On Hudud: Honour Our Constitution (Article 4)


May 31, 2014

On Hudud: Honour  Our Constitution (Article 4)

Dato’ Noor Farida Ariffin
Kuala Lumpur

http://www.thestar.com.my

Dato Noor FaridaIn light of Muhammad’s strict injunction to Muslims to honour the treaties that they have entered into, let me urge UMNO members to search their conscience and state whether they would be prepared to abandon the fundamental provisions of the Federal Constitution in favour of PAS’ hudud law, in clear violation of the Constitutional Agreement and the teachings of Islam.–Dato’ Noor Farida

MUCH has been said on hudud and Pas’ latest attempt to foist hudud law on Muslims in Malaysia. PAS, as usual, is using moral and religious blackmail to convince gullible Muslims with a shallow understanding of Islam, including some in UMNO, that support of hudud is the sacred duty of believers.

When the Kelantan State Assembly passed the Hudud Bill on Nov 25, 1993, the Deputy Mentri Besar, in answer to the question whether people had accepted the state Government’s plan to implement the hudud laws, made the incredible announcement that the question did not arise as Muslims in the State who rejected the laws would be considered murtad (apostate)!

And all this while we Muslims have been taught to believe that only Allah has the prerogative to determine who is a believer and who is not! This is a blatant example of a political party distorting religion to suit its political agenda.

As a believing, practising Muslim, after studying the writings of respected Muslim scholars on this subject, I am of the view that Muslims should reject PAS’ hudud law without fearing that they are going against Islamic teachings.  Hashim Kamali, a professor of law at the International Islamic University, has published a detailed analysis of the PAS Hudud Bill from the perspective of the Quran, the Hadith (traditions of Muhammad) and the opinions of the Companions of the Prophet.

The professor has concluded that “the Hudud Bill of Kelantan has failed to be reflective either of the balanced outlook of the Quran or of the social conditions and realities of contemporary Malaysian society”.

A case in point, which has given rise to concerns among women’s groups, is that the PAS Hudud Bill is totally silent over the problem of rape. While the Bill addressed the subject of zina (illicit sex), it did not mention rape at all.

To prove zina, the rape victim must produce four male witnesses. If she fails to provide the necessary proof, then she herself would be liable to the punishment of qadhf (slanderous accusation of zina). Obviously, this will result in victims of rape being punished and perpetrators being let off scot-free!

Notwithstanding the fact that this clause in the Hudud Bill has been the focus of public criticism and debate, Pas has stubbornly refused to amend it.

What is even more alarming is the much-criticised provision that “circumstantial evidence, though relevant, shall not be a valid ­method of proving a hudud offence”. Therefore, material and scientific evidence, like semen stains, vaginal swabs, blood samples, scratch marks, genetic fingerprinting, DNA samples, etc, are not admissible methods of proof in zina. This will clearly result in injustice to rape victims.

The reason for this inexplicable rejection of scientific, medical evidence may be that they were not available during the time of the Prophet. Yet Prophet Muhammad himself urged Muslims to seek knowledge “even if they have to travel to China to acquire know­ledge”. Yet Pas rejects medical and scientific advances which human civilisation has achieved since the ninth century.

Many prominent Muslim scholars have opined that the application of hudud as an isolated case without providing the necessary context and environment is not only unrealistic but is more likely to produce the opposite results and frustrate, ­rather than satisfy the Islamic vision of justice and fair play.

In addition, they emphasise that the Hadith which is also a legal maxim, provides that hudud must be suspended in doubtful situations.

For those UMNO members who have allowed themselves to be duped by PAS’ threat of apostasy, let me remind them of the Treaty of Hudaibiya which was contracted between the Muslims of Medina led by Prophet Muhammad and the non-Muslims of Mecca.

The last clause of the treaty was not in favour of the Muslims. Even before the treaty was signed, the Muslims wanted to breach this clause. The Prophet forbade them to do so because to him it was important to honour the terms of the treaty which they had agreed to, even though the treaty, as in this case, had a negative impact on the Muslims. This illustrates the importance the Prophet placed on ­honouring one’s word and, in particular, the terms of a treaty to which a Muslim is a party.

The Federal Constitution was agreed to by the Conference of Rulers, the Government of the Federation of Malaya comprising UMNO, the MCA and the MIC, and the British Government in 1957.

Article 4 of the Constitution provides that the Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation and any law passed after Merdeka Day which is inconsistent with the Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

Therefore, should UMNO and PAS attempt to amend the Constitution to change its secular character to make way for the implementation of hudud, it will be in clear violation of the agreement reached between the members of the Alliance party.

In light of Muhammad’s strict injunction to Muslims to honour the treaties that they have entered into, let me urge UMNO members to search their conscience and state whether they would be prepared to abandon the fundamental provisions of the Federal Constitution in favour of PAS’ hudud law, in clear violation of the Constitutional Agreement and the teachings of Islam.

33 thoughts on “On Hudud: Honour Our Constitution (Article 4)

  1. Yes, PAS should stop playing politics with our constitution,which is the supreme law of Malaysia. I would welcome PAS’response to Dato’ Farida, our Former Ambassador who is a lawyer by profession. –Din Merican

  2. mr merican
    in view of the fact that our federal constitution was drafted by the brits who i also presume is also a party to the signing of the agreement by all parties, do they have the legitimacy to act as arbitrator in case of any breach.
    _____________
    Mucking fuddled,

    We the rakyat are the arbitrators, not the Brits. The Constitution in my view reflects our sovereignty. Never forget that we are an independent nation since 1957 with a constitutional monarchy and a consititutional democracy.–Din Merican

  3. But how many times have our Constitutions been amended? I’ve lost count. Some lawyers claimed that some of those amendments are unconstitutional but the the final decisions on them have yet to be made by the Federal Court if & when those cases are brought before it. Somehow a few of those cases have yet to be brought to the Federal Court.
    Actually the “last clause of” the Treaty of Hudaibiyah was ONLY apparently against the Muslims (The Prophet fully knew it’s TRUE advantage) who benefited from it later. But, surely all man-made treaties & agreements are open to mutual re-negotiations if and when required.

  4. Error, The Brits did not on their construct the Constitution. It was the Reid’s Commission of 4 0r 5 eminent judges who were commissioned including athe Chief Justice of Pakistan, a ardent Muslim, to lay the foundation for the Constitution with the final consent of the Rulers.

  5. #RobertKChelliah. With all due respect, on the Malayan Constitution by the Reid Commission, as you can see NONE of the 4 or 5 ARE schooled in Islamic Studies. Beinga devvout Muslims does not equate him to the full knowledge and training as well as well as the basic of Scholarly aptitude of a Muslim clerics which are the learning of the Arabic Language and the full Hafizun/Tahfiz and Tafsir of the Holy Quran.

    Various interpretation of Hudud by Judges trained in English Laws can `colour’ their understandings as in the many cases currently wherein Muslim converts and their non-Muslim Spouses are engaged in Custody Tug-of-wars. There is also serious overlapping/ counteractions of Jurisprudence between Civil courts Vs Sharia Courts resulting with no one party has been happy with the `non-Hudud’ stand of Civil Court Judges.

    Therefore, a Muslim is beholden to Islam. The Reid formulated Constitution of Malaya cannot override obligations of a Muslim to all the Edicts of the Quran with respect to Sharia Laws, which include Hudud.

  6. In the sub-continent Honour Killing is still there almost 60 years since the end of World War II. Yes, we all understand what we have done only backwards and do some times regret it. But man and nations have to live their lives forward. Here, we can only hope that God will give our leaders the wisdom to do at the beginning what has to be done instead of trying to do the same thing unsuccessfully in the end.

  7. Din

    It doeen’t matter that whether we have hudud or not. The way BN is runnjng the country with such impunity, it nakes no difference what our constitution says or said.

    After all, did the constitution described our country as a ‘kleptocracy’?

  8. @Shakirin AlIkram June 1, 2014 at 5:08 am

    Shakirin, well said and I take off my hat to that but aren’t we concerned on possibilities of extremist interpretations of Islamic teachings by some who claim to be qualified ulamaks??? As Islam is for all times, it must keep up with the times but, of course, based on the principles laid down by the Quran, Hadiths etc….We don’t want rapists to go free while their victims endure double sufferings of being raped and then later punished, as claimed by Dato’ Noor Farida Ariffin.
    Also very true that our Constitutions are but man-made and has undergone many changes & amendments. Dato’ Noor made so much emphasis on the Prophet’s insistence to abide by Agreements & Treaties. But even the so-called “last clause of” the Treaty of Hudaibiyah was later scrapped on mutual agreement – NOTHING MAN-MADE THAT CAN’T BE CHANGED BY MAN.

  9. @ Shakirin Alikram.
    In one sense you may have a point that Hudud lies at the very Extremity or the Periphery of Islam. So because Islam is the Religion of the Federation, the widest of it includes not only Syariah but includes also Hudud. I think this is where the PAS ulamas are holding on to ‘ tightly’ and very rigidly.
    But to me, it is the ‘ SUBSTANCE ‘ of Hudud that a very large segment of Muslims themselves who are disagreeable on its application and enforceability, considering its Mandatory form of Punishments to something terribly Disproportionate, to the extent of severance of limbs even for a very negligible ‘ crime ‘ like stealing a Chicken, or other ridiculous trivial accusations…..

    Illustration : In the very rigid Taliban society, in which a little girl desirous of formal education, was shot, the intention was to kill her – why ? simply because anything western is considered ‘ sinful ‘. Boko Haran has that similar mentality. What about this culture of extreme ‘ hate ‘ that in wanting to kill ‘ kafirs ‘ (or Westerners ), they kill themselves in order to kill the ” Sinners ” ? This is something, I can never comprehend : a Muslim lady marrying a Christian man, is subject to beheading for leaving her own religion ? But I thought the Wives of both President Suharto and former President Yasser Arafat, are Christians, because it is permissible in Islam ?
    So, wither ” Hudud ” ?

  10. What Constitution?

    The politicians have all the time and resources to think day and night how to screw you…..slowly but surely, if you are not careful.

  11. Even if ( which I personally would not accept it ) that, Hudud is ‘ included ‘ in the broadest sense of ” Islam ” ), it still does not DETRACT from the fact that our Constitution is Secular, it cannot be otherwise, considering all aspects of its Formulation at the time of The Malaysia Agreement from inception.

  12. Shakirin,

    If the Council of Rulers , the UNMO, MIC, MCA (parties representing the Malayans at that point of time) had vetoed or disagreed on the final constitution before it got rectified in the British Parliament, a different outcome may well been the result. Like Muslims expecting Islamic laws to prevail, the non Muslims, the charge of the British, would have equally insisted on their secular rights . By the agreement of all parties, the force of the Constitution shall remain supreme and no single component party to the agreement should now attempt to abrogate the agreement and attempt to change it to their own benefit. That not how principle of contracted agreement works. If the final version of the Constitution had been vetoed say by any one party like the Council of Rulers, as guardians of Islamic faith, there would have been a different outcome. If one party wants to change the agreement than . the Constitution should be set aside and all parties should return to the drawing board under the purview of the original colonial administrators , as HINDRAF has done in the recent UK High Court litigation.
    Waythamoorthy would have more to say on the status of the case.

    No single community should be allowed to change what has been agreed upon in securing Independence and I believe the 100 over changes that has corrupted the constitution could be unlawful and some of the changes are still sitting in the High Court..

  13. Honestly those who want Hudud, UMNO or PAS, could not give two hoots for the opinion of some one like Dato Farida. Listen to Ibrahim Tuan Muan respond to sensational case of rape is to blame it on the criminal system – ignoring the facts Kelantan, under their rule, is worst than other states and the reality that crime is not just a matter of personal and moral issue but rather things like education, economics etc.

    Those who really passionate about Hudud will only listen to a divine reason and force, not logic. They have made up their mind, closed it, and reason and force is someone’s elses responsibility..

  14. The principle of abiding by the agreed Constitution is one that even when one of the parties becomes more dominant, by however and whatever means including by the control of the civil service administration, skewed political power etc, that dominant party shall not muscle in to unilaterally change the provisions of the Constitution using the force of its dominance. Only a coup or dictatorship is expected to do that. Should the dominant group proceed to unilaterally change the agreed Constitution by threat of its dominating power, anarchy and civil conflict well break out leading to the entropy of the state. Malaysia is not a isolated or insulated country. It is a nation among many nations adhering to international rules and norms.
    The needs and rights of all parties to an agreement under the Constitution will be safe guarded by whatever means.

  15. What confounds me is, due to my lack of knowledge, what is the Source & from where did this Hudud law come from ? No idea. But if anyone says that the source is the Koran , then I beg to differ, because they are both inherently Incompatible, one to the other. The Koran as a Revelation from above, is a Holy Book which provides for a Universal concept of Natural justice , equity and primary fairness covering all of Humanity.
    If Hudud is said to emanate from Koran, then ‘ Hudud’ laws themselves are Discrediting the Holy Book, because the disproportionate and extreme mode of Punishment , is contrary to the notion of equity, justice and fairness……
    So something is amiss here, unless we know the actual ‘ source’ ?

  16. Dear Din,

    Malays must not just follow the primitive practices of the Arabs. Just look at the Arabs today!!! Most of the countries in the Arab Islamic Empire are in trouble and problems Religions flourish during the Dark Ages Today we live in the Modern Era where we ask for evidence and NOT just believe. Muhammad said Allah spoke to him. This is a one sided claim with NO confirmation from God. This claim is enforced by mere human cruelty of death if you don’t believe. Arabs are GOOD for forcing people into Islam nd killing them if they leave. No wonder Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world

  17. 1. I shall be brief and to the point.

    2. The Quran mentions the word ‘hudud’ 14 times, none of which refer to so-called fixed punishments. This is simply a great fallacy made by some of our ancestors. The Quran warns us of following our ancestors blindly.

    3. What was said by the previous generation must be reviewed by the next generation. Everything, except the Quran, though not its interpretation, is above scientific criticism.

    4. If this so-called law is what God and HisMmessenger taught us, it would certainly be mentioned in the Medina Charter which is the most authentic document penned by Prophet Muhammad.

    5. Note that the punishment for apostasy in this so-called Hudud law is to kill the apostate, contrary to the clear injunction of freedom of religion in the Quran. This punishement is derived from the Torah!
    ______________
    Thanks Pak Kassim for your comments. Salams, Din Merican

  18. Dato’ Din, I remember your short comment: …Mosque officials never fail to remind me and my fellow Muslims by quoting a Hadith that says if we talk when the Imam delivers his sermons, we will lose the benefits of attending Friday prayers. I listen (and do not need any reminder or warning) in the hope of gaining some wisdom or insights into my religion. Instead, I hear a political sermon. (ref: Dr Syed Farid Alatas: Islamic state is not good even for Muslims, 27 Jan 2013 – https://dinmerican.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/dr-syed-farid-alatas-islamic-state-is-not-good-even-for-muslims/).

    First, thanks to Dato’ Noor Farida Ariffin and all the other contributors, especially Abnizar and Pak Kassim Ahmad for making the discussion so much more lively and enlightening.

    Second, as usual, I am going to quote another voice, this time, articulating on apostasy and punishment.

    “If Islam believes in argument and discourse, it is clear that it does not stifle the freedom to believe. The Qu’ran categorically declares that ‘there is no compulsion in religion’. One is free to believe what one likes, and Muslims are asked to argue with unbelievers kindly and with wisdom. Furthermore, the Quran, contrary to the general impression, sanctions no worldly punishment for the apostate. The punishment for such individuals is in the hereafter. Nor do we see in the life of the Prophet Muhammad death sanctioned as punishment for apostasy. Indeed, we do not find a single incident where an apostate was killed simply for apostasy, although there are one or two incidents reported in the authentic traditions of apostates being killed who had either murdered Muslims or declared war on the Muslim community. There are two authentic traditions of the Prophet’s own treatment of apostates. One reports that ‘an Arab of the desert came to the Prophet and accepted Islam at his hand; then fever overtook him while he was still in Medina. So he came to the Holy Prophet and said, Give back my pledge; and the Holy Prophet refused. Then he came again, Give me back my pledge; and the Holy Prophet refused. Then he came again and said, Give me back my pledge, and the Holy Prophet refused, then he went away.’ The Prophet allowed the man to work out that his fever was not connected with his conversion; and when he insisted on taking his pledge away he allowed him to return unharmed. Another tradition reports that ‘there was a Christian who became a Muslim, read the Baqara and al-Imran and used to write the Holy Qu’ran for the Prophet. He then went over to Christianity again, and he used to say, Muhammad does not know anything except what I wrote for him’. This was in Medina after the revelations of the second (al-Baqara) and third chapters (al-Imran) of the Qu’ran, when a Muslim state was well-established. But, yet again, the apostate was allowed to look after his own fate in the hereafter.”

    “A few instances of apostasy in the time of the Prophet Muhammad were connected with hostile intentions or declarations of war on Muslims…This condition of ‘forsaking the community’ and joining a hostile camp, particularly, at the time war, is considered by Muslim jurists as a capital offence”.

    “Thus, unless an apostate has declared open (physical) war on the Muslim community, there is no basis in Islam that can justify a capital punishment. Moreover, a state cannot unilaterally sentence a man, whatever his crime, to death without benefit of trial. Even worse, to put a bounty on a person’s head is a total mockery of the Islamic notion of justice and cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be sanctioned on the basis of the Qu’ran or the example of the Prophet Muhammad”.

    “However, despite the injunctions of the Qu’ran and the example of the Prophet, certain Muslim jurists have sanctioned capital punishment for apostasy. S.A. Rahman, a former chief justice of Pakistan, has made a detailed study of the basis for the opinions of jurists in his Punishment of Apostasy in Islam. Justice Rahman concluded:

    ‘The fuqaha (jurists) acknowledge generally that no punishment for apostasy is prescribed in the Qu’ran. Their principal reliance for the view that apostasy must be punished with death is on certain qauli (verbal) ahadith, but…the relevant occasion or the circumstances to which they might have reference are not fully explained…Historically, the defectors from the faith, in olden times, almost invariably joined the enemy ranks and became violent antagonists of Muslims. That seems to be the genesis of prescription of the capital sentence for apostasy and no necessity was apparently felt of analysing the circumstances of each individual case to discover the elements hirab (hostility) coexisted with apostasy or not. In course of time, decisions justifiable on their own facts hardened into a general rule prescribing the extreme penalty for apostasy (S.A. Rahman,pp.133-4)’.

    “Justice Rahman’s conclusion is that it should be the Qu’ran and the example of the Prophet Muhammad which provide guidance on this matter rather than the rulings of the jurists of yore, who themselves held differing opinions on the matter. Rahman stated that there is ‘no necessity to punish a peaceful defection from the faith’, a conclusion with which most thinking Muslims will immediately agree”.

    “Given Islam’s attitude to sanctity of human life, capital punishment is not something with which Muslims can play at will. Indeed, even imprisonment without a guilty verdict in an open court of law cannot be allowed under Islam. To arrest someone only on suspicion and throw him into prison without proper court proceedings and without providing him a reasonable opportunity to present his defence is contrary to all the teachings of Islam. Any government guilty of such actions, as the late A.A. Mawdudi categorically declared, should itself be brought in front of a court of law:

    ‘The crimes of the state cannot be justified on the authority of the Qu’ran or the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad when the state murders its citizens openly and secretly without any hesitation or the slightest of pretext, because they are opposed to its unjust policies and actions or criticise it for its misdeeds, and also provides protection to its hired assassins who have been guilty of the heinous crime of murder of an innocent person resulting in the fact, that neither the police take any action against such criminals nor can any proof or witnesses against these criminals be produced in the courts of law. The very existence of such a government is a crime. (Mawdudi, pp25-6)’.” [from pp 93-95, “DISTORTED IMAGINATION” by Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wynn Davies, 1990, 330pg; ISBN 1-85640-000 & ISBN 967-969-261-2]

    Another day, an account of how the Holy Prophet handled a case of alleged treason, just before the conquest of Makkah.

  19. Minor correction:
    ‘The fuqaha (jurists) acknowledge generally … seems to be the genesis of prescription of the capital sentence for apostasy and no necessity was apparently felt of analysing the circumstances of each individual case to discover WHETHER the elements hirab (hostility) coexisted with apostasy or not…

  20. TREASON? (2nd of 4 threads)
    “Mawdudi insisted that according to Islam NO one can be imprisoned, let alone suffer a capital punishment, to use the words of Caliph Umar, ‘except in pursuance of justice’, by which is meant the due processes of law”.

    “Even in such cases where treason is proved beyond doubt, no action can be taken without a hearing in an open court of law. In a famous decision before the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet illustrated the correct procedure in such cases. On this occasion the Prophet was making preparations for the attack on Makkah when one of his companions, Hatib bin Abi Baltaa sent a letter through a woman to the authorities in Makkah informing him about the impending attack. When the Prophet came to know of this, he ordered Ali and Zubair to ‘go quickly on the route to Makkah, at such and such a place, you will find a woman carrying a letter. Recover the letter from her and bring it to me.’ So they went and found the woman exactly where the Prophet had said. This was a clear case of treachery. The Prophet summoned Hatib to the open court of the Mosque in Medina and in the presence of hundreds of people asked him to explain his position. The accused said: ‘ O God’s Messenger (may God’s blessings be upon you) I have not revolted against Islam, nor have I done this with the intention of betraying a military secret. The truth of the matter is that my wife and children are living in Makkah and I do not have my tribe to protect them there. I had written this letter so that the leaders of the Quraysh may be indebted to me and may protect my wife and children out of gratitude.’ Umar rose and respectfully submitted: ‘O Prophet, please permit me to put this traitor to the sword’. The Prophet replied: ‘He is one of those people who had participated in the Battle of Badr, and the explanation he has advanced in his defence would seem to be correct’. Mawdudi explained:
    ‘The Prophet acquitted Hatib on two counts. Firstly, that his past records were very clean and showed that he could not have betrayed the cause of Islam, since on the occasion of the Battle of Badr when there were heavy odds against the Muslims, he had risked his life for them. Secondly, his family was in fact in danger in Makkah. Therefore, if he had some human weakness for his children and written this letter, then this punishment was quite sufficient for him that his secret offence was divulged in public for he had been disgraced and humiliated in the eyes of the Believers.’ (Mawdudi, p.29)” : [p 95-96, Ibid]

    My third thread will be on Muslim scholarship and literature from the 9th century to the 13th.

    The fourth and last will be an exercise in ‘equalisation’, non-mathematically.

  21. @ Sumpitan Emas,

    A very scholarly rendition indeed on this subject of the source of Hudud, which had been hanging in the recesses of my mind for ‘ages’ , unable to resolve the apparent Contradiction between the higher and nobler Message of the Quran, and the debased form of Punishment prescribed by the Hudud – irreconcilable. –

    At least now I know Pak Kassim Ahmad says that whilst it is stated in the Holy Book 14 times, of which I was ignorant, what you have pointed out gives relief to my ‘ brain ‘ ( tired eyelids upon tired eyes, manner of speaking ) ; viz , quoting you :
    ” Further more , the Quran….sanctions no worldly punishment for the apostates. The punishment is in the hereafter ” ……
    …….(fuqaha) jurists acknowledge generally that no punishment for apostate is prescribed in the Quran…..” ( quoting Justice S.A Rahman of Pakistan ) –
    What a relief…..for my ‘ twisted’ brain…..Thank you very much

  22. A PARADISE OF BOOKS – (3rd of 4 threads)

    “The vast book publishing industry in the Western world is truly awesome and certainly cannot be praised enough. But this recent Western achievement cannot eclipse an equally awesome, sophisticated and wide-ranging publication industry that first grew in the Muslim civilization around the middle of the eight century, almost one thousand years before books appeared in the same quantity and quality in the West. The vast industry was still in existence when Europe began to occupy Muslim lands, and was systematically killed off by the colonial powers, along with the Muslim systems of education and medicine and other cultural institutions … Within one hundred years after the advent of Islam, a sophisticated and highly integrated book industry was flourishing in the Muslim world. Techniques were evolved for each stage of book production: composition, copying, illustrating, binding, publishing, storing and selling. Reading books, as well as hearing them being dictated, became one of the major occupations and pastimes…book production was both an industry and an institution, an institution with its own customs and practices, its own checks against fraud and misrepresentation … It also ensured that the scholars and authors themselves benefited, both economically and in terms of recognition from their work … There were two institutions in the publishing industry: the mosque … and the warraq from whom the final product could be bought. The warraqs were the copiers of manuscripts, representative of the scholarly world as well as entrepreneurs. The mosque was the central focus of intellectual activity, where writers and scholars recounted the results of their studies to audiences of young people, other scholars and interested laymen … For example, prominent ninth-century philologist, al-Farra (d.822) was asked by a friend to write a book to guide him in the understanding of the Qu’ran … Writers of that period were not class based, but came from all walks of life… Al-Ahmar (d.810), who taught the children of Harun al-Rashid, gave his lectures drenched in musk and incense… His contemporary, al-Farra, however, was modestly dressed, sat on the floor while his audience squatted in the dust in front of him…The philologist al-Bawardi dictated from memory 30,000 pages on linguistic topics; al-Tabari, the noted historian and commentator on the Qu’ran, also dictated the same number; the Egyptian scholar Jalal al-Din al-Sayuti (d.1550) dictated some 600 books…Within two hundred years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, the book industry was to be found in almost every corner of the Muslim world. Indeed, the whole Muslim civilization revolved around books.”

    “There was NO shortage of libraries from which to borrow books in the Muslim civilization. Around the middle of the thirteenth century, historians list THIRTY-SIX libraries in Baghdad alone; and that does not include the House of Wisdom, the royal library, which had the LARGEST collection anywhere…”

    “The celebrated bookshop of Ibn al-Nadim, the tenth-century bibliophile and bookseller was said to be on an upper story of a large building…“Al-Fahrist, the catalogue of books that ibn Nadim sold…listed more than sixty thousand titles in an unlimited range of subjects: language and calligraphy, Christian and Jewish scriptures, the Qu’ran,… linguistic works, histories and genealogies, official government works…pre-Islamic and Islamic poetry, works by various schools of Muslim thought (including the rationalist, the Shia and the ascetics)… Greek and Islamic philosophy, mathematics and astronomy, Greek and Islamic medicine, literature, popular fiction, travel (India, China, Indochina), magic, miscellaneous subjects and fables!”

    “Between the positions of the Sufis, the Asharites and the Mutazilitess were numerous other strands of philosophy, all of which recognized the right of reason to arbitrate between theological positions and disputes…The fruits of all this independence and free thought kept the copiers, booksellers and the reading public busy and enthralled as expositions led to refutations which in turn led to counter-refutations. The most noted refutation was the devastating attack by AL-GHAZZALI on philosophy, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, and IBN RUSHD ‘s equally celebrated retort, “The Incoherence of the Incoherence. But almost every major Muslim thinker wrote some kind of refutation of some kind of intellectual position. This galaxy of thinkers and polymaths in sheer number and quality of thought are witness to a thinking faith, a faith that believes in questioning and constant probing. Rationalist philosophers (al-Kindi, Zakaria al-Razi, al-Farabi, Miskawaih, ibn Sina, ibn Bajjah, ibn Tufail, ibn Rushd, Nasir al-Din Tusi), middle-of-the roaders (al-Ghazzali, Fakhr al-Din Razi, Sadr al-Din Shirazi, Ibn Khaldun), Sufis (al-Hajjaj, Rabia Basri, Junaid of Baghdad, Abd al-Qadir Jilani, Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi, ibn al-Arabi, Jalal al-Din Rumi, Sadi Sharazi, Hamza Fansuri, Nur al-Din al-Raniri), literalists (ibn Hazm, ibn Tammiyah), scholars and political thinkers (Abu Hanifah, al-Shafi, al-Mawardi, Nizam al-Mulk Tusi) demonstrate the diversity and depth of thought that remains unparallel to modern times. Surely, these are not the fruits of a civilization that suppresses free thought and muffles free and open expression.” (pp96-105, ibid)

    But, someone here has just said that if anyone didn’t know enough about hudud, just shut up!

  23. A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD – all things are equal (more or less)

    ISTANBUL: Hagia Sophia/Saint Sophia Cathedral, an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral from 537–1204 became Roman Catholic Cathedral from 1204–1261, back again to Eastern Orthodox Cathedral from 1261–1453, then became Imperial Mosque from 1453–1931 when Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II captured Constantinople in 1453, which was renamed Istanbul; from 1935 till today, a secular museum of the Republic of Turkey, i.e. from Christianity to Islam to Secular government.

    MOSCOW: St Basil’s Cathedral, built from 1555–61 under orders of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the victory over the Tartars in Kazan and Astrakhan in nine battles, hence the nine chapels in the church with turnip-shaped towers (ominously rumoured to represent the severed heads of slain turbaned Tartars – he wasn’t labelled Terrible for nothing); confiscated by the Communist in 1929 and remains a secular museum till today, i.e. from Christianity to Secular government.

    OPPRESSION THROUGH THE AGES
    Al-Kindi (801-873)
    “As a rationalist, Al-Kindi proposed that certain passages from the Holy Book whose literal interpretations would be in conflict with reality should, instead, be understood as allegories to guide men of reason. Most ancient philosophers, including Al-Kindi, believed that there exist two truths: one for the stupid and uneducated masses, and the other for the cultured and the educated. Al-Kindi was of the opinion that the former were only able to appreciate simple things and so had to be enticed by the vision of houris and other physical allurements. On the other hand, the latter were given the gifts of logic and reason so that they might at a deeper meaning of the Book…In the court of Al-Mamun, Al-Kindi was a star who shone bright in the foremost cultural centre of the world… But then came the ascendancy of the orthodox Sunni Caliph Al-Mutawwakil, and with it the end of a long period of period of liberalism…Mutawaakil soon ordered the confiscation of the scholar’s personal library, known to all Baghdad as al-Kindiyah…The sixty-year old Muslim philosopher also received fifty lashes before a large crowd which had assembled. ObServers who recorded the event say the crowd roared approval with each stroke. Long before his death in 873 at the age of seventy-two, Al-Kindi has succumbed to prolonged depression and silence. Although a friend managed to retrieve his library by means of some subtle extortion, he never really recovered from the ordeal of his public flogging. Al-Kindi was the first major figure of Islamic scholarship to fall victim to the orthodox reaction against rationalism”. [Islam and Science by Pervez Hoodbhoy-pp110-111]

    Han Yu (d.824)
    “For a time, it looked as if Chinese rationality and humanism were submerged in the deluge of medievalism brought about by the domination of the Indian and Indianized thought and belief. Hundreds of thousands of men and women were fleeing their families to become monks and nuns. A wave of religious fanaticism was sweeping over China. A pious monk would willingly burn a finger, a whole arm or even his whole body as a supreme form of offering to a Buddhist deity. Thousands of pious people, and sometimes even members of the Imperial Court, would flock to a mountainside to witness and wail the self-destruction of a great monk by slow burning…The great representative and most articulate leader of this Chinese revolt against Buddhism was Han Yu, who pointed out that the ideal of Chinese thought was that all moral and intellectual cultivation of the individual must have a social objective, and that the objective was the ordering of the family, society, the state and the world. All individual cultivation which aims at personal salvation by denying life and fleeing the world is anti-social, and therefore un-Chinese. Han Yu’s famous battle cry … “Man their men”. That is, restore the monks and nuns to their humanity and human life!. His severe criticism of Buddhism, and especially his attack on the Imperial Court’s patronage of the Buddhist religion brought about his exile in 819”. [The Chinese Renaissance by Hu Shih-Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press: pp374-375]

    Angelo Roncalli – Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)
    “During this time of fierce debate within the church about the acceptability of new ideas, especially those of a more social activist or socialistic tenor, Roncalli experienced the most severe testing of his own position. Taking an intransigent stance toward the newer intellectual winds, Pius X had issued an encyclical called Pascendi which promised instant excommunication for anyone tainted with modernism…Roncalli may have helped save the lives of a large number of Jews in Turkey – perhaps as many as twenty-four thousand during the war…Pope John did not see the council as an occasion to discuss or reformulate Catholic doctrine or less still, to issue new condemnations; rather he wanted to join other Catholics in reformulating truths in contemporary terms and determining how to explain these ideas in pastoral terms. He and his closest associates prepared assiduously for the council (Second Vatican Council), appointed many commissions and secretariats, and determined seventy issues or “schemata” for discussion…His calls for love, a respect for all individuals, aid to those who were less fortunate, and a diminution of political and religious tensions were all in the spirit of a broader, more inclusionary sense of human identity…Pope John was often able to achieve his goals without the support of those holding the most power in the church. The ultraconservative Catholic press second-guessed much of what he said and what he did; he was called “irresponsible” and “politically unprepared.” The curia of the Vatican was as conservative as any entrenched bureaucracy and had had many hundreds of years of practice in undermining popes who had attempted to thrust in untested directions” [Leading Minds by Howard Gardner-ISBN 0-465-08280-7; pp 170 -179]

  24. … so that they might ARRIVE at a deeper meaning of the Book…In the court of Al-Mamun, Al-Kindi was a star who …

    Many thanks.

  25. This thread attracts me like a ‘ magnet ‘ , Sumpitan Emas – not the least because I have not been that diligent as yourself, in having to put in tremendous amount of efforts, very painstakingly undertaken in depth, and very Admirable to the point of ‘ envy ‘ for some like me – kudos to your perseverance and patience !
    It helps me to digest some excerpts from your highlights which benefits my own curiosity that had been left unanswered to my detriment….. –
    Pertinent to me for the moment , to quote you :

    I) This galaxy of thinkers and polymaths ( philosophers included ?) in sheer numbers and quality of thought are witness to a thinking faith, a faith that believes in questioning and constant probing……(you have listed a long list of scholars and political thinkers, which ” demonstrate the diversity and depthof
    thought that remains unparallel to modern times, surely these are not the fruits of of a civilisation that suppresses free thought and muffles free and open expressions ” ) –

    2) ” Most ancient philosophers (, Al-Kindi included ) believed that there exist two truths : one for the stupid and uneducated masses , and the other for the cultured and the educated….”

    3) ” On the other hand, the latter were given the gifts of logic and reason so that they might (get) a deeper meaning of The Book

    Can I pose a Question out of my curiosity : Are they the ‘ Refuters ‘ and the ‘ Dissenters ‘ , who were supposed to be given the ‘ right ‘ to Reason and Rationality, but who were unjustly punished, in most cases by torture and death, which eventually stifled ” Islamic ” thoughts, and presently , lay buried to be ‘lost’ , or be treated like some ” Hidden Treasures ” for those Discerning to recover this golden Heritage of the Past ? How do we do it ?

  26. @Abnizar June 4, 2014 at 1:34 pm,

    Invariably, the ‘ Refuters ‘ and the ‘ Dissenters ‘ are the more likely people to claim the sole ‘ right ‘ to Reason and Rationality. They are what they are because they are not the establishment – or, else, they have no need to refute or dissent.

  27. Abnizar, thank you very much, but first I must assure you, diligence is a learned experience — nothing self-developed — learned from the people around me who mattered and even from those whom I initially thought didn’t matter. Learning and diligence cover wide grounds. Suffice it to say for now, I had the privilege of studying educational psychology under a professor who herself was a student of the famous Prof Hans Eysenck, at a very late age, in fact, twenty years after finishing Form Five, on a ‘fast-track’ Bachelor’s. The point I am trying to make is, everything about “Learning Psychology”, though overtly addressing issues of motivation, positive reinforcement, etc, works over a dark underlay (if you don’t mind the pun) of the primal instinct to control, domineer and most of all to shut out the ‘refuters’ and ‘dissenters’, and woe betide the more diligent among them, the protocol of Umar’s sword, the bonfire of medieval dukes and holy fathers, or the axe of testosterone-driven Chinese emperors, awaits them all alike; Han Yu was infinitely lucky to get away with exile – he was a rare exception. History is replete with ‘torture and death’ to those who dare to think. Stifling “Islamic” thoughts was just one variation of the bloody theme sadists and murderers from all cultures and religions and “non-religions” exacted on the world. The work of this sub-species is still unfinished as refuters and dissenters refuse to stop their equalising protocol.

    The email I received last night on the murder of Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar confirms: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/06/03/jonathan-kay-the-murder-of-dr-mehdi-ali-qamar-symbolizes-pakistans-descent-into-self-annihilation/

    Dr Mehdi was an Ahmadi, and so was Nobel Laureate Mohammed Abdus Salam, the man who was Scientific Advisor to the late Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Google to view the site of the desecrated grave of Abdus Salam.

    Part of the exercise of unearthing the Hidden Treasures of the Golden Islamic past has already started with personalities like Prof Perves Hoodbhoy, Ziauddin Sardar, Taner Edis, and Dr Mai Yamani (the first Saudi woman to receive a D. Phil from Oxford University): read her immensely well-written book, “Cradle of Islam: The Hijaz and the Quest for an Arabian Identity ISBN 1 85043 710 6) – lots of surprise await the reader.

  28. You mean well, aliefalfa I can accept that, but they don’t claim the ‘ sole ‘ Right to reason or rationality , in the sense of being a ‘ Dissenter ‘ to be anti the Establishment – there are of course dissenters within the establishment itself, in the same sense as for example in a debate, the proponent versus the opponent – merely that : an antithesis to thesis, to come to synthesis…..

    But the repression and suppression of truth by the Establishment in ridding the Dissenters , takes a different dimension , when we reflect on what Sumpitan Emas talks of the ” Learning Psychology ” of his experience he underwent……” though overtly addressing issues of motivation, positive reinforcement etc, works over a dark underlay ……of primal instinct (mark this ) to control , domineer, and most of all to shut out the ‘ refuters ‘ and ‘dissenters ‘ , we can see the most ruthless and brutal Suppression inflicted upon the Dissenter, of what the Suppresser view as ‘ their ‘ Right of Reason and Rationality in conformity to their Primal Instinct…… ? ( the landscape that plagues Pakistan and/or Afghanistan depicted in the website by Sumpitan Emas)
    (sorry, we may be nearing the End of Time ? )

  29. Sorry again that I have to belabour, or keep lingering on this topic and bore everyone, but I am learning……

    This specific item on Han Yu, the great Dissenter of Chinese medieval Culture, in which I beg to say, how the Chinese masses had Distorted Buddhism by these acts of their so-called supreme sacrifices in Immolating their bodies and body-parts as an ‘ offering ‘ to a Buddhist deity, why ? Why a short cut to Nirvana, when the Religion taught them that takes millions of years for them to achieve Nirvana in what they believe to be the eternal or perpetual cycle of life, death and rebirth ……..? So what really is ‘ Buddhism ‘ about ? Confounding !

    For me personally, I have greater regard and Admiration of Lao Tse, that in Teaching the ” Way ” , the way of the Tao, will have been an ‘ apocalypse ‘ to seek the ‘ enlightened ‘ path to Salvation, but may be that, they could not Find their ‘way ‘, as Tao had been indulging in a Didatic narrative, or in a kind of allegorical language, when he had said : (to the effect ) ” Those who claim to be able to explain Tao, they in fact do not know it…
    but for those who Know, they cannot say it……” – Therein lies the ‘ apocalypse’ or the ‘ escape route ‘ to Nirvana, don’t agree ?

  30. A quick response because I have a guest. Your two threads taken together — I am learning too!

    In a way, Al-Kindi anticipated what you have re-quoted about the Chinese masses taking a short cut to Nirvana by selective self-immolation, when he proposed that there “exist two truths: one for the stupid and uneducated masses, and the other for the cultured and the educated. The distortion that emerged to convince devout followers to make the supreme sacrifices exactly mirrors the situation in Al-Kindi’s territory, and this distortion could only be worse in China, in my view, for a simple reason related to the reinterpretation of translated texts. If all Arabs speak the same language and yet in real life this language will have to operate at two different levels, with one bringing in “the vision of houris and other physical allurements” and the other to allow the fortunate few “to arrive at deeper” insights, then the Chinese masses in Han Yu’s time didn’t stand a chance at all with translations from the Indian, presumably Pali, texts. Anyone who has had the experience of reading a novel in the original language and then the translated version will know that nothing beats the original. Translating Dr Zhivago from Russian to English today is difficult enough even with so many bi-lingual speakers of the two languages. The translators in the formative years of Buddhism in China could not have been equally gifted but who was there to dispute what was repeatedly and monotonously groaned into the ears of the poor souls daily breaking their back and neck, and what a prize to be gained to reach Nirvana just for a single roasted digit! And they didn’t even understand what was being mumbled into them to reach Delirium. It was confounding indeed.

    Al-Kindi’s genius lies in the fact that his deep insight about how human learning operates at the notional level for one group and functional level for another applies to ALL cultures. He saw it all too clearly how at the functional level two groups operated all the time in competition, the Establishment — to overawe and overwhelm the group which believed in the houris and instant Nirvana, and the Dissenter which rightly should challenge the Establishment for promoting that the “Hourisans” and the “Nirvanans” must continue to produce all the goods and services without protests for the gift of eternal bliss in the hereafter; it was their lot to strive on Earth now so as to thrive Overthere in the next round.

    To the refuters and dissenters the mind must be pre-eminent to help in Equalisation, and only the language of reason can give real meaning to what the Establishment touts as fairness or fate. What one proposes the other says there is another fairer way to dispose. And how the Dissenters have fought the Establishment over the last thousands of years and how they have paid with their lives and still pay today over and over again.

    I deliberately mentioned Pope John XXIII earlier for a specific reason — to ‘simplify’ Al-Kindi’s enigma of the bi-sectored society. Pope John, though always considered an unlikely candidate for the papal seat before his election, did what had always been regarded as the unthinkable with the Second Vatican Council that he convened. In one fell swoop, he ordered priests to say their prayers facing the congregation instead of showing their back as they faced the altar on the wall in front since time immemorial, and he also removed prayers said in Latin and allowed the native language to be spoken instead for the first time. No longer would Catholics all over the world say prayers in a language they didn’t understand, and this effectively removed the group Al-Kindi considered as illiterate — texts and prayers in the vernacular became meaningful for the first time to ALL — Apocalypse postponed.

    Over to China, Hu Shih, the true Chinese Renaissance man, wrote the book I mentioned in 1933, and it was he who introduced vernacular Chinese to replace Classical Chinese. This made Chinese accessible for the first time to All and not just the Mandarins and dukes who were wont to do what was natural for those sitting on top of the pile, as everywhere else — to overawe and to overwhelm, being from the Establishment — Apocalypse postponed and confirmed.

    Likewise, the Qu’ran is made accessible to Muslims all over the world through local language versions. But, it remains a fact that in many places, not least in Pakistan where the use of Arabic reached a point where workers went on strike regularly after someone had spoken to them in Arabic. So it was not without reason Zulfikar Ali Bhutto tried to introduce Arabic as a third language in the schools. But he was cut down, no, strung up actually, by President Zia. Zulfiqar was not the first Muslim Prime Minister to be hanged in the 20th century; he was preceded by Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes who was hanged in 1961, also by the military. He is one of three men who has a mausoleum built in his honour in Turkey. Wikipedia mentions that under him the Turkish economy grew at 9% per annum for ten consecutive years (China, step aside). Why was he and Bhutto hanged? They both tried to Equalise a nation set backwards by conservative forces, one enthralled to a military which was determined to perpetuate the rich Establishment and the other by religious forces which saw a friend in the military just so to keep the people enthralled to them, the new Establishment. Looking back young Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar never had a chance. Apocalypse redux? I pray not. And like the poor Turkish peasants who experienced how life improved when Adnan Menderes became Prime Minister and dreamed of seeing Adnan returning to the country he cared so much on a winged white horse, I too wish to dream that Dr Mehdi would return the same way just to see his loved ones.

    Lao Tse has come at the wrong time again for me. Earlier, in Phase One I was concerned about not getting hungry, and now in Phase Two (nearing personal apocalypse), I don’t see how he can help me connect to the rest who are struggling not to be hungry.

    Abnizer, thank you my friend.

  31. Abnizar, a didactive narrative delivered in a severe tone in the classroom and which brooks no probing questions from students is the defining disgrace of teachers in any culture which admits of only one OFFICIAL narrative (as alluded to by Dato Din when he recounted his experience in a mosque). Am I guilty of being overly didactive? I hope not, long-winded almost certainly, but that is because I refuse to take the short cut to Nirvana, or whatever, by nodding the head incessantly — this gives too much comfort and sadistic joy to wise men who must remain unchallenged

    I too must belabour anti-thesis to thesis and finally synthesis, only I am wondering whether synthesis is ever possible this time here on terra firma. Has it been so planned, “objectivised” by Someone to force the mind never to atrophy to nothingness and by default, slip into Nirvana through the backdoor, sort of, right in front of His eyes, confounding the (our?) Grand Incoherence — bless ourselves we won’t be around to witness it.

    But back to the thesis of the Right of Reason, or rather more accurately, the Right of Reason denied. Back again to the gentle humanising, didactic style of a Dissenter who yearns for greater achievements by Muslims, the inimitable teacher, Prof Pervez Hoodbhoy of what must be done to match the West, as the first step towards regaining the Golden Islamic past, as Anizar has put it. Here I quote him through the antithesis as obtain in Pakistan: (pg 42-43 of ‘Islam and Science’ ISBN 1 85649 024 6):

    “On 29 January 1986, the Centre of Basic Sciences in Islamabad administered a test designed by the Nobel Prize winning scientist, Samuel Ting. About 120 students from all over Pakistan, and with qualifications ranging from M.Sc. to M.Phil. to Ph.D., took the test. Students were allowed to bring any notes and books they wanted. This 5-hour long test consisted of 200 multiple choice questions on various aspects of Physics. Since each question had three alternative answers, random guessing would give an average score of 67 marks. Students who scored more than 160 would be granted admission to MIT.”

    “Not a SINGLE student passed. Not one came anywhere close to the pass mark. The highest score recorded was 113, and the average score was 70 — a scant 3 points above that which a group of illiterates would have obtained, had they been allowed to randomly tick off the answers. The authorities which had allowed the test to take place now sought to suppress the results, but the cat was out of the bag.”

    “An important estimate of the quality of science education can also be inferred from the kind of questions that students are expected to answer in examinations, as well as their results. On looking at examination papers set for the Intermediate and B.Sc levels by the Federal Board of Education over the last three years, the following salient features can be discerned:
    1) A very high degree of repetition was present…Between 40 and 70 per cent of exactly the same questions had been set in the past three years. Instances exist where the entire exam paper of a previous year has been repeated unchanged in a subsequent year.
    2) Between 60 and 80 per cent of marks are reserved, even in science subjects, for questions of the type
    ‘write a short note on …’, or ‘discuss …’ These test memorization, not understanding.
    3) Even where a calculation was required in the question, this was either identical or a simple variant of an example in the prescribed textbook.
    4) In many examinations, students are only required to attempt half the number of questions in the paper. This enable students to ignore a large portion of the actual syllabus.”

    “A batch of physics teachers, all of whom had master’s degrees and had been teaching for several years in Pakistani colleges and universities, and who were due for a refresher course at Quaid-e-Azam University in 1984, were administered a surprise test comprising entirely basic questions at the Matriculate and Intermediate (F.Sc) level. Although these teachers had been teaching at a much higher level to B.Sc, and M.Sc. classes, less than 10 per cent of them were able to any of the questions. A closely similar test was administered in 1988 to fresh students, all of whom had obtained firsts in their Master’s degrees…Almost simultaneously, students entering Pakistan’s premier science institutions — Quaid-e-Azam University — were also given the test. The results were slightly, but not substantially, better. This is unmistakable evidence that the vast majority of Pakistani teachers and students do NOT internalize and make part of their mental machinery even very elementary material.”

    “The de-emphasis of secular subjects, and reduced levels of performance in these, is in considerable measure a result of the fundamental changes in educational priorities. The emphasis on religious and nationalistic indoctrination has caused most literary works to be replaced by moralizing essays, classical poetry by religious poetry, and the teaching of history and geography to be confined to that of Muslim periods and areas. The vision of a universalistic world civilization remains HIDDEN from the pupil’s view. Most importantly, the ROLE of reason and creativity in the learning process has been DENIGRATED.”

    Incidentally, Prof Hoodhboy’s contract with Quaid-e-Azam University was not renewed in 2012. I had mentioned in another blog this, “Some universities are keener on prayer than study. Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, for example, has three mosques on campus, with a fourth planned, but NO bookshop.” (Islam and Science – The Road to Renewal – The Economist, 26 Jan 2013).

    Time for a break. (All emphasis in upper case are mine)

  32. You know something ? Sumpitan Emas is the analogy of the ‘ golden blow-pipe….’ ; No nothing adverse or sinister as if to signify this ‘ blow pipe ‘ thing is analogous to something modern people might construe as ‘ primitive ‘, but ‘ golden ‘ is where the Hidden treasures lies……..its both in your substance and the form, that’s what matters…….
    Loa Tse’s Didactive narratives in the way of Toa in Toaism, is at once a very, very long and arduous undertaking, but also paradoxically, the ‘ easiest ‘ and the shortest-cut to whatever Nirvana the Buddhist has been grappling with in that perpetual cycle of birth and rebirth ad infinitum……
    Well, on this score Sumpitan, I am able to understand yourself that we can have either a short-cut in our Discourse, or else a very lengthy one , as if we have to go till ” Eternity ” – our choice.

    Fortunately, I can ‘ see ‘ in the Golden thing of your ‘ substance’ that we could have a ‘ short-cut ‘ to eternity, I recollect in the golden threads you have laid out, like Al’Rumi, Ibn’ Al’Arabi, Al’Kindi and the like……I have this favourite one, equal in rank with the others, whether them, or Lao Tse, Confucious, Gauthama Sidharta, Guru Nanak etc, this ‘odious’ and pungent character, in the style of Bayazid of Bistami who, as a dissenter, shut his suppressers by uttering to them : ‘ HE WHO DISCOURSES OF ETERNITY, MUST HAVE THE LAMP OF ETERNITY ” within him……

    Some of the ‘ hidden treasures ‘ of the Golden era of the glorious Islamic past, of whom many Muslims themselves may have forgotten about…..and yes, perhaps a ‘ break’ is opportune , before someone yells…..
    Welcome my friend Sumpitan Emas, please keep the Lamp hidden…..and God speed…….

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