Thursday, November 03, 2005

Epitaph the of 4 Great Khalifatu Rasulil-lah

Khalifatu Rasulil-lah means "Successor to the Messenger of God", the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him).

The history of the Islamic Empire rested in the records of four great Khalifa, or Caliph in English. The first Caliph, Abu Bakar, was elected after the death of the Prophet. The title 'Khalifatu Rasulil-lah'. was first used for Abu Bakar, who was elected head of the Muslim community after the death of the Prophet.

There are four notoble Caliphs: Abu Bakar, Umar, Uthman and Ali. All four were among the earliest and closest companions of the Prophet. They lived simple and righteous lives and strove hard for the Islamic religion. Their justice was impartial, their treatment of others was kind and merciful, and they were one with the people. After these four, the later Caliphs assumed the manners of kings and Emirs and the true spirit of equality of ruler and ruled diminished to a considerable extent in the political life of Muslims.

As successor to the Prophet, the Caliph would be the head of the Muslim Ummah and his primary responsibility was to continue in the path of the Prophet. At the death of the Prophet, the Caliph was to make all laws in accordance with the Qur'an and the Sunnah. He will be the ruler over Muslims but not their sovereign since sovereignty belongs to God alone. He was to be obeyed as long as he obeyed God. He was responsible for creating and maintaining conditions under which it would be easy for Muslims to live according to Islamic principles, and to see that justice was done to all. Abu Bakar, at the time he accepted the caliphate, stated his position thus:

"The weak among you shall be strong with me until their rights have been vindicated; and the strong among you shall he weak with me until, if the Lord wills, I have taken what is due from them... Obey me as long as I obey God and His Messenger. When I disobey Him and His Prophet, then obey me not."

The First Caliph, Abu Bakar (632-634 A.C.)

The Prophet's closest Companion, Abu Bakar, was not present when the Prophet passed away in the apartment of his beloved wife, Aisha, who was Abu Bakar's daughter. When Abu Bakar came to know of the Prophet's passing, he hurried to the house of sorrow.

After the death of the Prophet, Muslim community faced an extremely serious problem: that of choosing a leader. After some discussion among the Companions of the Prophet who had assembled in order to select a leader, it became apparent that no one was better suited for this responsibility than Abu Bakar.

Abu Bakar was a fairly wealthy merchant, and before he embraced Islam, was a respected citizen of Mecca. He was three years younger than Muhammad. He remained the closest companion of the Prophet throughout the Prophet's life. Abu Bakar was among the earliest to accept Islam. He also persuaded Uthman and Bilal to accept Islam. Abu Bakar was the one chosen by the Prophet to accompany him on the dangerous journey to Medina. In the numerous battles which took place during the life of the Prophet, Abu Bakar was always by his side.

Even before Islam, Abu Bakar was known to be a man of upright character and amiable and compassionate nature. All through his life he was sensitive to human suffering and kind to the poor and helpless. Even though he was wealthy, he lived very simply and spent his money for charity, for freeing slaves and for the cause of Islam. He often spent part of the night in supplication and prayer. He shared with his family a cheerful and affectionate home life.

Abu Bakar died on 21 Jamadi-al Akhir, 13 A.H. (23 August 634 A.C.), at the age of sixty-three, and was buried by the side of the Holy Prophet. His caliphate had been of a mere twenty-seven months duration. In this brief span, however, Abu Bakar had managed to strengthen and consolidate the Muslim community and secure the Muslims against the perils which had threatened their existence.

The Second Caliph, Umar (634-644 A.C.)

During his last days in illness, Abu Bakar had conferred with his people and they chose Umar as his successor. Umar was born into a respected Quraish family thirteen years after the birth of Muhammad. Umar's family was known for its extensive knowledge of genealogy. When he grew up, Umar was proficient in this branch of knowledge as well as in swordsmanship, wrestling and the art of speaking. He also learned to read and write while still a child, a very rare thing in Mecca at that time. Umar earned his living as a merchant. His trade took him to many foreign lands and he met all kinds of people. This experience gave him an insight into the affairs and problems of men. Umar's personality was dynamic, self-assertive, frank and straight forward. He always spoke whatever was in his mind even if it displeased others.

The soundness of Umar's judgment, his devotion to the Prophet, his outspokenness and uprightness won for him a trust and confidence from the Prophet which was second only to that given to Abu Bakar. During the Caliphate of Abu Bakar, Umar was his closest assistant and adviser. When Abu Bakr died, all the people of Medina swore allegiance to Umar, and on 23 Jamadi-al-Akhir, 13 A.H., he was proclaimed Caliph.

The most notable feature of Umar's caliphate was the vast expansion of Islam. Apart from Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine and Iran also came under the protection of the Islamic government. But the greatness of Umar himself lies in the quality of his rule. He spent many a watchful night going about the streets of Medina to see whether anyone needed help or assistance.

Umar gave his government an administrative structure. Departments of treasury, army and public revenues were established. Regular salaries were set up for soldiers. A popuation census was held. Elaborate land surveys were conducted to assess equitable taxes. New cities were founded. The areas which came under his rule were divided into provinces and governors were appointed. New roads were laid, canals were lug and wayside hotels were built. Provision was made for he support of the poor and the needy from public funds. He defined, by precept and by example, the rights and privileges of non-Muslims, an example of which is the following contract with the Christians of Jerusalem:

"This is the protection which the servant of God, Umar, the Ruler of the Believers has granted to the people of Eiliya [Jerusalem]. The protection is for their lives and properties, their churches and crosses, their sick and healthy and for all their coreligionists. Their churches shall not be used for habitation, nor shall they be demolished, nor shall any injury be done to them or to their compounds, or to their crosses, nor shall their properties be injured in any way. There shall be no compulsion for these people in the matter of religion, nor shall any of them suffer any injury on account of religion... Whatever is written herein is under the covenant of God and the responsibility of His Messenger, of the Caliphs and of the believers, and shall hold good as long as they pay Jizya [the tax for their defense] imposed on them."

Those non-Muslims who took part in defense together with the Muslims were exempted from paying Jizya, and when the Muslims had to retreat from a city whose non-Muslim citizens had paid this tax for their defense, the tax was returned to the non-Muslims. The old, the poor and the disabled of Muslims and non-Muslims alike were provided for from the public treasury and from the Zakat funds.

In 23 A.H., when Umar returned to Medina from Haj, he raised his hands and prayed,

"O God! I am advanced in years, my bones are weary, my powers are declining, and the people for whom I am responsible have spread far and wide. Summon me back to Thyself, my lord!"

Umar died in the first week of Muharram, 24 A.H., and was buried by the side of the Holy Prophet.

The Third Caliph, Uthman (644-656 A.C.)

When Umar fell under the assassin's dagger, before he died the people asked him to nominate his successor. Umar appointed a committee consisting of six of the ten companions of the Prophet - Ali, Uthman, Abdul Rahman, Sa'ad, Al-Zubayr and Talha - to select the next Caliph from among themselves. He also outlined the procedure to be followed if any differences of opinion should arise. Abdul Rahman withdrew his name. He was then authorized by the committee to nominate the Caliph. After two days of discussion among the candidates and after the opinions of the Muslims in Medina had been ascertained, the choice was finally limited to Uthman and Ali. Abdul Rahman came to the mosque together with other Muslims, and after a brief speech and questioning of the two men, swore allegiance to Uthman. All those present did the same, and Uthman became the third Caliph of Islam in the month of Muharram, 24 A.H.

Uthman bin Affan was born seven years after the Holy Prophet. He belonged to the Omayyad branch of the Quraish tribe. He learned to read and write at an early age, and as a young man became a successful merchant. Even before Islam Uthman had been noted for his truthfulness and integrity. He and Abu Bakar were close friends, and it was Abu Bakar who brought him to Islam when he was thirty-four years of age. Some years later he married the Prophet's second daughter, Ruqayya. In Medina his business again began to flourish and he regained his former prosperity. Uthman's generosity had no limits. On various occasions he spent a great portion of his wealth for the welfare of the Muslims, for charity and for equipping the Muslim armies. That is why he came to be known as 'Ghani' meaning 'Generous.'

Uthman's wife, Ruqayya was seriously ill just before the Battle of Badr and he was excused by the Prophet from participating in the battle. The illness Ruqayya proved fatal, leaving Uthman deeply grieved. The Prophet was moved and offered Uthman the hand of another of his daughters, Kulthum. Because he had the high privilege of having two daughters of the Prophet as wives Uthman was known as 'The Possessor of the Two Lights.'

Uthman participated in the Battles of Uhud and the Trench. After the encounter of the Trench, the Prophet determined to perform Haj and sent Uthman as his emissary to the Quraish in Mecca, who detained him. The episode ended in a treaty with the Meccans known as the Treaty of Hudaibiya.

The portrait we have of Uthman is of an unassuming, honest, mild, generous and very kindly man, noted especially for his modesty and his piety. He often spent part of the night in prayer, fasted every second or third day, performed haj every year, and looked after the needy of the whole community. In spite of his wealth, he lived very simply and slept on bare sand in the courtyard of the Prophet's mosque. Uthman knew the Qur'an from memory and had an intimate knowledge of the context and circumstances relating to each verse.

During Uthman's rule the characteristics of Abu Bakar's and Umar's caliphates - impartial justice for all, mild and humane policies, striving in the path of God, and the expansion of Islam - continued. Uthman's realm extended in the west to Morocco, in the east to Afghanistan, and in the north to Armenia and Azerbaijan. During his caliphate a navy was organized, administrative divisions of the state were revised, and many public projects were expanded and completed. Uthman sent prominent Companions of the Prophet as his personal deputies to various provinces to scrutinize the conduct of officials and the condition of the people.

Uthman's most notable contribution to the religion of God was the compilation of a complete and authoritative text of the Qur'an. A large number of copies of this text were made and distributed all over the Muslim world.

Uthman ruled for twelve years. The first six years were marked by internal peace and tranquility, but during the second half of his caliphate a rebellion arose. The Jews and the Magians, taking advantage of dissatisfaction among the people, began conspiring against Uthman, and by publicly airing their complaints and grievances, gained so much sympathy that it became difficult to distinguish friend from foe.

It may seem surprising that a ruler of such vast territories, whose armies were matchless, was unable to deal with these rebels. If Uthman had wished, the rebellion could have been crushed at the very moment it began. But he was reluctant to be the first to shed the blood of Muslims, however rebellious they might be. He preferred to reason with them, to persuade them with kindness and generosity. He well remembered hearing the Prophet say, "Once the sword is unsheathed among my followers, it will not be sheathed until the Last Day."

The rebels demanded that he abdicate and some of the Companions advised him to do so. He would gladly have followed this course of action, but again he was bound by a solemn pledge he had given to the Prophet. "Perhaps God will clothe you with a shirt, Uthman" the Prophet had told him once, "and if the people want you to take it off, do not take it off for them." Uthman said to a well-wisher on a day when his house was surrounded by the rebels, "God's Messenger made a covenant with me and I shall show endurance in adhering to it."

After a long siege, the rebels broke into Uthman's house and murdered him. When the first assassin's sword struck Uthman, he was reciting the verse, "Verily, God sufficeth thee; He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing" [2:137]

Uthman breathed his last on the afternoon of Friday, 17 Dhul Hijja, 35 A.H. (June. (656 A.C.). He was eighty-four years old. The power of tHe rebels was so great that Uthman's body lay unburied until Saturday night when he was buried in his blood-stained clothes, the shroud which befits all martyrs in the cause of God.

The Fourth Caliph, Ali (656-661 A.C.)

Ali bin Abi Talib was the first cousin of the Prophet. More than that, he had grown up in the Prophet's own household, later married his youngest daughter, Fatima, and remained in closest association with him for nearly thirty years.

Ali fought in all the early battles of Islam with great distinction, particularly in the expedition of Khaybar. It is said that in the Battle of Uhud he received more than sixteen wounds. The Prophet loved Ali dearly and called him by many fond names.

Ali's humility, austerity, piety, deep knowledge of the Qur'an and his sagacity gave him great distinction among the Prophet's Companions. Abu Bakar, Umar and Uthman consulted him frequently during their caliphates. Many times Umar had made him his vice-regent at Medina when he was away. Ali was also a great scholar of Arabic literature and pioneered in the field of grammar and rhetoric. His speeches, sermons and letters served for generations afterward as models of literary expression. Many of his wise and epigrammatic sayings have been preserved. Ali thus had a rich and versatile personality. In spite of these attainments he remained a modest and humble man.

Ali and his household lived extremely simple and austere lives. Sometimes they even went hungry themselves because of Ali's great generosity, and none who asked for help was ever turned away from his door. His plain, austere style of living did not change even when he was ruler over a vast domain.

Uthman's murder and the events surrounding it were a symptom of civil strife within the empire. Ali felt that the tragic situation was mainly due to inept governors. The Prophet's widow Aisha also took the position that Ali should first bring the murderers to trial. Due to the chaotic conditions Ali refused to punish anyone whose guilt was not proved. Thus a battle between the army of Ali and the supporters of Aisha took place.

However, even though the era of Ali's caliphate was marred by civil strife, he nevertheless introduced a number of reforms, particularly in the levying and collecting of revenues.

It was the fortieth year of Hijra. A fanatical group called Kharijites, consisting of people who had broken away from Ali due to his compromise with Muawiya, claimed that Ali, the Caliph, was worthy to rule. They vowed to assasinate him. Ibn-e-Muljim, the assassin was commissioned to kill Ali. One morning when Ali was absorbed in prayer in a mosque, Ibn-e-Muljim stabbed him with a poisoned sword. On the 20th of Ramadan, 40 A.H., Ali died and the Islamic Empire saw the last of the Rightly Guided Caliphs of Islam.

With the death of Ali, the most notable phase in the history of Muslim Empire thus came to an end. All through this period it had been the the Qur'an and the Sunnah - which had guided the leaders and the followers, setting the standards of their moral conduct and inspired their actions. It was the time when the ruler and the ruled, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, were uniformly subject to the Divine Law. It was an epoch of freedom and equality, of God-consciousness and humility, of social justice which recognized no privileges, and of an impartial law which accepted no pressure groups or vested interests.

After Ali, Muawiya assumed the caliphate and thereafter the caliphate became hereditary, passing from one king to another.


National Muslim Student Association of the USA and Canada.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Noah and the Great Flood

Katrina Posted by Picasa

New Orleans: Nature's revenge?
By Adam Blenford BBC News

New Orleans and the Mississippi are crucial oil and gas hubs. For generations, many who live and work in the Big Easy have feared the worst. New Orleans lies in a wide, shallow bowl on delicate marshlands well below sea level, with the Mississippi River running through it. It perches under the lip of a vast lake more than twice its size, while to the south and east lies the Gulf of Mexico, one of the world's most fertile hurricane zones. To protect the city from disaster, city planners designed and built a complex system of flood defences after the Mississippi burst its banks in devastating fashion in 1927. Nevertheless, officials had little option but to order a mass evacuation of New Orleans when they saw that Hurricane Katrina was headed for a direct hit. The mayor of New Orleans has ordered a total evacuation of the city smashed by Hurricane Katrina. Most of the city is still under water and thousands are feared to have drowned.

Speaking about floods brought me back to the story of Noah and the Great Flood. The Bible relates about the expansion of the human race which spread over the earth and the sprouting of female species were burgeoning on this earth. The men saw how beautiful these daughters were, so they took for themselves such women as they chose. In those days, when the men had intercourse with the daughters of mortals and children were born to them, they were the heroes of old, people of renown. When God saw how great was the wickedness of human beings on earth, and how their every thoughts and inclination were wicked, he bitterly regretted that he had made mankind on earth.

God then said: "I shall wipe off the face of the earth this human race which I had created. I regret that I ever made them."

However, Noah had won the Lord's favour as he was a righteous man, the one blameless man of his time. He had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

God said to Noah: "I am going to bring the whole human race to an end. Make yourself an ark with ribs of cypress; cover it with reeds and coat it inside and out with pitch. This is to be its design: the length of the ark is to be 300cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. You are to make a roof for the ark, giving it a fall of one cubit when complete; put a door in the side of the ark, and build three decks."

"God told Noah: "You shall go into the ark with your sons, your wives, and your son's wives. You are to bring living creatures of every kind into the ark to keep them alive with you, two of each kind, a male and a female. Stove enough food for you and for them."

In that year when Noah was 600 years old, on the 17th day of the 2nd month, that very day, all the springs of the great deep burst out, the windows of the heavens opened, and rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights.

When the water had increased over the earth for a 150 days, God caused the wind to blow over the earth, so that the water began to subside. On the 17th day of the 7th month, the ark grounded on the mountain of Arafat. The water continue to abate until the 10th month, and on the first day of tenth month, the tops of the mountain could not be seen.

By the 27th day of the 2nd month, the earth was dry and God spoke to Noah, "Come out and bring out everyone including the living creatures. Spread over the earth and be fruitful and multiply. I shall now establish my covenant with you, and with your descendants after you. I shall sustain my covenant with you: never again will all living creatures be destroyed by the water of a flood, never again will there be a flood to lay waste the earth. For all generations to come, this is the sign which I am giving of the covenant between myself and you and all living creatures with you:

My bow I set in the clouds
to be a sign of the covenant
between myself and the earth.
When I bring clouds over the earth,
the rainbow will appear in the clouds.

'Then I shall remember the covenant which I have made with you and with all living creatures, and never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all creation.'

(Source: Genesis 6-9)

Haram & Halal in Islam - Is hugging permissible in Islam?

I am intrigue by the writings of Yusuf al-Qaradawi in his book 'The Lawful and The Prohibited in Islam (Al-Hala wal Haram fil Islam) which was translated by Kamal El-Helbawy, M.Moinuddin Siddiqui and Syed Shukry.

Below are an abstract of the knowledge of the rule of haram and halah which might help many who is confused by the statement of DPM Najib pertaining to hugging and kissing at the cheeks.

The question of what ought to be halal and haram was a matter of great concern as the people had gone far astray and were utterly confused, permitting many impure and harmful things and prohibiting many things that were good and pure.

The Arabs of the pre-Islamic era provide a noteworthy example of utter confusion regarding the criteria for making lawful or prohibiting things and actions. They permitted the drinking of alcohol, the taking of usury at exorbitant rates, the torturing and secluding of women, and many similar practices. Those who had diabolical minds made alluring to many of them the killing of their own children, until, suppressing their natural paternal feelings, they obeyed them.

It is strange that these same people who permitted the killing of their children by cutting their throats or burying them alive had prohibited to themselves the eating of certain argicultural produce and the flesh of cattle. Stranger still is that they considered such prohibitions as part of their religion, attributing them to Allah's command.

The Quran exposed the error of those who made halal what should had been haram:

"Lost are those who kill their children in folly, without knowledge and prohibited what Allah has provided them, forging (lies) against Allah. They have indeed gone astray and are without guidance" (6:140).

When Islam came, one of it's initial accomplishment is to establish certain legal principles and measures for rectifying this matter and determining criteria on which the questions of what is halal and haram were to be based. Thus this vital aspect was determined according to the basis of the principles of justice.

The first asl, (or principle), established by Islam is that the things which Allah has created and the benefits derived from them and essentially for men's use, and hence are permissible. Nothing is haram except what is prohibited by the sound and explicit nas from the Law-Giver, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala. Nas denotes either a verse of the Quran or a clear, authentic, and explicit sunnah (practice or saying) of Prophet Muhammad. If the nas is not sound, as for example in the case of a weak hadith, or it is not explicit in stating the prohibition, then the original principle of permissibility applies.

This Islamic principles is based on the fact that since, Allah Himself had created all the things in the world, given man control over them, count them as His favours upon him, and subsequently inform him that their use is prohibited; how could this be when He created all these for men's use and benefit? Allah had only prohibited a few things for specific reasons and the sphere of prohibition is small.

According to Salman al-Farsi, when the Prophet was asked about animal fat, cheese and fur, he replied:

"What Allah has made lawful in his Book is halal, and what He has forbidden is haram, and that concerning which He is silent is allowed as His favour." (19:64)

Accordint to Yusuf al-Qaradawi,the same principle is not limited to things and objects but also include all human actions and behaviors not related to acts of worship, which may be termed as living habits, or day-to-day affairs. It does include culture and traditions, including huggings and holding hands. The principle is that what is not explicitly prohibited as haram in the Quran and restricted, they should be allowed without restriction.

The exception will be regarding the acts of worship which are purely religious acts and for this, only what Allah Himself reveals. The Hadith enunciates that "Any innovation in our matter of worship which is not a part of it must be rejected." Anyone who invented or originates a form of worship on his own has gone astray and must be repudiated, for only Allah Himself has the right to originate acts of worship through which human beings may seek nearness to Him.

In the words of Ibn Taymiyyah, "People's saying and actions are of two kinds: acts of worship and customary practices. ...from the principles of the Shari'ah, we know that acts of worship are those acts which have been prescribed by Allah or approved by Him; nothing is to be affirmed except through the Shari'ah." (Al-Qawa'id al-Nuraniyah al-Fiqhiyah; page 112-113).

If the Syari'ah says something concerning these mundane matters, it is in order to teach good behavior. Accordingly, anything that leads to strife will be prohibited. Islamic principles of permissibility requires that everything must be done with due consideration for the kinds of activities involved, their magnitude and properties.

This principle is also supported in a sound hadith by the prophet's Companion, Jabir bin Abdullah. He said: "We used to practice 'azl (coitus interruptus, or withdrawal before ejaculation during intercourse) during the period when the Quran was being revealed. If the practice were to have been prohibited, the Quran would have prohibited it." Jabir therefore concluded that if the divine revelation was silent about something, it was permissible and the people are free to practice it.

The seond principle is that Islam has restricted the authority to legislate the haram and the halal, taking it out of the hands of human beings, regardless of their religious or worldly position, and reserving it for the Lord Himself. Neither rabbis nor priests, kings or sultans have the right to prohibit something permanently to Allah's servants (including Najib and UMNO Youth); if someone do this, he has certainly exceeded his limits, usurping the sovereignty which belongs to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala alone.

While Islam reprimands all those who, on their own authority, declare what is lawful and what is prohibited, it is more strict with respect to those who voice prohibitions as this tendency is prevalent among some of those who go to the extremes in matters of religion. The prophet fought against this pseudo-pietism and zealotry by every means, warning those who indulged in it with the words, "The zealots will perish," repeated three times.

The Prophet characterized his message by saying:

"I have been sent with what is straight and easy".

The straightness of the message consists of belief in tawheed (the unity of Allah) and its ease in practice and legislation, in contrast to shirk and to the prohibition of good things of this life.

The prophet has mentioned all this in a hadith qudsi (the meaning is from Allah) reporting the saying of Allah Ta'ala:

"They prohibited to people what I had made lawful for I created people upright (hunafah). Then the evil ones came to them and led them astray from their religion and commanded them to associate with Me that for which I had not sent down any authority."

Islam lays great stress on nobility of feelings, loftiness of aims, and purity of intentions. "Actions will be judged by intentions and everyone will be recompensed according to what he intended," the prophet enunciated.

The prophet also has this to say:

"Anyone who desires what is permissible from the world, keeping himself from sins, working for the sake of his family, and taking care of his neighbour, will meet his Lord with a face shining like the full moon."

In this manner, whenever any permissible action of the believer is accompanied by a good intention, his action becomes an act of worship. In the case of haram, it remains haram no matter how good the intention and how honorable the purpose, or how lofty the aim may be. Islam can never consent to employing a haram means to achieve a praiseworthy end. Indeed, it insists that not only the aim be honorable but also that the means chosen to attain it be pure.

"The end justifies the means" is not the maxim of the Shari'ah nor is "Secure your right even though wrong-doing". The Shari'ah demands that the right should be secured through just and fair means only.

If anyone amasses wealth through haram means and then gives charity from it, there is no regard for him and the burden of sin remains (reported by Ibn Khazamah, Ibn Hibban, and al-Hakim on the authority of Abu Hurairah).

As an example, the prophet firmly proclaim that:

"By Allah, even if Fatimah, my daughter was to steal, I would have her hand cut off." (reported by al-Bukhari).

In conclusion here, it must be remembered that Allah does not discriminate between one people and another. The tendencies to use a double standard, one for one's 'brother' and another for a 'foreigner' or outsider, is a characteristic of primitive ethics. It can never be ascribed to a divinely revealed religion, for high morality is distinguishable by its universality and comprehensiveness and by its lack of a double standard.

I am not sure whether classifying a community as Bumiputra and the others as non-Bumi falls under this categorization; and the various proposed Agendas propagated by the Islamic anointed scholars are within the principles of Islam. What would the prophet had said if he is here today?

Islamic City & Islam Hadhari

Shahanaaz Habib Analysis; The Star, Nation, page 25, September 9, 2005.

Politicians generally are mad on SLOGANS AND CONCEPTS, said UKM Dr Agus Mohamed Yusof.

"On the one hand you have Islamic City slogan and the other, the Islam Hadhari concept. All these are meaningless if there is no substance. Their intention is good, but there is no emphasis on the essence of it," Agus Yusof lamented.

As an example, Agus relates a case of a very poor family in Kelantan. The mother had cancer. She was forced to give away seven of her nine children because she was too poor. One of her son needed a liver transplant. Yusof approached both UMNO and PAS for assistance. Both did not want to help.

"Even poverty is politicised. PAS was trying to capitalize on it as an opportunity while UMNO was trying to whack PAS by using this case to illustrate to the people of Kelantan that they have voted in a political party which kept the State in poverty.

"It broke my heart. Manusia lebih hina daripada lembu (Man has less esteem than a cow)," Dr Agus said sombrely.

On October 1, Kota Baru will be declared an Islamic City by the PAS-led government. This will revolve around the 5K Concept - Keilmuan, Kesetiaan, Kebersihan, Kemakmuran and Kebajikan (Knowledge, Loyalty, Cleanliness, Prosperity and Welfare).

The plan is to mould Kelantan's State capital into an Islamic learning center.

However, UMNO laugh this off. "Pas is trying to copy our Islam Hadhari. All the 5Ks are adapted from our Islam Hadhari," Datuk Dr Mashita Ibrahim laugh braggingly.

It is interesting and puzzling to hear Dr Mashita's comment. She claimed that PAS copied "OUR Islam Hadhari". What is OUR; who is the OUR? Isn't Islam Hadhari for everyone, including PAS? Isn't Islam Hadhari culled from the Quran? So, does it belong to UMNO? It definitely sounded like it is an invention from UMNO.

PAS does not need to copy; PAS had tailored their doctrines and concepts along the teaching of the prophet and in compliance with the Sya'riah.

In the words of Ibn Taymiyyah, "People's saying and actions are of two kinds: acts of worship and customary practices. ...from the principles of the Shari'ah, we know that acts of worship are those acts which have been prescribed by Allah or approved by Him; nothing is to be affirmed except through the Shari'ah." (Al-Qawa'id al-Nuraniyah al-Fiqhiyah; page 112-113).

In his book 'The Lawful and The Prohibited in Islam (Al-Hala wal Haram fil Islam), Yusuf al-Qaradawi has this to remind Dr Mashita:

"Islam has restricted the authority to legislate the haram and the halal, taking it out of the hands of human beings, regardless of their religious or worldly position, and reserving it for the Lord Himself. Neither rabbis nor priests, kings or sultans have the right to prohibit something permanently to Allah's servants; if someone do this, he has certainly exceeded his limits, usurping the sovereignty which belongs to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala alone."

"While Islam reprimands all those who, on their own authority, declare what is lawful and what is prohibited, it is more strict with respect to those who voice prohibitions as this tendency is prevalent among some of those who go to the extremes in matters of religion. The prophet fought against this pseudo-pietism and zealotry by every means, warning those who indulged in it with the words, 'The zealots will perish,' repeated three times."

Dr Ahmad Nidzamuddin concurs with his UKM colleague Dr Agus that slogans and concepts looks pretty on paper.

"However, mere words and ideas will not heal disease, alleviate poverty or give people comfort," said Dr Nadzamuddin.

Hand Kissing UnIslamic?

Hand Kissing Posted by Picasa

Utusan Malaysia front-paged a report about several Islamic scholars unanimous agreement that hand kissing is not unIslamic and felt it is in fact encouraged.

Johor Mufti Datuk Nooh Gadut said hand kissing was not against Islam as long as it is not meant to worship them.

This was in response to a report that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia who decreed that his people stop kissing his hand because the practice was against Islamic teachings and lower one's dignity.

Perak Mufti Datuk Harussani Zakaria concurred.

Former FT Mufti Tan Sri Abdul Kader Talib said:

"Muslims should avoid greetings that were not in line with Islamic teachings such as rubbing nose, kissing cheeks, or embracing one another."

"Don't overdo the show of respect. It must be based on real intentions."

Did Mufti Kader inform his view to Mahathir and Rafidah?

How do you think Mahathir would react to his point?

In Search of God

I love Islam and Christianity.

This blog will consist of articles of my research of the literatures of these two subject matter.

It is in my hope that I will discover the profound knowledge.

May God be my guide and lead me in this pilgrimage of discovery.