'Kongsiraya'- a newfound Malaysian term originated by the former Minister of Information , the Datuk Paduka Seri Kadir Sheikh Fadzir.
He conjured up the term and the joint celebration of religious festivities that coinside with one another or take place within a few days.
If you look at it from the social point of view, sure..it looks all chummy and not a problem at all.
In fact, social integration should be encouraged to foster a better understanding between us Malaysians to ensure closer ties between the various ethnicities and promote understanding of each other's faiths.
What the Ulamaks' don't approve is the hidden implications of 'KongsiRaya'.
You can celebrate each others festivities in the context of the spirit of 'Muhibbah' that we are all familiar with and have practiced all these while.
The problem starts when the fellas organizing these 'Kongsiraya's' start mixing in the elements of religious worship of one faith into the activities of the celebrations.
A case in particular is the previous 'Deeparaya' celebrations where the Deputy Prime Minister Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak and the Minister of Culture Datuk Seri Rais Yatim went along with the organizer's arrangements to 'light up' the 'Kuttuvilakku' @ the oil lamps usually found in the Hindu temples.
Those Muslim ministers thought it was okay to go along in the spirit of 'Malaysia Boleh' etcetera and that there was no harm at all in lighting up of the oil lamps for it is an act of lightening up from the darkness into the brightness, etcetera.
The implication of Shirik @ act of kuffur for a Muslim is when he or she partakes in an act of another faith as in that case the act of lighting up of an oil lamp before offering prayers to the Hindu deities.
It may seem as trivial to those of you who are not Muslims or even if you are a Muslim, you do not know about the consequences of following a religious act of another.
It all boils down to the matter of Aqeedah and how you perceive it according to the level of 'Ilm about Islam that you have in you and as to whether you take your faith seriously or just go your way as you please.
The question here is based on the individual's sense of adhering to his or her faith's requirements and observance of the do's and don'ts that one has to take into mind before doing anything.
There will be those who take it all as nothing worth wasting time and arguing about it but then again it all depends on the individual concerned and as to whether he or she is willing to stake their future in the Hereafter on it.
Those who don't take their faith seriously or those who don't believe in Allah have no say in this matter that the Muslim Ulamaks are opposed to and as such should just read about it and do not comment. It beats the purpose.
Those who are Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and other faiths can discuss about this further and ask if you want to as to why Islam forbids the mix and match of religious practices in the social norms.
You need to differentiate an act of social mixing with an act that has religious consequences. They are not the same. It also depends on the individual's own values and intentions.
But then again, let's say...a Christian wants to visit a home of a Muslim celebrating Eid and pay his or her respects. There's no harm in it . He or she can sit at the table and eat and drink with the Muslims. There's no harm for his or her sense of faith as a Christian for Muslims do not eat foods and drinks that are forbidden to Christians.
On the other hand, Muslims can't do that when eating at the Christians homes for the foods prepared can contain haram elements in it such as pork, wine, alcohol, etc. Thus the hosts need to ensure that such elements are not included in the dishes prepared and being served to their Muslim guests.
Same conditions need to be observed when entertaining our other guests from the other faiths and beliefs. We need to ensure that we do not serve whatever the other faiths do not allow for consumption.
A good host needs to be very observant and particular on that based on the individual's own sense of being just and fair to their guests. It is a time observed act of being a gracious host.
Back to the topic of why the Ulamaks don't approve the 'coining' of such terms is all a matter of sticking to the core principles in not 'Associating Allah with others' in the truest sense .
When a Muslim attends a function where there exists an atmosphere of adherence to another 'deity' or 'figure of reverence' such as a religious icon, symbol of worship, etcetera, then that Muslim must not follow in the activities of paying homage to that figure of worship or remain there as a sign of respect to that 'deity' or object that is being worshipped apart from Allah, True God Almighty!
If the Muslim fails to do that, to remove him or herself from the situation, then he or she is deemed to have committed Shirik to Allah.
To those of you who are not a true Muslim or a Non Muslim, it might not be clear to you as to what the rules and regulations are regarding this Major Sin of Associating something else to Almighty Allah in terms of paying obesiance to other than the Creator.
I can only suggest that you study about Islam and what it entails its adherents to observe and what not to .
At the end of the day, no matter how smart one is or thinks he or she is and knows everything there is to the matter of faith and to which God , he or she submits to, the minute one passes away from the World of the Living to the Yaum al Barzakh, the Realm of the Dead, then and only then will he or she realise whether they were right or wrong in their stand about this here on Earth!
Islam is the faith that we Muslims hold true to our hearts and those of us who try our level best to observe its do's and don'ts are not free from sin or mistakes but at each prayer time , when we bow and prostrate before Allah Azza Wa Jalla, there's nothing more that we seek than His Forgiveness of our sins, that we commit knowingly or unknowingly and expect His Mercy that He, Allah, God Most Compassionate,Most Merciful has promised us Mankind that He will bestow upon us seeking His Blessings till the second of the Final Day on Earth, the Yaum al Qiyamah-Doomsday when the Earth will come to an end.
Kongsiraya if taken as a social event without religious implications can be a Muhibbah thingy for some but if it involves any iota of observance and worship to another 'deity' or figure of reverance than Almighty Allah opens up the door to committing Shirik to Allah.
This is what the Ulamaks are objecting to. They are responsible to the Muslim ummah.
The Ministers are only trying to project that they are doing a good, terrific job as those who champion this and that but at the end of the day, these fellows will be answerable to Allah if they bring about mass acts of Shirik to Allah by their ignorance of the fundamental aspects of Aqeedah!
Through their ignorance of what can and cannot be done in Islam, they only put themselves and those whom they lead into the jeopardy of running foul of Allah's Laws that are revealed so clearly in the Al-Qur'an Al Kareem, the Final Testament and Guidance for Mankind.
Al-Qur'an Surah Al-An'aam 6:151
Say: "Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from": Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not nigh to shameful deeds. Whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.
Meaning well is one thing but putting oneself in jeopardy of committing Shirik to Allah is the consequences of each Muslim's choice of actions.
In this case, we have our Ministers of Information and Culture championing all these 'Kongsi' thingys.
They are willing to shoulder the burden of it all , so as the saying goes' Thou shall reap what thou sows!'.
Please do not misunderstand that I do not like social mixing etcetera as I am only one who speaks for myself as a Muslim.
I am just sharing the realities of mixing social events with religious implications that can put one in danger of committing Shirik to Allah.
Those who are responsible in organising such events just need to keep out the religious observations out of it and everything can be fine!
Those who unknowingly have committed Shirik to Allah can learn from this and repent to Him in the truest sense!
InsyaAllah, He will forgive them if they repent as per 'Taubat Nasuha' - repentance with a firm pledge to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala failing which they stand guilty as charged before the Almighty on the Day of Judgement!
Those who want to comment on this better get your facts straight and speak if you know fully the tenets of Islamic Aqeedah failing which, just observe on this subject that is more focused on the Muslims point of view as per the Ulamaks judgement and not turn it into something else.
Malaysians can just celebrate such joyous occasions with friends and families without using that offensive term that implies religious mixing. That's about it and the term should no longer be bandied about.
God knows us best and so far we have had no problem in celebrating Hari Raya, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Deepavali, Christmas, Vesak Day, Vaisakhi, Hari Gawai, Ka'amatan etcetera!
The objection to the terms 'Kongsiraya, Deeparaya' etcetera only started recently because of the Minister's lack of foresight on it's religious implications.
After all, most Malaysian Ministers just do as they please without bothering to check with other authorities especially when it concerns matters that involve religious significances.
Maybe, in the future , those who have bright ideas which concerns social agendas should check with the religious authorities to avoid future brouhaha's?
Non Muslims and those advocating Islamic Liberalism , please study in depth about the matter of Shirik according to Islam before commenting for we are held responsible by Allah for what we say, think and do.
Do not put yourself in any unnecessary spotlights due to ignorance. You don't argue with the Qur'an. It speaks clearly not to associate anything else with Allah. Period.
Thank you and think before you type. :)