Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Why non Muslims cannot use the word Allah.

It is something to ponder. I have to admit that I may not agree with TG Nik Aziz on this matter but then again, I am not well-versed on this. I still have doubts on the real agenda of the christians in Malaysia to pursue the usage of Allah as it is the main thing about their religion. Why don't they use Allah in all the Bibles?

There will be confusions as God in christian is about trinity....the god, the son and the holy ghost.

Why non Muslims cannot use the word Allah.

Dr Khalif Muammar

1-There is no nas qat’i (conclusive/definitive evidence) from the Qur’an and the Sunnah on this matter. All the evidences put forward by those who permit it, do not show that it is permissible for non Muslim to use the word Allah. Since there is no conclusive evidence from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, this matter falls under zanniyyat, something which is based on human discretion. Muslim scholars need to base their argument on historical, epistemological, theological and semantic analysis. There will be right and wrong opinions depend on who has the strong argument. Definitely wisdom and in-depth analysis must be stressed, and not just literal interpretation. Although there is no conclusive evidence this does not mean that we cannot reach certainty in dealing with this issue. In this short but compact paper I will provide conclusive arguments which will demonstrate that non Muslim should not be permitted to use the word Allah in any ways to refer to their God even in their publication for their own community. As long as they live in Muslim country they have to respect their Muslim neighbors.

2-The fact is that the word Allah even though it was used before Islam, it has been Islamized, the meaning of it is no longer the same as before. By permitting non Muslim to use it we actually doing deislamization. We are reverting the course which was done by our Prophet. Hence, we will be responsible for making more Muslim become confused.

Professor Wan Mohd Nor says the context of Arabs and the Malay world is different, non Muslim in our land especially did not use the word Allah before this, there is no such word in their language before, in the original work they called it Yahweh, why not they call tuhan Yahweh. Therefore, it is evident that this issue is brought to confuse the Muslims.

They wanted Allah become the name of other gods as well. The fact is that our God is not the same as the god of Christianity, their god can have son, it is a humanized god.

3. We cannot equate God with Allah. Because the word God is generic and the word Allah is a proper name. Therefore when we say la ilaha illallah it is not there is no god but God, this does not make sense, rather it means there is no god but Allah.

When we analyze the use of Allah in the Qur’an there are two forms: general and specific. The verse in surah al-Tawbah: 30 only tells that Christians say messiah is the son of God or Jews say that Uzayr is the son of God. Other oft-quoted verse regarding this issue is..”if indeed thou ask them who it is that created the heavens and the earth, they would be sure to say, “Allah.”(al-Zumar, 39:38). Here the word Allah cannot mean the true God because they don’t know who Allah is simply because no prophet was sent to them. Therefore, the use of Allah here is to mean God in general. Therefore there are two usages of Allah in the Qur’an, the general one and the specific one. The spesific use such as that “verily the religion before Allah is Islam” (innaddina indallahi al-Islam), (Ali Imran: 19). Allah here is not just god but the true God.

4-The spirit behind this issue is religious pluralism. They are saying that Muslim God is the same as God in other religion. They wanted to convey that we, Christians and Muslims, have the same God. This is against Islamic creed. Our Aqidah tells us that other god is not the true God (La ilaha ghayruh). When we renounce religious pluralism, it does not mean that we also reject religious tolerance and religious diversity. In fact Muslims are the one who introduce these concept to the world. The charter of Madinah is the conclusive evidence on this.

5-Prof. Wan Mohd Nor also said there is limit of meaning for each word we use, the word wahyu is not the same as revelation, we cannot say that I receive wahyu, but you can say that in English. “I got revelation last night”. Obviously they don’t differentiate between wahyu and ilham (intuition).

Every word that has been Islamized is understood in the framework of Islamic worldview. Words such as Allah, masjid, salat, wahyu, rasul, ulama, are some words that cannot be used by other religious community and vise versa. Therefore we cannot call our ulama as paderi and masjid to become temple. In masjid you don’t just ask from God, and you don’t worship idol in it. So what we do in a masjid is substantially different from what they do in their holy place. The main reason that you came to masjid is to submit yourself, to obey Him. Therefore, sujud (prostation) is a symbol of submission, this is what sujud means of which the name masjid is derived from.

6-God before Islam is not only Allah, there is a lot of god during the jahiliyyah period. Allah was a general word. The specific names for their god are al-lata, al-uzza, al-manat etc. when Islam came it give new meaning to Allah. Islam did not introduce new word so that it will be easier to teach people about God. The word Allah before Islam is no longer the same compared to the one used after Islam has been established in the Arab country. Allah became the proper name and official name of the true God. Like the word Islam, literally it is submission but it become the official name of a religion.

Non Muslim may acknowledge that God is the Creator, this is in the Rububiyyah level, but they deny the Uluhiyyah part when they commit shirk and believe in polytheism. A Muslim is the one who submit to Allah in the level of Uluhiyyah. At this level Muslims believe only Allah is the true God. They only follow His guidance.

7. If Muslims in other country permit non Muslim to use the word Allah it is a mistake. Muslims in these countries usually do not have the power to stop it. In Indonesia, liberalization of Islam and secularization of Muslim community has long been in place. We in Malaysia are lucky to have a government that takes this matter seriously. Therefore, we must strive hard to prevent the use of Allah by other religious community. And the non Muslim community must understand it is not a quarrel for the sake of a name, but it is about the protection of the Islamic Creed (Aqidah), and this has nothing to do with religious tolerance or intolerance. This is about respecting other religion.

Malaysian Government and its subsidiaries are put on pressure if they do not allow the use of Allah by the Christians. The government will be accused of violating freedom of expression. Evidently, freedom of expression become the highest principle, above all considerations including religious and the interests of the people. The question is do we have to submit to the liberal values propagated by the West? As an independent and sovereign state, we should disregard what others will say if we can prove academically that what we do is the best for our community. As Muslims we should base our values on our religion, why should we let the West dictates their values on us. Certainly they are not superior in matters such as values, ethics and morality. Even if they do, we have the right to have our own values, our own identity.

Simplify Your Life

I always cherish my simple life, thanks to my parents for bringing me up that way. Thanks to my wife for sharing the same concept of life. We came from simple families. Alhamdulillah.
To my children, always appreciate little things and see big pictures. Grateful to what we own and what we do not own. We share what we have.
We live the simple life to the fullest!

Learn from our Prophet SAW and his great companions (as well as great persons around us). They are the best examples to follow. They are ahli syurga.

From Oprah..

As each day seems to bring more bad news about the economy, people around the country are learning tough lessons about their money. "Having the best things is no substitute for having the best life," Oprah writes in her What I Know for Sure column in the March 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.

People with and without jobs are using our national financial crisis to get back to basics. Is it possible to live with less? What truly matters?

If you're in debt, one way to see what it's like to live with less is to take Suze Orman's three-step money pledge:
  • Don't spend any money for a day.
  • Don't use your credit card for a week.
  • Don't eat out in restaurants for a month.

Excerpt from Secrets of Simplicity
Secrets of Simplicity by Mary Carlomango
Cherishing Your Treasure: A Crash Course in What to Keep
The motto at our organizing company, Order, is "Your space says everything about you." Have you considered what your physical space says about you? Take a moment to record what your environment looks like, using three adjectives to describe your feelings as you look at your space.

What does your space say about you?

What do you want your space to say about you?

In the Hindu faith, Ganesha, a playful elephantine character, is considered the remover of obstacles. He is the spirit that Hindus pray to before starting a new business, embarking on a trip, or making a purchase. His image is the first icon placed in the doorways of homes and restaurants, signifying good luck and new beginnings. In some depictions, a small rat, possibly representing those pesky obstacles, is visible under his foot as he strikes his proud pose.

KJ, Pak Lah and the 4th Floor Gangs

Me, Pak Lah and the 4th Floor boys
Mar 3, 09 12:15pm

The past five years have been a roller-coaster ride for Khairy Jamaluddin - that's how he described it himself.


Once labeled as the most powerful 28-year-old in Malaysia, Khairy now 32 is struggling to win the Umno Youth chief post when he would have been a shoo-in not too long ago.

In a 90-minute interview with Malaysiakini - the first he has given to the online newsdaily - Khairy talked about what had gone wrong.

In this first of a five-part series, Khairy defended his father-in-law - outgoing PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who is fondly known as Pak Lah - and the Fourth Floor, a powerful coterie of young aides to the prime minister.

How do you actually put your ideas across to the government? Do you go direct to the prime minister or do you use the Fourth Four?

khairy jamaluddin interview 230209 07I suppose I can do it in Parliament, but you know you'll have constraints, time constraints, but yeah, you can write about it and send proposals.

But you do have family dinners with the prime minister.

Yeah, but that's the last thing I would talk about - (imagine discussing) unemployment insurance, stimulating SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) loans and things like that.

One of your fiercest critics has been (ex-PM) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad), not just yours but also the prime minister's critic. He is now talking that Pak Lah would stay on (as PM) for another year at least.

I don't think so. I think the prime minister has made up his mind, he has set his heart on the transition and I think we should just respect that decision. Trying to second guess this is all very... well, it creates a lot of uncertainties but as far as I know, it's going to happen.

What do you think would be Pak Lah's legacy?

Malaysia changed in 1998. We didn't change in 2008, and he (Pak Lah) tried to bring reform to the mainstream and much of it has started.

It might not be the finished product - whether or not you're talking about a freer society, in terms of expressing ourselves, in terms of speaking up, and whether or not we talk about institutions, SPRM (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission), the Judicial Appointments Commission...

But these are solid building blocks to a better Malaysia, and one day, if these reforms continue, they will look back and say that this is where it started and, regrettably, he (Pak Lah) decided to fall on his own (sword), sacrifice (himself for) the party.

khairy jamaluddin interview 230209 04I think when we look back at this period of reform, as turbulent as it was, you'll see this is where we have definitely turn a corner. There are many other things that I think that are less well documented, for instance, turning around government-linked companies, this happens on his watch and they are much healthier, much more resilient.

The fact that we have money to spend our way out of this economic crisis is because of his frugality of economic management, and the fact that our economy is going to be more than this, not just manufacturing or services, is largely because of his desire to see that the economy opportunities will spread further and wider up than previously.

So I hope that history will take on this...

But the biggest complaint is that he has been slow in implementing the proposals which he talked about when he first came into power. Again, we don't know what's happening to the economic corridors (launched by Pak Lah).

You know, when you come into a system that has been there for a long time, you'll end up being... there's this institutional straitjacket, no matter how well meaning, or how reformist, at the end of the day, there's this reluctant, this inertia to change... So, I wouldn't call it slow, I would call it very difficult institutional circumstances that he was up against.

Secondly, when you talk about the corridors, the big figure, much of it is private investment, not public investment. So that's the difference that Pak Lah is trying to bring, where you announce something, it's not just the government or taxpayers that are going to carry the stick forward, but also the private sector.

Of course, the GLCs (government-linked companies) are at the lead. The GLCs are not using government fund, they're not using taxpayers' money, they are using the money that they raised from capital markets, and from the financial system.

This is productive spending; this is what you have to try to do. You have to try to encourage private investment, private consumption and public investment. That's our problem; we could not kick start private consumption and private investment after 1998.

So that was what the corridors were about, and ultimately whether or not they end up succeeding is whether they're being continued.

But I think there are certain corridors which are obvious. We should continue with, for example, the one in Johor, and that I hope is not something that would be phased out just because it's one man's vision and not the other man's desire.

abdullah ahmad badawi najib razak pc change portfolio 170908 06I hope that the corridors will take place, it's a long-term vision, and I don't think Pak Lah even thought that he would see it to its creation. I mean, this is a man who had repeatedly said that ‘I'm not going to be there in 2020, I'm not going to be there when all these things happen'.

He pretty much knew his place in history was to get things started, to point us in the right direction and see whether or not we're going to get there.

Do you consider Pak Lah a failed prime minister? Do you sometimes wish that ‘this man should have more spine, he should be firmer', or ‘I wish he could have done this and that'.

I think everybody looks back and wishes that they could change things along the way, but we have to accept the circumstances that we live in and this is the way it happened.

I'm trying to make the best of it and hope for the reforms he put in place that they are continued. And if those reforms are enduring, then I think it would be a greater success than how we view it today.

So was there any time when you feel ‘come on! (Pak Lah)...

No, I mean each person has his own way of doing things and we have to bring the best out of it, including myself. We have to live with the fact that when circumstances and fate collide and conspire...

About the Fourth Floor - why do you think that it is the lighting rod for all criticisms?

Well, I would say if you want to blame it on something and you have to scapegoat something, and I think the Fourth Four was an easy one to use.

Who are the people on Fourth Floor? They're such a shadowy group.

They are professionals who worked as press secretaries, who work as special assistants, who writes speeches, who draft memos, who do research and that's the sum of it really. They don't make policies, and they don't push for projects, contracts and things like that.

khairy jamaluddin interview 230209 03But they are easy scapegoats because you have to understand that when Pak Lah came in he want to do things differently, and the institutional resistance that I spoke about was very clear and evident.

And when they couldn't hit out at him, obviously because he is the prime minister and he has such a huge mandate, they want to blame on somebody so they picked on these people from Fourth Floor and say that, you know, they're the root of all evils.

But you were part of the Fourth Floor? Was it because you've been seen to have control over the Fourth Floor?

Maybe, but I left very quickly, I stayed about one year. After the transition was announced from Dr Mahathir to Pak Lah, I was away, then I came back and he (Pak Lah) said why don't you come in and help out, so I say only for a year, after (2004) elections I'll go. Fine, so yeah, I came in and I was there.

You once said that Pak Lah serves as your protection. And now that he won't be there, it's going to be difficult for you. Clearly, it's not in your interest that this transition (of power) happened so quickly.

No, you have to take the training wheels off the bicycle at some point of time, and you just have to bear with it.

But personally, you would disagree with the fact that this happened so...

My personal view on this matter doesn't really counts. I mean, it's what you made of the circumstances. This is the reality of the situation so you have to live with it.

I mean, are you going to stop and hope for another outcome? This is the reality of the politics and this is the game that we're in so we have to accept it and carry on with it.

Being the prime minister's son-in-law, is that a boon or a burden?

Being the prime minister's son-in-law has been a roller-coaster ride. Is that a good enough answer? Roller-coaster goes up and down so...

More ups or down?

I don't sit down and do a cost-and-benefit analysis on being a son-in-law of the prime minister.

It would have come in handy at some point, maybe without you realising it - people will try to talk to you, put you in places simply because you are the son-in-law of the prime minister.

Yeah, maybe, but it's a double-edged sword so maybe it's a net ... net neutral outcome.

It could be a handicap in trying to win the Umno Youth chief post?

Possibly, possibly.

Tomorrow: Am I arrogant? I don't think so