Malaysians must do the right thing by ignoring those who only speak of bigotry and hypocrisy, says Syerleena Abdul Rashid.
God created humans weak, but we are designed to fend off all sorts of temptation by exercising logic and wisdom. God didn’t create us to be invincible warring machines; we are created emotionally fragile with the need to seek approval and acceptance from our peers, especially from our loved ones.
God created human being with a range of emotions – love, compassion and sadness. Such emotions can also be described as instincts which allow us to identify legitimacy, fact and danger. God created us that way so we could feel these emotions and embody what makes us human beings. We know what we like and what we do not like; we know when situations are safe and can sniff out danger by listening to our instincts.
Every single emotion benefits us in one way or another, but equally presented are the dangers human beings face when we are unable to deal with intense emotions correctly. Human beings, irrespective of religion, understand that this range of emotions also comes with a barrage of negative qualities such as hate and anger – two very dangerous emotions that can often lead to violence and misery.
Recently, a controversial political figure brazenly urged Muslims in this country to unite and embrace anger by stating, “Anger is part of humans. If there is no anger it is not human; that’s why we are angry on things that Allah allows, things that Allah doesn’t allow we are not angry.”
For most of us, such a statement is nothing more but an open endorsement of bigotry and intolerance; a marvellous recipe for fanaticism and religious radicalism.
It is quite obvious that although the summoning of anger within the Muslim Malaysian community was done for political reasons best known to him and those within his inner circle, Malaysians must be made aware that this expression of anger is immoral, sinful and can lead to the breakdown of our social fabric. This is something that Malaysians must vow to ensure will never see the light of day in this country.
A fulfilling relationship with God and fellow human beings cannot be attained by mere practice; it must be fully embodied spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Faith and spiritually are two components needed to deal with the evils that exist in our society and enable us to live a life that is in accordance with harmonious relations endorsed by the Almighty.
A hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari (Book 73, #135) reminds Muslims: “The strong person is not the good wrestler. Rather, the strong person is the one who controls himself when he is angry.”
In other words, Muslims are reminded to remain calm and not give in to such negative emotions that can do more harm than good. Dealing with those whose opinions differ from you must never be done with negative emotions because we usually find it difficult to think rationally and logically during fits of anger. Violence and persecution are now openly encouraged in our country.
Those in power often drill into our heads the idea that we are different therefore, shall remain different. They do this because they fail to understand the unique dimensions of human relations and have a very shallow understanding of the philosophies of religion.
Even if Malaysians should feel anger and resentment, it should never be because of religion, but rather because of the gross mismanagement of our country, the rampant corruption that has seemingly seeped into every level within our society and the widening gap that divides the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’.
Malaysians must do the right thing by ignoring those who only speak of bigotry and hypocrisy. We must choose to overcome anger by accepting our natural flaws and limitations. We must emphasise the importance of discourse and understand that in practising our religion, we should never impinge on those who believe in a different God.