Understanding Islam: The Case of Islam Hadhari from Malaysia's Perspective
Sept. 11 has brought about many perspectives concerning the religion of Islam and its followers. For some, it is regarded as the source of terrorism. The spread of violences which take place in the world today is regarded as largely due the Muslims' doings. Thus it creates tension especially between Islam and the West. But for others, especially among the Muslims, the series of violence and acts of terrorism should not be confined to and looked from the perpective of religion per se. Although there were so called the followers of Islam who were involved in many series of violences, views on such events should not be linked to religion of Islam as the only root cause of the violences. Thus, the tension, what now can be said as, between Islam and the West, owes it root to the misunderstanding of religion of Islam. Islam, as beings the second biggest followers in the world’s religion, is not a religion of war and violence. It is a religion of life which enjoins its followers to celebrate the worldly life in order to fulfil their purpose of life as the vicegerents of God. It is against this background that the Government of Malaysia proclaims a new vision and interpretation of Islam called Islam Hadhari. The main idea of its proclaimation is to correct negative views by certain parties about Islam and its teachings. The argument is that its teachings have been misunderstood not only by the non-Muslims, but, the most important is, by its own followers. Thus, the proposed paper have two main objectives; firstly, to give and explain the meaning of Islam Hadhari and its principles as understood by the Islamic Malaysian government; and secondly, to explore its capacity to counter an incorrect views on Islam and at the same time promoting a mutual understanding towards a peaceful interaction between Islam and the West.
Keywords: Islam, Islam Hadhari, Civilizational Islam, Malaysia
Dr. Faudzinaim Badaruddin
Senior Lecturer, Department of Theology and Philosophy