I have kept my silence on these issues for a few days now. Mainly because I don’t like making a hasty judgment on things that I have not much idea of. I am not ashamed to admit my ignorance.
This is a sensitive issue, no?
On this issue alone, I could make several articles like the ones I did for my theory of knowledge. People from both sides of the argument have come up with many justification that the other party can shred with their own points.
If you are really fair and honest, you HAVE to reserve your judgment until you have actually read all of the justification from BOTH sides.
I was grappling with my decision even after I have read (sampai mual dan muak) all I could get my hands on with regards to this issue.
I am a GEMINI. The signs of the twins. The dual signs!
Though I am not superstitious to believe in horoscopes, I coincidentally do have one dominant trait of the gemini. I can see BOTH sides of any argument! And that’s why it’s hard for me to make a decision because I could sympathize with BOTH!
In VERY RARE cases where the argument revolves around issues that has little to do with right and wrong, I usually side with HONESTY because I hate being manipulated. What you claim as your reason for doing something must be the honest reason you did do it.
I am no psychic, but I can usually FEEL it if people are honest and sincere. Of course, since I do put a lot of weight on concrete evidence, I usually refrain from making judgment base on how I FEEL. I am not a public sentimental fool! Just private one.
But when there’s no concrete evidence to be had, I decide on my instinct!
But in cases where justifications are abundant, and evidence are plenty…I would ignore any personal inclinations. And I would not regret the decision I have made even if I was proven wrong in the future. That is because at that time, with the limitations that exist at that time, I have made the best decision I could ever make.
It’s all about method.
TWO MAIN VIEWS
There are two main point of views here.But there are many sides issues. But the most important thing we need to understand here is what is your BASIS of argument? Do you argue base on other people’s RIGHTS to use the name Allah or do you argue base on how this court ruling would AFFECT the Muslims?
1) To argue base on the rights of others to use the name of Allah.
If you are arguing base on the rights of others to use the name Allah to refer to God, I am more inclinced to side with those who say that the Jews and the Christians have just as much rights to use the name of Allah to refer to God. Please have a look at these verses in the Quran which are basically proving that once upon a time, the word ALLAH is used by non-muslims to refer to God:
- At- Taubah 9:30
- Az-Zukhruf 43: 87-88
- Al-Ankabut 29: 63
- Al Hajj 22: 40
- Al Maidhah 5 : 3
However, I can also understand the arguments of those who think that the name of Allah is the exlcusive rights of Muslims alone, especially when they are talking about the period AFTER Islamization (not just during jahiliyah) and when they are talking about the importance of language to someone’s worldview or mindset. I will simplify their argument as the following:
- Perlu dibezakan penggunaan nama Allah dari sudut bahasa yang telah wujud di zaman Jahiliyah dengan penggunaan nama Allah AFTER ISLAMIZATION. Nowadays, most part of the world have recognized that Allah is the Islamic God. The Islamization process is THAT effective. Now, it seems like we are going backward…like we are passively allowing de-islamization to occur without a fight.
- And I can understand this especially after I have read a few Malay medieval literatures (for example, Hikayat Inderaputera merupakan kitab saduran Hindu yang telah di-Islamisasikan). It’s SUCH a hard long work to Islamize a culture and a language. And now, we are going to turn back?
- To quote from a website : “Dari sudut bahasa Allah bermakna Tuhan. Ayat-ayat tersebut turun ketika Islam mula diperkenalkan sebagai proses berdialog dengan kaum musyrikin. Setelah konsep-konsep penting dalam Islam jelas dan worldview Islam terbentuk maka di sini proses Islamisasi berlaku baik terhadap bahasa, budaya dan pemikiran masyarakat Arab. Oleh kerana itu dengan mendangkalkan makna Allah maka kita telah menafikan proses Islamisasi tersebut dan kembali seolah-olah Islam belum bertapak. Memang kita boleh membuat kesimpulan tidak menjadi masalah orang bukan Islam menggunakan nama Allah kerana hal tersebut “tampak” secara literalnya wujud dalam al-Qur’an. Namun, dalam berijtihad seseorang ilmuwan tidak boleh hanya bersandarkan kepada makna literal teks atau nas tetapi perlu juga melihat kepada maqasid dan falsafah yang mendasarinya sebagaimana telah ditegaskan oleh al-Shatibi.” (look I have very little idea what the last sentence means and I have no idea who al-Shatibi is. The only reason I include that sentence even though I don’t understand it, is to benefit those who DO understand it and can hopefully clarify to my readers what the people of this point of view wish to convey)
- Language and names have a direct consequence to someone’s way of life and worldview. I quote the following message to clarify what those people of this point of view mean: ” Setiap istilah dalam semua bahasa mempunyai batas-batas makna yang sah yang mencerminkan pandangan alam tertentu, dan yang membezakan sesuatu istilah itu dengan yang lain.Persamaan yang banyak pun masih memerlukan istilah atau nama yang berbeza jika terdapat hanya satu perbezaan yang penting. Sebab itulah semua bahasa-bahasa yang tinggi mempunyai kamus. Keldai, kuda, baghal banyak persamaan tetapi terdapat perbezaan; dua manusia kembar siam juga diberi nama yang berbeza.Perkataan Allah, solat, tawhid, rasul, bahkan istilah Islam itu sendiri membawa makna yang tersendiri setelah diislamisasikan. Kalimat-kalimat ini telah menjadi bahagian penting daripada pandangan sarwa Islam (Islamic worldview). Jika ia dikaburkan maka sudah tentu akan memberi kesan kepada pemikiran dan aqidah umat Islam.”
As you can see, I present the second argument much longer than the first. Almost a very unbalanced review. Almost as though I was more in sympathy with the second view. But like I said, I am more inclined to believe the first argument; that the Christians have just as much rights to the name of Allah. To me, the verses I have included are convincing enough. We can talk about the principles of languge and culture or talk about the concept of Islamization or what nots (which are not unimportant, in fact very-very vital in the propagation of Islam) but to me if Allah does not have any problems with others using his name to refer to God, who are we to decide otherwise?
2) To argue base on the EFFECTS or the IMPLICATIONS of the court ruling.
If your argument is based on the effects of the court ruling to the akidah of Malaysian muslim, and view this as a challenge to the rights of Islam in a country where Islam is the official religion, then again I can see that the effects are alarming and would be great indeed.
- Siapa tak marah kalau kita rasa non-muslims sudah naik tocang, demand itu dan ini.
- Siapa tak risau, kalau kita rasa generasi muda muslims akan terpesong
- Siapa tak membara kalau kita rasa ini merupakan satu dakyah Kristian yang paling licik dan mahkamah seolah-olah menyokong mereka.
- Siapa tak tercabar apabila keputusan mahkamah (yang dibuat oleh hakim kafir pula tu) seolah-0lah memang sengaja nak mencabar kewibawaan orang Islam di negara ini.
Picture this coversation :
Salim yang emotional: Melampau! Orang-orang kafir ni telah naik tocang! Mencabar agama Islam.
Abu yang ketakutan: Aku risau! Takut generasi muda kita terpesong dan keliru dengan dakyah Kristian
Ahmad yang cool dan over-confident: Rilek arr korang ni. Mungkin ini satu opportuniti untuk kita berdakwah juga kepada mereka. Menunjukkan Islam ini adil kepada semua kaum. Lagipun, siapa kata orang Islam yang akan keliru. Orang Kristian pun boleh keliru juga. Silap2 haribulan, diorang yang masuk Islam. Hah, time tu baru padan muka Herald tu. It’s a fact that in the rest of the world, people recognize Allah as the Islamic God. If anyone is going to be confused, it’s going to be the Christians. Not us!
Abu yang ketakutan: Ko cakap memang pandai! Ko tahu tak berapa ramai dah orang2 Melayu yang murtad? Siapa nak bertanggungjawab kalau murtad berleluasa nanti disebabkan oleh dakyah2 Kristian ni? It’s confusing. Kita takkan tahu mana satu konsep Islam dan mana satu konsep Kristian. Bercampur aduk semuanya dan keliru!
Ahmad yang cool dan over-confident : Tu pasallah kita kena start jadi orang yang pro-active. Sampai bila kita nak takut apa yang bakal terjadi, takut dengan bayang2 sendiri. Takut tentang benda yang belum pasti. Kalau kita dah tahu orang akan confuse, kita kuatkanlah dakwah kita. Educate the muslims. Banyakkan program2 dakwah.
Abu yang ketakutan : Hang ni cakap ja pandai! Do we have the man-resource to do all that? Pernah bercakap dgn pegawai2 agama? dengan ustaz atau counsellor? Pernah ambil tahu betapa kroniknya kes2 murtad? Mampukah kita? Jangan sudah terhantuk baru terngadah!
Agh…tedious conversation! Basically, macam tu lah lebih kurangnya argument orang2 yang argue base on EFFECTS and IMPLICATIONS. They are either emotional, in fear, or too confident without knowing the real reality out there.
But somehow, I feel like this particular basis of argument is inferior to the ones which is based on rights. This to me, is an argument for the coward (if they are afraid of the effects of the court ruling to future generation) or the rash (if they are angry about the audacity of the court to challenge the religion of the Malays) or the over-confident (if they are non-chalant of the effects of the court ruling).
BASIS MANA YANG LEBIH VALID
In my humble opinion, the only basis that should matter is the one based on rights! Because rights is concrete evidence, rights is undeniable, rights is factual.
Meanwhile the arguments which were based on EFFECTS and IMPLICATIONS are emotional and would never be able to trump or deny the argument based on rights! Macam mana kita risau apa yang akan terjadi kepada generasi masa depan sekali pun…kita tidak boleh ambil hak orang lain! That’s what justice is all about!
Jadi, saya menyeru kepada semua orang yang nak argue pasal benda ni dengan orang Kristian, jangan sekali2 argue base on the effects that this court ruling would do to US! But argue based on rights!
-If you are of the opinion that they have the rights to the name of ALLAH, then say so with your own evidence and dalil!
-If you are of the opinion that they DON’T have the rights to the name of ALLAH, then say so with your own evidence and justification.
But never ever, argue based on your fear of what’s going to happen, your rashness and your over-confidence. Because you will lose!! Orang Kristian boleh senang2 cakap, “Oh, just because kau takut dan lemah untuk mengajar generasi sendiri, kau nak sekat hak kami! Adil ke gitu?”
And they would be right to say that! And you will have nothing intellectual to back you up other than quoating some akta2 bawah perlembagaan! Seperti biasa, perlembagaan kita memang memihak kepada kita. Kita memang sentiasa bergantung kepada perlembagaan untuk dapat perlindungan. Sangat pathetic! Tapi, secara universalnya, akta kita memang berat sebelah menyokong kita. Memang tidak adil pun!
Well, itu kalau nak argue dengan orang Kristian lah…just guna basis of rights no matter which side you are on. Tapi in our own private time, when we are just discussing among Muslims and not arguing with the non-muslims, then we have to recognize that INDEED this court ruling is dangerous to us. And it’s time we start thinking and do SOMETHING about it!
Yes, I am of the opinion that the Christians have the rights to the usage of the name Allah. However, that doesn’t mean I am complacent and do not recognize the danger of it all.
I have analyzed the adavantage and disadvantage of the court ruling to us, Muslims in Malaysia:
-Seperti Ahmad yang over confident itu, I believe that muslims are not the only ones who can be confused! Come one! The WHOLE wide world say Allah is the Islamic God. Don’t you think this can be dangerous to the future generation of Christians as well? It is so very likely that they are going to face with a MUCH more major confusion than us.
-This is a MAJOR opportunity for dakwah! Yes, I know I said Christians have the rights to the name ALLAH, but that doesn’t mean I credit their cunning-ness and dishonesty! We KNOW why they insist to use Allah… it has nothing to do with wanting to claim their rights. I am not that naive! We KNOW their hidden agenda. But their plan may just backfire when more and more Christians become curious about why now God is referred as ALLAH when the whole world recognize Allah is the Islamic God. Curiosity is a powerful thing, and they will start researching, insya Allah. People have come to Islam with less significant prompt than this!
-We would have shown to the world that Islam is indeed just and fair and takes care of everybody’s rights based on the principle of truth.
-The Muslims can also be confused. In fact the rate of murtad is alarming. We may not have the man power to triple our propagation activities.
-Secondly, they can be confused.
-Thirdly, they can be confused
(you get the idea! That is the ONLY major disadvantage)
-Fourthly, they might start using the name of Allah in their crosses and their statues and their shirts! (however I undertsand that the court ruling is only limited to the Herald publication. I am not sure whether they are given the rights to use the name ALLAH in any other way or any other publication or printings. Please inform me if anyone knows).
Education and Islamic Propagation are the keys here! We need to make use of all tools of dakwah from now on! Sebenarnya Muslim dah lama confused. Tak payah tunggu isu nama Allah ni!
Dulu, aku pun confused! Cuma tak murtad saja! Siapa yang tak pergi sekolah agama atau datang daripada family yang kurang beragama (x faham akidah walaupun amalan dalam rukun Islam complete) betul2 YAKIN ke dengan Islam?
Being a Muslim is an intellectual journey….if you haven’t gone through the intellectual process, your Islam is just your birth inheritance which would not get you far! If you haven’t questioned and haven’t researched other religions and haven’t answered all your questions regarding the most fundamental Islamic creed, don’t bother to say you are truly going to be steadfast.
Some questions that all Muslims should know by now:
-Does God really exist? Do you really believe so or are you just behaving like a parrot repeating what your ustazah told you? If you really do believe God exists, then why?
-If God exists, do you believe that He would have sent guidance to mankind? Or do you believe he created us for His amusement and let us do whatever we please?
-If you think God has sent guidance to mankind, then, where can the guidance be found? Which religion? What are the differences between them? If you think Islam is the right religion, then why?
If you have known all these questions, the rest would be easy.
And the education is what we are lacking! As long as we lack that, we will always react defensively and always in fear of what is to come!
I urge everyone to be more creative in finding answers to your questions. The high school text books are not going to cut it! Challenge your intellect. Start reading International Islamic books. Start with Ahmed Deedat’s THE CHOICE….I can get the hardcover version for 5 dollars in Australia. Start with Harun Yahya’s THE DECEIT OF EVOLUTION! Both of these figures give scientific facts as well as convincing arguments to strengthen your faith…until insya Allah your belief is no longer weakened by bouts of doubts which you try to suppress every now and then.
There are so many You Tube resources of great public speakers:
-Dr. Zakir Naik
-Brother Nouman Ali Khan
-The Deen Show
-Sheikh Khalid Yasin
Start being proactive NOW before it’s too late!
On a last note, this post has nothing to do with politics! I am happy to see that MOST people have been supporting a particular view with no regards to their political aspirations. Before deciding to write on this, I have read the writings of the usual ‘berkecuali and atas pagar’ personalities like Mahaguru58, Zulkifli Noordin, Dr. MAZA, and some other websites which discuss this issue in an academic point of view…they all have different point of views and worth the read. I came to my decision after having read a lot of sources.
I just would like to remind those who are actually sooo pro-UMNO or sooo hangit PAS, or sooo pro-Anwar, to stop arguing just to champion your politics! People can tell whether or not you are actually arguing for the religion or for your own political agenda, regardless of which sides you are on. For example, Zulkifli Noordin and Dr. MAZA seems to have different point of views, but I don’t doubt that they are both sincere. And Mahaguru58 has always been berkecuali…and this time he is against the usage of the name Allah by the Christians, and I don’t doubt that his opinion has no political agenda too.
What I mean is, it does NOT matter to me what you choose to support, but at least decide it HONESTLY!
P/S: I abhorr hypocrisy and dishonesty of any kind! To the Christians who insist to use the word Allah to refer to God in the Christian religion, let me tell you that I, for one, do not deny you the rights you claim is your main reason you want it so. You can use the rights however you like. All I question is the pretentious manner in which you are trying to disguise your agenda. Frankly speaking, the disgust I felt towards your method of deception is nauseating!