Monday, April 20, 2015

TAUHID



THE GREAT QUARREL


Below I reproduce the letter I sent to the press on 18 April, 2015. -- Kassim



THE QUARREL BETWEEN TUN DR MAHATIR
 AND OUR PRIME MINISTER

            I shall not dwell on this sad episode longer than necessary. Everybody knows what the issues are, and I believe that no problem cannot be resolved amicably between fair-minded citizens. The Tun is an elder statesman whose service to the country has been great. The current UMNO President and Prime Minister, democratically elected, has a job to do.  
            Everyone knows that I am an elder citizen whose aim is to see that our beloved country progresses and prospers.  We are a modern democratic nation-state made of many racial groups practising many religions and cultures. Our constitution places Islam as the state religion, while giving freedom to other religions and cultures to be practised in peace.
            We cannot say that our government is perfect. No government is. But we wish to make our country a good place to live in for its citizen as well as for our foreign visitors. We all are a family among many families inhibiting this planet under the rule law. Our human fate is the same, although we have diverse careers. So, let us respect one another, the older generation giving good advice to the young, and the young learning from the experience of the old.
            But the old generation’s advice cannot be like the “advice” of our former British colonial advisor. We must be prepared for our advice to be politely rejected. Further, none of us as patriots should put fuel into the fire. Patriots should help to reconcile. Do not take sides in the fight, or we shall be caught in the cross-fire. As the Malay proverb says, “Gajah sama gajah berjuang, pelanduk mati di tengah-tengah.” Translated, the greats fight, and the people suffer.

            KASSIM AHMAD


             1504, Persiaran Kulim Golf,


            Kulim Golf and Country Resort,   

     
            Kulim.  

      
            O124291152.


ADAKAH SEJARAG BENAR?





ADAKAH
ADAKAH SEJARAH BENAR?
Oleh: Kassim Ahmad
17 April, 2015

            Epistemologi atau kaedah mengetahui ada tiga tahap: kesaksian pancaindera, kesaksian logika, dan kesaksian wahyu atau inspirasi. Dalam istilah Quran, ain’ul-yakin, ilmu’l yakin, dan haqq’l-yakin. Sejarah boleh digolongkan ke dalam golongan kedua.
            Sarjana Algeria, Malek Bennabi, berpendapat demikian, “Barangsiapa tidak memahami syari’ah dari segi sejarah tidak memahami syari’ah; barangsiapa tidak memahami Islam dari segi sejarah tidak memahami Islam sebenarnya.” [1]  Petikan ini menimbulkan tanda-tanya tentang sejarah. Adakah sejarah benar?  
Kita tahu dari beberapa contoh bahawa sejarah tidak selalunya benar. Nabi Musa dan Nabi Isa (kedua-duanya bangsa Yahudi) membawa agama Islam pada zaman mereka. Kira-kira selepas 300 tahun Nabi Musa wafat , Islam yang beliau bawa berubah menjadi agama Yahudi. Demikian juga terjadi kepada Islam yang dibawa oleh Nabi Isa. Selepas kira-kita 300 tahun Nabi Isa wafat, ia berubah menjadi agama Kristian. Nabi terakhir, Nabi Muhammad, datang untuk menyempurna dan melengkapkan Islam untuk seluruh dunia, tetapi selepas kira-kira 300 tahun, agama Islam yang satu berpecah kepada banyak puak. Puak Ahli Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah dan puak Syi’ah dua puak yang besar. 
Fakta-fakta ini membuat kita ragu tentang kata-kata Malek Bennabi. Sejarah, dari segi jangka pendek, sekurang-kurangnya, tidak boleh dipakai. Bila manusia timbul dalam dunia, sejuta tahun dulu, kita kena perhitung intervensi manusia dalam perkembangan sejarah. Subjektiviti, yakni akal manusia, bila bertembung dengan objektiviti, yakni dunia material, dunia material berubah. Telah kita lihat bagaimana agama Islam yang dibawa oleh Musa dan Isa menjadi agama Yahudi dan agama Kristian! Demikian hebat akal -- sebenarnya bukan akal tetapi khayalan – manusia!
Dalam diri manusia ada dua dorongan. Yang pertama menolak kita meningkat naik dalam evolusi; yang kedua meruntun kita turun ke bawah. Sebab itu sarjana Sorokin menyatakan garis kemajuan bukan garis tunggal lurus menegak, tetapi jamak garis menegak dan menurun, walaupun pada umumnya kemajuan manusia meningkat.    
Pastilah, akhirnya, kebenaran (bukan kepalsuan) akan menang, kerana ini undang-undang  semulajadi, atau dalam istilah Quran, sunnat’ul-Lah.[2] Bermakna, dari segi jangka panjang, sejarah itu satu komponen dari kebenaran, yang terdiri tiga komponen, seperti yang telah kita sebut di atas.Telah saya jawab mengapa mengapa perkara ini berlaku. Sejarah tidak selalunya  meningkat naik. Adakalanya ia merosot turun. Dengan demikian, kita tidak boleh menjadikan sejarah sebagai pengukur kebenaran. Tidak syak lagi, seperti yang diisytiharkan oleh Pencipta Sekalian Alam dalam Quran, kebenaran pasti akan menang dan kepalsuan pasti akan hapus.

KASSIM AHMAD seorang penulis bebas Malaysia. Laman webnya www.kassimahmad.blogspot.com


[1]  Dipetik dari Norani Othman (Ed.), Shari’a Law and the Modern Nation-State – A Malaysian Symposium, 1994; hlm. Depan. 
[2]  “Isytiharkan, ‘Kebenaran telah datang dan kepalsuan hapus. Pastilah kepalsuan senantiasa akan hapus.’” (17: 81)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

SURAT KPD PM TT HUDUD





1504 Persiaran Kulim Golf, Kulim Golh @ Country Resort,
09000 Kulim, Kedah, Malaysia. Tel.04.4031871. Faks.04-4080035



Dengan Potlaju 



23 Mac, 2015.



  

Yang Amat Berhormat

Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Abdul Razak

Perdana Menteri Malaysia
,
Blok Utama Bangunan Perdana Putera,

Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan

62502 Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Tuan Perdana Menteri,
Hukum Hudud

            Dengan ringkasnya, saya menulis ini untuk menarik perhatian Tuan kepada beberapa perkara tentang apa yang dipanggil Hukum Hudud:-
            Pertama, hukum ini tiada disebut dalam Quran. Perkataan hududu’l-Lah disebut dalam Quran 14 kali. Tiada satu pun merujuk kepada apa yang dikatakan oleh sesetengah ahli hukum Islam sebagai hukuman tetap. Maknanya yang sebenar, ‘sempadan Allah’, yakni tiap perbuatan ada satu sempadan yang tidak boleh dilampaui. Umpamanya, tiap orang yang normal kena bekerja. Mudarat kalau ia tidak bekerja; tetapi kalau ia bekerja terlalu kuat, mudarat juga. Demikian bagi semua perbuatan. Wujud satu sempadan yang tidak boleh dilampaui.
            Kedua, perintah Tuhan yang utama dalam Quran bagi semua hakim supaya menghukum dengan adil. 
            Ketiga, tiada hukuman yang tetap, apa lagi yang kejam, zalim dan ketinggalan zaman. Hukuman bergantung kepada jenayah yang dilakukan, kepada keadaan penjenayah, dan kepada budi-bicara hakim. Jadi, tidak logik ada hukuman yang tetap.
            Keempat, kita kena kaji semula semua yang kita warisi dari generasi dulu untuk mengelak kesilapan yang telah mereka lakukan.
            Saya melampirkan bersama surat ini (i) artikel yang saya tulis dalam blog saya, dan (ii) risalah tentang hukum hudud yang telah saya tulis dalam tahun 2002.
                Harap surat ini mendapat perhatian Tuan.
                Terima kasih.
                Yang ikhlas,

            (Kassim Ahmad)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

HUDUD LAWS AGAIN





HUDUD LAW AGAIN

By: Kassim Ahmad
17 March, 2015

            Some Muslims pride themselves for upholding what is called the hudud punishments. Do they really know what they are talking about? They think it is God-ordained law. Are they right? They should remember the lessons of history. Did the Jewish Prophet Moses bring the religion of  what is now known as Judaism? The answer is: No. Did Prophet Jesus, also a Jew,  bring the religion of what is now known as Christianity. Again the answer is: No. Did Prophet Muhammad, an Arab, bring the religion of Sunnism and Shi’ism? Again the answer is: No.
            Human history is littered with errors that came to be accepted later as "facts". We are not talking of small errors. We are taking of big ones. That explains the rise and fall of nations. One author has described this historical evolution as "recurring, multilinear, yet ascending." That means on the whole we are progressing, but the line of progress is not ascending linear, but multilinear, sometimes ascending, sometimes descending.  
            Let me cite just one authority, Prof. Mohammad Hashim Kamali. This paragraph is taken from his book, Punishment in Islamic Law: An Inquiry into the Hudud Bill in Kelantan (Kuala Lumpur: 2000) is very telling: “When we compare the Quranic usage of hadd (in the sense of limit) with the use of this term in fiqh, we notice that a basic development has taken place, which is that the term hadd has been reserved to signify a fixed and unchallengeable punishment that is laid down in the Quran or Sunnah. The concept of the ‘separating or preventing limit’ of the Quran is thereby replaced by the idea of fixed punishment.” (p. 46)
            There you have another example of a major error made by great scholars. That is precisely why the Quran warns us of idolizing leaders or scholars. We could be kind if we choose to pardon them by saying that it was their understanding, or their ijtihad, which must be reviewed by the next generation.
            The term hududu’l-Lah (God’s boundaries) occurs in the Quran 14 times, none of which refer to fixed punishments, as understood by some Muslim jurists. One scholar opioned that, “The unchangeability of the hadd punishement is supported by the interpretation of the Quranic verse: ‘These are the limits of Allah. Do not transgress them.’” (2: 229) The verse does not actually mean what he says it means.
            Let us take some of the so-called hudud punishments. Cutting of the head for apostasy, when the Quran advocates complete freedom of belief, some 1400 years ahead of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; stoning for adultery, cutting of the hand for theft are three of the six or seven of the so-called fixed punishments propounded by Muslim jurists.  Take note these run counter to the fundamental teachings of the Quran.
            Take note also that the divine order to our courts is to judge among people with justice. (See Quran, 4: 58) Surely God Who decrees upon Himself mercy (Quran, 6: 12) cannot enact such archaic dan barbarous laws.
            It is to be remembered that Muslim jurists of the four schools differ much in their views. We need not go into them. We should take note that these punishments are taken from the Torah.  They creep into the so-called sunnah/hadith, or Prophetic traditions, i.e. traditions ascribed to Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad’s name is so great among Muslims that anything said to originate from him is sacrosanct.
               We should also note that the Quran has two dimensions, the historically-bound, and the universal. The historically-bound will be surpassed when the historical context no longer  prevails. They will pass over into the universal. The two universal principles are: equal punishment, and merciful punishment. The first means punishment equalling the crime, and the second means lightening the punishment, up to and including pardon. We can see that the two universal principles have been imbibed into all modern civilized societies.   
            The final and unchallengeable proof that there is no such thing as the hudud fixed punishments is that they are nowhere mentioned in the Medina Charter promulgated by Prophet Muhammad himself when he migrated to Medina. 
            Take note that Brunei has already declared that it would practise hudud punishments. However, it is reported that Brunei royalty is exempt from them.
            It is good to hold firmly to our religion, but do not dispense with our reason when doing so. Fanaticism is out of the question. God has forbidden belief to those who not use their reason. (See Quran, 10: 100) We should be able to confront the opponents’ arguments with better arguments. Otherwise, we should make adjustments to our religious beliefs. That is the only reasonable thing to do. Only then can we arrive at the truth. Truly the truth is God. Only then can we be at ease with our inner selves and enter into God’s kingdom. That is Paradise, the ultimate and supreme happiness.
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KASSIM AHMAD is a freelance Malaysian writer. His website is