THE word Allah should only be used by Muslims as it originated from the Quran and was never mentioned in the original Bible, said Islamic Philology and Semitic Studies academician at the Airlangga University, Surabaya, East Jawa, Prof Dr Menachem Ali.
He said to unravel the confusion on the use of the word Allah, all quarters should refer to the original context of their respective holy books and the issued should be quickly solved to avoid religious tension.
His 12-year study in the related field showed that the original Bible from the Greek era did not use the word Allah to refer to the term God in Christianity, he told reporters at the “Allah Word and Archipelago Christology” seminar organised by University Teknologi Mara here Tuesday.
Prof Dr Menachem clarified that his study also showed the original text of the New Testament of the Bible had never mentioned the word Allah but it (Allah) only emerged as a translated text whose meaning was doubted following semantic scourings of language and meaning depending on places.
“Taking a leaf from Indonesia, there was misunderstanding in the current interpretation whereby Allah should point to the name of God but in the Indonesian language, Allah is only another title and this became a big issue and should be discussed by all religious scholars and to come to an accord that the word Allah is a special name,” he said.
Prof Dr Menachem praised the Malaysian government in tackling the issue but felt the effort should be followed up with open discussions to clarify the ban on the use of the term Allah in the Bahasa Melayu translation of the Bible.
He said a deep understanding on the origin of the holy word for all religious scholars was very important in unravelling the right of its use.
“It is important that the word Allah is understood by all religious communities whether Muslim or non-Muslim, who should really know what is right, as otherwise, misunderstanding would take place and will even give rise to a never ending issue over something which is meant for what is good,” he added.
Wed, 7 May 2014