August 24, 2011

Are Muslims the bickering lot?

Any issue could be an object of disagreement...first it would be about the determination of the beginning of
 Ramadhan.Then about the amount of Rakaah in the Terawih prayer. Next, again the determination of the beginning of Shawal that marks the end of Ramadhan and the celebration of Eid.

People, why is this happening? Blame it on the internet, the communication system and globalisation. This was not profound before because, certain places of the world received a different message. Nevertheless the basics faith and Fardh is the same. People in China may practised slightly different from people in Saudi Arabia, or Oman or Africa. This is because culture do have a certain amount of influence on religion.

For example in Malaysia, our religious practice are greatly influenced by the Indians and Hindu culture. Certain Hindu rituals are considered as Islamic rituals, but due to a lot of effort on the country's leadership to educate the people, a lot of this Hindu influenced culture are eventually abandoned.

A Hindu blessing tray, which was greatly used by Muslims to blessed their brides and grooms.

"Bersanding" ceremony is when the bride and groom sit on dais and relatives and friends are invited to blessed them. A Hindu wedding.

A Hindu dais.

A Malay "bersanding" ceremony on dais.

A Malay Muslim hand making dua with intricate henna are influenced from Hindu and Middle Eastern culture.

The hands of the Malay (Muslim) bride and groom are cleaned after the blessing ceremony.

Those days we don't know how other countries determine their beginning of Ramadhan and Shawwal. We don't know they started earlier or later than us. We don't know even how Terawih prayer was performed in other countries. During my childhood days I remebered it was always performed in 8 rakaah. I don't remember whether Witr was also performed. What I remembered was, after the prayer food and aromatic ginger coffee drink would be served.

People knows about 20 rakaah prayer when people started to have money and go for Umrah during Ramadhan. Those days they go only for Hajj. Then students sent to study overseas started to come back and adopt the teachings of their Sheikh back here in Malaysia. Terawih is an obligatory prayer. Rasullullah SAW himself refrain himself from doing it every night, so that his ummah would not think that it is Fardh. Obligatory prayers like Dhuha and Tahajjud normally starts off with 2 rakaah. This can go on up to 12 rakaah accordingly to your ability to perform it. When I was working on night shift I perform only 2 rakaah, because I cannot leave my patient too long to perform the Terawih prayer. During my days off, I would perform more. Allah knows our situation, some of us have small babies, or school going children, so perform the Terawih to the best ability that you can do. It is not the amount of rakaah, but performing it to get Allah's blessing is the most important.

Eid is coming soon, wishing everybody Eid Mubarak. Kullu aam wa antum bikhair. Selamat Hari Raya, maaf zahir dan batin.