It is perhaps the politics of the time to push the envelope of freedom of expression and public discourse. The one bewildering question on YB Nurul Izzah is: Will she says those same words to her son and daughter?
For a while, let's not talk of theological and constitutional opinions on murtad or apostacy in reaction to Nurul's opinion on the rights of Muslim to select their religion. Many others have and will discuss, including the strain of Nurul's thinking that is part of Islam Liberal and Plural.
There will be more tonight at Perkasa's Forum at the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman Hall in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur at 8:00 PM. Among others, one the speaker tonight is Dato Fuad Hasan, Director General of JASA.
He could explain and elaborate this new wave of liberal thinking that wants to allow for apostacy. He had spoken briefly before of a book, La Iqraha Fiddeen (No compulsion in Islam) by Sheikh Tahar Al Jabeer. Hopefully, he could give a background of the Sheikh and the links to Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
There are also Ustaz Ismail Mina, one of the founder of ABIM and vocal critic of Pluralist Islam, Dato Dr Hasan Ali, Islamic activist and former PAS Vice President, Dato Zulkifli Nordin, Anwar's former lawyer, reformasi compadre, and Islamic activist, and moderator Dr Redzuan Tee, a Chinese Muslim activist and lecturer at the National Defense University..
There are all well versed on the subject. And they can talk of the political implications to the Malays and Muslims and challenges to UMNO, PAS and PKR.
Obviously, Nurul is playing and pushing the envelope of politics and public discourse on religion. But, will Nurul be willing to accept should her son and daughter grow up and exercise those rights to choose their own religion as she spoke off?
In a church organised forum, Malaysiakini reported tudung-wearing parent, Nurul saying the following:
When her son and daughter reached 18, they would tell that she mentioned on November 3rd, 2012 that no one should be compelled to adopt a particular religion.
"Mother, you said Iqraha Fiddeen means religious freedom and it also applies to Muslim converting out of Islam."
It is inconsistent for Nurul to believe in the Quran, which is the words of the Creator, but felt the God the Creator allows it's creation to not believe and disobey God.
|Anwar Ibrahim's Islam Liberal and IIIT network reinterpreting "No Compulsion in Islam"
We can't anticipate what Nurul would say or comment of her different upbringing but any parents, Muslims or believers of other faith, will take it badly to such possibility. It breaks their heart that their children will convert to other religion.
Some say Chinese have no problem with religious conversion. It is emotional only to Malay/Muslims and Hindus.
There is also this belief that to some Chinese, their problem is only with their children converting to Islam. They perceived they lose their children when they masuk Melayu.
There are some Chinese parents of Buddhist faith or traditional beliefs that are not comfortable with their children conversion to Christianity, particular Evangelical Christian.
One handicap Chinese friend of ours complained of their daughter neglecting them after converting to Evangelical Christianity and dedicated themselves to evangelical work.
The unseen political upheaval in DAP and Chinese community too has it's roots in the urban-rural divide, Western educated versus Chinese school educated, and Christians versus non-Christian Chinese
So the most important thing that both my PERKIM volunteering parents did was to tell the converts to remain as filial sons and daughters and win the heart of their parents. Converting to Islam does not make you less as children and it is not converting to Malay culture.
It goes back to an old e-group discourse of ours with our school buddies at a time the radical Muslim Talibans destroyed the Banyan Buddhists statue in Afghanistan in 2001.
As Muslim, we can't disagree with their claim that they were merely destroying stones. If the stone is not harming anyone, what is wrong with leaving the stones alone?
It is a relic belonging to other civilisation or faith. We argued against our more religiously inclined friends that it is not supporting idoltry. It is about respecting other religion.
Prophet Muhammad did not destroy all the idols around the Kaaba when he recaptured Mecca from the Musyrikin. He merely moved it to allow himself to pray in the direction of Kaaba without idol as obstacles.
Muslims cannot impose our religion and lifestyle on other faith. There is "no compulsion in Islam."
It is just like one PAS leader saying few years ago that women, not covering their aurah are encouraging rape. Whether one agree or disagree with his opinion, let's take his excuse that it is intended for Muslims. However, such opinion could be misinterpreted as it is fine to rape non-aurah covering non-Muslims.
Back then, we understood and argued that "no compulsion in Islam" to the Muslims is more about Islam do not force on Muslims in doing certain act or procedures. It has to come from within ourselves. That is what hukum sunat is about.
However, when it comes to fardu 'ain or some thing compulsory or wajib like 5 times daily prayer, fasting in Ramadhan, Haj once in a lifetime, etc., "no compulsion in Islam" is not an excuse. We are supposed to do it, then just do it!
If we had subscribed to the Islamic faith, we do not need to delve and split hair over the penalities or hukum for not doing.
|Why didn't PAS implement their 1993 Hudud Enactment for Kelantan and accused UMNO as anti Hudud?
One point we learnt of Bab Jinayah taught in Johor state run religious school is that missing prayers or any of those fardhu 'ain are serious offense. Still, the last we like to delve on is about Hudud law because we do not understand it sufficiently to comment.
Our personal stance on Hudud law is as the saying of the Prophet or Saidina Omar. When society is ready to implement Hudud, it does not need Hudud. The society is perfect.
In any discussion on Hudud law, one will likely come across Muslims going Nike. It is God's law, so "just do it!"
However, for Hudud law to be implemented, it need a judge able to see beyond the letter of the law.
Can he be just, fair and compassionate as what the Prophet did to a woman that was repeatedly delayed execution until was finally told her she does not need to face execution since she repented (taubah)?
But then again, can one find offenders returning voluntarily to face judges to seek execution these days? Even PAS Deputy President did not own up to his adultery and used legal avenue to get relief from syariah penalities.
Perhaps, that was what it means "when society is ready to implement Hudud, it does not need Hudud." The spiritual conscience and sense of responsibility is strong that no penality and punishment is required.
Furthermore, can our legal and welfare system be efficient enough to pardon and assist cases of hudud offender committing crime out desperate economic condition?
Another serious issue with the intention by certain quarter to implement Hudud law is that is the intended Hudud law purely based on Islamic practises and tradition or inherited practises adopted from Arab or Jewish traditions?
We believe there are other more important priorities in building Darul Islam like building Masjid, schools and universities, intellectualism, economics, welfare system, industries and technology, finance, etc. than instituting Hudud law.
But it is our personal stance that is meant for our consumption. Not for the masses.
Certainly, we are not going to disagree with the ulamak who understands the rationale and basis for death as punishment to apostacy.
For someone that had consciously pledge and proclaimed themselves as Muslims, although other ways could be applied to save these poor souls, perhaps they could be subjected to such punishment.
|Picture merely potraying the hedonistic lifestyle of some Muslims
What about Muslims who were never Muslims in the first place, particularly those born Muslims?
They were never taught proper teaching of Islam. Never understood and practised Islam. never brought up as Muslims. Their parents and family led a western lifestyle that never reflect their Islamic faith. Consequently, they never had Islam in their heart.
For all practical reasons, they were never Muslims.
It will be staggering but it is not uncommon and the Christians Evangelical movement knows that majority of Muslims are loose in their Rukn Iman because of poor adherence to Rukn Islam.
International Evangelical Christians are corrupting weak Iman and financially disadvantageous Malays with money to subtly lure them out of Islam. There are hundreds of cases of murtad victims saved by Dato Dr Hasan Ali and his JATI outfit are from poor Malay family.
Muslims with external exterior in so-called Islamic attire does not really mean they have better understanding of the faith. Majority understand it literally and overzealous in subscribing to ulamaks' view than the genuine meaning as prescribed in the Quran and Hadith.
If one can believe in the Quran that was sent to us by Angel Jibrael through Prophet Muhammad and uttered to the masses, why do we not believe the words of the Prophet?
Why then do we questioned the judgement of the more learned or perhaps, the more recent from the Prophet's lifetime in sieving the authentic from the fake Hadith.
Nevertheless, to each his own.
This brings us to the subject of variety and nuances of different Islamic practices.
We are not against others learning more on Islam and subscribing to a certain approach in their belief and practices of Islam. It becomes a problem when they impose their views on others and become rude in their engagement.
It is taken that there exist different levels of understanding, knowledge and spirituality between one Muslim and another Muslim.
The majority of Muslims are not thorough and well read in the matter of their own faith. Some may not even comprehend the notion of different levels of spirituality.
Such Muslims need a convention from ulamak in guiding their understanding and practise of Islam.
The capable one can pursue whatever they wish to pursue. The important point is that those with divergent views and ideas should keep it within their circle and not cause confusion to the masses.
Some of them gets openly vocal to the extent of name calling and ulamak bashing.
Their discussion in Facebook is perceived as insulting the Prophet and practices of other Muslims. As fringe group, aren't they acting with as much an attitude of "holier than thou" as their criticism of the ulamak?
There is an opinionated former Mufti that can be so self-centred in their opinion or overzealous in their fascination to bring about "revolusi mental" in Islam. The problem is that his non-conformist ways are more disruptive than enlightening the masses.
Ulamak have the freedom to derive and share their opinion but the controversial views should be kept within the confine of the learned and those that have attain certain level of understanding and knowledge.
To the masses, the ulamak only promote consensus views.
The decision making practise amongst ulamak is based on the practise of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah and it is based on consensus.
When there is a tendency to be vocal on matters beyond the theological grasp of the common man and seemed more to seek personal glory and publicity, it is inconsistent with the discipline of an ulamak.
Though he maintained some level of politeness and decorum, this Mufti's underlying behaviour and attitude as an ulamak is plain rude. He is imposing his will on others against "no compulsion in Islam."
It is important to maintain consistency and stability for the masses but he is politically bias in his criticism and seldom engulf himself in a never ending polemics, which usually is beyond the realm of theology but is instead socio-politics.
In the case of Nurul, she was merely doing a political campaigning to gain the trust and votes of the non-Muslims.
With herself trained in engineering and political science, she is not qualified and has no locus standi to express such views or regurgitate the views of controversial scholars which has yet to be accepted by the ulamak.
It is highly improper and irresponsible of her to invoke such provocative view of theology on the Muslim masses for the sake of politics.
It is disruptive to the Muslim public's mental and emotional stability.
A politician that destabilise and bring disruption to society is not worth having around. In the Quran, Allah abhors those who bring disruption to the peace and stability of society.
* Edited 9:15 AM 9/11