Ramadan Is More Than Just Fasting

by M. Bakri Musa

In the documentary film American Ramadan, a Christian minister related his experience in Malaysia. It was during Ramadan, and he was at the airport at dusk to collect his luggage, but everyone at the counter was intently watching the clock, eagerly awaiting the breaking of fast. He did not know then the significance of the month and thus could not comprehend the workers’ apparent obsession with time. An older clerk however came over to help and spent over an hour with the visitor while the others were busy eating.

To me, that older clerk best demonstrates the true meaning and spirit of Ramadan. It is more than just fasting during the day; it is about being generous. He was generous with his time and himself to help a total stranger, albeit a customer. The older clerk could just as easily join his co-workers in eating after a day of fasting, or simply have the counter “Closed for lunch!”

Ramadan As Allah’s Special Blessing

Tradition has it that during Ramadan the doors to Hell are closed while the gates to Heaven are wide open. That reflects the generosity of Allah during this holy month. As our Imam Ilyas Anwar said in the first Friday sermon of this Ramadan, we should use fully this opportunity afforded by Allah. The best way for us to show our respect for Ramadan, and thus for Allah, is to reciprocate His generosity by being generous to our fellow humans and to His other creations.

We should not however, take that tradition literally and consider it a license to be reckless and get killed during Ramadan just to secure a slot in Heaven. Nor does it mean that an evil person dying in Ramadan would be spared Hell. Such decisions after all are the prerogative of Allah, and only of Him.

Ramadan is a season to be generous, to forgive generously and turn for us to be so forgiven. It distresses me greatly that no Muslim nation, Malaysia included, have shown fit to grant their prisoners amnesty during Ramadan. Imagine the positive image of Islam if Muslim leaders were to be generous to their citizens, especially those prisoners of conscience incarcerated without trial.

Just as the day’s fast heightens our sensitivity to the flavor of even the simplest food, likewise Allah heightens or enhances the spirituality and blessings of our regular ibadat (religious duties) when performed during Ramadan.

Yes, we pray and give charity outside of Ramadan, nonetheless during the fasting month the blessings are amplified. While tradition has it that the virtue of praying on the “Night of Power” equals that of “a thousand months,” or that certain ibadat are worth “44 times more” if done during Ramadan, we should not be obsessed with the magnitude of the enhancements. Suffice for us to know that they are, and that should motivate us even more to perform those ibadats with greater fervor and frequency during Ramadan.

We should do more of what we normally do, like praying and giving zakat (tithe), and perform them with even greater intensity during Ramadan. Thus, in addition to our regular prayers there are the nightly Taraweekh prayers, reciting the Quran, and fulfilling our tithe for the year as well as the obligatory zakat Fitr (head tax).

We should also be more charitable to and forgiving of others and ourselves. Thus the prophet, s.a.w., encourages us to partake in community iftars (breaking of fast) not only for the communal bonding but also to share with those less fortunate.

Because of the enhanced blessings of Ramadan, the Prophet, s.a.w., used to prepare his people for its arrival by fasting on certain days during the two immediate preceding months. We too should prepare spiritually as well as physically.

Fasting takes a toll on our body, but Allah in His Generosity does not require us to fast if it would impose an undue burden as when we are sick, traveling, or pregnant. Nonetheless those blessed with good health and where fasting would not pose an undue strain should still have to be prepared. We must maintain our regular physical exercises and health routines, with particular emphasis on our oral hygiene. Additionally, we should be clean, neatly attired, and keep ourselves well trimmed. If we aspire to be spiritually clean, we must also be physically so.

Ramadan As “Time Out!”

With the acknowledged extra demands of Ramadan, it may appear perverse to non-Muslims that we Muslims eagerly await and indeed celebrate its arrival. At its elemental level Ramadan forces us to change our daily routine. For Muslims in the tropics where there are no distinct seasons to modulate their activities, this is useful. In temperate zone, the long cold winter nights are for rest and the long days of summer for work. Such natural rhythm is absent in the tropics.

Ramadan also serves as a convenient time frame to anchor memories. Thus it was during the last Ramadan of the Japanese Occupation, or the first following the birth or death of a family member.

The altered routine forces one to pause and reflect, a ritualistic “time out,” to step back momentarily off the conveyor belt of life. When I was a consultant to a lumber mill in Oregon, the manager took me on a tour of his facility so I could better appreciate the injuries of his workers. I saw the huge logs being subjected to harsh debarking, repeatedly sawn through, and then bent and bounced about as they were mechanically sorted and graded. You could hardly hear one another with the noise and vibrations.

Then I was taken to another huge warehouse where the atmosphere was completely the opposite. It was eerily quiet, with stacks of the cut products neatly piled up and left undisturbed. Even the workers whispered to each other, as if respecting the quiet time of the lumber. This was the curing room, with its light, temperature and humidity controlled and kept constant.

The manager explained that after the logs had been through the stresses of the mill, the products needed time to recover before they would be subjected again to the stresses at the construction site or factory. If they were not allowed to recover or be “cured,” they could break easily. His brand name would then suffer.

If inanimate objects like lumber needs “rest time” to recover from the hectic experience of the mill, imagine the need for such times for humans. Ramadan is that necessary “time out,” a season to pause and reflect.

Metabolic Consequences of Fasting

Obesity is the number one public health challenge in America today. Studies in rats indicate that moderate caloric reduction significantly lengthens their lifespan. With humans, obesity is a definite contributor to increased morbidity and shortened lifespan. Imagine if fasting were to be a habit! I routinely lose about five pounds during Ramadan, and feel great!

If nothing else fasting is a respite for our digestive system that is incessantly stressed by our daily indulgences.

These benefits of Ramadan would be negated if we were to be a glutton in the evening. With the increasingly common practice of indulging ourselves with elaborate iftars at fancy hotels, many actually gain weight! Such extravagances are certainly not in the spirit of a season that calls for restraint and moderation.

At the House of Kedah restaurant in Vancouver, Canada, there is sign at its buffet table, “There will be $5.00 charge, donated to charity, for unfinished plate.” What a wonderful idea! It prevents waste and discourages gluttony.

The caloric deprivation and mild dehydration of fasting affect brain function by heightening the neural connections in the areas concerned with emotions; hence the enhanced spirituality experienced by many when meditating during Ramadan. We are thus rewarding ourselves through fasting.

When we are generous with ourselves, we would also be more likely to be generous to others. It is in this spirit that I wish my fellow Muslims, “Selamat Berpuasa!” (Best wishes with your fast!) and Ramadan Mubarak! (Joyous Ramadan!)

  1. #1 by dawsheng on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 1:49 am

    “Ramadan Is More Than Just Fasting”

    Yes, it can also be politicize. In fact, you stop cheating, but after that, it’s business as usual. A self-proclaimed muslim who cheats is a bad muslim, and that’s why Islam seems bad as well. Go and fast, you can Ramadan all year long if you want, but that is not going to change how UMNO muslims are leading this country. And what is the big deal about that? Nothing, we are all going to be dead one day! We are human after all. And for god sake please don’t kill the pigs for the wrong reasons.

  2. #2 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 3:54 am

    In Malaysia, Ramadan is a time when UMNO Ministers try not to cheat their wives and mistresses etc, to balance their books so that when the next accounting cycle begins they are free to make their ‘entries’ and think about adjustments later.

  3. #3 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 3:56 am

    Unless there are people here who think only Muslims fast, Christians and those of other faiths too fast.

  4. #4 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 4:00 am

    “At the House of Kedah restaurant in Vancouver, Canada, there is sign at its buffet table, “There will be $5.00 charge, donated to charity, for unfinished plate.” What a wonderful idea! It prevents waste and discourages gluttony.” Bakri Musa

    Hello, En. Bakri. Restaurants in Malaysia have long followed that practice when it comes to buffets. It has nothing to do with the Ramadan but everything to do with saving costs and increasing profits.

  5. #5 by faulty on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 5:40 am

    The funny thing is, the mentality of malays in peninsular here is quite different comparing to east malaysia. I’m Chinese muslim convert from Sarawak. I happen to stay in a hotel in Perai last week, with a friend of mine during a business trip. Upon registration, I asked the receptionist, if there’s a special breakfast for muslim. The usual breakfast starts at 6:30am. But fasting starts at 5:30am. She replied that there’s a special session for “muslim only”, from 4:30am to 5:30am. She didn’t know that I was a muslim, the room was registered under my chinese friend. So, I insisted and ask again, but she was firm about it. So, I had skip fasting for a day, knowing that if I went for the 4:30 breakfast, everyone will be looking at me, and I don’t like to go around explaining that I’m muslim, also not to leave my friend alone.

    Later when I met another friend in peninsular and asked him about this, he told me that it’s the “culture” here. What a shame. In Sarawak, when long before I convert, I used to go around and have breakfast with my muslim friends, and never had such a stupid issue raised.

    The other thing is about greeting. Also long before I convert, I can go over to my neighbours or friends house and greet them “Asalamualaikum”. They will reply me happily. In peninsular, when I greet the muslims here, they will not reply. They told me that they can’t reply to a non-muslim.

    I really feel ashame to be a muslim. I believe these only happen in malaysia, or specifically peninsular malaysia.

  6. #6 by pulau_sibu on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 6:09 am

    it is new to me that islam also talks about heaven and hell

  7. #7 by ktteokt on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 8:05 am


  8. #8 by mickey01 on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 8:17 am

    Why make fasting compulsory for muslims? So all Umno have to fast and after fasting they are more daring to be corrupted? Why so? All their past sins have been unloaded and to load is to help themselves to all the women, monies, status, wealths, bribes, laundering, lucrutive contracts, money politics, back-stabbing etc … For those who are good, there is no need to fast! Can the muslims who fast and swear to God that after fasting they will not be corrupted? No way. Cos they have the licence to corrupt, so make full use of it. U know i know.

  9. #9 by toniXe on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 8:47 am

    of course Mr Bakri sir you are stating the obvious. we see this year in year out. Infact food blogging during Ramadan is a fine art.
    Got the message ? To talk about what you are talking will take another week still no end. We need action ! recommend something solid ok !

  10. #10 by bystander on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 9:01 am

    Why are muslims killing christians and non muslims all over the whole such as 911,7/7, lebanon, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, Iraq, Spain, Egypt etc etc? Why are muslims killing muslims in Afghanistan, pakistan, Gaza, Iraq and Darfur? is it because non muslims are considered infidels? than why are the shiites killing the sunnis and vice versa or the arab muslims killing the african muslims in darfur? Why only the non islamic countries helping out the islamic countries in crisis like in pakistan, Afghan, darfur, somalia etc etc? why aren’t other rich islamic countries like saudi, UAE Qatar et etc helping out in big way fellow islamic countries? Is it muslims do not believe in giving and benevelance? Do muslims really think islam or muslims are superior to others? Is that why they think have the right to kill others including fellow muslims? Are global muslims suffering from inferiority syndrome making them backwars and falling back on islam and turning extreme? this very syndrome also makes them very dependent on either oil or others like US, UK etc etc (if they dont have oil). this means muslims are falling behind others and as such are not able to integrate in to the world resorting to violence to justify their existence? just my naive not fact cheched observation.

  11. #11 by bystander on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 9:02 am

    Sorry for all the typo errors.

  12. #12 by Jimm on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 9:55 am

    We, human are one of the intelligence ceatures on earth. We are given the whole world to live in and rule among the rest of other living things.
    Yet, we went beyond all these to rule the world, among our own kind.
    When it comes to faith beliefs, we also went overboard with the practices and differences between others.
    Anyway, we just want to be No.1 and the only one.
    So, isn’t that’s true … so true about us being the smartest among all living ceatures are the destroyer too.

  13. #13 by megaman on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 10:00 am

    hi bystander,

    It’s no fault of the religion.

    It is the fault of the leaders and the people that have the power and money.

    Those who know this fact has apprehensive in the push for changes simply because you would be labeled a traitor if you do so.

    Those who don’t know has been blaming everyone and the world for their predicaments but not their own leaders which are responsible for helping to make them strong and protect their interests.

    It is simply because of these selfish leaders that caused the division between the different Muslim sects, violence between the different sects and between Muslim and the Christians and for the backwardness of Muslim countries and communities.

    If you are strong, nobody can bully you. If you are weak, even a raindrop from heaven can drown you.
    To all Muslim friends, please stop and think, before you point fingers at others, point one at yourself first.

    Regardless of the inequalities and injustices perceived, the world do not owe you anything.

  14. #14 by foongshui on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 10:18 am

    Ramadan As “Time Out!”

    let me tell u my experience. Called a developer office at 4.10pm to request for my apt’s Fire Insurance renewal policy for me to forward to my banker. The Malay lady asked me to call back the next morning. When asked why, she replied “I am getting off work soon” (4.30pm, I presume). Then I told her it was only 4.10pm. Then she answered “tak larat lah” ……. I have no choice but to respect her request and to call again next morning …..

  15. #15 by foongshui on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 10:26 am

    “Ramadan As Allah’s Special Blessing
    Ramadan is a season to be generous, to forgive generously and turn for us to be so forgiven…..”
    JPJ, Police & Majlis Perbandaran also generous & forgive for : – haphazard parking of cars near the Ramadan market
    – all the rubbish thrown everywhere
    DOE generous & forgive for : all the open burning smoke and pollution (just look at the ground and drain in the market area)

  16. #16 by raven77 on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 11:37 am

    Actually…it is a time to show off…..

  17. #17 by digard on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 11:49 am

    “If nothing else fasting is a respite for our digestive system that is incessantly stressed by our daily indulgences.”

    Yes, Dr.
    Also thanks to undergrad2, that in principle all religions have fasting.

    One omission on your side, Dr., as much as I adore your points of view, the other religions usually do not prescribe abstention of drinking (water). And, as you are certainly aware, dehydration has only bad effects on the human body. Not drinking from sunset to dawn is simply too long a period, not replenishing sweat and urine, is counter-productive to the ‘fluid parts’ of the digestive system, like the kidneys.
    I don’t want to argue on the spiritual benefits, though. I leave that to the followers of this habit. But I’d wish you had been complete with respect to the effects on the health.

  18. #18 by sotong on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 12:35 pm

    Most peninsular Malays are grossly misguided by decades of narrow and damaging politics of religion.

    Most Malays were made to believe Islam belongs to them alone, not being told there are more Chinese Muslims in China than population of Malaysia and S’pore combined.

    Some Malay leaders, including religious leaders had been most irresponsible by create damaging and unhealthy division in the country to achieve their narrow, shallow and damaging political objectives in a multi religious country.

  19. #19 by mickey01 on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 1:25 pm

    Why so much violence/terrorism? Ask osama. If not there is something wrong with the source ie koran. Many misinterpret the messages in the koran to their advantage. If u are not muslims, u are an infidel!

  20. #20 by dawsheng on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 1:34 pm

    I just wonder, is it make any good if people like Razak Baginda fast in the month of Ramadan?

  21. #21 by k1980 on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 1:56 pm


  22. #22 by sotong on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 2:06 pm

    Ramadan is a time to get lots of reward from God in the hope of a place in heaven…….and all past sins forgiven.

  23. #23 by hang tuah on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 2:13 pm

    this is an enlightening write up on fasting. hope more muslim brothers will read and heed his advise.

    fasting is a way to discipline our mind, to think of all the good qualities of the prophet and to emulate the qualities for the benefit of own and others being.

    it is sad that i do not see many people who really know the meaning of fasting. it is done just for the sake of doing or else will be hauled up to jail by those holier than god.

    one must remember it is not a month to “salam bersalaman” to forget about all those bad deed one has done. i do not think god will forgive those who do not repent from the sin they have done like the half past six government.

  24. #24 by sotong on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 2:38 pm

    Politic of religion under BN UMNO is most damaging, together with its politic of race, than PAS.

    In Islam, race is not an issue.

  25. #25 by sec on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 2:56 pm

    It is not wise to implement Religion value ( especially Islamic value) into the administration of government; this will detriment the unity among our races. The value should be UNIVERSAL VALUE.
    For example:1. A non-Muslim will find it difficult to shake hand with a Muslim girl when there is a clothing on her head. 2 Last time the Non Muslim can easily mix with the muslim and serve foods and drinks to them like coffee , tea ;fry mee;fry nasi; cake etc( except with pork). Now the Muslims are asking pack drink; and the products they use must with the word ” Halal and free from alcohol”. The Muslims are prohibited to drink alcohol; but are they prohibited to Use alcohol when the content of alcohol is very minimal; like in the cosmatic product etc.

    We are very lucky to be born in Malaysia; but we can not wastage our resources that we have; because it will depleted one day.

    During the Japanese occupation time; because limited of resources that the tooth brushes were made from the hair of pig ;( the hair from the back portion of pig’s back bone); yet everybody was using it to brush teeth.

    We should not waste our resources; especially the ” top” person whom had corruption; this is the person that waste the most of our Country resources.

    One day we will turn out to be : ” what we can eat when what we could find”.

    It is the responsible of ALL MALAYSIAN to curb Corruption which had badly affect our economy in this country. For the sake of our future generation ; everybody should alert what had happenned now.

  26. #26 by tidaknama on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 3:40 pm

    Regarding Fasting as being good for the health and for diabetes etc…it only works if you don’t gorge yourself when you buka puasa. Puasa time is the time when we see all Diabetic control going haywire, people not taking medications, then drinking lots of sugary air bandong etc, enought to send them into a diabetic coma.
    Basically you only skip lunch and have breakfast at 5am and dinner at 7pm. Yes the thirst is definately the worse thing.
    Also puasa time is the time they all want mc for tak larat, pening, gastritis, diarrhoea…wow the amount of diarrhoea from the dirty food sold by the roadstalls!

  27. #27 by digard on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 5:15 pm

    Guys (and gals? – I hope), once again thanks to M. Bakri Musa for sharing his thoughts during his fast.

    Personally, I deplore the blank hate that can be read out of so many answers. A blog, and its comments, could and should be more than a dumping ground for hateful remarks.
    LKS has – so I think – set up this site to share his ideas and offer some space for a discussion thereon. It would be too much of a pity, if people only used this space to throw up.
    Also , what can be found in here, doesn’t shine a bright light on the state of civilisation of some of the contributors.

    Please, keep this in mind!

  28. #28 by bystander on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 5:57 pm

    thks megaman. fully concur with you. what is the point of fasting for some when after all the fast, one goes back to committing all the sins and crimes of corruption, adultery etc etc? If a person does that, isn’t that muslim a hypocrite? So can I say all the corrupted judges and cops are big time hypocrites? just another deduction and observation.

  29. #29 by IanYong on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 8:10 pm

    What is Dr. Bakri ranting about?

    Islam is a holier religion than others? Or is Dr. Bakri holier, more generous and less corrupt than other Muslims/non-Muslims.

    Why can’t we keep our religion to ourselves, a private matter between oneself and God? Must Dr. Bakri bare his chest and beat it so hard to prove he is holier?

  30. #30 by naked taliban on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 9:03 pm

    All these BERBUKA PUASA in posh hotels , wonder who is footing thier bills.

  31. #31 by bystander on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 9:42 pm

    Islam will be a holier religion than others when all muslims are sinless and are angels. But everyone knows that is not possible. just look at all the criminals, rapists, corrupted judges, cops, ministers and politicians. These are real life examples of bad muslims and therefore islam cannot be holier but just another religion. So how does one claim/justify that Islam is holierthan others.

  32. #32 by borrring on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 9:55 pm

    I guess this is the only month that we will see crime rate is at the lowest out of all the months in a year….cos it was said that the gates of heaven is opened…so do good….but after this month, you will start seeing the figures shooting up….what’s the use of repenting for your previous sins when eventually you will return to your old ways? Repent the following year? Ironically, this the month that I find that those who fast are the most unproductive….citing “tak larat” excuse….cos they had to cook way past midnite……so not enough sleep….didn’t wake up for “sahur”, so i have no energy cos i didn’t eat etc….and not to mention, some kill time gossiping….

    And trying to portray fasting as a mean lose the kilos is just wrong…..

    And why limit charity amongst your own brethen, and not include others not from your faith?

  33. #33 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 10:56 pm

    “Also long before I convert, I can go over to my neighbours or friends house and greet them “Asalamualaikum”. They will reply me happily.” faulty

    This is understandable because in Malaysia there is a close identification of race with religion. All Malays are Muslims – and therefore all non-Malays are non-Muslims!

    “Asalamualaikum” is Arabic meaning “Peace be with you”. Christians today customarily say that to each other in church every Sunday after they have confessed to their sins and asked the Lord for forgiveness.

    I say “Asalamulaikum” to Afghanis in the corner shop who sells chickens (much like KFC) so that they would give me an extra piece!

  34. #34 by the archer on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 11:01 pm

    i have been to many places around the world and experienced the fasting month in other countries as well including where a predominantly muslim population resides….the fact of the matter it is just like any other normal time of the year. everybody goes about their normal routines, they work as hard as they always do and it’s so easy to not even realise that it is the fasting month! but enter malaysia…hey presto…it is a pesta….they even have banners saying “pesta ramadhan” the festival of the fasting month! they behave like they are superior human beings for foregoing the days food and drinks as though all other human beings (of other religions are inferior and dont know and will not be able to fast)..and at 10 am in the morning they are already discussing heavily about what food they are going to have for break fast…at 11-12, they are already shopping for food for break fast and half an hour before break fast, they already have all the food ordered and are sitting and staring at the food intensely waiting for the bang(call to prayer) almost as if they are praying that the food will just take off by itself!!!and when a non muslim walks in, they stare at you as if in fear that you would get to the food first or as if you dont have a right to eat because they are the ones who have fasted…….yepp thats fasting malaysian muslim style….

  35. #35 by the archer on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 11:47 pm

    well, bakri is right…ramadhan is more than fasting…and more importantly, it is more ..much much more than food…but unfortunately malaysian muslims by and large dont seem to realise this…or at least they dont appear to realise this. somebody or some group of people should probably drive home this very basic point first and foremost to them …with all the miliions or tens of millions that are going into setting up religious schools, religious education, religious administration and religious almost evrything, one would have thought that at least this would have been understood at the very basic level….but alas…..maybe a govt policy is needed!!! or maybe a nfp? i leave you to guess what that nfp (as opposed to nep) could be and what special priviledges could come with that for malaysian malays (or muslims) in fasting…the more enligtened ones amongst them could guide the others i guess…

  36. #36 by Jamesy on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - 11:52 pm

    I believe M. Bakri Musa, as a muslim, will put some, if not all muslims, to shame. His article just makes me think how a true practising muslims should be, which is based on the “subtance” rather than the “form” of its teaching.

    The same goes to other believer or rather, the so-called believer of other religion. Let me give you Buddhism for example. Buddhism teaches its believers to be kind, compassion and love to mankind every living animals and insects. Buddhists believe in Karma, and what you do or said, will determined what you will become in your next life. So every good deeds will results in good Karma, and evil deeds will result, of course, otherwise. I once asked a Buddhist believer why bad things happened to good people, is their Karma bad, when they suppose to have good Karma? He answered, “when one does good deeds but still bad things happened to them, is because they have a bad Karma in their previous life, so if they do good deeds but still bad things happened to them, their current good Karma has already been “neutralised” by their previous bad Karma, so they should be thankful that they are not killed!”

    Let us look at what has happened to Myanmar right now. It’s very seldom you hear anywhere in the world, religious figure such as monks, making a stand on what the government should or should do for the sake of its people and nation. It’s a rare show of support of the monks for the people of Myanmar; to interfere in politics, economy and social plight of its people telling the military regime saying, “hey, what you did is MORALLY WRONG and its against the teaching of Buddha to oppress, suppress, beat and kill your own people, believer and non-believer of Buddhism alike.” The military junta, claiming themselves as Buddhists, retaliated by killing hundred and even thousands, as claimed by some media reports and their bodies are either just thrown into the river or just “disappeared.”

    I cannot understand for a fact, that the military junta, most of them are seemingly Buddhists and they even had a Buddhist Minister, to have ordered these monks to be beaten and killed, who are revered by the people of Myanmar. They are not fit to be called human beings, let alone Buddhists!

    Back to home. While I know there are many practising muslims like M. Bakri Musa whom I respect, there are also some, if not many holier than thou muslims.

    These are the muslims that ruined the good name of Islam.

    Let me give you some examples.

    Firstly, Beyonce concert as you all know is cancelled after strong protest by some outrageous muslims group. They demanded that Beyonce must not wear revealing and sexy clothes, the audience must behave themselves, no jumping and shouting with the audiences and among fellow artists. Beyonce of course refused to abide and well, good for Beyonce.

    Who are they telling her what to wear and what not to wear and what to do on stage and what not to do on stage? You mean to say that seeing a lady in sexy clothes will them horny and want to jerk off? Or are they afraid that the audience will rape Beyonce upon wearing sexy clothes? In the other major concert by Stefani Gwen, she said she made a “major sacrifice” in agreeing to the guidelines, because she wanted Malaysian fans to see her live show and added that it was the first time in her 20-year career she had been criticized for the way she dressed.

    Secondly, the Royal London Circus which was suppose to perform in Puchong from the 8 August to 30 September was cut short to 12 Sept after some Municipal Council decided that after 12 Sept was when Ramadan set in because circus performance are entertainment, so entertainment performance are not allowed during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

    What is so sinful about the circus performance having in the month of Ramadan? Isn’t movies and TV programmes are entertainment too? Why are you depriving non-Muslims to watch the circus if you think circus performances are sinful for Muslims fasting during the holy month of Ramadan?

    This is what I called holier than thou muslims. There are many among us in Malaysia.

    M. Bakri Musa, any comment?

  37. #37 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 4 October 2007 - 2:22 am

    “Who are they telling her what to wear and what not to wear and what to do on stage and what not to do on stage? You mean to say that seeing a lady in sexy clothes will them horny and want to jerk off? Or are they afraid that the audience will rape Beyonce upon wearing sexy clothes?” jamesy

    What James is asking is

    A.They are telling Beyonce what to do on stage and what not to do on stage.

    B. They are saying they are horny and want to jerk off?

    C. They are afraid that the audience will rape Beyonce upon wearing sexy clothes.


    None of the above.

  38. #38 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 4 October 2007 - 2:28 am

    “…the Royal London Circus which was supposed to perform in Puchong from the 8 August to 30 September but was cut short to 12 Sept after some Municipal Council decided that after 12 Sept was when Ramadan set in because circus performance is entertainment, so entertainment performances are not allowed during the Holy Month of Ramadan.” Jamesy


    They are saying that humans must not be cruel to animals. Circus is an example of cruelty of man to animals. ‘Jihad’ is cruelty of man to man. The latter is permitted but not the former.

  39. #39 by mickey01 on Thursday, 4 October 2007 - 2:45 am

    Fasting is one main pillar of islam. Other pillars like pray 5 times, going to mecca, going to mosque etc. After completing 3 or 4 pillars, it is enough to commit sins again. Why? Must fill the empty space of sinfulness of wealth, corruption, pleasure and wickedness. Who cares. It is free for all. As the koran says, if you need to pray more, you do it cos your sins are heavier than the rest.

  40. #40 by BobSam on Thursday, 4 October 2007 - 6:49 am

    Nowadays most of us work from 9am to 6pm.
    For the fasting month, those who are fasting leave at 5pm.

    Supposedly there is an understanding that since they are fasting, they will not be eating. Hence they will be working during lunch time, so leaving an hour earlier is not literally stealing an hour off work.

    Is this accurate? How does this jive with Ramadhan?

  41. #41 by Jimm on Thursday, 4 October 2007 - 10:21 am

    Fellow Bloggers,
    Do you know that most of those ‘naughty’ BN MPs and SARs believe in using ‘special’ power to keep their position ?
    I have noticed some of them wearing a few rings with stones which supposed to act as ‘sheilds’ to their career and life.
    By the way, they do look like Muslims in the way they dressed in.

  42. #42 by Jimm on Thursday, 4 October 2007 - 10:23 am

    Religion should be uphold as a spiritual commitment from oneselves to his Almighty and the practices must be contented within his beliefs.

  43. #43 by AnakTiriMalaysia on Thursday, 4 October 2007 - 6:46 pm

    The truth is many of them spend more during the month of Ramadhan than any other months in the year…

    So the Fasting become just ‘for show only’ or a ‘ritual’ instead for the real purpose of it.

  44. #44 by RGRaj on Thursday, 4 October 2007 - 9:22 pm

    undergrad2 wrote:

    ‘Jihad’ is cruelty of man to man.

    Isn’t jihad an integral part of Islam?

  45. #45 by the archer on Friday, 5 October 2007 - 9:15 am

    “So the Fasting become just ‘for show only’ or a ‘ritual’ instead for the real purpose of it.”

    only in malaysia and ironically where hundreds of millions are spent on religious education!!!

  46. #46 by borrring on Friday, 5 October 2007 - 9:03 pm

    Btw, I noticed that as soon as the azan for breaking of fast, the smokers will start smoking away….as their life depended on it…puasa didn’t actually help them to break their habits….how can you expect being “extra” religious during the ramadhan can actually help anyone to start over a new leaf after the that? You can bet that when parliment will resume after the Raya celebration….the corruption, scandals & etc will still prevail…year after year…..The irony of the puasa is that this is the only time you can lose weight within a 30 days & yet, no significant change can be seen amongst its followers…..it’s like a yearly event….you become good for a month, and can commit evil the rest of the year….and yet they critize the teachings of jesus saying that men were born sinners….saying there’s no truth in it….

  47. #47 by borrring on Friday, 5 October 2007 - 9:38 pm

    The meaning of “jihad” (holy war)

    “Let there be no compulsion in the religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects Evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trusthworthy hand-hold,that never breaks.And Allah hears and knows all things” Surah 2:256, Ali translation

    This verse says ,”You can’t force anybody to change their religion. The right way should be obvious”.Muhammad reported it during the beginning of his time in Medina, before the battle of Badr

    However, in the same Quran you will find verses that clearly refer to fighting nonbelievers in the sense of a literal & phsical fight where people are killed or taken prisoners. How do you reconcile these two conflicting commands? The key is to pay attention to when these verses were revealed.

    “Fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will be for Allah Alone (in the whole world)” Surah 8:39

    “O Prophet (Muhammad)! Urge the believers to fight. If there are twenty steadfast persons amongst you,they will overcome two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast persons, they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve,because they (the disbeliever) are people who do not understand” Surah 8:65

    These verses were revealed in Medina after the Battle of Badr (A.H 2), the Muslims’ surprising first victory against the army of Mecca. Surah 2:256, the verse about tolerance, was revealed in Medina before the Battle of Badr.

    So which command is to be followed.In Muhammad’s day,the answer was clear: The new cancelled out the old. People understood that when Muhammad said it was time to fight, this meant that the time of tolerance is over. This principle is expressed in the Quran in Surah 2:106

    “Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?”

    Muslim scholars refer this as the principle of naskh.The idea is that Muhammad’s revelations were progressive.A new revelation cancelled out an older revelation.This principle is not only applied to jihad but also to many other issues as well including drinking alcohol,validity of adoption,and the direction a person faces for prayer.

    Muhammad did not see these changes as contradictions.He saw them as a development of the revelations.

    Modern day, moderate muslims often say jihad is a spiritual struggle within oneself to follow the teachings of Islam.Where do they get this idea?Some muslims point to a story recorded in the hadith:

    Muhammad was returning from a battle when he told one his friends, “We are returning from the little jihad to the great jihad”

    His friend asked him,”O prophet of Allah,what do you mean by the small battle and the great battle?”

    Muhammad replied,”The small battle is the battle we just came from where we were fighting the enemies of Islam.The great battle is the spiritual struggle of the muslim life”

    In other words,on the way back homw from a physical battle,it is reported that Muhammad said that the “greater jihad” was the spiritual battle within. This phrase “greater jihad” is used often by liberal muslims.

    Let’s see if Muhammad ever gave an ending point for jihad.

    9 years after emigrating to Medina (and less than 2 years before his death), Muhammad announced an important revelation regarding the Islamic attitude towards the unbelievers. Muhammad made arrangements for these instructions to be read to the muslims who had gone to Mecca for pilgrimmage.

    “Kill the Mushrikun (pagans) wherever you find them,and capture them & besiege them,and lie in wait for them in each & every ambush” Surah 9:5

    Read also Surah 9:29

    As you can see,Muhammad continued to call for liberal, physical jihad that ended only with the unbelievers being subdued.

    The muslims took action on Muhammad’s words.They took jihad to all people. So,it’s hard to say that Muhammad gave an end point for jihad.

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