Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Al-A'araf 7 v. 33: Spiritual Adornments

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Recently I am seeking some help from fellow Ahlul Bayt members of various branches of Islamic movements to help us to clear the name of our ulamas, family and imams. I hate to see how we Muslims dividing our selves into congregations, organizations or movements just to tyrannize each other and posing judgements based on unwritten laws to satisfy our nationalism or perhaps our position. Many of our people had already sacrificed their selves and keeping their silence under oppressions just to make sure that the nations of Islam do not split out of Allah's course and for the peace of the humanity. I cannot put everything up here in a blow. Maybe I would compile the names of those figures first. Many fitnas nowadays and I am sensing that our prayer times becoming earlier than before. I am not sure about other regions. I do not like to speculate but favoring and incline more to the Quran and the prophethood of Muhammad s.a.w as the basis of our Creed. But I think the time is moving fast as the speed of the Earth circulating the Star is also increasing. 

Anyway, this is not the topic I wanted to talk about in this post. I am here to keep the written notes about surat Al-A'araf verse 33 exegesis. It means in English more or less: "Say: My Lord forbids me indecency; whatever obvious of it, whatever hidden of it and sins and unjust oppression; and that you associate not the God with what He never ascribe in Revelation out of the authority and that you say not anything about Him of which you have no knowledge about".

According to Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah in his al-Azhar, Allah commanded Muhammmad s.a.w as His messenger to tell the universe that adorning one self with ornaments or modest eating or drinking habits are not forbidden. However those are just at the surface. It is actually forbidden to neglect spiritual adornment. Never exceed the limit of spiritual body sanctity with sins when it is well protected, and never feel worried if physical body is granted with adornments.

الفَوَاحشَ or indecency in the verse refers to disgusting acts related to genitals. In modern days, it is also known as promiscuous sex and the verse mentions about it is committed secretly or openly. As what we could see today, ladies wearing sexually attractive attire to attract people's attention, skimpy dress and showing off their physical assets. Some people would say why only ladies? I would say this refers to every sane human-being regardless gender which also include the third gender if there is such a thing. I know several sexual terms from my experience with those kids who watched porn. Whatever disgusting acts exceeding the sanctity limit of spiritual body out of these related to human-physical body attraction portrayed in those terms is forbidden

Watching anything related to this such as pornographic materials is also counted as disgusting. I could still recall some of my hostel mates were watching porn videos while I was in their room cause I was chatting with some of them. Suddenly one of them organized some porn watching party and locked the door. I did not say anything to them nor watching it. I pretend that I was reading the newspaper before I force one of them to unlock the door as it used their keys. When I return to my room I just whip myself with belt buckle. Some kids there including my roommate perhaps had mistaken me for whipping myself for 'Ashura or Muharram matam but it was Ramadan's eve, lol. I would fast in those days of 'Ashura rather than whipping myself. Yea that was retarded but I can't help it with the feeling of guilt for disrespecting my soul when I mingled with those kids for da'awa purpose. This is what I am telling brothers and sisters that I am stepping one of my feet in the hell because I love those brothers because they said they are Muslims. It is so tormenting yet we have to be patient with some psychological strategies to bring everyone to Allah without breaking their "heart". So we are not being selfish by only circulating the Mercy of Allah among our selves. 

Please don't misunderstood me as a man who discriminate women on gender basis when I am stating these as apart of what we understood from the verse when it mentions women. Sometimes people love to make controversy out of others' statement when we only mention women. I have five sisters and I am the only male among the siblings. For traditional orthodox Muslim family. If we are discriminating women, my sisters would not be given opportunity to study to the highest level that they can achieve and they could even mingle with any male friend they like as long as they know how to behave. I even had accompanied my sister to Thai for a "cowboy marriage" and lied by her when she wanted to marry a guy of her choice that happened to be someone's husband. English and most Western languages usually mention pronouns with the men ones but in Asian languages such as Chinese or Malay, there is no such thing. Just to make sure we follow the standard of equality in gender treatment that I put both he and she but not in all places as it takes space, hehe.

These verses connecting the physical indecency with spiritual ones. They have to do with adornments at human physical body. The God never forbids the Ornaments of the God. But in our daily life, most people tend to appear in front of others such as looking sexually attractive or others just to show off to others. Some men perhaps would show off their muscular body to others or some women would show off their boobies or thigh or hips and etc just to make people adoring them. Through these verses, the God commanded Muhammad s.a.w to tell the world that there is nothing wrong with dressing nicely and decently. Nothing wrong to wear any pattern of fabrics. He forbids dress which is worn to show off physical body with the mean to raise sexual desire of people around regardless men or women. When a portal evil is opened, others will gradually be opened too. This is also one of the gates to polytheism.

As what has been mentioned in Surat al-An'am vs. 151 which means: "Say: 'Come, let me recite what your Lord has prohibited upon you. He commands that you should not associate anything with Him, and to parents be polite. And do not kill your children due to poverty. We provide them with sustenance and also for you. And never be close to indecency be it openly or secretly. And never take the soul which the God has forbidden except with justice and legal rights. He instructs you with these may you use logical thinking and reasons".

The verse also mentions about ألأِثْمُ which means the sins. Then it mentions ألبَغْيُ بِغَيرِالحَق which is translated as unjust oppression. Al-Suddiy interpret the sins as committing vices. While the word ألبَغْيُ or oppression refers to the act of hurting others unjustly. Al-Mujahid interpret the sins as all of the acts of vices. And oppression refers to the act without legal justification which also hurts the doer's self. 

Ibnu Katir says that: "As per conclusion, the sins refer to all of the crimes which affect the doer's self while oppression refers to the act of crimes which has hurt others". Based from the conclusion made by Ibnu Katir, we could now differentiate the sins into categories and identify on what is the oppression or tyranny. For example, B simply hates this A guy because he perhaps unintentionally became his rival. Then B took out his rifle and shot dead A. This is referred according to our terminology as ألبَغْيُ the unjust oppression or a tyranny.

Then, the verse mentions that it is forbidden to associate the God with others. Seeing others as powerful and as equal as the God in term of the power possession would make a person sinful for the crime of associating the God with others. Other than that, a person who is saying something about the God without any knowledge has the gravity of the sin heavier than associating Him with partners. This refers to people who established pseudo-religious teachings and claiming that it is of the God while the God never reveals as such. Such a person has no knowledge about the fact of religion, law and jurisprudence. He could not even differentiate what is legal and what is illegal but yet acting like he was revealed with the scripture to add in nonsense things which are claimed as part of religion. Around the world and throughout centuries, there are spiritual or pseudo religious movements established by people who claim their selves as teachers while his teachings is followed by ignorant followers. This is also a grave sin.

List of the Crimes and Sins Mentioned in the Verse

From these verses, there are six kind of the crimes forbidden by the God:

1. Sins committed openly       
2. Sins committed secretly
3. Sins out of the "heart"
4. Sins tyrannizing others
5. Associating the God with others
6. Sins of speculations about the God while they are just their mere imagination

Jushammiy Explanations

The sixth of these sins is the greatest after all the consideration given. Al-Jushammiy mentions: "This verse shows that all of the sins are illegal. The sayings of the God in the scripture covering the tiniest of all crime acts and all wrong promises which go against the divine law, evil words and evil belief which is related to crimes and vices".

The words ظَهَرَ and بَطَنَ include all of verbal acts and those emerged from "heart" such as cheating, lying, envious and etc. The word ألبَغْيُ or oppression refer to all of the tyranny to others. It includes for example the rebellion of people that destroys a country or making innocent people suffer, attacking or discriminating other congregations within the larger congregation and also the political leader who defends people who commit crimes.    

And in the scripture says the God: "وأنْ تُشْرِكوا باللهِ مالَم يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ" refers to acts of associating the God with partners and enslaving oneself to others for example to human bosses, earthly kings, earthly stuffs for example gold and silver, other creatures in the earth and heavens for example angels, stars, planets, animals, satan, genies and others.

And it includes in His sayings: "وأنْ تقولواعلى اللهِ مالاتعلمونَ" which refers to innovations and blasphemy. Those who issue out the fatawa without following the guidelines of the righteousness, providing fake testimony and lying about others are also counted as among those who committed this sin.

So this verse has collected all of what has been forbidden by the God to mankind. The verses before this verse has mentioned on numbers of what is not sinful to be done or known as مباح mubaah. The verse also highlighting the importance of politeness and manner related to religion's affair or worldly affair. This also shows that there is a cancellation of تقليد taqleed since the God commands everyone to investigate and researching on the reasons for arguments. Not to just stay blindly following on anything. Because there are also the indications about explanations in the revelation as mentioned in the verse: "مالم ينزل به سلطانا" which shows the importance of researching on arguments in our divine law. The سلطانا word refers to a precise explanation.

What are the Benefits of the Verse?

As what has been concluded for the verse, it is not forbidden for us to wear nice attire suitable with the position of holy sanctuaries such as masjid or when performing the circumambulation around the Ka'aba in holy Mecca. Nobody forbids that. Nobody also forbids us to eat or drink anything which is legal as long as we do it moderately.

The most important thing for us to put into our attention is our manner, politeness and the sanctity of our inner selves. Never adorn our selves with the adornments of satan which will cause us to fall into the trap of the envious creature. Protect our heart from being contaminated with sins or when we tyrannize others. Protect our inner selves from associating the God with partners by worshiping what is not to be worshiped or believing that earthly or heavenly materials and creatures have the power over the God. After that, never be religious without questioning and reasoning as what the God said in the verse through the words of Surat al-'An'am v. 151 about logical thinking and reasons. This is why I am performing da'awa according to suitability and I do not like to be bonded by specific movements. I saw some fellow Tabligh members walking like a penguin. So, I asked them why are you walking like that? They said this is how prophet Muhammad s.a.w walk as we are following the Sunna. I just feel it funny that they could walk properly but choosing to walk like a penguin. How do they know prophet Muhammad s.a.w walk like that? They ever seen it? In some hadiths narration, they mentioned that prophet Muhammad s.a.w walked "like" climbing the hills and his steps are moderate and modest. They never say anything about walking like a penguin. What I would say is that just be our selves. We don't have to show how eager we are until it become so awkward. Some people keeping bushy beard and looking to us who do not really have beard like ungodly people. I saw many people who keep beard as it is a "Sunna" but never bother to brush it nicely and apply oil. Their beard even contains lice, na'udzubillah. Sometimes I keep beard and sometimes not because I will trim it all when I feel "dirty" and grow it again. It is a "Sunna" which people should understand not the only "basis of religious" obligation. If we are a "Chinese" person or a Korean guy, how could we grow beard like Mid Easterners bushy beard? Our genetic developed differently of theirs.

This verse perfectly describe on how should we conduct our life with ethic and noble manner. It is nor wrong for an old guy or old woman to dress nicely with whatever expensive fabric or sprinkling some perfume according to occasion. As long as it does not affect people appreciation or respect on their selves due to "flirtatious gazing" to others then go on.

The Nexus of Jurisprudence and Shari'a and Islam

The verse strongly reminds us to avoid from talking about "religion" when our knowledge is not reaching the suitable level for the questions raised. And never try to debate on anything if our arguments are based on perception or hear says or simply copy-pasting certain ulama's thesis. Following our own thought and labeling others with accusations without referring to the sayings of the God and prophetic traditions is the peak of all sins and crimes. When it comes to jurisprudence on what is legal or what is illegal, we are not allowed to simply issuing any rulings accept with نص or the precise evidence. If we have no basic knowledge then start it with classes in the nearest masjid in our area. It is actually open for both men and women because I had female colleagues in our Shari'a stream class and many of our female elders were also trained as da'awa cadres where they protect the interests of ladies in the jurisprudence body and provide information to others.

For some jurisprudence schools of Islam, اجتهاد the ijtihad which refers to personal decision-making for interpretation of laws could be exercised if one possess the basic knowledge of Shari'a and Jurisprudence sciences. The فروع furu' could analogically be deducted through قياس qiyaas on the أصول usool in the religion. The derivation of the judgement or الإستنباط is based on the Shari'a Spirit where the previous judgements are referred as long as it is in accordance to the basis of law. What everyone should know is that the result of the ijtihad is not definite and not to be accepted by everyone like the sayings of the God! The result of the ijtihad according to the majority of ulamas is based on ظن the suspicion and not definite as implied in our technical term قطع qat'i.

Only the followers of the ulamas who hate others who differ from their teachers opinion and rulings that attack people around and issuing judgement to others on the reasons that only they themselves and the God know. This is the "chief" of all disasters around the world. Nations are judged by the مقلدين muqallideen. Not by the ulamas who are the real jurists. Everyone could be da'awa cadres but not all da'awa cadres around the world are the قاضي jurists and فاقِه faaqih.             
Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!

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