Of Peace Be Upon You and Rest in Peace

Greetings of any kind be it for initiation of conversation or acknowledging human loss is a moral act, a way of acknowledging presence, showing respect and courtesy. I was therefore not pleased to read ISMA’s latest statement.

Ustaz Mohd Hazizi Ab Rahman lacks any sense of humanity and possibly committed an act of ‘Arbab’ by stating the following in his Facebook account:

“Tidaklah dibenarkan bagi Nabi dan orang-orang yang beriman, meminta ampun bagi orang-orang musyrik, sekalipun orang itu kaum kerabat sendiri, sesudah nyata bagi mereka bahawa orang-orang musyrik itu adalah ahli neraka.

Rest In Peace satu doa yang sama dengan minta keampunan.

Apalagi jika seseorang yang kafir itu berjuang secara terang-terangan menentang sekeras-kerasnya konsep Islam bernegara dan negara beragama (Islam); Islam yang syumul iaitu Islam yang sahih.

Semoga yang ditinggalkan mendapat hidayah sebelum terlambat”

ISMA's Facebook posting

To clarify what I mean by Arbab: in my humble understanding “orang-orang Musyrik” refers to Muslims who are ‘Andad’ (whose love for wordly riches exceeds his/her love for God), ‘Alihah’ (belief in magic item or animal that could protect him/her from any danger i.e. keramat, tangkal etc more than the will of Allah), ‘Thoughut’ (obeying a living mortal’s evil whims and fearing him/her more than Allah which is pretty much why in defiance of Hitler there were Muslims saving Jews during Nazi Germany) and ‘Arbab’ (ulamas/ustazs who makes fatwas and rulings against the essence of Allah’s teachings without careful study and his followers follow it without question making both the ulama & follower a musyrik).

My rebuttal to ISMA is simple.

There is this universal greeting used everywhere “Assalammualaikum dan Salam Sejahtera.” The former means “Peace be Upon You” and the latter means “Greeting of goodwill.” If you think it is wrong to wish people irrespective of faith well, I think you lack a basic facet of humanity.

In multiracial Malaysia it’s near impossible to not be in mixed company of rojak mixture of faiths so one greets people indiscriminately because the point is ‘hey I’m happy to see you’. When people honour your with the privilege of their hospitality and good faith, it’s your responsibility as a moral person is to return it in kind:

“Dan apabila kamu dihormati dengan suatu penghormatan, maka balaslah penghormatan itu dengan yang lebih baik, atau balaslah (dengan yang serupa). Sesungguhnya Allah memperhitungkan segala sesuatu.” (QS. An Nisaa’ : 86).”

This also applies if some random person not of your faith smiles at you kindly with open arms and say “Assalammualaikum”. I would reply “Waalaikumussalam”. It puzzles me why even this simple act of goodwill requires explaining.

Back to “Rest in Peace”. During time of loss in deep mourning, a time of grief, you would wish the family of a good person who has done good deeds comfort. It’s the right thing to do. We all universally grieve when our loved ones dies.

In YB Karpal Singh’s case, to many of us who are inspired by his life, his deeds, his passion, how could we not wish him well in the afterlife (Sikhs generally believe that only the righteous return to God, while the rest undergo a circle of birth and death). How we grieve and pray is up to the individual. Do I need to spell it out for you? Pray in accordance with your personal beliefs.

When my friend or their family members of different faiths died, I have always prayed privately in my own way as a Muslim by reciting Al-Fatihah and the usual prayers. I’m sure variations of the same by other faiths is done without said across Malaysia when someone in the neighbourhood or family dies. Saying Rest in Peace is simply a polite way of communicating the same thing. We’re sad of (deceased)’s passing. We mourn with you and keep him/her close in our hearts and in our prayers. I simply cannot understand Ustaz Mohd Hazizi’s absolute lack of human empathy.

If you come with ill intent, that is what you will gain from your deeds. If you come with good intentions, I have faith that Allah will love and safeguard us all.

And yes, I am a Muslim. Please stop asking; it’s annoying.

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This young lawyer harbours hope that one day Malaysians irrespective of ethnicity and religion have equal rights under the law, as we all are before the eyes of God. She is moving with UndiMsia! (http://UndiMsia.com) and will always be an Anak Bangsa Malaysia. (http://SayaAnakBangsaMalaysia.net)

Posted on 23 April 2014. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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4 Responses to Of Peace Be Upon You and Rest in Peace

  1. Pepper Lim

    Nice!

    • edward

      Thank you for the reflection . the kind and generous words are signed of grateful person and quality of God (allah ) be your a Christian , Jew and Muslim. For the christian peace is a gift from God and signify a legious person.

  2. Kalimuthu Pandiyan

    Another Muslim giving a "religious opinion"5. Nobody cares about what Muslims or Allah or Muhammad thinks la.

    If Islam is the one true greatest religion, then all 6 billion people in this world would be Muslims and there would be world peace.

    Frankly, this is pathetic and undeserving of any attention.

  3. Lina rahmab

    I just think that your point and the ustaz point are just not related to rest in peace greeting. Because, sure we are encourage to reply a greeting with something good or better, and that was the practise of beloved prophet.
    And rest in peace is way to seek forgiveness for other people? No.
    Some fatwa with their own background might not suit the situation that we understand. So its best to seek understanding and clarificatio from the responsible party.
    If only we seek and communicate out differences of ilm and understanding with a better adab, we would be a bteer nation who does not continiously bash on one and another.