A Malaysian court ruled on Monday that a Christian newspaper may not use the word “Allah” to refer to God, a landmark decision on an issue that has fanned religious tension and raised questions over minority rights in the mainly Muslim country.
The unanimous decision by three Muslim judges in Malaysia’s appeals court overturned a 2009 ruling by a lower court that allowed the Malay-language version of the newspaper, The Herald, to use the word Allah – as many Christians in Malaysia say has been the case for centuries.
A Malaysian court has decided that Christians cannot use the name Allah for the Divine Being they believe in and that the use of this word is restricted to Muslims.
This is both against historical facts and the religious teaching of Islam. The Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (s) father died before the Holy Prophet was born. Islam did not come into existence as a religion until many years after the Holy Prophet’s (s) birth. His father’s name was Abdu-Allah or the servant of Allah. One can clearly see that the word Allah was in use by non-Muslims before the birth of the Holy Prophet (s). So against this historical fact how can the court say that use of Allah is for Muslims only. Further, the Holy Quran says in chapter 2, verse 62:
Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good, they have their reward with their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.
Here three non-Muslims religions are described as believing in Allah and interestingly one of them is Christians.
We regret that courts take such decisions to please the public of their own countries rather than do justice and educate their Muslim populations about what is the real teaching of Islam.