Thursday, August 2, 2012

A True Khalifah (Caliph)

Yea, it might sound boring to some of you. But I am not about to talk about those stuffs that you hear from time to time. This is what we usually hear - "A Khalifah is someone who precedes the responsibility of the prophet PBUH and his companions as the ruler of the Muslim Nation bla bla bla yada yada. Each and every one of us are also khalifahs, carrying the responsibility over one-self and those around us yada yada" - This is certainly not what I intend to say. All of us know that already right? But I would like to discuss what I see beyond that.

I see it as something that is more comprehensive that just being a good Muslim and a leader for my own self and those around me. A Khalifah's true meaning and responsibility should extend to even the non-Muslims, other beings and the environment (Nature) itself. At the global level as well as the littlest and simplest things. Later in this post I will provide those things which I see could be improved in the Muslim society.

Being a Khalifah simply dictates that we should be championing a lot of issues from basic human rights to rights of other beings, from poverty to the distribution of wealth, from democracy to good governance, from environmental issues to waste management system, from economic growth to the balance between industrialization and the primary sector, from educational to social issues, and from and to everything!

But what is the reality? We are immersed in issues that only divides us apart. We rather debate about should or should we not recite zikr loudly after prayers, should we or should we not wear jeans, should or should we tolerate other mazhabs inside a Syafie-popular society, and a lot of other ridiculous and time wasting debate which has already been settled even during the time before us when we should be looking forward to bigger issues.

We dream big, yet our culture, mindset and perspective is not as broad. The ego is huge though! We should be investigating and learning from the West as well as the far East of how their local culture shapes the mindset of the society, and bring them to where they stand today. If necessary, we should adopt them. There should be no problem.

People argue that us Muslims have our own culture and we have to stick to it "harfan bi harfin" (word by word). They further argue that the Western culture is derogatory towards religion and should be condemned. But they forget that anything that in nature is good for humanity as long as it is not against the teachings of the prophet PBUH, is in fact necessary. And that is what Islam is actually. Anything that is good in its nature is Islam. "Rahmatan lil 'alamin" (Mercy to the Universe) right?

Here are a few things we might want to learn from them.

I still remember, even after 15 years coming back to Malaysia, the social norm and practice is different. Here in Malaysia, we say that we apply the Islamic conduct in our everyday lives. But not as much. Things that are clearly against the religion is a taboo in our society. Such as adultery and riba'. That is good. But as I said earlier, it should have been more than just that. It goes beyond.

In the UK's, if you stand by the roadside to cross the zebra walk, cars will stop for you! The will allow you to pass through eventhough they can just speed up and leave you waiting for the road to clear. They don't. This is an act of mercy that us Muslims should be practising. But why can't we see this in our own country?

Another thing is cleanliness. Cleanliness is clearly endorsed by the teachings of Islam. There's this hadith saying "Cleanliness is part of Islam". My question is, why is it that the dirty countries are always the Muslim nations or countries with a huge Muslim population? Why is it that the cleaner and cleanest countries are the non-Islamic states? So who really practice Islam here? I would blame the local government for this. In the UK's we see thrash bins almost everywhere. It makes it very easy for people to put away lollipop wrappers and burger wraps in the right place. Over here, I find it so hard to even see one bin.

Another issue the Muslims need to champion is the recycling campaign. This is a very important one. A khalifah is not just sent to be leaders for mankind. But to also govern and administer the whole Earth (World). Environment is a part of our responsibility. Have we actually been responsible in that sense? A big no! We should be loving the nature, not further damaging it. Recycling papers, plastics and cans is an act of mercy towards the nature, and you know this already. So do it!

Is it that Islam does not endorse all of this or it is because of the local culture that has infiltrated our kind hearts and turn it away from the real teachings of Islam? Or lead us into a way of thinking that misrepresents the Islam that was revealed to the Prophet SAW.

There's a whole lot of other things that's there for us to see. It's just whether we really use our mind faculty to ponder upon them the moment we see things that are different or just let it pass without giving it a second look. If we really analyse them, we'll see that we can really learn a lot from the non-Muslims.

This is what I do. I compare ideas and culture. Especially those I gather from places I've been. I believe that at the end of the day, it is what makes me a better man - that I am able to extract positive ideas from everywhere and incorporate it into my daily life. I hope that everyone would do so as well. Because all of us possess the mind faculty. Whether we use it to the best of it's ability, is the question.

I have posted several other articles in the past with a similar theme. Have a look :)
1. Non-Muslims more Islamic Than Muslims
2. Islam in The Secular States

1 comment:

  1. I came across your blog by chance. Surely, Allah knows what we not know. Your post... greatly benefits me. Syukran.:)