Thursday, October 24, 2013

Allah is not the name of God

Reza Aslan, a well-known American Muslim theologian and author of international bestseller No God But God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam joined the chorus to decry the court ruling that banned the use of the word “Allah”, saying it was a "political decision more than anything else".

"This notion that Malaysian Muslims need to be protected by the court because you can't think for yourself, you can't make decisions on your own. We are laughing at you," said Reza, speaking on BFM Radio's Evening Edition programme on Monday.

"That you can control people's ideas, their behaviour, their faith and their minds simply by trying to control the words that they use, is absurd. It is an embarrassment to a modern, constitutional, democratic and deeply Muslim state like Malaysia," he continued. 
Reza explained that the word "Allah" was merely an Arabic term for God, "any God". 

"Allah is constuction of the the word al-Ilah. That's what the word is," he had said. "Al-Ilah means 'The God'. Allah is not the name of God. Frankly, anyone who thinks that Allah is the name of God, is not just incorrect, but is going against the Quran itself. It is almost a blasphemous thought to think that Allah has a name. 

Reza added: "And this is not an interpretation. It is a historical fact". 

He dismissed the argument that allowing Christians to use the word in their worship was a threat to Malaysian Muslims. Instead he gave an illustration, referring to Arsala Jamal, the governor of Afghanistan's eastern Logar province who was killed and at least 18 worshipers injured in a bomb blast in a mosque in the provincial capital of Pul-e-Alam – allegedly by the Talibans – during prayers for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

"You want to talk about threats to Islam? That's a threat to Islam," he had made clear.

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PAS’s Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat suggested that UMNO practices what he described as a “cosmetic” form of Islam, which he said neglects the actual spirit of Islam. Little wonder that enlightened Malaysians have scant respect for UMNO!

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