One had to stop at the headline that read: Roman Catholics in Malaysia sued for the right to call God “Allah”. Apparently, some Muslim groups and Roman Catholics had this brawl of who can use “Allah” as God’s name and who cannot.
Initially, the headlines were about taking the opposite party to court, for who has the “legitimate” right to use “Allah” but the situation became alarming when some churches were attacked. Violence never should be the manner by which disputes or disagreements are resolved.
I was immersed in disbelief at the statements of some Muslims in Malaysia that “Allah is only for us” and that “We will not allow them to use Allah”
“Allah” is the Arabic name for God, and it indeed pre-dates Islam and even Christianity. The pagan Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula called God “Allah,” even though they worshipped hundreds of idols in addition. Christians all across the Arab World today use the word “Allah” for God, and if one were to read an Arabic Bible, he would find that God is indeed called “Allah.”
One would have thought that the Muslims in Malaysia would welcome the decision of the court to allow Christians to use the word “Allah” for God, as it would be a point of common ground. “Allah” is not some tribal deity that can be exclusively claimed; He is the God of all, and rather than finding more ways to divide Christians and Muslims, members of both faith communities should be working hard to find ways they can come together. Mutually calling God by the name “Allah” would be a great start.
Anxiously, I thought of digging the history of the name “God”
The earliest written form of the Germanic word god comes from the 6th century Christian Codex Argenteus. The English word itself is derived from the Proto-Germanic * ǥuđan. Most linguists agree that the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European form * ǵhu-tó-m was based on the root * ǵhau(ə)-, which meant either “to call” or “to invoke”. The Germanic words for god were originally neuter—applying to both genders—but during the process of the Christianization of the Germanic peoples from their indigenous Germanic paganism, the word became a masculine syntactic form.
The capitalized form God was first used in Ulfilas’s Gothic translation of the New Testament, to represent the Greek Theos. In the English language, the capitalization continues to represent a distinction between monotheistic “God” and “gods” in polytheism. In spite of significant differences between religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, the Bahá’í Faith, and Judaism, the term “God” remains an English translation common to all. The name may signify any related or similar monotheistic deities, such as the early monotheism of Akhenaten and Zoroastrianism.
Now, you can fight about who can use the words associated to “God”, but this whole controversy arises one very important question, is “God” universal?
Ju tera Khuda hai, Wuh Mera Khuda hai – Tera kaha na manu’n tu, Kyun mujay saza hai?
Translation: Your God is My God – Why do you punish me, If I dont agree with you?