Friday, 28 November 2008

Blasphemous Oxymorons

I’m a fairly recent convert to green tea courtesy of a fine sampling during a trip to Japan sometime ago.

Not really a connoisseur, I don’t brew my own tea leaves etc and depends mostly on generic offerings of the main tea producers.

naturalNormally, I would go for “plain” type but a last shopping trip saw me pick up a “jasmine” variation, and sure enough: it simply doesn’t work for my taste buds.

The best thing about green tea is that it would never taste bitter no matter how long you have it in the cup or mug, which was not – disappointingly - so with the jasmine green tea I bought.

As such I’ve had to time how long the tea sachets stays in my Friends’, “Rachel” sized cup.

Supposedly green tea helps to detoxify your system, but this I wouldn’t really know or care enough to look into, as I just like its natural scent and taste.

Detoxification refers to the process of removing toxins from the body, although I believe its more of a mind thing where you just believe in the need for an external element when the body has already in-built biological system to deal with it.

Perhaps its just a sign of times and the realisation of how much alien ingredient we are pumping into ourselves helping to popularise this concept.

We now want to know what these items are and where they are from. Ie. its very source.

In Islam, the question on "source" is very important, hence the existence of the Quran and hadiths in providing guidance even as cleric hold discourses on items – new and old – that concerns the Ummah at large.

As such, Halal (permissible) is a concept that applies not only to the food and drinks we consume but also the resources used to get these items in the first place.

It’s certainly a huge issue that confronts modern muslims and hence the somewhat vapid attention to ingredients in items consumed, for example, and the firm adherence to earning an honest living.

Rezeki yang halal, as the saying goes. Quantum hardly matters really.

(And since we couldn’t really be 100 percent sure, we seek forgiveness for any slipups in our prayers. But, of course, there must be ample effort on our part, too.)

Could this be all that is wrong and besetting the biggest party in the country; aka the so-called money politics?

Ever so discreetCould it be that the body (the party) is too pumped up with all that is not-so-halal there is simply no detoxifying it anymore?

All those years of handing out small and big tokens – mostly in the form of “duit kopi” or “beda isi minyak” - for support etc are now sedimentation no longer flushable.

Star columnist Azmi Sharom wrote: “It’s the kind of thinking that creates some horrible everyday blasphemies like people muttering “halal, ya?” after they accept a bribe.”

Azmi is probably writing from personal experience.

To ordinary Malay Muslims, the "halal, ya?” (or “mintak halal”) are often requests to set aside lack of small change in money, or uninformed consumption of a host’s food items.

Things like that.

“Halal, ya?” for bribes is just as oxymoronic as "Halal Pork".

You’d need a lot more than just green tea to detox such blasphemy.

Bribery - Lawson Wood (1878 - 1957)

Never do this

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