An Exposition of the Way in which Umno Women’s chief Shahrizat Jalil Discover the Faults in her Soul.


The responsibility for the administration of the Government, in an Islamic state, is entrusted to an Amir (leader or chief) who may be likened to the President or the Prime Minister in the conventional democratic state.

The basic qualifications for the election of an Amir are that he should command the confidence of the ABLUL HAL WAL’AQD [The Constitutional Body).

They are recruited from among the scholars (of Islam), leaders, and notables who effectively have the duty to carry out this task of appointing the ruler. In this, they do not act on their own personal preferences, but on behalf of the whole nation, being as they are, its representatives. Three conditions must be met for eligibility to membership of this body, namely:

Moral credit (piety and moral standards).
To be well versed in religion so as to be in a position to decide upon who deserves the position of Amir.
Good and sound judgment leading to a sharp perception of who is most suitable for the role of Amir.
The Amir can retain office only so long as he observes Allah’s Shari’ah laws. Being himself the primary example of it both in her dealings and conduct, honoring her commitments and being true to his trust; in brief, she should conform to the conditions originally stipulated upon his holding office and will have to vacate his office when he loses this confidence. But as long as she retains such confidence he will have the authority to govern and exercise the powers of the Government, of course, in consultation with the Shura (the advisory council) and within the limits set by a Shari’ah. Every citizen will have the right to criticize the sharizat should she deviate from the straight path, fail to honor the trust laid in her, transgress and tyrannize over people, change his conduct for the worst, freeze the implementation of Allah’s penal code, or flouts Allah’s regulations in anyway. If she fails to live up to one of the conditions stipulated for her eligibility to the office, the nation has the right to overrule her judgment either by correcting him or by deposing them.

Legislation in an Islamic state will be restricted within the limits prescribed by the law of the Shari’ah. The injunctions of God and His legislative body can make any alterations or modifications in them or make any law repugnant to them. As for the commandments which are liable to two or more interpretations the duty of ascertaining the real intent of the Shari’ah, in such cases, will devolve on people possessing a specialized knowledge of the law of Shari’ah. Hence, such affairs will have to be referred to a sub committee of the advisory council compressing men learned in Islamic Law. A vast field will still be available for legislation on questions not covered by any specific injunctions of the Shari’ah and the advisory council or legislature will be free to legislate in regard to these matters.

In Islam the judiciary is not placed under the control of the executive. It derives its authority directly from the Shari’ah and is answerable to God. The judges, no doubt can be appointed by the Government but once a judge has occupied the bench he will have to administer justice among the people according to the law of God in an impartial manner. The organs and functionaries of the Government will not be outside his legal jurisdiction much so that even the highest executive authority of the Government is liable to be called upon to appear in a court of law as a plaintiff or defendant like any other citizen of the state. Rulers and the ruled are subject to the same law and there can be no discrimination on the basis of position, power or privilege. Islam stands for equality and scrupulously sticks to this principle in social, economic and political realms alike.
Motives and Incentives
Time for Shahrizat’s family to stop hiding behind her

In her bid to negotiate better terms of release for her family, Shahrizat has fired a salvo at her enemies, warning that no one in Umno was without “problems” – which some see as a threat to expose her colleagues if they attacked her too hard.
But critics say corruption is corruption and even if her motivations are for her family, it is time she faced up to the woes caused by the mismanagement in NFC. And perhaps, it is time too for her family to come out and own up to their alleged faults in the NFC, rather than to expect her to keep protecting them.
“In the first place, corruption is wrong. So to sympathize is out. If the allegations are true, then she too would have enjoyed the holidays, the condos and perks. Surely, her husband and children wouldn’t have left her out of their activities. Does it make sense?” said Tian Chua.

This concept of Islam about woman and her place in the universe also provides those motivating forces which can inspire a person to act in conformity with the moral law. The fact, that a man voluntarily and willingly accepts God as her own Creator, and the obedience to God as the mode of his life and strives to seek Her Pleasure in his every action, provides a sufficient incentive to enable her to obey the commandments which she believes to be from God. Along with this, the belief in the Day of Judgment and the belief that whosoever obeys Divine Commands is sure to have a good life ‘in the Hereafter, the Eternal Life, whatever difficulties and handicaps he may have to face in this transitory phase of life, provides a strong incentive for virtuous life. On the other hand, the belief that whoever violates the Commandments of God in this world and dies in a state of Kufr (unbelief) shall have to bear eternal punishment however superficially nice a life he may have led in this temporary abode, is an effective deterrent against violation of moral law. If this hope and fear are firmly ingrained, and deeply rooted in one’s heart, they will provide a strong motive-force to inspire one to virtuous deeds even on occasions when worldly consequences may appear to be very damaging and harmful, and it will keep one away from evil even on occasions when it looks extremely attractive and profitable.

The Malaysian public has been exposed to many such scandals, including Najib’s own alleged RM570 million commission from the purchase of two Scorpene submarines. Several new corporate deals involving a ridiculously cheap sale of shares in national car company Proton to Umno crony Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, an exorbitantly priced RM7bil West Coast Expressway project and the controversial AirAsia-MAS share swap are also being questioned.

There are growing demands on the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission to take action on the various cases. But the NFC has drawn the greatest attention, with Malaysians angered at the agency’s perceived deliberate inaction against Shahrizat’s husband Salleh Ismail, who was accused by another Umno personality Shamsubahrin Ismail of paying him to bribe the police to influence the outcome of the investigations.
Salleh has been in prolonged police remand, again prompting talk of infighting raging in Umno as the various factions take sides and negotiate for the best terms in which to draw the curtains on the scandal.
Apart from Shahrizat and Najib, those involved are deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin who has refused to call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry, former prime minister Abdullah Badawi, Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin and Noh Omar, the current Agriculture minister who oversees the project.

This clearly indicates that Islam possesses a distinctive criterion of good and evil, its own source of moral law, and its own sanction and motive force, and by them its virtues in all spheres of life after knitting them into a balanced and comprehensive plan. Thus, it can be justifiably claimed that Islam possesses a perfect moral system of its own. This system has many distinguishing features and I shall refer to the three most significant ones which, in my opinion, can be termed its special contributions to ethics.

Re-reading Islamic textual sources is not the simple answer to patriarchal interpretations and practices among Muslims. The answer is beyond that of gender and linguistics. It is more fundamentally about broadening our concepts of religion and revelation. Muslim women should take the lead challenging narrow ideas about who has “religious” authority.

An Exposition of the Way in which a woman Discover the Faults in her Soul.
An Exposition of the Way in which a Man may Discover the Faults in his Soul.
Firstly, she should sit before a Shaykh who has insight into these faults and hidden weaknesses, and put him in authority over his soul, and follow the instructions he gives in connection with his struggle therewith.

Secondly,she may seek out a true, perceptive and religious friend, and appoint him to be the overseer of her soul, so that he notes here circumstances and deeds, and brings to her attention the inner and external faults, acts and traits which she finds dislikeable inher. This was the practice of the wise herand the great leaders of the Faith.

‘Umar (may God be pleased with him) used to say, ‘May God grant His mercy to a woman who shows me my faults’. And he used to ask Salman about her faults when they met, saying, ”What things have you heard about me that you find dislikeable?’ Salman pleaded to be excused answering this but when he insisted, replied, ‘I have heard that you once ate two kinds of food at one meal, and that you have two sets of clothing, one to wear at night and the other for the day.’ ‘Have you heard anything else?’ he enquired, and he said that he had not. ‘These two things,’he said, ‘I now renounce’.

It was ever the desire of religious people to discover their faults through being told of them by others; however, things have come to such a pass with us that the most hateful of all people are those who counsel us and draw our attention to our defects.

The third way is to learn of the faults of one’s soul by listening to the statements of one’s enemies, for a hostile eye brings out defects: it may happen that a womam gains more from an enemy and a foe who reminds him of his faults than from a dissimulating friend who praises and speaks highly of him, and hides from him his faults. Although human nature is inclined to disbelieve an enemy and to interpret his statements as the fruit of envy, still, the man of insight, whose faults must necessarily be noised abroad in the statements of his foes will not fail to derive some benefit.

The fourth way is to mingle with people, and to attribute to oneself every blameworthy thing which one sees in them. For ‘the believers are mirrors one to another’, and recognize their own faults in the faults of others, knowing that temperaments are similar in the following of desire, and that every attribute in a man must be shared by his associate to some degree; thus one will come to scrutinise one’s own soul and cleanse it of everything one finds blameworthy in others. This constitutes the highest degree of self-discipline. ‘Were all people only to renounce the things they dislike in others they would not need anyone to discipline them. Jesus (upon whom be peace) was once asked, ‘Who taught you?’ ‘I was taught by no-one,’ he replied. ‘I perceived the ignorance ofthe ignorant man, and avoided it’.

[An excerpt from “Disciplining the Soul” by al-Imam al-Ghazzali]

Embattled Umno Women’s chief Shahrizat Jalil has refused to step down, stubbornly closing an eye to the growing calls from within her own party including from her own deputy and senior leaders such Mahathir Mohamad and Rafidah Aziz to do so, and pinning the blame on the opposition instead.
“The opposition did not make up the condo purchases, Mercedes Benz, holidays and what-nots. It is time for Shahrizat to own up. Her party is also telling her to step down. So it is no point to keep blaming PKR for doing a good job in exposing the abuse of public funds. Is she implying that Malaysians should punish Pakatan for telling on her and vote for BN because it helped her to cover up?” PKR MP for Batu Tian Chua toldMalaysia Chronicle.
One of the most unpopular women in Malaysia now
Indeed, it is strange that Shahrizat does not see that she has become one of the most unpopular women in the country and has forgotten that one of the reasons why she beat Rafidah so easily for the Wanita presidency in the 2009 internal polls was because Rafidah was seen as guilty of corruption over the motor-vehicle Authorized Permits.
Nonetheless, Shahrizat is determined to go back to work on Monday, telling reporters of her decision on her return from Mecca on Friday. Like many Umno leaders including Prime Minister Najib Razak and wife Rosmah Mansor, whenever faced with scandals, Shahrizat sought refuge in performing the Umrah (smaller pilgrimage) to seek divine advice.
“I would not be worth my salt as a minister and leader of 1.3 million members if I am weak and succumb to this type political theatre orchestrated by the Opposition,” Shahrizat told reporters.
“All these attacks and the greed (kerakusan) of the Opposition that I have witnessed have only made me more determined to continue to lead Wanita Umno’s charge into the next general election.”

Wanita Umno already divided by the NFC debacle
Yet, she had no rebuttal to make when asked to comment on the quit calls from Rafidah or Kamilia Ibrahim, her deputy, opting once again to hide behind the mantle of the Wanita chief’s chair for protection.
“I have deep respect for her as the former Wanita Umno chief, but I am the chief now and my job is to make sure Wanita Umno is prepared and ready to face the next polls,” Shahrizat said with regards to Rafidah’s comments.
“I know where she is coming from,” said Shahrizat, referring to her deputy Kamilia. Her words which insinuated Kamilia, who issued a press statement describing her as a burden, was after her job confirmed that the wing was already bitterly divided.
Despite Shahrizat’s bold words and fight-back, most Wanita members are unhappy because of the corruption allegations against her family over the RM250mil National Feedlot Centre financial debacle.
They want her to step down pending investigations, especially against the possibility that the 13th general election might be held later this year, and the highly publicized NFC scandal would surely drive voters away from Wanita Umno.
“The point is: damn it, decide, don’t leave it the decision to go to the prime minister. Don’t leave the onus on the prime minister to decide for you,” the Malay Mali reported a no-holds-barred Rafidah as saying earlier this week.
Dragging Umno deeper into the NFC fire

Former Umno president Mahathir too has advised her to quit “before she is chased out”.
But it looks Shahrizat is determined to drag Umno deeper into the affair, which some of her supporters believe was prompted by the prime minister himself. The Umno grapevine is buzzing with talk that Najib wanted to replace Shahrizat with Raja Nong Chik in the Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat.
But sadly for Umno, the tinderbox turned into a Pandora’s box and Najib is now unable to douse the fire of his own making. As Shahrizat’s rivals in Umno rail at her to resign, her supporters are telling to last it out and bargain for the best from Najib before she agrees to quit. To them, Najib’s camp is to blame for the Raja Nong Chik threat and the PM deserves the ensuing headache for plotting against her.
Indeed, Raja Nong Chik, who is the Umno Lembah Pantai division chief and FT minister, has already busied himself in the constituency and buntings and banners with his picture alongside Najib’s can be spotted all over the Kerinchi and Bangsar areas.
We conclude from the above that seeing the faults of others could bring about either one of two consequences: positive or negative.
Positive is when we reflect what we see from the faults of others on our state, and then from there, begin rectifying our state. Positive is also when we ask Allah to bless us with the exceptional wisdom in offering sincere advice (make da’wah) to those with faults hoping that in return a friend would do the same when they see our faults.
Negative, as we would generally have already experienced, is when arrogance creeps in on oneself, refusing to reflect and ‘attribute to oneself every blameworthy thing which one sees in others’.
اللهم استر عوراتنا وآمن روعاتنا
We ask Allah to help us rectify our state and purify our soul…
The Prophet ‘alayhissalatu wassalam was asked, “What will save me from the wrath of God?” He said, “Do not express your anger.”
He, ‘alayhissalatu wassalam, has also said: “If one of you gets angry, he should be quiet.”
The strong man is not the one who can throw another down. The strong man is the one who can keep hold of himself when he is angry.”
Anger, if it is truly and sincerely for Allah’s sake, will only inspire us to noble deeds and to personal sacrifice, and never to base, unjust, or ignoble actions.
Anger is a very powerful emotion. It rages through a person, creating a desire for revenge and for striking out at the object of anger.
Anger is an emotion that inspires action, if left unchecked and uncontrolled, it is the emotion that can lead a person to the evilest of deeds and to the worst consequences.
Anger is a destabilizing thought. It is the most dividing emotion between friends; it takes away judgment, leads to depression, madness and wrong actions that we would repent later on when we are not angry.
Anger that inspires a person to avenge his own personal feelings is indeed blameworthy.
Among the chief causes of anger are pride and arrogance, since a prideful person is most easily offended and the most painfully stung by criticism.
Another cause of anger is being argumentative. The more a person disputes with others, the less likely he is to accept the truth. His views become increasingly polarized and emotionally charged.
Anger snatches away the wisdom of man and thus he becomes a brute beast devoid of any sense.
Anger weakens a person’s Iman.
One preventive medicine is to avoid being too sensitive to pressure and become “deaf, dumb and mute”.
Check the circumstance, check your words, check yourself. Because sometimes, you may find that the other person violated one rule and find yourself violating ten.
اللهم بصر لنا عيوبنا
O Lord, show us our own flaws!
May Allah forgive . . .

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