Dear Bro Khalid Samad ,
I am a Malaysian Chinese Muslim living in Kelantan. Please visit my Blog for further information :
I am writing to you to expresss a bit of support for your stance in PAS' opinion concerning the Christians ( non-Muslims ) use of the name "Allah". I am actually not a good writer but hopefully I am able to pass thru this message for you and why it hurts me when you have been abused by some rabid UMNO Malays.
I have studied Islam for over 35 years now and at the same time have been involved in certain inter-religious debate ( Islam-Christian ) for about 10 years now. This issue of using the name "Allah" has been a hot polemic for a long time by non-Muslim , especially among Christian Arabs. I happen to know Arabic and here are some points I like to mention to you.
1) It is not entirely wrong for Christians to use the name Allah because they too believe that its part of their heritage. Although not all Christian agree. Those who agree that the name Allah is used in the generic sense , not a proper name as Muslims believe. We as Muslims say "Allah" in a strict monotheistic understanding. As we see that the Christrians' use of the name "Allah" as to mean "God" which to Islam is polytheistic because they believe in a triune God , whereas we Muslims believe in the absolute Unity of God ( tauhid ).
2) Christians who believe that the use of the name Allah is part of their heritage has a historical argument basing on what they believe the discovery of Sinai Codex , a manuscript wriiten in Arabic that existed long before the Arabic Bible was formally written. This can be referred to at :
When there is a controversy over whether the name "Allah" can be formally (legally) used or not even by Christian Arabs as it is being used now in present day Arabic Bible , they have proofs that they can.
Some Christian Arabs reject the idea that it is legal to use the name "Allah" in the Arabic Bible , for certain etymological reason that the name is not supported by the Hebrew , Aramaic and Greek languages Bible versions. The name "Allah" has no connection etymologically. Here is a link to their argument :
So we can see that some Christians who insist on the use of the name Allah as they mean "God" or "Tuhan" only as a common name. Even in Islam itself , some Muslim scholars think that the name "Allah" is generic , not all Muslim scholars agree that "Allah" is a proper name.
Refer to the following websites for an some exhaustive analysis from a Christian perpective :
As we can see that this provides a stronger argument for why it is etymologically not wrong for both Muslims and Christians to use the name "Allah".
3) I am inclined to think that Christians , even in Malaysia can use the name "Allah" because there are verses in the Qur'an which say .....
i) .... and if you ask them ( non-Muslims ) : "Who has created the heavens and the earth , " that will cetainly say "Allah". Say : "All praises and thanks to Allah ! " But most of them know not. [ Luqman (31) : 25 ]
ii) .....surely , they have blasphemed who say : " Allah is the third of the THREE ....[ Al-Maidah (5):73 ]
Note that especially verse Al-Maidah (5) : 73 , that the name "Allah" is explicitly mentioned. If we were to prohibit the Christians from saying the word "Allah" we are both directly and indirectly telling to deny the verse of the Qur'an. Then they , especially the Christians can refute that the verse , Al-Maidah (5) : 73 , is a blatant lie ...simply that the Chritians have never known the name "Allah".
In fact the Qur'an itself does say that the Christians do mention the name "Allah" or they do use the name "Allah" referring to a Deity ....otherwise the Qur'an is way out of place. In a sense , the Qur'an is correct that even Christians use the name "Allah".
4) Another point worth mentioning ...the noted traditional Muslim scholar , Imam Al-Ghazali made mentions in his famous book, "Ihya' 'Ulumiddin" reference to the Bible , which he cited some verses of the Bible concerning certain sayings of Jesus ( Isa ) . Some modern scholars are amazed by this because they wonder and question which version of the Bible / Gospel , that Imam Al-Ghazali cited from ? That means Imam Al-Ghazali had read the Christian Bible / Gospel ...and surely he might had noticed the name "Allah" written in the Christian scriptures.
We can question ...why during the time of the great Muslim scholar like Imam Al-Ghazali never seemed to protest the name "Allah" used in Christian literature ? Was the name "Allah" that appeared in the Christian scriptures ....OR was it other name ? Just a point to ponder about !
Today in Malaysia ...there are Muslims who claim themselves to be scholars and defenders of the Islamic faith . I see there is a big problem with such scholars . They are partially blind ...bigots ...perhaps with some political motives . That's why they cannot have an intelectual discussion , who would resort to insolent reactions ..even branding the person of " Khalid Samad " as an agent of Christian evangelism.
Take care .....
With all sincerity ,
Abu Hasan Chan
Tumpat , Kelantan