Speaking Malay is unIslamic

Speaking Malay is unIslamic
By Zan Azlee

FEB 24 — I would like to call upon all the ulamas, imams. muftis and other Muslim scholars to please come together and issue a fatwa against the use of the Malay language. After a brief Wikipedia search, I have come to the intellectual and theological conclusion that the Malay language is unIslamic.

This is of utmost importance because today there are 180 million Malay speakers and it is even the national language of several (Islamic, nonetheless!) countries. It is our responsibility as Muslims to rescue these people and do everything in our power to help steer them to salvation. [Click here to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

9 responses to “Speaking Malay is unIslamic

  1. Salam bro

    For a person of your credential,I am amazed at this ‘revelation’. If Malay is ‘unislamic’, then there are many other languages than are even more ‘unislamic’ than Malay.Anyhow,let’s not discuss about what WE think is islamic or not.Let’s make a reference to hadith and Al Quran.As what our Nabi Muhd SAW said that if a believer relies on hadith and Al Quran,he will never be led astrayed.Could you quote any one of these that state speaking Malay and wearing in Malay costume is unislamic?If you are able to,maybe you can qualify to join the ranks of the ‘elite’ ulamas and probably qualify to comment on Islamic matters and issues too.Until such time,I believe you could reserve your rights to remain what you are probably good at doing currently as per bio data.



    • Salam Norma,

      Hahaha! I think it would be a good idea for you to pick up a dictionary and search for the meaning of the word ‘satire’.

      It’s actually quite surprising to see how many Muslims out there who can’t understand the many levels of literature and writing. Then how do they expect to understand the beautiful and poetic language of the Quran that has so many difference levels of meanings and interpretations?

      Thanks for reading and commenting though.


      • Salam bro

        I believe the Malay community do not take kindly to your sarcasm.There is a better way to do dakwah if this is your intention which does not infringe on other people’s believe or race or religion.Prime eg is our own Nabi Muhd SAW who taught us how to dakwah to take into account sensitivity to others.Additional eg is how he communicates clearly without using sarcasm.Maybe you could begin to explore Nabi’s ways in communicating which probably could be beneficial for your career as well?



  2. Salam Norma,

    All the people who don’t understand my article are the ones I am making fun of in the article! So they all proved my point. And anyway, I never said I wanted to dakwah. I just wanted to poke fun at these people! Hahaha!


  3. I feel compelled to express my opinion as a Muslim, on the article written by someone I assume is a Malay Muslim. I feel disappointed as a Muslim, because for someone who professes to be a journalist and lecturer, the writer has introduced his own prejudices and failed to academically research /educate himself first before writing about a subject he appears to know nothing of, which is the ulama /Muslim scholar passing fatwas /religious edicts.

    If he is honest in searching for the truth, did he at any time go the source of the knowledge, i.e. ask an ulama or ustaz/Muslim scholar what a fatwa is, how it is derived, instead of introducing his own biases and misconceptions?

    While I cannot blame non-Muslims here who think his article is a joke about the ulamas, the writer (whom I presume to be Muslim), should have at the very least addressed his own ignorance and misinformation about Islam, the ulama and fatwas before embarking on an article that makes humorous analogies of the fatwa and ulamas, and spreads ignorance about Islam among non-Muslims even further. I call it irresponsible and selective bias. If you guys are interested in the truth, I invite you to read on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to convert anyone here, just voicing my opinion and hopefully trying to address what I regard (I’m entitled to my opinion), as irresponsible writing by the writer.

    It is our duty to educate ourselves and free our minds of prejudices and ignorance regarding other cultures and religions. You don’t go looking for answers about Islam or fatwas or ulamas or the Malay people from Wikipedia because its sources cannot be verified, and most often they’re written by non-Muslims. It’s just like asking a non-legally trained person to have an opinion on a legal matter or issue. Furthermore, it is a known fact and rule of research that in the academic world, the internet is a secondary source which can only be used to support a primary source. If you don’t have a primary source to rely on, your whole argument is academically unacceptable (those who have undergone their masters and Phd degrees will understand where I’m coming from) when you are making out a case for a theory or disputing it.

    Therefore as an analogy, allow me to draw a comparison with UK law (since again, I’m assuming most of us here studied overseas and are of liberal minds). so that the writer and the non-Muslim readers can at least understand the process of a fatwa and the status it has in Islamic jurisprudence.

    As a layman we are all aware, the law in the United Kingdon (UK) law comes from various sources, i.e.:
    a) Legislation (Act of Parliament, which is a primary source of law, and there is also secondary legislation where legislation is made outside Parliament, delegated by a Parent Act to another body) ;
    b) Case law (precedents);
    c) European law.

    However, another dual source of law in the UK is of course, equity. And in the case where there is conflict between the law and equity, the law shall prevail.

    And even when UK law is considered, another aspect that must be taken into account is the UK comprises 4 different countries, i.e. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Invariably, the sources of law vary between those countries itself, hence they have different Bar Councils. For instance, Scotland has its own system of laws and courts and its own Parliament. Northern Ireland has a similar system to that of England and Wales.

    Compare this with Islam, which has the following 4 sources:-
    a) The Quran (the Holy scripture revealed to the Prophet) and the Sunnah (acts and sayings of the Prophet) which are primary sources of Islam;
    b) Just like UK law, when primary sources do not expressly or explicitly deal with every conceivable eventuality then legal jurist just like Muslim scholars (ulamas) must rely and refer to other authentic sources of the law. In UK, it is the precedents (past judgements), subsidiary laws and equity. While in Islam they are the secondary sources of Islam, such as consensus among Muslim scholars (Ijma’), and if there are no evidence pertaining a specific question from the first three sources, they use analogical deductions (Qias) and use their own reasoning based on the Quran and Sunnah (Ijtihad).

    And just like UK law, the differences between Scottish and English or Irish laws are also present in the 4 Sunni schools of jurisprudence in terms of its practical applications of jurisprudence, straight down to ritual observances and social transactions (muamalah).

    It is here that you can see Islam as a way of life, since every act and manner of life is prescribed, based on the primary source which are the Quran and Sunnah (which we consider as life’s manuals from God). If I may draw another analogy, it’s like a set of House Rules for those familiar with condominium and apartment stratified buildings where the Joint Management Body (JMB)/ Management Corporation (MC) has established House Rules for the compliance of all residents in a particular scheme to ensure everybody abodes by set rules and procedures.

    Another analogy would be Judaism, where their primary source of law is the Hebrew Bible (they don’t use the term Old Testament), which is divided into 3 i.e., Torah, Prophets and Writings. Then there is another source which is theTalmud, i.e., Jerusalem and Babylon Talmuds (referred to as the Mishnah), which is the codification of laws by their Rabbi Judah, and the Gemara which is like the commentary of the Mishnah. .

    Now that I have drawn this analogy, please bear in mind the words rabbi in Judaism and Ulama/Muslim Scholar in Islam. Just as the Chief Rabbi have the power to issue edicts, for instance on organ danation and on the prohibition of renting to Arabs, the Muslim Ulama also has powers to issue edicts/fatwas based on the 4 sources of Islam I mentioned earlier.

    So,iIt is time to turn to what is a fatwa/religious edict and who can issue them and how is it issued?

    If I may cut and paste from an informative source at http://www.questionsaboutislam.com/shariah-islamic-law/what-is-a-fatwa.php, below I reproduce the explanation on fatwas and ulamas (italicized to differentiate from my own writing/explanation):-

    It is also interesting to note that different scholars (ulamas) frequently have different opinions regarding any given question. This is why there is usually more than one “fatwa” regarding any one question. In fact, there are a number of methodologies for how to understand evidence gathered from the previously mentioned sources of Islamic law. Scholars who follow different methodologies will frequently arrive at different answers to the same question. It is well known that in Islam there are four “schools of thought”, and each of them differ with respect to certain aspects. However, it is important to know that these differences are usually about minor issues. For example, in terms of beliefs, the vast majority of Muslims agree on most aspects of belief, most importantly the concept of monotheism, and belief in the angels, Prophets, holy books and the day of judgement.
    Muslims believe that any given action that they perform in their lives falls into one of five categories:
    1. Obligatory
    2. Commendable
    3. Permissible
    4. Despised
    5. Not Permitted
    When someone asks a Muslim scholar about performing a specific action, the reply will be a “fatwa” explaining which of these five categories this action would fall under. So if you ask a Muslim scholar to give a fatwa about adultery, they would tell you that it is “Not Permitted”. If you ask about fasting in Ramadan, they would answer that it is “Obligatory”. Muslims are usually encouraged to ask for reasoning and evidence behind any fatwa, and should avoid blindly following the opinions of Muslim scholars without understanding the reasons behind them. This is because Muslims should always feel that they are practicing Islam to gain the pleasure of God, and not to gain the pleasure of acceptance of any human being.

    That is why I find it objectionable even if it were in jest for the writer to make Haram what is Halal, since Islam forbids its followers to make fun of another’s belief or religion. Mind you, this is no laughing matter.

    That is why also it is untrue to say that these fatwas are blindly issued without reasons or justification, since as I earlier drew the analogy from UK law, the ulama is required to put his edict and reasoning based on the four sources, in writing for everyone to read. It is similar to the UK legal system where judges need to write their judgments in passing sentence.

    It is not true that fatwas are issued according to ulamas’ whims and fancies like most of us are lead to believe. It’s unfair to generalize a few bad apples just like if someone were to say I were to say that all Christian and Hindu priests are perverts, just because a handful are sexual offenders, it is the same with Muslim ulamas, just because a handful from somewhere in another part of the world issue fatwas to their whims and fancies without using the prescribed processes and methods of arriving at a fatwa, all ulamas and fatwas are wrong?

    I believe it is also the same that I do not have the right to criticise a Hindu for instance just because someone from “the BJP in India claim that Lord Shiva was born at the spot where the Babri mosque stands” (Taken from “The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity” by Amartya Sen (won the Nobel prize in economics in 1998), or criticise their religion for having the caste system. I also have no right to criticise about the Catholic priest who cannot marry as opposed to a Protestant Pastor who can. Only if I am a believer or follower of that faith do I have the right to criticise,

    In any case, I believe even if the writer (I assume is Muslim), I would readily accept his criticisms about the Ulama/Muslim scholars issuing fatwa if he himself is a learned Muslim scholar of the Sunnah/Hadith or the Quran, who knows and studied all the 4,000 sayings of the Prophet from Ibn Majah or the 7,725 thematically arranged sayings of the Prophet from Bukhari or 4,000 sayings compiled by Ibn Muslim (in Sahih Muslim). As Mark Twain famously wrote, “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please”. Like I said, have you even gone to the source of Islam to ask what is a fatwa and its methodology before introducing your ignorance and spreading it to non-Muslims who then will have a further “jaundiced” view of Islam, no thanks to you.

    If you think this is a joke to poke fun at a matter of faith which you do not comprehend, then surely God’s promise will prevail. I take refuge with Allah from your satire, your ignorance and arrogance.


    • Salam Encik Azhar,

      Thank you for your detailed comment. My article is a joke. I am making fun of all the so-called religious elites in Malaysia who make stupid, uninformed and un-researched comments about the religion. My article is also making fun of all the people in Malaysia who believe these stupid- uninformed and un-researched comments. I definitely know that it is not as simple as how I wrote in the article to decree fatwas… but it seems that there are many so-called religious elites who don’t think so and they make all kinds of stupid remarks. And these are the people I am making fun of.

      As I can see from your comment, that you are very well-educated when it comes to Islam. So I’m sure you are not one of these people who I am making fun off. Congratulations!

      Thank you for your comment.


  4. Hahahah..I am facepalming reading some comments here. Bro, when you have to explain a satire, it defeats the purpose. Your intention was clear right from the first sentence. Let those who misunderstood you, misjudge you but you stick to your wit. =D


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