Dr Asri–Islam in Malaysia : Perceptions and Facts

islam_in_msia_coverWhile still in 30s, Dr. Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, former Mufti of Perlis, earned a reputation as a popular, and sometimes controversial, public intellectual on the subject of Islam.

The book is translated to English from 47 selected articles published in local newspaper. The original title “Mengemudi Bahtera Perubahan Minda” can easily translated as “Leading the change of minds”.

There are two recurring themes in the doctor’s articles: Islam is easy and that envy should be eschewed. Islam is not a rigid belief system that forces its followers to toe a narrow line. A line must be toed, yes, but it is not narrow. Just follow the Quran and the Sunnah (the example of the Prophet) and you’re good to go. The opinions of the four major schools of thoughts in Islam can be followed but not at the expense of the Quran and Sunnah.

Dr. Asri laments that the reverse is true in Malaysia. The Quran and Sunnah is frequently ignored or their teachings skewered to fit the individual’s preferences or that only one school of thought (in Malaysia, usually the Shafi’i school) is adhered to while the other schools are deemed incorrect or inferior. The result is that the Malay-Muslim community is fractured with everybody insisting that his way of practicing Islam is correct and that the other guy is an apostate. It is not surprising then that non-Malays are indifferent towards Islam. A religion that, in their eyes, promotes discord is unworthy of attention.  (Review from themalaysianreader.com)

Among the subjects in this book:

  1. Rebuilding Islamic Civilization
  2. Apostasy : Emotion and reality
  3. When they sell our religion
  4. Preaching to the unconverted
  5. Women’s right : Allah’s Will and Our Failure
  6. Islam and Terrorism
  7. Revival in Politics

I recommend this book to Muslim or non-Muslim that have a similar political geography as Malaysia- Multi cultural, ethics, religions, race, etc. The intellectual will love this kind of book, full with critic, well research, solution.

You can buy here : amazon.com

You can download 3 free chapter in pdf here : www.mataharibooks.com

Fathi Yakan : To Be Muslim

The original book named “Madha Ya’ ni Intima’i Lil-Islam” or “What the meaning of profess in Islam”. In English translation it more popular with title : To Be Muslim by  Dr. Fathi Yakan (d. 2009), a politician of Lebanon. The book have been recognized world wide and being translated to various language. The translation that I read is being printed 17th times. This book is one of Islamic great book for Muslim to understand how live in modern world.

This book have been separate into 2 main part.

Part One: The Muslim

This part emphasize a need to be a Muslim in all categories as being listed below. Today, many Muslim become a Muslim because his family are Muslim or it being written in his identification card. Many do not understand, that we need to be Muslim in all aspect.

  1. The Creed (Aqidah)
  2. Worship
  3. Morals
  4. Family Life
  5. Self-Control
  6. Preparing for the Future

Part Two: The Movement

The second part of this book discusses the responsibility to become an activist for Islam and participate in the Islamic Movement. It explains the nature of this movement and its goals, philosophy, strategy, and tactics, as well as the desirable characteristics of it members.

  1. Living for Islam
  2. The Compulsory Nature of Islamic Activism
  3. The Islamic Movement: Its Task, Characteristics, and Tools
  4. Distinguishing the Movement from Specialized Organizations
  5. The Nature of Commitment
  6. Strategic Planning
  7. The Requirements of Bai’ah and Brotherhood

The style and his writing is very easy to understand and it focus to Islamic politician, a student, and Muslim. It was a great book to understand of view point of Islamic politic.

To get free download : To Be Muslim (Islambasics.com)

Umar Abdul Aziz


Caliph Umar Abdul Aziz (682 – February, 720) is one of Islamic ruler biography that I love to read. I have a few book of his biography. I still not bored by reading his biography. His life make me want to be like him and his ruling has been follow by ruler after him. One of great Muslim’s ruler.


Shah Waliullah, a 18th century Sunni Islamic scholar stated :

A Mujadid appears at the end of every century: The Mujadid of the 1st century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah, Umar bin Abdul Aziz. The Mujadid of the 2nd century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah Muhammad Idrees Shaafi the Mujadid of the 3rd century was Imam of Ahlul Sunnah Abu Hasan Ashari the Mujadid of the 4th century was Abu Abdullah Hakim Nishapuri.

His  quote:

Verily, the rulers (who came before me) sent out spies to watch over the common masses of citizens. But I will make you a spy over me: If you hear a word from me that arouses your doubt, or if you see me doing something that you do not like, then admonish me and point out my mistake to me. -Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz

Become a scholar if you are able. If you are not able, then be a student. If you can not, then show love for them. If you are unable to do that, then (at least) do not hate them. -Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz

Al-Taqwa does not mean spending the night in prayers and observing fast in the day, but it does mean: to perform Divine obligations and to avoid prohibitions; and if one acts upon additional good deeds, this will be light upon light. -Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz [Jame’al ‘uloom wal hikam]

There are five things which if a judge missed any of them, it will be a blemish on him: A judge should be discerning, deliberate, chaste, resolute, knowledgeable and inquisitive. -Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz

Some of story of his life:

Caliph Umar Bin Abdul Aziz, the celebrated Umayyad Caliph whose empire stretched from the shores of the Atlantic to the highlands of Pamir, was sitting in his private chamber examining a pile of State documents. The dim light of the room was adding to the serenity and somberness of the place and the Caliph could scarcely feel the arrival of his wife, Fatima, till she addressed him, “Sire! Will you spare a few moments for me? I want to discuss a private matter with you.” “Of course”, replied the pious Caliph, raising his head from the papers, “But, please put off this State lamp and light your own, as I do not want to burn the State oil for private talk.”

His last sermon,

The last sermon that ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz (rah) delivered was as follows:

He praised Allâh and said, “You were not created in vain, nor will you be left without purpose. Verily, you have an appointed time in which Allâh – the Most High – will come down to judge you. Wretched and ruined will he be who leaves the mercy of Allâh and is denied a Garden whose width is that of the heavens and Earth. Know you not that no one will be safe tomorrow save one who is wary of today and fears it; and sells the transitory for what will remain, and the little for the plenty, and fear in exchange for security [in the hereafter]? See you not that you are in the loins of the dead, to be taken by those who remain after you, until all matters return to the Best of Inheritors? Every day, [in the funerals] you accompany those returning to Allâh the Mighty and Sublime, having spent their time, until you hide them in a crevice in the ground, in the belly of a bare and unfurnished hole, having parted from their loved ones, stroking the dirt and facing their accounts. Now, they are dependent on their deeds, free of what they left behind, in need of [the deeds] they put before them. So fear Allâh before the time He appointed is up and death descends upon you. This is what I have to say.” He then lifted the edge of his garment over his face and wept profusely, and made everyone around him weep.

(Abû Bakr Al-Daynûrî, Al-Mujâlasah wa Jawâhir Al-‘Ilm Vol. 3 p343.)

Memoir after death:

When ‘Umar ibn Abd al Aziz died, the learned men came to his wife to express sympathy and say how great a calamity had struck the people of Islam by his death. And they said to her, ‘Tell us about him – for the one who knows best about a man is his wife’.

And she said: “Indeed he never used to pray or fast more than the rest of you, but I never saw a servant of God who feared Him more than ‘Umar. He devoted his body and his soul to the people. All day he would sit tending to their affairs, and when night came he would sit up while business remained. One evening when he had finished everything, he called for his lamp – from which he used to buy the oil from his own money – and prayed two prostrations. Then he sat back on his folded legs, with his chin in his hands, and the tears ran down from his cheeks, and this didn’t stop until dawn, when he rose for a day of fasting.

I said to him, ‘Commander of the Believers, was there some matter that troubled you this night?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I saw how I was occupied while governing the affairs of the community, all its black sheep and its white sheep, and I remembered the stranger, beggared and straying, and the poor and the needy, and the prisoners in captivity, and all like them in the far places of the earth, and I realised that God most high would ask me about all of them, and Muhammad would testify about them, and I feared that I should find no excuse when I was with God, and no defence with Muhammad.’

And even when ‘Umar was with me in bed, where a man usually find some pleasure with his wife, if he remembered some affair of God’s (people), he would be upset as a bird that had fallen into the water. Then his weeping would rise until I would throw off the blankets in kindness to him. ‘By God’ he would say, ‘How I wish that there was between me and this office the distance of the East from the West!’

“…When the calip died the Roman emperor is reported to have said:

“I should not be the least surprised if a monk renounces the world and busies himself in worship behind closed doors, but I am simply amazed at this man who has a vast empire at his feet but he rejected it and lived the life of a monk….”

It hard for me to find English version, but I finally found one book here:

Buy Here : http://kitaabun.com/shopping3/product_info.php?products_id=905

Amazon.com : http://www.amazon.com/Omar-bin-al-Aziz-Ascetic-Caliph/dp/2745133330/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1318820368&sr=8-2

Ahmad Deedat : The Choice (Dialogue Islam & Christian)


The Choice – Dialogue Islam & Christian written by  Sheikh Ahmad Hussein Deedat. He is more well known by name, Ahmad Deedat. Even he is not a scholar, but his knowledge in Bible and Quran made him famous in theology and comparative of religion. One of his famous action is open debate tour in Europe, Australia and North America with well known Christian Priest/Preacher in their continent. Deedat died on August 2006, at age 85.

This is one of fascinating book that I have read recently. The discussion of Bible & Quran regarding theology aspect & God. This book has being separate to two book, Volume 1 & 2.


The first volume itself have 4 major chapter. First chapter discussed about “ Muhammad in the Bible”. The discussion are majorly discuss about Jesus as Messiah, Life of Jesus, Law of God, race of Israel,  Old Testament and New Testament.

The topic also cover regarding natural successor to Jesus. Topic are been debate regarding Last Messiah, God words, Muhammad is “Paraclete”, and prophecy, prophecy that been fulfill.

History of Muhammad, his religion and the choice of man also being discussed. He also describe regarding relation between knowledge, Quran, Miracle of Quran and God.

In 2nd volume, discuss about People of The Book, Incest, revelation and Pornography. ‘Is it Bible is Word of God’, the error in Bible, Plagiarism in New Testament, and Crucifixion in Christianity is also being discussed.

For me this book is very worth to read by Jewish, Christian or Muslim to understand Christian religion in perspective of Muslim preacher. The topic is being separate in good syllabus and all reference of verse (Quran and Bible) is well written for easy reference.

The book is very popular, you can easily search in amazon, ebay or  google “The Choice Deedat” to get more information.