Late last year, 2 days before the day of my solemnization, I had Tilawah examination. The Ustaz whom invigilated me saw me for the first time and right after I finished reciting the Qur’an, he talked to me.
Ustaz: This is the first time I’ve seen a student from Human Sciences (from Singapore) who wears the niqab. Why you wear the niqab?
Me: To avoid from doing more sins, Ustaz.
Ustaz: So in Singapore do you follow any group?
Me: Huh? What do you mean?
Ustaz: I mean, salafi or anything??
Me: Ouh… No la. I’m a Muslim. 🙂
I was quite taken aback when he asked me if I’m following any group back in Singapore cz in all honesty, I didn’t know what kind of groups he was referring to. After quite some times, I began to understand about the different groups that the Ustaz was asking.
Coming from secular background, I was quite ignorant about what these groups are all about. I didn’t want to get involved into these groups neither do I even want to know what was it all about. Being a Muslimah back then was way easier.
Being ignorant was easy.
Back then when I went for any Islamic talks or seminars, I will just take in everything at face value. If it sounds rather sound to me, then it must be true. But I was wrong. Very very wrong. What may sound as legit, may actually be untrue. I once used a popular Hadith in social media but it turns out to be a false Hadith! Astarghfirullahaladzim… I was so lucky cz after a few minutes I posted that on social media, a friend of mine told me that the Hadith was a fabricated one. And what’s the consequence of spreading fabricated Hadith?
The Prophet PBUH said, “Whoever tells a lie against me then (surely) let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire.” [Bukhari]
That Hadith above is enough to scare me like crazy.
Alhamdulillah now that I’m wiser, it made me thinking, “Since there are many Ahadith (pl. for hadith) that are widely available be it from social media or from our local Asatizah, then how are supposed to distinguish Sahih (true) Ahadith from weak or fabricated ones?”
I won’t say all Madrasah, but in some Madrasah, students are not allowed to ask questions pertaining to what was being taught. To some, it is disrespectful to ask things that are already written and practised by Islamic scholars of past centuries. This may be one of the main factors why there are many murtads recently – they are not allowed to ask questions and are forced to swallow every information given. And it is not surprising if there are more new comers to the Singapore Murtad Association in the near future if their “what deemed as silly” questions left unanswered. This is a serious problem and need to be tackled as soon as possible.
I applaud these people for having critical minds to ask and not becoming like me, who just wished to stay ignorant. So please Asatizah, these people can either grow successfully in your hands or just wilt and eventually die (spiritually).
Another trend in Singapore and Malaysia especially, we are too focused on labelling someone into a certain group just because he or she has different views from the traditional and mainstream teachings. This is, in my opinion, a very crucial problem in our Muslim society and this is, in my opinion again, the main factor for the division amongst the Ummah.
It is indeed very saddening to see how hypocrite people can be. At one point they say, “We must make sure that the Ummah is undivided!” and the next moment, “Your beliefs are not in line with ours, you’re a Wahabi!”. Believe me, this is not an exaggerated scene.
Recently a friend of mine was promoting an Islamic event based on a book of a particular great scholar of Islam, then I said something that makes it seems like as though I’m “belittling” that great scholar. Of cz, a few refuted back. I wanted to refute back, but my husband had to stop me and said, “It’s better not to reply back because people will start labelling you as a Wahabi.”
I was super disappointed. Why is it so easy for someone to be given the title “Wahabi” just because he or she has opposing views from the majority? Do they even know the real definition of a Wahabi? I asked my husband, “how many percent of the Muslim population in Singapore actually follows the teachings of Muhammad Bin ‘Abd-al-Wahab (founder of Wahabism)?” And he said, maybe only around 5%.
People are worried about the rising popularity of Sheikh Google but they are not worried about the rising numbers of famous Asatizah who became stars overnight. Having lots of Asatizah and famous ones are not what that worry me, but what worries me is that when we are a follower of a particular famous Asatizah, we tend to believe everything that the Asatizah says. They are humans too and they too can bring inaccurate information regarding Islam and what’s worse is when those Asatizah just don’t know how to say “I don’t know”.
Almost everyone in the medical industry are called ‘Doctors’. A heart surgeon is a Doctor. A dentist is a Doctor. But you won’t possibly go to a heart surgeon asking about your toothache! Same goes in this context. People don’t realise that Islam is very vast and we have different specialists too! Almost everyone are called ‘Ustaz’ and ‘Ustazah’. A person who specialises in the tafsir of Qur’an is an Ustaz/Ustazah. A person who specialises in Hadith is an Ustaz/Ustazah. A person who specialises in Fiqh is also an Ustaz/Ustazah. There are many other branches of Islamic knowledge that one can specialise in and they are called by the same title!
What I’m trying to imply on is that, how you treat Doctors and their specialities, you too must treat Ustaz/Ustazah the same way. If you ask Ustaz Nouman Ali Khan about the Hadith, I’m pretty sure he will say “I’m not from that field, you may want to find someone else who is an expert in the Hadith”. Why? Because he specialises in the tafsir of Qur’an. And have you ever gone to a seminar where there are several speakers and before the Q&A starts they will say “I specialised in _____. Don’t ask me anything that’s not from my field.” That my friend, is the kind of teacher that we should learn from.
Let’s take a look at this picture:
Astarghfirullahaladzim… I was fuming mad when I saw this on Facebook. Bilal Philips? Yusuf Estes? Abdurrahman Green? Towfiq Chaudry? Zakir Naik? THEY’RE ALL WAHABI?! YOU SERIOUS BRO? You must be kidding me. I must have been a Wahabi all this while then! Goodness gracious! In all respects, I won’t give any opinion on any of “Our Islamic Scholars”.
Whenever I look at that picture, I will Istighfar countless of times. I grew up spiritually listening to their lectures on Youtube. How much impact they’ve left on me and just because they choose to follow strictly to the Qur’an and Sunnah and they don’t wish to follow Bid’ah (innovations in ‘Ibadah), you call them Wahabi? Ya Allah… For instance, is it wrong if to them they believe that music is Haram? And they even give justifications from Qur’an and Hadith before putting a hukum on something. But have you ever heard anyone of them saying that if you’re doing a Bid’ah, you’re a Kafir?
I’ve said too much. So what can we do then?
- Remember that Asatizah, or any Islamic Scholars have flaws too. As long they are humans, they are not flawless. Know their strengths and be careful of what they are not specialised in. Don’t be mad when someone points out the weakness in your favourite Scholar because he or she may be right. Have an open discussion with an open mind.
- Never settle down till you find out the truth. Really, this is crucial. I believe that if you’re determined in finding the truth, Allah SWT will bring the truth to you. It comes in a form of niat (intention) and finding people who are experts in that particular field.
- Do not label anyone. Please don’t. Anyone who declares him or herself as a Muslim, will always remain a Muslim no matter whatever he or she believes in. As long it doesn’t go against any Islamic rulings, then insyaAllah it will be fine. Usually it is the case of whether this is more accurate or that is more accurate. That’s all.
- Know your “enemy”. This, I learn from my husband. Especially those people who are being coloured from the majority. And just a tips, usually people who are being called Wahabis are those who specialised in Hadith. Maybe you might want to go to these people and ask them which field they’re from and see if my prediction is correct. If it’s correct, then I urge you to ask them why they’re called Wahabis. You might just be surprised and your whole view on Islam might change. You’ll be a critical Muslim after that, insyaAllah.
There are much bigger problems that are happening in this world, my Brothers and Sisters. Why are we dividing ourselves when we need to unite as one because we have other Brothers and Sisters from another part of the world who are dying? We should know our priorities. We should know our real enemy. Take a moment to feel their pain.
Our enemies are the same group of people who control the media and killing innocent lives. What are their motives?
ps: I’ve never really ask anyone to share any of my post. But for this, if you think this can bring benefit to the Ummah, please help me to spread this message. Jazakallu khairan kathira. 🙂