Tag Archives: malaysia

Which mazhab is the best? Ours?


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Which mazhab is the best? Ours?
By Zan Azlee

I went for Friday prayers at the main mosque in Bamiyan, a city and province in the mountains of northern Afghanistan. They are mainly from the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, as opposed to the Shafi’i here in Malaysia.

The way the prayers were conducted were slightly different in the arrangements of the sermon and optional prayers which I wasn’t used too. And neither did I understand the sermon.

But it was no big deal. The Hanafi school is one of the four main Sunni schools, or mazhabs, and it’s aqidah (creed) is the same. The only difference is the interpretation of fiqh (jurisprudence) and rituals.

So it is no problem for a Shafi’ifollower like me (being from Malaysia) to pray alongside those from the other mazhabs. Through my travels around the world, I have prayed alongside all of them.
Now back to northern Afghanistan on that Friday afternoon about three years ago. After Friday prayers concluded, I managed to catch up with the Afghan Imam who had led it. He was young and very handsome.

I told him where I came from and told him why I was in his country (I was shooting a documentary). We chatted for a while when he brought up the subject of the different mazhabs between our regions.

“Shafi’i mazhab has beautiful teachings. I admire the strong faith that the Malaysian Muslims have. They are known around the world to be very devout in their faith,” he smiled.

I mentioned to him that I noticed the differences in how they conducted Friday prayers the Hanafi way and I was unfamiliar, so I mainly just followed the crowd in the mosque.

“That’s okay. We are all Muslim and we share the same faith. Our structure may be different but our hearts and intentions are the same. We are brothers,” he said in response.

Being the humorist and comedian that I am (and usually in the most inappropriate times!), I mentioned to him that he is the most good-looking imam I had ever met! He laughed and we hugged goodbye. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

 

 

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Are Muslims smart enough to think?


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Are Muslims smart enough to think?
By Zan Azlee

It is sad when the system has caused the indoctrination of a people to a point where all thinking and rationalisation seems to have been eliminated and destroyed.

As humankind develops, all kinds of fields of study progresses along with it, from the arts and philosophy, to the sciences and economics. It’s only natural.

One thing that seems to have stayed stagnant is the minds of the Muslims particularly in Malaysia. It’s like the society has just stayed in a vacuum time capsule.

Fundamentalism in Islam is actually a good thing because it’s suppose to mean that the religion and its teachings hasn’t been corrupted or negatively influenced.

But fundamentalism which means not moving forward, not progressing in terms of thoughts and interpretations, and not wanting to evolve with humankind, now that is dangerous. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 21) – Jadi kau Bajet kau hot lah?


Cost of living went up. What else is new? Ohh… apparently women are important now! Zan and Aizyl talk about the highlights of Budget 2015 and they interview an actual woman who is a doctor nonetheless (featuring Aizyl’s first time talking to a girl)!

Listen to more Fat Bidin Podcasts here.

Are we mature enough for societal censorship?


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Are we mature enough for societal censorship?
By Zan Azlee

The Sedition Act is a law that can be used against people who happen to do or say something that can be a cause for disharmony in the country, or deemed seditious.

In many cases, through my personal observations, the investigating, questioning, detaining or charging of people under the Sedition Act has been quite questionable.

But, hey, I’m no lawyer or legal academic expert. I’m just an ordinary journalist who thinks he’s smarter than he really is. So don’t take me too seriously.

And as a journalist, I tend to be a little bit too idealistic and believe in freedom of speech. And I mean total freedom of speech (umm… except maybe defamation). Too idealistic and maybe even a bit naive.

I believe in societal censorship whereby its members will determine what is okay to be expressed or not. Someone can make hate speech and society will silence him by ignoring or condemning him through discourse.

So let this be a little social experiment here. Several people have said several things that may or may not be bothersome to society. Let me list them down here and see what happens in the comments section. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Oh my MUET!


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Oh my MUET!
By Zan Azlee

So now the English speaking and writing level for Malaysians to enter universities has been increased, according to the prime minister during the tabling of Budget 2015.

I have to say that I agree because I have always been a big proponent of the English language and of how important it is for Malaysians to master the language.

However, just by increasing the required band or evaluation of the MUET (Malaysian University English Test) wouldn’t be a solution.

What that means is that the existing group of students who are trying to enter university in Malaysia are just going to have a much tougher time.

I spend a lot of my free time having sharing sessions with undergraduate students, and some of them gave me feedback regarding the recent developments.

Many are concerned that this will mean less Malaysians would actually be qualified to enter university and that would mean less opportunities for them.

One student told me that by not knowing English, a potentially brilliant student who isn’t bilingual could not further his or her studies. So, English shouldn’t be mandatory.

On one part, I agree. Not knowing English, or any other second language, doesn’t mean that one is not intelligent. You can be smart no matter what language (and how many) you speak.
[Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]