I said Hallelujah today in front of the many typical spectators, where here the word typical reflects the type of people who are not only clueless but are also clueless that they are, in fact, clueless. I was singing Rufus Wainwright's Hallelujah.
And as a result, I successfully sparked a very heated argument.
Being someone who respects and enjoys arguments, I was actually looking forward for them clueless people to start bashing me up verbally, especially by coming out with numerous verses in the Koran and in the end sentenced me to eternal summer in hell which, as expected, they did. They called me an unbeliever, an infidel, a kaffir.
Let's see where this word Hallelujah comes from.
According to Wikipedia;
Hallelujah, Halleluyah and the Latin form Alleluia are transliterations of the Hebrew word הַלְּלוּיָהּ (Standard Halleluya, Tiberian Halləlûyāh) meaning "Praise (הַלְּלוּ) Yahweh (from the first two letters of the Tetragrammaton יהוה) (יָהּ)" and is similar to the Arabic phrase Alhamdulillah, used by Muslims and by Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians. Hallelujah is found primarily in the book of Psalms. The word is used in Judaism as part of the Hallel prayers, and in Christian prayer, particularly in the Catholic Mass. It has been accepted into the English language and has a similar pronunciation in many other languages.
This of course confirm two things: one is that the word Hallelujah is indeed a Jewish word, and that it is widely used in Christian and Jewish prayers. Literally means praise, it carries similar meaning with the Muslim version of the same phrase - Alhamdulillah.
But does saying it makes a Muslim an unbeliever?
People of different races have their own way in expressing their thankfulness towards God, or whatever they take as their Creator, except the atheist, for atheist only believes in nothing and nothing at all when it comes to religion. Nevertheless, the practice of expressing gratitudes towards God has been carried out in entirely too many ways; by praying, praising, offering, killing animals, killing human, getting killed and et cetera. The more extravagant the way the practices are carried out, the more gratitudes is shown, or so it has been thought and taught.
For instance, if you are feeling thankful to God in the smallest degree, you might just slaughter a chicken perhaps in Muslim belief. But if you are feeling too thankful, you might as well just slaughter all the fat polka-dot dairy cows in the whole New Zealand just to show how thankful you are.
But what really matters is whether or not you are really that thankful. As I see it, one can slaughter as many cows as one desires, but to what ending? The purest of thanks is when you thank unconditionally. It is in your heart, of course. You can turn the whole farm into an instant mass slaughter house but if in your heart the gratitudes you have are not that pure, it will carry no meanings at all.
In a more familiar word, it is termed ikhlas.
Same goes for the word Hallelujah, or in some other cases the word 'bye' (so it is said that it literally means 'under the blessings of the Pope') and other Christian/Jewish/Buddhist etc related words. What makes me an unbeliever by uttering the word Hallelujah? What was it in my heart when I spoke the word, did anyone know? What if, maybe, that I uttered the word to express my gratitudes using that word, and nothing else but? Does that make me a kaffir as well? Is it that simple, really?
Talking about kaffir, how easy it is to tell that someone is really one? Talking about heaven and hell, what makes one is entitled to going to any? How do you tell that he or she will go to hell instead of heaven, and the opposite as well?
What gives you the godly power to entitle one to be sent to heaven and hell? Don't we have a God who actually carries out that duty? So why bother being so supreme and play God in a way?
Who are YOU to make such decision?
Think about it.
p/s: I have a Hindu friend who cries out "Jesus H. Christ!" whenever he is amused, and a Christian friend who yells out loud happily "Alhamdulillah" whenever good things happen to him. So, what these make of them?