Saturday, March 19, 2011

Use of Bahasa Bible is fine, says ulama

PETALING JAYA: The usage of Bahasa Malaysia Bible is perfectly fine both in the eyes of Islam and the Federal Constitution, said Umno ulama Fathul Bari Mat Jahya.
He said people must not confuse the fact that a language did not represent a particular religion.
“Arabic is the original language used in the Al-Quran. But Prophet Muhammad had never stopped or forbade others in using Arabic to spread their own religions,” he said.
Fathul said although the Federal Constitution forbade the preaching of other religions to Muslims, the AlKitab (Bible) did not contravene its spirit.
“It should only be for Christians. If the Bahasa Malaysia Bible is not used to preach to Muslims, then there is nothing wrong,” he said.
Fathul said it was also perfectly acceptable for Christians to use the word “Allah”.
“However, I made it very clear that this can only be used in a Christian context, and not to mislead Muslims,” he said, adding that most Islamic scholars in the Middle East thought the same as well.
PAS ulama council chief Datuk Harun Taib said Christians should not be denied the right to use the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia as it was the country’s national language.
“Will the faith of Muslims be affected by a translation of the Bible? No, it is just a Bible read by Christians, that is all. Why must there be any opposition?” he told an online news portal yesterday.
Harun also said Christians could use the word “Allah” as long as it was within the confines of their religion.
“If Christians want to use the term ‘Allah’ for their God no problem. If they are convinced that ‘Allah’ is their God, let them be,” he said, explaining that this was different from Islam’s ‘Allah s.w.t.’.
It was also reported that PKR information chief Dr Muhammad Nur Manuty said Muslims need not worry about the use of the word “Allah” and the Bahasa Malaysia Bible.
“This is the right of religion and Bahasa Malaysia is the official language of the country so we cannot restrict other religions, including Christians from using it,” he said, urging Muslims to be more open-minded and not take matters in their own hands.
Malaysian Ulama Association president Datuk Sheikh Abdul Halim Abdul Kadir had earlier agreed that everyone should be allowed to read and worship in the language of their choice.
He had said that even the Quran had been translated into many languages such as Chinese, and that every person had the right to use Bahasa Malaysia.
However, he added that “Allah” should be exclusive for Muslims. - theStarOnline

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