30 April 2023

Anwar’s open house...

Is testament to Islamic leadership, 
Muslim brotherhood concept...

There has been much criticism of Anwar’s open house activity slotted in every state in Malaysia.The criticism has come both from Muslim Malays and non-Muslim Malaysians. In this article, I wish to explain something that most Malaysians do not know, something that some Muslims are even unaware of, and what some Muslims who know but need a reminder.

To me, Anwar Ibrahim, as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, is showing an exemplary leadership characteristic of Islam as well as fulfilling the aspect of Muslim brotherhood or “ukhwah.” As I was educated in the Islamic Reform movement during my studies in the US under the direction of the Malaysian Islamic Study Group or MISG, I have expanded much of my knowledge since those early days and thus, have come to understand the idea and responsibility of Islamic leadership and the forging of a Muslim brotherhood.

Those have not been educated within the movement of Islamic Reform as headed by such entities as ABIM, IKRAM and to a certain extent PAS in the good old days when that party was led by leaders of Islamic integrity. Now that party is a sad shadow of a shadow of a shadow of its former self. Even though PAS has grown in political strength, its spiritual and moral integrity has suffered serious setbacks in its greed and immoral desire for power.

Firstly, let us be clear on the three main criticisms of the open house of Anwar Ibrahim.

First, it is said to be an election baiting strategy. This criticism has come from those who wished to hijack the Takbir Raya on nationally televised broadcast. For shame-lah. Second, it is said to be a waste of money. This has come from Malaysians and also the opposition party in which that party appointed the largest number of ministers and deputy ministers as well as a few minister-level posts given to religious personalities that have zero KPI as well as zero significant result whatsoever.

As for Malaysians, one must understand that meeting people and interacting with citizens is a prime prerogative of the Prime Minister and the relationship is usually accompanied with some food to break the ice. What else? Oh, there is also criticism that Anwar is “encroaching” on the state affairs uninvited. This criticism is easy to dispel. As I understand, Anwar was also never invited to meet with the flood victims and yet he came to look for himself the situation and to grant immediate assistance.

Now that we have done away with all three childish criticisms, let us look at the real reason why Anwar is doing this open house in each state. Firstly, even though Anwar is a Malay leader, just like the other eight former PMs, he does not put Malay identity as the most important aspect of his leadership. Anwar places the idea of Islamic spirituality and universal brotherhood of man above and higher than petty tribalism of race and identity politics.

Thus, other PMs would not celebrate Hari Raya with their political enemies, but Anwar has a different way of dealing with his political enemies of the same faith. And this falls under the idea of brotherhood in Islam.

Now let us look at what the late Siddiq Fadzil, father of the present Minister of Education and former president of ABIM, explained about the duties of an Islamic leader in a multiracial and multi-faith nation:

“Agama, khususnya Islam, harus berfungsi dan berperanan membangun budaya damai dan seterusnya menjayakan agenda pembinaan bangsa. Sikap menghargai perbezaan dan kepelbagaian harus dipupuk berasaskan kefahaman terhadap sunnah penciptaan dan hikmah di balik ayat-ayat Tuhan. Sementara itu nilai persaudaraan perlu difahami dan diamalkan dalam erti yang luas, tidak terbatas hanya dalam lingkaran persaudaraan seagama (ukhuwwah dinniyah), tetapi meliputi persaudaraan setanah air (ukhuwwah wataniyyah) dan seterusnya persaudaraan kemanusiaan (ukhuwwah insaniyyah).”

In the last part of his sentence, he emphasized the relationship that the leader must have not only with his own brothers of faith but also with his brothers in nationhood as well as brothers in mankind. 

The Islamic leader is responsible to all people, and meeting every citizen of different faiths, culture, race in different states is of paramount importance. PAS leadership cares only for Muslims of its own faith while forging dissent with others of different faiths and with Muslims that disagree with its exclusive political policies.

In his last sermon, the Prophet Muhammad made the Muslims promise to treat all people with utmost fairness and dignity. In the same sermon, he singled out Muslims in a special brotherhood:

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a White has no superiority over a Black nor a Black has any superiority over a White except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.”

“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.”

Malaysians must understand and PAS must be reminded that Muslims have obligatory rights on other Muslims regardless of their political beliefs or stations in life. There are six rights due from a Muslim to his other brother Muslim:

On account of Abu Hurairah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu), The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said:

“The rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim are six.”, “When you meet him, give him the greeting of peace, When he invites you, respond to his invitation, When he seeks your advice, advise him, When he sneezes and praises Allah, supplicate for mercy upon him, When he becomes ill, visit him, and When he dies to follow him (i.e., his funeral)” [Muslim]

Thus, even though the PAS and PN leadership has slandered Anwar Ibrahim by insinuating his sexual preference, his ties with the Jews and Christians, and his “liberal” agenda of Islam Madani, Anwar knows that he must still fulfil the rights of Muslim brotherhood. 

Therefore, if Hadi were sick, then Anwar must visit him and if Anwar were to die, then Hadi should come for his funeral prayers and follow the body to the cemetery. Now, Malaysians must understand the concept of Muslim brotherhood being special and stricter than the concept of brotherhood of citizenry and brotherhood with all mankind.

I hope that the above explanation is adequate to explain the PM open house and the private intentions of Anwar as a leader with an Islamic spirituality that accords importance to the idea of a universal brotherhood of man. Other Malays can be the prime minister of a single race, but only a true Muslim can be a leader to all. - Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi 

Sanusi ignites social media frenzy 
after joining Anwar’s event in Kedah...

Putrajaya’s first of six Aidilfitri open houses saw an overwhelming turnout of thousands of people, and more are still coming to the event. The Raia Hotel in Alor Setar, Kedah, was the venue for this grand celebration, with at least five massive tents, tables, and chairs arranged for the attendees.

But the internet was ignited by the photos of the Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor appearing at the event and sitting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the same table with the Sultan of Kedah.

While hungry guests queued at the buffet line, where delicious dishes like kuey teow, mee hoon goreng, bubur cha cha, and satay awaited them, Twitter users were joking about Sanusi’s presence at the event.

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil posted a photo of the Kedah MB standing next to him at the event. The photo gained traction with many users commenting. Fahmi simply said: Selamat Hari Raya, maaf zahir batin.

Twitter user @ErmanYahya7 said:

User @pklong_Z added:

And,@tradememark said:

Fahmi Fadzil’s Twitter,focusmalaysia.my


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