Mahathir does not understand what he is talking about because he is not a scholar. He is going on and on about the result or symptoms of the division of the ummah. He should talk about the cause of this division. The cause is because politicians like Mahathir have adopted the divide-and-rule strategy of turning the ummah against each other. And that is why Mahathir and Lim Kit Siang can work together: because both are using Malays to screw Malays.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Just as PAS gathers 200,000 supporters in Terengganu, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad laments that Muslims are not living as Muslims — meaning Muslims are not true Muslims. That probably goes for Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., as well but that is another debate for another time. Today we will just discuss what Mahathir said about deviant Muslims.
Mahathir once said Muslims should not sport beards and that the only reason Prophet Muhammad kept a beard is because they had no Gillette shaving blades at that time. That is actually true (that there were no Gillette shaving blades at that time) because the company was formed in 1901 and not in 600. Nevertheless, is this the reason why Muslims, the Prophet included, had beards?
Long before the birth of the Prophet people in the Arabian Peninsula already practiced the Haj ritual. Hence the Haj is actually a pre-Islamic ritual. And one of the rituals is the shaving of the head. If the Arabs back in, say the year 100, did not have any shaving utensils, how did they shave their heads? They were able to shave their heads but were unable to shave their chins, according to Mahathir’s understanding of why Muslims kept beards but shaved bald.
When Mahathir talks he simply shoots from the hip and what he says is not based on academic research. Mahathir should read more or take short three-month courses at Oxford and Cambridge on Philosophy of Religion, Political Philosophy, Comparative Religions, World Religions, History of Religions, and so on. This will open his mind to the truth, as now Mahathir has a very narrow view of ‘truth’ and to him ‘truth is as I see it’.
Mahathir said Muslims only perform fardhu ain and do not really follow the Qur’an. This statement alone demonstrates Mahathir’s shallow understanding of the Qur’an. Fardhu ainis between you and God (Allah). If you fail to perform fardhu ain you have sinned against God. More important than fardhu ain is fardhu kifayah. If you fail to perform fardhu kifayahyou have sinned against humankind.
Let us look at a simple example to demonstrate how this works. Let’s say you are the Prime Minister and you have political power. But then all the banks in Malaysia are non-Islamic, in that they charge interest on loans. Hence every Muslim in Malaysia who borrows money needs to pay interest and would be indulging in sin.
You as Prime Minister can do something about this. You can set up Islamic banks that do not charge interest but work on the basis of partnership and profit sharing. But then you do not. You allow the Muslims to continue to sin by paying interest. So you have sinned against humankind and God cannot forgive you for this. You need to seek forgiveness from every Muslim who is dead, still alive, or yet to be born as long as their sin continue even after your death.
Mahathir talks about reading the Qur’an and about understanding what you read by comparing many different translations to make sure you are understanding correctly what you read. Actually, no need to go so far and to discuss this in a very complex manner. Let us just simplify the discussion and see if Mahathir understands what he is talking about or whether he is as misguided as those Islamic State (IS) terrorists he is condemning.