At that time the term Erdogan was yet be coined. But now Nasharudin is dubbed by the media as an ulama. No more professional.
By MOHSIN ABDULLAH, MySinchew
THE LOCAL media dubbed the recent PAS election as a fight between the ulamas and Erdogans (after Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is seen by many including in the West as a “ moderate” ). And the ulamas won.
But did they really beat the Erdogans ? I’ll rephrase that. Are there ulamas and Erdogans in PAS?
“The public can intepret. To me the difference is vague,’’ said PAS veteran Mustafa Ali .
I somehow tend to agree with Cikgu Pa, as Mustafa is affectionally known in the party. Ulama is Arabic for Islamic scholar i.e. they have an indepth knowledge of Islam, they know the content and meaning of the holy Quran, the kitab or books on religion etc. And ulamas to say the least are ‘practising Muslims’.
By that I mean they do what Muslims are ordained to do and refrain from things Muslims must not do. Most PAS leaders especially in the top rung , fit that bill. At least seen from a wide and a ‘general’ standpoint.
So I say it now. There are only ulamas in PAS leadership, meaning they are all ulamas. The leaders seen or rather labelled as Erdogans are in fact ulamas.
The so called difference is just a matter of approach (hardline, strict or moderate) and the dress code (a choice of wearing the jubah or robe, baju Melayu“ or shirt , tie and suit).
PAS members call their leaders ustaz. And ustaz is Arabic for teachers. Although ustaz can also be used to call our sekolah rendah sekolah menengah cikgu, we do not. Simply because in the Malaysian context ustaz is for Islamic religious male teachers.We call the ladies ustazah.
By calling their leaders ustaz, PAS members are in fact acknowledging that their leaders are well versed in religion, good enough to teach and show the way to the right path’. In short, ulamas.
Hence Nasharudin Mat Isa,Deputy President is Ustaz Nasa to PAS members. So too is Ustaz Hadi (PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang). To them ustaz is much more revered compared to other title.
And speaking about Nasharudin, it’s interesting to note that when he won the party deputy presidency in 2005, he was labelled by the media as ‘golongan profesional’ or member of the professionals in PAS. At that time the term Erdogan was yet be coined. But now Nasharudin is dubbed by the media as an ulama. No more professional.
A look at the party structure and we find the various wings as we would in other political parties. In PAS it’s called Dewan. There’s Dewan Pemuda for the youth wing, Dewan Muslimah or the women’s wing. Something not in other parties is of course the Dewan Ulama. Each with its head or chief and office bearers.
Then there’s the “jawatan kuasa PAS Pusat” or PAS Central Committee. That would be the Majlis Tertinggi in UMNO or the MCA CWC.
In UMNO the Majlis Tertinggi is supreme. But the same can’t be said for PAS “jawatankuasa pusat”. While it is chaired by the president and can decide on many important issues , there’s another body which is higher that the jawatankuasa pusat. That would be the Majlis Syura.
It is a council of leaders, perhaps to show that PAS is governed through a collective political leadership, one which is consultatative and concensus seeking. It’s not dominated by one individual. In it sit both president and Murshidul Am or spiritual leader,
So who’s bigger? Who’s more powerful? President or Murshidul Am? Structure wise it’s the president but then they don’t have a Murshidul Am, spiritual leader for nothing. Again Mustafa’‘s words come to mind. The difference is vague.
But one thing’s for sure. In PAS, ulamas are in control. Always have been and always will be.
MOHSIN ABDULLAH is Editor-in-Chief News and Current Affairs ntv7 & 8TV