Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Islam - What it's not.

There seem to be so much misunderstanding on Islam as a religion today, just because a lot or brutalities, injustice, acts of aggression and indiscretion had been committed in the name of Islamic 'jihad' (struggle to defend and purify the Islamic faith).Or alleged to be so.Yes, there had been a lot of bloody wars fought by the Muslims before, like those waged by the Christians and defenders of other faiths. But now is the age of civility, enlightenment and justice. Or are we still 'insensitive fanatics' as far as religious faith is concerned?
prayers start from young
Yes, there are prescriptions in the al-Quran and Hadiths (sayings of Prophet Mohammed SAW) which sound very cruel like stoning an adulterer to death, cutting off the hand for stealing, and other punishments for evil actions or crimes like "an eye for an eye", "a tooth for a tooth""a life for a life" etc as found in the Bible. But they are all subject to the current laws of the country and "very stringent rules of evidence and testimony by incorruptible witnesses." A peremptory prescription in the al-Quran states "( obey and) be loyal to Allah, the Prophet and the leaders chosen from among yourselves." All true Muslims will abide by these rules.

But there are those who claim to be Muslims, are engaged in explaining the teachings of Islam and/or involved in the struggle to defend the Islamic faith, who act beyond what is normally considered as Islamic, or give the teachings of Islam their own interpretation and guided by leaders who try to do more than even what Allah instructed the Prophet to do. Allah repeatedly reminds the Prophet SAW that he was only His messenger, charged with the responsibility of spreading and explaining the teachings of Islam with no power to change people or force people to change.
no men in social gathering for ladies
If so how could ordinary Muslims with no claim to prophethood or any Godly power, take it upon themselves to force people to obey their religious faith or prescriptions? Yes, the al-Quran did say that the Muslims are considered as 'caliphs' on earth but only in spreading and explaining Islam, NOT punishing the non-bslievers. There is no forcing in religion ( La ikrahu fiddeen). That's the final words of Allah.Yet too many Islamic leaders and self-appointed champions are forcing their interpretation of Islamic teachings on others, both Muslims and non-Muslims.This is the root cause of Islam being misunderstood, belittled and even disdained today.

In Malaysia itself some simple act of social and cultural deviation, like a young female admirer of pop songs going on stage and hugging a favourite singer, can cause a national protest from the Muslims. It certainly is an unethical and a non-Islamic act of appreciation. But it's just a social and cultural faux paux, committed by a young girl wearing the head-cover in conformity with the Islamic requirement. Why must it be considered as an insult on Islam when the show itself is non Islamic but approved to be staged?
young girl hugged by a pop star on stage
Lert's not forget that Islam is not just a religion but a way of life for those who choose to adopt it. For those born into the religion, the social aspects of modern life must be accommodated somehow so that the young can have a social life and not be expected to behave like an 'old devout' before they have a chance to enjoy life like other youngsters and teenagers. I sometimes felt sorry to see a young Muslim boy or girl garbed in the 'jubah' or 'purdah' made of thick fabric sweltering in the hot sun, while their friends are dressed more aptly for the Malaysia climate. I'm afraid that one day they will get fed up of the impositions made on them and let loose their natural tendencies, the human 'fitrah' as admitted by Allah in His Creation.

Islam is a religion of peace and harmony which can be viewed from three approaches: the 'naqliah' or traditional, the 'aqliah' or rational and the 'kasyf' or mystical. The first two must rely on the rational, for the insane or irrational individual is Not bound by any Islamic obligations. Only the ways of the mystics often challenge our rationality. Thus all irrational acts committed by one who claims to be a Muslim is either non-Islmic or mystical and cannot be judged by normal human rational….(Wallahu alam).