THE TIME BOM THAT IS RELIGION
By: Kassim Ahmad
29 January, 2016
The title of this essay is not mine. I borrow it from Perak Sultan Dr Nazrin Shah’s warning in a speech to a three-day religious dialogue held in Ipoh recently. His exact word were, “When religion is used for reasons other than to spread spirituality, what more when it is sensationalized politically, it becomes an explosive time-bom that could cause chaos and disaster.” He added that Muslims should not be judging each other’s level of faith, as the authority to do so lies solely with Allah.
He could not have said it better. The warning is timely, as religious (read “Islamic”) institutions in this country, like Jawi and Jakim, are usurping the fuction of God in their overzealous performance of their duties. Tawfik Ismail’s view that they should be closed down has merit, as Islam is, constitutionally, under the jurisdiction of the Malay rulers and the Agong.
It is pertinent to ask, “Which Islam?” On the one hand, there is the Islam of the prophet-messengers, ending with Prophet Muhammad, when God completed and perfected the religion of monotheism (Submission, Islam) for mankind. On the other, the inherited deviated religions of Judaism, Christianity and Sunnism.
Some Muslims are unaware that their “ulama”’s brand of Ahli-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah (Sunnism) is as deviationary, as Jadaism and Christianity are. A deep study of history would reveal the matter.
The effect of Sunnism is two-fold. Doctrinally, to deify Muhammad against his will, which these deviationists would vehemently deny. Ask them why they would not be satisfied with mentioning God alone without mentioning Muhammad, as witness their syahadah. Also ask them what does God mean when He says, “Do not worship two gods. There is only one god. Therefore, you shall reverence Me.” (Quran, 16: 51)
Muhammad also prohibits his followers from breaking into sects. Sectarian “Islam” is not part of his teachings.
Another bigger effect is that their societies are universally blighted will material, moral and spiritual problems. The Muslims are currently at the bottom of the ladder of nations, when they were once at the top. Do their leaders ask these critical questions? Tariq Ramadan, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im and the rest of the reformers – what have they achieved? The answer is sadly, “Nothing.” Why?
They have not tackled the basic question. The basic question is to go back to the Quran and to understand it anew. Remember the Prophet’s one complaint to God is, “My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran.” (25: 30)
We have to explain why the Judeo-Christian West has overtaken the Muslims since the 16th Century on. There is no other answer except that in the main they have recovered their once-lost monotheistic world-view.
KASSIM AHMAD is a Malaysian author. His website is www.kassimahmad.blogspot.com