Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Long Forgotten Path


According to the Book "Malaysian Chinese : An Inclusive Society", author Rosey Wang Ma mentioned this in her article "The Chinese Muslims" :

The Chinese Muslims, though small in number, form a very distinct and unorthodox group in Malaysian society. In a country where ethnicity and religion are so entwined, these people are of the ethnicity of one community - the Chinese, while professing the religion of another - the Malays. For many, this situation has an implication on the social and political identity of the convert. The question often raised is: "By embracing Islam, or in more popular terms, by converting (read to Islam, in the whole context in this chapter), how much of Chineseness can one retain, and how much of Malayness should one adopt? 

Many people would think; should this even be an issue? However, in practical life, this does sometime create a dilemma. What does he/she write in the box asking for "bangsa" (Race) in all forms, official and unofficial? He will not write Malay, because he is not; but if he writes Chinese, he is assumed not to be Muslim. 

An honest and firm statement.
Whenever I go out with my wife and daughter, chinese Sales Representative always speak with me in Malay language. If I ever speak chinese language with them, their eyeballs will popped out and following by unpleasant face. Chinese Muslim not only being rare species at Malaysia, also not welcome by most people. Most of the reason is due to misunderstand about religion, excessive hatred against Islam and political reason.

The moment I came to Islam wasn't because of the eager to "Become Malay". I stepped into Islam because I had see something that hardly explain. The more I seek for the truths, the more clues and answer keep showing up to me. In fact I did ask God that why don't HE made every mankind become Muslim? And the answer is mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an :

And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed - all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers? 

(al-Quran : Surat Yūnus (Jonah) 10:99 )

After 3000 years, finally revealed the face of pharaoh mummy. Among archaeologists took the mummy from the sarcophagus and put it in a crate with the temperature setting on his tomb in the Valley of the Kings Luxor. The event comes 85 years after the tomb of the pharaoh was discovered by British explorer Howard Carter.

From this verse al-Quran, I found the rest history are relevant to the command from Allah s.w.t. From comparison religions till the perished nations like Pharaoh, I started to realize the difference between Guidance and Assumption. Pharaoh assumed he was god and immortal, although the messenger Musa was sent to him regarding the Truth, which is God Al-Mighty wasn't what he assumed.  But Pharaoh not only reject the message from God but tried to kill prophet Musa. 

Unlike animals, everyone have their own mindset and freewill. The creation of mankind isn't alike with any other creatures on earth, we don't act based on instinct like animals but we have the ability to learn and react. Hence everyone who born unto this world, the first question we would ask is: "Why I'm here? What is the meaning of life? Where I will be going to after death?"

It leave an empty space in mindset that human hardly achieved. The answer is beyond what we may reach, slowly it created emptiness in human's heart. In order to fulfill this emptiness, community started to create various religions for "Fill In The Blank" section. Every answer that trying to be created isn't the same based on certain tribe's environment and society. When we trace back to world history, there are various type of religion existed.

As for truth seekers who look for God, they have found an unexplained coincidence from major religions like Christian, Judaism and Islam. The message like worship only One God, Creator, and few of the rules is almost alike. It also cause imaginary person started to assume Islam modified Christian and Judaism into a mixture yet perfect religion. 

In a matter of fact, Islam isn't a brand new religion brought by Muhammad (pbuh). He was a messenger from God to declare the same message to mankind. People often getting distorted and separated with the message preached, hence prophets were being sent again and again until Muhammad (pbuh) becomes the last prophet to whole mankind. Allah says in the verse of the Glorious Qur'an :

And mankind was not but one community [united in religion], but [then] they differed. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord, it would have been judged between them [immediately] concerning that over which they differ.

(al-Quran : Surat Yūnus (Jonah) 10:19 )

Whenever there are people trying to ask me: "Is it interesting to turn yourself into Malay?" or even praised me like: "Congratulations, now you are more "Malay" than any Malay." I would become speechless. What I'm following is the path that forgotten by most people. Every tribe's ancestors were being preached by prophets, which is being confirm in the verse of the Glorious Qur'an :

And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], "Worship Allah and avoid Taghut." And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was [deservedly] decreed. So proceed through the earth and observe how was the end of the deniers.

(al-Quran : Surat An-Naĥl (The Bee) 16:36)

Hence, when I decided to become Muslim, I'm not turning myself into the so called "Masuk Melayu (Become Malay)" but I become God's servant. The same message that have been sent to the nation before me. I'm not walking away towards unfamiliar path, but I just go back to the straight path that I should be walk with. 

The mentality of becoming Malays not only rooted in Non-Muslim mindset but Muslim as well. The real message of Islam being distorted and turn into cultural lifestyle, which cause some of the Reverted Muslim live and look Muslim alike, but the seed of knowledge doesn't absorbed. Everyone of us have the responsibility to give awareness with just anyone that Islam is a Universal Religion, a way of life according to the guidance from Allah s.w.t. He doesn't command us a strict lifestyle but knowing each others without transforming ourselves. 

"Malcolm X's Letter from Hajj" is the best example that how Islam unites every nationality Muslim. Which stated as below :

THE PILGRIMAGE TO MAKKAH
When he was in Makkah, Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz wrote a letter to his loyal assistants in Harlem... from his heart:

"Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races here in this ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all the other Prophets of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colors.

"I have been blessed to visit the Holy City of Mecca, I have made my seven circuits around the Ka'ba, led by a young Mutawaf named Muhammad, I drank water from the well of the Zam Zam. I ran seven times back and forth between the hills of Mt. Al-Safa and Al Marwah. I have prayed in the ancient city of Mina, and I have prayed on Mt. Arafat."

"There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and non-white."

Read Full Article At Link Below : 

http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthread.php?30889-Malcolm-X-s-Letter-from-Hajj

Whenever people asking me what race I am?
I will explain that I'm Chinese, no doubt. Most of the people would frown their forehead like: "Are you kidding me?" That is pathetic because seems like Western Muslim understand Islam more than any local Malaysian. Islam doesn't ask us to follow other's cultural as part of syariah (This is up to the fella wills), but Islam give us God's guidance to let go any cultural that commit Shirk and Fortune Telling. That is the most challenging part because most of the Muslim get used to certain cultural that apparently against the syariah. 

In the end the simple message of Islam like retain Reverted Muslim race identity and cultural becomes problem, on the other hand the "problematic cultural" being promoted by Muslim as part of Islam. Whenever Islam is being explained, it must be based on al-Quran and Sunnah without bias. The true beauty of Islam would shine with its truthful statement and guidance.

Let's get back to the path of Islam, as we sholat and recite it every day in Al-Fatihah. This is a straight path that commanded to every nation before us. Don't let bias and prejudice lead us to the wrong path, also by those who misleading by making fun of Islam matters. 

If there are irresponsible person trying to create fracture at the structure of Islam, slowly it will turn out to be Dilemma that cause injustice and prejudice. Which is far away from the concept of human rights and justice  in Islam. 

As a reminder to my dear readers and myself, I quoted al-Fatihah as my conclusion. Personally I love this verse very much, because that is the path I was looking for over 20 years in my life. 



Guide us to the straight path

(al-Quran Surat Al-Fātiĥah (The Opener) 1:6)


10 comments:

  1. Bro ng...dont feel that way la. That thot come from narrow minded person. Once u r a chinese, proud to be chinese. The shape of ur eyes, ur skin color n ur dialect can tell either u r chinese or malay. No prob ma...m proud of u. Keep writing!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks brother, Sometime it's not trying to be proud of Chinese or whatever, but trying to tell the community that being Chinese and Muslim at the same time can be interesting.

      I hope there will be more people opened eyes about Chinese Muslim.

      Delete
  2. never give up.. my father was banned by the whole state's chinese community, more than 30 years ago because he was said to have converted to "Malay" instead of Islam. it existed years ago and forever will exist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am proud of your father because he choose Islam at young age... Yup, the mindset can be historical, since era Prophet till the end of world.

      Delete
  3. Chinese is my root, Islam is my faith.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I too am a convert and am looking for answers bestowed by Him on/for us; not to assimilate culturally. Am proud of my culture and will maintain it, as long as it doesnt contradicts or fall foul of teachings in the Quran

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup you are absolutely right.

      Cultural can be divided into two type, whether it's contradicts with teaching of Islam or neutral, which is just a pure cultural that represent our race.

      Delete
  5. Do they know that there are more Muslim in China compared to Malaysia? Mulianya seseorang adalah kerana Islam, bukan kerana bangsa, harta, pangkat atau kedudukan.
    Zaidee Ismail

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks brother Zaidee Ismail.

      Ya, setiap manusia bukan dimuliakan dengan hal yang tersebut, sebaliknya Allah s.w.t. memuliakan orang yang takwa dan ikhlas kepada Islam.

      Delete

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