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[Slideshaare] a muslim’s reflection on identity’

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A MUSLIM’S REFLECTION ON ‘IDENTITY’
UNDERSTANDING OF THE DEEN (AL-ISLAM)
Intermediate Islamic (FIQH) course in English
Conducted by Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail

Published in: Education
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[Slideshaare] a muslim’s reflection on identity’

  1. 1. Extracted from module: UNDERSTANDING OF THE DEEN (AL-ISLAM) Intermediate Islamic (FIQH) course in English Conducted by Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015)) IN THE NAME OF ALLAH,IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, MOST COMPASSIONATE,MOST COMPASSIONATE, MOST MERCIFUL.MOST MERCIFUL.
  2. 2. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015)) Among the most glaring weakness of Muslims being exposed to contemporary “secular-materialist-liberal” post-modernist era is the confusion in knowledge and loss of ADAB. And the topic of ADAB is rarely emphasized today in Muslims’ education, whereas the Western, secular, atheistic, materialistic, profit- driven motivational model are seen as the norm, etc. the impact upon human loosing their primordial identity (what as Muslims we understand as FITwRAH) is indeed critically grave. Even if Muslims recognize this, their vague understanding of what ADAB means and entail, need to be corrected.
  3. 3. “ …. it is very much related to the Islamic concept of Education - for ADAB is recognition and acknowledgement of the Reality, and knowing of one’s place in the order of things; capable of putting the right thing in their rightful place, in their rightful manner; rendering just due to whomsoever has the right, and in our acquisition of rightful things to be in accordance with the right proportion and under the right circumstance …. It is very closely related to the Islamic concept of al-’Adl (the justice)*, the upholding of which leads to TAQWA (the consciousness of Allah)” * Including al-QISTw –higher form of justice (tampered with IHSAN) Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail – course on “Islamic Concept of Adab”Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail – course on “Islamic Concept of Adab” All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015)) FROM PREVIOUS LESSON
  4. 4. “ …. it is very much related to the Islamic concept of Education - for ADAB is recognition and acknowledgement of the Reality, and knowing of one’s place in the order of things; capable of putting the right thing in their rightful place, in their rightful manner; rendering just due to whomsoever has the right, and in our acquisition of rightful things to be in accordance with the right proportion and under the right circumstance …. It is very closely related to the Islamic concept of al-’Adl (the justice)*, the upholding of which leads to TAQWA (the consciousness of Allah)” * Including al-QISTw –higher form of justice (tampered with IHSAN) Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail – course on “Islamic Concept of Adab”Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail – course on “Islamic Concept of Adab” recognition and acknowledgement of the Reality All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015)) FROM PREVIOUS LESSON
  5. 5. “ …. it is very much related to the Islamic concept of Education - for ADAB is recognition and acknowledgement of the Reality, and knowing of one’s place in the order of things; capable of putting the right thing in their rightful place, in their rightful manner; rendering just due to whomsoever has the right, and in our acquisition of rightful things to be in accordance with the right proportion and under the right circumstance …. It is very closely related to the Islamic concept of al-’Adl (the justice)*, the upholding of which leads to TAQWA (the consciousness of Allah)” * Including al-QISTw –higher form of justice (tampered with IHSAN) Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail – course on “Islamic Concept of Adab”Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail – course on “Islamic Concept of Adab” and knowing of one’s place in the order of things All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015)) FROM PREVIOUS LESSON
  6. 6.  SO, WHO ARE WE REALLY ?  CAN WE HAVE MULTIPLE IDENTITY ?  WHAT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING OF ‘IDENTITY’ : BETWEEN : LIKE THAT OF: [a] ….. A CHAMELEON; OR [b] ….. THE BULB OF AN ONION; OR [c] ….. A HUMAN WEARING COSTUMES OPEN CLASS DISCUSSION All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015)) FROM PREVIOUS LESSON
  7. 7. FURTHER ELUCIDATION OF THEFURTHER ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘‘LIKENESS’LIKENESS’ – (Parable)– (Parable) IN UNDERSTANDING OF IDENTITYIN UNDERSTANDING OF IDENTITY All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  8. 8. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : Wikipedia – “In psychology and sociology, identity is a person's conception and  expression of their own (self-identity) and others' individuality or group  affiliations (such as national identity and cultural identity).”   So by “identity”, it is relative to a person’s (1) conception – of himself; and (2) how he wish to express or be known. Yet, his conception of himself may not be the reality, or merely a superficial cognition, or may even be delusion, concocted by self or peers. IDENTITY All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  9. 9. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : Thus the effect in the expression of himself (self-identity) to others, would be relative to those whomever he is addressing to – or witnessing to - as well as it depends upon his own cognizant of his own self (whether it be with the real knowledge or otherwise, or perhaps what he may imagine or regard to be representing himself). As such, a person in life indeed may have to and project a multifarious identity depending upon his roles, functions, common background shared etc. , although he is but one person (NAFS – spiritual cognitive Self). IDENTITY All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  10. 10. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : IDENTITY Yet, most of these identities are the inevitable outcome of living and interacting as we grow – as expected by social convention sometimes imposed upon us which we conform for the sake of maintaining semblance of harmony, or for social acceptance, albeit artificially or even begrudgingly – (like the clothe we wearlike the clothe we wear). Some identity becomes ‘absorbed’ as part of who we are automatically, like a reflex. This identity can be formed if adopted over a period of time without any inner-resistance – whether by customs or social programming or because of genuine belief, acceptance and nurturing – (like the chameleon). All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  11. 11. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : IDENTITY All these may explain the dynamics of how multifarious ‘identities’ are formed in a person. From externally imposed norm, gradually becoming or growing onto a persons’ ‘identity’ – some artificially worn, while some other may become manifested as part of a person’s disposition (reflex). Yet, are these ‘identities’ that which reflect the person’s true self ? The Islamic perspective of education of man begins by addressing the ontological – when a Muslim’s identity has to be grounded upon the Faith (IIMAN) in the Reality (HAQIQAH) of TAUHEED (Attestation to the Absolute Oneness of Allah) – (like the layers in a bulb of the onion). All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  12. 12. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : IDENTITY Islam invites man to first acknowledge the Reality in its TAUHEEDIC  message, from whence a Muslim strive to develop a persona or identity, requiring manifesting its TRUTH as the (SHAHEEDAN) Witness to this Reality. The essence of TAUHEED also demands him to be Sincere (IKHLASW), Truthful (SIDQ), Trustworthy (AMANAH) etc. thereby requiring him, regarding his true self, to always reflect truth, to inculcate and exude noble disposition (AKHLAQ) as part of his nature, steadfastly consistent in his belief, practice and character - outwardly (ZAAHIR) and inwardly (BATHIN). All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  13. 13. “THE BULB OF AN ONION” Just like the bulb of onion, we should begin from the core essence of who we really are, capable of growth as we begin to assume our roles and functions in life – our identities liken as layers in onion, as we develop. Nurturing of the bulb can be seen in that it develops layers upon layers of itself nourished by sunlight and water while submitting to the motherly embrace of the earth, as it respond to nature . Perhaps we may learn that for us human too, our life development is dependent upon Allah’s SWT grace and will , to be continuously sustained with our responding to the ‘life-giving’ teaching of AD-DEEN-UL-ISLAM . ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : # [a] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  14. 14. “THE BULB OF AN ONION” ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : ““O you who have believed, O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when respond to Allah and to the Messenger when  he calls you to that which gives you lifehe calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes . And know that Allah intervenes  between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered.”between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered.” ((Qur’an: Anfaal:8: 24Qur’an: Anfaal:8: 24)) # [a] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  15. 15. “THE BULB OF AN ONION” ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : # [a] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  16. 16. “THE BULB OF AN ONION” ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : ““So direct your face toward the religion (So direct your face toward the religion (DEENDEEN),), inclining to truth (inclining to truth (HENEEFANHENEEFAN). [Adhere to] the). [Adhere to] the FIFITwTwRAHRAH of Allah upon which He has createdof Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the[all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, butcreation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.”most of the people do not know.” ((Qur’an: Rum: 30: 30Qur’an: Rum: 30: 30)) # [a] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  17. 17. “THE BULB OF AN ONION” Islam as AD-DEEN, guides a Muslim in every aspect of life, and consistent with its concern of man’s well-being in the Hereafter. And nurturing us with ADAB, is what our education should be from the Islamic -TAUHEEDIC paradigm – a single comprehensive development, not a Secularist-Dualistic system which dichotomize the worldly from the Hereafter, the material from the spiritual, the outward from the inward etc. Islam seeks to endow Muslim with beneficial knowledge, skills and disposition (nature) in his ‘person’ – being genuine inwardly and outwardly. His character and identity is indeed also his true self – not a mask. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : # [a] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  18. 18. “THE BULB OF AN ONION” Just like the onion growing layers in the earth, developing an outer layer (skin) which filters and absorbed whatever nutrients thereby increasing its size inwardly, Islamic teaching adequately prepares a Muslim to interact in whatever environment – with ADAB. We are to interact and perhaps we may be tainted from the dirt outwardly as in the skin of the onion yet, inwardly we remain true to how ‘onion bulb’ (FITWRAH ) should be. The outer skin of the onion must be alive and be functioning well to keep out dirt from affecting the inner core. The skin of dead or ‘dysfunctional’ onion bulb can cause disease and rotting to permeate the inner layers. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : # [a] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  19. 19. “THE BULB OF AN ONION” For Muslims, the concept of striving with TAQWA leads to discernment called FURQAN, which guides him to filter the bad and evil. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : # [a] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  20. 20. “THE BULB OF AN ONION” For Muslims, the concept of striving with TAQWA leads to discernment called FURQAN, which guides him to filter the bad and evil. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : ““O you who have attained to faith! If you remain conscious ofO you who have attained to faith! If you remain conscious of (and fear transgressing against) Allah -(and fear transgressing against) Allah -TAQWATAQWA. He will endow. He will endow you with a standard (criterion) by which to discern the true fromyou with a standard (criterion) by which to discern the true from the false (the false (FURQANFURQAN), and will efface your bad deeds, and will), and will efface your bad deeds, and will forgive you your sins: for Allah is limitless in His great bounty.”forgive you your sins: for Allah is limitless in His great bounty.” ((Qur’an: Anfaal: 8: 29Qur’an: Anfaal: 8: 29)) # [a] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  21. 21. “THE BULB OF AN ONION” Just like the onion, our outer (superficial) identity or identities which we may have to assume, may not always define who we truly and essentially are. Also, for an onion, where peeling each layers especially to remove layers of dead or infected outer skins may be required, to ultimately reveal the true core of an onion, so too is with man’s identity. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : # [a] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  22. 22. “A CHAMELEON” A chameleon has a natural ability to change its appearance by blending into its surrounding, as a survival mechanism. In life, humans too would be required to adapt and conform to some positive outward identity, similar with others as a social convention. Yet, which suitable identities to be manifested may have to be learnt and practiced overtime, with experience until it becomes ‘second nature’ like that of a chameleon. Thus, customs, trends or convention are regimented social engineering, whence ‘identities’ are usually being forged. It is indeed scary when such programs are unquestioningly accepted and promoted. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : # [b] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  23. 23. “A CHAMELEON” Unfortunately, most country’s aim and objective policy on national education usually would be towards producing ‘good citizens’. Yet, what is meant by ‘good’ is subjective to what its leaders and those with power may dictate or manipulate to be accepted. When religion and ethics are ignored, when inherent values in human are being suppressed or subverted until what is natural in us human can be changed, then being a ‘good citizen’ may not be the same as producing a ‘good human being’. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : # [b] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  24. 24. “A HUMAN WEARING COSTUMES” Therefore it would be better that all externally imposed identity or identities to be adopted be first liken like the ‘dress or costume’ - i.e. still detached from our natural self, worn only for its positive benefits. Any clothes or costumes are primarily worn to : [1] Firstly conceal what one is ashamed to reveal – ‘AURAH. Any identity must respect one’s privacy and the right to preserving one’s honour and religious principles one holds. Any identity which runs counter to this, only seek to deny and demean oneself and must be rejected or opposed. Like costumes, if unsuitable it should be easily taken off and discarded. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : # [c] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  25. 25. “A HUMAN WEARING COSTUMES” [2] Secondly, it should be fitting and gives us comfort or protection from negative elements. One must be aware of any discomfort, and therefore if forced by circumstance to wear such identity, it must be only as the exigency (DHARURIYYAH) permits (i.e. temporary). [3] Thirdly it should grants us dignity – being clean, exuding beauty and elegance and not blameworthy. Any identity which symbolizes evil, ungodliness, immorality, enmity etc. is to be shunned whereas identity which promotes universal value of goodness, justice and well-being for all, etc. is encouraged by Islam for Muslims to be affiliated to. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : # [c] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  26. 26. “A HUMAN WEARING COSTUMES” Although for the purpose of sharing sense of belonging, there may be clothes worn like ‘uniform’ to forge a common identity, yet if this factor is rigidly defined – outwardly monolithic, then it is an ‘artificial identity’ and may even lead to suppression of personal rights of members and stifling their expression of their inherent differences, creativity and uniqueness. To feel discomfort under such circumstance is justifiable and natural. The collective identity we ought to seek is ‘Unity in diversity’ rather than a ‘pretension of unity’ for the sake of propaganda or promoting membership like being in some cult-like movement’. ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : # [c] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  27. 27. “A HUMAN WEARING COSTUMES” ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : # [c] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015))
  28. 28. “A HUMAN WEARING COSTUMES” ELUCIDATION OF THE ‘LIKENESS’ – (Parable) : ““O mankind, indeed We have created youO mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoplesfrom male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight ofIndeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous (Allah is the most righteous (TAQWATAQWA) of you.) of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” ((Qur’an: Hujurat: 49: 13Qur’an: Hujurat: 49: 13)) # [c] All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2015)) WALLAAHU-A’-LAM And Allah Knows All

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