Sunday, 6 November 2011

Is Kafir Really Means Infidel?

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

This morning I had read some questions and statements about Islam and Muslim by people who hate Islam or religion. They are sometimes annoying, like childish little girls or budak jambu perasan macho (boys who thinks that they're smart good looking guys with bunch of friends around) in American schools seeking attention for something which is "temporary," pooorah! They don't hate Muslim (human), but they hate Islam (the God), hehehe. 

The God actually does not need this kind of people. Nobody needs their filthy blood to be spilled on mother earth. So, every time when they talk about "apostates" or "infidels" must be killed, I found that it as annoying because it does not reflect the 'real' situation or perhaps they wanted to die and asking some "terrorists" to kill them? Sick people... I would just recommend them to get a life, do something better with our life. I had been a Buddhist and an Atheist for some times and I hated Islam because of bad experiences with Muslims too. Nobody actually had killed me. I am alive and typing this post. There are many people turning to other faith in this world either from Islam to other faith or being ones without faith or from other faith to Islam. So, what's the big fuss about it? We want to believe anything, just go on. Do we have to let the whole world know what is inside our heart? What if people know? We feel proud because we could be in line with the mainstream and showing off on how advance we are like the "mainstream" when we criticize other faith?

This post is a bit of translation and we don't simply translate words because the words of different languages match to each other. In political science, we have conceptualization. Those people who talk nonsense are just insulting their own intelligence as human-being. People like Cicero the orator, also doing some interpretation while delivering speeches.

In most Eastern traditions of philosophies for example Buddhism, these people are considered as beasts because they do not talk like human. This is according to what had been proposed in Panchasil or the Five Principle Precepts to be human-being. This discourse about Panchasil was given by lord Buddha Gautama to Naga Muchalinda who took human form to be a monk (human) but since he was not a human-being, lord Buddha advised him to stick to Five Principle Precepts for him to be "incarnated" into a human-being in the future and he could perform monasticism "in the real meaning."

What is in Panchasil???

1. Not to take life (killing, murder)    
2. Not to take what is not given (jealousy, hijacking, stealing, robbing)
3. No to false speech and fact distortion (lying, cheating, slandering)
4. Avoid from using senses falsely (norms and morality of sexual conduct according to monastic law, usage of mind)
5. Avoid intoxicants stuffs (liquor, crack, caffeine)

Many "scholars" about Islam as a hideous thing with bias childish criticism, and bashing in the internet had fallen into the stage of beasts though this principle is Buddhism by basis. It has no religious connotation because beasts need 'no religion.' This is what I am trying to tell some Muslim brothers and sisters when we talk about people of other faith or about anything. We try to avoid distorting facts. We just talk about whatever we know but stay silent on whatever that we are not sure. In the West, people love to act scholar though they are not by fact 'wise.' They articulate and talk as if they know everything though their brain is empty of the issue that they are talking about. People also distort facts through the name of "Rules and Regulation." Unfortunately, this is how the world is "dominated" and "shaped" by them while the real Dominion is the One with Mercy and Love : ) 

Now back to the topic, when we translate things, there are actually many principles that we need to adhere. We even possess translation and interpretation theories and science. It mentions that translation could not be a "real" rendition of a text but simply to bring the message from a language to another for the different audience. As to say, there are many misunderstandings about this Quranic word which sounds like كافر kafir (pl. kuffaar). It is often translated into English as infidel. Infidel is a Latin word based from Roman Catholicism terminology. Latin is a liturgy language for Roman Catholics and technically Roman Catholicism is a sect of Christians' religion. It's not Muslims' ritual language because we use Quraiysh Arabic in most of rituals like salat. Even some of us recite supplications after salat in Arabic and not in native tongues. 

As per my understanding for the word kafir in this way to return to Him, it means that a creature is an ingrate toward Him. Ingrate in this context of word means someone who has no gratitude to the Creator, Who gives and generates Life. The Arabic word kafir is a noun which shows the act of the subject from the past tense verb كفر kafar.

What does كفر  kafar means in Arabic? 

It has three basic meanings...
I. غطاه closed, covered from comprehending their selves and the God
II. انكره refusing to respect the God 
III. ضد امن against security (those who spread lies, slander, and harming human-society or creatures)

From this word, another word which is derived from kafir sounds like is كفارة kaffarah. It means the breaking of commandment and covenant. It also refer to sentence or fine for sins and crimes committed by a creature. Deeper meaning, it means the sentence to cancel the act of breaking the commandment and covenant. Commandment and covenant is the contract between a soul and the God. This is how the word being developed in Arabic. It's not simply substituting word for word like a person who does not go to school. This problem happened because many of Islamic texts was translated by Westerners. Translation could also be influenced by the ideology and tendency of a certain translator

Terminologically, the word kafir means a person who does not believe, have no confidence and denies the God as the One who Creates the Universe, who Sustains the Universe, and who Gives life to the death. It refers to people who are hidden and covered to the Revelation and the seal of prophethood, Muhammad s.a.w as a messenger of the God to the nations of era near Resurrection. 

Then only this word is generally translated into English as infidel where it has been taken into substitution for the word in eastern part of the world. Another word for this in English used to translate this particular word is disbeliever because translators trying to avoid Roman Catholicism connotations and the method of understanding the word is different. For me, I would use the word ingrate to translate the word into English.

E.g of the usage of this word is such in the term of كُفُرْنِعْمَةْ kufur ni'mah. It means someone who refuse to admit the grace of the God the Most Highest to him or to her. Basically it means ingratitude, ones without politeness and of no manner. These kind of people do not co-exist well with the nature and causing troubles for the universe. This كُفُرْ kufur word is synonymous to kafir but it does not make a Muslim person an infidel from his or her faith to the God the Most Highest and His messenger to the universe, Muhammad s.a.w or leading to what is called as apostasy. This term is used to refer to ingratitude which brings not one from the boundary of the basic six pillars of faith and five pillars Islam.

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!

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