Monday, September 01, 2008

To all Muslims: Selamat Berpuasa

Surah 2: Al Baqarah

O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that ye may ward off evil (2: 183)

Fast a certain number of days; and for him who is sick among you, or on a journey, the same number of other days; and for those who can afford it there is a ransom: the feeding of a man in need. But who so doeth good of his own accord, it is better for him: and that ye fast is better for you if ye did not know. (2: 184)

The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion of wright and wrong. And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, let him fast the same number of other days. Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you; and He desireth that ye should complete the period, and that ye should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that peradventure ye may be thankful. (2: 185)

Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. (2: 190)

... and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers. (2: 193)

Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah, and cast not yourselves by your own hands to ruin; and do good. Lo! Allah loveth the beneficent. (2: 195)

The principles of human dignity

Verily We have honoured the children of Adam. We carry them on the land and the sea, and have made provision of good things for them, and have preferred them above many of those whom We created with a marked preferment. (17: 70)

The verse clearly recognizes the supremacy of mankind over all other creatures. It is a priori that man has been chosen to rule the world and to build up civilization based on his skill and intellectuality so that he can acknowledge the power and greatness of Allah. (ref: Dr Abdul Rahman; p71)

Bukhari naratted that the Prophet stood up when a funeral procession was passing in front of him. A man said to him: "The dead man was a Jew." The Prophet said: "Was not he a human being?" The man said: "Yes". Then the Prophet said: "Every human being in Islam has a place and dignity (which should be respected)." This clearly shows that the Prophet has demonstrated that every human being regardless of his religious background should be respected not only when living but also when dead. Every words or action by the prophet is an example and model for Muslims to follow. (Al-Muwatta, pp. 198-199; Tarikh al-Umam wa al-Muluk, pp. 226-227; Dr Abdul Rahman, p. 71)

For Islam considers that all human beings came from the same origin, i.e. Adam and Eve (Surah 7: 35; 17:70) The fact that men are from the same origins implies they should be treated equally. Thus men are in reality, on equal footing in the context of reality of mankind. There is no reason whatsover to discriminate, enslave, restrict their liberties let alone to treat mankind on the basis of class-system or on any social background. For the noblest and honored man in the sight of Allah is the one that is the best in his conduct.

This is what Surah Al Hujurat, 49: 13 states: "O mankind! Lo! We have created you from a male and a female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, aware."

Since mankind came from the same stock, it should have one standard of unified values that is acceptable to all, These universal values must suit all people at all times in all places irrespective of religion, color or social background. These common values such as honesty, sincerity, justice and the like are the subjects of the common good of mankind.

In Surah Adh Dhariyat 51: 56-60, it states that:

56: I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.

57: I seek no livelihood from them, nor do I ask that they should feed Me.

58: Lo! Allah! He is that giveth livelihood, the Lord of unbreakable might.

59: And lo! for those who do wrong there is an evil day like unto the evil day their likes; so let them not ask Me to hasten on that day.

60: And woe unto those who disbelieve, from their day which they are promised.

According to Islam, the purpose of God's creation is to serve and worship Him.According to Islam all revealed religion beginning from Adam down to Moses, Jesus and finally Muhammad were a series of revelation that Allah has sent down in order to guide mankind to the path of Allah. As such, differences of religion is a sign of the Will of Allah.

In Al Baqarah 2: 130: And who forsaketh the religion of Abraham save him who befooleth himself? Verily We chose him in the world, and lo! in the Hereafter he is among the righteous. When his Lord said unto him: Surrender! he said: I have surrendered to the Lords of the worlds (2: 131). The same did Abraham enjoin upon his sons, and also Jacob, (saying): O my sons! Lo! Allah hath chosen for you the (true) religion; therefore die not save as men who have surrendered (unto Him) (2: 132). Or were ye present when death came to Jacob, when he said unto his sons: What will ye worship after me? They said: We shall worship thy God, the God of thy fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, One God, and unto Him we have surrendered (2: 133).

The above sums up the faith that is based on the unity of God in terms of worship and the surrender and sincere devotion to God.

In 2: 136: Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which was revealed unto Us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophet received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.

And in 2: 138: (We take our) color from Allah, and who is better than Allah at coloring. We are His worshippers.

Surah 22: 69: Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein ye used to differ.

Surah 22: 70: Hast thou not known that Allah knoweth all that is in the heaven and the earth? Lo! it is in a record. Lo! that is easy for Allah.

And strive for Allah with the endeavor which is His right. So established worship, pay the poor-due, and hold fast to Allah. He is your Protecting Friend. A blessed Patron and a blessed Helper. (22: 78)

Allah love justice and fairness and would prefer to see noble mindedness even to non-Muslims. Allah hates oppression, and would punish the despot though those acts were committed by Muslims to non-Muslims; Allah says in this respect:

"... and let not hatred of any people seduce you that ye deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your piety." (5:8)

Caliph Umar on his deathbed said: "I advise my successor to comply with the covenant made with those under the protection of the prophet, protect them from those who prosecute them and do not impose burden more than they can bear." (ref: Dr Abdul Rahman, pp 20-21).

We take our color from Allah, and who is better than Allah at coloring (Al Baqarah 2: 138)


Dr. Abdul Rahman Awang
The Status of the Dhimmi in Islamic Law
International Law Book Services 1994

Dr Abdul Rahman Awang graduated with an LL.B from University Al-Azhar, Cairo and received his LL.M from Temple University. He taught Islamic law at University Kebangsaan Malaysia and later at International Islamic University. He received his Ph.D in Islamic law from University of Edinburgh in 1988 and currently is teaching at International Islamic University, Malaysia.



Rocky's Bru said...

Thank you bro. May the month be a blessed one for you and the family, too.

Maverick SM said...

Hi Bro Rocky,

Thanks for dropping by, and Selamat Berpuasa.