Friday, September 9, 2016

Eidil Adha Again

Eidil Adha has come around again as millions of Muslims move to Arfah to perform the Ukuf. Muslims at home and around the world were advised by Prophet Mohammada SAW to fast from the first of Zulhijjah until Ukuf (Sunday 11/9) to honour the Haj  pilgrimage and perform the Qurban ( sacrifice) on  the day Eidil Adha is celebrated (Monday 12/9). The single day of fasting would delete a year of sin both before and after that day ( with other terms and conditions, of course.)

Islam indeed is a religion with well-defined do's and don't's, based on four or five categories of restrictions and flexibilities. "Wajib" is a must, prescribed by Allah in the Quran. " Sunat" is something that is preferred and strongly recommended. It is what the Prophet (PBUH) had done and, therefore, praiseworthy to emulate. "Haram" is what is categorically prohibited and a sin to violate the restriction. "Mubah" is what is an obvious necessity like eating and drinking, also known in Malay as "Harus" ( a must). Finally there's the uncertain or controversial category called "                   ". You are advised to keep away from such things such as when you are in doubt as to whether certain action is permitted or not.

But Islam has one other category of flexibility that is most practical and human. It is called "dharuri" or "dharurat" as the Malays put it. It allows you to eat and drink what is otherwise "Haram" in times of emergency and a person has no choice if he or she were to survive. The Muslim is even allowed to do do things that would otherwise be strictly prohibited, when life and limbs are endangered. A Muslim is strictly prohibited from putting his life in danger intentionally, such as trying to or committing suicide.

So, it's most surprising that some people think of Islam as a very strict and restrictive religion. Yes, some of the responsibilities imposed look severe such as praying five time in a day and night ( a good Muslim  performs more than five times (Subuh, Zuhur, Asar, Maghrib dan Isyak) with all the "Sunat" prayers as performed by the Prophet (PHUB). You've to fast in the month of Ramadhan, pay Zakat (in addition to income tax), perform the Haj, keep away from illicit love (zina), women (and men too) must cover their "aurat" ( attractive body parts), etc. etc. Yes, women's rights are not the same as in the west.

But, Allah imposed all the restrictions for certain reason which modern science is just beginning to appreciate. The Islamic Banking system for example is just beginning to be appreciated after the weaknesses of the capitalist and profit-centered western system begins to show its ugly face.

No, we Muslims don't like to nor criticise other faiths and religion. They all originate from some sacred revelation from the Creator, tempered or not by men. What you believe in is your right. But Eidil Adha is here and people of other faiths are welcome to celebrate with us. Were are firstly all human beings, but   the degree of humaneness and humanity inherited from our forebears differ. Some can kill and destroy other human beings like they are animals. Let them face their Creator in the after life and the Day of Judgement. However high their position and status in society now, before the Creator they will only be powerless souls at His disposal.

Happy Hari Raya Haji to all.

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