Allah was originally a Pagan God (UPDATED with Chinese Translation)

Why the sudden fuss about whether the Christian Bible should be allowed to use the word Allah for God. They have been using the word Allah in Bahasa Bibles for hundreds of years. In fact, the Jews, Christians and Pagans have been using Allah for God since long before the existence of Islam. 


Raja Petra Kamarudin 

“Saya khuatir kebenaran menggunakan perkataan Allah ini akan menimbulkan kemarahan orang Islam, sebenarnya terjemahan perkataan god dalam bahasa Inggeris adalah tuhan bukan Allah dan Allah spesifik bagi orang Islam sahaja. Jadi kalau mereka faham, mereka akan menggunakan perkataan tuhan bukannya Allah,” said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – Utusan Malaysia (2 January 2010)


Mahathir said two things. First is that the Muslims, meaning Malaysian Malays, would get angry. This is Mahathir’s way of cautioning against triggering off another ‘May 13’, something the ex-Prime Minister has said many times since the 1970s.

Why must everything be translated into a race, and now religious riot? Is he declaring that Islam is an intolerant religion? Muslims always lament about the bad publicity Islam is getting from the western media. But is not the western media just basing its assumption on the acts and statements of Muslims themselves? And have I not said many times that Muslims are Islam’s worst enemy? Muslims are giving the western media the ‘ammunition’ to attack Islam.

The second thing Mahathir said is that the word Allah belongs to the Muslims. It does not and I shall offer you the evidence of this.

Anyway, why only now do we raise this objection to the Bible using the word Allah? The Bible has been using Allah for hundreds of years, ever since they translated the Bible into Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia. In fact, we have copies of a Bahasa-translated Bible published 200 years ago that used Allah.

So it is not something new. It is something that has been happening for centuries as the photograph below shows.

I can, if you wish, go into a lengthy cheong hei article. But not today — today I am going to make it short. Nevertheless, if you are the type who can only be convinced by a lengthy thesis supported by scores of references from scholars, then read the two links below.

And my simple argument is as follows. Muhammad’s father was named Abdullah. Abdullah means Servant of Allah — a combination of Abdul and Allah; so it becomes Abdul-Allah or Abdullah when joined together.

Now, logically, Abdullah was born before Prophet Muhammad was born since the father has to be born before the son can be born. In fact, Abdullah died before Muhammad was born and that was why the Prophet was raised by his grandfather, Muttalib, and later, when Muttalib died eight years later, by his uncle, Abu Talib.

Read Muhammad: From Birth to Marriage 

Now, what does this tell you? Muhammad received his prophet-hood and was ‘converted’ to Islam long after Abdullah, the Servant of Allah, died. But Abdullah was not a Muslim. Abdullah was a Pagan. So, if Muhammad’s ‘Pagan’ father was named the Servant of Allah, that means Allah was a Pagan and not a Muslim God, so to speak.

How can Muslims (meaning Malays in particular) claim that Allah is a Muslim God and therefore the name belongs to only the Muslims? If you were to research the history of Muhammad further you will know that Muhammad and his cousin Ali (who later went on to become the Fourth Caliph) indulged in idol-worshiping and animal sacrifice to Pagan Gods in Taif, a town in the suburbs of Makkah, before the time of the Revelation.

That means Muhammad the son of Abdullah was a Pagan, as was his father, the Servant of Allah. But he carried the name ‘Muhammad the son of the Servant of Allah’ long before the Revelation when he ‘became’ a Muslim. How do the Muslims (meaning Malays) explain this if they say that Allah belongs to the Muslims? The word ‘Allah’ existed before the word ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islam’.

And refer to the press statement by ISNA, one of the most respected Islamic organisations in the entire world. (Read ISNA’s press release here). Even ISNA endorses the Malaysian court ruling that the word Allah is not the monopoly of the Muslims. ISNA has far better credibility that any Malaysian organisation whether it be JAKIM, JIM, ABIM, PERKIM, or whatever. In fact, all the Malaysian organisations combined do not even come close to ISNA.

That is all I want to say about the ‘Allah’ word controversy.

FURTHER READING‘allah’-before-islam-1/‘allah’-before-islam-2/

Translated into Chinese at: