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Sakmongkol ak 47

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Tenang: UMNO, don’t spoil the advantage!

My preceding article has created a mild storm. I have offered a frank assessment of the chances of the PAS candidate. The assessment may not be true but I have given reasons for my thinking so. If you counter argue by casting aspersions as to the abilities of your adversary- that could only mean, you don't have substance in your arguments. We can disagree politely I hope.
The thrust of the essay was my assessment on who is going to win. It's not a debate on halal or haram of shaking hands between persons who are not muhrim. Most of the commentators like I who touched the subject are layman in so far as expertise on the subject is concern. The proper debate should be conducted by the experts in the field. I am not easily taken in by the argument by one commentator that he/she has done some research on the subject; to what level if I may ask? The authenticity of your sources? Your own level of understanding on the subject? Research by a form 3 student is not the same as research by an undergraduate.
As to the PAS candidate, she has all the admirable qualities as a winnable candidate. The first time I encountered a similar behavior was sometime in 1975 I think. I visited a relative in what was then Pantai Dalam who had just taken a young bride from his home state of Kelantan. When we were introduced, she used her selendang to buffer hand hands doing handshakes. This was very civilized and spiritual I thought. So, if cikgu Mala chooses this method it's admirable.
Then, we only need to ask, will this element be her advantage? To me, it's good she displays the pious qualities. The merits go to her as a person. Will that be beneficial to society as a whole, is another question. Ok, I can understand the angst some people have at a somewhat liberal view of such pious act. It's like comparing a person who is pious and a person less pious but street-smart. A person's piety brings goodness to himself but the other person's street smartness brings good to the greater number. So which one will you choose?
That's when an admirable quality can in fact turn into a liability. The people making a judgment on her are not made up of her brothers and sisters, or those who, if they come in physical contact with her, does not require her to renew ablution ( ambil wudhu') or 80 year old non lecherous men. Though I know of some octogenarians who are still at it (including even kings).
It is admirable that she goes around wearing gloves and shakes hands. This is demanded by the Shafie School of Islamic jurisprudence as practiced here in Malaysia. It is also noteworthy to be aware that the other schools of Islamic jurisprudence do not share this strictness. Above all, this isn't the main issue I wrote of in that article. The article was about who is going to win. Winning will depend on the ability to establish one's relevance in Tenang. Given her constitution, will she be more relevant than the BN candidate? We should be debating that.
No one raises arguments against the FELDA support, the non FELDA Malays and the Chinese in Tenang who vote on practical considerations. Instead everyone seems to zero in on the issue her choice not to shake hands with menfolk barehanded.
We shall leave the acrimonious exchanges. I like to be fair to the opposition too. Now, I offer my thoughts on the BN candidate.
UMNO people never learn. They were nearly defeated in the 2008 elections but behaved as though things will get better for them. Its leaders gallivant around making out themselves as being God's gift to the country. The UMNO president and PM can talk as much as he wants and wipe the saliva at the corner of his mouth; UMNO seems impervious to change. Members of UMNO Johor appear to be the cockiest of the lot.
Before this former ADO got chosen, at least 15 names among UMNO stalwarts were submitted. None was chosen and an outsider, who didn't hold any post in the division, was selected. This created pandemonium within UMNO Bahagian Labis. UMNOniks responded the only way a spoilt child would have behaved. They sulked for days refusing to campaign for the outsider.
Muhyiddin had to come a few times to put things in order. The UMNO president has to come to Tenang a few times. Ahmad Maslan, the clownish Information Chief and Deputy Minister who has the habit of handing out his business cards to people, literally encamps himself in Tenang. Support and efforts from UMNO Bahagian Labis were not forthcoming. Things are really moving at a snail's pace there in Tenang.
The cockiness of this UMNO bahagian even extended to its refusal to let other UMNO divisions in Johor come into Tenang to help out. One local UMNO warlord is now busy collecting names and signatures of UMNO members who will protest by disowning their UMNO membership and pledged allegiance to PAS and its candidate.
UMNO is facing the PAS candidate as a house divided by internal revolt. The advantage it has on paper looks likely to be cancelled out by its stupidity.


Anonymous,  25 January 2011 at 08:05  

Let the voters decide first.Then we will see whether they have a mindset change or not

zakwan 25 January 2011 at 08:47  

I don't know about Cikgu Mala's chances of winning but what I do know is that MCA's continuous demonization of PAS will turn off a lot of voters primarily the Malays, UMNO's vote bank, hence causing BN;s winning chances to go downhill

Anonymous,  25 January 2011 at 08:47  

Apabila Arab jahilliah x dapat buat keputusan siapa nak letak batu hitam selepas pembinaan semula Kaabah.. mereka telah menyerahkan urusan itu kepada "TUHAN" mereka.

Apakah orang-orang UMNO yang mentabalkan negara ini sebagai negara ISLAM x nak menyerahkan urusan ini kepada TUHAN mereka...

.."taat perintah allah, taat perintah rasul, taat perintah ketua antara kamu. jika kamu berbalah kembali kepada allah"

Navi 25 January 2011 at 10:04  

UMNO /BN will win, not based on policies and principles but on how much they hand out during these by-(buy) elections. As you would have observed. roads are tarred, houses given away free and an "NGO" is handing out goodies and 'ang pows'.

Malaysia First,  25 January 2011 at 10:08  

I remembered immediately after the 2008 GE, Channel News Asia did a documentary in Kelantan as to why Kelatanese wants PAS to be their state government. And they asked several Chinaman on the street, and the surprise answer was PAS ruled with morality and the crime is low, despite the bans on many of the Chinese vices such as gambling and alcohol. In fact, the Chinese community welcomed it and thank the PAS government. In the press, PAS is painted as evil but if you go down to Kelantan, one will know PAS is the way forward.

As for me, I am not sure having not been to Kelantan for a very very long time. Moreover, I am also not sure what is the agenda behind the CNA documentary. But many professionals watch CNA in this region, so there must be some credibility in what they are showing. It might be true, PAS policies might be the cure for many of the ills in Malaysia.

Quiet Despair,  25 January 2011 at 10:41  

Yes indeed Sak. I have always believed that it's UMNO and the Malay voters who will decide the outcome of any by-election.
It's the sabotage from within that we fear, not the adversary candidate.
You really cannot rely on CSL and son to rope in the Chinese votes.
They can't change the Chinese who are mostly DAP's vote bank.
Tok Ai is the winnable candidate. But still some of the UMNO big guns in Labis want one of their kind to contest.
Something about being somebody in the division which they think qualify them to be the Yang Berhormat.
But it's now settled, UMNO style. They may be fuming mad but in front of Najib or Muhyiddin, they will show a smiling face.
And Tok Ai is smiling broadly day-by-day. He is on a winning streak.
Now I want to put myself as an ordinary Malay voter in Tenang.
I will not vote for Cikgu Normala.
I want a YB who can offer comfort if I am an old man whose family died in a fire, for example.
I want him/her to offer a comforting hug.
I dont want my YB to stand like a statute, just say condolences and give me some money.
Humans basically want a lil bit of humane touchy-feely person, one whom can share your grief or your happiness.
Normala cannot do that.

P.S. I look forward to your going to Tenang to give us an unjaundiced view of what's really happening over there.
I now rely on the MSM report. Don't trust the pro-opposition or some UMNo bloggers who report only what they want to see.

Raison D'etre 25 January 2011 at 10:59  


At the risk of incurring incurable wrath I could not but guffaw out loud at these last two words of your posting:
"its stupidity"

Mua ha ha...

Apologies for the uncouthness.

But more seriously, I think MCA is just playing out the "good cop bad cop" strategy going by the way even good ol Perkasa is now in the fray of reprimanding the Chuas.

"Oohh... Look. Look. The Malais are taking pot shots at Chua (SL and what's his name can't remember now without googling). We have to support him."

Or something like that.

Anyway, may the less worse candidate win.

Best? In our wildest dream.

PS: Your last posting was okay to me except for the Islamist bit. The rest was pure analysis.

Tiger 25 January 2011 at 11:19  

Word on the ground is that UMNO is going to lose big time, the Malays are fed up with them lah!

Anonymous,  25 January 2011 at 11:22  


Pemimpin UMNO kat situ main wayang aje...kunun tak sokong calon, back stabbing laaa...semua tipu..aok bagi jer duit..datangler balik menyembah kaki...semua auta aje..merajuk kunun..semua bussines...kalo tak merajuk Pemimpin UMNO ceneke nak bagi duit...tu semua politik dalaman UMNO yang busuk sampai ke isi...aok tak percaya!!! aok kan orang UMNO...tak gitu Dato'

Anonymous,  25 January 2011 at 12:42  

UMNO cannot win on 'merit'- meaning fair play and morality.
It need to feed on the voters gullibility, exploit their poverty with money, hurl unfounded allegations against the opposition and massive abuse of the media.

It will stand no chance in a civil, educated community where social justice, corruption, abuse of power will be relevant issues.
Malays - I will never understand them. They talk alot about piety but will be willing stand aside the immoral and corrupt.
If corruption is a non-issue among the Malays, it only speak poor of the people's psyche and moral courage.
Can UMNO survive in a civil, cultured and morally upright society?
A corrupt entity can survive for in Malaysia is because the people have lost their moral compass.

Putatan Sakti,  25 January 2011 at 13:25  

Quiet Despair, you are really in despair...seriously. You are not clear in your conscience, i believe. You said that Normala is not suitable a candidate because you want someone to hug you (metaphorically) during your testing time. Did you forget that it was Normala who attended the former Adun's funeral ? What was Najib and the going then, where were they ?

katdog,  25 January 2011 at 14:07  

Given the choice of a pious person and a street smart person, i would pick the pious person.

Not because i am religious but because i know where the person stands and that the person will carry out their duties faithfully (even if not necessarily that well).

But put a street smart person into power and he will probably end up robbing you blind. Because we live in Malaysia, where witnesses for the MACC can suddenly fly out of the 14th floor to their deaths during 'questioning'.

If i was living in a country like Australia, i wouldn't mind supporting a street smart candidate. This is because i know the police there actually do their job and will ensure the person does not 'pecah amanah'.

But in Malaysia, there is no working check and balance system. Therefore, its better to put your trust in a person of faith and honesty rather than a cunning street smart bloke.

So remember, in Malaysia its PAS untuk semua ya.

Greenbottle 25 January 2011 at 14:31  

Dear god...quiet despair is a fucking moron...

...Quote from quiet despair below...

Now I want to put myself as an ordinary Malay voter in Tenang.
I will not vote for Cikgu Normala.
I want a YB who can offer comfort if I am an old man whose family died in a fire, for example.
I want him/her to offer a comforting hug.
I dont want my YB to stand like a statute, just say condolences and give me some money.

dahseriksiut 25 January 2011 at 14:38  

eh, internal matter issit

dato, still no predictions?

it is johor u know, i stand by what i said earlier 7k....dr chua should shut up though, peoples patience has its limits, especially when someone of chua's moral caliber is trying to school the people on religion.

blogs are sabre rattling all around threatening to expose the PAS's candidate 'secrets'.

lucky those in johor dont have widespread internet access, i could be wrong though, if they read this drivel they'd probably give their votes to PAS.

MCA is lucky its PAS, DAP really should have considered this seat, also a tudung clad candidate. maybe dap and pas should merge?

leave pkr out though LOL.

Anonymous,  25 January 2011 at 16:41  

You are wrong about Chinese vote. The problem is rising prices are affecting small town Chinese more than the Felda settlers because they don't get the benefit of rising palm oil prices. THAT plus the fact there don't appear to be any goodies for Chinese but a lot for Malays will swing Chinese votes to PR...

Quiet Despair,  25 January 2011 at 21:22  


No reply to you foul-mouth fool and mealy-mouth moron.
I can only laugh at you. RMAOFl.

Putatan Sakti

I write with conscience and with full conviction.
I am just in despair of PAS putting up Normala as the candidate.
Can't you see she has not shed the vestiges of Puteri UMNO?
You know how Puteri UMNO act when they are doing the polling rounds?
Give me the Kaum Ibu or Wanita UMNO anytime.
I really like PAS or DAP contesting. Not Keadilan as they will create havoc starting from nomination day.
But Normala puleeze.

Anonymous,  26 January 2011 at 02:29  

Dear Dato' Sak,

I'm not posting my comment to argue your political view point. I just wanted to sincerely share some knowledge and if I'm wrong someone can correct me. Since you are questioning my level of research, I therefore would like to further clarify my opinion.

One must be sure that this fatwa can actually be ascribed to the Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. May Allah preserve him with all goodness; he is an eminent scholar whose lectures I attended once in Cairo during 2001. Nevertheless, the truth is more worthy of being followed whether or not the fatwa can be validly ascribed to him. I posted my comment according to what is evident to me from the sayings of our imams. Allah knows best what is correct and to Him is our final return and recourse.

Apart from my first and second argument, here are the rest of my argument :-

Thirdly, from my research in books of jurisprudence and hadith commentary, especially as it relates to this issue, and especially in regards to the commentary on the hadith of Umm Haram, which was cited in the fatwa as evidence for the permissibility of shaking hands with an unrelated woman, I did not find a single indication from any of the mujtahid imams of consequence, nor from any other imams, that this is permissible. I do not know who might have said this was permissible. If this could be established from any of the imams, then it is a weak, aberrant position, because it goes against the clear analogy taken from the words of Allah Most High, "Say to the believing men to lower their gaze," "And say to the believing women to lower their gaze." Allah, glory be to He, commanded both sexes to lower their gaze from each other due to what typically ensues of enjoyment and lust, which, in turn, leads to seclusion [with the opposite sex] and indecency. Thus, Allah prevented the precursors to indecency, in order to cut off all means [to sin]. Touching an unrelated woman more effectively arouses pleasure and lust than [mere] looking, as is completely apparent to anyone with intelligence. Consequently, the jurists have established laws that are more stringent [about looking] rather than mere touching, as we have just seen in the rulings of the Hanafi school. If touching is more grave than looking, then it is obligatory to consider it unlawful, and even more so.

I'm so sorry for the long comment.
To be continued ...

Anonymous,  26 January 2011 at 02:30  

Fourthly, my answer to what was quoted in the fatwa as the reasoning behind the permissibility is the following:
The actions of the Sahaba, as stated in the fatwa, even if they actually occurred, do not go beyond being specific incidents, and, as such, cannot be generalized, according to the experts of Usul (fundamentals of jurisprudence). These experts say that general import relates to words, not actions. Even if we were to concede that these actions actually occurred, then they still remain the actions of individual Companions, and are the matter of a famous dispute among the Usul experts who differ as to whether these actions can be considered [legal] proof. According to the Shafi'i standpoint, these [actions] do not constitute [legal] proof, except if they became widespread amongst the Companions and no one differed.
As far as the hadith of Umm Haram is concerned, it is a rigorously authenticated tradition, related by the two Shaykhs [Bukhari and Muslim], and, like the previous reports about the Sahaba, is a specific incident that cannot be generalized due to the possibility of multiple interpretations. It is an established principle of Usul that a proof, if subject to multiple interpretations, cannot be used to establish an argument. This is if we concede that Umm Haram, May Allah be pleased with her, was not an unmarriageable relative of the Prophet, peace be upon him. However, Imam Nawawi has clearly stated in the Sharh Muslim that Umm Haram was a mahram of the Prophet, [an unmarriageable relative]. This is by agreement of the scholars. Imam Nawawi explained, "The scholars are agreed ]that the Umm Haram in the hadith] where "The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to go to Umm Haram daughter of Milhan, who would feed him and pick his hair, and he used to sleep at her house," was an unmarriageable relative of the Prophet, although they differed as to exactly what her relation was. Ibn Abd al-Barr and others said: She was one of his maternal aunts through nursing. Others said: She was a maternal aunt of his father or grandfather because Abd al-Muttalib's mother was from Bani Najjar [and Umm Haram was from the same tribe.]
Ibn Hajar explained further in Fath al-Bari the opinion of Ibn Abd al-Barr and others. It is obviously a mistake to use this hadith as an argument in this issue. Yes, Ibn Hajar did mention in his commentary on this hadith in Fath al-Bari that the master Dimyati, may Allah have mercy on him, refuted the idea that Umm Haram was an unmarriageable relation of the Prophet, peace be upon him; however, Ibn Hajar did not consider this as permission to use this hadith as an argument for the permissibility of touching an unrelated woman. This much is evident from what he says in Fath.
Suppose we consider that there is no proof that Umm Haram was an unmarriageable relative, even then some of the imams, such as the Maliki Ibn al-Arabi, have interpreted this hadith to be an incident specific to the Prophet, peace be upon him. This was the position favored by Ibn Hajar in the Fath, who said, "The best response [if we were to say that Umm Haram was not an unmarriageable relative of the Prophet, peace be upon him] is to say that this is specific to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and this is not refuted by something being specific to the Prophet not being established except with proof because the proof for that is very clear. And Allah knows best."

Anonymous,  26 January 2011 at 02:31  

[Shaykh Faraz Rabbani adds, "Why is it very clear? Because we have explicit hadith that make it clear and we'll take a number of hadiths after this. An explicit hadith that stated that one cannot touch someone of the opposite sex, this is established by clear analogy from the Qur'an. So we have this decisive text that established this ruling, the impermissibility of touching someone of the opposite sex. Its legal reason is clear which is that the Sharia has come very clearly to establish an emotional barrier between unrelated individuals of the opposite sex so they can interact with each other but with that clear emotional barrier and physical contact breaks that emotional barrier very clearly. This is why it is from the sunna to actually shake hands with someone of the same sex when you meet because this breaks the emotional distance between the individuals and promotes closeness. So this is why al-Hafiz said that even if we were to say that Umm Haram was not the mahram of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) even then this hadith would not be proof for permitting touching because one will have to understand this hadih to be specific to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) let alone that this is a specific case and one of the other thing that supports is that it is a specific incident. A specific incident does not have general import in and of itself especially when it goes against what is otherwise generally established by the text of the Qur'an and the sunna as is clear in this case."

The upshot is that the position of the imams of consequence is that it is unlawful for a man to shake hands with an unrelated woman without a barrier and without necessity, such as medical treatment. Corrupt customs cannot be considered proof: any custom that goes against Sacred Law is invalid. And what narrations have come to us [of the Sahaba shaking hands with women] are not strong enough arguments. And the hadith of Umm Haram is not evidence of the permissibility because it is either specific to the Prophet, peace be upon him, supposing that she was not an unmarriageable relative, or she was indeed an unmarriageable relative, according to the agreed upon position related by Imam Nawawi. Thus, there would be no problem [with the Prophet's visiting Umm Haram] because it is permissible to touch one's unmarriageble kin by consensus. If this were the case [that Umm Haram was the Prophet's mahram], then it would be false to use this hadith as an argument for the permissibility of shaking hands with the opposite sex.

Anonymous,  26 January 2011 at 02:32  

Fifthly, another problem with this fatwa is that it gave general permission to shake hands with the opposite sex and did not condition it by stipulating the absence of desire or fitna. Such a condition would be encumbent if one concedes that there is a position permitting shaking hands. And this is not conceded, as you already know.

Sixthly, as to what was stated at the end of the fatwa that, "However, as far as the issue of kissing is concerned, which is their customary way of greeting people, we see it best that this be avoided by excusing ourselves from them in adherence to the rules of the Sharia," if this means a man's kissing an unrelated woman, then the wording used is obviously weak, because the term "avoid" can mean it is obligatory to avoid, or it is recommended to avoid, which is evident from how the ulama use this term. It is crucial that a mufti make his fatwa unambiguous to the largest extent possible so that it will not confuse the questioner and others. He could have expressed the unlawfulness of this if such was the intent, because it is well known that there is no disagreement over the unlawfulness of kissing an unrelated woman.

This is what is evident to me in writing on this question and Allah alone guides to the truth.

Thank you and please correct me if I'm wrong.

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