Allah Hafiz vs. Khuda Hafiz

Category: Asia, Faith & Spirituality Topics: Allah Channel: Opinion Views: 46269
46269

I am a Muslim and I am an Indian. I was born and brought up in this country, speaking Urdu/Hindi and using terms like 'Namaaz' and 'Roza'. I have no desire to suddenly change my language because 'some' people find it inappropriate. I absolutely hate the de-Indianization of Indian Muslims, saying, for example, "Ramadan Kareem" instead of "Ramzaan Mubarak", and "salaat" instead of "namaaz."

Today, someone told me that 'Khuda hafiz' is not the correct word to be used, and we should rather say 'Allah hafiz'. The reason given was that "Parsis also use Khuda hafiz". I have heard the same ridiculous notion earlier as well. I am very sure that a lot of people reading this also have similar views. In any case, I make it clear to anyone and everyone reading this post, that I, Almas, will not stop saying 'Khuda hafiz'.

Firstly, for the benefit of the readers, 'Khuda' is a word incorporated into Urdu from Persian (like many other Urdu words). If you do a thorough search, you will find that the word 'Khuda' has a very elaborate meaning - from 'the powerful one' to 'the one to whom sacrifices are offered'. To keep it simple, we shall use the commonest meaning for which the term 'Khuda' is used, i.e., 'God'.

When I say Khuda, I mean my God, my Creator, the One to whom I shall return. When I say Khuda, I mean my Allah. However, obviously, not everyone in the world speaks Urdu, and not everyone in the world calls Allah 'Khuda.' Just like not everyone in the world speaks English, not everyone in the world would call Allah 'God'. However, I am not 'everyone in the world', and I do call my God 'Khuda'. It doesn't matter to me who uses this word for what other purposes. There are people who say that 'Khuda' should not be used because a lot of other people use this term for their God.

Urdu is a language, so is Persian, and anyone who speaks in this language can use 'Khuda' for his God. A Christian from Pakistan can use 'Khuda', a Zoroastrian from Iran can use 'Khuda'. This, by no means, implies that a Muslim from either Pakistan or Iran cannot use 'Khuda'.

When you say that 'Khuda' can also mean the Christian God or the Parsi God or even the Sikh or Hindu God, you are actually trying to say that there IS a Christian God, a Parsi God, a Sikh God, a Hindu God besides a Muslim God Allah.

Tell me, is this what you believe in?

Does this make you a Muslim?

Tell me, what is the most important thing to be a Muslim?

The belief in one God.

Allah.

La ilaha illallah.

There is no God but Allah.

So, when anyone says 'God', what should come to your mind?

Allah, because who is Allah but Allah?

There is one God who created us all, who provides for us all, whether we be Muslim or Hindu or Parsi or whatever. Then what exactly do you mean when you say that 'so and so people also call their God 'Khuda'?
Do you realize that a Christian Arab also uses the word 'Allah' but for him Allah is the father of Jesus. So, now, shouldn't I stop using the term 'Allah' too? Do you realize that when Huzur (Salallaho alaihe wasallam) became a Prophet, Arabs belonging to the Jahiliya also worshipped Allah, only that they also worshipped Uzza, Lat, and Manat? So, doesn't this also mean that I should stop using 'Allah'?

A lot of Non-Muslims believe that Allah is some 'other' God, i.e, a God other than their own God. So, doesn't 'Allah' too conjure images other than what we, as Muslims, know 'Allah' means? Now, if 'Allah' despite being used by other sects means Allah then I am sure 'Khuda' too can mean 'Allah' for me.

When a Christian says 'Khuda hafiz', he might be leaving you in the protection of God the Father. However, when I, or any other Muslim, say 'Khuda hafiz', we are leaving you in the protection of Al-Ilah - The God.

There are definitely reasons why you can tell me to use 'Allah hafiz' instead of 'Khuda hafiz'. The best being that Allah calls Himself Allah in the Qur'an. Also, that saying the 'word' Allah itself brings blessings and that it binds the Ummati in a common thread. If you give me these reasons I will agree with you. However, if you give me the stupid reason that a Parsi also calls God 'khuda' than you are going to get a piece of my mind.

Besides, Allah created us all differently - there are Muslims with golden hair and blue eyes, Muslims with black skin and curly hair and Muslims with brown skin and black eyes. We eat different food, speak different languages and have different cultures. We are united in our belief and our belief doesn't include us becoming Arabs. No, I don't mean that 'Allah' is for Arabs alone. What I mean is that this sudden need among Indian Muslims to switch over from 'namaaz' to 'salaah' and the like, and also a sudden defilement of 'Khuda hafiz', have all arisen (I believe) from that same misconception that Muslim and Arab is synonymous.

It is NOT.

I live in Kerala (at present) and the Muslims here use the term 'Niskkaram' or 'Namaskkaram' for 'Namaaz' / 'Salaah'. Yet, I don't find huge forums on the Internet debating the usage of the term. Nor do I find Keralite Muslims with any sense of shame in their usage of a word that is well known to have Hindu origins (if I can call them that) to refer to the second pillar of Islam. Yet, 'namaaz', 'roza', and 'khuda' are so vehemently opposed. The only explanation that I can find for this absurd phenomenon is the huge population of Hindi/Urdu Muslims.

Keralite Muslims form a small population and their 'terms' are not so apparent to the larger Muslim world, nor are they a threat. Urdu/Hindi Muslims are a huge group of people and since we have become part of a global community the Urdu/ Hindi Muslim 'terms' have somehow stood as competitors to their 'Arabic' counterparts.

With an increasing Western Muslim population, due to an unprecedented rise in reversions, Arabic in its chaste form is being embraced as the sole language of Islam.

In such a scenario, naturally, the older Indian/Pakistani Muslims who use Urdu/Hindi in its various forms, present the single largest 'alienation'. Thus, there is this need to extol the usage of 'Arabic' terms, or rather deprecate the usage of Urdu/Hindi terms that the larger Muslim World cannot understand.

I feel that this is ridiculous. Trust me, my God can understand all the languages he created. He really does. The need to de-Indianize us (Urdu/Hindi Muslims) stems from the belief that how can anything Muslim be non-Arab? It is very similar to the Urdu/Hindi Muslim belief that how can anything Muslim be non-Urdu/Hindi (within India)?

Since most Muslims in India know one or the other form of Urdu/Hindi, even if their mother tongue is something totally different (for example, Tamil), there is a common belief that all Indian Muslims speak Urdu. This is not true. I know Keralite Muslims who don't know the 'alif' of Urdu and yet they are beautiful Muslims.

We need to realize that the pulse of the Ummati, the golden thread that binds us as Muslims, is our belief and not our language. We need to understand that 'your God and my God and his God and her God and that God and this God and their God' is for people who believe that there can possibly be more than one God.

What makes us Muslims is our proclamation: "There is One God."

Now, whether I call him God, or 'Rabb' or 'Khuda' or 'Bhagwaan' or 'Maalik' or 'Parwar dighaar', is not of as much importance as that I call Him and Him alone.

There is only One who can possibly be God

Him - Al-Ilah - The God

Wahadahu la shareek

Allahu Akbar.

Source: The Muslim Observer - Almas Kiran Shamim


  Category: Asia, Faith & Spirituality
  Topics: Allah  Channel: Opinion
Views: 46269

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Older Comments:
DR IMRANUDDIN_INAMDAR FROM INDIA said:
Assalam alaikum,
Language is not a barrier in islamic prctise, but using Arabic is best for particular things,i am also using Allah haafiz now a days,don't be obstinate for good cause.In kerala(south indian state)muslms using "namaskaram" for salat/namaz, "Noam" for saom/roza.Muslims should not split over languages as Islam is a UNIVERSAL religion.Bangladesh split from islamic nation over Bangla and Urdu row but muslims in india are still using urdu as there mother tongue in non-muslim nation.Learn more languages for dawah/dawat.May ALLAH unites muslims all over globe....Aameen
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AFZAL RAHMAN FROM CANADA said:
The writer's observations are very valid - especially, his point that
there is only one Allah in the universe. So call Him by any name, you
are still referring to the ONE & none other.
Allahu Akbar!
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AMAN FROM USA said:
Agreed. It's a mistake that many Muslims make. It reminds me of a
time I attended a Muslim conference in the US with a relative who
didn't like a particular speaker because he kept on saying God
instead of Allah. Which is a silly reason. The same with the word
madrassa, which means school in Arabic. It could be a secular,
Christian, or Buddhist school but the term has taken on a different
meaning in some non-Arabic speaking countries and especially so in
the West. Many fellow Muslims don't know where the Arab begins and
the Islam ends. It is not the language that it is spoken in that
matters to God, rather it is the "niyya" or intention of the speaker
that matters. Islam encourages diversity as we were made into
nations and tribes to know one another. Or else we would all be
speaking the same language, wearing the same clothes, and have
similar sounding names.
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ROSEMARY FROM CANADA said:
I think the ranting of the author in this article is ridiculous. It's time that we all lose our cultural identity and develop our Islamic identity when it comes to our religion and since our religion is a way of life, then let's leave the the culture out. Being neither Pakistani or Indian, I use neither. When I want to say hello or goodbye to someone I use the greeting of our Prophet (Blessings be upon him), Assalamu'alaikum and Wa'alaykum asalam. This is universal, then no culture gets offended. So Brother, maybe this is what you should start doing then none is offended.
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SHAH FROM CANADA said:
Simple Brother...when you know better say and do better. Using the appropriate words of our beloved Prophet [SAW] is much more rewarding to anyone Arab or non-Arab. So using appropriate words like Allah [SWT] instead of Khuda; Salaat instead of Namaaz etc. does not make you or for that matter anyone else any less an Indian or Pakistani.

My language is English only and I despised using God for Allah and prayer for Salaat. These are sacred words that our Beloved Prophet [SAW] used and if we are to follow Him [SAW] then why not the words He [SAS] also used of what little we know. So calm down Akhi [Brother] and focus on when you know better-do-better.
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AMIRA FROM INDIA said:
Arabic is the language of the quran and we should use arabic as much
as we can to stay close to the original. And Allah is mentioned in the
quran not Khuda thats why I prefer to use Allah Hafiz.
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ADEL FROM USA said:
I'm afraid that this article and what it espouses is fitna to the ummah. While it is one thing to revert to commonly used terms such as Namaaz vs. Salah, to say that Khuda is the same as Allah is grossly misleading. There is no equivalant to Allah as it has no plural, no gender, no past, present or future. Simply put, The Creator has chosen is as His name (swt) as it describes His Great and Unique attributes. This is a very dangerous path to go down.

I remind myself and my dear brothers and sisters that 3500 years passed between the lives of prohpets Ismail (as) and Muhammed (phub). The Arabs of that time remained monotheists for 3325 years. But in 175 years time, they introduced over 300 idols. It only takes a small seed to plant the weeds of fitna and that's the last thing this ummah needs right now.
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AHMED NADIM FROM USA said:
Should we call us humans, Insan or Admi or Rajul? Which one is more Islamic? This sound absurd but this is the absurdity this article on Allah Hafiz and Khuda Hafiz brings forth. Allah was a term used by Kuffar at the time of the Prophet and Kaaba was the place where idol were kept and worshiped. However, Allah never had an issue with these people. he never questioned them for using the word Allah. If the author or his supporters were in Makkah at that time, they would have certainly fought for the removal of the word Allah from the Quran and the Kaaba to be demolished for its impurity.
But we have come to a very low level of intellect where we have to discuss mundane issue in the name of Islam and God. it is a sad state of affairs.
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A.SHAIKH FROM INDIA / UK said:
As-salam alaikum,
I think that identity is a complex issue, & that in an increasingly cosmopolitan world we have multiple identities that come to the fore, it is also fluid. I am first & foremost a Muslim,then in no particular order British of Indian parentage, & of mixed racial ancestry e.g. Arabian,Persian,Indian,African,to name a few strands. Self-respect is important, as we should not be forced to identify as something we are not.
Allah has made us from different tribes so that we may know one another, there is wisdom & beauty in that.
I essentially agree with Sam the Indian Muslimah.
As a child, I grew up saying Khudha-hafiz & that links in organically with the Sufis who brought us into Islam; it is very romantic & emotional, & I don't feel that my Ibrahimi Tawheed (contrasting with my personal disgust with polytheism) is compromised.
Growing up in Britain, & coming across multiple Muslim cultures, many could not understand & so one naturally reverts to the Lingua Franca of the Ummah i.e. Arabic. When one wants to touch the heart of Islam, via the Divine revelation, only Allah connects at that most elemental of levels - direct spiritual contact.
In everyday use with non-Muslims, Allah is given primacy, but God is used if I don't want to distance my fellow son of Adam (alaihis salam). Also, the work of Dr Zakir Naik is at play, Allah cannnot be twisted as easily as God e.h. goddess. In ads, I have seen "release your inner goddess", "be a god" - that pagan anthromorphic confusion has destroyed Biblical Christianity.
Similarly Turkic influenced peoples such as those from the Balkans have their own local idiom.
I see no reason to not use a multiple layer relatively tolerant approach according to the situation. Allah hafiz/ Khudhaa hafiz.
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MIRZA FROM USA said:
I think this focus on 'Allah Hafiz' started in Pakistan and then catching up in India and I believe that is because of the identity crisis among so many there to attach to the 'Arab' world instead of the 'Indian subcontinental' world. The Indian subcontinent has had a differentiated language of Islam - something which should be celebrated (Khuda, Parvardigar, Namaz, Roza, ZakaT, JannaT, HaZrat, Dalil, etc instead of overstress on Allah, Salah, Saum, Zakah, Jannah, Dhaleel, etc). To those who contest food for thought - Allah mean Al+Ilah (The God); an Arabic Name. What was Allah called in non-Arab lands like in China, Africa, Rome, ancient civilizations?
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SAM FROM USA said:
I am also a Muslimah of Indian origin using some of these words. I happily accomodate
to the words from the beautiful language of the quran the words of the hadith. When we
learn the Arabic language for the love of the quran and hadith, we realize the beauty of
these words. Subhanallah, I was ready every bit to use these words that have been used
by the prophet (s) instead of words that defined my culture. Is there anything wrong in
saying roza instead of saum? Of course no!! But when we say khuda who is a persian
idol god, not general name of god, then I saw a problem. 'Allah' is also used by jews,
christians, and muslims who are Arabs but this word means 'The Supreme God' without
any shirk. So I quickly stopped using the word khuda. Now I understood that as long as
ciulture does not interfere with Islam and its principles, I do not have to give it up.
Moreover, the words used by our beloved prophet are filled with wisdom for eg we can
say charity for zakah but by saying zakat it makes it something that purifies our wealth
from the root word z-k-y in Arabic.
As I am in the process of learning the beautiful language of the quran and hadith, the
more I fall in love with this language and the more I want to use the words used by our
beloved prophet (s). May Allah open our hearts to the truth and give us all an
opportunity to learn the language of the quran and do amal on what we learn. Ameen.
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RAZI CHAUDHRY FROM CANADA said:
Its surprising that some one posted that "Allah hafiz" is new term.. Muslims from time of Prophet (pbuh) used to say "Fi Amanu Allah"...

Lets keep the word "Allah" on our tongue in our day to day dealing, rather than making the word "Allah" alien to Muslims..

"Allah Hafiz", "Allahu Mustaan", "Fi Aman Allah", "Allahu Ghafooru AlRahmeen", "Allahu Shafi".. Thousands of these prayers are there for Muslims to be said on daily basis. Apparently, simple as it is, "Fi Aman Allah or Allah Hafiz" is a small prayer. Can we not do our prayer by invoking name of Allah?

28:88 And invoke not any other ilah (god) along with Allah, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He).
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RAZI CHAUDHRY FROM CANADA said:
PART 2-2

The word "Rabb" is a common noun and other dieties can also be Rabb. i.e. Rabb al-maal , Rabb al-Bait (caretaker of house), Rabb al-Jaml (caretaker of camel)

Similarly, word Khuda is common noun that can be used for other dieties other than Allah. In my opinion, word Khuda is closest to its meaning with word "Rabb". However, it is not even close to its meaning in word "illah".

Hence, Allah swt gave Himself name, Al-illah (i.e Allah). We can call Allah swt with all names/attributes that He gave him self:

17:110 Say, "Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call - to Him belong the best names."

So we can say "Allah Hafiz", "ArRahman HafiZ", "Fi Amanu Allah" and so on. But the best is to call Him Allah..

Hence Allah swt states:
28:88 And invoke not any other ilah (god) along with Allah, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He).

Simply put, we can call you "a girl" or call you "Almas Kiran Shamim" (same as calling Allah, God or Allah). When we call you with your name "Almas Kiran Shamim", its particular person, vs call you "girl".. common sense?


Secondly, It is not factual to state that larger Muslims do not understand the term Allah, and term "Allah Hafiz" is alien to larger Muslim, and term "Khuda Hafiz" is more accustomed. To your own admission, Ironically, no Mulim is considered Muslim until he states "la illah illa Allah". So, then all Muslim knows how to say word "Allah. vs no Muslim ever said "la illah illa Khuda"!!
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RAZI CHAUDHRY FROM CANADA said:
PART 1-2

the term "illah" generally translated as word "god" has very different meaning in Arabic language and in context of Quran. Apparantly, there is no english word to describe it, hence word God is taken as closest understanding in English. In Urdu, ople use "illah" or 'mabood". i.e. "Koi mabood nahi siway Allah kay." (none has the right to be worshipped but He). The word Mabood has its roots in arabic three letter "A B D".

In order to fully appreciate the use of word Illah, one should clearly understand the meaning of "ABD, "Illah", "RABB"

In quranic context, "illah" means:
- 43:84 And He alone is the Ilah in the heavens and the Ilah in the earth; and He alone is the all-Wise
- 28:70 And He is Allah; La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). His is all praise, in the first (i.e. in this world) and in the last (i.e.in the Hereafter). And for Him is the Decision, and to Him shall you (all) be returned
- 28:71 Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Tell me! If Allah made night continuous for you till the Day of Resurrection, who is an ilah (a god) besides Allah who could bring you light? Will you not then hear?"
- 28:72 Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Tell me! If Allah made day continuous for you till the Day of Resurrection, who is an ilah (a god) besides Allah who could bring you night wherein you rest? Will you not then see?"

There are large number of verses in Quran that describe attributes of "illah". Hence, Illah is terminology that can not be simply qualified as word "god", rather its a diety that is Supereme Authority, who fulfils needs of creation, and since all authority and power is vested in Him, no one has power to challenge it.

Space if limited here to describe full meaning of Illah, but if you study these three words you will understand it clearly in light of Quranic verses.

There fore, Allah swt asked us to say "La illah illa Allah", use of word "illah" made sense. otherwise we could say "La Rabb illah Allah"
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SAYEED FROM USA said:
Brother it looks to me your nationalism is way more important than you
r faith. Please try to read more about your faith before you produce

such an article. What you are basically doing is spreading FITNAH. And

what I dont understand why Islamicity is even allow such an article to

be published in their website.
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BABANDI A. GUMEL FROM U.K said:
We should stop localising our Deen i.e Gujratizing it or Bengalalising it or whatever rather we should leave it and accept it as Universal Religion sent to the whole Universe.Wama Arsalnaka illa Rahmatan Lil Alameen.One brother used to mention in front of me Namaz instead of Salah and I told him it was wrong.He asked me why,I retorted have we ever said Hayya alal Namaz in Azan? Is it not Hayya Alal Salah and he quickly accepted his mistake there and then.La ila ha ilallah is not equal to La ila ha illa Khuda.So we should stick to our Deen and the Sunnah of Rasulullah as he was the best example and not the other way of any body.May Allah give us taufiq to follow and stick to the Deen and the Sunnah of our beloved Rasulullah until we meet our Creator.
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MIYANJI FROM USA said:
Very good, Thank you. This is started about 30-35 years ago, Allah Hafiz. Only reason I see is that Iran is Shia Muslim country, so some people do not like to use Khuda as Iranian word. In envy of Islamic state of Iran. Khuda Hafiz.
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H.A. FROM YATHRIB said:
Your intention and what is in your heart are important than anything else.

God knows the secrets of the heaven and Earth and what's hidden in your heart.
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AZIZ HUQ FROM US said:
You have raised some interesting questions which you yourself have answered beautifully.

Consider this fact also: Bangladeshi Muslims constitute the largest monolithis block, after the Arabs with a population of over 150 million (when West Bengal is included) with the same "mother tongue". Yet they also use terms like: Khuda, Namaz and Roza. This is a legacy of the past. But as one builds that relationship with the Quran which extols the use of the beautiful names of Allah ( all 99 or so are Arabic) and when one constantly reads and hears the terms Salah and Sawm one begins to buld a bond with these terms. No amount of lecturing can bring that on. So, keep using what you feel like with you heart open to the beautiful terms used in the Quran. You will insha'Allah begin to love them. Wassalam,
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