Friday, March 09, 2007

The name of God

Over at malaysiakini, for the last week or so or even longer, there has been a ding dong argument over the use of Allah or Tuhan for non-Muslim reference to God.

I suppose malaysiakini must have received hundreds, if not thousands of letters on the subject to continue that debate. Nothing conclusive of course came out of the argument but then how can such a topic be ever conclusive, apart from my personal recall that I once saw an Islamic book (in English) titled ’99 names of Allah’.

What I have sensed from the debate has been a reluctance (nay, even refusal) by some Malaysian Muslims to allow non-Muslims to refer to their (non-Muslim) God as Allah, whilst the other party insist that it’s OK, drawing on examples from Arabic and Indonesian sources.

Does it matter? Does Someone Divine and Omniscient care what you call Him or as Western women nowadays insist, Her?

Him & Her? Whoa, that’s the start of another debate.


  1. it's ironic for someone like me do to a comment on this.. well muslim, non-muslim, agnostics ... who can't get over the subject which name use or who is right.. who is the infidel or who is not..they are not even sure if there is even a got who exist..

    i just it the same for my name?

  2. haha, ktemoc, may be it does not matter to God what His/Her name is called, but I can sense that it did bother you though :P This is your second post regarding to that matter already ;)
    And IMHO, freedom of speech includes freedom of uttering the most nonsense thing you have ever heard, regardless of its utility and functions. Of course, your poison could be my meat :)

  3. Religious debates are always retarded.

  4. I think it matters. The Christians would love to be able to use the term Allah so that they can more easily convert unsuspecting and naive Muslims.

    On the other hand naive Muslims know that their proselytizing campaigns are not as good as the Christians, hence their insistence on keeping the name copyrighted.

  5. to me it doesn't matter at all. what's in a name?...esp one for almighty divine being? esp. if one believe there is only one god? there is only one god so whatever name he (er... or she) is call, s/he will still be god.

    anyway, the word 'god' is only one - god! so why can't it be that in bahasa malaysia it be only one word for god - the one same word for all religions.

  6. Zeus - that's exactly the argument used by the many Malaysian Muslims, who are constantly screaming "under threat, under threat"...

    IMHO, it matters not by what name one calls upon HIM. Call him RALPH, if that's what one's more comfortable with. What's more important is one's faith in the one God, and that it is HE that's called upon.

    (Gender note: the masculine has been used for the sake of simplicity. God doesn't have any gender issues).

  7. on behalf of Sharina (Internet kaput-ish), who said:

    "Malaysian Muslims are insecure about their faith. The moment someone "threatens" their faith, they start getting defensive. It's almost as though they're in their own little bubble.

    The 99 names of Allah is nothing more than the Islamic God's characters or sifat."

  8. "The 99 names of Allah is nothing more than the Islamic God's characters or sifat."

    Whoever wrote this must be a non-muslim or a muslim who does not his/her own religion.

    The 99 names of Allah is exactly what it says, Names of Allah.

    The character of sifat of Allah is called "20 characters of Allah" or in Malay "Sifat 20".

  9. i don't understand why some muslims would INSIST that if the infidels use 'Allah' or BM as well, it might confuse the muslims.

    please lah - if that person can read the verses of a holy book, he can't read the COVER of that very same book??????

    n the most curious thing is, y would these muslims want to INSIST that other muslims r DUMB n could b EASILY CONFUSED????

    does it make any sense?!!