Recently, I have been asked several times about my opinion on the latest Malaysian “crisis” in using the name of Allah ta3ala.

This is one question example:

** In Malaysia right now, there is a chaos because of word “Allah” whether it is permissible for Christians to use Allah as a literal translation in Bible the fact that Pope in Vatican City and Christians in other countries do not Allah, hence Muslims here arguing about it. they also said, the translation for Yahweh, God, in Bible to Allah is not accurate hence it leads to ambiguity in aqidah, causing to syirik. **

And here was my (edited) answer to that question:

My honest opinion about this issue: It is silly of some Muslims not to allow non-Muslims to use the word “Allah”! We don’t need to refer to the translators of the Bible or the Torah for an evidence of the origin and use of the word Allah by non-Muslims. Why do we do that while we have an evidence of the issue in the Quran itself?!

Allah says in the Quran (amongst many other verses):

وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ مَنْ خَلَقَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ ۖ فَأَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ

Now if you ask those [who worship any being other than Allah] as to who it is that has created them?, they are sure to answer: “Allah.” How perverted, then, are their minds! — 43:87

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ فَأَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ

if thou ask them, “Who is it that has created the heavens and the earth, and made the sun and the moon subservient to His laws?” – they will surely answer, “Allah.” — 29:61

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ قُلْ أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ

if you ask them (the disbelievers), “Who is it that has created the heavens and the earth?” – they will surely answer, “Allah.” Say: “Have you, then, ever considered what it is that you invoke instead of Allah?” — 39:38


Thus, our problem is not that they say (or write) “Allah”. The problem is that they associate with Allah other deities. They believe in “Allah”, who else?! But they commit shirk or kufr, which is a different story.

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّن نَّزَّلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ مِن بَعْدِ مَوْتِهَا لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ قُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ

And thus it is: if you ask them, “Who is it that sends down water from the skies, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless?” – they will surely answer, “Allah” Say: All praise is due to Allah. 29:63


Here the Prophet (s) says “alhamdulillah (praise to Allah)” because they admitted part of the truth. The answer here is obviously not: How dare you use the word Allah?!

Then we have:

وَلَوْلَا دَفْعُ اللَّهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُم بِبَعْضٍ لَّهُدِّمَتْ صَوَامِعُ وَبِيَعٌ وَصَلَوَاتٌ وَمَسَاجِدُ يُذْكَرُ فِيهَا اسْمُ اللَّهِ كَثِيرًا
if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques – in all of which Allah’s name is abundantly extolled – would surely have been destroyed. 22-40


Which means that Allah has an intent (maqsid) for churches and synagogues not to be destroyed so that they keep on mentioning the name of Allah!


We Muslims do not have a right to control how people conduct their religions, and more importantly, Islam is the true faith, but we Muslims should understand that we don’t own or have monopoly over the word “Allah”! This is an incorrect understanding of fiqh and it is bad politics too!


Jasser Auda