Hello internet citizen @ netizen!...Testing 123... It just so happened that I was visiting Blog Buasir Otak, and stumbled upon the ongoing contest, and I felt it was so interesting since many people were participating in it, it should be good right? And just so happened I have been yearning to start a blog for quite some time now. So I have decided to give it a go and try my luck with this contest and hopefully to be a decent blogger.
This is my first written blog, so for you guys who are willingly or unwillingly or because of some sort of cosmic accidents you end up reading some of my thoughts here, I thank all of you first and foremost and I sincerely beg all of you to spare me some mercy considering that I’m just a newbie in blogging. I have to make a couple of introductory remarks or prefaces here, first of all I prefer to write in English just because of my own personal fondness to the language, not because I feel proud of it or want to show off. One of the reasons is that I’m pretty sure that my English is still in its infancy, thus by writing in English here I believe it can improve my language gradually. The second thing I want to make mention here is, still about English language, that is since I’m still learning this language I hope those of you who have mastered this language, to have some mercy on me if you find any grammatical errors or wrong choices of words or even silly mistakes. For that I don’t really want you to ignore my mistakes but in fact I really welcome any fruitful criticisms or advices.
The third thing is that, I’m going to make available the translation in Bahasa Melayu. I’m malay and I love Bahasa Melayu and my proof is I got an A for BM SPM and a C for BI SPM, sure that means something right? The last preface and also a disclaimer and I believe the most important one is that some of you may not be able to swallow what I’m going to present to you here, maybe for you it is not that important, or doesn’t have any beneficial contributions to your life or is too difficult to understand or it is just a mambo jambo and boring or for whatever reason it could be, if this really occur to you, what I’m able to say here to you right now is that, this is just my random thoughts about things that just suddenly and spontaneously crossed my mind, so it is not necessarily right or in the absolute truth. I could be wrong about everything. After all, my genuine intention is just to facilitate some food for thought. Cheers.....
So where should I begin? Right, what I’m going to present to you is quite random but I will try not to make it something which fall on what you might perceive as a rambling or ranting without specifying the head and tail and without any useful contents. So I’ll try my very best, Insha’Allah. What I’m going to talk here is about this “New” guy who suddenly becomes known on the internet particularly because of his youtube video. Maybe most of you guys already know about him for quite a while now, however for me I just know about him recently, so that’s why I consider him as “New”. This new guy is BENZ ALI. I’m not going to describe who he is per se, for instance like where he is from, what he does for living, what is his age etc., but I will try to give my personal opinions about what he has said especially in one of his particular youtube video which becomes trending on the internet. This video was titled “Bedah Buku 5: Teologi Kiri-Landasan Gerakan Membela Kaum Mustad’afin...I never heard of his name before, and never knew him or his group, thus what being said here is only referring to this particular video and some comments that I have read from his facebook page. My first impression was, like many other people, he was a messed up free thinker, a hypocrite (munafik), crazy, kafir, syiah, communist, liberal, etc etc. So, I ask myself if I’m going to label this guy with such and such names, I should have proofs and justifications that will allow me to conclude this guy is truly like what those names imply. And for this reason I gave him the benefits of the doubts, so my first impression changed to something like “I will assume that he is just trying to present what he believes to be the truth and full in his conviction, until to a point where it is evident with proofs and are done intentionally by him, then I can somewhat place him into certain group of people where I think he is, of course this is my own point of views, nobody has to agree with me, even so I should also convince myself that I’m not allowed to label him with names since who am I to give him names, right? Do I have the authority or at least capacity to label him with names? Clearly not!
So, first of all, I have to make clear here is that, the only part that I’m going to discuss here is the first 30 minutes speech by Benz Ali and I’m not going to delve into his dialogue or debate with his audiences for like the rest of the video. This is because I believe that the first 30 minutes, he has laid all his main and important points, and whatever that being discussed or debated after that still revolves around the same points. The second reason is I don’t want this writing to be too long. To discuss about an almost 2 hours video is just insane and tiring.
Okay, the way I’m about to discuss this speech by Benz Ali in that particular video, is that I’m going to transcribe or quote parts of speeches where he has made his important points, then I will present my own views with respect to his points, I will make mention directly or indirectly whether I’m in agreement with him or not, so if I do agree, I will justify it with my own explanations or examples and if I’m not in agreement I will make the same thing also. I will make this discussion as concise and as simple as possible. And also I will prevent myself to use jargons in the involved subjects like philosophy, theology, ethics, socialism, Marxism, metaphysics etc ect, due to the fact that I’m not an expert in these subjects, in fact I’m just a layman, so might as well stayed on that position. And if someone asked me on what basis did I write this, I would say based on some common sense and some rational thinking. But I need to be very careful even with the so called common sense and rational thinking because they can be pretty deceiving sometimes and not necessarily true, hence I have to be very critical but at the same time being open minded.
Okay, the first point he made by referring to a book
“Religion is dead”
I have to say the first time I watched (skipping through) the video and heard about this, I was convinced that this guys was lunatic, however, the second time I watched (try to understand thoroughly) it, I kind of convinced that he did make a point with some important bearing. So the question now did he mean it as in a literal sense or a figurative sense. What I can understand not just from this point or statement but also from throughout the video; he did mention that he is a Muslim and state that there is no compulsion in religion so anybody should choose any religion they want, so if he meant by saying the religion is dead in a literal form which directly imply that the religion is useless, and anybody should deny any religion or all religions altogether in this world, he has contradicted himself by such statement. In other words why do you need to have a religion when you have said religion is dead or let say useless? Suppose, If I’m stuck in this proposition, I might deduce that he is a Munafik or a hypocrite; i.e. he is a muslim but he denounces religion.
Right, suppose what he meant by the religion is dead is something figurative, which I believe he did since he did mention that the function of religion is dead therefore the religion itself is dead. So he used the proposition “the function of religion is dead” as literal or directly towards its meaning and then used it as a ‘figure’ to imply “the religion is dead”, thus his final deduction is figurative. So why not just stay by saying “the function of religion is dead”? I could be much easier for the audience to interpret and also prevent misconception or controversy from spreading. In my own opinion if I put myself in his shoes, it could be that he wants to give it more emphasis or punch to provoke the mind and subsequently bring consciousness to the audience towards the reality. And the reality he is fighting for is the saddening and perpetual state of destitution in the present civilised world in which the society is still very faithful to religion and placing religion at the highest stature. So he simply argues why destitutions still evident or even become worst when the majority of people (in Malaysia especially) are still with religion or being “religious”. So in my view, this is his central statement of problem or the issues that he tries to bring upfront.
Ok now, let us go back to the statement “the function of religion is dead therefore the religion itself is dead”. Actually I could not agree more with this statement, given what I have laid for my understanding with respect to the literal vs. figurative thesis. Let us put forth a simple example here to see what kind of significance or weight this statement has. Okay, everything if not almost everything in this world is centralized by its function and therefore giving purpose for its existence, for example we as human being, our very essence encompasses the physical body and the soul, so when the soul leaves the physical body, the body will die, thus, the question now is; can we still strive for our purposes as a human being in this world and become a functional creation? Clearly not, since when we die we leave as well our function as a human being and our essential or true purpose in this world has ended at the very point the soul departed from the body. Here, if you can understand that I try to make sense the utmost important notion of function or you might phrase it as the main function of function is to become the most important tool or medium to achieve purposes. Remember that Allah the Almighty creates all His creatures including us with purpose. So to cut short what I can say from this understanding is that; the purpose is directly connected or in the absolute harmony with the existence of creations; creation will not be created when there is no purpose or even vice versa. So if we move backward we can make somewhat a logical correlation: Existence >> Purpose >> Function therefore if a function is dead; Function (dead) >> Purpose (dead) >> Existence (dead/non-existence).
Lastly I will give a much simpler example in order to give more clarification on this premise if you find what I have said to be quite vague, so consider a perfectly working clock, obviously we will consider this clock to be a perfectly functional clock since it serves its main purpose which is to tell us time. So when the clock is dead and no longer can tell us time, can we consider it still serves its main purpose and still functional i.e. can we still tell time from the dead clock? Absolutely not! We can say that when the clock is dead, its purpose will also die and so its function. Therefore it becomes useless. Right, remember in that video where Benz also said the religion has become useless? Again I believe Benz was just only trying to make sense with his point, and I do believe he still used it in a figurative sense and try to bridge the propositions “the function of religion is dead” and “the religion is dead” with “the religion is useless” as in: Function (dead) >> Useless >> itself (dead).
I’m getting tired guys.....
So I think I will continue this writing on the other points in the subsequent entries, Insha’Allah. Sadly, this is just only the first point, now I know how exhaustive active writing is.
So might as well give a conclusion for this entry. Right, the most important matter with regard to these overall issues about Benz Ali’s video and those who have listened to it, including myself is that the information or points that he tried to channel to the people was being excommunicated by the absent of clarity in his own speech, where he can improve his deliverance of points by making better explanations so as not to make or prevent misconceptions or misinterpretations when the information is being received by the listeners. And for us as listeners, what I can say is that to not easily judge and subsequently label people with names that clearly we don’t have the authority to do so. To simply say someone kafir, munafik, or other bad names is a grave sin, so be careful. I myself almost fell into the same trap thinking that I hold the absolute truth and so I’m the most right. And another thing, taking some information out of context can be very dangerous because in most cases the meaning of parts of information is not the same with the meaning of a complete information.
Before I end this, I just want to clarify, I’m not pro Benz Ali or whatever, this is my personal opinion and I could be wrong with everything, some points the he made which I totally disagree, for instance where he seems to only be taking lightly the literal meaning of an authentic hadith about Nabi Isa and Imam Al-Mahdi at the end times.