Saturday, August 29, 2009

NEW BOB AGENCY - What the Quran says about Non-Muslim places of worship

This blogpost is now featured in the book, The Quran and I :)


Rebecca Casilda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Thank you..

Auntie Dot said...

Too bad your house number was 14, not 19, otherwise you could well be "The Chosen One", (The Matrix soundtrack playing in the background).

Why is it that our religious teachers were..sorry, i repeat that, ARE not equip to answer questions, is beyond me. My dotter gets the same raised eyebrow, how-can-i-make-this-girl-shut-up penetrating stare from her ugama teacher for asking questions in class. A free lance ustazah actually outrightly refused to accept her as a student (tuition like) because she admitted to me, that she could not answer some of my dotter's questions, in regards to history of Christianity and Judaism or simple things like, "Ustazah, kenapa quitex haram, sebab masa zaman nabi dulu, quitex belum direka lagi, jadi macam mana nabi tau quitex haram?"...sigh...obviously curiosity and the art of annoying others are hereditary traits.

But the system is as such, that the religious teachers could not answer my question back then, and they still cannot answer the questions posted by my dotter now. Why is that?

We may pray in different gestures, or places we call the 'house of God', but in the end, all prayers go to the same God;He is, OUR God...
2:186 "When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me: that they may walk in the right way. "

Abdullah said...

as always you hit the nail on the head. These questions that you persisted with are not typical of a huge majority of schoolchildren that that age. They would be ordered to keep silent and listen to their elders and betters, and that would be the end of the conversation.
I too have had similar experiences in agama class, where my questions would be beyond the reasoning of many schoolboys at that age. However, the school that I went to (a certain private Islamic school in Gombak) had a very good line-up of teachers who were able to explain and discuss with their students. Nevertheless, in retrospect, their views were still very 'typical' Islmamic views, but it did not bother me too back then. It was only when I had entered university that I began to re-evaluate many the many questions I once had, but found many of the religious community to be lacking in the ability to provide answers. Theirs was a broken record, playing the answers "because it is fobidden", and “they will go to hell”. These answers for me were insufficient, as at the time, I was as much on the company of Muslims as well as Non-Muslims. Even my long term-girlfriend at the time was a Non-Muslim.
As Muslims, I think we need to reevaluate our selves. Instead of taking the Zionist stance of “We are the chosen people of God and we will prevail”, I think we should start thinking in terms of “If we are the chosen people of God, then let our deeds to others show it”.

They too are creations of our Lord.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anas,
Grew up in Jalan Gajah. Studied in CLS/SXI.
Totally agree that growing up in the vibrant multiracial neighbourhoods of Penang actually make for more sane tolerant people.



jon pour do care said...

Salam Bro. Anas,


Itu lah Non Quranic prinsip yang di guna pakai olih sesetengah mereka yang bergelar diri mereka MUSLIM !

Elixir Rhapsody said...

Well said. The Al-Quran explains it all very well. We must be respectful towards others at all times. Akhlak is very important when dealing in such matters. =)

About those ustazs and ustazahs, instead of admonishing the child, they should explain well to the child so that the child will understand why is such so and so.

Penghayatan dalam beragama sangat penting. Tak boleh taqlid buta. Tiada gunanya beramal tanpa ilmu kerana jiwa akan terasa kosong, kan?

AnyaR said...

Such a heartwarming post! I couldn't find a better word for it, so had to use something so cliched. :)

This says it so much better than any takbir, any ulama', any religious extremist I have ever heard.

And particularly awesome because of the recent temple fiasco.

Anonymous said...

That's a great piece of writing and it's deservedly started off a really good discussion.

The number of Christians who talk about 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth' and forget that what Jesus taught was in direct contrast continuing from that phrase by saying 'but I say unto you if someone strikes you on the cheek, turn the other cheek'.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and too many people have very little knowledge of the faiths they profess to follow let alone those of others.

Thankou for your insight into Islam's compassionate teachings.

Nagalingam S said...

Dear Anas,

I know some of you are going to raise their objections when they read this but Anas you can sure attest to this.

We Penangites are one lucky lot as we experience what's it like to live as a true blue Malaysian. I share the same sentiments of my my brother Anas!!!I am proud to call him even though he is a Muslim and I am an Hindu because that's how we were taught to live with each other.

I grew up in a kampung vicinity and you won't believe the exploits that I had, imagine a Hindu boy lining with my Muslims friends to collects the free food at the mosque, was it an issue for the mosque official, no way hose!!!!He laughs it off that I buat dosa as I had not fast but he was happy to share it with me. That's was what I treasure most as a Malaysian.

Grew up in a kampung, studied in a missionary school and did my Form 6 at a Chinese school, attended church, was a Boys Brigade Member, was a caroller and I could on and on!!.

All that was a beauty of being a Malaysian. And I see today what's going around us in Malaysia, how I wish with whack of the magic wand, we can go back to the good old days.

To my true Malaysian Brothers and Sisters, may we have a great 52nd Merdeka Celebrations and to my Muslim Brothers and Sisters, have a great Ramadhan and please pray for our beautiful nation MALAYSIA


Anonymous said...

Lovely read.

I relate well to your RE experiences. Seems like all the Uztaz and Uztazahs were churned out from a very rigid, structured curriculum. Sad.

audrey said...

With Malaysians like yourself, there is hope for all of us here! Happy Merdeka!!

Anonymous said...

Anas, you bring back memories of my younger years in Ayer Itam, Penang, where we accept the co-existence and join in the celebrations of the various religions. I remember Ustaz Mahyuddin too. Behind the stern facade is an understanding man. I wonder who the ustazah was? Was it ustazah Siti Hajar?

sri hartamas

malaysiatop1000 said...

Nice article, uniquely inspiring. Thanks and all the best.

Anonymous said...

[O humankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know and deal with each other in kindness (not that you may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God (is he who is) the most righteous of you, and God is Knower, Aware.] (Al-Hujurat 49:13)

The above verse emphasizes the point that in Islam there is no place for intolerance, prejudice, or bigotry based on color, race, nationality or any such considerations. This all-encompassing tolerance of Islam applies to all elements of life and all affairs of Muslims.

azmir chong abdullah said...

orang selalu ikut cakap ustazah. ustazah selalu ikut cakap cikgu dia. cikgu dia ikut cakap mak cikgu dia. mak cikgu dia pulak jahil pasai agama. kesimpulan, 1 kelas discriminate other religion. bodoh kan kelas aku dulu time skolah. nasib aku kurang sikit. hahaha

akram izamy said...

to azmir..jangan laa marah sangat.x sume ustaz or ustazah camtu..apa2 pun aku ada gak tak puas hati dengan guru-guru yang mengajar agama nie (penah kene ketuk kepala dengan ustaz)..kepada sesiapa yang ada masalah dalam soal agama nie..tanya laa mereka yang agama kat sekolah nie.mmmmmmmm.kureng laa...

ghkok said...

What a coincidence ! I grew up in Lebuhraya Fettes Pertama, about 5 mins away from your house. I would have rode my bicycle past your house countless times. I remembered New Bob Agency .. i think it's now a chicken rice shop. I also remembered the temples. I would like to "add value" here. While you journey through the path of Islam, I journeyed through the path of Buddhism. I discovered that the "To Kong" and the "Hungry Ghost Festival" in all its glorious "Tong Tong Cheng" is NOT Buddhism. Neither is the massive burning of huge incense sticks at the "triangle land" which you couldn't have missed then. Several years ago, I seriously embarked on studying Buddhism - the Dhamma as well the pracise of meditation. The activities of the Hungry Ghost Festival would have been frowned upon by serious practitioners of the Dhamma. Anyway, the Festival is perhaps less about religion than about Chinese customs and tradition .. a tradition that may not even have survived in China in view of the massive changes during the cultural revolution ! I hope I managed to add some value here.

CTLee said...

Bro Anas,

Your article really touches my heart. All religions preaches love and compassion. There should be no barrier between us. Malaysia will have hope if there are more people like you in our midst. Syabas.

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful posting on Islam but I CANNOT recognise the Islam that is practised by UMNO govt with its unfair, ketuanan and arrogant ways. It is miles apart from the loving and gentle Islam you portray. Betul ka???

Qakz Tina said...

there's a big smile on my face. and warm hope in my heart. thank you :)

Lyn Dawina said...

I've always had questions pertaining to Islam too as I was growing up.. and have come to realise that not all Uztaz/Uztazah are equipped to answer them in a logical/reasonable manner.

I am mindful of who I pose my questions to these days, unfortunately.. there are not many of them around.