Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hounding Hudud : the abysmal failure of Muslims to do dakwah

Assalamu 'Alaikum

Hounding Hudud : The abysmal failure of Muslims to do dakwah

Let’s not even begin to discuss the merits or demerits of Hudud. That’s not where we should begin any discussion on Hudud. We need to explore and identify, the world view of the debaters before we begin the debate. If one is well learned, enlightened and knowledgeable on the subject and the other is well, none of the above, we should first focus on bringing that party’s world view up to scratch before commencing the debate. If we are debating the subject of physics we can see the folly of a university professor debating the subject with a sixth former.
However when it comes to religion, in particular discussion on Hudud, everyone is considered equal in giving opinions on the matter no matter how abject in knowledge on the subject the giver of the opinion is. We also see this quite often in the media with widely publicized opinions of unqualified writers on matters of Islam. If the writer is a sixth former writing on the latest theory of physics we will quickly debunk his opinion for lack of experience. But if it’s a writer writing on Islam we swallow his or her rantings hook line and sinker without even questioning whether he or she has adequate knowledge to write on the subject .

My ire goes up reading the rantings on Hudud and Syariah law by Joe Public in the blogs. But then I turned the anger to myself and if I may, my fellow Muslim brothers for our abject failure to sell the product. We even have the celebrated Farish Noor predicting disaster on the scale of an Apocalypse at the prospect of PAS leading the Federal Government of Malaysia. Equipped with all his worldly knowledge if he were to have the courage to couple that with a year or two in the pondoks* of Kelantan, I wonder whether he will come out espousing the same opinions. You see it’s not about our opinion on Hudud or Islamic rule ;it’s about what we know before coming out with our opinions.

It is also about what we like and our recognition or non recognition of our base wishes. The formula is simple to understand. Joe Public likes discos, drinking and free mixing with fun loving gals. That’s what he likes, he is prepared to lose his left arm to maintain the continued availability of what he likes. Actually Joe Public likes Hudud, his 6 year old daughter have just been raped, mutilated and killed by three men and her body thrown in a cesspit. The rapists murderers are still at large. Joe Public long for their capture and punishment. But he knows their capture and punishment will not bring back his daughter. It does not fill the void in him. He’d wish there is such a punishment that will deter such a thing happening to his daughter. Better still if the punishment is done in public so that potential evil doers will think twice before committing such evil deeds. Joe Public suspects Hudud is the answer but he is not willing to admit because first it does not come from his religion and second it comes in a package with the banning of the above things he likes. After much thought Joe Public supports Hudud and voted for the Islamist party at the last election.

But Joe Public was different he went through a horrendous personal experience spared the other Joe Publics. The other Joe Publics see Hudud as a douser on their fun loving ways. Now this is where the matter of the world view becomes important. This is where we come in, we explain, we espouse, we urge and we persuade others to come to our world view. If we feel we are not equipped to do that then we have to address our world view first and get it fixed. For us Muslims life is but a journey leading to a destination. Its not very clever is it, to get transfixed on the journey at the expense of the destination. Let’s bring as many of our fellow men to reach the destination.


Note ; Pondok is Malay for a rural religious school

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