新年没有新希望 — Be Close to God (回教)

本篇访谈主角为回教领袖 Syed Hassan bin Mohamed Alattas. He is the imam and head of Ba’alwie Mosque and a member of the Inter-Religious Organisation. His great-grandfather was a famous scholar in Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca and his father-in-law was the grand mufti in Terengganu. He has spent most of his life studying Islam under various religious scholars and has been an imam for 31 years.

待过新加坡,就知道新加坡的回教徒很不同,虽然我们紧紧相邻的两个大国 — 马来西亚和印尼 — 都是回教徒占绝对多数。大体来说,新加坡的回教徒比较有着宽容与开放的态度,因此不像那些宗教冲突频生的地区,对于其他种族或宗教有着那么极端的想法与敌意。

我以为新加坡政府的努力很值得肯定。建国初期的种族暴动,让李光耀领导的政府下决心,不再允许这样分裂人民情感与国家认同的事件重演,毕竟新加坡是如此的蕞尔小岛,经不起的。所以,每当我看到台湾新闻中,那些为了政治利益而刻意挑起族群仇恨的民进党人,都让我深痛恶绝。有人说,哎呀,不可以这样比的,我们完全是不同的。我可不懂这个狗屁不通的歪理!新加坡的多元种族是毫无血缘关系的,而台湾还都是中国人呢 (好,就算你要刻意分别,说自己只是华人,不是中国人好了,那还不一样都是华人?!),却内斗成这样?

那天看新闻,审理陈水阿扁弊案的检察官 (还是法官?忘了。。。),因为压力过大,又面对民进党的抹黑攻击,一度精神崩溃。开庭时,庭外两派民众对峙,挺吴淑珍的民众骂挺检察官的是 “中国猪”。。。这完全就是那些恐怖分子行事的翻版;就算法官定罪之前,任何人都是清白的,这又跟国籍、族群有什么关系啊?陈水阿扁够神奇了,贪腐成这个德性,还有人挺;可是那些支持者更神奇,眼睛看的、头脑理解的,完全跟常人不同,就像莎莉猫说的,好像那种被邪教洗了脑的群众。

我喜欢张开基为施寄青老师 “看神听鬼” 所写的推荐序:

。。。任何一个宗教的创始者,原本都是伟大的思想家,都有精辟的见解和立论,后来弟子人数众多,形成团体,就会需要制度和仪轨来管理,所以逐渐形成了宗教。但是,连释迦牟尼佛在内,生前都是反对形式化的宗教的。原本是为了追寻真理,结果到了后世,反而舍本逐末地着重在制度和仪轨以及如何祭拜,甚至筹建象征信仰的庙宇建筑上。于是,任何思想变成制式化的宗教后,就远离了真理。所以,在形式化的宗教中,是找不到真理的。宇宙和生命的真理是独一无二的,所有宗教的创始者原本都是在追寻那个真理,但是,后世的弟子形成制式化的宗教后,就产生了见解的分歧,也才会搞成今天一团纷乱,所有的宗教圣地不是一穷二白,民不聊生,就是烽火连天,血流成河,真是天大的讽刺。人类投注在所有形式化宗教上的财力、物力、人力、精力实在是太多太多,所得到的报酬确实太少太少了。

一针见血。

教父的儿子在几年前娶了一位马来西亚的回教马来女孩,结果必须皈依回教 (原本是天主教徒)。一个主题为异国联姻的日本电视节目上,介绍了一位嫁给马来回教徒的日本女性,同样必须放弃自己原有的信仰,而且严格遵守一些规矩 (我不了解回教,所以不敢说是 “教规”),包括所有衣物,不论大小,都必须太太手洗,绝对不能用洗衣机 (先生为什么不能帮忙?)。很有趣,我不知道为什么不能自由选择宗教信仰,所以我问了课堂上常跟我分在同组的印度同学拉曼,嫁娶回教徒,就得放弃原有信仰是吗?拉曼跟我一样是异乡人,我们满合得来的,他常常得忍受我一些很蠢的问题。他摇摇头,不一定啊,看双方家庭啰。他自己的家庭就是比较开放态度的,不会这么要求,只不过刚好娶到的老婆也是回教徒。

我还问过拉曼关与回教徒姓名的事儿,可是我头脑太简单了,他解释完毕,我也忘光光了  大约两三年前,我很难得遇到一个很棒的计程车司机,开车四平八稳,保持安全距离 — 我常常觉得新加坡人不会开车,或者说开车的礼节很差,都只顾自己方便,每辆车都贴着前面车的屁股走,看得人心惊胆战 — 我忍不住告诉他,您真是我遇过最好的司机先生!他戴着去麦加朝圣后才能戴的帽子 (叫什么来着?),我也是问了不少蠢问题,他很有耐心一一为这个笨瓜解惑。前阵子有天到莎莉猫家骚扰,待到很晚才搭计程车回家,那个印度司机 (本地人) 很可爱,哇啦哇啦一直讲;我看到他的名牌是回教徒名字,所以就请教他,他非常热心呢,把他的家人都请出来当范例解释了。。。然后我还是一知半解  他知道我是台湾来的以后,兴奋地说,那你会说福建话啰?!我糗糗地回应,不大会,听的比较多。他马上叽里呱啦说起了福建话,古早以前 hor,bla bla bla。。。原来他小时候的玩伴有不少是华人回教徒,福建话就跟他们学的;很了不起耶,比我流利多了。

怎么又扯得这么远了? 过了个新年,坏习惯还是没改过。

***********************************************

TO A Muslim, peace means to know God. A person will not have peace unless he knows and has a good relationship with the Creator. To be close to Him, you have to be as close as possible to all His creations, including all other humans. regardless of race or creed or belief.

You have to be good and do good to all others, regardless of their belief.

The Prophet has this story of a prostitute who had done many bad things in life. One day, she came across a dog panting with thirst.

She took off her scarf and then used it to lower one of her shoes into a well to scoop water for the dog.

God forgave all her sins and sent her to Heaven.

Conversely, a "lady" was sent to Hell because she locked up a cat, did not give it food and starved it to death.

The person who is closest to God is pious, sincere, compassionate and accepting of whatever happens. He always tries his best. If good happens after he does something, he thanks God. If not, he accepts it as God’s will.

I find peace in knowing Him and helping others get to know Him.

When you are able to understand God, you will understand your purpose in this world. You will also find joy.

I despair when people can’t seem to accept or appreciate others who do not share the same opinions. We may not agree but we have to learn to respect — it is very important. We don’t have to hate them or look down on others because they think differently.

In a family, different siblings will like different colours or different food. Just because one likes red, it doesn’t mean his siblings cannot wear blue or green.

Once we learn to respect each other, we will find peace.

This is very important, especially in a cosmopolitan society like Singapore. We have many different races living together, we cannot afford to have dicord and disharmony.

In that regard, I am very happy that the different religious leaders in Singapore are united. This is so rare.

Admittedly, we have our differences. But we can sit down and discuss things. More importantly, we respect each other.

When people do not respect one another, conflicts will happen, much like what is happening in the world today.

What’s happening is not new; we’ve had similar problems in the past.

Unfortunately, since Sept. 11, 2001, Islam has been the focus because a lot of happenings are being associated with Islam, especially terrorism.

It is very sad to know that some of those involved use Islam for their own ends.

To every Muslim, young or old, the Quran is the Word of God. For 1,400 years, not one word has changed, not one comma removed.

Every Muslim will be silent when someone reads the Quran because they are listening to the Word of God.

However, the Quran is written in Arabic and even though all Muslims can read or recite verses from the Quran, the majority do not speak Arabic or understand it. One also needs to understand Arabic history to truly understand the teachings inside.

Unfortunately, some people have used it to further their interests, political and otherwise. Knowing that whatever they are going to say is not going to straight to the heart unless they quote from the Holy Book, they use Quranic verses out of context.

This saddens me because the meaning of the word Islam is derived from the Arabic word "aslama", which is from the same root as "salam", the word for peace. How can a religion of peace be like this?

Muslims greet each other with "Assamualaikum", which means "May peace be with you". They also add:"May God be with you".

Not only do you wish someone peace, you also have to pray for him or her. You do this to people, whether they like you or not.

A lot of people harp on the concept of jihad or holy wars, but they must understand that Arabia was a warring society in the days of the Prophet.

However, many of these wars ended peacefully, without any bloodshed.

My wish for 2007 is peace. I also wish leaders all over the world will do their part to bring people closer together.

~ By Wong Kim Hoh, The Straits Times, 23-12-2006

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