Friday, May 6, 2016

Islam in Malaysia comes from India?

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.

ALHAMDULILLAH, I managed to get a seat in Dewan Besar, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) on Sunday night, April 17 to follow Dr Zakir Naik's lecture entitled 'Islam - Problems and Solutions to Humanity'. 

The hall was 'full house', accommodating about 5,000 people including many 'not yet Muslims' while about 20,000 people thronged outside the hall; perhaps they had to be satisfied by watching the events via several large screens.

During the question and answer (dialogue) session which dominated the event which prolonged until past midnight, a 24-year-old student of UTeM recited the 'syahadah' (declaration of the Islamic faith). 

Senkiram Dharma, 24, who was previously a Hindu, among others said:  "I have been waiting for this (converting to Islam) for 24 years. I also have a twin who has already converted to Islam." 

He also told the audiences of the pack hall, he did so out of free will without being coerced or pressured by anyone. He had learned about Islam for many years. The Muslim-convert was later escorted to the main stage where he was embraced by the renowned Islamic preacher from India and was presented with a Qur'an. 

Before coming to Melaka, Dr Zakir in his series of talk in Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur attracted large crowds of people and it was reported that a student of the Christian faith declared the 'syahadah' in the turtle state while in the capital (the hockey stadium in Bukit Jalil), five individuals did so.

Dr Zakir is from India...well thinking about this I could not help from reflecting lessons I had learned for the Islamic History which I took as a part of the History paper in which I sat for the Higher School Certificate (HSC) examination in 1981.

On the topic of 'Islam in Nusantara (South East Asia)' there were discussion on the theories of the coming of Islam to this part of the world. In general three theories were forwarded by scholars namely 'Islam comes from the Arab world (namely Yemen or Hadhramaut) and Persia', 'Islam comes from India' and 'Islam comes from China'.

Among intellectuals who suggested that 'Islam comes from India' were Snouk Hurgronje, Thomas Arnold, GP Moquette and B Harrisson. They claimed Islam were from Gujerat, Malabar and Bengal. A favorite reading for the theory was 'Islam Comes to Malaysia' by Professor S.Q. Fatimi (Malaysian Sociological Research Institute Ltd., Singapore 1963).

In the three principal chapters of his book, Fatimi deals successively with the questions: From where, when and how did Islam come to Malaysia? His answer for the first question is Bengal. In support he draws heavily on Tome Pires' account of Pasai history around 1350 and on etymology. 

During my school days, heated arguments were often witnessed over the subject...Islam in Nusantara comes from where...the Arab world, India or China? Now, based on the way Dr Zakir Naik from India handled his talk and dialogue beautifully during his visit in Malaysia, am I wrong in supporting the theory that Islam in Nusantara comes from India? 

I could picture up how the Indian traders alias preachers used their wisdom and graceful manners during the old days of Malay empires and kingdom such as Melaka, Kedah, Pasai/Perlak, Palembang, Mataram, Aceh and Brunei to coaxed  kings and their high rank officials to accept Islam. In 'Sejarah Melayu' (Malay Annals), it was mentioned about the influence of some powerful Indians on some of the Melaka Sultans.

Now let us look back to Dr Zakir Naik and his series of lectures in Malaysia. As for me, I would like to focus on his event in UTeM Melaka where the 'not yet Muslims' were given priority during the question and answer session. To the 'not yet Muslims', Dr Zakir stressed that if they believe in the only one God and in Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.; then they were already Muslims; only they had not declared it officially that is by taking the 'syahadah'.

Why some of the 'no yet Muslims' taking part in the question and answer session believed in The Only One God and in Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.? In my opinion it was because Dr Zakir stressed that this fact derived from the holy books of of the non-Muslims themselves such as the Veda (Hinduism) and Bible (Christian).

"The Only One God do not have image, without idol, picture and drawing," he read a line or two from the Veda and from the Bible he noted not a verse which Jesus (Prophet Isa a.s.) mentioned that he is the son of God.

Dr Zakir also read from the holy books that mentioned the coming of the last Prophet...he was Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

The believe in The Only One God applies to peoples of other faith other then Islam. In Arabic The Only One God is Allah, thus Allah is not the private God of Muslims.

Allah in Arabic refers to The One and Only True, Universal God of all created things in the seen and unseen worlds. He created them to worship Him. The refusal of anyone to worship Him does not reduce His Majesty as He is independent of needs.

Arab Christians, Arab Jews and Muslims everywhere refer to God as ‘Allah’. The word for God in the Arabic Bible is ‘Allah’. Regarding this matter, Dr Zakir mentioned that it is the duty of every Muslim to refute the believe that Allah has a son...well it was because Allah who says so in the Qur'an: "Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten and there is none like unto Him (Ikhlas 112: 1-4)

It must be made clear in mind that man is incapable of knowing God on his own. He can know God only from what God has revealed about Himself. All the earlier revealed Books of God have either perished or been corrupted by alternations over time.

The only unaltered description of God is found in the Noble Qur’an which was revealed to the last of the prophets, Muhammad s.a.w. It contains the exact Words of God. God is the One and only, independent of all things, has no child or parents, nothing is comparable to Him, and beyond the grasp of human imagination. He calls Himself ‘Allah’ in The Qur’an. This Arabic name has no male or female equivalents, and has no plural.”

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w had shown us His correct path. Rasulullah s.a.w. changed their (the people of Makkah) corrupt and ignorant belief (idol-worshiping) and culture. They transformed from a society who worshiped gods created from stones to a society who worships only Allah; and they discarded all their culture and habits that were forbidden in Islam such as consuming alcohol, adultery, gambling,' ribaa'-based transactions, cheating, bribery, killing female infants and so on.

Allah SWT says in the Al-Qur’an: “And verily, we have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah (Alone) and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc, i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah.”

By reading and quoting from 'their holy books' (Bible, Veda etc), Dr Zakir succeeded in convincing some of the 'not yet Muslims' to believe that Allah is The Only One God and Prophet Muhammad is His Last Messenger.

He stressed that never had Jesus (Nabi Isa a.s.) in the Bible mentioned that he is God. In the Bible, we can find in not less then 60 verses, statements as clear as daylight, that God is one and that Jesus is a human being and a prophet. He was never worshiped as God by his Disciples. The mission of Prophet Jesus was the same as all the 124,000 prophets sent to mankind.

Jesus said of his and our God: “And Jesus answered him. The FIRST of all commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord OUR GOD is ONE Lord.” (Mark 12:29).

To those who were 'not yet Muslims' who were involved in the dialogue, Dr Zakir over and over again mentioned - if you believe in The Only One God and in Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., then you are already a Muslim.

"The only thing is that you had not declared it, well would you like to take the 'syahadah' now?  It is in Arabic, would you like to recite it by by following me..."

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