If Allah Is A God in Islam, Can Christians Call Their God Allah?

If Allah is the Islamic God then, since Christians are not Muslims, could or should Christians call their God Allah?

Source - http://bit.ly/k1RvDM

Source - http://bit.ly/k1RvDM

The nomenclature of God

IF YOU LOOK UP THE WORD “ALLAH” IN ANY ENGLISH DICTIONARY , you will find this definition:

Allah noun the name of God among Muslims; or Allah n. the principle Muslim name for God.

In fact all English dictionaries are definite about the meaning of the word Allah; it is the name of God in Islam. Surprisingly the dictionary does not say that it is an Arabic word. Actually it is not strange at all. As I have already explained before, this Arabic word has become an English word since the sixteenth century when it was spelt using the English alphabet to represent the speech sounds of the Arabic word. It is only an Arabic word if it is written in the original Arabic text as distinct from the phonetic spelling in English.

If Allah is the Islamic God then, since Christians are not Muslims, could or should Christians call their God Allah?

The answer will depend on whether, as a fact, Allah in Arabic was first coined by the founder of Islam or that this Arabic word Allah had predated Islam and had been in existence as a name for “The God” – “The” meaning “the only one of its kind”, as in “the only God” – long before Prophet Mohammed’s Call, the legendary revelation of Allah in 611 AD.  As a matter of fact, even before there was Jesus Christ, “Allah” meaning “the only God” was already a word in Arabic a Semitic language spoken by the ancient Arabs who belonged to the ethnic group of peoples known as the Semites.

Historically, therefore, the Arabic word Allah was not coined by Islam’s founder at all. According to the Bible, God made Abraham, his two sons Ishmael and Isaac and their descendants His people. Since then monotheism – a religious belief that there is only one God – was founded. The descendants of Abraham from the line of Ishmael (the Arabs) and Isaac (the Jews) worshipped the only God named Allah in Arabic and Eloah in Hebrew. In Arabic, Allah was derived from Al – Ilah meaning Al (The) + Ilah (God). In Hebrew God was Eloah with a capital E.

Muslims worship the same God that Abraham, his two sons and their descendants had first worshipped more than 2000 years before Islam was founded and more than 1500 years before Jesus Christ was born.

Before Abraham there was god and there were gods without a capital G. For example: “elohim” means “gods” in Hebrew and “ilah” means “god” in Arabic. Since Abraham, after God made him and his two sons and their descendants His people, God is called Allah in Arabic and Eloah in Hebrew and they mean “The only God”.

So that the Arabs and the Jews, and after the founding of Christianity and Islam, Christians and Muslims throughout the world worship the same God that Abraham, his two sons and their descendants first worshipped in biblical times thousands of years before there were Christians and Muslims.

Allah was the Arabic name for the only God long before Islam was founded. Abraham worshipped the only God whose name even then was Allah in Arabic and Eloah in Hebrew. Before Abraham there were also those who worshipped the only God. In biblical times English was not then spoken yet, so the Deity was not called God in English. But Arabic was already a spoken language in ancient times and Allah in Arabic was worshipped by those who believed in the only God even then.

But even in ancient times there were those who worshipped other god or gods and the true God was displeased with them (see the Quran) and they were punished. The Quran acknowledged and confirmed the biblical story of Noah (Nur), Surah 71, Abraham (Ibrahim), Surah 14 where Moses was also referred to. The Quran has also confirmed that even in the days of Noah, Abraham and Moses, Allah meaning the only God had been worshipped thousands of years before Islam was founded. That being the case, it has been established beyond peradventure that there were believers who had been worshipping Allah the only God so many thousands of years before Islam was founded in 611 AD.

Therefore, it is dishonest for those narrow-minded politicians and clerics to claim that only Muslims can use the word Allah when before Islam was founded others had been worshipping Allah, meaning the only God, for thousands of years by the Arabs and the Jews. In biblical times Allah was not worshipped by Muslims because Islam had not been founded yet.

That being so, I have often wondered why some people in our government today are so obsessed with the view that only Muslims can use the word Allah. Why should human beings prevent others from worshipping God according to their faiths by decreeing that those who worship the God of Abraham, as Christians do, are not allowed to call their God Allah? God never said His name Allah is for Malay Muslims only! God is never a racist. Only the misinformed are the racists. However, Muslims elsewhere do not mind Christians calling their God by the name Allah because God can be addressed in any language. For example, why should anyone be upset if a Chinese Christian addressed the only God as their God or Allah without using any Chinese word? For that matter, should a sensible Arab Muslim or Christian be upset when an Indian Christian addressed his only God in English or in Arabic, by calling Him God or Allah instead of using Hindi or Tamil?

The etymology of the Arabic and Hebrew languages for God

The Semites or Shemites are an ethnic group of peoples who speak a Semitic language, including the Jews and Arabs as well as the ancient Babylonians, Assyrians and Phoenicians. Of these peoples who came from the same national or cultural background only the Arabs and the Jews still exist today.

Of the Semitic or Shemitic languages that include Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Amharic, and such ancient languages as Arkadian and Phoenician, only Arabic and Hebrew are still spoken.

In the Semitic languages, God is ‘Allah’ in Arabic, ‘Eloah’ in Hebrew and ‘Elah’ in Aramaic – these words, signifying God, are being pronounced according to their phonetic spelling in English as most, if not all, of us do not speak or write any of the aforesaid Semitic languages. Why do the mentioned languages sound so much alike? They sound similar because the Arabs and the Jews belong to the same ethnic group of peoples called Semites who shared and speak the same genus of Semitic languages. By the same token  the Chinese people even though they speak different dialects like Hokkien, Cantonese, Teochew, Hakka, etc their language is written in Chinese characters which an educated Chinese can read irrespective of his spoken dialect. Similarly a scholar of any of the ancient Semitic language could decipher and read another language of the same Semitic genus.

To find out when Allah became the name of God to his people, we have to go back in time to ancient biblical history. We start with Shem who was the eldest of Noah’s three sons: see Genesis 10:21 in the Old Testament. The descendants of Shem were the Shemites or Semites, hence the name of this ethnic group of peoples. The ancient Babylonians, Assyrians and Phoenicians, including the Jews and Arabs were regarded as descendants of Shem: see The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology.

The phases of God: from making Abraham and his descendants His people to being worshipped throughout the world from the teachings of Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed

According to the Old Testament of the Bible, Abraham was the first of the patriarchs and the founder of the Hebrew people (Genesis 11 – 25). Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar who was Sarah’s maidservant, was the ancestor of 12 Arabian tribes (Genesis 21: 8 – 21; 25: 12 – 18). Isaac was the younger son of Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 17:  21 – 27).

In How to Judge the Judges I wrote, pages xxix, xxx:

Abraham was the founder of the Hebrew people. According to the Old Testament, Abram (later Abraham) at God’s call abandoned civilization, his father’s household and his people to wander in the desert as a nomad. His wife Sarai (later Sarah) had borne him no children. So Sarai took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. Hagar soon conceived with Abram’s child. But Sarai mistreated Hagar and heavy with child she ran away. According to the Old Testament, the angel of God found Hagar and told her to return to Abram and added, “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.” God also told Hagar that she shall name her son Ishmael for God has heard of her misery at the hands of Sarai. Ishmael means God hears. So Hagar bore Abram a son and he gave him the name of Ishmael. According to the Old Testament, Abram was 86 years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael. When Abram was 99 years old, God said to Abram that no longer will he be called Abram (it means exalted father); your name will be Abraham (it means father of many) for you will be the father of many nations – he will be fruitful and kings will come from him. In return, Abraham and his descendants will worship the God of Abraham who will be the God of his descendants for generations to come and the Covenant (agreement) they are to keep were; Every male among him shall be circumcised. For the generations to come every male who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in the household or bought with money from a foreigner – those who are not their offspring. Those who are not circumcised will be cut off from his people. As for Sarai, her name will be Sarah and she will be blessed and she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her. A son will be born of her. His name will be called Isaac. Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”

As for Ishmael, God said he had heard Abraham: “I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.”

And so on that very day, so the story goes in the Old Testament, Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household, and circumcised them. Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised, and his son Ishmael was 13. And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born to him by Sarah, and he was circumcised.

And at page xxxi:

So now we know that the Arabs and the Jews were descended from Ishmael and Isaac whose father was Abraham (Ibrahim); and the God of them is the same God. And God has marked them as His people by circumcision.

Those events took place some two millennia before Jesus Christ was born, and before Prophet Mohammed founded Islam some 600 years after the birth of Jesus Christ.

After Abraham, with the advent of Christianity and Islam the worship of the only God extended to worshipping Him throughout the world. Monotheism, the religion of worshipping only One God, has become a world religion.

I ask, because I am unable to understand, why our government is trying so hard to separate the inseparable, that is, the people who believe in worshipping the same God to demean another of the same faith by decreeing that Christians are not allowed to call their God Allah and desecrating their Bible just because Christians call Allah their God. But the Quran had accepted Jesus Christ as being sent by God (Allah) to deliver the teachings of Allah (God).

NH Chan, a much respected former Court of Appeal Judge, is a gavel of justice that has no hesitation in pounding on Federal Court judges with wooden desks for heads. Retired from the Judiciary to become the People’s Judge. Wrote the explosive “Judging The Judges”, now in its 2nd edition as “How To Judge The Judges”. Once famously hinted at a possible “case match” between lawyer and judge by remarking that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (see Ayer Molek Rubber Company Berhad & Ors v Insas Berhad & Anor [1995] 3 CLJ 359). We need more people like NH Chan. That is why you should buy PASOC and his book.


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NH Chan, a much respected former Court of Appeal Judge, is a gavel of justice that has no hesitation in pounding on Federal Court judges with wooden desks for heads. Retired from the Judiciary to become the People’s Judge. Wrote the explosive “Judging The Judges”, now in its 2nd edition as “How To Judge The Judges”. Once famously hinted at a possible “case match” between lawyer and judge by remarking that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (see Ayer Molek Rubber Company Berhad & Ors v Insas Berhad & Anor [1995] 3 CLJ 359). We need more people like NH Chan. That is why you should buy PASOC and his book.

Posted on 30 April 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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57 Responses to If Allah Is A God in Islam, Can Christians Call Their God Allah?

  1. Alysha

    To me, the simple reason why Christians shouldn't use the word Allah to mean Jesus Christ is because they are two separate connotations.

    The truism here is that the word is of Arabic origin. I understand it was used even during the time of the Prophet in reference to the Christian or Jewish God. That's fine. The thing is, they were Arabs who used the term much like Malaysians use 'Tuhan' as a general word for God.

    Yet we've established that Allah is the principle Muslim name for God. It is well accepted all over the world that Allah is the One God in Islam, just the way it is known that Christ (meaning the anointed one) is exclusive to Christianity despite originating from a Hebrew word.

    Why would you call Jesus Christ Allah then? With all due respect sir, I don't understand your reasoning. I see what you are trying to argue (as exemplified above), but it doesn't seem very practical to me.

    The English language has evolved and expanded (by including foreign words like Allah in a neat English dictionary) to allow us to be very specific in our meaning. At the end of the day, if someone went up to you and said he was a follower of Allah, you would know he is a Muslim.

    If you wish to use a general word for God, the way the Arabs used Allah, why not use Tuhan? It is a Malay word that every Malaysian would understand and I guarantee there would not be a misunderstanding.

    By the way, Judging the Judges was an interesting piece of work especially for us youngin law students. I will make time to read it more fully. Thank you for that

  2. Pijal

    u dont have to study all of the meanings.. Allah is not just God of muslims.. Allah is a God of all mankind, of the world, of the heaven and earth… its being stated in the FIRST chapter (surah) of Al-Quran, surah Al-Fatihah that muslims recite 17 times a day:

    "Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds"

    yes, christian can call their god Allah because their god IS Allah.. but the question is, how they believe in Allah? are christians really believe in Allah? even if they believe, did they worship Allah?

  3. arah

    Part 4

    You mentioned about Trinity.

    Did Jesus taught anything about Trinity in the Gospels or Trinity are the false teaching of Epistles of Paul?

  4. arah

    Part 3

    Jesus clearly prevent his disciples to preached the Gentiles

    Matt. 10:5 "Go not into the way of the Gentiles"

    Matt. 15:24 "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel"

    John 4:22 "Salvation is of the Jews"

    Why you follow the teaching of Jesus which are just for the lost tribe of Israel?
    'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (NIV, Mark 12:28-31).

  5. arah

    Part 2

    In the Quran clearly mentioned the true follower of Jesus ( peace be upon him) are muslim

    O ye who believe! Be ye helpers of Allah: as said Jesus the son of Mary to the Disciples, "Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?" Said the Disciples, "We are Allah's helpers!" then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved: But We gave power to those who believed against their enemies, AND THEY BECAME THE ONES THAT PREVAILED. S. 61:14.

    My question, are you Children of Israel and are you following the teaching or Jesus or the false teaching of Paul or Saul the murderer?

  6. arah

    Part 1

    My dear NH Chan.

    Thank for your research and producing excellence articles.

    Many non muslims including your goodself confused about Islam and the founder of Islam. You wrote that Islam was founded in year 611 AD and you assume that Muhammad was the founder of Islam which were both wrong.

    Islam which mean peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law.

    Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not the founder of Islam but the seal (last) of Prophets.

    "We did aforetime send messengers before thee: of them there are some whose story We have related to thee, and some whose story We have not related to thee. . ." [Al-Qur’an 40:78]

    "Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allaah, and the seal of the Prophets: and Allaah has full knowledge of all things." [Al-Qur’an 33:40] .

  7. Eric

    JAWI should recruit people with accounting skills and give them a crash course in forensic accounting. They ACTUALLY may do a better job then MACC or he Cops to curb corruption.

    A former policeman fell to his death from the 16th floor of a hotel early today when he was believed to have tried to escape officers from the Federal Territory Islamic Department (Jawi).

  8. Eric

    Out come the idiots: On this day of all days!

    Hundreds of militant Muslims stage mock funeral for Bin Laden outside U.S. embassy in London… as relatives of 7/7 terror attack victims weep at inquest just three miles away

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1384353/O

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1384353/O

  9. Eric

    Thank you, good example:

    "You are the brave few who hide behind cyber space and threaten others. What a coward"

    "You trouble rouser!"

    "I would love to see you start an Egypt act and see you and your type trampled and destroyed."

    ox·y·mor·ons. Rhetoric .

    a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”

    .

  10. malayVoice

    Eric

    You trouble rouser!

    You are the type we don't want in Malaysia

    You are the brave few who hide behind cyber space and threaten others. What a coward

    I would love to see you start an Egypt act and see you and your type trampled and destroyed.

  11. Eric

    Eyewitnesses said some 500 conservative Muslims – known as Salafists – gathered at the Coptic Saint Mena Church in the northwestern Cairo suburb demanding to take custody of the woman.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-13325

  12. Eric

    What's likely to happen in Malaysia if reason does not prevail:

    Chain Reaction 2005-2006

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annota

  13. Eric

    In the Malaysian Army

    *Dayak soldiers who are predominantly Christian are forbidden to have prayer gatherings in Army Camps for themselves and their families

    (as churches are too far from Army Camps and transportation is a challenge)

    *Dayaks are discouraged from joining the armed forces and obstacles are placed

    (tattoos are part of Iban culture, not allowed in the army)

    This is policy on the recommendations of KAGAT

    Religious Corp of the Malaysian Armed Forces
    http://maf.mod.gov.my/kagat/index.html

  14. Capt Sudhir

    This problem of religion(s)in our country was caused by the mischievous intent of one Pakistani Judge who insisted on making Malaya an Islamic Federation while drafting the constitution. Lucky for us he did not succeed fully. However the damage was done.

    — the words "That Islam is the religion of the Federation…" in our constitution are orchestrated to mislead the citizens into thinking that we are an Islamic State.

    Look at what Pakistan is today…

    Do we as Malaysians want to end up as another failed state, because of this parochial Desert Dogma? That is the question all educators (parents,teachers, and "religious" leaders included) must ask!!!!

  15. cruzeiro

    And oh- "Witness", stay focused okay.

    Please keep the faith in the sidelines for now. It is irrelevant to our Constitutional guarantees on religious freedom. In the court of law, Nobody cares what Hagar, Sarah, Abraham or even Jesus Christ did …. but they do care if your principles of justice are fought on sound legal/philosophical premise of justice.

    Just in case you didn't know …. this isn't just a "Christian" issue.

    The Sikhs are embroiled just as deep in this issue, as their scriptures (the Guru Granth Sahib) refers to God as "Allah".

    You must realize that to allow the interference of state in the affairs of other religions (besides Islam), it sets a precedent to overule the freedom of religion guaranteed in the Federal Constitution.

    Next you will get some wise guys dictating to your pastors/priest what they can and cannot do in their respective houses of worship.

  16. sam1528

    One Borneo,

    Your argument has the presupposition that the bible is correct and the Quran is not. A book that comes earlier does not mean that it is correct / accurate as the majority of scholars have attested that the bible contains irreconcilable errors.

    I have no issue with christians using Allah but is it biblically accurate for a triune god? Hebrew and arabic are sister languages. Therefore 'Allah' , 'Eloh' is monotheistic in nature. You can claim the trinity is monotheistic but that is stretching the limits with the 3 in 1 godhead.

    Back to the above said issue. The word 'trinity' is not and has never been in the bible (NT). If its not there , why equate Allah = 'trinity'? That is not biblically accurate nor sound. I think christians need to address this issue first. Are christians biblically accurate / sound when they want to address their triune god as Allah? To me this is more of a case of 'I want to use it because others are using it'.

  17. GOD promised Abraham a son when Sarah was his wife and since her pregnancy was delayed for a time of TESTING , Sarah suggested to Abraham to take her Arabian maid to bear a son for her. The FACT is that Ishmael was born on Sarah's suggestion and not on GOD'S command . Later Sarah gives birth to the PROMISED son as commanded by GOD to Abraham and Sarah. Through the PROMISED son Issac comes THE WORLD'S SAVIOUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.

    JESUS is the only one born of a virgin.

    HE spoke words that no Human being could speak and with authority.

    JESUS performed MIRACLES beyond human imagination.

    JESUS sacrificed HIS LIFE for ALL MANKIND for their SINS.

    ONLY JESUS in The entire History of the world ROSE AGAIN from THE GRAVE ALIVE and lives FOREVER MORE.

  18. cruzeiro

    Muslim_in_Malaysia on 30 April, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    From my view, the main reason why Christian community keep on pressing the Government to use the word ‘Allah’ in Bible is more towards confusing the Muslim community,

    =====================================

    Firstly, allow me to say that I don't give a Rats derriere if your view makes you see that the world is black & white & flat.

    Nor do I care if your faith says this or that.

    As agreed- I shall not preach to Muslims.

    If I do, by all means, prosecute. Meanwhile, stay in your world if you so please, and stop violating the rights of others using the excuse that some people are just stupid, okay ….

    Yeah, yeah- I'm sure the pagans deep in the interiors of Sabah & Sarawak were confused about Allah when they became Christians ….

    Oh, I forgot- Munsyi Abdullah must have been very confused and got attracted to Christianity when he translated the Bible to Malay hundred of years ago- to confuse the Muslims…. and as a result, millions were converted over the centuries.

    Yeah, yeah- there are millions of apostate Muslims who are Christians today due to the word "Allah", running around abandoning their babies, being traded off as rempit race bets (for sex) and being heroin/syabu addicts.

    Although I agree with NH Chan that "Allah" is technically an English word (since it is in the English Dictionary), I believe it is irrelevant.

    The fact remains that the Al-Kitab is in "a" Malay (which is not under the purview of DBP or the Home Ministry or Education Ministry) language- and it is published according language used for hundreds of years (in Indonesia).

    And by the way, I believe it is my right to call my God anything I want- and you have no right to say that it will confuse you because you are stupid.

    (Ya Rabbi- I never knew people can be that stupid!!)

    Just be aware that should anyone propose the restriction of the Al-Kitab, they violate the Penal Code of Malaysia (Act 574)- and ignorance isn't the fault of the law.

    They should also be aware that Section 298A (7) of the Penal Code, states that-

    "It shall not be a defence to any charge under this section to assert that what the offender is charged with doing was done in any honest belief in,

    or in any honest interpretation of,

    any precept, tenet or teaching of any religion."

    With this, it is hoped that those who wish to restrict the usage of Semitic words in the holy scriptures of Non-Muslims religions and consequently restrict the distribution of the Al-Kitab to Non-Muslims, will know that such actions are unconstitutional.

  19. Capt Sudhir

    Stick to Spirituality we won't have this problem.

    Organised Religion is biggest cause of Human Sufferings. The statistics speak for themselves. Is there any one form of organised Religion that is not tainted by bloodshed? NONE!!! This itself is proof that ALL Religion are man made political doctrines.

    Religion is the only form of Human Endeavour where the blinded are led by the Blind.

    Spirituality is inside ALL of us. There you will see Allah. Jesus, Krishna, Ganesha, Yehovah, Brahman, Lakshmi, Eloi, Shiva, Shakthi and all the other names…are ONE.

  20. Dear blablabla,

    What about the word "Father"? Your father has different attributes from mine. But they're both Fathers. I can call my Father, Father still, right? That's the point about ownership. We keep emphasising on "differences" almost to the point of suggesting there's one more Maha Esa than another. In your own faith, your community's faith, you can believe that. But don't you think that it's unnecessary to insist that others cease calling their God Allah because they "clearly" have a God that's different from yours? Especially if you already acknowledge that there is some commonality in the origins of the Abrahamic faith? How do you change centuries of history and doctrine?

    In the case of your example (at the end of your paragraph) – Allah sends Adam as His messenger. I am an ancestor of Adam but my religion is Pacificism. My Holy Book, written a long time ago tells me that I am to call the God of Pacificism Allah. What am I to do? My Muslim brethren are telling me now that I cannot use the word Allah because his Allah has different attributes with no root origins in Pacificism. You mean I have to give up the entire doctrine of my faith because my peers tell me to? Because essentially that's what is being suggested.

    Believe what you will within your sphere. Let others believe what they will in theirs. By all means, share your concerns but at the same time, just as you would hope that others will understand your perspective, others are also hoping the same of you. And if it becomes an endless debate, that's ok also. Because at the end of the day, on this matter, within the context of this debate, God, whatever His name may be, has the final say.

  21. blablabla~

    Adam,

    With all due respect, it is not disputed that word Allah have been used for much longer than the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). If i may re-quote my point above:

    "In fact Islam conveyed by Muhammad (peace be upon him)long time ago is a continuance of faith that has been embraced not only by Abraham, but any other prophet mentioned by Al-Qur’an and Injil(original testament before it has been changed into bible) for instance David, Noah, Adam and the list goes on."

    And it is important to stress here that this is not an issue of ownership of word 'Allah'. That is why it is no point to track who's the first one use the word 'Allah'. It is impossible to do so since Allah is existing without a beginning not even an ending unless we might end up to an endless debate. This is not an issue to determine an ownership of land by tracking who's the first one stepping his feet on the disputed land. Or can you accept when a Muslim merely argues that since Islam is the one who is most consistent and persistent since the ancient time in using the word 'Allah', then the ownership is belong to Muslims. Of course you might say it is a weak argument!

    This is an issue of using a correct word for a correct subject. How can you use the word 'Allah' when you are actually not referring to the actual attributes of HIM. And of course, because of that factor, it is impossible for Christians to referring Allah with the highest possible praise, just as Muslim do.

    Please consider this: when Allah is the one who send Adam as a messenger, is it reasonable to allow any people who is not worshiping Allah, to call what he is worshiping as Allah, just because Adam is his ancestors too, and that Adam is the one who's the first using the word 'Allah"??

  22. Adam

    Blablabla…

    It is not out of the blue that the Christians in East Malaysia are using the word Allah. They have been using the word for centuries and the Arab Christians have also used the word or its pronunciation for much longer than the time of your Prophet.

    Just because the Muslims have used it as a proper name, it does not mean they can claim ownership. Even the Arabic equivalent of the word could not be claimed by Muslims too as the Arab Christians and others have also been using it.

    It is impossible to ban any word for that matter. The most Muslims could do is to appeal for others to use the word with reverence and not with disrespect. In this respect, the Christians have been calling Allah with the highest possible praise and reverence, just as Muslims do.

  23. blablabla~

    Christian does not embrace the concept of ONENESS of God, we all know the infamous concept of trinity. What so big if Christians HAVE been using Allah for so many many years especially for the BM speaking Christian in Sabah and Sarawaks?? Islam (I would rather not to say 'using')calls its followers to abide by and believe in Allah for many many CENTURIES, and not only to worship HIM per se but also to follow HIS rule and avoid what HE forbids, in particular Al-Qur'an and As-Sunnah.

    And please this is not a 1 Malaysia issue, it doesn't mean that if we uphold 1Malaysia motto we can diminish the border of religons??what christians might feel if Hindus named one of their elephant-resembled idol after jesus??

  24. blablabla~

    Dear Lisa Ng,
    It is never my intention to force anyone to believe what I am believing. Regarding the word ‘father’. Yes, everyone has their own father, but everyone only has one God, so you would only call your God right when you are actually referring to him. Because, He is ONE.

    Regarding the faith that conveyed by Abraham, I never use the phrase of “some commonality”. I said “continuance of faith” which means that Abraham and Muhammad, and even Adam conveyed the very similar faith i.e to believe in Allah, the one and only. To be clear enough, it is the SAME Allah that they were referring to. That’s is why all other prophets are also mentioned in Al-Qur’an (referring to NH Chan’s last para and gerrytan’s comment).

    Regarding your pacifism faith, it is up to you to freely practising your own faith, no one can stop you from doing that with no doubt at all. It is just a responsibility and a duty for a Muslim to deliver the truth to others who yet to get it, but the issue of whether you want to giving your faith up or not is totally up to you.

    Regarding that God has the final say, I am totally agree with you. Wallahu’alam.

  25. blablabla~

    John Ling,
    I believe in those stated freedoms. I also believe that all Malaysians should have the right to call their god whatever they please without being threatened with intimidation or violence as long as it is not contravene with their own religion and as long as it does not intervene with other religion’s welfare. But, i believe that there are more significant factors that we shoul care of which are contributing to a ‘fully developed country’ rather than creating such a confusing issue that can cause a chaos within that country itself.

    enough on issue of 1Malaysia, freedom of rights or whatever issues that are out of topic. i would appreciate if none of these been brought up anymore.

  26. And please this is not a 1 Malaysia issue, it doesn’t mean that if we uphold 1Malaysia motto we can diminish the border of religons??what christians might feel if Hindus named one of their elephant-resembled idol after jesus??

    It doesn’t matter what Christians think. Or Muslims. Or Hindus. Or Buddhists. Or any one religion.

    What truly matters is that all Malaysians should have the right to call their god whatever they please without being threatened with intimidation or violence.

    If Malaysia wants to become a fully developed country, it must practice the four freedoms:

    (1) Freedom of speech
    (2) Freedom of worship
    (3) Freedom from want
    (4) Freedom from fear

    Anything less, and you’ll just continue to be stuck in the Third World.

  27. blablabla~

    not only for many many CENTURIES, but it is also applicable to the whole nations all over the world, no matter what language speaking are they, be it BM, arabic, BI, chinese, french in condition that you are referring to the one and similar.

  28. malayVoice

    “If Allah Is A God in Islam, Can Christians Call Their God Allah?”

    Not sure if this is the title chosen by Chan or that implanted by ‘loyarburok’

    To title this piece of rubbish by Chan as “Allah is A God in Islam” is most annoying and anti-Islam.

    If this is the stand of ‘loyarburuk’, then it is most anti-Islamic. I pray you are not!

    In Islam there is only ONE GOD, Allah. Allah is God, not a God as you have preferred or the bigoted Chan has chosen to.

  29. AMEN to that Capt Sudhir.

  30. Capt Sudhir

    Let us then follow this babble to it's natural cliffhanger —-

    Abrah'm is actually the name of BrahmA – The Creator as in ancient Vedic Scriptures…. (It is actually from the root Sanskrit word Brahm (the primordial energy) BrahmA (primordial matter) BrahmAn (primordial Being)

    Because all Semitite script is written from right to left it becomes Abrah'm.

    Semitite itself is a corruption of the Saivite.

    How now? Can we stop all this nonsense. Agree that no matter what word we use to describe the Supreme Consciousness, it is still ONE. The beginning, middle and end. We all live in that consciousness. Some realise it, some are still trying and some just are blind.

  31. blablabla~

    we used to hear that 'a counsel is trying to mislead the court', but we are not suppose to expect any from a former Court of Appeal judge…

    The present case(if i may use so) obviously is nothing to do with the ownership of the word 'Allah'. It is all about 'put a right thing in its place, the place where it is belong.'That's all.

    I'm appreciate the historical part on the origins of Jews and Arab, but why track the family origin only up to Abraham?? Dont you realize that we are all come from one origin i.e from Adam and Eve?? That's mean that all Jews, Arabs, Malay, French, English, Chinese, Japanese and whatever race existed on this planet are from one origin!! My point here is that why on earth you want to use the race origin as your point to justify that the word 'Allah' can also be used by Christian. There is no need of that. It has been brought up only either because of your research is not good enough or that you are desperate to hide some points just to justify your stand.

    We all know that Abraham worship the same God that Muslims nowadays worship. It is not a discovery of the century!! In fact Islam conveyed by Muhammad (peace be upon him)long time ago is a continuance of faith that has been embraced not only by Abraham, but any other prophet mentioned by Al-Qur'an and Injil(original testament before it has been changed into bible) for instance David, Noah, Adam and the list goes on.

    Back to my first point, this is all about putting a right thing into its proper place. Arguing that you can worship anything and call it as 'Allah' is a ridiculous argument. Why from out of blue you want to call whatever you worship as Allah?? Why we are not calling a church as a mosque and vice versa? The answer is simple, it is because it is not a proper name or the right name to be called. If not, why the hell we all got names?? Unless you are a Muslim, or you are a believers that hold to a faith that comes from the teaching of other prophet that there is no God except Allah, the one and only. Then you can call your God as Allah, because it is Him that you are worshiping.

    • Peekay47

      I would like to agree with you that God (the Almighty) used to be called by different names by different groups. As an example, some called their father as "dad" or "daddy" or plain "father" or "papa".

  32. NB

    Christians do not want to use the word Allah. They HAVE been using Allah for many many many years especially for the BM speaking Christians in Sabah and Sarawak.

    Haih..some people really like to keep people disunited despite preaching 1Malaysia.

  33. One Borneo

    Dear Adam,

    Its difficult to bury the hachet and strive for peace if there is no genuine willingness & problem is further compounded by superiority mentality from one such as Muslim_in_Malaysia. The way he responded to this well written article generally reflects the mentality of these people. They were taught not to use their brain but to submit to whatever thats being taught to them without quetioning. The evidence of Allah's existence is all around us as demonstrated to us in the creation of this wonderful universe and sustaining it. Allah is so great and wihout limit that it is impossible to know all of his greatness with our brain that He created. But whatever that is NECESSARY for us to know about Allah, He had inbuilt that capacity within us so that we might use His given capacity to seek and know Him from our own willingness of heart, not by religious compulsion. He is not the small and inferior allah that is afraid of hard and genuine questioning. Only when one is willing to look at all the facts we can look forward to an amicable solution to the matter.they will never want to do that because the facts that presented will ceuble thier belief system and destroy their political survival. The Bible is a compilation 66 books of historical record or facts of Allah's dealing with people from the first man Adam(the first to sin against Allah) to Jesus Christ (Messiah)or Isa Al Masih (the man who died for man's sin). These books were written over a period of 1600 years by approximately 40 different authors living in different times,cultures and countries from Egypt to Rome to Babaylon. Over these period the knowledge of Allah had spread through trading routes that passsed through Jerusalem which is stratigically located in the Middle East. The knowledge of Allah also spread through captivity to Persia like the prophet Daniel. The knowledge of Allah or at least His name was already a common thing from Persia east to Egypt south and Spain west 600 years before Islam. 600 years later after Isa Al Masih (the anointed one who saves, the fouder of Islam claimed exclusive divine revelation of Allah of which much of his so called revelation were misinformation from christian cults who existed in Arabia. That is why he was in confrontation with them when they do not subscribe to his teaching and how could they when they know the truth better even though they were cults. Like I said earlier, much of the biblical stories like the powerful deliverance of the children of Israel by Allah from slavery in Egypt were already much gossiped stories in the region including arabia by trading merchants of which the fouder of Islam is one but sadly the gossiped stories were jumbled up in his so called divine revelation. That is why they adopted the no question asked authoritarian stance pertaining to their religion because if questioning is allowed, much in their so called divine revelation will go up in smoke and there goes umno's famous tagline of championing race and religion.

  34. malayVoice

    NH Chan is indeed a very confused man. He does not seem to understand the simple semantics of language. But coming from such a learned person, it is perplexing!

    Firstly the divine word “Allah” is not English! It is most unwise and silly of his to bring about his own senile dictionary into being.

    His claims,
    “Before we all get confused, ( who is the confused one?) it is necessary to point out at the outset that the word that is spelt “Allah” is an English word because it is written in English. The word that bears the same spelling in the National Language is a copy of that word, which was first spelt in English in the sixteenth century. The English word Allah is the phonetic spelling of the Arabic word for God.( make up your mind, senile old man)”

    The word Allah is not an English word or never was.

    The term All?h is derived from a contraction of the Arabic definite article al- “the” and ?il?h “god” to al-l?h meaning “the one God” (ho theos monos). Cognates of the name “All?h” exist in other Semitic languages, including Hebrew and Aramaic.
    Biblical Hebrew mostly uses the plural form (but functional singular) Elohim. The corresponding Aramaic form is ??l?h? ???? in Biblical Aramaic and ?Alâhâ ??????? in Syriac.

    Therefore, the word Allah never has been or was used among Christians and Jews or anyone else other than the senile or little educated.

    It is totally wrong to generalise that All Jews and Christians use Allah in reference to their God. It is used only among a selective few of the Jews and Christians.

    The learned Chan is all muddling up his case when he claims that;

    1. Firstly, he claims Allah is an English word, then he says
    2. The English word Allah is the phonetic spelling of the Arabic word for God.
    3. Christians will not use the word “God” in their Malay-language Bible because God is an English word

    This is a reflection of quality and principles in allowing the senile a forum.

    One wonders how on earth he was elevated as a Judge of the Court of Appeal – surely he must have confused those around him with his verbosity.

    The so-called Malay Bible would beautifully suffice with the use of ‘TUHAN’.

  35. Adam

    yi zang,

    "Allah noun the name of God among Muslims; or Allah n. the principle Muslim name for God". This is the definition of Allah in most English dictionaries. That is why we do not use Allah in our English Bibles. We are now talking about the Malay/Indonesian Bibles and it is therefore a different situation. Trust a learned judge to look at any situation from all angles. That is why we call them learned and we call ourselves just lay people.

  36. yi zang

    IF YOU LOOK UP THE WORD “ALLAH” IN ANY ENGLISH DICTIONARY , you will find this definition:

    Allah noun the name of God among Muslims; or Allah n. the principle Muslim name for God.Yes learnered judge,you ve given the answer but you politised it by giving your shallow comment same by the church politised it.What is happening in this country, everything is being politised worsed by learnered judges,churches or religious groups,ngo and it go on and on…….. IT IS DISASTER FOR THE FOR THE COUNTRY

  37. yi zang

    yes learnered judge,pleased do notjudge by the wordALLAH only butwisely think why the church wants to use that wordALLAH; nomenclature of God

    IF YOU LOOK UP THE WORD “ALLAH” IN ANY ENGLISH DICTIONARY , you will find this definition:

    Allah noun the name of God among Muslims; or Allah n. the principle Muslim name for God.There you are the answer stated butwe like to politise every damed thing from learnered judge,religious people to corfeeshop people.what is happening in this country lah……..

  38. mh

    Has the the Almighty revealed in any form or manner specifically to his ‘Malaysian supporters’, his great displeasure at being addressed as Allah by ‘other Malaysians’? Does God mind? Does God’s name need protection by mere overzealous mortals? :)

  39. Allah, directly translated, means 'The God'. Not a god, but The God. It is the monotheistic element common to Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Baha'i faith. All originated in the Middle East and all have Arabic roots.

    But, ultimately, this issue isn't about academic argument. Because Islamic fascists will never ever back down from their fundamentalist stance, and they will never ever listen, regardless of 'evidence'.

    No, what it comes down to is individual freedom of expression. If I, for example, wanted to worship a jasmine tree and call that tree Allah, then that is my preogative and no one else's. Furthermore, if I wanted to gather a group of believers together and worship that same tree as Allah, again, that is my preogative. Our business and no one else's.

    A satirical and humourous example, to be sure, but it just goes to show you how Malaysia has gone so terribly awry. People are violently robbed in broad daylight, inflation is at an all-time high, and hundreds of thousands of Malaysians are leaving the country in a stampede, and yet all the fascists can talk about is about who has 'ownership' of the word Allah and who doesn't.

  40. gerrytan

    It's irony and mind-boggling in Bolehland when the Malay-muslims are sworn-enemies of the Israelites, yet they adopt the Jewish names such as Musa (Moses), Ibrahim (Abraham), Yakob (Jacob), Ishak (Isaac), Daud (David), Sulaiman (Solomon) , Yahya (John) …. and the rest. These are obviously Jewish names. Yet the religious zealots disallow other religions to used ALLAH. What a shame!

    • hasif

      4 ur information, all those name r our prophet, its all stated in Quran, u should do research b4 comment .. dont make me laugh with ur stupidity… hahaha

  41. Adam

    Here we go again. For as long as the government does not drop the issue, it will come up again and again. The AG's appeal against the High court's decision should come up for mention soon and there will be another round of such discussion then.

    In this latest article by Mr. N H Chan, it is clear that the Arabs and the Jews are indeed brethren as all have descended from Abraham/Ibrahim. The animosity between them is therefore quite puzzling. Perhaps, Mr. Chan could continue with his article which seems to be left hanging so that we could get to the bottom of this bad blood between the 3 Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. And through understanding this long running feud, all could find a way to bury the hatchet and strive for peace.

  42. I also see a Troll LOL. ikansee, what do you think I was doing? This was part of the research, you genius. kakakaka

  43. ikansee

    Justin, you handout bandit. Just do a bit of research yourself and thou shalt not be blind. You lazy bum.

  44. vi-agra

    "Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar who was Sarah’s maidservant. . . "

    This union produced the Arabs. . . . and consequently the Muslims. H-m-m-m-m. No wonder they have this servant mentality to this day. And Ibrahim to sire two kids at 99 and 100 years old is a kuat old man, eh? I reckon!

  45. D'evil

    Now, I get the connection between Eloah and Allah. It is the same but spelt differently in English. Then why not use Eloah in the bible instead Allah. It is the same anyway. Then all this stupid fight will go away, I hope.

  46. From my view, the main reason why Christian community keep on pressing the Government to use the word 'Allah' in Bible is more towards confusing the Muslim community, thus make it easier for the Christian to attract Muslim towards their religion. In fact, in Islam, we are restricted from comparing our God (Allah) with the Christian as in Islam, Allah is one, unique, and never have father or son (as what Christian claims of their God – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_in_Christianity) – as being stated under Surah Al-Ikhlas – Lam Yalid Walam Yuulad. You should understand the perspective of one God in Islam really really good before writing this article. I am not a BN supporter, however this thing should never be politicized or discussed in the first place, period. Please refer to the following clip for details: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMkBl69fSJg. Perhaps you do not believe in God (I am sorry to say so), but please do not play the word Allah by allowing it to be used by the Christian.

  47. Capt Sudhir

    So following the logic of the learned judge it is the Jews, the Christians, and other non-Muslim Semitites who have ownership of the word, long before the Johnny come lately Malay Muslims.

    If those people do not object to its usage what is the problem?

    Reality bites. The issue playing out in front of us reveals the idiosyncrasy of all organised religions.

    The first truth people must learn to accept is that all organised religion is man made.

    The second truth is all organised religion is inherently political.

    The third truth is you will never find spirituality in religion, Spirituality is inside each and every one of us.

    The fourth truth is all religions manipulate this spirituality according to the customs, thoughts and idiosyncrasies of their leaders (founders).

    The real meaning of the word Al -ilah – The Truth.

    The Truth is Great, The Truth is Great, The Truth is Great.

    Allah on the other hand is the name of a Semitite deity; That pre-dates Abraham.

  48. Always invigorating to stumble upon a passionate scholar with robust communication skills! But, my dear NH, you know and I know the real reason why UMNO has been stirring up this red herring issue – whether non-Muslims can use the name "Allah" in Malay translations of their scriptures. UMNO's power base is the rural Malay voter – largely monolingual, monocultural, living for generations beneath a coconut shell of hand-me-down ethnic identity, inherited belief system, and yet some distance to journey before they attain self-confidence in the larger geopolitical context of digital cosmopolitanism.

    Unless UMNO manages to keep its voter base in a state of ego insecurity, aggressive passivity and perpetual hostility towards all things labeled "alien"… "foreign"… "un-Malay"… the new generation is more than likely to break free of the Malays' long-entrenched feudal mindset and reject petty-minded parochialism for a far more pluralistic secularism. That would spell the end, not only of UMNO as a political party – but also the morally degraded monarchy that saddled itself leech-like upon the Malay psyche from the early 15th century onwards.

  49. So Das Ne! I was blind but now I see. Thank you for this Sir!