It is sad, unfortunate and bad for UNITY that we had to go through the courts to get a go-ahead to use the term “Allah” in the Bible. This is because the real issue is not about language or semantics, it is about TRUST.
Because we Christians and Muslims cannot be truthful to ourselves and each other and hide what is in our hearts, we pretend to debate and argue using the legal framework instead of using our religiosity and good hearts to come to a working relationship – and we call ourselves the followers of Christ, followers of Muhammad?
We fail to frame important questions like “How would Jesus deal with this issue?” or ‘What would Muhammad do in a similar situation?”
The verdict be it “for or against” is a lose-lose situation.
Today, a segment ( I think it’s a large one) of Muslims will see this as “ The Christians has won!” and will likely take prejudiced and narrow-minded counter actions ( Even Rockybru an open minded Muslim is not happy – rockybru). The Christians on the other hand will perceive the verdict as the triumph of truth over evil. But in actual fact it is a triumph of insecurity over trust in God, ourselves and fellow mankind.
Christians must know better. This is just a triumph in a legal sense, but is it a moral one? Do you remember the trial that Jesus had to go thru before his cruxifixion? Who was trying to use a legal avenue? Christ or his enemies?
As a morally oriented religion, Christians must seek a moral victory and winning of the hearts. Did the Christians win the hearts of the Muslims with this verdict? Are the Muslims feeling closer to the Christians because today we can share the word Allah?
I have written an extensive article on the subject showing that the Quran is okay with using the tern Allah in the Bible. Why then is a segment of Muslims dead against it? Below is the conclusion, it may shed some light. To read the entire article, click here.
I call likeminded Muslims and Christians who know in their hearts what the real issues are, come forward and make good the situation – and provide a platform of TRUST – a win-win solution. Share what is said behind each other's back, things our own people and leaders do or say behind closed doors.
We need whistle blowers on both sides.
Come forward and tell the truth about our own fellow faithful's mistakes, wrong deeds and intentions. We are interested in Truth. If any Muslims say an untruth -not in line with the Quran or something that is not good for all, Muslims must come forward and whistleblow. Similarly within Christianity (and Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.).
So we can learn to deal with such issues in more Christlike manner, more like Muhammad and be better Christians, be better Muslims and be a true child of God.
It is clear that it is not just permissible to use the term Allah to refer to God in the Bible, it is exactly what the Quran wants us to do. Is it not an irony?
I would like to thank my Christian brothers and sisters in their effort to make Allah the universal name of God and wanting the name to be the preferred reference to God in the Bible.But, you must not stop there.You must also strive hard to ensure that not just the Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia Bibles use the term Allah but all the other translations in the world regardless if they are in Japanese, English, Russian or Hindi uses the same term.
Malaysian Christians can lead the world of Christianity to make Allah the universal name for God with the solid support of their Muslim brothers and sisters. Anything that can bring us closer together must be supported. A shared universal name to call our God Allah seems most appropriate beginning.Failing to do so will create mistrust because the correct term for God in Malay is Tuhan.The Muslims will question your consistency and sincerity.
Because the real issue here is Trust. Not the technicality of the term Allah, Tuhan, Elohim, Elah etc.
This is where we need to focus.There are three levels of trust missing.
Firstly we do not trust each other. The Muslims perceive the inconsistency of Christians wanting to use the term Allah in the Malay bible and not the other translations as a plot to convert Malay Muslims to Christianity. And, the Christians perceive the Muslims rejection to the usage of the term as another strategy to block the spread of the Christian faith to Muslims in Malaysia. This feeling is deep in the Christians' psyche as they find it as unfair the lopsided law on conversion in Malaysia (Check what the Quran say about this at 83:1-3 and 5:8).
Secondly, we do not trust ourselves. The Muslims lack confidence of fellow Muslims and feel that by just using the term Allah, their faith towards Islam can be shaken. The Christians lack confidence that being Christ like is enough to attract others to the faith.
Yet the deepest rot is the lack of trust in Allah or God or Tuhan or any other names you want to call upon Him! Both Muslims and Christians fail to trust that Allah will be with those who are true and love those who trust Him. If we do so, we have nothing to fear and nothing to grieve. Failing to trust Him, we become weak, insecure and misguided.
"There are many Lamps, only one Light" Rumi