Malaysian Islamic authorities seized 321 Bibles on Thursday from a Christian group just because they used the word Allah to refer to God. This in turn provoked the Islamic groups to take firm action.
On October 2013, the Malaysian court ruled that the word ‘Allah’ was exclusive only to Muslims who form the large part of the Malaysian population. This ruling was against a court decision earlier which allowed the Roman Catholic newspaper printed in Malay language to use Allah.
The word ‘Allah’ means ‘God’ in Arabic as the initial ‘Al-‘ is the definite article ‘the’ and ‘ilah’ means a ‘deity, god’. It is widely used by Muslims, Arab Christians, Indonesian and Maltese Christians, Mizrahi Jews, Bahá’ís and Sikhs in Malaysia. The name ‘Allah’ exists in other Semitic languages including Hebrews and Aramaic the languages spoken by Jesus. The corresponding Aramaic form is ʼĔlāhā.
In the Sikh scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib, the term ‘Allah’ is used 37 times.
The raids and court rulings against the minority Christian group in Malaysia has surprised religious leaders and historians as Ishmael and Isaac from whom Islam and Christianity was born worshiped the same God.