Loyal Followers

Friday, May 06, 2011

Who and what is and is not Islam?

"But for the grace of Allah upon thee (Muhammad), and His mercy, a party of them had resolved to mislead thee, but they will mislead only themselves and they will hurt thee not at all. Allah revealeth unto thee the Scripture and wisdom, and teacheth thee that which thou knewest not. The grace of Allah toward thee hath been infinite.

There is no good in much of their secret conferences save (in) him who enjoineth almsgiving and kindness and peace-making among the people. Whoso doeth that, seeking the good pleasure of Allah, We shall bestow on him a vast reward." (An-Nisa, verse 113 and 114 - translation by Pickthal)

The controversy caused by Ustaz Zamihan Mat Zain, a senior officer of JAKIM last week over the visit to Malaysia by Sheikh Dr Abdul Rahman Ibn Abdul Aziz As-Sudais, the Grand Imam of Masjidil Haram, brings to the fore the propensity of some Muslim ulamaks to label their Muslim brothers and sisters as un-Islamic, deviants and even non-Muslims or apostates.

Such self-righteous and purely holier-than-thou acts are almost a daily act in the Muslim world in  general. Malaysia, as is obvious, is not an exception.

According to a Malaysian Insider report last week, Ustaz Zamihan branded the visiting Grand Imam a "Wahabi". He added further that the Wahabi's methodology is often repugnant to and inconsistent with the administration of Islam in Malaysia.

This is not the first time Ustaz Zamihan had caused a storm over the Wahabi issue. Ustaz Zamihan's antagonistic stance against Dr Mohd Asri, the former Mufti of Perlis, whom he accuses as a follower and practitioner of the Wahabi school is well known. He even accuses the Perlis former Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Shahidan Kassim and Ustaz Abdul Hadi Awang as being "connected" to Wahabism in a police report which he lodged last year.

The controversy prompted JAKIM to issue a statement denying that the visiting Grand Imam was attempting to spread Wahabism here through his visit.

With all due respect, JAKIM misses the point.

The point is not whether so and so is a Wahabi or trying to spread Wahabism in Malaysia. The real point is whether it is right for a Muslim to judge another fellow Muslim in respect of his faith; his belief, his way of practising his faith and generally his "Islam-ness."

If the Grand Imam of Masjidil Haram could be judged and insinuated as a person whose Islam-ness is not acceptable, how about people like me and millions others in Malaysia?

It is a fact that in Malaysia we have daily doses of ulamaks going on a religious rampage. This is not correct. That is not Islamic. This person is a lesser Muslim. That person is not a Muslim. This group is kosher. That group is deviant.

The question is, wouldn't God be the best being to judge His followers' faith to Him rather than mere mortals?

Despite the Federal Constitution expressly, by Article 11, granting the right to every person - as opposed to only citizens of Malaysia - to "profess and practise his religion", our Islamic authority, namely JAKIM, issuing a fatwa on 5th May 1996 that "Malaysia must only follow the teachings of Islam based on the doctrine of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah on creed, religious laws and ethics." It also decided (for all Muslims in Malaysia) that "all Muslims in this country are bound to Islamic Laws and Religious Laws based on the teachings of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah only."

In so far as the Shiite school is concerned, apparently there was a decision by  the the Fatwa Committee Muzakarah (Conference) held on 24th-25th September 1984 [Paper No. 2/8/84, Article 4.2. (2) that only the Zaidiyyah and Jaafariyyah Shi'ite sects are accepted to be practiced in Malaysia.

However, on 5th May 1996, at the 40th Special Muzakarah (Conference) of the Fatwa Committee of the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia, the 1984 decision was overturned. The full 1996 ruling can be viewed here.

That brings us a wholly ridiculous situation. Does that mean that between 25th September 1984 to 5th May 1996, Shi'ism was legal in Malaysia? Does that also mean that the 1984 Muzakarah was wrong in its pronouncement? If the 1984 Muzakarah was wrong in 1984, what guarantee is there that the 1996 Muzakarah was right?

Recently we had another utterly incomprehensible situation. Some of you might have read that on Ashura day last year, namely on 16th December 2010, some 200 Malaysians were detained for practising "Shi'ism". This brought international concerns that Malaysia is practising some kind of religious apartheid.

However that did not end there. Not long after that, there was a clarification. When it was pointed out that Iranians who visited and in fact are staying in Malaysia are all practising Shi'ism, our authority quickly issued an exemption. Apparently it is alright for them (the Iranians) to do so in Malaysia. This of course is totally inconsistent with the fact that Malaysians are prohibited from doing so.

So, arising from that, we have two type of Islam in Malaysia, in so far as Shi'sm is concerned. We have an "international Islam" where foreigners can practise Shi'ism in Malaysia. Then we have a "localised" and probably even "parochial Islam" where Shi'ism is not allowed. Shi'ism also appeared to be okay from 1984 but deemed not okay from 1996.

(On a different subject, this inconsistency and obviously pragmatic approach towards Islam is also obvious in the "Al-Kitab" ruling where it seems that Christians in Sabah and Sarawak may have Bahasa Malaysia Bible while in the Peninsula, they cannot do so.)

The irrationality of the argument that Dr Abdul Rahman Ibn Abdul Aziz As-Sudais (the Grand Imam of Masjidil Haram) is a Wahabi and therefore he is a lesser Muslim - and probably not even a Muslim, in the eyes of those who belong to Ahli Sunnah wal Jamaah school - arrives at a climactic paradox when we consider that all of us from Malaysia, upon performing our pilgrimage in Mekah, would have to pray at Masjidil Haram where the prayer sessions will be led by the Grand Imam himself or some other Imams from the Saudi, who obviously will be a Wahabi himself.

In fact, the whole Saudi Arabia is a Wahabi country. How do we, as Muslims, reconcile that with the decree from our ulamaks that Wahabis are inconsistent with the school which we are supposed to mandatorily follow, namely, the Ahlil Sunnah wal Jamaah?

Don't get me wrong. I am not promoting Wahabism, Shi'ism or whatever. I am also not saying that group or this group is right or wrong. I am just trying to rationalise our act in judging people with whom we seem to disagree as a lesser Muslim, un-Islamic, deviant or even an apostate.

In the State of Punjab, sometime around 1953, there were disturbances which led to the call by many ulamaks that the Ahmadis movement be declared as deviant and their followers were therefore infidels or kafirs. An inquiry was constituted under the Punjab Act II 1954. It was headed by Justice Munir.

Justice Munir cleverly opined that in order to punish people for alleged apostasy, there must be a standard methodology to ascertain whether a person is a Muslim. Justice Munir put it thus:-

"The question, therefore, whether a person is or is not a Muslim will be of fundamental importance, and it was for this reason that we asked most of the leading ulama, to give their definition of a Muslim, the point being that if the ulama of the various sects believed the Ahmadis to be kafirs, they must have been quite clear in their minds not only about the grounds of such belief but also about the definition of a Muslim because the claim that a certain person or community is not within the pale of Islam implies on the part of the claimant an exact conception of what a Muslim is."

He then sets out to ask, what in the opinion of several  ulamaks, were the "irreducible minimum conditions which, a person must satisfy to be entitled to be called a Muslim." Here is some of their answers.


"Maulana Abul Hasanat Muhammad Ahmad Qadri, President, Jami’at-ul-Ulamai- Pakistan

Q.— What is the definition of a Muslim ?

A — (1) He must believe in the Unity of God.

(2) He must believe in the prophet of Islam to be a true prophet as well as in all other prophets who have preceded him,

(3) He must believe in the Holy Prophet of Islam as the last of the prophets (khatam-un-nabiyin).

(4) He must believe in the Qur’an as it was revealed by God to the Holy Prophet of Islam.

(5) He must believe as binding on him the injunctions of the Prophet of Islam.

(6) He must believe in the qiyamat.

Q.—Is a tarik-us-salat a Muslim ?

A.—Yes, but not a munkir-us-salat

Maulana Ahmad Ali, President, Jami’at-ul-Ulama-i-Islam, Maghribi Pakistan

Q.— Please define a Muslim ?

A.—A person is a Muslim if he believes (1) in the Qur’an and (2) what has been said by the prophet. Any person who possesses these two qualifications is entitled to be called a Muslim without his being required to believe in anything more or to do anything more.”

Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, Amir Jama’at-i-Islami

Q.—Please define a Muslim ?

A.—A person is a Muslim if he believes (1) in tauheed, (2) in all the prophets (ambiya), (3) all the books revealed by God, (4) in mala’ika (angels), and (5) yaum-ul-akhira (the Day of Judgment).

Q.—Is a mere profession of belief in these articles sufficient to entitle a man to call himself a Musalman and to be treated as a Musalman in an Islamic State ?


Q.—If a person says that he believes in all these things, does any one have a right to question the existence of his belief ?

A.—The five requisites that I have mentioned above are fundamental and any alteration in anyone of these articles will take him out of the pale of Islam.”

Ghazi Siraj-ud-Din Munir

“Q.—Please define a Muslim ?

A.—I consider a man to be a Muslim if he professes his belief in the kalima, namely, La Ilaha Illalah-o-Muhammad-ur-Rasulullah, and leads a life in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet.”

Mufti Muhammad Idris, Jamia Ashrafia, Nila Gumbad, Lahore

Q.—Please give the definition of a Musalman ?

A.—The word ‘Musalman’ is a Persian one. There is a distinction between the word ‘Musalman’ which is a Persian word for Muslim and the word ‘momin’. It is impossible for me to give a complete definition of the word ‘momin’. I would require pages and pages to describe what a momin is. A person is a Muslim who professes to be obedient to Allah. He should believe in the Unity of God, prophethood of the ambiya and in the Day of Judgment. A person who does not believe in the azan or in the qurbani goes outside the pale of Islam. Similarly, there are a large number of other things which have been received by tavatir from our prophet. In order to be a Muslim, he must believe in all these things. It is almost impossible for me to give a complete list of such things.”

Hafiz Kifayat Hussain, Idara-i-Haquq-i-Tahaffuz-i-Shia

Q.—Who is a Musalman?

A.—A person is entitled to be called a Musalman if he believes in (1) tauheed, (2) nubuwwat and (3) qiyamat. These are the three fundamental beliefs which a person must profess to be called a Musalman. In regard to these three basic doctrines there is no difference between the Shias and the Sunnies. Besides the belief in these three doctrines, there are other things called ‘zarooriyat-i-din’ which a person must comply with in order to be entitled to be called aMusalman. These will take me two days to define and enumerate. But as an illustration I might state that the respect for the Holy Book, wajoob-i-nimaz, wajoob-i-roza, wajoob-i-hajj-ma’a-sharait, and other things too numerous to mention, are among the ‘zarooriyat-i-din’ ”

Maulana Abdul Hamid Badayuni, President, Jami’at-ul-Ulama-i-Pakistan :

Q.—Who is a Musalman according to you ?

A.—A person who believes in the zarooriyat-i-din is called a momin and every momin is entitled to be called a Musalman.

Q.—What are these zarooriyat-i-din ?

A.—A person who believes in the five pillars of Islam and who believes in the rasalat of our Holy Prophet fulfils the zarooriyat-i-din.

Q.—Have other actions, apart from the five arakan, anything to do with a man being a Muslim or being outside the pale of Islam?

(Note—Witness has been explained that by actions are meant those rules of moral conduct which in modern society are accepted as correct.)


Q.—Then you will not call a person a Muslim who believes in arakan-ikhamsa and the rasalat of the prophet but who steals other peoples’ things, embezzles property entrusted to him, has an evil eye on his neighbour’s wife and is guilty of the grossest ingratitude to his benefector?

A.—Such a person, if he has the belief already indicated, will be a Muslim despite all this”.

Maulana Muhammad Ali Kandhalvi, Darush-Shahabia, Sialkot

Q.—Please define a Musalman?

A.—A person who in obedience to the commands of the prophet performs all the zarooriyat-i-din is a Musalman.

Q.—Can you define zarooriyat-i-din ?

A.—Zarooriyat-i-din are those requirements which are known to every Muslim irrespective of his religious knowledge.

Q.—Can you enumerate zarooriyat-i-din ?

A.—These are too numerous to be mentioned. I myself cannot enumerate these zarooriyat. Some of the zarooriyat-i-din may be mentioned as salat, saum, etc.”

Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi

Q.—Who is a Musalman?

A.—There are two kinds of Musalmans, a political (siyasi) Musalman and a real (haqiqi) Musalman. In order to be called a political Musalman, a person must:

(1) believe in the Unity of God,

(2) believe in our Holy Prophet being khatam-un-nabiyin, i.e., ‘final

authority’ in all matters relating to the life of that person,

(3) believe that all good and evil comes from Allah,

(4) believe in the Day of Judgment,

(5) believe in the Qur’an to be the last book revealed by Allah,

(6) perform the annual pilgrimage to Mecca,

(7) pay the zaka’at,

(8) say his prayers like the Musalmans,

(9) observe all apparent rules of Islami mu’ashira, and

(10) observe the fast (saum).

If a person satisfies all these conditions he is entitled to the rights of a full citizen of an Islamic State. If any one of these conditions is not satisfied, the person concerned will not be a political Musalman.

(Again said) It would be enough for a person to be a Musalman if he merely professes his belief in these ten matters irrespective of whether he puts them into practice or not. In order to be a real Musalman, a person must believe in and act on all the injunctions by Allah and his prophet in the manner in which they have been enjoined upon him.

Q.—Will you say that only the real Musalman is ‘mard-i-saleh’ ?


Q.—do we understand you aright that in the case of what you have called a political (siyasi) Musalman, belief alone is necessary, while in the case of a haqiqi Musalman there must not only be belief but also action?

A.—No, you have not understood me aright. Even in the case of a political (siyasi) Musalman action is necessary but what I mean to say is that if a person does not act upon the belief that is necessary in the case of such a Musalman, he will not be outside the pale of a political (siyasi) Musalman.

Q.—If a political (siyasi) Musalman does not believe in things which you have stated to be necessary, will you call such a person be-din ?

A.—No, I will call him merely be-amal”.

The definition by the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiya, Rabwah, in its written statement is that a Muslim is a person who belongs to the ummat of the Holy Prophet and professes belief in kalima-i-tayyaba." End quote.

In the light of the multitude of answers given to the very basic question of who is a Muslim, - which question should be able to be answered with clarity if we are to regard that Islam is a universal religion and faith - Justice Munir unsurprisingly concluded:-

"Keeping in view the several definitions given by the ulama, need we make any comment except that no two learned divines are agreed on this fundamental. If we attempt our own definition as each learned divine has done and that definition differs from that given by all others, we unanimously go out of the fold of Islam. And if we adopt the definition given by any one of the ulama, we remain Muslims according to the view of that alim but kafirs according to the definition of every one else."

What is clear from the above is that no two ulamaks could even agree on the basic question, namely, what constitutes a Muslim. Rationally that is not surprising. Islam is a faith. Being a faith, how could it be reduced to a set of "irreducible minimums", stereotyped and pigeon-holed? How could faith and the way the faith is arrived at and practised be formulated by a set of people and forced upon the masses professing that faith?

That is the real question. That is the issue facing Islam and Muslims in Malaysia particularly and in the world generally.

Now, if we could not even agree on what constitutes Islam and a Muslim, how and on what premise do we proceed to declare that a person or a group of persons to be un-Islamic, lesser Muslim, deviant or an apostate?

Which takes me to the Amman Message. It says, among others, the followings:-

"Circa 2004, H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan sent the following three questions to 24 of the most senior religious scholars from all around the world representing all the branches and schools of Islam: (1) Who is a Muslim? (2) Is it permissible to declare someone an apostate (takfir)? (3) Who has the right to undertake issuing fatwas (legal rulings)?

Based on the fatwas provided by these great scholars (who included the Shaykh Al-Azhar; Ayatollah Sistani and Sheikh Qaradawi), in July 2005 CE, H.M. King Abdullah II convened an international Islamic conference of 200 of the world's leading Islamic scholars 'Ulama) from 50 countries. In Amman, the scholars unanimously issued a ruling on three fundamental issues (which became known as the 'Three Points of the Amman Message'):

  1. They specifically recognized the validity of all 8 Mathhabs (legal schools) of Sunni, Shi'a and Ibadhi Islam; of traditional Islamic Theology (Ash'arism); of Islamic Mysticism (Sufism), and of true Salafi thought, and came to a precise definition of who is a Muslim.
  2. Based upon this definition they forbade takfir (declarations of apostasy) between Muslims.
  3. Based upon the Mathahib they set forth the subjective and objective preconditions for the issuing of fatwas, thereby exposing ignorant and illegitimate edicts in the name of Islam."

(The full message can be viewed here).

It continues:-

"These three points were unanimously adopted by all the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit at Mecca in December 2005. And over a period of one year from July 2005 to July 2006, the Three Points were also unanimously adopted by six other international Islamic scholarly assemblies, culminating with the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of Jeddah, in July 2006. In total, over 500 leading Muslim scholars worldwide unanimously endorsed the Amman Message and its Three Points."

Malaysia is of course an OIC member. In fact, Tun Abdullah, while being our PM, was the Chairman of OIC. Among the 500 "leading Muslim scholars" who "endorsed the Amman Message" are:-

  • H.E. Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi
  • Prime Minister
  • Dr.  (sic) Anwar Ibrahim
    Former Deputy Prime Minister
  • Dato’ Dr. Abdul Hamid Othman
    Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister
  • Prof. Dr. Kamal Hasan
    President of the Islamic International University, Kuala Lumpur
  • Prof. Dr. Mohammad Hashim Kamali
    Dean of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation
  • Mr. Shahidan Kasem
    First Minister of Perlis State, Malaysia
  • Mr. Khayri Jamal Al-Din (sic) - (presumably this means YB Khairy Jamaluddin) 
    Deputy Chairman for the Youth Sector, the United Malays National Organisation
  • Dr. Salih Qadir Karim Al-Zanki
    International Islamic University

    (See the full list here).

    As a country who adopted and endorsed the Amman Message, we should at all time perform such endorsement and not act in any way which would go against our said endorsement. We should not at any rate breach our promise, undertaking and commitment.

    After all, Islam is our official religion. Some of our leaders even declared that Malaysia is an "Islamic country". As far as I understand, Islam demands that all our promises be performed. Islam also demands honesty.

    How then do we reconcile our endorsement of the Amman Message with our various acts, almost on a daily basis, of questioning other people's faith and the way they practise their faith?


    ___P___ said...

    "How then do we reconcile our endorsement of the Amman Message with our various acts, almost on a daily basis, of questioning other people's faith and the way they practise their faith?"

    that last paragraph makes a valid and excellent point - which responsible mainstream media should raise amongst their own fora!

    Anonymous said...

    Sorry lah, too much verbal rhetoric and semantics... no time to digest.

    But one thing is certain - Muslims are confusing among themselves... too much obsessed with form rather than substance.

    Be simple and live a sincere life.

    Why so difficult?

    Anonymous said...

    In 1Malaysia, the UMNO islam is the only true Islam. Thus JAKIM, who takes instructions from UMNO, will always be absolutely correct. Otherwise why does JAKIM remain silent on all the un-Islamic things (eg. corruption, nepotism, cronyism, lying, cheating, character assasination, etc) continuously done by UMNO, Perkasa, Pembela and its cronies.

    Anonymous said...

    Art, good article. It would be difficult for Muslims in Msia in particular to accept differences. when I embraced islam , i was told by the ustaz that i do not follow the Malays practice of Islam but follow the Quran as the Malays do not practice the real teachings of Islam. The whole muslim world need to embrace diversity in Islam & respect the different mahzabs. Wasalam

    RS said...

    Our ulamas need more than just Islamic education. I've no idea how learning something so pure and beneficial can make some people so BACKWARD! So rude, self-righteous and think they can do whatever they want.

    There should be a law against these injustices but there aren't! It upsets me that these things are not addressed by our PM or anyone else!

    gapodiogak said...

    Balik study Quran sendiri lah. Harap sub-con kat ulamak, soalan basic pun jawapan tak sama. True what Anon 15:34 said, lead a simple & sincere life. Live within the values of Islam, more substance, lesser form.

    Anonymous said...

    You are a muslim if you vote and support UMNO. Period.

    Once you are an UMNO member you can cheat, kill and have sex with someone else wife but you are still a good Muslim.

    if you vote DAP you are against Islam and you are a kafir. This is the logic of UMNO. No?.

    Anonymous said...

    Art, brilliant entry. I would like your permission to post it, in toto, with a link to your blog, on the website www.justiceformalayshia.org. Please let say yes or no, thanks.

    Lok1 said...

    Salam Art,
    I dearly encourage this article to be dissimated towards the larger Muslim communities in this country,
    I think George Bernard Shaw says,"Islam is the best religion in the world but the Muslims are the worst people"and I am 1 of them
    shall I just keep quite n fall in this category or do something to change this perception,?????????

    Ipoh said...

    Notice the fact that none of the ULAR MAK has the reverence to refer to the related Quran verses.

    Hope the following extract can provide a better understanding to the issue. Read the whole article at Understanding Islam

    It’s important to understand that “Islam” is simply an Arabic word which means “submission to God.” One who submits to God is a “Muslim,” an Arabic word which means “submitter.” Anyone
    can be a “Muslim” if he or she worships God Alone. From the Quran
    , chapter 2, verse 62: Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in God, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve

    This shows that all believers are united in the worship of ONE GOD. “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for God, just as “Dios” is the Spanish word for God. It’s one and the same God. And everyone is equal in the sight of God—men and women, black and white, rich and poor. The only thing that distinguishes us is our righteousness.

    [49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is Omniscient, Cognizant.

    [21:92] Your congregation is but one congregation, and I alone am your Lord; you shall worship Me alone.

    Semoga dengan pengetahuan ini kita bolih BEBAS dari “Ular (bawah tempurung) dalam semak”

    [63:4] When you see them, you may be impressed by their looks. And when they speak, you may listen to their eloquence. They are like standing logs. They think that every call is intended against them. These are the real enemies; beware of them. GOD condemns them; they have deviated.

    Singam said...

    Spirituality is a relationship between a person and God.

    Religion is a relationship between people who share common values and ideas.

    Islam is not a religion. It is a way of life. It is a pathway to reach God. Only God can decide whether or not one is a Muslim. One can only strive to become Muslim and pray that you have done right.

    It is nobody else's business how you conduct yourself spiritually. No one can speak on your behalf in the afterlife. Therefore they should not presume to tell you how to conduct yourself in the present life.

    But politicians corrupt everything they touch. They even abuse religion. So learn to recognise the munafiq who would corrupt you and avoid them. They will not bring you to God.

    art harun said...

    Dear Anon @ 7th May 02:41,

    Please go ahead. Thanks.

    Anonymous said...

    The 'battle of righteousness' will go on.Look at the muslim world today!-bickering and bickering...

    Anonymous said...

    They are not afraid of issues like corruption, social injustice but afraid to be branded as not a 'true' muslim.

    Anonymous said...

    all these got to do with conditioning, how melayu think?the top is able to control bcos they are able to exploit the ignorance, only those melayu who live aboard know that the practice of islam in this country is different from other muslim countries.

    Deux Anges said...

    This is only one example is a very long list of incompetence by JAKIM. I think it is pretty obvious that JAKIM are primarily interested in keeping themselves in a job and supressing the civil liberties of Malaysians. They certainly do not seem interested in fostering the spiritual nor social wellbeing of Malaysians or Muslims.

    Anonymous said...

    Hence Utusan is correct that Islam in malaysia is under siege but by the likes of Ustaz Zamihan Mat Zain and JAKIM.

    Anonymous said...

    you will see the problem coming, Saudi gov promote wahabbism as the right one, Iran Gov legislate shia branch of islam as the righteous one.

    debbie loh said...

    Dear Sir,

    Thanks for your long and well-researched article. I am not a Muslim, but I learned in secondary school history textbooks that a Muslim holds to the 5 pillars of Islam. Recently, I read a little pamphlet of Islam and learned that there are 6.

    I heard that history textbooks would be revised to give more information on Islam and Islam civilisations. I wonder what these would say about Islam...

    Shalom, from a fan,

    PS: Of all the talk about a united Islam, I wonder why no wonder thought of 1slam. Instead of 1Islam, 1slam. Cool right? :)

    debbie loh said...

    Typo correction: *why no ONE thought..

    art harun said...


    The pillars of Islam (rukun Islam) consist of five elements.

    The rukun imam (essentials of the faith) consist of 6 elements.


    art harun said...

    Correction: rukun *iman*

    Ipoh said...

    The OFFICIAL Malaysian Islam Authority/Custodian version of Rukun Iman is

    Rukun Iman ada enam (6) perkara :

    (1) Beriman kepada ALLAH SWT
    (2) Beriman kepada Malaikat-malaikat
    (3) Beriman kepada Kitab-kitab
    (4) Beriman kepada Rasul-rasul. (Quran use the word Nabi instead of Rasul!)
    (5) Beriman kepada Hari Kiamat
    (6) Beriman kepada Qada dan Qadar (Which Quran verse derive Qada & Qadar?)

    Now compare to the Rukun Iman in accordance to the Quran.

    Righteousness Defined

    [2:177] Righteousness is not turning your faces towards the east or the west. Righteous are those who (1) believe in GOD, (2) the Last Day, (3) the angels, (4) the scripture, and (5) the prophets; (6) and they give the money, cheerfully, to the relatives, the orphans, the needy, the traveling alien, the beggars, and to free the slaves; and (7) they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and (8) give the obligatory charity (Zakat); and (9) they keep their word whenever they make a promise; and (10) they steadfastly persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and war. These are the truthful; these are the righteous.

    The Muslim mass have Qada and Qadar instead of OBLIGATION (6) to (10)!!!

    Notice the commandment CHEERFULLY in (6), KEEP THEIR WORD in (9)

    Ipoh said...

    Notice also the word "(4) the scripture" (singular) instead of Kitab-kitab (plural).

    Click here to compare six translation of verse 2:177 side by side with the arabic text

    1slam can only be realize if every body only refer to the 1Quran instead of the volume upon volume of hadis.

    debbie loh said...

    Dear Art and Ipoh,

    That's enlightening! What would be the relation between the 5 pillars and 6 imans? Does this mean a Muslim is defined by them?

    Ipoh, if only the Quran is referred, then what would be the role of the Hadiths?


    debbie loh said...

    Ipoh, A friend of mine said that if the Quran is silent, then the Hadith is referred to. And if the Hadiths are silent, then fatwas are issued and followed. So--how if the Quran is silent?

    Ipoh said...

    Dear Debbie, may I suggest/recommend the following articles/sites

    Does Hadith explain the Quran or the Quran explains what Hadith is all about?

    Why the word "Hadith" is left in Arabic in Dr. Khalifa's translation?
    If you need to verify and compare the 6 translations side by side with the Arabic verses click here .
    [17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the BRAIN, and you are responsible for using them.

    Index to Hadith & Sunna topic 1

    Index to Hadith & Sunna topic 2

    [39:23] GOD has revealed herein the best Hadith; a book that is consistent, and points out both ways (to Heaven and Hell). The skins of those who reverence their Lord cringe therefrom, then their skins and their hearts soften up for GOD's message. Such is GOD's guidance; He bestows it upon whoever wills (to be guided). As for those sent astray by GOD, nothing can guide them.

    May you “experience” the “goose bum” on your skin.

    Ipoh said...
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    Ipoh said...
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    Anonymous said...

    IN Saudi, women forbid to drive car. The problem is, the scholars there,go to the extent of interpreting out of context. You dont even find the justification in Quran or hadith.

    Anonymous said...

    Ya! some of the prescriptions are extra-Quranic (which mean not found in the Quran)but how come the arabs there don't hv questioning minds.

    Well, try checking whether 'dog is dirty' in the Quran or hair is aurat!.

    Ipoh said...
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    Ipoh said...
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    Anonymous said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Anonymous said...

    From Ipoh

    Dear Debbie, may I suggest/recommend the following articles/sites

    Does Hadith explain the Quran or the Quran explains what Hadith is all about?

    Why the word "Hadith" is left in Arabic in Dr. Khalifa's translation?
    If you need to verify and compare the 6 translations side by side with the Arabic verses click here .
    [17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the BRAIN, and you are responsible for using them.

    Index to Hadith & Sunna topic 1

    Index to Hadith & Sunna topic 2

    [39:23] GOD has revealed herein the best Hadith; a book that is consistent, and points out both ways (to Heaven and Hell). The skins of those who reverence their Lord cringe therefrom, then their skins and their hearts soften up for GOD's message. Such is GOD's guidance; He bestows it upon whoever wills (to be guided). As for those sent astray by GOD, nothing can guide them.

    May you “experience” the “goosebumps”

    Anonymous said...

    Somehow keep failing to post comment as Ipoh?? My Ipoh Goolge account reported "unusual activities" and Google request my phone number for me to re-access my account!!!

    Dear Debbie, may I suggest/recommend the following articles/sites

    Does Hadith explain the Quran or the Quran explains what Hadith is all about?

    Why the word "Hadith" is left in Arabic in Dr. Khalifa's translation?
    If you need to verify and compare the 6 translations side by side with the Arabic verses click here .
    [17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the BRAIN, and you are responsible for using them.

    Index to Hadith & Sunna topic 1

    Index to Hadith & Sunna topic 2

    [39:23] GOD has revealed herein the best Hadith; a book that is consistent, and points out both ways (to Heaven and Hell). The skins of those who reverence their Lord cringe therefrom, then their skins and their hearts soften up for GOD's message. Such is GOD's guidance; He bestows it upon whoever wills (to be guided). As for those sent astray by GOD, nothing can guide them.

    May you “experience” the “goosebumps”

    Ipoh said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Victor Chin said...

    Thanks for the information on the 'Three Points of the Amman Messages'. 1...recognize the validity of all 8 legal schools of Islam. 2...no one can be called an apostate 3...no more fatwas...

    The Amman message was a revelation and perhaps all religions of the world, Christians, Buddhists etc. or ways of life can benefit from this notion that in essence every person matter, every faith has its place, no person is to be left out.

    It has taken more than 5000 years but men and women have not agreed about many things especially about 'who is a real believer?'

    We then go to war to kill,to do all sorts of evil deeds in the name of religions.

    The Amman message at least point the way forward, but will be care?

    Anonymous said...

    if i may, neither rukun iman nor rukun islam quite equates to righteousness. indeed we must be guided by the definition or righteousness as given by God in the Qur'an, such that a person claiming piety but does not fulfil these criteria may be recognised by his hypocrisy.

    rukun islam = 5. these are the necessary worship obligations of a muslim. basically a muslim must recognise that these are worship duties he must carry out (when able).

    rukun iman = 6. these are, according to the conclusions of scholars, the necessary and indisputable articles of faith. basically it means that if you believe in the Qur'an, the summary is that you believe in these things at least. qada' and qadar is from the various verses affirming that everything that happens in this life is by God's will and written, and so must be accepted with constancy (redha) after you have tried to achieve what you wanted. see, if you believe the other five but do not believe what happens is by God's will, it's still not a muslim faith.

    aside from these the Quran itself describes various types of people and how to recognise them by their traits. i've read it several times and still find it edifying considering the disproportionate focus we often put on lesser faults.

    Anonymous said...

    in addition, my humble opinion on the various definitions provided by the learned scholars stems from the context of the question. certainly the necessary articles of faith are pretty basic and is useful for a believer to personally understand: what do *I* need to believe in to become among the muslim faithful? as of course the actual faith in these things is between the individual and God.

    but the question "who is a muslim" as depicted in the article however is really, "by what criteria would the *state* recognise who is muslim and who is not" - and thus invites different perspectives and level of detail depending on your view of how the answer will be used. as such recognition in an islamic state carries the implication of duties, sometimes a tacit agreement to be governed under shariah law, sometimes privileges as well. so i'm not surprised that the answer varies slightly between different ulama.

    i would further venture that even between ulama with the same perspective, they might seem to disagree on the specific list not because they disagree on the items, but that one may consider some items to be contained under one heading (for instance, angels and the qiyamat covered by 'believes in quran') or may group things another might list out.

    that is why it is also worthy to look not just at what imam A said on a particular topic and what imam B said, but also on whether imam A or B thought the other was actually wrong. it is possible (and quite often the case) for imam A to consider both opinions not wrong but by his line of reasoning he may prefer one over another. i suspect that probably the scholars questioned may not actually disagree with the other definitions, but may consider his own list more practicable, or more to the point, or more prudent, more conservative, more inclusive etc. for the purpose of the question.

    Ipoh said...

    Base on the following Quranic narratives,

    Surah 7 The Purgatory (Al-A`arãf) verse 11 to verse 26
    Surah 15 Al-Hijr Valley (Al-Hijr) verse 26 to verse 50

    the concept of Qador and Qadar were first coined by Iblis (7:16 and 15:39) when he failed God test and try to “justify” that his rebellious act occurred since it was God that willed for him to go astray in the first place. i.e. Iblis is trying to blame God for not stopping him from becoming a fallen angel.

    Notice how cunning Iblis is when he start to coin this “Qador and Qadar mis-conception” ONLY after he was granted respite in 7:15 and 15:37.
    But most importantly, notice the eloquent Quranic choice of words and the unambiguity and sequence of narrations between the two completely different surah verses which complement each other. Proof enough of Divine Authorship?

    Now compare Iblis reaction (blaming Qador and Qadar for his failure) instead to Adam and Eve reaction when it is their turn to fail their test and were “caught with their pants down” in 7:23

    Again, God always emphasis RIGHTEOUSNESS (read here) as in 7:26 and 15:45.
    Only an arrogant “muslim” will ignore the rukun as specified in 2:177 by God Himself and adopted instead the rukun as defined by the scholar. I can only ponder the goodness if only the Sekolah Agama is grilling the 2:177 rukun instead of the “sloganic” rukun iman and rukun islam.

    [7:13] He said, "Therefore, you must go down, for you are not to be arrogant here. Get out; you are debased."
    [7:14] He said, "Grant me a respite, until the Day of Resurrection."
    [7:15] He said, "You are granted a respite."
    [7:16] HE SAID, "SINCE YOU HAVE WILLED THAT I GO ASTRAY,* i will skulk for them on your straight path.
    [7:20] The devil whispered to them, in order to reveal their bodies, which were invisible to them. He said, "Your Lord did not forbid you from this tree, except to prevent you from becoming angels, and from attaining eternal existence."
    [7:21] He swore to them, "I am giving you good advice."
    [7:22] He thus duped them with lies. As soon as they tasted the tree, their bodies became visible to them, and they tried to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise. Their Lord called upon them: "Did I not enjoin you from that tree, and warn you that the devil is your most ardent enemy?"
    [7:23] They said, "Our Lord, we have wronged our souls, and unless You forgive us and have mercy on us, we will be losers."
    [7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. BUT THE BEST GARMENT IS THE GARMENT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. These are some of GOD's signs, that they may take heed.

    [15:34] He said, "Therefore, you must get out; you are banished.
    [15:35] "You have incurred My condemnation until the Day of Judgment."
    [15:36] He said, "My Lord, respite me until the day they are resurrected."
    [15:37] He said, "You are respited.
    [15:38] "Until the specified day and time."
    [15:39] HE SAID, "MY LORD, SINCE YOU HAVE WILLED THAT I GO ASTRAY, I will surely entice them on earth; I will send them all astray.
    [15:45] As for the righteous, they will enjoy gardens and springs.
    [15:46] Enter therein, peaceful and secure.
    [15:49] Inform My servants that I am the Forgiver, Most Merciful.