Saturday, June 12, 2010

Manusia Memang Selfish

Aku nak jadi serious pagi ni.

I just finished reading Never Let Me Go (you can read my review about it here ) and somehow, something about the book reminded me of Avatar.

I guess it is easier to comprehend the behaviour of us homo-sapiens when it is presented to us from another creature's point of view. (Saya pernah baca kata kata ini : You can't find yourself inside yourself. Step outside. I'll meet you there)

Avatar was from the POV of well, an alien and this book was from the POV of clones. Yes, human clones. You know how we've always thought of clones as this human-form that is kept in like, huge test tubes and their purpose are solely to produce human organs that will enhance our biological and medical technology? (Saya sendiri pun termasuk dalam kategori jahil, sebab tak pernah terfikir ada kemungkinan that there is a realm where something other than that orthodox belief exists)

Well, the idea that Kazuo Ishiguro puts forward was that these clones were capable of thoughts and emotions but even when presented with proof of that, the society and the government ran scared and denied the possibility of the clones being anything more than mere lab apparatus.

(Apa yang saya cuba nak ketengahkan di sini bukannya tentang possibility bahawa ada kemungkinan ciptaan manusia tu adalah seperfect ciptaan Tuhan. Jangan cepat melatah! Saya sedang bicara tentang ignorance secara general ni)

When it comes to anything remotely sensitive, like politics or religion or extreme social issues, ive noticed that TOO MANY people refuse to address these issues directly. They refuse to read up on said subjects and they refuse to discuss and debate it openly. 

Why? I keep asking myself, why? Out of fear that their opinions might be open to ridicule, perhaps? Or fear that it will lead them astray to further unconventional thoughts, maybe. Instead, they would rather deny the possibility of there being anything more substantial to discuss, and they will kill the topic and move on to other lighter and less complicated subjects.

I have once touched the subject of alcohol in Islam. Of course it is prohibited, but why exactly? I've gotten so sick with all this 'sebab Allah cakap haram, haram lah!' and 'Itu kan air kencing setan, duhh' statements that are repetitive in nature. It is as if, everyone are clones (pah! the irony!) and have exactly the same thoughts when it comes to subjects such as these.

It was stated that alcohol is prohibited for health reasons. Besides, it makes you high and when you are in an ecstasy, you will not be thinking straight and thus, it will prevent you from conducting your ibadah in a sober state.

Now, let me ask you this (pardon me for repeating my own posts), if a series of experiments were to be conducted where a medical test is done on a person where the amount of alcohol consumed is carefully calculated - an amount that will not induce any form of health hazard AT ALL, will not affect the person's sanity and is not enough to cause an addiction - is it still prohibited in that sense?

This is just one example out of the many questions that i ask myself. I personally think that there is nothing wrong in asking questions. For, if you do not ask questions, how else do you expect to get answers? As long as you do not let your faith be swayed by whatever question you might pose and answers you might obtain, i believe there is nothing wrong with it. 

Satu lagi example. (harap harap tak kena rejam lepas ni). Dalam Quran, there is a surah called Al-Qiyamah. It is about Doom's Day. Thing is, the direct translation of the name of the surah is The Resurrection.

While resurrection can mean 'the act of rising from the dead', it can also mean 'the state of one who has returned to life'. All this while, everyone has always assumed that it is a literal account of what The End of The World will be like. Isnt there just a possibility that instead, it describes a journey of somebody whose life has gone through darkness and is just discovering a newfound light? 

Isn't al-Quran after all a complete book of guidelines that covers every aspects of our lives? I don't want to get into details with the whole al-Qiyamah business. It will be too lengthy. Penat korang nak baca nanti. But if you are as jobless as i am, and you've got time to spare, go read the translation and see if there's a hidden meaning behind those physical lines that you can read.

If you want to discuss and debate it with me, by all means, do so. (Sambil sambil tu, we can both generate an extra brain cell or two heheh). Drop a comment, write me an email. Apa apa pun boleh. OK, moving on.

What is wrong with asking questions? What is wrong with trying to discover the source of why such and such rules and regulations were created in the first place? You never know, if you give these questions a chance, you might just discover something new within yourself.
Sampai bila weh, kita nak run scared everytime something out of the ordinary surfaces? Kalau semua orang ada attitude macam ni, sampai sekarang kita still ingat bumi tu flat. Sampai sekarang kita still ingat matahari tu yang orbit around bumi. 

Ke kita memang spesies yang suka di-institutionalized? Ikut semua hukum hakam dan akta akta tanpa fikir panjang? 

Open up your minds, let your mind wander around. Unless if you think it's too small to be let out by itself without a leash lah, haha. In that case, you can stay under your blanket of ignorance til the day you die. :)


Afiq Abd Malik said...


Cakap berdegar - degar, bila diajak bertentang mata, lari menyorok di bawah kelambu, kemaluan menguncup diam terbisu, malas membaca malas berfikir, tapi masih berdegar - degar, ah bilakah kita nak sedar? sampai bila nak jadi Melayu?

Bila diajak ke jalan Enlightment, alasan nya banyak mulut berbau, konon itu semua dakyah Israel dan kuncu - kuncu, meraung menjelak ke sana sini, hilang anak hilanglah bini, dia lah betul yang lain palsu!

Sudahlah Sha, kita tenang - tenang saja, mungkin kita berjenis lain, berdarah sakti berakal seribu bercinta mati hidup selalu, yang penting kita tahu, kita baca kita fikir kita tak malu, all in all, Enlightenment must come little by little - otherwise it would overwhelm!

Hehe. Saya pun cranky, kena kerja Ahad dan Sabtu! Shit.

Merissa K. said...


Yang hipokrit itu,
Selalu selalu bertudungkan yang dah termaktub.

Bila digesa, dipaksa,
dan dah tak mampu beri jawapan yang nyata,
lebih senang juihkan bicara,
dan retort dengan safe answer.

berdarah sakti berakal seribu bercinta mati hidup selalu sounds pretty yummy to me. :) biarlah jadi tak malu, asalkan otak tak bersawang berdebu.

Heyy, gigih nya kerja! Ni projek juta juta ye? :D

amywammy said...

Very interesting. Ishiguro has always succeed in rocking my nights away with mind orgasm. there's always something ethereal about the novels of Japanese authors. Sangat dramatik kalau dibaca waktu malam tatkala dunia sepi dan kita hanya ditemani oleh akal.

And as to asking questions and reading the books that out Ustaz and Ustazahs warn us about, I dah tak larat dah nak cakap. Asal cakap je, orang mesti cam "ko ni cukup ilmu ke nak cakap pasal benda ni?". Penat, penat, penat. They don't understand the significance of the first revelation that was sent by God to the Prophet (PBUH). If knowledge is regarded as so important sampai the first thing Allah ask us to do is read, why are our people like this now?

And thank you for your thoughts on the chapter of the Quran. From what I understand, the Quran has always been a mystery. Every kalimah, every verse brings layers of meaning, so it could be the direct translation of the world coming to an end as what was illustrated in the verses, and it could bring the abstract meaning of to start anew, which can also be applied in our everyday practices i.e; being a better person as the days go by.

I need time to articulate my thoughts and to bukak balik the Quran, so maybe I'll drop a comment later on. Haha

Anonymous said...

Well the thing about religion and its teaching is that its open to various intrepretations from different individuals. Its very abstract most of the time and the reasons behind the taboos are never revealed. So we try to find out why by relating to real life situations. Like ur example on alcohol. It causes you to lose control, addiction, diseases, etc. But is it still forbidden to drink it but not to the extent of getting intoxicated? IMO, yes, it is still forbidden.

Why? Okay, for starters, since we're comparing it with real life situations. Religion aside. Let's take another example. Petty theft. Money, food, whatever. It's forbidden. Why? Cuz ur causing grief to the party u stole it from. But what if u stole something that doesn't amount that much to cause any significance? Say, like 10 bucks from ur mom's purse. She might not notice it and it doesnt hurt her financially. Would it still be duit haram? Yes. And i think u can already see where im going with this.

See the thing with religious taboos. I think its just there to make us better people. We have so many temptations in life. It very easy to succumb to lust, greed, gluttony and all that 7 sins thing. These taboos are to help us control the urge to submit to them.

In the end, its still very clear to what is forbidden in the quran. It is the why that's bothering us. And thats why debating on these subjects are frowned upon by the regular public. People like us don't know enough about our own religion to bring it up for debate. Hence the automatic responses like "sebab dalam Quran cakap haram, haram la".

Its jus cause ur asking the wrong audience. :)

Amir Hamzah said...

Eh i wasnt logged in tadi? :\

Merissa K. said...

To Amy Nurariaty :
Ya Allah, you have no idea how happy i am because ada friends like you lot yang nak discuss this with me.
(menangis kejap)

I'm moving to Murakami pulak after this. I hope ill learn something new from dia also. heheh.

I love what you said about the first revelation. That was exactly what i thought too!

As for verses on Quran, i myself am not good enough or smart enough to interpret it by myself. But then again, is it not our duty to at least try and understand it directly from the text, and not simply fall back on things that we've read and others' interpretation?

Because, when it comes down to it, their guess might be just as good as ours. Vice versa. Of course, cannot hentam keromo je, but that is what musyawarah is for, no?

Also, in Al-Alaq, it was said (ayat 6-8) :
Nay! Verily, man does transgress all bounds because he considers himself self-sufficient. Surely! Unto your Lord is the return.

Does this not mean that regardless of all that we know and what we've heard of, we need to seek al-Quran and Allah at the end of the day?

Amy, do read back the Al-Qiyamah. i'd love to know your views about it. :)

Merissa K. said...

Ahh Amir, it was you ke :)

Thank you thank you. By my example, i wasnt trying to justify alcohol consumption. My mind is just craving for rational answers that is not : because it says so in the Quran.

So, thank you Mir. Thank you. :D

But, what you said about us not knowing enough making it a taboo subject, i dont quite agree.

Because, susah la if i have to be a tahfiz and study kat al-azhar baru i blh try nak study my religion kan?



Igniz said...

I agree with u about the questioning habit. Just because we ask questions about our rules and regulations, that doesn't mean we jeopardize our faith and question the law itself. Doesn't mean we're actually 'memberontak' against our religion. sometimes, we just wanna know and have a better understanding about the subject. that's all. but to certain people, we're considered 'iman tak kuat sebab berani mempersoalkan agama' & 'banyak2kanlah bertaubat'. huh???

like amir said, it's the audience. not the question. :)

btw, can this be considered 'wandering your mind around'? :P

amywammy said...

OK, I tau I kata nak comment lepas I bukak Quran, but I couldn't resist.

Murakami is more of an observation of what the society is re-packaged in a twilight zone dimension.LOL. I think you would love the abstract meaning of his stories though =)

As for the ulamas' opinion, I do think that with their level of proficiency and more books that they read, their guess is better than ours :). However, there is nothing wrong in questioning or reading up on our religion in order to understand it. It IS our religion. I don't think I'm comfortable If I live a life where people dictates me what to do. Like we agreed, knowledge is regarded highly in Islam.

I think Amir has a point there, our Ummah does not understand its' own religion, hence the answer "sebab Tuhan suruh.". However, since we don't understand the reasoning, isn't it our obligation to find out why?Of course, our aql has to be guided by Quran, Sunnah, and some researches too =)

I emphatise with our people though. Some people are lucky to be brought up in an environment that encourages critical thinking, while some are brought up being told "eh, mak kata jangan menyampuk cakap orang tua". Thus, people are brought up to be complacent not too mention insecure cause whatever they said were shot down.Sebab tu la orang kita lebih selesa mengikut, cause then they would feel a sense of acceptance? (I remembered when I ask my dad why do we have to pray 5 times a day, my dad answered find out on your own. I can't thank my parents enough for bringing me up that way.)

As to your illustration using alcohol, I think I've read somewhere scholars like Ibni Khaldun sips wine occasionally saying that it refreshes the mind, however, scholars, like us makes errors, so tak perlulah kita tiru bulat-bulat semua orang yang lebih pandai dari kita. I've always believed that if we don't have an answer to why something is forbidden, it is because of two reasons; (1) it is not yet time for it to be revealed, (2) we have not think about it thoroughly, (3) it is just God's test on us i.e: makan babi. Makan babi tak bawak pun mudarat apa-apa kat badan kita, tapi kenapa haram? mungkin sebab Allah nak uji kita, dalam banyak2 benda kat dunia ni yang dia kasi halal, dia mintak kita jangan makan few je sebab nak tgk kita dgr cakap tak. Kinda like Adam, Hawa and the Forbidden Fruit, right?

Merissa K. said...

Igniz :
i loved your questions! :) and kalau ada people who could answer your questions spontaneously time u tgh jawab, i salute dia jugak. hoho.

not the question, but the audience, i pun rasa itu observation yang spot on.

(hari ni dah terlebih banyak berfikir. dah penuh quota. kena take five jap. hoho)

Merissa K. said...

Amy :

Tee hee hee. I'm only on the 29th page of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
Nanti when im done, lets get back to this topic!

Oh, and of course lah, when it comes to ulama, they do know better. i meant, generally. bukan dalam context religion je, but have you not noticed how someone will make a statement about a certain topic merely based on something they heard in passing, or something that they read at a glance?

kadang kadang, newspaper pun print facts yang salah. :) jadi, nak find out benda yang betul, check from byk byk sources, get the entire picture dulu, baru buat deduction sendiri.

that was what i meant. :)

i terlebih byk type hari ni, so i slow sikit. ngee. :P

And as for the rest of what you said, i agree agree and agree.

i was about to go on about trichinosis (from the roundworm) that is allegedly what makes pork bad for you.

but i googled and (just!) found out that that is no longer an issue after all the medical experiments that theyve done.

so, amy, thank you, that's another new thing i learnt today! :D

Amir Hamzah said...

Well actually. If u wanna ask questions on a subject u need to ask the people who actually studies it. U cant have two illiterates teach each other how to read can you?

If ur searching for answers, ask the right people and then u can figure out whats right and whats not. Our minds can be a bit too creative when left unchecked. And thats what leads people astray.

Love u tash :)

Merissa K. said...

aaah, but there have been cases of illiterates who learn how to read by their own effort kan?

of course you are right about asking the right people.

my point is, from my observation, amongst kita kita ni, the urge to ask questions is slowly fading.

the urge has to be there. we each still have to do our homework, and cant expect it to be spoonfed to us.

like amy said, the first revelation itself dah suruh : READ.


haha. the feeling is mutual, mir. :)