The Council of Islamic Scholars in Indonesia has asked a man whose name translates to God to change it or stand the risk
of denied access to social services, they claim that the man’s name is offensive to their religious sensibilities.
This case is a first of its kind, for Indonesia, the country with the highest population of muslims in the world. The man
in question, a carpenter who is simply identified as Tuhan, the Indonesian word for God, has been told by the scholars
that he has to entirely change his name or at least modify it by adding a prefix to it. The head of the Council of Muslim
Scholars in Indonesia, Bukhori Abdussomad strongly urges that Tuhan should at the very least modify his name by adding
“Abdu” to it, Abdu is a prefix that when added to the name would translate his name to “Servant of God”.
Sheikh Abdussomad said: “We suggest the name change to avoid an interpretation that could lead to idolatry. Besides, the
name Tuhan is unseemly from a religious point of view.”
He urged the government to suspend Tuhan’s identity-card and halt his access to social services until he complies and
changes his name. Tuhan, a carpenter by profession hails from the Banyuwangi district of Indonesia, he has however said
that he has no idea why his parents gave the name to him but wondered why it had only become controversial now.
Indonesia with it’s large Muslim population still remains a very liberal and tolerant country. Indonesia’s Muslims have
live peacefully with their fellows of other faiths and they largely eschew the militant and radical Islam traits prevalent
among Muslims in the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan.