Friday, October 9, 2015

PAS consistency on Islamic agenda appreciated...

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.


The Declining Day (Al-'Asr)
1. By the declining day,
2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss,
3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort 
one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.

ALHAMDULILLAH (all praise and thanks be to Allah) last Tuesday; September 29th I was visited by a former high ranking government official and his friend; we took the opportunity to change news and ideas about the latest development of the country and one aspect I put in mind was the friend's appreciation of PAS consistency in its struggle for the Islamic agenda.

In analyzing political parties of the country, the official who had left the government service 10 years ago, said one main factor political parties survived and had support from members was that they have goals; for the 'old' parties of Umno. MCA and MIC their target was for the independence of Malaya...but nowadays the goals of these parties were not clear thus they were in the brink to collapse.

He said, after independence and especially after the May Thirteenth Tragedy, Umno goals were publicity made known; Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, the second prime minister after Tunku Abdul Rahman had aggresive policies and he himself worked very hard towards the improvements of the people especially the Malays. His name was synonym to Felda settlements and he also championed for education of the Malays.

But nowadays Umno has no big and clear goals, claimed the former government top brass. It was now controlled by 'war lords' who he claimed used money to gain support. He asked what achievement could be tag with this 'new Umno'..."perhaps nothing, they were good at pointing to a few successful individuals for example 'this and this billionaire' who sadly were their own cronies and 'this and this top students'!"

"The truth is that our whole system is 'destroying' the Malays...for example in the business told the Malays to do business yet until until today almost all transaction up from retailing jobs were controlled by non name it; the wholesale market, the manufacturing side,the distribution network, the warehouses, transportation, import-export...yes almost all of them were not in the hands of the Malays...if this is the case, how is the Malay traders for example the Malay 'pekedai runcit' (grocer owner) could survive?" he asked.

Umno is fast moving towards its downfall; the same could be said about MCA and MIC - they are becoming less relevant by each day; they could not cope to needs of the new generations who are more vocal, aggresive and exposed to new ideas and technologies.

"But for PAS, I respected the party because it was consistent in its struggle; PAS, when I was in the government service was still the same 'old' PAS till this day. Perhaps this could explain why certain leaders in PAS especially among professionals and its supporters were fed up with 'the old way'; they pulled out and set up a new party that they think could suit the fast changing scenarios of the country.

"Yes, PAS is consistent in its Islamic agenda. It is its achieve success in this world and in the Hereafter. After more than 50 years, the goal is the same...for this consistency I have full respect for PAS," said the senior citizen who admitted that he has yet to become a PAS member.

Even it was registered as a political party, PAS is also a 'da'wah' movement, it opens its arms in various activities to upgrade the life of people such as involving in education and recently it have added a political wing for non-Muslims that is PAS Supporters Club and this help in introducing the fine aspects of Islam to non-Muslims.

Nowadays more and more people are interested in knowing more about Islam. Not long time ago, PAS had launched a very good and forward thinking campaign namely 'PAS for all' which actually derived from the fact that the great religion of Islam is for all.

The concept of 'Islam is for all' could be felt if we look at the book of Islam (Qur'an) with open hearts. The 'kitab' (book) gives guidelines to Muslims and to all human races. In the Qur'an, there are ayahs (verses of the Holy Qur'an) which begin with ‘ya ayyuhannas’ which means ‘Oh people’ and ayahs begin with ‘ya ayyuhal lazina amanu’ yang means ‘Oh people who believe’. 

There are a little over 90 ayahs in the Qur’an that begin with ‘ya ayyuhal lazina amanu’. Allah sent the Qur’an for all of mankind, not just for the people during the time of the Prophet peace be upon him (pbuh, s.a.w.) and only for Muslims. 

The phrase ‘ya ayyuhannas which occurs 20 times in the holy Qur’an, has a general and collective meaning that envelops all human beings of any race, tribe, or colour. Example of an ayah beginning with ‘ya ayyuhannas’ is Ayah 21 of Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) with the meaning: “O’ mankind! Worship your Lord Who created you, and those before you, so that you may guard yourselves (against evil).”

And example of an ayah beginning with ‘ya ayyuhal lazina amanu’ is Ayah 183 of Surah Al-Baqarah with the meaning: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you that ye may ward off (evil).” 

Islam guides all mankind; and this fact was admitted by some non Muslims leaders; a good example was Chairman of PAS Supporters Club, N Balasubramanian who gave his support to 'hukum hudud' (Shariah laws).

He believes that the Islamic penal code could serve as a preventive law in reducing the crime rate in the country. He was quoted saying: "I believe that the hudud law is effective for the people. It is already enshrined in the holy book, there must be a reason why it is there."

The former government servant who visited me said he had high hopes for PAS's inspirational tagline 'Istiqamah Hingga Kemenangan' (Consistency Till Success) for there is a 'hadith' narrated by 'Aisha; Allah's Messenger s.a.w said, "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah's is the most regular and constant even though it were little." (Iman Al-Bukhari)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Eid (Al-Adha) Mubarak; a general reflection...

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, 'Selawat' (blessings) and 'salam' (peace be upon) Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.


"And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me." (Surah Adh-Dhariyat 51: 56-57)

DURING the celebration of 'Hari Malaysia' (September 16th), Harakahdaily carried this message: "Selamat Hari Malaysia, may our country and its people be in Allah's blessing, Ameen.

"Don't forget prayers and du'as for the safety of Muslims especially in the Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, the Rohingyas and of course the many in doing their hajj and in general in other countries where Muslims are persecuted and for the liberation of Masjid Al-Aqsa."

In the writer's opinion, this remembrance also suited for the occasion of Eid Al-Adha; this year it falls on Thursday, September 24. So to dear readers, Eid Mubarak.

According to the Muslim calendar (the Hijra year), Eid Al-Adha falls on the 10th Dhul-hijjah; the blessed month of Hajj. For this year, Dhul-hijjah, the 12th month of the Muslim calendar of Hijra began on Tuesday, September 15, 2015. This is the month Muslim perform hajj, with its peak when they do ‘wukuf’ (to stop or gather) in Arafah (or Arafat) on the 9th Dhul-hijjah (Wednesday, 23th September).

Wukuf, being the highest 'rukun' (component) of hajj must be rendered; without which hajj does not take place. The requirement is the presence in Arafat, regardless of whether the pilgrim is riding, walking, sitting or moving. In Arafat one is to spend the afternoon from dhuhr (midday) to maghrib (sunset) prayer times making du’as (supplications) and repenting to leave Arafat with all of one's sins forgiven.

For Muslims who are not performing hajj in their homelands, they are encouraged to perform recommended deeds during the first 10 days of Dhul-hijjah such as fasting especially on ‘Wukuf’ day and giving charity. Then during Eid Al-Adha (10th Dhul-Hijjah) when Muslims perform ‘solat’ (Eid prayers) and the days of Tashreek (11, 12, and 13th Dhul-Hijjah) they are recommended to do the slaughter or ‘korban’ (sacrifice) animals (such as sheep and cow).

Insya-Allah (God willing), during this first 10 days of Dhul-hijjah, I would like to write about 'various issues' that were being told to me during 'my rounds' and 'hang about' (presence) at masjids. Perhaps we could do some reflections about them.

A few days ago I visited a grand old man of my kampung. He was a retired teacher of more than 80 years of age. Haji Mat asked me what had befallen to our society - crime were on the raise while moral of the people especially the young generation were at the lowest level.

At one point, he raised the issue of abandoned babies and asked me: "Did you notice how cats and hens raised their offspring? The mother gave her best; but nowadays human beings have the heart to throw or abandoned or even kill their own babies. What had befallen our society? We are now worst than the 'jahiliah' period (times of ignorance)."

An 'ustaz' (religious teacher) in his 'tazkirah' (lessons) at a masjid near my house, when commenting on the current haze situation said: "This is nothing new. The question is why Allah SWT made the wind blew it to our country? There is a 'surah' in the Qur'an which mentioned about the is in Surah Al-Dukhan (Smoke). 

In ayah 10 and 11 of the surah, Allah SWT says with the meaning: "But watch thou (O Muhammad) for the day when the sky will produce visible smoke. That will envelop the people. This will be a painful torment."

Why did Allah SWT gave that warning? In the earlier ayah (8 and 9), Allah SWT says with the meaning: "There is no God save Him. He quickeneth and giveth death; your Lord and Lord of your forefathers. Nay, but they play in doubt."

The 'ustaz' claimed that human values in our society and country is getting from bad to worse with those in power and with power portraying bad examples - there were certain leaders good at deceiving the people by projecting 'their clean image' but the truth was they were great liars and sinners.  

Another 'ustaz' warned Muslims to be aware about 'jerebu hati' (haze of the heart) instead of focusing too much on the current haze. He said, haze of the heart is more difficult to cure than the 'actual haze' for "many of us do not realized that we were suffering from it' where else in the haze case, professionals could point to its source such as hot spots and work to find its solution.

'Haze of the heart' would destroyed us because we do not know which is right and wrong, good and bad; for example we could not differentiate between 'sumbangan' (donation) and 'rasuah' (bribery), said the 'ustaz'. Luckily the 'ustaz' did not use the term 'derma' (also donation)...well 'derma' is quiet sensitive to 'some of us'!

He said 'jerebu hati' would have implications upon us in the Hereafter compared to the 'actual haze' but the irony of it, people especially the top brass of the country put great concern on it but totally ignored the 'jerebu hati' syndrome that had even 'infected' some of them!

Regarding the hajj, this year about three million Muslims from all corners of the world were expected in the Holy Land to perform the hajj manasik (rites and ceremonies performed at hajj). After Arafah, the pilgrims would then proceed towards Muzdalifah and pick up pebbles there to be used when stoning the Pillar of Aqabah or Qubra on Eid Adha (10th Dhul-Hijjah).

In Mina, they are required to stay for three nights where they will stone the three ‘jamrahs’ beginning with the first Pillar (i.e. the one which is furthest from Makkah), followed by the middle Pillar and lastly the Pillar of Aqabah. 

The pilgrims will also shave their heads or cut their hair and then proceed to Makkah to perform the Tawaf Al-Ifadah (circling the Kaabah seven times which is an essential part of Hajj) and then perform Sa’y (walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa). While waiting for the the big day (Wukuf this Wednesday, 23th September), pilgrims fulfill their days by performing prayers and 'tawaf' in the Grand Masjid of Makkah (Masjidil-Haram).

Some prefer to perform ‘umra’ (small hajj) again and again but they are advised not to it frequently as they needed a lot of energy to prepare for the hardship of hajj. It is advisable to perform hajj when one is at a young age. Perhaps the time is right when one is in his thirties or forties because physically and mentally he is fit to fulfil some ‘robust’ obligations that need strength and stamina such as stoning the devils at the jamrahs in Mina. 

Furthermore pilgrims have to use the power of their legs for activities such as walking frequently (perhaps five times daily for 'fardu' prayers) from one’s hotel room to the Prophet's Masjid (in Madinah) and Al-Haram Masjid (in Makkah). During hajj, a distance of one or two kilometers from the hotels and the masjids are normal.

For hajj or umrah obligations such as tawaf and sa’y, one has to walk a distance; for example for sa’y when one has to walk seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah, the distance could be more than four kilometers (600 meters x 7)! When performing the stoning of the devils, it is normal for pilgrims to walk quite a far distance, perhaps two to three kilometres from their tents in Mina to the jamrah. 

Pilgrims are supposed to stay for four days and three nights in Mina (10, 11, 12 and 13 Dzul-hijjah) dan stone the three jamras everyday during the stay except during 10th Dzul-hijjah (Eid) when pilgrims only stone the main jamrah (Jamrah Al-Aqabah). Thus, to perform hajj one should be physically and mentally fit, so it is advisable to Muslim to take the necessary steps for example started saving from an early age, hoping and praying one could perform the fifth pillar of Islam at the earliest time possible and not at old age.

Writing about my own experience in the Holy Land after being there a few times, I loved to be ‘alone’ (without the presence of known companions near me) in places such as Majidil-Haram and while gathering in Plains of Arafah because I had the feeling of nearness to Allah SWT. 

Without the presence of ‘a known person’ close to me, I could ‘freely’ pour out my heart to Allah SWT. I was free to shed tears without the feeling of being ‘observed’ by ‘close relatives and friends’.

When you are ‘alone’ it is easy for you to talk and admitted about your past sins and then beg forgiveness from the Almighty. In one such occasion, I was sobbing, lost for words. 

I reached for my small du’aa book and read the supplications, among others: "O Allah! I ask of Your integrity and soundness in my religion, my life, my family, and my possessions.

O Allah! Cover my shame, pacify my fears, guard me from what is in front of me and behind me, from what is on my right and on my left, over my head and under my feet.

O Allah! Grant health to my body. O Allah grants health to my hearing.

O Allah! Grant heath to my sight. There is no deity except You.

O Allah! You are my Lord. There is no deity except You. You are my Creator and I am Your creature. I try to keep my covenant with You and to live in the hope of Your promise as well as I can. I seek refuge in You from my own evil deeds. I acknowledge Your favours to me, and I acknowledge my sins. Forgive me my sins, for there is no one who can forgive sins except You.

O Allah! I seek refuge in You from worry and sorrow. I seek refuge in You from impotence and sloth, from stinginess and cowardice, and I seek refuge in You from the burden of debt and from being humbled by men.

O Allah! Make the beginning of this day good, the middle prosperous, and the end successful. I ask You to grant me the good of this world and of the Hereafter. O Most Merciful of all Who show us mercy!

O Allah! You hear my words, You behold my situation, You know what is open and what is hidden within me; nothing is hidden from You. It is me alone who is in need, a humble seeker of Your forgiveness. I beseech You with humility in my heart, with trembling and fear, in prostration and utter helplessness.

O Allah! Grant me soundness of belief, goodness of character, forgiveness of my sins, and Your eternal pleasure in the Hereafter, Ameen. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

'Aku tak pinta dilahirkan Melayu, Cina...'

Dengan Nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang, selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.

"Dan janganlah kamu menghampiri zina, sesungguhnya zina itu adalah satu perbuatan yang keji dan satu jalan yang jahat yang membawa kerosakan." - Maksud Ayat al-Quran Surah al-Israa': 32

INGAT tak lagu 'Namunku Punya Hati' nyanyian kumpulan Revolvers; antara lirik lagunya adalah: "Tidakku minta, lahir ke dunia..." Lagu ini mengisahkan rasa hati seorang OKU; ya siapa yang meminta dilahirkan sedemikian? Namun semuanya adalah atas kehendak Yang Maha Kuasa.

Sebagaimana nasib OKU, seseorang itu tidak meminta dilahirkan sebagai Melayu, Cina, India, Iban, Kadazan, Melanau dan Bajau. Demikian juga Inggeris, Perancis, Arab, Parsi dan sebagainya. Bangsa-bangsa yang ada di muka bumi adalah atas kehendak Allah SWT, tiada siapa boleh memilih untuk menjadi Melayu, Cina, India, Arab, Inggeris atau Perancis.

Sehubungan itu adalah tidak tepat untuk berjuang berdasarkan bangsa yang semakin ghairah diusahakan pihak-pihak tertentu di negara kita. Hakikatnya perjuangan perkauman bukan ajaran Islam. Ya, bagaimana kita boleh berjuang berdasarkan sesuatu ketetapan yang telah ditentukan oleh Yang Maha Kuasa? Apakah kita mahu mencabar ketetapan-Nya?

Semua manusia, datuk dan nenek kita adalah Adam dan Hawa (Eve). Daripada kedua-duanya lahirlah generasi baharu yang berbangsa-bangsa; tiada siapa berupaya menentukan bangsanya sebelum dia lahir melainkan ia adalah ketentuan Yang Maha Kuasa, bukan atas usaha atau kehendak seseorang.

Berhubung ketidak-wajaran berjuang berdasarkan bangsa, dapat difahami daripada sebuah hadis di mana Nabi Muhammad SAW bersabda yang bermaksud: "Sesungguhnya Allah tidak memandang pada rupa dan tubuh kamu dan tidak pada harta kamu, tetapi Allah memandang hati dan amal kamu." (Hadis riwayat Imam Muslim)

Ya, Allah SWT tidak memandang sama ada kita ini Melayu, Cina, India, Inggeris, Arab atau Parsi. Sehubungan itu perjuangan berdasarkan bangsa adalah tidak wajar namun di negara kita sejak akhir-akhir ini ada pihak begitu lantang 'meneriakkan suara perkauman' dan lebih malang lagi ia seolah-olah mendapat lampu hijau sesetengah individu pemerintah tertinggi negara.

Amalan rasisme ini sekiranya terus disuburkan dikhuatiri akan membiakkan gejala ekstremisme yang sama sekali tidak akan menguntungkan sesuatu bangsa itu sebaliknya akan menjejaskan masa depan negara pada keseluruhannya.

Adalah amat malang jika semangat perkauman terus disemarakkan yang jika diperhalusi adalah untuk kepentingan pihak dan pemimpin tertentu untuk terus berkuasa dulu, kini dan selamanya. Kita bimbang mereka menggunakan sentimen perkauman untuk menutup 'jenayah' masing-masing seperti rasuah dan penyelewengan kuasa yang sudah keterlaluan. Masakan bangkai gajah dapat disorokkan dengan nyiru - pasti lambat laun terbongkar jua.

Di Malaysia, Islam sering dikatakan sebagai Melayu dan Melayu itu sebagai Islam. Dakwaan ini kurang tepat kerana Islam ada untuk semua (Islam for all) dan sehubungan itu, umat umat Melayu Islam sewajarnya menampilkan wajah dan citra hakiki Islam sebagai agama rahmat sejagat. Mereka sewajarnya mengangkat prinsip kemuliaan insan atau karamah insaniyah yang dijamin Allah ke atas seluruh anak Adam tanpa mengira bangsa dan agama.

Ya, manusia berbeza-beza dari segi bangsa dan bahasa, dan di negara kita ada Melayu, Cina, India, Kadazan dan sebagainya; persoalannya mengapa Yang Maha Berkuasa menjadikan sedemikan? Cendekiawan berkata Allah SWT menciptakan manusia berpuak-puak dan berbangsa-bangsa agar mereka saling kenal mengenali dan bermuafakat dan bukan untuk bergaduh apatah lagi berjuang berdasarkan bangsa dan keturunan.

Kata cendekiawan, perbezaan bangsa, bahasa, warna kulit dan pelbagai ciri lain seperti tabiat, kesukaan serta kebencian adalah kepelbagaian yang sewajarnya dimanfaatkan untuk saling lengkap-melengkapi antara satu sama lain dan bukan 'disalahgunakan' sebagai punca perbalahan serta permusuhan.

Ambil contoh mudah, misalnya dari segi makanan saja, alangkah beruntungnya warga Malaysia disebabkan diversiti bangsa, makanan sinonim dengan sesuatu kaum seperti nasi lemak, yong taufu, roti canai dan tom yom dapat dinikmati semua. Kalau sesuatu bangsa itu 'berlagak' kononnya apa yang ada pada mereka adalah yang terbaik sedangkan apa yang ada pada bangsa lain adalah terkeji, apa manfaat yang diperolehi?

Ya, kita tidak minta dilahirkan sebagai Melayu, Cina, India dan Iban tetapi kita boleh memanfaatkan sepenuhnya 'kemelayuan', 'kecinaan', 'keindianan' serta 'keibanan' kita untuk membina Malaysia dan dunia yang menjanjikan 1,001 harapan!