Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Do not become like the Children of Israel…

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


The Declining Day (Al-'Asr)
1. By the declining day,
2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss,
3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort
one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.

RECENTLY the topics on Jews popped up and turned into a heated argument among certain quarters. There are some ‘hadith’ proving that our beloved Prophet, Muhammad s.a.w. had dealings with the Jews.

It is related that 'A'isha said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, bought some food from a Jew on credit and left his armour as security." (Narated by Al-Bukhary)

In another hadith narrated by Jabir bin 'Abdullah: A funeral procession passed in front of us and the Prophet stood up and we too stood up. We said, 'O Allah's Apostle! This is the funeral procession of a Jew." He said, "Whenever you see a funeral procession, you should stand up." (Bukhari Book #23, Hadith #398)

Based on these hadiths, it is not correct to say Muslims cannot have dealings including businesses with the Jews, but what Muslims are told is that they should not follow or imitate the brutality of the Jews; today in the form of the Zionist regime.

As Muslims we should obeyed all Allah SWT words in the Qur’an. Allah SWT has given us warning on this matter in one Qur’anic verse where He warns us not to become like the Children of Israel who disobey some of Allah SWT’s commandments in the Taurah, as stated in Ayah 85 Surah Al-Baqarah which reads; “…Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do ye reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life? And on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For Allah is not unmindful for what ye do.”

In the following verse (Ayah 86 Al-Baqarah), Allah SWT says: “Such are those who buy the life of the world at the price of the Hereafter. Their punishment will not be lightened, neither will they have support.”

Are our lives truly guided by the Qur’an? Or are we good in taking what we think are good to us and ignoring what we feel bad? Regarding this, Allah the Almighty warns in Surah al-Baqarah 2:85, that to accept some part of the Qur’an and to reject some is to reject all of it. There is no room for partial acceptance in your relationship with the Qur’an; there cannot logical be.

Have a good look at Ayah (Ayat) 178 and 183 of Surah Al-Baqarah (Cow); why we fully accepted God’s commandments regarding fasting but we were reluctant to his laws of ‘qisas’. Ayah 183 reads; “O ye who believe! Fasing is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you that ye may ward off (evil),” while Ayah 178 reads; “O ye who believe! Retalation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. And for him who is forgiven somewhat by his (injured) brother, prosecution according to usage and payment unto him in kindness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. He who transgresseth after this will have a painfull doom.” (The Meaning of the Glorious Qu’an, translation by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall)

Muslims should have no reservations in implementing all of Allah SWT commands including hudud law and preventing ‘mungkar’ (sins). Having reservation on any of Allah SWT’s commands is a clear violation of our oath, the ‘syahadah’, that we will submit and obey all of Allah SWT’s commands.

Some scholars even say having such an attitude will nullify our ‘syahadah’ and is sufficient to make a person ‘kafir’ (a non-believer). And Allah SWT has given us warning on this matter in Ayah 85 Surah al-Baqarah (stated above) where Allah SWT warns us not to become like the Children of Israel who disobey some of Allah SWT’s commandments in the Taurah.

Regarding accepting Islam fully as the only way of life including non separation of politics and religion, I am glad to highlight this e-mel from a reader.

May this e-mail find you in peace.

Part one

I wish to refer to your previous article 'Seeking the ‘correct path’ in life'. The e-mail from your reader, a Malay female university student, which you shared was indeed very heart moving. Firstly, interestingly enough, her awakening to her own religion is inspired through the noble newspaper Harakah which, for the uninitiated, is basically a political publication, say like the Rocket, Suara Keadilan and others, or even if they be pro-Umno-BN.

As for me (a slight digression towards myself), even though I have been a Harakah reader for than two years now, trying to assimilate and accept previously unacceptable concepts such as non-separation between politics and religion is something that can only happen with the significant passage of time.

The truth about this non-separation is that it is actually true for all religions (and very much in Sikhism) but here in Malaysia this truth seems to have survived only in Islam. So, for all practical purposes I have decided to consider myself a non-Muslim Islamist if I have to, just to propagate the idea of this non-separation.

Okay, back to the girl. Of the many experiences she shared I think the most horrific was that of having to witness or to be in the know of the wild sex and pleasure life of some of her campus mates. I felt most tearfully grateful that she was saved from it.

Then there are other personal attitudes and views described that she had to deal with which completely split her mind into two such as praying to Allah and yet missing out on prayers, listening / reading the Qu’ran and then also listening to the latest music and so on.

These descriptions are so typical of all humans facing what might be generally referred to as a morality crisis. A morality crisis is mentally and emotionally very taxing leading to a sense of helplessness which then culminates in what she so aptly described as a severe depression. This was when she decided to run away from the hectic environment and the hypocrisy of other people.

A morality crisis, you might say, is one where one needs to organise one’s thoughts, words and deeds and compartmentalise them into the very black and white groups of good and evil. Then further soul searching brings up the not so obviously black and white areas, or perhaps the grey areas which need a lot more effort, maturity and understanding and also the need to be well versed with one’s religious teachings.

I think that you have indeed picked a very suitable e-mail with very meaningful content for the young generation to ponder upon.

Part two

On Sunday 25th March I heard the winding up lecture by PAS President Dato Sri Hadi Awang at the Kajang Town Council Hall building.

The hall was filled to capacity by anak Terengganu. His lecture was probably the longest (there were three other speakers) but he never seemed to run out of important and yet very interesting subject matter, even for me, a non-Malay listener (probably the only one), despite the Terengganu dialect that he sometimes used. (What a coincidence that the aforementioned Harakah reader whose e-mail you shared has her maternal routes in Terengganu.)

What really got my attention were the pain and the passion with which he was delivering himself. It took me some time to try to put this delivery into perspective as I asked someone sitting next to me whether Dato Hadi Awang was himself an anak jati. Then it all fell into place. He was also the former MB who lost his precious state to the Federal Umno goons. He was speaking with the pain of a 'mangsa penjajahan' (victim of domination).

I don’t have a recording of his speech so I will be quite vulnerable to mistakes and misquotes but certainly not to the spirit of his delivery.

So, carrying on, the next thing I felt was the change in my perception of the state of Terengganu. I had always thought it as a second-to-Kelantan PAS-state (even if it is currently ex-PAS), or perhaps a third after Kedah (currently PAS).

I can’t fully remember nor fully understand the depth of the political history of the state that he described but right now in my mind, the roots of Terengganu seem to be more PAS then those of Kelantan. For me this was a startling shift in paradigm.

This also includes my perception of the PAS President himself. Was it not just recently that some media headlines were highlighting how Tuan Guru Nik Aziz scolded Dato' Hadi for wanting to step down to concentrate on being a religious teacher?

There was anger in his voice as he mentioned certain Federal projects (maybe one or maybe more, I can’t quite recall) which were carried out using State funds. Then of course there is the infamous oil royalty issue.

He then went on to elaborate on the vast resources available. There were so many rivers in Terengganu, for instance, one of which could easily support a hydro-electric plant. Then there were the coastal towns which could become seaports with shipping routes right across the Pacific Ocean up until the Americas.

He then asked the sixty-four billion dollar question; why is Terengganu not competing neck and neck with Selangor. What gargantuan implications this question has. We may as well ask why aren’t all the thirteen states not competing neck and neck with one other? - Your comrade in PAS.

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