I missed my target day for writing, which is Sunday or Monday. So, I must write right now, on anything.

I’m now reading a great book; Islam and Peace by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan. The book was given to me as a memento from a junior on my last day at Jordan.

Islam and Peace

The writer is an Islamic Scholar, and I believe he’s one of the rare nowadays, who can deal with both ‘Islamic’ and the ‘worldly knowledges’. Errr, I don’t feel right with the terms but, you readers can get the point, eh?

I only want to highlight the passages that I just read now. Significantly right with current discourse among Islamists around me right now. Yes, it’s about The Islamic Penal Code. What else?

Beginning with the Possible

At the time that the Prophet came to the world, Arabia was racked by a multiplicity of problems. The Roman and Sassanid empires had made political inroads into Arabia; society was beset by evils such as usury, adultery, excessive drinking and senseless bloodshed; there still stood in the Kabah no less than 360 idols.

It is significant that the first commandment in the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet was not about purifiying the Kabah of idols, or waging war on the Persians and Byzantines, or punishing criminals and wrongdoers according to the Shariah. On the contrary, the first commandment was concerned with reading, that is, with education. This is clear indication that the proper starting point for Islamic activism must remain within the realm of the possible.

At the time of the Prophet’s advent, the prevailing circumstances in Arabia did demand the purification of the mosque, political stability and the imposition of Shariah Law, yet, in spite of all the urgency for and desirability of such steps, they were in practice, impossible to implement.

On the other hand, a beginning made on the basis of da’wah, coupled with education, was impossible in favour of the possible, whenever he engaged himself in Islamic activism.

— Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Islam and Peace, pg. 60-61

Yes, to compare our current reality at Malaysia and this simple statement may not be truly right. One may argue that we at Malaysia have been in a long process of da’wah and education, since independence day one may add.

But, as a counter argument, one can argue too that in spite of that long da’wah and education, they still don’t achieve the right quality.

Put that aside, my point is the priority (Aulawiyyat) in Islam. Islam arrange the priority of everything. It is the very essence of Islam itself I think. To prioritize Akhirah (Hereafter), before Dunya (World). Wajib (compulsory) before Sunat (recommended). And so on.

Back to the Islamic Penal Code, I believe strongly that we must deal with it by this aulawiyyat point of view. If one believes that Malaysia is currently in Jahiliyyah (which I believe many if not all Islamists hold this view), then what makes it differents from Jahiliyyah 1400 years ago at Arabia?

The Jahiliyyah that Prophet was asked to deal with da’wah and education. Not to enthusiastically keep talking and pushing to canonize Islamic Penal Law.

Bear in mind the Jahiliyyah we are talking about is not just the regression of knowledge, or lack of technology and etc. But it means the lack of moral or immoralities that plaguing a society.

And, if we did already doing da’wah and educating ummah, we should ask too, about our achievements. The answer is the reality surrounding us. Do we think we’re ready for the next step?