Muslims are Easily Confused-Update

While Malaysia has backed down from its requirement that the  Herald, in its Malay edition refrain from use of the word Allah to refer to any god but the Muslim god, on the ground that Muslims might get confused, Christians may now only use the word Allah if they clearly state that the material is for use by Christians.

The word Allah predates Islam and has a history of hundreds of years of use in Malaysia to mean God, generally. Its use should not be restricted and Christians should not be required to issue disclaimers about use of the word.

If Muslims are that easily confused, it’s no wonder that people have to be forced to remain Muslims; they might easily go to the market and return home as adherents to another faith. To me, requiring a disclaimer reinforces possible confusion.

What are Muslims afraid of? Truth?

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20 Responses to Muslims are Easily Confused-Update

  1. Theephoenix says:

    See, it is rude posts like this that have no point other than to offend.

    As for Muslims, and the term Allah, if the newspaper used that word to refer to any person’s God, you’d get sentences in articles like these:

    “Anthony said that Jesus is the reason why he cries, and for Jesus he will forever bow to. He walks to a little clay statue of Jesus and bows as our reporters watch him weep. He then slowly walks away from his clay Jesus with his head lowered.”
    (Replace Jesus with the neutral word “God”)

    I use the word Jesus to bring this situation into context so you can understand it better from an Arabic perspective.

    So why wouldn’t the above quote work?

    1) Jesus is not his God, the above man mentioned is a Hindu who is bowing to his own God.

    2) Muslims do not believe in Idol worship, and to just say there is an Idol of Allah would be complete and total blasphemy. It would be the same as if someone was praying to statues of Jesus’s supposed children.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    So you can see how you wouldn’t want the Muslim God, to get confused with another person’s God.

    That’s probably why they want the Arabic word Allah to specifically reference the Muslim God.(1 billion+ people refer to it that way, it’s the popular meaning)

    That’s the same reason why you wouldn’t want the word Jesus to refer to a Hindu God.

    Luckily in English, the word Jesus doesn’t mean a neutral God, but if it did, you’d have the same problem the Arabic language is having, and you would take the same steps the Malaysian government took.

    Please don’t take little jabs at Muslims next time, they’re not as simple minded as you think, and definitely not as rude.

    With a little thought, you would have found all these facts out yourself.

    If another story puzzles you like this one, go to my site and ask me there in the comments, I’d be happy to answer you, rather than have to come here and humble you.

    ~~TheePhoenix

  2. Nan says:

    TheePhoenix, you have a completely different perspective on life than I do. I don’t view you as having humbled me but rather as having disagreed with me. Allah does not now and never has meant only the Muslim God. Everyone knows that.

  3. Theephoenix,

    You humbled no one save any poor soul who had held previously a higher estimation of your ability to use logic and reason.

    The word “Allah” as meaning “God” predates Mohammetinism and is found in the ancient Catholic and schismatic churches in the Arabic speaking communities. Churches which existed well before Mohammet ever began his ventures.

  4. Theephoenix says:

    See the problem is, we all agree that the word Allah predates Islam and originally means a neutral God.

    That’s not in contention, it’s simple Arabic Grammar and i mentioned that in my first post. Why you all reiterated your point, seems illogical to me.

    But for the past 1400 years, millions, and now more than 1 billion people in the world refer to Allah specifically as the Muslim God.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Words taking on specific meanings

    Words can take on more specific meanings, and time can change sentence structure, the word Allah is CURRENTLY not defined as the term “General God”, in popular culture.

    If you say Allah, 1 billion people, and 300 million United States Citizens, all will think you speak about the Muslim God.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    An example of words changing meaning

    Yet you want me to take your word, or your opinion, the word of 1 person versus the consensus of a 1 billion + ? You also want to refer to the old meaning of Allah when it’s not useful as “General God” anymore.

    Another word, within the last 20 years, that has taken on a new meaning is “Gay”.

    Such as, if i were to say, Nan is a Gay man.

    If i had said that, 20 years ago, people might think you meant Nan is a Happy man.

    Now it references to a person’s sexual preference.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Nan, get with the times, for more than a century now the word Allah has referred to the Muslim God.

    If you disagree with this usage, try and change it with 1 billion people.

    Good luck.

    While you’re at it, try and change the word Gay back to it’s original meaning.

    I also feel you should apologize for your Islamophobic post, where you tried to demean 1 billion plus people, just for going with the popular meaning of a word.

    ~~Theephoenix

  5. Theephoenix says:

    Btw i found a post where Nan specifically uses Gay’s new popular meaning.

    “http://theblackcordelias.wordpress.com/2009/01/17/google-wants-californias-proposition-8-repealed/”

    I say, nan is confused, and wrong, he has used the wrong meaning.

    I say Nan should go back to Shakespeare’s and Plato’s Definition of that word.

    That word predates HIS religion, and him using the NEW popular meaning of it, is UNACCEPTABLE.

    I rest my case

    ~~Theephoenix

  6. bfhu says:

    I have always thought Nan was female….Nancy, Nanette…I guess because her thumbnail is Mary.

  7. Nan says:

    phoenix, thank you for proving my point exactly; Muslims use Allah to mean their god, but Allah, in addition to the original Sun God named Allah, has always been used in the Arabic word in Bibles to mean God the Father. So it has never exclusively been the province of Muslims; for over a millennium the word has designated the gods of more than one tradition.

    Further, you state that “gay” has taken on a new meaning and bring the old meaning into context; if you, as a Muslim, are capable of discerning more than one meaning of the word gay, why are you incapable of determining through context what god is being referred to by use of the word Allah?

    Additional proof that you know you’re wrong is your attempt to divert me by use of what to the Muslim world is a capital offense and could get me killed; that of being a gay man. Well, where I come from, that’s called “fighting words,” meaning that you’re trying to provoke a fight with your use of language. In this instance, it won’t work. I see your tactic for what it is.

    bfhu, it’s actually St. Michael the Archangel, defender of the faith.

    Saint Michael the Archangel,
    defend us in battle.
    Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
    May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
    and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host –
    by the Divine Power of God –
    cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
    who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

    Amen.

  8. Joel says:

    I actually agree with Theephoenix that Allah should only refer to the Muslim God. I would take great offense at anyone associating my God with Allah. They are not the same person! If Christian literature ever refered to the Father as Allah, that is something I would like to see. I suspect it would be a fake. I have a hard time believing pre-Islamic Christians would ever willingly attach the name of a pagan god to the true and living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

  9. bfhu says:

    Joel did you mean you would NOT like to see Our Father called Allah?

  10. Joel says:

    bfhu,
    That is exactly what I meant. Regardless of the reason WHY there is a separation between the Judeo-Christian God and Allah, it is good that there is a distiction made.

    I am frankly confused as to why any Catholic would willfully pen the name of Allah in Christian literature refering to God the Father. I can understand why it would happen in a predominantly Muslim country though. We have no reason to pander to Islam. Our principles, religion and spirituality are far superior to theirs.

  11. bfhu says:

    Oops! My apologies to St. Michael…

  12. Nan says:

    Joel, in the Arabic world, Allah is the word used for God. The country of Malaysia is attempting to restrict traditional use and censoring a newspaper for that use. Nobody is advocating that we call God Allah in any part of the world, save the part in which Allah, the pre-Christian, pre-Muslim name for the Sun God is used, generally to refer to God.

  13. Joel says:

    Nan,
    Allah is still a pagan god. If a Christian calls God the Father “Allah” in Malaysia that is like an Egyptian Christian calling Him “Re” or “Amon-Re.” That would be inappropriate. Indian Christians do not call the Father “Vishnu” or “Surya.” Sts. Peter and Paul did not associate the Father with Jupiter, Zues or Dionysus. My objection to calling the true and living God “Allah” is that there actually is a person Allah. That name may have been adapted to mean the Creator God, but it is not a proper name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. What is the problem with calling God by His name rather than a name of a created being (which is what the Muslims do)?

  14. Nan says:

    Yes, Allah is the sun god. In context of the culture, Allah is used to mean any god.

  15. Michael says:

    ASIMPLESINNER is right in that “(t)he word ‘Allah’ as meaning ‘God’ predates Mohammetinism.” It was used by pagan Arabs as well as by Jewish and Christian settlers in Arabia. The ancient Catholic and “schismatic” Churches in the Arabic speaking communities adopted it when they adopted Arabic, after conquest.

    The Syriac (Jacobite) Church still uses the ancient Syrian “alaha”, when the liturgy is celebrated in Syrian, which predates the Arabic invasion, and I would presume that the same is the case with all Christian Churches who still use Syrian (Assyrian, Churches in Kerala, Maronite) – a Semitic language, like Aramaic in Palestine in Jesus’ time (in Biblical Aramaic (Daniel, Ezra) the word Ĕlāhā is used), as well as Arabic. A similar word is Elohim in the Hebrew Bible.

    JOEL,
    It is a dogma (Vatican I, D 1806) that the Creator, “God” in English, can be known “with certainty by the natural light of reason.” In German, the word is Gott, in Slavic languages: Bog, in French: Dieu, in Latin: Deus, in Greek: Theos – and in Arabic: Allah. Another word for the Creator does not exist in Arabic. So, what is your problem?

    The Christian Arabs do not “attach the name of a pagan god to the true and living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”, but use the Arabic word for God, because there is no better word in Arabic.

    We must not confuse the PERSONAL NAMES given to deities (“gods”), like Zeus, Re, Perun (Slavonic), Vishnu etc, with the words adopted in various languages for a NOTION of the uncreated Creator, i.e. God, Bog, Deus, Allah etc. Nor may we confuse this notion with the “NAMES of Allah” which Moslem frequently refer to, and which are divine attributes.

    When Moslem Arabs immigrate to America or England they use the words “Allah” and “God” interchangeably; in Germany they do not use the word “God” but “Gott” etc. I have a copy of Quran in a Slavic language, translated by a Moslem leader, in which the word “Allah” is used only rarely, if the context so requires, while, as a rule, the vernacular word “Bog” is used instead. A Moslem who wants to be Catholic is not required to abandon his faith in Allah but accept that He is Triune.

    There is no such thing as “the Muslim God”. God in whom the Moslems believe is the same as God in whom we believe. The fact that we know more about Him from from His self-revelation in Jesus, i.e. that He is Triune, doesn’t make Him different but makes our knowledge of Him deeper. If you take a “great offence” at this, then all the Chistians, including the Latin Rite Catholics of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, who use the word “Allah”, are the great offence to you.

    Including Pope Gregory VII, who, in his letter to Anzir, king of Mauritania – in which he thanks the king for the received gifts, and for freeing some prisoners – writes: “God, the Creator of all…has inspired to your heart this act of kindness…We and you must show in a special way to the other nations this example of charity, for we believe and confess one God, although in different ways, and praise and worship Him daily as the creator of all ages and the ruler of this world.” The whole paragraph of the letter is strikingly similar to what is concisely stated in the Surah 1/1-4. Both deserve to be read.

    Vatican II has put this letter as a reference to the teaching about Islam: ”(T)he Muslims …worship the one, subsistent, merciful and almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth” (NE 3/1).

    If before Mohammad the word “allah” was used to denote the Sun God it does not mean, in fact it would be false to say, that the Moslems worship the Sun God. The Latin-speaking pagans of the Roman Empire used the word “deus” for their deities.

    Now, central to Islam is the “unity” (one-ness) of God, in contrast to the poly-theism, which Mohammad encountered among the Arabic tribes and wanted to eradicate, while the Christian doctrine of Trinity seemed to have confused him: he took it as sort of three-theism. So, he attributed the word “Allah” to God the Father only, and denied it to the Son and the Holy Spirit.

    Surah 4/171: “The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only a messenger of Allah and His word…Say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you. Allah is only one God. Far be it from His glory to have a son.”
    Surah 5/73: “Certainly, they disbelieve who say: Allah is the third of the three. And there is no God but one God.” 5/74: “The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a messanger.”

    These are the only texts in the Quran in which, what the commentators refer to as the “Trinity”, is mentioned (possibly, in Mohammed’s time, the Arabic had no equivalent to the Christian terms “Trinitas”, “Τριάς” (Trias); so, he used the word “three”).

    NAN
    With regard to God the Father, we must not be misled by Mohammad: the fact that he attributed his notion of Allah to the First Person of the Holy Trinity doesn’t mean, in fact it would be a mistake, that we should identify God the Father with Allah. All three Divine Persons, not merely the Father, come under the term Allah (= God), who is Triune.

    This, however might not be so stikingly evident in the Arabic Bibles, because, the word “God” is very rarely used for the Second Person, and never for the Holy Ghost.

  16. Joel says:

    Michael,
    My problem is that Muslims worship a created being. If there are certain people in the Vatican who believe Allah is the same person as God the Father, they are mistaken, and so are you. Allah was the Sun God before the Muslim and before the Christian religions came into being. That makes him a created being. There is no other name for the Creator in Arabic because it is and has been dominated by Islam since the Eighth Century. Citing countless references to anyone in the Middle East calling the Creator Allah holds no weight with me. I simply can not take your word for it that Jews and Christians called God “Allah” before the Islamic conquest. Bring evidence.

    From what I understand, all your arguments lead to one conclussion – the Muslims and Christians worship the same entity. I can not believe that and if you wish to try to convice me you must demonstrate to me through the Islamic scriptures that God the Father is the same entity as Allah. I am sure your research would show you that I am right. Here is just a little bit, in the vast ocean of evidance to prove my case.

    The Koran is the Islamic holy scripture, alleged to be dictated to Mohamed by the angel Gabril, who is supposed to be the same Gabriel who announced the coming of our Savior Jesus to Mary. Let’s take a brief look at Heaven through the eyes of a Muslim as compared to a Christian as the first test of the validity of the claim that God and Allah are one and the same being (surely if they are the same then they will proclaim the same inheritance to observers of the Faith He deposited on Earth).

    Christians proclaim an afterlife basking in the presence of the Creator as heirs who share in the eternal inheritance of Christ, where there is no distinction between man and woman, Jew and Gentile, servant and free man. Muslims proclaim a river that flows with wine, the joys of the inheritance of seventy virgins, licence for unbounded gluttony. Okay, the questions of the afterlife must be taken on faith so if that is the only difference, it might be overlooked, but what about the commands of the Lord regarding prayer? Let me draw this distinction with a couple stories straight out of scripture. In the Christian Tradition, Jesus was speaking to His disciples and told them, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Heavenly Father, for He makes His sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust…” In the Islamic Tradition, Mohamed prayed for a man who spoke out against his newly discovered religious tradition, and was subsequently ordered to stop doing such nonsensical behavior by an angel in the service of Allah, on the grounds that enemies of Islam are cut off and undeserving of the mercy of God. Strike two. Again in the Christian Tradition, Jesus said, “It was said to your ancestors, ‘Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all…let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.” Mohamed instructed Muslims that it is profitable to lie to nonbelievers and that Allah approves of such behavior because they have spurned the truth and are not worthy of honorable treatment.

    This is far from being an exhaustive list of the differences between Islam and Christianity, but even this little bit is enough to prove that God and Allah are not one and the same. It is much more than simply calling the same entity different names. They are different entities all together. They differ in the view of the afterlife, the instructions on what to pray for and the instructions on personal conduct in the world. How many categories must the two religions differ in before we acknowledge that God and Allah are two different beings? The problem with affirming the fact of the matter is then we will be left with the question, “If Allah is not God, as the Muslim claim, then who is he?” It is a sad day when we favor popularity over truth.

  17. Michael says:

    JOEL
    Your last three paragraphs are irrelevant; so, I will refer to the first two only.

    What Pope Gregory wrote and Vatican II adopted and expanded is binding for a Catholic conscience: it is not merely what “certain people in the Vatican…believe”, and in any case, no Catholic is supposed to believe that “Allah is the same person as God the Father.” I have explained that already.

    “Allah was” not “the Sun God”, but only the word used for the Sun God. It is not the “name for the Creator” but the word used in Arabic for the notion of the Creato; and as there is no other Arabic word for Him to be used, regardless of the reason, it would appear, according to you, that the Arabic speakers do not have the word for your notion of “God”; in other word, they do not believe in Him either. If anyone happens to believe he would have to use the English word.

    I happened to find somewhere on the Internet about the Christian and Jewish settlers in Arabia having “called God ‘Allah’ ”, not “before the Islamic conquest”, but before Muhammad. I did not pursue the matter further, because it is not so relevant in the context to be worthwhile; and, on the other hand, seemed sufficiently credible, because Mohammed was in touch with Christians and Jews there, they must have spoken Arabic, and the Quran is full of scriptural and apocryphal data, which Mohammed reworked to suit his ideas. The main point is that the Christians, whose vernacular has been Arabic for centuries, use the word “Allah” to denote what we, in English, call “God”. As for the Syrian word “alaha”, it is evidently from the same root as Allah. I have a bilingual text of the of the Syriac Jacobite Liturgy, which confirms what I have also seen on the Internet.

    That “the Moslems and Christians worship the same entity”, i.e. God (in English) or Allah (in Arabic) is the fact with which I started my last comment: it was not necessary to conclude it. It is the teaching of the Church as I have already said, as well as evident from the Quran: what the Moslems refer to as “99 beautiful names” of Allah are what is in Catholic theology referred to as Divine attributes. I suggest: consult Quran and L.Ott: Fundamental of Catholic Dogma pp 28-49. One can learn what the Mohammed meant, and the Moslems believe, about Allah only by finding out from the Quran how He is conceived there.

    If you don’t mind, I’d rather stop our debate with this post. God bless.

  18. Joel says:

    Michael,
    You must know that I can not allow your post to go unanswered. First let me say that my last three paragraphs are not irrelevant because what I was demonstrating is that is God and Allah truly are one and the same then God is giving two different population groups two entirely different codes of conduct. That would make Him duplicitous, therefore not God and it wouldn’t matter anyway. Perhaps this is one more thing we must agree to disagree on. God bless.

  19. anon says:

    Love the posting past one another.

    Using Joel’s argument, one could argue that Jewish people pray to the O.T. God and that Jesus announced a new God.

    Islam is an inheritor of the Abrahamic faith. Some of the Koran goes back to oral traditions not included in the O.T. for whatever reason.

    Islam is a complex religion with many different traditions and interpretations. These days, the problem is that this complexity has been forcibly simplified by the sect originating from Saudi Arabia, ( Wahhabis), who have managed to dominate, through financial power, the Moslem world.

    Malaysia is suffering from this influx of a “conservative” viewpoint that isn’t really part of its Moslem heritage. The action taken by the government may really be directed to quelling future conflicts. It may not be correct but, if a violent conflict is to be prevented, it may be the best solution possible.

  20. HM says:

    The generic word for “God” in the language of Jesus, Aramaic, is אלָהָא / ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ –> Alâha. There is absolutely no doubt about it; open up your Old Testament and look at what word is used for “God” in Ezra or Daniel etc. Anyway… so basically my point is that the word “Allah” and its cognates have been making appearances from much before Islam.

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