Tag Archives: jakim

Smoke gets in your eyes


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Smoke gets in your eyes
By Zan Azlee

Way back in the late 1990s, I enjoyed watching the movie ‘Wag the Dog’ starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Anything featuring these two actors is bound to be a killer.

It tells the story of how a Hollywood producer was hired by the White House to create and orchestrate a fictitious war in the media to distract public attention away from a presidential sex scandal.

The idea was so conceivable that even President Bill Clinton had been accused of attacking Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998 to divert attention from his infamous case with Monica Lewinsky.

Sometimes I wonder if I, as a journalist, have ever been manipulated or clouded by petty and insignificant, but intentional, smoke screens and distractions.

I wonder if all the brouhaha about fatwas being issued about liberalism and pluralism being ‘haram’ is just a diversion for the social inequalities that are happening in Malaysia.

I also wonder if ISMA, PERKASA and Ridhuan Tee, who created so much anger through their racist statements and religious intolerance, are just smoke screens to cover up corruption from the public.

I wonder if getting the people of Malaysia all riled up about how unIslamic it is to touch a dog is really just to move attention away from more oppressive acts such as political prosecution. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

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Assalamualaikum Nadal!


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Assalamualaikum Nadal!
By Zan Azlee

I named my daughter Athena when she was born. Is it a name of one of Prophet Muhammad’s wife? No it isn’t.

Is it an Arabic name? No, I’m pretty sure it isn’t. Neither is it a Malay name. And it definitely isn’t Indian or Chinese.

It’s Greek actually. It’s the name of the Goddess of Wisdom and War. Semi-goddess, to be exact, since she was an illegitimate child of Zeus.

I chose that name because I thought it’s nice that the patron of wisdom is also the patron for war.

To me, it meant that war is something so devastating that it needed someone wise to watch over it.

I also kind of hoped that my daughter would grow up to be wise, strong and independent, like the name.

Isn’t that a nice reason to why I named her that? Of course, I’m not planning for her to start praying towards Mount Olympus instead of the Kaabah!

But there are those who just smile when I tell them this story. Then they proceed to crack their heads to find out if there is an Arabic definition to the name.

Some have even gone so far as to recite Quranic verses to see if there any words that sound remotely like ‘Athena’.

Why lah? Doesn’t a name just need to be a good name? In fact, couldn’t it just be anything the parents feel is good? [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

I named my daughter Athena when she was born. Is it the name of one of Prophet Muhammad’s wives? No, it isn’t.

Is it an Arabic name? No, I’m pretty sure it isn’t. Neither is it a Malay name. And it definitely isn’t Indian or Chinese.

It’s Greek actually. It’s the name of the Goddess of Wisdom and War. Semi-goddess, to be exact, since she was an illegitimate child of Zeus.

 

I chose that name because I thought it’s nice that the patron of wisdom is also the patron of war.To me, it meant that war was something so devastating that it needed someone wise to watch over it.

I also kind of hoped that my daughter would grow up to be wise, strong and independent, like the name.

Isn’t that a nice reason as to why I named her that? Of course, I’m not planning for her to start praying towards Mount Olympus instead of the Kaabah!

But there are those who just smile when I tell them this story. Then they proceed to crack their heads to find out if there is an Arabic definition to the name.

Some have even gone so far as to recite Quranic verses to see if there any words that sound remotely like “Athena”.

Why lah? Doesn’t a name just need to be a good name? In fact, couldn’t it just be anything the parents feel is good?

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/zan-azlee/article/assalamualaikum-nadal#sthash.AWtVtdrA.dpuf

named my daughter Athena when she was born. Is it the name of one of Prophet Muhammad’s wives? No, it isn’t.

Is it an Arabic name? No, I’m pretty sure it isn’t. Neither is it a Malay name. And it definitely isn’t Indian or Chinese.

It’s Greek actually. It’s the name of the Goddess of Wisdom and War. Semi-goddess, to be exact, since she was an illegitimate child of Zeus.

 

I chose that name because I thought it’s nice that the patron of wisdom is also the patron of war.To me, it meant that war was something so devastating that it needed someone wise to watch over it.

I also kind of hoped that my daughter would grow up to be wise, strong and independent, like the name.

Isn’t that a nice reason as to why I named her that? Of course, I’m not planning for her to start praying towards Mount Olympus instead of the Kaabah!

But there are those who just smile when I tell them this story. Then they proceed to crack their heads to find out if there is an Arabic definition to the name.

Some have even gone so far as to recite Quranic verses to see if there any words that sound remotely like “Athena”.

Why lah? Doesn’t a name just need to be a good name? In fact, couldn’t it just be anything the parents feel is good?

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/zan-azlee/article/assalamualaikum-nadal#sthash.AWtVtdrA.dpuf

named my daughter Athena when she was born. Is it the name of one of Prophet Muhammad’s wives? No, it isn’t.

Is it an Arabic name? No, I’m pretty sure it isn’t. Neither is it a Malay name. And it definitely isn’t Indian or Chinese.

It’s Greek actually. It’s the name of the Goddess of Wisdom and War. Semi-goddess, to be exact, since she was an illegitimate child of Zeus.

 

I chose that name because I thought it’s nice that the patron of wisdom is also the patron of war.To me, it meant that war was something so devastating that it needed someone wise to watch over it.

I also kind of hoped that my daughter would grow up to be wise, strong and independent, like the name.

Isn’t that a nice reason as to why I named her that? Of course, I’m not planning for her to start praying towards Mount Olympus instead of the Kaabah!

But there are those who just smile when I tell them this story. Then they proceed to crack their heads to find out if there is an Arabic definition to the name.

Some have even gone so far as to recite Quranic verses to see if there any words that sound remotely like “Athena”.

Why lah? Doesn’t a name just need to be a good name? In fact, couldn’t it just be anything the parents feel is good?

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/zan-azlee/article/assalamualaikum-nadal#sthash.AWtVtdrA.dpuf

named my daughter Athena when she was born. Is it the name of one of Prophet Muhammad’s wives? No, it isn’t.

Is it an Arabic name? No, I’m pretty sure it isn’t. Neither is it a Malay name. And it definitely isn’t Indian or Chinese.

It’s Greek actually. It’s the name of the Goddess of Wisdom and War. Semi-goddess, to be exact, since she was an illegitimate child of Zeus.

 

I chose that name because I thought it’s nice that the patron of wisdom is also the patron of war.To me, it meant that war was something so devastating that it needed someone wise to watch over it.

I also kind of hoped that my daughter would grow up to be wise, strong and independent, like the name.

Isn’t that a nice reason as to why I named her that? Of course, I’m not planning for her to start praying towards Mount Olympus instead of the Kaabah!

But there are those who just smile when I tell them this story. Then they proceed to crack their heads to find out if there is an Arabic definition to the name.

Some have even gone so far as to recite Quranic verses to see if there any words that sound remotely like “Athena”.

Why lah? Doesn’t a name just need to be a good name? In fact, couldn’t it just be anything the parents feel is good?

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/zan-azlee/article/assalamualaikum-nadal#sthash.AWtVtdrA.dpuf

Holy Water vs. Air Yasin


Holy Water vs. Air Yasin
By Zan Azlee

Recently, while I was casually browsing through the JAKIM (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia) website, I stumbled upon something interesting. (Please don’t ask me why I was casually browsing though the website. Just don’t!)

There is this one particular page on the site that caught my eye titled ‘Guidelines for Muslims celebrating religious festivals of non-Muslims’. As a multiculturalist Malaysian who celebrates a slew of festivals, from the Muslim to the non-Muslim kind, I obviously had to read it to ensure my Islamic faith is still intact.

It being the Christmas season, I will look specifically at the points that refer to Christmas, just to keep to a timely theme. Or else, this article would be just too long. The page states that if a Muslim is to attend an event, he or she needs to make sure that the event does not consist of ‘ceremonies that are against the Islamic faith’. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

An open letter seeking help from JAKIM


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An open letter seeking help from JAKIM
By Zan Azlee

Dear JAKIM,

First and foremost, I would like to wish you assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh and a blessed Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. I would like to apologise for writing this letter during the festive season when most of you would be on leave with your families.

However, I strongly believe that the reason that I am writing is justified and commands your immediate attention. If nothing is done, I am fearful that the faith and aqidah of many Malay Muslims in Malaysia may be at risk.

On the second last day of Ramadhan, my family and I decided to head out and enjoy iftar (I loathe using the term ‘buka puasa’ it is so un-Islamic!) together at a very prominent hotel in Shah Alam, Selangor. The hotel is called Concorde.

We were very impressed with the buffet spread that was on display in the hotel’s coffee house and felt that the extremely expensive price was justified. So, in other words, we were happy to have good food and good company that evening.

However, as I was walking around the different food islands in the centre of the coffee house, I came to the dessert island. And what I saw horrified me to my wits end! I could not believe my eyes! There in open display was a plate full of tapai!

Now correct me if I’m wrong. JAKIM has issued a statement declaring that for any dish or drink to be considered halal, it needs to have less than 0.01% alcohol content. This practically means that there has to be zero alcohol content.

Tapai, as we all know, is a traditional Malay kuih that is prepared by fermenting pulut or ubi kayu. But, as we all also know, when you ferment food stuff, it turns into alcohol. Yes! I said alcohol! Haram jaddah! [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

I really don’t want to be ashamed to be a Muslim in Malaysia


Zan flirting in Tehran, Iran.

Being a Muslim in Malaysia
By Zan Azlee

MARCH 9 –  I’m sick and tired of people saying that the greeting ‘assalamualaikum’ and ‘waalaikumsalam’ are exclusively for Muslims and haram for anyone else. Apparently, if a non-Muslim greets you that way, you will be damned to hell if you were to reply. And god forbid, if you were to initiate the greeting! To those who aren’t familiar, ‘assalamualaikum’ means ‘peace be upon you’, and ‘waalaikumsalam’ means ‘and upon you be peace’.

I really wonder where is it said in Islam that the ‘salam’ is exclusively for Muslims? I would be really grateful if someone could point this out for me. Please save me from my ignorance because as far as my religious knowledge goes, I have only found evidence that proves that it isn’t a sin.

Over the years, I have traveled extensively throughout the Muslim world (especially the Middle-East) and people in all of these places greet each other, whether Muslim or not, with these greetings. And in all of these countries, this has never been an issue at all. And hence I find it very problematic that it is a big issue in my own country Malaysia. [Click to read the rest of the article at The Malaysian Insider]