Reasons why Britain bombed Surabaya


Darul Aqsha


“10 November ’45, Mengapa Inggris Membom Surabaya?” (“10 November ’45, Why Did Britain Bomb Surabaya?”)
By Batara R. Hutagalung; Millenium Publisher, Jakarta; (Oct. 2001), first edition, xiv + 472 pp; Rp 59,900,-

THIS book analyzes the simultaneous sea, land and air campaign by British forces against the defenders of the East Java capital of Surabaya in November 1945.

To this day, it remains a bitter memory for older Indonesians.

In the author’s opinion, there are two main reasons why Britain, which did not hold colonial authority over Indonesia, launched the invasion.
First, there were psychological and emotional reasons at play, since Britain was victorious in World War II. Second, the British were bound by a treaty with the Dutch stemming from the conference at Yalta on Feb. 11, 1945, and the Postdam Declaration, which took place on July 26, 1945.

The objectives of the treaty were “to reestablish civilian rule, and return the colony to Dutch administration,” as well as “to maintain the status quo which existed before the Japanese invasion”.

They can be found in a letter dated Sept. 2, 1945 by the Allied Forces’ Supreme Commander South East Asia Vice Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten. British assistance was also in line with the Civil Affairs Agreement between the Dutch and Britain in Chequers, Britain, on Aug. 24, 1945.

The author also outlines the violations committed by British troops. They include infringements upon the sovereignty of the fledgling nation of Indonesia, human rights abuses — including crimes against humanity and forced displacement — and war crimes.

Apart from its thorough dissection of this bloody chapter of Indonesian history, this book carries something else of equally important historical significance: an official apology from the British government. It was expressed by British Ambassador to Indonesia Richard Gozney in the name of the British government during a seminar on the Battle of Surabaya in Jakarta in October 2000.

It was a sympathetic act — one which has yet to be offered by the Dutch who, as a colonial power, ruled Indonesia for centuries.–

The Jakarta Post
Sunday, December 30, 2001




Malaysia bans Indonesian book of Ahmad Wahib’s Diary




THE Home Affairs Ministry (KDN) has banned four books containing elements which contradict with true Islamic teaching and present false facts on the country’s security agency.

Secretary-general of the ministry Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim said the books were titled Pergolakan Pemikiran Islam: Catatan Harian Ahmad Wahib (Islamic Thought Upheaval: Diary of Ahmad Wahib),  Malaysia And The Club Of Doom: The Collapse Of The Islamic Countries, Torture In Malaysia Prisons: Who You Didn’t Know And Need To Know To Ac’ and The Qoran: A Very Short Introduction.

The books were issued a prohibition order in accordance with Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984 (Act 301) for containing elements that could disrupt harmony, alarm the public, cause harm to the public, and contradict with laws that upheld the nation’s well-being, Alwi said.

Meanwhile, three of the books contained elements that could confuse Muslims in the country on the implementation and practice of Islam as according to Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah, while another book if left unmonitored could mislead the public’s view on the country’s security agency, he said.

“It is an offence for any parties to print, import, produce, reproduce, publish, sell, issue, circulate, distribute or to possess these banned publications,” he said in a statement today.

Alwi said, according to Section 8(2) of the act, if found guilty for the offence, the offender could face imprisonment not exceeding three years or a fine of not more than RM20,000, or both.

Bernama/Borneo Bulletion

Friday, September 9, 2016



Home Ministry bans four misleading books



‘Quranic Agroforestry ‘

buku kebun al-quran

Vera Salim

WHEN one tries to follow through what has been contemporarily written about scientific proofs in the Quran, one can’t help but being reminded of the 109th ayah in Surah Al-Kahfi:

“If the sea were ink for (writing) the words (*) of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like of it as a supplement.” [* The Saheeh International edition of the translation of the Quran explains the “words” (al-kalimaat) of Allah as the words of Allah’s unlimited knowledge or words describing His attributes and His grandeur or praise of Him Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.]

Scientific Proofs?
Indeed, there’s no aspect whatsoever of our existence that is not encompassed by the Quran in one way or another. Attempts at explaining the ayaat of Al-Quran from just one perspective – say, a scientific approach – that people have already carried out are but a speck of dust in the unlimited oceans of Allah’s knowledge.

We hold in awe some experts’ attempts at explaining, say, the proofs of embryology or oceanology in the Quran. For instance, there have been many discussions about the verses of “two seas.” In Surah Ar-Rahman (55): 19-20, Allah says: “He released the two seas meeting (side by side); Between them is a barrier [so] neither of them transgresses.” Also, Surah Al-Furqan (25): 53 where Allah says: “And it is He who has released (simultaneously) the two seas (i.e., bodies of water), one fresh and sweet and one salty and bitter, and He placed between them a barrier and prohibiting partition.”

Early Muslim scholars such as Ibn Kathir of 7th century Hijrah Syria, or even the much later scholars such as Muhammad al-Tahir ibn Ashur of Tunis in the 20th CE century, have explained what the “two seas” mean.

Thanks to the Internet, we can read their scholarly explanations any time. Their works will continue to benefit themselves and us, InsyaAllah, in understanding Allah’s Words. However, we understand also that the painstaking endeavors of the scholars do not scratch even the surface of Allah’s knowledge. The commandment that we ponder the Quran remains on our shoulders.

Even in Farming
It is through this perspective we should view current attempts at obtaining the huda (guidance) and mau’izhah (instruction) from the Quran for any life aspects, from politics to social building and even farming. The farmers and agriculture experts of today should, for instance, read Kitab Al-Filahah by Abu Zakariyyah Yahya ibn Muhammad or Ibn al-‘Awwam.

Ibn al-‘Awwam hailed from Ishbilia (Seville) in Muslim Spain in the 6th century Hijrah. The book Kitab al-Filahah became a more comprehensive and encyclopedic work on agriculture and agronomy because Ibn al-’Awwam cited quotations from the earlier sources wherever he could. He followed in the footsteps and benefited from the work of agricultural scholars of fifth century Muslim Spain such as Muhammad al-Tighnari or Ibn Wafid of Toledo and Abu ‘Umar Ahmad.

About 100 years after these pioneers, Ibn al-’Awwam collected information supplied by them and from other sources in his Kitab al-Filahah which is more comprehensive and up-to-date. It gained wider publicity and was considered so important that Ibn Khaldun also referred to it in the Muqaddimah. Don’t forget, Muslim Spain was one of the most glorious periods of the Muslim world. These past scholars’ treatises made Al-Quran their main source of instruction at all levels of their studies.

The Garden of Al-Quran
There is today the beginning of a wave to return to Al-Quran as our main instruction in agriculture; one of the proponents of this wave is Muhaimin Iqbal of Jakarta, Indonesia, whose sustainable farming scheme iGrow won a prize in the recent StartupIstanbul competition in Turkey and was written about in Forbes by Federico Guerrini.

Iqbal coined the term “Quranic Agroforestry” and culled from the knowledge he has gained from years of farming as well as studying the Quran both theories and practices that he wrote about in his book, Kebun Al-Quran (The Garden of the Quran).

In the book, he explains various aspects of farming from the Quranic perspective, from how to revive the dead or barren land to how the fruit date prevents starvation as mentioned in the hadith of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to how Islamic farming actually is multicultural farming!

Here’s a small excerpt from the book:

“We see green everywhere, but why is it not enough? This is because the green (the trees) are planted simply for the sake of making things green or for the sake of logging, or fruit harvesting.

(When it comes to the question of food insecurity), our search for answers often results in some vested interests’ gains. This quest has not given maximal returns to the whole community.

What if we now seek the guidance of Allah about what to plant? Does Allah give detailed guidance? We must believe that Allah provides detailed answers about every question, including food security, such as in the following ayah:

‘And within the land are neighbouring plots and gardens of grapevines and crops and palm trees, (growing) several from a root or otherwise, watered with one water; but We make some of them exceed others in (quality of) fruit. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason.’ [Ar-Ra’d (13): 4]

So there are plots, plants or gardens that thrive next to each other. Some exceed others in producing foods for humans. All we need to do is identify what plants should be placed next to one another and which will give optimal yields for humans.

Agricultural experts know that multicultural farming – as opposed to monocultural – provides the best yields but also is better able to withstand diseases.”

Underlying the idea of multicultural farming is the knowledge that each plant variety obtains the maximal photosynthesis with only 1/10 of the sunshine it receives. Iqbal then refers to the food forestry in Morocco that has existed for thousands of years in which different varieties of plants grow together. This is similar to today’s sustainable plants composition that is known as permaculture, whose description can be found in the illustration 1 from http://www.spiralseed.

“Compare (these farming schemes) with what Al-Quran specifically says about certain plants,” Iqbal writes. “The first plant as the canopy is date palm plants. The low tree can either be olives (zaituun), pomegranate (rummaan) or figs (tiin). The number 3 plants are various fruit plants or sweet flowers that are known as raihaan in Surah ArRahman (55) ayah 12.

The plant number 4 is various herbal growths, the number 5 plant can be ginger as found in Surah Al-Insan (76) verse 17. The plant number 6 in the illustration depicts various shrubs as found in Surah ‘Abasa (80) verse 31. The last plant in the illustration is grapes and other vines as indicated in Surah AlAn’am (6) verse 141,” Iqbal writes.

Ultimately, the answer to food insecurities affecting the world today, Iqbal argues, lies in a people’s Iman (faith) and Taqwa (consciousness or fear of Allah). Iqbal cites:

“And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened (i.e., bestowed) upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied (the messengers), so We seized them for what they were earning.” [Surah Al-A’raf (7): 96]

Allah knows best.

Islamia/The Brunei Times

Friday, 4 December 2015


The Quran and Modern Science: Religion and Science & Al-Quran and Science

By Dr. Maurice Bucaille (Edited by Dr. A. A. Bilal Philips)


There is, perhaps, no better illustration of the close links between Islam and science than the Prophet Muhammad’s often-quoted statements:

“Seeking knowledge is compulsory on every Muslim.”

“wisdom is the lost property of the believer.”

“whoever follows a path seeking knowledge, Allah will make his path to paradise easy.”

These statements and many others are veritable invitations to humanity to enrich their knowledge from all sources. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to learn that in Islam religion and science have always been considered as twin sisters and that today, at a time when science has taken such great strides, they still continue to be associated. Nor is it a surprise to learn that certain scientific data are used for the better understanding of the Qur’anic text. What is more, in a century where, for many people, scientific truth has dealt a deathblow to religious belief, it is precisely the discoveries of science that, in an objective examination of the Islamic scripture, have highlighted the supernatural nature of revelation and the authenticity of the religion which it taught.

When all is said and done, scientific knowledge seems, in spite of what many people may say or think, to be highly conducive to reflection on the existence of God. Once we begin to ask ourselves, in an unbiased or unprejudiced way, about the metaphysical lessons to be derived from some of today’s knowledge, (for example our evolving knowledge of the smallest components of matter or the questions surrounding the origin of life within inanimate matter), we indeed discover many reasons for thinking about God. When we think about the remarkable organization presiding over the birth and maintenance of life, it becomes clear that the likelihood of it being the result of chance lessens quite considerably.

As our knowledge of science in the various fields expands, certain concepts must seem increasingly unacceptable. For example, the idea enthusiastically expressed by the recent French winner of the Nobel prize for medicine, that living matter was self-created from simple chemical elements due to chance circumstances. Then from this point it is claimed that living organisms evolved, leading to the remarkably complex being called man. To me, it would seem that the scientific advancements made in understanding the fantastic complexity of higher beings provides stronger arguments in favor of the opposite theory: that the existence of an extraordinarily methodical organization presiding over the remarkable arrangement of the phenomena of life necessitates the existence of a Creator.

In many parts of the Book, the Qur’an, encourages this kind of general reflection but also contains infinitely more precise data which are directly related to facts discovered by modern science. It is precisely this data which exercise a magnetic attraction for today’s scientists.

The Qur’an And Science
islam_science_buku-MBFor many centuries, humankind was unable to study certain data contained in the verses of the Qur’an because they did not possess sufficient scientific means. It is only today that numerous verses of the Qur’an dealing with natural phenomena have become comprehensible. A reading of old commentaries on the Qur’an, however knowledgeable their authors may have been in their day, bears solemn witness to a total inability to grasp the depth of meaning in such verses. I could even go so far as to say that, in the 20th century, with its compartmentalization of ever-increasing knowledge, it is still not easy for the average scientist to understand everything he reads in the Qur’an on such subjects, without having recourse to specialized research. This means that to understand all such verses of the Qur’an, one is nowadays required to have an absolutely encyclopedic knowledge embracing many scientific disciplines.

I should like to stress, that I use the word science to mean knowledge which has been soundly established. It does not include the theories which, for a time, help to explain a phenomenon or a series of phenomena, only to be abandoned later on in favor of other explanations. These newer explanations have become more plausible thanks to scientific progress. I only intend to deal with comparisons between statements in the Qur’an and scientific knowledge which are not likely to be subject to further discussion. Wherever I introduce scientific facts which are not yet 100% established, I will make it quite clear.

There are also some very rare examples of statements in the Qur’an which have not, as yet, been confirmed by modern science. I shall refer to these by pointing out that all the evidence available today leads scientists to regard them as being highly probable. An example of this is the statement in the Qur’an that life has an aquatic origin ( “And I created every living thing out of water” Qur’an, 21:30 ).

These scientific considerations should not, however, make us forget that the Qur’an remains a religious book par excellence and that it cannot be expected to have a scientific purpose per se. In the Qur’an, whenever humans are invited to reflect upon the wonders of creation and the numerous natural phenomena, they can easily see that the obvious intention is to stress Divine Omnipotence. The fact that, in these reflections, we can find allusions to data connected with scientific knowledge is surely another of God’s gifts whose value must shine out in an age where scientifically based atheism seeks to gain control of society at the expense of the belief in God. But the Qur’an does not need unusual characteristics like this to make its supernatural nature felt. Scientific statements such as these are only one specific aspect of the Islamic revelation which the Bible does not share.

Throughout my research I have constantly tried to remain totally objective. I believe I have succeeded in approaching the study of the Qur’an with the same objectivity that a doctor has when opening a file on a patient. In other words, only by carefully analyzing all the symptoms can one arrive at an accurate diagnosis. I must admit that it was certainly not faith in Islam that first guided my steps, but simply a desire to search for the truth. This is how I see it today. It was mainly the facts which, by the time I had finished my study, led me to see the Qur’an as the divinely-revealed text it really is.


Brunei Syariah books receive excellent response in Malaysia

The four books sent by the State Mufti Office which won the awards. Photo: BT

The four books sent by the State Mufti Office which won the awards. Photo: BT

Abdul Azim Kassim

BOOK publishers in Malaysia are keen on publishing the State Mufti’s books for the Malaysian market.

Recently Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Awg Abd Aziz Juned had four of his books nominated in the Regional Premier Publishing Category and awarded the ‘Anugerah Perdana Penerbit Nusantara’ at the National Book Awards Ceremony 2014.

These were Qanun Jenayah Syar’iah: Satu Pengenalan (The Syariah Penal Code: An Introduction), Fatwa Mufti Kerajaan 2012 and Perintah Qanun Jenayah Syar’iah: Neraca Allah (Syariah Penal Code Order: Ordain of Allah).

A statement from the State Mufti’s Office said during the Kuala Lumpur International Book Festival this year, the response from the books were beyond their expectations.

The State Mufti's Office’s Director of Administration, Dato Paduka Awang Ahmad Bukhari Pehin Siraja Khatib Hj Abu Hanifah with the award.  Photo: BT/Abdul Azim Kassim

The State Mufti’s Office’s Director of Administration, Dato Paduka Awang Ahmad Bukhari Pehin Siraja Khatib Hj Abu Hanifah with the award. Photo: BT/Abdul Azim Kassim

“The books have gotten great feedback from book publishers and distributors,” the statement read.

“So much so that they would like to reprint and distribute the books in Malaysia – provided there is permission from the Brunei side.”

The State Mufti’s Office’s Director of Administration, Dato Paduka Awang Ahmad Bukhari Pehin Siraja Khatib Hj Abu Hanifah said the books were showered with praises during the awards ceremony organised by the Malaysia National Book Development Foundation (YPBN) in Kuala Lumpur.

“On behalf of the State Mufti’s Office, I feel proud because the efforts invested in coming up with these books are recognised and even awarded by Malaysia,” he said.

“It means a whole lot more when the guest of honour (Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim) personally mentioned and praised the publication.

“All these acknowledgements ultimately are a testament to the author himself, our State Mufti.”

He added that many Malaysians were impressed by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s determination to implement the law this year.

Touching on reasons why the award was given, Dato Paduka Awang Ahmad Bukhari said the quality and technique are important criterion in the competition.

“The State Mufti’s Office has worked hard to reach and sustain such value of quality,” he said.

“But content-wise, I believe the strong impact was the books provided guidance for one to better understand the Syariah Law Penal Code.”

During the trip in Malaysia, Dato Paduka Awang Ahmad Bukhari was accompanied by Head of Technical Publication Osman Abu Bakar. The National Book Award aims to appreciate the hard work of writers in the country and encourage the publishing industry to produce more quality writing instead of quantity.

The Brunei Times
Friday, December 12, 2014

Philippine embassy plans 2nd printing of Syariah Guidebook

Philippine Ambassador Nestor Ochoa (L), French Ambassador Loan Forgeron (C) and French author Cecile Castilla during the launch of the book titled 'Filipinos in Brunei' yesterday.  Photo: BT/Hafiizah Maideen

Philippine Ambassador Nestor Ochoa (L), French Ambassador Loan Forgeron (C) and French author Cecile Castilla during the launch of the book titled ‘Filipinos in Brunei’ yesterday. Photo: BT/Hafiizah Maideen

Hafiizah Maideen

The Philippine Embassy in Brunei is planning a second printing of its guidebook on Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 as part of its plan to familiarise local Filipinos with the law.

Philippine Ambassador Nestor Z Ochoa said the embassy is awaiting approval of funding from the Philippine government to print more copies of the booklet, which was launched on October 10 this year.

Only 1,000 copies are currently in circulation – not enough for the more than 21,000 Filipinos in Brunei, which account for the biggest group of non-Muslim expats in the country.

The ambassador spoke to The Brunei Times on the sidelines of the launch of the ‘Filipinos in Brunei’ book at the embassy yesterday. The book, written by Cecile Castilla and published by AdsAllure, is a collection of 20 stories of Filipinos in Brunei which details their aspirations, challenges and achievements.

Ambassador Ochoa and French ambassador to Brunei Loan Forgeron launched the book.

Following the enforcement of the first phase of Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 in May this year, the Philippine Embassy launched its own unofficial simplified guide to the Syariah Penal Code to help local Filipinos understand the law.

Ambassador Ochoa added that “ideally, everybody should have a copy (of the booklet). We hope that we can get the funding for it so we can produce more for our Filipino nationals.” The booklet lists the provisions implemented in the first phase, the offences and punishments and their applicability to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

“It is important for all Filipinos to understand Syariah Law. There are many terminologies (in the law) which may be difficult for many to understand, especially for the layman. So we’ve simplified the law so all Filipinos can understand it,” he said.

A brief introduction to Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 is also available on the embassy’s website at

The Brunei Times
Sunday, December 7, 2014

syariah not against ham

Teach works of Muslim scientists in schools

Forum panellists from right to left, Professor Salim Al-Hassani, Dr Hj Mohamad Hussain Pehin Penyurat Hj Ahmad, deputy rector of UNISSA, and Professor Datuk Dr Osman Bakar, director of Sultan Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies during the Knowledge Convention Forum. Photo: BT/Md Asdeny Yakub

Forum panellists from right to left, Professor Salim Al-Hassani, Dr Hj Mohamad Hussain Pehin Penyurat Hj Ahmad, deputy rector of UNISSA, and Professor Datuk Dr Osman Bakar, director of Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies during the Knowledge Convention Forum. Photo: BT/Md Asdeny Yakub

Rasidah HAB

SCHOOLS must incorporate the contributions of all scientists including Muslims in the syllabus to inspire people, a University of Manchester professor said.

Speaking as a panellist at the Knowledge Convention 2014 Forum yesterday, Professor Salim Al-Hassani said achievements and discoveries made by Muslims were often overlooked.

“The world is one village, we are all human beings. If we have to mention all the names of scientists and inventors, then mention all, or do not mention (at all),” he said.

Sharing his knowledge to the audience that included His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, Professor Salim spoke about how scientists and mathematicians such as Plato and Archimedes were featured predominantly in textbooks around the world.

“It inspired people (especially in Europe) because they were seen as the architects of present science and civilisation. Now give the same books to non-European cultures, it does the exact opposite. It will uninspire the young person because he or she did not have a stake in this civilisation at all,” he added.

The problem here was not because there was no contribution from other civilisations, said Professor Salim, who specialises in Mechanical Engineering.

Prof Dr Salim Al-Hassani

Prof Dr Salim Al-Hassani

“The contributions by the Chinese, Indian and Muslims actually exist and these contributions were enormous. Thousands of discoveries have been made in this part of the world. They were actually the foundation of modern civilisation and science,” he added.

He said people need to be inspired so that they can achieve greatness that was not about money or recognition.

“I believe Brunei is in an ideal position to lead in introducing a special breed of scientists. Scientists who are physically and morally guided to invent new solutions to societal and world problems,” Professor Salim said.

Another panellist Dr Hj Mohamad Hussain Pehin Penyurat Hj Ahmad, deputy rector of Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), called on the government to look back at the history of Islam in providing a conducive learning environment.

The government must create infrastructure and environment that are conducive for learning as well as provide sufficient equipment and budget allocations, he said.

He spoke about the establishment of Baitul Hikmah (House of Wisdom), during the time of Harun Al-Rashid in the history of Islam that facilitated learning and research.

Baitul Hikmah was set up to encourage scientific research and produce Muslim scientists, he added.

In line with the Knowledge Convention’s theme of ‘Science and Technology: Catalyst of Development and Enhancing the Ummah’s Quality of Life’, Dr Hj Mohamad Hussain stressed the need for a balance in education.

He said, “The balance that is based on and not separated from tauhid (oneness of Allah SWT’s qualities and attributes). It comprised education in spiritual, physical and intellectual aspects”.

The contents of the curriculum must also be sourced from the Quran and Sunnah. “Al-Quran itself contains a vast amount of knowledge. It is without boundaries as it comes from Allah SWT,” he said.

The deputy rector said students are trained with critical thinking, addign that this is important for Muslims especially youths.

“Our predecessors from the time of Rasulullah SAW (pbuh) possessed critical thinking and were civic-minded, the curiosity to know more,” he added.

Director of Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies Professor Datuk Dr Osman Bakar spoke on the importance of history.

He said to answer the question on what were the characteristics of exemplary scientists, one needs to look back at the history of Islam.

“We have thousands of Muslim scientists throughout history. Looking back at our history, the scientists were those who possessed iman (faith), in-depth knowledge and taqwa (obey the rules of Islam and submit to Allah SWT).

The Brunei Times
Tuesday, November 4, 2014



Salim Al-Hassani Edu