Monthly Archives: May 2010

Panilew Pasal Tomboy Mag-Ella Dende.



Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu..


Jawab by:Ustadz Awal Ali Ajhanti.Libya Tripoli

Pasal Tilew nu inin, sarun baksa ne sambungan meh Guru te sinduwe hin, sartah gai ne kaliyuhan si siye ley…Bayah ku hadja ngangganap daahat…iye ne inin duk hap pamaham te iyehin kemon supaya tampal duk salassay..

1..Mag ittipak mag dambuwah meh ulamah si Agama Islamin, bune hukuman nen , Hukuman Jina ,,, Hatine katauhan be ne hukuman Jina hin iyuh ne bakas tasalassay weh de tuu si Website inin ..

2. inalenan bang si bahasa Arab, Liwat,,, bang lellah pag kasi mag kasi-kasi hin,,,,,bune bang dende pag kasi dende, ginellah weh de Sihaq,,,hatinen dende ngabayaan dende, sartah mag usah mag pahap parasahan,,,bu parahal taggahan sarah, Hukuman nen hukuman Jina duk Haram apoh2…

قال تهالى : أتأتون الذكران من العالمين * و تذرون ما خلق لكم ربكم من أزواجكم بل أنتم قوم غادون* سورة الشراء.

Hatinen,,Pain Tuhan te Rabbul Alamin: ine tekka kaam (ngusal) pagkasi be lellah amban kemon a’lam, * sartah kaipatan ne be atawa taikutan bi ye pinapanjari weh Tuhan bin para si kaamin amban meh kaandahan bi, kaam ne iyan meh manusiyah, subrahan bine atawa gantian bi ne teed mahalalin tudju meh kaharaman…

Pain Hadith nabi Muhammad SAW…

النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم: أنه قالأ : سحاق النساء بيهن زنا.

Hatinen, ::: Ye pag usahantarah meh karendehan,,,tabista duk tabilang jina…

Meh ummat islam, mag sukul si matelew inin, duk mag sukul si makabassa iyehin,,,kami hadja manulat iyah sah Sarah amban Tuhan te rabbul alamin,,,kissa pamintangan,,,kawman Nabi Luth,,,,inulan nan bato duk bulak panas maka eggas funishment duk ajab si meh siye jinari weh de,,,parkalah oiyan,,,

Kisa si America,,, sakay jinari weh de makajari Lellahin mag anda lelleh duyk dende hin damikkiyan,,tekka naus katrina duk seddi pe meh baliyu basag mag ginisan ne alen nen,,,

Damikkiyan si Philippine ninged du isab meh Yahudi duk Nasrani si lahat ten,,,,jinari du isab sartah ne ne mag pakawin,,,,gah du teggel tekka du isab si ondoy mag panen pe ekka siye…mag ginisan mag bayuan…

duk seddi pe lahat sinduwe tekkahan ajab weh Tuhan kunsentrate den meh Touris area si malaysia si Thailand,,,gah pinalampas weh Tuhan, pinabuuhan weh ne Balah, ganah makakoleh nangga ne parahal kew meh aa dayahan ne siye duk tege kawase, wal du siye melloh mata,…mag sauk piasak lumah de..

Warning hadja ih si Dunya sah bang si Akhirat tinape ne siye diyalem Narkah api Jahannam…

Tilewin ine niyah pe Muslim ngahinang meh parkalah iyan.? Masha Allah amban ne siye maka-pangadjih duk maka singed, si bisayah…auzubillahi minassaytan…

Mag dayih dayih teed pag sulat ku inin,,,gah ku kapag review pasal waktu zuhur ne… bang pain isab niyah taeddoh bi nasihat duk pangadjian amban sambag ku inin ,,,sartah mag mompaat si kite bi kemo dunya duk akhirat….wa billahi tawfiq wa ridaa…

Wassalamo alaikum jamian.



The Origin of the Names Sulu and Sug

By Dr Benj S. Bangahan, Associate Professor, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines; Former Professor, School of Graduate Studies, Western Mindanao State University, Zamboanga City, Philippines; Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Tausug Krisblade Weekly and Lexicographer, English-Bahasa Sug Dictionary (soon to be published)
______________________________________________
Lupa’ Sug and Tausug are terms that vividly picture the visages of a place and a people, respectively, as spin-offs of Sug, the name presently used to refer to the mainland of Jolo. The place and the people have not just been forced to withstand a series of conquests with bombs, bullets and bigotry from animus-laden whites and their progenies, which has been held in a continuum of centuries, but have also been made as innocent vehicles of inaccuracy in nomenclature which was made to ride almost indiscernibly hidden and which was shoved in by unmindful historians. The origin of the terms Sulu and Sug is error-tinged, and in fact, even the name Jolo itself has ensued from a peculiarity of the Spanish spelling and pronunciation that is misplaced in a non-Hispanic area.
History writers have stereotyped the process of evolution into the name Sug as having sprung up from the Bahasa Sug word sug, which means sea- or water-current. James Francis Warren, a relatively more contemporary writer (The Sulu Zone, 1768-1898) has written this line in a footnote of his introductory chapter that was based on Livingston’s Constabulary Monograph of the Province of Sulu (BH-PCL Vol. I, Paper 160, No. 1), to wit: “The name is derived from the islands’ location in an archipelago sliced by many swift flowing currents.”
Livingston’s work appears to occupy a front position in the bandwagon that led the writers to the “sea-current” theory, although no date, unfortunately, can be made as a reference. But even Dr. Samuel K. Tan, a supposedly Tausug present-day historian, apparently has been sold to the idea since he also defines Tausug as “people of the current” (The Filipino Muslim Armed Struggle, 1900-1972), precisely like what other writers have. It is obvious that these history writers have freely joined the bandwagon and have been so for so long. It has even become predictable that when Sulu history is written about, the sea-current based theory of the name Sug is almost always there to the point that it assumes a monopolized derivation and therefore a semblance of being right.
It is the objective of this writer to bring to the fore a more probable source of the name and its spin-off forms.
IN THE PAST
For a background, let us take cognizance of the observation that at the time when Sulu was just being written about, which presumably was that historical phase when the place was just beginning to entice interested people, the pioneering chroniclers were non-Tausugs, and more hinderingly, non-Muslims: Blair and Robertson, Saleeby, Dalrymple, Santayana, Van Diyk, to name some. In this writer’s opinion, the writers’ being alien to the area had placed them in a detrimental and predisposed position, affecting even the Lebanese-American Najeeb Saleeby (author, The History Of Sulu), who has been claimed by Dean Cesar Adib Majul as “not quite knowledgeable about Islamic institutions” (Muslim in the Philippines, Chapter II), and who therefore suffered from the same predicament. The gist of Sulu history is an inseparable part of the Islamization process in the Southeast Asian area and should be looked at not with a worm’s eye view. Part of the preparation should be Islamic knowledge, and for ease and convenience, Islamic Sufism. From the foregoing it is easy to deduce that this is one attribute that the writers did not possess, an inadequacy that apparently shook their aim on the target, which is to come up with an adept historical exposition. With their bandwagoning the Islamization process has not been played up well, giving it no due importance. This has affected even present-day non-Muslim, even if home grown, scholarly historians, and perhaps the same difficulty can explain why no writer has ever been goaded to conceptualize that Sulu and Sug are just one and the same, or at least, one has led to the other. These are the primary names that this piece is going to explore, and this intends to show that the age-old explanation about Sug was based on an out-of-context use of the term sug, the sea current, and therefore needs to be rectified. It is further postulated that Sulu, or more properly its original name Suluk, ultimately gave rise to the name Sug.
SULUK, THE ORIGINAL NAME OF SULU
Suluk, which used to be spelled Soolook—and rightly, too—is the original name of Sulu—or Sooloo—that historical place which was already a sovereign state when Magellan set foot on the shores of Visayas and Luzon, and used to refer to the old area circumscribed by the Sulu Sultanate. One proof of the originality is that from then on up to now the Malayos (Malays, Malaysians) have always been using the term “Orang Suluk” to refer to the people of the area, which corresponds to the present term Tausug (Tau Sug, people of Sulu). Likewise, starting also from the old times, the Samal-speaking people of the area have been immutable with their preference for the term a-a Suluk (notably used by the subgroup Bangingi) and a-a Suk (used by the other subgroups) in addressing the Tausugs (source: Bobby Edding).
PHONETICS PLAYED THE TRICK
Sug, as the Tausugs’ present name for the island of Jolo, has been in use since a point in time no one can dare guess. It is however quite logical to presuppose that the pronunciation of the words in that era must have approximated the original form much more nearly than the later times. Sug, the place, has always carried the sound equivalent to the long u vowel in English, whereas sug, the current, has its u vowel pronounced in almost similar manner as the u in the English word urn, which is assigned the dictionary symbol of letter e with a dot on top, hence ė (The Lexicon Webster International Dictionary of the English Language). The uncorrupted and classical Bahasa Sug has four vowels: (1). “ä” as in far or father (not the short “a” in cat or apple as pronounced in American English), hence, aku (I), ama’(father); (2). “i”, corresponding in sound to the English long ē although shorter in duration, (not to the short “i” of both British and American English as in tin or bit), hence bitbit (to carry hanging from the hand; this word, if given the pronunciation the way the English bit is, sounds ridiculous), bilik (room), higad (edge, side); (3). “u”, sounds like but shorter than the long “u” (ū) in the English phonetics, as in Sug (the place), tuktuk (forehead), kutkut (to scratch roughly); (4). “u” as in the English urn cited above (which I have personally symbolized with ü), as in süg (the current), tüktük (to chop), kütküt (to bite).
It is admitted that some urbanized Tausugs in modern times and others in some selective areas do speak the adulterated Bahasa Sug pronunciation that does not show the difference between the two words, making sug, the current, and Sug, the place, indistinguishable. Presupposing that there were already such affected Tausug speakers at the time and who might have become advisers to the foreign writers, they then could have strengthened the tendency of the writers to believe in the correctness of their claim. In fact, even if the Tausug advisers had the correct phonetics, meaning the two words were pronounced differently, there would still be the possibility for the interchange of the two words from a fault on the writers’ end because of their paucity of exposure to the peculiarity of the pronunciation. We are talking here only about a spoken language, but if we now deal with the written forms of the two differently pronounced words, we would find out that they would become more misleading to an uninformed reader who would find nothing different in them since they are usually similarly spelled (sug, Sug). This could have conjured up the root of the mistake.
Be that as it may, it would be very naïve for any historian to rely on the “sea current” theory given the number of sea currents found in the Philippine seas, and in fact in any sea for that matter. Currents in other seas may even be more formidable than any one of those in Jolo, and concluding then that the latter is so phenomenal as to merit its becoming the source of the name for the place implies a jump-the-gun attitude and depicts a low threshold of excitement of the one who first wrote it, as well as reveals his failure to give due importance to the term Suluk. He could have been excited by the false sense of security built from the seeming similarity of the sounds, but which was actually a trick of Bahasa Sug phonetics, which proved to be deceiving. The “sea current” theory therefore is a misleading basis and has a correspondingly erroneous conclusion.
SULUK, SULU, SUG: ONE AND THE SAME
As has been stated, the original name of the province is Suluk, and this has served as the mainspring for the subsequent derivations. Suluk was transformed into Sug, at least among the Tausugs, after many years of language corruption and “lingual laziness”. People who are intimate with the Bahasa Sug would notice that it is very common among Tausugs to drop their letter “l” in a word or syllable, especially during snappy conversations. Hence, we have the following word changes, with the original meaning and contexts of all the words retained: hulug (drop, fall, money change) to hug; malaggu’ (big) to maggu’; wala’ (no, not) to wa’; malaas (old, mature) to maas; salla’ (defect, error) to sa’; and the following varied forms may further support the contention; malugay (long time) to mawgay; malimu’ (sweet) to maymu’; hulat-hulat (confident, hoping) to huwat-huwat.
Suluk now being transformed to Suk is readily explained by the lingual idiosyncrasy cited. On the other hand, the letters k and g at the end of a word can easily be mistaken for each other depending upon the accuracy of the speaker’s tongue, the keenness of the listener’s ears and the distance one is from the other. Initially, Suk could have been interchangeably used with Sug but the latter permanently took an irreversible hold on some people’s psyche and lingual habit. There are in fact many Bahasa Sug words in which the sounds of g and k interchange, depending on the region and the person speaking. Examples are: malaggu’/malagku’ (big), baggu’/bagku’ (a seashell), haggut/hagkut (chill, cold) and a lot more. As has been noted, some Samal-speaking people have retained Suk instead of Sug.
To recap, the original name Suluk was taken from Ahl ul Suluk, corrupted to Suk, then to Sug. By derivation, therefore, Suluk and Suk (or Sug) should assume the same meaning.
Corollary to the above, an idea that the name was taken from the Arab word suq, which means market, is not workable; there is no way it can evolve into Suluk or Sulu. It has to be assumed then that Suluk and Sug were derived from different sources, which invites more difficulty and complications, making the idea less tenable. Besides, nobody is aware that there was an ancient Arab market or suq in any part of then Suluk that had grown to such an influence enough to start off a name for the place. Instead, what we had was tiangge, Spanish for flea market, and this is why Jolo is called by some people Tiyanggi.
THE WORD SULUK
Suluk is an Arabic word which means path, way, travel or journey. Those who are enthusiasts of Islamic Sufism should be conversant with it for the word is used more repeatedly in some books on Sufism. Since Sufism deals with the metaphysical, the context in which the word is used in these books is conventionally esoteric. It is applied, for example, to the spiritual journey during meditation (Contemplative Disciplines in Sufism, by Dr. Mir Valiuddin, MA, Ph.D., edited by Dr.Gulskan Khakee). Hamza Fansuri, the greatest Qadiriyya Malay Sufi poet of the 16th century uses it to mean path or way to Allah (Syed Muhammad Naquib al Attas, The Mysticism of Hamza Fansuri). Hence, Ahl ul Suluk (People of the Path), is the term he uses to refer to his kind, namely the Sufis or Awliya’, in contradistinction to those he calls Doctors of Theology or Ulama. Ahl ul Suluk refers therefore to those learned practitioners of Sufism who journeyed around Southeast Asia to spread Islam in general, and Sufism in particular. The area definitely includes ours. That term is still very much in use in Sufi writings.
There is still an evidence to bolster the coming of those venerated groups of the Ahl ul Suluk. If a modern Tausug with a solid grasp of Sufism goes back to his roots to refresh his thoughts on his folks’ brand of Islamic enlightenment, with ease and in just a short time he will find out that his folks are tenacious adherents of a discipline locally known as mukali’, in that this Islamic erudition is Sufism in substance. Names of the different Sufi masters, which are recited during meditations and are asked blessings for as in the present-day practice among Sufi orders in the Imamul Haqiqat, are part of the mukali’ cultivation.
Mukali’ is from muqri’ or mukri’, an Arabic word which means “one who asks another to read.” (source: Ustadh Edris Lim, Zamboanga City). This could have been the teaching-learning method applied when the Sufis were imparting their knowledge to the Tausug natives.
HOW CAN WE CALL THOSE MISSIONARIES AHL UL SULUK?
Dr. Cesar Adib Majul’s Muslim in the Philippines serves as a very good reference if we have to enumerate those learned missionaries whose names got included in the pages of Philippine historical writings. It is not only that Dr. Majul is a very knowledgeable and Sufism-literate Muslim but also because his book was based on an extensive research. He cited the Sulu Genealogy’s claim that the first Islamic teacher who arrived sometime in the middle of the 14th century was Tuwan Masha’ika, who was the first to introduce Islam, based on the finding that the people were not yet part of the Ahl ul Sunna wa’l Jamaa. Masha’ika is a Tausugized version of the Arabic mashayikh, the plural of the term shaikh, a title of respect among the Arabs in the Hadramawt area for saints or Sufis and their descendants, and which serves to tell them out from Sharifs and Shayids, the descendants of the Prophet (SAW). All Sufis carry the title—for example: Shayidina Shaikh Abdulqadir Jailani, Shayidina Shaikh Junaid Baghdadi, Shayidina Shaikh Abi Yazid Bastami, Shayidina Shaikh Khatibis Sanbasi, Shayididna Shaikh Ahmadir Rifa’i and a multitude of other People of the Path (cited from Naqsabandi Sufi meditation, source: Ustadh Abdelnasser Daham). Ibn al-Arabi is known as the Ash-Shaikh-al Akbar, or the Supreme Master (Ibn al-Arabi’s The Bezels of Wisdom, R.W.J. Austin, translator). On his part, Tuwan Masha’ika was able to extract reverence from among the natives with his exceptionally superior knowledge of Islam, a quality more commonly identified with the Sufis. In all probability he was therefore a part of the Ahl ul Suluk
Following Tuwan Masha’ika was Karimul Makhdum, who was initially called Sarip, a Tausug version of Sharif. He built a mosque, imparted his knowledge of Islam and Sufism, and was later called Tuwan Sharif Awliya’, which implies that he was a missionary and a preacher. Other supernatural events had been associated with him, like his having been able to walk on water and fly in the air, phenomena which, as acknowledged by those with tasawwuf learning, could be done only by Awliya’ or Sufist. Makhdum, an Arabic word which originally meant master, was later used as a title for a teacher or a learned man, especially in India and Malaysia. It is presumed that the same has been applied when the Makhdum was given the calling. The titles he possessed and the powers he had demonstrated, which were given due regard even by the Jesuit priest Francisco Combes (Historia de Mindanao Y Jolo) can fairly classify the Makhdum as a Sufi or Ahl ul Suluk.
At this juncture words have to be said attendant to the ostensibly magical performances the Makhdum was associated with, that would make him look unreal and because of which people might consider him just a mythical or legendary figure. Peter Gordon Gowing, who has described the Sulu tarsilas as “patently mythological and baffling…” (Muslim Filipinos—Heritage and Horizon), apparently projects an unconvinced posture. However, those with Islamic knowledge believe that the performances are common and have not been attributed only to the Makhdum since similar ascriptions have been given to other missionaries and people with akin personality and Islamic grasp. To help prove the veracity of the seemingly unbelievable capability, this writer would like to invite anyone to see a prototype of such small iron vessel which is kept by his clan in Parang, Sulu. This particular vessel was used by an Arabian woman named Sharifa Amina from Mecca, Saudi Arabia, together with her Tausug husband named Hadji Abiar and their seven children and their belongings. They arrived in Parang, Sulu, the native place of Hadji Abiar, and settled there, and their issues ultimately made up about 90% of Parang natives. The story may also sound fairy tale-like, but the physical presence of Sharifa Amina’s iron craft helps bolster the validity of the claims of unusual feats identified with the Karimul Makhdum.
Next teacher was Sayid Abu Bakr, who came to Sulu in the middle of the 15th century. Dean Majul estimated this to be after the arrival of Rajah Baginda, who himself had come about 50 years after Tuwan Masha’ika. As all history books commonly claim, Sayid Abu Bakr married Paramisuli, a daughter of Rajah Baginda, and became the first Sultan. Different tarsilas are in agreement that he adopted the full sultanate title of Sultan Shariful Hashim, but there has been no unanimity in regard to his proper name of Abu Bakr. There were even traditions which maintained that Zainal Abidin was his actual name.
The inclusion of Sayid Abu Bakr here is not because of the political institution he initiated but his being primarily a preacher or missionary himself, an attribute quite overshadowed by his political position and prominence. His missionary zeal was cited as responsible for the conversion of the Buranun or hill people, which he did after proselytizing the coastal area through the teaching of the Qur’an. It is also indicated in a tradition that during natural crises like a drought, he would ask the people to fast and pray, and indeed rain would soon start pouring. He established a madrasa school, and it is in a center such as this where being a muqri’ could have taken off and evolved into ilmu’ mukali’, or “knowledge of the muqri’”. On this account the first Sultan was a part of the Ahl ul Suluk.
We now usher in the next Ahl ul Suluk missionary named Alawi Balpaki, who was said to be the younger brother of Abu Bakr in a sense that he arrived much later. John Hunt, a British agent who was sent to Sulu in 1814 for political and commercial purposes, wrote that Alawi Balpaki (sometimes called Sayid Berpaki) had succeeded in converting almost the whole population to Islam. The time has been estimated to be the middle of the 18th century. His being a missionary should include him in the genre of the Ahl ul Suluk.
THE UNRECORDED AHL UL SULUK
So far we have been citing the names of the Ahl ul Suluk that somehow found their way into the pages of history. It is not inaccurate to presume that many other Sufis or missionaries of the Ahl ul Suluk had come in other times to do their own spreading of the knowledge of Islam and implanting it in the people’s mind and heart to firm up a peculiarly Tausug entity of Islamic persuasion, but without traces left for subsequent history writers. Local traditions are rife with their belief to that effect.
In the rural areas of the mainland of Lupa’ Sug as well as its islands, many Sufism-exposed Tausugs talk among themselves in private gatherings about their belief in the “Seven Brothers” as the ones who Islamized Sulu. They actually refer to the Awliya’ or Sufists who came one after another, as described above, hence brothers in the time frame of reference, whose common mode of conveyance was the previously mentioned toy-looking iron crafts. Historical writings have taken cognizance of some of them.
One very important figure among the Sufists is of course Shaikh Abdulqadir Jailani, the Sultan of the Awliya’ and supposedly the “oldest brother”. He is believed to have included Sulu as one area he traveled around and taught in, so claimed the Mukali’-learned Tausugs, and a papyrus copy of the Qur’an which he had brought along is still intact and well protected in an undisclosed place. Coincidentally or otherwise, Jailani is one of the most common given and family names among the Tausugs. As an added weight, the names of almost all the established Sufists are now often used locally.
One Sufi of the Ahl ul Suluk whose coming to Sulu is exciting to conjecture by virtue of logical circumstances is Hamzah Fansuri himself. There is a reasonable synchronicity of the time frames between the Sufi’s lifetime and the process of Islamization of Sulu. Besides, Hamzah Fansuri was described by Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas as having a remarkable participation in the Islamization process of the Malay-Indonesia-Java areas. These areas include, and should not be separated from, the Islamized areas of Mindanao—more especially Sulu—racially, ethnically, and geographically and particularly in relation to the proselytizing stage. In addition, this writer concurs with the claim of Dean Majul that “Islam’s advent in the area is a function of the general expansion of Islam in Malaysia,” a vital ramification that Najeeb Saleeby failed to give a corroborative importance to, but which Peter Gordon Gowing very much agrees with.
HISTORICAL MISTAKES SHOULD BE RECTIFIED
It is now deemed proper that a rectification of a historical basis in this regard should be initiated in order to erase inaccuracies, realign and firm up Tausug identity and add meaning to the values believed in by the Tausugs and the other Muslims in Southeast Asia.
It is asserted that the Arabic word Suluk is the more plausible root of Sug, the name used by the Tausugs to refer to the mainland of Jolo vis-à-vis the age-old stereotyped argument that Sug evolved from sug, the sea current. Furthermore, Sug should rightfully refer to the entire Sulu Archipelago.
This also seeks to establish that from the foregoing, the name Suluk or Sulu, the state, the Sultanate and presently the province, has been taken from those people who belonged to the special genre of Islamic discipline, the Ahl ul Suluk, or the People of the Path, who came in succession to impart Islam and Sufism. The brand of knowledge of these Awliya’ or learned missionaries, the tasawwuf, was assimilated in substance by the Sulu natives, who, up to now, still cling to the established belief.

The Origin of the Names Sulu and Sug

By Dr Benj S. Bangahan, Associate Professor, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines; Former Professor, School of Graduate Studies, Western Mindanao State University, Zamboanga City, Philippines; Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Tausug Krisblade Weekly and Lexicographer, English-Bahasa Sug Dictionary (soon to be published)
______________________________________________
Lupa’ Sug and Tausug are terms that vividly picture the visages of a place and a people, respectively, as spin-offs of Sug, the name presently used to refer to the mainland of Jolo. The place and the people have not just been forced to withstand a series of conquests with bombs, bullets and bigotry from animus-laden whites and their progenies, which has been held in a continuum of centuries, but have also been made as innocent vehicles of inaccuracy in nomenclature which was made to ride almost indiscernibly hidden and which was shoved in by unmindful historians. The origin of the terms Sulu and Sug is error-tinged, and in fact, even the name Jolo itself has ensued from a peculiarity of the Spanish spelling and pronunciation that is misplaced in a non-Hispanic area.
History writers have stereotyped the process of evolution into the name Sug as having sprung up from the Bahasa Sug word sug, which means sea- or water-current. James Francis Warren, a relatively more contemporary writer (The Sulu Zone, 1768-1898) has written this line in a footnote of his introductory chapter that was based on Livingston’s Constabulary Monograph of the Province of Sulu (BH-PCL Vol. I, Paper 160, No. 1), to wit: “The name is derived from the islands’ location in an archipelago sliced by many swift flowing currents.”
Livingston’s work appears to occupy a front position in the bandwagon that led the writers to the “sea-current” theory, although no date, unfortunately, can be made as a reference. But even Dr. Samuel K. Tan, a supposedly Tausug present-day historian, apparently has been sold to the idea since he also defines Tausug as “people of the current” (The Filipino Muslim Armed Struggle, 1900-1972), precisely like what other writers have. It is obvious that these history writers have freely joined the bandwagon and have been so for so long. It has even become predictable that when Sulu history is written about, the sea-current based theory of the name Sug is almost always there to the point that it assumes a monopolized derivation and therefore a semblance of being right.
It is the objective of this writer to bring to the fore a more probable source of the name and its spin-off forms.
IN THE PAST
For a background, let us take cognizance of the observation that at the time when Sulu was just being written about, which presumably was that historical phase when the place was just beginning to entice interested people, the pioneering chroniclers were non-Tausugs, and more hinderingly, non-Muslims: Blair and Robertson, Saleeby, Dalrymple, Santayana, Van Diyk, to name some. In this writer’s opinion, the writers’ being alien to the area had placed them in a detrimental and predisposed position, affecting even the Lebanese-American Najeeb Saleeby (author, The History Of Sulu), who has been claimed by Dean Cesar Adib Majul as “not quite knowledgeable about Islamic institutions” (Muslim in the Philippines, Chapter II), and who therefore suffered from the same predicament. The gist of Sulu history is an inseparable part of the Islamization process in the Southeast Asian area and should be looked at not with a worm’s eye view. Part of the preparation should be Islamic knowledge, and for ease and convenience, Islamic Sufism. From the foregoing it is easy to deduce that this is one attribute that the writers did not possess, an inadequacy that apparently shook their aim on the target, which is to come up with an adept historical exposition. With their bandwagoning the Islamization process has not been played up well, giving it no due importance. This has affected even present-day non-Muslim, even if home grown, scholarly historians, and perhaps the same difficulty can explain why no writer has ever been goaded to conceptualize that Sulu and Sug are just one and the same, or at least, one has led to the other. These are the primary names that this piece is going to explore, and this intends to show that the age-old explanation about Sug was based on an out-of-context use of the term sug, the sea current, and therefore needs to be rectified. It is further postulated that Sulu, or more properly its original name Suluk, ultimately gave rise to the name Sug.
SULUK, THE ORIGINAL NAME OF SULU
Suluk, which used to be spelled Soolook—and rightly, too—is the original name of Sulu—or Sooloo—that historical place which was already a sovereign state when Magellan set foot on the shores of Visayas and Luzon, and used to refer to the old area circumscribed by the Sulu Sultanate. One proof of the originality is that from then on up to now the Malayos (Malays, Malaysians) have always been using the term “Orang Suluk” to refer to the people of the area, which corresponds to the present term Tausug (Tau Sug, people of Sulu). Likewise, starting also from the old times, the Samal-speaking people of the area have been immutable with their preference for the term a-a Suluk (notably used by the subgroup Bangingi) and a-a Suk (used by the other subgroups) in addressing the Tausugs (source: Bobby Edding).
PHONETICS PLAYED THE TRICK
Sug, as the Tausugs’ present name for the island of Jolo, has been in use since a point in time no one can dare guess. It is however quite logical to presuppose that the pronunciation of the words in that era must have approximated the original form much more nearly than the later times. Sug, the place, has always carried the sound equivalent to the long u vowel in English, whereas sug, the current, has its u vowel pronounced in almost similar manner as the u in the English word urn, which is assigned the dictionary symbol of letter e with a dot on top, hence ė (The Lexicon Webster International Dictionary of the English Language). The uncorrupted and classical Bahasa Sug has four vowels: (1). “ä” as in far or father (not the short “a” in cat or apple as pronounced in American English), hence, aku (I), ama’(father); (2). “i”, corresponding in sound to the English long ē although shorter in duration, (not to the short “i” of both British and American English as in tin or bit), hence bitbit (to carry hanging from the hand; this word, if given the pronunciation the way the English bit is, sounds ridiculous), bilik (room), higad (edge, side); (3). “u”, sounds like but shorter than the long “u” (ū) in the English phonetics, as in Sug (the place), tuktuk (forehead), kutkut (to scratch roughly); (4). “u” as in the English urn cited above (which I have personally symbolized with ü), as in süg (the current), tüktük (to chop), kütküt (to bite).
It is admitted that some urbanized Tausugs in modern times and others in some selective areas do speak the adulterated Bahasa Sug pronunciation that does not show the difference between the two words, making sug, the current, and Sug, the place, indistinguishable. Presupposing that there were already such affected Tausug speakers at the time and who might have become advisers to the foreign writers, they then could have strengthened the tendency of the writers to believe in the correctness of their claim. In fact, even if the Tausug advisers had the correct phonetics, meaning the two words were pronounced differently, there would still be the possibility for the interchange of the two words from a fault on the writers’ end because of their paucity of exposure to the peculiarity of the pronunciation. We are talking here only about a spoken language, but if we now deal with the written forms of the two differently pronounced words, we would find out that they would become more misleading to an uninformed reader who would find nothing different in them since they are usually similarly spelled (sug, Sug). This could have conjured up the root of the mistake.
Be that as it may, it would be very naïve for any historian to rely on the “sea current” theory given the number of sea currents found in the Philippine seas, and in fact in any sea for that matter. Currents in other seas may even be more formidable than any one of those in Jolo, and concluding then that the latter is so phenomenal as to merit its becoming the source of the name for the place implies a jump-the-gun attitude and depicts a low threshold of excitement of the one who first wrote it, as well as reveals his failure to give due importance to the term Suluk. He could have been excited by the false sense of security built from the seeming similarity of the sounds, but which was actually a trick of Bahasa Sug phonetics, which proved to be deceiving. The “sea current” theory therefore is a misleading basis and has a correspondingly erroneous conclusion.
SULUK, SULU, SUG: ONE AND THE SAME
As has been stated, the original name of the province is Suluk, and this has served as the mainspring for the subsequent derivations. Suluk was transformed into Sug, at least among the Tausugs, after many years of language corruption and “lingual laziness”. People who are intimate with the Bahasa Sug would notice that it is very common among Tausugs to drop their letter “l” in a word or syllable, especially during snappy conversations. Hence, we have the following word changes, with the original meaning and contexts of all the words retained: hulug (drop, fall, money change) to hug; malaggu’ (big) to maggu’; wala’ (no, not) to wa’; malaas (old, mature) to maas; salla’ (defect, error) to sa’; and the following varied forms may further support the contention; malugay (long time) to mawgay; malimu’ (sweet) to maymu’; hulat-hulat (confident, hoping) to huwat-huwat.
Suluk now being transformed to Suk is readily explained by the lingual idiosyncrasy cited. On the other hand, the letters k and g at the end of a word can easily be mistaken for each other depending upon the accuracy of the speaker’s tongue, the keenness of the listener’s ears and the distance one is from the other. Initially, Suk could have been interchangeably used with Sug but the latter permanently took an irreversible hold on some people’s psyche and lingual habit. There are in fact many Bahasa Sug words in which the sounds of g and k interchange, depending on the region and the person speaking. Examples are: malaggu’/malagku’ (big), baggu’/bagku’ (a seashell), haggut/hagkut (chill, cold) and a lot more. As has been noted, some Samal-speaking people have retained Suk instead of Sug.
To recap, the original name Suluk was taken from Ahl ul Suluk, corrupted to Suk, then to Sug. By derivation, therefore, Suluk and Suk (or Sug) should assume the same meaning.
Corollary to the above, an idea that the name was taken from the Arab word suq, which means market, is not workable; there is no way it can evolve into Suluk or Sulu. It has to be assumed then that Suluk and Sug were derived from different sources, which invites more difficulty and complications, making the idea less tenable. Besides, nobody is aware that there was an ancient Arab market or suq in any part of then Suluk that had grown to such an influence enough to start off a name for the place. Instead, what we had was tiangge, Spanish for flea market, and this is why Jolo is called by some people Tiyanggi.
THE WORD SULUK
Suluk is an Arabic word which means path, way, travel or journey. Those who are enthusiasts of Islamic Sufism should be conversant with it for the word is used more repeatedly in some books on Sufism. Since Sufism deals with the metaphysical, the context in which the word is used in these books is conventionally esoteric. It is applied, for example, to the spiritual journey during meditation (Contemplative Disciplines in Sufism, by Dr. Mir Valiuddin, MA, Ph.D., edited by Dr.Gulskan Khakee). Hamza Fansuri, the greatest Qadiriyya Malay Sufi poet of the 16th century uses it to mean path or way to Allah (Syed Muhammad Naquib al Attas, The Mysticism of Hamza Fansuri). Hence, Ahl ul Suluk (People of the Path), is the term he uses to refer to his kind, namely the Sufis or Awliya’, in contradistinction to those he calls Doctors of Theology or Ulama. Ahl ul Suluk refers therefore to those learned practitioners of Sufism who journeyed around Southeast Asia to spread Islam in general, and Sufism in particular. The area definitely includes ours. That term is still very much in use in Sufi writings.
There is still an evidence to bolster the coming of those venerated groups of the Ahl ul Suluk. If a modern Tausug with a solid grasp of Sufism goes back to his roots to refresh his thoughts on his folks’ brand of Islamic enlightenment, with ease and in just a short time he will find out that his folks are tenacious adherents of a discipline locally known as mukali’, in that this Islamic erudition is Sufism in substance. Names of the different Sufi masters, which are recited during meditations and are asked blessings for as in the present-day practice among Sufi orders in the Imamul Haqiqat, are part of the mukali’ cultivation.
Mukali’ is from muqri’ or mukri’, an Arabic word which means “one who asks another to read.” (source: Ustadh Edris Lim, Zamboanga City). This could have been the teaching-learning method applied when the Sufis were imparting their knowledge to the Tausug natives.
HOW CAN WE CALL THOSE MISSIONARIES AHL UL SULUK?
Dr. Cesar Adib Majul’s Muslim in the Philippines serves as a very good reference if we have to enumerate those learned missionaries whose names got included in the pages of Philippine historical writings. It is not only that Dr. Majul is a very knowledgeable and Sufism-literate Muslim but also because his book was based on an extensive research. He cited the Sulu Genealogy’s claim that the first Islamic teacher who arrived sometime in the middle of the 14th century was Tuwan Masha’ika, who was the first to introduce Islam, based on the finding that the people were not yet part of the Ahl ul Sunna wa’l Jamaa. Masha’ika is a Tausugized version of the Arabic mashayikh, the plural of the term shaikh, a title of respect among the Arabs in the Hadramawt area for saints or Sufis and their descendants, and which serves to tell them out from Sharifs and Shayids, the descendants of the Prophet (SAW). All Sufis carry the title—for example: Shayidina Shaikh Abdulqadir Jailani, Shayidina Shaikh Junaid Baghdadi, Shayidina Shaikh Abi Yazid Bastami, Shayidina Shaikh Khatibis Sanbasi, Shayididna Shaikh Ahmadir Rifa’i and a multitude of other People of the Path (cited from Naqsabandi Sufi meditation, source: Ustadh Abdelnasser Daham). Ibn al-Arabi is known as the Ash-Shaikh-al Akbar, or the Supreme Master (Ibn al-Arabi’s The Bezels of Wisdom, R.W.J. Austin, translator). On his part, Tuwan Masha’ika was able to extract reverence from among the natives with his exceptionally superior knowledge of Islam, a quality more commonly identified with the Sufis. In all probability he was therefore a part of the Ahl ul Suluk
Following Tuwan Masha’ika was Karimul Makhdum, who was initially called Sarip, a Tausug version of Sharif. He built a mosque, imparted his knowledge of Islam and Sufism, and was later called Tuwan Sharif Awliya’, which implies that he was a missionary and a preacher. Other supernatural events had been associated with him, like his having been able to walk on water and fly in the air, phenomena which, as acknowledged by those with tasawwuf learning, could be done only by Awliya’ or Sufist. Makhdum, an Arabic word which originally meant master, was later used as a title for a teacher or a learned man, especially in India and Malaysia. It is presumed that the same has been applied when the Makhdum was given the calling. The titles he possessed and the powers he had demonstrated, which were given due regard even by the Jesuit priest Francisco Combes (Historia de Mindanao Y Jolo) can fairly classify the Makhdum as a Sufi or Ahl ul Suluk.
At this juncture words have to be said attendant to the ostensibly magical performances the Makhdum was associated with, that would make him look unreal and because of which people might consider him just a mythical or legendary figure. Peter Gordon Gowing, who has described the Sulu tarsilas as “patently mythological and baffling…” (Muslim Filipinos—Heritage and Horizon), apparently projects an unconvinced posture. However, those with Islamic knowledge believe that the performances are common and have not been attributed only to the Makhdum since similar ascriptions have been given to other missionaries and people with akin personality and Islamic grasp. To help prove the veracity of the seemingly unbelievable capability, this writer would like to invite anyone to see a prototype of such small iron vessel which is kept by his clan in Parang, Sulu. This particular vessel was used by an Arabian woman named Sharifa Amina from Mecca, Saudi Arabia, together with her Tausug husband named Hadji Abiar and their seven children and their belongings. They arrived in Parang, Sulu, the native place of Hadji Abiar, and settled there, and their issues ultimately made up about 90% of Parang natives. The story may also sound fairy tale-like, but the physical presence of Sharifa Amina’s iron craft helps bolster the validity of the claims of unusual feats identified with the Karimul Makhdum.
Next teacher was Sayid Abu Bakr, who came to Sulu in the middle of the 15th century. Dean Majul estimated this to be after the arrival of Rajah Baginda, who himself had come about 50 years after Tuwan Masha’ika. As all history books commonly claim, Sayid Abu Bakr married Paramisuli, a daughter of Rajah Baginda, and became the first Sultan. Different tarsilas are in agreement that he adopted the full sultanate title of Sultan Shariful Hashim, but there has been no unanimity in regard to his proper name of Abu Bakr. There were even traditions which maintained that Zainal Abidin was his actual name.
The inclusion of Sayid Abu Bakr here is not because of the political institution he initiated but his being primarily a preacher or missionary himself, an attribute quite overshadowed by his political position and prominence. His missionary zeal was cited as responsible for the conversion of the Buranun or hill people, which he did after proselytizing the coastal area through the teaching of the Qur’an. It is also indicated in a tradition that during natural crises like a drought, he would ask the people to fast and pray, and indeed rain would soon start pouring. He established a madrasa school, and it is in a center such as this where being a muqri’ could have taken off and evolved into ilmu’ mukali’, or “knowledge of the muqri’”. On this account the first Sultan was a part of the Ahl ul Suluk.
We now usher in the next Ahl ul Suluk missionary named Alawi Balpaki, who was said to be the younger brother of Abu Bakr in a sense that he arrived much later. John Hunt, a British agent who was sent to Sulu in 1814 for political and commercial purposes, wrote that Alawi Balpaki (sometimes called Sayid Berpaki) had succeeded in converting almost the whole population to Islam. The time has been estimated to be the middle of the 18th century. His being a missionary should include him in the genre of the Ahl ul Suluk.
THE UNRECORDED AHL UL SULUK
So far we have been citing the names of the Ahl ul Suluk that somehow found their way into the pages of history. It is not inaccurate to presume that many other Sufis or missionaries of the Ahl ul Suluk had come in other times to do their own spreading of the knowledge of Islam and implanting it in the people’s mind and heart to firm up a peculiarly Tausug entity of Islamic persuasion, but without traces left for subsequent history writers. Local traditions are rife with their belief to that effect.
In the rural areas of the mainland of Lupa’ Sug as well as its islands, many Sufism-exposed Tausugs talk among themselves in private gatherings about their belief in the “Seven Brothers” as the ones who Islamized Sulu. They actually refer to the Awliya’ or Sufists who came one after another, as described above, hence brothers in the time frame of reference, whose common mode of conveyance was the previously mentioned toy-looking iron crafts. Historical writings have taken cognizance of some of them.
One very important figure among the Sufists is of course Shaikh Abdulqadir Jailani, the Sultan of the Awliya’ and supposedly the “oldest brother”. He is believed to have included Sulu as one area he traveled around and taught in, so claimed the Mukali’-learned Tausugs, and a papyrus copy of the Qur’an which he had brought along is still intact and well protected in an undisclosed place. Coincidentally or otherwise, Jailani is one of the most common given and family names among the Tausugs. As an added weight, the names of almost all the established Sufists are now often used locally.
One Sufi of the Ahl ul Suluk whose coming to Sulu is exciting to conjecture by virtue of logical circumstances is Hamzah Fansuri himself. There is a reasonable synchronicity of the time frames between the Sufi’s lifetime and the process of Islamization of Sulu. Besides, Hamzah Fansuri was described by Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas as having a remarkable participation in the Islamization process of the Malay-Indonesia-Java areas. These areas include, and should not be separated from, the Islamized areas of Mindanao—more especially Sulu—racially, ethnically, and geographically and particularly in relation to the proselytizing stage. In addition, this writer concurs with the claim of Dean Majul that “Islam’s advent in the area is a function of the general expansion of Islam in Malaysia,” a vital ramification that Najeeb Saleeby failed to give a corroborative importance to, but which Peter Gordon Gowing very much agrees with.
HISTORICAL MISTAKES SHOULD BE RECTIFIED
It is now deemed proper that a rectification of a historical basis in this regard should be initiated in order to erase inaccuracies, realign and firm up Tausug identity and add meaning to the values believed in by the Tausugs and the other Muslims in Southeast Asia.
It is asserted that the Arabic word Suluk is the more plausible root of Sug, the name used by the Tausugs to refer to the mainland of Jolo vis-à-vis the age-old stereotyped argument that Sug evolved from sug, the sea current. Furthermore, Sug should rightfully refer to the entire Sulu Archipelago.
This also seeks to establish that from the foregoing, the name Suluk or Sulu, the state, the Sultanate and presently the province, has been taken from those people who belonged to the special genre of Islamic discipline, the Ahl ul Suluk, or the People of the Path, who came in succession to impart Islam and Sufism. The brand of knowledge of these Awliya’ or learned missionaries, the tasawwuf, was assimilated in substance by the Sulu natives, who, up to now, still cling to the established belief.

Muslim Unrest in the Philippines

How Do You Solve That Problem When the Cause Is Not Recognized? 
Unless an adjustment in the posture of the peace protagonists into a more realistic one is initiated, any effort toward an appeasement of the Muslim unrest in the Philippines will just stay futile, for, there is no exact meeting of the minds of the government and the Muslims—that is, the majority and the minority—as to what is precisely the problem that needs solving. As expected, the desire to solve the problem and achieve peace, will remain just that—a desire. There is never a problem solved even by argument geniuses unless there is a prior identification of THE problem. That is, of course, a basic mathematical rule of thumb that participants giggly enjoy violating as well as gaining advantages from. They appear as all-agog and as concerned peace advocates and report the “points of achievements” as a good media mileage. But at the recesses of their minds, this is nothing but a perfectly vicious but enjoyable little circle. They cannot wait to do it again and ‘exhaust” all their energies in, in the “pursuit of peace”. 
And the Muslims always remain the butts of this.
What borders on asininity is that the government panel, whoever the chosen members are and whichever Muslim group it is dealing with, is bent on arriving at a solution from that standpoint, which is a simple euphemism for their passion to ram their solution down our throats. But while some Muslim panels have been “touched” by the government in its attempt to ensure that its solution get across—which makes it more ludicrous—many Muslims are now wary about the government hunky-punky. 
By “exact meeting of the minds” is meant the recognition of the very problem that leads to the unrest and then the concoction of an apropos solution, in that everyone must ready his face to get splattered with mud in the process in order for him to stare at the problem face to face.
BACKGROUND
The Muslims have always had their steam fueled by an unbreakable Islamic dogma and a keenly claimed right version of history. Islamic teachings dictate that Muslims in an adversarial situation with a non-Muslim majority that happens to orchestrate a form of religious suppression (hence, in a state of dar al harb) are enjoined to fight against the oppressors. For this purpose, a total of 33 Qur’anic verses can be collated and all together made as bases for arriving at the why, when, how, who and even the prize of it; they are scattered as follows: a total of 7 verses in Surah II; 4 verses in Surah IV; 2 verses in S. VIII; 9 verses in S. IX; 3 verses in S. XXII; 5 verses in S. XLII; 2 verses in S. XLVII; and 1 verse in S. XLVIII. Therefore, in the Philippines non-Muslims should not wonder why Muslims have always resisted against all invaders, right since Magellan alighted in these islands up until now. And elsewhere in the Islamic world where a semblance of suppression is done, similar Muslim reactions are observed, with some even done so extensively that the West calls them “acts of terrorism”. 
Rightfully the confrontational status is to last till victory (when dar al harb is transformed to dar al Islam), or a total defeat (when the Muslims get subjugated and have no choice but to submit to the oppressors and accept conversion, which has never happened). In between, a state of war or, at least, non-recognition, exists.
Defense of Islam as used here goes much beyond the realm of Islam as a religion that serves as a source of the knowledge of God (Ma’arifa). Islam is a way of life, hence, defense encompasses the community, family, home and land, as well as traditional, political and cultural values already so instilled in the Muslims’ hearts and minds even if they might have been originally pre-Islamic.
RELIGIOUS SUPPRESSION ? 
The government’s (or the majority’s) posture has always been as unbending and firmly established because of the belief that the constitution should be adhered to (in spite of its being originally Christian-influenced, not to mention dictated). Then a mindset that has remained noncompliant because of Hispanic zealotry and an adopted value that denies a rectification of historical error both give a strong support to the stiff claim that dismemberment of the country should never be allowed. Apparently this is based on the belief that this country has been legally and historically solid right from the start, which is precisely not right, as what the Muslims have been trying to put across. The historical basis is actually not difficult to discern, but the government people, representing the interest of the majority, have their minds influenced by the Spanish dictum that grew out of bigotry, and which in itself was rooted upon the Spanish hostility towards the Moors.
The psyche that maintains the attitude of each side—which recognizes the other as the enemy—guarantees a sure flop of any solution born out of pretexts, and whose purpose is only to render a first-aid treatment of a chronic sore. For, while the Muslims’ continuum of resistance has been kept alive by the obligatory antagonism to any religious suppression, the government side all along has refused to admit that the animosity has been engendered by the difference in religion, or more precisely, by the emotions that go along with it. Why the government adopted such attitude regarding this issue is, at the most, ambiguous. Some have conjectured that it avoids being accused of religious intolerance, permitting it to hide its head ala-ostrich from the eagle eyes of the OIC, hence assuring itself ample oil supplies from the oil-rich Muslim countries, a shrewdness the OIC unfortunately seems not to mind at all. 
It is quite obvious that the attitude of each side does not fit quite well into the other for the peace machinery to purr well. The insistence of the so-called peace wizards to keep on adopting similar stance only translates to making nincompoops out of us, and will be for a very long time without the necessary change.
However, people with a panoramic view (especially history writers) readily recognize religion as the prime mover of both sides in the conflict. There are Peter Gordon Gowing, T.J.S. George, Lila Noble and Kenneth Bauzon, who can guide us in recalling our historical past and making this outlook sink into our thoughts.
PRE-SPANISH ERA: The Islamization Process
The pre-Spanish people of these islands had themselves socially organized into small baranggay communities under the leadership of a village elder, or a datu’. The society was kinship-based and hierarchical, and had broad common cultural traits. This being observed to be the general pattern in all settlements, it is fair to conclude that the communities had something common to hold onto in terms of needs for some tactical alliance. Of course there were baranggay-to-baranggay variations in terms of legal codes, literary and artistic traditions and trading conventions (T.J.S. George). The general set-up would prove to be compatible with Islamic religious patterns (Bauzon). But even before the coming of Islam, the people were known to have a concept of the Supreme Creator.
Islam was introduced to Sulu initially by Tuwan Masha’ika before the 13th century. His marriage to Idda Indira Suga, Raja Sipad’s daughter (Saleeby), started the strings of Muslim generations that propagated in Sulu. However, Islam became more understood and established when Karimul Makhdum arrived in Sulu in 1380 (Saleeby). The two Muslim teachers, but more especially the Makhdum, have been considered Awliya’ or Sufists, who were also called Ahlul Suluk or People of the Path (Al-Attas, The Mysticism of Hamza Fansuri) and who included the subsequent Sufi teachers who arrived to teach, from which term Suluk or Sulu sprang, which later transformed to Suk and Sug (Bangahan).
It has been claimed by Muslim chroniclers that Islam was welcomed with joy and relief (George). Najeeb Saleeby even quoted a manuscript that showed that the people were very impressed by the visitors’ supernatural ability. Islam then spread and made Sulu a major trading partner of the maritime powers at that time. In fact when the first Sultan, Shariful Hashim, set the Sultanate of Sulu in the middle of the 15th century, Sulu became an Islamic power while at this time Manila and Cebu were still in a struggling stage.
Bauzon in his book, “Liberalism and the Quest for Islamic Identity in the Philippines”, explains that the facility with which the ancient people had embraced Islam was due to the adaptation of the religion to their customs and traditions, which means that Islam did not attempt to make drastic changes. The original social set-up, the baranggay, became the root of the sultanate through confederation, and made them generate into an Ummah in the land, which brought them pride to declare the area as dar al Islam. This engendered kinship and sense of brotherhood with other Muslims in the world and made Islam an ideology. Sulu nation evolved and had all the makings of sovereignty.
THE COMING OF THE SPANIARDS
There is no doubt that the passion for Catholicism was the primary drive behind the Spanish colonization. We can trace this to Charles I and Ferdinand Magellan and later to Charles’ son Philip II and Legazpi. When Charles became the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1519, he assumed that he was an instrument chosen by the Almighty to promote the supremacy of the Catholic Church (George). So when Magellan set his sail after obtaining the patronage of Charles, his mission was appropriately to check Muslim sea power in Africa and India. In Cebu, he initiated the conversion of the local leaders and men into the Catholic faith. Then he met Lapu-Lapu, who resented his cross and interferences and caused him his death. (There are some claims to the big probability that Lapu-Lapu was Muslim, or at least Islam-conscious).
Charles’ passion, however, was nothing in comparison to that of his son Philip, who generated rigidity and tyranny and was ruthless with non-Catholics, earning him the monicker “Black Legend” among the protestant countries. In spite of his Catholic zealotry, he married four times, according to T.J.S. George.
Legazpi, Philip’s explorer, recognized Manila as the target instead of Cebu when he arrived in 1565, for the place would make an ideal command post. The Manila Muslim ruler, Rajah Sulayman, would not submit, but nonetheless welcomed Legazpi and his men with dignity, which had led into a friendship that was solemnly established through a blood compact. This would prove to be one of the antecedents of treachery between Spaniards and Muslims, for before even the blood used in the compact could dry up, Legazpi sprang to attack Rajah Sulayman and conquered Manila, forcing the people into Catholicism. Ironically, treachery as a dishonor has never been imputed to Legazpi or the Spaniards by those western writers; always the Muslims were being unfairly called the traitors, even if theirs were just reactions in a tooth-for-a-tooth confrontations. Yet, from these events, and generally during the Spanish occupation, the Spaniards were primarily the merciless ones to the extent that, even the Christianized Indios who subsequently revolted, had hated the Spaniards so much that in disposing three friars they had captured in Imus, one was doused with petroleum, another was cut into pieces and the third one pierced through his body with a bamboo split (George).
Hispanization was done side by side with the conversion of the natives to Catholicism. With military force as the Spanish winning factor, a big portion of the northern people became Christianized, becoming the so-called Indios. A clear sectarian line effectively dichotomized the natives, with the unconverted and unconquered half pejoratively called Moros because of their similarity in religious fervor with the once-Spanish-tormentors, the Moors, for whom the Spaniards still had a built-in wrath.
The naming of the conquered portion of the islands Filipinas (from Felipe) or its anglicized form Philippines, was passionately motivated by the basic drive to Christianize. Philip was like an icon of Catholicism, and impressing his name on everything and everyone the Spaniards had conquered amounted to a catholic trade marking. Incidentally, the spin-off term Filipino to refer to the people was first applied to the full bloodied Spaniards born in the Philippines (which would correspond to the Creoles). This later included the half-breeds, and finally, the Indios. The parameter that would qualify one to be called Filipinos was obviously the Catholic religion. The unchristianized people, as one can see, were never called Filipinos. Going by the context, therefore, we do not qualify nor deserve to be called one, for we do not belong. In fact, as claimed by Bauzon, the term Filipino, more than anything, formalized the psychological, cultural and political division between the two peoples. It would therefore follow that between Magellan and Lapu-Lapu, the former had better bases for claiming proximity to the Filipinos; Lapu-Lapu never had any. 
Perhaps the basis for the subsequent encompassing of the unchristianized natives by the term Filipino was the illicit sale of the Philippines to the Americans by the Spaniards, but which included even the unconquered area, which was not a vassalage of Spain. The sale, in effect, illegally subsumed the latter. For US$20 million, the Americans gladly consummated the transaction as embodied in the Treaty of Paris, never mind if the Moro portion was not legally part of it. Were it not for military coerciveness, no amount of stretching the moral and legal flexibility could make that anomalous sale binding because it involved “some commodities that were not part of the commerce”. Therefore, historically and religiously, and morally and legally, the unchristianized areas and peoples were not Filipinized.
The new Whites had their own shrewd plan on how to subjugate the Muslims, whom they compared to their Indians back home but were looked with more disdain. “The only good Indian is a dead Indian” shifted to a new battlecry: “The only good Moro is a dead Moro”. The Moros confronted the new white oppressors with similar determination as they did the Spaniards, for to them these Americans were just new replacements in the same team, and no new rules were set in the game. Meanwhile, the Americans started with their own brand of inferno which the Moros fought hard against with whatever they could, producing unsung Moro heroes and writing Moro history that have not been fully brought to light because of the distortion the white people have effectively crafted.
WHY THE CONTINUED RESISTANCE
What moves a Muslim to pursue a prolonged and continuous resistance, by tradition, is primarily the defense of his religion and his family honor and dignity (Martabbat), and this would last for as long as necessary. As described earlier, this is a comprehensive defense that is bolstered not just by values but also by Qur’anic dogma. The first ever conflict that involved Muslims on account of this issue was during the incipience of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as the Messenger of Allah, when he and his supporters had to engage their pursuing adversaries who were from their own city of Mecca, which culminated in the Battle of Badr (Muhammad Fathi Bakkoush, The Great Battles of Islam). This would, of course, start the series of battles that they had to fight during the early Islamization process, which spilled over into later times as Islam made its inroads into Africa, Asia and European continents.
The root of resistance in the domestic arena has been basically similar, which is the onslaught on Islam. This was intensely commenced by the Spaniards and later happily taken over by the Americans. Some people, however, have come in with their preferred explanations, mostly self-serving, and have created an entanglement of the causes, most of which being used to muddle the issue. T.J.S. George tried to pry it loose in his Revolt in Mindanao, and came up with “assault on Islam” as still the basic provocation. Others in his list: “an oppressed minority asserting against the majority”, “a result of economic and social grievances”, “immoral politicians and their politics”, “foreign meddlings”, “communist influence”, “CIA role”, and “government ineptitude”.
Except for communism, which is dogmatically diametric to Islam, all the other factors could be rightfully considered as auxiliaries to the predominating religious fervor. Singling them out and playing their respective role up would be like paying unnecessary attention to the twigs, bushes and trees that make up the forest; they do not make any difference, for from a distance the forest has a glaringly overwhelming presence.
Spain believed that Islam was a false religion, in that it was an embodiment of everything hateful. Apparently this was carried out with all fierceness since a royal letter of instructions, dated 1565 and signed by King Philip himself, was sent to the colonial administration in Manila, to wit: “We give you permission to make such Moros slaves and seize their property. You are warned that you can make them slaves only if the said Moros are such by birth and choice…But in no way or manner shall you enslave the Indios.” (George). Because the year 1565 was only the arrival of Legazpi in Cebu, logically Philip had not had enough bases for judgment as to the nature of the Moros. The bigotry therefore was generated from the Spanish abomination of the Moors who had ruled them for about 800 years.
The Spanish campaign against the Moros was not carried only in the battlefield. In the christianized areas where they had lorded it over and where their words were the law, they primed the minds of the Indios that the Moros were the natural enemies of the Christians. These were done during religious instruction, town rallies or assemblies; and through the Moro-Moro, a theatrical presentation used to depict Spaniard-Moro encounters, with the Moros ending as the slay-worthy villains. The result was a mass hysteria triggered even by a mere mention of the word “moro”. All Christian natives also now had looked at the Muslims with indescribable hatred. They even became the core of Spanish warriors against these erstwhile brothers of theirs, and per dictation from their Spanish masters, they carried out similar ferocity, relishing merciless massacres, and even chained and branded the Muslims in captivity. Corollary to this, if the prejudiced Max Soliven (may he rest in peace) of the Philippine Star were any smarter, he should not have written this line in his column of April 12, 2000: “Remember the attitude of the Moro fundamentalists who’ve been taught to hate Christians from infancy—and that slaying of Christian infidel is the fastest passport to paradise.” This superannuated guy had apparently confused the cause and the effect in the issue.
The Americans were as merciless and as red-hot as the Spaniards in ensuring the subjugation of the Moros. They perpetrated massacres, as for examples, during the uprising of Panglima Hassan (1901), the encounters in Bud Dahu’ (March 1906), Bud Bagsak (1913) and Langkuwasan, all in Sulu; face-offs with the Maranaw groups of Bayabaos, Boayan and Macius; and the confrontations with Datu Ali (1903) and Datu Alamali (1913) in the Magindanaw area. The Americans had as much bigotry for the Muslims as the Spaniards had.
The above accounts have more than exceeded the criteria for religious and ethnic cleansing. And yet, this would be just the start, for each side’s unchangeable belief has caused an abrasive inflammation which has waxed and waned itself into the MNLF era and style. Because war and direct conversion of the Muslims had terribly failed, a more practical tactic was devised. Concocted by the Jesuits, the plan was to show to the Muslims how the Christian way of life was lived, which was purported to entice the former who would hopefully abandon their “barbaric” ways. This would entail sending Christian elements to Moro areas, and so prisoners, social outcasts and those who did not have any means of livelihood, were “sacrificed” as pioneers in this plan, which now doubly served as a solution to the unemployment problem besetting some sectors of the Filipinized society. This had become a blessing in disguise, and Filipino presidents like Quezon down to Magsaysay had enjoyed this plan. Subsequent administrations had their own similar programs. This diluting technique of the government carried out the Jesuit-mechanism of christianization process through social and cultural ways, since as mentioned, actual proselytizing supported by sadistic force did not get results. [It is very unfortunate that some Catholic establishments ensconced in Muslim areas have perpetuated this approach, and with more profundity and damaging effects, through “cultural usurpation”; they poke their fingers into each and every Muslim, especially Tausug, culture, in effect making it appear that they are the stars behind such phenomenon.]
In principle, then, the Moros have always had the justification to fight back. In fact additional factors have pushed the animosity deeper, because this time land-grabbing cases became unrestrained. The ancestral lands of the Moros have been slashed away by the new opportunists; ancestral ownership being untitled, it was considered illegal according to the new set of rules the Christians were armed with, which they called the Constitution. The Muslims called this an injustice, so it magnified the intensity of the Muslim-Christian conflicts that transformed into actual deadly confrontations, later giving birth to the different Muslim groups spurring an idea of independence as initially espoused by the MNLF.
THE FILIPINO APPROACHES TO THE PROBLEM
This Spanish-initiated novel Christianization process has been made functional throughout. Its essence has been there but style and approach have been modified at different phases to suit the prevailing problems being addressed. The adherence of the majority—government, Christians—to this system was partly motivated by the degree of success they had observed. In actuality, though, the posturing resulted from the fact that ‘Moro Problem” has been passed from the Spaniards to the Americans and to the Filipinos in its disgusting form—that the Moros are just per se inhuman, hence an icon of whatever needs to be cursed. Not only that there has been no effort towards delving into the root of the problem, there have been even deliberate distortions of facts. So the fact of the matter behind the Moros’ resistance—the defense against Islamic desecration—has been historically unappreciated. The foregoing events have primed the Muslim mind into believing that all forms of changes initiated by the majority (read the government), are probably tinged with the ulterior motive to de-Islamize, or at least socially and culturally, to Christianize them. The Filipinos, on the other hand, consider the Muslim paradigm inimical to western changes, making them backward.
What is functionally destructive, however, is the Christian psyche, as nurtured by the Spaniards, that the Muslims are their enemies. So even now when a better understanding of each other has somehow made us arrive at some form of “peaceful” coexistence, the stigma always surfaces. Take for instance, when a group like, say, the NPA, does an act considered inhuman by standard norm against Christians, public reactions against them do not have similar magnitude of belligerence as the ones against, say, the Abu Sayyaf when it does the same atrocity. And that is precisely because the NPA people are basically Christians, having come from Christian families, whereas those of the Abu Sayyaf are Muslims, therefore they merit all the profanities. It is in fact a general Muslim feeling that because of that Christian psyche, the Muslims are already abhorred by simply being Muslims.
Then, again, the Muslims are not without basis for believing that the Filipino approaches have been loaded with “tricks”. The Filipino constitution was based on Christian norms, and when it produced “enlightened” policies, what it actually meant was “Christian” policies (George). Or simply put, being enlightened means being Christian. There was an acceptance of the western notions as to which is superior and inferior, what is legal and illegal, what is sacred and profane, but these were Christian-based ideas which would erase the Muslim sense of dignity and Islamic values (Bauzon).
The Marcos adroitly-crafted solution as a take-off from the Imelda-touched recommendation of the Libyan meeting, called the Tripoli Agreement of 1976, actually did nothing to pacify the Muslim upheaval outside of the employees’ salaries received every 15th and 30th of each month. Some employees were opportunistic MNLF surrenderees or plain bums who never had any hand in the MNLF struggle; there were even many Christian beneficiaries. There was no MNLF diehard who joined the process, but Marcos used it to project his image and pretexts to the OIC and conned the Islamic body into believing that he was carrying out what the Tripoli Agreement had asked of him. With his shrewdness, Marcos implemented the agreement on his own terms and therefore was a travesty. The Muslim Personal Laws created with the Presidential Decree 1083 in 1977 was criticized severely by Ustadh Abdulbaki Abubakar, a no-nonsense MNLF Foreign Minister, as a human destruction of the Shariah, the Islamic Law taken from the Qur’an and the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). There were other Marcos responses to the Tripoli Agreement but were also foxily crafted which the Muslims did not consider within the spirit of the Agreement.
After Cory Aquino became the president on account of the EDSA I revolution, she met Misuari in Jolo in September 1986, an act that boosted the MNLF morale. She paved a way toward a peaceful negotiation, which Mr. Ramos took over in his time. Of course a final Peace Agreement was arrived at but it was not without a touch of a Ramos cunningness. The actual peace agreement officially signed by the two sides underwent many substantial changes through a stroke of one human hand—that of Ramos. Mostly affected is the chance for Islam to play a meaty role. With it being deleted, the religious issue has been purposely thrown into a wastebasket and the struggle of the mujahideens has amounted to nothing. Despite the apparent “mutilation” the signed agreement had gone through, it was implemented nonetheless, which is the one “in effect” today. If there was any arm-twisting done antecedent to the ostensibly swift passage of that agreement, we are not very sure who arm-twisted whom. 
So much money, time and efforts have been infused into the process of trying to come up with a solution to the so-called Moro problem, but it is quite obvious, based on the foregoing, that nothing appeasing enough could be arrived at. The solution that is truly right and proper, which therefore should be relished by the Muslims, would prove to be oxymoronic to the government position and would put the country in a bad light, and they would not dream of doing that.
Meanwhile, back to square one, and this vicious cycle, on the sides, has become a lucrative process, and the Muslims would have to continue bearing the ordeal. But, for how long? 
The longer, the better for our adversaries, for the lengthening also stretches the process of “cultural usurpation” , now gnawing gnawing into the Muslim fiber. 
If, to the Muslims, this does not merit an alternative plan, we do not know what will.

_________________________________

Benj Bangahan


Muslim Unrest in the Philippines

How Do You Solve That Problem When the Cause Is Not Recognized? 
Unless an adjustment in the posture of the peace protagonists into a more realistic one is initiated, any effort toward an appeasement of the Muslim unrest in the Philippines will just stay futile, for, there is no exact meeting of the minds of the government and the Muslims—that is, the majority and the minority—as to what is precisely the problem that needs solving. As expected, the desire to solve the problem and achieve peace, will remain just that—a desire. There is never a problem solved even by argument geniuses unless there is a prior identification of THE problem. That is, of course, a basic mathematical rule of thumb that participants giggly enjoy violating as well as gaining advantages from. They appear as all-agog and as concerned peace advocates and report the “points of achievements” as a good media mileage. But at the recesses of their minds, this is nothing but a perfectly vicious but enjoyable little circle. They cannot wait to do it again and ‘exhaust” all their energies in, in the “pursuit of peace”. 
And the Muslims always remain the butts of this.
What borders on asininity is that the government panel, whoever the chosen members are and whichever Muslim group it is dealing with, is bent on arriving at a solution from that standpoint, which is a simple euphemism for their passion to ram their solution down our throats. But while some Muslim panels have been “touched” by the government in its attempt to ensure that its solution get across—which makes it more ludicrous—many Muslims are now wary about the government hunky-punky. 
By “exact meeting of the minds” is meant the recognition of the very problem that leads to the unrest and then the concoction of an apropos solution, in that everyone must ready his face to get splattered with mud in the process in order for him to stare at the problem face to face.
BACKGROUND
The Muslims have always had their steam fueled by an unbreakable Islamic dogma and a keenly claimed right version of history. Islamic teachings dictate that Muslims in an adversarial situation with a non-Muslim majority that happens to orchestrate a form of religious suppression (hence, in a state of dar al harb) are enjoined to fight against the oppressors. For this purpose, a total of 33 Qur’anic verses can be collated and all together made as bases for arriving at the why, when, how, who and even the prize of it; they are scattered as follows: a total of 7 verses in Surah II; 4 verses in Surah IV; 2 verses in S. VIII; 9 verses in S. IX; 3 verses in S. XXII; 5 verses in S. XLII; 2 verses in S. XLVII; and 1 verse in S. XLVIII. Therefore, in the Philippines non-Muslims should not wonder why Muslims have always resisted against all invaders, right since Magellan alighted in these islands up until now. And elsewhere in the Islamic world where a semblance of suppression is done, similar Muslim reactions are observed, with some even done so extensively that the West calls them “acts of terrorism”. 
Rightfully the confrontational status is to last till victory (when dar al harb is transformed to dar al Islam), or a total defeat (when the Muslims get subjugated and have no choice but to submit to the oppressors and accept conversion, which has never happened). In between, a state of war or, at least, non-recognition, exists.
Defense of Islam as used here goes much beyond the realm of Islam as a religion that serves as a source of the knowledge of God (Ma’arifa). Islam is a way of life, hence, defense encompasses the community, family, home and land, as well as traditional, political and cultural values already so instilled in the Muslims’ hearts and minds even if they might have been originally pre-Islamic.
RELIGIOUS SUPPRESSION ? 
The government’s (or the majority’s) posture has always been as unbending and firmly established because of the belief that the constitution should be adhered to (in spite of its being originally Christian-influenced, not to mention dictated). Then a mindset that has remained noncompliant because of Hispanic zealotry and an adopted value that denies a rectification of historical error both give a strong support to the stiff claim that dismemberment of the country should never be allowed. Apparently this is based on the belief that this country has been legally and historically solid right from the start, which is precisely not right, as what the Muslims have been trying to put across. The historical basis is actually not difficult to discern, but the government people, representing the interest of the majority, have their minds influenced by the Spanish dictum that grew out of bigotry, and which in itself was rooted upon the Spanish hostility towards the Moors.
The psyche that maintains the attitude of each side—which recognizes the other as the enemy—guarantees a sure flop of any solution born out of pretexts, and whose purpose is only to render a first-aid treatment of a chronic sore. For, while the Muslims’ continuum of resistance has been kept alive by the obligatory antagonism to any religious suppression, the government side all along has refused to admit that the animosity has been engendered by the difference in religion, or more precisely, by the emotions that go along with it. Why the government adopted such attitude regarding this issue is, at the most, ambiguous. Some have conjectured that it avoids being accused of religious intolerance, permitting it to hide its head ala-ostrich from the eagle eyes of the OIC, hence assuring itself ample oil supplies from the oil-rich Muslim countries, a shrewdness the OIC unfortunately seems not to mind at all. 
It is quite obvious that the attitude of each side does not fit quite well into the other for the peace machinery to purr well. The insistence of the so-called peace wizards to keep on adopting similar stance only translates to making nincompoops out of us, and will be for a very long time without the necessary change.
However, people with a panoramic view (especially history writers) readily recognize religion as the prime mover of both sides in the conflict. There are Peter Gordon Gowing, T.J.S. George, Lila Noble and Kenneth Bauzon, who can guide us in recalling our historical past and making this outlook sink into our thoughts.
PRE-SPANISH ERA: The Islamization Process
The pre-Spanish people of these islands had themselves socially organized into small baranggay communities under the leadership of a village elder, or a datu’. The society was kinship-based and hierarchical, and had broad common cultural traits. This being observed to be the general pattern in all settlements, it is fair to conclude that the communities had something common to hold onto in terms of needs for some tactical alliance. Of course there were baranggay-to-baranggay variations in terms of legal codes, literary and artistic traditions and trading conventions (T.J.S. George). The general set-up would prove to be compatible with Islamic religious patterns (Bauzon). But even before the coming of Islam, the people were known to have a concept of the Supreme Creator.
Islam was introduced to Sulu initially by Tuwan Masha’ika before the 13th century. His marriage to Idda Indira Suga, Raja Sipad’s daughter (Saleeby), started the strings of Muslim generations that propagated in Sulu. However, Islam became more understood and established when Karimul Makhdum arrived in Sulu in 1380 (Saleeby). The two Muslim teachers, but more especially the Makhdum, have been considered Awliya’ or Sufists, who were also called Ahlul Suluk or People of the Path (Al-Attas, The Mysticism of Hamza Fansuri) and who included the subsequent Sufi teachers who arrived to teach, from which term Suluk or Sulu sprang, which later transformed to Suk and Sug (Bangahan).
It has been claimed by Muslim chroniclers that Islam was welcomed with joy and relief (George). Najeeb Saleeby even quoted a manuscript that showed that the people were very impressed by the visitors’ supernatural ability. Islam then spread and made Sulu a major trading partner of the maritime powers at that time. In fact when the first Sultan, Shariful Hashim, set the Sultanate of Sulu in the middle of the 15th century, Sulu became an Islamic power while at this time Manila and Cebu were still in a struggling stage.
Bauzon in his book, “Liberalism and the Quest for Islamic Identity in the Philippines”, explains that the facility with which the ancient people had embraced Islam was due to the adaptation of the religion to their customs and traditions, which means that Islam did not attempt to make drastic changes. The original social set-up, the baranggay, became the root of the sultanate through confederation, and made them generate into an Ummah in the land, which brought them pride to declare the area as dar al Islam. This engendered kinship and sense of brotherhood with other Muslims in the world and made Islam an ideology. Sulu nation evolved and had all the makings of sovereignty.
THE COMING OF THE SPANIARDS
There is no doubt that the passion for Catholicism was the primary drive behind the Spanish colonization. We can trace this to Charles I and Ferdinand Magellan and later to Charles’ son Philip II and Legazpi. When Charles became the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1519, he assumed that he was an instrument chosen by the Almighty to promote the supremacy of the Catholic Church (George). So when Magellan set his sail after obtaining the patronage of Charles, his mission was appropriately to check Muslim sea power in Africa and India. In Cebu, he initiated the conversion of the local leaders and men into the Catholic faith. Then he met Lapu-Lapu, who resented his cross and interferences and caused him his death. (There are some claims to the big probability that Lapu-Lapu was Muslim, or at least Islam-conscious).
Charles’ passion, however, was nothing in comparison to that of his son Philip, who generated rigidity and tyranny and was ruthless with non-Catholics, earning him the monicker “Black Legend” among the protestant countries. In spite of his Catholic zealotry, he married four times, according to T.J.S. George.
Legazpi, Philip’s explorer, recognized Manila as the target instead of Cebu when he arrived in 1565, for the place would make an ideal command post. The Manila Muslim ruler, Rajah Sulayman, would not submit, but nonetheless welcomed Legazpi and his men with dignity, which had led into a friendship that was solemnly established through a blood compact. This would prove to be one of the antecedents of treachery between Spaniards and Muslims, for before even the blood used in the compact could dry up, Legazpi sprang to attack Rajah Sulayman and conquered Manila, forcing the people into Catholicism. Ironically, treachery as a dishonor has never been imputed to Legazpi or the Spaniards by those western writers; always the Muslims were being unfairly called the traitors, even if theirs were just reactions in a tooth-for-a-tooth confrontations. Yet, from these events, and generally during the Spanish occupation, the Spaniards were primarily the merciless ones to the extent that, even the Christianized Indios who subsequently revolted, had hated the Spaniards so much that in disposing three friars they had captured in Imus, one was doused with petroleum, another was cut into pieces and the third one pierced through his body with a bamboo split (George).
Hispanization was done side by side with the conversion of the natives to Catholicism. With military force as the Spanish winning factor, a big portion of the northern people became Christianized, becoming the so-called Indios. A clear sectarian line effectively dichotomized the natives, with the unconverted and unconquered half pejoratively called Moros because of their similarity in religious fervor with the once-Spanish-tormentors, the Moors, for whom the Spaniards still had a built-in wrath.
The naming of the conquered portion of the islands Filipinas (from Felipe) or its anglicized form Philippines, was passionately motivated by the basic drive to Christianize. Philip was like an icon of Catholicism, and impressing his name on everything and everyone the Spaniards had conquered amounted to a catholic trade marking. Incidentally, the spin-off term Filipino to refer to the people was first applied to the full bloodied Spaniards born in the Philippines (which would correspond to the Creoles). This later included the half-breeds, and finally, the Indios. The parameter that would qualify one to be called Filipinos was obviously the Catholic religion. The unchristianized people, as one can see, were never called Filipinos. Going by the context, therefore, we do not qualify nor deserve to be called one, for we do not belong. In fact, as claimed by Bauzon, the term Filipino, more than anything, formalized the psychological, cultural and political division between the two peoples. It would therefore follow that between Magellan and Lapu-Lapu, the former had better bases for claiming proximity to the Filipinos; Lapu-Lapu never had any. 
Perhaps the basis for the subsequent encompassing of the unchristianized natives by the term Filipino was the illicit sale of the Philippines to the Americans by the Spaniards, but which included even the unconquered area, which was not a vassalage of Spain. The sale, in effect, illegally subsumed the latter. For US$20 million, the Americans gladly consummated the transaction as embodied in the Treaty of Paris, never mind if the Moro portion was not legally part of it. Were it not for military coerciveness, no amount of stretching the moral and legal flexibility could make that anomalous sale binding because it involved “some commodities that were not part of the commerce”. Therefore, historically and religiously, and morally and legally, the unchristianized areas and peoples were not Filipinized.
The new Whites had their own shrewd plan on how to subjugate the Muslims, whom they compared to their Indians back home but were looked with more disdain. “The only good Indian is a dead Indian” shifted to a new battlecry: “The only good Moro is a dead Moro”. The Moros confronted the new white oppressors with similar determination as they did the Spaniards, for to them these Americans were just new replacements in the same team, and no new rules were set in the game. Meanwhile, the Americans started with their own brand of inferno which the Moros fought hard against with whatever they could, producing unsung Moro heroes and writing Moro history that have not been fully brought to light because of the distortion the white people have effectively crafted.
WHY THE CONTINUED RESISTANCE
What moves a Muslim to pursue a prolonged and continuous resistance, by tradition, is primarily the defense of his religion and his family honor and dignity (Martabbat), and this would last for as long as necessary. As described earlier, this is a comprehensive defense that is bolstered not just by values but also by Qur’anic dogma. The first ever conflict that involved Muslims on account of this issue was during the incipience of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as the Messenger of Allah, when he and his supporters had to engage their pursuing adversaries who were from their own city of Mecca, which culminated in the Battle of Badr (Muhammad Fathi Bakkoush, The Great Battles of Islam). This would, of course, start the series of battles that they had to fight during the early Islamization process, which spilled over into later times as Islam made its inroads into Africa, Asia and European continents.
The root of resistance in the domestic arena has been basically similar, which is the onslaught on Islam. This was intensely commenced by the Spaniards and later happily taken over by the Americans. Some people, however, have come in with their preferred explanations, mostly self-serving, and have created an entanglement of the causes, most of which being used to muddle the issue. T.J.S. George tried to pry it loose in his Revolt in Mindanao, and came up with “assault on Islam” as still the basic provocation. Others in his list: “an oppressed minority asserting against the majority”, “a result of economic and social grievances”, “immoral politicians and their politics”, “foreign meddlings”, “communist influence”, “CIA role”, and “government ineptitude”.
Except for communism, which is dogmatically diametric to Islam, all the other factors could be rightfully considered as auxiliaries to the predominating religious fervor. Singling them out and playing their respective role up would be like paying unnecessary attention to the twigs, bushes and trees that make up the forest; they do not make any difference, for from a distance the forest has a glaringly overwhelming presence.
Spain believed that Islam was a false religion, in that it was an embodiment of everything hateful. Apparently this was carried out with all fierceness since a royal letter of instructions, dated 1565 and signed by King Philip himself, was sent to the colonial administration in Manila, to wit: “We give you permission to make such Moros slaves and seize their property. You are warned that you can make them slaves only if the said Moros are such by birth and choice…But in no way or manner shall you enslave the Indios.” (George). Because the year 1565 was only the arrival of Legazpi in Cebu, logically Philip had not had enough bases for judgment as to the nature of the Moros. The bigotry therefore was generated from the Spanish abomination of the Moors who had ruled them for about 800 years.
The Spanish campaign against the Moros was not carried only in the battlefield. In the christianized areas where they had lorded it over and where their words were the law, they primed the minds of the Indios that the Moros were the natural enemies of the Christians. These were done during religious instruction, town rallies or assemblies; and through the Moro-Moro, a theatrical presentation used to depict Spaniard-Moro encounters, with the Moros ending as the slay-worthy villains. The result was a mass hysteria triggered even by a mere mention of the word “moro”. All Christian natives also now had looked at the Muslims with indescribable hatred. They even became the core of Spanish warriors against these erstwhile brothers of theirs, and per dictation from their Spanish masters, they carried out similar ferocity, relishing merciless massacres, and even chained and branded the Muslims in captivity. Corollary to this, if the prejudiced Max Soliven (may he rest in peace) of the Philippine Star were any smarter, he should not have written this line in his column of April 12, 2000: “Remember the attitude of the Moro fundamentalists who’ve been taught to hate Christians from infancy—and that slaying of Christian infidel is the fastest passport to paradise.” This superannuated guy had apparently confused the cause and the effect in the issue.
The Americans were as merciless and as red-hot as the Spaniards in ensuring the subjugation of the Moros. They perpetrated massacres, as for examples, during the uprising of Panglima Hassan (1901), the encounters in Bud Dahu’ (March 1906), Bud Bagsak (1913) and Langkuwasan, all in Sulu; face-offs with the Maranaw groups of Bayabaos, Boayan and Macius; and the confrontations with Datu Ali (1903) and Datu Alamali (1913) in the Magindanaw area. The Americans had as much bigotry for the Muslims as the Spaniards had.
The above accounts have more than exceeded the criteria for religious and ethnic cleansing. And yet, this would be just the start, for each side’s unchangeable belief has caused an abrasive inflammation which has waxed and waned itself into the MNLF era and style. Because war and direct conversion of the Muslims had terribly failed, a more practical tactic was devised. Concocted by the Jesuits, the plan was to show to the Muslims how the Christian way of life was lived, which was purported to entice the former who would hopefully abandon their “barbaric” ways. This would entail sending Christian elements to Moro areas, and so prisoners, social outcasts and those who did not have any means of livelihood, were “sacrificed” as pioneers in this plan, which now doubly served as a solution to the unemployment problem besetting some sectors of the Filipinized society. This had become a blessing in disguise, and Filipino presidents like Quezon down to Magsaysay had enjoyed this plan. Subsequent administrations had their own similar programs. This diluting technique of the government carried out the Jesuit-mechanism of christianization process through social and cultural ways, since as mentioned, actual proselytizing supported by sadistic force did not get results. [It is very unfortunate that some Catholic establishments ensconced in Muslim areas have perpetuated this approach, and with more profundity and damaging effects, through “cultural usurpation”; they poke their fingers into each and every Muslim, especially Tausug, culture, in effect making it appear that they are the stars behind such phenomenon.]
In principle, then, the Moros have always had the justification to fight back. In fact additional factors have pushed the animosity deeper, because this time land-grabbing cases became unrestrained. The ancestral lands of the Moros have been slashed away by the new opportunists; ancestral ownership being untitled, it was considered illegal according to the new set of rules the Christians were armed with, which they called the Constitution. The Muslims called this an injustice, so it magnified the intensity of the Muslim-Christian conflicts that transformed into actual deadly confrontations, later giving birth to the different Muslim groups spurring an idea of independence as initially espoused by the MNLF.
THE FILIPINO APPROACHES TO THE PROBLEM
This Spanish-initiated novel Christianization process has been made functional throughout. Its essence has been there but style and approach have been modified at different phases to suit the prevailing problems being addressed. The adherence of the majority—government, Christians—to this system was partly motivated by the degree of success they had observed. In actuality, though, the posturing resulted from the fact that ‘Moro Problem” has been passed from the Spaniards to the Americans and to the Filipinos in its disgusting form—that the Moros are just per se inhuman, hence an icon of whatever needs to be cursed. Not only that there has been no effort towards delving into the root of the problem, there have been even deliberate distortions of facts. So the fact of the matter behind the Moros’ resistance—the defense against Islamic desecration—has been historically unappreciated. The foregoing events have primed the Muslim mind into believing that all forms of changes initiated by the majority (read the government), are probably tinged with the ulterior motive to de-Islamize, or at least socially and culturally, to Christianize them. The Filipinos, on the other hand, consider the Muslim paradigm inimical to western changes, making them backward.
What is functionally destructive, however, is the Christian psyche, as nurtured by the Spaniards, that the Muslims are their enemies. So even now when a better understanding of each other has somehow made us arrive at some form of “peaceful” coexistence, the stigma always surfaces. Take for instance, when a group like, say, the NPA, does an act considered inhuman by standard norm against Christians, public reactions against them do not have similar magnitude of belligerence as the ones against, say, the Abu Sayyaf when it does the same atrocity. And that is precisely because the NPA people are basically Christians, having come from Christian families, whereas those of the Abu Sayyaf are Muslims, therefore they merit all the profanities. It is in fact a general Muslim feeling that because of that Christian psyche, the Muslims are already abhorred by simply being Muslims.
Then, again, the Muslims are not without basis for believing that the Filipino approaches have been loaded with “tricks”. The Filipino constitution was based on Christian norms, and when it produced “enlightened” policies, what it actually meant was “Christian” policies (George). Or simply put, being enlightened means being Christian. There was an acceptance of the western notions as to which is superior and inferior, what is legal and illegal, what is sacred and profane, but these were Christian-based ideas which would erase the Muslim sense of dignity and Islamic values (Bauzon).
The Marcos adroitly-crafted solution as a take-off from the Imelda-touched recommendation of the Libyan meeting, called the Tripoli Agreement of 1976, actually did nothing to pacify the Muslim upheaval outside of the employees’ salaries received every 15th and 30th of each month. Some employees were opportunistic MNLF surrenderees or plain bums who never had any hand in the MNLF struggle; there were even many Christian beneficiaries. There was no MNLF diehard who joined the process, but Marcos used it to project his image and pretexts to the OIC and conned the Islamic body into believing that he was carrying out what the Tripoli Agreement had asked of him. With his shrewdness, Marcos implemented the agreement on his own terms and therefore was a travesty. The Muslim Personal Laws created with the Presidential Decree 1083 in 1977 was criticized severely by Ustadh Abdulbaki Abubakar, a no-nonsense MNLF Foreign Minister, as a human destruction of the Shariah, the Islamic Law taken from the Qur’an and the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). There were other Marcos responses to the Tripoli Agreement but were also foxily crafted which the Muslims did not consider within the spirit of the Agreement.
After Cory Aquino became the president on account of the EDSA I revolution, she met Misuari in Jolo in September 1986, an act that boosted the MNLF morale. She paved a way toward a peaceful negotiation, which Mr. Ramos took over in his time. Of course a final Peace Agreement was arrived at but it was not without a touch of a Ramos cunningness. The actual peace agreement officially signed by the two sides underwent many substantial changes through a stroke of one human hand—that of Ramos. Mostly affected is the chance for Islam to play a meaty role. With it being deleted, the religious issue has been purposely thrown into a wastebasket and the struggle of the mujahideens has amounted to nothing. Despite the apparent “mutilation” the signed agreement had gone through, it was implemented nonetheless, which is the one “in effect” today. If there was any arm-twisting done antecedent to the ostensibly swift passage of that agreement, we are not very sure who arm-twisted whom. 
So much money, time and efforts have been infused into the process of trying to come up with a solution to the so-called Moro problem, but it is quite obvious, based on the foregoing, that nothing appeasing enough could be arrived at. The solution that is truly right and proper, which therefore should be relished by the Muslims, would prove to be oxymoronic to the government position and would put the country in a bad light, and they would not dream of doing that.
Meanwhile, back to square one, and this vicious cycle, on the sides, has become a lucrative process, and the Muslims would have to continue bearing the ordeal. But, for how long? 
The longer, the better for our adversaries, for the lengthening also stretches the process of “cultural usurpation” , now gnawing gnawing into the Muslim fiber. 
If, to the Muslims, this does not merit an alternative plan, we do not know what will.

_________________________________

Benj Bangahan


Bahasa Sug Phonetics

A Reference to be used in the proposed Qur’an. This is basically adapted in the Dr. Bangahan English-Bahasa Sug Dictionary.
Approved by the Qur’an Translation Committee formed by Mufti Abdulbaki Abubakar in Metro Manila, 6 March 2000, U.P. Institute of Islamic Studies Conference Hall.
Committee members present:
1. Ustadh Abdulbaki Abubakar, Grand Mufti of Region IX, Chairman;
2. Dr. Benj. S. Bangahan, Assoc. Prof, UST; proponent of the Phonetics;
3. Ustadh Wadja Esmula, Dean, U.P. Institute of Islamic Studies;
4. Atty. Mehol Sadain, Assoc. Prof., U.P. IIS;
5. Dr. Abe Sakili, PhD, Assoc. Prof. U.P. Arts and Sciences;
6. Mr. Asiri Abubakar, Assoc. Prof., U.P. Asian Studies;
7. Engr. Hadji Karun Yusop, Founder/Director, Crescent Technologies.
BACKGROUND
Being part of the difficulties to hurdle in the translation of the Qur’an to Bahasa Sug, a basic set of Bahasa Sug phonetics whose concerns were narrowed to the aspects perceived to give ease to the translation, was presented to the Committee by Dr. Benj. S. Bangahan on March 6, 2000, in a meeting held at the UP Institute of Islamic Studies Conference Hall.
The following output is the result of that deliberation:
I. CONSONANTS
(Basic, 17) B (bā’), T (tā’), J (jīm or jiym), H (hā’, as in halaman, not to be used as hamja or for glottal stop), D (dāl), R (rā’), S (siyn or sīn), G (gā’), P (pā’), K (kāp), L (lām), M (miym or mīm), N (nuwn or nūn), NG (ngā’), NY (nyā’), W (wāw), Y (yā’); (borrowed from Arabic, 5): DH (dhāl, as in ustadh), F (fā, as in fātiha’), KH (khā’, as in khāliyfa), GH (ghayn, as in ghayb), Q (qawf, as in Qur’an); (borrowed from Malay, 1) CH (tsā’, as in sutchi). (total consonants: 23)
II. VOWELS
· A (ā), pronounced s similar to English ä, as in “father” or “far”;
· I (iy or ī), pronounced similar to English “long e”, or “e” with a dash on top, but in shorter duration, as in “meet”, ‘beat”;
· U (uw), pronounced similar to English “long u” like in “move”, “hood”, “group”, but with shorter duration; Ü (ü, pronounced similar to the “u” in the English word “urn”, symbolized in the dictionary with “e” with a dot on top; comparative samples: “ipün” (tooth) and “ipun” (var. of tipun, to keep).
NB: Bahasa Sūg pronunciation of some consonants can vary depending upon the consonant’s position in a word or the letter that precedes it, hence:
· B (bā’) used as an initial consonant is pronounced with closed lips making the air exit explosively, and for identification, must be called “bā’ tagna’”; when used in the inside syllables it is pronounced with lips slightly opened all throughout while air smoothly passes out, and must be called “bā’ huli”; arbitrarily the “bā’ huli” is assigned with underscore, hence “B” (“b”); example for both b’s: BABU’, babu’ (address for aunt), NOT BABU’. HOWEVER, even if B is used in an inside syllable it still assumes the “B tagna’” pronunciation if what precedes is a consonant or a glottal stop, as in AMBAK (frog), not AMBAK, and TA’BANG (saltlessness) not TA’BANG. Also, even if “B” is the beginning of a word it takes the “B” pronunciation if it is preceded by a word that ends in a vowel, hence, “Dihilan ha bata’ (not bata’).
· G (gā’), when used in the inside syllables, assumes the pronunciation of the Arabic GH (ghayn), but it is advised that to avoid confusing with the borrowed Arabic letter, the inside-syllable G must be underscored, G instead of writing GH as in Arabic; example: GAGANDILAN, NOT GAGANDILAN; KAGANG (crab), NOT KAGANG. Generally, the rules above for “B” apply also to “G”, hence, BAGGÜT (tie) not BAGGÜT; DA’GAN (under) not DA’GAN; HA GANTUNGAN (hanging) not HA GANTUNGAN.
· The D and R variations: a word may be spelled with a “D” or “R” depending upon the preceding syllable or the precedence of a glottal stop, hence, it is “DAGAT” (sea) if preceded by a consonant or glottal stop, but “RAGAT” if otherwise. Example: Ha lawm DAGAT (under the sea); HA RAGAT (in the sea); BULI’ DAGAT (bottom of the sea).
III. PROLONGATION OF VOWELS IN PRONUNCIATION – TWO METHODS CAN BE USED:
· Use a bar above the vowel: ĪPÜN, īpün (slave) [comp. to IPÜN, ipün (tooth)]; BĀGTI’, bāgti’( a kind of plant) [comp. to BAGTI’, bagti’ (snap to break)]; PŪTA, pūta (pick it) [comp. to PUTA, puta (knot)].
· Use “Y” and “W” for prolongation of “I”, “U” and “Ü” (based on Sulat Sug/Arabic “munu’ yā’” and “munu’ wāw”), hence: IYPÜN, PUWTA, DÜWM (night). This technique makes computer use easier.
IV. OTHER SPELLING AND WRITING PROBLEMS:
· In double-vowel (similar vowel), two-syllable words, as in: DAAN (old), GIIK (step on), PUUN (capital), write as is (no hyphen or apostrophe).
· In double-vowel (not similar vowel), two-syllable, non-diphthong words, as in: SIAT (improvement of a bad condition of a patient), TAUT (to rock a cradle), write as is (no hyphen or apostrophe).
V. IN DIPHTHONGS (GLIDED SOUNDS, MONOSYLLABIC)
· In those that come after the vowel A, use W or Y (as the case may be) instead of another vowel, hence: AWN instead of AUN (there is); ATAY instead of ATAI (liver).
In cases of AW or AY diphthongs that end in a glottal stop, use apostrophe mark (‘) after W or Y, hence: TAW’ (keep), MARAY’ (maybe). If these diphthongs are added with a suffix that starts with a vowel, remove the apostrophe, place a hyphen and then add the suffix; example, to add suffix “an” to TAW’: TAW-AN; TAY’: TAY-AN.
In diphthongs that end in glottal stop but followed by a syllable beginning with a consonant, do not remove the apostrophe mark (‘), just add the next syllable. Example; KAY’MAN (fifty).
· The “UA” diphthong sounds as in TUAN, should be made into two syllables, using “W”, hence, TUWAN (TUAN, if read by a non-Tausug, may be pronounced as two distinct syllables, which distorts the meaning).
· The “IA” diphthong sounds, as in PIAK (chirp), NIAT (intention), should be made into two syllables using Y, hence, PIAK to PIYAK, NIAT to NIYAT.
V. GLOTTAL STOP
Whether this occurs at the end or in the middle of a word, use the apostrophe mark (‘):
Example: LUHA’ (tear); DIY’ or DĪ’ (no, not); KAY’MAN (fifty).
· If a suffix that starts with a vowel is to be added, remove the apostrophe mark and add the suffix: LUHA’ plus AN, LUHAAN (tear); PUTĪ’ plus AN, PUTIAN (whiten); AMA’ plus ÜN, AMAÜN (uncle).
In a word whose prior syllable ends in a glottal stop but followed by a syllable that starts with a consonant, same rule applies: TI’LIS (thin out); NAGBA’LI (miscommunicated); KAY’MAN (fifty).
VI. PREFIXES/INFIXES/SUFFIXES
· The contemporary standard ones are given preference over the old style, but the latter can be used as long as they are specified:
Example: BÜWS (borrow, lend) added with the contemporary infix of “iy” and a suffix “an” hence BIYÜWSAN (lent); the old style infix, usually found in DAMAN, is “in”, hence BINÜWSAN (“Manuntun na kami hagdan manguli’ BINÜWSAN…”).
VII. COLLOQUIAL CONTRACTIONS
· The original word is to be used in the translation, not the contraction:
· Hulug, the original, contracted into Hūg; Malagkü’ (or Malaggü’) contracted to Māgkü’ (Māggü’); Malimu’ contracted into Maymu’; the original words are preferred.
· EXCEPTIONS: The derived or contracted word can be used if it has assumed a specific meaning not exactly found in the original word.
Māas (from Malaas), now used to mean elders or parents, while Malaas, the original word, means old, mature, aged;
Sā’ (from Salla’) can have the following meaning: as a noun it means defect or error; as an adjective (derived from the verb), it means mistaken; as a verb it means fine (in a case involving women) or committed a mistake; while SALLA’, the original word retains the meaning of DEFECT AND CAUSE OF DISAGREEMENT.
VII. THE USE OF NON-TAUSUG WORDS – Not allowed in the translation even if already deep-rooted, for examples:
· MITING (from English), means conference, meeting (Bahasa Sug: bilmaarup, and many others);
· ISTADI (from English), means to review or read lessons (Bahasa Sug: hapal, pangadji’);
· MASARAP (from Tagalog), means delicious (Bahasa Sug: malanab)
· USAL (from Chabacano), means use (Bahasa Sug: punya, lagi, jari, paidda).
GENERAL RULE: Exhaust all means or resources to come up with a genuine Bahasa Sug word; if still negative, consider the use of the borrowed words, but with notations or footnotes.
ONLY ALLAH KNOWS
_________________________________
Benj Bangahan

Lanjal kamu!

The Tausug and his world is one of the most misunderstood in this part of the world; stereotyped as hot-tempered and domineering.This blog hopes to present a true picture of his historical, social and cultural world through his own prism.Lanjal kamu (w…

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Ghazal Restaurant

1551 A. Mabini St.,Ermita, Manila(02) 521-1996Price Range: P-PPLocated along the busy thoroughfare of Mabini St., Ghazal is a small nondescript , no-frills restaurant serving Middle Eastern fare- Arabic dishes such as Saudi kabsa, and Egyptian Mulakha…

Riviera Café @ The Heritage Hotel

G/F The Heritage Hotel

EDSA corner Roxas Boulevard

Pasay City



(02) 854 – 8888



24 hours. Buffet only between 6.30am – 10.30pm



Price Range: PPPP



This buffet stands out from other hotel buffets in Manila- yes it’s halal certified! There are separate sections for halal and non-halal dishes. This buffet and is popular with Muslim diplomats and dignitaries both ex-pats, Filipino and visitors. Offering an array of International cuisine, such as Malay, Singaporean, Filipino and many more.

It is quite pricey, but you pay for the quality, selection of food and the ambience.

During the holy month of Ramadan the hotel also offers Sahoor via room service or in the Lobby Lounge. In addition Muslim patrons are offered prayer mats at their convenience.



Riviera Café – P1288++ per person.



Read more about the Riviera Café here:

http://heritagehotelmanila.blogspot.com/2009/08/malaysian-culinary-delights-and-halal.html

http://www.millenniumhotels.com/ph/heritagemanila/restaurant/rivieracafe.html

"VOTING IN SECULAR SYSTEM IS HARAM"

SALAAM, LET ME SHARE A BEAUTIFUL POST FROM A LONDON BASED WEBSITE (www.hizb.org.uk)

Electing is giving the power of attorney (authority) to someone to do things on your behalf and is halaal (permitted) in general.See More

However, in secular democracy electing or voting means to give someone – man or woman – the authority to make laws instead of Allah, denying His (swt) sole right to make laws that manage our lives. This is categorically forbidden (haram).

La Ilaha Illa Allah means Worship, Legislation, Ruling, Obedience, Loyalty and friendship are only with Almighty Allah (swt) alone. No one worthy of worship except Him, no one worthy of obedience except Him, no one has the right to legislate except Him, no rules worthy of implementation except His Divine Rules, we’re only loyal to Him and no one is our friend except Him alone (swt) and the Believers.

“Indeed legislation (ruling, judgment, command) is only for Allah; He has commanded that you shall not serve aught but Him; this is the right religion but most people do not know” (TMQ 12:40)

“Or have they partners (of Allah) who have made lawful for them in religion that which Allah allowed not? (TMQ 42:21)

To legislate or make rules by other than what Allah (swt) has revealed is absolutely forbidden. Allah (swt) gives His law the superiority, and commands that it should be implemented to rule between people and solve their problems. Furthermore, He (swt), the Supreme, describes those who do not rule by His Shariah to be the disbelievers, oppressors or transgressors.

“And whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the disbelievers …oppressors… transgressors” (TMQ 5:44,45,47) )

In addition, our Iman is not complete unless we seek judgment and ruling by that which the Prophet (saw) has brought from Allah (swt)

“But no! by your Lord! they do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not find any straitness in their hearts as to what you have decided and submit with entire submission” (TMQ 4:65)

By voluntarily voting in a democratic system based on a secular constitution we willingly choose and authorise humans to legislate and legalise evil (Munkar) and rule according to it. We authorise –willingly and happily- humans to implement a system that is known for its corruption in all aspects of life; political, economic, social, educational…etc. Not only that, but we also –willingly- authorise and request them to protect and preserve this kufr (man-made) system and this way of life!

Accordingly, based on clear cut evidences from the Quran, participation in the general election is a clear Haraam act, as it compromises the foundation of the Islamic Aqeedah.

O’ Muslims, in addition to this, we came to say something else. This is a deceptive plan where elections are attempts to integrate Muslims – encouraging us to vote and assimilate into the prevailing western culture.

O’ Muslims, although some of us may be mistakenly seeking to vote as a means of “helping” or “benefiting” the Muslims who live in Britain or elsewhere, the fact remains that a Haraam action brings no true and lasting benefits according to the Islamic criteria of Jannah and Jahannam. Voting for the man-made laws is clearly Haraam and contradictory to “politics” illustrated in the noble Sunnah of the Prophet (saw).

O’ Muslims, we must protect and strengthen our loyalties to each other as a Muslim Ummah that is “distinct” and “unique” from all the rest of mankind. Each Muslim must preserve his/her loyalty and alliance exclusively for Allah (swt), His Messenger (saw), and the Believers among the Muslims.

“And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends (allies) one of another” (TMQ 9:71)

“And incline (or accept) not to those who do wrong, or the Fire will seize you; and you have no protectors other than Allah, nor shall you be helped” (TMQ 11:113)

O’ Muslims, we must ask ourselves some tough questions about voting and other forms of participation in the upcoming elections:

1. How can a Muslim choose a LEGISLATOR or any other human being over Allah thereby disqualifying Him (swt) as the sole Ruler and Legislator?
2. How can a Muslim who claims to believe in Allah (swt) and follow His Messenger (saw) abandon the noble Sunnah of The Prophet (saw), to support the corrupt secular capitalism?
3. How many more times will Muslims choose the “lesser of two evils” and continue producing the Blairs and Browns of this world who mercilessly bomb and brutalize our brothers and sisters overseas?
4. How much longer will the Muslims claim to “show the good of Islam” and “give dawah” by voting for the kufr and corrupt system rather than conveying the noble Message of Islam according to the method of The Prophet (saw)?

O’ Muslims, we must refuse to legitimize these Haraam (forbidden) activities of supporting “evil” or “more evil” candidates to rule by kufr. Moreover, we must insist on saving ourselves and our society by shifting all of our attention, energy, loyalty, and money toward the struggle to make Islam supreme.

This can be done by following the Sunnah of The Prophet (saw) to strengthen ourselves and our families with clarity, confidence, and conviction about protecting our Islamic identity, strengthening the Muslims, teaching our children and family about our way of life, supporting Islamic activism, joining the “political” work to resume the Islamic way of life and all the other blessed actions ordered and rewarded by Allah (swt).

O’ Muslims, the only way we can guarantee our true benefits, in this life and the next one, is by adhering to the divine Sharia rules, as it will be the criterion on the Day of Judgment. Nothing and no one could harm us except by the will and decree of Allah (swt).

We will continue to engage in this Da’wah work for the resumption of the Islamic way of life in this so-called “mother of all democracies” and invite you to join this work so we may be successful in this life and the hereafter.

“O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he (saw) calls you to that which will give you life” (TMQ 8:24)

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