The Islamic supremacist attempt in Malaysia to prevent Christians from using the word “Allah” for the God of the Bible — as Arabic-speaking Christians have done since pre-Islamic times — has just taken a new twist: for the first time, Islamic scholars are saying that “Allah” is not properly translated “God” — something that their Western counterparts insist upon. Will Islamic scholars in the U.S. and Europe side with the Malaysian Christians and remonstrate with these scholars? What do you think?
“Allah Not An Accurate Translation For God, Say Islamic Experts,” from Bernama, January 21:
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 (Bernama) — Seven Islamic experts who attended a forum organised by the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) here Thursday to discuss the use of the word “Allah” as a replacement for God, were of the view that the translation was not accurate.
The seven experts were Assoc Prof Dr Kamar Oniah (rpt Oniah) Kamaruzzaman from the Usuluddin and Comparative Religion Studies Department of the Interational Islamic University Malaysia; Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin, the Religious Advisor to the Prime Minister; PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang; Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) supreme council member Dr Mohd Nur Manuty; former Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin; IKIM’s Humanities and Economic Studies Centre director Dr Mohd Sani Badron and Md Asham Ahmad, a Fellow at IKIM’s Syariah and Law Studies Centre.
The forum entitled “Terjemahan God Sebagai Allah: Mengenalpasti Punca Permasalahan dan Penyelesaiannya” (Translating God as Allah: Identifying the Cause of Problems and Finding Solutions) lasted some eight hours from 8.30am and was chaired by IKIM director-general Datuk Nik Mustapha Nik Hassan.
IKIM president Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, at a press conference afterwards, said the forum also surmised that the translation of Allah as God was factually wrong because it contradicted the concept of God as espoused by Islam in Malaysia….
“The forum also stressed on the understanding and context of the use of Allah in the Quran, touched on Islamic jurisprudence on the use of the word Allah by religions and cultures other than Islam as well as reach a unity in thinking among Islamic experts and leaders,” he said….
“In today’s discussion, we all agreed that all Malaysians must respect and uphold the Constitution of Malaysia, which allows freedom of religion to be practiced in peace and harmony,” he added.
…as long as non-Muslims know their place.