Thu, 10 January, 2008 17:33:40From:Adis El-Merbawiy
Assalamua’alikum wrmt wbrt;
Akhi Wan Khairul Anwar,
The answer on behalf of some Malaysian ministers, the public loyal Muslims and many more parties in Malaysia regarding to Dr. Farish A Noor’s statement via JARING website at http://www.jaring. my.
I do agree with you Dr. Farish that the height authority of Islam to be a universal religion and in such way very competible to everybody in the palanet was accepted. Yet they (people), have to understand the crux and the reality of Islam nowadays especially in post-modern era where by this religion had been labelled by European Pax-authority of great powers as the most conservative, backwardice and terrorrist sermons of allient followers in the world.
Dr. Farish could claim that the legacy of Islam with the great religious forums or debates were performed and had counter attacked the deviant allies or group of Christians and Jewish people that had kept arguing Muslim scholars about the preachings of Islam and the Muslims had countered them easilly and later on, they were back to live peacefully and harmonious condition in the past thausand years. That was true statement that Egyptian Coptic Christians are allowed to recite ‘Allah’ like bismillah every where during performing their ceremonial and religious activities. Here Dr. Farish should excellently know about the Egyptian Coptic Christians who had been used Arabic as their medium in their daily life even in requiring knowledege, daily communication and the religious scriptures of Bible reknown established in Arabic. So, Allah for them has been exclusively referred to the God in Christianity either those who believe in one God orthodoxically or in the Trinity. In term of the crux of Cristianity for this Egyptian Christians was wellknown by Muslims in Egypt and every where in Muslim world. Nothing to be worried about.
We have always admitting to the ultimate truth in the religions of other than Islam where by their followers were indepted believe in their own religion loyally and faithfully. We did before, recently and fore ever. But one thing, if the reciting and the writing or rather the printing of ‘Allah’ itself has a secret agenda – to pull Muslim crowds or Muslim laytees to Christianty whenever this strategy had not been used before in Malaysia, but rather in Borneo and Indonesia, then this would be a problematic phase of the reality in Malaysia. In Islam, the judgements are always been conducted systematically and precisely according to the factual, reality and the most recent ultimate truth at immidiate course of time being and circumtances, so the judgement must be fair or justice to all parties and all times. The answer to your critics is very clear that, we as Malaysians were not being at that kind of lower knowledge about Islam that force us to study A, B, C of Islam and God or Allah almighty, but we rather aware the secret and hidden strategies that had penatrated our Malaysian government to allow Christianity been propagated to Muslims in Malaysia easilly and fluently.
Any way, Dr. Farish thank you to your excellent critics upon our fellow Malaysians to make us aware about the prestigous and the greatness of Islam and Muslim every where in the planet. I think you have to agree that we love Islam as our way of life, but rather, do not potray Islam and deliver any kind of decision making in such silly way or misunderstood mode of discussion. Thank you very much.
Abu ‘Amrullah Muhammad ADIS El-Merbawiy
Perlis Darus Sunnah.
A comment from Dr. Faris A Noor about the usage name of word Allah in the Catholic publication of the Herald Weekly Bulletine which was banned by the Malaysian Government.
It has been a month now since Malaysia has been gripped in one of the most obscure and arcane of controversies over the use of the word 'Allah' by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
This must seem odd to foreigners for elsewhere in the world Muslims (such as the Muslims of Egypt ) have no problem with their Coptic friends and neighbours using the word 'Allah' to refer to God. Why, even during the Coptic Christmas on 7th January the Coptic Pope delivered his Christmas sermon with phrases like 'Bismillah' time and again. So why are the Muslims of Malaysia so obsessed with the idea of claiming a singular word for themselves?
For those who have studied the fundamentals of rational metaphysics in Islam, one of the first themes that is covered is often that of semantics and semiotics. Odd that many courses on rational metaphysics begins with the most fundamental of subjects itself: meaning and the relationship between the Signifier and the Signified, but then again as any scholar will alert you, one cannot even begin to embark on the social production of knowledge without the ground rules of meaning and signification established in the first place.
The startling thing that the student learns soon enough may seem commonsensical, but crucial nonetheless: That signification is a socially determined, historically conditioned, relative and subjective phenomenon. Words mean what they do simply because the rules of signification have come to be settled by convention over time. There is no essential reason why the idea of a tree has to be referred to with the word or symbol 'tree'; but once that association is made then the rule for that sign is set (not necessarily in stone perhaps) and we stick to it. Otherwise even the most basic of conversations beginning with the word 'Hello' would not get off the ground, and we wouldn’t get very far would we?
The real difficulties arise, however, when we embark on discussions on loftier, more abstract matters like virtue, aesthetics, divinity and of course God. Here is where rational metaphysics gets sticky to a point.
For hundreds of years the Muslim world has witnessed the on-going polemic and contestation between the verificationists-positivists and the nominalists: In plain English, this refers to the dispute over how one reads scripture and how the mortal human mind interprets divine revealed knowledge. On the one hand there are the positivists who insist on empirical referents to everything that is said or signified, and who hence argue that complex concepts like virtue and beauty are, literally, meaningless. Then on the other hand there are the nominalists who take the view that words mean what they do as we intend them to, and while empirical referents are not necessarily close at hand, the words nonetheless have meaning because they are understood in a determined social context.
The Sufis or Muslim mystical philosophers who belong to the age-old tradition of Muslim metaphysics honed this principle to a high art, and in the lyrical ruminations and speculations of Maulana Rumi and his peers, we find the concept of divinity interrogated, explored, laid bare, adorned, embellished, dissected – all for the sake of trying to get to the Truth of the matter which the human mind, with its limited faculties, cannot encompass in its entirely. That is why, as the Sufis will remind you, there are so many names of God: From 'Allah', to 'Gamal', 'Rahim', 'Rahman' and so forth, each of which point to a singular attribute of a divinity that is infinite. Perhaps one of the most enigmatic names of God is 'Hu'; which during the dzikrs (recitations) of some Sufi mystics such as the followers of the Naqshabandiyya order, is pronounced 'Who'. The Naqshabandis do not merely pronounce the word Hu, they even exhale and empty their lungs completely in a rhythmic sequence, again and again, to signify that even speaking the name of God entails totally emptying – thus negating – your human self in the process; as if to suggest that God is all and the human is nothing.
With such a rich and complex history that points to an obvious understanding that the word 'Allah' is merely a symbol or sign and not the thing itself, why is it that the Muslims of Malaysia still demonstrate an understanding of normative Islam that is not only shallow, but also parochial and exclusive? To suggest that the word 'Allah' can only be used by Muslims as some of Malaysia 's leaders have done would suggest that God requires a copyright, and that God would not be understood if you cannot get its name right.
Yet Islam, if it is to be the universal religion that it is, does not need an official language or uniform. Nor does it need to claim copyright to universal signifiers that are, after all, part of the common currency of public language. Once again, despite claims to being a 'moderate' Islamic state, the Malaysian government (or rather some of its leaders) have demonstrated a third-rate understanding of the subjects they are wont to prattle about. That this doesn’t say much about their understanding of Islam, linguistics and philosophy is bad enough; but worse still is how this reflects on Malaysia 's vainglorious ambition to present itself as a model Muslim state for others to follow. Perhaps the leaders of the country should get back to the basics, and focus more on the A, B, Cs of Islam once again…
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
This e-mail has been sent via JARING webmail at http://www.jaring. my