THE PATHETIC BRIDGE BUILDER'S FEEBLE OPINIONS @mparitbuntar @tonypua @heraldmalaysia @cmlimguaneng

By : Idris Md Isa

When you try to defend falsehood or try to defend the indefensible, you can only make a fool of yourself.  That's what happens to MUJAHID BIN YUSOF RAWA when he tried to be the champion of the Christians in the kalimah Allah issue. 

This man, though, has no strength of his own. He has to borrow his father's full name to give himself an identity. Without it he is anonymous. Mujahid Bin Yusof who?

Being a politician, the real motive for his rabid support for the Christians in the controversy is unknown. Does he really think, sincerely and honestly, that it's the Christians' fundamental right to use the name Allah to refer to god for any purpose at all? If he does then he must have been grossly misguided or is plain stupid and ignorant. Or, just like a typical politician, is his motive political, i.e. to be popular among the Christians in particular and anti-Islam non-Muslims in general? I can't guess. He probably craves to be bestowed with the labels progressive, modern, tolerant and dynamic Muslim by those kafirs [herein, when I use the term kafir/s without any elaborative note, I refer to the anti-Islam non-Muslims]. 

Nobody will resent him being a bridge builder between Muslims and Christians. He must be lauded for his noble effort,. more so under the prevailing circumstances. Such efforts are urgently needed. But he's doing it for all the wrong reasons, employing the wrong approach, under the most treacherous of circumstances, invoking all the wrong arguments and worst of all, sacrificing principles. Let's have a peek at the grounds of his support for the Christians which appeared in SINAR HARIAN [the online version I think, entitled KALIMAH ALLAH: EPISOD PENGGULUNGAN HUJAH. 

I could not comprehend the title of his article, thus unable to translate it. He tried to be fanciful with his language throughout but inadvertently making his his article a repulsive reading. I found it extremely difficult to digest the views and opinions he expressed therein at the first perusal. Nonetheless, from my grasp of his writing, he gave the following reasons for supporting the Christians' cause, which I categorized into 2 sub-headings:-

1. THEOLOGICAL PREMISE - on the one hand he concedes Allah's displeasure at Jesus being referred to as Allah but on the other, he invokes the most misunderstood, misused and abused verse of the Qur'an i.e. "No compulsion in religion" to support the Christians' use of Allah's name to refer to Jesus Christs not only in their publications but also in all their acts of worship, saying that none can interfere in the religious practices of others.

It's hard to believe that a top ranking PAS leader does not understand the true meaning of that verse, thus putting himself in the same league as Nurul Izzah, the vice-president of that godless party, PKR. Presuming that he does understand it, then Mujahid is an abuser of that verse but otherwise he is an ignorant fool.

In this Allah issue, it's not about interfering in another's religious practice, it's about preventing that another from blaspheming and committing sacrilege against Allah. It's just like some nuts scribbling Qur'anic verses on some Hindu or Chinese shrines or statues and worship them. Almost all Muslims would hit the ceiling in reaction to that act. Recently, Muslims reacted similarly when statues resembling Muslim haji and hajjah were turned into idols. So, similar too is the Muslims' reactions to the Christians' act of referring to Jesus or  trinity as Allah. Compared to the latter, the former were relative minor offences and done innocently out of ignorance.

Now, I am taking this opportunity to expound the true meaning of the much abused and misunderstood verse [part of verse 256 of surah al-Baqarah, the 2ns chapter of the Qur'an] based on universally acclaimed tafsirs [commentaries]. There were a number of narrations about the cause of its revelation, though different in contents, similar in essence and spirit, which can be summed up as follow, i.e. before the hijrah [migration] of the Prophet [saw], the Arabs of Madinah would send some of their children to the Jews to learn Judaism, as the Jews, being the people of the Book, were regarded as learned. Madinah Arabs who became Muslims were known as "Anshar" or "Helpers".

When the Arabs of Madinah became Muslims, upon the hijrah of the Prophet [saw], they wanted their children to become Muslims too. Their children, however, already being indoctrinated with Judaism, refused. There was another narration which says a certain Anshar tried to force a certain Jew to embrace Islam. Those incidents were reported to the Prophet [saw] and the verse was revealed in answer to those "controversies". In full the verse reads; "Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error. Whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most strong of rope that never breaks. And Allah hear and know all things."

According to Ibnu Katsir, the verse means Muslims are not to force anyone to enter the fold of Islam because the teachings, doctrines, beliefs and principles of the religion of Islam are already clear. People can  and are free make their own evaluation. Muslims can call others to embrace Islam but never to force them. At Tabari in his tafsir says this verse means, during the time of the verse's revelation, the people of the Books, Jews and Christians, must not be forced to embrace Islam and  not  be harmed, if they refused, as long as they submit to the rule of Islam/Muslims and pay jizyah [something like a non-Muslim protection tax]. At Tabari further say that the next body of the verse means, Islam is already clear to those who seek the truth and guidance, who could discern truth from falsehood. Therefore, non-Muslims cannot be forced to become Muslims. Whoever rejects truth and guidance after being preached and reminded, we leave their affairs to Allah.

So, this verse is purely about not compelling non-Muslims to embrace Islam against their own freewill. Nurul Izzah please take note that this verse is not about Allah granting a licence to Muslims to freely convert out of Islam and don't try to be the champion of murtad in order to be the darling of the harbi kafirs [non-Muslims hostile to Islam, like Karpal Singh]  by abusing that Qur'anic verse . Nor is the verse about the freedom not to obey the shari'ah. And neither is it a license to the kafirs to abuse Islamic terms and phrases.

Back to Mujahid's reasonings, still under the theological premise, he argued that Muslims must bow to the Christians' demand based on the multi racial, religious etc nature of human beings.  In effect he's saying that due to the multi-racial, cultural and religious nature of our society, it's fine to sacrifice our faith in order to please the kafirs. How stupid can one get! He then exhorts the need for dialogue and healthy debate. Implicitly, he is blaming the Muslims for refusing to engage the Christians in healthy debate and discourse. To him, the Muslims were to blame all the way for the soon to be [or already] calamitous racial/religious relations the country will be [or already] in. But doesn't he know that the Home Ministry has been trying to engage the Christians in negotiations for not less than 4 years before taking the action we all knew has been taken? It's the Christians who have been arrogant, belligerent, big-headed and obstinate in rejecting the Home Ministry's peace initiatives.

He then made the most stupid of conclusion i.e. It's alright to blaspheme and commit sacrilege against Allah in the name of no compulsion, numenerous multi-ism....ehmm, his language is so poor, his conclusion is almost incomprehensible [btw, it's my interpretation of his writing. He may have meant something else but to Mujahid, if you can't express yourself well, don't write].

2. LEGAL PREMISE - Here he asked rather sarcastically that, if Allah is exclusive for Muslims, and the Christians cannot use it in their Herald magazine or invoke Him in all their religious practices, what about; i) the anthems of certain states which contains Allah's name being sung by non-Muslims?; ii) Its use in Malay version bible?; iii) use by non-Muslims in their conversations with their Muslim friends?; iv) crests or emblems containing Allah's name on uniforms worn by non-Muslims? His arguments are vivid example of a feeble mind at work. Those situations he quoted are contextually different from the issue at hand, except the use of Allah's name in the Malay version bible which must be banned without permitting any argument. Dr Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin, another champion of the kafirs wannabe also shares Mujahid's above views. That impostor (Dr Asri), if he was innocently mistaken, has been very careless and too cavalier in expressing his views.

Allow me to offer my humble explanation to what I claim as contextual differences:-

i. Singing Allah's name in  state anthems - the authors of the lyrics, being Muslims in Muslim majority states where Islam is the official religion,  refer to the real Allah, as a sign of submission and glorification of Him. When sung sincerely by Muslims, it may become an act of devotion that would attract rewards from Allah. But when sung by non-Muslims, it does not form a religious practice or an act of devotion. We do not know how they feel or what they perceive when they recite Allah's name when singing those anthems. Besides, there's nothing in their religions that prohibit such an act i.e. reciting Allah's name when singing their state anthems or for other reasons or purposes. The best solution is for those non-Muslims [who detest the lyrics] not to sing the lines containing Allah's name. For all we now, most of them are already not doing it;

ii. Mentioning Allah's name in conversations with Muslims - the permissibility or otherwise will depend on the context of the usage. There cannot be a wholesale prohibition. One thing for sure, if it is used as a means or as intending to insult, it definitely cannot be allowed. It's the duty of those Muslims concerned to advise their non-Muslim friends accordingly and all non-Muslims are advised to treat Allah's name with respect and circumspect.

iii. Crests having Allah's name worn by non-Muslims - the essence of my argument is as per item (i) above.  Plus, wearing uniforms with those crests does not constitute an act of worship. The designer/s of those crests who either had piety in their hearts and/or fully aware that Islam was the official religion of the newly formed Federation of Malaysia [or was it Malaya?]  deemed it fit to have Allah's [and the Prophet's {saw}] names on them. It probably did not cross their minds that the crests they had designed would have any religious ramifications when put on uniforms worn by non-Muslims [I personally feel there's none] and would cause religious conflicts like what we are witnessing now. . To be safe, though, it's better to have those crests sans Allah and Muhammad put on uniforms to be worn by non-Muslims for fear of disrespectful treatment, if not by design, then through ignorance.

Muhajid's further statement that banning the Christians from using Allah's name tantamount to a violation of the federal constitutional guarantee of the freedom to practice one's religion is an example of a confused and ignorant mind at work. It's the Christians who are violating the constitution by encroaching into the realm of Islam. Allah is not a term but a name, a specific one, not capable of any translation, recognized and worshipped by Muslims as the God of the entire universe but not all humans recognized Him as such. The Christians, for example, regard the trinity and/or Jesus as god. Why not refer to them as God Trinity or God/Lord Jesus [as they do in English]? Why refer to Trinity/Jesus as Allah? To us this is blasphemy and sacrilege.

Mujahid then concluded that the Court of Appeal had sacrificed all the "virtuous Islamic principles" he had outlined, i.e. non-compulsion, tolerance, compromise etc, to victimize the Christians. He also accused the Court of Appeal of wrongly including grounds which were unsubstantiated such as security of the nation, Christianization [though not explicitly mentioned. He used the phrase "conspiracy theory"] etc. this Smart Alec is trying to defend falsehood and the indefensible without knowing what he's talking about. I would like to pose him a question on Christianization. In the late 1980's and throughout the 1990's PAS was the most vocal on that issue. Was it acting without evidence? On the ceramah stages then, its leaders had churned out tons upon tons of evidence on missionary works and apostacies. Were those evidence fabricated by PAS?

Now, a little on court procedure. Those "extra issues" were brought in by the appellants in their memorandum of appeal which is a document that contained grounds on which their appeals were based on, which in turn were based on the grounds of judgment prepared by the trial court [in this case, the High Court ]. The memorandum of appeal in effect tells the appellate court where [on what facts and issues] the trial court has gone wrong. Those issues were canvassed/argued, supported with  authorities [daleel] during the hearing of the appeal for the court to consider. In this case, the Court of Appeal accepted the arguments of the appellants. Was Mujahid at the court to hear the arguments? Next time, don't comment on things you know scarcely or nothing about.

What do I say about his conclusion? All I can say is, I am sickened to the bone by his "fanciful" language that I am not able to comment on it except one where he said that there's not a single paragraph {?}[line would be more appropriate] in the Qur'an and Sunnah that justify the prohibition. OMY, this high ranking leader of a self-proclaimed defenders and champions of Islam party does not even know the most basic thing about the Qur'an. It has much more indirect injunctions than the direct ones. One has to use one's intellectual faculty to identify and discern the meaning of the indirect ones by way of ijtihad or intellectual deduction. But unfortunately, this son of Almarhum Yusof Rawa has a defective intellectual faculty that he is unable to do it. Forgive me for my savagery but some people need shock therapy to be awakened or brought down to earth. I have written an article to prove that in the Qur'an, Allah disapproves the use of His name by the Christians to refer to Jesus/Trinity. I hope that article could be published somewhere soon.

Earlier in his same article, he in effect wrote, since the government had allowed the use of Allah's name by the Christians in Sarawak [and Sabah?] in what was called "The 10-Point Agreement", it cannot now disallow its use in the peninsular. Another Smart Alec argument. The government, without doubt, was culpable for this fiasco because it was a politically driven decision, as the Sarawak state elections were looming then. In fact, Najib's hand is tainted with kufur by signing that document. We must castigate Najib's administration for turning faith and religion into political pawns.But must a gravely wrong decision, knowing the sparks or rather fire that issue has generated, be followed by another gravely wrong decision just for the sake of consistency? Correctness must prevail over consistency. Unless if Mujahid thinks being consistently wrong is correct. Wisdom tells us that the earlier mistake must be corrected and the same mistake not repeated.

In this controversy, the real mischief makers are the leaders of the Christian community. The lay Christians, though not educated, would listen to reasons because they have no arrogance in them. They are actually cleverer than their leaders.

Back to Mujahid, I actually wanted to comment on his  Xmas Message but it was written in poor English. So poor, I simply got turned off. I just had a fleeting glance but could not stomach a second reading. If it was written by a lay person, I could probably absorb the pain of reading it but by a PhD? I don't mean to belittle him, neither do I claim to a master of the English language but we have to set a certain high standard and not perpetuate mediocrity. The glaring grammatical errors were too basic [like "they has" instead of "they have"]. I wonder why the news portal published it unedited. And the varsity that bestowed him with the doctorate degree must be downgraded. I believe, a PhD thesis must not  only have good contents but also be well presented in terms of language. Otherwise, the paper is not deserving of recognition.

Sg Buloh


بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

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