19 July 2009

The Muslim's Crisis of Identity

Prelude – An Inspiration of Disappointment Pour-Out

Assalamualaikum. As titled above, one can pre-suggest what I am about to wrote. It might be as exemplified by Dr. Mahathir – The Malay Dilemma. Only difference is I will touch on the failure of Muslim, as I am particularly very saddened and disappointed with the circumstances cornering Muslim all around the world in the societal and individual manner. In this prelude, I will highlight two major inspirations as of my purpose of typing this article: -

1) Reading the 2nd book of Syed Akbar Ali, titled Malaysia & The Club of Doom*. The star symbol means The Collapse of Islamic Countries. He shed many lights in discovering Failed State of Islamic Countries, as well as Malaysia.

2) My recent debate with an ex-Muslim, who then introduces me to this site, Faith Freedom International. You can access the site with following address; www.faithfreedom.org. Our arguments refresh me with the problems, sickness and hatred from Non-Muslim toward Muslim Nations. Notwithstanding the fact that Muslims are troublesome ummah, The Quran and deen of Islam are not to be blamed.

Therefore, we can shift to major purpose of this article. I am doing this for awareness of my fellow Muslim regardless of geographical location, the needs to fix Islam image. This is also a result of pent-up disappointment towards Muslim behavior despite there are obvious, foolproof references ever, the Al-Quran. Despite the many criticism & resentment falls over Muslim, we are unchanging of our fate. Before we move into 2nd chapter, I need to make clear of something; the facts & figures in this article will be primarily based on the Syed Akbar Ali book, others would be derived from Internet. I will also include my personal observation.

Malaysia – The Closest for Good Example of Failed Muslims

Now we are talking. Even though Malaysia is declared Islamic country, I do not personally believe so. My reason, the constitutional law is adapted from British common law. Furthermore, the Democratic systems are not cited anywhere in the Al-Quran. I think the declaration of Malaysia as Islamic Country is just a cheap joke, ill-augured politically-motivated as to gain certain masses support. I think the idea is oblivion. How can a country yell it is Islamic country when it seconded the Al-Quran? The Syariah law that is based on Al-Quran, Hadith, Ijma’(consensus) & Qias(analogy) are underrated. To give some surprise, in December 2005, Govt. sponsored and passed a new law called Islamic Family Law Bill, in which some section are copied from the British law-based Marriage and Divorce Act. Don’t believe me? Here is the evidence. Section 58 of the Islamic Family Law is a duplicate of Section 76 of Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) Act 1976 (Act 164) & Rules.

Firstly here, Section 76 from British law:

Section 76. Power of Court to order division of matrimonial assets.

(1) The court shall have power, when granting a decree of divorce or judicial separation, to order the division

between the parties of any assets acquired by them during the marriage by their joint efforts or the sale of any such assets and the division between the parties of the proceeds of sale.

And here our Islamic Family Law:

Section 58. Power of Court to order division of harta sepencarian.

(1) The court shall have power, when granting a pronouncement of talaq or when making an order of divorce, to order the division between the parties of any assets acquired by them during the marriage by their joint efforts or the sale of any such assets and the division between the parties of the proceeds of sale.

If you notice, only minor changes are made like using the Arabic word talaq instead of ‘divorce’ or the Malay word harta sepencarian instead of ‘matrimonial assets. Million of Malaysia’s Muslims are duped into thinking Islamic Family Law as rightful and super duper when it was actually erroneous. The point is, why create purported religious laws by borrowing from laws which are deemed to be Christian laws? It is ironical that after all the fuss the same Western law had been adopted to help create two separate legal systems. This serve as our first Failed Muslims case.

Muslims in Malaysia are often seen as lazy, poor, stupid, doing trivial stuff, etc. So much negativity, so much hatred is thrown at us. Now, why is this? We have Islam, the deen of perfect life, so why we failed? The answer is easy, because we do not read & do not understand the Quran very well. In fact, this answer is mother answer to all problems faced by Muslims. Let me take one example. Quran has urged that non-muhrim of man and woman not to be together in secluded place. Why? Because when man & woman in secluded area together, there is no knowing what will happen next. Driven by desire (nafsu), temptation from third party (devil, demon) or whatever you call it, chances, who know what is happen next? But the youth disregard it, so of late we see an increasing amount of sexual assault, the catch of young couple berkhalwat, the mass distribution of video of previously said case, involving a majority of Muslim people. According to some statistics, from 2000 to 2005, there are 100% increases in adultery case! When Allah actually makes our life easy, we underestimated it. From surah Taha, Allah did mention that Al-Quran is not to cause any hardship: “We did not reveal this Quran to cause you any hardship” 20:2.

Not only religion naivety curses those of Muslim youth, but also at levels of politician and elderly. For example, in the case of Saiful – Anwar sodomy, there are no mentioning that the accuser doing the swearing in Al-Quran, it suppose to be the accused to do the swearing to defend himselves. In that swearing, Saiful make 2 major mistakes, the mispronunciation of Watallahi and admit wrong date (Aug 26 before correct it to Jun 26). It looks like Allah will clearly show who is the false when you play with His religion. Saiful is a munafiq (a concept given to those who ostendingly admit to know about religion). Is that now we can see that there is nothing happening to both party? Because there is fallacy, so nothing happen. Following the incident, the swearing become quickly famous, and the prominent political leader also followed it to stave off accusation thrown at them. The Minister of Defence, Najib also do it. Little did he know that in other way, he was actually shows off his naivety concerning Islam knowledge! Here is reference from Al-Quran telling these munafik:

[63.2] They made their swearing (or admittance) as a shield (to save their life and wealth from being killed or seized), hence they barricade (thyself and others) from follow the correct Path of Allah.

Our ummah is also dirty and unclean. We made comparison with South Korean. The Quran talks about ‘aamilus solihaat’ or righteous works. The South Koreans have established a cycle of aamilus solihaat. These must be preceded by a willingness on the part of the people to cooperate and help each other. They must agree to abide by so called secular laws which say that no rubbish must be thrown into the rivers. They have inculcated a good value system which teaches the majority of their population to wash their hands after using the toilet. They must have disciplined Civil Servants whose duty is to implement those laws fairly and efficiently. Unfortunately this circle of aamilus solihaat has so far eluded the Islamic countries. One cannot avoid noticing that most Muslim countries are still dirty and unhygienic, including Malaysia. Its public toilets are filly. If one can spent their time at toilet and observe, many highly educated Muslim will walk out without washing their hands.

As the last example, some religious folks came out with the idea to arrest and jail people who have deviated from their religion. When they get strange ideas like this, it will invariably involve money. This idea created opportunities to award multi mullion Ringgit contracts to lucky religious folks to build a Pusat Pemilhan Akidah or Faith Rehabilitation Centre to reform the so called religious deviants whom they were going to arrest. So they built one at Jelebu in Negeri Sembilan. Then they found out that because religion is a state matter in Malaysia, involving state legislation under the respective Sultans – they could not move ‘deviants’ freely across state boundaries. For example you can’t arrest a deviant in Selangor & jailed him in Jelebu. The end result was that the Faith Rehabilitation Centre in Jelebu fell into disuse and disrepair. The chair, tables and electrical fittings were stolen or ‘went missing’. This is stupidity. The Quran allows freedom of belief. The Federal Constitution also guarantees freedom of religion. Why arrest anyone for being a deviant? To sum it all in one word, the Islamic countries often embark on really useless religious escapades, waste money in the process, get themselves tied into knots and then spend even more money sorting out the mess.

The Failed State – The Definitions and Characteristics

Failed State has various definitions. This is one or two I derive from the book. “A state if failing when its government is losing physical control of its territory or lacks a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Other symptoms include the erosion of authority to make collective decisions, an inability to provide reasonable public services, and the loss of the capacity to interact with the international community”. Another definition says a State is failing when there is “extensive corruption and criminal behavior, inability to collect taxes or otherwise draw on citizen support, large-scale involuntary dislocation of the population, sharp economic decline, group-based inequality, and institutionalized persecution or discrimination. Below are twelve characteristics of Failed State:

  1. Mounting Demographic Pressures
  2. Massive Movement of Refugees and Displaced Persons
  3. Legacy of Vengeance – Seeking Group Grievance
  4. Chronic and Sustained Human Flight
  5. Uneven Economic Development along Group Lines
  6. Sharp and/or Severe Economic Decline
  7. Criminalization or Delegimitization of the State
  8. Progressive Deterioration of Public Services
  9. Widespread Violation of Human Rights
  10. Security Apparatus as “State within a State”
  11. Rise of Factionalized Elites
  12. Intervention of Other States or External Actors

Malaysia, if not all of the above-listed characteristics, possess most of the factors such as no. 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 (in Perak?), 8, 9. Malaysia also had following failure: Restrictions on the free flow of information, the subjugation of women, a low valuation of education, and inability to accept responsibility for individual or collective failure.

This will be my last paragraph. So I am going to include my personal observation:

1. It’s laughable matter when you indulge deeply in Quran knowledge, just to find out that there are so many fallacy, so many deviant and naïve out there. For example, Muslimah wear of tudung. The wear of tudung is compulsory-imposed by Allah to woman: Following are verse from Al-Quran and Hadith from Prophet Muhammad:

a) [33.59] Wahai Nabi, suruhlah isteri-isterimu dan anak-anak perempuanmu serta perempuan-perempuan yang beriman, supaya melabuhkan pakaiannya bagi menutup seluruh tubuhnya (semasa mereka keluar); cara yang demikian lebih sesuai untuk mereka dikenal (sebagai perempuan yang baik-baik) maka dengan itu mereka tidak diganggu. Dan (ingatlah) Allah adalah Maha Pengampun, lagi Maha Mengasihani.

b) Rasulullah bersabda: “Bahawa anak perempuan apabila cukup umurnya, maka mereka tidak boleh dilihat akan dia, melainkan mukanya dan dua tapak tangannya hinnga pergelangan. (H.R. Abu Daud)

c) [24.31] Dan katakanlah kepada perempuan-perempuan yang beriman supaya menyekat pandangan mereka (daripada memandang yang haram), dan memelihara kehormatan mereka; dan janganlah mereka memperlihatkan perhiasan tubuh mereka kecuali yang zahir daripadanya; dan hendaklah mereka menutup belahan leher bajunya dengan tudung kepala mereka; dan janganlah mereka memperlihatkan perhiasan tubuh mereka melainkan kepada suami mereka, atau bapa mereka atau bapa mertua mereka atau anak-anak mereka, atau anak-anak tiri mereka, atau saudara-saudara mereka, atau anak bagi saudara-saudara mereka yang lelaki, atau anak bagi saudara-saudara mereka yang perempuan, atau perempuan-perempuan Islam, atau hamba-hamba mereka, atau orang gaji dari orang-orang lelaki yang telah tua dan tidak berkeinginan kepada perempuan, atau kanak-kanak yang belum mengerti lagi tentang aurat perempuan; dan janganlah mereka menghentakkan kaki untuk diketahui orang akan apa yang tersembunyi dari perhiasan mereka; dan bertaubatlah kamu sekalian kepada Allah, wahai orang-orang yang beriman, supaya kamu berjaya.

From this reference above, we can conclude that the real, approved wear of tudung must close everything, except for face and hand to wrist. But, how of Muslimah malaysia attire? That is why Muhammad says this: Sesungguhnya sebilangan ahli neraka adalah perempuan yang berpakaian, tetapi telanjang yang condong pada maksiat dan menarik orang lain untuk melakukan maksiat. Mereka tidak akan masuk syurga dan tidak akan mencium baunya. (Hadis riwayat Bukhari dan Muslim), I aware that this article would welcome many pleasant and unpleasant comment. The unpleasant would be ‘ingat dia bagus sangat ke’, ‘mesti dia pun ada buat salah juga’. However, you need to remember that Quran urge people to wipe away bad assumption. Read my thought with logic alone, throw away all the prejudice. Only certain prophet are maksum (protected from sin), but at least, we need to be sincere with ourselves. With this, I try to make my llife & yours better.

As a conclusion, thanks your for reading my article. Do what you can to rejuvenate Islam image. See example from Nabi’s victorious age. Every single thing you know about Islam & Al-Quran would greatly helps. Islam & Al-Quran are not to blamed for gloomy, failed Muslim life. Again, Jazakallahu Khairan.

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