PAS Syura Council: Prevent translation of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims

PAS leaders said the word ‘Allah’ is a universal word and can be spoken by those who are not Muslims. – File pic

Ida Lim, The Malaysian Insider

The PAS Syura Council yesterday decided that non-Muslims should prevent the use of the word “Allah” in translations of their religious texts, but are free to use it orally.

Following weeks of controversy over the usage of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims, the party’s religious council said that the Arabic word cannot be translated into or translated from other languages.

The council explained that the word “Allah” is a specific and holy word used to refer to the Muslims’ god.

“Therefore, translating the word God or Lord from any non-Muslim kitab agama (religious texts) to the word Allah tidak dibolehkan (cannot be allowed) because it is wrong from the aspect of meaning and wrong usage, does not fulfill the actual purpose and can bring about an obvious confusion.

“Therefore, it has to be prevented,” PAS’ spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and his deputy Datuk Dr Haron Din wrote in a statement yesterday.

But the PAS leaders said that the word “Allah” is a universal word and can be spoken by those who are not Muslims.

They said that this statement clarifies the meaning of the statement by the PAS spiritual adviser, the party’s president and the whole party leadership.

Political allies PAS and DAP had recently appeared to send mixed messages over the use of the word “Allah” by Christians in their Bahasa Malaysia bible, before the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leadership made their stand clear last week.

Last Tuesday, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang explained PR’s position, saying that non-Muslim communities should not abuse the word to spread confusion among Muslims, but said that this did not mean they were not allowed to use the word.

“Islam does not stop those of other faiths from using kallimah ‘Allah’ in their practice, although [in the usage of the word by non-Muslims] it does not refer to the original meaning of the word as according to the al-Quran,” he read from a statement.