Saturday, August 29, 2009

Taken from The Star, useful for Malaysians...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Myth of Malay Muslims
Posted by: mdnorhafiz

Have you watched Potong Saga produced by 15Malaysia? Yes, its funny, but full with message. That's a reality happened in Malaysia society. Misconception by non-Muslims, but don't blame them. It is misinterpretation by the Malay Muslims itself. (Yes, I talk about Malay Muslims not Chinese Muslims, Indian Muslims, African Muslims or Mat Salleh Muslims).

Myth No. 1: All Malays born as Muslims. Once you convert Islam, you are convert to Malays too.

The truth is Islam is not an exclusive religion. Its universal, all are welcome to embrace it. No single race in the world can claim such statement. Even Arabs never claim they 100% are Muslims. Just google Arab Christians. Surprisingly Baath Party (ruled by Saddam) founded by an Arab Christian, Michel Aflaq. Plus popular songbird in Middle East, Najwa Karam also a Christian. Interestingly, Jerusalem (situated in Arabs country) house of three holy places for Christian, Jew and Islam. If all Arabs are Muslims, we can see only Islam holy place built there today.

Have you ever notice any Chinese, Indian, African, American, or Australian declared themselves as Malays once they convert to Islam in another country? They still hold their ethnicities and races.

Myth No. 2: Once a Chinese or Indian convert to Islam, you have to change your name into Arabs name and put Abdullah as your father's name.

Maybe Malay Muslims never heard or came across of Hui Liangyu (China vice premier) and Sania Mirza (tennis player). Their name never resembles like "Arabs" but they are Muslims. Hey, Yvonne Redley (reporter once detained by Taliban), Nicolas Anelka and Frank Ribery (both footballers) still proud to be called by their original name after converting to Islam. Plus no "bin Abdullah". Maybe you can check video on Ustaz Lim Jooi Soon on youtube (

Even some Malays also having pure Malays name instead of Arabs (eg: Cempaka, Puteri, Dayang, Awang, Tuah) but still Islam.

Apa ada pada nama? As long as the meaning of the name is good, whatever language is allowed.

Myth no. 3: Non Muslims not allowed to use Assalamualaikum. Its exclusive for Muslims, otherwise you insulting Islam.

The fact is Assalamualaikum is word with good meaning, peace be upon you. Widely used in Middle East not only by Muslims but also extends to non-Muslims too. If in Semenanjung, the Muslims quite fanatical on usage of salam, unlike in Sarawak and Sabah. They exchange salam freely regardless of religion.

Myth No. 4: A Muslims must not follow Chinese and Indian cultures, otherwise you are deviate from pure Islamic teaching.

A Muslim cannot eat by chopstick, cannot speak mandarin or tamil in mosque, cannot wear cheongsam, or saree, cannot enter church and temple, cannot paid final respect on Chinese and Indian funeral, . The list goes on.

Hey, culture is unique, to differentiate between one people in one place to another. Islam does recognize culture in its teaching as long as not compromise the believe or faith itself. So, what's on earth a Muslim cannot eat by chopstick even talk Tamil or Mandarin inside a mosque? Maybe Chinese Muslim in China eat by hand like Malays. And maybe Indian Muslims in India and Chinese Muslims in China talk Malays in their mosque too.

Have you ever saw Chinese Muslims in China or India Muslims in India wearing baju Melayu or baju kurung? Ironically Malays Muslims in Malaysia allowed to wear suit, hat and necktie like a westerners.

Caliph Umar even once paid a visit to church in Jerusalem, he even invited by the priest to pray inside church, yet he declines as it will create wrong impression that Islam want to take over the church. Even non-Muslims are allowed to enter a mosque in certain conditions.

It is narrated that Prophet Muhammad stood up when a Jewish funeral procession pass in front of him as a sign of respect among men relationship.

These are examples of several myth practised by Malay Muslims resulted from narrow interpretation.

Maybe they forget, Islam come to China and India long before Tanah Melayu. Maybe they overlook that Muslims in China and India are outnumber Malays. Maybe they disregard that Islam come to Tanah Melayu via Arabs and Chinese (Admiral Cheng Ho).

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