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Heaven can wait

Posted: 25 Aug 2013 06:21 PM PDT

Nevertheless, that brings us back to 2013. What is Pakatan Rakyat's position on this issue? Do we have a consensus? Do we agree to disagree? Do we wait until Pakatan Rakyat takes over before we attempt to sit down and discuss this issue? How do we wish to resolve this one issue amongst many issues that need resolving and are yet to be resolved?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Mufti sokong kerajaan Kelantan laksana hudud

Mufti Kelantan menyokong sebarang usaha kerajaan negeri pimpinan PAS untuk melaksanakan hukum hudud di negeri itu khususnya dalam membanteras kegiatan jenayah.

Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad berkata, pelaksanaan salah satu daripada hukum Islam itu bukan sahaja akan memberi jawapan kepada persoalan yang timbul sebelum ini, sebaliknya membantu mengembalikan keamanan sejagat.

"Kalau kita boleh melaksanakan hukum hudud ini, memang diyakini banyak persoalan yang dihadapi sebelum ini diatasi, kita tengok di Arab Saudi berapa peratus sahaja jenayah, paling rendah dalam dunia."

"Allah SWT memberi jaminan, kalau kita boleh laksanakan (hudud) memang kita yakin bahawa persoalan yang kita hadapi boleh diatasi, cuma soal bagaimana untuk melaksanakan hukum hudud itu, apakah ada halangan itu persoalan lain, tetapi kalau hudud itu sendiri memang (Allah) sudah bagi jaminan," katanya semalam dipetik daripada Sinar Harian Online.



For three years since 2010 I have been having a running battle with the opposition activists, in particular the pro-ABU horde. Their argument is that we need to vote Pakatan Rakyat into office first and then sort out all the issues later -- once we have kicked out Barisan Nasional and have given the country to Anwar Ibrahim. 

My argument is that a prenuptial agreement must be negotiated, the terms agreed upon, and the contract signed, BEFORE the marriage vows. If we talk about the prenuptial agreement AFTER the wedding, then it would not be called a prenuptial agreement. It would be called a postnuptial agreement. And how do you sort out an agreement after the event?

Anyway, it is not like we have never entered into any prenuptial agreement with the opposition before this. We have. And that prenuptial agreement was entered into in February 2008 in the run-up to the March 2008 general election. This agreement was called The People's Declaration or Deklarasi Rakyat and it was signed in a formal ceremony at The Blog House in front of so many people. And the signatories were six non-Barisan Nasional political parties, the three parties from Pakatan Rakyat included.

However, Pakatan Rakyat did not honour this agreement. And even after lamenting about it so many times, Anwar Ibrahim said that it is not easy to implement all the terms of the agreement. In other words, what Anwar is saying, they cannot honour the terms of the agreement.

After one 'failed marriage' and a violation of the first prenuptial agreement, do you expect me to enter into a second marriage and agree to the signing of a second prenuptial agreement AFTER the marriage?

Let me pose that question in another way: do you take me for an idiot?

There are many issues we need to resolve BEFORE the elections. And if you want me to support you, then these issues need to first be resolved. Of course, you do not need to resolve them. I am not saying that this is compulsory. But then you must respect my decision of not supporting you if you do not resolve them -- just like I will respect your decision in not resolving these issues.

Let's discuss just one of the many issues, the issue of Hudud. DAP is bitterly opposed to Hudud (over my dead body, as Karpal Singh said). PAS is in full support of it (we will slowly educate Malaysians into accepting it, as Mustafa Ali said). And PKR, in particular Anwar Ibrahim, has two opinions about the matter. On a personal note, as a Muslim, Anwar supports Hudud while, as a party leader, his 'official stand' is he is opposed to it.

So, DAP says 'no', PAS says 'yes', and PKR says…'hmm…well…yes and no'.

And that is just one issue, although some may regard it as THE most crucial of the many issues.

And, today, the Kelantan Mufti has said that he supports the effort of the PAS Kelantan government in implementing Hudud. In short, PAS has NOT abandoned its Hudud agenda. So can we now hear from Anwar, the opposition leader and Prime Minister-in-waiting?

Never mind. No need to say anything concrete or definite. Just say we agree to disagree and we shall resolve this matter once Pakatan Rakyat forms the new federal government. That will satisfy most of the voters although that is not good enough to garner my support.

Now, many argue for and against Hudud without knowing the history of the whole thing. So allow me to run through a very brief history of this Islamic law called the Sharia, the criminal law of Hudud being part of those laws.

If I were to give you my personal opinion many of you will argue that I am not qualified to offer any opinion on Islam since I am not an Islamic scholar. Hence let me quote Karen Armstrong from her book 'Islam: a short history', someone who even Malays regard as an authority on Islam.

Prophet Muhammad is believed to have received his first revelation in 610. Twenty years later, in 630, eight years after the Hijrah (migration) of 622, Muhammad's army conquers Mekah without shedding even a drop of blood. Two years later Muhammad dies.

Thereafter comes a period of turmoil and civil wars.

The first Caliph, Abu Bakar, is embroiled in putting down rebellions.

The second Caliph, Umar, invades Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Jerusalem and defeats the Persian Empire. Umar is then assassinated by a Persian prisoner of war.

The third Caliph, Uthman, invades Cyprus, Tripoli in North Africa, Afghanistan and Sind. Uthman is assassinated by his own Muslim soldiers.

Ali is appointed the fourth Caliph but is not accepted by Prophet Muhammad's family and a civil war (the Battle of the Camel) erupts with Aisha, the Prophet's widow, leading the rebellion against Ali.

Syria, led by Uthman's relative, Muawiyah, also rebels against Ali and Muawiyah is appointed the new Caliph in Jerusalem. Ali is then assassinated and a new Umayyad dynasty begins.

Yazid takes over as the second Umayyad Caliph on the death Muawiyah and the second civil war erupts, which is decided on the battlefield of Karbala with the defeat of Ali's son, Hussain.

Further civil wars and rebellions erupt all over the Muslim empire. In 749, less than 100 years after the Umayyad Empire was founded in 661, the Abbasid Empire is founded.

In 786, around 37 years later, Harun Al-Rashid takes over as the new Caliph in Baghdad, a period described as The Golden Age of Islam. And this was when the Sharia began to be properly formalised, almost 200 years after Prophet Muhammad first began to receive the revelations.

Hence the argument that the Hudud, which is part of the Sharia, is God's law can be disputed. The Sharia, plus Hudud, was decided about 200 years later -- no doubt after careful research, study and debate. But then this came about during a period when the religious scholars were of the opinion that the Caliph (Harun Al-Rashid) was a bit too liberal and 'modern' for their liking and they wanted to separate church and state.

So matters concerning religion were taken out of the hands of the Caliph and came under the jurisdiction of the religious scholars. And they decided these new laws while the job of the Caliph was merely to uphold and implement these laws -- or else get ousted and/or assassinated (the fate of many Caliphs before and after Harun Al-Rashid).

To say that the Sharia and Hudud were laws implemented by Prophet Muhammad would not be entirely correct (although some of these 'traditions' did exist during the time of the Prophet) mainly because they were formalised about 200 years later. Some were old pre-Islamic tribal laws and some were Jewish laws. Some, no doubt, were revealed in the Qur'an. But they were actually a mix or various traditions -- Qur'anic, pre-Islamic, as well as Jewish traditions.

Muslims (Malaysian Malays in particular) need to be less emotional about this matter. They need to understand the history and developments of the many Islamic empires and the various changes that took place.

There were a lot of politics, rebellions, civil wars and assassinations soon after the death of Prophet Muhammad in 632 until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire soon after World War I -- a period of almost 1,300 years. And Islam, in particular the Sharia, evolved and transformed over time and did not 'fall from the sky' during the time of Prophet Muhammad.

Nevertheless, that brings us back to 2013. What is Pakatan Rakyat's position on this issue? Do we have a consensus? Do we agree to disagree? Do we wait until Pakatan Rakyat takes over before we attempt to sit down and discuss this issue? How do we wish to resolve this one issue amongst many issues that need resolving and are yet to be resolved?

This has been my argument over the last three years since 2010.



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