Part of the Do'a Iftitah

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Answering Rest of Fatt Monk's Questions on Islam.

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

I am thankful to Allah for allowing me to get to answering these questions asked by Fatt Monk?

Okay, I have answered Question 1, so now let's get to the rest of the questions.

2.If a person is born into a Muslim family, does the person have the choice of quitting Islam and join another religion?

The answer is NO.

3.
If a person embraced Islam, why is it that in Malaysia you are forced to change to a Muslim name?

There is no rule demanding that a convert to Islam must change his or her name to a Muslim one but if the current Non Muslim name is that of a deity or object of veneration that has a negative implication against the new status of the person now being a Muslim, then it is encouraged to adopt a fresh new identity that celebrates the new Muslim's sinless state of being.

So to say that you are forced to is not correct. Encouraged yes, force not quite. Case by case situation.

4. Is it true that a Muslim can marry only another Muslim person?

Yes. Here in Malaysia, a Muslim is allowed to marry only another Muslim. No mixed marriages between Muslims and Non Muslims are allowed.

5.However, is it true that it is the right of the person to choose whatever religion he or she wants even though they are married to a Muslim person?

Not true. Anyone who apostates from Islam after marrying a Muslim will be charged according to the Shariah Laws of this country. There is no such provision allowed in Malaysia.

Lastly, Fatt Monk asked about what I think regarding the Revathi Masoosai case?



Her's is a very tricky one of a kind case. She is said to have been born to a couple in Malacca who converted to Islam.

Her father was a Christian and her mother a Hindu. The couple converted to Islam and then had a baby girl whom they had named as Siti Fatimah binti Abdul Karim.

This baby girl was raised by her Hindu grandmother who renamed her as Revathi Masoosai.

Technically speaking, the grandmother was at fault for raising a child born to a Muslim couple as a Hindu without their consent or their knowledge.

Surely the grandmother knew that the baby is a Muslim infant and she is forbidden by law to raise the child as a Hindu but she did and the tragic thing is that parents had just left the child to be raised by the Hindu grandmother and had not bothered to look into the child's welfare?

The main culprit here as I see it to be the grandmother who willfully raised a child entrusted to her by the parents who were Muslims now?

I wonder again about the lack of rational thought of such Muslim parents who knowingly had handed over their newborn Muslim infant to the Hindu maternal grandmother?

I know that it is wrong for us to assume or conclude anything as to the prevailing circumstances that forced the Muslim parents to do such an atrocious thing such as handing over their Muslim child to a Hindu grandmother?

I am sure that there are legal guidelines forbidding the raising of a Muslim child as a Hindu in this country?

The parents and the grandmother are equally at fault. So are the Muslim authorities.

All through the years that this child grew up, went to school, having a Muslim identity but growing up as a Hindu girl, don't tell me no one sensed anything wrong here?

Even if she had lived in a rural area, were there no one who came to learn of this odd situation?

Estate chief? Neighbors? Penghulu? Whoever?

Strange isn't it?

Revathi is not at fault here. She is a victim of circumstances.

As a baby, what would she have known or be capable of changing about her weird circumstances?

For all that she knew from being raised by her Hindu grandmother, she was a Hindu?

So Revathi grew up as a Hindu woman having a Muslim name! Strange but true?

She fell in love with a Hindu man and despite her claims of changing her name officially from Siti Fatimah to Revathi Masoosai which is doubtful, she was married off by the temple officials according to Hindu customs although they surely must have known her odd situations?

So we have another set of guilty party to lay the blame upon? The Hindu temple authorities for going ahead with officiating and solemnizing such a marriage knowing fully well that there are legal screw ups in her case?

Parents, grandmother, temple authorities and last but not least the Malaysian Islamic and local authorities for not nipping this problem in the bud when she was still a baby?

Surely there must have been the midwives of the local clinics who must have known about the Hindu grandmother raising a Muslim child or could it be because the parents were Indian converts, the Malay Muslims did not know of the parents conversion to Islam and nobody bothered to know anything about them?


Were the parents practicing Muslims?

Or were they just Muslims in name only?

Did her father go pray at the local surau or masjids?

Did the Imam of the local masjid or surau know of the father and his mixed up family?

I mean, if we want to dissect and try to see where things went wrong for this person, there are just so many parties that we can lay the fault with?

I know that many other cases like these take place in the estates and rural areas and no one bothers about them until the particular person get's snagged in one of the official dealings where someone alert might sense that something is just not right and presto, they get wind of the situation and immediately, the religious authorities sprout ears and develop eyes that can suddenly see the whole circus of a situation?

All that the Malaysian Islamic authorities would know is to pass immediate judgments and issue forth their devastating decrees without considering the tremendous emotional and mental impact it would cause to the parties concerned?

In this case, Revathi Masoosai who grew up as a Hindu was forcibly separated from her Hindu husband and put under a rehabilitation program that is to me a case of too little too late!

I am in no position to rule over this case as I am a citizen just like you but if it was up to me, I'd let her return to her husband as she does not have the wish or the desire to be a Muslim?

Remember the case of the Prophet's own grandfather and uncles?

Many of them died as Kaffir's no matter that the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam himself pleaded and coaxed them to come to Islam?

In this case, this girl was raised as a Hindu. Grew up thinking she's a Hindu. Parents didn't do nothing! Grandmother knowingly raised her as a Hindu.

Technically in my own personal opinion, she is a Hindu.

She grew up as one! Can we deny that? No amount of forcing her to wear a tudung, eat beef, etc can change what she has been raised up to believe as a true blue Hindu?

Iman and Aqeedah doesn't come as an instant quick fix solution!!! No sirree!

Remember the Prophet's saying that every child is born pure and free from sin?

It is the parents or the guardians who raise up the child as a Muslim, Nasrani or Majusi? Same here with this 'Revathi'!

She may have been born to an Indian Muslim convert couple but she was raised as a Hindu!

Do we blame her for that? No way!

You don't expect someone to practically turn into a Believer just because you take her by force and try to force feed faith and acceptance into her overnight or 6 months or even 6 years?

You can lead a horse to the water but you can't just force it to drink!!!

Same here with Islam.

We can call. We can guide. We just can't force.

Revathi's case is unique and is a sad tragedy. I leave it to the Ulamaks to come to a decision.

The reality in her case is that she has grown up as a committed Hindu lady and she has not known any other faith even the faith of her parents whom I am sure would not have given her away to be raised as a Hindu if they were strong knowledgeable committed Muslims themselves in the first place?

Revathi has made her decision and in Islam, a true Kadhi would have ruled in her favor to live as she has been raised up as?

This is what I think.

Wallahu Alam Bissawab.

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