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Sakmongkol ak 47

Monday, 4 January 2010

Knowing Allah and His Religion: The Goat Herder and Abu Nawas

Abu Nawas and the goat herder answer Dr Asri.

Dr Asri the influential Muslim cleric (?) said:-

If non-Muslims accept that Allah is the one true God and refer to Allah in their worship then Muslims cannot interfere in the matter of other religions.

How does one accept Allah as the one true God?

Perhaps, Asri's theological question can be answered by the fable of Abu Nawas and the goat herder.

One day, the Sultan summoned Abu Nawas to answer some questions he wants to pose. Abu Nawas was a renowned astrologer. The Sultan warned Abu Nawas that if he couldn't answer the questions right, he will be put to death. Death would come in the form of a beheading.

The Sultan must have predated Pranav Mistri by a few hundred years. He posed the question in the form of gestures. (Please Google Pranav Mistri and his 6th sense technology).




Now Abu Nawas was at a loss to answer these questions. Even though he was given 24 hours to answer the question, he couldn't come up with the answers. He thus resolved to escape to another country.

Packing up his personal belongings he rode on his camel across the city to get into the desert. As he negotiated through the city, he came across a goat herder who recognised him.

Hey yo... aren't you the famed Abu Nawas? Why are you in a hurry, he asked.

Abu Nawas recounted the story of the meeting he had with the Sultan who asked the 3 questions he could not answer. As he is not in a hurry to meet the maker- Allah, he wants to escape.

What were the questions, asked the goat herder.

Nawas explained to the goat herder whereupon the goat herder exclaimed. Why? That's easy. Bring me to the Sultan and I shall answer for thee.

They were brought before the Sultan and Nawas proclaimed that his assistant the goat herder shall answer on his behalf.

All right, said the king. If he fails to answer, then both of you will lose your heads.

When the Sultan gestured with 1 finger, the goat herder gestured by showing 2 fingers.

You answered correctly said the Sultan.

Then the Sultan gestured with 5 spread out fingers.

The goat herder gestured with 6 fingers.

You are right said the king.

Finally, the Sultan gestured with both hands spread out indicating all.

Whereupon, the goat herder gestured by showing a clench fist.

Amazed, the Sultan answered, you are right.

Both Abu Nawas and the goat herder were given gifts and money.

As they made their way back into the city, Nawas asked the goat herder- pray tell me the meaning of your answers.

The goat herder obliged as follows:-

When the Sultan showed 1 finger, I thought he wanted one goat, so I showed him 2 fingers to say i would be willing to give him not 1 but 2 goats.

When the Sultan showed me 5 fingers, I showed him 6 fingers to tell him, I am even willing to give him 6 of my goats.

What about the clenched fist? You could have us both killed.

I thought the king gestured he wanted all my goats, that was why I showed him my clenched fist. He can't have all my goats.

But being a learned person, Nawas wasn't satisfied. So the next day, he went to the palace and sought out the grand chamberlain.

O great chamberlain, what were the correct answers my lord?

When the Sultan showed one finger he was actually asking how to embrace Allah's religion?

You assistant gestured with 2 fingers- meaning to know Allah's religion you have to recite THE 2 KALIMAH SHAHADAH.

When the Sultan showed 5 spread out fingers, he was asking how will you know the 5 pillars of Islam?

Your assistant gestured with 6 fingers signifying that you discover Islam's 5 rukun by knowing Iman's 6 pillars.

When the Sultan showed both hands signifying all, you assistant gestured with a clench fist.

That showed that ALL in this universe is in God's omnipotent grasp.

The issue will come to this. Are we going to be herded into believing that just by uttering the word Allah means we accept Allah as the one true God? And as a reminder, to accept Allah as one true GOD, you have to answer the 3 questions.
I am sure Dr Asri wasn't intending to give a goat herder's answers.

Are you kidding us?


Wenger J Khairy,  4 January 2010 at 23:46  

Dear Dato',
Do not be dismayed at the one or two from your faith who hold a different view. As you have people who frustrate you on your side, I also have people who frustrate me on my side, after all the Church should have disassociated themselves from this on Day One, but they decided to keep quiet.

For your information, I wept when I prayed due to the hate this issue has created.

I believe this decision will be overturned, and shame to all those from my faith who kept quiet when they should have spoken up against this ruling.

Real shame.

For your information, I had posted a similar rebuttal on MarGeeMar and they did not have the guts to publish it. So I know these guys are suspect when they claim to be believers of my faith, because imagine a Muslim like yourself can publish what is mentioned everywhere in the Bible, but those so called Christians cannot.

Its an effort to confuse the situation, playing chess with things that should never be on the board.

Unfortunately, really unfortunately, I shudder to think of the consequences.

There is no compromise on the issue. This thing is wrong.

Are You Gonna Go My Way,  5 January 2010 at 13:45  

I wish to share this view coming from an old friend of mine a 23 year old girl from Sabah…currently studying in KL.

The issue with the word Allah

Fine, so translate Allah to English, it means GOD. I googled up and it shows that non muslims Arab use Allah to refer to God. So the issue now in Malaysia is that the Christian Herald wants to use the word Allah for the publication of their news in Malay. And many Muslims disagree with this despite the recent judge's decision in allowing the Herald to use the word Allah. There will be an appeal on this decision. This is what i think of this all issue :

1. The Christian Herald claims that they want to use the word Allah because their Malay version of the scriptures used the word Allah ( i read this from an online article in Malaysian Insider) : He explained that the Catholic Church had been using the word in the manner prescribed because it was contained in the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Scriptures, which had been approved by the church's authorities "a long time ago". So one can only BLAME the "GENIUS" who allowed the word Allah to be used when the Malay version of the scripture was published. 10 years ago, when i was 13 years old, i just simply read a bible of my friend's, which was in the Malay version. They referred to God as Allah and i was surprised by this. You know why am i surprised? Coz when you talk to a Christian, they never refer to God as Allah, it's only GOD or TUHAN. Even if you talk to a Christian in Malay, they never use Allah, just Tuhan. So why wasn't this an issue 10 years ago? On this arguement, you can't blame them if they want to use the word Allah.

2. However, if they want to translate the teachings of Christianity into Malay, why use Allah? Allah is an Arabic term. Malays use TUHAN to describe God. Suddenly the Christian religious authorities have a thing for Arabic terms? If so, why don't they use Allah in the English version of their bibles?

3. The funny thing is, even if this word Allah is allowed to be used by the Christians, it won't cause confusion among the Muslims. Personally, i think it would cause greater confusions among the Christians. English speaking Christians definitely don't use the word Allah while the Malay speaking Christians (probably a lot of them in East Malaysia) use Allah. So if these two were to meet, one will be referring to Allah and the other God. Who's the confused one now? In Malaysia, we are soooooo used to the word Allah being used among Muslims and in MALAYSIA that when one says Allah, we think Islam, ONE God ---> this is probably what the Christian who use the word GOD ALSO thinks. Ask any Hindu or Buddist who is Allah, they will say the God in Islam. Do u actually think a Christian would call their God Allah? None of my Christian friends EVER refer to their God as Allah. Ask them to say it, they will feel one kind - it will be like admitting your God is the God in Islam (because they know that's what Muslims call their God).

Are You Gonna Go My Way,  5 January 2010 at 13:47  

4. To some of my Christian friends out there, the Muslims are simply suspicious that why all of a sudden the Herald wants to use the term Allah. Perhaps the Herald have a bad motive or perhaps no motive at all. Being a law student, i've learnt that MOTIVE is VERY HARD to PROOF. I believe that the term Allah can be use by the Herald because it generally refers to God in Arabic. But their (Herald) argument is that they want to translate the scriptures in Malay, so my question is so why don't use TUHAN? Any Malaysians would know what TUHAN means but not all Malaysians know what Allah means because it's Arabic and only used by Malays because their religion is Islam and the Quran in in Arabic. You ask any non muslims in Malaysia who is Allah and most will say "isn't that the God that Muslims pray to?". Ask a Christian "Do you believe in Allah?" they will think twice before answering it compare to answering instantly to a question like "Do you believe in God?"

Another question that i would like to ask, when lonng long time ago the Christian religious authorities in Malaysia decide to translate the bible into Malay version, why use Allah instead of TUHAN? At that point of time, when u decide to use the word Allah, you know very well the term is used by Muslims to refer to their God in Islam but yet you use it.

P/S : Initially i didn't want to blog about this but when i came across several comments on this issue, some of the comments pisses me off - especially those who think that the Muslims in Malaysia are making a BIG deal out of a small matter (which i do agree this is just a small matter which can be resolve easily). It pisses me off that some comments think that there is some political agenda (which i don't see any?) or the fact that the Muslims Malaysians are being GREEDY in not wanting to share the word Allah with other religions. The thing is, we are simply SUSPICIOUS. For example, i always wear GUESS handbags, always, for years and years. And i have a close friend who knows im a Guess handbags freak but she never buys one. then one day, in that many many years, she decides to buy the same guess handbag that i buy (there are soo many freaking kind of guess handbags but yet she wants to buy the SAME ONE like me!). Besides being PISSED OFF, of course i'll be suspicious, i would be thinking "Is the bitch trying to imitate me?", "Is your motive to PROVOKE me into bitch slapping you?". Okay, i know thats a lousy example but you get the drift.

By Sugar Plum

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