Cheh! Kata bukan `rocket science', habis tu kenapa tak boleh cari jawapan dengan cepat? Inilah bahaya manusia yang cuba menjelaskan mengenai Islam tetapi meninggalkan tradisi para ulama dalam membentuk pandangan. Akhirnya sendiri tahu, sendiri tidak mampu memberi jawapan sebab tidak mempunyai pengetahuan yang cukup walaupun masalah yang diajukan bukan masalah `rocket science'. Wallahua'alam.
From: "penjejak badai"
Date: Fri Dec 7, 2001 5:42 am
Subject: Liberal Islam/Conservative Islam(Reply to BakriMusa)
This is a very disturbing article. I think, Jimmy and Lokman would agree
with my opinion.
Remember when I asked Nori to re-think who she really is? A `liberalist' or
a `truth seeker'. That the approach of `truth seeker' is different. That she
does not represent all of the so called `liberalists' and she does not know
how they think. That the previous literalist (Zahiriah) argue with little
knowledge in Islamic Teachings, but the recent without any. By reading this
article, you would know that everything I said does make sense.
Why do I say that:
1. The tone of the article is more towards imposing one opinion rather than
an effort to seek the truth.
2. The opinion is based on weak logical argument.
3. The article contains interpretation errors.
4. That the writer make a presentation to other Muslim, without noticing
that he could lead to further confusion of others.
5. That the writer are convinced enough that his opinion is factually
correct, thus do not make effort to counter his opinion with authorities in
Islamic Teaching and again distribute his opinion to others.
My advice to Bakri Musa, pause yourself for a while, get an ulama to discuss
your opinion (take your time and do not rush), if you are not happy with
one, find more ulama to discuss for 2nd opinion, and refine your thought,
before you write your opinion about Islam to public again.
Do not get me wrong, this is not because I am not opened to your opinion.
But I fear Allah SWT, that I might further deviate you from the right
path should I argue in length with you. I do not have such capability and
you need an expert to advise you in this matter.
You may try Astora Jabat of Utusan Malaysia, although he is not an ulama, he
possesses a great number of referrences to futher guide you. Sit and discuss
with him. Hopefully you would be able to have productive and effective
discussion, which would help you to find the truth that you are seeking.
It is difficult to argue using e-mail with you, because the process needs
good question and answer session in order to understand fully the method
that you adopt to reach your opinion.
However I will try to highlight certain matters in this posting:
1. Your argument `had Allah chosen an eskimo as His last messenger, would
hell be the place for internal fire or a cold dungeon? You based your
argument on the story of a priest and the Eskimos.
I would reply this by saying `should the Eskimos realizes that sinners are
burnt in hell instead of getting themselves warm, he will not want to go
there since he will not find comfort'. This argument of yours is weak and
does not have merits.
2. Muhammad Syahrur, challenges the Muslims to imagine had Allah revealed
the Quran today, how would it be written? This is another weak argument,
when the answers is that no one knows. Only Allah knows. If Muhammad Syahrur
could explain what would be written then, may be he has merit in his
argument. The truth is that, he himself does not know.
There is also a factual error in your article.
3. Muslims imitate the prophet by having multiple wives, forgetting that the
prophet's many marriages were expression of his charity. As popular widows
he could have his choice of virgins, instead he chose older widows.
Prophet's many marriage were expression of many reasons, one of them is
charity. However should you refer to al-Quran, it does permits marriage up
to four. It does not restricted that those marriage must be based on charity
only, or must be with widows only, or to stop wars, however it does focus on
the responsibility to be just and fair.
Here, a proper discussion is needed to understand in depth on how Bakri Musa
gets his conclusion.
4. Islam is not a rocket science, comprehensible only to few.
To argue this, I will post some questions to him later, and see how he
answers these question should he believes that al-Quran is comprehensible to
anyone, without referring to hadis, and ulama consensus.
5. The rest are ornaments that vary with time and culture.
Another interesting part, where I would question him.
6. Osama bin Ladin (is an ulama)?
Another error here. Osama has never been treated as ulama.
Bakri Musa mentioned that Islam are comprehensible to all. He even asked who
appointed ulama. Let us see how he answers these questions and check his
reference: I'll ask in BM to ease myself:
1. Tauhid :
a. Allah itu ujud, dan kehadiran Allah di mana-mana. Allah itu tiada
bertempat kerana Dia tidak menyerupai sesuatu yang baharu. Sekiranya Allah
berada di Arasy, kenapa ketika solat kita menghadap kaabah, tidak menghadap
atas? Nyatakan sumber pendapat.(sama ada Quran - ayat mana, Hadis, pendapat
ulama, atau pendapat sendiri, jika pendapat sendiri bagaimana anda
b. Apakah sebenarnya Iblis? Apakah dia boleh beranak-pinak? Apakah Iblis
mempunyai jantina? Adakah Iblis dan hantu, benda yang sama? Nyatakan sumber
c. Dalam Quran ada banyak ayat yang menceritakan tentang kafir. Pada
pendapat anda apakah definasi kafir? Adakah di semua tempat yang disebut
perkataan `kafir' itu memberi maksud yang sama dengan definasi anda?
Nyatakan sumber pendapat.
2. Ibadah :
a. Dalam al-Quran, dinyatakan kita wajib mengerjakan solat. Jika hanya
berdasarkan ayat Quran, tahukah kita bagaimana caranya mengerjakan solat?
Nyatakan sumber pendapat.
b. Salah satu perkara membatalkan solat adalah makan dan minum. Sekiranya
ada makanan yang terlekat dicelah gigi, dan bila kita menelan air liur,
adakah sah atau batal solat kita. Apakah sumber yang mengatakan sah, dan apa
pula yang mengatakan batal?
a. Dalam al-Quran disebut `perempuan yang berzina dan laki-laki yang
berzina, deralah setiap seorang dari keduanya seratus kali dera dan
janganlah belas kasihan kepada keduanya mencegah kamu untuk (menjalankan)
- Apakah hukum bagi pemerintah yang tidak menjalankan hukuman ini? Nyatakan
- Besar mana rotan yang perlu digunakan? Sekuat mana pukulannya pula? Adakah
100 rotan itu berturutan atau boleh dilakukan sebahagian, dan disambung esok
atau lusa? Perlukah disambung pada hari berikutnya, atau boleh dilakukan
pada minggu depan? Nyatakan sumber pendapat.
b. Dalam al-Quran dinyatakan `pencuri laki-laki dan perempuan, hendaklah
potong kedua tangannya, gantibalasan pekerjaan keduanya sebagai siksaan dari
- Apakah hukum bagi pemerintah yang tidak menjalankan hukuman ini? Nyatakan
- Sehingga mana mahu dipotong tangan tersebut? Pergelangan tangan ke bawah,
atau dari bahu ke bawah? Nyatakan sumber pendapat.
Dalam ayat al-Quran ada disebut tentang Riba'. Pada pendapat anda apakah
Riba' sebenarnya seperti yang dimaksudkan oleh alQuran? Adakah faedah dan
dividen di anggap sebagai riba'? Kalau ya kenapa? Nyatakan sumber pendapat
Should Bakri Musa believes and understand what he means by Islam is made
comprehensible to everyone, and do not need ulama to guide him to make
interpretation of al-Quran, he will be able to answers these question
without much problem, and we'll see whether his arguments have merits or
Date: Thu Dec 6, 2001 1:16 pm
Subject: Re: [PROMUDA-Circle] Liberal Islam vs Conservative
SEEING IT MY WAY
M. Bakri Musa
Muslims Can Learn to Disagree Agreeably
God in His infinite wisdom created mankind in all its variety. A passage in the Quran declares that variations in our languages and colors are His intent and design. Thus we must not only tolerate these differences but also more significantly, celebrate them, just as we celebrate His other grand designs and creations.
Each of us is unique. This very individuality gives measure to the diversity that defines human society. We cannot be a society if we are all clones; we would then be like a colony of bacteria.
Because we are different, it naturally follows that we will view things differently.
God also gave us intellect, akal, the capacity to think and reason. We use this akal to decide between good and bad, right and wrong, and whether to believe or not believe.
To Muslims the Quran is the word of God, a divine revelation. Its message is immutable, universal, and eternal; for all mankind, at all times, and under all circumstances.
Islam is unique in that there is no proscribed theocratic class–no priests, bishops, or popes. There is only the Creator and the individual, with no intermediary. Sure we have imams but to paraphrase an old saying, he is an imam because we, the ummah, call him so. The power of the imam is derived from and not imposed on the masses. This is worth reemphasizing because today hardly a day goes by without some ulama (both real and self style) issuing fatwas (edicts). Osama bin Ladin is only the most recent and most bizarre example. It is appropriate to ask, who appointed or elected them, and who are they accountable to? Merely replying that they are answerable to God is not good enough; we all are. Until then they should remain answerable to us, the ummah. I would have more confidence if they have consulted experts in the field and deliberate in an open and transparent manner before issuing these edicts.
The religious establishment would like us to believe that they, and they alone, can interpret the faith. Islam is not rocket science, comprehensible only to the few. These mullahs conveniently forget that our exalted prophet (pbuh) was illiterate.
We should not be surprised that Islam is interpreted in many ways. Neither purity of purpose nor piety of pursuit guarantees an agreement. It is the height of naivety to expect otherwise. Indeed, differences of opinion within a community are a sign of Allah’s bounty.
Muslims should accept differences and learn to manage them. We should use these differences to prod us to seek greater understanding. Such an attitude would also lead to less divisiveness. Jabor Al Alwani of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, suggested that Muslims have a code of ethics on disagreement. Early Muslims channeled their disagreements into unparalleled intellectual vigor and vitality of our faith. We must relearn this fine art and etiquette of agreeing to disagree agreeably. We must make disagreements work for, rather than against, us.
We all agree on the basic pillars of our faith: belief in Allah and Mohammad as His Last Messenger; praying five times a day; fasting during Ramadan; giving tithe; and conditions permitting, a pilgrimage to Mecca. The rest are ornaments that vary with time and culture. If we can tolerate these variations we would get along well with our fellow Muslims, and in turn, with non-Muslims.
In a building, a functional builder may show the structural pillars boldly, glorifying their massive strengths and advertising their supporting functions, as we see in modern warehouse-like offices. A more esthetic architect may want to camouflage them as Grecian or Roman columns. A post-modernist designer would hide and blend them into the walls.
So it is with Islam. Some display their faith exuberantly, others more subdued but no less pious. Living in America I am blessed with the opportunity to learn from fellow Muslims from all over the world. From the conservative Wahabis I value the anchoring stability of traditions and rituals; from the liberal Ismailis, pragmatic accommodation. They both enrich my understanding of my faith. I also learn from non-Muslim scholars. This is no surprise. In my specialty for example, many innovations are made by non-surgeons, including non-physicians. For Muslims to limit themselves only to Muslim thinkers or to suggest that reading non-Muslim writers is haram (sinful) is short sighted. Early Muslims eagerly learned from the Greeks and Romans.
A continuing and often violent source of disagreement is in interpreting the Quran. The late Fazlur Rahman of the University of Chicago suggested that we deduce from the particularities of the Holy Book its underlying principles, and then apply them to our specific present day situations. Obviously modern society differs from those of the prophet’s time, but the moral principles remain the same. The Quran teaches by parables and anecdotes, but we should not confuse examples with the underlying principles.
Let me illustrate this. If I were to explain the universal theory of gravitation by saying that gravitational pull is directly proportional to the mass and inversely to the square of the distance, or g=km/d2, only math jocks would get excited. Others would fall asleep. But if I were to illustrate this with an apple falling to the earth, then the concept is readily grasped. But if one confuses the example for the principle, then one’s faith would be severely shattered on seeing an apple floating when in a spaceship. Indeed dropping an apple while on one of the gut-wrenching roller coaster rides, it “falls” to the sky. If we truly understand the principle of gravity, then these apparent aberrations, far from shaking our faith, reaffirm it.
Much of the disagreements are the result of confusing examples with principles. We interpret the Quran literally, missing its essence. Muslims imitate the prophet by having multiple wives, forgetting that the prophet’s many marriages were expressions of his charity, to take are of widows and orphans during times of social stress and not, as many simplistic critics claim, of lust. As a popular leader he could have his choice of virgins, instead he chose older widows.
Muhammad Syahrur, the Syrian reformist, in his book al-Kitab wa al Qutan: Qira’a Mucasira (The Book and the Quran: A Contemporary Interpretation), challenges Muslims to imagine had Allah revealed the Quran today, how would it be written? Apart from being an intellectually stimulating exercise, it certainly helps us understand the Holy Book better. In my book The Malay Dilemma Revisited, I pondered had Allah chosen an Eskimo as His last messenger, would hell be a place of eternal fire or a cold frozen dungeon?
I am reminded of the priest who was preaching to the Eskimos. On his first sermon he was in his usual fire and brimstone form, exhorting them not to plunder, lie or fornicate lest they would be sent to burning hell. Imagine his horror the next day to find his congregation enthusiastically doing those bad deeds. To his angry tirade they countered, “Father, we want to go where the fire burns all the time!” Confusing example with principle!
We must respect differing opinions. If we disagree, critique the idea rather than the person. We should judge ideas on their merits and not be influenced by extraneous factors like the bearer’s string of titles, length of robe, or eloquence of oratory.
Where genuine differences do occur, we must abide by the consensus, or failing that the majority view, not because it necessarily represents the truth rather the best interpretation, recognizing that it could change with new insights. “Allah will not let my community to be in error,” goes a hadith. It pains me immensely to see Muslims polarized and divided over mere interpretations. We should have a Jeffersonian generosity: every difference in opinion is not a difference of principle.
[This essay is an excerpt of a presentation given at South Valley Islamic Center, Morgan Hill, California, as part of the Ramadhan Lecture Series.]