The Sultan of Selangor was correct to seek a revocation of Zamihan’s preaching credentials. As a matter of fact, I implore the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to do the same with Lim Guan Eng’s information officer, Wan Ji Wan Hussin. People like Zamihan and Wan Ji are weak in their Imaan and should never be allowed to preach again. A true Muslim scholar would have reached out to the Chinese and assured them that their religious and cultural beliefs were in no way a threat to Islam.
Not many Chinese – the non-Muslims, I mean – are aware that the word Syaria refers to the path towards water. While my Tok Guru insists that that path signifies a journey (or hijrah) towards purity, others have said that it connotes to the idea of nourishing one’s innermost convictions towards the greatness of Allah. Whichever the interpretation, the broad idea is that only Allah can guide us as humans towards an existence that is more meaningful and spiritual.
The fact is, Islamic laws were derived off independent and original interpretations of problems and issues not precisely covered by the Quran, the Hadith or Ijma (scholarly consensus). It is for this reason, above all else, that the religion allows for scholarly opinion by persons considered to be experts in the Arabic language, theology, revealed texts and the usul al-fiqh, or Islamic jurisprudence.
The fact that Islam allows for consensus reflects dynamism and maturity. The fact that it allows for independent thought and reasoning reflects its faith in humanity and the understanding that our species is on an evolutionary path towards a better state of existence. Not many are aware that the Quran was narrated in ways that reflect the dynamism associated with that path.
To illustrate this point, I refer you to a verse from Surah al-Baqarah (2:219). According to this verse, though some good may actually come off the act of consuming alcohol, the potential for harm far outweighs any good that act could bring. Then, if you were to delve further, you will come across another verse forbidding Muslims from approaching prayers while in a state of intoxication (Surah al-Nisa; 4:43).
At this point, you may be led to think that consuming alcohol is not forbidden by Islam. But that is far from the case. The fact is, the Quran imparts knowledge and wisdom in ways opposed to the rigid and restrictive manner non-readers and non-Muslims assume they are presented. The Quran encompasses all aspects to the evolution of human thought and encourages the ummah to ponder these thoughts accordingly.
Which is why, if you were to delve even further, you will actually come across a verse that prohibits the consumption of alcohol entirely (Surah al-Ma’idah; 5:90). A true ulamma would not see this with a suspicious eye but one that discerns the milestones in Islamic evolution. He would understand that the path towards water evolves with the passage of time as does the accumulation of wisdom and scholarly input.
In other words, Islam recognizes that humans cannot be expected to fully comprehend the word of God at any given time or era. It is for this reason that the Quran imparts wisdom and knowledge in ways that allow humans to approach matters a step at a time.
To avoid misrepresentation, the religion emphasises the need for ulammas (or the Islamic scholars) to guide mankind every step of the way without limiting themselves to the pursuit of conversion. Yet, the ulamma is duty bound to spread the word of Allah in ways that is understood even by those oblivious of the Islamic way of life.
But in Malaysia, the ulammas are doing just the opposite.
They are focused on ‘converting the converted’ without reaching out to the disbeliever. Some even ‘murder’ the religion by denying the faithful room for thought. All you need is one or two such ulammas to scare the bejeezus out of the Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians. With the likes of Zamihan Mat Zin and Wan Ji Wan Hussin around, you can even forget about turning Malaysia into the progressive and dynamic nation our government aspires it to be.
Because of them, non-Muslims are inclined to believe that Islam shackles the human conscience to a point that reduces Muslims to braindead fanatics. If Zamihan is truly the ulamma he claims to be, he would have assured the Chinese that Islam accommodates the coexistence of people at different stages in the jihad of life. Instead, he told the Chinese that they were filthy people given that they ate pork and engaged in practices that were forbidden by Islam.
Tell me, how did Zamihan ever become an ulamma?
How could he not know that even the Prophet Moses recognized the unclean pig to be the creation of God? How could he have forgotten that Allah created all mankind, that even the Chinese were brought to earth for reasons best known to Him? Is Zamihan attempting to rewrite the Quran in ways he sees fit? Is he planning to ‘murder’ the religion and turn the Chinese against people of Islamic faith?
The Sultan was correct to do what he did. As a matter of fact, I implore the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to do the same with Lim Guan Eng’s information officer, Wan Ji Wan Hussin. People like Zamihan and Wan Ji are weak in their Imaan and should never be allowed to preach again. A true Muslim scholar would have reached out to the Chinese and assured them that their religious and cultural beliefs were in no way a threat to Islam.
Only when the Chinese are made to understand this can Malaysia trench a path towards clear waters. Being an Islamic country, it is absolutely necessary for the Prime Minister to realise that the journey towards GE15 isn’t one of prosperity but one of spirituality. Only when the Malays and Chinese begin to contemplate on unity at a spiritual level will Malaysia progress towards heights never before imagined, never before achieved.