Friday, June 19, 2015

Are you rejecting the Prophet if you reject lies attributed to him?

(a reader has asked me to repost this.)

Are you rejecting the Prophet if youREJECT lies attributed to him?

ITOTALLY agree that to aspire to be a Muslim, one can take guidance primarily from the Quran and secondarily from the Sunnah of the prophet and thirdly, from the signs of God.

The Quran is in front of you and you can take all the steps necessary to verify whether the copy of the Quran that you have before you is authentic or not. This is easily done by comparing copies from various countries. Then, if you are like me and would like to explore whether the Quran is indeed the "word of God" and not that of human creation, you can also do it - though it takes much of your time, effort and thinking. My research has convinced me that it is indeed not theWORK of any mortal. For me, there are “no issues” as far as the Quran is concerned - It is from the Creator.

Now the Sunnah. The Sunnah is often understood as the conduct of the Prophet by the ulema of Hadith.  To the ulema of hadith, “sunnah” refers to all that is narrated from the prophet, his acts, his sayings, whatever he has tacitly approved plus all the reports of his physical attributes and characters. Today, this “Sunnah” is in a written from often called the Hadith (on hadith later).  In the Quran, the word “ Sunnah” has been used on 16 occasions and it has been used to imply anESTABLISHEDpractice or course of conduct.  

Example (1): Quran 15:13: “That they should not believe in the (Message); but the ways (Sunna) of the ancients have passed away”.

Example (2): Quran 33:38 “There can be no difficulty to the Prophet in what Allah hasINDICATED to him as a duty. It was the practice of Allah (sunnata Allahi ) amongst those of old that have passed away. And theCOMMAND of Allah is a decree determined”.

Example (3): Quran 35:43 “OnACCOUNT of their arrogance in the land and their plotting of Evil, but the plotting of Evil will hem in only the authors thereof. Now are they but looking for the way the ancients (sunnata alawwaleena) were dealt with? But no change wilt thou find in Allah.s way (lisunnati Allahi)  (of dealing): no turning off wilt thou find in Allah.s way (lisunnati Allahi) (of dealing)”.

Quran 35:43 isINTERESTING that the word “sunna” in the first instance refers to the “practice/ways of the ancients” while in the second and third instance it refers to the “practice/ways of Allah”.

However, in all the instances the word “Sunnah” is used in the Quran, there is not a single instance where it is used in relation to the Prophet. In the Quran, however, you do have Allah referring to the Prophet as an excellent example of conduct in surah 33 verse 21 as follows:

“Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example (oswatun hasanatun) for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much”.

In recorded literature, therefore, it is the ulema of Hadith that have linked this word to the Prophet, hence the word “Sunnah Rasul”. According to Professor Dr Hashim Kamali, “There is evidence to suggest that the Sunnah of the Prophet was introduced into the legal theory by the jurists of Iraq towards the end of the first century”. (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, page 45). This means therefore, that you can either believe the jurists wholeheartedly that everything they allege to be the sunnah of the prophet is indeed the sunnah of the prophet or you may want to take personal responsibility by verifying the same. This is an important decision to make if indeed you truly believe in Allah’s words in the Quran in surah 6 verse 94:

“And certainly you have come to Us alone as We created you at first, and you have left behind your backs the things which We gave you, and We do not see with you your intercessors about whom you asserted that they were (Allah's) associates in respect to you; certainly the ties between you are now cut off and what you asserted is gone from you”. 

Many like to use the jurists or ulemas as their intercessors in determining their faith in Allah with the excuse that the jurists are experts and they themselves are not. Of course, the role of some jurists in assisting research is commendable and helpful. We may draw useful information and knowledge from their work. However, this is not the same as being negligent or lazy or apathetic by delegating our responsibility in shaping our faith based on grounds that we are personally convinced to others. However, it is also a fact that the majority prefer to blindly believe based on conjectures and lies as in Quran 6:116

“And if you obey most of those in the earth, they will lead you astray from Allah's way; they follow but conjecture and they only lie”.

And there are quite a number who would rather follow what their families have taught them then to reflect and examine the Quran for themselves as in Quran 7:70:

“They said: Have you come to us that we may serve Allah alone and give up what our fathers used to serve? Then bring to us what you threaten us with, if you are of the truthful ones”. 

Now the “hadith”. Ulemas have often used the word “hadith” and “Sunnah” interchangeably.  Hadith literally means a narrative, communication or news consisting of factual account of an event. The word “hadith” occurs in the Quran 23 times and not once does it refer, in the technical sense, to the exclusive sayings of the Prophet.  On the other hand, the Quran has referred to itself as the “ahanal hadees” in Quran 39:23 as follows:

“Allah has revealed the most beautiful Message (ahsana alhadeethi) in theFORM of a Book conformable in its various parts, repeating, whereat do shudder the skins of those who fear their Lord, then their skins and their hearts become pliant to the remembrance of Allah; this is Allah's guidance, He guides with it whom He pleases; and (as for) him whom Allah makes err, there is no guide for him”.

In fact, the Quran goes further to challenge human beings as to “which other hadees” after the narrations in the Quran will they believe in?

Quran 77:50 “Then what message (hadeethin), after that, will they believe in?”

Today, for all practical purposes, when you speak of hadith literature in the Sunni world, you are referring to what is known as the Al-Sihah al-Sittah" translated literarily to mean "The Six Authentic", even though they are not all considered authentic (sahih), except for the first two collections. (The Shias have their own collections of hadith). 
Sunni Muslims view the Six major Hadith collections as their most important. They are, inORDER of authenticity:
  1. Sahih Bukhari, collected by Imam Bukhari (d. 870), includes 7275 hadiths
  2. Sahih Muslim, collected by Muslim b. al-Hajjaj (d. 875), includes 9200
  3. Sunan al-Sughra, collected by al-Nasa'i (d. 915)
  4. Sunan Abi Da'ud, collected by Abu Da'ud (d.888)
  5. Sunan al-Tirmidhi, collected by al-Tirmidhi (d. 892)
  6. Sometimes referred to as Al-Muwatta, collected by Imam Malik (d. 796) and sometimes, Sunan Ibn Majah, collected by Ibnu Majah (d. 886). Some have even considered Sunan al-Darami to be the sixth.
The first two are referred to as the Two Sahihs as anINDICATION of their authenticity. Combined the Two Sahihscontain approximately seven thousand hadith without repetition according to Ibn Hajar.
All these hadiths collections were said to be complied some 150 to 200 years after the passing away of the Prophet. It is alsoINTERESTING to note that the Muwatta of Imam Malik contains 1,720 hadiths out of which 822 are attributed to the Prophet while the rest are attributed to the companions, successors and others (Prof Dr Hashim Kamali, Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, page 48). 

I shall not discuss here the hadith collections of the Shias as Malaysians are primarily Sunnis. 

Hadith “science” is complex. There are many hadiths that have been forged in the name of the Prophet and many more that are considered weak or daif as to its authenticity. There numerous classification of the authenticity ofA hadith. For the active and sincere believer, I would suggest that you check on the authenticity of a hadith before you negligently attribute it to the Prophet. Sincerity should not be confused with laziness or apathy or blind faith. 

If anyoneQUOTES a hadith or attributes it to the Prophet, ask for its reference so that you can verify it for yourself. Do not go around accusing that if someone rejects a particular hadith, he must therefore be rejecting the Prophet. (It will also help if you self examine whether you have a solid basis for your own views.) If this is so then, you will be accusing scholars like Imam Bukhari and Muslim who have rejected many hadiths on grounds that it is forged and where it is unverifiable according to their standards. The fact is: we are required to reject lies attributed to our Prophet. 


NOTE: The above views are entirely my understanding and no one is required to agree with them. Kindly check with your own copy of the Quran and make up your own minds and thoughts. If I have erred in my facts, kindly highlight to me. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

In the name of Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1.         Every Muslim since a child is taught to begin with the utterance of bismillah hirrahman nirrahim before he does anything. It means "In the name of Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful".

2.         This is a constant reminder of the grace and mercy of Allah on his creations. It is a statement of His infinite compassion and forgiveness. In fact Allah describes Himself as “one who forgives again and again" (see Quran 20:82)

You may continue reading by clicking it here

Peace !

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Quran, The Dogs and The Lady

As usual, year in and year out, the entire of the Ramadan would have had many “religious events”. Most of the mosques would have been full of people doing the terawih – the long prayer. One will hope and expect that at the end of such “month of holy activities”, the Malay Muslim community will emerge more compassionate, more responsible for other makhluks of Allah, more aware of what Islam is and hopefully, more aware of what is IN THE QURAN.

My fear and I repeat – my fear only – that for many of the Malay Muslims, life will be back as usual until the next Ramadan comes along to perform the “religious rituals” all over again. I think some are concerned with the “pahala” (whatever that means to the beholder) of the ritual than the substance of what Islam is all about.

It was very disturbing the manner with which Maznah was handcuffed and put into lockup for 2 days simply because she happened to love and care for dogs. This says a lot about those involved in the episode.

It was already shocking (in one sense not shocking because one will not expect any differently from the ignorant) that a few Malay Muslims were chastising her for keeping dogs.  I also saw the video many times. Try as I might, I could not see anything offensive to Islam in that video.

OH my God – Muslims keeping dogs????? Haram ke? All this in Ramadan. Despite all the terawih, no one seems to care what Allah says in the Quran in surah Al Maidah verse 4. I honestly do not know what punishment Allah will visit on those who exert cruelty on others contrary to Allah’s injunctions and decree!

This is what surah Al Maidah verse 4 says with regards to what is lawful (halal) to eat:

‘They ask you what is lawful to them (as food). Say: lawful  for you are (all) things good and pure: and what you have taught your trained hunting animals (mukallibina) (to catch) in the manner  directed to you by Allah: eat what they catch for you, but pronounce the name of Allah over it: and fear Allah; for Allah is swift in taking account’-(translated by Yusof Ali).

Instead of “hunting animal”, it could very well have been translated as “trained dogs” because of the word “kalb”. So it is lawful to eat what your trained dog has caught for you. However, it is common sense and hygienic to clean the catch before you eat it – you don’t need a scholar to tell you simple things like this!

If dogs were haram or forbidden in Islam why would Allah give the example of righteous youths sleeping in a cave with their dog (surah 18 verse 18 to 22). You and the “religious salaried civil servants” know better or Allah? Some say that it is the view of some “scholars” that dogs are haram. So the scholars know better than Allah?

You would rather accept the views of the scholars than to use your own Allah given brains to accept what the Quran says?

I am generally scared of dogs but I will not allow my fear to proclaim it haram. Let me share a verse from the Quran with you:

“Or do you not reflect that the Companions of the Cave and of the Inscription (Al Raqim) were wonders among Our Sign?” (Quran: 18: 9)

There are many interpretations of Al-Raqim – some say it refers to an inscription, some say it is the name of the mountain where the cave is and some say it is the name of the dog. It is also said that the name of the dog is traditionally known as Qitmir.

If you are a Muslim and you sincerely accept the Quran, you can easily accept what Allah says in the Quran:

“You would have deemed them awake, whilst they were asleep, and We turned them on their right and on their left sides: their dog stretching forth his two fore-legs on the threshold: if you had come up on to them, you would have certainly turned back from them in flight, and would certainly have been filled with terror of them” (Quran 18:18)

Allah is giving an example of some youths who were keeping a dog. This dog accompanied them while they were sleeping. These youths are not some normal youths from some sekolah agama or some graduan kelulusan pengajian Islam who are too eager to show off the things they have memorised from there for fame or money or position.

Who are these youths? Allah tells us in surah 18 verse 13 as follows:

“We relate to you their story in truth: they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance” (Quran 18:13).

Can you not understand or is there some seal over your heart? These youths are believers whom Allah has advanced them in guidance. This is certification from Allah about these youths, not certification from some man made university teaching man made syllabuses based on their understanding.

These youths who are believers and are advanced in guidance had a dog. You think Allah tells us this for nothing? You think Allah does not know that in the future some Mullah from somewhere will teach otherwise and call dogs haram?

Why do you think that Allah mentions the youths keeping dog a further 3 times in the following verse?

(Quran 18: 22). “(Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth,- doubtfully guessing at the unknown;(2359) (yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say you: "My Lord knows best their number; It is but few that know (their real case)." Enter not, therefore, into controversies concerning them, except on a matter that is clear, nor consult any of them about (the affair of) the Sleepers”

This verse obviously first came to the Prophet. Do you honestly think that after having knowledge of this verse the Prophet would forbid Muslims from keeping dogs? Do you really think the Prophet will change the words of Allah? I do not think so. Try to understand what Allah is saying in the following verse in the same surah.

“And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord: none can change His Words, and none will you find as a refuge other than Him”. (Quran: 18:27)

It is so clear for those who have eyes that can see, ears that can hear and brains that can understand – there is no changing the words of Allah. Unless they belong to the category of “sum-mum bukmum umyumfahum la yarjiuun” (Quran 2:18), may Allah have mercy on them.

The Prophet Muhammad does not have any choice in the matter but to recite exactly as is revealed to him. He will not change, modify or say anything contrary to what is revealed.

“This is the Revelation sent down from the Lord of the ‘Alamin. And if Muhammad had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allah). We surely would have seized him by his right hand (or with power and might). And then We certainly would have cut off his life artery (aorta).” (Al-Haqqah: 44–46)

With a severe warning from Allah to the Prophet in the above verse, can we ever imagine the Prophet to forge any false saying contrary to the Quran? Allah forbid!

When the Quran is so explicitly clear, why do you want to go in search of other sources including the opinions (fatawa) of scholars? In the discipline of usul al fiqh or Islamic Jurisprudence, it is clear that the Quran is the most primary source.  Could this search for other than the Quran be what Allah means in the following verse?

"These are God's revelations (Quran) that We recite to you truthfully. In which hadith other than God and His revelations do they believe?" (Quran: 45:6) (also 7:185, 77:50 and 31:6).

For those of whom the Quran is insufficient even when it is clear, if one was to check some of the sahih hadeeth, you will find hadith of this type too:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, “While a dog was going round a well and was about to die of thirst, an Israeli prostitute saw it and took off her shoe and watered it. So Allah forgave her because of that good deed.” (Sahih Bukhari 4.56.673)

I find that the Maznah video episode is symptomatic of a bigger problem which I have been talking about for more than 20 years now – Islam has evolved into a religion instead of remaining as a “Way of Life” or “Addeen” as it was meant to be.  Hence, some Muslims have become confused between hygiene, religious ritualism and the act of keeping dogs which is allowed in Islam.

The matter is of course made worse in our country where there is an increasingly dangerous trend towards greater State control of the faith of Muslims and how they are allowed to manifest that faith.  This trend is bound to succeed in the long term because the Muslims themselves are largely ignorant of their own Quran. Again this has been predicted by Allah:

“And the Messenger has said, "O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur'an as [a thing] abandoned." (Sahih International Translation. Quran 25:30)

Next: Rejecting the Quran, Worshipping the Mullah

NOTE: The above views are entirely my understanding and no one is required to agree with them. Kindly check with your own copy of the Quran and make up your own minds and thoughts. If I have erred in my facts, kindly highlight to me.

Friday, July 5, 2013

“Islam” yang macam mana yang diketengahkan? – Bahagian Satu

Soalan ini mungkin terasa pelik bagi sesetengah orang. Ia menjadi pelik kerana “Islam” sebenar nya hanya lah “satu” sahaja dan yang berbeza ialah tafsiran mengenai “rupa bentuk” itu “Islam”.

Tafsiran-tafsiran ini dibuat oleh manusia dengan penggunaan akal yang dimilikinya berdasarkan sumber-sumber yang dibaca dan dikaji oleh nya. Lebih banyak fakta, maklumat dan sumber-sumber yang dikajinya, kemungkinan lebih luas pandangannya untuk membuat suatu tafsiran.

Tafsiran-tafsiran yang dibuat olehnya juga dipengaruhi oleh keupayaan intelektual serta kerajinan berfikir nya. Sarjana atau orang yang kurang pandai mempunyai keupayaan berfikir yang kurang berbanding dengan seorang yang lebih pandai dan rajin berfikir. Disamping itu, kebolehan si penafsir untuk bersikap adil secara intelektual (“intellectual honesty”), kebolehan untuk berfikir secara objektif tanpa dipengaruhi oleh prejudisnya, emosinya, kepentingan peribadinya serta kecendurungannya juga merupakan faktor-faktor yang boleh mempengaruhi ketepatan tafsirannya.

Iklim politik juga memainkan peranan yang sangat penting dalam sejarah manusia untuk menentukan tafsiran mana yang menjadi dominan dalam masyarakat serta diangkat sebagai tafsiran rasmi. Maka, banyak perkara yang mempengaruhi penafsiran apa itu “Islam” serta rupa bentuknya dalam masyarakat tertentu.
Tafsiran mengenai Islam mungkin akan menghasilkan keputusan yang berbeza-beza berdasarkan sumber-sumber rujukan yang digunakan.

Al-Quran sahaja?

Sebagai contoh, adakah tafsiran anda berdasarkan Al-Quran semata-mata?

Kumpulan ini mengelar diri mereka sebagai “Quranist”, manakala mereka dikecam oleh kumpulan lain sebagai “anti-hadith”. Kumpulan ini merasakan bahawa tafsiran berdasarkan Al-Quran sahaja memadai kerana Al-Quran itu wahyu Allah yang lengkap serta mudah difahami.  Mereka juga merasakan bahawa setiap Muslim wajib membaca dan memahami Al-Quran bagi dirinya kerana setiap individu bertanggungjawap bagi dirinya sendiri. Mereka berpendapat bahawa Al-Quran memberi tafsirannya sendiri didalam Al-Quran dan kesemua ayat-ayat didalam Al-Quran itu adalah wahyu Allah yang sahih tanpa sebarang keraguan.

Kumpulan ini juga berpendapat orang lain tidak mungkin memikul kegagalan atau kecuaiannya untuk memahami Al-Quran. Mereka juga berhujah bahawa kewajiban memahami Al-Quran adalah satu usaha yang tidak boleh didelegasikan kepada pihak ketiga.

Al-Quran dan Sunnah?

Adakah tafsiran anda Al-Quran dan Sunnah?

Sunnah pada hari ini terbuku dalam kitab-kitab “hadis” yang digelar sebagai “Al-Sihah Al Sittah” yang secara literalnya bermaksud “enam yang sahih” walaupun bukan kesemuanya dianggap sahih kecuali kedua-dua koleksi yang pertama didalam senarai dibawah. Kumpulan Shia mempunyai koleksi hadis mereka yang tersendiri.

Kumpulan Sunna Wal-Jamaah  menerima enam koleksi hadis dibawah ini sebagai yang terpenting:
  1. Sahih Bukhari, dikumpulkan oleh Imam Bukhari (d. 870), mempunyai 7275 hadiths (2,602 tanpa pengulanggan)
  2. Sahih Muslim, dikumpulkan oleh Muslim b. al-Hajjaj (d. 875), mempunyai 9200 (3,030 tanpa pengulangan)
  3. Sunan al-Sughra, dikumpulkan oleh al-Nasa'i (d. 915)
  4. Sunan Abi Da'ud, dikumpulkan oleh Abu Da'ud (d. 888)
  5. Sunan al-Tirmidhi, dikumpulkan oleh al-Tirmidhi (d. 892)
  6. Kadang-kadang dirujuk sebagai Al-Muwatta, dikumpulkan oleh Imam Malik (d. 796) dan kadang-kadang Sunan Ibn Majah, dikumpulkan oleh Ibnu Majah (d. 886). Ada juga yang menerima Sunan al-Darami sebagai yang keenam.
Hadis-hadis yang sahih dikatakan telah melalui satu proses pengsahihan yang ketat oleh pengumpul hadis-hadis ini. Kumpulan ini berhujah, diantara lain, bahawa Al-Quran itu tidak mudah difahami tanpa bantuan hadis-hadis didalam banyak perkara, sebagai contoh dalam hal sembahyang lima kali sehari. Mereka juga bergantung kepada asbabun nuzul iaitu penulisan berkaitan dengan mengapa suatu ayat Al-Quran itu diturunkan untuk membuat penafsiran. Dalam perbincangan mengenai asbabun nuzul juga timbul isu-isu kesahihan dan pemalsuan.

Disamping hadis-hadis yang sahih, terdapat bermacam-macam hadis yang palsu yang telah lahir didalam didalam “sejarah Islam”. Terdapat pelbagai sebab mengapa pemalsuan hadis (wad al-Hadith) ini berlaku termasuk sebab-sebab kepentingan politik dan kepentingan perkauman.

Maka amat jelas sekali bahawa bagi mereka yang mahu bergantung kepada hadis sebagai asas, ia harus berwaspada bahawa hadis yang dipercayai itu adalah hadis yang sahih dan tidak bertentangan dengan wahyu Allah didalam A-Quran. Walaupun tuduhan terhadap orang lain sebagai “anti-hadith” amat mudah, jangan pula kita menjadi penyebar hadis palsu dan melanjutkan penipuan diatas nama Rasul.

Al-Quran, Sunnah, Ijma’ dan Qiyas?

Disamping Al-Quran dan Sunnah, ijma dan qiyas juga membentuk “rupa Islam” dalam masyarakat. Ijma’ dan Qias adalah hasil daripada pemikiran dan penganalisaan para ulama agama.

Ijma dalam penggajian usul al-fiqh bermakna persetujuan atau persepakatan kesemua sarjana-sarjana masyarakat Muslim tanpa sebarang kekhilafan atau perbezaan pendapat dalam hal yang berkenaan. Maka dalam konsep ijma ini, tidak ada ruang untuk sebarang perbezaan pendapat atau persetujuan majoriti. Untuk sesuatu perkara itu dilayak untuk menjadi hasil ijma’ ia mestilah hasil pesetujuan semua sarjana-sarjana dalam masyarakat Muslim.

Qiyas pula merupakan proses untuk membuat suatu kesimpulan dalam suatu perkara berdasarkan perbandingan dengan perkara lain.

Pendek kata, ijma’ dan qiyas adalah hasil daripada usaha pemikiran dan penganalisaan ulama-ulama agama dan sarjana-sarjana pengajiaan Islam atau kumpulan yang di panggil sebagai ahlul fuqaha.

Pada asasnya,  itulah sumber-sumber yang boleh mempengaruhi tafsiran yang akan menghasilkan rupa bentuk “Islam” dalam masyarakat. Pengajian usul al-fiqh dan usul al-hadith adalah suatu bidang yang dianggap komplek namun saya percaya saya tidak salah jika saya katakan bahawa bidang-bidang ini adalah hasil pemikiran dan penganalisaan ulama-ulama agama dan sarjana-sarjana agama.


[NOTA: Sipembaca dikehendaki membuat kajiannya sendiri dan tidak digalakkan menerima penulisan diatas tanpa selidik. Komen-komen dan pembetulan fakta, jika ada, dialu-alukan].