Saturday, January 2, 2010

Masha Allah, Open Your Eyes La!

Since Justice Lau's brave decision to allow the Herald to continue publishing its Malay language edition using Malay-speaking Christians' normal term for God ("Allah"), there has been a flurry of condemnations from several quarters.

One of them, Dato' Ariff a.k.a. Sakmongkol wrote an especially incisive article in his usual strong intellectual thrust. In that article, he postulated that the issue was not about the legality or right of Christians to use the term. The real issue was that "Allah" is the exclusive reference to God for billions of Muslims worldwide "and hence, the hijacking of its ownership through some legalistic twists, constitute a rape and pillage on the Muslim person."

He further asserts that this ownership of the term Allah "rests on the altar of worship supported by the pillars of faith jealously guarded by UNREASON" and therefore not open to rational discussion.

Respectfully, I must strongly disagree based on the following points.

1) The "exclusive ownership" argument has been rebutted ad nauseam, ad infinitum. I am loathe to repeat it. You can read my extensively researched arguments against this flimsy premise here. I'll merely briefly mention here that the term "Allah" (and its various permutations) have been in use to refer the the "One Supreme Being" in the Middle East region since before Islam, Christianity or even Judaism! These great monotheistic religions simply adopted the word to express their faith.

So what exclusive ownership?

2) Equating non-Muslim use of the word "Allah" as raping the Muslim personhood? Come on la!

If we were to accept this argument, then Christians should demand that all references to Jesus Christ should be stricken out from the Quran! Because belief in Jesus resides in the hearts of all Christians. Belief in the doctrines about Jesus Christ also rests on the altar wof worship supported on the pillars of faith! Should Christians regard Islam's reference to Jesus in a completely different doctrine as a rape and pillage on their faith and personhood?

Since Christianity came 600 years BEFORE Islam, by virtue of seniority Muslims should respect and obey the wishes of Christians should such a claim arise that the Quran's Jesus conform to Christian doctrine or be stricken out altogether, just as some Muslims expect the same of Christians re "Allah"!

I'm not saying we should get into a semantic tug-of-war. But put forward your arguments by all means, just let's not be hypocritical about it!

3) To state that "The word Allah...rests on the altar of worship supported by the pillars of faith jealously guarded by UNREASON" is, I think, Dato' Ariff's most damaging statement to his cause.

In all of Creation, God created only Man to have reason. It is by the exercise of reason that Man is able to control his base desires and grow in his faith, through spiritual disciplines such as worship, prayer, fasting, study and reflection. No other creature in the world is able to do such things simply because they are beings without reason!

Since God created Man as the only creature with "reason", and Man's growth in his faith in God rests on activities that require the exercise of reason, the implication is that as Man grows in his closeness to God, he exercises MORE of his reason.

Stating that faith is guarded by UNREASON is surely an insult to the sincere spiritual seeker!

10 comments:

  1. Interesting posts you have, though I think Christianity is dead and will be redeemed and brought to fruition and perfection through Thelema. Check out my blog at http://christianityisdead.wordpress.com/ if you will. Love is the law, love under will. ;)

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  2. All true seekers will find the one true God if they are true to their quest!

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  3. see.. the cainis has started playing around with the word

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  4. anon 8:53

    1. what's a "cainis"?

    2. what does "masha Allah" mean in Arabic?

    3. in what way is the "cainis" playing with the word?

    4. how come people can worship the "Christian" Allah in the Prophet's birthland but not in Malaysia?

    5. how come the Quran can refer to Jesus not in the Christian way but Christians cannot use "Allah" even though it's a general term for God?

    6. what does the Quran and Prophet Mohammad say about Christians and their relationship to Allah & Muslims?

    7. are you a true seeker of God?

    8. if yes, what is the purpose of seeking God?

    if you can answer these questions satisfactorily, then your opinions deserve some attention here.

    otherwise, don't waste our time making us read your pathetic meaningless words.

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  5. Allah : " sigh...sigh...SIGH !"
    satan : ' ....hehehehihihihahaha !'
    humans : *... @#$%^&...!*
    beasts : ...!?!?!? .....!
    plants : zzzzzzzzzzzzzz !

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  6. WHO IS ALLAAH?

    It is a known fact that every language has one or more terms that are used in reference to God and sometimes to lesser deities. This is not the case with the Arabic term Allaah. Allaah is the personal name of the one true God. Nothing else can be called Allaah. The term has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word god which can be made plural, gods, or feminine, goddess. It is interesting to note that Allaah is the proper name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic.

    To a Muslim, Allaah is the Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to Him. The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was asked by his contemporaries about Allaah the Almighty; the answer came directly from God Himself in the form of a short chapter of the Qur’an, which is considered the essence of the unity or the motto of monotheism. This is chapter 112 which reads:

    In the name of Allaah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

    Say (O Muhammad (peace be upon him)): “He is Allâh, (the) One. Allâh-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks). He begets not, nor was He begotten; And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him”. (Qur’an: Chapter # 114)

    Some non-Muslims allege that God in Islam is a stern and cruel God. He is not loving and kind. Nothing can be farther from truth than this allegation. It is enough to know that, with the exception of one, each of the 114 chapters of the Qur’an begins with the verse: “In the name of Allaah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.” In one of the sayings of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) we are told that “Allaah is more loving and kinder than a mother to her dear child.”

    But Allaah is also Just. Hence evildoers and sinners must have their share of punishment and as for the virtuous, His bounties and favors. Actually, God’s attribute of Mercy has full manifestation in His attribute of Justice. People suffering throughout their lives for His sake and people oppressing and exploiting other people all their lives should not receive similar treatment from their Lord. Expecting similar treatment for them will amount to negating the very belief in the accountability of man in the Hereafter and thereby negating all the incentives for a moral and virtuous life in this world. The following Qur’anic verses are very clear and straightforward in this respect:

    “Verily, for the righteous are gardens of delight, in the presence of their Lord. So shall We treat the Muslims (believers, righteous) like the criminals? (disbelivers, eveildoers) What is the matter with you? How do you judge?” (Qur’an 68:34-36)

    Islam rejects characterizing God in any human form or depicting Him as favoring certain individuals or nations on the basis of wealth, power or race. He created the human beings as equals. They may distinguish themselves and get His favor through virtue and piety only.

    The concepts that God rested on the seventh day of creation, that God wrestled with one of His soldiers, that God is an envious plotter against mankind, or that God is incarnate in any human being are considered blasphemy from the Islamic point of view.

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  7. "This is not the case with the Arabic term Allaah. Allaah is the personal name of the one true God. Nothing else can be called Allaah."

    Yes. And since Christians also believe they worship the one true God, how come they are not allowed to use "Allah"?

    Oh, I see...Christians don't worship the one true God, therefore cannot use "Allah" since only Muslims worship the one true God.

    This is the premise being used to justify the ban. If we follow the logic of this argument to the very end

    1. Since only Muslims worship the one true God, then all other non-Muslim references to the one true God are false. This would give rise to the question "which is the one true God?" Following the precedent of banning non-Muslim use of "Allah", all other non-Muslim NAMES for the one true God must therefore be also banned lest it confuse Muslims into believing that others could be also worshipping the one true God.

    2. Since all other references to one true God are based on a false premise and should be banned, then why stop at just the word? The VERY EXISTENCE OF THE RELIGION is based on a false premise. If the religion is allowed to exist, then Muslims may be confused about why non-Muslims are also worshipping the "one true God". Therefore, following the first 2 precedents, the ENTIRE RELIGION must be banned as well.

    3. But religion is a funny thing...you cannot legislate faith. So no matter how hard you ban the religion, there will always be adherents. This will make Muslims wonder "why are there people still worshipping a non-Muslim on true God even after it has been banned?" Since, according to the previously established precedents, such a question will confuse Muslims, the PEOPLE who practise the non-Muslim religion must be banned.

    how do you ban a people?

    Jail, exile, torture, execution.

    Do you, does anyone, want our nation to take this first step?

    I don't.

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  8. Here is your answer

    http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Sources/Allah/BibAllah.html

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  9. Thanks for the link

    but according to the UMNO laws of shifting goalposts, the language is not the issue because this is about Malaysian Muslims being offended.

    but then later, they will argue on the basis of language again that the Arabic reference refers exclusively to Allah and Christians deliberately use the Arabic term to cheat Muslims into becoming Christians.

    The very idea that people can be cheated into committing their lives to a "false religion" is so completely ridiculous! But somehow, it doesn't seem ridiculous to these so-called "defenders of Islam"!

    Just shows the level of spirituality they have la...that they think cheating and lying is an effective way to spread religious truth.

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