‘Why Mariam Mokhtar is a Malaysian I will stand by’

COMMENTS by Theantdaily readers

KampongTalk: Personally, I find Mariam’s articles refreshing, liberal and encouraging. We are blessed to have Mariam amongst us – someone who dares to speak up, laugh at our own weaknesses and tolerant with opposing views. This is a Malaysian I will stand by.

Hashim Rezal: The Ant Daily has a very articulate writer in Mariam Mokhtar. And she is a fellow Muslim whom I’m proud of. When Mariam speaks up and criticizes those of our race or faith, I believe she means well. So let us learn to be tolerant of those who share differing views. Islam expects that much from us.

June Loo: Mariam Mokhtar is one strong Muslim woman and more importantly, one who is a thinker.

Ling Kwong Wong: Mariam is one of my favourite columnists and ISMA is just another government-linked NGO surviving on my tax money. You decide whose articles command better respect.

Saul: I don’t wish to get into a debate about the great holy book but it seems to me every Islamic “scholar” has his/her own guidelines on who can get to heaven. Our great DR has quoted the sayings as from the Prophet, would she also like to quote all others so-called sayings attributed to him?

Our DR seems to be a very busy woman with seminars here and there and has no time for cooking utensils etc. She therefore cannot be a good wife, a good obedient wife and therefore not a good Muslim. I wonder what the syariah court will think of her in any judgement!

To state one’s disagreement in anything silly is feminism if the writer is female. To submit meekly is therefore the expected norm among the intellectuals in Malaysia. What is there to debate about violence against women?

I presume this DR sits and kneels among the men when she goes to the mosque and not relegated to some back row in a burka among other burkas, the joy of being a muslimah.

Muhaimin Zamri: I couldn’t find the article in question to read what Mariam actually said. But I think Dr Rafidah Hanim Mokhtar has a good point.

Mariam was wrong to say that “Zamri claimed that three groups of people would be stopped from entering heaven”. It was a quote from the Prophet.

OK, let’s say for argument’s sake that Mariam knew that it was the saying of the Prophet and wanted to “point out its flaws”. Who is she to say that? Did she study Islamic Jurisprudence or Islamic History in university or something? One can’t simply rebut a statement without any sources.

Even in the subject of history, you can’t say “The Dodo bird did not exist” when there are documented evidence that they existed but gone extinct.

In Islam, it’s not just about “it’s up to me what I want to believe”, but you need to believe the correct teachings. If you want to say something or have an opinion, whether to rebut something or to acknowledge something, you actually can.

But bring credible evidence and quote your credible sources. If you notice, when Dr Maza rebuts a statement from another ustaz or imam or mufti, he never fails to quote his sources to support his opinion. That is how it should be – academic.

If we let everyone (in Islam) to believe what they want to believe, then ISIS and the Taliban has all the legitimacy in the world.

That’s what I wanted to say about the issue, up to you guys to hear me.

Chiong C Guo: If what was said in the hadith was so important why wasn’t it in the Quran to begin with? What we have is a whole load of hadiths that were supposedly said by the Prophet and to give it authority, they had to go through numerous mental and intellectual gymnastics to declare with definitive and affirmative authority on what the hadith said.

Anyone who understood the intellectual processes and the limitations that arose from it would know immediately that such an approach is flawed and that was why God said that when man ate of the fruit of knowledge they may know good from bad but that would be a sin.

God wasn’t wrong. Godel’s actually proved it. All our knowledge that came from the intellect are incomplete and therefore flawed. All the theories, ideas, and beliefs are actually in all in our head. This is why we could never “see” clearly or “understood” completely.

Only with a peaceful heart could we “see” clearly. This precious capacity to discern clearly with the heart had been lost when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge.

I am not a Muslim but a Buddhist. What I had said above was actually taught by Buddha – not in those words, of course.

Ben Othman Othman: Chiong C Guo, Greetings my Buddhist friend. I regard your statement – quote ‘whole load of hadiths that were supposedly said by the Prophet and to give it authority they had to go through numerous mental and intellectual gymnastics to declare with definitive and affirmative authority’ unquote – as a question because I believe YOU have not the slightest idea of what hadiths are.

Probably what you gathered are from others who are like you, ignorant yet brave enough to make such a sweeping statement on other people’s religion.

Jimmy Qrikert: This Dr Rafidah accuses Mariam Mokhtar of shallowness in understanding Islam so I suppose she herself must have a very deep understanding of the religion in comparison.

If so, can she explain where in the Quran does it say Muslims like her must dress like Arabs? Maybe it is not in the Quran but elsewhere. Hadith? So, where? If it is only these three categories who will not enter paradise – the unfilial, the cross-dressing transgender and the cuckold – it is no wonder Dr Rafidah makes no objections to the blatant corruption of BN politicians or even the blatant robbing of Tabung Haji to feed the greed of these Muslim leaders. If this Hadith is what Muslims must abide by, no wonder there is a deafening silence from the majority of Muslims in Malaysia.

Ben Othman Othman: Jimmy Qrikert, Read surah An Nur -chapter 24 of the Quran

Bud455: “The hadith mentioned is as reported below: Abdullah ibn Omar reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Three people will not enter paradise …”

Am I the only one here that is bothered that whenever anyone wants to quote the Quran or hadith, they always say “Person A said that he heard Person B said that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said this and this”?

Have these guys ever considered why in Western civilization, they have a rule against hearsay evidence? Hmmm…

Ben Othman Othman: Bud455, Greetings .What you mentioned as “Person A said that he heard Person B said that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said this and this” is what we call the chain of narration or sanad in Arabic. It is a system not found in any other religion, be it Judaism or Christianity or Buddhism. It is a system whereby whatever was uttered, acted and /or approved or disapproved by Prophet Muhammad salallahu alaihi wassalam (the ahadith ) was recorded or memorised by person or persons who witnessed and heard what the Prophet (SAW) said.

These first persons were his loyal companions who passed down what they witnessed to the next generation and these recipients of the ahadith later on passed to the later generation and so forth. This is the chain of narrators of ahadith and the chain continues when a muhadithin or one who teaches ahadith passes to his students.

So, when a hadith is quoted that chain is mentioned together starting from the latest to the one of the companions ‘Hence, the method of mentioning Person A said he heard from B and so on. Is this hearsay?

Hearsay is what Mark Anthony was said to have uttered ‘Lend me your ears’ because nobody verifies who heard what and when Mark Anthony said or on what occasion he said those words. In other words, there is no authentication because there is no fool proof record on his sayings.

The same goes with what Buddha said, Jesus said, Abe Lincoln said – all seemed unauthenticated and unverified quotations, in short they may be hearsays, if the definition of hearsays as unauthenticated statements is the accepted definition. Correct me if I am wrong but show proof.

As for the sanad, specialist ulamas ensure that the narrators met the criteria set. Some ahadiths were rejected because the narrators do not meet the standards set.

Nofaham: Interesting, if they are what they profess to be, why are they going around without their husband to chaperon them and how can they be so disrespectful for speaking out in public forums? They should be at home keeping their husbands satisfied and happy.

Ben Othman Othman: Nofaham, how do you know whether she has no chaperon or the husband has already given permission?

Mikey: To Dr Rafidah of ISMA, where were you when recently two Muslim women got bashed up in public with the incidents going viral? In case you forget, Awie the actor beat his wife in public and another women was beaten by her husband with their child inside a lift. Your skewed mind is appalling and it showed why Muslim women will continue to be bullied by men with your shallow thinking. Enough said.

Ken ong thuan ming: As an intelligent person such as you, Oh Malaysia, must you be so judgemental on the views of others.

The Dr is talking about religion but you know nothing about it and just butt your head in.

That shows how insecure you are.

Noha: Ken ong thuan ming, Mariam didn’t butt blindly. She simply questions our dear Dr brand of Islam.

The brand where women is better at home as this can solve many social ills. Oh yes, this is their skewed view.

And the tactic is gradually limiting their movements – tudung – niqab – voice – finally job prospect.

Take hair-tudung – it is not even in the Quran nor a true hadith. But they twist the teaching to make tudung a law.

What’s next – twist some verses – and justify special village for non-Muslims?

I hope Dr Rafidah’s doesn’t twist and turn to suit her brand.

Ben Othman Othman: Noha, if you are a Muslim woman, I have this to say. When you die, as a last rite, your body will be covered from head to toe and tudung or niqab dressed over you.

If you are man, I tell you not to be so afraid of Muslim dress ie. the serban, because on your head will be placed a serban when you lay motionless and on the way to the grave.

Mahesh Munchies: A turkey teaching the peacock how to dance.

Saul: Mahesh Munchies, Don’t insult the turkey. The turkey dances quite well, almost like the peacock! The vulture is bald but from afar looks like it has a scarf on its head… and it doesn’t dance.

Noha: Thank you for the response. My main grouse is when ustaz refuses to acknowledge that even ulamaks differ in opinion.

Take the case of hair as aurat – not a word in the Quran and hadith – hence different opinions. But very few ustaz dare to disclose this fact.

I call that dishonest.

Next it will be “dayus” if your wife and daughters work, as conveniently twisted.

And don’t get me wrong. I love my people and religion has shed tears numerous times.

Yes this is in my head – honesty in teaching should tops the brand of Islam we try to promote.

Or next decade “dayus if your wife work”. Thanks

Ben Othman Othman: Noha, you have issues on the definition of aurat? Read surah An Nur (24 of the Quran ) or let me have your email so that God willing, we can discuss the issue.

Oh Malaysia: You can’t get any movement larger than five people without including at least one flipping IDIOT – Kim Stanley Robinson.

Being the information chief of Wanita ISMA speaks volumes of your narrow-mindedness and stupidity. And you being a dr, doesn’t mean that your intellectual capacity is worthy of respect, other than those of your ilk who admire your shallowness of ideas and views.

If becoming ‘religious’ has made you more judgemental, harsh and rude towards other people, you need to check if you are worshipping God or your own ego.

Dr Rafidah, ponder these words of Dr Steve Maraboli. He said, “You can speak with spiritual eloquence, pray in public, and maintain a holy appearance…but it is your behaviour that will reveal your true character.

Imm1: Don’t bring the Middle East to Malaysia, otherwise all will lose their culture and identity.

Ken Slong: Who’s Isma?

Tan Chengchin: Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.


These comments are in response to the article To Mariam Mokhtar: Feminist, it’s all in your head! published on April 2. However, these views from our readers should not be represented as fact.

-The Ant Daily

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