In November 2007, the Malaysian Government claimed Muslims hold exclusive rights to the word Allah, and Catholic weekly newspaper Herald was told to remove the word Allah from their publications. The word ‘Allah’ can only be used in the context of Islam and not any other religion, said Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharum. Asked why a new condition will be imposed on Catholic weekly newspaper Herald when its annual publishing permit is next renewed, the deputy minister said this is to prevent confusion.
“Only Muslims can use ‘Allah’. It’s a Muslim word, you see. It’s from (the Arabic (language). We cannot let other religions use it because it will confuse people,” he said when contacted today.
“We cannot allow this use of ‘Allah’ in non-Muslim publications, nobody except Muslims. The word ‘Allah’ is published by the Catholics. It’s not right.”- Malaysiakini.
Now, in November 2008, the authorities have kept up to their trademark act of sheer stupidity.
“Customs authorities in this Muslim-majority country confiscated eight CDs from Jill Ireland when she flew back to
"The Home Ministry informed her in a letter that the CDs were seized mainly because their cover titles contained the word “Allah,” which is prohibited in non-Muslim religious material.
"Government officials have expressed concerns that using “Allah” in Christian literature could confuse
The Malaysian Government has the audacity to suggest that only Muslims can use the word Allah. Alright, I am sure no one is expecting an academic response to this for even a layman would acknowledge that “Allah” is an Arabic word, and although Arabic was the origin language of Islam, Arabic does not mean Islam. The religion did not create the language, but it simply adopted the language to spread its teaching.
Many would find the above justifiable enough to refute the ludicrous claim made by the authorities, but as always, the authorities remain constantly in denial-mode. For their sake, let us get a little deeper into this.
Islam believes that God Almighty has many attributes, and that every “Name” associated with him has a meaning. There are 99 Divine Attributes for God Almighty in Islam, and Allah is one of them. “Elaw” in Aramaic is “Allah” in Arabic. Even before the arrival of Islam in the
Epigraphic and inscription evidence tell us that the religion of
There were three main religions in Madinah(today known as
“Encyclopedia de Islam” stated that the Christian Missionaries of Hira were the ones who created the Arabic Northern characters that are used in the Quran(Leyde et Paris, 1960, pp. 579a-622b). This claim is also supported by Jawad Ali, in his book “The history of Arabs before Islam”(Vol. 8, pp. 178-179). The church doors of Zabad on the South East of Allepo in
Christians, even of that age, had Eparchies (dioceses and bishops) all across Arabia, including
A famous Franciscan Archeologist, Father Pecerillo, come across tens of churches and houses dating back to the Forth Century in Madaba, which is located at the south of
And despite all these, the Malaysian authorities go as far as saying “We cannot allow this use of ‘Allah’ in non-Muslim publications, nobody except Muslims. The word ‘Allah’ is published by the Catholics. It’s not right.”- Malaysiakini.
By fearing that Muslims would be drawn towards Christianity simply because the word Allah is used in Catholic publications(rightly so), it does nothing but reflect the sense of insecurity on the part of the Malaysian authorities. I am sure even Muslims are perplexed by the manner in which the authorities are handling this issue. Islam is 1400 years old, and a statement of this sort is indeed an insult to all Muslims with strong faith in their religion.
To the Malaysian authorities, if you are still oblivious to all the facts above, you may want to ponder the below.
Muhammad’s father was named Abd Allah, which means ‘Servant of God’ in Arabic. And my friend, it wouldn’t take a genius to tell you that this was years before his son was born or Islam was even founded.
by Argus Eye