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Friday, July 25, 2014

As Allah is my witness …

When I was about 9 a (Muslim) teacher, who was our Scout Master and also taught Arabic and Persian, said to us that the "Islamic word Allah" had no other meaning and that it meant 'to whom we pray' ... And he added "it has not been derived from another word and no other adjective, adverb, or other derivation could be made from this word."

I was pretty confused.

At home we were told that our Prophet's father was named Abdullah (Servant of Allah) well before Islam came into being. So the name was hardly Islamic. Also I had never heard of a name (my surname was Kidvai) being used in anyway as an adverb or adjective.

Were he alive in Malaysia today, he'd be considered a great 'Muslim', I suppose. The country that many of my Pakistani friends think is amazingly modern and Islamic has announced that no one other than Muslims can use the word Allah. 

Do remember that the word Allah is a name for God, which is used by Arabic speakers, both Arab Muslims and Arab Christians.  This word cannot be used to designate anything other than the one true God.  The Arabic word Allah occurs in the Quran about 2700 times. In Aramaic, a language related closely to Arabic and the language that Jesus habitually spoke, God is referred to as Allah.

Despite the above fact, Malaysia decided that Christians could not use this word and a Christian newspaper was asked to stop using it. I suppose Arabic translations of the Bible in Malaysia would have to be redone.

I am wondering that to convert to Islam and become a Muslim a non-Muslim person needs to state “La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammad ar Rasool Allah" and understand its meaning … so how does one convert to Islam in Malaysia?

As I grew up and read several religious books (of most religions), as well as treatises and books related to them, I discovered that the name Allah had been derived from Al-Lah, the highest of all gods, which is why Abdullah was named thusly.

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