May peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you.
The nation has been experiencing a most challenging and distressing time since the last day of 2009, when Justice Dato Lau Bee Lan reversed the decision of the High Court in allowing the Catholic Church of Malaysia to use the word 'Allah' in its Herald magazine.
Irresponsible persons have been adding fuel to the religious fire literally by going around firebombing the churches of this multi ethnic, multi faithed nation. As a citizen, I am very concerned and sad that it has come to this.
Protesting against the court decision is one thing ; going around destroying churches is plainly criminal and those culprits must be tracked down and made to pay according to the laws of this land.
There is no room in the teachings of Al Islam for such desecration's of another's house of prayer or place of worship.
Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala commands us to say to the Disbelievers in Surah Al Kafirun :
1. Say: O ye that reject Faith!
2. I worship not that which ye worship,
3. Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
4. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship,
5. Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
6. To you be your Way, and to me mine.**********************************************************************
Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala surely does not ask us to go around burning down churches or any other places of worship such as temples, gurdwaras or synagogues just because they do not have faith in Him.
As Muslims, we are enjoined to invite others to His Way @ Al Islam by using wisdom and beautiful preaching and if needed be to argue, debate or discuss with them about where we stand as far as upholding the principles of worshiping just Almighty Allah alone and not any of His Creations?
Every being is created by Allah. Every child is born pure and free from sin. That's what we Muslims believe.
The Christians in the Malaysian Roman Catholic Church are adamant in using the word 'Allah' to be the translation for God in their church magazine The Herald.
We who are Muslims know that they do not worship Allah the One and Only God, thus we object to such a demand.
As far as I know, Christians believe in a Triune God which is as per their beliefs to be God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.
To the average Muslim mind, it is a blasphemous act to associate Allah Most Pure, Most High with any other form of deity or object of worship, real or imagined.
Instead of resorting to firebombing churches, those who are not happy with the High Court's decision should engage in sharing the reasons why Non Muslims are wrong to name objects of their worship apart from Allah as Him!
Educate! Not complicate.
When I attended the protest at Masjid Negara, the other day, I sensed that those who spoke to the media after the main event were not that efficient in stating the reasons for the demonstrations.
The intention to show our unhappiness over the verdict was there but the effectiveness of their replies were quite wanting.
Surely, those amongst the Catholic Christian community must be wondering as to why the Muslims in Malaysia are so upset about this matter?
So, isn't this the most opportune moment in our nation's history for those who are capable of educating the masses as to the reasons why Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala forbids any association in the worship of His Glorious Self with His Creations or those conjured up by mankind as His partners or fellow deity or deities?
I am sure that by now there are many curious Christians and other Disbelievers out there who want to know why we object to their using Allah's sacred name for their object of worship?
I would like to share a hadith that teaches us about our faith :
Narrated Ibn 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said: Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):
1. To testify that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle.
2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.
3. To pay the Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity) .
4. To perform Hajj (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca)if one has the means and able to?
5. To observe fast (from before dawn to the sunset) during the holy month of Ramadan.
For those of us who are Muslims, it is important that we stay firm on the matter of our worship to none but Allah.
This bedrock of our faith is called Tawheed al Ibadah.
Oneness of Worship.
There are many people today who fail to realize that Islam did not come to be with the arrival of the blessed final and greatest prophet of Allah, the blessed Messenger, Sayyidina Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam.
Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam came to complete the mission of all earlier prophets and messengers of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala.
Come and learn about what even the Christian bible has to say about the coming of the last messenger of Allah?
Christians and Muslims are about the closest in faith to one another as we believe in most of such divine matters save for the difference in the matter of whom we actually worship and as to the matter of Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam being Allah's last and greatest messenger to mankind?
We differ on the matter of worshiping purely Allah the Almighty Alone and Christians coming to believe in a Triune God.
We also differ as to the prophet Eesa ibnu Maryam who to us Muslims is a noble messenger of Allah the Almighty sent only to the Jewish Nation of Israel but whom the Christians come to declare as the Son of God, Na'uzubillahiminzalik! May Allah forbid!
So for us who are Muslims, it is just a matter of explaining to our fellow Children of Adam Alaihis Salam who happen to be Christians where we stand on such matters and why we can't accept their demands to be allowed to address a Triune God with the blessed name of Allah?
To do so would amount to us being in compliance with those who associate Allah with another or other objects of worship which is a major sin in our Islamic faith.
Let me share with you an excerpt from Khilafah.com which relates the story of Jaafar ibni Abi Talib, the brother of Sayyidina Ali ibni Abi Talib, a cousin and son in law of the blessed Messenger of Allah, Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam.
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the Holy Qur'an:
كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ
"You are the best ummah singled out for mankind: you enjoin what is right (ma'roof), forbid what is wrong (munkar), and believe in Allah."
[Surah al-Imran: 110]
The Muslim Ummah faces increasing pressure to voice opinions that are in line with the policies of western governments, and to remain silent concerning the munkar being perpetrated against Muslims throughout the world. There is also a danger when under attack to become defensive about Islam and the shar'iah and begin to compromise on some of the fundamental aspects of the deen. Therefore, it's of paramount importance that Muslims do not succumb to this pressure and twist the message of Islam to appease the kuffar and the western governments. Rather we must enjoin the highest ma'roof (i.e. the Islamic ‘Aqeeda) and convey the message of Islam with wisdom and good teaching without compromising any tenet of Islam.
Every Muslim, male or female, young or old, has his or her part to play in this work. Our role models are undoubtedly the Messenger of Allah (saw) and his sahaba. If we study the example of the sahaba when they migrated to Abyssinia we can take many lessons from them that apply to our situation today.
The early Muslims faced unbearable levels of persecution in the Arabian Peninsula instigated by the Quraysh in Mecca. When the Quraysh heard that some Muslims, being afraid of forced apostasy, had emigrated to Abyssinia they sent two determined envoys after them to discredit the Muslims in the hope that the Negus would expel them from his kingdom and have them sent back. The two envoys were ‘Amr ibn al-'As ibn Wa'il and ‘Abdullah ibn Rabi'ah. They reached Abyssinia and offered presents to the generals of the Negus to help them convince the Negus to extradite the Muslim refugees.
They said to them, "Some foolish fellows from our people have taken refuge in the King's country; they have forsaken our Deen (religion) and not accepted yours, but have brought into being an invented Deen which neither we nor you know anything about. Our nobles have sent us to you to return them. So surrender them to us, for their own people have the keenest insight and know most about their faults."
They also stipulated that the King should not speak to the Muslims, fearing what they might say to him.
The generals met with the Negus and recommended that he surrender the Muslims to their own people. The Negus summoned the Muslims and demanded to hear what they had to say for themselves.
Ja'far ibn Abi Talib was the leader and spokesman of the Muslims who migrated to Abyssinia. When he and the companions entered the court of the Negus they refused to bow down to him as the two envoys and the rest of the King's subjects had done. When questioned about this Ja'far said, "We do not bow down before anyone except Allah."
Ja'far then gave a speech presenting Islam to the Negus. He said, "O King! We were ignorant people and we lived like wild animals. The strong among us lived by preying upon the weak. We obeyed no law and we acknowledged no authority save that of brute force. We worshipped idols made of stone or wood, and we knew nothing of human dignity. And then God, in His Mercy, sent to us His Messenger who was himself one of us. We knew about his truthfulness and his integrity. His character was exemplary, and he was the most well-born of the Arabs. He invited us toward the worship of One God, and he forbade us to worship idols. He exhorted us to tell the truth, and to protect the weak, the poor, the humble, the widows and the orphans. He ordered us to show respect to women, and never to slander them. We obeyed him and followed his teachings. Most of the people in our country are still polytheists, and they resented our conversion to the new faith which is called Islam. They began to persecute us and it was in order to escape from persecution by them that we sought and found sanctuary in your kingdom."
When Ja'far concluded his speech, the Negus said to Ja'far, "Do you have with you anything from what your Messenger brought from Allah to read to me?"
Ja'far said, "Yes," and recited Surah Maryam from the beginning until where Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
فَأَشَارَتْ إِلَيْهِ قَالُوا كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَن كَانَ فِي الْمَهْدِ صَبِيًّا
قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا
وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوْصَانِي بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيًّا
وَبَرًّا بِوَالِدَتِي وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِي جَبَّارًا شَقِيًّا
وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدتُّ وَيَوْمَ أَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ أُبْعَثُ حَيًّا
"She pointed at him. They said, ‘How can we converse with an infant?' [But] he said: ‘I am a servant of Allah. He has granted me the Scripture; made me a prophet; made me blessed wherever I may be. He commanded me to pray, to give alms as long as I live, to cherish my mother. He did not make me domineering or graceless. Peace was on me the day I was born, and will be on me the day I die and the day I am raised to life again." [Surah Maryam 19:29-33]
When the patriarchs heard this they said, "This and what our Lord ‘Isa (Jesus) the Messiah brought are from the same source."
King Negus listened to the recitation of the Qur'an and cried so much that his beard was wet.
The Negus said, "Of a truth, this and what Musa brought, come from the same niche. You two may go, for by Allah, I will never give them up and they shall not be betrayed."
The two envoys left the Royal Palace and began to think of another way to fulfil their task. The next day ‘Amr ibn al-'As went back to the Negus and said to him, "The Muslims say dreadful things about ‘Isa, son of Maryam, send for them and ask them about it."
He did so and Ja'far replied, "We say about him that which our Prophet brought, saying, he is the slave of Allah and
His Messenger, and His spirit, and His word, which He cast into Maryam the blessed virgin."
The Negus took a stick from the ground, drew a line in the soil with it and said to Ja'far, "There is nothing more than this line between your Deen and ours", and he discharged the two envoys empty-handed.
There are four main lessons we can learn from the example of Ja'far ibn Abi Talib to the Negus.
Lesson 1. Never compromise the shari'ah rules .
The Muslims were under enormous pressure before the Negus. Failure to present a strong case would have meant their deportation back to Mecca to face certain torture and possibly death. Despite this pressure they refused to compromise their deen and bow down before the Negus, even though this may have acted against them. Although the Muslims refused to bow down they explained their position in an intellectual manner that the Negus understood and being a religious man ultimately agreed with.
When presenting the message of Islam we must therefore adhere to the rules of Islam at all times. We must not lie, backbite, slander, insult or compromise any other rule of Islam. Principles such as necessity and ‘ends justify the means' have no place in conveying the message of Islam.
Lesson 2. Never twist the message of Islam.
When Ja'far was questioned by the Negus over Islam's view on Isa (as), he did not attempt to disguise or twist Islam's view. Ja'far clearly articulated that Islam views Isa (as) as a messenger of God and not the son of God.
We must never twist or disguise parts of Islam in order to present an opinion that the government or media find more palatable. Muslims have nothing to be ashamed of regarding their Islamic values and must refuse to accept western claims that Islam is backward and an ‘evil ideology' responsible for all the terrible things happening in the world.
Lesson 3. Understand your audience.
The Negus was a Christian King. Therefore out of all the verses of Qur'an revealed at that time, Ja'far chose a verse from Surah Maryam describing one of the miracles of Isa (as) that he knew the Negus could relate to. This verse had such an effect on the Negus that he wept till his beard was wet.
Understanding our audience and choosing the most relevant examples that will relate to them is vital. When addressing youth, professionals, academics, politicians or media the message will remain the same but the styles and means of language will change.
Lesson 4. Accounting the rulers.
The two Quraysh envoys tried to prevent the Negus from listening to the Muslims fearing what they would say about them. When Ja'far gave his speech he indeed exposed the persecution and injustice of Quraysh creating public opinion in the court against them. Ja'far refused to remain silent over the injustice of Quraysh even though if he and the companions were deported back to Mecca their persecution would have increased.
The west and their agents ruling our lands use all means at their disposable to try and silence any voice that speaks against them. Torture, propaganda, imprisonment and killings are perpetrated against those brave enough to stand up to the western occupation and the brutality of the Muslim rulers.
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "The master of martyrs is Hamza bin Abdul-Muttalib and a man who stood to an oppressor ruler where he ordered him and forbade him so he (the ruler) killed him." [Abu Dawud]
In whatever situation we find ourselves in there is always guidance to be found in the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of the Messenger (saw). We must also study the lives of the sahaba, the best generation (May Allah be pleased with them) who were human beings of different races and backgrounds with various strengths and weaknesses, and who managed to mould their personalities according to Islam. Indeed there are countless lessons we can learn from their lives to help us in ours.
End of quote.
This subject is not something that we can settle within our lifetimes. It's not something that we can afford to give up just so that it pleases our fellow mankind.
The matter of Tawheed, the Oneness in the Worship of Allah is the most fundamental aspect of our creed and faith in the Almighty.
Let's worship no other but Him, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala or choose to go our own separate ways in order to live and let live.
That's what Allah the Almighty commands us to in Surah Al Kafirun which I have shared above?
Let's take a look now at Surah Al A'raaf Chapter 22 Verses 172 to 174 :
172. Wa-ith akhatha rabbuka min banee adama min thuhoorihim thurriyyatahum waashhadahum AAala anfusihim alastu birabbikum qaloo bala shahidna an taqooloo yawma alqiyamati inna kunna AAan hatha ghafileena
172. When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): "Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?"- They said: "Yea! We do testify!" (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: "Of this we were never mindful":
173. Or lest ye should say: "Our fathers before us may have taken false gods, but we are (their) descendants after them: wilt Thou then destroy us because of the deeds of men who were futile?"
174. Thus do We explain the signs in detail; and perchance they may turn (unto Us).********************************************************************
Sometimes I wonder as to why it is so hard for some folks to understand the Oneness of Allah?
Surely if there are to be more than one supreme creator of us, there would be total chaos in this universe and other realms of existence that mankind is only coming to learn of in these stated Last Ages?
Well, that should be the topic for another day's discussion...provided we get to live till then?
May Allah bless and guide us all.