Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Sometime in 1998, when I first attended the Annual General Meeting of an Islamic NGO (RICOI), I was introduced to a Chinese-Muslim who a week later approached me in my office suggesting that I team up with him to carry out da’awah (missionary) work on our own and that I should forget about that Islamic NGO as such organizations hinder one from carrying out real and effective da’awah because of its structure and rigidity. I ignored his suggestion and in fact found it odd that someone who barely knew me and had recently met me at a function of an NGO should so shortly thereafter suggest that I should abandon that NGO.

Later, I asked around and was informed that this Chinese-Muslim had two wives and whilst carrying out da’awah work failed to cater to the needs or provide for both his families and frequently asked for monetary donations from others.

What do we make of such a person who ignores the needs of his family but ventures out daily to preach to others? Does not the maxim “Charity begins at home” apply in this case? What good does all his preaching do if he first fails to tend to the needs at home? Will God reward him for all the preaching he does when he fails to fulfil his responsibilities? I think the answers to these questions are obvious to anyone.

What exactly did this person fail in? He was performing creditable work in preaching to others but he failed in his primary duty to first “perform charity at home”, and in that way, as far as his own person was concerned, nullified all the good he was doing in preaching.

Why do I relate all this?

I do so because there is a fairly common perception amongst many that so long as one does good, one is fine so far as the Hereafter and one’s Creator is concerned---that it does not matter whether one relates to God and fulfils His commands and wishes, so long as one does good. In such a case is not then failing to heed God’s messages and wishes and merely contenting oneself with doing good works analogous to the instance of that Chinese-Muslim who also did good but ignored his family? Is not God owed more than any of us can ever owe our family? Has he not given us life and everything that we have or own? Do we not owe everything to him---our sight, our hearing, our ability to reason, our sustenance, the air we breathe, the water we drink---in short, everything?

So often I have heard it being asked, “But what of good people like Mother Teresa who dedicated her life for the poor and downtrodden? Her faith may not have been right but she did so much good”.

My answer will be that we would be no different from that Chinese-Muslim who by neglecting “Charity at home” nullified all his good works. Mother Teresa nullified all her good works by failing to do “charity at home” by ignoring Gods’ signs and messages and instead committed the one unforgivable sin in giving partners to Him.

In Surah Az Zumar verse 65 (39:65) Allah swt tells us:

“But it has already been revealed to thee, as it was to those before thee― "If thou wert to join (gods with Allah), truly fruitless will be thy work (in life), and thou wilt surely be in the ranks of those who lose (all spiritual good)."

How is it right or possible for us to ignore Him (to whom we owe everything) and assign partners to Him? How is it right to content ourselves with just doing good to others and ignore Him? Do we not then, in a manner of speaking, fail to do “charity at home” just like that Chinese-Muslim?

What does God tell us about persons who merely do good but otherwise ignore or fail to heed God’s signs and messages?

In Surah Al Kahf verses 103-107 (18:103-107) of the Holy Qur’an God makes the position abundantly clear. He tells us:

“Say: ‘Shall we tell you of those who lose most in respect of their deeds?(103)

‘Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works?’ (104)

They are those who deny the Signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him (in the Hereafter): vain will be their works, nor shall We on the Day of Judgment, give them any Weight. (105)

That is their reward, Hell; because they rejected Faith, and took My Signs and My Messengers by way of jest. “(106)

In Surah Ibrahim verse 18 (14:18) Allah swt tells us:

The parable of those who reject their Lord is that their works are as ashes, on which the wind blows furiously on a tempestuous day: No power have they over aught that they have earned: That is the straying far, far (from the goal). (18)

Many will contend that they do not deny having to meet God in time to come and do not reject Him and therefore do not come within the ambit of those verses. If we examine the conduct of some of them however, it will not be far-fetched to arrive at the conclusion that when they espouse that they believe in their meeting with God and do accept Him, it is only words that their lips speak but not their ‘heart’ and therefore they do not truly believe.

How is it possible for one who says he believes in the meeting with God when he shall have to account to God for all his actions and inactions and accepts God to nonetheless live a life ignoring God’s commands, signs and messages? Does it not then smack of a person who is hypocritical who says one thing but does another? Does not action speak louder than words? Is it not analogous to a person who professes aloud that he certainly believes in the path to safety or salvation but nonetheless blissfully and without regret keeps walking towards the pit of fire?

To those who believe that merely doing good works without due acknowledgment to one’s Creator in the form of heeding His messages, it is plain that Satan has in fact deceived them into believing that good works alone do suffice and that one need not have faith. Having faith does not mean one merely professes it but means to live one’s life in accordance with such faith.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why believe the Qur'an

Why believe in the Qur’an

1. The Qur’an challenges Man that if they doubt it is from God, look into it for discrepancies because God does not speak as such. This is a challenge still to be met.

2. God in the Qur’an challenges Man that if they doubt the Qur’an is from God, then produce a book like it, or even a chapter of it or even 10 verses and He says no man can. Indeed no one has succeeded, though not for want of trying.

3. The Qur’an speaks of many truths which was impossible for a man, who was illiterate and living in the 6th century in the desert to have known on his own. One example is that of the expanding Universe, which was unknown to Man until discovered recently by Stephen Hawkings.

4. God in the Qur’an has promised Man that He will ensure that it is safeguarded. No other Scripture makes such a claim.

5. Other Scriptures, if we know how to interprete it, foretells of the coming of Prophet Muhammad and his mission to bring Man to God. This is found, amongst others, in the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible, and in the Vedas and Puranas.

6. The Qur’an from the time of the Prophet was perfectly preserved by scores of men in every generation memorizing the whole text so that no one could change it. No other Scripture is so memorized.

7. The Qur’an is preserved in the original language in which it was revealed. The same is not true of all other Scriptures.

8. The Qur’an prescribes a way of life for Man to lead. It prescribes a complete code of life. Other Scriptures leave Man to fend on his own.

9. The Qur’an reconciles all the different Scriptures and explains the differences by stating that Man had altered parts of earlier Scriptures. No other Scripture explains or even tries to explain the differences.

10. When reading the Qur’an, it is clear that it is worded in the fashion of God speaking to you directly and not of some narrative written by Man as is the case of other Scriptures.

11. The words of Man are not included in the Qur’an, not even the sayings of the Prophet are included. It is the absolute word of God. Every alphabet in it is God’s. The same cannot be said of other Scriptures.

12. The religion of Islam is not named after a person or a people, nor was it decided by a later generation of man, as in the case of Christianity which was named after Jesus Christ, Buddhism after Gautama Buddha, Confucianism after Confucius, Judaism after the tribe of Judah and Hinduism after the Hindus( which in its origins referred to people living across the river Indus).

13. The Qur’an teaches the purest form of monotheism, a clear concept of God. It teaches that God is one. God has no son.

It calls man away from worship of creation and invites him to worship only his Creator. False religions all have in common one basic concept with regard to God --- they either claim that all men are gods, or that specific men were God, or that nature is God, or that God is a figment of man’s imagination.

Thus, it may be stated that the basic message of false religion is that God may be worshipped in the form of His creation. False religions invite man to the worship of creation by calling the creation or some aspect of it God.

14. Universality of God’s religion--- the true religion of God cannot be confined to any one people, place, or period of time, as is the case of some religions.

15. No intermediaries in Islam.

16. The Qur’an secures consistency and rationality of belief through its logical and rational principles.

17. In Islam, there is no celibacy, because celibacy is against human nature. Islam urges the Muslim to get married as soon as he can, because it is difficult for normal people to be religious and unmarried at the same time. Islam, as a rule, organizes human nature, but never destroys or goes against it.

18. It does not humanize God nor does it deify man. Everything is carefully placed where it belongs in the total scheme of creation.

19.There may be many sects in Islam, but there is only one Qur’an. The same cannot be said of some of the other Scriptures.

20. Mathematical formula. There are numerous instances of the mathematical formulas in the Qur’an. One prime example is:

The word "land" (barr, yabas) appears 13 times in the Qur'an and the word "sea" (bahr) 32 times, giving a total of 45 references. If we divide that number by that of the number of references to the land we arrive at the figure 28.888888888889%. The number of total references to land and sea, 45, divided by the number of references to the sea in the Qur'an, 32, is 71.111111111111%. Extraordinarily, these figures represent the exact proportions of land and sea on the Earth today.
LAND ---13 times---13/45=28.88888889
SEA ---32 times---32/45=71.11111111
TOTAL---45 times---100


21. Unity of different timings of revelation---23 years. It was revealed bit by bit over 23 long years and yet when compiled into a single text bears consistency, order and carries with it a sublime message for Man devoid of discrepancies.

22.Reasons with reader. It does not command blind faith but explains and reasons things to Man before then asking him to believe.

23. Abu Lahab. One of the great enemies of the Prophet and Islam could so easily have disproved the Qur’an by simply stating that he believed in it and yet, as had been foretold by the Qur’an, he never did.

24. Accurate knowledge of past events

25. Iram. Until recent archaeological discoveries, no one in the history of Man knew what this word appearing in the Qur’an meant. Now Man knows of the ancient city of Iram.

26. Prophet reprimanded. If the Qur’an were the concoction of the Prophet, he would not have included within it the occasions when he was reprimanded and corrected by God. It would have been so simple for him then to have omitted those verses.

27. Never in the history of Man has anyone who has penned any prose containing messages as magnificent as the Qur’an go on to state that it is not his own work but that of another. It is not in the nature of Man to deny authorship of something magnificent that he himself created. On the contrary, Man is disposed to copying and plagiarising a thing of beauty and claiming authorship of it. Why would the Prophet then, if it were his own creation, deny authorship of something so magnificent?

28. Perfect balance of words. Dr Gary Miller, a Canadian Professor of Mathematics in the University of Toronto,recently with the help of computers discovered the perfect balance of words found in the Qur’an. When the Qur’an says that something is like another thing, then both words appear the same number of times in the Qur’an. For example when it says the Jesus is like Adam, we find that both names each appear an equal number of times in the Qur’an. When however it says that something is not like another, we find that both will appear an unequal number of times in the Qur’an, being different by the digit of one. Thus for example when it says that interest is not like trade, we find that both words appear an unequal number of times, being different by the digit of one. And so it is in all instances where the Qur’an says that something is like another or where it says that something is not like another.

Any alteration to the Qur’an by Man, bearing in mind that the perfect balance was only recently discovered, would have unwittingly destroyed this perfect balance and the perfect balance is hence testimony to God’s promise to perfectly preserve the Qur’an.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Let Common Sense Prevail

All the ongoing hullabaloo about the Catholic usage of “Allah” in their publication of the Bahasa Malaysia edition of the Catholic Herald is quite unnecessary.

The issues involved are actually quite straightforward and easily resolved.

Islam does not prohibit usage of “Allah” by non-Muslims. That is the correct theological stance of Islam. Hence one finds Arab-Christians referring to God as “Allah”.

“Allah” is however an Arabic word. If the Catholic Herald intends to come out with a Arabic edition, then certainly they have the right to publish using “Allah”. If however the intention is to publish in Bahasa Malaysia, then they ought to use the Bahasa Malaysia word for God, which is Tuhan. “Allah” is not a Bahasa Malaysia word.

Why then are Muslims here in Malaysia allowed to use “Allah” since it is an Arabic word and not a Bahasa Malaysia word? The answer is simple. Muslims pray in the Arabic language. They are required to do so. The call to prayer itself is in Arabic. It is standard throughout the world. Christians, except perhaps for Arab-Christians, do not pray in Arabic.

The argument however goes that “Allah” has been used by Christians in Sabah and Sarawak to refer to God for a few hundred years. Long usage of that word does not make it right. Something that is not right does not become right by long habitual use. The Sabahans and Sarawakians ought now to be taught that the correct Bahasa Malaysia word for God is “Tuhan” and not “Allah”, as they had mistakenly thought.

Islam holds as paramount peace and stability in the community. There have been numerous instances in the past where overzealous Christian missionaries have tried misleading Muslims, including Muslim children, by usage of words peculiar to Islam such as “Allah”. Allowing Christians use of “Allah” also opens up the likelihood of it affecting the sensitivities of Muslims, especially when the Christians speak of Jesus as Allah’s son or that Allah is a trinity. These are blasphemous to Muslims.

Holy Qur’an Sura 5 - Al-Maeda (MADINA) : Verse 73
”They disbelieve who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One God. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.”

Holy Qur’an Sura 5 - Al-Maeda (MADINA) : Verse 17
”In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ, the son of Mary. Say: "Who then hath the least power against Allah, if His Will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all― everyone that is on the earth? For to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between. He createth what He pleaseth. For Allah hath power over all things."

The Catholics here ought to recognize the sensitivities of Muslims and to be respectful of the position of Islam in this country. They are urged to desist from usage of Allah in their Bahasa Malaysia publications which can lead to statements of blasphemy to Muslims being published. I trust that the Catholics too value peace and harmony in society. Should they wish to publish in Arabic therefore, then certainly they have the right to use the Arabic word for God, “Allah”. Since they wish to publish in Bahasa Malaysia however, then they should use “Tuhan”.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Quotable quotes on "Saint" Paul

Thomas Jefferson--- "Paul was the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus"

The brilliant theologian Ernest Renan, in his book Saint Paul, wrote:
"True Christianity, which will last forever, comes from the gospel words of Christ not from the epistles of Paul. The writings of Paul have been a danger and a hidden rock. the causes of the principal defects of Christian theology."

In the book Christ or Paul?, the Rev. V.A. Holmes-Gore wrote:
"Let the reader contrast the true Christian standard with that of Paul and he will see the terrible betrayal of all that the Master taught....For the surest way to betray a great Teacher is to misrepresent his message....That is what Paul and his followers did, and because the Church has followed Paul in his error it has failed lamentably to redeem the world....The teachings given by the blessed Master Christ, which the disciples John and Peter and James, the brother of the Master, tried in vain to defend and preserve intact were as utterly opposed to the Pauline Gospel as the light is opposed to the darkness."

Albert Schweitzer in his The Quest for the Historical Jesus and his Mysticism of Paul he writes:
"Paul....did not desire to know Christ....Paul shows us with what complete indifference the earthly life of Jesus was regarded....What is the significance for our faith and for our religious life, the fact that the Gospel of Paul is different from the Gospel of Jesus?....The attitude which Paul himself takes up towards the Gospel of Jesus is that he does not repeat it in the words of Jesus, and does not appeal to its authority....The fateful thing is that the Greek, the Catholic, and the Protestant theologies all contain the Gospel of Paul in a form which does not continue the Gospel of Jesus, but displaces it."

William Wrede, in his book Paul, informs us:
"The oblivious contradictions in the three accounts given by Paul in regard to his conversion are enough to arouse distrust....The moral majesty of Jesus, his purity and piety, his ministry among his people, his manner as a prophet, the whole concrete ethical-religious content of his earthly life, signifies for Paul's Christology nothing whatever....The name 'disciple of Jesus' has little applicability to Paul....Jesus or Paul: this alternative characterizes, at least in part, the religious and theological warfare of the present day"

George Bernard Shaw in his Androcles and the Lion, wrote:
"There is not one word of Pauline Christianity in the characteristic utterances of Jesus....There has really never been a more monstrous imposition perpetrated than the imposition of Paul's soul upon the soul of Jesus....It is now easy to understand how the Christianity of Jesus....was suppressed by the police and the Church, while Paulinism overran the whole western civilized world, which was at that time the Roman Empire, and was adopted by it as its official faith."

In one of the best books on early Christianity, Those Incredible Christians, Dr. High Schonfield reports:
"It was not only the teaching and activities of Paul which made him obnoxious to the Christian leaders: but their awareness that he set his revelations above their authority and claimed an intimacy with the mind of Jesus, greater than that of those who had companied with him on earth and had been chosen by him....It was an abomination, especially as his ideas were so contrary to what they knew of Jesus, that he should pose as the embodiment of the Messiah 's will....Paul was seen as the demon-driven enemy of the Messiah....For the legitimate Church, Paul was a dangerous and disruptive influence, bent on enlisting a large following among the Gentiles in order to provide himself with a numerical superiority with the support of which he could set at defiance the Elders at Jerusalem. Paul had been the enemy from the beginning. and because he failed in his former open hostility he had craftily insinuated himself into the fold to destroy it from within."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Works alone, not faith?

There are many who hold to the belief that so long as one leads a life filled with good works, then it does not matter what faith, if any, one belongs to or believes in, and that God shall give value to one's good works and salvation shall await one.

This is in fact a modern twist to the Christian belief that faith alone is what matters and that one's works are immaterial as all one's sins have been paid for by the supposed crucifixion of Christ.

To those who hold to the view that works alone shall suffice,and sadly a number of so-called muslims intoxicated by Western notions of liberalism and inclusiveness subscribe to this view, the question needs be asked of them:

" By what Scriptural authority do you relate this?"

There is no scriptural authority for this view and all that they can proffer is the dictates of their mind.

What does the Qur'an have to say about those who lack faith or those who only perform good works without having faith?

In Surah Al Baqarah verses 6-7 it is mentioned:

"6. As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe.

7. Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur)."

In Surah Ali Imran verse 3 it is said:

"Lo! those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, theirs will be a heavy doom. Allah is Mighty, Able to Requite (the wrong)."

How then can one reconcile a person who does good works but refuses to believe in all or some of the revelations of Allah swt? To these liberal so-called muslims will be posed the question: Do you know better or does Allah swt?

Allah swt has made it clear that there is no forgiveness for those who commit shirik and die unrepentant of that sin.

In Surah Az Zumar verse 65 (39:65)He tells us:

“If you associate others with God, (then) surely all your works will be rendered vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.”

Does He not make it plain enough that good works without proper faith in associating partners to him will come to nought? Which part of " all your works will be rendered vain" do they then not understand?

Do they not consider with care that Allah swt makes it manifestly clear in His Last Testament to Man that Allah swt requires both faith and works? How then do they consider the following verses?

Surah Al Baqarah verse 82 (2:82)
“And those who believed and did good works, they are the inhabitants of Paradise, abiding therein eternally.”

Surah Al Maeda verse 9 (5:9)
“God has promised those who believed and did good works that for them is a tremendous reward (in Paradise).”

Surah Al Araf verse 42 (7:42)
“And those who believed and did good works…they are the inhabitants of the Garden (of Paradise), abiding therein eternally.”

Surah Yunus verse 9 (10:9)“Those who believe and do good works, their Lord guides them by their faith. Rivers will flow beneath them in the Gardens of Delight.”

Surah Maryam verse 96 (19:96)
“Upon those who believed and did good works shall The Most Gracious [God] bestow [His] Love.”

The question then arises who are the believers? Does it encompass all who simply says "I believe in God", although their concept of God and God's revelations may vary?

In Surah An Nisa we are told:
" O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray."

Can we then term those who disbelieve in the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and disbelieve in the Holy Qur'an as believers contrary to what Allah swt has instructed us?

Allah swt indeed asks of them in Surah Al Hujraat verse 16(49:16)
"Say: What! Will ye instruct Allah about your religion? But Allah knows all that is in the heavens and on earth: He has full knowledge of all things."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Different worlds

Your world was so different
From mine dont you see?
We could never be close though we tried.
We both reached for heavens
Though ours werent the same
Thats what happens when two worlds collide.

Those lines of the song from Jim Reeves just about sums things up. The world of Islam and the world comprising the rest are so different that inevitably collisions will occur. I am not so much referring to physical collisions, though undoubtedly those do occur,but rather to the collision of ideas, of values and to the philoshy of life itself.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Racism is un-Islamic

What do we make of Malays who delight in practising racism and racial discrimination?

Do they forget that the Prophet himself (pbuh) married women from across the racial divide and treated them all equally?

Do they think that the Palestinians and Bosnians and Iraqis and Afgahans whose causes they so proudly champion are Malays?

Do they think that Bilal ibn Rabah was not an African slave?

Do they not know that when the Muslims conquered Egypt, Ubaydah ibn Thamit who was black, led the Muslims to meet Muqawqis, the Christian leader of Egypt.

And when Muqawqis said: "Get this black man away from me and bring someone else," the Muslims refused and said that Ubaydah was their leader and the best of them who they obeyed, forcing Muqawqis to talk to Ubaydah.

Do they not know that one of the greatest achievements of the Prophet (pbuh) was that he demolished tribalism?

And yet they claim to follow the Prophet(pbuh)?

Why do they fall prey to Shaitan's deceit?

What malady ails them?

Why do they insist on reverting to the days of jahilliyah?

Do they forget that the Holy Qur'an tells us:

"And Mankind is naught but a single nation" Surah Al-Baqarah verse 213 (2:213)


O Mankind We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you and God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). Surah Al-Hujraat (49:13)

Or do they imagine that they know better than Allah swt?