Saturday, 24 August 2013
Monday, 19 August 2013
Given the opportunities provided by various social media platforms, many people share their views on many matters, personal or public. Given that what we read on these platforms come to us based on who and how much we let others to share their thoughts on our defined space, we should not get upset if those views are not aligned with ours. Simply shut them off or just ignore those views.
However, I notice quite a number of us publicly expressed their dissatisfaction just because opposing views appear on their page. Please, grow up. Understand the concept of social media. You are reading those comments or remarks because you have allowed the people making those remarks to be your "friends" or the setting of our page allows them to appear on your page. Just remove the unfriendly "friends" or adjust your settings. On the other hand, please remember that many others are reading your comments and thoughts and not all may be agreeable with you.
At this age and time, we should be able to ignore opposing views. If we want to engage and try to provide our side of perspectives, please do that in a very matured and dignified manner. If you cross the line and use insulting or vulgar languages, the one that will look like a fool will be you, not the other guys.
However, when it comes to make a stand as a group, things will be a bit more difficult. Given people in a group may have different interests and likings, to have a view with accommodates all these interests will be really challenging. Even on something which is quite obvious such as when people are murdered in front of TV cameras, many are thorn between whether those are actions with utmost restrained, friendly fire or simply, murder. There are countries which make it very clear such actions were simply democracy in actions, there are those which expressed their disgust over the lack of value given to human lives. Many remained quite, as if there were no leaders in office to take a stand in a situation where the value of humanity is at stake.
It is also interesting where the so called "liberals" liberally picking and choosing the truth they want to believe in. When they feel not to like a group of people, it does not matter what the facts are, the "liberals" will side the other side with all sorts of justifications.
While people are free to believe what they want to believe, Muslims cannot depart from the ultimate truth as prescribed in the Quran and the Sunnah. Yes, Islam is a revealed religion and it has its sets of predetermined principles which guide its followers in arriving at their stand when an event occur. This is where, sometimes, even the Muslims get themselves confused, what more those who do not understand this belief system.
Many Muslims ignore the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah and use their mind liberally. Islam does not prohibit people from thinking but it has set a framework to determine what is right or wrong. Since this is based on believe, one cannot want to be a believer and at the same time having a belief that is not based on the framework articulated by the Quran and Sunnah. In some society the belief of its people is defined by law. However, this does not work all the time as belief is in our hearts and not what the letter of the law wants us to believe in.
Saturday, 10 August 2013
Today is the third day of Shawal, the month awaited for by many Muslims as a sign of the completion of a month of devotion through fasting, prayers and other acts of submission to Allah during Ramadhan. The first day of Shawal is known as Aidil Fitri, the day where a devoted Muslim goes back to his or her original state of purity due to the deeds performed in Ramadhan. While Aidil Fitri is a day for celebration, it should remain within the parameters of submission to Allah in all aspects.
Here is where culture intersects with faith. In the era of commercialisation, many faith-based celebrations have been portrayed as the time for party, food and spending. While there could be commercials which try to remind the society about those who are unfortunate, the overall psychology during these festivities would be about enticing people to spend and spend.
Two weeks before Shawal appears, commercial about Hari Raya could be heard or watched over the media. Shops and shopping centres would be offering sales. This is on top of commercials Buka Puasa events. While Ramadhan is about controlling one's desire, especially towards the worldly stuffs, the environment was set for the opposite. That's why while the last 10 days of Ramadhan was supposed to be the final leg where Muslim should be striving for the Night of Light ( Lailatul Qadar), many would be at shopping centres instead to be enlightened by sales and discounts.
In Kuala Lumpur in particular, Aidil Fitri is celebrated for a month! Many individual and corporates will be hosting Open Houses, where plenty of food will be served. While I am not questioning the intention of this idea of offering food and hospitality to relatives and friends, in the overall of the whole scheme of things,mew could ponder the consequences of these activities. Does it really reflect the spirit of Ramadhan and Aidil Fitri.
I purposely differentiate Aidil Fitri as the day accorded by Allah for the faithful to celebrate their successful demonstration of faith and submission during Ramadhan with Hari Raya, which to be is the cultural dimension of Aidil Fitri. Aidil Fitri is only for a day whereas Hari Raya is celebrated for a month. Aidil Fitri is about an extension of the act of submission while Hari Raya is about enjoyment per se. In a multi cultural society, there is also pressure for the wider values of the society to be embedded in the celebration. Good or otherwise, I may not be there best person to judge this.
We had quite a number of children from the nearby neighbourhood who came to our house expecting to be given Duit Raya. It has been a custome for Malays to give our cash to children during Hari Raya. Borrowing from the Chinese, the cash is now given in green colour envelops. This was certainly not the case when I was small. Definitely, the ways Hari Raya is celebrated has evolved. What concerns me is the gradual shift of the meaning of the celebration, for a day of demonstration of how Muslims had been successful in fulfilling the demands of Ramadhan into a more cultural-based celebration which may not be based on the original intention of submission to Allah.
I suppose it is not to late for me to ask for forgiveness and pray that all our deeds in Ramadhan are accepted by Allah.