Brothers, this blogger has to again talk about this controversial subject. In reality, if those people understand Islam - the non-Muslims and the atheists alike as well as the Muslims - there is no controversy! But, in Malaysia to-day because of the weakness of the ruling Barisan Nasional, which control the government, and absence of the MCA or Chinese representation in the government, the weaknesses of UMNO leaderships in particular and the Malays in general, provides fertile grounds for non-Malays to demand more than what they have got since 1955 - the day the British gave Peninsular Malaysia the 'yes' to Independence. Independence was got thru compromises among leaders of the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians - on the premise that Malaysia now, and Malaya then, will not survive independence if the Malays rules Malaysia alone, or the British will not accord Malaya, then independence, and the amalgamation of Sabah and Sarawak to form Malaysia then. Tunku Abdul Rahman was a son of the Sultan of Kedah then. But, he will not accent Kedah's throne and become the Sultan of Kedah, because he was not in line for the throne. Being the Prime Minister was a much better option for him, then, he could be above what he missed and become more powerful than a mere monarch. That was the reality of underlying scenario conditioning events leading to Malaysia's craving for Independence without spilling of anyone's blood. The Malays were proud, and thought that they were smarter than their brethren in Indonesia who had to fight for Independence under Sukarno and the Philippines under Jose Rizal. But the price is compromises.
When national elections were held, again there is the compromise between the Malaysia (represented by UMNO), the Chines (represented by MCA), the Indians (represented by MIC) and the various ethnic-based parties in Sarawak and Sabah after 1963. The Chinese and the Indians were never happy with Malaya or Malaysia, because to them they are second-class citizens, as the Malays have more privileges than them, eg. public service employment quota biased for the Malays. The Chinese and the Indians considered themselves second-class citizens when they were forced to accept Islam as the 'official' religion of Malaysia. And, because of government support for Islam as the official national religion, makes it worst. They considered themselves second-class citizens when Malay language is made the 'official' language of Malaysia, and their ethnic languages are not given support. Hence, the lack of support by many Chinese and Indians on mastering Malay as the language, the preference of Chinese and Indians for English, and the preference of employers (who are mostly Chinese or Indians) in the private sector to prefer candidates with competency in English as their employees, and promoting these on the argument that global business in conducted in English - the need for mastery of English as the language of commerce, banking, and finance in global business etc, and the move by Chinese and Indian NGOs demanding more Chinese and Indian so-called national-type schools - teaching in their vernacular languages.
Now, that is what is in the minds of the Chinese and the Indians. Now come the Bumiputera ethnic groups in Sabah and Sarawak, where the Malays are the minority. In fact in Sarawak, the privileged Bumiputera group is the Melanaus, the CM of Sarawak is from this ethnic grouping. The Melanaus never consider themselves as Malays. Hence, UMNO is not accepted in the state.
That is the political and ethnic socio-cultural and political scenario. When Sabah and Sarawak were brought in with Malaya to form Malaysia, the situation with regard to religion and language become more critical, as the different Bumiputera ethnic groups in Sabah and Sarawak demanded more socio-cultural and political privileges to be safeguarded in Malaysia. This includes the importation of the Malay version of the Bible into Sabah and Sarawak and permission to the Kadazan-Dusun's ethnic group to print their version of the Bible in the their language. While it is understandable that they should be given freedom to practice their culture and customs as well as religion, but the mistake was made that, they were allowed to import the Indonesian-language version of the Bible - the al-Kitab - which uses the word 'Allah' to refer to their god. admitted into Malaysia. Hence, the Malaysian Christian demand that they not only they be allowed without restriction to import al-Kitab, the wanted to use without restriction the word 'Allah' in their daily teachings and sermonts and any publicationas, and such ublications should not restricted from circulation! That is the crux of the whole issue and controversies surrounding the word 'Allah'.
Brothers, the government made so many mistakes in dealing with this issue and controversies. Firstly, when the al-Kitab - the Indonesian version 0f the Bible - was allowed to be brought in into Sabah and Sarawak, the government did not thoroughly check on the fact that Indonesian Christians' translation of the words 'Lord', 'The Holy Ghost' etc, in the al-Kitab should not be 'Allah'. because 'Allah' connotes one and only meaning and reference as the Muslims' God 'Allah'. He has neither a wife, nor relatives nor son or daughters, etc.
Readers of this blog have been enlightened that 'Allah' refers to the one and only God that mankind must accept. This is because Allah himself said so in his Book - The al-Quran (Verse 56: az-Zariat). No one has the right to smear His name by labeling, for example, Christians' gods as 'Allah', when Christian gods is three-in-one or Three - the Trinity of God in Christianity. In fact, anybody who understood the al-Quran, he/she knows that Allah (a.w) is man's only god from the time of the first human being, Adam (a.s), until the day of Judgement or Resurrection. Only that, man over series of civilization refused to acknowledge this despite the teachings and the reminder by Allah's apostles such as Nuh (a.s) (Noah), Hud, Musa (Moses), Ibrahim (a.s) (Abraham), Yaakub (a.s) (Jacob), Ismail (a.s), Isa (a.s) (Jesus) and Muhammad (s.a.w). Human failure is to accept the fact that Allah (a.w) is the one and only God of man, since their fore fathers. But, they have to accept the fact that He is the one and only God - solo, not three nor many, or taken as the Overall God of the many, as believed by the Chinese and Hindus. That is not true. Accordingly, no other 'gods' could be referred to as 'Allah', except Him.
Secondly, it should be understood that since the time of the expulsion of Adam (a.s) and his wife together with Satan into the world because of Adam's and Eve's transgression in Heaven, Allah (a.w) will send/appoint selected man as Messengers (Apostles) to remind them (i.e. the society that he is burned) that in the Hereafter two destinations were reserved for men and jinn, either they enter Paradise, where they enjoy life of unlimited abundance without restrictions, with rivers of fresh-water, liquor, milk and honey (the four rivers in Heaven/Paradise) for their pleasures, etc, or they enter Hell (where they will be burned in the fire, with no food to eat and water to drink, and a constant suffering, without ending), depending on what they choose in their worldly life. If man opts for Islam, he/she stands a chance to enter paradise, if he/she follow the prescription of the al-Quran and as-Sunnah , particularly Verse 13: an-Nisa': Whoever obeys Allah (a.w) (i.e. follow the teachings of the al-Quran) and obey Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) (i.e. follow the prescriptions of the Prophet, i.e. as-Sunnah), will be guaranteed Paradise. This ruling applies both to Muslims as well as non-Muslims. Therefore, mankind has no option but t accept Muhammad (s.a.w) as the last Messenger of Allah (a.w). The Jews refused and the Christians refused because they considered an Arab is not at par ethnically to the caucasian! This is the mistake of those who think that superiority of race determines their position in the Hereafter!
Thirdly, Allah (a.w) when sending His Prophets will provide them with documentary support and guidance to teach their societies. Hence, Daud (a.s) (David) was given the Zabur as documentary guide. Musa (a.s) (Moses) and Harun (a.s) (Aron) were given The Taurat (Torah) to guide the Israiltes in their worldly life and religion. Then, the religion of Moses was superceded by the the teachings brought by Isa (a.s) (Jesus) hen Isa (a.s) was given The Injil (The Testaments). But, unfortunately, the Israilites, Isa's society, refurs to accept him because he was born without a father. That was the mistake of Isa's followers, the Christians of today, elevating Isa (a.s) to be son of God, and Mariam, Isa's mother, as the other God! Now, mankind refuse to accept Muhammad (s.a.w) as Allah's Messenger, they refuse to accept the al-Quran as Allah's Book of Guidance not unlike The Taurat and The Injil given to Musa (a.s) and Isa (a.s) respectively. Only that the Allah's religion evolves over time to suit human civilization and worldly needs. With Muhammad (s.a.w) and the al-Quran, Allah (a.w) has perfected the religion for mankind and hence completes His commands to mankind, and these commands remain unchanged until the end of the world comes (Holocaust). Therefore, it should be understood that the al-Quran is Allah's Book of Guidance for mankind, no matter their ethnic origins they belong to and during what time they live etc.
Fourthly, it should be understood that whoever refuses to accept the oneness of Allah (a.w), that Islam is the religion that Allah (a.w) command mankind to accept, that Muhamamd (s.a.w) should be recognized as the Last Messenger/Apostle of Allah (a.w) and that the al-Quran is Allah's Book of Guidance for mankind at all time, and that there is no dichotomy between what is the prescription of worldly and what is the prescription for the Hereafter. Or, that there is no such thing a dividing line between 'secularism' and 'religion', then the disbelievers are not entitled to use 'Allah' to refer to their god or gods. This applies to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Islam is a way of life prescribed by Allah (a.w) to mankind since the time od Adam (a.s), the first human being, until the occurrence of Doomsday - there is no dividing line between what is worldly and what is religious. Whatever one does and say in life has implications and ramifications to one's situation and destiny in the Hereafter, because life is meant to be a journey, and the final destination is always the Hereafter. Whatever one does in life determines one's destiny in the Hereafter. If a man/woman follows the commands of Verse 13: an-Nisa', one is guarantee Heaven or Paradise. But, if a man/woman refuse, then in according with Allah's prescription in Verse 14: an-Nisa', one is guaranteed life in Hell or Hellfire!
And, be mindful that, accepting Verse 13: an-Nisa' means accepting Muhammad (s.a.w) as Allah's Messenger and accepting the al-Quran as Allah's Book of Guidance for mankind, and doing what Allah (a.w) and His Prophet command and defending the purity of Islam and the good name of Allah (a.w), especially refraining from agreeing to the use of 'Allah' to be used by the Christians or any groups to refer to their god or gods.
Brother, unfortunately today many Muslims were themselves confused and misdirected themselves in their understanding of Islam such that they are very willing to compromise Allah (a.w) believing erroneously that Islam is open, and Allah (a.w) is God for all. You can read what Azrul Mohd Khalib wrote in The Malay Mail entitled 'Keep the faith, brothers and sisters' on 18 January 2014 and what Halimah Mohd Said said in 'Peace in the name of God', the article she wrote in The Sun today (3 February 2014). Both of them are representative of 'modern' but confused and ignorant Malays! They are modern because they interpret Islam without knowledge of the al-Quran and as-Sunnah. He gave views as if he knows what Islam is all about or he tries to justify the Christians' demands within what little knowledge he had of Islam. Many among the Malays are trying to justify the need to allow Chritians to use the word 'Allah' to refer to their god - namely 'Father', 'The Lord', 'God Almighty' and whatever!
Agreed, Islam is open to all but Islamic aqidah and syariat are not subject to man's or human fancy. To be a true Muslim one has to accept all that is said and prescribed in the al-Quran and the as-Sunnah. 'Allah' is a name open for reference only to hose who accept Islam. It was unfortunate that Indonesian Christians have imported the word 'Allah' to refer to the God in the al-Kitab. But, that does not provide a license to anyone to make use of a mistake made by those outside Malaysia. Errors are not means to justify ends. It does not matter whether the al-Kitab has been used by Christian in the Nusantara for 2 or more decades! Wrongs can never be rights. They argue for conciliation and compromises, but Allah (a.w) commands that Islam must stand above all other religions, because Islam is Allah's religion, which He prescribed for Muslims. Islam cannot be equated to or laid side by side to other man-made religion. To agree to these inter-religious or inter-faith forum or dialogue or whatever platform for consultations and discussions, is tantamount to admitting that Islam and other religions are similar, religions are all good. Ultimately, agreeing to allow non-Muslims to call their many gods as 'Allah'! But, Islam is more than just good. Islam is the ticket to Paradise. Agreeing to relegate the position of Islam to be at par with other religions is to reject one dimension of the prescription of the al-Quran. Those who do so automatically expelled from the faith, wal iya zubillah.
Brothers, both Azrul and Halimah should seek Allah's forgiveness for being foolish enough to relegate Islam to be so in their writing. Halimah should be reminded that she sins daily and every second of the day because she allows her photo which reveals her aurat to be published in the Sun every time she writes! Women who reveals her aurat - parts of her body except her face and palms of her hand, will be hanged by their hair in Hell. Hence, be reminded before it is too late.