God and religion, two separate matters

The raging ‘Allah” issue has left this writer wondering if Jakim and National Fatwah Council clerics who can both “see and read” are “blind”. 

Vidal Yudin Weil, FMT

When I was young, my teacher  told me that if I want to study facts I should take up archaeology, but if I want to find out what truth is all about I should choose philosophy.

I ended up somewhere in the middle and discovered that between scientific evidence and logic, there are matters that require a 3rd element called faith –  to believe and accept in the absence of  facts and figures. And religion is one such matter.

Let me give an example: Many people will ref use to switch-off  the life supporting machine attached to a loved one who is in a comatose even though their religion tells them that there is a better place on the other side.

Because nobody dead has ever come back to tell the situation, no one still living is willing to believe in the notion of a good life after death.

It requires a lot of conviction, anguish, tears, and faith to believe in something non-existent to the naked eye.

Fact is, you must first embrace in order to reject later.

Twenty-five years ago the archbishop of Canterbury wrote in a book that the reason he wanted his children to learn about Christianity when they were young was because he wanted them to know exactly why they are rejecting the faith when they grew up in the future!

This statement of his was, of course, very convincing in logic. But at the same time the message within was also causing a lot  of  alarming confusion and distress when read between the lines. Why? Because, it came from a man who was at the pinnacle of the 2nd largest Christian denomination in the world af ter Roman Catholicism.

Anglicans were asking  why the top shepherd of the Church of England is subliminally telling the  flock to abandon Christianity.

They fail to understand that he was actually telling them that  they are infected with the mental malady identified as ‘blind faith’.

God and religion are two

Many people today, like those who had lived in the last two millennia, do not know or understand the difference between God  and religion!

Seeking a God and embracing a religion  are two separate matters.

According to an Indian sage,  God has no religion.

Let me give another example: In the 3rd Surah of Al-i-Imran or The Family of Imran of the Quran at verse 19, it was written “The Religion before Allah is Islam [submission to His Will]”.

Notice that the phrase does not read “the religion of Allah is Islam”?

Coming back to the Christians: It is written in the Bible  that when the Prophet Moses asked God f or

His Name, God replied in Exodus 3:14  “I AM THAT I AM”  (King James Version).

I can think of  two possible explanations for such answer:

1) Maybe God does not have a name at that material time; or

2) God does have a name but it is none of Moses’ business to know!

To paint a satirical picture of the latter possibility, let me just share a hilarious incident that happened in Sabah more than 10 years ago.

A Chinese tycoon (now  fallen) with an Arabic-sounding name was featured on the front page of a local daily sinking a knif e into a roasted pig.

The   following day Majlis Ugama Islam Sabah (MUIS) asked him for an explanation as to why as a Muslim, he was seen cutting up a pig which in Islam is forbidden (haram)?

He denied that he was a Muslim to which MUIS asked him about his name.

Anyway, on the last day of the parody, the local paper carried his retort: “My name is my business”!

The joke was on MUIS.

Are Malaysia clerics ‘blind”?

Like all the other states in Malaysia, the Islamic authorities are conf used. In their minds an Arabic-sounding name must necessarily mean that the person is Muslim.

Tareq Aziz, the f ormer Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, was never a Muslim and neither is  US President Barack Hussein Obama!

Back to the Christians. . God  said to the Prophet Isaiah in Chapter 42 verse 8 (World English Bible): “I am Yahweh, that is My name”.

Now that God’s name was finally revealed, why do Christians in Malaysia still insist on addressing God as “Allah” when He has already said that His Name is “Yahweh”?

The Jewish people have always addressed God as “Yahweh”.

The New Straits Times on 31st  December 2012 reported that JAKIM reiterated that the word “Allah” is a holy word that belongs only to Muslims and Islam.

It said  the word cannot be used by non-Muslims and other religions.

The JAKIM director-general said that the decision was reached in a National Fatwa Committee meeting in 2008.

He also stated that it is mandatory for all Muslims to protect  the word from insult or abuse.

He said  statements were made by certain quarters to create racial and religious disharmony just for the sake of gaining political mileage  and that all quarters are to return to the rule of law.

Firstly, I want to know how these clerics arrive at their distorted analysis.

Did they really study and appreciate the theology of their own religion?

It was written clearly in the 2nd Surah of Baqara or the Heifer of the Quran at verse 143: “For Allah is to all people Most surely full of Kindness, Most Merciful”!

So, why is JAKIM claiming copyright on something that belongs to all mankind?

I have heard of blind clerics who cannot  see, but to have clerics who can both see and read and yet who do not understand scripture in plain and simple language, now this is my 1st time.

Is there something wrong with their intelligence?