Monday, November 02, 2009

Hmmm I said earlier about Ulamaks. I have always regard them as Men first and they are not maa'sum. They are govern with all the characteristic and failings of Men. Which are Pedantic, Arrogant Pretentious etc which afflict all intellectual Men of repute. One aspect I wish they will at least have is the characteristic of Muhammad which is tawaduk or humility but sadly this is not so!!!

My comment to them can be harsh but I detest the idea of glorifying them which characterize many of the Malays. It is akin to idol worshiping that is why Muhammad forbids his words to be compile although 300 years after his death they did compile regardless of his wishes. I am not anti hadiths but I believe it should not be regarded as equal to Quran but more as a companion to illustrate the word of God. It can and always be second to the Quran and when Muhammad give a speech to the faithful during his last haj he says those who follows the quran and my sunnah you will not go astray. Sunnah is not hadiths. Sunnah represent him and his action which include his words and deeds. So if you read his hadiths you must first understand him . his thoughts and the reason why he utter those words. The time and place when he spoke must also be taken into consideration. But many Ulamak purposely forget that, more incline to pursue their own agenda.

The infighting of Ulamak is etched in time ever since Caliph Al Maamon sided with the muktazillis and the asharites against the traditionalist lead by Ahmad Hambal it has been going on. In the Malay nusantara Naruddin Al Raniri opposing the view of Hamzah Fansuri a malay sufi who expose the idea of existentialism or wujuddiyah is well documented. Here is the recent spat between the Ulamaks

Why arrest Dr Asri? — The Malaysian Insider

NOV 2 — It’s easy to speculate why Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin was arrested last night for preaching in Selangor without a permit.

A raft of reasons has already circulated, and even the maverick scholar alludes to hidden hands in his detention. Is it because he is closer to PAS than Umno? Or has it anything to do with Asri’s purported appointment as chief of Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim)?

Perhaps because he is seen to be a Wahhabi, the austere and puritanical school of Islam practised in Saudi Arabia.

Perhaps he is too progressive for Muslim Malaysians?

Perhaps he is seen as a threat to other muftis?

After all, Asri is young and popular, gliding and mixing among the liberal Muslims and the political elite in Kuala Lumpur, despite his short stint as the Perlis mufti.

It could be for one or all of these reasons that Asri now finds himself on the wrong end of the Syariah law last night. His crime, ostensibly, is to have given lectures without authorisation — despite it being in a private house, and in a country where hundreds preach daily with or without similar “blessings” in houses, suraus, schools or mosques.

His greater crime is just being who he is — a maverick scholar who speaks about Islam without all the fluff. Perhaps like the Wahhabis who don’t even celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) birthday or consign their ruler to an unmarked grave upon his death.

Truth is, he has never been liked by his fellow muftis, who saw him as an upstart, not yet grey enough in the head or beard to be taken seriously. He is simple, direct and has a weblog; a superstar preacher shaking the authority of his peers.

Even the man ambivalent about the religious elite, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has taken a liking to Asri and has told him to remain bipartisan and equidistant among Muslims politicians divided between Umno and PAS.

But PAS has been courting Asri. And so has Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who has recommended him to head Yadim, the state-sponsored missionary group.

It is currently led by the PAS-turned-Umno man Datuk Mohd Nakhaie Ahmad, and his replacement — especially Asri — would be a boost for Umno’s Islamist credentials in the next general elections.

But the Syarie Lawyers Association (PGSM) has opposed Asri’s appointment on grounds he has defamed some of Islam’s illustrious imams, a charge the scholar has denied. He also appears to have rejected the Yadim appointment due to the blatant opposition towards him.

It well maybe that his arrest yesterday was for petty and private reasons related to Yadim, and old scores being settled now that he has returned from his post-graduate studies in the United Kingdom.

Many thought Asri would stay on in the West or return to teaching in Universiti Sains Malaysia. But his popularity and lectures among the capital elite has probably turned them green with envy.

And what better way to cut him down to size than by arresting him for the simple offence of preaching without a permit. After all, if a man can’t follow the law, can he be trusted to enforce the law?

Who knows?

What is clear is that baser instincts and motives govern those who enforce Islamic religious laws in Malaysia, making them as human as the ones they think are sinning against the faith and Allah.

“Islamic focus on punishment misguided”

2 Nov 09 : 8.00AM

By Shanon Shah
shanonshah@thenutgraph.comshanonshah at thenutgraph dot com

PERTH, 2 Nov 2009: The focus on punishment of personal sins in Islam is misguided, a professor of Islamic Studies said.

Professor Abdullah Saeed was partly referring to calls from certain Muslim groups to uphold the caning sentence on Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno in Malaysia for consuming alcohol. Saeed is currently the Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies and director of the Asia Institute at Melbourne University, Australia.

"The idea that an Islamic state's first job is to punish or safeguard the personal morality of its people is parallel to what happened in Europe in the 14th to 17th centuries," he told reporters on 29 Oct, on the sidelines of the Fifth Regional Interfaith Dialogue, held in Perth, Australia from 28 to 30 Oct.

Saeed explained that both the state and church in Europe at that time would try to force conversions of Jews and Muslims to Christianity and even imposed an Inquisition on those who did not comply.

"This is so similar to what some Muslims seem to want to impose right now," he said.

"The question now is, will these punishments solve all the problems in Muslim societies? I, for one, am sceptical," he said.

Saeed was a keynote speaker at the dialogue, which was initiated by Indonesia in 2004, and is now co-sponsored by Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. The dialogue's theme this year is Future Faith Leaders: Regional Challenges and Cooperation, and involves the participation of 14 countries from Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, including Malaysia.

Saeed reiterated that there was no punishment prescribed in the Quran for drinking alcohol, but somehow in the Islamic law-making process, many Muslims now believe that punishments in Islam were objectives in themselves.

The Quran does not focus on
punishment (© Asif Akbar
"The Quran does not focus on punishment, but on internal transformation and an internalisation of values. The question remains: Will Muslim societies be perfect if more and more punishments are carried out?" he said.

He gave the example of the period of alcohol prohibition in the US in the 1920s and 1930s, during which the consumption of alcohol actually increased instead of declined.

"Unless people genuinely accept a concept or idea from within, the state will not be able to control the behaviour of society," he said.

Room for argument

Saeed also stressed that there was a lot of room provided by the foundational texts of Islam to argue for justice and human dignity.

"Take the example of Sisters in Islam in Malaysia, who argue for gender equality. The Quran, a whole [lot] of other supporting texts, and the traditions of the prophet Muhammad all uphold gender equality," he said.

However, he explained that in the development of Islamic laws over the centuries, women were marginalised, and this was subsequently institutionalised.

Debate on gender equality in Islam is bound to continue
(© Ruth Livingstone /
"And so, contemporary Muslims are relying on these institutions that have marginalised women," he said. "So, even though I would say there is plenty of room to argue for gender equality, we will now hear counter-arguments from the Islamic religious establishment that such arguments are Western-driven to destroy Islam."

Saeed, however, said that the debate on gender equality in Islam was bound to continue over time.

"Right now, scholarship on this subject might be on the margins, but these ideas might be acceptable later in the future," he said. "For example, in the 1930s, there were debates on whether democracy was compatible with Islam, but nowadays it's a non-issue as far as debate is concerned."

He said he was optimistic that there would only be more discussion and debate on such issues

Jais denies Asri’s arrest politically motivated


By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

Asri alluded to ‘invisible hands’ behind his arrest. — Picture by Jack Ooi

SHAH ALAM, Nov 2 — The Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) has strongly denied that Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin’s arrest last night was politically-motivated, saying that they are planning to charge the former Perlis mufti merely because he had broken the law.

Jais director Datuk Mohammed Khusrin Munawi told reporters that Asri was arrested under Section 119 (1) of the Islamic Administration Enactment for preaching without a permit.

Khusrin said various complaints had been lodged against Asri, whom he accused of holding several religious lectures — mostly around the affluent area of Sri Ukay in Ampang — without authorisation.

“All those who want to hold such events must follow the law and the ruling made by the Sultan,” said Khusrin.

“You need tauliah to preach in this state and all you have to do is apply. We are open to processing applications,” he said, using the Arabic term for authorisation.

Khusrin’s statement, however, contradicts Asri’s earlier claims that his application for authorisation had been rejected on numerous occasions.

While waiting to be charged at the Gombak Lower Syariah court this morning, the former mufti went as far as accusing Jais of bias.

“What kind of Islam is this? There was even an instruction (from) Jais ‘to give everyone else permission to preach except for the Perlis mufti ’,” lambasted Asri.

Asri also insinuated that there was an “invisible hand” behind the fiasco.

Khusrin did not comment on Asri’s allegations on the external influence but denied rejecting applications made by the latter to preach in the state.

“We have written so many times to tell him that it’s alright for him to preach in Selangor,” Khusrin claimed.

To back his claims, the Jais director said Asri’s arrest was not unique, saying that there had been about 10 arrests made in the state on similar grounds.

“Maybe because Asri is a big figure so that’s why huge attention is given to this case,” suggested Khusrin.

He added that Jais intends to wrap up investigation as early as possible, given the attention the case has received.

Asri is currently free on bail. He is expected to be called before a Syariah investigation team at a date yet undetermined.

Khusrin declined to state the date Jais would call Asri in for questioning, saying only that the former Perlis mufti would be notified “once the time comes.”

PM defends Asri who’s now on police bail


By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has jumped to the defence of former Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin who was briefly held last night for lecturing without a permit in Selangor.

The maverick scholar is now free on police bail after the Selangor Islamic authorities failed to prosecute him for the offence at the Gombak syariah court.

Najib said Asri was a truthful speaker whose talks were always backed by proof and clear dalil (Quranic and Hadith verses).

“I don’t know what is the motive of the arrest. It was done by the state religious agency. It has nothing to do with the federal government,” he told reporters here.

Earlier, the Gombak Syariah court cancelled the former mufti's bail and issued a fresh one after the prosecution team failed to turn up to charge him despite having instructed the maverick scholar to be present this morning.

The court asked Asri (picture) to appear before a Syariah investigation team at a date yet to be fixed.

Asri was arrested last night after giving a private lecture at a residence in Ampang. It is learnt the Selangor Islamic authorities JAIS planned to charge him for "teaching Islam without authorisation".

Some 35 JAIS enforcement officials and 25 policemen detained him about 9.30pm at the lecture attended by more than 300 people including PKR Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin and Hulu Klang assemblyman Saari Sungib.

Speculation is rife that Asri's arrest may be politically motivated.

One is that the arrest may be related to Asri's appointment as the new head of the Malaysian Islamic Missionary Foundation or YADIM.

The appointment of the former Perlis mufti, known for his "progressive Islamic" views, has sparked protests by various quarters from the conservative camp keen on maintaining control.

Second is the allegation that Selangor PAS chief and state executive councillor Datuk Dr Hasan Ali in charge of JAIS may be behind the fiasco.

Word is quickly spreading that Hasan, who is facing punishment by his party's disciplinary committee for his recalcitrance, may be threatened by speculation that Asri may join PAS.

Though he did not mention names, this view is shared by Asri who told reporters outside the Gombak Lower Syariah Court that there "might be an invisible hand" behind his arrest.

"I don't know, is there any? But this is definitely a form of sabotage," a visibly upset Asri told a press conference outside the Gombak Lower Syariah Court.

Asri was surrounded by some 60 supporters including prominent figures like social activist Datuk Paduka Marina Mahathir, the daughter of former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is known to be a close friend.

Meanwhile, the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government denied any knowledge of Asri's detention and potential charge.

"It's out of our jurisdiction — it is 4 Jais and the Mufti to explain, even Dr Hasan was not informed," Selangor executive council member Elizabeth Wong wrote in her Facebook account.

Umno Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin said he was shocked at Asri's detention and hoped that he is given his day in court to defend himself.

"I hope it is not selective detention that is provoked by those who don't like him or politically-motivated to move the people's focus from the weaknesses of others," he said in a statement.

"I will monitor the situation closely and if there is any injustice towards Dr Asri in this matter, I will not hesitate to condemn such a move," the Rembau MP said.

Tahan Dr Asri: Pemuda PAS dakwa Pakatan disabotaj

Oleh Zukri Aksah

KUANTAN, Nov 2 – Ketua Dewan Pemuda PAS Pusat, Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi kesal kerana Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS) sewenang-wenangnya menggunakan kuasa untuk menahan ahli agama dan ulama atas alasan ketiadaan tauliah untuk mengajar.

Mengulas penahanan bekas Mufti Perlis, Dr Asri Zainul Abidin di ibu negara malam tadi, Nasrudin percaya kemungkinan wujudnya tindakan sabotaj dari unsur-unsur sekitar JAIS terhadap kerajaan negeri Selangor pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat dan Exco Agama khususnya.

Jawatankuasa Agama Selangor diterajui oleh Pesuruhjaya PAS negeri, Datuk Dr Hasan Ali.

Oleh itu tegur Nasrudin, JAIS boleh memanggil tokoh-tokoh yang diakui berkelayakan dan diiktiraf seperti Asri untuk ditemu duga bagi tujuan pengtauliahan, jika itulah prosedurnya, bukan dengan cara menghalang ilmuan-ilmuan Islam dari berbakti secara jujur kepada masyarakat.

Walaupun mengakui yang wujud banyak perbezaan pendekatan antara beliau dan Asri, Nasrudin masih menerima pandangan Dr. Asri tetapi dalam lingkaran perbahasan yang dibenarkan.

Nasrudin juga menerima penegasan Asri yang beliau bukan seorang penganut faham wahabi.

Tegas Nasrudin, JAIS memang wajar bertindak jika Asri telah menyampaikan ajaran agama yang salah dan sesat.

Oleh itu katanya, jika hanya berdasarkan masalah ketiadaan tauliah atau tuduhan wahabi yang tidak dapat dibuktikan, tindakan JAIS malam tadi adalah keterlaluan.

Nasrudin juga hairan dengan penahanan malam tadi kerana selepas Kerajaan Selangor diambil alih oleh Pakatan Rakyat, kebebasan para penceramah dan pendakwah agama sudah banyak berubah berbanding sebelum Mac 2008.

Bahkan, katanya, beliau sendiri pernah dihubungi JAIS yang telah menjemput beliau agar menghadiri sesi temu duga bagi mendapatkan tauliah.

Oleh itu, Nasrudin nyata tidak dapat menyembunyikan kegusaran betapa kemungkinan wujud tindakan sabotaj dari unsur-unsur sekitar JAIS terhadap kerajaan negeri dan Exco Agama negeri.

JAIS targets ex-Perlis mufti for unauthorised lecture

Former Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin waves to reporters at the Gombak lower syariah court in Kuala Lumpur this morning while waiting for the arrival of JAIS officers to be charged for giving an unauthorised lecture last night. — Picture by Jack Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 — Ex-Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin could face an Islamic court for ostensibly lecturing without a permit after he was briefly held at a religious lecture in Ampang last night but the maverick is claiming blatant persecution.

He has been ordered to turn up for further questioning at the Gombak district Islamic Affairs Department at 9am today after he was earlier freed at 1.10am on police bail.

He told reporters later the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (JAIS) claimed he was giving lectures without a permit.

"I take this as selective persecution as they have always targeted me. This is a planned arrest as I am sure there are other religious lectures or gatherings like this elsewhere in Selangor," said Asri, who recently returned from post-graduate studies in Britain.

Some 35 JAIS enforcement officials and 25 policemen detained him at the lecture in a businessman's house in the posh Taman Sri Ukay area at about 9.30pm. More than 300 people including PKR Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin and Hulu Klang assemblyman Saari Sungib were at the lecture that began at 8pm.

"The JAIS action doesn't make sense not because I want them to respect me but they should know that I am the former Perlis mufti," he added.

A mufti is the highest-ranking religious official appointed to advise a state Ruler on Islamic laws, which is under royal purview. A mufti has wide powers that even the Selangor palace recently ticked off its religious executive councillor Datuk Dr Hasan Ali for interfering in the execution of Islamic laws.

But Asri, who is being courted by PAS to join the Islamist party, questioned the need for a permit for those lecturing in Selangor.

"I want to explain that even when I was the Perlis mufti, JAIS said that all muftis can lecture in Selangor except me.

"So imagine if they ask me why I didn't apply for authorisation. They had already stopped me from speaking when I was holding the mufti post," he added.

Always a controversial figure while even a mufti, Asri had recently slammed critics against his appointment as head of national Islamic missionary movement YADIM sponsored by the federal government.

He had also courted bad publicity in the past for allegedly following the puritanical Wahabbi Islam practised in Saudi Arabia.

"They didn't arrest me for being a Wahabbi, just for not having a permit to lecture," Asri clarified. Most Malaysian Muslims follow the Shafie school of jurisprudence, one of the four recognised schools in Sunni Islam.

Ampang district police chief ACP Abdul Jalil Hassan told Bernama that police only helped in the raid and he had no knowledge it was related to the ex-Perlis mufti.


Blogger Yusf said...

kalau tak mahu wahhabiy, kenapa buat umrah dan haji?

1:21 AM  

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