Monday, 13 October 2014

Let’s be frank but fair

Let’s be frank but fair.

The actual name for Chinese race is Han. And most Chinese who settled in Malaysia are Han. Their major beliefs are Buddhism & Taoism, besides the small but growing number of Christians & Muslims among them.
Contrary to popular conception, the famous admiral Cheng Ho is actually Hui by ethnicity. Just as Baba Nyonya is born out of Chinese-Malay mixed marriage, Hui people are from Arab/Persian-Han intermarriage. Nevertheless, Cheng Ho is, and still is, a pride not only to the Han Chinese people (the majority race in China) but also to the Muslim world, as he’s also a Muslim.

When this part is understood, you’ll know what I mean by next part.

During our trip to central China, whereby the majority Hui populations live alongside Han people, I often encountered a self-contradicting statement.
Here’s an example that happened during Ramadan this year:

Situation 1 : My delegation consisted of me and my Malay brothers & sisters. As our Hui friend casually asked my Malay friends’ ethnicity, he was happy to know the diversity of Muslims as he asked them. When it comes to me, I replied I am Han Muslim. Immediately, he said “No matter what race, we are all Muslims”. I was astonished. Just now, you were happy to know the diversity of Muslims’ race, and now you were awkward at my race?

Situation 2 : A Hui sister briefly expressed her grouse about China government’s unfair policy towards Muslims by using the term ‘Han country’ (汉族国家) when referring to China. However, during the get-to-know-you session with me together with my Malay friends, she referred me as ‘Hua ren/华人’ (another general name for Chinese race).

You may wonder, why do I care so much about these terms Han, Hua, Hui, whatever? Well, the following situation which had happened recently will illustrate the importance of not overlooking this matter:

In one of the Maghrib sermons delivered by a respected ustadh few days ago, he repeatedly cursed the Jews of the Prophet pbuh’s time as he elaborated the meanings of the verses in Surah Baqarah (whereupon Jews were causing trouble to the Ummah). He even used the word Laknatullah (meaning, may Allah’s curse be upon them) and even further strengthened his statement by mentioning that the it was a Jewish, - again Jews- who poisoned the Prophet pbuh during his final moments. All these statements were as if, Jews are a cursed race and Muslims need to beware of them.

My heart felt like a stab of parang knife when he said like this, despite having great respect for his knowledge in Islamic matters.

Think about it, if it’s so true that Jews are a bunch of cursed race till the End of the world, why would Allah care to give Hidayah to some Jews who are sincere to Islam even until now? What about the Jewish lady Tsafiya bat Chai (Safiyya bint Huyayy) who became one of the respected Mother of Believers as one of Prophet’s wife? Not to forget, there is Muhammad Asad who is himself a Jews, and he had even produced a Tafsir of the Qur’an and wrote some books that are still printed until now.

And think again, if all that is in your mind about the Han Chinese is that they are a bunch of oppressors in China and communists gangs in Malaysia, why should you even care to Da’wah to them?

We should be careful when mentioning about other races who are still predominantly non-Muslims. Yes, I know very well how Jews in ancient times had hurt the hearts of many messengers that Allah had sent. But let’s not forget to put extra effort to address to the listeners and readers that these are a particular group of Jews and not in the whole race. And even in today’s context, the one that you should hate with all your heart is the Zionist and not Jews!

If you bear deep hatred towards a particular race, then, as ustadh Nouman Ali Khan mentioned in his Friday khutbah about Surah Hud, “You are not ready for the work of the messengers (peace be upon them)”.

In this Surah, Allah mentions about Prophet Saleh pbuh. The first words that came out of his mouth when he Da’wah was “O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him.”. He did not say, “O people of Thalmud” or even “O people”. But he said “o MY people”. Thalmud is also Saleh pbuh’s race, but instead he began with “O my people” because he CARES for them, he is WORRIED of them.

Da’wah is the first and foremost job of all prophets pbut. As Muslims, this is the legacy of Prophet Muhammad pbuh that we must continue, so long as there are still not yet Muslims on the Earth. Even if they do Syirik, it is not our excuse not to have compassion, because it is love that will smoothen the Da’wah, not hatred! Is the proverb “Hate the sin, not the sinner” still in your heart?

I myself am proud to be Han Chinese, no doubt at all. I am very proud of the Chinese's 5000 years of history, and I am more grateful and proud with the legacy of Muhammad pbuh and his Lord. However, this does not mean I am sidelining Islam nor mixing race with religion. Islam has to be above our races and not the other way round.

And think again. If we insist to hate Jews for the rest of our lives, then we are no different from racism towards Chinese and many other races in the world. Guess what's next? This hatred is against Allah's reason in creating multiracial humanity as stated in His Book.

1 comment:

  1. Assalam Alaikum,

    Well expressed on the hui, han and whatever "H" chinese!

    The reverts are in special position as we carry with us history and traditions of the various countries we live in, the races we are born in and lastly Islam as our religion.

    I think knowing history is a crucial tool in strengthening ourselves as a muslim. I state this because just recently someone mentioned that I have leave my "chinese roots" because I started to dress differently to the "modern chinese".

    But in actual fact, if we do look into the history of chinese clothing culture, our ancestor wore loose clothings which covered most part of our bodies, called the HanFu. Just like what is required islamically. It was only during Manchu and Qing dynasty that things changed with western influences as well~

    I have not forsaken my roots, actually, I'm just returning to the way ancestors' way of life~

    Well, people will know the truth on judgement day. As you mentioned we have 5000 years of history. Can you imagine all our ancestors appearing with us on that day? How would the "modern chinese" feel with their "weird" dressing from their ancestors?

    May Allah swt protects us from the humiliation. Ameen!

    Khadijah C.