Scholars counter 'infidel' argument over 'Allah'Declaring Muslims who allow Christians to use the word 'Allah' as infidel has larger implications as it involves the entire Muslim world and prominent scholars, former Perlis mufti Asri Zainul Abidin says.
Asri said this is because Christians in the entire Arab world have used this word, even in the early years of Islam.
"They have used the word 'Allah' for thousands of years, up to the days of the Prophet Muhammad. There is no issue as to whether they are referring to the Real Being, and not a deity," he said.
If that view on apostasy and the word 'Allah' is accepted, Asri said, then prominent scholars like Yusof Qardawi and Wahbah Zuhaili, who allow the use of 'Allah' by Christians, are also apostates.
He added that it also has implications on the use of the word in state anthems as well as in logos like the police and armed forces emblems, which are sung or used by non-Muslims.
Speaking to Malaysiakini today, Asri, however, refused to direct his statement to anyone in particular and merely used the term "certain quarters".
"We have to be careful in our views. This view (on apostacy) is illogical. So I hope certain quarters who expound this can come forward to explain how (the use of Allah by non-Muslims) is deviant," he said.
Johor Islamic Council adviser Nooh Gadut (right) today reportedly warned that Muslims who question the Court of Appeal ruling barring the use of Allah by a Christian publication can become infidels or apostates.
Instruction by God
While Asri did not mention names, religious scholar Wan Ji has asked Nooh to clarify his stand, especially when it comes to Quranic verses, which he argued, allows Christians and Jews to use the word 'Allah'.
Wan Ji, a former PAS Ulama Council member, said that in the Quran, the Christians were told to swear in the name of Allah, to deny a criminal charge against them.
"From Nooh's point of view, is this instruction by God correct or incorrect?" he asked on his Facebook page.
Another verse, he said, states that Muslims can eat meat from animals slaughtered by Christians and Jews because the animals were slaughtered in the name of Allah.
Wan Ji added that the Quran also states that Jews and Christians have different understandings of Allah, with Jews and Christians viewing Ezra and Jesus as the sons of Allah respectively.
"So how can we say that Jews and Christians before are not the same as Jews and Christians today? Does Nooh have an answer for this?" he asked.
"If a court in England bars Muslims there from using the word 'Jesus' in the Quran because Muslims' understanding of Jesus is different to the Christian understanding, would Nooh agree?"