Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Emulate Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in politics

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

Say, (O Muhammad to mankind): If ye love God, follow me;
God will love you and forgive your sins.
God is Forgiving, Merciful.

TOK Guru (Beloved and Respected Teacher) Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat is a fragile old man. According to a book entitled ‘Biografi Tuan Guru Dato’ Haji Nik Abdul Aziz, Seorang Ulama Serta Ahli Politik Malaysia di Abad ke-20’ (The Biography of Tuan Guru Dato’ Haji Nik Abdul Aziz, A Malaysian Ulema Politician in the 20th Century) written by Jamal Mohd Lokman Sulaiman, the tok guru was born in 1931 in Kampung Pulau Melaka, Kelantan.

So the tok guru is already 80 years old but very energetic in spearheading the Kelantan state government and has time to give sermons not only in his state but in faraway places including my home state, Melaka.

When Nik Abdul Aziz was in Merlimau recently, I took the opportunity to hear the words of wisdom from him. On the night of 12th February he was on stage on the grounds of Tahfiz As-Solihin in Permatang Pasir, Merlimau, with a few other leaders of Pakatan Rakyat such as DAP Youth Leader, Anthony Loke; Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)Youth Leader, Shamsul Kamar Mohd Akin and Secretary General of PKR, Saifuddin Nasution to address the strong crowd of about 3,000 supporters.

The tok guru began his speech by reminding Muslims that they were in the month of Rabiulawal, which scholars believed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born on the 12th day of this month. He said Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had brought the words of God and before him there was a line of prophets from Adam to Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Daud (David), Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus). They were the main prophets from more than 124,000 prophets, all inviting mankind to the path of true peace and obedience to one true God.

The main prophets too had the ‘kitab’ (books of Allah) with the al-Qur’an which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad as the final guidance to mankind until ‘kiamat’ (end of the world).

Nik Abdul Aziz stressed that human beings are weak and unknowledgeable so they had to depend on Allah SWT who at His mercy sent prophets and His books as their guidance. He said the job of human beings was to follow and obey Allah SWT instructions contained in the Qur’an and examples shown by the Prophet s.a.w.

Regarding elections in the country, the tok guru said there were reasons why only citizens aged 21 years and above are eligible to vote. It means only those who have reach ‘akil baligh’ (coming of age, around 15 years old) could have a hand in choosing leaders at constituency, state and federal level. “So only those who have learnt ‘hukum agama’ (religious knowledge) and have the ability to think, could vote.”

“Voters are not children that could be coaxed by giving sweets. They are adults, they are responsible for their deeds – if they do good things they will be rewarded (pahala) and if they do bad things they will be punished (dosa). Regarding these, we must follow Prophet Muhammad’s step in all aspects of life, including politics.”

The tok guru said when Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ‘hijrah’ (migrated) to Madinah, the first step he took was building Masjid Quba’ where all activities including politics were discussed there. “So there’s no separation between religion and politics, contradict to claims by Umno leaders who were in favor of nationalism.”

When Nik Abdul Aziz said there’s no separation between religion and politics, I jotted down that point and when I was at home, I checked up books written about the Prophet, especially on that matter.

A book ‘Pearls of the Prophet – A Guide to successful life from the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)’ has this note about Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. “It is remarkable that his career covered all possible spheres of life such as that of a preacher in a mosque, as a worldly man amongst family and friends, as a man of piety, as a leader, as a soldier, a reformer, a POLITICIAN, a statesman, an administrator and finally as a ruler of a vast kingdom.

“He had the privilege therefore of not only laying down rules of guidance in all such capacities but also gave a practical illustration of these rules. It is these sayings and doings of the Prophet that form the subject matter of Hadith – a guide to successful life from the Prophet.”

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the unanimous choice of scholars as the greatest man in history. Hart in his book ‘The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History’ ranked the Prophet first, while Lamartine / Histoire de la Turquie / Paris 1854 asked; If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?”

So western scholars have acknowledged that Prophet Muhammad is the greatest man and of course the greatest POLITICIAN of all time, so who are we to stray away from his way in politics?

“Those who are for ‘politik suku, agama suku’ (separating politics from religion) are on the wrong course; I have written a letter regarding this matter to the Prime Minister, but until today there was no reply,” said the Menteri Besar Kelantan.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., the final Prophet and Messenger of God, taught us the full and complete meaning of Islam (surrender and commitment to the will of God) through his words, his actions and the revealed Book – the Holy Qur’an.

Some Muslims nowadays are not practicing the Prophet’s teaching in its truest sense; they are giving the wrong impression about Islam. They seem to follow and adhere to what benefits them and abandon the teachings that are against their interests. Umno leaders are not keen incorporating Islam and politics; they see them as different identities.

Nik Abdul Aziz said PAS struggle is to uphold the Prophet’s teaching including in politics. Everyone is answerable to their deeds; even in voting, one is subjected to be rewarded and punished.

“Since our electoral system allowed only citizen of 21 years of age and above to vote, it is our responsibility to make them fully aware of their responsibilities in life where everything they do will be accounted for; they will be rewarded and punished accordingly in the Hereafter.

“So voters are not children that could be coaxed easily by giving them sweets; but Umno-BN treat them just like children, they give them money, projects and pledges,” said the tok guru.

Nik Abdul Aziz said life in this world is a bridge to the Hereafter; those who profess ‘agama lain, politik lain’ (separating religion and politics), were on the crooked path; they are straying from the straight path as we ask upon Allah SWT at least 17 times daily in our five ‘fardu’ (obligatory) prayers.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. as the greatest man in the world including in politics was summed up by the book ‘Pearls of the Prophet’: “The world from Adam onwards had produced monarchs of great pomp and show, generals of extensive conquests, philosophers and thinkers of great repute and poets of world-fame, but can anyone point out how far any of those were instrumental in raising the social status of down-trodden humanity and to what extent they catered to the spiritual elevation of the human mind by removing the rust within their unclean hearts…”

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