Ramadhan Reflections Day 8

– Survived the first week of the Holy Month. So many things also had happened lately. We had the controversial rescue of the kidnapped victim, the signing of the wealth sharing, the 10B PDAF scandal, and so on and so forth. But right now, I am asking myself, how come we, Muslims, got so attached in our culture that we make them sacred and more importantly, as our definition of our Islam? Do not get me wrong about disregarding our cultural identity and ethnic origins, I have always been an advocate of maintaining our identity, not for religious purposes, but for socio-cultural origins as stated in Suratul Hujjarat (The Inner Compartments).

– What part of our culture that I say we should not treat as sacred and part of Islam? First, the issue on women. Read our Code of Muslim Personal Laws (PD 1083). With all due respect to the experts who drafted the code, it has a number of provisions that treats women as a “second class” citizens. Second, the way how “tribalistic” we have became. Not in a sense of ethnic tribalism, but on the idea of supremacy. We see ourselves as the supreme holder of truth, where in fact, Allah (SWT) said in the Holy Quran that there were prophets before Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and that “(u)ndoubtedly, the most respected among you in the sight of Allah is he who is more pious, verily, Allah is knowing, Aware. (49:13). Third, most of the times there are Muslims who would say that it is “just to kill anyone in the name of our religion”. I do not get it. Really. There lots of things I could mention. But need to stop here and heed the call for prayer.

Our culture as human race taught us to rely on experts. We have experts in political studies, economics, religion and other fields of knowledge. But are they really “experts”? If we have so many scientist and so called experts, then how come our planet is dying? We have global warming that will eventually affect us all. We have financial crises and all sort of crisis in this world. How do we define the “experts”? How do we train the people who are suppose to be our religious experts? Does it follow that when we memories all the sacred texts, we are expert in our religion? What about our cognitive skills? All we have in this world now a days are men’s (without any gender bias) interpretation as to what is religious or sacred and what is not. These interpretations are codified. But since they all came from men like ourselves, then its is prone to mistakes and there has to be proper re-interpretation based on the current context of our society.

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