Rakan Masjid: A President’s Response

dew-leaf

Photo by helgabj

The post entitled “Rakan Masjid in Perspective” [link] looks to have touched a raw nerve among many students in UTP. Again, thank you to those who have taken the time to respond, comment and share their thoughts on the issue till today.

Eventually, the President of Rakan Masjid himself felt compelled to respond to this issue in his blog. I have here on The Awesomesauce Times a complete English translation of his blog post [link], which was originally posted in Malay.

Acknowledgments go out to the many people who helped me translate the blog post and ensure its meaning was respectfully preserved:

1. Akram, my friend, who also happens to be the President of Rakan Masjid himself, from whom I obtained permission to reproduce this article in its entirety and gave the translation some finishing touches of his own;

2. Khairil Hafizi [link], my good friend in ICT (Final Year 1st Sem), without whom this translation would not be complete;

3. Haniff Humam, Farashida Nazari, and Ammira Azmi, for the little things they did as friends and colleagues to encourage me along this translation and for their initial offers to translate this into English.

Enjoy reading; I hope by the end of this article you gain some personal insight into the issue of your own.😀

* * * * *

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.

“Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.”

– an-Nahl: 125

A recent blog post by a non-Muslim student about Rakan Masjid has drawn the attention of many people, including myself. This commentary (from the perspective of a non-Muslim) and comments from other Muslims related to the issue compels me to provide an explanation to all of you.

Firstly, I would like to say thank you for all the comments that have been brought forward, despite some sensitive and emotional responses from the readers. I hope for all of us to be calm.

It is just like a game of football. The loss of Manchester United to Liverpool was a hot topic among many people yesterday night. I’m sure the fans of MU were displeased with the way their team was playing, perhaps even the strategies of Alex Ferguson.

Those may be some of the comments of the fans, those who are not on the field. Imagine the players who are in the arena themselves, fighting for victory with such commitment as if it were a life-and-death situation. How would they feel? No one really knows. True, the fans definitely have a right to criticize and comment, but if you were to switch the positions of players and fans? What do you think will happen? Naturally the fans will develop an understanding of the true difficulty of playing in the game for real.

That was an introduction of sorts to the issue. I would like to highlight here that I do respect all the views and comments that have been put forth; I accept them whole-heartedly. Moving on,

Our responsibility is the responsibility of all

Every human being who is created by God (Allah) on this earth has his own purpose and direction, one of which is to pray to God (Allah).

“I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.”

– adh-Dhariyat: 56

‘Ibadah’ (religious worship) is a term with a vast definition. It isn’t merely about praying 5 times a day, fasting during the month of Ramadhan and other routines we are used to performing. ‘Ibadah’ encompasses every aspect of our daily lives. These good deeds are what we will bring with us as our supply for the hereafter. Are we truly prepared with this supply?

Haven’t we learned the lessons of God (Allah) that He has shown us of His authority recently; the rapid spread of the H1N1 virus that caused the deaths of so many people, and the tragic earthquake in Padang Sumatera? We are all His servants, and there is nothing of which we can be proud with the egotistic sentiments of mortals! The lessons of these tragedies indicate that Judgment Day is upon us.

We should be continuously striving to do good, not to practice disobedience and wrongdoing. Worse is to possess the intent to prevent others from doing good.

Our second duty is as caliphs, or leaders, upon this earth.

“Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity.”

– Al-Imran : 104

That is the duty of the prophets from ancient times. Welcoming human beings to pray to God (Allah) and distance themselves from wrongdoing. Our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) continued to carry out his duty of preaching and propagation even though he was insulted, both physically and verbally, and even threatened with death. So too did the Prophet’s Companions. Islam did not end there. The teaching of Islam was continued by the Companions, passed down to the scholars and theologians, and continues until today.

As spoken by Rub’i bin ‘Amir in the presence of the Persian emperor, Rostam,

“Our arrival is to free human beings from their ignorance to worshiping God (Allah), and to free human beings from the great difficulties of the world to see the world’s richness and the expanse of the afterlife.”

Rakan Masjid must fulfill that role as a student body in UTP. The effort to accommodate the understanding of everyone is not easy. We are not the punishers; our task is merely to build an understanding on Islam’s perfection to all. Whether or not one chooses to accept this is the decision of the individual.

Every Muslim is responsible to preach and propagate to humankind, whether they are Muslim or not. That responsibility must be fulfilled to one’s fullest capacity, for our duty is merely to convey and explain. Every Muslim has the responsibility to preach and propagate to humankind, for the Prophet Noah still preached to his people even though there was not much of an outcome.

Understanding the current situation

We are all well-informed of the many things taking place in our country especially among our youth and family institutions. Cases of rape, robbery, snatch theft, murder, drugs, alcoholism, gambling and other crimes seem more common by the day. The Westernization of our way of life, perpetrated through too much entertainment and sex, is enough to weaken the spirituality of Muslims. I ask you, do we sit silently by with all these things happening around us?

We do not punish someone as long as the effort to preach and propagate has not been made. Understanding and explanation is critical. There is a possibility that there are those of us who are unclear with Islamic laws. This is only natural, as we all come from different backgrounds. In contrast, we provide alternatives or solutions to all existing problems.

Praise be to God (Allah), lately we in Rakan Masjid have had a chance to meet with the organizers of the Talent Search competition. This brief meeting is enough to prove that we are committed in understanding Though the majority of those present during that meeting were non-Muslims, we were able to discuss several things and we treated one another with mutual respect.

That is the beauty of Islam. The organizers received our advice well, and we plan to continue with such engagements in future.

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Image courtesy of MujahidMuda.com

These engagements are actually commonplace outside of UTP. These days it isn’t uncommon to hear non-Muslims speaking openly about prominent Islamic personalities, Islamic administration, etc. Day by day there are also non-Muslims who open their heart and received revelation from God (Allah) to embrace Islam. Allah the Holiest!

It would be unfortunate for us as Muslims if we still talk about one another in a negative manner, ignore our responsibilities and do wrongdoings. There are no efforts to increase the quality of our spirituality and obedience to God (Allah) even though we have recently passed the month of Ramadhan. One merely has to count the number of Muslims who go to the An-Nur Mosque everyday. Is that imposing and beautiful mosque merely so for photography’s sake? Are we afraid of being labelled as ‘orang masjid’? The majority of UTP’s students are Muslims. That is our quality.

Islam is for everyone. Islam is a religion full of advice. Islam is a way of life. Come, let us return to the true Islam. We shouldn’t be proud of what we have now if the values of our life themselves are far from the values of Islam.

Avoid from debating using our logic alone. Refer to the words of Allah in the Koran and Hadith as a guide. The ideology of the mind cannot override the points and arguments of God (Allah) and His Prophets, even when though it (ideology of the mind) may seem correct in the beginning.

I am an optimist, and feeling quite proud too, for Rakan Masjid has been compared with the likes of our government. My advice for all committee members of Rakan Masjid is to accept these constructive comments to increase our commitment to keep working for Islam. We improve on the frailty that is there and has existed, because we (humans) are frail, we improve our work quality, God (Allah) willing.

That is all for now. If you have anything to discuss or ask, you may feel free to contact me directly [link].

Wallahuallam.

About Jared

I am all the awesomesauce you could ever want in a handsome, neat package, and you know it.
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5 Responses to Rakan Masjid: A President’s Response

  1. mich says:

    Glad that the RM President’s view on this matter is as such. I feel better after reading this. Lol.

  2. keane says:

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to translate this response. I hope this can clear things out. As a Muslim, i still feel we have a lot of things to be done to assure that the teaching and understanding of Islam is accepted by all.

  3. wani says:

    i daresay u wud be surprised to see how things are for muslims in Kuching compared to UTP. muslims taking alcohol like its their usual everyday beverages, non-halal meat sold openly, because the non-muslims are the majority, see. therefore i think we are lucky to have student bodies like RM in UTP to keep the wrong way of life for muslims at bay. although i must admit (like many other people already did) they do it the wrong way.

    anyway, it is very wise for the president of RM to reply positively despite the arguments and the harsh comments from the post before.

    itu sajeee…🙂

  4. golongan tua UTP says:

    good job RM !!! … as a muslim, a sutdent body like RM should be supported by all of us not just to fire them without doing anything.

  5. Henry Yew says:

    I appreciate very much the response provided by the president of Rakan Masjid. Nevertheless, I must point out the important fact that you practise what you preach, and you do not do beyond what is entitled to you. Most importantly, you speak through your actions and you analyse situations and events in a more objective manner, not one that is without consideration of other people’s sentiments and feelings.

    No doubt the Rakan Masjid will be questioning on why people, even like me, have been figuratively attacking on the organisation itself. The truth lies in the fact that if you do not provoke others, others will not provoke you. Otherwise, you will have nobody but yourselves to blame should you invite more trouble to yourselves.

    Nevertheless:
    “Islam is for everyone. Islam is a religion full of advice. Islam is a way of life. Come, let us return to the true Islam. We shouldn’t be proud of what we have now if the values of our life themselves are far from the values of Islam.

    Avoid from debating using our logic alone. Refer to the words of Allah in the Koran and Hadith as a guide. The ideology of the mind cannot override the points and arguments of God (Allah) and His Prophets, even when though it (ideology of the mind) may seem correct in the beginning.”

    While I’ll agree whole-heartedly that there is a need to bring back the true value of Islam as practised by the Prophet (peace be upon Him) Muhammad, it is crucial to know where the lines are and whether our interpretations have deviated from the original meaning of the scriptures; it does not matter whether you are a Muslim, a Chritian, a Buddhist, etc., we are humans and we are subjected to different interpretations of scriptures. Care must be taken that we do not interpret and understand scriptures in a way that will deviate ourselves further into something more extremist (yes, I used the very word).

    But remember one thing, you have adopted the Islamic faith and found God (Allah) in your own personal way. You have your own faith, your own scriptures and your own beliefs which I heartily congratulate. Nevertheless, do not fault those who are not Muslims for misunderstanding and turning their backs against you when you impose something upon them (e.g. breaking up non-Muslim couples while they are having a short walk outside) simply because they do not stand on the platform with you, and certainly will not do so especially if the action includes an element of force.

    I have debated about the issue of religion somewhere, sometime. The most important thing that everyone must remember is that your reality is not necessarily my reality, and that your truth is not necessarily my truth. Therefore, your laws are not necessarily my laws, and we hope that we can come to a point of compromise (if not tolerance).

    I’m not in the mood to debate about “Westernisation”, because that will take another 2000 words from me.

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