Saturday, December 17, 2011

[Kisah Dulu-dulu] Menyanggah tulisan Farish Noor "Ummah, not ulama, should call the shot"

Berikutan tragedi `serangan pengganas' 9/11 pada tahun 2001, Islam menjadi mangsa serangan. Di Malaysia, ketika itu, terdapat sejumlah golongan profesional muda yang bukan sahaja menyerang Islam dan cuba mentafsirkan Islam menggunakan logik semasa, tetapi mereka juga menyerang Melayu, agendanya dan Institusi Raja-Raja Melayu. Promuda_Circle merupakan salah satu wadah di mana berlakunya perdebatan yang hebat mengenai Islam dan Melayu. 

Saya terpanggil untuk memberi respon terhadap artikel Farish Noor bertajuk "Ummah, not ulama, should call the shot" yang cukup meresahkan. Artikel yang dipanjangkan oleh salah seorang ahli Promuda itu jelas menunjukkan pemikiran sosialisme dan logik akal yang tidak bersandarkan kaedah tradisi dalam tafsiran al-Quran dan al-Hadis. Sebelum saya memberikan respon, Abdul Rahman aka Jimmy Hoffa telah memberi pandangannya terlebih dahulu untuk menyanggah pandangan Farish Noor di sini. Pandangan saya adalah seperti di bawah dan boleh diikuti seperti dalam mailing group Promuda_Circle di sini:

Dear all,

Each and every time Jimmy Hoffa and Farish Nor spelled out their thought, I am
made worried that their statements might lead to confusion to the other
`truth seekers’. This is because both of them claim that their thoughts are
`Islamic based’ although they move towards different directions. One tried
to describe Islam via (according to him) `fundamental’ belief, and the other
try to `liberate’ (according to him) Islam from `liberalist' point of view.

Are we made confused? I do not know about the rest, but the previous Jimmy
Hoffa posting indicates that he is no longer submitting himself to factual
argument like he used to preach earlier. I would like to discuss on that,
unfortunately time does not permit me to do so.

Farish Nor arguments as always, try to use logic and reason, although
sometimes they do not really comes from Islam itself and sometimes are purely
rhetoric. Let us try to follow Farish style and argue his statements using

Farish said “…Islam is an egalitarian creed that recognises no essential
hierarchy between individuals. The universal message of Islam was sent to
mankind as a whole and not to a select grouping only. The emergence of the
ulama — now with their costumes and accessories—is a later phenomenon which
has no basis in Islam.”

As we understood al-Quran is revealed in arabic, although it was sent to
mankind as a whole, the least assistance that non-arabic speaking people
need, would be the translation from arabic to their own languange. Islam is
not sent to Arabs only, but the arabs can understand al-Quran instantly
since it was revealed in arabic.

The language of Al-Quran is not ordinary to the Arabs themselves. It
possesses high literature values. They, themselves need assistance to
comprehend al-Quran. An ordinary `badouin’ would not be able to understand
fully the teaching of al-Quran but of course they could understand it

Al-Quran does not reveal Islamic teaching in detail, therefore a
messenger, the prophet Muhammad saw was sent to explain the teaching in
detail. The best description of the teaching was well observed by his
closest companions. His companions learned what he taught by heart (those
who illiterate) and some wrote them on goats skin. They recited and passed
his teaching to the next generations. Along the way, of course there were
people who tried to distort the teaching by creating something that were
not said, done by the prophet in order to support their own interest. The
previous ulamas have created methods and come out with regulation and
condition to eliminate such falsehood.

To a Muslim, Islamic teaching is always relevant through out generations
till the end of the world. There are things, which are new, and did not
exist during the prophet's time, and the muslim has to think on how to deal
with them. Since al-Quran and the prophet’s sunnah (words, practice etc)
provide general guidelines to deal with these phenomenon, the ulama and all
muslim have to study thoroughly these guidelines before coming out with a
respectable opinion to deal with them.

This is where Farish Nor is trapped. I will agree with him 100% should he
say that `wisdom is not monopolized by any individual or any group’. Anyone,
from the Greek, Athens, Indian, Persian or Chinese civilizations could come
out with his own wisdom to deal with every new thing and phenomenon in the
world. The only occasion, where they might fail is when they try to `find,
describe and illustrate god’. To Muslim belief, al-Quran is the guide to
understand about this subject. Muslim also believe that the `Injil’ and the
`Taurat’ are the guide for the Christians and Jews

In the case of to come with an `edict’, I still recommend that – we should
respect the specialty. A person who read book on medicine does not qualify
himself as a surgeon. Even a medical officer can’t claim that he is
qualified to consult a patient in a surgeon capacity.

There is no restriction or prohibition for the intellectuals to discuss
matter with ulamas. The depth and width of every knowledge faculty (except
for martial art) has increased and keep increasing. There is no one person, who
can claim that he is the master of all knowledge faculties. To come out with
best solution, experts from every faculty of knowledge have to discuss issues thoroughly

The term used is `discuss’, not debate and not criticize. And the aim should
be best described as – a continuous effort to find the truth, which could
benefit the mankind and the universe.

I agree with Farish statement that ` Islam, as I have stated time and again,
is simply too important to be left in the hands of the ulama. While it is
true that not every Muslim is an expert on Islamic law, theology and
history, this does not mean that we do not have the right to speak and ask
questions about it’. However I also believe that, `Islam is much too
important to let any Tom, Dick and Harry to come out with an edict,
especially when they do not have appropriate knowledge.’

Remember that religion is not only destroyed when people submit to the
extreme side of the teaching but also destroyed when people are too lax when
submitting to it. Careful and moderate – are the best ways to deal with it.


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