I was born a Muslim in 1970. Both of my parent practices Islam, so does my grand parent before me. As a child I was raise as a normal Muslim, learning to recite the Quran and perform the ritual Prayer. My Father attended Religious School before joining the British Military; my mother was a daughter of a religious teacher, used to teach recitation of Quran to me and my fellow friends in my Village.
I am proud of my parent whom guide me according to their religious background. Life is great in Malaysia until I pursue my study in California in the 90’. America opened me to the various available material on religion which is not available in my homeland.
Religion is not a topic of my interest in the beginning until I am inflicted with a psychological break down. I resorted to the life of austerity and began seeking for the meaning of life and the answer from God to my life question.
Conventional Islam does not seem to provide the desire answer that I seek. I began exploring other religion in search of my failure to communicate with God. I began to familiarize with Buddhism, Christianity, Zen, Hinduism, New age material and Sufism.
Still seeking the truth, the light presented itself when I went for a seclusion in Santa Cruz California, there I encounter one of the Sufi Movement and devoted my self as a disciple for the next 4 years. In 2001 I returned back to Malaysia to embarked on a business venture until the presence day.
I will always remember my first enlightenment experience, the story goes as follow.
I was listening to one of the recorded conversation between one of the master of Sufi and a new to be disciple, in one of the tape; a man approaches the master and requested to be accepted as a disciple. The master ask why does he wanted to became a disciple? The man answer that he loves God. The master ask; which god do you love? The man say God. The master asked again: Which God? The man say the one God for there is only one God. The master then say; you are only in love with the God of your mind! You are not in love with the real god!
Listening to the tape I began to understand the delusion that I have carried within my mind, God be Glorify, I have live out my entire life not understanding the delusion of my mind.
Malaysia, a majority Muslim population, and currently holding the chairmanship of Organization of Islamic Countries, I was quite shock as to the level of Islam understanding. Malaysia have both the Religious Court, namely Shariah Law and Civil Law. Muslims are subjected to both law. In manner pertaining to Islamic law, such as Fasting, Alcoholic beverages, and male and female relationship and matter pertaining to family law and inheritance.
Mosques is in every part of the Countries and most Muslim strive to be portray as a Muslim by the way they dress and so forth.
The practicality of Islam on etiquette and human relationship however is much more worse than the western countries.
I always seem to be in confusion as to the role of religion and their effect on Muslim daily life. It seem the basic understanding of Islam is not there or the cleric failed to provide the necessary Etiquettes and values.
Every Friday the mosque is packed with all the male population of the nation. Inside this place of worship people behave accordingly. They seem to respect the old, when passing in front they seem to request or indicated with their hand they are passing you to take a seat, and they will definitely shake hand with the person next.
This behavior however is easily forgotten the moment they step out of the mosque. Bad driving attitude, inconsiderate and other various misbehavior which does not reflect a true follower of this nice and once glorify Religion.
I always find it funny the way the mosque are crowded during the Friday prayer, the most visible indicator is the car crowding around the mosque. In all the cities that I have encountered, parking is done rampantly even to the point of blocking the main road. A two ways road will end up as a one lane since both side will be occupy by cars.
This is but the tips of the Iceberg that is clouding various other moral and etiquette that have been forgotten by Muslim in Malaysia.
The same might be said about the majority of Muslim out there especially in the developing nation and the nation under conflict.
The most mind boggling experience that I encounter is during the million man marches and demonstration held against the Embassy of the nation that publish Muhammad as a Cartoon character. Kuala Lumpur the capital of Malaysia was packed with Muslim from every walk of life. It was Friday and the organizer held the demonstration after Friday prayer. The saddest moment was when exiting the mosque. People kept pushing toward the exit and it was like a rush, I was caught in the middle and people started pushing and I got squeeze in between hundred of people rushing out and seeking their shoes (shoe cannot be worn inside the mosque)
I pity the older and the children that got squeeze, it took nearly half an hour or more to exit the mosque. At one point I yell at the crowd for pushing and reminded them that Islam does not teach this kind of pushing behavior, but my outburst felt into deaf ear.
It was a sad moment and in the premise of the house of the Lord their children is behaving like a monkey, even a few minutes ago they are prostrating and glorifying God.
Countless other event and life experiences within the past few year in this dominant Muslim population have brought me to the understanding that Majority of Muslim here have not even grasp the basic tenet or teaching of Islam.
So the purpose of this book is for those that professes Islam to evaluate back and began a critical analysis of their daily life, and then they can truly say they are Muslim by practicality.
I would assume this book will receive possible attack and backlash from the majority of Muslim cleric. But the truth must be presented in a simple and straight forward argument so that we may say to our self;
To be continue;-
Please also refer to : http://1force.blogspot.com