Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dari UKM ke Harakah (4): Harakah sebagai universiti kehidupan...

***
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
***

APABILA kembali bergelar siswa pada Mei 1999 selepas belasan tahun meninggalkan kampus universiti, Masjid UKM seolah-olah menjadi 'rumah kedua' saya. Kelas pengajian sarjana saya hanya diadakan pada Jumaat dan Sabtu. Saya ke universiti ini sekali dalam seminggu. Selepas selesai pengajian pada petang Jumaat saya menuju masjid ini untuk bermalam bagi memudahkan saya mengikuti kelas pagi hari Sabtu.

Tidur di Masjid UKM ada pengalaman manis dan pahit. Masjid ini dua tingkat - biasanya saya tidur di tingkat atas. Nyamuk cukup banyak. Berdengung-dengung di telinga. Sukar untuk saya tidur. Namun sejumlah 'siswa berkelana' lain saya lihat boleh tidur dengan nyenyak malah berdengkur pula!

Selepas beberapa kali tidur dan 'mahir' dengan suasana dan persekitaran masjid, setiap kali mahu tidur saya akan membakar lingkaran ubat nyamuk berhampiran tempat tidur saya. Serangan nyamuk berkurangan, tetapi terpaksalah saya 'sedut' asap ubat nyamuk dan satu kemungkinan yang sangat ditakuti, ketika tidur manalah tahu selimut saya terkena nyalaan api ubat nyamuk yang boleh menyebabkan kejadian tidak diingini.

Pada tahun-tahun awal Reformasi itu, ketika bersembahyang Jumaat dan mengikuti khutbah di Masjid UKM, saya amat-amati bahawa isi khutbah kadang-kadang dipetik daripada laporan akhbar Harakah. Antara isi khutbah paling terkesan di hati saya ialah mengenai pemberitahuan khatib mengenai derita rakyat yang perlu diambil perhatian oleh golongan cendekiawan di universiti.

Khatib memberitahu ada rakyat terpaksa makan nasi dengan hanya berlaukkan kangkung goreng dan ikan lombong atau parit; saya tahu pendedahan ini dipetik daripada laporan akhbar Harakah - yalah ramai rakyat terutama nun jauh di pedalaman yang menderita; si politikus hanya cepat membantu jika mereka mendapat 'keuntungan politik' jadi tak hairanlah jika ada pilihan raya sesetengahnya sanggup berlakon menjadi 'penoreh getah', 'penjual ikan' dan sebagainya!

Tentunya sebagai seorang siswa, saya tidak terlepas daripada mengemukakan tajuk tesis - subjek apa yang hendak saya ketengahkan sebelum layak dianugerahi 'skrol ijazah'. Fikir punya fikir, akhirnya saya mengambil keputusan untuk membuat tesis berkaitan Harakah yang mana ketika diberitahu kepada pensyarah berkaitan, reaksi mukanya dapat saya 'teka' kurang berkenan'!

Pada peringkat awal, pelajar perlulah meneliti kajian lalu iaitu tesis yang telah dihasilkan 'senior'. Ya, kajian dan penelitian dilakukan di Perpustakaan Tun Seri Lanang yang tersergam gah itu, dan hasilnya saya dapati sejumlah pelajar yang telah membuat kajian mengenai Harakah. Kajian mereka pelbagai, jadi saya berpendapat saya mesti membuat sesuatu yang lain daripada apa yang sudah didedahkan...

Pada September 1999, saya 'sudah masuk' Harakah sekalipun masih bergelar pelajar UKM. Pengalaman di Harakah agak unik; jadi mungkin tidak keterlaluan jika saya menyatakan institusi ini adalah sebuah lagi universiti kehidupan yang amat penting dalam hidup saya.

Selama 12 tahun saya menjadi 'pelapor' (wartawan) di sebuah akhbar harian terkemuka tanah air, tetapi di Harakahlah saya belajar untuk terbabit dan mengambil bahagian dalam arus gerak rakyat. 

Dulu sebagai wartawan, saya hanya 'melapor' dan 'membuat analisis' tetapi kali ini saya terbabit sama - jika ada demonstrasi saya turut mengambil bahagian yang mana menyebabkan saya turut sama merasai bagaimana pahit maung rakyat biasa jika dihujani air asid oleh FRU atau dikejar bagaikan anjing kurap!

Terbayang di mata ini, seolah-olah 'diriku ini seorang hero hebat' berlari beramai-ramai menyerbu Kedutaan Amerika Syarikat dari Masjid Tabung Haji pada suatu petang usai solat Jumaat kerana marahkan Amerika yang menyerang dan menghancurkan Afghanistan pada tahun 2001 selepas peristiwa tumbangnya WTC. Demikian juga dalam sejumlah demonstrasi lain seperti penentangan terhadap PPSMI, ISA dan gerakan memurnikan demokrasi - Bersih.

Daripada 'berlari-lari' ke Kedutaan Amerika itu, akhirnya saya 'betul-betul' dihantar oleh Harakah ke sempadan Afghanistan-Pakistan untuk 'cuba-cuba merasai' derita rakyat Afghanistan yang diperangi Amerika.

Peluang untuk bersama gerak rakyat melalui Harakah adalah pengalaman amat berharga; saya 'terasa amat beruntung melaluinya' kerana di sinilah  saya melalui sebuah lagi 'universiti kehidupan' namun amat penting diperingatkan bahawa diri kita "perlulah menjadi benih yang baik, kerana jika dicampakkan ke laut ia akan menjadi pulau..."

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sovereign Islamic law, the responsibility of all Muslims...

***
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.
***

NOWADAYS (perhaps I am getting older and often seeing 'dramatic events' in our country) I had 'an uneasy feeling' each time during the weekly 'khutbah Jumaat' (Friday sermon) which at the end of it the 'khatib' (person who delivers the sermon) would engage in a 'du'a (supplication) which among others read: "Ya Allah, limpahkan rahmat dan maghfirah kepada pemimpin-pemimpin kami yang telah menjalankan hukum hakam-Mu dengan kebenaran dan keadilan..." (O Allah, give Your blessing and forgiveness to our leaders who have carried out Your laws with truth and justice...)

The 'uneasy feeling' crept inside my mind - am I going to recite 'Ameen' or not. In my mind I questioned myself - have our leaders upheld, obeyed and carried out Allah's law and with TRUTH and JUSTICE...? If they had done their part or have at least had showed their sincerely, have the spirit and had work hard towards it, insya-Allah (God Willing) my heart would 'not be confused', but if it the opposite, I could hear my heart beating hard...telling myself...please do not be a liar...who are you going to lie to? To Allah SWT?  

So dear readers, what's your attitude or actions when the 'khatib' read the 'du'a'? You recite 'Ameen' or not? As for me I am very, very confused especially after seeing and witnessing several 'dramatic events' lately. One night during a question and answer session of an 'ustaz' (religious teacher) after his weekly 'tazkirah' (lesson), I posed to him the question to which among others he answered:

"'Du'a' is an 'ibadat' (act of good deeds that would be rewarded by Allah SWT. The important thing is that we do our supplication. We ask for Allah's forgiveness, blessing, help and guidance. We asked Allah SWT to show us and our leaders His truth path; we 'du'a' that our leaders would carried our Allah's orders and stay away from what He had forbids us...well we only say our 'du'a'. 

"Even to the non-Muslim too we could say our 'du'a'; that is to ask Allah SWT to open up their hearts and minds so that they could see the truth...so we just do our 'du'a'...So continue our 'du'a' hoping that Allah SWT would open the hearts of our leaders to see the truth in putting into practice all aspects of the Islamic teaching including its hudud laws."

I was not satisfied with the 'ustaz' answer, but as 'his unlearned but obedient pupil' (well I am just a layman with a secular background) I must do my best to see the truth it what the 'ustaz' had said. Perhaps my heart 'was tainted black' (because of my sins) thus I was unable 'to digest' what the 'ustaz' had explained.

Also perhaps my understanding of the issue was not at par to what the 'ustaz' had explained; I tried to coax myself but the phrasing or wording of the 'du'a' during 'khutbah Jumaat', "telah (had) menjalankan hukum-hakam-Mu dengan kebenaran dan keadilan" keep on ringing inside my mind and again during the weekly 'sermon', I am still not sure to say 'Ameen' or not...oh it is so difficult for me! O Allah, guide me to see the truth.

Renowned Muslims scholars including PAS President, Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang again and again had stressed that only Islamic laws could give the true justice and solved human being problems and misunderstandings. He said only Syariah could do justice, thus all of us must have faith in PAS struggle to sovereign Islamic laws in the administration of our country including to propagate 'addin' that is 'Islam as a way of life'."

Lot long ago during a 'tazkirah' I heard the 'ustaz' stressed that it is the responsibility of all Muslims to do their part in uplifting 'Syariah' so that it could be upheld as law of the country. Each and every one of us must take part even the implementation of Allah's law is in the hands of rulers. 

He said Islam should be in power, not bowed to the powers of rulers as every Muslim in their 'solat' (prayers) have declared 'Inna solati, wanusuki, wamahyaya, wamamati, Lillahirabbil 'alamin' (My prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are all for Allah. the Lords of the worlds). Unfortunately in our country under the Federal Constitution, the religion of Islam is placed under the power of each individual state and 'hudud' is not even mentioned.

The 'ustaz' said even Islamic laws could only be implemented by rulers of a country and not by individuals, every Muslim must have 'niat' (intention) and work hard to reach that goal. With that 'niat, hopefully Allah SWT has mercy upon us. But with 'niat' only it is not sufficient, it must be accomplice with 'du'a' and our earnest and maximum efforts.

Each of us must work hard according to our abilities and capabilities. For example an 'ustaz' must explain to his class and the public about the subject such as 'hudud' while a writer must conveyed it to his or her readers (this made me tremble; have I passed this message to you dear readers?).

"Next we must have a 'jamaah' (group of people) to reach that goal. If we do not have the will and capability to struggle for the implementation of Islamic law, at least we should support those 'jamaah' who are willing to fight for it.

"Unfortunately what we have today...not only those 'jamaah' who wanted to upheld the laws of Allah SWT were not given a helping hand but they were subjected to defamation and slandering. And there are people especially those in power who work tirelessly to put obstacle to the 'jamaah' mission.

"'Manuals' to upheld Islamic laws had been laid up by Allah SWT, but why must human beings showed 'their cleverness (ignorance?)' by not accepting His laws? Refusing Allah's law means we are not afraid of Him...if a person or a country do not wish to upheld His law, then they 'more powerful' than God because they 'have the guts to say no' to Allah SWT who created them...," said the 'ustaz'.

If our leaders kept on 'crying' (or boasting) that our country is an Islamic nation but do not (or do not wish or intent) to implement God's law, please be cautioned what had befallen to our country - last year (2014) three of our planes 'were lost', we were 'tested' with severe drought and flood and our economy is getting worse by each day. 

Crimes, sinful activities and accidents (especially on the road) are on the rise, some our politicians and those in power our even our younger generation are going astray...we 'had been punished' by Allah SWT, but have we, especially our leaders and the writer himself learned our lessons?  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

'Tafakkur': You don't have to be 'an Aristotle'...

In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessing and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
Reflections
"I have only created Jinns and Men, that they may serve Me." (Zariyat 51:56)

One Sunday morning after 'kuliah subuh' (early morning lesson at masjids), I happened to have the opportunity to discuss 'the meaning of life' with a stranger who from his looks (for example his beard unchecked) made me assumed that he might be 'a thinker or a philosopher'.

Yes, he is 'a thinker by his own standard' because he kept on asking why and why; for example why there is no justice in society and why is that the moral standard of our young generation getting from poor to worst.

In his 'jest' to 'live like a thinker' - always questioning and unhappy about himself and others around him - he jumped from a job to another and nowadays he survived by doing a small business. He said he was happy with this work because 'he was his own-boss as he was free from 'receiving orders from others'.

He claimed to be obsessed 'with thinking' and there were times he felt as though 'his head was about to blow up'. "My mind keep on asking why and why for example lately why more and more Malays had lost confidence that Islam is the answer to all of their problems."

Engaging to 'this self-confessed thinker', I remembered what an 'ustaz' (religious teacher) had told congregators during his 'tazkirah' (lesson) at a masjid near my house recently. He said, in  Islam, 'tafakkur' (doing reflection) is an act of 'ibadah' (act of good deeds to Allah SWT) but you do not have to be 'an Aristotle' who during his life time 'did a lot of thinking' but was it in His straight path?

Aristotle, one of the worlds greatest philosopher whose name means 'the best purpose' was born in 384 BCE in Stagira, Chalcidice, about 55 km east of modern-day Thessaloniki. At about the age of 18, Aristotle moved to Athens to continue his education at Plato's Academy. In 343 BCE Aristotle was invited by Philip II of Macedon to become the tutor to his son Alexander (the Great). He gave lessons not only to Alexander, but also to two other future kings: Ptolemy and Cassander.

Aristotle was one of the most revered Western thinkers in early Islamic theology. Most of the still extant works of Aristotle, as well as a number of the original Greek commentaries, were translated into Arabic and studied by Muslim philosophers, scientists and scholars including Avicenna (Ibnu Sina). The Muslims considered Aristotle to be a dogmatic philosopher, the author of a closed system, and believed that Aristotle shared with Plato essential tenets of thought. Some went so far as to credit Aristotle himself with neo-Platonic metaphysical ideas (extract from Wikipedia)

The 'ustaz' gave examples of  'reflections' that are just wasting our time but are common especially among 'veteran men and women'.  At old age, many parents are left alone at their house in the kampungs; their children had moved out and starting their own lives in towns and cities.

Many elders would sit near the door or window of their house especially when festivals such as Hari Raya is around the corner, looking out of their house and 'day dreaming', hoping that their sons and daughters and their families would be back during the big day.

Some of us have the 'hobby' of spending a lot of time recollecting our sadness and misfortune in life while some others would day dreaming what they would do if they have this and that...for example in having a lot of money, having power and position and so on.

The 'ustaz' said we are only wasting our time in doing such 'thinking activities'; they are not in line with the teaching of Islam, thus would not be rewarded by Allah SWT. "In Islam, we are encouraged to do a lot of thinking, but the question is what are we going to think about?

"We are not required to be a thinker like Aristotle; Islam as a complete way of life had set the things we should think about or 'tafakkur'. The 'materials' to 'tafakkur' are already available; we are only required to pick it up and do our reflection.

"For example, we have the Qur'an. Read a sentence or sentences from the Qur'an, search for the meaning and then do the 'tafakkur'. For example in Surah LV (The Beneficent), Allah had many, many times asked us; "Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?" Next, do the thinking...it was a guided one; thus it is unnecessary for us to think about improper things or things of our fancies."

You too could 'tafakkur' over your sins, creation, yourself and to take lessons from the things Allah SWT has created. When the good people are praised in the Qur'an, it is declared that "they always remember Allah while they are standing, sitting, lying on their sides, and they meditate over the creation of the heavens and earth. They say, “O our Lord! You did not create them in vain. You are far from it [from creating useless, meaningless things. Protect us from the torment of Hell." (Surah Ali ‘Imrân, 191)

There are many hadiths that mentioned about the importance of 'tafakkur'. Among others, "A momentary meditation on Allahu Taala's Grandeur, Paradise, and Hell is better than spending a night in worship" and "meditating for a while is more valuable than one year’s (supererogatory) worship."

Regarding 'tafakkur', Imam Shafie said it sharpens one' intelligence while Wahb bin Munabbih said it makes a person knowledgeable and a knowledgeable person, in turn, does good deeds. Bishr-i-Hafi noted that a human being who contemplates Allahu Taala's grandeur cannot be disobedient to Him. 

Scholars said 'tafakkur' can be done in four ways that are pondering about the beautiful arts and benefits which manifest on Allahu Taala's creatures causes one to believe in Him and love Him; pondering about the rewards promised by Him for the worships causes one to perform those worships; pondering about the punishments informed by Him causes one to fear Him and thereby inhibits one from committing sins and wronging others; and pondering about one’s having enslaved oneself to one’s nafs and committing sins and living in a state of heedlessness regardless of all the blessings bestowed by Him causes one to have shame towards Allah Taala.

As a conclusion, Islam as a complete way of life provides us with guidance in everything we do (so that we would be in His straight path) including what we should think or reflect about (tafakkul). So you do not need to be 'an Aristotle' to do all the thinking by yourself'!