NO HOLDS BARRED August 16 2009 by
Raja Petra Kamarudin RPK
I know of people who set up Christmas trees every year and place presents below it and get drunk on Christmas Eve. They may even go to church once a year for Christmas Mass. But they believe that whites are superior to non-whites and the genocide of non-whites is no great tragedy to mankind.
These are not Christians.
I know of people who go to Mekah every time they face corruption charges so that they can pray in the ‘House of God’ for divine intervention in beating the corruption charge.
These are not Muslims.
I know of people who perform the pilgrimage to the holiest of temples every year and yet have scores of murders to their credit.
These are not Hindus.
I know of people who place altars and burn joss sticks every morning in their massage parlours that front for brothels.
These are not Buddhists.
To these people, they are ‘religious’ because they perform the rituals associated with whatever religion they believe in. But that is as far as their religion goes. Compassion and service to mankind is not at the top of their priority list. All their actions are guided by greed, lust, vanity, egoism, arrogance, and all those other anti-social attributes you can think of.
It is time Malaysians stopped ‘talking’ religion. Religion is not in the rituals you perform. Religion is not in the clothes you wear. Religion is what is in your heart.
For that matter, many would argue that Islam is not even a religion. It is a way of life. You breathe Islam, so to speak. In other words, every beat of your heart ticking away ticks for Islam. You do not need rituals to prove you are a Muslim. The fact that you are breathing already means you are Muslim because when you breathe in and then out that breath translates to Islam.
If you do not grasp what I am saying then I can’t help you. It just means you look at things from a very superficial and on-the-surface perspective. You need to go deeper than that. You need to feel the pulse on your wrist and be able to say, “This is Islam.”
And that is what happens when religion, any religion, has been reduced to rituals, ceremonies and the manner you dress. You lose the essence of the religion. And this is when we start arguing about trivial issues while we allow the essence of the religion to pass unnoticed.
Does it matter what women wear, or how a man dresses, or whatever, when below those external coverings lurk maggots and worms eating away at our soul? I suppose this is a statement many religionists, Muslims included, would not be able to comprehend.
If we believe in God then we would believe that God created us. And would God play games with us by creating us of different faiths so that we may kill one another? All religions believe in the beginning of time and the end of time. And the Abrahamic faiths believe that we are all descendants of one man and one woman, the first two beings on earth.
Would this not then make us all brothers and sisters? And we may be brothers and sisters who follow different paths to the same destination but is this not God’s wish and something absolutely beyond our control?
Who are we to question God’s wisdom in making one brother/sister a Jew, another a Christian, yet another a Muslim, and others of the Hindu, Buddhist, etc., faiths? Do we know better what is God’s grand design? Dare we shun God’s wise decision by shunning those who do not follow that same path as us in arriving at the same destination?
Yes, this is certainly food for thought this Sunday morning in a prelude to the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan.