Copyright Notice

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the author, at the address below.

Sakmongkol ak 47

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Dua Jenis Ulamak.

Ini suatu lagi pandangan daripada komentator Sumpitan Emas. Saya bercadang mempersembahkan tulisan dan pandangan nya lebih dahulu dari artikel yang sebelum ini. Sayang nya, beberapa isiu lain membayangi hasrat ini. Daripada lupa lansung, saya melakukan nya dalam artikel ini.
Seperti yang saya nyatakan- saya tidak tahu identity Sumpitan Emas- tapi kehebatan dan ketajaman fikiran nya sangat diperakui. Saya agak Simpitan Emas seorang yang memerima laitihan kesarjanaan yang advanced kerana tulisan nya menampakkan kehalusan pendidikan dan ketajaman analisa. Semoga tuan Simpitan Emas terus di barakahi oleh Tuhan.

Sumpitan Emas mengarahkan pandangan kita –
sedikit-sebanyak daripada pemenang hadiah Nobel dalam jurusan fisik, Allahyarham Prof Abdus Salam, pemenang tunggal hadiah fisik Nobel dari dunia Islam.
    “…. One of the most perceptive sections in this book concerns the position of the ulema in Islam. As the author says, ‘Islam has no church, no formal centre of tyrannical religious authority. Paradoxically, a superior moral position — the right of the individual to interpret doctrine without the aid of priests — appears to have led to a systemic organizational weakness which proved to be fatal to Islamic political and economic — not to speak of scientific and technological — in the long run.’ ***

This, in my opinion, has come about through the wielding of the weapon of excommunication (TAKFIR). The list of those who have been excommunicated at some time or other includes such luminaries as Imam Ali — the Kharjites did that — Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik bin Anas, founders of two of the four recognized schools of Islamic theology; Imam Ghazali, Sheikh-ul-Akbar Ibni-i-Arabi, Imam Ibni-i-Taymiyya, Sayyid Muhammad Jonpuri and scientists like Ibn Rushd, Abu Ali Sina, Ibn-ul Haitham, and others. However, sentences of death were carried out; among those actually martyred were mystics like Mansur Al Hallaj, Sheikh-ul- Ashraq Shahabuddin Suhrawardi, Sheikh Alaaee and Sarmad. All these happened despite the absence of an organized clergy within Sunni Islam. In recounting the martyrdom of Sarmad, Abul-Kalam Azad wrote:
During the last 1300 years, the pens of jurisprudents have always acted like a drawn sword, and the blood of many of the chosen ones of God have stained their persons…this martyrdom was not  limited to Sufis and the free thinkers — even the greatest Muslim men of orthodox scholarship suffered.

Thus, not having a priesthood in Sunni Islam has not helped us much because of this propensity of the ulema to wield the weapon of excommunication and for our rulers and the general public to listen to them. What, then, is the remedy so that TAKFIR does not recur — at least in so far as scientific beliefs are concerned?
One remedy would be to try to deal with the two classes of so-called ulema separately. First, there are the lay preachers whose major task is to lead prayers in the rural mosques and who earn their living by performing such functions as officiating at marriage, death and circumcision ceremonies and looking after the upkeep of the mosques. This is a professional class who should have scant interest in fundamentalist persecution once their livelihood is secured. If this can be guaranteed them (like the Christian priests whom they resemble) they would not retard the progress of science and technology.”
“The second category of ulema is the damaging one. These are men (without spiritual pretensions) who claim to interpret the Holy Quran, issue excommunication FATWAS — something the Holy Prophet – Peace be upon him —never did — and give their views on ALL subjects — politics, economics, law — in their Friday sermons.
 Lest it should be objected that there is no priestly class in (Sunni) Islam, one must state clearly that, in this respect, Islam has had the worst deal of all the great religions of humankind. In most Islamic countries, a class of near illiterate men have, in practice, habitually appropriated to themselves the status of a priestly class without possessing even a rudimentary knowledge of this great and tolerant religion. The arrogance, the rapacity, and the low level of common-sense displayed by this class, as well as its intolerance, has been derided by all poets and writers of any consequence in Persia, India, Central Asia and Turkey. This is the class which has been responsible for rabble-rousing throughout the history of Islam and for the repression which matched (fortunately, only sometimes) the systemic persecution perpetrated by the Inquisition in Christian societies. The LONG-TERM remedy for the situation is to deprive these persons of their power to make mischief through their Friday sermons which, instead of being spiritually elevating, are usually political tirades. This politicizing should be stopped.
I have been asking the ulema why their sermons should not exhort Muslims to take the subjects of science and technology, considering that one-eighth of the Holy Book speaks of TAFFAQUR and TASKHEER — science and technology. Most have replied that they would like to do so but they do not know enough modern science. They only know the science of the age of Avicenna. The Third World Academy of Sciences (which has the privilege of partly sponsoring Hoodbhoy’s book) has been trying to remedy this situation through commissioning books which may be introduced into their religious seminaries.
To summarise, I would say the following are the important considerations for building up science and technology in our Islamic countries:
    (1) The number of scientists and technologists to be trained should be pitched at a fairly large figure so as to be ‘critical’ — and they should be encouraged by the state to make up communities for research and development with their own modalities of operation.
    (2) We desperately need basic scientists, at least to teach and serve as reference points for the applied scientists and high technologists.
    (3) It must be remembered that, in the conditions of today, applied sciences and high technology are the money spinners. Once this is demonstrated within our societies, there will be less temptation on the part on rulers as well as the ulema to tamper with the scientists’ and technologists’ work.
    (4) Men of science, and women of science, must keep international contact with their peers abroad in order to have the same standards of science and technology as obtain outside the Muslim countries.
    (5) Finally, there is hope yet. For example, after 25 years’ preaching, for the first time some funds have become available for science from the Gulf. The Trieste Centre this year received a quarter of a million dollars for Arabs from the Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. If we can obtain similar funds for Muslims in general, this may make a big difference to the prospects for physics in the Islamic countries.”
Foreword from “Islam and Science – Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality” by Prof Pervez Hoodbhoy – 1991 Zed Books Ltd London) 1990

 *** have led to a systemic organizational weakness which proved to be fatal to Islamic political and economic — not to speak of scientific and technological — power in the long run.’


Sumpitan Emas,  14 May 2014 at 09:10  

Mohon maaf, tertinggal perkataan 'power' dalam thread asal yang disiarkan pada 6 May 2014 22:17 have led to a systemic organizational weakness which proved to be fatal to Islamic political and economic — not to speak of scientific and technological — power in the long run.’

Sumpitan Emas,  14 May 2014 at 23:04  

Dato’ thank you very much for your kind words, best wishes and prayer for my continued good wealth. I too wish you all the best of health so that you will be able to pursue, on your own behalf as well as on behalf of every one of us outside the august hall of Parliament to bring forth a much-needed rebirth of the pursuit of excellence, truth, justice for all and last but not least national reconciliation, guided as always by the munificence and blessings of God Almighty. I assure you I will continue to ‘grace’ – what a beautiful word - your blog for as long as my eyes can see and my fingers can type. Thank you again.

I write to honour those who have since left this world – men and women from all races who played key roles in defining my character as I was growing up in semi-rural Kelantan: the makcik who sold nasi lauk, trishaw pedlars, fishmongers, rubber tappers, the padi planters, Temiar wild honey collectors, vegetable farmers and other ‘faceless’, nondescript citizens whose defining grace was that deep human compassion and love exuded from their smiles and even their frowns. They worked so hard to make life so much better for us. This is a small tribute to them.

Before I return to the book by Prof Hoodbhoy which foreword by Prof Mohammed Abdus Salam you have just quoted above, here’s a short extract from Prof Syed Hussein Alatas’s book “INTELEKTUAL MASYARAKAT MEMBANGUN” which I feel must be included to give us a sense of the hopelessness as obtained in much of Asia in the late 19th century, and I leave it to readers to judge whether this sense is still much alive:
“Seluruh bangsa Asia dituduh malas sama ada oleh penulisnya mahupun pegawai pentadbir Barat secara konsisten, dengan disertai oleh facta-faktanya sehingga banyak orang Asia mulai mempercayainya…yang menarik untuk diperhatikan ialah reaksi intelektualnya terhadap tantangan tersebut. Rizal merupakan salah seorang tokoh intelektual Asia pada zamannya yang mencurahkan waktu dan tenaganya untuk menbincangkan masalah negerinya dengan bersungguh-sungguh dan relevan. Sekalipun tema Rizal itu relevan, namun tidak mendapat reaksi daripada kaum inteligensia Asia…sebab yang paling utama ialah ketiadaan semangat intelektual, atau apa yang dikatakan sebagai semangat falsafah oleh Jamaluddin al-Afghani (1838-1897), seorang pembaharu Muslim yang terkenal. Namun, semangat mengkaji, kenikmatan dalam pencarian intelektual, dan rasa hormat yang mendalam terhadap pengetahuan ilmiah dan rasional ini sayangnya tidak tersebar luas dalam kalangan masyarakat membangun. Sejarah menunjukkan bahawa kebudayaan Hindu, Buddha dan Islam memberi bukti yang nyata tentang minat masyarakat masa lampau terhadap ilmu pengetahuan, falsafah dan pencarian intelektual. Namun menjelang abad ke-18 dan seterusnya, minat ini semakin lemah kalau tidak dikatakan padam sama sekali…Jamaluddin al-Afghani mengemukakan hujah bahawa para pemula Islam tidak mempunyai ilmu pengetahuan, tetapi berkat semangat falsafah yang bersumberkan agama mereka, maka mereka dapat membincangkan masalah umum dunia dan keperluan umat manusia. Hal ini mendorong mereka untuk menguasai semua ilmu dalam tempoh yang singkat, dengan mengambil pokok bahasan khusus daripada sumber Syria, Parsi dan Yunani. Kesimpulan Afghani tentang perkara tersebut tajam sekali:

Sumpitan Emas,  14 May 2014 at 23:05  

‘Falsafah yang membuat manusia dapat difahami manusia, menerangkan kemuliaan manusia, dan menunjukkan jalan yang semestinya. Cacat pertama yang segera tampak pada setiap bangsa yang mengalami kemorosotan adalah pada semangat falsafahnya. Kemudian cacat tersebut menyebar ke ilmu lain, seni dan hal berkaitan lainnya.’ Seterusnya Jamaluddinal-Afghani menganalisis sebab-sebab kemunduran masyarakat Islam, terutama para pemimpin agamanya yang kurang minat terhadap intelektual. Bukti keterbelakangan ini masih ada lama sesudah kematiannya, disebabkan dunia Islam tidak menangani permasalahannya secara serius. Asas perbahasan yang paling penting adalah keperluan terhadap ilmu pengetahuan yang harus disertai dengan semangat intelektual.”

Perlu disebutkan di sini, buku ini “Intellectuals in Developing Societies” telah diterbitkan pada 1987, dan pada tahun yang sama diterjemahkan ke bahasa Indonesia oleh Bambang Supriady, dan kemudiannya, pada tahun 1991 baharu sahaja diubahsuai ke bahasa Melayu oleh Jaafar Abdul Rahim. What does this indicate to the rest of the world? Have our intellectuals been serious about education? Still, our sincere thanks to Encik Jaafar Abdul Rahim for his excellent effort.

Persoalan pertama, dan dalam konteks masalah “keboncengan gratis” yang dipaparkan sebelum ini ialah: apakah tabiat membonceng secara gratis akan menanam semangat intelektual di kalangan pelajar dan pensyarah kita?

Kedua, ini ditujukan kepada mereka yang menganggotai berbagai cawangan Majlis Profesor: Apa tindakan daripada pihak pengurusan, pentadbiran atau disiplin, sedang atau telah dilakukan agar “keboncengan gratis” dihapuskan sama sekali lantas setiap intelektual kita kelak berhemah tinggi?

Persoalan terakhir: apakah “keboncengan gratis” merupakan sekali lagi bahawa dunia Islam, khususnya Islam Malaysia, tidak mampu “menangani permasalahannya secara serius”?

Akhir sekali, masalah wabak penyakit anti-intelektual ‘jarum halus kelindan sutera’ yakni tipu muslihat yang sangat halus yakni perlakuan jiplakan, bukan di kalangan pelajar melainkan mereka yang bergelar Dr. Patut atau tidak mereka yang disahbuktikan telah menjiplak sesuatu dibenarkan terus berkhidmat dan didoktorkan siang malam?

Balik kepada buku oleh Prof Hoodbhoy mengenai dilema semasa negara-negara membangun.

Sumpitan Emas,  14 May 2014 at 23:05  

“Whether or not one likes it or not, it is indisputably true that modern science is completely secular in character. There is no appeal to divine authority for verification of scientific facts; the existence of such an authority is neither affirmed nor denied. However, individual scientists are sometimes deeply religious and struck by the purpose, order and precision of the universe. One need only recall that men considered to be founders of modern science, Galileo and Newton, were general very religious subscribers to the beliefs and practices of the Christian Church. Nevertheless, science and religion went their separate ways after the great divide was heralded by the Copernican revolution in the 17th century.”

“Here is an example from modern times which vividly illustrates the above point. In 1979, the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Abdus Salam, Steven Weinberg, and Sheldon Glashow for having discovered the fundamental theory uniting two basic forces of nature — the ‘weak’ and the ‘electromagnetic’. Known as Salam-Weinberg theory, it represents one of the most profound discoveries of this century. But look at the beliefs of its discoverers! Salam quotes profusely from the Qu’ran, prays regularly, and even makes some of his well-wishers uncomfortable by his zealousness and devotion to the Ahmedi sect, to which he belongs. This sect was excommunicated from Islam in 1974, and legally Salam is not considered a Muslim in Pakistan. But this appears to have only strengthened his resolve. On the other hand, Weinberg is Jewish by birth. But he is an avowed atheist for whom the universe is an existentialist reality devoid of sense and purpose. An enormous ideological gulf separated these two brilliant physicists. And yet they both arrived at precisely the same theory of physics more or less simultaneously!” (m/s145-146 — Islam and Science)

Prof Hoodbhoy’s book should be required reading for all lawmakers be they Muslims or non-Muslims. As this page recedes further and further behind, I might need to ‘bonceng’ / pillion ride / hitchhike on more current articles written by Sakmongkol. Hoodbhoy has many interesting tales of some of the ‘achievements’ of his compatriots, all scientists, including one at an Islamic science conference who “read a paper saying that djinns — Koranic creatures made of fire — could be harnessed to solve energy shortages.” Petronas beware!

Sumpitan Emas,  16 May 2014 at 07:57  

"Whether or not one likes it or not, it is...

should read:

"Whether or not one likes it, it is ...

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP