Myanmar Muslims must do self-improvement to have all round strength and power
- Non-poisonous snakes are not even respected by the children.
- If we are weak, we are always exposed to the exploitations of the bullies and thuds.
- We have to prepare and strengthen our-selves physically, intellectually, economically, socially, mentally, spiritually etc.
- We have to promote our health by living in a healthy way.
- Eating nutritious foods, avoid cigarettes, liquor and drugs. Avoid dangerous sexual behaviors.
- Do regular exercise, plays sports.
- Learn Martial arts for self defense and if get a chance try to learn by participating in civil defense and military training.
Learn and study hard
Malcom X told us that the education is the passport of the future.
- Islam promotes education.
- Islam encourages us to learn from the cradle to the graveyard.
- Islam advises us to even go to China (from Arabia) to learn.
- Actually Muslim town Bukhara, the famous for Islamic teachings, is in China and the most famous Islamic Scholar Imam Bukhari was educated there.
We have to work hard
- But it is more important to work smart.
- To be able to work smart, we need education, skills, modern technology and know how.
- Even after the schooling period of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Education and had already entered the employment period, we always need to polish up or brush up our knowledge and skills.
- On job training, further studies, evening classes and R&D (Research and Development) are always needed to improve our-selves and to value added our products.
- Paper qualification is important in the advancement of the carrier ladder.
- Acquiring the relevant experience and skills are also very important for the promotion but lack of paper qualification may stop us at certain crucial step of promoting into the specialist, consultant or expert level. The status, parks, salary scales etc. are totally different at that top professional and management level from the simple oridinary workers.
- Other essential living skills like learning – driving motor-bike and motor car, computer and Information Technology, swimming, at least one foreign language etc. is also very important.
We must maintain the high moral values
- Bad moral will destroy all of our achievements.
- Sex, corruption liquor and drugs have cause the downfall of many great personalities in the history.
- Reading habit is also very important value.
- Motivation books are the vitamins for the mind. These books could improve our communication skills. We want to recommend the book written by Dale Carnegie “ How to win friends and influence people” and translated by our late democratically elected Prime Minister U Nu.
- Actually nowadays there are a lot of books on these subjects and many have been translated in to Burmese.
- I want to recommend the “Chicken soup for the mind” series also.
- We need to improve our mental power and communication skills as well as physical health and muscular power.
We must be thrifty and have the habit of saving for the rainy day.
Our Myanmar Muslims’ traditional believe in hard work to survive and to gain status in life may be simply because our ancestors were immigrants and they always had to thrive very hard in the foreign hostile land.
- If they did not work hard, there was no one to rely or depend upon. Just do or die only.
- It is more important for us to work harder as we all had already cut off our umbilical cords from our ancient migrant ancestors’ mother lands. Most of us even could not trace or even know our roots or from where they come from.
- We had burnt the bridges.
- Abandoned or destroyed the rafts or boats our ancestors had used to cross the oceans and rivers.
- There is no question of return or retreat. We must stay on forever.
- Myanmar or Burma is our new home-land.
We Myanmar Muslims’ inherent character and habit of _
- placing importance on hard work,
- family relationships,
- respect for elders are the precious assets for us to maintain.
Those individual skills and powers will be more effective and strengthened by the unity among the fellow Muslims and preferably extended to our Buddhist brothers.
We must always hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
If something went wrong and we failed –
- don’t blame others.
- Accept it gracefully.
- There is a saying – the success has a lot of fathers and the failure is an orphan.
- Almost all the people will deny their responsibility.
- We have to accept the failure with the open mind.
- No need to made a witch hunt or search for the scapegoat.
- After accepting the failure, we have to search for the real cause, without bias.
- What, where, when, why and how it fails.
- Who is responsible is not important.
- Even if some-one accidentally or intentionally triggered our downfall or failure, it is very difficult to blame or change that person. Don’t be a paranoid.
- It is our struggle. It is our interest to make sure that, that person could not damage our struggle, in any way. We have to make sure that, that won’t happen again. It is our responsibility to smooth out all because it is our own struggle for our success.
From all the failures and disasters, we must learn the lessons.
- These are blessings in disguise.
- Make those failures pillars for our success.
- Try! Try! Try! Again and again.
- Never give up the hope.
- Thomas Eddison had failed about five hundred thousand times before he successfully invented an electric bulb.
- Don’t stop trying. Think and analyse what went wrong. Correct it. Improve it. Prepare your-self.
- Try again. Victory is for those dare to try again and again.
- Perseverance is the key-word for success.
- Easy success is actually not very sweet nor precious.
- Victory gained after a lot of struggles are really sweat and gratifying.
- Easy to get Iron and Copper are cheap.
- Gold, Diamond and Ruby are precious because it is rare and difficult to get.
Actually power comes from within.
If we, Myanmar Muslims have_
- self respect,
- proud being a Muslim and
- if strongly believe that we are not a simple person,
- but one day will surely progress,
- there is definitely a very bright future of crowning with the success.
- Inner spiritual strength is more important and always guides the outer physical power.
- Even if we are weak physically, inner spiritual and mental strength and power will guide, train and convert it to become powerful.
And we must be ready to give a helping hand, to others, any time.
- If we have a chance, we should try to help any one we encounter at any time irrespective of race and religion.
- Mutual help promotes the friendship. One important thing is that we should not help just to get back immediate rewards or favour.
- Even if that person never thanks or betrayed us, we should never doubt about our helping spirit.
- It is our duty to help.
- It is a charity.
- That good will be never forgotten.
- We have to reap what we sow.
- We will reap the rewards of all the good that we have done.
We must not forget that we will have to pay for all the bad things that we have done.
Self-discipline is very important for us.
- We have to commit our-selves to improve the living standard of our-selves, our family, our relatives, our friends, our neighbours, our town, our country and our nation.
- Ultimate goodwill of brotherhood among the different races is very important.
- Muslims are ordered by Islam to be loyal to the nation and country they lived in even if the government is a non-Muslim ruler.
But if the ruler is very cruel, discriminate and commit tyranny and atrocities on Muslims, we are allowed to fight back a Holy war.
- If we are weak we must migrate from that place.
- We are ordered not to just die under the atrocities.
- God will condemn those died without doing any thing.
- God promised the paradise for those die during the religious struggle.
- And God also promised to fulfil the prayers of those suffering the un-justice.
It is very difficult to change the other people, whether they are right or wrong.
- It is easy to change our-selves.
- Yes, it is better, easier and more effective if we try to change our-selves.
- It is easier than fighting, quarrelling or arguing with others. Once you started to blame others, they will deny and start defending them-selves.
- The stone wall will be built, they will give all the excuses and will even point the finger back to us and start to blame us.
- We would not get the desired result but will make a new enemy.
We have to change our-selves to win over the hearts and minds of our Burmese Buddhists brothers and sisters.
If they believe that we are sincere, trustworthy, reliable and good they will definitely change their hearts and corporate and even help us.
In Islam, our most important duty as the citizens of the non-Islamic State is to obey the government and abide by the rules, regulations and the laws of the land.
But if the government discriminate unjustly on us, we have some options to choose.
The first and easiest thing is to perform special prayers to Allah. And Allah had already promised to answer the prayers of victims of injustice.
Second choice is to resist or protest in a peaceful manner, if possible within the law. At least we must have some courage for that protest.
Another step should be borrowed from the Mahattma Ghandi’s civil disobedience.
We could take a more peaceful and milder form by avoiding direct confrontation with the law or the authorities. Even Ghandi’s “Salt Protest” is direct confrontation.
That type of direct confrontation may be a little bit difficult in Burma’s political, social and economical life, because the APC dominance is still omnipresent and omnipotent. Army, ex-army, SPCD, Swan Arrshinn and the USDA or ‘Kyant Phot’ or the thuds of SPDC still dominate and influence our every-day’s life. If we refuse to cooperate with them we, will suffer first.
- So we should secretly try to avoid them, avoid cooperation with them secretly. We should secretly always try to sabotage each and every activity of those tyrants.
- We can do in many forms, although APCs have all the permits to buy from the government, they still need to buy from the people.
- If we refuse to sell we will get a very big revenge, so we have to sell them but with a little bit higher price.
- If they forced us to work or donate, give low quality goods and service. Try to delay, destroy their aims and objects.
- Socially, try to avoid them or treat as outcasts.
- Refuse to make friend or marry them.
- Try to sabotage all of their activities.
Another better way is to migrate to a better place.
Some of the people only have a chance to do this because most of the host countries are not willing to accept us.
- Although they claim to be Muslims, they created a lot of lame excuses to justify their hostile activities to us.
- We are poor distant cousin brothers in Islam, in contrast to Bosnian and Indonesian real brothers in Islam for them.
- Even non-Muslims from other Asean countries, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Arabs got more favourable treatment by Immigration and Home Ministries because of policies and laws which clearly discriminate on the citizens of Burma (Myanmar) irrespective of religion.
Power of the powerless
Muslims in Myanmar(Burma) must struggle to get the ‘Power of the powerless instead of armed struggle.
All kinds of violence, means more risks and less chance of success.
As we are a minority only, we have to sacrifice a lot without any hope at all.
Instead of aiming to get the top executive administrative Power, we should aim to get the power to influence those in power!
To become a power broker, king maker, king breaker, or have the power to pull the strings from behind the curtain should be the target of Muslims in Myanmar.
- Power of friendship,
- power of wisdom,
- power of intelligence,
- power of knowledge,
- power of wealth,
- power of good connections,
- power of goodwill,
- power of good track record,
- power of trustworthiness,
- power of good moral and manners,
- power of unity and
- power of cooperation for mutual benefits and prosperity
are the main pillars of the POWER OF THE POWERLESS.
All of us know that power leads to corruption.
And the absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Any one in power will corrupt.
Even if we, Muslims have power, there is no way to guarantee that we would be able to avoid this totally.
And those corrupt leaders or rulers could not escape Sansara, or they may have to pay back later on the judgement day.
According to Buddhism, even Lord Buddha, was scared of becoming king, and tried many times to avoid or abdicate.
Actually if we look at the condition in our country, it is a blessing, in disguise for the Muslims. Instead of wasting time and grooming ourselves to become a politician, we could use, our time mainly on education, economy and of course on religious and social works.
It is better, less controversy and is sure of good results.
If we become highly educated professionals, wealthy, good moral characters, no one could ignore us.
Definitely we would be able to influence any politician in power.
- So it is no need, for the Muslims in Burma to be jealous of our Burmese Buddhist friends in power.
- No need to fight them or sabotage them but we must slowly and steadily try to expend our influence and contacts with them.
- We must build a good relationship for the mutual benefit.
- We must aim at the win win situation.
- No need to make them poor or suffer.
We must increase the economic pie instead.
- No need to rob or reduce their share. In Burmese, we have a well known saying: “The water from the ocean could not dry up because of drinking by one person.”
- Yes! If the economic pie is big enough or if we could magnify it to accommodate all of us, there is no need to fight for a bigger share.
- So we all must work hard to improve our living standards,
- reduced the poverty rates,
- to improve our infrastructures,
- to increase our literacy rates,
- to promote peace and stability,
- to reduce hatred and suspicions,
- to catch up the economy and living standards of Asean tigers and Asia dragons.
- Our country is poor and needs a lot of constructions and development. If we continue to fight, we will suffer.
If we have no political power to abuse_
- we will have less sin,
- less enemy and
- will get more time to spend on more productive and useful things.
- We could use that valuable time for our-selves, our family, our religion and for our country.
- Even if we use that time on recreation and health it will indirectly increase our productivity.
We should not give up hope.
I would like to quote a poem of Rabindranath Tagore, (1861-1941) translated in to Burmese. Because we, most of the Burmese knew him and his poems, I hereby like to translate in to English from the Burmese.
“If you miss the moon and waste the time with the sorrow and crying, you will miss the stars also.”
- I even want to add, that after the dark stormy night, the clear dawn will definitely follow.
- If we waste the time crying for the missed moon, we could also miss the beauty of the dawn.
- Please stop crying for the spilt milk.
- Nothing is really lost or priceless to be missed.
- The fish we failed to catch always seemed to be big.
- Please, just accept the real fact or pretend that the forbidden grapes are sour.
- Be content with the local fruits we got.
- There are much more precious things on earth to achieve.
- Don’t waste time on lost opportunities or things we could not get.
Because of the western propaganda’s bias reporting and illustration of Muslims as terrorists and extremists, many people have preformed bad images on us followed by fear.
- This is our duty to try to change our image in them with our friendship, goodwill, generosity, loving kindness, co-operation and help etc.
- Sports and social welfare are the easiest routes to approach others.
- Especially Muslims must establish a good relations with not only the civilian Burmese Buddhists but also even with the monks.
- We should learn how to communicate properly, respectfully and to behave correctly with the Buddhist Monks. We have to use some special words and phrases with respect. Once we manage to ‘talk’ to them in a proper way or religious protocol, all of the difficulties will be over. You will be surprised how helpful the monks are on us.
- If there is no propaganda warfare or incitement and direct participation of the Military Intelligent spies, Swan Arrshins and USDA thugs, no one will ever harm us.
- Even during the Military government sponsored anti-Muslim riots, true monks protected the Muslims.
- The very good relation of Buddhists and Burmese Muslims and especially the merchants of Mandalay Zeygyo (Zeycho) Myanmar Muslims’ skill to communicate with the Buddhist monks was mentioned and praised by one of the most famous lady journalist ‘Ludu Daw Ah Mar’ in one of the most famous Myanmar Magazine, ‘Shwe Amu Tae” in 1998.
- So we need to grow and also show the loving kindness for all the citizens of Burma (Myanmar). They would definitely appreciate and return an appropriate reciprocal response.
- We need to use our mosques to base and expend our social and welfare works.
- Myanmar Muslims have enough manpower and Finance to start a health care works, education assistance works and legal aid works.
- We should extend our free or partially subsided clinics and hospitals.
- We should open and extend public libraries, tuition classes, religious classes, motivation and moral workshops, IT training, business and legal- aid bureaus, homes for the handicapped, orphanages, domestic violence victims and aged. We could work together with our Burmese friends.
- Vocational training, sports activities and training, teaching English speaking and other foreign languages are also helpful for the youths.
- Zakat funds and other funds also must be set up and use with transparency to aid the poor, for the education and to help to start small business.
- For the disaster and tragedy aids there should he donations without strings but for the education and business aid, we should strictly consider non-interest loans only.
- Once graduated and get jobs or if business thrive and progress, they should be made to pay back the dues so that other needy persons could benefit from this scheme. Most of the successful people stay away from those organizations after they graduated or success because they are shy to disclose their past. That is the wrong idea. They should be even proud of their success achieved from that pooer start.
- We should not only aid money to start a business but should advice and give training for that.
- And we should form a net work to help their business running. We should encourage to franchise our Muslim business.
- We must organize business seminars and workshops and act as match makers for the Muslim would be investors, Muslim skilled and unskilled workers and professionals.
- This could be extended to the foreign Muslim investors.
- We should set up Psychological and other professional consultants like, social and voluntary workers to assist the people with various problems, marriage counselors, drug and alcohol addicts, delinquent children and women etc.
- We should even consider a match making for Muslims.
- Job searching, job training aid for the retrenched workers must be considered.
- We should give advice when there is any dispute.
- We should even consider assistance between the various activities between landlords and the tenants, property buyers and sellers.
- We should even consider opening business of retail shops, restaurants etc, for on-job training for the Muslims.
- Printing press, motor car and motorcycle workshops are also good to provide on-job training.These should be open to the non-Muslims also.
- By these activities we could build mutual understandind, mutual trust and it will lead to religious tolerance.
- There should be noboundry. Not only inter racial and inter religious tolerance and understanding but we need intra racial and intra religious unity and co-operation. So called pure Myanmar (Burmese) Muslims must work together with thoseMyanmar Muslims preserving or leaning towards Indian subcontinent.
- The ‘Council’ or Burmannized, assimilated must co-operate with Tabligh side under the Mufti and Maulavis. It is not the time to fight among our-selves. I wish to point out one thing, even if we point the other side as Kalas or Indian Muslims, the Burmese government would never consider us as Burmese. Even if someone eat pork or enter the monkshood, they will call them ‘pork eating Kala and Kala. Phongyi.
- We should avoid extremism from both sides. There must be a compromise. The other side must also shed the extremist views. Should avoid differences by restraining from patty fatwas. Islam is actually a social and family oriented religion. Even not like the Buddhism, which advocate the monkshood and ignore all the worldly things.
- I myself like Tabligh activities because it really cause the Islamic revival and but always feel uneasy when they forced us to follow them for days or weeks. They are forcing Muslims to ignore the real world of our business and families. Some of us even hate this and pointed to the ignored families leftbehind. Why should not we compromise. Islam never teaches us to ignore ourlove-ones, families and business.
- Tabligh-Muslim groups go around the countries to call, invite, preach, teach and train Muslims. Founded in 1927 by Maulana Mohd. Ilyas (1886-1944), a Sufi from Delhi. In 1934, he started a revivalist campaign, reminisce of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Invited to come and pray at mosques and participate in various religious activities. Tabligh teaches that worldly affairs are subordinate to the religious duties. Although no one could deny that Tabligh activities are good, these are little bit at one end of extremism.
- If the Tabligh leaders could compromise, it will become a very good platform for Muslims in Myanmar. We all should change for the benefit of all the Muslims in Myanmar.
- Buddhism advocate the middle path, “Myit Zima Padi Pada”. Confusious advised to take a moderate stand and to avoid the extremism, “Zhong Yong”. In Islam, Al Baihaqui Hadith relates:”The best way to conduct your affairs is to choose the middle path.”
- Muslims in Burma must stop nursing bitterness about all those past and present injustices.
- Resentment and hatred must not allow to colour our heart to turn black. We must be magnanimous from now onwards for our future progress.We all must control our extreme emotions and desire for revenge. We must promote moderation, loving kindness and care .
But forgiveness and loving-kindness must replace the revenge and hatred.
- Our wisdom of the brain must overrule the feelings of our heart.
- In other words, “Our heads must rule and control our Hearts”
- The hatred and revenge will ultimately leads to the endless circle of mutual violence and destruction of both parties.
- Let us stop the circle of hatred and revenge.
To get a Myanmar Muslim Renaissance_
- we must appreciate our roots,
- our unity
- and our co-operation.
If we have unity and correct aims and objectives, there is nothing we could not achieve.
We have to reverse our inferiority complexes,
- wrong concepts,
- thought of failures and behaviours.
We have to draw a proper strategy and implementation.
- We must aim both for the spiritual and material goals.
- Peace and prosperity must come together.
- We must know and proud of our roots.
- No need to cover up or hide in the cocoon of denial.
- We have a very rich heritage to be proud of.
- We also have very big, great genetic pool.
- We are not the descendents of an inferior -race or shameful religion.
- We must know accept and appreciate our own values.
- No need to be shy to reveal or to be seen as Muslims.
- Do not care or shy or worry to be called a Kala. No one can deny that ancient Myanmars especially the Sakian or Thaki Wun Mins or “pure Burmese Kings’ blood relatives” were all pure Indians and were fully qualified to be called Kalas. When those Indians were mixed with the new migrants from China, all the present ethnic Myanmar groups and races were formed. No need to call them back Kalas (Indians) or Kala Pyet or Kala Dain or Pauk Phaws (Chinese) because there is no profit inciting and making them angry.
- So no need to be shy or fight back with them.
- Just keep in our heart that we are not inferior race or religious group, but historically and morally same as all other ethnic groups in Burma (Myanmar).
- If possible, please try to avoid mentioning these issues. Burmese Buddhists and other ethnic minority groups are not able to accept or handle this truth.
- The most racist of all in Myanmar is our some of the Rakhine Buddhist brothers. We have to understand them and should try to get their trust and friendship.
- It is a very sensitive issue. Be careful.
- Actually we must co-operate and coordinate with them in all the fields.
- We need friendship not enemies.
- There must be inter-religious dialogues, discussions and seminars to increase mutual understanding and to reduce the misunderstandings.
- We must built a mutual trust on each other.
- All of us in Burma, Burmese as well as Muslims have a respect for education.
- Educated persons, teachers, graduates, doctors and engineers are respected by the rich and the poor.
- This respect transects the boundary of race and religion.
- So the education is not only a passport of our future, as Malcom X had stated, but a short cut to gain respect for a downtrodden and discriminated Muslims in Myanmar.
- We must also have self-confidence.
- In other way, this is a strong mental power.
- We must have a good destination, a vision, believe that we could achieve it if we try hard.
- We have to believe in our ability and capability.
- We must not only work hard but must work smartly also.
- Even if we fail, should not give up, must try again after re–examining where we went wrong.
- We must make the failures pillars of our success. Perseverance, hard work, improving the skills while working, continuous reassessments of the products or results or quality control, always searching to improve or on going research and development will definitely crown us with success.
- We must appreciate our own culture and religion.
- We have to preserve the good virtues and discard our bad die-hard habits if we want to improve ourselves.
- We must always search for the new progressive ideas and methods and must continuously try and aim for the improvement in the future.
Self-criticism is good.
- It is better if we have the service of good friends or relatives who are willing to give fair and constructive criticism.
- We must take all the criticisms, whether we like it or not.
- Even if it came from our enemies or from the opposition.
- We must never dismiss those summarily as just the voice of dissent, mischievous persons finding faults, or just criticized with bad intentions or lies, but must listen and review all of them thoroughly.
- These criticisms must be compare with our self-evaluation of our achievements and failures.
There is almost always room for improvement.
We must be considerate to the others and the effects of our activities and decisions affecting others.
We must sometimes or if possible always try to look and think from their side.
If we, Muslims in Myanmar have a facility of the think tanks and brain storming sections, it will be very beneficial for us.
At least we should set up this kind of facility for the Muslims in Burma, it will be very good for us.
We must not forget a very popular saying:
“The wise are sometimes wrong, but the fools are always right.”
- The wise are intelligent enough to admit their mistakes and are willing to change.
- Fools are so stupid to even know that they are wrong.
- They would never admit their mistakes or willing to change.
We must always be ready, to accept the responsibility of our mistakes.
- And must be willing to rectify, apologize and face the consequence willingly.
- We must come out with the analysis: What? Where? How? Why? When? it, went wrong?
- Denial and blaming others will never chance the results or improve our positions.
- We must always be mentally and morally mature and strong enough to avoid the persuasions of the devil to derail our course.
- We have to control and avoid our bad habits.
- We must always have an open mind and heart and always ready to accept if someone proves or convince that we are wrong.