In my discussions and the talks I have delivered, I invariably insist that there is a big difference between a “rakyat” and a “Rapera”.
A “Rakyat” is one who is a citizen by law and he merely WANTS what he thinks are his rights. IN fact, on most occasions, he does not even know what his rights really are. Most of the Rakyat have, unwittingly, lost their dignity as a citizen and accept it as the natural state. Example of loss of dignity is: when they allow their elected leaders to talk down to them or plainly lie to them. Worse example is: when they allow these elected leaders to rape the Nation. And some of the Rakyat are divided by their narrow vested interests. We have allowed the mischief
“Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the deed) that the hands of men have earned, that (God) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from Evil).” (Quran 30:41)
A “Rapera” is one while mindful of this rights, is totally aware of his DUTIES and RESPONSIBILITIES as a citizen of this Nation. He loves his country and his fellow citizens deeply. While he is careful to protect his rights, he is even more insistent in ensuring that he never fails to carry out his duty to the Nation. He wants to be counted as a citizen who is part and parcel of the total development and progress of this nation. He has dignity and protects it all the time. His dignity comes from the service of his Nation, without fear or favour. And the Raperas are united against evil.
“Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity. (Quran: 3:104)
“Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving Clear Signs: For them is a dreadful penalty”. (Quran: 3:105)
A Rakyat may be a ‘coward’. A Rapera is courageous in the struggle to create a just society where all of Allah’s creatures can have a dignified space. He is forever mindful that if he turns a blind eye to the injustices suffered by others, the injustice will visit him or his relatives one day. No one is exempt from the hand of evil, including the evildoer.
A Rakyat may see only problems and obstacles in the quest for a better society. He gives plenty of excuses. He insults himself by saying that he has no power, no influence, no money, no connections and that he is busy fending for his family. He has no time to give, only to take whatever crumbs that are thrown his way. Through this attitude, he loses all in the long run, including his dignity.
“Those who rest not their hope on their meeting with Us, but are pleased and satisfied with the life of the present, and those who heed not Our Signs, (Quran10:7)
“Their abode is the Fire, because of the (evil) they earned”. (Quran 10:8)
“Those who believe, and work righteousness,- their Lord will guide them because of their faith: beneath them will flow rivers in gardens of bliss”. (Quran 10:9)
A Rapera sees events as tests put before him by his Creator – will he prove to be a scumbag or a person of dignity? He sees that in the quest for a better society, he has no option but to overcome evil that is placed in his path of life. He does it in the best way possible under the circumstances of his life. AT the very least, he refuses to be part of the evil or even honour it. A Rapera knows that many evil persons are glorified, honoured and placed in high pedestals in society. He refuses to recognize that honour and glory even if he is the only person doing that.
“DO you not see those who claim sanctity (honour) for themselves? Nay-but God does sanctify (honour) whom He pleases. But never will they fail to receive justice in the least little thing”. (Quran 4.049)