Friday, October 21, 2011

Support HIMPUN, Save the Aqidah of Muslims!

By Associate Professor Dr Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah

Come tomorrow, October 22, 2011 we as adherents of the Islamic faith will create history. The gathering of at least a million Muslims at the Shah Alam Stadium, whether it materialises or otherwise will be determined by the will of Allah SWT.

The rally organised by the Secretariat for the Gathering of a Million Muslims (HIMPUN) will include Muslim NGOs, representatives of various organisations, educational institutions, corporations, sports and recreational clubs, martial arts associations, uniformed bodies, youth clubs, mosque committees, teachers and others.

Taking on the theme of "Saving the Aqidah," the event is indirectly aimed at reminding the non-Muslims to not interfere with the affairs of Muslims and never ever to attempt to proselytise them. I have been made to understand that the HIMPUN secretariat have met several muftis for blessing. The muftis have unanimously agreed that the question of aqidah must be addressed through a religious standpoint and should never be allowed to persist as political fodder.

We, as Muslims must give our full support for this noble initiative if we truly love Islam and this nation, that is invariably, based on the system of Malay nationhood. Never allow the country to be a second Singapore, as it is with Penang. It must be defended to the very last drop of blood. Should we fail to do that, we will only be haunted by regrets and cursed by generations to come for having failed to defend this sacred premise.

The aim of HIMPUN is noble. It is a measure of our unity and the spirit of 'WE' among Muslims, in standing our ground in the face of Christianisation, including the incident on August 3, 2011.

The rakyat must be made to understand the significance of the question of aqidah to be managed and addressed through a religious standpoint and not to be used politically. They must also be made to understand the imperative to maintain the institution of monarchy, which is the veritable umbrella of the Malay race and the Islamic faith in their defence against any incursions on their sanctity and sensitivities.

To help realise the strength of the aqidah and faith of the Islamic society and in the same vein to warn of the dangers that await the nation should such issues be exploited. To create awareness on the existence of provisions in the Constitution and laws of the state, which forbid any parties from challenging or criticising the purity and sanctity of Islam and not to propagate other religion among Muslims.

It must be reminded that the Malays are the most fortunate among the world's Muslims compared to those in other countries. Here, the Malays and Islam are protected by the Constitution. 'Islam is Malay, and the Malay is Islam.' Even more special, for those who embrace Islam they are, too, considered as Malays as recognised by the Constitution, although they may not be of the racial stock in terms of heritage.

What this means is that Muslim brothers and sisters, too, cannot be proselytised after having accepted the Islamic faith, what more the Malays. This is a provision that does not exist any where else in the world. That is how special and fortunate the Muslims are in this blessed land.

But, sadly, proselytisation still happens. The non Muslims are brazenly proselytising Muslims although they are aware that it is forbidden. The incident at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) has challenged the credibility of Islam and its followers. Henceforth, we must rise before it is too late.

According to statistics, to date only 168 applications for apostasy have been approved. And according to other sources the overall number of application for apostasy stands at 686, while approval had only been given to 135 people. Sabah leads the list with 67, while Negeri Sembilan has recorded 33 apostates.

According the spokesman of the Muslim Lawyers Association, Pawanchek Merican, the Negeri Sembilan Syariah Court had approved 16 cases of apostasy. I am confident that the number is much bigger than what has actually been made known because according to the Mufti of Perak, more than 260,000 people have become apostates. The move to proselytise Muslims has been going on a long time. The numbers are not important, but the attempts and brazen acts to challenge the sanctity of the Islamic faith is. We know, but we pretend not to know.

The parties concerned have cleverly exploited the issue. Take for example, the construction of the international Christian centre known as the Calvary Convention Centre (CCC) in Bukit Jalil, courtesy of the Calvary Church in the name of welfare, so as to be exempted from tax. It has always been the plan of the Christians to make Malaysia the focus of Christianisation, after having succeeded in other Malay countries, such as Indonesia.

In order to be granted planning approval, they submitted a plan to City Hall which was essentially a plan for the development of a commercial centre. When approval was given, what was actually built was not a commercial centre. It was a mere pretext, whereas what materialised was a landmark biggest church in Asia. Notwithstanding the covert approach, they still persisted to seek government approval for the construction of a church in Putrajaya and Shah Alam, where the Christians are a minority.

Are we blind? How is that a population carving only a mere 10 percent of the total number of people in the country can be allowed to build the biggest church in Asia in a Muslim country? Is it not enough that the biggest religious statue was erected at Batu Caves? Please do not allow such mistakes to be repeated, or in the end this country will truly project itself as 'Malaysia Boleh' in all aspects. Whither the seven testaments of the Malay sultans?

As Muslims we should take full heed of the advice by the Regent of Perak, Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibuddin Shah, which was conveyed for the first time on behalf of the Malay Rulers in conjunction with the 7th Malaysian Congress of the State Religious Councils last month.

The gist of the message in the royal address reminded Muslims in Malaysia to really grasp the imperative for unity, especially in defending the sanctity of their religion and their race.

He gave the example of how Malaysians of Indian descent from disparate political groups, and comprising academics as well as various organisations have come together to voice out and act in the defence of their race over the issue surrounding the controversial novel, 'Interlok,' which they saw as humiliating to their race.
The outcome of this spirit of togetherness saw them reaping the ultimate success. This should be emulated.

According to Raja Nazrin the weaknesses of the Muslims have become more obvious to the extent that it is now open to the arrogance of non Muslims in challenging the level of tolerance of Muslims. The end result is the brazen encroachment in newer forms such as trespassing the sacred area of the word Allah, which had for so long been 'exclusive' to Muslims.

Raja Nazrin said when Muslims of today are caught in the trap of greed for power and political hegemony; they willingly sacrifice their religious principles and that of Islam. They have become so blind that they are oblivious to compassion and rejoice for the wrong reasons.

Remember, my brothers and sisters…many see the survival of the Muslims (Malays) as being in the hands of political parties. But, without realising it, the reality is the opposite. It is the survival of the political parties that depends on the cohesion of the Muslims. It is not accurate if the Malay race is developed reactively, which essentially requires them to only rely on the victorious strength of the political parties. The reality is they should be developed proactively by building self resilience and individual strength before anything else. It is one's inner strength that becomes the party's pillar of formidability.

According to Ustaz Pahrol Juoi, a strong party will not guarantee a strong race because the struggle for religious faith, race and nation cannot be stopped no matter what happens to the party. Take heed of this advice and read it with what is happening around us, as Allah SWT has reminded us to learn from whatever that has happened.

For example, the Congress Party could be left behind when the people of India felt that Congress had lost its wherewithal due to internal problems. The Kuomintang party which was credited for many good things was deserted by the Taiwan Chinese when it was seen as undemocratic by the nation's new generation. The same goes to Indonesia's Golkar, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Japan and many other examples.

What all these show is that the party is only a tool, while the excellence of a race, religion and nation is a mission - the objective. There is only, but one aim, but there are many ways to achieve it. A smart race will never depend on only one approach to achieve its objective.

This is where political maturity lies. Just look the politics of the non Muslims. They broaden the way and the network to allow for greater cooperation with whomever, be it the NGOs, opposition or ruling party, corporations and the like without giving a hoot to their backgrounds and ideology. What is important to them is the survival of the race. And when they have become strong, it will be difficult for outsiders to challenge and attack them. What happens after that will only see us subjugated by their formidable strength.

The advice by Raja Nazrin for the Islamic Religious Councils under the patronage of the Malay Rulers who are in the frontline to fulfil this critical role must be seriously considered by all parties concerned. The same goes with what was said by the Selangor Sultan who wanted the stakeholders and staff of the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) and the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (JAIS) not to give up or be apologetic when faced with attempts to erode the aqidah of Muslims.

The non Muslims want to challenge the Selangor Criminal Procedure Enactment of Selangor, 2003, the Selangor Syariah Criminal Enactment 1995 and the Selangor Non-Islamic Religion (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988 which is covered by Clause (1) and (4), Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, which disallows the proselytisation among Muslims. Verily, there is no compromise in the question of aqidah.

Regardless of that, preventive measures must from time to time be invoked. Muslims must not be allowed to be lulled through entertainment. Their hold on the aqidah must be fortified and strengthened.

Recently, I attended a briefing by an HIV/AIDS group. I noticed we bow too much to the World Health Organisation and the United Nations to the extent that we even admit defeat over questions of terminology.

For example, the term prostitutes can not be used but be substituted with 'sex worker.' 'Safe sex' is used instead of the rightly descriptive 'free sex' or 'sex outside of wedlock.' What is the meaning of all this? It is clear there is a movement which is apparently bent on weakening the aqidah of Muslims, and to legalise what is forbidden in Islam. These are the challenges that require our sacrifices.

So, let us go forth regardless of our background, ideology or political affiliation. As Muslims we must act and project our solidarity on October 22….and only then the others will not dare tread on us.

Save the aqidah of Muslims!


Lenggong Valley said...

To anonymous sometime today:

You have a right to your opinion. TQ for pointing out the error.It was inadvertent. It has since been corrected.

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