The Malaysian government has been fighting the Roman Catholic Church for some time over the latter’s use of the word “Allah” in its Christian literature.  The Malaysian government believes that “Allah” is the name of God in Islam, and that no other deity can have that name. There is therefore no such thing as a Christian Allah.  The Roman Catholic Church however, believes that the name “Allah” predates Islam, and is therefore not used exclusively by the Muslim religion. Indeed in the Bahasa Indonesia Bible, the name “Allah” appears as the name of God. 

Now a court in Malaysia is going to hear a separate case that may impact on this long running issue of whether “Allah” is the exclusive name of God in Islam.  The case involves 27-year old Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, a Christian from Sarawak, East Malaysia. 

On May 11, 2008 Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill flew into the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur in West Malaysia after a visit to Indonesia.  Disembarking from plane, Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill soon ran into difficulty when trying to clear customs. Malaysian Customs officials seized 3 Christian CDs that she bought from Indonesia.

But what’s so offensive about the 3 CDs?  Well Customs officials spotted the titles of these 3 CDs and found the name “Allah” on them.  The 3 CDS containing Christian teaching materials are entitled “Cara Menggunakan Kunci Kerajaan Allah”, “Cara Hidup Dalam Kerajaan Allah” and “Ibadah Yang Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah”. (Translated it means something like “The way to use the keys to the kingdom of Allah”, and, “‘True worship in the kingdom of Allah”).

Come January 12 next year, Justice Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman from High Court will hear an application by 27-year old Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill for 3 reliefs, as follows:

1. An order of certiorari to quash the decision to confiscate the 3 CDs;
2. An order of mandamus for the return of the 3 CDs, and
3. A declaration that she has the legitimate right to possess, use and import publications containing the word “Allah”.

Explaining why she is persuing ing her case, she said that she used the word “Allah” in her prayers, worship and religious education.

Think about it.  why is the Malaysian government pursuing this case?  If Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, is not concerned about this, even allowing the Bahasa Indonesia Bible to use “Allah” as the name of God in it, then does it mean that the name “Allah” indeed preceeds Islam, and that Muslims have no exclusive use of that name?

One Thought on “Malaysia – “No” To Christian Allah

  1. Yassin on January 13, 2010 at 9:55 AM said:

    Good day,

    First of all there is no issue on whether the roman catholic/christian can use “Allah”.

    The issue is about the intepretation of Allah that the roman catholic/christian insist to use refer to concept of Trinity, that for a start already making confusion.

    You are comparing Malaysia to Indonesia, yes Indonesia the most populous Muslim country but quantity does not justify anything. Do you know that some Muslims in Indonesia eat pork? Do you know some Muslims in Indonesia married to non-muslims partners. These kind of blasphemous acts happen because the misintepretation of Al-Quran.

    The muslims in Malaysia eventhough in smaller number compare to Indonesia practice the Islam by abiding to the Al-Quran and As-Sunnah.

    The muslims are tolerant people but if certain quarters intentionally want to mock them its surely not a smart thing to do.

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