Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Monday, July 11, 2005
Once again there was death and destruction, carnage and confusion. Once again, more than one "Muslim" group claimed responsiblity, if "responsible" is the proper word. Why any group wanted credit for any terrible deed inflicted on innocent people, I am too dumb and numb to know. One group's claim is under scrutiny. Whatever the findings, once again, Islam got a bad name.
I am not writing to apologise for or rationalise the dastardly deeds for I, like other Muslims that I talk to are saddened and angry at the loss of human lives. The victims in London included Muslims. Even if there were no Muslims involved, I would not be less sad or less angry because this is not what Islam is all about.
It is true that the Holy Quran asked Muslims to fight in the cause of Allah:
"Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors" -Surah Al_Baqarah (190).
If killing innocent people is not transgressing limits, I do not know what is.
"Fight those that fight you" means fighting those that would not let you practise your religion in peace. Islam classifies the non-Muslims as "kafir harbi" and "kafir musta'amin". Incidentally, kafir is not a deragotary word. "Kafir musta'amin" are the non-Muslims like those in Malaysia. They are not at war with the Muslims and they do not , in any way, prevent you from doing your duties as a Muslim. There were plenty of "kafir musta'amin" in Medinah and other Muslim cities in the Prophet's time and I am sure there are plenty now. "Live and let live" was practised then, as it is now. There is a surah in the Holy Quran that I thought sums up this philosophy. The surah always gives young students problems because it seems to go round and round even though the meaning is straight-forward:
1. Say: O ye that reject the Faith!
2. I worship not that which ye worship
3. Nor will you worship that which I worship
4. And I will not worship that which you have wont to worship,
5. Nor will ye worship that which I worship.

"Kafir harbi" are non-Muslims who constantly prevent you from discharging your duties as Muslims. I have not come across any yet.

As for the talk of jihad, most non-Muslims are not clear on what it means. Some Muslims are guilty of this too.The meaning of jihad is not confined to fighting to defend your religion when it is under threat. Jihad or jihadah as explained to me means "doing your best" - not wreaking havoc on the public but to improve oneself, materially and spiritually. This means fighting all the nafsu (lust, laziness, greediness etc.) The Prophet, in one of his hadith warned us not to be poor as to be kufur because when you are desperate, you forget what your religion teaches you and you can be paid to do things like killing innocent people and other dreadful sinful things.