Thursday, May 05, 2016


By: Kassim Ahmad
5th May, 2016

            A teacher in my college in Alor Setar, when he posed a problem, used to say, “Come on boys, put on your thinking caps!”, as if thinking was outside the mind.
            Now thinking is a function of the brain that God placed at the top of you and covered it with a hard protective cover. Surely, the brain must be special, and special it is. It is a tool given olny to Man, the Homo sapiens, and not to other created orders, neither to the mineral, nor to the vegetable, nor to the members of the animal kingdoms. Only to man, the vicegerent of God, tasked to rule and change the world. What a wonderous being a man is!
            Yet how many people use their brains? Most would follow their ancestors, even if doing this would lead them to certain doom. That is why many civilizations have come and gone. Britisah historian, Arnorld  J. Toynbee, in his 12- volume A Study of History  counted 19 major civilizations that have come and gone.
            Why is thinking hard?  I presume because you have to stand outside yourself and think. Nowadays we say: thinking outside the box, the box meaning following the crowd, i.e. your ancestors. That is easy, and most people do that.
            Remember, Man’s God-given task is to rule and change the world to his liking. Remember, the angles protested against the creation of Man, saying that he is a corruptor and shedder of blood. Of this destructive side of him we have seen enough. The two World Wars stand as witness. But there is another side of him that the angels did not know. That was why, to their protestations, God answered simply: “I know what you do not know.” (Quran, 2: 30)      
            It was as if God had gambled. What if Man misbehaves and acts as the corruptor and shedder of blood, as the angels have predicted? Where will God put His face? Who will worship Him after this? As the Inquisitor in Dostoyevsky’s psychological-realist novel Brothers Karamazov  stated, “If there is no god, everything is permissible.” That includes murder! What a horrible place the world would be then!
            In another location in the Quran, when the whole created order refused the task of God’s vicegerency and only Man excepted it, God’s response was to lightly rebuke him and said he was unjust and ignorant. (Quran, 33: 72). Here we can see that God knows his bad side but at the same time acknowledges his capability. This capability is to create civilizations and thereby improve his life. This improvement needed courage and sacrife, courage to go against the status quo and sacrifice to challenge current orthodocxy. The history of man tells the story of courageous individuals, the like of Socrates of ancient Athens down to the present day.  Fortunately in moden Europe and America, such brave individuals, working good for the sake good, are no longer killed, but honoured.
            Thus thinking in the best part of our world is now rewarded. Not yet in Malaysa where orthodoxy reigns supreme. Sadly Muslim nations are at the bottom of the ladder. Are our leaders thinking? Why should we be at the bottom when our divinely-protected scripture, the Quran, defines us as the best nation ever produced (Quran, 3: 110) and that our religion the one approved by God (3: 19)? That means our leaders and our scholars are not thinking. How sad!      
             Being sad, though natural enough, is not sufficient. We have to get out of the rut.  The wonder is that the book of guidance has been with us for more than fourteen centuries. Although it has catapulted us into the Number One community for eight centuries, since our fall in the 13th century, we have  remained a fallen community up to now.
            What should we do to regain our rightful place in the world? We possess the best book of guidance. Surely, our scholars and leaders read this book. What is their answer?  Think!  Although thinking is hard, our great ancestors have done it before.  We can do it again now.

KASSIM AHMAD   is a Malaysian author. His website is


Politicalamity9 said...

political mileage, popularity and acceptance is more preferred than the truth :)

Anonymous said...

Apa boleh buat, walaupun mereka baca al quran tapi bagi mereka ada ayat2 yang dibatalkan sebab mengikut ajaran sunnah katanya. Dan hukum2 yang ditokok tambah jika tiada dlm al quran semata2 ikut sunnah. Itu yang saya taula dari blog seorang ustaz. Memang cabang ajaran sunnah macamtu.

Mereka lebihkan nabi dari Allah. Mereka pandai cakap al quran no.1, tapi dari blog ustaz itu sebaliknya. Mereka berpegang ajaran tersebut berdasarkan dari ayat "jika cintakan Allah ikutlah aku(nabi)"

Sebelum ni saya hairan kenapa mereka ahli agama sukar nak fahami al quran, susah sangatkah nak faham sedangkan mereka sentiasa bergelumang dalam bidang keagamaan. Tapi sekarang saya dah faham. Cara kita dan cara mereka berlainan. Kita ambil keseluruhan al quran, mereka tidak.

Jika nabi kata A tapi ql quran kata B. B akan terbatal.

Jika nabi kata ada hukuman A tapi dalam al quran TIADA. Mereka akan tambah hukuman itu sebagai satu hukuman dlm agama Islam.

Itu yg sy faham dr blog ustaz tersebut.

Anonymous said...

Even elephant has bigger brain than man, but the faculty of the heart of man made him a vicegerent i.e. mind/intellect. From inside reaching out further, deeper and diligent thoughts enlighten his worlds.

Anonymous said...

Sura 55: Most Gracious (Al-Rahman)

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. The Most Gracious.

2. Teacher of the Quran.

3. Creator of the human beings.

4. He though them how to distinguich.

5. The sun and the moon are perfectly calculated.

..... and so on until verse 78.