Malaysia is currently going through a strange crisis. Christians and Muslims are fighting over the use of the word ‘Allah’. Allah is the Arabic word for God and is the name used by Muslims to refer to God Almighty. However in Malaysia, Christians also refer to God using the word ‘Allah’. They have done so for centuries, they claim. 

Unfortunately, this has sparked a serious legal battle in the country between Muslims and Christians. 

Bibles using the word ‘Allah’ have been seized, churches and mosques have been attacked and clashes have erupted between Muslims and Christians. 

Finally, Malaysia’s court decided that the word ‘Allah’ can also be used by churches and in bibles. 

However, the weekly Malay-language newspaper of the Catholic Church, The Herald, has been banned from using ‘Allah’. 

The Catholic Church appealed against this ban but this decision was, unfortunately, upheld by Malaysia’s highest court.

Restricting God’s name

It is incomprehensible how God’s Holy name could be restricted and become the subject of such controversy. 

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, mentioned this incident in his Friday sermon in  September 2013: “So, these worldly people restricted Allah’s name in the name of Allah! 

Ownership of Allah 

“They deem that only the so-called Muslims have ownership of Allah. The ignorant Maulwis may say things like these but it is astonishing to note that educated, decision-making people are bringing Islam into disrepute with such decisions. 

“Allah the Exalted states in the Holy Quran: ‘All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.’ (1:2): that is, He is the Lord of everyone, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. 

“Allah also states in the Holy Quran: ‘Allah enlarges His provisions for whomsoever He pleases…’ (13:27). Is someone else providing for Christians, Jews or the others? In light of their [the court’s] decision it is an unforgivable sin, if a Christian says that Allah is providing for him. 

“Allah the Exalted has had it stated in the Holy Quran through the earlier Prophets that: ‘Allah, your Lord, and the Lord of your forefathers of old’ (37:127). Thus, how can Muslims have ownership of Allah?

Inclusive

“Indeed, Allah the Exalted states in the Holy Quran about the Christians: ‘Say, ‘O People of the Book! Come to a word equal between us and you — that we worship none but Allah…’ (3:65). That is, the commonality between Muslims and Christians is the Being of Allah the Exalted. 

“Just as a Muslim has the right to say Allah, so does a Christian and anyone else. 

“The Holy Quran is replete with examples where Allah the Exalted has called Himself Allah of everyone. 

“No individual, religion, no sect, no government and no court of law has the ownership of Allah. 

“Allah the Exalted is not a trademark; He is Lord of all the worlds.”