Monday, April 02, 2007

Am I Muslim?

R. Subashini vs T. Saravanan @ Muhammad Shafi Abdullah. Aisehman, a lot of people have a lot to say about the case.

We just have one question and one suggestion to make.

Am I Muslim?

Now that is the question Muhammad Shafi Abdullah will have to ask himself. And also the good people at the Islamic Affairs Department that helped him become a Muslim.

Am I Muslim in the sense of fairness and justice, for the wife who contracted a marriage under civil laws and traditional rites but now facing the prospect of being divorced under a different law.

Am I Muslim in the sense of taking away her right to help decide her children's faith and upbringing.

Am I Muslim in deciding to help convert a man who has a family who does not know of his intention.

Am I Muslim in deciding on cases where the Federal Constitution already provides for methods in deciding on marriages and divorces for Muslims and non-Muslims. And where the Syariah Court is only for Muslims.

Am I Muslim? Are they Muslim in every sense of the word then?

Enough with the question.

Now for the suggestion. How about the Islamic Affairs Department that oversees conversions to the faith determine if the person converting has wrapped up his or her affairs in their previous faith or civil marriages before becoming Muslim.

Better to convert those who are ready and proud to proclaim their faith rather than those who do it hastily and bring pain and misery to others.

Islam is more than a religion or faith. It is a way of life.

Am I Muslim? Are you?


walski69 said...

Very well said... or asked. Or both.

In fact, I asked a very similar question in a post not too long ago, and surprisingly, nobody ventured to rebut, or try to answer.

Love the YouTube vid, by the way...

Anonymous said...

Wish i knew who u guys are. I'd like to shake your hands. Your comments on this issue are the sanest that I've come across. The lawyerly types are pedantic, the rest are already taking positions and never mind the politicians. I am Muslim, born and bred, and what you have said cuts to the heart of the matter. I'm with u when u say that islamic dept guys shd hold some kind of cooling-off period for these would-be converts, settle their pre-Islam baggage if any. I'd hate to see my faith being used by others to get out of sticky situations. We can't see into people's hearts but we can at least do the next sensible thing, and that is convert 'em wisely.
Ps, the vid? well...
suhaimi othman

Mat Merah said...


Azer Mantessa said...

My goodness, this is a very deep issue but unfortunately, I’m not in a good position to really qualify talking about it. Though myself and my family have been muslims since year 650, asking this question: am I muslim is quite a daily routine.

Us acehnese have this traditional rule:

Every creation of Allah, except for Jinns and human beings, obeys the laws and commands of Allah and performs as it is destined to perform. The laws and commands of Allah for these creations are usually termed by human beings as the laws of nature and they are followed consistently by every entity in the universe without fail.

For example given any circumstances, matter behaves consistently according to its properties. It expands when heated and contracts when cooled. Similarly, the heavenly bodies rotate and revolve at the speed, direction and the orbit destined for them. Plants grow and bear their fruits according to the laws of nature. Animals follow their instincts throughout their life. In this way, all these creations are Muslim. They are obeying Allah and worshipping Him.

In other words, not including humans and jinns, all other creations are muslims.

So what about humans and jinns?

Allah gave human beings and Jinns freedom to choose. Although in terms of their physical being they are subject to the laws of nature in the same way as animals or plants are, in terms of their social lifestyles they are left to make their own decisions and their own choices.

The purpose of human creation was to have a creature that worships and obeys Allah on its own accord and by its own choice without being forced to obey through the laws of nature and/or instincts like other creatures. The Muslims (the obedient worshippers) of this creature would follow Allah's laws and commands in their life without being programmed to do so. This purpose of human creation is described in the Holy Qur-an in the following words of Allah:

"I created the Human beings and Jinns only for my worship (total obedience)." Adz-Dzariyaat 51:56

If all humanity were to follow Allah's commands being in total servitude (worship) to Allah, their actions would be moderate, balanced, fair and equitable and the human society would be a loving, peaceful and caring society in harmony with its environment and the nature. The environment on the planet earth would remain in equilibrium and the whole universe, the Kingdom of Allah, would continue to function perfectly as per Allah's designs. Obviously, when freedom of choice is available, not all human beings are going to follow the lifestyle decreed by Allah. The actions of the disobedient people are, thus, going to be unbalanced, excessive, extreme and exploitive. If a majority of human beings disobeys Allah's commands, it will result in the lack of peace, harmony and fairness in the human society and unsustainability of its earthly environment due to human excesses.

Allah would not want the order and peace of His universal kingdom disturbed by the disobedient people forever. Hence, Allah decided to put human beings first in a temporary world so that each human being could be tested for his/her preference for the path of obedience or that of disobedience. A system of birth, growth and death was put in place so that each person had an opportunity to prove whether he or she could responsibly handle the authority afforded by free choice or resorted to disobedience when given freedom.

People are being born for a temporary stay on this earth as a test period. This will continue until the Day of Judgment when the existing solar system along with all its inhabitants will be destroyed and re-created with new natural laws. On that day, the people - every one of them since inception - will be brought back to life and segregated according to their life style of obedience or disobedience. From that day onwards, an eternal life will start where only the obedient (Muslim) people will have total freedom in the Gardens of Paradise. There they would have a very rewarding and luxurious life. The abusers of their freedom having been put away in Hell, there will be peace and order in the whole universal kingdom of Allah including the newly re-created earth. This plan of God is indicated in the Holy Qur-an in the words of Allah such as:

"Full of blessings is He: In Whose hands is the Universal Kingdom and He has power to do everything; Who created death and life to identify the best in action of you, and He is All-Mighty, Oft-Forgiving; Who created seven heavens in equilibrium, one over another. You will not see any disproportion in Allah's Creation. Look again! Do you see any flaw?" Al-Mulk 67:1-3

"One day the Earth will be changed to a different Earth and so will be the Heavens; and people will be marshaled forth before Allah, the One and Only, the Irresistible. And you will see the Sinners that day bound together in chains." Al-Ibraheem 14:48-49

"The people ushered to Garden (Paradise) will say: Praise is for Allah, Who has fulfilled His promise to us and has given us this land in heritage; we can dwell in the Garden where we will. How excellent the reward for the obedient workers!" Az-Zumar 39:74

"The day that we roll up the Heavens like (written) sheets are rolled up in a scroll, Just as We originated the first creation, We shall repeat it once again - a promise We have undertaken, truly We shall fulfill it. Then, as We had written in the Psalms after the admonition, My righteous, obedient servants shall inherit the earth." Al-Anbiyaa 21:104-105

In short, subjected to am I a muslim, I think it depends on how obedience I am to God on my own freewill.

Mat Merah said...

Exactly. Thanks Azer.

Free will. That is what it is all about.

T. Saravanan had the free will to change his faith, so why isn't he affording that free will to his sons?

To extend free will further, wouldn't it be up to Muslims to decide for themselves if they want to be Muslims or not?

Why the compulsion for Muslims and the eager acceptance of those wanting to be Muslims.

Free will. Now that is something to think about.