Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Filling up the psychological gap

Bismillahirohmanirohim (In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate)

The revelation began with the words, "Read in the name of your Lord Who created" (surah al-Alaq verse1) and ended with the verse "... Today I have completed your religion for you and have bestowed upon you My Bounty in full measure, and have been pleased to assign for you Islam as your religion ..."(Surah al-mai'dah verse 3) Hence it shows how important knowledge is in the religion, in life in this world and the hereafter.

To undertake reading in science for example without reference to religion will neither benefit humanity nor lead it to the comprehensive knowledge necessary for building and maintaining civilised society. I didn't read a lot in the past and when I read, the material usually doesn't have to do anything with religion. This kind of knowledge will lead to those who know only the outer aspects of worldly life, but who, in regard to the afterlife are very negligent in reference to this ayat in the Qur'an "Do they not reflect on themselves? Allah created the heavens and the earth and whatever lies between them in Truth and for an appointed term. Yet many people deny that they will meet their Lord." (Surah al-Rum verse 8)  

"Then, We revealed the Book to you, (O Muhammad) with Truth, confirming what ever of the Book was revealed before, and protecting and guarding over it. Judge, then, in the affairs of men in accordance with the Law that Allah has revealed, and do not follow their desires in disregard of the Truth which has come to you. To each of you have We prescribed a law and a way. And had Allah so willed , He would surely have made you one single community; instead, (He gave each of you a Law and a way of life) in order to test you by what He gave you. Vie then, with one another in good works. Unto Allah is the return of all of you; and He will then make you understand the truth concerning the matters on which you disagreed" (Surah al-Mai'dah verse 48). "The All-Merciful taught the Qur'an, created humanity, and taught its expression..." (Surah ar-Rahman verse 1-4)

In this entry I would like to associate knowledge with psychology. It is very common to see that we always try to fill a psychological gap when facing difficulties or after accomplish something by saying something like "I am the only thing that is obstructing my achievement" or "the reason why this thing is a success is because I made it so!" In response to this Allah has revealed in His Glorious Holy Qur'an "Nay but humanity transgresses all bounds when it looks upon itself as self-sufficient". (Surah al-Alaq verse 7)

We normally think that we have total control in our accomplishments within the environment when it is actually Allah's doing.  When we try to fill our mind with this kind of psychological gap of being self-sufficient, "Those who turn from remembering Me shall live lives of misery; We shall raise him blind on the Day of Resurrection,". (Surah Ta Ha verse 124)

We usually try our utmost to succeed sometimes at the expense of defying the laws of the world/universe. This will then cause imbalance and will abuse environment and physical of ones body which in a way will live lives in misery. If one were to remember Him (Allah) , one were to be cautious of boundaries created by Him and will go beyond one's limitation on certain actions.

Going slightly off topic, my friend always mentions that some muslims do not eat pork because of the prohibition in the Qur'an but ignores the prohibition of intoxication/alcohol. Pork may be substitute with other halal meat, but there is no substitute in getting 'high'.  This in my opinion is a problem with the mind of needing to satisfy it psychologically. Needing a substance to be 'happy' when actually there is already much joy created in this world and these are the people who cannot live by the Law of this world. It is so easy to find happiness and be happy without these substances which are also used at times to enhance performance/capabilities to achieve success/happiness.

An example in the Qur'an mentions the prohibitions on intoxication "Believers! Intoxicants, games of chance, idolaltrous sacrifices at altars, and divining arrows are all abominations, the handiwork of Satan. So turn wholly away from it that you may attain to true success." (Surah al-Mai'dah verse 90).
Just to add on a little, " Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) observed, Whoever fornicates is not a believer so long as he commits it and no thief who steals is a believer as long as he commits theft, and no drunkard who drinks wine is a believer as long as he drinks it" (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)

Hence the abuse of ones body will be avoided and it will be easier to attain success through the help of Allah.

This is just an opinion of mine that if one could not live the laws and boundaries of this world, one would not be able to live the laws and boundaries of the jannah(paradise) where people who are obedient and those who is a believer will be in jannah. A wise man once said to me "A muslim should be a prisoner in this world so that he may attain the leisure of the hereafter. If you choose to have leisure in this world, do not expect to achieve the leisure of the hereafter. Choose one and I hope you will choose the right one."

Friday, 24 December 2010

Is it really christmas?

Bismillahirohmaneerohim (In the name of Allah the Most compassionate, the Most Merciful)

We have reach this time of the year where christians generally celebrate christmas which is the birth of christ. Is it being mentioned anywhere that Jesus(Isa) was born on the 25th of December? I have read about this somewhere and I've tried to look it up in the bible about the birth of christ but had no much luck about the specific date. Why does it interest me as a muslim? It is because we muslims consider Jesus/Isa alaihisalam as a prophet of Allah so I was really curious about the birth of prophet Isa alaihisalam and to understand the religion which celebrates the birth of the great man prophet Isa alaihisalam. Let me first clarify that I am not a scholar of the bible nor am I a sheikh/Imam.

Even though I have read this somewhere, I had to look it up myself. It was this particular verse that was mentioned which was Luke chapter 2 verse 8-12 which says: "(8)And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. (9)An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. (10)But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people." (11)Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (12)This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Reading these verses in a glance, you would not see anything much. But in verse 8 which says "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night" caused curiousity of the conditions during the birth. I googled the weather conditions of Bethlehem which is the place of birth according to the bible. The weather conditions of Bethlehem would be freezing cold at night and it is not a custom for the shepherds to watch over their flocks at night particularly during from November till March.

Hence, after reading and a bit of researching in the bible, I have yet to understand why is it celebrated on the 25th of December. Though I might be wrong for I am not really knowledgeable of the bible, this is just a personal research I did. If I am wrong, please forgive me and my humble opinions as I am not trying to cause any disruption on anyone or any religion.

These are some verses on the birth of Jesus/Isa alaihisalam in the Qur'an.

"(O Muhammad) recite in the Book of the account of Mary, when she withdrew from her people to a place towards the east; (17) and drew a curtain , screening herself from people where upon we sent to her Our spirit and he appeared to her as a well-shaped man, (18) Mary exclaimed: "I surely take refuge from you with the Most Compassionate Lord, if you are at all God-fearing." (19) He said: "I am just a message-bearer of your Lord, I have come to grant you a most pure boy." (20) Mary said : "How can a boy be born to me when no man has even touched me, nor have I been unchaste?" (21) The angel said: "Thus shall it be. Your Lord says: 'It is easy for Me; and We shall do so in order to make him a Sign for mankind and a mercy from Us. This has been decreed.'" " (surah Maryam verse 16-21)

In my humble opinion, it is not right to assign something(in this case the birthday) to the great man and prophet which does not actually belong to him.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The intention of this blog

Bismillahirohmanirohim (In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate)

In this entry, I'll be expressing from a slightly personal experience. Those who are close to me will understand that in the past 2 weeks, I have been apologising about some Islamic statuses that me and my wife made now and then. I apologised about it because some have misunderstood it and take it that we are a show off. To be honest, I'm not a pious person but I'm trying my outmost to be insha'Allah. I do not mean to be a show off "pious" person because I know there are tons of ustaz, sheikhs and imams out there who are waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy better than myself. Similarly like I've mentioned in one of my previous entries, there is no point to be the richest person on the planet because one day, there will be another person who will be richer. Therefore we could only do our best in certain things and appreciate what is given to us by Allah. The reason why I took 2 weeks to write this is because I do not want to write unnecessary stuff with my emotions. I needed to review it and think about it thoroughly with my mind rather with my heart.

Everything that I have written here is of my opinion from reading and researching from books written by scholars. I myself am not a scholar, ustaz, sheikh, or an imam and I have clearly stated in my previous entries. Whatever I have written is not even and does not qualify as a fatwa. Never anywhere have I written that me and my wife are hollier than others. We wrote and update our statuses because we are not that perfect muslims, we did a lot of mistakes in the past or even in the present and as a result we want to remind ourselves and others at the same time. Personally I don't update the facebook status that much as it is a joint account with my wife, but whatever I've learned, I teach it to my wife and then she updates the status whenever she wants to. But somehow we are often taken as a "show off" because of our islamic statuses.

Examples of statuses that was being looked at as a "show off":-
"Alhamdulillah, this morning we woke up feeling so thankful that Allah has chosen us as one of his Ummah that is leading towards the right path!" There are many ummah before us and Islam, and we are glad to be the ummah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad salallahualaihiwassalam which is leading towards the right path. The ummah before us was also leading to the right path in their time, i.e the ummah of Prophet Musa (Moses). We are glad to be the ummah of Prophet Muhammad salallahualaihiwassalam because  even though we are the last ummah, we would be the first ummah to be entered into jannah (paradise), and we were merely expressing ourselves to be lucky to be in this ummah.  If we do not believe that this ummah is in the right path, then there is no reason to believe in Islam. Never it was meant that we are the only one who are on the right path.

"It feels so good waking up at the calm of Subuh whilst everyone else is still asleep. The hectic worldly life becomes wayyy easier when we have worshipped him! Here's to our morning family jog! :)" If I'm not mistaken this status was updated during ramadhan. The Prophet salallahualaihiwassalam said, "Every night there is a special time during which whatever a muslim asks Allah subhanawata'ala of any good relating to this life or the hereafter, it will be granted to him; and this moment comes every night." Even though the status mentioned "subuh" it was because during the summer our night time is very short therefore it was very close to subuh/fajr. We are merely echoing/agreeing the saying of our Prophet salallahualaihiwasalam and we do not intend to imply that we are the only ones who wakes up for subuh/fajr. It is understood that every muslims should/obligatory wake up for fajr. The main point was, it is really true that there is a special time every night and during this special time it is very calm.

It would be really weird to justify every single statuses made.

Personally after taking my Masters in Islamic banking, I am more inclined to do researches on Islam and all these researches is written in my blog. Therefore if one looks through my blogs, one could see that entries like siwak or toothbrush (gold or fiat money), the recent controversial jerseys, another argument on islamic banks, in reference on "why is islamic home financing is haram?", reforming Islam, having doubts?, the importance of holy books and  law shari'ah fiqh? The superiority of Islamic Jurisprudence & Law are all researches from my studies. My opinion of those who labels me a "show off" are of course against my blog(researches) and hence, they are also against my studies in Islam. Even though saying that, this is just my personal opinion as I cannot read their minds as I'm just another human being therefore only Allah knows best! As I've mentioned I am just another human being and I am also trapped into making assumptions but I do not intend to make it my final conclusion, therefore it is an open assumption and forgive me if I have assumed wrongly.

The last thing is, I've only written good things on Islam what it teaches us to do. All my opinions that I gave are mostly on the consequence of not following the teachings of Islam. I could take criticism if one were to criticise the content of an entry, for example:- what you have written is not really what the teachings of Islam meant, but to criticise my blog as a general does not justifies anything. I would be glad if there was a difference of opinion concerning the topics of my blog, so that there could be a discussion. I have written time and time again that if I have done any wrong in my writting, please correct me and yet most choose not to. I do not write or promote pornography, drugs or violence and yet my blog is being criticise unjustifiedly. The point of me writing all of my entries on a blog is so that one could read it willingly. If it is not of interest, then time was wasted reading this blog.

Hadith : Bukhari and Muslim

The Messenger of Allah salallahualaihiwasalam said: " Beware of suspicion, for suspicion (may be based on) the most untrue information; and do not spy upon one another and do not try to bare each other's hidden failings."

"O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it...But fear Allah: For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful." (surah al-hujuraat verse 12)

I do not know how to avoid from being suspicion in this case. In my opinion, no matter how sincere I write this blog, there will be some that sees it differently.

"Behold, ye received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things of which ye had no knowledge; and ye thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of Allah." (surah al-noor verse 15)

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah : "Beware of backbiting, for backbiting is more serious than adultery.  A man may commit adultery, and drink, and then repent, and Allah will forgive him.  But, the backbiter will not be forgiven by Allah until his companion forgives him." [Suyuti, Al-Jami` as-Saghir, 1/174, #2919, from Ibn Abid-Dunya, and Abush-Shaykh, Al-Tawbikh.]

I remind myself firstly that I should avoid doing such things and I advise others who have something against my blog, please confront me rather than asking others what is meant on my blog. Confront me so that backbiting may be avoided because I fear for you and backbiting is a serious matter in the sight of Allah. It doesn't make sense if I make a gadget and you ask the manual from a different person. I pray to Allah that I do not wish to be the one who backbites. Lastly, I would like to apologise to everyone that I may have backbite and for all my wrong doings.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

What makes us proud?

Bismillahirohmanirohim (in the name of Allah the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate) 

A brief explanation on why we should not boast and be proud is because, a proud person will always think that what he has is good (regardless of material or intellectual capabilities), and what others have is bad. Therefore, when a person is proud of his work usually they do not strive to improve on it and also since they think what others have is bad, it means that indirectly they are looking down upon others.

I've read some interesting stuff on this "proud" observation from Ibn Hazm. He went to a person and asked "Why are you proud?" That person replied, " I am nobody's slave!". Then Ibn Hazm pointed out that most of the people are not slaves but they are not proud or boastful compared to that particular person. This "proud" is considered as a "false pride". It is a trick being applied into the human mind. In my opinion of today's context of "false pride" is that we are made to feel proud of owning certain things where else it is those certain things who are proud to own us.

Most of us today own certain items just for the sake of the "brand" and not because of its capabilities. For example, Macbook is considered desirable to most of us even though most of us only use it for casual use. Why not use the pc or laptop? It is understandable if a person really needs the technology available in the mac book owns a Macbook because its technology is not available in any ordinary laptop. But why own a Mac if the technology is rarely being used? This is what it is meant by "false pride". We feel "happy/excited/proud" of owning such things but in reality it is our mind being played by tricks.

A person who likes to own these "brands" will usually not be satisfied or happy. There will be a time when that person will not feel the item/material is special anymore due to others owning the same item. There will also be a time when there is a new/better item and it will cause that person to be dissatisfied or unhappy. These feeling of dissatisfied/unhappy will then recur up to a point that it becomes a mental illness and will be a chain reaction towards one's life and others. This will become an unachieveable satisfaction and will only rely on materials/items for temporary happiness. Therefore it is important that we recognised that Allah is the only One who can make us feel happy and it is better for us to strive to enter paradise and not strive for worldy things.  

When a person owns an expensive thing/brand, jealousy is the nature that would normally come from some of those who cannot afford it. Hence, the need to get a fast solution to own those things. This is when some will be tempted to do undesirable things like stealing and etc. So, it is important not only for the person who is a "show off" to be moderate but also for the best of the community.  

We should try and change our mentality or perception to be satisfied even without the "best" of wordly things, then it will be easy for us to be happy with our lives growing a healthier community. Let this be a reminder to myself and others not to be arrogant and boastful.

Surah Luqman verse 18: "Do not turn your face away from people, nor tread haughtily upon earth. Allah does not love the arrogant and the vainglorious." (19) "Be moderate in your stride and lower your voice. Verily the most disgusting of all voices is the braying of the donkey."

Surah al-nisa verse 36: "Serve Allah and ascribe no pratner to Him. Do good to your parents, to near of kin, to orphans, and to the needy, and to the neighbour who is of kin and to the neighbour who is a stranger, and to the companion by your side, and to the wayfarer, and to those whom your right hand possess. Allah does not love the arrogant and boastful"

In my opinion, these verses of arrogant/vainglorious/boastful are interconnected with the community around one. It is obvious that one can act arrogant and boastful only when others are around and the reminder of these verses are to do good towards people around you no matter of one's status/rank.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Should the security guard/fence be implemented?

Bismillahirohmaneerohim (In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate)

The community where I used to live back in Malaysia have set up these "security gates" in certain areas. The particular place where I used to live is a place of mediocre families. Now security gates are needed for certain areas. The area now is covered with fences/walls and has only one way in and out from the area. It only allows cars with a particular "sticker" in the car to enter the area. For this security to be implemented, the houses involved within the fences need to pay certain amount of monthly fees to the security guards. These "security fences" are becoming trendy/popular in certain parts of Malaysia.

These "security fences" are being set up to protect the community. My main question is what are these fences protecting the community from? It is understood that these fences are built for the community's safety within the fences because of the increasing crimes -burglaries and robberies. In Islam it is important to mitigate/lessen risk, since the early days of humanity, mankind have faced will all kinds of risk and it is important to strive and overcome for survival. As mentioned in surah al-mu'minun verse 115

"Did you imagine that We created you without any purpose, and that will not be brought back to Us?"

and surah al-ankabut verse 2 "Do people think that they will be let go merely by saying : "We believe," and that they will not be tested,"

Therefore we should reduce our exposure towards unwanted/uncertainty things. Hence, the set up of the security fences. In my opinion, there should be another step/action before the fences are set up. Firstly, what is causing in the increase of crimes-burglaries/robberies? My opinion is that the gap between the rich and the poor are getting bigger. The poor/less fortunates envies the rich and are looking for a fast solution to be "rich". Is it wrong to be "rich"? After all the hardwork that they've done, surely they are entitled to it. The thing is that the less fortunates do not see all the hardwork done and all they see is the fancy cars, houses and accesories. Hence, they become envious of the "rich". Even though the fortunate ones are entitled to be "rich", have they contributed enough to help the less fortunates? In my opinion the big issue here is the unbalance of wealth distribution in the community. Secondly, there is the "show off" attitude from the "rich" ones which I will write an entry about it in the future, insha'Allah.

Anyway, getting back to the wealth distribution, Allah has stated in the Holy Qur'an Surah al- Hashr verse 7:

"Whatever (from the possessions of the townspeople) Allah has bestowed on His Messenger belongs to Allah, and to the Messenger, and to his kinsfolk, and to the orphans, and to the needy, and to the wayfarer so that it may not merely circulate between the rich among you. So accept whatever the Messenger gives you and refrain from whatever he forbids you. And fear Allah: verily Allah is Most Stern in retribution."

This is one of the major guiding principles that wealth should circulate in the whole community rather than only among the rich, to prevent the big gap between the rich and the poor. In my opinion this is the current situation in Malaysia and because of this, some communities needs to build up "fences" to protect their wealth and safety. Most of the "rich" are usually brand concious and are spending money on branded item/designers = rich circulate money to rich designers which contradicts with the verse that has been highlighted earlier. This is only one of many example of the situation in Malaysia. 

I could see at times that we are so content to be secured in our life in this world, that we would do almost anything to earn top money. Some are so driven that they are determined to make certain amount of money before reaching certain age as one of their goals in life. Some wants to sit or be on par with the top earners of the country or world. My personal choice is that I would not bother to go that far, because eventually there are others who will always earn more. My opinion is that the usage of the money is much more important than the method of earning the money. There is another verse that I would like to share Surah al-Zukhruf verse 32 Allah almighty says :

"Is it they who distribute the Mercy of your Lord? Is it We Who have distributed their livelihood among them in the life of this world, and have raised some above the other in rank that some of them may harness others to their services. Your Lord's Mercy is better than all the treasures that they hoard."

Just a simple note that We that have been highlighted in the verse above refers to Allah because in Arabic it is in plural of respect and not plural in numbers.

Just imagine how the poor feels when they walk past these certain area that have all these "security fences". Do they feel envy, jealous, and exposed towards uncertainties?

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Understanding Allah is One

Bismillahirohmaneerohim (in the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate)

Allah is generally known as God for muslims. Ilah is god in arabic language and Allah is "the God" in arabic. Therefore, I would like to clarify that Allah is not a Malay word. The Malay word for god is tuhan. Anyway, my main topic is to discuss the concept of Allah. Since the word is going to be widely used, it is important to know the concept of Allah in Islam.

Firstly, Allah is one.

"Say: He, Allah, is One." (Surah al-ikhlas verse 1) 

"And your God is One God, there is no God but He; the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate!" (Surah al-baqarah verse 163)

"Had there been in them any gods in the heavens and the earth apart from Allah, the order of both the heavens and the earth would have gone to ruins. Glory be to Allah, the Lord of the Throne, Who is far above their descriptions of Him." (Surah al-anbiya verse 22)

The verses above states that Allah is one. Surah al-anbiya states the consequence if there are many gods. I would also like to think in a different perspective that if there were many gods, wouldn't there be a conflict of interest? For example god A gives instructions to do things which contradicts with god B. Which god would the person serves to? If a person were to choose one instruction, why is that god superior over another? It is simple to grasp that god is one, and in my opinion it exposes the superiority of the oness of god to create everything. If there were many gods (god of wind, god of rain), it shows the limitness of the power where "god" can only handle certain function. Therefore, oness shows the unlimited power that Allah has.

"(He is) The Creator of the Heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: there is nothing like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things)."  (surah as-shura verse 11)

Why is it important to understand that there is nothing like unto Him? I have read some criticism about "Muhammad's god represents the concept of existing blankness, an empty intellect". I will attempt to show that this is not the case.

If god is something similar to a thing that we know, we may know/assume/estimate gods capabilities because of the similarities. It is always in the nature of human beings to assume and this would be insulting (to god) to assume limitation to gods capabilities. When a person have knowledge of the capabilities, a person may know its advantages and disadvantages therefore the element of superiority is gone. Allah is beyond imagination, our knowledge are too little to put an image to Allah. Secondly, if god is similar to something, a person may get confuse onto what he/she should worship/give thanks/pray to. Therefore it is important to know that Allah is unique and cannot be imaged with the limited power of our brain.

However, I have encountered a muslim brother who says "man should be a reflection image of god". From my understanding the brother is being heavily influenced by the books that he has read. This is clearly is not from the Islamic doctrine where "a man should be a reflection image of god". The rationale of "man should be a reflection image of god" is because apparently god is so "proud" of himself that god would like to see his best creation/masterpiece in his own image. Why does this have to be the case? Is it necessary for we humans to create a masterpiece in our own image? Do we build houses in an image of humans? Do we build cars (Ferrari, Bugatti) in the image of humans? Why are houses and cars shaped in such manner? Houses should serve its purpose to give a shelter and cars should serve its purpose for transportation. So human are designed in such a manner to serve its purpose, which is to worship Allah, to help each other and etc. Would a person wants his/her image to be something that has limited function? For example does a person wants his/her image to be a ceiling fan? A ceiling fan that can only serve its function just to circulate air/wind? That would be insulting for a person to be/to use its image a ceiling fan (which is not intellectual and not necessarily productive as human). So why should Allah look like a human (which has limited functions compared to Allah)?

Why do creatures or animals look different? Firstly so that we could differentiate and easily identified. Secondly, so that one could know their functions. For example, a cow are easily identified and a person would know that a cow can provide milk and etc. So, if "god" looks like a human or human looks like a "god", it is hard for us to notice "god" in a crowd of people and god would not get the respect. Nothing would be special if we humans and god look alike.

Some would like to know "when" did god exist. In accordance to "when" there is the element of time. We base our time on the circulation of earth, sun, moon and etc. If these things were not created, how do we calculate time? Another thing is, why is time so important? It is because we humans are mortals which life will come to an end. If we humans do not die, is time really that important? In my personal opinion, time would not be important to me if I am immortal because I can do anything at anytime (no restrictions) and I do not feel I have wasted anything (time) because time is infinite. But the reality is, we are mortals and therefore are bound in "time". It is because we know our life will come to an end which makes the element of time more important or precious. My point here is that, Allah has created everything in the universe including the circulation of earth, sun, moon and etc, so why should "time" be applicable to Him? Allah the Creator of every single thing has to be superior and if  god were to be a mortal, who would succeed to run the universe after god's death? In my opinion it doesn't make sense if Allah the Almighty is to be binded in his own creation (time). Even though it is obvious we know there's a limited lifetime (time), most of us do not consider the usage of that "time". So, within this limited time, do we think/worship Him enough?

"And call not, besides Allah, on another god. There is no god but He. Everything (that exists) will perish except His own Face. To Him belongs the Command, and to Him will ye (all) be brought back."  (surah al-Qasas verse 88)
"He cannot be questioned concerning what He does while they shall be questioned." (Surah al-anbiyaa verse 23)

All things are destined in the end (our time) to the One Who has facilitated their being what they are, the One Who cannot be explained; therefore, the attempt to analyse Him, His Attributes, and His actions, is simply impossible. We should always remind ourselves that we are "limited" and be humble to the One and Only Allah.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Siwak or toothbrush (gold or fiat money)?

Bismillahirohmaneerohim (In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate)

I have given up on the toothbrush for more than a year now. I've got to say, using the siwak makes it feels really clean. Once I had gingivities even when I brushed my teeth every day using the toothbrush. Now that I've used the Siwak, I've never had such problem and the plaques in between my teeth are not as hard as it used to be. It is much easier to remove the plaques now.

The Siwak, as we know was used by the Prophet salallahualaihiwassalam in his lifetime. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah salallahualaihiwassalam, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If it was not for the fact that I might have been overburdening my community - or the people - I would have ordered them to use the siwak for every prayer."

Therefore from this, the use of the siwak is a strong suggestion for the community by the Prophet salallahualaihiwassalam. But it wasn't enforced to be as the toothbrush or to use the siwak for every prayer. The community have the option to use the siwak or to use the toothbrush. It is not stated in the Qur'an that a Muslim must use the siwak. But I have prefered to use the siwak anyway.

In my opinion, it is the same with gold and fiat money (paper money). Based on my research the Prophet salallahualaihiwasalam had never used his authority to state that gold is the money for Islam. He did not mint gold or declared it as the only money for Islam. I have not come across any Hadith which is even close to the Hadith of the siwak that I quoted above that strongly suggest it(gold) to be used. In fact there was a hadith that was mentioned by my lecturer that states the most miserable servant, is the servant of dirham/dinar (please do not take my word for granted as it is better for one to research).

"Gold is to be paid for by gold, silver by silver, wheat by wheat, barley by barley, dates by dates, and salt by salt - like for like, equal for equal, payment being made on the spot. If the species differ, sell as you wish provided that payment is made on the spot" (Hadith Muslim)

Paper money used to be a debt of real wealth of gold and silver, and this would not be allowed because of the prohibition from one of the Prophet’s Hadith about any transactions in gold, silver, wheat, barley, rice and dates is to be done on the spot and hand to hand. If the paper money represents gold, therefore this transaction goes against the hadith as the gold is not being transferred from one person to another.

But paper money now do not base its value on gold or silver, so it doesn't contradict with the hadith and seems like it will be permissible to use it as money. There are some that states that money should have intrinsic value because of the Hadith that has been stated above. The rationale to that statement was, all of the six items have value and can be used as money. In my research, I've not encountered that wheat, barley or dates was used as money (please advise me if I'm wrong on this). These items are perishable (may be eaten, rotten and etc) so it is rarely used as money. So, is it necessary for money needs to have intrinsic value? Who puts the value towards gold? If gold does not interest anyone, wouldn't the value of gold go down/depreciate? So it depends on the demand of the community to put the value on gold. What is the difference with fiat money? Fiat money too also depends on the demand.

I've not worked in an Islamic bank and I don't think I am biased towards Islamic banking. Some have gone to say that Islamic banking is a great deception and stuff like that. Although I do see some Islamic banks are not conducted properly, I don't think that it is a "great deception". Islamic banks needs to be improved with the help of the community.

The argument of gold as the ULTIMATE ISLAMIC MONEY, is not really accurate. Big transactions using gold will require delay payments and as the Hadith on gold earlier states that "sell as you wish provided that payment is made on the spot". I see this as a problem in using gold. If this problem and other problems on gold are being solved then there is nothing wrong on the usage of gold. I do not oppose gold nor do I support fiat money. Both have problems and in my opinion both may be used as money as long as it is being used properly.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Another argument on Islamic banks

Islamic Banks and other Islamic financial institutions are today lending money on interest through the back-door by disguising a loan as a sale on credit. They call it murabaha! But it is most certainly not murabaha! It is Riba! What the bank does is to offer an item on sale in a credit transaction with a price substantially higher than the cash price. While credit transactions are Halal, since the blessed Prophet (sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) himself engaged in such transactions, there is no evidence that the credit price in such transactions was ever higher than the cash price. When credit price is higher than cash price then the implication would be that time has value. And the essence of Riba is that money grows over time. When a client wishes to purchase something, but does not possess the cash with which to purchase it, the so-called Islamic bank enters into the fiction of purchasing the item at its cash price and then selling it to the client on credit. The interest charges are added to the selling price thus making a credit price for the item substantially higher than the cash price." (This is taken from another website which criticises Islamic banking)

Generally the author is trying to emphasise that Islamic banks uses (time=money) in deferred payments. This is actually not the case (theoratically). If the price has been agreed between the client and the Islamic banks the price has to be settled even if the client wants to finish it earlier. For example a car is £5000, and it is being sold by the bank to the individual for £7000 after 3 years. I've explained earlier in my previous entry that it is not wrong in Islam to gain profit. The author admits that credit transactions are halal. So the problem here is that when time effects the final price of the product.

An individual who bought the car for £7000 in 3 years wishes to finish the payment in 2 years instead. Usually with conventional banking that individual will get a discount for finishing his/her payment earlier than the agreements. To simplify it, the individual has to pay £6000 if he/she finishes his/her payments in 2 years. In Islamic banking however, this is not the case. Even if a person wishes to finish the payments earlier, it will still be £7000 because if the bank gives discount than, the Islamic banks does involve the final price of the product (time=money). Therefore if it is still £7000, time does not have any effect on the final product (which means time does not = money). But I happened to know a few "Islamic banks" in Malaysia which gives discount. It has been a while since I've interacted with any Islamic banks so I'm not sure if they have changed their conduct. The Islamic banks in Malaysia are too worried of competition with the conventional banks therefore they have made it permissible to give this discount. As I've said before it is up to us, the users of Islamic banks to make sure that the Islamic banks are actually conducting Islamically.

Monday, 27 September 2010

In reference to "Why is Islamic home financing haram?" part 2

Bismillahirohmaneerohim (In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate)

In my last entry I've written about the profit that Islamic bank deserves when conducting business (buying and selling) and not deriving profit from interests. The next question that a person would generally ask is, how much does a bank deserve to earn as profit? Ustaz Zaharuddin has written on this here. Basically he explains that there is no prohibition on the amount for profit. It is the choice of the individual (or banks) to charge any amount for profit. In my opinion, a person who follows the values of Islam would however not take advantage to the extreme.

There are arguments about the validity of Islamic banking. I have made it clear that it is alright to do business (buying and selling) as long as it doesn’t involve riba/interest. So can a bank do business? Some argues that doing business is alright but Islamic banking is wrong? What is their explanation? They say that the banks are enslaving the community.

Theoretically, if an individual could not manage to pay their monthly fees, Islamic banks don’t have the right to ask for it. From what I understand in Malaysia is that, to avoid the public from taking this advantage they will charge a ‘late payment fee’. This ‘late payment fee’ will and should be going to a charity and cannot be accepted/taken by the bank. However, I cannot be certain of the conduct of the Islamic banks on this. Another thing that needs to be highlighted is that with conventional banks, if an individual misses some monthly payments, the interests will accumulate. I have highlighted in my previous blog that how injustice interests can accumulate to. With Islamic banks however, even if a person needs to pay late payment fees, the original agreed payment does not add up. The Islamic banks can only claim what is agreed on the price on the agreement and they will use a verse 91 from the Qur’an surah Nahl : “And fulfil the covenant which you have made with Allah and do not break your oaths after having firmly made them, and after having made Allah your witness. Surely Allah knows all that you do” in their defense.

In the context of housing construction, if it was abandoned, in my opinion the bank has to bear responsibility of loss and the individual too has to bear the responsibility of the loss. However, this is just an opinion and not the reality conduct of the Islamic banks. In the UK there is a financial package to buy a car which I find pretty much Islamic. Even so, they do not include the term Islamic in the financial package. The financial package is renting a peugeot with the option to buy at the end of the contract. For example, an individual pays rent for the car for 2 years, and after that 2 years the individual has the option to buy the car for a certain amount. If the individual decides not to buy, the car will be taken back into the banks possession. During the renting period, all the maintenance like M.O.T (a car checkup in order to get the road tax), the road tax, insurance, and mileage car service are all covered by the owner (bank) and not the individual. The individual only has to pay the monthly rent and car fuel. There are no interests involved, the owner (bank) bears responsibility for the car.

In my opinion the problem is with the Islamic banks in Malaysia and not Islamic banks in general. Malaysia has gone the extra mile in their Islamic banks just to compete with conventional banks and therefore have caused their financial products to be similar as the conventional products. In my understanding, Malaysia has produced financial products such as Bay al dayn, BBA, and Tawarruq which are ‘controversial’. The reason of me saying it is controversial because I do not have the authority to say it is halal or haram. So I would rather say controversial. These products however have been apposed by other countries such as Saudi Arabia and etc. Most of Malaysia’s Islamic banks are actually Islamic windows provide by the conventional. For example HSBC is a conventional banking which provides Islamic windows (HSBC amanah). There are only two full fledged Islamic banks which are BIMB and BBMB which originates from Malaysia. Malaysia are claiming they should be the leading/hub for Islamic banks? I doubt it. Therefore we as the community should push for a better Islamic banks and avoid the misconducts of the Islamic banks. We should not let the Islamic banks take advantage of us.

My conclusion is that we should not boycott Islamic bank or say that Islamic banks are haram, but we should always use our power as the customer/client to push and demand for a better Islamic banking. Then, some will argue, the fiat money or the paper money has no intrinsic value? This is not the money that Islam “recognises”, and how then can the community uses Islamic banks? I will continue on money and Islam in my next entry insha’allah.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

In reference to "Why is Islamic home financing haram?" part 1

Bismillahirohmaneerohim (In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate)

I would like to express a little of the knowledge that I have with me about Islamic banking. I've been getting a lot of questions about the validity of Islamic banking as this is the main concern of the public. Conducting business is an ibadah, so we should always make an effort to do it in the right way. Therefore we have to expand our knowledge. By me saying expand, I don't mean just to refer to a person/scholar, but gain information on many different angle from different people especially from the knowledgeable ones. After doing this, one should know what is best for oneself. Lately, some friends of mine are being slightly influenced by this Sheikh who condemns about Islamic banking. The Sheikh is entitled to his opinion as far as I'm concerned. I'm no where near the status of a Sheikh but I too have an opinion.

Naturally, I was also sceptic about Islamic banking as I've read some books on Islamic banking and because of being raised in Malaysia, my perception on Islamic banking was more towards negativity. This is one of the reason why I took the course of Islamic banking, and also not taking the course in Malaysia. During my course I was ever being sceptic and after completing the course, I've got my own conclusion.

Firstly, the main concern of Islamic banking is because the Qur'an prescribed us in Surah al-Baqarah verse 275
" Those who devour interest, they behave as the one Satan has confounded with his touch seized in the state they say: "Buying and selling is but a kind of interest," even though Allah has made buying and selling lawful and interest unlawful. Hence he who recieves this admonition from his Lord, and then gives up (dealing in interest). may keep his previous gains, and it will be for Allah to judge him. As for those who revert to it, they are the people of Fire and in it shall they abide."

The verse have clearly states that buying and selling is permissible but  interests are prohibited. If one were to make a business (buying and selling) without charging interest, is it permissible? Based on this verse, my opinion is that as long as we avoid interest, it is permissible. Now what seems to be the problem?

My friends who asked me about Islamic banking are from Malaysia, so I'm going to base this discussion on the situation in Malaysia. Firstly in Malaysia, their view towards banks as a place to do loans. This is because of the conduct of conventional banks and we as the public have digested this idea where a bank is a place to do a loan. Because of Islamic banking are relatively new compared to the conventional banking, most of us do not have a clue what Islamic banking is all about. So usually the public will then assume. The Islamic bank is not necessarily a place for loan. It is a place to do business. If the Islamic provides loan, it will be Qardh hassan where no interest will be charged. But most of the Islamic banks don't do this because it is not "productive" as they are a place for business. The reason I put the inverted commas on productive is because my opinion differs as I do see Qardh hassan as productive.

So, a conventional bank is a place where they provide an individual with the money, and expects repayment of the loan bit by bit including interest (which is based on time=money). The conventional is not responsible for anything else except collecting the money back from an individual.

Islamic banks are different. If an individual wants to buy something, the bank will buy it from the supplier and sell it to the individual in deffered payments (there is a hadith on buying in deffered payment, it is best for a person to research). What is the different? Firstly, the bank is doing a business (buying and selling) as what was told permissible in the Qur'an. Secondly, when a bank buys something, it is in the responsible of the bank to take care of it (maintenance). This is one of the reason of banks entitlement to earn profit.

Why do the public still are very sceptic towards Islamic banking? There might be two reason for this. Firstly, some Islamic banks might have used the word "pinjaman" (borrowing/loaning) which certainly contradicts buying or selling. The other thing is that the public have 'psychoed' themselves to think that a bank is a place for loan no matter if its Islamic banking or conventional banking. Because of this, I have to point to the Islamic banks for not educating the ummah or the public. But banks are not to be blamed alone, education should come from anywhere, like schools, public functions and etc.

This entry has gone a bit long, for those who are interested, I'll continue in my next entry. Want to read more on the consequences of interests and how it accumulates click here. I have highlighted in the last part of that entry about the amount of interest and how injustice to use interests in loans.

Friday, 24 September 2010



Alhamdulillah I've completed and submitted my dissertation yesterday. I've tried my best to do a good final product of my dissertation and now it is up to Allah and the examiners to give what is appropriate for my work. It has been a while since I last blogged and insha'Allah I'll continue again expressing my opinions. I've got plenty in my mind insha'Allah, but for now I need some time to relax and I'll be back. Wassalam

Friday, 20 August 2010

Shield or unshield yourself

Credit image to graur razvan ionut /
In one of my previous entries, I've discussed about wearing the hijab. In this entry I would like to express my views about exposing the skin publicly.

During my past experience, people usually advise about covering oneself to avoid from getting harassed but I would like to take a different angle on this. Instead of reminding one to cover themselves, I would like to pose some questions to make one think about their intention of exposing their skin or hair.

In the world we live in today, it becomes a norm that most of us, regardless of our gender, expose a large part of our body. My question is WHY? Is it really important in this 'new age' that we expose ourselves? Is it really necessary? What benefit does it gives us? Should we be inside this 'box' of mentality that it is okay to expose our body?

I'll start off by mentioning about females exposing their bodies. Females most of the time expose more of their body than guys when they have actually more to cover. Compare the common male and female work attire for instance. Guys wear shirt, tie, pants and shoes. The girls will USUALLY wear skirt (short or tight), a tight shirt and occasionally a blazer on. These sort of dressing is normally called the 'career woman' attire. Why is it a 'career woman' attire? Apparently, it is because the 'career woman' attire shows high level of confidence. Is this really true? Does a person needs to expose more to show their confidence? From my personal experience and point of view, I've seen a lot confident ladies covering from head to toe. Sometimes their level of confidence are so high that they may look tough and stern. So does one attire really shows the character of confidence? My opinion, definitely not. Ones attire does not necessarily reflects ones character unless in certain cases. A rich man or woman can dress up moderately in spite of their status.

Let us now look at the casual attire. Women's tops are usually tight and there's the low cut, the bare back and etc. Why do most women want to dress this way? Most women, of all sizes dress up this way... to show off? To gain attention of a man? The ones who are single hopes to gain the attention of a man by exposing themselves, but those who aren't single why dress in this way? So that other man are attracted to them??

There are many different guys that have different preferences. Some like big sizes, some small, skinny and so on. Is it really important for a women to show off her exact figure? By showing off the figure, wouldn't it hurt those who are slightly unfortunate? Should we be selfish and not think about those who are unfortunate?

Most women who are used to this dress up lifestyle will argue that they have the right to wear what they want. But I don't think its a good idea to make other envious, jealous or hate one another by just not dressing up properly. We should strive to create a more peaceful community. These women will also argue that any person who doesn't like the way they expose their body is narrow minded, backward and traditional. They will say that those who criticise their dressing are perverts and socially lost! Is this really true?

If a husband and wife were to make love, isn't it normal for the couple to expose their flesh to each other? By exposing each others flesh it will make the couple more aroused to each other. So why should one expose their body publicly if they are not trying to arouse or to have sex? Clearly these women who are exposing themselves are confused and are caught in this 'reality' where this trend/modernism are acceptable.

This also applies to men. Lately it is the trend where guys work out just to show off. Apparently when one work out, it boosts their confidence to approach the opposite sex. Why does it have to be like such in this case? Taking care of health is different than making your body go through a tough routine and ending up not using effectively. Sportsmen or one who does labour work, they need to work out so that they can be useful. I'm not trying to say that working out is not good, but working out to show off is. Sharing good health with one's married partner is good.  

I've read somewhere that apparently it is good to wear a red shirt for an interview because it shows confidence. Why do we have to be stuck in this normality? We are too 'inside the box' by thinking this way. Our minds have been trained to follow this norm. Try to imagine what other norms can be created that we would blindly follow them.

In my point of view, we shouldn't be too tied up to this phenomenon where if it is acceptable in the eyes of the society we should follow. We should always stick to what Allah tells us to do. Certainly Allah knows what is best for us for He is the creator of the universe and all the laws and physics in it. So why should we rely the eyes of society rather than Allah Himself?  Here are a few verse on hijab

“O Children of Adam! Indeed We have sent down to you a garment which covers your shame and provides protection and adornment. But the finest of all is the garment of piety. That is one of the signs of Allah so that they may take heed.” Surah Al-A'raf verse 26

"(O Prophet), Enjoin believing men to cast down their looks and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is well aware of all what they do." Surah al-Nur verse 30

“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear therof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss.”
Surah Al-Nur verse 31

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw a part of their outer coverings around them (when they go abroad). It is likelier that they will be recognised and not annoyed (harrassed). Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Surah al-Ahzab verse 59

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Lost in translation


A friend of mine tag me in this picture and it shocked me a bit. For muslims who doesn't fast, this may happen to you. A person, when observe fasting will learn to hold back such nasty words to anyone or anything and be a patient person. This guy in particular certainly doesn't observe fasting and does not know how to be patient and speak things which he knows so little of. Usually these sort of people enjoys being a minority. There is no wrong in being a minority but a minority which is astray from the meaning of life is a serious trouble.

Certainly they are attention seekers, as part and parcel of being a minority and they crave to be hated. So, should we fuel their craveness? They want to be minorities in hoping that they will be trend setters so let us not fuel them anymore.

In my opinion, it is important to note that these kind of group or community should just be ignored. If they want to hate others, let them be, as we ourselves should try not to be close with hatred because there is no place of hatred in our religion. That is one of the reason when we have captives in a war, we are not allowed to torture them because torture will lead to hatred. If one wants to give them advise, do it gently otherwise in my opinion just ignore them.

Let us ignore them not because we hate them, it is because we do not want to be associated with the sins that they've done and if one wants to advise them, it is because we see their lives are so valuable and wouldn't want it go to waste. We know the punishment from Allah awaits us in the hereafter if we go astray. They do not have any proof that the hereafter does not exist because certainly they have not came back from the dead.

Ears are created by Almighty Allah so that one could listen but they certainly use it in ignorance and to mock people with it. We muslims should justify that we use the gifts (our body parts, animals, nature) from Allah at our best for everyone.

Definitely, Allah have mentioned these sort of people in this world in the Holy Qur'an. We shall look at the verses.

surah al-baqarah verse 159 : "Those who conceal anything of the clear teachings and true guidance which We have sent down even though We have made them clear in Our Book, Allah curses such people and so do all the curses."

surah al imran verse 85 : "And whoever seeks a way other than this way of submission-Islam- will find that it will not be accepted from him and he will be among the losers in the life to come."

Surah al Imrah verse 90 : "Those who disbelieved after having believed and then hardened in their disbelief, their (pretence to) repentance shall not be accepted. Such have utterly gone astray."

Surah al- Sad : (1)Sad, and by the Qur'an full of exhortation. (2) Nay, but the unbelievers are steeped in arrogance and stubborn defiance.

There is also mentioned about these sort of people wanting to create a better 'kitab' than the Holy Qur'an.

Surah bani Israil verse 88: "Say: "Surely, if mankind and jinn were to get together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they will never be able to produce the like of it, howsoever they might help one another.""

Surah al Baqarah verse 23: " If you are in any doubt whether it is We Who have revealed this Book to our servant, then produce just a surah like it, and call your supporters and seek in it the support of all others save Allah. Accomplish this if you are truthful."

In my opinion as I mentioned earlier, I would just let Allah deal with them. They have had plenty of advise and are tired of listening to the same thing over and over again. I was once misguided as well, and I pray that I would not be misguided again for only Allah guides who He wishes. We should pray and be thankfull to Allah that we are not one of them. May Allah grant us all peace. Thanks to Jasri (Jas) for tagging me this picture and making me realise that such person or group exist at this moment of time.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Importance of Prayer


The month of Ramadhan is just around the corner, and it is an important month for the Muslims and the month for worshipping Allah. Muslims fast goes beyond refraining of food and drink. The eyes, ears, tongue and heart must also be refrained from sinful things. The minimum requirement of Ramadan is to avoid from all that is forbidden and to fulfill all that is fardh or wajib.
" (It is) He Who created Death and Life, that He may test which of you is best in deed". surah al-mulk verse 2

Even though fasting is important, praying is even more important as it is prescribed for us Muslims to do it 5 times a day. It is normal to see that a Muslim claims to be a Muslim but doesn't even practise the prayer. I know this because I was one of them. It is just a 'laziness disease' to do prayer sometimes. But now, come to think about it, why do I call myself a Muslim if I'm not even doing the most basic thing that the religion advises me to do? What differentiates me as a Muslim from any other religion? our looks? dressing? our conduct?

Most of us all over the world now have kind of the same look, same dressing, same speech and same conduct. The conduct of disobeying God(Allah) and His Messenger. We have been negligent to Allah and ourselves.
" O you people! Worship and obey your Lord". surah al-baqarah verse 21
"I have only created jinns and human beings, that they may worship and obey Me". surah ad-dhariyat verse 56
"And remember your Lord in your heart with humility and fear, and without raising your voice; remember Him in the morning and evening , and do not become of those who are negligent." Surah al-A'raf verse 206

Lately, it is easy for a person to say such beautiful words, but not acting up on them. The values of Islam is slowly going to perish. Most of us do not hold on to our words or promises anymore. I have recently seen a lot of this recently in my social network that goes something like "May Allah place you amongst the pious" (Semoga dihimpunkannya dengan org2 yg salleh) but the prayer(worshipping Allah) that our body is entitled or needed to is not being done. There is not much point just saying du'a(supplication) without the proper conduct. In Surah At-tawbah verse 77 & 80 says :-

"(77)So He caused hypocrisy to take root in their hearts and to remain therein until the Day they meet Him because they broke their promise with Allah and because they lied.(80)(O Prophet), it is all the same whether you ask forgiveness for them seventy times, Allah shall not forgive them. That is because they disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger; and Allah does not bestow His Guidance on such evil-doing folk." Surah at-tawbah verse 77 & 80

"There are some who say:"We believe in Allah and in the Last Day," While in fact they do not believe. (9) They are trying to deceive Allah and those who believe, but they do not realise that in truth they are only deceiving themselves. (10) There is a disease in their hearts and Allah has intensified this disease. A painful chastisement awaits for their lying." surah al-baqarah verse 8-10

Even the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) could not ask for forgiveness to such people, who are we to ask Allah to forgive them? Do we have the right to tell/ask Allah to place a person amongst the pious? Allah is fair, so He knows what to do. The important thing for us to do is do prayer for ourselves first. This verse emphasises that we should do justice to ourselves first.
" He who follows the Right Way shall do so to his own advantage; and he who strays shall incur his own loss. No one shall bear another's burden. And never do We punish any people until We send a Messenger." surah al-Israa' verse 15

"Those who hold fast to the Book and establish Prayer- We shall not allow the reward such righteous people to go to waste." Surah al-A'raf verse 170
The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Between a man and polytheism (shirk) and unbelief (kufr) is the non-performance of the prayer." [Sahih Muslim]
A person who calls him/herself a Muslim but do not pray is almost equivalent to a polytheism(a person who believes in many gods/goddess) and an unbeliever. Such person is between these two. The verse and the hadith indicates the importance performance of the prayer as the line of demarcation between a believer and an unbeliever.

"Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others amongst you because they were Mujrimun (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, criminals, etc.)." surah at-tawbah verse66
Have we been conducting like a non-believer after we have testify There is no other god other than Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger and Islam as our way of life?
"As for those who have rejected(these truths), it is all the same whether or not you warn them, for they will not believe. (7) Allah has sealed their hearts and their hearing, and a covering has fallen over their eyes. They deserve severe chatisement." surah al-baqarah verse 6-7
Are we one of these people who do not believe?

" (O Muhammad), if they do not believe in this Message, you will perhaps torment yourself to death with grief, sorrowing over them. (7) Surely We have made all that is on the earth an embellishment for it in order to test people as to who of them is better in conduct." Surah al-kahf verse 6-7
I can only advise myself, brothers and sisters out there, but doing or practising it has to be self intiative. I will keep on trying to advise as long as I am in the right path insha'Allah. If I have done anything wrong, do advise me. Let us make prayer correctly and constantly, insha'Allah so that we could go to the next step which is fasting. Lets appreciate the month of Ramadhan.

"O believers! Fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you in order that you become more conscious of God." Surah al-baqarah verse 183

Sunday, 25 July 2010

The recent controversial jerseys


It has been a while since I wanted to write on the issue of wearing football jerseys and any logos that have cross on them. This hot issue has also been discussed by Ustaz Zaharuddin fairly recently. I am not going into details of the things mentioned by him, but I would like to talk about football itself. I am a big fan of football and I am really interested in expressing my opinion on this.

Recently the issue of wearing jerseys that have "cross" on them is being questioned especially after Spain lifted the World Cup. Liverpool had Carlsberg as their sponsor for a really long time and now they have opted for Standard Chartered as their sponsor instead. The article that was written in Malaysian papers said that it is not right for a Muslim to wear jerseys that have "red devil, cross and liquors" as their logo and sponsors. So recently I have seen people proudly saying that the jersey they are wearing have none of those. One of those is the Liverpool jerseys. It is a bit obvious that we muslims do not really appreciate or understand the importance of Islamic Banking. I was also one of those muslim who didn't realised the importance of Islamic Banking but I was made aware of it since I took the Masters in Islamic Banking. How I would appreciate to see the Liverpool jersey with Standard Chartered Saadiq instead.

It is a pity that muslims are not really aware of the importance of Islamic Banking. Those who are aware of Islamic Banking are annoyed at the certain Islamic Banking practices that mirrors the conventional banking. In my opinion muslims do need more exposure in Islamic banking in order for Islamic banking to work and to not be a photostat copy of the conventional banking which are using the term "Islamic". As mentioned by Ustaz Zaharuddin, a person who consumes riba/usury/interest is like one who is waging a war against Allah and His Messengers and the sins are like commiting fornication 36 times. The sin of commiting 1 fornication is bad enough, consuming riba is 36 times worst. I have also written in my previous entry about the unfairness in taking or consuming riba here.

Those who wear jerseys that have insurance as their sponsor are not any different with those who wears conventional banking. Conventional banking is bad because it deals with riba. Insurance is worse because it is deals with riba, gharar(uncertainty) and game of chance(sort of gambling). Let us take car insurance for example, a person pays for insurance because he would like to be covered IF he gets an accident. I emphasise IF because, the person knows that he/she is bound to have an accident but not sure when. The insurance company looks through the persons records (accident prone and any traffic violation) to calculate the cost of insuring the person. If the company finds that it is a big liability to insure the person, the company would definitely NOT insure them. Therefore, the company who insures a person knows that the person have a low chance of having an accident. The company is setting its price on it. When the company sets a price on it, it implies that the company is betting with that person that he/she is not(/less chances) going to have an accident. But the person knows that he/she is bound to have and accident and therefore both are going against odds and therefore they are involved in "gambling"...Allah knows best. This thing is a bit tricky for me to express but I hope I have made it simple to understand. I hope to explain more about insurance probably in the future, Insha'Allah.

Getting back to the issue of the jerseys and football, it is also important to mention somethings that is always involved in football which is betting. We muslims should not support such activities. We should not believe in the justice of earning with luck. The game of chance (gambling) only make one party wins. It is either the bookey or the gambler, both cannot win at the same time. Muslim should not believe in this kind of justice, we believe in helping each other and should crave for a win win situation.

Why does a person buy a jersey? to show support of that particular team? to give financial support to the team? I am not trying to annoy the Liverpool and Manchester supporters, but the reason I would like to mention about them is because there are a lot of news on them. Thier debts are now hundreds of millions and their debt will continue to grow because of their involvement in riba/interests. In the past, even Chelsea were having debts up to £300 million if I am not mistaken before Roman bought the club. By giving them your money to buy jerseys it may help them to recover bits of their debts, but when they need financial support, they will go for the conventional method which is suppoting riba/interests.

In Malaysia usually during an EPL match, it is normal to hear people cursing at each other or even cursing the TV because of the opposition. What is the real intention of that? Why the need to be too emotional? In my opinion it is not a big deal to be a fan, but do not go up to the extreme. Love the game, not necessarily the team. It is good to see people are getting more aware about all these jersey/logo stuff but in my opinion, there are more important priority should be taken care of. There are no other priority that should be taken care which is worshipping Allah. It does not get us anywhere if we neglect the most important thing we as a muslim should do. If not Allah who deserves the worshipping, who else deserves more? Torres? Rooney? Gianfranco Zola? Na'uzubillahiminzalik.

Have a think.

Allah definitely knows best.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Tribute to our loved ones and Arwah Azizi Seh


It has been about 2 weeks + since my childhood friend, arwah Azizi Seh passed away. I have known him since primary school and we have been through some crucial things in our lives together. I wasn't exactly close to him, but there was a period when we were 10 years old where we would hang out together. As we grew up, we hang out more with our friends as a whole (or as a unit some might say). We have done some good and bad stuff together. Eventhough we have done things that I'm not proud of, I wouldn't be the person I am today if we had not do those things. It has been since early 2008 that I have left my friends and family to migrate to the UK. I may have lost contact with some of my friends but I'm pretty sure that his personality was getting better and better. I hope our lives are not just wasted for nothing. I know for sure that he played a role in my life, and I hope it'll not go to waste for me and my other friends.

Death is a mysterious thing. Even though it happens everyday, and have become such a normality we are always saddened when somebody so close is being taken away. We know that death is inevitable, it will happen no matter what that is for sure. The only mystery for us is when will it happen? So, why are we shocked by death? We should always be prepared, because we know that our life in this world would definitely be taken away. Why do we feel sad when somebody has passed away? Is it because of the impact of them in our lives? Or is it because we could not communicate with them and take back any nasty words thrown across each other.

In my opinion, we should always appreciate the contribution of those who have passed away. They have gone to a place where we can not communicate with them or as some people might say they have gone to a place where there is no "reception". The method of death should not be an issue because death is inevitable. Some might get cancer, and some might be healthy and just die with no explanation, so the method of death doesn't necessarily show the character of the person. Cherish the lives that have passed away, and cherish the lives that you have with you today. If you cherish the right way, insha'Allah you would not be swayed.

I have some advise for myself, my friends and probably some the brothers and sisters out there, even though we have commited some sinful and innappropriate activities its not to late to repent! Let us do it honestly, and truthfully and repent because it is never too late and let us not get back to the wrong path but only the right path. I have a verse from the holy Quran about those who repents.

Allah's acceptance of repentance is only for those who commit evil out of ignorance and then soon repent. It is towards such persons that Allah turns graciously. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.(18) But of no avail is the repentance of those who do evil until death approaches any of them and then he say: "Now I repent." Nor is the repentance of those who die in the state of unbelief of any avail to them. For them We have kept in readiness a painful chastisement. Surah al-nisa verse 17-18

To me, we have commited evil out of ignorance and our next step is just to repent. We have sort of "accomplished" the first step and all we need to do is the most important step, to repent. But don't let it be to late till we are on the verge of death to repent and I pray and hope we all die in the state of a believer. For those who have not commit any evil, don't let this be an excuse to commit evil as certainly you have received the message and advise to do good and avoid evil. And if you decide to commit evil now as an excuse, you might regret it as your life might be taken during committing evil. So let us stay away from evil and do good as Allah is All-Knowing.

I hope in the future, we will keep on advising each other to stay away from evil and not just to wait on another death to remind each other. I have always thought to myself about this phrase "free-time" and I am always against using the phrase. How does a person call it a "free-time" when the person does not even know how much time he has left? To me, there is no such thing as "free-time" but we are living on "bought-time/borrowed-time" which is a gift from Allah for us to decide on what to do. Al-fatihah to my dearest friend .. let us cherish the past, the present and insha'Allah the future. I end with a few verses from the Quran about death.

"And Abraham enjoined the same upon his children, and so did Jacob:" My children! Behold, Allah has chosen this religion for you. Remain till death in submission(to Allah)" surah al-baqarah verse 133

"Believers, do not be like those who disbelieved and said to their brethen (who met some suffering) in the course of journey or fighting:"Had they remained with us, they would not have died nor been slain." Allah makes such thoughts the cause of deep regrets in their hearts. For in truth it is Allah alone who grants life and deals death. Allah sees all that you do." surah al-imran verse 157

"Everyone is bound to taste death and you shall receive your full reward on the day of resurrection. Then, whoever is spared the fire and is admitted to Paradise has indeed been succesful. The life of this world is merely an illusionary enjoyment." surah al-imran verse 184

"Why, then, when the soul leaps up the throat, the while helplessly watching that he is on the verge of death, at that moment when We are closer to him than you, although you do not see (Us), if you are not subject to anyone's authority, why are you then not able to bring them back to life if you are thruthful." surah al-waqi'ah verse 83-87

al-nawawi forty tradition hadith 40
From ibn Umar with both whom (he and his father) may Allah be please - who said "The Messenger of Allah, may benediction and salutation of Allah be upon him, held me by the shoulder and said: "Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveller". And Ibn Umar may Allah be pleased with both, used to say: "When evening comes on you do not keep on waiting for morning, and when morning comes do not keep on waiting for evening. And take from you health (make best use of or prepare) for you sickness and from your life for your death."

Monday, 31 May 2010

Having doubts?


Lately I've been doing some light reading and there a few books that I have come across which can really test one's imaan(faith). Alhamdulillah, I have managed to acquire some knowledge on Islamic Jurisprudence in my second term but, I am no where near a Shariah scholar. With the knowledge that I have acquired it can be used as a guidance for my daily life. If not, I could definitely be blinded with the points made by the authors of the books I read.

These books have a different approach towards certain things. It does not criticise the Quran, but instead it tries to make the Sunna (traditions or conduct) of the Prophet (Salallahu Alaihi Wassalam/peace and blessings be upon him) rather doubtful. I would like to include a verse from the Quran which is from the Surah al-Sajdah verse number 42 which says: "Falsehood may not enter it from the front or from the rear(any directions). It is a revelation that has been sent down from the Most Wise, the Immensely Praiseworthy." A muslim would normally believe the Sunna and hadith after the Quran.

Some Muslims would sometimes just accept what is being said to them, at times I am also guilty of doing such actions. We don't normally question the knowledgeable or religious people on certain things. We would normally say we accept the Sunna because it is one of the highest source in Islam. This argument would not be applicable towards the non-muslims because they would not be able to grasp the idea of WHY Muslims have to agree for no apparent reasons. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if a non-muslim asks something about Islam, would you as a muslim just tell the non-muslim it is like so and so because the religious or pious people say so? I'm not trying to create a doubt towards the religious or pious people, instead I think its better for us to think more and improve our reasoning method. A friend of mine said that there is a saying in Arabic which sounds like, "asking the right and accurate question makes up half of the answer". I'm still learning my arabic so I can't really verify this statement or saying so please pardon me and advise for any mistakes in my entry. When a muslim is influenced with these kind of books and find that the Sunna to be doubtful, a muslim will not be practising most of the Islamic teachings because they have lost their belief in the Sunna of the Prophet (
Salallahu Alaihi Wassalam/Peace and Blessings be Upon Him). There are also people who practices what is being said in the Quran but doesn't believe or follow the Sunna.

Some argues that the Prophet (Salallahu Alaihi Wassalam/Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) had no role as a legislator, did not intend to create a new system of law and that his authority had nothing to do with legal. These authors sets his theory on the Prophet and the Sunna alone and ignoring the evidence of the Quran itself. These authors want to make his point that the law and the Sunna of the Prophet is outside of the sphere of religion. In short, they are saying that the Sunna was unnecessary conduct or traditions done by the Prophet (Salallahu Alaihi Wassalam/Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) and has nothing to do with the religion from the Quran. If we were to compare the Quran and Sunna, we will definitely find that the law or instructions from the Quran will always be complemented by the Sunna wether it be about prayer, clothing and etc.

Before I proceed to the contents of these books I would like to add in what the Quran says about the role of the Prophet (Salallahu Alaihi Wassalam/Peace and Blessings be Upon Him)in Islamic Law.

"Say: "Obey Allah and His Messenger": But if they turn away from this then know that Allah does not love those who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger." (Surah Al-Imran:32)

"And obey Allah and the Messenger, that mercy be shown to you." (Surah Al-Imran:132)

"Believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those invested with authority among you; and then if you were to dispute among yourselves about anything refer it to Allah and the Messenger if you indeed believe in Allah and the Last Day; that is better and more commendable in the end. (Surah Al-Nisa:59)

"He who obeys the Messenger thereby obeys Allah; as for he who turns away, We have not sent you as a keeper over them!" (Surah Al-Nisa:80)

"Those who follow the ummi(unlettered) Prophet, whom they find mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel that they have. He enjoins upon them what is good and forbids them what is evil. He makes the clean things lawful to them and prohibits all corrupt things and removes from them their burdens and the shackles that were upon them. So those who believe in him and assist him, and succour him and follow the Light which has been sent down with him, it is they who shall prosper." (Surah Al-A'raaf:157)

"We raised the Messengers earlier with Clear Signs and Divine Books, and We have sent down this Reminder upon you that you may elucidate to people the teaching that has been send down for them, and that the people may themselves reflect." (Surah al-Nahl:44) -
shows the importance to elucidate the teachings not merely by word of mouth but also requred to do so by his conduct.
"Surely there was a good example for you in the Messenger of Allah, for all those who look forward to Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much." (Surah Al-Ahzab:21)
"And then We set you, (O Prophet), on a clear high road in religious matters. So follow that and do not follow the desires of those who do not know." (Surah Al-Jaathiyah:18)

If one 'embraces' Islam but does not accept the life of the Prophet (Salallahu Alaihi Wassalam/Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) as a model, then they are violating the instructions from the Quran. How can one claim to be a follower of the Quran if not believing in the Sunna of the Prophet? We also should believe in the verses if we are indeed a true believer to the Quran.

Some points have been shown that it is illogical to seperate the Sunna and the Quran. Then, these authors tries to take a tricky road by saying that the Sunna is not authenthic. It carries on till a point of saying that the Sunna actually comes from the early Scholars wanting to make their tradition as part of the religion. There are a lot of flaws in these theories and I would not be able to go into detail because it is really in depth as it takes into account the isnad (chain of narrators) and etc. Alhamdulillah, there are other books out there that have managed to prove those theories as being flawed. One of the books which was written brilliantly by M.Mustafa Al-Azami have managed to prove the theories wrong and we should follow his example or attitude to reason out.

As I mentioned before we should always know more about our own religion and understand it so we would be able to give a better answer rather than saying I do this because I am told by Mr Annonymous that I have to do so! I end this entry with another verse from the Holy Quran.

"Surely We revealed the Torah, wherein there is Guidance and Light. Thereby did Prophets -who had submitted themselves (to Allah) - judge for the Judaized folk; and so did the scholars and jurists. They judged by the Book of Allah for they had been entrusted to keep it and bear witness to it. So, do not fear human beings but fear Me, and do not barter away My signs for a trivial gain. And those who do not make their decisions in accordance with that revealed by Allah are the deniers of the truth" (Surah Al-Maaidah:44).