Now one of the world’s top ten most read topics on the internet is Kartika’s punishment for drinking beer in Malaysia. The Prime Minister realising the international impact this could have requested that Kartika appeal the judgment.
Quite a number thought Kartika’s refusal to appeal was about exhibitionism and wanting to make a statement. According to Nadia Jalil, “I think it’s one of the many examples in which Islam has been distorted and appropriated for selected interests in this country. I also think it’s the muftis-that-be in this case, who lack compassion and intellectual discernment (as always).”
Hazman B quipped, “I just think the back-n-forth decision-making process has made a mockery of Islam — laws are laws and it should be followed
When ones piety depends on the keeping of a set of religious laws, like in this case the Syariah laws it is so disheartening that there is so much uncertainty about the judgment and the punishment for that offense. In this case it is obvious that Kartika as a good muslim wants to be vindicated and as such is willing to be punished for her sin under Islam. Mr. Hazman, a reader is correct..."laws are laws and it should be followed."
However such is the nature of the law or any law, even the 10 commandments of Christianity. Someone has to adjudicate, to interpret and to pass judgment. Unfortunately the person who adjudicates is himself fallible. Often in religious law keeping there is a “self righteous” and over zealousness in keeping the law because his standard of piety becomes the benchmark for the guilty party. However we know even from our experience that there is no one who is righteous or clean completely. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.
The law is not perfect but is necessary. It is necessary to tell us what is right and wrong. Where it hurts or affects my neighbor it becomes wrong. As such Isa AlMasih said when asked what is the greatest commandment; “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments".
The greatest motivation therefore in keeping the law is Love. Wait a minute but how do we love God when it is not in our nature. When we are all fallible and naturally tend to sin? We are able only to love God, because He first loved us. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent Isa Al Masih as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” “We love because He first loved us.” 1John 4
This is the motivation therefore to love God knowing in our hearts that God first loved us and still love us unconditionally by forgiving our sins and in fact took the punishment upon himself. By taking that punishment He fulfilled the requirements of the law on our behalf. We are vindicated and justified by His death.
Wait a minute does that mean I can go on sinning, now that Christ loves me unconditionally?
That’s for Prt 2..