Saturday, 5 January 2008

Should Non-Muslims Be Permitted to Sing State Anthems with 'ALLAH' in them ?

Abdullah Mohamad Zain, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said the (Govt) Cabinet at its meetings on Oct 18 and Nov 1 last year decided that the word "Allah" could only be used by Muslims to avoid confusion. He said in a statement yesterday the ban on the use of the word remained despite the renewal of the permit.Read here for more on Malaysiakini

Related article: Read here in Malaysiakini

'Allah': What about us? ask Sikhs

For centuries, Sikhs have used the words ‘Allah’ to refer to God as well as the Arabic terms ‘iman’ and ‘ibadat’ for faith and worship.

Following the government’s ban against the usage of purportedly ‘Islamic’ terms by non-Muslims, what will happen to the practice of the Sikh religion in Malaysia?

We have used the terms Allah and Rahim (Most Merciful), for example, extensively in our writings and in our prayers to refer to the One God. The word Allah is used in our main holy scripture. Sikh gurus in India have used these terms for centuries, they have become part of the Punjabi language, and we are still using them today,” said Malaysian Gurdwara Council head Harcharan Singh when contacted.

Sikhs also use the word ‘Khuda’ for God, he noted in reference to the term used, among others, by Bangladeshi Muslims.

If the word Allah has been banned for use by non-Muslims, what’s going to happen to Sikhs and the practice of their religion?” he asked.

(Note: Sikhism's sacred text, the Shri Guru Granth Sahib refers to GOD by different names as Hari 8344 times, Ram 2533 times and Allah 46 times. This is perhaps the ONLY religious scripture in the world with a secular message, welcoming the entire humanity to its fold irrespective of the caste, creed or stature in life and conveying a common message 'Updesh Chau Varna Ko Sanjha'. Read here for more)

The Malaysian Cabinet should now also decide:

  • Whether Non-Muslims should be allowed to sing the following State Anthems with the word "ALLAH"
  • OR

  • Whether to have separate State Anthems in which the word "Allah" is changed to "Tuhan" strictly for non-Muslim citizens, to abide the latest Malaysian Govt Cabinet decision.

    State: Kelantan

    Lanjutkan usia Sultan kami
    Sultan Kelantan Raja ikrami
    Aman sentosa Tuhan sirami
    Berkekalan masa memerintah kami
    Kasih dan taat disembahkan
    Sepenuh keriangan patek ucapkan
    Segala kebesaran Allah cucurkan
    Darjah kemuliaan Allah tambahkan

    State: Trengganu

    daulatkan Tuanku Sultan
    Terengganu Darul Iman
    Allah peliharakan Tuanku Sultan
    Sejahtera sepanjang zaman
    Allah rahmatkan Tuanku Sultan
    Memerintah rakyat aman

    State: Kedah

    Allah selamatkan Sultan Mahkota
    Berpanjangan usia diatas Takhta
    Memelihara agama Nabi kita
    Negeri Kedah serata-rata

    State: Perak

    Dilanjutkan Allah usianya Sultan
    Adil dan murah memerintah watan
    Ditaati rakyat kiri dan kanan
    Iman yang saleh Allah kurniakan
    Allah berkati Perak Darul Ridzuan
    Allah selamatkan Negeri dan Sultan

    State: Selangor

    Duli Yang Maha Mulia
    Selamat di atas takhta
    Allah lanjutkan usia Tuanku
    Rakyat mohon restu bawah Duli Tuanku
    Bahagia selama-lamanya
    Aman dan sentosa
    Duli Yang Maha Mulia

    State: Johore

    Allah peliharakan Sultan
    'Nugrahkan dia segala kehormatan
    Sehat dan ria, kekal dan makmur
    Luaskan kuasa, menaungkan kami
    Rakyat dipimpini berzaman lagi
    Dengan Merdeka bersatu hati
    Allah berkati Johor
    Allah selamatkan Sultan

    State: Pahang

    Ya Allah Yang Maha Kuasa,
    Lanjutkan Usia Duli Yang Maha Mulia,
    Dirgahayu, Darul Makmur,
    Aman dan Bahagia Sentiasa,
    Ya Allah, Selamatkan,
    Duli Tuanku Raja Kami
  • Related Article

    Guru Nanak and the Founding of Sikhism: Read here for more and HERE

    Read here the sacred text of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib and HERE on the romanised transliteration from Punjabi script


    The Sikh religion differs as regards the authenticity of its dogmas from most other theological systems. Many of the great teachers the world has known, have not left a line of their own composition and we only know what they taught through tradition or second-hand information.

    If Pythagoras wrote of his tenets, his writings have not descended to us. We know the teachings of Socrates only through the writings of Plato and Xenophon.

    Buddha has left no written memorial of his teaching.

    Kungfu-tze, known to Europeans as Confucius, left no documents in which he detailed the principles of his moral and social system.

    The founder of Christianity did not reduce his doctrines to writing and for them we are obliged to trust to the gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

    The Arabian Prophet did not himself reduce to writing the chapters of the Quran. They were written or compiled by his adherents and followers.

    But the compositions of Sikh Gurus are preserved and we know at first hand what they taught.
    - Max Arthur Macauliffe

    ".... The founder of the Sikh religion, Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, known popularly as Guru Nanak, was born in 1469.

    Around 1499, while bathing in the river Bein, Nanak had a spiritual experience, which he described as a message from God. After three days of visions, he re-emerged, gave away all of his possessions, and became a traveling preacher.

    He is widely acknowledged to have made four major journeys, spanning thousands of kilometers. The first tour was east towards Bengal and Assam, the second south towards Ceylon via Tamil Nadu, the third north towards Kashmir, Ladakh and Tibet, and the final tour west towards Baghdad and Mecca.

    He took his message, "There is neither Hindu nor Muslim," throughout India and the middle East, meeting with Hindu and Muslim religious leaders. It was from this moment that Nanak would begin to spread the teachings of what was then the beginning of Sikhism

    Guru Nanak's teachings were recorded in the Adi Granth, which formed the basis of Sikh theology.

    Among the teachings, a unique synthesis of Hindu and Muslim theology, was the insistence that God, whom he referred to using both Hindu and Muslim honorifics, was a formless, unified being that humans could apprehend directly in a state of divine union.

    The first edition of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is called 'Adi Granth' was compiled by Bhai Gurdas ji under the supervision of Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji at Ramsar know as Amritsar in 1604 A.D.

    The present edition of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji contains the saying of six Sikh Gurus, fifteen Bhagats, eleven Bhats and four other great personalities associated with guru ji.

    The Shri Guru Granth Sahib is a common world heritage of universal brotherhood, love and peace. It dissolves all difference of caste, creed, religion and nationality, thereby making the whole mankind as one fraternity.

    More than 5800 hymns are contained in Shri Guru Granth Sahib which lay emphasis on praise of God, simple and honest living, hardwork, meditation, mutual sharing, love and universal brotherhood.

    Classic in content and secular in nature Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji advocates oneness of God but referred to him by different names as Hari 8344 times, Ram 2533 times and Allah 46 times.

    This is perhaps the only religious scripture in the world with a secular message, welcoming the entire humanity to its fold irrespective of the caste, creed or stature in life and conveying a common message 'Updesh Chau Varna Ko Sanjha'

    The compilation of the Sikh scriptures, the Adi Granth, was begun in 1604 by the Fifth Guru.

    The last of the ten Gurus, Guru Gobind Singh, announced that he would be the last personal Guru and that thereafter, Sikhs were to regard the Adi Granth (Guru Granth Sahib) as their teacher. This sacred book is considered the living embodiment of all ten Gurus and is therefore the focus of worship in all Sikh temples and local gurudwaras, or sanctuaries.