DEFENDING THE HONOUR OF ISLAM.
Years ago, during one UMNO general assembly, a speaker announced that Michael Jackson has embraced Islam. If memory doesn’t fail me, the speaker was a young fellow from one of the UMNO overseas clubs. You know- the twenty-ish brat hormones-charged , pimple on the face type.
The assembly was agog with that announcement. No one seemed to have heard the news yet this young chiku had the temerity to make such an announcement. The UMNOniks at the dewan of course applauded and cheered.
But it set me thinking- has Islam fallen on hard times that it needed a superstar figure to give it legitimacy? Every time a celebrity is alleged to have embraced Islam, Muslims all over the world lapped it up with salivating relish. What hypocrisy.
How do you defend the honour of Islam?
My own views are of the operational kind. You want to defend the honour of Islam you begin at the mosques and suraus. Bring honour and truthfulness back to the mosques and suraus. Can you honestly believe you can inculcate Islamic values by holding ceramah perdanas where the pontificators speak like cartoons- hands waving, mouth frothing to an audience half asleep? Hell- You can achieve much more by blogging on Islam.
You just look at the suraus and mosques. How can you defend the honour of Islam when you cant even keep mosques and suraus clean. If you are a mosque or surau goer you will know what I mean. Toilets are generally very dirty with all sorts of grime here and there. Not to mention the nauseating and fetid smells. Didn’t the Prophet(SAW) said something of sweet smells? Cleanliness, both of your environment and personal hygiene?
Mosques and suraus have ceased to be centres of social activities. How do you attract the young crowds? You can’t attract people if you adopt the posture of a mad ranting mullahs, fire breathing proselytisers denouncing everything in site can you?
Suraus and mosques are managed by committees. In my mind if you want mosques to run well, you ban the UMNOniks from controlling the committees. You also ban the PASniks people from controlling them either. You leave politics out of mosques and suraus just as you leave your slippers and sandals at the entrance.
In my experience, there is an inverse relationship between politicised committees and spiritual activities. The more intense and politicised the committees, the less frequent the spiritual activities. In Kuantan for example, activities at a mosque in Kampung Seri Damai have practically ceased. Why? Because the UMNOnik chairman and his committee are not interested in carrying out programs for genuine spiritual cleansing. Instead they are more interested to gain control of the committees and once that goal is achieved, they go into rigor mortis.
Beyond the ceremonial activities such as cooking your asyura porridge, your communal korbans, where are the real spiritual activities?
The congregational prayers, the zikir sessions, the marhaban sessions, where are all these? I can only speak in my area- Pekan and Kuantan. The mosques are generally empty after the usual obligatory prayers. Committees simply don’t have the resources and sometimes the knowledge about having spiritual activities beyond the customary obligatory prayers.
I found it disappointing that many mosques and suraus in Pekan and Kuantan do not know the practice of Ratib-al-Haddad. When I first brought this to Pekan through the services of a really gifted and deeply religious young preacher, Tuan Syed Ibrahim al yahya, many have not even heard about this. I remember on one occasion, the local kadhi thought we wanted to bring a bidaah practice into mosques.
So we honour Islam by going back on first principles. We don’t defend the honour of Islam by banging on doors or disrupting other’s people forum. May I suggest the wild eyed Islamists( whose religiosity is yet unknown) to do the same in countries where Islam is more openly abused?
Have you been busy with your ihya-al-masajid activities lately? Have you stripped yourself of the sham and hypocritical religious posturing?