Part of the Do'a Iftitah

"Verily my solats, my ibadah, my life and my death I surrender to Almighty Allah, Creator and Lord of all the worlds. Never will I associate anything with Him. So am I commanded and I am of those who are Muslims."

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Monday, November 01, 2010

What Non Muslims need to understand about the practice of Islam in Malaysia?



This topic comes to my mind after my appearance in Astro's Agenda Awani program where the host Suhaimi Sulaiman threw the question as to the way Non Muslims view the matter of Islam and its practice here in Malaysia?


I absolutely agree with him that those of us who are Muslims here in Malaysia need to do more to help share the truth about Islam as it is practiced here in Malaysia with our Non Muslim fellow citizens.


The way Non Muslims are excluded from getting to know the reality about Islam in a way adds to their ignorance about it and this unhealthy situation feeds the skepticism that many Non Malays and Non Muslims gradually develop in their hearts and minds towards the Muslims of Malaysia resulting in a state of distrust towards the Muslim majority here.


When I was young and in my primary school days, I had friends from other races and faiths. There was no sense of being different from each other and our camaraderie was natural without any suspicions or ill feelings between us, Malays, Indian Muslims, Indians, Chinese, Sikhs, etc. 


A natural sense of common understanding prevailed between us and we didn't stress too much on our differences and rather went along with our lives as it unfolded. When we attended our religious classes, my fellow students who were not Muslims went on to their Moral classes and we all knew best not to dwell on such obvious differences between our faiths and beliefs.


That was in the 60s and 70s.


We all grew up in peace and relative harmony together. Today, unfortunately there is a growing sense of distrust between Muslims and those who are not fed by a daily stream of misinformation and untruths as to the state of affairs concerning the practice of Islam here in Malaysia and a vested agenda to sow such distrusts between the multi ethnic, multi faithed Malaysian society.


This enmity is sown in the hearts and minds of those who do not know the truth about the faith of Islam and they are fed bit by bits of lies and distorted ideas about Islam and the Muslims through the online media and news portals or channels.


Things that were once taboo are allowed to be discussed and insults published without moderation or even if such portals are said to be moderated just blatantly allowed to be there in the comments sections by those editors who purposely let such hurtful comments and insults through in order to spawn vile enmity between Malaysians.


Do they even stop to consider what they are doing for a moment?


We are all fellow citizens of this country. Each of us have no where else to call home but this land which is known as Malaysia. Maybe some of those who have the means would have no problems in migrating to greener shores but for the majority of us ordinary Malaysians, this is our motherland and we wish to live and die here, no where else.


I'd like to share with those of you who aren't Muslims as to what Islam entails of us?

  1. As Muslims, we are to worship none other but Allah the Almighty God.
  2. We are to worship Him 5 times a day and it is up to us as to whether we wish to offer additional prayers?
  3. We are to fast in the month of Ramadhan starting before daybreak and break our fasts upon sunset.
  4. We are to pay zakat @ charity if we can afford to? It is 2.5% out of our excess wealth and income.
  5. We are to go perform our Hajj @ pilgrimage to Makkah al Mukarramah and Madinah al Munawwarah in Arabia once in our lifetime IF we can afford to do so and are able to healthwise?
Apart from that we are to have :
  1. Belief in Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala as our Almighty God
  2. Belief in the Malaikats @ Angels
  3. Belief in the Kitabs @ Scriptures
  4. Belief in the Messengers and Prophets of Allah
  5. Belief in the Doomsday
  6. Belief in the Qada' and Qadr' @ Destiny 

In between our performing and fulfilling our religious obligations, we are enjoined to do good and forbid evil. We are enjoined to work and earn our sustenance in legitimate ways and labor.


We are enjoined to help each other live a life that is good and beneficial towards not only ourselves but also those of our loved ones, family, friends and neighbors even if they be not Muslims.


All that is holy and good is enjoined upon us and we are to observe good character and the spirit of welfare and harmony between ourselves who are Muslims and also that of our fellow citizens without differentiating between creed or color?


Okay, now let me share with you some answers to the many questions that Non Muslims usually ask about our faith of Islam. 


I don't promise you that I will be able to present to you completely as to what you need to know all about Islam in this one article but I take it upon myself to share with you the information that will add to your knowledge as to what Islam is and make it clear as best as I can when explaining about the core principles of Islam.


I will pose the questions Non Muslims usually ask and will then answer the questions as best as I can in as clear and simple a manner as possible. 


I will assume the position of answering on behalf of my fellow Muslims and use the editorial pronoun of 'we'. 


Those of you who are still unclear about the subject may post your further questions to me here in a manner worthy of response and reply. I thank you in advance for your courtesy in posting to me such questions.


Q : Who or what do you worship?


A : We worship Allah the Almighty God of us all. By that I refer to The Supreme God, Creator and Master of the entire universes. If you care to study about Allah, He reveals information about Himself in the Final Testament to all mankind in the Glorious Al Qur'an Al Kareem in many of the chapters and verses. 


The Surah Al Ikhlas @ Chapter 112 Verses 1 to 4 is a good example of what Allah the Almighty wishes us to know of Himself?



112:1
Transliteration
Qul huwa Allahu ahad
Sahih International
Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One,
Muhsin Khan
Say (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)): "He is Allah, (the) One.

112:2
Transliteration
Allahu assamad
Sahih International
Allah , the Eternal Refuge.
Muhsin Khan
"Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks).

112:3
Transliteration
Lam yalid walam yoolad
Sahih International
He neither begets nor is born,
Muhsin Khan
"He begets not, nor was He begotten;
112:4
Transliteration
Walam yakun lahu kufuwan ahad
Sahih International
Nor is there to Him any equivalent."
Muhsin Khan
"And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him."



When some members of the Qureyshi Arabs @ Pagan Arabs of Makkah came and asked the Blessed Messenger of Allah about Him, Allahu Rabbul Alamin revealed the verses above to Muhammad, our Noble Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam so that Allah is known to them for what He truly is?


Now, the first verse here tells Muhammad to say to the Pagan Arabs that Allah is One!


Qul hu wAllah hu Ahad!


Not two nor three or hundreds as what those pagan Arabs had been prone to worshiping since their forefathers, the Children of Adam Alaihis Salam got lost in their ways of worshiping as what Allah the Almighty Had Taught our Father, the Prophet Adam Alaihis Salam after his creation, way up in Paradise.


It is preposterous for Allah the Almighty after having created our Father Adam Alaihis Salam and taught him all that he needed to know to allow Adam Alaihis Salam to go on and worship something else!


Surah Al Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 21 :



2:21
Transliteration
Ya ayyuha annasuoAAbudoo rabbakumu allathee khalaqakum wallatheenamin qablikum laAAallakum tattaqoon
Sahih International
O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous -
Muhsin Khan
O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious - see V.2:2).



Allah the Almighty it is Who created us and those before us and revealed all the earlier scriptures to the Prophets before Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam which were His Guidance to them in those Ages.


Surah Al Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 4



2:4
Transliteration
Wallatheena yu/minoona bimaonzila ilayka wama onzila min qablika wabil-akhiratihum yooqinoon
Sahih International
And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].
Muhsin Khan
And who believe in (the Quran and the Sunnah) which has been sent down (revealed) to you (Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam ~ Peace be upon him ) and in [the Taurat (Torah) ~ to Musa Alaihis Salam @ Moses and the Injeel (Gospel) to Eesa al Masih Alaihis Salam @ Jesus Christ, etc.] which were sent down before you and they believe with certainty in the Hereafter. (Resurrection, recompense of their good and bad deeds, Paradise and Hell, etc.).

The reality of Islam is that we acknowledge the prophethood of all earlier emissaries of Allah the Almighty and that He sent to Mankind noble messengers to guide the people of such times and ages over the long stretch of Time.


Al Islam is the culmination of all the teachings that all prophets and messengers of Allah the Almighty sent to us Mankind and completed with the sending to us of Allah's Greatest and Final Messenger, the Blessed Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam fourteen centuries ago!


Now, all these information about the Blessed Prophet of Allah is readily available both online and offline for those who really want to learn about him, the Unlettered Prophet and Mercy of Allah for all Creation.


Yet, it is entirely up to each individual here on Earth to seek for the truth and reality of Al Islam and all that it stands for?


Choosing to ignore the reality of Al Islam is your choice but if you want to know as to what is real and what is falsely being circulated online and offline about the birthright of each and every human being here on Earth, then I welcome you to a world of knowledge that awaits those of you who are man or woman enough to face the truth?


In the very first verse of the Surah Al Ikhlas @ Chapter of Sincerity, Allah the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful declares Himself to be One.


If I am to ask you as to how many Gods you worship and you reply = One! ...in my book you are already considered to be half a Muslim.


For we both agree as to the One and Only God which is what Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam struggled for 13 long years to bring about his people ~ the Makkan pagan Arabs to attest to!


The matter of there being only One God!


Now, comes the question of clearing the subject as to which 'One God'?


I cant agree to your stating that your 'One God' to be this or that as you are wont to worship?


We have to be definite about the subject matter as to which 'God' you are referring to in your mind and as to what I am stating here?


Allah the Almighty clearly states that He is One. Not 2 or 3 or a myriad of self imagined or adduced to be platitude of gods incorporated?


Qul hu wAllah hu Ahad!


Say (O Muhammad) that Allah is One!


If we can agree to that, half of my battle here is already won.


To make it even simpler, let me show you an example as to what I am getting at?


Are you a motorist? An automobile driver?


Now, pray tell me as to how many drivers there are in your car?


I mean, how many persons actually steer or drive your car at any one time when it is moving or on the go?


Or for the matter, how many steering wheels are there in your car?


I am sure that your answer will be = one!


Just like in this reality of our existence to be only One God!


If there are more than one, then we are all set for total chaos!


Just like there can't be two steering wheels with two individual separate drivers each steering the vehicle as they very well please to either left or right, there can't be two or more Gods deciding as to what takes place here there or everywhere!!!


I hope that you are now clear as to the point that I am making here? 


If not, you and I dear brother or sister will be stuck on this subject from now till forever and make no progress as to this matter eternally!


Looks like this article has already been stretched to quite a bit.


What say you that I stop at this point of discussion and follow up after this?


Pray send in your responses especially those of you who are yet to be Muslims as to the contents of this article so far?


Thank you.


May Allah bless and guide us all.


Ameen.
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