This is the last post in this series.
I chanced upon a posting on my Facebook wall by one Syafiqah Othman. I reproduce an excerpt from the same below, and urge you to read her thoughts in full HERE.
“See, a lot of Malaysians, especially the conservative Muslims, misunderstand when some Muslims disagree with the implementation of Hudud law in Malaysia. They think that we disagree with it, or even worse, disbelieve in God’s divinity. Most of the time, however, this is not the case. A lot of Muslims (me included) disagree with the implementation of Hudud law, not the law itself, because we don’t trust people, not because we don’t trust in Islam. We disagree in fear that God’s divine law will be manipulated by the evil, unjust, corrupted and tyrannical to achieve their own selfish agendas. We disagree in fear that it will taint the justice that it was supposed to serve. When a divine law is being handled by petty human beings like ourselves, injustice is bound to happen.
Many in favour of the implementation of the law will argue saying “It’s God’s law. We have to do it no matter what. It is the right thing to do and God will eventually show the way.” The simplest way to test this hypothesis is to look at other Muslim countries that abide by the Islamic criminal jurispudence and ask yourself, “How do they treat their women, children and minorities? Are they treated justly and fairly?” You’d find the answer to be a resounding “No”. Despite their status as an Islamic country, many states that implement Hudud law are listed some of the most corrupt states in the world. If this is not enough to show you the damage that can be done by implementing the law, I don’t know what will”.
Her concluding words, in my view, says it all.
“I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. I trust in Islam. I don’t trust in people”.
God, religion, and faith is a matter personal between the believer and the Divine.
For many, it may be just another hand-me-down from forefathers, to be adhered to unquestioningly, and to be discerned from that which is taught, first at home, and then later from the weekly sermon, without any further inquiry.
Then there are others for whom God and faith is a personal journey of search and discovery, of personal experience, leading to their personal submission to the Divine they have come to know, requiring no compulsion from any other quarter.
I do not say that one group is more right than the other, or that one is to be preferred over the other, but surely God’s land is vast enough for both to co-exist peacefully, fully appreciating that the differences in approach must, of necessity, give rise to differences in understanding of scripture and tenets of any one faith.
Does not God in the Holy Qur’an tell us again and again that He will tell us the truth of the matters on which we differ?
This is as it should be.
Yet, it is not the case here in our country.
Under the guise of upholding God’s syariah, state enactments make it an offence to hold a view contrary to fatwa.
A group of mortals opinion has been clothed with the stature of divinity, and we are all required to submit to their edicts!
What did God command?
“Say, “O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except God and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of God .” But if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims” – Surah 3 verse 64.
Miss 3 consecutive Friday prayers, and get ready to go to jail!
At the forum at the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on 2nd May, I asked Hanipah Maidin why PAS had not condemned these laws.
I got no reply.
God says that if you are ill or on a journey, you may defer the fast.
Not here. You can’t. If you’re traveling from Perlis to JB and want to stop in Ipoh for a meal at the lay-by, they won’t serve you.
It’s an offence to eat in public.
Eat in private, if you must.
In the name of Islam, aren’t we promoting rank hypocrisy?
All this, and PAS’s latest posturing to implement the cutting of hands and stoning to death, is, in my view, at odds with God’s scheme in the Holy Qur’an, as I have come to understand it.
What might that divine scheme be?
Free man from all forms of servitude, mental bondage, and economic and educational deprivation, so that, being truly free, he may voluntarily submit to his Maker.
Anything less will render man’s surrender to his God illusory.
Take the fast again.
You can’t heck it?
God says in the Qur’an that it’s ok, you can skip the fast, but go and feed a poor person. ( Surah 2 verse 184 ).
You break your oath in some matter?
Make up for that, God says, by feeding 10 persons who are poor, or clothing them, or freeing a slave ( Surah 5 verse 89 ).
You seek to divorce your wife by calling her your mother, and then seek to retract what you had said?
God says, first free a slave before you have relations with your wife again. If you can’t, fast 2 consecutive months, and if this, too, you can’t do, feed 60 poor persons. ( Surah 58 verse 3 ).
See what I mean?
“Indeed, God orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.” – Surah 16 verse 90.
God orders justice and forbids oppression.
In 1970, government statistics had it that 50% of the country were poor.
Since 1974, we are an oil and gas producing nation.
40 years on, applying a poverty line income of RM1500 – 2000 will disclose that some 40% of the people still live in poverty, whilst a middle class fritters away their wealth on consumerist toys and gadgets, and the elite live in obscene opulence.
The wealth of the nation has been hijacked by greedy politicians, feeding their own and their cronies, whilst a middle class has long looked the other way.
In this setting, PAS thinks that God’s justice is best served by severing the limbs of those who may have been driven by an unjust society’s oppressive and inequitable division of wealth, to steal to feed young, hungry bellies?
Lord, bear witness that I will have no part of this oppression.