Friday, January 30, 2009


Recently I was pointed to an extremely well written blog Demi Negara written by Kijang Mas. Go read it if you haven't done so already. As usual, excellent blogs will have their share of excellent commentators and Demi Negara gave us many commentators who argued well. Among them is Apocryphalist (look up the meaning and smile) who responded to a "Richard Cranium" who supported the idea of using the word "Allah" in the Bible. Read part of the retort (unedited):

Well anyway Dick, you wanna put “Allah” in your bible huh? Sure why not. Can you write a petition too that each and every Bible in the world, right from the Coptic gospels in North Africa, to each RSV copy in the European countries, the testaments used by the Eastern Orthodox churches, the numerous King James issues everywhere else, and all the different kinds of gospels that the Vatican keep, both the ones made public plus the ones that are not, be made to have “Allah” in them too? I am sure the Pope would be happy to hear from you.

What’s that? Oh you want to put Allah ONLY in the areas where there are only malay populations! Ah I see. In other words you want to mislead and convert. Well that’s a tad difficult, Dicky boy. You see, if you really believe that Allah is the name of God in the bible then I am sure that the Pope and the numerous DD’s in America and Europe would have put it there too. But you see, they don’t! They just wanna put it there in the case of the Malaysian and Indonesian audience for one and ONLY one purpose: to hopefully mislead the malays into thinking that they are all the saaaaame, anyway. That’s easier for the purpose of conversion, you see. Let’s not beat around the bush.

But that’s where the problem is, Rick old man. The entity called “Allah” as mentioned in the Qur’an is NOT the same as the entity “God” in your bible. What do you mean of course they are. Of course they are not! Why? Simply because … the word “God” does not mean “Allah”.

God is a description. A depiction of a mighty being. Allah is a NAME of a mighty being. The difference? Simple. I tabulate here that simplicity:-

Base :: In Bible/other Literature :: In Quran

Base Noun :: God :: Allah
Plurality :: Gods :: None
Gender :: Goddess:: None
GenderPlurality ::Goddesses:: None
Sub-entities:: Godlings::None
Others :: Godlingettes :: None

You see Dicky Ricky, we can also associate or attach verbs and adjectives to the word God but not to the word Allah. The verbs [Godly, Godliness, Godliest, Goddamn, Godforsaken] can therefore be translated to [Ter-Allah, Ke-Allah-an,Ter-Allah sekali, diCelakakan-Allah, diTinggalkan Allah]. Now if that doesn't sound ridiculous, I am the father of Prince William.

Oh and Ritchie, we must not also forget the world of Arts, Literature and Entertainment, where the usage of the word God, if catapulted to Allah, will … err… sound a bit less hollywoodish:-

Children of a Lesser God (Film): Anak-anak dari Allah yang sedikit kureng

The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy novel): Allah bagi bende-bende yang kecil

Of Gods and Men (Star Trek drama) : Perihal Allah-Allah dan Manusia

Chariots of the Gods (von Daniken book): Kereta-kereta kuda Allah-Allah

God of the Machine (Isabel Patterson novel): Allah bagi Jentera

Hammer of the Gods (Led Zeppelin wanna-be band): Tukul Besi Allah-Allah

(Ishh. I takut thunderbolt strikes my head jer bila do these blasphemous translations!)

You see, Dicksie my man, I suggest that reaaaaaally the bible should adopt the name Allah in totality. And by that I mean the world over, not just for the Malaysian audience. Because the word God is not suitable at all. It can be freely used to describe objects other than divinity, and sometimes something just opposite to it:-

Gods - Upper Seatings in a theatre

Godland - Title of Comic Series

So Ricardo dear, if there are sooooooooooooo many things that you can manipulate with the word God as used in the Bible that you can’t possibly do with the name Allah, to what purpose is it that you still want to translate that name for? Of course, if your bible writers now sincerely repent their ways and start to use Allah in ALL the copies of the bible in this world, we muslims are more than just happy to help.

“Ah But these are just semantics. Word gymnastics. We are talking more about the entity that both Muslims and Christians agree as the creator of the heavens and the Earth. Surely you can’t be saying that these are two different entities? And if they aren’t, why can’t we use the same for both Bible and Qur’an?” Do I hear you say that Ritchie Rich?

Well first and foremost, are we REALLY talking about the same God now? The same Allah? Let’s see if they really are the same:-

God in the Bible: Has a begotten Son
Allah in the Quran: Doesn’t have this feature
God in the Bible: One of a Trio of Godhood
Allah in the Quran: Doesn’t have this feature
God in the Bible: Vengeful
Allah in the Quran: Doesn’t have this feature
God in the Bible: Jealous
Allah in the Quran: Nope
God in the Bible: Prejudicial to women
Allah in the Quran: Nada
God in the Bible: Racist to blacks
Allah in the Quran: Uh-uh

Oh and you must not forget the other human qualities that this Deity has, as promulgated in the bible. That wrestling match God had will inspire more than just WWW’s The Rock. Don’t laugh, folks. The OT did mention that He came down, wrestled with Jacob and lost too. What, He couldn’t un-grip Jacob’s tiger-lock? And at the incident of that Canaa wedding, this God has a Son who tempelak his mum, the Mother of God, by saying “Woman! What have I to do with thee?”. Ish. Kalau my kid tempelak me like that I sure would have him tempeleng-ed. Ah, some divine family indeed.

In fact it is for THIS despicable nonconformity alone must the muslims, the malays in this country defend the sanctity and the purity of the name Allah that, if fell unto these biblical thumpers, can be sooooo much downgraded, so much disrespect, so much blasphemous and sooo much … ungodly that anyone reading it would lose total respect, admiration, adoration to this so sacred a divine concept! I am just afraid that no sooner than this downgrading of the divinity of Allah is done by mere translation by these bible preachers than Kiai Arshad Sarip of Ulu Bendul come out of retirement or Pak Aji Bahari from Bongek, Rembau takes his time out from herding his water buffaloes to chase these blasphemers away.

Now to be fair to our friend Ritchie Kitchie here, let’s tolak ansur okay. He wants to put the name Allah in the bible. Tell you what. I will help pulas the arms of our pak-pak lebai in JAKIM and let you do just that, Richard, provided the following declaration is written in front of each and every copy of the bible:-

“Be it known here that the Allah mentioned in this here Bible is the same Allah as the one found in the Quran, and not a different Allah. And because of this, it goes without saying that whatever that Allah says in the Quran is True, especially in regards to Christianity, Jesus Christ and Mary without any false interpretations. It also follows that the Quranic verses (5.116), (61.6), (4.157), (4.171-173), (19.88-19.93) are true without the slightest doubt”

I have a twice-removed cousin who has a printing company doing Raya cards and Lumba kuda calenders, be happy to reprint all your bibles and include those statements for peanuts, if all goes well.

November 12, 2008 8:21 AM

I do not know whether Apocryphalist is a man or a woman although gender would not make the retort less pertinent. What I can gather is that he/she is knowledgeable not only on religions but also on Penang food. I would like to shake the hand that penned those arguments. I would also like to salam with Kijang Mas for such an excellent blog and for allowing me to reproduce the comment above. I must also thank Pak Idrus, Pak Zawi and Mat Cendana for helping me get the permission. Terima kasih daun keladi!

UPDATE 31/01/09:
expanded one of his points as a Guest Blogger on JEBAT MUST DIE. Go here to read.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Can you imagine "Enjit Enjit Semut" or "Kopi Susu" as jazz? Imagine no more. Soon you can watch RTM Jazz Orchestra deliver these songs as well as other familiar numbers on RTM. Not sure which channel though. Most probably TV2. I hope advance publicity is given otherwise jazz fans will miss it, obliviously.

It will surely be a treat. I was lucky enough to get an invitation to the recording last Saturday. It was a very enjoyable evening. I heard Razak Rahman again on the clarinet playing "Chendering". It instantly brought me back to the beach. Razak was not the only soloist to enrapture us that evening. There was Yap Yen who is a violinist with the bigger Orkes RTM. She delighted everyone when she jazzed up P.Ramlee's "Sang Rembulan" on the electric violin. Vanessa Mae better watch out! Another soloist that stole our heart was Keiko, a superb flautist on "Nona Maria". Then there was Jaafar, commercially known as JARI who rocked the auditorium with "Samba Ria". Jaafar's mastery of the soprano saxophone would make fans of Kenny G change allegiance.

If you think playing the electric guitar is easy , try playing TWO electric guitars at the same time. That was what Sam Triggy did. This young man enthralled us with his rendition of "Getaran Jiwa", in jazz style of course.

The future of music in Malaysia looked assured. I was reassured of that after watching and listening to the performance of the big band of ASWARA Faculty of Music. They even threw in the gamelan for a couple of numbers.

I shall not spoil the fun by telling you everything. Wait and watch the show.
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