Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Islam Under Attack? Review of Malaysian Insider Article of Syazwan

My friend brother Syazwan has written another in the Malaysian Insider (1). After the previous disastrous and erroneous article by him, this one is much better Alhamdulillah.  When I refer to “author”, I mean Syazwan.

I liked that he highlighted the Prophetic mercy and gentleness, and that some of the stuff done in Malaysia aren’t actually Islamic. So he had a good aim in that, I guess trying to give a good image of Islam to non-Muslims.  And Muslims definitely need to become pro-active, instead of reactive. However he made some errors which I deem should be corrected insha’Allah.

The area I found problematic is on Erykah Badu. It seems like she didn’t know that having Allah as a name as tattoo is wrong, and she should be informed and corrected of that, with wisdom. Whilst the Prophetic hadith about the man who urinated in the Mosque shows that we should be gentle in correcting people, or should use ways of wisdom in correction, the author has made a misleading point.  

The author said “[the Prophet] let the Bedouin man be because he did not know any better.”, where as in fact the Hadith/narration states “The Messenger of Allah called him (Bedouin) over and said to him, “Any kind of urine or filth is not suitable for these masjids. Instead they are only [appropriate] for the remembrance of Allah, the Prayer, and the recitation of the Qur’an,”” (Muslim). So the Prophet did inform the Bedouin of the error. And the Bedouin said ““The Prophet (saw) stood before me – may my mother and father be ransom for him – and he (saw) neither cursed nor scolded nor hit [me]“ (Ahmed).

He made an erroneous claim when he said “even though the singer was able to perform in the most populous Muslim nation in the world: our neighbour Indonesia.” So basically he is saying that just because she could have her concert in Indonesia, she should be able to have it in Malaysia too. Its like saying that if Indonesia allows prostitution and corrupt leaders to have refuge in Indonesia, then Malaysia should do it too! Rather the correct way is that we shouldn’t compare Malaysia with other countries, except in trying to make Malaysia more Islamically correct. Furthermore we should compare Malaysia and its actions/policies with Islam, and make them more Islamic.

As for the idea of concerts, all traditional/Sunni scholars would agree that these concerts are haram since there’s 1) a woman singing in front of men, 2) she is not covering her awra (private parts like hair, chest etc), 3) has musical instruments, 4) singing songs that aren’t Islamic and don’t remind one of Allah swt. The combination of all of those factors make the concert haram. So when an event is haram, Muslims shouldn’t host them, and should actually try to ban them.

This is based on the Hadith where the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever amongst you sees anything objectionable, let him change it with his hand, if he is not able, then with his tongue, and if he is not even able to do so, then with his heart, and the latter is the weakest form of faith." (Muslim)

The Malaysian government did right for banning it (even if the reasons given are different) Alhamdulillah, and they should ban more haram stuff that destroys the morals of society.

The author tries countering it (I anticipate) by saying “Do we stop the photos from circulating on the Internet then? Should we shut down Google image search just to ensure that the vulnerable and fragile minds of our youngsters are protected from seeing the “evil” photo?”

In Islam, we are required to do our best in stopping an evil. So take the example of pornography. The Malaysian government should try its best to block pornographic sites, and shouldn’t give permission for them (or other haram) to be hosted in Malaysia. But for stuff beyond its control, it is not held responsible. It can’t stop google, since it leads to other good searches.

See the Hadiths (many of the hadiths are authentic. Note even the use of the feminine word for singer) where the Prophet said:
“When my Ummah begin doing fifteen things, they will be inflicted with tribulations, and (from those 15 things He said): “When female singers and musical instruments become common” (Sunan Tirmizi).

“Song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage” (Sunan al-Bayhaqi).

“On the day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress” (Recorded by Ibn Asakir & Ibn al-Misri).

Furthermore the writer says, about the picture of a female showing her awra, “For your information, this writer is looking at the photo (again) as he writes. Alhamdulillah! My faith is intact, insyaAllah.”
That admission of a sin is not something to be glad about.  The Qur’an says "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do” (Surah Nur, v30)

A Muslim is not allowed to look at the awra of another person on purpose. The Prophet said “The fornication of the eyes is looking at that which is forbidden.” (Muslim)

Sayyidina Anas said: “I was once on my way to see Uthman ibn Affan (RA) when I passed a woman on the way so I looked at her and my eyes focused upon her beauty. I then met Uthman who said to me: ‘a person comes to me with the signs of zina (fornication) apparent in his eyes. Do you not know that the zina of the eyes is looking. You will repent or i will punish you.’ I said: ‘a revelation sent down after the Prophet?’ he replied: ‘No, this is firasah (insight of believer)”.

In my humble opinion, I think the author has made the title misleading and grossly exaggerated the situation. People who propound the views that Syazwan refuted (like the raiding Mosque one) will never succeed, and will remaina  minority. Islam is not under major attack or threat from “conservatives”, but is from Islamophobes and ignorant Muslims, or westernised liberal Muslims who reject the Qur’an and Sunnah and instead invent an Islam that suits their desires. So the author would do much more benefit in tackling that issue and removing the ignorance of the knowledge of Islam amongst many ”Muslims.”

For the previous article of Syazwan Zainal, see: "A criticism of Islamic practices in Malaysia"

1)      1) Islam under attack in Malaysia? By Syazwan Zainal http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/article/islam-under-attack-in-malaysia

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