Archive for July 2012

Manusia biasa luarbiasa

posted by Martinelli Hashim

No comments

Selepas bercerita tentang sikap teman-teman yang melukakan hatinya, anak gadis saya bertanya, "Kenapa orang sanggup buat jahat kat kita, bu?"

Saya jawab," Syakirah, Allah tak beri kita orang-orang yang kita mahu. Tapi Allah beri kita orang-orang yang kita perlu. Teman yang jahat atau yang baik itu semua kita perlu untuk menjadikan kita matang, hebat dan lebih mendekati Allah asalkan kita redha dan sabar dengan apa yang Allah sudah takdirkan. Yang penting ialah kita belajar dari apa yang Allah bentangkan itu dan jadikan diri kita lebih dari mereka yang kita temui itu. Pengalaman yang menyakitkan itu mahal harganya sekiranya ia dijadikan pengajaran dalam menuju kehidupan yang lebih baik. Jadilah remaja Islam luar biasa bukan remaja yang biasa-biasa. Remaja luar biasa tidak lari dari masalah, jauh sekali dari mengalihkan masalah kepada orang lain. Remaja luar biasa besar jiwanya, tinggi budinya."

"Allah juga tidak beri kita kehidupan yang kita mahu tetapi kerana kasihNya kepada kita diberikan kita kehidupan yang kita perlu. Yang baik itu sudah tentu dari Allah dan yang kurang itu sudah tentu puncanya dari kita. Bersykurlah dengan apa pun yang dianugerahkanNya kerana hanya Dia yang maha tahu apa yang kita perlu. "

Kata ulama kalau mahu tahu seseorang itu adalah baik di mata Allah atau tidak lihatlah bagaimana orang sekeliling memandangnya. Kalau secara umumnya manusia merasakan dia seorang yang baik, InsyaAllah dia juga adalah seorang yang baik pada pandangan Allah.

Orang yang baik itu ibarat air sungai yang mengalir lembut.  Ia menyegarkan mata memandang, melegakan tekak yang kehausan dan mendinginkan badan yang kepanasan.

Perbualan kami berterusan sampai masing-masing mengantuk dan terus tertidur.

Soalan anak-anak yang perlu jawapan tepat agar mereka dapat berfikir menggunakan acuan yang betul. 

Pengalaman membesarkan anak-anak remaja adakalanya membuat ibubapa sesak dada. Tersilap jawapan boleh membahayakan fikiran anak. Tersilap reaksi badan atau mimik wajah semasa menjawab juga bakal memberi kesan yang besar kepada si anak. 

Seolah-olah ada suara berkata, "Jadilah ibubapa yang luar biasa, bukan ibubapa yang biasa-biasa walaupun kita hanyalah manusia biasa."

Betapa beratnya tanggungjawab kita mendidik pewaris yang bakal melakarkan corak  kehidupan generasi akan datang. Terdidik anak muda, InsyaAllah terdidiklah ummah.

Moga Allah membantu anak-anak kita membuat pilihan yang betul untuk kebahagiaan mereka di dunia dan akhirat.
Moga Allah membantu kita menunjukkan sikap yang betul agar kita mampu menyediakan acuan yang betul.

Islam, Democracy and Human Rights oleh Prof Tariq Ramadhan

posted by Martinelli Hashim


Mengambil-salin catatan oleh, melalui email grup CESMAC.

Professor Tariq Ramadan, Penang in Asia Lecture III


The Arab Awakening and Democracy

Concerning the Arab Awakening, media is not shedding enough light. Media is supporting some uprisings but not in others. I am cautious about what is happening in the Arab Spring if we were to look at it only from the political side. The awakening is not only about political reasons but socio economic as well. It is not the right picture if only viewed from geo politics.

I am cautiously optimistic. With the energy of the grassroots people, the young, from over half a century of being impossible to happen, but something has changed in the minds, the mindsets. It is still too early to assess, so the caution.

Europe, the old continent celebrates the old democratic model which was historically much earlier than the USA. We should come with a deeper understanding of democracy, being very much aware that everywhere democracies are in deep crises. The people have seen economic institutions, multi national corporations (MNC’s) and technocrats taking over countries.  Celebrate democracy but do not be too naive.

We need not only celebrate its principles but look for a new model – where duties and rights of citizens matter, for economic and strategic reasons, models for societies in politics and in freedom. Without economic parameters, of stability and economic independence, there is no democracy. Without economic autonomy,  there is no freedom. It is democracy under control. 

This means there is no dignity in decision making and policies. It adds complexities to social justice. Without freedom of opportunity, there is no social justice. Social justice is an economic reality. We have democratic principles but are not consistent in the daily realities and experiences of the people.

Islam and Democracy

We have to admit that Islam is not well perceived. Muslims are on the defensive and a lot of time is wasted on trying to portray its openness and suitability. How do we implement its principles when there are those who are playing and pushing the ground. Concerning the Western complex, we say we do not care but we care about what they think.

There is no democracy without cultural independence. We know that world culture is Western culture. To have intellectual independence is to resist such global culture. Having a defensive culture is opposite to that of having a free mind.

Even some leading Muslims are populists. If you lose your principles, you become populist. For instance, be ready look at immigration, identify the problems, deal with it beyond being emotional but based on just democratic principles.

As Muslims, we do not have a problem with democracy but democracy has problems.

Before the 80’s, many Islamists insist that we already have the syura system for consultative process. In the heat of the polemics concerning democracy, Mahmud Nahnah even invented another name “syuracracy” .

Terminology does matter, is important in a situation of power where the powerful determine its use. In some instance the term “resistance” is used but when its suits them, resistance becomes “terrorists”.

Qaradawi and Ghanoushi have said that they have no problem with democracy. But actually much earlier, Muhammad Abduh had said that we have no problem with the British Westminster system. Hasan al Banna in the 40’s said that we can use the British parliamentary system.

So, principles are Islamic but models and systems are historical, are open. The idea of parliament is not from a Muslim mind but it is not against it. We uphold and establish principles, then lay the models. Literalists would want the 7th century models but if we were to follow the footsteps of the Prophet s.a.w. , we stick to Islamic principles and find the  models.

Concerning the opinions of Maududi and Qutb, they were in the position of a minority facing a majority. They were rejecting the terminology of the majority. It was termed then as jahiliyyah vs. Islam – ignorance vs. Islam. It was the psychology of their position at that time. They were facing persecution, severe repression by the regime, by their own Muslim leaders.

But things have changed with history. As in Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt, we do not have problems with democratic principles but not all of the models offered.

What are the  main principles of governance of the democratic models? Ethics should be governing the models as enjoined b y Islamic tradition. Muslims should respect the principles, layout the models which should fit the reality of their country, their narrative, their history, their culture, their citizens. Every country is different, has its own diversity, its own collective psychology.

Let us go beyond simplistic terminologies and principles, a liberating process from imposed terminology, looking at the substance of the word.

There are six critical principles of Islam in governance:-

1. Rule of Law

Whether in legal, fiqh, relationships are based on contracts, agreements and rules. As citizens we work within the system. Within the system, we may struggle for more justice, go for law reform, in order to improve the dignity of the country.
Philosophically, we need the presence of a counter power, for that is the way for principled human beings.

2. Equal Citizenship

Equality for every single citizen of whatever background. We are a pluralistic society, which we must be willing to accept and realise. A society with diverse cultural and religious background, politically as well. Every citizen of any origin should be equated by law.
Upon his arrival in Madinah, the Prophet s.a.w. addressed the Jews by saying, “You are part of us (our community – ummah), you have rights as we have”.
There should be no discrimination. We have to unify in a nation. Get a Malaysian narrative, a common history, everyone must be part of the narrative, everyone must be a citizen and be part of the nation. This binds us.

3. Universal Suffrage

The right to vote, the right to determine that the one who leads has the support of the majority.

4. Accountability

This is best shown by the example of the first caliph Abu Bakr who enjoined the people to follow him if he was right but to correct him if he was wrong.
It means that the mandate belongs to the people, the leader has to go back to the people. There cannot be just passive citizens waiting for leaders to die, only to have leadership inherited by their children in waiting, but by active citizens who make leaders  accountable.

5. Separation of Powers

This is well illustrated by the example of the fourth caliph Ali losing his case (property claim) in front of a truly independent judge.

6. Proper Structures of Authority within the State

Secularism was bad experience for colonised Muslim countries. Colonizers came to divide and rule. In the Arab states, secularism was used to control freedom and repress people. The state decides the religion and thus controls religion and suppresses religious resistance to colonisation and then onto the autocratic regimes that came later.

We have to differentiate the authority of the fundamental pillars, the qat’iy, aqidah, ibadah and the prohibitions which are not disputed and of authority on high. Then there are the masalih, which needs consensus, syura, which are the challenged and contemporary models in the public sphere.

Anything in the public sphere must be dealt with an ethical position. In secular models, there can be immorality in politics. We want ethics in politics, a moralising economy – we cannot accept Machiavellian models in politics. We have common and contemporary values – a common ground with everyone in ethics. These values can be shared with everyone. We need to reconcile ethics and democracies. Religious principles are connected but are not to be  confused.

We do not want to divorce state and ethics. We do not want religion  to be replaced by economic powers who then make decisions for the nation. We do not want lobbyists, MNC’s and those with money to determine the state.

Islam and Human Rights

In the beginning, Muslim countries and Islamist parties are dismissive of the discourse on human rights. But the principles of karamah insan is itself a declaration of human rights. Muslims are apprehensive of the intention of human rights declarations which infringe religion.  But we have to look at the substance.

Take the example of Gandhi, when he was asked to support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he took some time to reply, and in replying said, “ my mother reminded me that for every right, there is a duty”.

We are the vicegerents on earth, we do not own it, we only are representatives. We have responsibilities and rights. We have commitments and obligations to society. We have to have dignity and respect for humankind. In upholding our rights, we should not impose and infringe upon others.

I tell you, you have to start with yourself and your duties. As an example. It is totally unacceptable to allow the detentions in Guantanamo to go on. And how come it is ok when Arabs are killed but not acceptable when it is an American. These are double standards. We must be serious with humanity. This is the problem of the human rights philosophy and we should not be apologetic about it.


We need to come with a vision for the future. It should not be a defensive discourse only in saying that we are OK with democracy and human rights. As one Turkish politician was once asked whether he was an Islamist, he cleverly replied that he was a Muslim democrat.

How do we truly implement critical democratic principles?

1. Education

Ignorance and illiteracy are not possible for a thriving democracy. We need to do much more in education, to generate dignified citizens and not only to produce efficient workers. There has to be know how and dignity.

2. Cultural Dimension

In terms of empowerment, for instance, women are not asked the dress they are wearing but the level of education they achieve.

3. Freedom of Speech and the Freedom of Expression

4. Changing the Economy

Changing the way we deal with the economy. We need to be aware of the changing shift of the economic gravity to the East. It is going to be a multipolar world economically.

(sketch notes by, Traders Hotel 17/7/2012)