Monday, May 25, 2015

Bringing people closer to Allah via politics...

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

Reflection

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.
***


IN life we need to be closer to Allah SWT (The Greatest) by each day. In doing so, we would be rewarded with the feeling of calmness, satisfaction and all goodness. 

If we fail to do so, we are heading for the doom because all negative feelings would crept inside us by each day because we know that just like a burning candle our life would come to an end. Well, I am scared of death, do you?

Being closer to Allah SWT means that we are getting more devoted to him by each day. We would sincerely and religiously carry out His orders and refrain from what He has forbidden us with all our might. As human beings we are not free from making mistakes, thus what is required from us is to 'taubat' (repent) at all times.

To be close to our Creator is a fundamental need of every human being and striving to achieve it can be the healing for our chaotic inner selves. The Our'an says: “…for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.” (Surah Al-Rad, 13:28)

Pleasing Allah SWT (glorified and exalted be He) is to be His truthful servant. Obey Him in whats ever matter including in politics. Now that the Permatang Pauh and Rompin parliamentary by-elections are around the corner, every Muslim must make it a point to observe what actions are 'halal' (permissible) and 'haram' (forbidden) in his or her journey to be closer to the Almighty.

If you want to know your worth to Allah SWT, then see what you are doing with your life. Are you pleasing Allah or disappointing Him? During these elections are you doing things that would please Him such as keeping up with your five times daily prayers and refrain from 'haram' activities such as giving bribes or making empty promises?

We must remember Allah SWT at all times including when involving in politics. Abu Huraira (r.a.) reported that the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said that Allah SWT, the Exalted and Glorious said, “I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly I remember him in assembly, better than his (remembrance), and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him.” (Sahih Muslim).

For those out there especially party workers and volunteers in Permatang Pauh and Rompin, to be closer to Allah SWT at all time including during 'this trying time'  please do not forget our 'dua'a' (supplication) for Allah SWT says in the Qur'an: ”And when My servants ask you, (O Muhammad), concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me (by obedience) and believe in Me that they may be (rightly) guided.” (2:186)

If we want help from Allah SWT we must stay away from what He has forbidden us but to get to know Him through His 99 beautiful names. Ask Allah SWT with His 99 names. For example, He is the One who is closest to you (Qareeb). So ask Him to bring you closer to Him. Call on Him using the name Al-Wadud and ask Him to love you more and make you love Him more. Then we must also do the 'dhikir' (remembrance of Allah SWT), follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and stay connected to the Qur'an.

The problem among some of us today is that we refuse to emulate Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) in politics. We are arrogant - we do not wish to follow Allah's law stipulated in the Qur'an. Regarding this matter, I remember the words of wisdom by 'Allahyarham' (the late) Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat - that when Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ‘hijrah’ (migrated) to Madinah, the first step he took was building Masjid Quba’ where all activities including politics were discussed there. So there’s no separation between religion and politics, contradict to claims by Umno leaders who were in favor of nationalism.

“Those who are for ‘politik suku, agama suku’ (separating politics from religion) are on the wrong course," said the Tok Guru. "PAS struggle is to uphold the Prophet’s teaching including in politics. Everyone is answerable to their deeds; even in voting, one is subjected to be rewarded and punished."

During his lifetime, the Tok Guru had work extremely hard to make the people being closer to Allah SWT including via politics. Nowadays some of his works had bear fruits (perhaps some of the fruits are not ripen yet) - the most significance is the passing of hudud law by the Kelantan State Assembly. More and more people including non-Muslims had been made to realized the existence of such laws and of its importance.

The fact is PAS including the Tok Guru were constant in their struggle to have the words of Allah implemented in this country thus making Muslims closer to Allah SWT that is by pleasing Him.

As Muslims we should obeyed all Allah SWT words in the Qur’an. Allah SWT has given us warning on this matter in one Qur’anic verse where He warns us not to become like the Children of Israel who disobey some of Allah SWT’s commandments in the Taurah, as stated in Ayah 85 Surah Al-Baqarah which reads; “…Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do ye reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life? And on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For Allah is not unmindful for what ye do.” 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dari UKM ke Harakah (15): Merindui sebuah sekolah kewartawanan Islam

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

Renungan
"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
***

PULUHAN tahun lalu, masyarakat kita asing dengan istilah dan kaedah Islam dalam pelbagai bidang kehidupan seperti perbankan, insurans (takaful) dan pajak gadai (Ar-Rahnu) tetapi hari ini identiti ini bukan saja mendapat sambutan di kalangan umat Islam tetapi juga bukan Islam. Malah pengajian bidang berkenaan sudah lama ditawarkan oleh universiti-universiti di seluruh dunia.

Sejak menceburi dunia kewartawanan apatah lagi selepas memasuki Harakah pada tahun 1999, terfikir di benak saya, tidak ada pihakkah yang mahu mengusahakan apa yang dipanggil Kewartawanan Islam. Yalah, bidang kewartawanan (bidang komunikasi massa) adalah berdasarkan 'dua sekolah pemikiran' dari Barat iaitu Amerika Syarikat dan Britain. Guru-guru komunikasi yang didakwa terhebat dunia, kebanyakannya adalah dari belahan dunia ini.

Sejak saya mula belajar ilmu komunikasi massa di IPT tempatan pada 1982 sehinggalah bekerja dalam media massa arus perdana tidak pernah saya diperdengarkan (oleh pensyarah atau editor) akan ayat 6 Surah Al-Hujurat yang bermaksud: "Wahai orang-orang yang beriman! Jika datang kepada kamu seorang fasik membawa sesuatu berita, maka selidikilah (untuk menentukan) kebenarannya, supaya kamu tidak menimpakan sesuatu kaum dengan perkara yang tidak diingini dengan sebab kejahilan kamu (mengenainya) sehingga menjadikan kamu menyesali apa yang kamu telah lakukan."

Sepanjang pengetahuan saya (mungkin saya tersilap), tidak kedengaran ada pihak di negara kita berusaha menubuhkan sebuah sekolah (pusat pengajian atau fakulti) Kewartawanan Islam di mana-mana IPT. Namun tidak lama dulu Malaysia melalui pengucapan menteri penerangannya ketika itu, Zainuddin Maidin ada mencadangkan penubuhan sebuah pusat kewartawanan Islam antarabangsa.

Cadangan itu dibuat pada ketika ketakutan dan kebimbangan terhadap Islam (Islamophobia) semakin menjadi-jadi. Media Barat dilihat sebagai mempunyai agenda memperkecil-kecilkan Islam dan orang Islam. Melalui penubuhan pusat itu adalah diharapkan wartawan bukan Islam dan juga Islam dapat dibimbing mengenai Islam.

Cadangan penubuhan pusat kewartawanan Islam antarabangsa itu diberi komentar oleh pensyarah Kewartawanan saya di UiTM pada 1984 dulu, Eric Loo yang kini seorang pensyarah di University of Wollongong, Australia, dengan tajuk 'Not Islamic or Western - just good or sloppy journalism'.

"Just good or sloppy journalism," demikian rumus Eric dalam artikelnya itu. 'Sloppy' bermaksud tidak melaksanakan dengan cermat atau menyeluruh. Jadi Eric bermaksud, ada dua kemungkinan saja - iaitu kewartawanan yang baik atau kewartawanan yang buruk dan tidak ada kena mengena dengan apa dipanggil 'Kewartawanan Islam' atau 'Kewartawanan Barat'. 

Namun Eric mengakui ada sarjana Islam di Malaysia seperti Dr Ahmad Murad Merican dari Universiti Petronas (Profesor di Jabatan Pengurusan dan Kemanusiaan) sudah mendesak diwujudkan sebuah pusat pengajian Kewartawanan Islam. Beliau sudah menyiapkan sebuah kertas kerja mengenainya bertajuk 'Orientalism in reporting religion: Approaches to teaching journalism and Islam as a civilization yang boleh dilayari di http://ro.uow.edu.au/apme/ 

Satu perkara menarik yang disentuh Eric ialah berkenaan halal dan haram. Apa yang halal dan apa yang haram? Seorang wartawan Muslim tentulah arif tentang halal dan haram. Halal dan haram bukanlah berkenaan makanan saja seperti difahami sesetengah orang tetapi merangkumi seluruh bidang kehidupan. 

Apakah wartawan dan media massa Muslim Malaysia kenal dan mengambil kira halal dan haram secara keseluruhannya? Tentulah halal menyiarkan berita yang benar dan haram menyiarkan berita tidak benar. Tetapi apakah media massa Malaysia mengambil kira perkara ini? Apakah memutar-belitkan atau memusing-musingkan (spinning) berita itu halal? 

Jika pengamal media beragama Islam sendiri tidak peka pada halal dan haram, apa pula yang mahu disibukkan oleh pak menteri yang kononnya mahu mendirikan sebuah pusat kewartawanan Islam antarabangsa. Apa yang mahu 'di-Islamkan' sedangkan media massa dalam negara pun tidak berpandukan hukum-hakam Islam? 

Demikianlah sesetengah wartawan dan media massa milik orang Islam sudah menunjukkan contoh buruk (tidak mengenal halal dan haram), jadi bagaimana kita mahu mengemukakan gagasan penubuhan sekolah kewartawanan Islam itu? 

Jalannya nampak berliku, namun masih ada cahaya di hujung terowong. Mungkin sekolah kewartawanan Islam ini tidak dapat direalisasikan dalam masa terdekat tetapi sebagaimana kita boleh melahirkan doktor, jurutera, peguam dan politikus soleh, kita juga boleh melahirkan wartawan bertakwa yang pasti tahu mana satu halal dan mana satu haram!

Monday, May 18, 2015

VOA-ISLAM di Wawancarai Oleh Surat Kabar Islam Terbesar Malaysia


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

Reflection

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,
Voice of Al Islam dalam kunjungan silaturahim ke Malaysia mendapat dukungan surat kabar Islam terbesar di Malaysia, Tim Voa-Islam berkesempatan melakukan interview dan sekaligus juga mempresentasikan visi dan misi dakwah kami..
Berikut kutipannya :

Da’wah through ‘Voice of Islam’
 
By LANH
 
Da’wah (calling) to Allah is obligatory upon every Muslim man and woman, as long as he has certain knowledge of the issue at hand. The Prophet (peace be upon him - pbuh) said: “Convey from me, even if it is one verse.” (Related by al-Bukhaaree from Abdullaah ibn Amr)
 
In today’s world, Muslims can use modern technology to share the message of Islam; one good example is the Internet. It’s a pity many Muslims do not recognize the unique opportunity the Internet offers for conveying Islam.
 
The ICT leap is great for John Naisbitt (1990) had said: “In telecommunications we are moving to a single world wide information network, just as economically we are becoming one global market place. We are moving toward the capability to communicate anything to anyone, anywhere, by any form – voice, data, text, or image – at the speed of light.”
 
Realizing this fact, a young Indonesian, Rojul ‘Alal Khot, 29, and two of his friends set up a news portal, its office based in Jakarta, by the name of ‘Voice of Islam’ (http://www.voa-islam.com) to capture the attention and minds of Internet users in South East Asia; especially in Indonesia with 32 million online users and in Malaysia with 15 million users.
to capture the attention and minds of Internet users in South East Asia; especially in Indonesia with 32 million online users and in Malaysia with 15 million users

Rojul was in Kuala Lumpur recently to promote his news portal; and among the places he visited was this writer’s office. He said based on his team’s studies, people are too preoccupied with their work (including travelling) between 7 in the morning and 7 in the evening so they are not bothered about anything else.
 
“Imaging for 12 long hours most of the workers had only thought about work in their minds, but for me it was not proper. They had to be reminded from time to time about their responsibilities as a Muslims. They should break for prayers and have some time to ponder about their life. That’s where, we would try to fit in; it’s our responsibility to do the da’wah work,” he said.
 
Da’wah work and message could be done via traditional media but there are many limitations. For example newspapers in which there are religious articles probably would be read in the rush by workers in the morning before they go to work or after work in the evening and during weekends.
 
It was a general rule that workers should not read the papers at work, but in today’s world of ICT, almost every office worker had a PC or a laptop or has access to it; and Rojul saw great opportunity for him and his team to get workers and people to have a look and then get hook to this Islamic news portal during their free time or lunch and tea breaks.
 
They too could browse and read items posted in the news portal when they were stuck in traffic jams, during long journeys on public transport and while waiting for meetings, seminars and appointments to convene.  
 
Other than Muslims workers, many non Muslims searching for truth also benefit from the Internet including news portal set up by Rojul. But Rojul acknowledged that the Internet will never replace face-to-face da’wah but it will continue to broaden da’wah opportunities in new ways.
 
By utilizing the Internet, Rojul and his team’s work could reached audiences all over the world, so that other than Malay (bahasa Malaysia and Indonesia) users, they would try hard to make their news portal a bilingual one. They hope Muslims writers especially in South East Asia region could contribute articles to them.
 
Rojul said he wanted to practice using the Internet to convey the message of Islam for there are many benefits of electronic da’wah or E-Dawah.  Using the Internet, traditional means of communication are transformed into electronic messages. The Internet allows easily and inexpensively way of communicating with people from around the world.
 
He said for da’wah purposes; some offices had to invite preachers to their premises. So much time and money had to be spent calling people and staffs to classes and sessions. The Web makes learning more accessible. People are no longer totally dependent upon a teacher, classroom, or library.
 
Rojul said the duty of da-ee (those who do the da’wah work) not only for people who spent their time in Islamic study field, but it include whole ummah of Islam and da’ wah to non-Muslim bringing them to the right way which is Islam. So anyone can start from basic ways such as writing Islamic article on web-site, conveying Islamic knowledge to our friends, including the non-Muslim and informing about Islamic web-sites or audios of Muslims lectures in order to make them know Islam in the positive way. 
 
Voice of Islam was launched on 1st June 2009. It has 15 staffs made up of journalists, writers and technical persons in Indonesia and features news and reports from various Southeast Asian countries, targeting an audience of 400 million internet users.
 
For Southeast Asian voices, the news portal has sections for reports from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam. Most of the postings are in bahasa Indonesia but Rojul had plans to broaden the usage of English as it used and understand worldwide.
 
“Insya Allah we will broadcast in Arabic after Hari Raya,” said the confident Rojul who quit from his advertising and show business job of several years to do the da’wah work.
 
He said to tap the market of younger generation, his news portal has a section dedicated to teenagers, and for women; they could explore the Muslimah section in which there is a Mujahidah section where stories on renowned Muslimah figures are posted. The Voice of Islam too has sports section and a gallery of photographs on happenings amongst the ummah.  
 
Rojul had featured his visit to Malaysia in his news portal. 
 
He hoped readers would help in promoting his news portal because he believes it could help Muslims and citizens of the world to understand more about Islam.

- See more at: http://www.voa-islam.com/read/indonesiana/2009/08/03/597/voaislam-di-wawancarai-oleh-surat-kabar-islam-terbesar-malaysia/#sthash.Go7xztEK.dpuf