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M'sian party to review 'Allah' issue

Publication Date : 11-01-2013

 

Due to the conflicting views among Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) leaders on the use of the word “Allah” in the Malay Bible, the party’s supreme body needs to review the party’s decision to allow non-Muslims to use the term, said the party’s deputy ulama chief Dr Mahfodz Mohamed.

He said it was time that the supreme body—the Syura Council—step in and review the matter as many leaders were against allowing the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.

Mahfodz is among the 15 members of the Syura Council, the supreme body in the party.

“PAS agreed in 2010 that Islam does not forbid non-Muslims from using the word ‘Allah’, provided it is not misused.

“As some leaders do not share the same opinion, it is the Syura Council that must come up with a consensus,” said Mahfodz.

PAS secretary-general Mus-taffa Ali yesterday said he was also against the use of “Allah” in the Malay Bible.

Deputy Murysidul Am Dr Haron Din and ulama chief Harun Taib were among the Syura Council members who had publicly stated their stand against allowing non-Muslims to use the word “Allah” in publications.

Mahfodz said the greatest concern was the possibility of Malay Bibles with the word “Allah” being used to propagate Christianity among Muslims.

Mahfodz said the Syura Council meeting scheduled for tomorrow had been moved to Sunday night because many members would be participating in Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat.

In a related development, a Muslim scholar said the Government had every right to impose a ruling to bar non-Muslims from using the word “Allah” in religious publications to avert tension.

Former Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin such a ruling was acceptable in the administrative perspective to check a potentially explosive situation.

As such a problem does not arise in Sabah and Sarawak, the ruling could be restricted only to peninsular Malaysia, he said.

Dr Asri also ticked off irresponsible leaders fanning the issue for political expediency.

Democratic Action Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng in his Christmas message said that non-Muslims should be allowed to use the word “Allah” in the Malay version of the Bible.

Dr Asri said since the Bible was translated from English to Malay, the right translation for God was “Tuhan”, not “Allah”.

“They are not translating from Arabic to Malay, but from English to Malay. Therefore, the polemics over the use of the word “Allah” should not arise in the first place,” he said, chiding those who use religion to create unnecessary tension.

 

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