“Man has no authority over what he spoke, but the words he uttered have absolute authority over him instead- Don’t be a blind follower.”
Islam is undoubtedly a religion of faith and a way of life. But many people may forget the latter, that in many things they do, they mostly think of rituals i.e prayers and du’as when they think of Islam- which is not only wrong but also misleading.
Islam is far from only rituals, and one part I believe, is very important about Islam through its teaching, is the concept of justice. Justice, as simple as it appears, however has a significant meaning which in the simplest description I could make is all about putting the right thing at the right place.
In the Holy book of Quran, Surah Ar-Rahman, Chapter 55, Verses 7-9, Allah explains:
“And the Firmament (the sky) has He raised high, and He has set up the Balance (of Justice). In order that you may not transgress (due) balance. So establish weight with justice and fall short not in the balance.”
Have we ever likened justice to equality? As in the saying ‘Justice and Equality for all?’ Justice is yes, to a certain extent about being equal, but not necessarily always. Let us take one simple analogy. If a man has two wives, one loves yellow and the other loves pink. Taking equality as justice, is he doing just if he bought new clothes which are both pink for both of his wives? No, certainly not. So, justice is not always about equality. Or, say one wive is fat and the other is small and skinny. Is it fair (to practice equality) by giving clothes of small sizes to both of them? No, it’s not fair to the ‘fleshy’ wive then. Hence, justice is more perfectly defined as putting the right thing at the right place.
There are many other examples I can come up with, but let’s take only a few, which are relevant to what I have in mind. Before that, I think that the principle behind being just is very simple, that you have to do things not because it’s easy and popular, but because it’s the right thing to do. If it’s easy, popular and the right thing to do -all combined, then you’ve got a combo bonus (which hardly exists in real life).
In Surah An-Nisa’, Chapter 4, Verse 58, justice is mentioned as an excellent teaching:
“Allah does command you to render back your trusts to those whom they are due; and when you judge between man and man, that you judge with justice; verily how excellent is the teaching which He gives you! For Allah is He Who hears and sees all things.”
Also in Surah An-Nahl, Chapter 16, Verse 90, the Quran reads (translated):
“Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that you may receive admonition.”
Talking about doing the right things, I strongly want to emphasize that following things blindly is a very embarrassing act. Our actions shall be guided by rules, but not always, because rules don’t create us, but we create them instead. This means, that they are bound to imperfection and in some cases, absurdity plus invalidity. So, being just is about doing the right thing, despite its difficulties and upon objections by many- not merely by doing things because other people do them too.
Islam and Malay, in Malaysia are usually accepted as inseparable. But there are things that are not of typical Islam, but Malay instead. There are things in Malay culture and attitude that we have to get rid of, but Islam, as it originates from the revelation from Allah, the Almighty God, has some kind of divine characteristics that makes it perfect in any way, but upon interpretation by mankind, may contain defects.
For example, the hypertolerance, as I put it, is the typical behavior of Malay (and not Islam, so must be gotten rid of) and has been in the blood of us (the Malays) and our ancestors. The problem is evident and portrayed by even the Sultans (Kings) in the past that we were too nice and kind to the point that we were fooled by the colonists by agreeing to absurd, deceptive pacts and agreements these colonists created. They were no such thing as win-win situations, but we were indeed manipulated and wrongly exploited for our kindness. We were made expendable and taken for granted. Listen to papa, George Santayana, that those who do not remember (learn from) the past are condemned to repeat it.
Nowadays, when we are seen to be unfair to non-Malay or non-Muslim, we were called biased, or racist, but when we are tolerant to them and at the same time compromising the interest of Malay people and Muslims, we are considered equal and just. No, I am not writing this because I am a Malay Muslim, instead this is the right thing to do, and this is the thing that is happening around us- whether we realize it or not- hence why I point it out.
The message I want to bring up here is not about protecting Malays or Islam, but to protect everyone, and by saying everyone, I also refer to the Malays and Muslims, as it is not fair to show tolerance to the others while we sacrifice our own nation and religion, just for the sake of being nice and tolerant. Remember, put the right thing at the right place, and that means don’t be too nice and get fooled.
As a final note, the following is an interesting quote passed around via Facebook status quite some time ago, which I believe is important for us to ponder.
“When you attack Black people, they call it racism. When you attack Jewish people, they call it anti-Semitism. When you attack women, they call it sexism. When you attack homosexuality, they call it intolerance. When you attack a country, they call it treason. When you attack a religious sect, they call it hate. But when they attack Prophet Muhammad, they call it freedom of speech?”
Thank you and take care all.
P/S: You can download a poster of Lailatul Qadar from MSOC. The link is provided on the Download section (page). Check it out! ;-)