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Mahkamah telah, di antara lain, memerintahkan bahawa:
- Rayuan perayu dibenarkan;
- Perintah Mahkamah Tinggi bertarikh 31.12.2009 yang menolak permohonan perayu di bawah Aturan 53 Kaedah 8 (1) Kaedah-Kaedah Mahkamah Tinggi 1980 diketepikan;
- Perayu hendaklah disifatkan telah menjadi pihak kepada prosiding semakan kehakiman di Mahkamah Tinggi sebagai responden di bawah Aturan 53 Kaedah 8 (1) Kaedah-Kaedah Mahkamah Tinggi 1980 dan dibenarkan untuk didengar sebagai penentang dan dalam hal ini perayu telahpun didengar sedemikian di hadapan Mahkamah Tinggi; dan
- Tiada perintah mengenai kos serta deposit dikembalikan.
Perintah persetujuan ini pada hakikatnya menjadikan enam Majlis-majlis Agama Islam Negeri & MACMA tersebut sebagai pihak-pihak di dalam prosiding kes ini dan dibenarkan mengemukakan hujahan masing-masing di dalam rayuan utama terhadap permohonan semakan kehakiman (judicial review) kes tersebut.
Sebelum ini, rayuan kerajaan Malaysia dan Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) berhubung perintah Mahkamah Tinggi membenarkan penggunaan kalimah ‘Allah’ dalam majalah itu ditetapkan untuk satu lagi pengurusan kes pada 30.05.2013.
dipetik dari: http://azrilmohdamin.com
Semalam, beberapa SMS diterima bertanya pasal satu program yang dianjurkan oleh sebuah institut di bawah naungan Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM), yang memberi ruang seorang pengaku lesbian (self-confessed lesbian) untuk berucap tentang Islam. Dan di beberapa dinding FB rakan-rakan pun tercatat maklumat program tersebut disusuli dengan pelbagai bantahan.
Program yang disebut sebagai “Moral Courage: Creating Space for Islam and Democracy” itu dianjurkan oleh International Institute for Muslim Unity (IIMU) dengan kerjasama ZI Publications. Penceramahnya didatangkan dari benua Amerika Utara, Irshad Manji, yang secara terangan telah mengaku bahawa beliau seorang pengamal seks songsang.
Namun, lewat malam tadi, dilaporkan bahawa program ini telah dibatalkan oleh Rektor UIAM sendiri. Alhamdulillah. Dan tahniah kepada Prof Zaleha di atas tindakan berani sedemikian.
Program tersebut pada asalnya dijadualkan berlangsung pada hari Isnin, 14 Mei 2012, jam 1.30 – 3.30 petang di Mini Auditorium, Level 2, UIAM Gombak.
Yang menjadi persoalan ialah bagaimana sebuah universiti Islam yang perdana di Tanah Air kita pada mulanya memberi ruang untuk musuh Islam yang mempromosi seks songsang LGBT, menghina Rasulullah s.a.w. serta memperlecehkan Al-Qur’an dalam tulisan, buku dan ceramah-ceramahnya.
Dengan berbaik sangka bahawa pembuat keputusan di IIMU dan UIAM tidak maklum dari awal tidak boleh dengan mudah melepaskan tanggung-jawab untuk memeriksa terlebih dahulu penganjuran majlis sebegini terlepas pandang. Mungkin ada elemen-elemen yang bersubahat dengan musuh Islam di dalam UIAM itu. Mungkin ada elemen yang terpengaruh faham pasca modenisme dengan mendokong pemikiran “sapere aude”. Ini wajar dihalusi oleh pentadbiran UIAM.
Musuh-musuh Islam tidak akan henti dari membawa pelbagai program yang bertujuan meracuni pemikiran dan budaya umat kita di sini. Ini menepati saranan yang diunjurkan oleh Cheryl Benard (Rand Corporation) dalam buku “Civil Democratic Islam”.
Syabas diucapkan oleh sekalian pencinta Islam yang mengambil sikap waspada dan sentiasa bersiap-siaga memantau aktiviti-aktiviti musuh Islam.
Panganjur bersama program tersebut pula, ZI Publications Sdn Bhd, adalah sebuah syarikat penerbitan yang ditubuhkan oleh Zaid Ibrahim (ZI) – yang beralamat di B-2-19, Merchant Square, Jalan Tropicana Selatan Satu, Pju 3, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, 47410. Kini, syarikat tersebut dimiliki dan diurus oleh anaknya Ezra. Ramai yang sangat arif berhubung pendirian Zaid dalam hal-hal begini. Zaid juga penyokong tegar IFC dan kumpulan Artikel 11.
Hijrah Minda: Agenda Transformasi Islam
Haji Mahamad Naser bin Disa
Islam Agama Negara: Undang-undang Tertinggi Negara
Perlembagaan Persekutuan sebagai undang-undang tertinggi di Negara ini memartabatkan Islam sebagai Agama Negara – Fasal 1 Perkara 3 Perlembagaan Persekutuan – “Islam adalah agama bagi Persekutuan;” atau dalam teks asalnya “Islam is the religion of the Federation;” Jika diterjemahkan ke bahasa Arab ia bermaksud – “Al Islam deen alDawlah”. Bersandar kepada ketinggian kedudukan Islam sebagai Agama Negara ini, Fasal 1 Perkara 37 Perlembagaan Persekutuan mewajibkan Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong untuk membuat satu komitmen atas nama suci Allah dengan melafazkan sumpah – wallahi; wabillahi; watallahi untuk memelihara agama Islam pada semua masa. Lafaz sumpah ini dilakarkan secara khusus di dalam Jadual Keempat Perlembagaan Persekutuan.
Atas sifat dan kedudukan Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong sebagai Ketua Utama Negara (The Supreme Head of Federation), semua pihak yang ada hubung kait dengan pemerintahan Negara ini juga terikat untuk melaksanakan sumpah berkenaan kerana segala urusan pemerintahan dalam Negara ini bersumberkan kepada kuasa eksekutif Baginda sebagaimana yang termaktub dalam Perkara 39 Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Justeru, berpaksikan kepada kedudukan Islam sebagai Agama Negara dan komitmen Ketua Utama Negara, segala agenda Negara sama ada dalam bentuk dasar mahupun perundangan semestinya berpaksikan kepada prinsip Islam dan tidak boleh sama sekali menyanggahi atau menjejaskan ketinggian dan kedaulatan Agama Negara.
Seluruh dasar dan agenda pembangunan Negara semestinya berteraskan kepada prinsip Agama Negara dan bukan pemikiran atau pengaruh pemikiran sekularisme dan liberalisme kerana sifat kedua-dua pemikiran itu masing-masing menyisih dan menghakis agama dari kehidupan bermasyarakat dan bernegara. Rakyat Negara ini seharusnya menyedari dan bersyukur sebagai kerangka asas Negara, Islam telah berjaya membuktikan kepada dunia bahawa sifat kemanusiaan yang dipupuk dalam minda umat Melayu/Islam, Negara Malaysia telah berjaya membawa semua kaum sama ada yang beragama Islam atau bukan beragama Islam ke mercu kejayaan dan keamanan yang berpanjangan – bebas dari cengkaman penjajah dan bebas dari ancaman komunis dan segala bentuk ancaman. Justeru, ketika rakyat Negara ini menikmati rahmat pembangunan dan keamanan ini, tiada pilihan lain selain dari terus memartabatkan kedaulatan dan ketinggian agama Islam sebagai Agama Negara.
Penghijrahan Minda yang mesti dilakukan oleh seluruh umat Islam adalah untuk menyedari dan menginsafi bahawa kewajipan untuk memelihara agama (hifz ad deen) bukan hanya menjadi kewajipan keagamaan semata-mata, malah ia juga Kewajipan Kenegaraan yang termaktub di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan menjadi Agenda Tertinggi Negara (Constitutional Obligation).
Islam yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan bukan hanya setakat prinsip kepercayaan dan amal ibadah khususiyyah semata-mata, malah Islam yang menjadi tanggungjawab kenegaraan itu adalah Islam yang syumul dan sempurna sebagaimana yang telah diputuskan oleh mahkamah tertinggi Negara – Mahkamah Persekutuan dalam kes Lina Joy lwn Majlis agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan & 1 Lagi  4 MLJ 585 telah memberikan tafsiran yang luas kepada Islam yang terkandung dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.
“Islam itu bukan sahaja suatu himpunan dogma-dogma dan ritual-ritual tetapi ianya adalah juga suatu cara hidup yang lengkap merangkumi semua bidang aktiviti manusia, persendirian atau awam, perundangan, politik, ekonomi, sosial, budaya, moral atau kehakiman.”
Penghakisan Kedaulatan Agama Islam
Walaupun kedudukan dan ketinggian Islam sebagai Agama Negara sudah terang lagi bersuluh tertera dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan, Negara masih lagi dibelenggu dengan pegangan dan fahaman salah kononnya Malaysia adalah sebuah ”Negara Demokrasi Sekular dengan Islam sekadar Agama Rasmi”. Fahaman salah ini masih menular dengan meluas, termasuk di kalangan umat Islam malahan juga di kalangan sebahagian besar ahli politik, pengamal undang-undang, penggubal dasar sama ada pada peringkat Persekutuan mahupun Negeri dan juga dalam kalangan majoriti rakyat.
My very dear young Muslim brothers and sisters I have something of extreme importance to talk to you about. I want to tell you some things about boy-girl relationships, sex, and marriage. I know these are very personal and delicate matters for discussion, but given how essential they are to your life, to the whole Muslim Ummah, and to the future of Islam as our way of life these are matters we must discuss. In Islam it has been made very clear as to what is acceptable and what is not acceptable between males and females who are not married to each other, so if all was going well in this critical area of life I wouldn’t need to say anything; but, all is not going well. Please know what I am going to say to you I say only because I love Islam and I care so very much about the future safety, happiness, and success in the lives of all of you although we may have never met.
From what I have been reading, from what parents have been telling me, and from what has been confirmed in discussions with many young Muslim brothers and sisters from countries all across the world it has become clear that more and more young Muslims are not following the guidelines for relationships between boys and girls so clearly set out in Islam. What Islam says is right is easy to remember because we are told that before marriage there is to be virtually no contact at all between males and females. In today’s world, while still a minority, an increasing number of young Muslims are having relationships with members of the opposite sex that are clearly outside the limits set by Islam. These relationships beyond the limits of Islam range from seemingly innocent friendships, to boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, all the way to the complete sexual relationship that has been made right by Allah only for those who are married to each other.
Do you think Allah has said there should be virtually no relationship at all between unmarried males and females because He doesn’t want you to have fun? No, Allah has set the rules for right relationships between males and females because He knows for sure what is best for you as an individual and what is best for His Ummah. Allah wants you to have a good time and enjoy the wonderful pleasures of male-female relationships, including the sexual relationship, but He knows you can only experience the greatest joy, and suffer no harm, if you keep your relationships, particularly the sexual relationship, within the necessary guidelines of the right way of life He has given us.
Tough Times for Young Muslims
As you read this message I ask you to keep an open mind until you evaluate everything I have to say. In all parts of our lives we must be sure that what we get is worth what we have to pay. In something so tempting as sexual pleasure there are few who objectively weigh the full costs against those brief moments of gratification. By ‘sexual pleasure’ I mean all the aspects, including the emotional aspect, that lead up to the full expression of the sexual relationship. Allah has placed within both males and females an extremely strong desire to pair off as couples and eventually experience the full sexual relationship. So the feelings of desire for a close relationship with a member of the opposite sex you might be having are entirely natural as it is Allah’s Will that you feel those desires so strongly.
When we look at animal behaviour we see that animals take their sexual pleasure whenever and wherever they can. This is how Allah ensures the continued survival of their species. Never forget that human beings are not animals, so although we have bodies quite similar to animal bodies, and basic needs quite similar to the needs of animals, we relate to our bodies and our needs as beings who have had a God consciousness breathed into us by Allah when we were still in our mother’s womb. This special spiritual nature provides us with many wonderful benefits, but it also presents us with some very serious responsibilities.
These benefits and responsibilities show up quite clearly in relation to the desire for sexual pleasure placed within us by Allah. The benefit is that human beings can experience a level of sustained deep emotional bonding and sexual pleasure far beyond the ability of any animal, but the responsibility is to direct our sexual desires only in the manner set out as the right way of life for us by Allah. Sexual pleasure is only to be experienced between a man and woman married to each other; sometimes this is for the purpose of bringing new human spiritual beings into the world and sometimes it is to allow the ecstasy and the intimacy of the sexual relationship to bond the married man and woman together so strongly as a family, who will be able to raise a new generation of good and right Muslim children within that family, that they become invulnerable to the forces of evil that might attempt to tear the family unit apart.
Most young Muslims in the world today have been heavily influenced by a highly sexualized society around them which says, “Look at the many Western teens or non-Muslim teens in Islamic nations who know no rules except to experience as much pleasure as possible, and who don’t worry about the consequences.” It would be virtually impossible as a young Muslim teen to see the many hundreds of times when unmarried teens are portrayed as boyfriends and girlfriends enjoying the pleasures of sex in movies, songs, and stories from the entertainment of the Western world without having the thought cross your mind something like, “Hey, that looks like fun, if they are doing it why shouldn’t I do it too.” Well, I would like to make sure you know what comes along with what has been called “free sex,” because it turns out that sex isn’t free after all, and the cost is going to probably be much more than you would be willing to pay – if you knew what the true cost was.
First, what are the benefits? Well, you might get a relationship with member of the opposite sex that could take away some of the personal loneliness so common in today’s world; you might get to be seen by your peers (if they don’t know better) as someone who is modern and cool; you might feel you are breaking out of restrictions imposed on you by a religion and culture that you didn’t choose for yourself; you might feel not left out if many others around you are doing the same thing; it might make you feel better about yourself knowing someone ‘really’ likes you; and, of course there is the obvious fun and physical pleasure that naturally comes from experiencing the various aspects of the intimate and sexual relationship.
Some of those benefits result in the fulfillment of natural human desires, even if done wrongfully; but, some of those so-called benefits have been conditioned into your thinking against your will by the wrongful influences of the secular materialist society that exists outside the Muslim Ummah. If you ever find yourself experiencing envy of the ‘freedom’ and the lifestyle of the American teens as portrayed in the media please ask yourself this question and answer it honestly. “Who do you think is better equipped to make decisions about what is a right way to live, the average American teen who has never even heard of Allah and Islam, or you who are a Muslim teen who has been Blessed with the opportunity to at least know of Allah’s existence and to understand a little bit about the Islam He gave us as the right way of life? If you don’t know that you are much better qualified than the average godless, pleasure seeking American teen to know right from wrong then you had better start using that wonderful brain Allah put in your head a little better.
The Real Price of a Kiss
Now let me list some of the costs of those early intimate and sometimes sexual relationships experienced before you are married and it all becomes lawful to you. The list might seem a bit long, but that’s because the costs are many. Be honest in your judgment as you read of these costs and see if I am being fair and truthful with you in all that I say. I will be presenting the costs of relationships that have gone as far as full sexual behaviour, but even if you haven’t gone that far, which I pray you haven’t, many of these costs must be paid for the relationship whether there was sex or not. These costs are not being presented in any particular order I am just trying to make sure I don’t miss any costs because I do not want you, my very dear young Muslim brothers and sisters, to have to suffer the consequences of paying so much more in the future than you ever expected to pay for taking some forbidden but temporary pleasure now.
- We will start with one of the really ugly costs, disease. Promiscuity (sleeping around) can lead to a wide range of very nasty diseases. The effects of these diseases can go from simple pain and discomfort, to disfigurement, to other lifelong diseases such as cancer, to the inability to have children, and even to painful lingering death. For example, did you know that females who have slept with three or more people over a lifetime are 15 times more likely to get cervical cancer than those who didn’t? Weigh these facts highly as you make decisions about relationships before marriage.
- Another cost is divorce. In Islam it is expected a married couple will stay married forever and enjoy their family life till they die. This is the way Allah wants it to be for our greatest happiness. The reality is that couples who engage in sex before marriage are many times more likely to divorce.
- This is a sad cost, adultery. The more relationships you have before marriage, the more likely you are to commit adultery after marriage, and so is the person you marry. No good marriage can tolerate adultery, adultery is certain to cause great unhappiness to the married couple and to destroy the good family life necessary for the development of a right society. But, isn’t it logical that if you don’t follow the rules about having sex before marriage that you are not very likely to follow the rules about having sex after marriage.
- Many young Muslim girls never expected such things as unwed motherhood, unwanted children, and abortion to enter their lives, but those terrible things do sometimes happen when you have wrong relationships; they happen much more often than anyone wants to admit. Unwed pregnancy, how would you like to tell your parents about this one? Even worse, you would be bringing a child into the world and this child may be very unwanted, are you going to be able to care for this child and the sacred soul Allah has placed within that child? Or what about an abortion, not only is that likely to be committing a great sin, but you would be killing a new human being growing within you. Does it make you feel sad to think about this? It makes me sad.
- Here are some depressing statistics about suicide. Sexually active boys are more than twice as likely to have depression and almost ten times more likely to attempt suicide than boys who wait until marriage. Teenage girls who have premarital sex are three times more likely to have depression than girls who aren’t sexually active. Also, teenage girls who are sexually active are about three times more likely to attempt suicide than those who aren’t sexually active. See what I mean about being depressing?
- You could end up being a (well I won’t say that word), let’s just say you could end up being very promiscuous. What did you expect? The decision to have sex the first time is probably the hardest, but once you have done it I’m sure it must get easier to do the second time, and third, and forth, and so on until you are no longer counting. Oh please don’t get to that point. By the way, know for sure what I am saying here applies to boys just as much as to girls. Islam is about equality and boys and girls are most definitely equally responsible to keep themselves away from wrong relationships and pure for marriage.
- So you only did it because you were totally sure you were going to marry him or her, so why wait. Too bad; statistics show people who have sex with each other before marriage usually don’t end up marrying each other.
- Some people believe that you have to have lots of practice to get good at sex and if you are not already good at sex before you marry you will have a second rate love life when married. Well, contrary to that popular belief, studies show those who do choose to wait for sex until marriage are not doomed to a second-class sex life at all. Instead they usually have significantly higher levels of sexual satisfaction and marital contentment. I guess nothing is so romantic and erotic as having a marriage partner who has never experienced those most intimate moments with anyone but you. Seems reasonable to me!
- Some people say sex isn’t really a big deal; people just make a big deal about it. They would say that having a ‘wrong’ sexual relationship isn’t a very wrong thing to do, if wrong at all it is just a tiny wrong. Well personally I trust the word of Allah not the opinion of some teen boy or girl with highly active hormones affecting their judgment. This is what Allah has to say about fornication (the technically correct name for illegal sexual intercourse).
“Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as God has made sacred, except for just cause, nor commit fornication; and any that does this (not only) meets punishment (but) the Penalty on the Day of Judgment will be doubled to him, and he will dwell therein in ignominy.”
In this verse from the Qur’an, the sin of fornication is given its seriousness by being ranked as follows: the most major sin of all is associating partners with Allah Most High (shirk); the second most major sin is murder; and the third most major sin is fornication. And if you are interested in what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had to say about fornication we have this, “The one who commits illegal sexual intercourse is not a believer at the time of committing illegal sexual intercourse.” I would say wrong sexual intercourse is not some small wrong, but is actually a very, very major wrong. Don’t forget, the crime of zina (illegal sexual intercourse) is one of the very few offences that Allah has considered so important that He has prescribed a specific punishment, in this case it was, and still is, one hundred strokes of the cane.
- Then there are those who want to say sex can’t be wrong because it is so much fun, and anything that is as much fun as sex couldn’t possibly be wrong. Well, I have to say that fun is most definitely not a good measure of what is right or wrong. Do you think that shaitan (Satan) is going to try to lead you away from the path of goodness and right by offering only things you don’t like? No, of course he is going to make going against the Will of Allah seem like fun. Shaitan tries to prevent people from knowing and accepting Allah’s truth and gaining eternity in Paradise by distracting them with sin that is fun. For those who are Muslim, he will attempt to turn them away from Allah. One method shaitan uses quite successfully is to make people feel unworthy because of the sin they committed to have fun. Once you feel unworthy of Allah it is much easier to turn away from Him.
- There are still others who want to claim sex can’t be wrong because it is natural (and of course sex is natural, but for humans only when done rightly, which means in the beautiful marriage relationship). To prove that all sex is natural, they give examples of wild animals, like monkeys, who have all kinds of sex all over the place with no inhibitions. They attempt to degrade human beings to the level of wild animals, and then justify their deeds by finding examples of free sexual behaviour in the animal world. They are, in the Qur’anic expression, “like cattle, nay they are more astray; they are the heedless ones.” (Al A’araf 7: 179).One of the purposes of Islam is to establish that we are not animals, and to put us on the right path so that we will not behave like animals. This certainly weakens the “all sex is natural because animals do it” argument. And, wouldn’t you rather act like a God-centered, spiritual human being than an animal? I know I would.
- Sometimes young Muslims, who sincerely do not intend to stray from the right path as far as having a sexual relationship, justify their boyfriend/girlfriend relationships by this noble intention of abstinence. Unfortunately studies have shown that the more time a couple spends alone together, the more likely they are to wind up in bed! And that is true even if they begin with the firmest intention of abstinence. Best not to believe you can resist temptation if you are given too much opportunity.
- Do you think you can be involved in a wrong boy and girl relationship, particularly if it includes sex, and keep being a good Muslim? Can you pray and fast with sincerity and carry on an unlawful sexual relationship? I think that might not be possible. Going against the Will of Allah in a matter so important as sex means that you will be more likely to go against the Will of Allah in other matters also, possibly eventually leaving Islam. How terrible for your life, how terrible for the whole Muslim Ummah, we could possibly lose the benefits of Islam for the whole world just because some could not wait for the pleasures of sex until it is made right for them after marriage. What a huge price to pay.
- Then of course there is the price you could end up paying for eternity. What if on Judgment Day the price you must pay for your wrong relationships and unlawful sexual behaviour is that you are sent to Hellfire instead of to Paradise? Some young Muslims give little thought to Judgment Day, but we know Judgment Day is certain and everything will happen exactly the way we have been told by Allah through revelation. Consider how you would feel then. It would indeed be an awesome mistake to not take this possibility with all the necessary seriousness.
This list could go on forever so I will make this the last, but it involves something so very special, so very precious, that even without all the other costs this one alone makes wrong relationships between boys and girls, young men and young women, far too high a price to pay. This cost involves the relationship between husband and wife in marriage. InshaAllah, you will be married for a very long time and of course you want that married relationship to be very special and very wonderful in every way. But the reality is that any relationships you have with members of the opposite sex before marriage chip away some of what should make the relationship between husband and wife so exquisitely special. Allah wanted to make the marriage relationship so very special that married couples would care so deeply for each other that neither partner would ever want to stray through adultery or separate through divorce. It should be the most wonderful worldly relationship possible. The more a married couple has to share exclusively between themselves, the more special and unique the relationship, in particular the sexual relationship, in a marriage becomes. So the reason that relationships before marriage make your husband or wife less special to you is that to some degree whatever has been done with others before makes your marriage partner just one more in the line of persons who have shared that part of the relationship with you which should have been held as a trust for the one you marry. By not waiting for that special moment when you first marry you make that special moment no longer special. This is true of all aspects of relationships before marriage, but it is of particular importance for that most special of all parts of the marriage relationship, the sexual part. Sex is a precious gift from Allah. This gift can only be given away for the first time once. Wouldn’t this be a great gift for that one person who will be with you for the rest of your life?
I hope from this discussion of boy-girl relationships before marriage you are now better able to weigh what you get objectively against how much you have to give. Be honest with yourself, can you really say it is worth it? It seems the benefits of waiting until marriage are so great that no other possible choice should be possible.
Beyond the Limits – Allah’s Mercy Awaits You
Because some of you who read this may have already gone beyond what is right in Islam, I don’t want to scare you into believing that now you have no chance at all for a happy, successful marriage. A good marriage is still possible, but sadly, less likely. So if you have already lost the opportunity to make your marriage the most special it could possibly be by waiting to partake in the rights of marriage, then you should immediately begin doing what ever you can to make your chances for a successful marriage as good as possible. You should of course, no matter what has happened so far, repent sincerely to Allah, and promise Him and yourself with total sincerity that you will do all you can from this point on to steal no more from the ‘special’ nature of your future marriage. And, you should be prepared after marriage to treat the one you marry with an extra degree of love, tenderness, and kindness far beyond anything you have ever experienced before.
Please know that I have absolutely no doubt that the limits of boy-girl relationships before marriage set by Allah are correct and offer by far the best way to ensure a happy and successful marriage. But, I understand very well the pressures of the modern world, and pressures from peers, upon young Muslims, so I am going to do something I wish I did not have to do. I am going to suggest, for those who for whatever reason can not or will not follow the way of life Allah has made lawful for you, an alternative that, while not right, will still protect you and your future marriage from the most severe effects of the harm that could come from wrong relationships.
First let me suggest a common pattern of how boy-girl relationships can get started and how they can go so wrong. In almost everything we do we don’t jump right in at the final behaviour in its fullness, we move in a series of small steps. Possible likely steps in the development of a wrong relationship could be as follows: you see someone of the opposite sex at school that you feel some attraction to; one day you smile at that person; next you might say hello to the one you like; then you might start talking regularly with that person; then you might let the person know you like them; then you might become good friends; then you might become sort of a couple; then you might arrange a date; then you might become boyfriend and girlfriend; then you might arrange to meet alone somewhere; you might hold hands; you might hug and kiss; the kissing might become more intimate; there might be some wrong touching, sexual but not yet intercourse; then you might end up going all the way to illegal sexual intercourse; then you might do it again and again, maybe changing partners; then you might begin to suffer the most harmful of consequences. It makes me very sad to think this could happen to any of my very dear young Muslim brothers and sisters, but I am sure you know it is happening to some.
I really badly don’t want your lives ruined by this increasingly common pattern of behaviours that lead to the most wrong of boy-girl relationships. So I offer the following as a suggestion to those who for whatever reason choose not to live according to the Will of Allah. To those wonderful young Muslims who have been, and are, able to follow rightly the commands of Allah I am indeed most pleased and may Allah give you extra Blessings. You do not need what I am about to suggest, just continue to live Islam in its purest form.
A Dangerous Suggestion
For those who still choose to stray from Allah’s commands, I say this to you; take some of the pleasure of the boy-girl relationship, but do not take so much that it harms you in the worst ways. To do this you have to set some limit as to how far you will go in the wrong boy-girl relationship. As I look at the likely steps in the progression of relationships I see that there is a natural point where the risk of harm, particularly leading to the greatest harm, becomes clear. In that progressive sequence in the development of wrong relationships the point where you become at risk of greatest harm is when you agree to meet and be alone. Remember earlier in this discussion, “studies have shown that the more time a couple spends alone together, the more likely they are to wind up in bed.”
What I am suggesting is that if you cannot or are not willing to do what is right and best then at least keep to a limit that will minimize the harm to you and to your future marriage. If you set the absolute limit at only those parts of the boy-girl relationship that can take place if you are never ever to be alone together you can still have quite a bit of the fun and pleasure of having as a friend a member of the opposite sex you like a lot, talking to them, and even being some sort of couple. Actually this is a lot. The fact that many of our wonderful young Muslims, who have friendships with a member of the opposite sex, do sincerely have the intention of abstinence makes the commitment to never be alone together all the more likely to be effective. Still you are stealing some part of what is special and should ideally be held only until after marriage, but you are retaining the most intimately precious parts until they can be experienced rightly with the one you marry.
Remember, this can only work if that limit of never being alone together is totally absolute. To make sure this limit is never passed it must be understood that no person in the relationship would ever even suggest in any manner at all to the other that they should meet in a way that allows them to be alone together. Make sure right from the beginning that the person you like understands how strongly you feel about this matter, and that they feel the same. If your friend were even to suggest meeting alone this should be sufficient evidence that the person you liked is not a right person to have a relationship with; and, you should be completely willing to end a relationship with anyone who would care so little about harming you and your whole future just to satisfy their selfish needs. For this plan to work it is critical that the Ummah around you, your Muslim peers, feel so deeply concerned about this matter that they would not only look very unfavourably on those who chose to be alone together, but also on anyone who would even suggest being alone together. This has to become an unbreakably strong social taboo. All must understand that, “No, it is NOT cool!”
What I have suggested is clearly not right according to Islam, but I feel the circumstances of today’s world require me to offer you an alternative that is outside the limits of Allah’s command. I do this in hopes that by offering this alternative to a greater wrong you can be protected against the greatest harm, and that this can be an early step in the progression toward a future Muslim Ummah where no alternatives are needed and ALL young Muslims fully follow Islam, the way of life made right for us by Allah. So if you decide against the command of Allah to still have a boyfriend or girlfriend but never ever be alone together don’t do it thinking what you are doing is right, do it knowing what you are doing is still wrong; and, plan to do what is the right Islamic way as soon as your iman (faith and pious desire to do what is right) is ready for that change. Do it only because you know a small harm is better than a great harm, while no harm at all is always the very best.
The Path to Paradise?
Because feelings of love and desire are so strong more acknowledgement must be given to the powerful need to be part of a couple that is being felt by both young Muslim boys and girls. No one should doubt that these feelings are very real and completely natural; by natural I mean Allah has placed those feelings within all human beings. Allah has prepared boys and girls both physically and mentally to be ready to bond as a permanent couple through marriage with a member of the opposite sex at quite a young age. That age is probably about 16-18 years old.
Please do not misunderstand, I am not by any means saying that all or even most young Muslims who fall into that young age range are emotionally ready for marriage. I am saying that under the right circumstances virtually all could be ready; but, in today’s world I would say very few are actually emotionally ready. This presents a significant problem for young Muslims because in most nations of the developed world, and increasingly in the developing world, the average age for marriage has now become about 25-30 years old. This means that after Allah has prepared you for love and marriage you might have to wait another ten or fifteen more years to partake of those most wonderful pleasures.
Waiting ten or more years after you have been made ready for a loving relationship with a member of the opposite sex to finally experience that relationship is an awesome task to contemplate. This alone might be one of the many reasons some young Muslims today are finding it so difficult to obey the limits placed by Allah and end up in boy-girl relationships beyond that which is known to be right. How hard it must be in today’s pleasure oriented world to live conscientiously by what Allah has said is right for all those years while feeling the powerful natural desires for love He has placed within you. This effort would be made even more difficult by knowing that many of the world’s non-Muslim youth are uncaringly partaking of these pleasures, and even some of your Muslim friends and peers might have boyfriends and girlfriends.
Young Muslims for over a thousand years had been able to resist the temptations of a relationship with the opposite sex beyond the limits set by Allah. To understand why that was so we must understand how all aspects of human consciousness and behaviour are conditioned by the influences of the environment we grow up in. In the past the temptation of a loving relationship with a member of the opposite sex before marriage, while still alluring, was combined with a wide range of very powerful social influences almost invariably saying that to have any relationship with a member of the opposite sex outside of marriage was so terribly and intolerably wrong that it would be virtually inconceivable to do such a thing. In today’s increasingly Godless world the temptation of a loving relationship with a member of the opposite sex before marriage has virtually none of those very powerful social influences saying that to have any relationship with a member of the opposite sex outside of marriage is terribly and intolerably wrong, but today’s secular world does provide an untold number of seemingly plausible reasons, justifications, and inducements encouraging young Muslims to indulge in just such wrongful boy-girl relationships.
Given these are the realities our dear Muslim youth face today I am going to make one more suggestion that could help keep the wondrously beautiful institution of marriage pure and innocent as Allah intended. I am relieved to say that this suggestion is well within the limits placed by Allah, although it is not within the prevailing cultural practices of the modern world. Since Allah has prepared young Muslims for love and marriage at a very young age, and for much of the history of Islam marriage has taken place at a young age, maybe we should return to that practice today. If Allah prepares us for marriage at a young age doesn’t it seem right we should marry at a young age? If young Muslims only had to wait a year or two after the time that Allah prepared them mentally and physically for marriage, rather than to wait the seemingly interminable ten to fifteen years that modern culture dictates, might not virtually all Muslim youth be willing and able to restrain themselves from coupling until that intimate love is made right for them by marriage?
My dear young Muslim brothers and sisters, upon reading this suggestion please do not rush out planning to get married at a very tender age. To make early marriage work will be no easy task. At the time when Muslims married at a young age we had a much more right Islamic society for those marriages to flourish in. The social conditions and influences in today’s world are definitely aligned against successful young marriage. If we wish to reintroduce marriage at an early age for young Muslims we must do everything we can to ensure a society conducive to making those youthful marriages successful.
Making the Impossible Possible
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could resolve the problem of young Muslims straying from what Allah has allowed in relationships with the opposite sex by simply reintroducing youthful marriage, which has traditionally been accepted within Islam? I have thought long and hard over this matter and I have not been able to come up with any other viable solution to the multifaceted problem of Muslim youth disobeying the command of Allah to participate in wrongful relationships with the opposite sex other than reinstituting early marriage as the norm within our ummah.
If we are going to suggest early marriage as the solution to the relationship difficulties facing Muslim youth then we must do everything within our power to help ensure the success of those early marriages. I see two important hurdles which must be overcome in order to give early Muslim marriages any real chance for success. There will be other difficulties to be sure, but if we can find a solution for these two then we will be well on our way toward making happy and successful early marriage among Muslim youth an achievable accomplishment. The first prerequisite for success will be to find some way to make sure that young Muslims make the right choice of a marriage partner. The second precondition for success would be to find some way to make sure that the young Muslim married couples do not succumb to the tremendous burden of financial stress during those delightful but fragile beginning stages of married life.
We must get over the widely accepted idea that so-called ‘love marriages’ are somehow more desirable than marriages arranged for good Islamic purposes. That is a completely untrue belief that has been wrongly conditioned into the minds of many young Muslims by the powerful influences of a Godless decadent culture. Young Muslims must come to realize the full meaning and deep truths behind the much repeated cliché, ‘love is blind’. Most young Muslims would have no idea at all how incredibly and exceedingly blind love can be. When the heart experiences love the eyes and the mind can become totally oblivious to the most obvious of faults.
Although arranged marriages have recently fallen well out of fashion, they really did have a lot going for them. There is no question of the reality that arranged marriages have generally been happier, more successful, and long lasting. There are many logical reasons for this. First and foremost among the reasons is the obvious fact that parents will have a much more objective perception of the overall suitability of the prospective marriage partner for their son or daughter. Even if modern Muslim youth do not want to give their parents complete responsibility for choosing a good marriage partner for them, they should at least have a wholehearted acceptance of the fact that they must never marry the person they choose for themselves without the unqualified approval of their parents. To refuse their parents full right of approval would indeed be to court disaster.
The other crucially important circumstance that must be taken into consideration is the financial situation. In many cases youth in their late teens will either be going on for further education or they will not be able to have access to employment that provides sufficiently for the financial needs of the young married couple. It is only right if we want to successfully reintroduce marriage at a young age that Muslim parents, relatives, and Islamic society all be prepared with a generous, loving heart to help the young married couples financially to the degree that money never becomes a hindrance to a happy and successful marriage.
If done rightly and with sincerity the return to youthful marriage within our Muslim Ummah could provide other benefits besides helping to ensure right relationships and loving marriage for future generations. It could help reinforce the traditionally strong Muslim family relationships as generations work together helping their children have happy and successful marriages. It could vastly increase the feeling of love and appreciation by Muslim youth for their parents and their extended family relationships. It could bring the attention of our ummah to the fact that the original practices of Islamic life according to the limits set by Allah are indeed still the very best way to live, even in the hectic modern world. It might motivate our Muslim Ummah to work ever harder to help transform the very wrong society of today’s world into a much more right Islamic society as we attempt to provide the best possible social environment that can nurture our most dear Muslim youth as they strive to have happy and successful Islamic marriages. And importantly, it could help protect young Muslims, during the often perilous university years, from harmful social influence and participation in wrong activities, and at the same time it would likely focus their minds more fully on their studies, their family, and their future.
All’s Well That Ends Well
It is my prayer that in this short, but reasonably insightful, discussion of boy-girl relationships, sexual behaviour, and marriage that I have been able to help you make right decisions in this most important area of your life. Please do not ever do something that can hurt you in a way that you can never fully recover from. I love all of you and care about all of you so very much that any harm that comes to you or your life hurts me also. You very dear young Muslims are the future of the Ummah; you are the future of Islam in our world. By following Allah’s commands you can now help ensure a wonderful married life for yourself and your future family, and at the same time you can be part of a new generation of Muslims who refuse the worldly influences that take so many from the beauty and rightness of Islam and do your part to make right all the wrongs of the world. The world of the future can be a virtual Paradise on Earth. This is the destiny offered us by Allah.
The author returned to Allah’s rahmah on 29 April 2006 – a few months after completing the above article. In fact he did not get the chance of viewing this work when the printing of a small booklet of the above article was completed just a few days after his demise.
Allahyarham Brother Muhammad Al’Mahdi (as he was fondly called) would have been 69 years old this Thursday, 5th April. May Allah shower His Mercy upon his ruh.
KUALA LUMPUR, 23 Nov (Bernama)– Kerajaan berpendirian bahawa fahaman Muhammad Abdul Wahab (Wahabi) tidak sesat namun ia tidak sesuai diamalkan di negara ini kerana dikhuatiri boleh membawa kepada perpecahan umat, kata Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
Beliau berkata kerajaan memandang berat terhadap kekeliruan dan perselisihan faham yang timbul berhubung isu ini tetapi setakat ini ia masih terkawal.
“Kumpulan yang menyokong pegangan Muhammad Abdul Wahab ini tidak terkeluar daripada Ahli Sunnah Wal-Jamaah, namun apa yang mesti diatasi dan ditangani adalah isu-isu kontroversi yang bersangkut dengan masalah furu’iyyah (cabang) yang cuba dibangkitkan mereka,” katanya ketika menjawab soalan Mohd Nor Othman (BN-Hulu Terengganu) pada sesi soal jawab di Dewan Rakyat di sini Rabu.
Mohd Nor ingin tahu sejauh manakah fahaman Wahabi meresap dalam kalangan masyarakat.
Jamil Khir berkata keputusan itu berdasarkan hasil beberapa perbincangan Muzakarah Jawatankuasa Fatwa Kebangsaan iaitu pada kali ke-12 (1985), kali ke-14 (1985), kali ke-16 (1986), kali ke-40 (1996), kali ke-42 (1997) dan kali ke-44 (1998).
Ia juga turut dibincangkan dalam mesyuarat Panel Kajian Aqidah Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim) kali ke-14 tahun 2000 dan kali ke-20 pada tahun 2002 serta kali ke-23 pada 2003, katanya.
Beliau berkata kesemua keputusan itu adalah untuk menyekat penularan isu atas alasan isu-isu khilafiyyah fiqhiyyah yang dibangkitkan dan boleh menggugat perpaduan umat Islam di Malaysia.
Kepada soalan tambahan Nasharudin Mat Isa (Pas-Bachok) tentang aspek ancaman yang boleh dilihat dari gerakan Wahabi, Jamil Khir berkata situasi yang berlaku hari ini adalah khilaf yang diperbesarkan sehingga menimbulkan sensitiviti umat.
“Keadaan ini sekali gus menimbulkan pandangan berbeza kepada kelompok masyarakat. Justeru, demi menjaga kesejahteraan rakyat, kerajaan memberi pendekatan bahawa Sunnah Wal Jamaah merupakan pegangan akidah dalam konteks negara Malaysia dan Mazhab Syafie menjadi pegangan,” katanya.
Everyone agrees that a universal ethical ideal is harmony among peoples, especially those who are committed to their respective religion. And yet, some people, in particular after 9/11, now mistrust all “organized religion” as being troublesome on this harmony issue. It is urgent here in Malaysia that our Muslim leaders are seen unanimously to support the right steps taken to guarantee peace and security among the religions represented here, and especially to serve as an example to other Muslim countries of the true meaning of “Ummah“.
Our first and best model of “Ummah” was Madinah Munawarrah during the time of Prophet Muhammad (may Allah honour him and grant him peace). Therefore, it is a mistake to define “Islamic State” as an entity which is almost all Muslim, and in which the other religions play very minor roles, if any. By this definition, Indonesia, with 90% Muslims at various levels of devotion to their worship (Ibadah) is more of an “Ummah”. Or perhaps Bangladesh, or Saudi Arabia, or others of overwhelming Muslim populations.
Yet this is a mistake. Our Prophet (may Allah honor him and grant him peace) bequeathed to us a model of statesmanship precisely in his manner of balancing and accommodating the Jews, Christians, Sabeans, and other faiths in Madinah itself. In this writer’s opinion, now we are hoping and praying to emulate such balance and good faith among our population here in Malaysia by the Himpunan Sejuta Ummah (HIMPUN) this weekend, on behalf of which the HIMPUN secretariat has guaranteed that there will be no violence whatsoever, and that there will be no altercation on issues of theology of other religions.
It has been observed that when JAIS went into a church to retrieve a number of Malay Muslims from the Christian devotions and teachings going on, Muslims were told not to feel insecure in their feelings. It seems odd that the Christians, on their side, should feel uncomfortable when Muslims wish to exercise their democratic right to assemble and voice their feelings over issues relating to the followers of their faith in such gatherings as the upcoming HIMPUN. Could they be suffering from guilty conscience? After all, we are not trying to convert them. So why would they be nervous?
The former BERSIH 2.0 demonstration attracted the attention of numerous outside NGOs and other groups, including those who wished to secularize Malaysia and had no understanding of our total commitment to Islam as the religion of the Federation, and our fully constitutional and legislated system of Muslim monarchy, by which any secular “equality” among religions, or proselytizing among the Muslims themselves to change their beliefs, is forbidden.
These outside NGOs, such as that of the notorious George Soros, simply cannot understand the place and meaning of various Islamic-related issues, such as murtad (apostasy), polygamy, family leadership, and the forbidding of all forms of homosexuality especially including what they call “freedom of gender choice” or “same-sex marriage”, in our Malaysian life. Whereas even we Muslims have trouble with these issues, outsiders can hardly be expected to be more advanced in their own understanding.
Therefore, a newly formed secretariat has carefully planned and organized the upcoming HIMPUN to avoid fully any politicization of such contentious issues, side-by-side with the inviolability of the Malay Muslim leadership, in our public and private lives. Our private Islamic theological issues must CEASE FORTHWITH to be adjudicated, judged, or manipulated by outside interests.
Therefore, we should now support HIMPUN, which is carefully crafted to correct the dangers and stresses of the previous interference and challenge against the position of Islam in the Federal Constitution, with all such outside influences which can tear this country apart if they continue to outrage the sensitivity of the Muslims. HIMPUN has secured full permission from government authorities to be held in a completely non-violent fashion, and is also supported by not less than one thousand Muslim-based NGOs (an amazing phenomenon in itself). All Malaysian citizens are invited, regardless of religious or political affiliation. The Christians, however, must respect the self-esteem of the Muslims whose resistance to evangelical missionary activities is implacable and fully defended by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers. Muslim friendship, however, is freely available and offered to the all communities. This is the meaning behind “1Malaysia” as presently implemented by the central government.
Other Muslim groups that will be represented in the HIMPUN are educational institutions, sports and recreational clubs, self-defense societies, youth clubs, committee members of mosques and suraus, teachers, and many others. It can only be the sheerest folly for any political leaders to resist the will of their own people, especially the young and educated by opposing this event. Itinerary, provision of prayer rooms and food, publicity, public announcements, specially invited guests, and advertisements in all media have been arranged by the HIMPUN Secretariat.
The itinerary will include welcoming speech, keynote address by a prominent guest, nasyid songs emphasizing the theme of defending the sanctity of Islam, greetings from NGO representatives, munajat (do’a of supplication to Allah swt), and presentation and recitation of a pledge to defend the integrity of Islam and Muslims peoples everywhere.
Muzakarah Jawatankuasa Fatwa Majlis Kebangsaan Bagi Hal Ehwal Ugama Islam Malaysia Kali Ke-74 yang bersidang pada 25 -27 Julai 2006 telah membincangkan Aliran Pemikiran Liberal: Hukum dan Implikasinya Kepada Islam Di Malaysia. Muzakarah telah memutuskan bahawa:
Gerakan Pemikiran Liberal mengandungi fahaman-fahaman yang didapati menyeleweng dari aspek akidah dan syariah seperti berikut:
a. Berpegang kepada Konsep Pluralisme
Konsep pluralisme adalah menjadi pegangan utama dalam aliran pemikiran liberal. Pluralisme agama berpendirian bahawa setiap agama mempunyai konsep, persepsi dan respon yang tersendiri terhadap Realiti Yang Agung (ultimate reality). Semua agama adalah sama tarafnya merujuk kepada Realiti Yang Agung.
b. Akal Manusia Adalah Wahyu
Aliran ini membahagi wahyu kepada dua kategori iaitu wahyu yang bertulis dan wahyu yang tidak bertulis. Wahyu bertulis adalah al-Quran dan ia adalah teks semata-mata. Wahyu tidak bertulis adalah akal manusia dan akallah yang sebenarnya menghidupkan teks al-Quran berdasarkan tujuan, konteks suasana zaman.
c. Meragui Ketulinan Al-Quran
Aliran pemikiran ini mendakwa al-Quran diresapi dengan budaya Arab kerana orang Arab menjadi pemilik bahasa itu, tambahan pula katanya Nabi Muhammad yang menjadi pembawa risalah juga terdiri dari orang Arab. Mereka menyatakan bahawa kesahihan risalah tersebut tidak ada lagi kerana sebenarnya yang ada hanyalah message budaya Arab.
a. Mempersoalkan Methodologi Pentafsiran Al-Qur’an Dan Al-Hadith
Aliran pemikiran ini mempersoalkan cara atau methodologi pentafsiran al-Quran yang digunapakai kini. Dengan slogan “membuka dan membebaskan tafsiran al-Quran”, aliran pemikiran ini menggunakan pendekatan takwilan sendiri terhadap beberapa ajaran al-Quran yang jauh berbeza dengan pegangan Ahli Sunnah wal Jamaah. Contohnya, mereka mendakwa syurga dan neraka tidak wujud melainkan kesan psikologi kegembiraan dan kesedihan manusia. Hari akhirat ditafsirkan sebagai tidak wujud melainkan satu fasa untuk manusia mencapai satu tingkatan kepada tingkatan yang lebih matang dan sempurna.
b. Menggesa Tafsiran Baru Konsep Ibadat
Aliran pemikiran ini juga berpegang ‘membuka dan membebaskan’ tafsiran al-Quran, sebagai alasan untuk memajukan umat Islam dan menganjurkan agar teks-teks al-Quran menempuh proses dekonstraksi bagi membolehkan tafsiran-tafsiran baru dibuat.
c. Mempertikaikan Kriteria Dan Akhlak Kenabian
Aliran pemikiran ini secara sinis mengkritik sifat Nubuwwah yang dimiliki oleh Rasululah s.a.w. dengan mengatakan ia tidak lain hanyalah sebagai kemampuan kepimpinan seorang manusia ke atas manusia lain (leadership value). Justeru sesiapapun boleh mempunyai sifat nubuwwah tersebut untuk memimpin manusia ke arah ciri-ciri yang baik. Malah mukjizat seperti peristiwa Isra’ dan Mikraj dianggap sebagai bahan cerita yang sengaja diperbesarkan (exageration) oleh pengikut baginda yang taksub sedangkan ia hanyalah sekadar mimpi yang tidak terjadi di alam realiti.
d. Sikap Terhadap Ilmu-Ilmu Islam
Ilmu-ilmu Islam seperti Usul al-tafsir, Usul al-Fiqh, Usul alHadith, al-Jarah wa al-Ta’dil dan sebagainya yang telah secara Ijma’ diterima sebagai metod dalam displin ilmu, telah dikritik oleh aliran pemikiran ini sebagai buatan manusia. Penentuan hukum yang telah qat’ie dan hukum yang tidak qat’ie menurut mereka perlu dinilai semula dalam usaha merealisasikan konsep membuka dan membebaskan Islam melalui tafsiran semula ajaran Islam.
e. Sikap Terhadap Hukum
Aliran pemikiran liberal ini mempunyai kaedah yang tersendiri apabila merujuk kepada hukum-hukum Fiqh iaitu mengambil tujuan hukum bukan bentuk hukum.
Berdasarkan kepada ciri-ciri penyelewengan tersebut, Muzakarah memutuskan bahawa Aliran Pemikiran Liberal adalah ajaran sesat dan menyeleweng daripada Syariat Islam.
Sharing something I picked from surfing …
Who talks about human rights and free exercise of religion?
Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. – http://www.washingtonpost.com
Question: This week France becomes the first country to ban the Islamic face veil in public. President Sarkozy has said the veils imprison women and run counter to the country’s sense of equality; detractors say the ban suppresses cultural and religious expression. What’s the best way for leaders to balance their responsibility to promote a nation’s values while making sure they respect individual differences?
Is the French ban on wearing a full veil in public places invalid under the “free exercise of religion” provisions of the Eurupean Union Human Rights Convention? Just as laws of states in the United States may be void under the higher law of the U.S. Constitution, so French laws may be invalid under higher European Community law.
First, a thought experiment. What if the state of Florida had passed such a law? Would the U.S. Supreme Court declare it unconstitutional under the First Amendment’s free exercise of religion clause (as applied to the states through the 14th amendment)? The key question in the United States is whether the law was intended to be one of general applicability affecting a broad cohort of citizens regardless of their religion,or whether it had the purpose of suppressing a particular religion. If the law was aimed at prohibiting Muslim exercise of religion–in particular the wearing of a naqib (face veil) as a religious obligation–Florida would have to show that the law was narrowly tailored to a compelling state interest. Under that stringent test, virtually all state laws do not pass constitutional muster and are held invalid.
Although French legislators claimed that the law against fully covering one’s face in public was written in general terms and applied to all in France, the European Court of Human Rights will evaluate whether, in fact, the intent of the law was aimed solely at the wearing of the niqab by Muslim women. If so, it could run afoul of Article 9 of the EU Human Rights Convention, which provides that “everyone has the right to freedom….of religion…either alone or in community, with others and in public or private.”
But a second part of Article 9 provides that freedom to “manifest one’s religion or beliefs” is subject to limitations in law “necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public health, order or morals…” And mindful of this language, the French have attempted to justify its supposedly “neutral” law on grounds that it was necessary to promote “public safety.”
In a similar recent case, the European Court of Human Rights in 2004 and 2006 upheld a Turkish rule that women in universities could not wear headscarves. In essence, the Court ruled that the ban was justified to avoid giving preference to any religion (neutrality) and to maintain order. (The current Turkish government under Recep Erdogan subsequently sought to allow headscarves in universities and was rebuffed by a Turkish constitutional court; but has worked out a compromise with university authorities that now allows the wearing of scarves).
Whether the European Court of Human Rights will view the French arguments for the veil ban as a pretext–the ban is aimed, in fact, at Muslim women and does not promote public order (there are only 2,000 naqib-wearing women in France)–will be resolved in the future.
But, to observers from afar without the benefit of a record in a human rights case, the French law does, in fact, appear to be a pretext and to single out and suppress the free exercise of a particular religion. Rather than upholding one of the bedrock principles of Western Democracies–individual freedom to practice one’s religion without state limits aimed exclusively at that religion–the French have instead undermined the need for pluralism and tolerance, which will also be a bedrock principle for relations Western nations have with the great body of moderate Muslims around the world.
Join British historian Bettany Hughes as she examines a long-buried chapter of European history–the rise and fall of Islamic culture in what is now Spain and Portugal.
dipetik dari: http://membelaislam.wordpress.com/
In the days leading to the decision of the case brought by the Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop applying to use the word Allah in the Malay version of the bible, the Muslim community sat muted whilst being schooled by the non Muslims on their own religion. At the helm of this muted movement were politicians including their ulamas, political alliances and Muslim intellectuals who all agreed that it is permissible for the use of the word Allah in the Catholic weekly Herald publication.
The first effect that we shall see from the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court dated 31.12.2009 allowing the Church to use the word Allah in their Malay language publication is the birth of Allah’s son. From now onwards, the Christian God in this new publication shall be referred to as “Allah” and Jesus Christ as “Anak Allah”.
The Muslim calendar, ie the Maal Hijrah for the year 1431 shall be well remembered by all Malaysians as the year where the trinity of Allah accompanied by “Anak Allah” shall be celebrated in the books of the Christians in the mother tongue of the largely Malay muslim populace and marked by the lunar eclipse event. In Surah Al Ikhlas, verse 1-4, Allah says ‘ Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; 2. Allah, the Eternal, Absolute. 3. He begets not, nor is he begotten; 4. And there is none like unto Him.
For the unlettered and unschooled in Islam, verse 3 simply means that Allah “does not give birth”, nor is “Allah given birth to”. It is incumbent for all Muslims, both lettered and unlettered, to uphold the sanctity of the concept of monotheism in Islam and never to allow Allah to be portrayed as having the attributes of a human being, the ability to beget a Son of which the echelons of the political community using Islam as their brand name in Malaysia have so easily facilitated and consented.
Those responsible for allowing this event to take place shall have to answer in their graves and in the hereafter for committing the greatest of all sins, “shirk” or polytheism of the highest degree. No argument can justify the usage of “Allah” and “Anak Allah” in any kitab here; yet those in a position to prevent this occurrence has shamelessly come to the defence of The weekly Herald to teach us how to pray to our ONE GOD.
What is the rationale for using the word “Allah” in the Christian books and how does this promote racial integration or even “One Malaysia”? If anything, this event draws the divide between the races even more. It is a deep shame that we have to live with for the rest of our lives, losing a battle that need not have been fought at all. It is not the fault of the Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop that we lost our pride and identity, we are our own doing. The pride of our community today fell due to treachery by those who fought and won political battles using the name of Islam. In the Quran, Allah warns us most of all against people who sell their religion. Allah says in the Quran, “..do not sell my religion for a paltry sum..”. In this case before us, the situation involved is even worse, they sold their religion for free.
Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar
Persatuan Peguam Peguam Muslim Malaysia