Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Day In 3

Too lazy to think of any other blog post titles, cuz that's what I've been doing. Too lazy to spend money going out.

So, this time around, I'm gonna talk about this.

Since my generation is at that age when we're starting to think about things more seriously now, I've noticed there's a wave of young people, who supposedly support "new" ideals of how one must run the country.

A majority of them (on my FB at least, it feels kind of sad to always assert this as to avoid generalization to the whole masses), seem to yearn for "kepimpinan Islam/ulama'" and is based on different ideals and interpretations. Yeah I know I seem like a broken record as I keep repeating the same things over and over again macam dah taksub, ha ha ha ha, I apologize, I just don't feel like blurbing on my activities.

I completely agree with the concept of having religious scholars as advisers in any leadership. I can accept that there are religious scholars who are also good leaders, but I disagree with the concept of having it mandatory that a good leader must also be a religious scholar as I've explained in a previous post.

This time, though, I'd like to dig into why some people actually yearn for this one man band religious scholar-leader combo. Of course, it is a matter of my opinion, people may actually feel differently about it, wallahualam.

There is sudden wave of realization that the younger generation is in trouble. Social ills are everywhere, and it becomes a basis for allegations of poor leadership. Semua insaf, semua start join usrah. (maaflah, prejudis sikit dengan usrah. kelemahan diri di situ. ehem. maybe komen tentang usrah tu some other post- said that in the past, but haven't had the mood to do it yet. but not all of what I'm going to say is baseless or irrelevant. Read on). Then, we have people who go overseas or have started to read and are charmed  by calls of "religious leadership" as the panacea to the social ills and inadequate leadership that they perceive.

I am not refuting that religion is not the answer (some people might debate this, but I choose not to speak on that for this post). I merely disagree with how they go about doing it.

Though the intention is there, but what I disagree with is the monolithic conception of religion. "The world is in shambles, but we shall save you, because our way is the right way, it is the ONLY way."

"Ohh tolak X, tolak Y, tolak Islam!" Senang betul label orang.

And they go about that by building an IMAGE, and IDEAL that people would automatically buy into, and thus easily reject anything that does not abide to that IMAGE or IDEAL.

I believe that there should always be room for critical thinking. You lay down the principles and give people room to think for themselves if what is being portrayed or acted upon is based on those principles. "Join me, I will guide you to greatness" is not enough. It is more convincing when people choose you and are able to provide solid reasons for their choices instead of simply because "ONLY YOU can do it right".

It sickens me even more when this mere IMAGE is conceived using religious verses or imagery that puts you on the pedestal of the saints from history, while you put down others who do not abide by this image.

A lot of the religious questions that are being asked, from my experience in Malaysia, pertains the most to image. "Why do you not wear the headscarf ?" "Why do you agree with such and such opinions ?" "Why do you not follow this Syeikh ?" "Why do you not believe in perjuangan Islam ?" I shall ask you back, what is perjuangan Islam ? Is perjuangan Islam only by doing so on your terms ?

Secondly, I feel that although a lot of people want to "find the right path", a lot of them still want to do it by complacently depending on a religious figure to think through everything for them. "It's okay, we have people who are skilled who can do the thinking for us. Have faith in him, because I'm sure what he says is right, and it's a good thing, so, we must abide to it for our own good."

I am not saying that the religious scholars' roles are irrelevant. What I'm saying is it is WRONG to forgo your own capacity of discerning right from wrong merely because "there is someone skilled in the scriptures to do it for you."

In a hypothetical situation where there exists no religious scholars to tell you this and that, but since you have given up your capacity for moral thought and reasoning because you rely on what the "specialist says", how would you know right from wrong ?

Which is why, here, in Canada, it is not a question of "we must have a caliphate figure to lead us", but the question is "what do we do when there is no caliphate figure to guide us ?"

You know the saying where one goes to the East and sees the muslims, but when one goes to the West one sees Islam ? Or something like that. That's because a majority-muslim country doesn't necessarily mean that it is one that follows true to the religion, and it somewhat shows that an "Islamic state" is not a precursor to have "good" muslims. Sometimes, in the absence of an "Islamic-state", or religious leadership, or a superficially Islamic-labeled leadership, "negara Islam" itu masih mampu ditegakkan in the individual muslim.

God wanted his people to be thinkers. Even when religious scholars give out fatwas, they say at the end "wallahualam", only God knows. Although ulama's may be pewaris nabi, but the nabi himself said that he left us with two things, "Al-Quran and sunnah".

Religious scholars are also only human. Thus, you must have the capacity to discern which part of what the "ustaz says" is merely his opinion, and which part of it is based on the principles that God intended us to follow. If you do not want to think for yourselves, the you do not have this capacity. The specialists may be able to tell us how to do things, but there is not only one way of doing things. Even amongst religious scholars there are differences of opinions, doesn't mean that only one is right and the others are sesat. After all, there are a lot of sects, but only one will go to heaven, and that one is the one that abides to the Al-Quran and sunnah, not based on which syeikh you follow.

So, that is all from me today. I bid you well and have a nice day.

p/s: my posts are annoyingly preachy lately. Forgive me

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