The line between clarity and obscurity

Southeast Asian countries are blessed with their megadiversity be it’s flora, fauna and it’s people. Through out the ages, the various ethnicities has produced an interesting civilization.

Of course there are diferences in these civilizations. But if we take away all the diffrences namely race, culture, religion and politics we’ll have an amazingly beautiful landscape with generally nice and warm people. On a basic level we share a lot of common beliefs and traditions. It’s in our blood.

Or at least it’s how I’d like to see it, especially when things around starts to irk me. I started this blog with the main intention of it being my personal online journal, I’ll write anything I like and anytime I want to. And I kept reminding myself to seriously consider the advice of a certain “Gentlemen’s Club” that is to leave two things behind before entering the club that is Politics and Religion. 

But it’s easier said than done. As a muslim, I sincerely find it impossible to leave Islam “out the door” so to speak. And trying my best to refrain from those two topics, I am going to rant a little bit on “tradition”. Yup it’s ranting mode! I for one am not big on “traditions”. I am not againts it. I’m just not INTO it.

It’s o.k, it colors the society. But it is not something that is hard in stone. Not unless you’re some royalty or something. For the majority of us, tradition evolves with us. When the melting pot is made up of various ethnicity, tradition and religion will intertwind at some point. It’s integration.

With this integration, the splendour and magnificence of the diverse ethnicity is truely a sight to behold and ponder. But, there is also a flip side to it. A commonly seen examples are scenarios where a certain group or clan may tend to glorify each other’s tradition and culture more than religion itself. And worse when using religion as an excuse when most of it wasn’t even practised by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself.

 

Taking it just a tat further, the powers that be argue about the rights of using “Allah” as god’s name by the christian community. They hesitated in allowing the Chinese muslim communities request to build a “Chinese Mosque” and many more petty matters that just doesn’t justify the coverage it receives. In utter absurdity, you start to wonder whether these people even have a basic understanding of Islam?  For what it’s worth, there are a million more things that could be improved on and at least are of some benefit to the people. And finally there is the same old song of the “Insert Race Here Supremacy”. As a muslim I really don’t get what is all the fuss about race? And as many muslims know that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his last sermon among other things stated that :-

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.”

Now I don’t claim to be an expert in Islam. But isn’t that statement clear? Why a lot of people pretend like it’s so obscure is beyond me. In most cases Islam is crystal clear, simple and progressive. It’s simplicity should reduce anxiety, doubts and certain “sensitive issues” in some community especially with regards to tradition and culture. There is a difference between religion and tradition. Unfortunately many don’t even bother to take a closer look.

That being said. I’d like to share a personal experience as an example of a “sensitive issue”. A friend had messaged me on FB urging me to kindly remove a picture of a late friend that I have as a sticky Featured Article. The said image was of a late friend holding up a beer bottle. In Islam, it is forbidden to consume alcohol and thus automatically triggers a defensive response instead of an intellectual discussion.

If anyone would care enough to simply find out, they will discover that the bottle that was held up was a Non-Alcoholic Beer. O.k, granted that a Malaysian minister and a top cleric have warned Muslims not to drink flavoured beer billed as non-alcoholic after it was found to have some alcohol content but did NOT strictly declare it forbidden. Anyone who has tried it can tell you that those beverages are harmless. You can drink all you want but it won’t even get you tipsy. Anyway, here’s the sceencaps.

He means well. And after reflecting on the request, I finally agree to it. Rather than making a biggey out of nothing, I will comply as I am a muslim and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) reminds us not to make things difficult. Islam is simple and clear. So much for a gentlemen’s club advise  :hehe:

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