Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Questions about Islam from Fatt Monk to MAHAGURU58.

Hello Mahaguru58,

I'm already a regular visitor of your Mahaguru58 blog. I read it like newspaper everyday, and your content is always up to date and very interesting.

Hurray for Pakatan Rakyat!!! Keep it up!!

I must salute you for your initiative to start this new blog with regards to the education and more importantly the perception of Islam.

I find that the main stream media has failed to not only explain and educate Islam in a open way to the Non-Muslims but also a big portion of the Muslim community as well.

I really hope your blog will reach out to more people in Malaysia and have everyone understand Islam better.

I'm a Non-Muslim Malaysian working overseas for many years and have had the opportunity to meet Muslims from many different countries.

I have to say, that the perception of Islam I got before leaving Malaysia and after meeting all these foreign Muslim people is very different.

So, I'd like to post some questions here and hope that you can help with clarifying it.

1.When someone embraced Islam but after sometime, decided to quit, is this allowed by Islam?

From my foreign Muslim friend, this is not a problem.

Islam is a free religion, and if a person stops believing in Islam, they have the right to quit.
There's no point forcing someone to believe in Islam.

However, I have the perception that in Malaysia, when someone try to quit from Islam, they are put into a rehabilitation center to try and "bring her back to the right path"?

  • For e.g the Revathi issue? Can you please clarify on this?

2.If a person is born into a Muslim family, does the person have the choice of quitting Islam and join another religion?
3. If a person embraced Islam, why is it that in Malaysia you are forced to change to a Muslim name?

From what I understand from my foreign Muslim friend, there's no such enforcement in Islam.

4. Is it true that a Muslim can marry only another Muslim person?

What I understand from my foreign Muslim friend is that any Non Muslim can marry a
Muslim (It doesn't matter whether it is a male or a female.)

But the Muslim person must explain the benefits of Islam to his or her spouse. Of course, over time the spouse will hopefully be converted to Islam.

5.However, is it true that it is the right of the person to choose whatever religion he or she wants even though they are married to a Muslim person?

These are few of the different views I have between the perception of Islam in Malaysia and Muslims from different countries.

Thanks in advance for clarifying this. Some of the questions might be due to my wrong perceptions.

Please clarify and correct me.

If you think this is not too sensitive, can you please post this on your blogs to benefit others?

Fatt Monk.


First and foremost, I'd like to thank you sir for emailing me these questions.

I have been getting some ribbing from Sister Aliya that I have been preaching and that would soon bore people to death as there are too many sites online doing just that!

Anyway, if I were to wait for questions to be posed to me first before I write anything in response, I might just end up dropping dead before unloading here all that I have acquired and learned about Islam in my lifetime?

We can never tell, can we?

Life is so unpredictable that out of the blue, before we realize it, our time is up and there's just no delaying our departure by even a split micro second?

So, forgive me for being preachy but that's exactly what I have and am destined to do?

Well, here are my answers to the first of Fatt Monk's questions. I will answer them one by one, per dedicated article, Insya Allah.

1.When someone embraced Islam but after sometime, decided to quit, is this allowed by Islam?

Dear Brothers & Sisters reading this,

Islam is the culmination of the complete revelations of Allah the Almighty, our Lord and Creator who has been sending to us Mankind more than 124,000 Prophets and Messengers over Time starting with the creation of Adam Alaihis Salam, our Father who was also a Prophet right until the very last and Final Messenger and the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam ( May peace be upon him).

The Declaration of Faith in Islam constitutes denying any other forms of imagined deity or deities save for attesting that Allah is the Only God worthy of worship and declaring that Muhammad is the (Final) Messenger of Allah.

A person who after being a Disbeliever @ Kaffir, decides to embrace Islam without being forced or compelled to in the first place and after studying the basic principles of the faith or after years and years of in depth studies about Allah, His Prophets, The Do's & Don'ts in Islam decides with a clear, rational knowledgeable state of mind and in full awareness embraces Islam and accepts Allah the Almighty as his or her Lord and testifies to Muhammad being Allah's Messenger is deemed to have entered into a Covenant with Allah and is forbidden to break such a bond.

I stated before a full house crowd of Malaysians from all walks of life, ethnicity and creed at the DAP organized 'After Lina Joy Forum' at the Hotel Armada in Petaling Jaya last year that 'Islam is not like a country club membership which one enters and leaves as one pleases?'

The moment that you declare that you willfully and rationally accept No other God but Allah the Most Supreme as your Lord, you are forever obliged to not break your bond with Him, God Almighty!

You do not acknowledge Allah as your God and then make an about turn and walk out on Him!

This is Allah, God Almighty we are talking about?

Not a fellow human being or any other creature that Man is known to have betrayed and abused the trust or friendship over and over again through the Sands of Time?

The punishment for such an act of 'Apostasy' is very severe.

We are talking about the maximum penalty that an apostate from Islam has to face as the ultimate consequences of his or her crime of denying Allah as his or her Lord.

You can read about the details for such a punishment here in the Wikipedia.

I have scanned the particular Hadith (Sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW) with regard to the case where he states that the blood of a Muslim (male and female) who has testified that 'There is no other God but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger' cannot be shed except in 3 cases:
  1. Where the Muslim has killed someone willfully (not as an act of self defence but as an act of intentional homicide out of rage, spite, hatred, enmity, etc.)
  2. A married Muslim (male or female) who has committed adultery @ illegal sexual intercourse with one who is not his or her married partner.
  3. The one (Muslim) who turns renegade from Islam (apostates) and leaves the group of Muslims ( the Ummah) by innovating acts of heresy, innovations and other unlawful new things into the Islamic religion.

Please click on to the scan here and read it in a larger view. Do take note that there is a typographical error in the translation above with regard to the 1st clause : 1. Life for life ( in cases of 'international' murders without right - which should read ' intentional'.

To answer the question as to whether someone who has come to embrace Islam and declared or testified that There is No Other God but Allah and declared Muhammad as to being the (Final) Messenger of Allah is allowed to leave the faith of Islam, the answer is NO.

The Islamic authority is to first advice the said apostate and help to show him or her as to the errors of his or her way and to guide the said apostate back to the Truth of Islam 3 times as in the act of holding the apostate in official custody and after 3 failed attempts to put the apostate to death.

This is not my ruling or any other humanbeing but the decree of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala Himself as the Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam never issued forth any rule or command until he gets the revelation from Almighty Allah through the intermediary of the Archangel Jibreel Alaihis Salam @ Gabriel (peace be upon him).

So to all would be Muslims, my advice to you is to fully understand that when you come and make a covenant with Allah to take Him as your Lord and accept Muhammad as His Messenger, you do not have a choice to break such a covenant and expect to get away just like that?

The repercussions of turning yourself away from your Lord is not something simple.

Islam is not a faith to be played around with?

It is the birthright of those who can see the virtues of being a Muslim and gain Allah's Mercy and Protection but it does not take any affront to His Majesty as something forgivable.

You either enter into Islam wholeheartedly or stay out of it as a Disbeliever?

The Choice is yours. Hope that answers your question, brother.

* I will write about the Revathi case in the next article.

May the Guidance of Allah be upon us all. Ameen.

I will answer the next question in the following article.

Insya Allah @ God Willing.


aliya said...

I agree with brother Zainal. Embracing Islam as a religion is not as simple as choosing a house, a car or even a spouse. You have to be 100% sure of what you are doing, for this is a covenant with Allah the Almighty. Unlike a civil marriage, you can't just leave Islam when you no longer think it suits your needs.
The rules and punishment for apostasy are written very clearly in the Holy Quran. This is one of the diferences between Islam and other religions. Lo behold Muslims who overlook this aspect, for they would be deemed 'subahat' or having commited a sin along with the apostate for supporting his/her cause to leave Islam.
Some people embrace Islam just for the sake of getting married to a Muslim. It's like having a beautiful treasure chest but the receiver never bothers to find out the treasures inside, only to cast the chest aside when it is becomes old and rusty. My advice to those with this intention is to learn all you can about Islam first. One who embrace Islam for its sake and not due to the intention of marriage to a Muslim will be better prepared to live as a true Muslim.

sashaLAWA said...

i think the issue is soo widely debated in malaysia is because of the fact that at the initial stages of converting to Islam, the non muslim partners(when it involves marrying a muslim partner) is that there are no proper teachings of Islam or how u have put it, to ask them and inform them that u are now making a covenant with Allah SWT.will u go against him once ur marriage is over?

and as for ,Muslim-born there is the issue of compulsion.i mean in the way we were brought up. Alhamdulillah to those who have parents who sat down wth them and explained bout the true teachings of Allah.but to those who were not fortunate enough, they grew up thinking that this religion has been shoved against their will, that's why when they are older they feel being an atheist or in another religion is just the easier way out.

i thank both of u for opening up my eyes and heart.

i understand now what conviction means!

Zainol Abideen said...

Wa'alaikumsalam Sister Sasha,

First and foremost, thank you for your comment.

It's good to know that Malaysia still has fair minded young ladies like yourself who know how to appreciate good info when you come across one. @};- for you. :)

Secondly, I congratulate you for seeing clearly that those who embrace Islam enter into a covenant with Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and affirm that 'There is no other God but Allah and that they accept that Muhammad is the (Final) Messenger of Allah.'

Every person who comes into Muslim must be alerted to the fact that there is no turning back; no changing of mind; no 'oops'; no 'oh oh's', anything of the sort!

Once you come to testify that you do declare that you acknowledge Allah the Supreme Creator as your Lord, you are bound by that declaration in not turning away from HIM!

As a created being, it is just natural for us as a member of the human race who has been imbued with the Faculty of Reason to think before we talk.

To understand before we confirm. To realize what we are saying and to stick to our word.

That is the mark of being a human being.

Our person is held and judged according to our actions.

If we flip flop in our affirmations, none will come to take us seriously and there is nothing that is more serious than that Declaration of Faith.

One does not have the luxury of twisting and turning away from such a solemn declaration.

Becoming a Muslim is the most honorable thing that a person can do.

There must be no sense of embarrassment in announcing one's Islamic status.

Learning about what it takes to be a proper true blue Muslim is the most important aspect of one's life after uttering the Shahadah.

I intend to help share what I have come to learn and understand about our faith. Insya Allah.

Do keep in touch and post your comments here.

May Allah SWT bless and guide us all.


Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.