Saturday, October 29, 2011

Implement hudud by force, he says


Zan Azlee is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, writer, New Media practitioner and lecturer. He runs Fat Bidin Media

Implement hudud by force, he says

October 28, 2011
Malaysian Insider

OCT 28 — “Hudud needs to be implemented by force!”

I was shocked to hear an academician, Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, utter those words at a recent Islamic forum on hudud.

According to the academician who teaches at the National Defence University, time is running out and it looks like the non-Muslims will never accept hudud and Islam.

As a Muslim myself, I felt ashamed and embarrassed by what he said at such a public forum.

First of all, I would like to ask one vital question. If non-Muslims are not willing to accept hudud or Islam, why question their reasoning for it?

The non-Muslims would have made their decision based on what they have seen, heard and observed. Can you blame them if what they’ve seen has been all negative?

So, maybe what he should have said, instead of using force, look within and solve the internal problems before you start preaching outside.

Any educated individual who has even a little bit of learned experience, Muslim or non-Muslim, will tell you that Islam is not, and never was, a religion of force.

Free will and compulsion is something that is stressed upon in the religion and is stated all over the Quran.

Surah Al Baqarah states that:

“There is no compulsion in religion. Certainly, right has become clearly distinct from wrong.”

And this is reaffirmed in Surah Al Ghashiyya:

“(Muhammad), preach, you are only a preacher. You do not have full control over them.”

And again in Surah Qaf:

“We know best what they say and you (Muhammad) cannot compel them. Remind, by way of the Quran, those who have fear of My warnings.”

He also, during the forum, said that hudud is the law of God and that is one of the reasons why it should be implemented even by force.

Here, I would like to take the opportunity to remind him that these laws are men’s attempt to understand God’s decree in a particular context, and hence are man-made.

Hudud and syariah rules are really just opinions of jurists from a long time ago (mainly the Abbasid period). This is known as fiqh, or jurisprudence.

The laws that are being planned to be implemented today consist of what were made during this long gone period, which did not even resemble our modern society today.

And the problems that arise are exactly the kind that we see today. We see it as something archaic, medieval and barbaric.

Our society today has evolved way beyond the 8th century of the Abbasid period. And it is only natural to expect the laws to also evolve.

Which brings me to the Islamic concept of Khilafat which decrees that a government needs to be ruled by the free choice of the people.

And Shura, which means that anything that is to be implemented in a certain society needs to be done with the consultation of the people.

Surah Al Shura states:

“Those who listen to their Lord, and establish regular prayer; who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation; who spend out of what we bestow on them for sustenance, [are praised].”

“The blame is only against those who oppress men with wrong doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous.”

And again in Surah Al Imran:

“So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].”

For someone with numerous academic qualifications and a member of several Islamic consultative organisations and agencies, he must surely know this.

Then, in his rant, he goes on to say that it was never the intention of God to have in existence a multiracial country and that each country is intended for a specific race.

By then, I just gave up in exasperation and concluded that no one could actually take the words of this man seriously. Thank God for that!

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

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