Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The Songsang Way To Heaven
It is amazing how gullible some people can be when common sense tells us to always exercise caution. Put it down to naivety or foolishness, or sometimes, plain greed.
Otherwise, how else can you explain being taken in by stories e-mailed to you, almost always from an impoverished African country or another, about some 'filthy rich' sods naming you heir to their 'millions'?
You sit there drooling about the millions purportedly coming your way, oblivious to the fact that you are required to deposit your own money in a foreign bank account somewhere to 'process' this new-found wealth of yours.
And then there is the matter of religion. I have always thought that with the kind of religious instructions drummed into us since childhood, we would have acquired an in-built resistance towards any ajaran songsang (deviant teachings).
But I guess I underestimated the gullibility of some among us. All it takes is one person's charisma, and lo and behold, another cult takes root, garnering new disciples ready to embrace anything new, different and I suppose, exciting.
Remember Ayah Pin and his 'Sky Kingdom' cult? Tagged the "Teapot Cult" to the bemusement of the world for its central objects of veneration such as gigantic teapot, kettle, ark, umbrella, crescent moon, vase etc, this deviant sect in Besut, Terengganu, provided endless fodder for readers until it was suppressed by the authorities in 2005.
Today Harian Metro highlighted yet another cult, Pemuda Kahfi, allegedly active in the Klang Valley. Their modus operandi is covert preaching car-to-car in parking lots of shopping complexes, mosques and hotels.
The report said Pemuda Kahfi advocates only one daily prayer as opposed to Islam's requirement of five. The weekly Friday prayer is also deemed frivolous and unnecessary.
But I believe the icing on the Kahfi cake is that you can literally pay your way to Heaven. All you have to do is make a certain amount of payment to your Tok Guru (religious teacher) and all your past sins will be absolved. That certainly takes bribery to a new high!
Islam teaches us that God Almighty is Most Compassionate and that we pray to Him for forgiveness and mercy. The prayer, by the way, is FOC. Now, if you can do it for free but choose to pay for it - that's not very clever, innit?