*Islam vs Islam : A reflection on Malaysia’s political crisis.*
Muhammad Abdul Mannan
8 March 2020
The following is an excerpt of what I wrote in the Foreword section of my Quran translation that was published in July 2014, and my ensuing comments in reflecting those thoughts.
*[Begin]* The journey of this book started when I set out to seek the essence of happiness and the true purpose of life. Apart from this, the other burning questions that have always been haunting me for such a long time and needed to be urgently addressed are, “Why are Muslims all over the world generally so disunited, weak, oppressed, corrupt, and in a nutshell – manifesting virtually almost all the negative traits and attributes of human character?
Why is this happening especially when all of us believe in the same One God – the Almighty Allah, Who is the ultimate Creator and Master of all the worlds, bear witness that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His final Messenger, and even have in our hands the Glorious Qur’an which we believe without an iota of doubt, is a Book which contains His literal words that is divinely infallible to guide us aright?”
“And why is it also that Muslims seem so incapable of stepping up to our duty to become Allah’s emissary on earth, becoming exemplary leaders that could exhibit the best intellect and conduct in the most natural manner that would make Islam so appealing and attractive to everyone, and actively vying among one another to make this world a better place for everyone to live in? Surely, if we claim that Islam is indeed the true religion for all mankind, then it simply does not make sense why Muslims all over the world are so helplessly experiencing a calamity of gigantic proportions today.
If Islam is indeed the solution to all problems, then why are we in such a sorry and woeful state today?” None of whom I have spoken to could give me a satisfactory answer to these questions.
My simple theory is that most of us never really bothered to read the Qur’an and try to understand its message because we are just plain lazy and/or are simply indifferent to it. Apart from this, a great majority of us also feel that we should not read the Qur’an by ourselves without proper guidance from qualified teachers, lest we misinterpret it because we are being constantly reminded from time to time that its content is “quite complicated to grasp”. As such, we should just let the scholars do the interpretation on our behalf and make it easy for us to understand.
But from where I see it, either way, this situation is certainly not getting us – the Muslims – anywhere. In fact, the state of our Muslim ummah (i.e. community) is getting worse with each passing day and no one seems to have a good answer and solution to this. *[End of quote]*
This is exactly what is happening in Malaysia today. One party interprets Islam one way, and another party interprets Islam in a totally different and opposite way. They are vastly different as black is from white, as the night is from the day, and as far as the east is from the west. Nothing in between.
One party says betraying the rakyat’s mandate in the previous election is permissible to get rid of the non-Muslims participation in that government whom they see as arrogant, too noisy and are threatening the rights of the Malays and Islam, even if it necessitates hijacking a democratically elected government and then forming an alliance with thieves and scum to establish a new backdoor government; while the other party says this is totally against the true principles of Islam.
Those who were and are still dead set in purging the non Muslims (namely DAP) from the government by hook or by crook, saw and still do see the situation as something that cannot be remedied anymore; while those who are fighting hard to defend the original pact, argue that issues with DAP are only being blown out of proportion.
The Malay Muslims from PH say that the crux of the matter actually boils down to nothing but an evil act of political expediency that led the hijackers to use the rhetoric of racial hatred as a means to accomplish their despicable political ambitions.
They claim that DAP is not anti-Islam as what many Malays were misled to believe, but admitted that the actions of a handful of those in DAP were responsible to cause this ill perception. They argue that those in DAP who have “crossed the line” can be reasoned with to exercise restraint. There was no need to dismantle the government just because of this, especially when DAP did not launch any hostile act on the Malays and Islam.
Therefore, to bring down the government by way of selling out PH to Umno and Pas just to oust DAP is a sure act of betrayal to the pledge and agreement among the PH component parties and to the rakyat who voted them into power to oust the corrupt kleptocratic regime of Umno in the last general election. This is clearly against the principles of Islam.
As far as I know, never has it ever been recorded in the Qur’an and in the tradition of the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions that they have betrayed any agreement with the non Muslims of their times. And I am sure the hostile infidels at that time were completely incomparable to the non-Muslims in Malaysia.
Even though those infidels were in a different “class” of its own, the Prophet and his companions were still never unfair to them. If there ever was anything that seemed like the Prophet had betrayed them (which would mean that it was wrongly cited and presented), what the Prophet did was only to respond to their betrayals and treacherous acts. These incidents are namely :
1. The killing of Ka’ab bin Ashraff, a Jewish traitor from Madinah who came to Makkah to instigate the Qurasyh pagans to attack the Muslims in avenging their earlier defeat in the Battle of Badr. This led to the Battle of Uhud not too long after that.
2. The beheading of all the men from the Jewish tribe of Bani Qurayza and the enslavement of their women and children, for plotting to kill the Prophet (pbuh) who was the head of the state of Madinah and for violating and betraying the state’s constitution which they had pledged loyalty to earlier.
3. The attack on the Jewish tribe of Bani Nadhir and then exiling them from Madinah for their covert support to the large confederation of enemies of the new state during the battle of Al-Ahzaab.
4. The violation of the treaty of Hudaibiyyah by the Arab pagans of Quraysh which resulted in the Prophet to lead 10,000 muslim soldiers to march to Makkah and liberate the city from the pagans.
Bearing the above in mind, the most important questions all god-fearing Muslims in Malaysia must honestly ask themselves are :
1. Is Muhyiddin’s act in betraying his pledge to PH and the rakyat’s mandate in accordance with the Prophet’s Sunnah (i.e. prophetic tradition)?
2. Was it in the true principles of Islam for the President of Pas and some state muftis to support Muhyiddin’s action?
3. Would the Prophet and his successors do the same as what Muhyiddin did if they were in Muhyiddin’s position?
“Learned” Muslims are in total disagreement over their reading and interpretation of this crisis. By right, they should not because the Quran and Sunnah are clearly evident for them to take judgment from.
Islam is crystal clear on the concept of justice and fairness. Betrayal and violation of agreement is never accepted. Doing so is an act of gross injustice in Islam. Islam is not Islam without justice. Allah curses those who do so, and they together with their supporters will be dealt with severely on the Day of Judgment.
And because the so-called “learned” Muslims are at odds among themselves about this crisis, it has caused the average unlearned Malay Muslims to be doubly lost and confused, blindly following their emotions instead of principles. Why wouldn’t they be confused when 9 out of 10 of the ustazs, imams, scholars and muftis in Malaysia are all saying that this sort of betrayal is permissible in Islam?
How can the Malay Muslims be united when Islam is being interpreted in such a diametrically opposed way like this, causing the society to be categorically divided with almost no chance of reconciliation?
Both interpretations cannot be right at the same time. Only one can be right, and the other must be wrong. Each leads to a set of entirely different consequences for Malaysia. One will be for the better, and the other one will be for the worse.
There is nothing wrong with Islam. The Qur’an is perfect, and so is the Sunnah. Instead, it is our flawed interpretation of the Qur’an and the Sunnah is what makes us become the pariahs of the world. Islam is nothing but rigid set of rituals for us, and most of these are not even prescribed by our religion. They are false meaningless innovations. Whereas the true spirit and soul of Islam is lost and uncomprehended. Lust and greed have prevailed above all things. Without doubt, this answers the key questions that I raised in the Foreword section of my book.
What is happening in Malaysia now is a classic example of the Muslims’ inherent problem. True principles of Islam will always give way to lust and emotions. And because of this, don’t ever dream that the Malays will be united. Some will always worship lust, while some will strive to be on the right path by observing the principles that Islam has laid down clearly for mankind. These two will never be together. Falsehood and truth are as distinct as black and white.
And so, know that Muslims are indeed the worst enemies of our own professed faith. We do not need non-Muslims to lead us astray and destroy us. We are doing a good job at this by ourselves, thank you.
So I ask you now O fellow Muslims.. Which is the “right” Islam that you wish to follow? The one that is blinded by emotions, or the one that is grounded by its true principles? Ask yourselves again : Did Muhyiddin act correctly from Islam’s perspective? Yes, or no?
Remember, all of us will be called to account by Allah when we stand before him on the Day of Judgment. And surely, those who are unjust and those who support injustice in the sight of Allah will not bode well.