Monday, 27 June 2016


The Bowerbird Writes

Monday, 27 June 2016(THE STAR)

Of magic water and celebrity preachers

SELFIES are haram. You can’t send a picture of food on the table via WhatsApp. Music is not permitted. Jews are everywhere to undermine the ummah(believers). Even Mother’s Day is not acceptable.

Muslims in this country have never been more confused. There are simply too many religious statements, coming from too many people.
The older generation of pendakwah (preachers) are already coming out with their decrees and interpretations. Now a new crop of preachers (ustaz and ustazah) are making waves.
TV stations are promoting various religious programmes, making celebrities out of those who are not even qualified to preach. Becoming one is a new Malaysian Dream.
Some of them are even more popular than pop stars and actors. They are booked many months ahead. Some live lavishly, even driving flashy cars.
“Richistan”, a word coined by some people to mean the land of the rich, today is made up of preachers, too.
There are of course many genuine and good preachers out there, but there are opportunists among them, too. By virtue of their popularity, they have a big influence on society.
The saddest part is, official outfits are hapless. Even Jakim has yet to raise a finger to address the issue. Little wonder there is a robust, profitable, even glamorous homegrown ceramah industry in the country today.
We have nothing against them. It is everyone’s responsibility in Islam to do the right thing, to encourage people to do good, to instil good values and to reaffirm one’s fate.
But using the platform to make judgments, to confuse the faithful and to create doubts and discord among Muslims is totally unacceptable. You hear conflicting views about almost everything.
Much of the debate is on halal and haram anyway. In this business, the most popular is always right. Some of them are creating a standard of “piety” which is almost humanly impossible to achieve.
The detractors are arguing that we are going backward.
Too much energy and what little’s left of the intellect are spent on debating unnecessary matters that are considered insignificant in Islam.
The halal and haram issue is only one element of the religion. Other aspects about moving forward, progressing with confidence and dignity, and about moderation are taking a backseat.
Back in the early 19th century, graduates from Al-Azhar University in Cairo who came back challenged the old thinking among the religious establishment and preachers.
The debate between the so-labelled Kaum Muda and Kaum Tua (Young Turks and the Old Guard) was intense but clever.
The young scholars argued for progress and the well-being of the ummah. It was mostly about preparing the believers for the present and the future.
The reformists started a tidal wave of new thinking. Yet 100 years later, we are bogged down with petty, even irrelevant issues, not the real discourse that will bring the ummah to the next level.
There are many other critical issues bedevilling the Muslims today. Rising from the yoke of poverty is one. Education is another.
Making the mark in all disciplines of knowledge known to man is critical. Being successful economically is key.
But nothing is more important than portraying Islam as a progressive religion, not one entrapped by the vestiges of time.
After all, our leaders have always been talking about moderation and progress. Yet, on the ground, we are allowing novices masquerading as preachers to be the spokespersons of Islam.
There are few brave voices these days. It takes someone like Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin (Zam) to take them on by the horns.
His blog “zamkata blogspot” recently questioned the hypocrisy of these people.
His argument is simple – we are losing the bigger Islamic agenda. And we are allowing these preachers to hijack the Cause.
Zam, never known to mince words, concludes that people with little knowledge of the real Islam are dominating the airwaves. The path to righteousness as portrayed by these people is littered with threats, anxieties and dangers.
The talk is about kiamat (Judgement Day), not about living and the future.
He cynically paints a picture that Muslims today will face kiamat earlier than non-Muslims.
Zam was also commenting on views made by Datuk Dr Asri Zainul Abidin, the mufti of Perlis, in one of the programmes on Astro Oasis.
Dr Asri, vilified by some for his “progressive stand”, has always argued that Muslims are simply confused by too many decrees and statements made by people who have no business in making them.
He condemned those who believe that these preachers are the passport to syurga(heaven), and that these people are the intermediaries with heaven.
And worst, cleanse them of their dosa (sins). He finds it ridiculous that parents are being duped that air tangkal (talismanic water) can make a below average student excel in examinations.
You can fault Zam and Dr Asri for their views. But they represent the silent majority.
Religious discourses should flourish and not be suppressed. Part of the portrait of current Islam, sadly, is painted by those who are confusing the ummah rather than enlightening them.
The religious authorities must act.
Johan Jaaffar was a journalist, editor and for some years chairman of a media company, and is passionate about all things literature and the arts. The views expressed here are entirely his own.


  1. This is the best statement I ever hear in this Ramaddan Month.I hope this statement will bring Islam to greater height among the malays.
    Our version of Islam by the current ustaz is "fault finding" Islam. That is why other people also help to find fault.We love to find fault.
    Stop this nonsense, start working for the better of ummah,follow whatever Majlis Agama,majlis Fatwa decided for us.
    Too much loose statement coming from less credible person. Those Islamic institutions must engage the ummah when making important decision and must be promt so the ummah will readily accept any decree.
    We become the laughing stock of the world despite given the Alquraan and hadith, we sre still lagged behind other religious followers.
    May god bless this land and its people to greater human civilisation.

    1. Our Islam our right30 June 2016 at 23:16

      We should call the bluff of the jubah wearing Zahid and Najib about Islam.
      Go back to basic.
      Hadi is not Islam. PAS is not Islam and neither is Jamil Khir or Ayraf Dusuki.
      We are Islam in our own right and belief.
      We dont have to conform to Hadi Islam or Najib's Islam.
      Religion have been used to steal and plunder in history. That is what Zahid and Najib trying to do with Hadi.

  2. There many types of religous any religion, since dulu dulu lagi...those who impart knowledge, instill self confidence, encourage progress, teach academics other than religion itself, wage war, instil fear, inspire migrations like those mayflower guys, talk rubbish, molest kids..macam macam ada. The issue is at the individual level. If a person banyak membaca, maka luaslah ilmunya, maka banyaklah yang akan disoalnya, dan maka lebih banyak akan dibacanya, and the cycle continues. Those who dont read, dont know much about hisstory, science, general knowledge, economics, have the rights to be left behind. So simple.

  3. Kalau ikut hukum islam sekarang..mak bapak tok nenek kita dulu tak da can masuk syurga.

    1. Politicalamity928 June 2016 at 12:32

      huhu... spot on.. the exact same argument i sometime used.

  4. .. pelajar yang tinggal di asrama tidak di benarkan meminum ais semasa berbuka puasa..yang di hidangkan bandung panas,sirap panas dll ...adakah anak anak mereka yang tinggal di rumah, juga tidak di benarkan meminum minuman sejuk... saya keliru

  5. Apa rancangan agama ingat mati Dan hari kiamat ITU salah, APA kita jadi tak sedar diri, kita dah tua bila2 masa tuhan boleh ambil nyawa kita, lebih baik kita buat rancangan agama Dari rancangan telanjang sana sini dedah baju tak cukup Kain itu, kita tahu mereka berceramah untuk kehidupan mereka sebagai iman untuk dunia Dan akhirat, sama dengan bayar dengan doktar,ahli politik Dan pakar ekonomi datang ke stasen TV 'apakah pakar2 bukan tahu agama mereka bercerita halal Dan haram 'mereka sendiri tak tahu perkara ITU sebab kita perlukan pakar agama untuk menentukan perkara ITU ikut Quran Dan hadis sebab mereka perlu jemput rancangan agama untuk menerangkannya, kalau Ustaz tak ada menerangkannya dah lama orang melayu Islam makan kedai bukan islam seperti era 70an, 80an tak tahu APA maksud halal haram kita mereka selamba masuk kedai makan tak halal asalkan tak makan babi, saya ingat lagi di Indonesia orang makan di kedai cina tak tahu halal Dan haram tak tahu Cara mereka bersembelih ikut Syriah atau tak tahu babi haram Tampa rancangan TV tentang agama mereka terus hayut budaya kafir malah kahwin berlain agama boleh, ITU liberalrisasi dibawah barat menyebab Indonesia ITU rosak di zaman Suharto Dan Sukarno ITU.

    Saya tahu rancangan tv Johan jaafar telah berkurang di sebab terpaksa bersaing dengan agama, rancangan bukan agama bagus tapi jangan kita leka ingati mati

    1. Hang bodo,....tak baca dan faham peringatan Allah dalam Al-Quran.Kalau hang mampu faham,...hang akan tau apa itu maksud penyelewengan agama yang bermaharajalela.

    2. Politicalamity928 June 2016 at 12:39

      so mak pak hang zaman 70an dulu masuk neraka la no... sebab tak tau halal/haram? Islam itu mudah...jangan sampai ubat vaksin pon nak halal/haram.
      Jangan dok baca sedap berlagu saja Quran, tapi tak paham sepatah apa pengajaran dan intipati.. dok rujuk hadis mai mana pon tak tau, sondol ja la macam lembu. Kalau hang boleh cerita balik riwayat tok nek hang masa tahun 1800 dulu, hang boleh cerita mai pasai hadis...hikayat hang tuah pon tak ketahuan punca, nak cerita bab org cerita atas orag cerita atas org cerita atas kawan cerita atas sahabat cerita pulak.

      p/s: since hang cakap style tu aku pon ikut la cakap style tu noo... jgn mare.

    3. 05:59 mengkritik Anon.23:07.Politicalamaty9 mengkritik siapa?

    4. Politicalamity929 June 2016 at 08:42

      Anon 23:07

    5. Jangan lupa vaksin ada halal lain kali banyak menbaca, jika tak pilih baru ambil vaksin tak halal ADA faham tak 12:39.
      Aku Tanya ini rancangan Agama di TV tak sampai 15% pun nak pun nak bantah oleh golongan islam libral g25 Geng ini.

    6. Nak komen balik pon susah. Tak berapa nak faham apa yang cuba dikata. Ayat tunggang terbalik.

  6. panglimo potaseh28 June 2016 at 00:32

    Tiap hari sebelum bang buka di TV, satu iklan air akan muncul. Saya kenal sangat dengan air ini. Dulu air ni diceritakan sebagai air doa ulamak yang boleh buat budak jadi cerdik dan orang tua jadi terang hati. Sekarang elemen doa tu digantikan dengan nama alkali. Tak silap saya harga sebotol kecil RM4.50. Afdalnya tunggang dua botol sehari. Sebagai perbandingan kos air galian hanya 50sen.

    Tapi baru ni tentu kita ada mendengar betapa prinsipal sebuah sekolah cina membekalkan air jampi alim-ulamak ugama cina secara percuma. Khasiat air jampi cina ni sama macam air jampi islam .. beza nya air jampi cina ini diberi percuma .. mungkin ugama cina ini melarang bahan berkaitan ugama mereka diniagakan, apa lagi dengan untung gila-gila. Malah sekolah cina itu telah dibasuh dengan air tersebut.

    Apakah moral daripada cerita ini. Kalaulah kita benarkan mana-mana ulama ugama cina atau ulama melayu islam menjampi Empangan Semenyih .. supaya kelak sebahagian daripada penduduk Selangor ini jadi cerdik dan terang hati, agaknya ulama mana yang akan mencenceng dulu?

    1. Jampi semua empangan senang cerita.

      Ini pun ramai orang tak boleh fikir dengan baik. Masih lagi nak beli air jampi. Mahal pulak tu. Kalau berfikir dengan baik pasti akan tertanya-tanya "kenapa tak jampi semua punca air? Jampi pokok padi, jampi kilang kismis..kan lagi senang"...haha

  7. Masyarakat Islam yg hanya tahu menyanyi tapi tidak memahami Quran akan sentiasa ditipu oleh pendeta2 agama. Dalam Quran sudah terang dan nyata kata tiada golongan ini dalam Islam. Ignore it at your own peril.

  8. Tahniah...saya antara yang silent majority. Hanya bising (luahkan) kat rakan-rakan terdekat saja.

    Antara lain, (mengambil peluang atas popularity) para ustaz boleh mengajar:-
    1. berdisplin bila memandu
    2. tanamkan sikap suka membaca
    3. Islam mengalakkan kita mempelopori ilmu-ilmu lain
    4. Derma is giving NOT receiving
    5. etc yang tak semestinya Islam tapi akhlak

    Saya juga terganggu dengan iklan menggunakan ayat-ayat quran bagi tujuan iklan derma di radio. Macam terlebih pulak. Yang menerima derma tidak pernah iklankan macamana orang boleh mendapatkan bantuan darinya.

    DERMA seakan menjadi satu perniagaan, satu Industri pulak.

    Terima kasih TS Zam...and TS Johan

  9. Bila masuk Ramadhan, alhamdulillah ramai yang nampak buka Quran. Tapi malangnya banyak yang hanya berdendang bukan membaca. Jarang nampak yg tengok apa makna yang Quran ingin sampaikan. Yang di utamakan hanya tajwid

  10. Apo cerito JJ ni ...

    Dah bersaro ni takdo kojo lain ko nak tulih ...?
    Ado banyak lai yang bolih dipaparkan atau dihobing tapi ngapo mesti agamo kito .
    Macam dah jadi satu trend kumpulan G25 ni ... Islam Bashing lak .

    Older generation pendakwah sekarang dah berani kehadapan sekarang sobab mereka dah pandai guno teknoloji terkini . Bukannyo mereko dulu takut . Dongan kemahiran terkini mereko takperlu bergantung pado oghang lain . Sumo at fingertip dah .
    Mako tanggungjawab bertambah bosar dalam nanganni isu2 semaso dalam kontek agamo .
    Oghang yang ngaku islam tapi tak ponah belajar agamo islam mulolah terkojut bagak bilo dihadapkan dongan tazkirah2 dari pendakwah2 ni .

    Siaran agamo dalam TV kito ni tak sampai 15 % . Ini pun di hobing .

    Jakim dan majlis agamo islam nogori yang diamanahkan untuk jalankan tanggungjawab ...pun dihobing .

    Mufti yang jalankan tanggungjawab pun dihobing .

    Mungkin gang G25 ni dah terlalu taksub dongan idea sekular mereko hinggo dah tak nampak kecermelangan agamo islam di Malaysia ni .

    1. Dongan sistem pentadbiran agamo islan yang ado sekarang mako Malaysia takjadi macam negaro2 islam yang lain yang ponoh kacaubilau , bunuhan , lotupan diri dll.

    2. Arab Saudi iktiraf jamaah haji Malayasia paling disiplin dan hormati undang2 Arab Saudi . Mereka paling sonang mengurus jamaah Malaysia.

    3.Amerika Syarikat dan benuo omputih iktiraf muslim Malaysia sebagai progresif .

    4.Sistem Tabung Haji Malysia menjadi teladan seluruh dunio .

    5.Pembangunan Bank syariah Malaysia menjadi benchmark seluruh dunio .

    Ado banyak lai ... tapi sumo ni adolah disobabkan olih caro negaro kito uruskan pentadbiran agamo .

    With all those good things being acknowledged .. we can never be wrong.

    So Datuk JJ , Datuk Zam , Datuk Asri and all G25 gang ... kalau tak suko siaran agamo ... tukarlah ko siaran lain . Banyak pilihan ...Hollywood , Bollywood , Koreawood , Bolawood , Chefwood .....

    Den minat NetGeo wood jo ...


  11. Nasir Tamara. Gurun Kedah29 June 2016 at 16:41

    Dia ini lari dari topik utama yang menjadi bahan kritik Dr. Asri Zam dan Johan atau level of thinking nya tak tercapai. Agama telah dikomersialismkan,air jampi dijual oleh ustaz ustazah, Islam kulit lebih diutamakan malah azan pun diiklan untuk perniagaan produk kesihatan

  12. Manusia akan komersialkan apa sahaja bukan sahaja ugama bila boleh buat duit.

  13. Johan Jaafar tajam tulisannya. Sayang beliau tak ada blog spt Zam.. Tulisannya hanya di akhbar berbayar sukar diikuti secara konsistan dan sukar dibahaskan. Tak sama spt blog yg lbh fokus.

    1. Salam. Saya ada blog TS. Tapi bukan komentar semasa. Saya muatkan kertaskerja, keynote address, introduction untuk buku, key speeches, write-ups, dsb. Ni linknya. Harap dpt TS masukkan dlm blog TS to promote. Thanks