Thursday, September 23, 2004

Islam Hadhari (UMNO General Assembly 2004)


13. Islam is Allah’s supreme guidance to mankind. As Allah’s servants, humans must give thanks to their Creator and be prepared to muhasabah (be introspective) and evaluate their weaknesses. Humans have a responsibility to fulfil their duties and to give primacy to Islam. As citizens, they must be grateful to a leadership that builds a nation of peace and prosperity in a just and trustworthy manner; a nation that provides the facilities and an enabling environment for its people to continue achieving success.

14. Since its inception - in its struggle against the Malayan Union, during the drive for independence, throughout the post-independence period, the introduction of the New Economic Policy, and in its other struggles - UMNO has always rejected the use of force. Conversely, UMNO’s strength has been proven to be predicated on a more astute approach, based on reason and rationale.

15. Such an approach must be continued and acculturated within UMNO, consistent with the Quranic injunctions:

“Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious; for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.” (An Nahl: 125)

“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.” (Fussilat: 34)

16. For this reason, Islam must be delivered in a judicious manner – through reminders and advice – through dialogue and the exchange of thoughts. The Hudaibiyah Agreement is a sterling lesson; the Muslims under the Prophet’s leadership held fast to the principle that war and the use of force should not be used as a shortcut to success. The words of Allah within the Quran contain infinite wisdom to guide mankind to the path of righteousness, the path of peace, the path that receives Allah’s acceptance.

17. Islam Hadhari is an approach that emphasises development, consistent with the tenets of Islam and focused on enhancing the quality of life. It aims to achieve this via the mastery of knowledge and the development of the individual and the nation; the implementation of a dynamic economic, trading and financial system; an integrated and balanced development that creates a knowledgeable and pious people who hold to noble values and are honest, trustworthy, and prepared to take on global challenges.

18. Islam Hadhari is not a new religion. It is not a new teaching nor is it a new mazhab (denomination). Islam Hadhari is an effort to bring the Ummah back to basics, back to the fundamentals, as prescribed in the Quran and the Hadith that form the foundation of Islamic civilization. If Islam Hadhari is interpreted sincerely and understood clearly, it will not cause Muslims to deviate from the true path. It is not UMNO’s culture to trivialize religion. UMNO has never allowed religion to be used as a political tool. UMNO staunchly opposes the use of Islam as an instrument to manipulate people’s beliefs. UMNO has always ensured that Islam and Muslims are protected from such abuse of religion. It was on this basis that UMNO, which was directly involved in formulating the Federal Constitution, inserted Articles that place Islam under the jurisdiction of the Heads of State.

19. As the party that is responsible for ensuring Muslims are able to meet current challenges without deviating from their faith, the doors of ijtihad must remain open, so that interpretations are suited to the developmental needs of the prevailing time and conditions. Policies must be balanced and broad-based development that encompasses the infrastructure and the economy; human resource development via a comprehensive education programme; the inculcation of noble values through spiritual development and assimilation of Islamic values.

20. Islam Hadhari aims to achieve ten main principles:
I. Faith and piety in Allah
II. A just and trustworthy government
III. A free and independent People
IV. Mastery of knowledge
V. Balanced and comprehensive economic development
VI. A good quality of life
VII. Protection of the rights of minority groups and women
VIII. Cultural and moral integrity
IX. Safeguarding the environment
X. Strong defenses

21. These principles have been formulated to ensure that the implementation and approach does not cause anxiety among any group in our multiracial and multireligious country. These principles have been devised to empower Muslims to face the global challenges of today.

22. Islam Hadhari is complete and comprehensive, with an emphasis on the development of the economy and civilization, capable of building Malay competitiveness. The glorious heritage of Islamic civilization in all aspects must be used as reference and become the source of inspiration for the Malay race to prosper.

23. A change in mindset among Malays requires action that is encompassing, drastic and systematic, irregardless of sector or partisan loyalty. It requires the Malays to change their tasawwur (worldview). Consistent with this, the concept of life as service to God and the concept of work as worship, humans as caliphs and the obligation to seek strength in every aspect of life must be accentuated, in particular, the objective of maqasid al Syariah which seeks to safeguard, dignify and empower religion, intellect, life, property and progeny.

24. A consistent effort to ensure lasting success must be prepared. Any thinking that confuses and is inconsistent with Islamic beliefs must be rejected in order to allow Malay resilience and thought to be built. A change in attitude and culture requires ijtihad and jihad (struggle). The concept of jihad must be given a broader interpretation, covering all aspects of life, including the pursuit of knowledge, the mastery of science and technology and economic activity. This improvement in quality (itqan) must become part of our culture. Ijtihad that can build the Ummah in the modern day must be acknowledged.

25. Malays must be given Islamic understanding that enables the appreciation and provides the ability to inherit a vision of a global civilization, in order for Malays to be more successful global players. As a strategy to improve Malay competitiveness, the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood (ukhuwah Islamiah) must be inculcated and expanded to create a strong social network. Malays must appreciate self-sufficiency and reduce dependence on others. Negative traits and values must be changed to accommodate the values of the tasawur.

26. Malay society must be a society that embraces knowledge, skills and expertise in order to build capacity. Islam makes it compulsory for Muslims to embrace knowledge in all fields. The misconception that there exists a difference between so-called secular knowledge and religious knowledge must be corrected. Islam demands the mastery of science and technology and the enhancement of skills and expertise. Many verses in the Quran that touch on the need to master science and technology should be studied. All Muslim students should be aware of Islam’s contribution to science and technology that brought about the birth of the Renaissance in Europe. Initiatives to produce more Malay scientists who are capable of making new discoveries must be intensified.

27. Malays, UMNO and Islam in this country cannot be separated. Together, the elements form a distinct culture and identity. Through its words and actions, UMNO has the responsibility of building an Islamic culture that balances the needs of this world and the next, an Islam that balances fardhu kifayah and fardhu ain. Worldly affairs that are conducted with sincerity will, God willing, receive Allah’s blessings and will be favourably looked upon in the Hereafter.

“But seek, with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed upon you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world; and do good as Allah has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah likes not the Mufsidun (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupters.)” (Al Qasas: 77)

28. UMNO must enable Muslims to engage the world in a positive manner. Life on this Earth is a journey that requires us to discharge our responsibilities to society in an honest, transparent and trustworthy manner. Mankind will not fully benefit from this life if their attitude and worldview is not as it should be; because Allah created Man to be leaders on Earth. It is therefore imperative for mankind to arm itself with knowledge and with skills, to enable them to succeed.

29. It is important for the Ummah to be guided in understanding and practicing Islam as a comprehensive way of life as a means to building a civilization. A wholesome way of life will create the balance between our responsibilities in this world and the Hereafter. Islam is not merely a ritual, because ritualism is meant solely for the Hereafter. UMNO, too, has never practiced secularism that rejects the Hereafter and focuses solely on worldly matters. Islam must be lived as a system that integrates the worldly life and preparations for the Day of Judgment.