Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ramadhan Kareem

Friends and foe alike,

First, I would like to apologize for not updating this blog as frequently as some would like me to.

I don’t have much excuse for not doing so, for that I admit. But insya Allah, in view of the holy month of Ramadhan, I will start writing again, touching on the issues of Islamic State vs Secular State, and also on other political issues which affects us.

insya Allah, and may Allah guide our heart to know the truth. Ameen.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Secular state limits religion? Hogwash! Islamic state limits Islam? Definitely !

I have been busying myself in Malaysia Today lately. Politics interests me a lot but at present I am more inclined to be quiet on this topic. There is a lot of deals going on at the backstage at this moment so I am not going to spoil the fun.

However, the popular topic of religion, Islamic state vs Secular state interest me deeply. I have been engaging one regular commentator in MT who goes by the nick cabearth.

You can view it here: 'Syariah Court Ruling on Siti Fatimah Tan Is A Step In The Right Direction'

The issue is this. In one of his postings, he said

'What Malik Imtiaz and Haris Ibrahim is doing is to try to impose limitation normally imposed by secularism on all religion.'

Now how many of Muslims out there heard this from Ustadzs before?

Often. And in some cases, always.

These Islamists reasoning is simple. According to them, Secularism impose limitation on religion, or ad-deen which is defined as way of life, thus Secularism is, in cabearth's word, "100% contradictory to Islam." Their conclusion is this, Muslims need an "Islamic State" to 'properly' adhere to the tenets of religion.

Does it?

So I pick up the challenge and argue with him, in which till this article is written, no rebuttal came from him yet. If he did in different website, please do highlight it to me.

My argument;

1. Islam is made up out of so many sects (Mazhabs) and school of thoughts. We have Sunni, Syiah and Wahabi. And under them we have many Mazhabs, such as Syafie, Maliki, Hanafi for the Sunnis, Jafariyah, Imamiyah for Syiah. And under one Mazhabs, we have different school of thoughts.

2. Let's take Malaysia as an example. The proposed 'Islamic State' by the local Islamists is based on Syafie rulings.

3. Among the criteria of this effort is this, the Syariah Law which is going to be enforced would be based on Syafi'e rulings (Mazhab Syafi'e)

4. When this happen, it means that Syafi'e ruling would be enforced upon all Muslims regardless of their Mazhab.

5. Islam is not equal to Mazhab Syafi'e. Those who follows other Mazhabs are also Muslims.

6. When the Syafi'e rulings are enforce upon the followers of different Mazhabs, it means that the proposed 'Islamic State', which is actually a 'Syafi'e State', is in actual fact pose limitation on Islam.

Case study : The Ruling of marriage.

In Syafie's ruling, a single Muslim lady must have the permission of her father before she can enter into any marriage. The father as a 'wali' have a final say. In some school of thought in Mazhab Syafi'e, the father can even marry the daughter to anyone he pleases without the permission or knowledge of the daughter and the marriage is legally recognized and binding on the lady.

In Hanafi ruling, it is completely different. A single Muslim lady is recognized as independent and can make decision on her own completely. She can choose to marry whomsoever she pleases and she does not need to get permission from anyone. The father does not have any legal right to prevent the marriage. Even if her father protest, she could go on with the marriage without any hassle.

The Malaysian Syariah Law on marriage is based on Syafi'e ruling. The bride would need to get permission from her father to enter into marriage.

The question now is this, what if there is a Muslim lady from the Hanafi sect, who wants to get married to a man whom she chooses but unfortunately her father does not agree to her choice?

In her own Mazhab, she could carry on with the marriage without any hassle. The state will automatically marry her with the man of her choice. And the marriage would be legally recognized.

But in Malaysia, she would be forced to accept Syafi'e ruling. She would have to obtained permission from her father. All of this is against the decree of the Hanafi's.

Enforcing the ruling of one particular Mazhab on to the followers of different Mazhabs clearly imply one thing, an 'Islamic State' pose a clear 'limitation on Islam' by discriminating other sects.

Syafi'e is not equal to Islam.

Secularism 101 for dummies

The main contention among the fundamentalists is this; secularism limits religions and thus it is anti-religion.

This is as good as saying that Islam is equal to Mazhab Syafi'e.

The truth is there is no one single secular concept for all. Secularism itself varies in principles and practices and this is manifested in the different nations throughout the world.

Take secularism in France and Sweden for example. We have a clear example what constitute a hard secularism like in France or a soft secularism in Sweden.

I still remember few years ago, there were some hue and cry from the Islamists over the ruling that no French public schoolchildren should be allowed to wear anything that symbolizes religion such as hijab for Muslims, crosses for Christians and etc.

This incident is used by Islamists as evidence that secularism limits religion.

They got it all wrong.

In 2004, a court in Sweden sentenced an Iranian man to pay Mahr (Islamic dowry) to his Iranian wife in a divorce case. The man accused his wife of infidelity . In the decision, the court decided that since both the plaintiff and defendant are Iranians, the court will then adopt the Iranian law (in this case Syiah's Sharia Law) in its ruling.

Sweden is a secular state. It disestablished its state religion way back in 2000. But it is well known that Sweden is adopting a soft secularism approach. And the court case is an example of Sweden trying its best to promote multiculturalism and tried to accommodate the rulings from different traditions.

We should ask whether Malaysian Syariah Court or rather Malaysian Syafi'e Court would be as accommodating to the Syiah's as the Swedish court.

The Malaysian Syafi'e Court only cater the needs of Muslims from Syafi'e sect. It discriminates other sects by enforcing rules from Syafi'e on Muslims from other sects. With this in mind, how does a secular state limits religion more than an Islamic State?


1. Secularism limits religion is a sweeping statement. There are many types of secularism.

2. Any Islamic state, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia (and maybe Malaysia in future) limits Islam itself by enforcing ruling from certain Mazhabs only on all Muslims regardless of their mazhabs affiliation.

The claim that Syariah Law is to cater the needs of Muslims is therefore FALSE. The existing Syariah Law, or more appropriately should be call Syafi'e Law, will only cater the needs of Muslims from the Syafi'e sect while discriminating other Muslims from different Mazhabs.

In comparison between Sweden and the present Malaysia, the secular Sweden is more accommodating to Muslims compared to Malaysia.

5. Since secular Sweden is more accommodating to Muslims from different mazhabs compare to Malaysia, which is more Islamic in nature? Malaysia or Sweden?

Think about it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

With Sadness... Let Them Go....

He is a man whose name is so important in the history of Islam. He is the man who raised, protected and loved our Prophet like no other. In times of hardship, he is the shoulder to cry on. He is the man who knew the Prophet more than other man. He raised him, shower him with love more than his own children and witnessed of how this child grown to be a noble man.

If there was a man that the Prophet wanted most as Muslim, Abu Talib is that man.

Yet, it crush his heart when Abu Talib refused to do so. And openly declare that he will ask for forgiveness on his behalf till told to do otherwise.

And Allah revealed to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and to us as Muslims

Surely you cannot guide whom you love, but Allah guides whom He pleases, and He knows best the followers of the right way..” (Al-Qasas : 56)

Many Muslims know this tragic story. And not an inch of the history of the Prophet goes without us to learn something. He is our guide, our leader and our Imam.

In this verse, Allah teaches us one fundamental lesson. That the Iman, the Hidayah, belongs to him and not to anyone else, including his Prophet. And what more to say, us, ordinary Muslims?

Allah teaches us that how hard we try to convince other people to follow the way of Islam, or to remain in one, the Iman or Faith will never belong to us at our disposal, but it is His, the Almighty prerogative alone can determine who will remain in Islam or not.

I read with sadness when I come across Haris’s blog. Truly, when one of us choose to leave the folk, it sadden the Ummah. We welcome anyone in Islam and we are happy if we are of many.

However how we may wish, still it is the prerogative of Allah to determine who will be among the Ummah, and who will be not.

I am not anti-Ulama. I am against Ulama who distort facts and who used religion for worldly gain. I am against Ulama who wishes to control the mind of Muslims with intention of gaining more influence and power. I am against Ulama who propagate that Islam can inflict pain who dare to go against Islam-as I say-tion (Note: This is Haris’s quote)

Many Ulama claim that apostates deserved death penalty. Islamists in Malaysia, in trying to soften their hard image, is contend, for the time being, of throwing them in jail and imposing heavy fines. They are contend to making their life as miserable as possible.

These people claimed that this in accordance of Islam. If it is so, then why Allah explicitly revealed to us that Faith is his prerogative, and only he can choose whom he wished to bestowed upon?

If this is his prerogative, let Allah then judge them in the hereafter.

And the Islamists, while ignoring the Surah Al-Qasas : 56 really fond of quoting hadiths to support their claim. They conveniently forget that Hadith comes second AFTER the Quran. And ironically, there are no single verses in the holy Quran that prescribe any punishment for apostates in this world.

No, you shall not lie anymore dear Ulama. Not anymore.

While quoting hadiths to justify their barbaric action, they conveniently forget to tell you in detail of the political condition related to that particular hadith .

I can tell you this, many of said Hadiths are during the time when there are calls for Jihad. The enemy are amassing. It was a state of emergency. It is a life and death situation. Every able bodied Muslims are needed to defend the city.

Imagine this, Malaysia are at war. The King has declared that every able citizens are now drafted into the army. And we have one or two who suddenly declare to others that they renounce the Malaysian citizenship and defy the order of the King.

But it is not the same now dear Muslims. We are living in peaceful time. We are not at war with anyone else. And Malaysia is not even an Islamic State. It is, like it or not, based on secular Westminster model drafted by the Brits.

If this is a secular state, and we are living in peaceful time, why the need to invoke an ‘emergency order’, invoked 1500 years ago?. Can’t we refer back to the Quran and learn the basis on what Iman is all about?

To Lina Joy and Kamariah, I must say this. I am sadden to see you all go. When I am sad, I read the Quran. And Allah told me that this is his decision that these happen. And I accept Allah’s verdict.


We have to let them go. Let them go in peace. I know it is sad to see them go. But we have to do what is right. We have to tell the Jabatan Agama and the Syariah Court to stop playing God. They have no right to do so.

We must rise and say it loud. We must prevent injustice done in the name of our religion. I have said this before and I am going to say it again, are we going to blame the Jews and the Christians again when Islam gets a bad name from a bunch of power hungry religious fanatics?

Let them go in peace. Let's get justice for them. Let’s read the Quran;

Surely you cannot guide whom you love, but Allah guides whom He pleases, and He knows best the followers of the right way..” (Al-Qasas : 56)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Malaysian Muslim for Secular State : An Introduction (Muslim Malaysia untuk Negara Sekular : Pengenalan)

Muslims in Malaysia have come to cross roads, either to go for Islamic State or opt for a better alternative; a secular state.

When we come to cross road and unexplored paths lies ahead, normally we have to stop and start thinking seriously on which path to be chosen next. Unless of course if you are drunk or a reckless driver. But we don’t want to do that right? I will be frank to you, you find very, very few U-turns once you chosen one. If we choose the wrong path, we would suffer for a very long2 time and it would be very difficult to turn back.

We had been told by our Ulama that our salvation comes in the form of Islamic State. If you are not one of those who are in favor of Islamic State, you are on the brink of being Kufr- deviants that is sure of a place in hell.

Is this true? Does pro Islamic State equal to a ticket to heaven? Does pro Secular State equal to a place in hell? Have you even bother to check these Ulama’s argument?

Let’s discuss. Our Ulama scream on Musyawarah and Muzakarah. Let’s do just that. I really hope that our Ulama is sincere when they said that. I hope that it is not just lip service. If Muzakarah means only agreeing to the same thing, then we don’t need Muzakarah in the first place right?

We need to analyze. We need to put things under microscope. Is there any other way? We are talking about the future of our children. We are talking about our salvation. Let me tell you this, no Ulama can guarantee you a place in heaven. If they happen to be wrong and you had follow them, what is your excuse in front of Allah?

Would you try to put the blame on these Ulama? Hey, Allah never told us to follow blindly. Allah ask us to seek more knowledge; `Iqra bis mirak bi kal lazi halaq` and Allah ask us to analyze, to use our Aqal and wisdom. I seriously think that these kind of excuses would hardly be accepted.

In the past, the norm would be Ulama doing the teaching and we are expected to listen and obey. Our Ulama are prone to read; `as sami’ na wa a-ta`na`; `we hear and we obey`. But they never told you that it is specifically for Allah and not for them right?

Time change. There are no more one way communication. This time we shall put them under microscope. Whatever they say and do would be put into test. I say this for all Ulama regardless of their political affiliations.

Please do join in. I really don’t mind if you disagree with me. But lets mind our words. We can agree to disagree but in the end lets not lose our respect to each other.


Orang Islam di Malaysia sudah sampai ke persimpangan jalan. Mereka boleh memilih untuk mendirikan Negara Islam ataupun Negara Sekular.

Apabila kita sampai ke persimpangan jalan dan di hadapan adalah jalan-jalan yang tidak pernah diterokai, selalunya kita akan berhenti sebentar dan menimbang untuk memilih jalan yang mana untuk dilalui seterusnya. Kecualilah anda mabuk ataupun pemandu cuai.

Tetapi kita tentu saja tidak mahu melakukan demikian bukan? Saya berterus terang pada anda, amat sukar untuk kita temui U turn pada jalan-jalan dihadapan ini. Jika kita tersilap memilih jalan, kita akan sengsara untuk satu jangka masa yang lama dan sukar untuk berpatah balik.

Kita selalu diberitahu oleh para Ulama bahawa untuk kesejahteraan masyarakat, kita memerlukan sebuah Negara Islam. Seringkali mereka melaungkan bahawa jika kita menyokong penubuhan Negara sekular, kita akan hampir kepada kekufuran.

Benarkah begitu? Adakah menyokong penubuhan Negara Islam akan membantu kita di akhirat kelak? Adakah menyokong penubuhan Negara sekular akan menyebabkan kita terhumban ke gaung neraka?

Mari lah kita berbincang. Para Ulama selalu melaungkan konsep Musyawarah dan Muzakarah. Mari lah kita sahut seruan ini. Cuma satu harapan saya, ini bukanlah satu slogan semata-mata untuk menunjukkan bahawa golongan Ulama juga berfikiran terbuka. Jika bermuzakarah bermaksud bahawa kita mesti bersetuju dalam semua perkara, maka untuk apa muzakarah itu?

Marilah kita teliti sehalus halusnya perkara ini. Adakah terdapat pilihan lain? Kita sedang bercakap tentang masa depan anak-anak kita. Kita sedang bercakap tentang saat kita nanti di hadapan Allah. Tiada Ulama yang boleh menjamin tempat kita di syurga nanti. Bagaimana jika mereka tersilap dan kita pula mengikuti kesilapan mereka? Apakah alasan kita di hadapan Allah nanti?

Adakah kita akan cuba untuk menyalahkan Ulama tersebut untuk melepaskan diri? Padahal Allah sudah dan dengan jelas mengarahkan kita agar jangan mengikuti membabi buta. Allah menyuruh kita mendalami ilmu. Allah menyuruh kita menggunakan akal untuk menganalisa dengan akal dan fikiran. Apakah alasan dengan menyalahkan orang lain akan dapat diterima nanti?

Pada masa dahulu, selalunya Ulama akan mengajar dan kita disuruh untuk mendengar dan patuh. Tetapi masa telah berubah. Kali ini apa yang mereka ajar dan buat akan kita teliti sehalus halusnya. Ini adalah bagi semua Ulama tanpa mengira fahaman politik mereka.

Sertailah kami. Jika anda tidak bersetuju dengan kami, sila kan. Yang penting dalam perbincangan hendaklah berhemah. Biarlah kita tidak bersetuju dlm banyak perkara sekalipun tetapi biarlah perasaan hormat sesama sendiri itu wujud di kalangan kita.