Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Barricading Faith

A question of faith
It is not about God belonging to you, rather YOU belong to God.

Yang membezakan akidah Islam dan selainnya bukanlah pada sebutan, atau rebutan nama Allah, sebaliknya pada ketulusan tauhid dan penafian segala unsur syirik.”

Two quotes from personalities you may well label as liberal Muslims (if you must insist on labels, that is) on the furor over the recent decision by the High Court on the right to use the word “Allah”

On Dec 31, Justice Datuk Lau Bee Lan ruled that pursuant to Articles 11 and 12 of the Federal Constitution, the Herald had the constitutional right to use the word in respect of instruction and education of the congregation in the Christian religion.

(The above is taken lock, stock and barrel from The Star.)

I must say that I was – let’s say – “concerned” when I first read the decision.

Subtle machinations to propagate another's faith on Muslims, I thought.

As always, in came politics. Potshots taken by one Muslim "leader" against another. Statements along party lines.

I think we can come to a conclusion that Muslims are now ironically turning very much like a certain perennial “foe” (Go on, take a wild guess..) in having a “besieged” mindset.

Sadly even in a land where Muslims are supposed to be the leading community, we are so often the ones seen backtracking and on the defensive.

Marina (Mahathir) asked if our faith is so fragile that we can be confused so easily.

The answer to that seems to be an unfortunate “YES” if you look at the way we have responded to the issue above.

We are however not unique in being on unsteady grounds.

In Acheh and elsewhere, our fairer counterparts are subjected to harassment based on the way they dress.

Instead of the softer approach of coaxing and guiding on supposed deviations, those professing to know it all where Islam is concerned decided to wield the whip.

Let’s not even go to Pakistan or Afghanistan, or Somalia; nations where shameful acts in the name of Islam are being acted out against those embracing the very same faith.

The worst enemies of Muslims are very much WITHIN in this community of billions.

It is perhaps unfortunate that faith is something so intangible.

Otherwise, everyone can then see how strong each other’s faith is or is not.

I used to have a friend who smokes, drinks, womanize, who doesn’t give a hoot about the daily prayers, bla bla.

Muslim still?

We are back to labels, aren’t we? Good, bad, practicing, liberal, et cetera…

BUT a more pertinent question should be:

What kind of a Muslim was I for letting him continue along the same route of self destruction I so believe to be wrong and the path to damnation?

If his faith was weak, so too, it seems, mine to not have done a single thing to coax, guide, advice, lead.

Weak. Confused.

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