Chaos seems to rule these days.
School has just re-opened: chaos.
That adds up to the slightly more than normal volume of traffic that you and I have been enjoying for the past month and a half or so: chaos.
My office day now starts at 8am: chaos
The court allowing the Catholic magazine, Herald, to use the term Allah to represent God and the objection by Malaysian Muslims: chaos.
The term God has been defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as:
(in especially Christian, Jewish and Muslim belief) the being which made the universe, the Earth and its people and is believed to have an effect on all things
In short, God is THE supreme mono-entity. He is referred to differently in different languages: Tuhan, Dieu, Gott, Deus. They all refer to the same entity. They only differ in terms of language.
I read a column where a disgruntled Muslim wrote:
Pertama: kalimah Allah adalah nama khas, bukan kata terbitan daripada mana-mana perkataan Arab. Justeru, ia bukan boleh digunakan sebagai kata ganti bagi menterjemahkan sesuatu perkataan daripada bahasa lain. (Firstly, the term Allah is a special noun that does not derive from any Arabic word. Therefore, it cannot be used to replace the same term derived from another language).
Hmm. If it is not an Arabic word, I wonder where did that word derived from.
He went on to say:
Sebagai bandingan seorang yang bernama Mr. Black tidak boleh ditukarkan namanya kepada Encik Hitam kalau kita berbicara tentangnya dalam bahasa Melayu kerana nama itu adalah nama khas yang merujuk kepada orang yang tertentu. (As a comparison surely a person by the name of Mr Black cannot have his name referred to in Malay as Encik Hitam because a special noun only refers to a specific person)
I think this person needs to know the root from which the name Allah is derived. And he continued:
Kedua: memang benar kalimah itu telah sedia wujud dan digunakan oleh orang Arab semenjak sebelum Islam, akan tetapi itu tidak bermakna mereka memahami maknanya yang hakiki. (Secondly, it is true that the term has existed and used by the pre-Islam Arabs, but that does not mean they knew the actual meaning).
Again, this person needs to know the root from where Allah is derived.
As I have noted at the beginning of this post, the term God refers to a supreme mono-entity that made the universe, the Earth and its people and is believed to have an effect on all things. Therefore, we worship Him as our Maker. Now, why Him, and not Her?
Muslims, Jews and Christians, otherwise known of People of the Books, worship the same God – the God of Abraham. Arabs of all faiths, be they Muslims, Jews or Christians, refer to God as Allah. The word itself is derived from two Arabic words: AL (The), and ILAH (God). When these two words are joined together to form a noun, they are shortened to just ALLAH, which is a masculine form. This has been the name used to refer to THE ONE GOD (ho theos monos) that the “descendants” of the people of Abraham have been worshiping. This is evident in the Aramaic word for God: Elaha, and the Syriac Alaha.
Hundreds, if not thousands of years later, the Arabs were split into three – the Christians, the Jews, and the Pagans. They still worshiped Allah, The One God. The concept of worship differed. For the Christians, they embraced the concept of the Holy Trinity: God the Father (Allah al-Ab), God the Son (Allah al-Ibn) and God the Holy Spirit (Allah arRuhul Qudus).
The Pagan Arabs, believed that Allah, has three daughters: Manat, Al-Lat a.k.a Al-Lata (this is Allah in the feminine form – and many Malay women carry this name because they’re parents did not know the significance), and Al-‘Uzza. So these were the giant statues found inside the Kaabah and was destroyed by Muhammad when the Muslims finally went back to Mecca.
The Jews, like the Muslims later, hold on to the concept of mono-entity (Tauhid).
God, or Allah if you wish to call Him, is the God to ALL, not just Muslims, or Jews, or Christians; and Allah is not just the God to human beings! He is the God to ALL in this universe. This is given by the following ayyah:
“”We believe in the revelation that has come down to us and that which came down to you; our God and your God are One, and it is to Him that we bow” (29:46)”
Allah, is just an Arabic noun. The One God has 99 Beautiful Names. Before He created anything, before He was worshiped, He wasn’t Rabb (also another Arabic word for God). He wasn’t Allah. He was, and still is al-Awwal (The Beginning).
So, why get so uptight over a name? Only Muslims in Malaysia seem to think that the name Allah is specialised and sacred. To me, call Him Allah, Rabb, The One God, Tuhan Yang Esa or whatever, the most important thing is, you know in your heart that He is The Supreme Being, the One and Only. If you hold that to your heart, you won’t go wrong. No one can steer you away from your faith if you truly believe in that.
So, Muslims, don’t get uptight over one word. Allah is referred to as Allah because it was and still is the only Arabic word that describes The One God, but He is also referred to by many names in the Quran. We Malaysian Muslims always make a fuss over things, but always forget the basics and blaspheme in a very common way that we show our love to God and his prophet, Muhammad (pbuh).
I’ll give you an example: in our office, we have the pictures of the King and Queen, and the Prime Minister and his Deputy. How do we arrange these pictures on the wall? Do we put them side by side? Of course not! The pictures of the PM and his Deputy will have to be placed slightly lower because both the King and the Queen are of a different level and status.
How do we place the framed khats of Allah and Muhammad? Why is Muhammad the same level as Allah is? Isn’t that a deviation in our Aqidah?