Book Review: ‘Falsafah Hidup’ by Hamka

This is my first post on a book review. I write a review every time after I finish reading a book. 

For those who don’t know, Hamka is the most prominent Nusantara philosopher and novelist of it’s time- the 20th century. Lived under the Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia until it’s independence, his thoughts become an inspiration and reference that are still relevant now.

His book titled ‘Falsafah Hidup‘, which means ‘Philosophy of life’, mainly talks about the purpose of life, in accordance to human’s capability to reason (akal) and the fact that we live in a society, not as individuals. With the humans capability to reason, one should be able to judge between what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s rewarding and what will inflict a loss. Hence, for a greater good, one must sacrifice. That, in reality, is what is wanted by everybody. He then elaborates it more and into bigger aspects like social and politics. Continue reading

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Islam As a Political Ideology?

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An Australian political candidate, Stephanie Banister, said in an interview by a news network that Islam is a country and apparently, she has a towering ignorance on what ‘haram’ is. Despite that, she is right if she meant that Islam is such a creed that can be fully established only if Muslims have a country of their own.

Through research of the Quran, Islam can be concluded as a political doctrine. Among the criticisms towards Islam is the claim that Islam is a political ideology disguised as a religion. I agree on the early part of the statement that Islam has political rules and laws, but to say that Islam is trying to put on a ‘religion’ label would be naive. Continue reading