The teaching of Islam had not been on the right path in Malaysia and also in the Islamic world for about five centuries. This led to a nonpositive outward-looking attitude. Emphasis is mainly given to the ritual practices of Islam. We were not asked to understand a verse of the Quran and think about it. With that, a thinking and questioning attitude didn’t develop. But the opposite, to accept the status quo as it is. So we are left with ideas formed in the 12th and 13th centuries.
The West and later Japan, China South Korea took to the new way of thinking and doing things. This idea developed during the renaissance in Europe. This new idea enabled them to do everything more efficiently. More productive in agriculture manufacturing producing weapons. Their administration management became better. It was not only their better weapons that enabled them to defeat the Islamic world, China but also their better management and newly conceived military tactics.
Why did the renaissance take place in Europe? Ironically it was because of their contact with the Islamic world during the crusades. They came to know the better practices and outlook in the Islamic world at that time. The numeral 1 to 9, the concept of 0, the decimal point was brought back to Europe. Before this, they used Roman numerals. Mathematics could not develop, and later the computer, without the Arabic numerals
At that time Europe came to question why the bible and their religious practices were only in Latin – a language few understood. Translations were made.
The Islamic world regressed while Europe progressed. There was the belief that the understanding of Islam was then already perfect. People should not question or give new opinions. Islam as brought by Allah is perfect but our understanding of it is far from perfect. We as humans can never achieve perfection or near it. So this idea of not giving new ideas is wrong. We often hear “ those who do not learn the Quran or religion from a guru or Ustaz is learning from a shaitan“. The old ideas kept on propagating. Who are the Ustazs that they are so great? Now there are many aspects of learning the Quran and Islam on the internet and computer. These are more comprehensive ways of learning the Koran.
Any society that declared itself perfect will be stuck to that time period while the rest of the world progressed. This happened to China and Japan but after that, they learned very fast from the West.
We have to read the Quran and Hadith in a language that we understand. After that, we must reflect and think about it. Proper guidance will come to us. The renaissance will come to the Islamic world. It had not. But after Europe, it happened in East Asia.
My friends do not just question why there is so much corruption going on in Malaysia in spite of Islam. The teaching is not on the right path. I invite you to read the Quran and Hadith in a language that you understand. You will be surprised at the amount of insight and understanding that you will get.
Comment: The Muslim Malays who are not yet enlightened seem shackled with their chain of fixated ignorance. Acquisition of knowledge, especially through reading, is still is the best avenue towards a change of mindset. However, our reading culture is below par. (Othman Mohamed)