Monday, August 24, 2009

Let's read the Quran

I have "announced" of my fasting this Ramadhan through facebook. Lots of feedbacks and it was intriguing to see the comments of many friends. No, I am not a Muslim but I am a bangsa Malaysia, when asked am I a Muslim (therefore fasting).

Fasting during Ramadhan isn't new to me. I did this as soon as I have the liberty to cook and sahur at 5am. Puasa for 4 years during Ramadhan and then stopped for 6 years due to gastric. This year, I am back on track. My colleague suddenly asked me today, the reason I fast.

The answer was simple. I was a church-goer for 6 years, apparently to learn and improve English and then only discovered Buddhism when I was 13 years old. Buddhism (yes, I am a Buddhist) encourages Buddhists to go search and find out about other religions before deciding one that is right for him/her. With this "freedom" of choice and Malaysia being one of the easiest place on earth to learn diversified cultures and religions, so why not? I went on to learn about Islam and eventually practise them in daily live.

I still remember quoting live on a talk show (Bicara Siswa) the Surah Al-Kafirun (1-6), to the amazement of everyone on air (and at home, too!).

  1. قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ Katakanlah: "Hai orang-orang kafir,
  2. لا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ Aku tidak akan menyembah apa yang kamu sembah,
  3. وَلا أَنْتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ Dan kamu bukan penyembah Tuhan yang aku sembah.
  4. وَلا أَنَا عَابِدٌ مَا عَبَدْتُمْ Dan aku tidak pernah menjadi penyembah apa yang kamu sembah,
  5. وَلا أَنْتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ dan kamu tidak pernah (pula) menjadi penyembah Tuhan yang aku sembah.
  6. لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ Untukmu agamamu, dan untukkulah agamaku
See? The Quran encourages freedom of choice in religion for non-Muslims. So, why the hoo-hah when Malaysia was then pronounced Islamic state and the "fear" of losing our religious rights when we don't understand the Quran. So, let's read the Quran.

Let's read the Quran is a campaign launched by my idol, my friend, my guru and now my publisher, Anas Zubedy. As a bangsa Malaysia himself, he has always emphasized on "Many Colours, One Race" and he could quote verses from the Bible, Dhammapada and the Hinduism scriptures. This is the second round of campaign he is doing.

What is the Campaign all about?
Read the Quran in the language that you are familiar with.

When will the campaign start and end?
August 22nd to September 21st (Hari Raya Aidil Fitri)

Participating blogs in the blogosphere.

So more people know what the Quran says and what the Quran does not say and to match its relevance to our daily lives.

Anyone who wants to – the more the merrier! If you have a Blog, Facebook, etc carry the logo/icon.

- To join the campaign, place the accompanying logo/icon at your blog.
- Write or share short articles based on the Quranic text.
- Share what you find in the Quran with family and friends.

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