FMT LETTER: From Anas Zubedy, via e-mail
Last week as I scrolled my twitter home page I chanced upon a tweet quoting the Quran by Khalid Samad the current MP and YDP of PAS Shah Alam and also a member of PAS Central Committee.
The tweet conversation went like this.
Khalid: Renung2kan “…tidak kami sembah mereka kecuali utk merapatkn diri kami kpd ALLAH..” Surah Az-Zumar 3. Alasan musyrikin menyembah berhala
Anas: Political parties can also be those berhala bro. Salam, anas
Khalid: Yup unless they specify that the Quran and Sunnah are their guiding principles. Those using other guides may be a berhala.
Anas: Specification or practice? And r u saying d DAP is a berhala if u follow them coz they specify otherwise?
The good YB did not follow-up with the tweet. Perhaps he is busy. Perhaps the road the tweet conversation was heading may bring him to a conflict between his religious belief and political expediency. Perhaps he himself is grappling with an answer.
So, is a political party a berhala? When does it become one? On what grounds, based on what they say or what they do?
But first let’s look at Verse 39:3 in full.
“Is it not to God alone that all sincere faith is due? And yet, they who take for their protectors aught beside Him [are wont to say], “We worship them for no other reason than that they bring us nearer to God.” Behold, God will judge between them [on Resurrection Day] with regard to all wherein they differ [from the truth]: for, verily, God does not grace with His guidance anyone who is bent on lying [to himself and is] stubbornly ingrate! “
The above verse relates to practices where followers hope that a third party will ‘mediate’ between God and himself. This is done with the faith that the third party can act as a protector and insurance provider providing a passageway towards God and Heaven – a stand categorically rejected by the Quran. The third party is symbolic and can take the forms of anything from material objects, humans (dead or alive), movements and fundamentally everything man made or God made – including political parties.
The question is then, on what criteria?
The good YB suggested that a political party is a ‘berhala’ unless they specify that the Quran and the Sunnah are their guiding principles. Those who use other guides may be a berhala. This is where the problem starts. Following this criteria, the good YB is to a large degree suggesting that only PAS is not while the others including fellow PR coalition partners DAP and PKR are likely berhalas. I have a problem with that.