Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kalimah 'Allah': What 'Allah' means

Brothers, let us continue a little more on the above subject matter. The Christians in East Malaysia - Sabah and Sarawak - insisted that they have been importing the 'al-Kitab' since time immemorial, from their Christian Bros in Indonesia.They have using this version of the bible for generations, without any restrictive hurdles placed in their freedom to practice and preach Christianity in Sabah and Sarawak. Further they argued that, the 'al-Kitab' has been using the word 'Allah' to refer to Christian gods - The Father or Mary and Jesus or the Holy Son or the virgin Mary. Indonesian Christians and now readers of the al-Kitab in Malaysia, would like to follow their brethren, to refer to Father God in the Bible as 'Allah'. It was a mistaken translation at best. The word 'Allah' was never in the The Bible whatever is its translated version. And, The Bible is not Injil, Allah's book of guidance given to Isa (a.s). Brothers in Islam, some 'modern' Malays or some educated and liberal Malays, who are better-off socioeconomically than their less exposed to Western Culture and education brothers, or because they were educated outside of Malaysia, believe that 'Allah' is the Super-God, above other gods created or believed by or revered to by other communities and religions in Malaysia and elsewhere. Ultimately they say 'Allah' is the Almighty Single God. Whilst this argument appears logical, and such reference does degrade the position of 'Allah' as the Supreme God! But unfortunately, such believe and interpretation of the word 'Allah', is faulty to the core when one looks at Islam's view of Allah (a.w). By interpreting such an argument from logical point of view, the connotations and their implications of such connotations are totally unacceptable by Islamic standards of aqidah and syariat.
Brothers, we have mentioned in this blog that Islam is the religion of Allah (a.w). It is Allah (a.w), Who created Islam as the religion and platform for man (and jinn) to submit themselves to (worship and obey) their Creator, Allah (a.w) - Verse 19: ali-Imran and Verse 3: al-Maidah. Allah (a.w) creates all things in the Heaven and Earth, and to Him all things - living or otherwise - belonged to and must serve Him. Man are servants to Allah (a.w), the Master. This is the message of Verse 56: az-Zariat: 'And, I (Allah) creates not jinn and man except to serve Me.' 'Serve' is akin to the relationship between a servant and his master - total loyalty and obedience - to do what is asked/ordered/commanded to be done/undertaken, and refrain from doing what is prohibited or disallowed. The servant must obey the master's will, wishes and expectation in all matters without fail at all time. The master has complete control over his servants for as long as he is 'owned by' the master. He is to serve his master for as long as he is under bondage of the master. He is free only when he dies. That is the servant-master-relationship. But, servitude in Islam is permanent. He is not free from godly servitude, when he dies. He is accountable to Allah (a.w) for every word he uttered and every action he took in his lifetime. He answers for it in his life and especially so in his after life. The moment he is buried he lives in a different dimension - his soul and his body are answerable to whatever he did or did not do in life. In Islam life is a journey towards man's ultimate destination, namely the Hereafter, which begins with life in the 'alam barzah' (in the graves), at the Day of Judgement (Padang Mahsyar), and later the life in the Hereafter, post-judgement day, which has no terminal date - it is forever! In the grave (alam barzah = life in the grave), all sins will be subject to punishment. There the dead is visited by two Angels - Mungkar and Nakir - who will ask him questions about Allah (a.w), Muhammad (s.a.w) and Islam, what he had done when he enjoys his worldly life. He will be shown glimp of Paradise and Hell. If he fails in answering the two Angels' questions, they will punish him or punishment will be meted against him. Both Angels will visit him everyday, until kiamat. If he passes the two Angels' questions, they will visit him daily to tell him what to expect in Paradise. He is resting in comfort until then. During Judgement Day, he will pass the final test, and will be escorted to enter Paradise by Angels.

When Doomsday/Day of Judgement (kiamat) occurs, man will be resurrected to face Allah (a.w) to be given his Book of Deeds (Kitab Catatan Amalan), which contains every word he uttered and every action he performed in life. The Book of Deeds contains all utterances and actions - the positive deeds (good words and actions) and the negative (bad words and actions) during his lifetime, from the time he attained puberty until he died or became senile. All words uttered by him and all actions undertaken by him during his lifetime were recorded by two Angels - Rakib (the one who is near) and Atid (the one who is ever present) or Kiraman (the one who is of excellent character) and Katibin (the one who always write/record) - in his Book of Deeds (Kitab Catatan Amalan). The Book will be evaluated to determine whether he is to be rewarded Hell (i.e. dwellers of Hell or the Fire) if his bads > his goods, or be rewarded with Heaven or Paradise (i.e. become dwellers of Paradise) if his goods > his bads.
In Islam a person remains a servant in life and in death. He is, nevertheless, being rewarded in life with rizq (sustenance) in various forms. His real rewards come in the Paradise. Whatever he does in life will determine where he will end-up in the Hereafter. Allah (a.w) and His Messenger (Muhammad) told every man - all generations and all ethnic/racial origins - what will happen to him in the Hereafter, and he is free to make a choice and determines his position in the Hereafter i his life. In Islam nothing is a secret. The questions were given, and the answers are provided too. One is free to chose and determine one's future (i.e. after life). Man is given two choices for final destination (i.e. life in the Hereafter), either Paradise/Heaven or Hell/Hellfire in the hereafter - Verse 7: as-Syura. But, man is told in his lifetime what deeds - words uttered and actions undertaken - that lead to either destination. Man is given the chance to voluntarily choose. Man is told of the consequences of his deeds. Hence, nothing is hidden from him. He knows what and how and all consequences of his action in life. He decides his future. It is he who determines his fate in afterlife ... To help him decides, Allah sends his Prophet to teach and lead and the al-Quran as the Guide. So, whoever decides in his life to ignore Muhammad's advice and the al-Quran and refuses Islam, he sealed his fate and opt for Hell!
If his good deeds in life when weighted in Allah's Mizan (Balance) is heavier than his bad deeds, he enjoys a life of peace and slumber in his grave (alam barzah). And when the Day of Judgement comes, he will pass the Mizan's Test. When resurrected a happy man in the Hereafter. His place is the Heaven/Paradise. In paradise, the Muslims are told of the various forms of bliss and pleasures in Paradise - in terms of sustenance, enjoyment and rewards awaiting him in Paradises - for meeting Allah's standards of conduct as an obedient servant - Verse 13: al-Isra'. The dwellers of Paradise satisfy Allah (a.w) standard of obedience and good standing in their worldly live. There are 100 levels/classes of Paradise, the lowest being those meant for Muslims who were lucky enough to pass the Mizan's test. The highest level of Paradise is the Firdaus, where its dwellers comprise all messengers and apostles of Allah (a.w), those who died in holy wars (martyrs), the obedient servants of Allah in life, the generous (who spent parts of his wealth for the good of Islam), those who prays during the wee hours of the night, great givers and helpers of the destitute, the under-privilege, etc. Those who fail the Mizan's test - Verse 14: al-Isra', are dwellers of Hell and burned in Hell forever. There is no food and drink in Hell except the thorny fruits (zakum) and boiling liquid made from pus, decaying and melted flesh and bones, deteriorating blood, etc. In contrast, the dwellers of Paradise has all kind of food and drink, including food and drink that were never dreamed or thought of by man in their lifetime. Allah (a.w) will inform the dwellers of Paradise new kinds of food and drinks, to add to their pleasure in Heaven! Hence, the Prophet (in one hadith narrated by Imam at-Termidzi) says that the 'dunia' (current worldly life) is the prison to Muslim (i.e. the believers) and the Paradise for non-Muslims (i.e. non-Believers), but the 'akhirat' (the Hereafter) that matters. Because as a Muslim, you do what is being asked of you in this worldly life, and refrain from doing what is prohibited by Allah (a.w) and His Prophet. Hence, this worldly life is akin to being in prison - you are not 100% free! But, to the non-Muslims (i.e. non-Believers) nothing restrain them from doing anything that he likes in this world, no prohibition. Even if prohibited by his religion, it is still meaningless, as Allah (a.w) does not recognize any religion except Islam in order to be rewarded with Paradise!. Hence, to non-Believers, this 'worldly life' is their Paradise! But, in the Hereafter, they have only one choice, that is Hell/Hellfire. That will be their permanent prison!

As a Muslim, he stands a chance to enter Paradise, even though he may be great sinners in life, but at some late time after he is washed and cleansed of his sins in Hell, he is eligible to enter the Paradise. Because he accepted Islam and believe in Allah (a.w) and His Prophet, he will be rewarded the lowest place in Paradise one day. To a Muslim, you are not free to do and say anything you like. All will be accounted for. When he dies, he is free from worldly services to Allah (a.w), but, he is subject to punishment or rewards in his grave depending on whether he fulfills Allah's command in his lifetime or he fails to perform and comply in his lifetimes.
Aside from the fact that Allah (a.w) is man's only God, Who merit to be obeyed, the second fundamental point for mankind to understand is that Islam is Allah's religion. - Verse 19: ali-Imran and Verse 3: al-Maidah. Allah (a.w) does not accept man's submission to be His obedient servant, in meeting His command on Verse 56: az-Zariat - if he professed a religion other than Islam! Hence, Allah (a.w) says: 'Whoever follows (i.e. accept as his religion) other than Islam, Allah (a.w) will not ever accept any of his good deeds in life, and in the Hereafter he will be a sure loser (i.e. become dwellers of Hell/Hellfire) - Verse 75: ali-Imran.
The third fundamental point for
mankind to understand fully is that Muhammad (s.a.w) is Allah's messenger to forewarn mankind that if they obey Allah's command in the al-Quran and obeys His Messenger's command in the as-Sunnah or the al-Hadith, in the Hereafter they will be dwellers of Heaven/Paradise for certain. Hence Allah's promise in Verse 13: an-Nisa'. But, one cannot declare oneself as obedient servants of Allah (a.w), if one does not accept Allah (a.w) as the one and only God and Muhammad (s.a.w) as Allah's messenger. It should be noted that a fundamental element of the obedience under Verse 13: an-Nisa' is Allah's command in Verse 7: al-Haysr, which says that: 'Whatever is brought forth to you by the Messenger take it, whatever the messenger forbids you from doing, leave it' - Hadith ad-Darami This command mandated that the Muslims must obey the Messenger without fail. In fact Allah (a.w) declares that whoever obeys the Messenger, he practically has obeyed Allah (a.w)'s command or whoever is obedient to the Messenger, he is deem to be obedient to Allah (a.w) - Verse 80: an-Nisa'. Hence, in order to be eligible to be dwellers of Paradise/Heaven, one must satisfy the following conditions: first, one must accept Allah (a.w) as one's only God and that Muhammad (s.a.w) is Allah's messenger; second, one must accept that Islam is Allah (a.w)'s religion or the religion designed by Allah (a.w) for mankind - now and forever - until the Holocaust/Doomsday/Day of Judgement; third, the al-Quran is Allah's Book of Guidance for mankind - Muslims or otherwise, and as Muslims, they have to obey Allah and the Messenger by mastering the teachings of the al-Quran and the as-Sunnah; and fourth, consequentially, Muslims must adopt the as-Sunnah, which detailed out the commands of the Allah (a.w) in the al-Quran. Hence Muslims cannot ignore the as-Sunnah or al-Hadith. Meaning, both the al-Quran and the as-Sunnah or al-Hadith are the twin guidance in Islam for mankind - the Book of Guidance to successfully follow the 'Straight Path' (Siratul Mustaqim) to Heaven/Paradise. Those who refuse anyone or all of these preconditions cannot expect to be rewarded the Heaven/Paradise., instead will be dwellers of Hell for certain, wal iya zubillah.
Therefore, the Christians - or for that matter, any body who follows a religion other than Islam, cannot be allowed or permitted to use or import the word 'Allah' to be the name for his/her god, let alone use the word 'Allah' to refer to Christians god, since the Christians believes in the Trinity of God or that Jesus is Son of God, just like the Jews who say that Uzir is god's son, or other religions which declared that the angles are god's sons and daughters etc etc! After all Allah (a.w) declared that whoever adopt a religion of other than Islam, He will not accept whatever good deeds he/she has done in life. It is of no use to his/her, since when the End of Days come, he/she wil be ushered to Hell by the angels ...

Jazakallahu khairah.

1 comment:

  1. The problem for Christians is that they translate ho theos/ton theon equivalent to generic nouns of (the god) or Al-ilah in Arabic to that of the word Allah.

    For those who try to look into the etymology of the word Allah will relate it to root ilah with tittle Al- (the) in front. However, when doing comparison of word Allah with generic nouns like ilah or Al-ilah , one will find it is not equal to those two words. For example we have titles of God like Al-awal, Al-akhir, when one wish to invoke either one as name, one drops the word Al-, by saying O Awal, or O Akhir. The same cant be applied when doing supplication towards Allah, as one will say O Allah. Not O Ilah, O Lah, nor does can one imply that such invocation is due to existence of title Al-allah. The reason is that Allah is proper/unique noun.