Okay, so some Muslims in Malaysia is saying nobody else can use the world “Allah” to mean God in their religious text. Now, “Allah” is the Arabic translation for the word, God. So what is an Arab Christian to do? I did a search and found in Wikipedia that it is used by Arabic-speakers of all Abrahamic faiths, including Christians and Jews. It is also interesting to note that it was also used by pagan Meccans as a reference to the creator-god, the supreme deity in pre-Islamic Arabia. Now, I can understand why some Muslims are upset. They are worried it might cause confusion among it’s people and why they could be mislead. It is because the concepts associated with the term “Allah” differs among the various traditions and they do not want their concept of “Allah” to be misrepresented by another faith.

If you ask me, I’d say, teach your people well in your own tradition. Build in them a strong foundation of your concept of “Allah”. You can even warn them that there are others out there with a different view. You can’t build a hedge around them and expect them to grow in faith. If you believe your concept of God is true and beautiful, your best defense is simply to make that known to your people and live in such a way that testifies to it. That way, they will not be easily seduced by any foreign ideas. If they do, it is only because you have failed.

Christians have had to deal with competing ideas of God for centuries and have taken it in their stride. Just think about all the Christian cults out there. Perhaps this is something Muslims can learn from. It’s not about the competition. It’s about strengthening your own forte. 

rk

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