially a reminder to Muslims that as God and the Prophet (pbuh) allowed the use of “Allah”, they are bound by it, whatever the Federal Constitution may or may not say. The Federal Constitution is another matter altogether.
V) Others—They say that Christians wish to use “Allah” just to preach to and confuse the Muslims and so should be disallowed.
My response— It is a weakness in the Islamic religious education carried out here that permits them to be so influenced or confused. Here whilst some blame lies with parents for failing to properly teach and set an example to their children, the main blame lies with Government leaders who deliberately do not wish the Muslims here to understand the core and essence of the religion so that the Muslims out of ignorance will not fully question their many misdeeds. The fault lies with the Muslims themselves. In any event it cannot override what Allah and the Prophet (pbuh) have allowed.
Another objection frequently raised by Muslims is that Allah is one whereas the Trinitarian Christians understand him to be 3 persons in one Godhead and that this will confuse Muslims.
Now the Trinitarian doctrine of Christians was formally adopted at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, long before the advent of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Hence Trinitarian Christians then, and in particular the Arab Christians amongst them, understood Allah to be a trinitarian God. Did they then object to the Prophet using “Allah” to describe the one God as we understand Him to be? If objections were to be made, did the Trinitarians not then have more right to object to usage of the same word that they had been using much earlier and which the Muslims then gave a different connotation to the one they had? Might they not have objected that it might confuse their followers?
Another objection is that the word for God in Bahasa Malaysia is Tuhan and that the Malay Bibles should use that. Do Bahasa Malaysia interpretations of the Holy Qur’an use Tuhan or Allah? They use Allah. Surely what is good for the goose should be good for the gander.
Lastly, Muslims must remember too that at the Treaty of Hudaibiya made between the Prophet (pbuh) and the Makkans, who were then unbelievers and represented by Suhail bin Amr, when the Prophet (pbuh) dictated that it was to read “In the name of Allah, the most Gracious and Merciful” as in the format of the Holy Qur’an, Suhail objected and asked that it be in the form used by the Makkan unbelievers “In Thy name, O Allah. “
The Prophet (pbuh) agreed to it even though it was in the form used by unbelievers. This was a document used by and signed by an unbeliever, Suhail bin Amr.
Again, this is confirmation that ‘Allah’ was used by non-Muslims and that the Prophet (pbuh) had no problems with that. He did not forbid them or reproach them, nor did he say it cannot be reduced to writing where they are involved.