Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Season of sumpah

So everyone who’s anyone is taking to the mosque for a sumpah session. And they all swear for the calamity to fall on themselves or others. Nauzubillah.

Soon, I’m afraid we will all be going through the curse of seven generations a la Mahsuri, and this beautiful country will for a long while be –‘padang jarang padang tekukur.’

Decades ago, I remember Terengganuan were fond of swearing ‘tobat kafir serani’ – to the effect of saying I swear lest I am a disbeliever or a Christian.

That swearing is something I had not heard for so many years now. Not even among the children. Maybe better understanding of Islam has significantly reduced if not almost purged the swearing and cursing. That the swearing is making a comeback is an indication otherwise. That some ‘learned’ people are resorting to it is downright alarming.

I don’t believe that swearing is even encouraged in Islam whatever some ulama may say. I am not an ulama, far from it; but I know enough to form an opinion that it is not.

Remember how Allah s w t had chided Rasulullah saw when he swore not to have honey only to please his wives?

O Prophet! Why holdest thou to be forbidden that which God has made lawful to thee? Thou seekest to please thou consorts. But God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful
(at-Tahrim 66:01)

Remember how Allah s w t had called for the ummah to break away from the bond of oath?

God has already ordained for you, (O Men), the dissolution of your oath: and God is your protector and He is full of knowledge and wisdom.
(at-Tahrim 66:02)

Remember how Allah swt had warned against those who go round swearing and taking oath in His Names?

Heed not the type of despicable man – ready with oath,
A slanderer, going about with calumnies,
(Habitually) hindering (all) good, transgressing beyond bounds, deep in sin

(al-Qalam 68: 10-12)

Okay, so some ulama said that sumpah lian (oath of calamity) is in the Quran. But my reading of it is about the accusation of a husband on his allegedly unfaithful wife.

And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have no evidence but their own, their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by God that they are telling the truth,

And the fifth (oath) that they solemnly invoke the curse of God on themselves if they tell a lie.
(an-Nur 24:6,7)

If it sound so easy, similarly easy was the way out for the wife as the accused party.

But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) by God, that (her husband) is telling a lie.

And the fifth (oath) that they solemnly invoke the curse of God on themselves if (her accuser) is telling the truth.
(an-Nur 24:8,9)

I am not an ulama nor do I know about taklik and hukum but in my limited knowledge, I see it more as Allah’s way of putting stop to any fitnah – accusation and slander. For in Islam fitnah is worse than murder.

Fitnah and oppression are worse than slaughter.
(al-Baqarah 2:217)

Enough is enough. Why can’t we too do the same? Put a stop to it.

When we were young, and when we swear to escape punishment by saying ‘tobat lillah aku do wak, supoh kapir serani’- the elder and wise among us will say, ‘Awang, dok baik tobat gitu.’

To them that now do, I say the same too.

‘Awang, dok baik tobat gitu.’

Translation of Quran from Abdullah Yusuf Ali

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