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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Khalid Samad- The Medina Charter As A Basis of Nation Building

Note: This is a response to an article Aloysious Mowe to The Nut Graph, which was latter republished on Malaysia Today. Khalid Samad's office has asked me to publish this article. They have also asked Malaysia Today to publish this response. Knowing Malaysia Today's Anti Islam stance, i doubt they will give any attention to Khalid Samad's response.

I have personal experience how Malaysia Today will publish articles from idiots who attacks islam with nothing but conjectures. But, when I wish to reply, my article will be cold storage. So much for Malaysia Today claiming to be impartial and interested only in the truth.

In truth, they discriminate against Islam and Muslims who wishes to defend their religion from lies and misinformation. I dare say Malaysia Today is an Anti Islam website.

By Khalid Samad

The following is written in response to an article sent in by Aloysious Mowe to The Nut Graph, which was latter republished on Malaysia Today. The writer is a Jesuit Priest with an academic interest in Islamic Law and History.

As in his writings he has mixed up a few issues together, I am not able to respond para by para. I will however, try to respond point by point.


The Medina Charter

The Medina Charter forms an agreement between the Prophet as the leader of the Muslims in Medina with its non-Muslim citizens. The non-Muslims were made up of the Jews and “the tribes of the Awf, Najjar, Harith, Saida, and so on” as mentioned in Aloysious’s article. These tribes were obviously non-Muslims and were polytheists but Aloysious insists elsewhere that the Islamic Government originally only recognised the ahlul-kitab (Christians and Jews) as legitimate non-Muslim citizens accorded the status of ahlul-dhimmah while the other non-Muslims, i.e. polytheists “had only two options: accept Islam or be put to death. They could not become protected people within the Islamic state”.


This statement however is in direct contradiction with the contents of the charter which Aloysious himself quotes from. The confusion is simply due to the fact that the Medina Charter was an agreement in partnership between all members of the Medinan Society when the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) arrived in Medina. It differs from the agreements signed by the non-Muslim communities in lands later liberated by the Muslim armies. His inability to differentiate the two has led to some confusion in his writing.


The Medina Charter placed all the parties as equal partners in the defence of the city state of Medina. While each had its own religion and legal system, which the Prophet allowed to co-exist with the Islamic system, they were equally responsible to ensure the stability and security of the state. This is why some writers have mentioned that the Medina Charter is the basis upon which an Islamic Political Leadership can be implemented in Malaysia. This is as all the communities can then become equal partners in the development and defence of the territory known as Malaysia based on principles agreed upon for the purpose of nation building. The pluralistic approach as used by the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) can be used for Malaysia. The approach is admittedly unique and demands much tolerance and cross religious/cultural understanding.


The Liberated Lands and the payment of Jizyah

Jizyah was not taken from the Jews and non-Muslims who signed the Medina Charter. It was however taken from the non-Muslims of the ‘Liberated lands’. Muslim historians never used the term ‘conquest’ or ‘colonise’ but instead have been consistent in using the term ‘fath’ or ‘opening’ or liberation. It is in line with the concept of liberating man from the domination of other men (the Kings that ruled with support of the religious institution) such that the common man can then freely choose their religion and way of life. When the Muslim General was asked why he came to the borders of Iran by his Iranian counter part, he replied, “ To bring man from servitude to slaves to the servitude to God; from the limitedness of the world to the infiniteness of the world and the hereafter”.

In the process of liberating these lands from the tyrannous kings, there were battles and wars which had to be fought. When the battle was won, the citizenry fell under the rule of the Muslims. Jizyah was received as an act of surrender and submission and acknowledgement of the new government. By paying the Jizyah they become ‘ahlul-dhimmah’ or people with whom the Muslims have a contract/agreement. The word used in the ayat quoted by Aloysious denotes admission of their submission and surrender, not humiliation. They admit that they are being governed by the Muslims and as a sign of their allegiance to the Muslim government, every able bodied member of the non-Muslim community paid the ‘jizyah’. In return it will be the responsibility of the Muslim Government to protect their lives, property and honor in the same manner that the lives, property and honor of the Muslim citizens are protected. The Muslim citizens pay the Zakat instead of the Jizyah. The protection of the honor of the ahlul-dhimmah went so far as to include protection from verbal abuse and villification by others, including the Muslims themselves. I append herewith a brief extract from Reading Islam with respect to this;

“Protection of Honor. The honor of Dhimmis is sacred in Islam, similar to that of Muslims. Imam Al-Qarafi Al-Maliki once said on this note, “He who transgresses against them (Dhimmis)—even with a mere word of injustice or backtalk— has jeopardized the covenant with Allah and His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the covenant of the religion of Islam” (Al-Furuq Part 3, p. 14). Moreover, there exist abundant additional texts to the same effect”.

There was a time when a Muslim general on being instructed to undertake a strategic withdrawal from one of the liberated regions, called the towns people and returned to them the Jizyah collected earlier as he could not fulfill his end of the bargain. He had to retreat to regroup by joining the other Muslim divisions and as such could not protect them. The towns people, who were Christians, were so impressed by his sincerity, insisted that he should return on the first oppurtunity he was able to do so. This was eventhough the advancing army was a Christian army.


The Norms and Practices

Mr. Aloysious also referred to a treaty signed by Umar, which specified the clothings allowed to the Christians and implied that the clothings were intended to humiliate them. This would be the logical conclusion of anyone of the twentieth century who did not understand the norms and practices of the time. The fact of the matter is that the people at that time dressed according to their religious persuasion and their place of origin or tribe. Normally a tribe would be homogenous in terms of the religious persuasion and the dressing helps to identify them according to their faith and loyalties.


As proof of this statement, look at the Orthodox Jews today in the States or in Israel, we will see that they are dressed in a manner unique to them. So was the case for Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and the rest at that time where by their dressing it would be clear that they are of this or that religous persuasion. The treaty written by Omar specifies the dress code and prevents the Christians from wearing clothes similar to the Muslims and vice-versa. There were no ICs or the such at that time and clothing sufficed.


There were also stringent terms demanding the Christians to give up their seats to the Muslims should the Muslims require it. They were not allowed to ride horses or carry weapons. Yes, this does sound harsh but we have to bear in mind that the treaty was signed just after a war. The loyalties of the new subjects were still in question. Secondly, as the payment of Jizyah absolved the Christians from active military duty, there was no need for them to bear arms.

Trust, Understanding and Pluralistic Society

The development of the society and the continued interaction between the people led to better trust and understanding. This led to the loosening of laws and regulations which were in the first place purely circumstantial and the result of political ‘ijtihad’ or opinion. There are no explicit instructions in the Quran or the Hadith which necessitates the implementation of the above laws. They were implemented as it was believed that it was necessary to set controls on a society which may still be ‘belligerent’ and combative. Political ‘ijtihad’ or opinion is made based on a study of the surrounding circumstances, what is the usual political practice at that time and what is intended. However, what is decided upon cannot go against the basic principles of Islamic justice as contained in the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet. Perhaps, at that time, in comparison to what was being practiced elsewhere, the terms of Umar’s treaty were more than acceptable. It was a time of forced conversions, religious persecution and even ‘genocide’ and the pluralistic society which was the Islamic state was not in existence in any other part of the world.

The uniqueness of the pluralistic society supported by Islam could not be supported by others at that time. Spain was a glaring example. The Muslims ruled Spain for 500 years and during this reign they lived and governed together with the Christians and the Jews. However, when the Christians took over, Spain was ‘cleaned’ of all Muslims and the Jews were persecuted. The Jews then sought refuge in lands under the Ottomans.


The scope of ijtihad is wide open, especially in the field of ‘siyasah syariiyah’ or Islamic political policies. Built upon the basis of the Medina Charter, many issues can be discussed and agreed upon as was done in the time of the Prophet (P.B.U.H). As such, much of the issues pertaining to human rights, freedom of conscience, citizenship etc mentioned by Aloysious can definitely be discussed and incorporated.


Differences of Political Opinion

In respect to differences of political opinion, there came into being a group of ‘anarchists’ known as the ‘khawarij’ in the time of Calph Ali. Ali told them that for as long as they do not take up arms to oppose his leadership, then the Commander of the Faithful (the term used for the Caliph- Amirul Mukminin), will not take up arms against them.


Similarly, when Greek philosophy was introduced into the Muslim Empire through translations to Arabic by some Muslim intellectuals, there appeared groups who were influenced and championed Greek thought including ideas akin to aetheism and agnosticism, ‘wahdatul wujud’ or unity of existence where everyone and everything is potrayed as an extension of His existence and the such. The issues were debated openly through speeches and writtings by scholars such as Al-Ghazali, Ibn Taimiyyah and others. Historically, the muslim State was more particular about the beliefs and philosophies influencing the Muslims themselves as the State saw itself as the defender of the Islamic belief system. It felt responsible to ensure the message of Islam is not distorted by inclusion or exclusion. Even then it pursued this objective through debate and scholarly pursuits leading to the development of impressive libraries of books, debating all issues of belief and as well as jurisprudence.


The State was less particular about what was believed in by the non-Muslims, seeing it as being of no concern to the State and as long as it did not lead to any form of armed rebellion, then it was not a problem. If a particular philosophy, popular amongst the non-Muslims began to influence Muslim thought, being understood as something coming from Islam itself, then it will be addressed.


Conclusion
I agree with Aloysious that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. However, with all due respect, I believe he has to himself increase his knowledge about Islam and islamic law, differentiating the commandments from those specific policies which were decided upon based on circumstances at that time. He must also be able to understand that Islam’s demand for justice and proper treatment of all subjects, be it Muslim or non-Muslim, is paramount in all its political policies. Any seeming deviation from this must then be professionally analysed and understood in the circumstances of that time. However, in the event that there is no reasonable explaination other than religious persecution, it must then be identified as nothing less than a deviation.

WalLahu 'Alam

.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

???

Anonymous said...

Many Muslim idiots also publisha alot of anti non-islamis staff. Are you blind deaf or dumb? This si cyber world everything comes man...Your opinion about MT is ur personal. Seeing its popularity I am sre others have different opinion...which they are entitled to.
Tolerence and cross religious culture does not axist in Muslims. Even so how this si going to work? Muslims ahve conqured others land and have caried out cruel acts and built mosques over others places of worship, have forced and cruelly killed and mutilated non muslims...No one can ever trust a muslim. Look around the world. They just behave like blood thurty beasts and no islamic school is willing to put a stop. Is it a problem with Muslims or Islam????

John Bastille said...

Your article is nothing but repeating what Aloysious has mentioned but replacing words with ones that you prefer.

However, I do believe that the Medina Charter according to your interpretation is correct as the muslim's jihad on raiding caravans and towns has not started at that time. However, Aloysious's statements are accurate with the abrogation of the Medina Charter when the Jews are later exterminated from the Arab peninsula.

Thus, the Free People would have to humbly decline the Medina Charter. I do not want to end up like Kinana. Nor my wife, like Safiya.

You mentioned that Muslim historians never used the term ‘conquest’ or ‘colonise’ but instead have been consistent in using the term ‘fath’ or ‘opening’ or liberation.

Well, then let's all of us say that the Hindus in India had been 'fathed' up very nicely. Hindu Kush can be a testament to that.

Let's all agree that Spain, Egypt, Jerusalem, Anatolia, Caucasus had been 'fathed' violently as many perished when the liberators of Islam 'fathed' them.

You mentioned that jizyah was received as an act of surrender and submission and acknowledgement of the new government. In return it will be the responsibility of the Muslim Government to protect them. Protect them from whom? From muslims if they refused to pay? Sound like mob protection money. In free nations, all citizens pay tax in the same manner wihout discrimination of religious affiliations. In your Islamic government, non-muslims must pay this special "protection" money. Hmm.. Can you understand why we reject?

You also mentioned that people at that time dressed according to their religious persuasion and their place of origin or tribe. Then you mentioned that the treaty written by Omar specifies the dress code and prevents the Christians from wearing clothes similar to the Muslims and vice-versa. These two statements contradict each other. If Christians were already so inclined to wear their "type of clothing", why bother making a law.

You mentioned that there were also stringent terms demanding the Christians to give up their seats to the Muslims should the Muslims require it. Then you related it to a recent war-time event. That is purely stupid. Any term for a Christian to give up a seat to Muslims clearly defines intention of humiliation and discrimination. What war-time event could possibly cause this ruling?

You also mentioned that the payment of Jizyah absolved the Christians from active military duty, there was no need for them to bear arms. Why, thank you for such nice gesture. It sounds like a mafia boss collecting protection money and telling his victims that they are absolved from carrying guns.

Wei M said...

Dear John Bastille, how can this article repeat what Aloysious wrote? Have you read it? And I have to say your comment is almost similar to what a kindergarten kid would write. No facts to support your arguments. What a pity!

Obviously you do not have any knowledge about history. I suggest you follow this advice : INCREASE YOUR KNOWLEDGE BECAUSE LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS DANGEROUS

Thank you for publishing this article TB. It is always good to know from the other side of the story. I will always have an open mind to learn and understand new things, especially Islam. So many things happen lately, any insights on this religion is greatly appreciated.

Can anyone answer this quesion? Why so many people turn to Islam and the number of muslims are growing like weed? There must be something I miss. I hope I will find the answer one day!

Anonymous said...

Wei M,

You embrace Islam, but remember you cannot come out of Islam. Remember, you are not just converting to a religion, you will become another person now. What the Arabs like, you like, what the Arabs hate you hate and so on and so forth. How the Arabs think, you also think. You have to be brain dead, in other words to be a Muslim.

John Bastille said...

Dear Wei M,

Wow. You applied the classic and most basic form of argument - argumenta persona - that is, attack the writer but not the content. By reducing the writer's level, you can then state that the content is unreliable. Thus, you stated that my level is of kindergarten and I have no knowledge in history. Nice try.

Kalid Samad's article spoke vaguely of "a muslim general" and a "recent war". You praised that to be well written. I spoke of Kinana, the conquests of India, Spain, etc, as well as the eventual extermination of all Jewish tribes and settlements on the Arab peninsula and you accused me of stating no facts?

I am merely posting a comment, not writing a thesis. If you wish me present more explanation on facts, ask for it. Insulting the writer does not help you in your search for more knowledge. You did mentioned that you're open minded, didn't you?

Now, is there any substance within the contents of my comment that you wish to debunk? Or are you just satisfied by insulting the writer?

Tulang Besi said...

Dear John Bastille,

Anyone who has even a shred of intelligence can tell that this article is anything but repeating Aloysius article.

You may have to brush up on your reading skills

Anonymous said...

Aborigines in Americas and in Australia, where the indigenous population was systematically oppressed and were forced to flee from their own land and the Christian Europeans migrating to theses lands.

The spread of Christianity in Europe, pagan temples where were either destroyed or were converted to Christian churches, Pagan books and literature were burned.

Tulang Besi said...

Dear John Bastilles,

Allow me to highlight some of the lies you blatantly state in your comments.

1.0 I do believe that the Medina Charter according to your interpretation is correct as the muslim's jihad on raiding caravans and towns has not started at that time.

Nope there was never caravan raiding at that time.

2.0 However, Aloysious's statements are accurate with the abrogation of the Medina Charter when the Jews are later exterminated from the Arab peninsula.

Another blatant lie. Jews were banished from Arab Peninsula as a punishment for their treachery.

They still survived as they went and migrated to Europe.

3.0 Well, then let's all of us say that the Hindus in India had been 'fathed' up very nicely. Hindu Kush can be a testament to that.

Funny, why John bastille has to use anti Islam propaganda rather than historical fact to support
his argument.

The fact remains that if the Hindu wishes to topple the Islamic government in India they can do so with ease since they are the majority throughout the Islamic rule.

yet, it took the British to topple the Islamic government rather than the Hindus themselves.

See, easily i pointed out 3 lies used by john bastilles. God knows what other lies he has in his pockets.

Anonymous said...

Hey John ,

why u like to tell bad about islam..? Why u dont tell the thruth about islam glory that civilised europe ..what about andalusia ...dont be so biased ..islam is for the human kind ...you know what happened if the malays do not embraced islam ? Must now drinking beer or samsu and playing gamble ..must be that what u call a wonderful world yeaa...

Tulang Besi said...

John Bastilles rants:

"These two statements contradict each other. If Christians were already so inclined to wear their "type of clothing", why bother making a law."

Answer: To prevent impostors? To prevent abuse?

Get it?

John Bastille said...

Tulang Besi,

Your comment that there was never caravan raiding at that time may be a bit misleading. I meant that post-Medina Charter, the muslims went on raiding neighbouring towns.

Ishaq:510 “When the Apostle looked down on Khaybar he told his Companions, ‘O Allah, Lord of the heavens and what they overshadow, and Lord of the Devils and what into error they throw, and Lord of the winds and what they winnow, we ask Thee for the booty of this town and its people. We take refuge in Thee from its evil and the evil of its people. Forward
in the name of Allah.’ He used to say this of every town he raided.”

Ishaq:511 “When the Apostle raided a people he waited until morning, and then he attacked. We came to Khaybar by night. When morning came and he did not hear the call to prayer, he rode and we rode with him. We met the workers of Khaybar coming out in the morning with their spades and baskets. When they saw the Prophet and our army they cried, ‘Muhammad with his force.’ They turned tail and fled. The Apostle yelled, ‘Allahu Akbar! Khaybar is destroyed.’

Tulang Besi, there was never a raid?

John Bastille said...

Tulang Besi,

The Jews were banished because their treachery? I thought it was for war booty. For example:

Tabari VIII:117 “The next morning Allah opened the township of Sa’b bin Mu’adh for them to conquer. There was no stronghold in Khaybar more abounding in food. After the Prophet had defeated some of their settlements and taken their property, they reached the communities of Watib and Sulalim, which were the last of the Khaybar neighborhoods to be conquered. Muhammad besieged the inhabitants between thirteen and nineteen nights.”

Tulang Besi, "more abounding in food" was the reason. Is that not raiding or looting?

John Bastille said...

Tulang Besi,

Funny, why John Bastille has to use anti Islam propaganda rather than historical fact to support
his argument.

Okay, here you go:

All Standard reference books agree that the name 'Hindu Kush' of the mountain range in Eastern Afganistan means 'Hindu Slaughter' or 'Hindu Killer'. History also reveals that until 1000 A.D. the area of Hindu Kush was a full part of Hindu cradle. More likely, the mountain range was deliberately named as 'Hindu Slaughter' by the Moslem conquerors, as a lesson to the future generations of Indians.

Encyclopedia Britannica informs that in December 1398 AD, Timur Lane ordered the execution of at least 50,000 captives before the battle for Delhi, .. and after the battle those inhabitants not killed were removed (as slaves), while other reference says that the number of captives butchered by Timur Lane's army was about 100,000. Later on Encyclopedia Britannica mentions that the (secular?) Mughal emperor Akbar 'ordered the massacre of about 30,000 (captured) Rajput Hindus on February 24, 1568 AD, after the battle for Chitod'

Why would muslim leaders ordered the killing of civilians? Perhaps, this verse?

Qur’an 8:39 “So, fight them till all opposition ends and the only religion is Islam.”

Of course you can always compare the barbarity of other religions. There are plenty. If you do, does that mean Islam is just the same as others?

If you believe that Islam is supreme, then please do not compare the barbarity of others. There are plenty of atrocities perpetrated by people of other religions. So, what makes Islam special or supreme?

Your guidance would be useful.

Am I improving on my reading? Or you prefer to also use argumentum persona as it would be easier to destroy the writer's credibility by insulting his intelligence and his academic background?

Anonymous said...

Aiyaah..ignore the sh!t head called called John Bastille...let the ignorant bufoons like them remain ignorant..kahkahkah...and Pete the dungu and MT..kahkahkah..laughing stok lah mereka ni..Pete pulak berangan angan nak jadi Che..kahkahkah...

Anonymous said...

This is for the sh!t head called John Bastille..

Sri Aurobindo on Islam
and other religions

The Mogul empire was a great and magnificent construction and an immense amount of political genius and talent was employed in its creation and maintenance. It was as splendid, powerful and beneficent and, it may be added, in spite of Aurangzeb's fanatical zeal, infinitely more liberal and tolerant in religion than any mediaeval or contemporary European kingdom or empire and India under its rule stood high in military and political strength, economic opulence and the brilliance of its art and culture.

(The Renaissance in India , p.443)

The Rajputs maintained their independence until the time of Akbar and his successors and it was in the end partly with the aid of Rajput princes acting as their generals and ministers that the Moguls completed their sway over the east and the south. And this was again possible because-a fact too often forgotten – the Mussulman domination ceased very rapidly to be a foreign rule. The vast mass of the Mussulmans in the country were and are Indians by race, only a very small admixture of Pathan, Turkish and Mogul blood took place, and even the foreign kings and nobles became almost immediately wholly Indian in mind, life and interest.

(The Renaissance in India , p.441)

word too may be said about Indo-Muslim architecture. I am not concerned to defend any claim for the purely indigenous origin of its features. It seems to me that here the Indian mind has taken in much from the Arab and Persian imagination and in certain mosques and tombs I seem to find an impress of the robust and bold Afghan and Moghul temperament.; but it remains clear enough that it is still on the whole a typically Indian creation with the peculiar Indian gift. The richness of decorative skill and imagination has been turned to the uses of another style, but it is the same skill which we find in the northern Hindu temples, and in the ground we see, however toned down, something sometimes of the old epic mass and power, but more often that lyric grace which we see developing before the Mahomedan advent in the indigenous sculpture.

(The Renaissance in India , p.282)

Mahomed's mission was necessary, else we might have ended by thinking, in the exaggeration of our efforts at self-purification, that earth was meant only for the monk and the city created as a vestibule for the desert.

(Essays Divine and Human, p.444)

Anonymous said...

SRI AUROBINDO
BANDE MATARAM
Early Political Writings. 1890 - May 1908
Asiatic Democracy

When Mahomedanism appeared, Christianity vanished out of Asia, because it had lost its meaning. Mahomed tried to re-establish the Asiatic gospel of human equality in the spirit. All men are equal in Islam, – whatever their social position or political power, – nor is any man debarred from the full development of his manhood by his birth or low original station in life. All men are brothers in Islam and the bond of religious unity overrides all other divisions and differences. But Islam also was limited and imperfect, because it confined the ideal of brotherhood and equality to the limits of a single creed, and was further deflected from its true path by the rude and undeveloped races which it drew into its embrace. Another revelation of the old truth is needed.
India from ancient times had received the gospel of Vedanta which sought to establish the divine unity of man in spirit; but in order to secure an ordered society in which she could develop her spiritual insight and perfect her civilisation, she had invented the system of caste which by corruptions and departures from caste ideals came to be an obstacle to the fulfilment in society of the Vedantic ideal. From the time of Buddha to that of the saints of Maharashtra every great religious awakening has sought to restore the ancient meaning of Hinduism and reduce caste to its original subordinate importance as a social convenience, to exorcise the spirit of caste-pride and restore that of brotherhood and the eternal principles of love and justice in society. But the feudal spirit had taken possession of India and the feudal spirit is wedded to inequality and the pride of caste

John Bastille said...

Jews in Arab

Tulang Besi, the Jews were banished as you mentioned after refusing to continue paying the jizyah, which was 50%!!!, after the death of the Prophet. You called it treachery.

That's what I said. The jizyah is protection money to be paid by non-muslims to muslims to be "protected" from being "fathed" by the muslims themselves.

Why would the Free People today want to accept this Medina Charter then?

Here's your evidence:

Bukhari:V4B53N380 “Umar expelled all the Jews and Christians from Arabia. Allah’s Apostle after conquering Khaybar thought of
expelling the Jews from the land which, after he conquered it, belonged to Allah, Allah’s Apostle and the Muslims. But the Jews requested Allah’s Apostle to leave them there on the condition that they would do the labor and get half of the fruits (the land would yield).

Allah’s Apostle said, ‘We shall keep you on these terms as long as we wish.’ Thus they stayed till the time of Umar’s Caliphate when he expelled them.”

John Bastille said...

Dear Anonymous,

It's nice of you to call me names. It's easy to argue with you then.

Thank you for your narratives. I'm more interested in facts and actual happenings rather than adjectives and opinions. For example, you referred to one sentence "The Mogul empire was a great and magnificent construction". How about telling me what they did, which is in relation to the issue of the muslims asking non-muslims to accept the Medina Charter?

By the way, if you want to use the fallacy of "other people", you might as well not try to distinguish Islam. If I mentioned that muslims has killed innocent civilians, and you replied that the christians have also done so, then Islam is no different thatthe christians. Therefore, no need for Medina Charter because Islam is not superior to Christianity. All religions are the same, no?

Anonymous said...

This is a tremendous letter..

SRI AUROBINDO
KARMAYOGIN
POLITICAL WRITINGS AND SPEECHES - 1909-1910
Vol.I. SATURDAY 19th JUNE 1909 No.1
"Swaraj" and the Mussulmans

"Bipin Babu seems to have recovered the copious vein of thought, the subtle and flexible reasoning, the just and original view of his subject which made one wait with impatience for every fresh number of New India. His attitude towards the Reform scheme and the Mahomedan demand for a separate electorate is the attitude which has consistently been adopted by the Nationalist party in Bengal towards the Hindu-Mahomedan question in ordinary politics. We do not fear Mahomedan opposition; so long as it is the honest Swadeshi article and not manufactured in Shillong and Simla, we welcome it as a sign of life and aspiration. We do not shun, we desire the awakening of Islam in India even if its first crude efforts are misdirected against ourselves; for all strength, all energy, all action is grist to the mill of the nation-builder. In that faith we are ready, when the time comes for us to meet in the political field, to exchange with the Musulman, just as he chooses, the firm clasp of the brother or the resolute grip of the wrestler...The Mahomedan has not progressed so far. He has to taste the sweets of political privilege and find them turn to ashes in his mouth. He has to formulate demands, rejoice at promises, fume at betrayals, until he thoroughly discovers the falsity and impossibility of his hopes. His progress is likely to be much swifter than ours has been in the past, for he gets the advantage if not of our experience, at least of the ideas now in the air and of the more bracing and stimulating atmosphere. He is more likely to demand than to crave, and his disillusionment must necessarily be the speedier. And it is then that he too will seek the strength in himself and touch the true springs of self-development...Of one thing we may be certain, that Hindu-Mahomedan unity cannot be effected by political adjustments or Congress flatteries. It must be sought deeper down, in the heart and the mind, for where the causes of disunion are, there the remedies must be sought. We shall do well in trying to solve the problem to remember that misunderstanding is the most fruitful cause of our differences, that love compels love and that strength conciliates the strong. We must strive to remove the causes of misunderstanding by a better mutual knowledge and sympathy; we must extend the unfaltering love of the patriot to our Musulman brother, remembering always that in him too Narayana dwells and to him too our Mother has given a permanent place in her bosom; but we must cease to approach him falsely or flatter out of a selfish weakness and cowardice. We believe this to be the only practical way of dealing with the difficulty. As a political question the Hindu-Mahomedan problem does not interest us at all, as a national problem it is of supreme importance. We shall make it a main part of our work to place Mahomed and Islam in a new light before our readers, to spread juster views of Mahomedan history and civilisation, to appreciate the Musulman's place in our national development and the means of harmonising his communal life with our own, not ignoring the difficulties that stand in our way but making the most of the possibilities of brotherhood and mutual understanding. Intellectual sympathy can only draw together, the sympathy of the heart can alone unite. But the one is a good preparation for the other.
Karmayogin. 19th JUNE 1909 No.1

Anonymous said...

TB Said: I dare say Malaysia Today (MT) is an Anti Islam website.

From what i have read of MT, it is not anti-Islam at all.

Infact it is an anti-bad Muslims site. It has been condemning Muslims who did evil deeds. Note MT promotion of the concept of "Amar Maruf Nahi Mungkar" and condemnation of Muslim munafig(s).

It would appear that you are a good moderate Muslim, but is indirectly condoning violence on the side.

Peace

Tulang Besi said...

John Bastille,

Where did u get the crap that Hindu KUsh means "Hindu Slaugther"?

HEre'a an excerpt from WIki:

"The Hindu Kush is a mountain range located between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The name Hindu Kush derives from the Arabic word meaning "Mountains of India." [1] It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a sub-range of the Himalayas. It is also calculated to be the geographic center of population of the world. [2]"


So again John Bastille is caught with his pants down, lying thru his teeth.

Tulang Besi said...

I've heard a lot of these crappy stories about Muslim rulers of India committing genocide.

But to date there has been no evidence.

Tulang Besi said...

John BAstilees,

You have trouble reading. You need to go back to kindergarten and relearn how to read.

The Bukhari hadeeth u quote MENTIONS NOTHING of the claim u make and that is:


Tulang Besi, the Jews were banished as you mentioned after refusing to continue paying the jizyah, which was 50%!!!, after the death of the Prophet. You called it treachery.

Tulang Besi said...

John BAstilles,

Your anti ISlam stance has made u gullible to lies and misinformation.

Thus, made u more stupid than you already are.

All the so call evidence you quote doesn't support your conclusion.

Pity how one can waste one's mind

Tulang Besi said...

John Bastilles,

Get this thru your thick skull. The real reason behind Khaibar


The Conquest of Khaibar
(In Moharram, 7A.H.)

Khaibar was a spacious strongly fortified territory, studded with castles and farms, lying at a distance of 60-80 miles north of Madinah, now a village known for its uncongenial climate. After Al-Hudaibiyah Treaty, the major party of the anti-Islam tripartite coalition — Quraish, the bedouin horde of Najd tribes and the Jews — was neutralized, therefore, the Prophet [pbuh] deemed it an appropriate time to settle his affairs with the other two wings — the Jews and the Najd tribes — in order that peace and security could prevail and the Muslims may devote their time and effort in propagating the Message of Allâh and calling people to embrace it. Khaibar itself had always remained a hotbed of intrigue and conspiracy, and the Jews had always constituted it a source of military provocations and war instigation centre, so it was given a top priority on the agenda of the Prophet’s compelling exigencies. The Jews of Khaibar had united by an ancient alliance with the Confederates, triggered Bani Quraiza to practise treachery, maintained contacts with Ghatfan and the Arabians and they even devised an attempt at the Prophet’s life. In fact, the continual afflictions that the Muslims had sustained were primarily attributable to the Jews. Envoys were repeatedly sent to them for peaceful settlement, but all in vain. Consequently the Prophet [pbuh] came to the conclusion that a military campaign was a must in order to forestall their hostilities.

Anonymous said...

lol!! John the m0ron dah terajang!!lol!!kesian nimrod2 macam dia.Belajar tak nak,tapi cepat naik stim macam anjing nampak betina..lol!!

Anonymous said...

The problem with buffons like John,is they think thier version of blabla is accepted worldwide.The significance of islam,the principals of equality and justice based on human spirit, the transformation in the middle east happening when europe was/is feudal and barbaric.How long did it take for Europe to become democratic?In fact when England send one of her ambassadors to vist Akhbar(I think),the only significant thing that the ambassador gave was a bible,because,India or any other asian countries didnt need anything from europe!!!Today,we are still feeling like born losers!!The effects of colonisation/european/usa savagery have not left us!!

John Bastille said...

Tulang Besi,

My my, you're very quick to label me names. I'm sure you know that you win an argument by debunking the facts and not by trying your best to degrade the person. Nice try. Can we focus on the issues?

I quote the Quran, Sunnah and the Hadiths to present my case that the early muslims participated in raiding neighbouring towns and you replied me with a commentary?

Oh come on. I'm sure you can do better than that. Anyone can write a commentary. How about some original sources to defend your case?

Please spend less time insulting and degrading opponent and spend more time on research and debate.

In my religion, we are taught to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. Thus, I commit to never insult you or find ways to degrade you. By the way, I'm not a muslim.

So, going back to the hadiths. The word use by early muslims indicated "raiding" for "food and booty".

The main purpose is to oppose the Medina Charter because of what actually happened to all the other counterparties after signing the treaty. Eventually, all other parties have been systematically banished/exterminated from the Arab peninsula.

We, the Free People today, would like a more superior form of governance where we make no distinction between the individuals' religion/colour/creed. And, the Medina Charter is not that.

Can you also shed some light on the jizyah?

John Bastille said...

Tulang Besi,

My comment on Hindu Kush was centered on the mass genocide and slavery of muslim generals such as Timur and the Mughals.

If you wish to quote wikipedia, kindly reveal the whole set. Here it goes:

A brief history of hindukush.
In modern Persian, the word "Kush" is derived from the verb Kushtan - to defeat, kill, or subdue. This could be interpreted as a memorial to the Indian captives who perished in the mountains while being transported to Central Asian slave markets.
That the name refers to the last great 'killer' mountains to cross when moving between the Afghan plateau and the Indian subcontinent, named after the toll it took on anyone crossing them.

Later, Rennell, writing in 1793, refers to the range as the "Hindoo-Kho or Hindoo-Kush".
that the name means Mountains of India or Mountains of the Indus (from the Indus River, the largest river in Pakistan) in some of the Iranian languages that are still spoken in the region.

(Source: wikipedia).

Tulang Besi said...

John Bastilles rants:

"I quote the Quran, Sunnah and the Hadiths to present my case that the early muslims participated in raiding neighbouring towns and you replied me with a commentary?"

trouble is JB, all that you have quoted is out of context.

They don't support your conclusion at all.

Tulang Besi said...

JB,

The passage on Hindu Kush i quoted is also from Wikipedia.

And I dunno where you got the crap u quoted from, but the web i quoted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_Kush doesn't have your quote at all.

You must've read the wrong wiki

John Bastille said...

Tulang Besi,

But of course !!! A typically reply - my quotes are out of context.

So that's it huh?

I said that early muslims conducted raids against their neighbouring towns for war booty.

You said ranted without proof.

I quoted the verses where the raids occurred from your Sahih sources.

You replied with a white-washed commentary.

And you said that I quoted out of context.

So much for a debate. I'm sure you do not expect me to copy and paste the ENTIRE sahih to be able to discuss issues with you.

Oh well, I'll wait for your "correct" context with sahih verses and not some white-washed commentaries. I'm sure you have read your holy book, haven't you?

Anonymous said...

I think many of you are missing some points here. It need to be clear why Khalid Samad wrote the article in the first place. So you need to get hold of the original article written by Mr. Aloysious Mowe that was published on the nut graph. Then only read this article and carefully digest the points both of them trying to make. If everyone can start to learn from each other, without being prejudice. Then should be able to learn something from this and make this world a better place by understanding each other.

For those who are interested to expand their knowledge, there are further reply both from Aloysious and Khalid pertaining to this that can be found on Khalid's blog or Malaysia Today.

There are no winners here, but the wisdom and truth that it brings... Which every single one of us is free to choose whether to agree or disagree.

John Bastille said...

Dear Anon dated December 11, 2008 9:46 PM,

Your sentences arose a curiosity in me. They are:

"Today,we (muslims) are still feeling like born losers!!The effects of colonisation /european/usa savagery have not left us!!"


That's an interesting thought. The rest of the world, where Free People are the majority, from WWII losers like Japan, Germany, and Eastern Europe, 70s war-torn countries like Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, and even Latin Americas have all rose from the ashes or colonialisation, and has emerged as developing countries. Arch communist rivals of the West like Russia and China have also become emerging economic powerhouses.

Meanwhile, petrodollars rich nations like most Middle East North Africa states still record very low literacy and are still impoverished. Still blaming US for their misery. Still killing Jews and non-Jews, as well as Mumbai citizens, because of Israel.

Hmm. The root of the problem is quite clear. Somehow, the problem, just like in the Harry Porter movies, the name of the problem cannot be mentioned.

Thus, no solution.

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum to Tulang Besi,
I dont know much about history...loves your writing so much. As a Muslim i am so careful with the Non ....they are the true enemies....to john bastille..though your writings ,copy and paste of the surah are factual ,you re not Muslim so you dont read and interpret it correctly, your real intention is to make Islam look bad nothing else...i dont mind if you said Muslim ppl are bad bcoz some of us are n dont follow the true teachings instead follow the devil.
John bastilles and the rest of his friends always mention we Islam always insult other religions...and one of it by ruining their temples , churces and so on....i just want to say ..biasalah...we are not God...even th e mosques also being destroyed now and then ..so pls dont mention your religion is SO GOOD that the believers never do any evils.BOSAN!
naha.

John Bastille said...

Dear Anon dated December 13, 2008 10:45 AM,

I'm sorry if you felt that I am bringing Islam down.

Some people claimed that Islam is supreme above others and thus, Malaysia should be under Syariah laws.

I claim that Islam is just the same as other religion, not inferior to mine, but not superior than mine.

Thus, it would appear that I am bringing Islam down. The debate is to move from the level of "supreme" down to the level of "same same". hat's why you get the impression.

I do agree with you when you mentioned "i just want to say ..biasalah...we are not God... so pls dont mention your religion is SO GOOD that the believers never do any evils.BOSAN!
naha."

Therefore, you would agree with me that Islam is just the same as other religion.

In that case, you would agree that we should not have theocratic rule since no religion is supreme. In fact, we should allow Malaysia to continue to be under a secular constitution.

You also mentioned that "John bastilles and the rest of his friends always mention we Islam always insult other religions"

Firstly, I don't have my friends in this website and secondly, the topic is on Medina Charter. Thus, it has got to do about Islam and no other issues. Of course lah we have to talk. Blame me pulak.

Thank you.

Tulang Besi said...

Jb rants:

"I'm sorry if you felt that I am bringing Islam down.

Some people claimed that Islam is supreme above others and thus, Malaysia should be under Syariah laws.

I claim that Islam is just the same as other religion, not inferior to mine, but not superior than mine."


Is that why you lie so much about Islam?

Remember the Hindu Kush blooper?

John Bastille said...

Tulang Besi,

You are one brilliant chap. You have demonstrated one trait - that is keep repeating the same lines

"You lie, you lie"

"Kush, Kush".

Very clever. Just keep repeating the same lines:

Islam is peace. Islam is peace.

Islam is supreme. Islam is supreme.

Islam prohibits the killing of innocent lives.

Your powerful ability to debate eloquently has call for me to concede.

You are one knowledgeable muslim debater. Your logical reasoning is second to none.


Kudos.

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