The Muslims in Nizhniy Novgorod are now in dilemma. They were informed that Malaysian Night (MN) is maksiat. So, should I boycott MN or not? To tackle this issue, expressing my liberal views (as someone labeled) will only create resentment. To get into the conservative minds of most Malay Muslims (nothing wrong with that though), I have to go conservative too…
Conservative is beautiful. Liberal is beautiful. That’s what makes this world so exciting to live in. This is me talking conservative. So read up.
Some people keep repeating that the Islamic rulings are for Muslims only, so non-Muslims will not be affected by such rulings. That is excellent and crystal clear! Meaning, the non-Muslims can do as much maksiat as they want, but the Muslims will simply sit back as they are restricted by Islamic rulings. If MN this year comes with alcohol, it is still fine as long as the Muslims do not drink any. Ngengengengenge………..
Okay okay, not too sarcastic. More conservative… more conservative…
With pure and good intentions, our young passionate Muslims are fighting to live up their lives according to Islamic guidelines. That is honorable and commendable. And they urge the other Muslims to follow suit. That is more honorable and more commendable. Amar makruf nahi mungkar (enjoining good and avoiding wrongdoing), as they say.
Dari Abi Sa’id al-Khudri r.a. ia mengatakan, ‘Aku mendengar Rasulullah saw. bersabda, ‘Siapa di antara kalian yang melihat kemungkaran maka ia harus mengubahnya dengan tangannya. Jika ia tidak mampu maka ia harus mengubahnya dengan lidahnya. Jika ia tidak mampu maka ia harus mengubahnya dengan hatinya. Dan itu adalah selemah-lemah iman.’” (H.R. Muslim)
But I guess what they teach in school about dakwah, amar makruf nahi mungkar is not enough. They were taught to nahi mungkar @ cegah kemungkaran @ avoiding wrongdoing right there and then. While that is right for small cases, they are not trained to see things in a bigger picture.
I happen to be the student of Dr. Abdul Hayei Abdul Shukor, an ex Professor in Akademi Pengajian Islam Universiti Malaya and (ex)- committee member of Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan. He taught me the interpretation of the Quran in a very amazing way. I am not here to reteach everybody the Quran interpretation, but here is what I remembered what he said about dakwah.
Sometimes, for a proselytizer (pendakwah), it is best to keep quiet with the wait-and-see attitude rather than creating division among people. This is best portrayed when prophet Musa (Moses) seized prophet Harun (Aaron) by the beard and the head when prophet Musa discovered that prophet Harun did not stop the Children of Israel from going astray:
[Musa (Moses)] said: “O Harun (Aaron)! What prevented you when you saw them going astray;
“That you followed me not (according to my advice to you)? Have you disobeyed my order?”
He [Harun (Aaron)] said: “O son of my mother! Seize (me) not by my beard, nor by my head! Verily, I feared lest you should say: ‘You have caused division among the Children of Israel, and you have not respected my word!”
Check that out in Surah Ta-Ha, 92-94.
Even the prophet was afraid of creating division among the people! Yes, when something is wrong we should speak up. But not when there’s a good chance that might create division.
Back to MN. Calling for Muslims to boycott MN is totally going to create division among Malaysians; between Malays and non-Malays, between Muslims and non-Muslims, between conservatives and non-conservatives.
To say that MN is all-maksiat is also untrue. There are many other nights in the weekends maksiat can take place. For all we know, MN could’ve prevented the maksiat from happening with a lot of people gathering around socializing, make new friends and strengthen the old ties, understanding one’s culture, eating the good (or crappy) food together, making the cold Russian winter warmer with the presence of true friends.
So, I look MN beyond the maksiat. But if people say that some of the stuffs in MN are un-Islamic and need adjustments, I respect that. But to call for boycott of MN will cause a big division in our society. And making a big division in our Malaysian society is a lot more sinful than any maksiat MN could’ve caused.
With due respect to my fellow Muslims in Nizhniy Novgorod, I am calling for understanding the basics of dakwah. I am calling the boycott of MN to cease. I am calling for mutual respect of one another. Let the non-Muslims ask whatever they want to know about Islam, even in a provocative manner, and we answer with a sweet smile… “Jangan masuk campur hal orang Islam” is certainly not the best way to react.
For the non-Muslims, thank you for reading up to this point understanding the Muslims’ minds. For the liberals, please be open-minded that conservative people are people too, and that they exist in our society.
UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL.