Muzakarah IKIM & Sharing Article

January 22, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: Muzakarah Pakar yang disertai tujuh ilmuwan Islam, anjuran Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (Ikim) hari ini bersetuju bahawa penggunaan kalimah Allah sebagai terjemahan atau ganti nama kepada "God" adalah tidak tepat.
.... (berita)....

Tujuh pakar itu ialah Prof Madya Dr Kamar Oniah Kamaruzzaman dari Jabatan Usuluddin dan Perbandingan Agama, Universiti Islam Antarabangsa; Penasihat Agama kepada Perdana Menteri Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin; Presiden Pas, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang; anggota Majlis Pimpinan Pusat Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Dr Mohd Nur Manuty; bekas Mufti Perlis, Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin; Pengarah Pusat Kajian Ekonomi dan Kemasyarakatan Ikim, Dr Mohd Sani Badron; dan Felo Pusat Kajian Syariah, Undang-Undang dan Politik Ikim, Md Asham Ahmad.
.... (berita)....

Sumber: Berita Harian Online & Utusan Malaysia Online

GOD In Pre-Islamic Period
- Dr.Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad

This article relates to the conception of God in three communities preceding the rise of Islam and Muslims in Arabia: the pagan Arabs, the Jews and the Christians. 

The discussion is primarily based on the verses available in the Noble Book of Islam, the Qur’an. A considerable number of Quranic verses not only allude to, but elaborate, the validity of the theological beliefs of those groups. 

The prevalent religion of the ancient pagan Arabs was polytheistic idolatry. It was an animistic religion of more than 360 gods and goddesses. Beside these innumerable deities, however, they also believed in a Supreme God called Allah, vaguely though. 

The Qur’an shows at least in four different places that the term ‘Allah’ had been perceived by the pagan Arabs as God the Creator, the Sustainer and Cherisher of the world. Allah to these people was hardly described as the Unique and the Only God to be worshipped without any rivals or partners. On the contrary, the Qur’an further records that this God had associates, namely al-Lat, al-Uzzah and al-Manat, specially venerated as Allah’s three daughters. 

Obviously, Allah in this pre-Islamic time, having associates, companions, daughters, and probably sons too, was not to be regarded as the sole divine superpower.

Due to the above, those pagan Arabs were also known as the Jahiliyyah people, those who were ignorant of divine guidance, or those who were in the state of ignorance of the guidance from God; that is ignorance of a revealed book, hence ignorance of the unity and oneness of God. 

Even after being told of what is right, they stubbornly refused to accept it. So the pagan Jahiliyyah Arabs were those who lived in the ‘time of ignorance’ and obstinately chose to reject the truth.

Now, Judaism and Christianity originally belong to the same group of the Abrahamic faiths, as Islam does, because of their common origin through Prophet Ibrahim who received guidance from Allah, the Unique and true God. The descendants of Ibrahim, Prophet Ismail, was the "Father of the Arabs", thus the ancestral father of Prophet Muhammad; while Prophet Ishaq, was the "Father of the Hebrews", thus the forefathers of Prophet Moses and Jesus. 

Muslims commonly refer to these original Jews and Christians as "People of the Book" as the former were blessed with the holy book known as Tawrah (Torah = Pentateuch) through Moses and the latter with Injil (Gospel) through Jesus. Apparently these people followed the same general teachings in relation to the worship of the One God as known by Ibrahim.

From the Quranic provisions, Muslims learnt that considerable parts of these similar teachings, though originally the inspired words of the true God, were eventually lost, distorted or corrupted over the centuries, to produce what is now known as the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament. 

Therefore, we can hardly say that the form of Judaism or Christianity at the advent of Islam brought by Muhammad, and continued to be embraced and practiced till today, were the same as they were before as originally propagated by Moses and Jesus respectively.

It is these distorted and corrupted versions of Judaism and Christianity that we are going to talk here.

As for Judaism, the religion came earlier than Christianity. Many consider the latter as an off-shoot of the former. A number of Quranic verses indicate that the Jews had applied the name ‘Allah’ to refer to their God. But they wrongly perceived this God as having son(s). 

A verse states that they claimed Uzayr (Ezra) as a son of Allah (9: 30-31). In fact, passages from the Old Testament prove how freely the expression ‘sons of God’ was used by the Jews. They in fact considered themselves as sons of God themselves, the most beloved and ones!

Christianity is a religion that believes, among others, in the trinity conception of God: God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, or God the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
However, since early days of its inception, Islam introduced a vastly different conception of God. Quranic verses say that Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, was no more than a messenger of God, not His son. 

One particular verse categorically asks people to desist trinity for Allah is the One and only God, and HE is above having a son (4: 171). Another verse reiterates the same but with more emphasis, to the effect that Allah is the one and only God, having neither a son nor a father (112: 1-4). Yet some others state that those who say that Jesus is God (5: 17 & 72) or Allah is one of three in a trinity (5: 73), all have indeed committed blasphemy, i.e. renounced Islam.   

Yet in both religions, the Qur’an indicates that the Christians and Jews were originally commanded to worship but One God, and there is no God but HE. This sole divinity refers to a God whose name is Allah. But due to the distortions and corruptions aforementioned, the unity and oneness of God had become obscured.

From the foregoing discussion we may conclude that the worship of God with other associates, companions, daughters and sons, was not confined only to the pagan Arabs. It also occurred to the Christians and Jews. It was this kind of association of subordinate deities with Allah, known as shirk, that is vehemently disapproved off by Islam.

So when the Quran records that the name ‘Allah’ has been applied by other religions, it does not necessarily mean that Islam acknowledges such employment as right and accurate. On the contrary, those verses merely states that such applications did take place in human religious history. 

Islam is the only religion that propagates the oneness of God in the true sense of the word. It is Islam, as the youngest religion, that came to correct the mistakes, distortions and corruptions in the other two earlier religions and to lead people back to the right path. 

Therefore, if other religions, in their distorted form attempt to impose their corrupted doctrines and teachings upon Islam, Muslims must not allow that to happen. Let alone if it is done by borrowing and using any Islamic key concepts and terms like Allah, baitullah, kaabah, solat, imam, masjid, etc. Any compromise will only inflict confusion and misunderstanding not only among Muslims but the non-Muslims as well.  


ajako January 22, 2010 at 10:09 AM  

thanks tuan haji. very informative article.

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