Friday, January 8, 2010

What Is There To a Name?

I studied at a boarding school for 5 years. For those who used to go to a boarding school, it is most likely that you would get a nickname, like I did. I didnt really like my nickname but I never mind about it, it is just a name. I didnt get hurt for whatever name people might want to call me. I am still me, I wont simply transform to something else just because some other people call me differently.

Why am I talking about names now? I guess this is all due to the High Court's decision regarding the use of the word 'Allah' for the Herald magazine for their Bahasa publication. Things, I must admit, have exploded into an unimaginable magnitude. People have been giving their two-sen opinion about this and alot of discussions have been made. Not that I'm trying to preach or anything. I'm just giving my opinion which is absolutely limited and comes from a young man who is yet to experience the world out there.

First of all, let's see this thing from various view here. The word 'Allah', as some people argue, has been used by the Arab Christians for many years and it is used by the Christians in Sarawak and Sabah in the Bahasa translation of their Bible. Why not translate it to Tuhan then, you might ask. They are not publishing it in Arabic, but in Bahasa, you might add. Then why are the Muslims using the word Allah then? It is Arabic, and we are using it in Bahasa too. We can call Allah as Tuhan too, if the argument that is used against the Christians is used against the Muslims. The Muslims are taking the Arabic word and made it as a Bahasa word. So see the similarities here? The problem here is pure semantics. I am yet to see any Christians converting Muslims just because we call our God with the same name. Are we Muslims are so easily duped into converting to other religions? Is our faith that fragile? Ok, so you might want to say, the kids might be confused. Then what about the Christian kids then?Wont they be confused too? Oh,no, you say? Is it because the Christian kids have better faith than the Muslim kids? Are you trying to imply that we dont know how to teach our kids about Islam then? So whose fault is that then? You guess it right. Our fault. If you dare to think that we can simply convert to other religion and that our faith about our religion is so fragile, then it is our fault. Not some kafir.

Now what might be sensitive over here might not be sensitive at all at other places. What might be sensitive for people in Peninsular Malaysia might not be sensitive for the people in Sabah and Sarawak. The level of sensitivities vary according to their places. For example, the KFC advertisement shown at Australia. For the Australians, the advertisement might not be offensive but for the Americans, the advertisement is surely offensive enough for them. So while some people are demonstrating demanding that the use of the word Allah is stopped, some people who could not care less might feel that this is getting out of hand. But what goes out of hand is actually when people started burning churches. Yes, church with -es which denotes plural, more than one. Just in case you dont know, even in wars, Muslims are not allowed to harm people who are taking shelters in churches or any other place of worship, what more actually burning the place of worship. This stupid action actually justifies the fear that people have about Islam like this twisted hater here who keep on damning the Muslims.

My argument is simple, what if we are on their side, our mosque is burned to the ground? Would we retaliate or we simply forgive those who did it? It is not that I'm turning my back on Islam or something like that. I must admit that I'm quite uncomfortable with the court's decision. But we cant act like some medieval savages and do as we like. Jihad, you might say. No Christians are doing any physical harm to the Muslims, at least not in Malaysia, so why must we start burning places of worship? There are better ways to jihad as jihad doesnt mean picking up guns. We can jihad by strengthening our faith, our economy, our education. That is how a modern Muslim should do their jihad. But if there are proofs that the Christians are misusing the word Allah and putting it to some deities, actions should be taken, appropriate actions that are in accordance to law. I just hope that no violence should occur because of this. Come to my house and I can show you a Christian centre in front of my neighbourhood's mosque. No cases of people converting people of other religion as yet here. Like I said before, there is no such thing as a bad religion, only bad followers.


  1. 501% agreed senior!
    this short-minded people always thinks in an extreme ways...
    otak letak kt lutut ka?

  2. ko dah tulis semua yang bermain kat kepala aku. aku nak saman ko plagiarize otak aku. kita jumpa kat court. aku nak mintak court haramkan penggunaan otak aku kat dalam kepala ko. hehehehe.

  3. ijan: nak wat camne..dari dulu sehati sejiwa...haha

  4. what is there to a name? well in this case it is not merely a name, but a Name. a Name with a thousands of attributes contained in that one Name. when the Name is said, it and of itself is a prayer and should invoke respect and fear. it is by no means comparable to the nicknames you have in high school. :P

    reading this raised a few questions: is it too ridonkulous to believe that they were not just translating, that there was something else between the lines? what about those with no religion (as there are many in the east Msia) and converting to Christianity thinking its the same as Islam...thats their fault so to heck with them too? i dont know, that doesnt sound right to me.

    with this said I am in no way advocating the burning of churches. this is JMHO. :)

  5. reen: im not comparing or not worthy.hehe.its just a metaphor,whatever you call something,it wont change into some other thing just because the difference in will just stay the same like it already is.sorry for being too metaphoric :p not everything is about conspiracy or anything.if i want to talk about conspiracy,i can talk about attempts to divert people's attention from other economical problems that we are facing right now by fanning about this issue. but i dont,as im too tired of conspiracy. our Prophet Muhammad's father name is Abdullah, which means The Servant of Allah yet he didnt take up Islam before Prophet Muhammad was born,obviously. that shows that the non-Muslims have been calling their God as Allah too,for many years before Islam. like Dr Asri said, "Jikalaulah sebutan nama tuhan itulah yang menentukan akidah Islam, tentulah golongan musyrikin Mekah tidak memerlukan akidah yang dibawa oleh Nabi s.a.w. Mereka telah sekian lama memanggil tuhan dengan panggilan Allah." We can continue to dabble on this and let our country to go haywired or we can strive and show the non-Muslims that our faith is not fragile like some other people would like to point is, if they want to use it during their religious process,then go on.I dont even know of anyone who is Muslim reading The Herald anyway. show me the numbers stating how many Muslim have been converted to Christian because of that and I can show you how many who arent. But if they think that they can misuse the name , then they are definitely misled as I would be on the frontline to object to that. :)