I patrol Wikipedia rather religiously. I used to make countless edits on it but lately, I haven’t had much time to spend on it. Nevertheless, because of the frequency of my visits, it’s relatively easy for me to spot vandalism on pages that I maintain watch on. While most acts of vandalism are easy to catch, some aren’t. Sometimes, legitimate edits could be mistaken as vandalism. One of such edition concerns the page Perlis. On that page, it’s easy to find anonymous editors changing the noun Perlis Indera Kayangan to Perlis Darul Sunnah.

At first, I thought the switch was purely vandalism or some newbies were having fun on Wikipedia. Later however, the changes were becoming above average in frequency and more importantly, consistent. Given that, I toyed with the possibility of me being wrong and the anonymous editors being right. To ascertain it, I ran a little research on the net and surprisingly, I found countless hits containing “Perlis Darul Sunnah”. One of those hits is an article from Harakah:

KANGAR, 26 Sep (Hrkh) – Pesuruhjaya PAS Perlis, Ustaz Hashim Jasin menyeru agar gelaran Indera Kayangan bagi negeri Perlis ditukar kepada Darul Sunnah secara rasminya.

That roughly translates into:

KANGAR, 26 Sept (Hrkh) – Perlis PAS commissioner Ustaz Hashim Jasin urged to officially change Perlis’ title from Indera Kayangan to Darul Sunnah.

The Department of Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment also used Perlis Darul Sunnah instead of Perlis Indera Kayangan. The Department however isn’t consistent in its usage.

Indera Kayangan, by the way could be rendered to English as “land of dreams”. Dream as in when a person sleeps, the person dreams. As a person in the comment section has commeted and after consulting a dictionary, “land of gods” is the accurate intepretation.

Further search brought me to a forum which it’s stated that the Chief Minister of Perlis declared the name switch on July 2 2006. The forum might not be credible and so, handle this information with a healthy dose of skepticism.

What is wrong with Indera Kayangan anyway? Is it too unislamic?

If it is so, then I hope people of whom are making effort to change the state title realize that being a Muslim isn’t about being an Arab.

11 Responses to “[1009] Of Perlis: from Indera Kayangan to Darul Sunnah”

  1. on 18 Dec 2006 at 23:35 menj

    “Kayangan” is not translated as “dreams” but reference to “heavens”, or in Hindu mythology, a place where the gods resides. Like Mount Olympia in Greek mythology.

    As for “a Muslim is not about being Arab”, you are wrong once again. Are you trying to say that the Prophet (P) was not an Arab, and the Qur’an is not in Arabic? It is the Arabic stream which preserved the Semitic thought, which is why Islam remains unadulterated and pure from external influences. To discard Arabism from Islam is to discard the essence of what is Islam.

    – MENJ

  2. on 19 Dec 2006 at 00:10 Hafiz

    Concerning Kayangan, yes, you’re right.

    On the second point however, you misunderstood it:

    As for “a Muslim is not about being Arab”, you are wrong once again. Are you trying to say that the Prophet (P) was not an Arab, and the Qur’an is not in Arabic?

    I said no such thing.

    I said being a Muslim isn’t about being an Arab. For instance, does a person need to dress like the Arabs to be a Muslim? Does he need to speak Arabic to be a Muslim? Does having Arabic names make a person more Islamic than the rest?

  3. on 20 Jan 2007 at 00:51 tearfate

    Yeah, rights. If you ppl read the Quran, theres no privilages of being an arabs.

  4. on 16 Feb 2009 at 02:10 Bashar

    I have found it a little difficult to follow your logic here. The guys in Perlis want to change the official name coz it might carry some unislamic connotations….so what? let them call it whatever they want, why are you bothered?
    what difference does it make?
    I wonder if you would have had the same reaction if they called it the (land of fruits)??
    or is it the word (Sunnah) that is bothering you? AND What on earth has it to do with Arabs???
    Do you hold any grudges against Arabs????
    Judging on what you wrote, I really see no other explanation for your last sentence.

  5. on 16 Feb 2009 at 09:46 Hafiz Noor Shams

    You see no explanation because you haven’t read the links.

    It’s not about the Arabs. It’s about the conservative society’s fad with every Arabic because they think being Islamic is being Arabic, when it is not.

    The existing name is fine. There’s no need to prove one is more Islamic (or Arab) by removing Malay names.

  6. on 17 Feb 2009 at 12:17 Bashar

    I have read the links!
    Arab and Islam are surely not synonymous but one needs to be blind so as not to see the strong link between the two. In your case I believe you’re trying to attack Islam indirectly via Arabs. Making a big fuss because a name or some architecture in PJ is nonsense. I don’t think you really mean that. You actually want to criticize the underlying concept of Islam. I haven’t read all ur writings but I bet that not once did you condemn anything for being too Chinese or too Hindi. They are very acceptable to you in spite being not inherently Malay. But when it comes to the Arabs who profoundly influenced the Malay culture you start to complain.
    Having a little more courage could save your readers, and those who reply to you, much confusion.

  7. on 17 Feb 2009 at 14:28 Hafiz Noor Shams

    Since when criticizing effort to rename a pre-existing local name into Arabic is criticizing Islam?

    The key word here is RENAMING and PRE-EXISTING, not naming.

    I ask, why it should be renamed into Arabic? Is the Malay language an inferior language to you?

    I haven’t read all ur writings but I bet that not once did you condemn anything for being too Chinese or too Hindi.

    Then, I suggest you read before making assumption and accusing others of being dishonest. I have also criticized exercise to rename road into languages other than Malay. Your opinion on my opinion is based on insufficient information.

  8. on 17 Feb 2009 at 16:49 Bashar

    OK I did make an assumption but it was based on what I concluded from your statements and I never accused you of being dishonest. You agreed that ‘Kayangan’ has a Hindu connotation so now what is wrong in renaming the State ‘Darul Sunnah’, Darul is extensively used in names of Malay states;
    Darul Ehsan
    Darul Ta’zim
    Darul Naim
    Darul Eman
    Darul Salam (Brunei)
    and Sunnah is not exclusively Arabic. It is a common islamic term. So is each of the terms Ehsan, Naim…etc
    So for Allah’s sake tell me what wrong did they do to deserve your harsh criticism. The Malay language is an adaptive language. It borrows words from other languages, so does English. You are acting as it these people want to erase the Malay race from existence.
    In that other link of yours you called two Malays that were dressed in Arab garments hypocrites. Do you call women in bikinis hypocrites as well in spite the fact that bikinis are surely not part of the Malay culture either???
    What drives your philosophy? Are you some sort of a racist??

  9. on 17 Feb 2009 at 20:23 Hafiz Noor Shams

    You aren’t catching the line of reasoning. Let me repeat what I’ve written twice.

    For the others with phrase “Darul…” attached, that is fine because it already named that way. There’s no need to change it. If we were to change Pahang darul Makmur to Pahang Negara Vishnu, I will oppose it because it is silly.

    Similiarly, there’s already an existing name for Perlis. There is no need to change it. If we are to change Perlis Indera Kayangan to Perlis Darul Sunnah, it is as silly as change the honorific of Pahang.

    Why should it be changed? You haven’t answered the question.

    As for the garment, you are reading only part article and not the whole thing. I said I have no problem people wearing anything they like but for the two persons, they were criticizing others when they themselves are wrong committing the same thing. That is the crux of the article: don’t criticized others when you are doing it willingly too.

    You are only pulled up a point and then ignored the context of the article.

    There’s is nothing racist about noticing hypocrisy. Will you stop throwing loaded questions and try to make this as civil as possible.

  10. on 20 Apr 2012 at 09:40 Ahmad

    “‘Kayangan’ has a Hindu connotation”..in my opinion 90% of malay langguage is base on Hindu langguage just name a few…

    Samudera
    Agama
    Angkasa
    Anugerah
    Asmara
    Bahasa
    Bahaya
    Bakti
    Bidadari
    Bumi
    etc.

    the list goes on and on,….I think, if they want to replace indera kayangan to darul sunnah because of there is Hindu connotation there n I say we should change all the words above to a new words..bcuz according to my Indian friend all of this word are related to Hindu religion..maybe Malaysia should change its national langguage then..I mean, whay bother change only one or two words..if there is still thousand of them r still use by us..

  11. on 20 Apr 2012 at 09:44 dani

    What the hell is the guy(Ahmad)talking about…????

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