Did they remember to take off their shoes?

by Goh Keat Peng

In the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, a spiritually poignant moment occurred when Moses

“came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, ‘I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.’ When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here am I.’ Then he said, ‘Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ ” (Exodus 3.1-5)

As a Christian, as I prepare to enter the church and face the altar for worship and prayer, a conscious switch in mind, body and soul takes place and I become aware that I am entering the realm of the sacred.

Likewise, for the Muslim as he enters the mosque or surau; and for a Sikh as he enters the gurdwara.

For each of us respectively, the preparation for worship and prayer may take different forms but there is a physical, mental, and/or spiritual ablution involved, a taking off of our shoes, before or as we enter a place of worship. An attitude of awe and reverence is involved.

And in the same attitude in which we had entered the place of prayer and worship, we leave it to face our responsibilities in work, home and society alongside others irrespective of religious, political or cultural differences.

What about those who went to the various places of prayer and worship with fire bombs, stones, plastic bottles and cans of paint in hand? What preparations did they undertake? What ablutions did they make? How long did they stay at the place of prayer and worship?

Did they remember to take off their shoes?

With what attitude had they come? And after throwing the fire bombs, stones, plastic bottles and paint at the places of prayer and worship, how did they resume their responsibilities in their workplace, home and society? Who did they resume to work with and engage with in society?

We go to the grocers and the malls to shop. We report to our office for honest work. We go home to care for and enjoy our family. We are in Malaysia to relate to other Malaysians.

We go to church, gurdwara or mosque to pray and worship.

We teach our children and our children’s children that when they go to church, gurdwara or mosque, it is for the purpose of prayer and worship, carrying with them nothing but respect and reverence for God and their fellow human beings.

  1. #1 by Onlooker Politics on Friday, 22 January 2010 - 12:00 pm

    Many muslims misunderstood that all their sins can be easily forgiven by “Allah” so long as they repent to “Allah” before they die, due to their misinterpretation of the verses in Al-Quran, which state:
    “Bertaubatlah kamu sekelian kepada Allah, wahai sekelian mukmin, supaya kamu berbahagia.” (al-Nur, 31)

    FirmanNya lagi:
    “Sesungguhnya Allah itu menyukai orang-orang yang bertaubat dan menyukai juga orang-orang yang bersuci.” (al-Baqarah, 222)

    Sabda Rasulullah s.a.w.:
    “Sesorang yang bertaubat dari dosanya itu adalah umpama orang yang tidak mempunyai dosa lagi.” (Riwayat Ibnu Majah)//

    However, many muslims do not understand about the truth that “to sin against human can be forgiven by ‘Allah’ but to sin against ‘Allah’ can never be forgiven by ‘Allah’ Himself!”

    Any person of true faith in “Allah” will never dare to commit any sin of attack on the places of worship because this sin is deadly sin prohibited by “Allah”!

  2. #2 by a2a on Friday, 22 January 2010 - 12:11 pm

    If one’s spiritual is no kindness, honest and sincerity.

    Even thousands times take off shoes and praying, the god cant open the door to accept him.

    God don’t accept an actors of good behave.

  3. #3 by a2a on Friday, 22 January 2010 - 12:13 pm

    God don’t accept an actor of good behave.

    Believers carry name for his own pride.

  4. #4 by k1980 on Friday, 22 January 2010 - 12:40 pm

    Did they remember to take off their shoes?

    Sure, as Richard Reid had done on Flight 63 in December 22, 2001 before he set fire to the explosives hidden inside his shoes

  5. #5 by Onlooker Politics on Friday, 22 January 2010 - 1:21 pm

    Setting fire on other people’s property could be a deadly sin forbidden by “Allah”.

    Besides understanding the meaning of “Bertaubat”, all Muslims should also learn to understand the meaning of the following verses in the Holy Book Iddat’ud-Dai in order to get a much profound understanding about the chances of being given forgiveness by “Allah” upon their repentance (bertaubat):

    //Sin is a Barrier to the Acceptance of Invocation (Du’a)
    Tenth Tradition

    Hazrat Musa (a.s.) passed by a person from his followers who was in prostration. After completing his chore Musa (a.s.) returned to find him still in prostration. He said, “If I had the power to grant your wish I would surely have granted it.” Allah (S.w.T.) revealed to Musa (a.s.) that, “Even if this man prostrates for Me till his head gets detached from his neck, I will not accept his deeds, till he abstains from that which I dislike and does that which pleases Me. Otherwise sin hinders the supplications from acceptance.”

    (page. 125 Iddat’ud-Dai)

    Refraining From Sins is Genuine Worship
    Eleventh Tradition

    “Abstaining from sins is the basis of religion. Hence, refrain from sins in order to become the most pious worshipper. Adorn yourself with piety. Do not perform a single good deed without piety. Surely that deed is most acceptable by Allah which is accompanied by piety, even though it may be trifle. As Allah says, “Allah accepts the good deeds only from the pious people.”

    (Iddat’ud-Dai) //

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Friday, 22 January 2010 - 1:56 pm

    Muntadhar al-Zaidi, an Iraqi journalist with Egypt-based al-Baghdadia television network not only took off his shoe but yelling in Arabic “This is a farewell … you dog!” he threw it at President George Bush…

    Shoe being a symbol of impurity is widespread throughout the Middle East but not exclusive. As Goh Keat Peng says,‘Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ ” (Exodus 3.1-5)”. Shoe, as symbol of impurity, to be taken out in holy ground is another common belief amongst many of Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths – to add to the debate about the common Abrahamic tradition of the three faiths and its relevance to the use of the word “Allah” in reference to the Almighty.

    Anywhere the next time before you invest too much money in a Bally, Florsheim or Etienne Aigner shoe with the highest quality of top grain aniline leather – even if you believe as some people say that in terms of outward appearances a woman looks at a man’s shoes first – think about this symbol of impurity!

  7. #7 by monsterball on Saturday, 23 January 2010 - 3:02 am

    Those are not Muslims.
    Those are UMNO BARU Muslims….that are racists.
    When you are a racist….you cannot be a true religious party….political leaders or members.
    It all hypocritically stage…to use religion in politics.
    How can such people be sincerely truthful to God?
    They are so selfish…greedy and weird.

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