Sunday, January 22, 2012

و انا من المسلمين

-I wonder whether I am justified in making this claim that I belong to the Muslim ummah, despite my personal beliefs regarding the Muslim faith, and my views on the Muslim law. Maybe I am not justified; maybe having a Muslim heritage, practicing Muslim rites, being used to the Muslim environment is not a sufficient justification of declaring one's Islamic identification. Maybe we are all deceiving ourselves in saying and declaring in each and every prayer, that we are Muslims; Only God knows whether we are really Muslims, or whether, as Quran puts it, we are of those who say "Verily we are only making peace!"

-I don't think this is a good idea, but I have been doubting my faith for a quite long period of time now; I have been doubting myself, too; Whether is it me that has the ability to affirm my Islamic identity, or whether is it ultimately God who decides whether I am one of those led astray, has been on my mind this days. Neither seems to be totally right, neither seems to be totally wrong. Maybe I have been wasting my time thinking about something that is absolutely of no importance whatsoever to my life as a man. Whether Islam is the right answer to every single question that I have been thinking, I am not sure either; from a secular, materialistic point of view, it is rather preposterous to be basing your actions in life based on your desire for Heaven and your fear of Hell, both having no proofs of existence except those laid out in the Scriptures-which may turn to be part of Muhammad's internal delusion. I am not saying that that case is exactly what happened, I am just saying that there is a possibility that that is the case.

-Anyhow, this doubting thing, I suppose is a kind of necessity for me, having grown up and facing lots of different people and way of thinking, having joined the ideologically-charged religious study groups that poses to me a challenge in terms of the view of Islam that I have-not just a religion, but also a culture, a political ideology and a way of thinking that is God-centric. I have to reform my mind, question my mind lots of times, and engage in conversation with people of different thinkings; this tires me, and sometimes I think of just giving up and cease practicing Islam totally, or give up critical thinking and start following people blindly. But that would not suffice, that would erase the purpose of doubt in my life.

-I have been thinking for way too long. But still in Jumaat prayers, I will recite the Iftitah; "Verily my prayers, my doings, my life and my death is for Allah Taala."
I don't know whether I am just lying all this time.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 2012: A Premature Review

-This month is fairly busy for me. With my new position as the President of the MSAJ Kansai branch, I found myself having a real hard time adjusting to the new position, lacking experience, abilities, and frankly, leadership talent. I also found myself slumped by final reports; I barely understand the things I've learned in class the whole semester, and found myself having a real hard time trying to figure out what to write. Plus, my research is going nowhere without any real progress, and I have only roughly 3 weeks left to conclude it and present the results to the professor.

-I don't know. One month and I am a bad leader already? I'd better keep that in mind the next time such thing presents itself to me.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What Happened To Me?

-2012. What happened to me?

-Where did the past me go? Did he die, in the process of becoming into the today me? Or is he still alive, somewhere in my deepest chamber of memories, buried by more memories?

-Where did he go?

-Am I still a same person? I doubt that I am. And even if I still am, given the fact that the reality around me has changed a lot, I don't think staying the same would be a great idea.

-Is it possible, somehow, in another universe, another possible world, that another me exists, another me that made different choices in his life, another me that made better choices, another me that stayed back in Malaysia, went to Labuan for instance, another me that found another girl to love, and never met Nur Afila?

-Is that person still qualifies as 'me'? Is his existence even possible? Is he even real, or is he just a figment of my imagination, a result of my heavy depression and heavy smoking?

-What is 'me' anyway? What constitutes this personality of 'me' anyway? Am I even real? Do I really exist?

-"Cogito, ergo sum." Is that really plausible?

-I don't know. I don't think that I believe in anything no more, not even in me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I Hate Umeda

-I hate Umeda.

-It is a place where the robotic Japanese people walk to their place of work, crowding the place with their monotonous robotic faces, filling it with their miseries.

-It is a place where people send their their loved ones off somewhere, be it Malaysia, Korea, Kyushu, Kantou, anywhere, and has to depart from each other. It is a place where separation takes place on a daily basis; and it happens all the time.

-It is a place where, at night, drunkards roam the town; their miseries, kept under their masks in day light, all poured out, resulting in a nasty mix of beer stench, loud screams, miserable laughs and unnecessary tears.

-It is a God-forsaken place, a place where people have to hide their own fears from everybody else. It is a place where the only feeling you can get is loneliness, despite the crowds. At night, it is illuminated by the overwhelming electric lights, yet it is awfully dark and blinding.

-It is Hell on Earth, a Hell full of lying luxuries, luxuries from which I obtain no pleasure. The beer stench, the monotonous crowd, the unholy food, the sickening money, the train noises, the sight of bus departing every single fucking minute; I hate them all.

-How I hated it, to be seeing you board the bus there that night, dear little sister. God bless you.

About Academic Freedom

-I am not one of the supporters of Adam Adli.

-In fact, I am too disconnected from the current situation in Malaysia, that I refuse to support him, being the fact that I don't know anything. Any single thing that I do without me knowing the cause properly, will not be good in retrospective.

-However, when I read one of the articles about Adam Adli, in order to find out what is happening exactly, my eyes are set on this one phrase: Academic freedom.

-Well, the academic freedom, as stated by Adam Adli, is the freedom for students to engage in political activities. I personally don't think this is a good idea yet. The reason is because there are levels in academic freedom, and the freedom for students to engage in political activism must at first, be cemented by a base, that is the freedom to discuss issues that are sensitive, taboos, anti-establishment in an academic way.

-We Malaysians still don't have that freedom of discussion. We are not open in terms of our views on society, history, sexuality, interfaith relations; Let's take Malays, for example. If one tries to engage a Malay student in a discussion relating Islam-Christian relationship, one can still find among Malays, a great number of those who would consider Christianity a bogus faith, a religion that is not really worthy of respect.

-Or if we want to talk about sexuality, one might find among the Malays, an almost 100 percent consensus that homosexuality is a sin, condemned by Islam. While this is true, the fact that homosexuality is due to genetic arrangements and not by an active, free choice makes it hard for me to accept in totality that homosexuality is a sin. It is due to nature, one simply doesn't have much say in his sexual orientation. But the Malays won't have that! "Quran supersedes scientific findings!"

-Academic freedom, for me, is a freedom for students to listen to different sources of different values. There should not be too much censorship, as censorship blocks and retorts the students ability to analyse information. Of course there are dangers to having no censorship at all, but thoughtless, authoritarian and overwhelming censorship should be fought; rather, we should educate the students to analyse information better, not taking everything by face value, and distinguishing between good information, bad information, and fabrications.

-The government censors way too much information, given the fact that it is the age of computers. But the government is not to be blamed in its entirety; the society itself is not helping in this. We are not liberal in our understanding of reality, we simply cannot picture in our mind of the probability that our understanding might be wrong, we refuse to hear from the sides that we hate. And we impose this kind of thinking into students, hence bogging the academic freedom in our society.

-We are told about our history, about our political stances, about religion, about economics, by those in charge; the syllabus is dictated by the authorities. And we cannot challenge the syllabus at all; is this academic freedom? No.