Malaysia celebrated its 62nd Independence Day last Saturday. The ceremony which involved marching and procession was held in Putrajaya with full sense of jubilance. The theme chosen for this year’s celebration was ‘Sayangi Malaysiaku – Malaysia Bersih’ (Love My Malaysia – Clean Malaysia) which emphasized on the importance of unity and the love of country towards achieving mutual prosperity. Minister of Communication and Multimedia, Gobind Singh Deo, highlighted that the government hoped that this theme would instil the values of integrity and noble national identity among Malaysians.
Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in his speech delivered in conjunction with the Independence Day has also stressed on the significance of the meaning of independence, which marked the freedom from foreign rule. He also called upon the citizens to reflect upon the foundation of this country which is built on values such as tolerance, noble deeds, mutual respect, selflessness, and willingness to sacrifice for the sake of this country.
62 years are quite a significant amount of time in which Malaysia has purportedly stood on its own to determine its future. But the question remains, has Malaysia really gained independence in its true sense? What is the true meaning of independence that has been understood by the Malaysians? If it means that Malaysia is able to determine the way forward on its own, does that really happen?
Independence should not be understood only linguistically, in the sense freedom from the direct rule and occupation of foreign entity. It is indeed partially true, but we should not only take it from that perspective, as it may lead to the path of destruction due to ignorance of the underlying threat of the illusion of independence.
For example, we have witnessed the growing threat of liberalism in Malaysia and the rest of Muslim world. The liberals view independence as a form of freedom from all kinds of individual restrain in life. Hence, in the eyes of these liberals, independence is having freedom to do almost anything to the extent of being free from any rules by religion. This may lead to the destruction of the society, as the idea of independence from their perspective would eventually lead to enslaving the human to their own desire and lust.
To a certain extent, some view Malaysian independence from the perspective of being an Islamic country that allows Muslims in this country to practice Islam in a peaceful manner, within the context of a society with diverse cultural and racial background. But this may not be reflective of the underlying reality in this country. The issues of disharmony and social cohesion among different races in this country are still prevalent to this day. Although nowadays there are no more incidents that are comparable to the magnitude of the May 13th 1969 tragedy, yet the racial tension that is brewing can still be sensed in the recent development. In fact, the May 13th tragedy itself was the result of the racial problems that occurred even after Malaysia has achieved its independence at that point of time. It is suffice to say that the unity and solidarity that this country attempted to achieve is yet to be fulfilled to this very day.
Furthermore, the notion of Muslims being able to practice Islam in a peaceful manner is only partially true. Indeed, Muslims are free to practice certain Islamic rituals such as fasting, praying, and performing weekly congressional prayers every Friday. But the truth is that Muslims face a lot of challenges and limitations in practicing Islam in its truest form. For example, in the implementation of hudud, Muslims faced strong opposition and even blasphemous remarks from the non-Muslims in this country. Some of the secular and infidel politicians also openly ridiculed hudud as an uncivilized law. Not only hudud, recently some non-Muslims had also openly made blasphemous and derogatory insults to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw).
In the context of spreading the message of Islam which is one of the obligations of a Muslim, it is as if the duty were allowed among those who have letter of ‘credential’ from the religious authority. Those who are deemed at odds with the government of the day by calling towards total implementation of Islam were labelled as deviants and denied from performing this noble duty. Hizb ut Tahrir is among the da’wah carriers who had been erroneously labelled as such in certain states in Malaysia.
Malaysia is one of the Muslim countries with a majority of its citizens being Muslims. Therefore, we should adopt the meaning of independence from the true perspective, which is from the view of Islam. As a comprehensive Deen, Islam has already outlined the true concept of freedom and independence. This can be seen from the Seerah of the Prophet (saw). Our beloved Prophet (saw) once had written a letter to the people from Najran. The content of the letter includes;
“أَمّا بَعْدُ فَإِنّي أَدْعُوكُمْ إلَى عِبَادَةِ اللّهِ مِنْ عِبَادَةِ الْعِبَادِ وَأَدْعُوكُمْ إلَى وِلاَيَةِ اللّهِ مِنْ وِلاَيَةِ الْعِبَادِ”
“… Amma ba’du. I called upon you to submit only to Allah and abandon submission to the slaves (human). I also called upon you to be under the authority of Allah and free yourselves from the authority and dominance of slaves (human)”
[Al-Hafizh Ibnu Katsir, Al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah, v/553].
This is the true definition of independence according to Islam. The real independence can only be achieved when human break free from the submission to human towards the total submission to Allah (swt).
Within this context, Muslims in Malaysia must realize that although this country is already free from physical occupation by the foreign colonialist, yet the mentality and the legislations in this country are still shaped by their way of life, particularly the British colonialist. The claim of being an Islamic country is merely rhetorical at best, as the system implemented in this country is not only far from being Islamic, it is in fact goes against Islam. The law in this country is not founded upon Islamic Aqeedah; it is rather created by human beings. Most Muslims fail to realize this fact.
Muslims accepted Allah (swt) as their Creator, and we do not associate Him to other deity. On the basis of this belief, it is therefore an obligation for Muslims to accept that Allah (swt) has commanded Islam as the only Deen and the solution to all sorts of problems in our life. It is unacceptable that there are some Muslims who declare their belief to Allah (swt), but abandon the Sharia and chose to abide to manmade system instead. This clearly shows that the true independence and freedom from enslavement and submission to the authority of man has yet to be achieved.
Thus, for the Muslims in Malaysia and the whole world to achieve the true freedom and independence, we should free ourselves from the shackles of the Kufr system which was forced upon us, and return to Islam through the implementation of the hukm that was decreed by Allah (swt). It is only through this endeavour that Muslims can finally achieve the true independence and freedom from the enslavement and submission to man. In our struggle towards total implementation of Islam, the only way to ensure its success is through the reestablishment of Khilafah (Caliphate) based on the method of Prophethood. Through the establishment of Khilafah, the Ummah will be able to be freed from the oppressive shackles of manmade system by the colonialists, and will subsequently have the capability to spread the mission of Islam in bringing the true meaning of independence to the whole world, in shaa Allah.
Written by Mohammad Jasman