Tag Archives: muslim

My multi-faith family


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My multi-faith family
By Zan Azlee

I always like to see my own family as a microcosm of the country’s larger society because we have members of many races and ethnicities as well as many faiths.

Everyone respects everyone else. All the major Malaysian religious festivals are celebrated by us together and with much joy and happiness.

Not only do we celebrate the festivals together, we also pay our respects and mourn together when one of us passes away no matter what religion he or she was.

And because of this, we understand each other very well, including each others’ faith. Not once has there been any fights, disagreements or arguments because of religion in our family.

I cannot for the life of me think in good conscience that if I am a Muslim, I need to defend my religion by proclaiming publicly that my religion is the best in the world.

Having faith in a belief personally is fine and I have no problems with that. Because if that wasn’t the case, then I wouldn’t even be a Muslim.

The fact of the matter is that I don’t understand how there can be a double standard when it comes to people of different faiths in this country.

I cannot understand how a Muslim who calls for the burning of the Christian Bible can be allowed to do so because he is thought to be defending Islam.

What is the logic and rationale of defending Islam by burning another holy book? A holy book that even Muslims are required to believe in according to Islamic rule.

Or is this something where logic cannot be applied (an argument that many extremists tend to dish out to other Muslims who try to rationalise things out)? [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

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The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 22) – Dog day afternoon!


Top dogs Zan and Aizyl may be barking up the wrong tree and howling at the moon while sniffing each other’s backside as they ponder about man’s best friend (featuring the full recording of Syed Azmi Alhabshi’s statement).

Listen to more Fat Bidin Podcasts here.

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]

 

 

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]

Ben Affleck, the super hero


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Ben Affleck, the super hero
By Zan Azlee

It seems the Muslim world has a new hero in the form of a tall, handsome, charismatic Hollywood actor and celebrity by the name of Ben Affleck.

Just pay a visit to his Facebook fan page and you will see the hundreds of postings and messages expressing adulation for him and how he defended Islam.

Affleck appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher where he, along with several other panelists including Sam Harris and Nicholas Kristof, talked about Islam and the Islamic State (Isis).

From the discussion, it seems that Maher and Harris were berating the Muslim world and basically calling the entire global community a pool of stupid ideas and beliefs.

They called Islam a religion that kills and murders people and said that the entire Muslim population believed that was the right thing to do. Hence, it was a dangerous religion consisting of dangerous people.

Then action hero Affleck raised his voice in defence of all innocent Muslims by saying that the broad statements by Maher and Harris were racist and ignorant.

He said that Maher and Harris’s statements regarding Islam and Muslims were very stereotypical and an insult to the millions who weren’t jihadists or extremists. Occasionally, Kristof would put in a word of support.

Here’s the thing: Muslims in Malaysia (and around the world) are going head over heels expressing how Affleck succeeded in putting forth his support for Muslims against the “enemy”.

What they don’t realise is that a debate like this can only happen because it is allowed to happen. Different views are allowed to be expressed, discussed and debated. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]