Saturday, 20 June 2015

Ramadan Reflections – Day 3

I forgot my coffee for Suhoor this morning, so ideas are s-l-o-w a coming today. Will touch on a light topic for a general overview.

The Malaysian & the World

My assumption is that most Malaysians (and by Malaysians I am specifically referring to Muslims Malaysians, because that is the populace for which my ideas are mainly targeted at, and the ones that mostly matter; the rest should be Muslims as soon as they possibly can for their own sake) are living a life on auto-pilot where their citizenship to this country, in relation to the world, is concerned. What do I mean by auto-pilot? Many, especially the younger generation, have been born into this country in a state where Malaysia has already achieved it so called 'independence' in 1957 (with other appendages such as Sabah & Sarawak following suit soon after). Prior to that, of course, we were under British rule. That makes it about 58 years since anyone was born into a "Merdeka" Malaysia, and those that are still living into the 90s today were born in the 1920s. Do you know what happened in the 1920s? Since technically no one living today can probably recall it, let me just point it out that the Islamic Caliphate was abolished in the 1920s (officially in 1924) – when the Ottoman Empire made way for the Turkish Republic. So how is this all related to living on auto-pilot? Basically, the typical Malaysian is living as a citizen of Malaysia with all of its rules and regulations as a 'given'; one that they will live and die with; without the need to change anything. And that is wrong. Why? To understand this, I will have to summarise the concept of Islamic rule and state governance and relate it to my assertion of the typical Malaysian living (wrongly) on auto-pilot.

Firstly, the premise of being a Muslim is predicated on the Shahada. For many aspects of it in the personal sphere, there is nothing wrong with that whilst being a citizen of Malaysia. We can pray, we can fast, we can ostensibly pay Zakat and we can go to Hajj. However, if we just stop there, one cannot help but to think that why, being a perfectly personally practicable Muslim in Malaysia, that Muslims the world over by and large are not experiencing the best of our times? We are in fact facing immense insecurity in many aspects of the Muslim communal life that even puts at risk our right to become fully practicing Muslims in the personal sphere. Why is this so? The answer is because, the inherited system of state governance in Malaysia (and many other parts of the world in other Muslim countries), is based on a secular framework that separates personal and public aspects of governing from the people. This is by explicit design of the secular promoters. Look up the meaning of secular and you can see that it means 'a new order', or an order (of people) that is intent on making a distinction between 'religion' and 'a way of life' – primarily derived from the movement to separate the church from the state, but in actuality is an attempt to classify all divine decrees as compartmentalized religion, separate from a distinct set of orders made by humankind. As a result, although many aspects of personal 'religious freedoms' can be observed in secular constitutions which superficially recognizes theological ideologies , at the same time, many aspects of public life are governed in ways that are not compatible with Islam. The difference is, secularity attempts to accommodate the wants of the people according to the ages, whilst Islam dictates that you are to submit to Allah at all times, till the end of time. In other words, Malaysia (and many other so-called Muslim countries) is governed by a secular system, with a constitution that is incompatible with Islam.

What exactly are the incompatible aspects of public life in a constitutionally secular country such as Malaysia that are incompatible with Islam? Without going into specifics, among the main items are the system of economy (which is currently based on Riba) and the civil legal system (which is deprived of sharia-based observations). To relate to contemporary issues, there is already a degree of awareness and desire for non-riba currencies and the implementation of Hudud laws. As a Muslim, we are obliged to see that these incompatibilities are removed, for the simple reason that we must submit to Allah's command in totality. Nothing is above the sovereignty of Allah, and we must acknowledge that. To claim otherwise is blasphemy. So, if the typical Malaysian living on auto-pilot does not make an effort to re-engage control of their life to ensure that it is in full submission to Allah's rule, and worse, if they accept this way of Malaysian life as a given, which they presume will ensure their compliance in Islam to reach paradise, they will be in for a rude shock when they lie in the grave realising that they have been living a lie all this while. To be fair, most of those on auto-pilot are conditioned to think as such, because matters of public governance contravening the principles of Islam are not exactly explicitly spelled out in our education system. You cannot expect a person conditioned to label the colour of an orange fruit as blue to think otherwise; what more if they were only taught that it is an apple fruit. Therefore, the task of enlightened Muslims, who understand that this auto-pilot living is a lie, is arduous indeed, to not only instigate a true understanding of Islam as a complete way of life, but to also compel the people to regain control of their life and change it into something that works as a Muslim.

Secondly, I notably pointed out the abolishment of the caliphate in this post as a sticking point in this discussion. The reason is simple. We are blessed with the prophecies of the Messenger Muhammad that has given us solid ideas on how the future will play out for Muslims, especially in the end of times. The phases in the system of governance, or specifically, the rulers over Muslim Ummah, have already been predicted – from the early period of guided Caliphs, to Dynastic rule, to despots, and back to just (fair & rightly-guided) Caliphs. No points for figuring out that we are living in the age of despots (with the Ottoman Caliphate long gone), and we are heading into a future back to rule by just Caliphs. [Note: Do not confuse this with the issue of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (or ISIS, or just plain IS); which have yet to be proven/will ever be recognized, as a legitimate inheritor of true Islamic rule.] In this context of our prophesized state of the Ummah, an understanding Muslim will rightly know that Malaysia cannot exist forever as it is currently, for long, if we are to be among the successful Muslims ruled by the anticipated Caliphs. Changes will be required, especially in the system of governance, to one that is compatible with true Islamic rule. We may even perhaps, have to rethink our nation-state structure – from one that is 'independent' yet a member of the world-government-aspiring United Nations, towards preparing to be a subordinate state answering to the true Caliphate and all that it entails. Unless, of course, you decide to throw in the towel and give up (to the disbelievers), and let Malaysia remain secular, or worse, become a country more hostile to Islam & Muslims. So, the case of living on auto-pilot with no change of course will result in a destination of destruction, at least for Muslims/Islam in Malaysia. I for one am not in favour of that.

Which brings me to the conclusion of today's writing; one that relates to my noted struggles continuing from previous posts. As a Muslim in Malaysia, I have an objective of bringing about change in the way Malaysia is. To me, the incompatibilities (to Islam) of our constitution is to be removed in favour of a system of governance that will prepare us for the glorious return of Islamic rule. Only then, can we truly be totally in submission to Allah SWT, as he has commanded us to be, as the purpose of our creation. It will not be easy, but then again, earning one's place in paradise has never been guaranteed a walk in the park. Just look at the struggles of the Prophets. So help me God.



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