Friday, November 17, 2017

'If teachers pee standing up...'

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

Reflection
"Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80)

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EVERYBODY is a ‘cikgu’ or 'guru' (teacher); a father is a teacher to his wife and children, a boss is a guidance in his or her office; a ‘wakil rakyat’ (people’s representative) is entrusted for the well being of his or her constituents while top leaders are unanswerable to all matters regarding the country and its people. 

Regarding this, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Each of you is a shepherd, and each of you is responsible for his flock (i.e. those over whom you have authority.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Ibn ‘Umar reported, “I heard the Messenger of Allah say: ‘Everyone of you is a ruler and everyone of you shall be questioned about those under his rule; the king is a ruler and he shall be questioned about his subjects; and the man is a ruler in his family and he shall be questioned about those under his care. 

‘The woman is a ruler in the house of her husband, and she shall be questioned about those under her care; and the servant is a ruler so far as the property of his master is concerned, and he shall be questioned about that which is entrusted to him’.”

Thus when the 'highest official' of the country cried 'Kepala bapak kau' which literally means; Your father's head; (pardon me for 'copying and pasting' this nasty remark here) in an important gathering recently, I couldn't help but kept on thinking about one famous Malay proverb - 'jika guru kencing berdiri, anak murid kencing berlari' (if teachers pee standing up, then their pupils would be running while urinating).

Nowadays teachers are facing huge troubles in disciplining pupils. They are entrusted in upbringing and molding children into good citizens but the challengers are getting harder and harder by each day...sadly we had now witnessed a leader who had forgotten his own government's concept i.e.'Kepimpinan Melalui Teladan' (Leading By Example).

A statesman had once coined this beautiful quotation: “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.” Well, everybody is a teacher, what's more if he/she is the leader of the country.

Those in the teaching profession are change agents, providing the impetus for the emergence of educated communities. Regarding this I quote extract from an article on World Teachers Day entitled ‘Recovery Begins with Teachers’ from National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP)’s newsletter ‘Guru Malaysia’ in its October 2010 issue: “Many teachers work in extremely challenging circumstances, serving in communities with high rates of poverty, coping with violence within and outside the classroom, or confronting the demoralizing impact of HIV and AIDS on colleagues, students and families.

“There are those who are seeking to ensure the right to education of 18.5 million refugees children throughout the world. In countries affected by conflict, teachers are instrumental to reconstruction and peace building. We take this opportunity to commend the efforts of teachers, especially female teachers, who accept to serve in high risk, deprived and disadvantaged areas, reaching out to the excluded, and bringing them the prospect of better life through education.

“…Recovery begins with teachers. We can best honour teachers by giving them decent working conditions to fulfill their mission of preparing the younger generation to become responsible citizens, equipped with knowledge and skills to shape a sustainable future.”

Teachers are look high upon by society, but could readers imagine if they 'kencing berdiri' ...they are giving bad example to their pupils...so do not be surprised when the children would be running when they urinate.

Not only a ‘cikgu’ or an ‘ustaz’ (religious teacher) is entrusted to give light to society but it is a duty for all including leaders. In Islam, it is an obligation for all to do the da’wah (calling to Islam) work. The Muslim does not think little of whatever knowledge he has if he is calling others to Allah. It is sufficient for him to convey whatever he has learned of the truth, even if it is just one aayah (sentence) from the Book of Allah.

This is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to tell his Companions to do: “Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one aayah…” (Bukhari). This is because whether or not a person is guided may depend on just one word of this aayah which will touch his heart and ignite the spark of faith, so that his heart and life will be illuminated with the light of guidance, and he will be a new man.

A fair leader or leaders who uphold justice are among seven groups of people that would be rewarded and sheltered in the Hereafter. The Prophet say: “There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: A just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for Allah's sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but be says: 'I fear Allah', a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.' (Narrated by Abu Hurairah, Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim

A just leader should be fair to his/her inferiors in everything and if he upholds justice, then he is on the right track to get recognition for the Prophet s.a.w. say: "He who obeys me obeys Allah, and he disobeys me disobeys Allah; and he who obeys the Amir (leader) obeys me, and he disobeys the Amir disobeys me; and the Imam is an armour for protection, the battle is fought for his defence and through him protection is sought. So if he commands the doing of duty to Allah and does justice, he has a reward for it; and if he does otherwise he shall suffer the consequences of it."

'Ubadah ibn Samit said, "The Prophet invited us, so we swore all allegiance to him; and among the conditions which he laid down on us to follow was this, that he had a promise from us to hear and obey, whether we like or disliked and order and whether we were in adversity or ease, even if our rights were not granted; and that we should not dispute the authority of those entrusted with it, adding unless you see an act of open disbelief in which you have a dear argument from Allah."

When Caliph 'Umar appointed governors the condition laid down upon them were: "You shall not ride a horse that is not of Arabian breed; you shall not eat bread made from fine flour; you shall not wear fine clothes; and you shall not shut your doors against the needs of the people. If you do these things punishment shall descend on you." - Pearls of the Prophet (Islamic Outreach-ABIM) 

In Surah An-Nisa’ (Woman) 58, Allah SWT says. "Verily Allah commands you that you restore deposits to their owners, and when you judge between people, you judge with justice; verily good is the admonition Allah gives you; verily Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing."

Regarding judging between people, this verse points to a very important subject. It is the proposition of observing justice in government. The verse, conveying the command of Allah, says:"... and when you judge between people, you judge with justice; ..." 


Perhaps uttering derogatory remarks such as 'Kepala bapak kau' in public was a  sign of us being unable to control our anger; it is in the category of ''lowest nafs' - 'ammarah'; so let all of us, the writer included,  begin correcting ourselves before it is too late and when we are 'six feet underground' (dead). 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

'What you give, is what you get'...

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 two of my boys (I have five children) are now professionals in their own chosen fields; one aspect that touched my heart about them was each of them gave their mother and me 'some money' immediately and 'religiously' after receiving their monthly salaries.

Regarding this matter, some time ago I had heard over Radio IKIM, a renowned motivator advised parents to 'teach' their children about this fine and beautiful aspect of life.

He asked listeners to reflect back the first thing they did with their money when they received their first salary years and years ago. I remembered mine - the first thing I did was to order some trays of 'bihun goreng' (fried beehon) and jugs of 'teh tarik' for a small 'kenduri' (feast) to celebrate with my office mates.

Of course almost all the office staff knew about my first pay, then naturally it was to 'belanja' (spend on) them, but in my mind I had already put aside 'some amount' to be given to my dearest 'FAMA' (father and mother).

The motivator asked parents to inculcate this good habit to their children from young; perhaps they should teach by example such as giving the money to their father and mother and even to their in-laws in the presence of the children.

"Even if their children had enter the working world, parents 'have the right' to remind them not to forget about the good habit...the amount of money given is not important but getting the 'barakah' (blessing) of it have to 'chase upon'," he said.

The motivator cum 'ustaz' said when a person receives his/her 'gaji' (wage) the first thing he/she should allocate is the portion to his/her parents and please do not indulge in giving 'spare money' to them after paying our other requirements.

Other than allocating money to parents first, a person too should allocate some amount (a little would do) for charity. Perhaps for a 'beginner' he/she could give the money to his/her school-going siblings, nieces or poor children in his area. Well, RM5, RM2 or R1 would do!

Not long ago, I had read a book about 'the magic and miracle of 'sadaqa' (giving alms or charity). When one gives charity or 'sadaqa' in the way of Allah for Allah’s Pleasure Alone, hoping to get His reward from Allah in the Hereafter, he is confirming with this action of his that Allah and the coming of the Last Day are ‘haqq’ and the truth. 
He believes with certainty in Allah and the Last Day, otherwise he would never give away his wealth, which he loves for nothing in return. By doing this he is confirming the truth. What he has said with his mouth, he has confirmed with his actions, and that is why Allah has promised to honor the person who gives 'sadaqa' in His Way, in this World and the Hereafter.
Even the renowned professional speaker on motivation nowadays, Prof Dr Muhaya Muhammad often stressed this point - what you give is what you get. Alhamdulillah, dear readers...I am now seeing and experiencing this 'beautiful' aspect of life - if I 'religiously' gave the first portion of my 'gaji' to my 'FAMA', then 'insya-Allah' and 'barakah-Allah' (with Allah's blessing) my children would do the same to me. Again, alhamdulillah, the amount each of them gave to me was many times to what I gave to my parents!
Allah says in the Glorious Quran, Chapter 2, Surah Baqarah, verse 261: The charity of those who expend their wealth in the way of Allah may be likened to a grain of corn, which produces seven ears and each ear yields a hundred grains. Likewise Allah develops manifold the charity of anyone He pleases, for He is All-Embracing, All-Wise. 
A preacher noted that Allah provides the formula for the minimum reward for the charity of a believer. If you spend RM1.00 in the way of Allah, has promised return is 7x100 = 700 times; ie. RM700.00 for a RM1.00 investment! For those of you who are accountants and businessmen, can you even imagine a 700% guaranteed return on investment and maybe even more! Allah is Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 
Imam Ali Abi Thalib noted that the reward of charity is increased 10 times. So dear readers when you received your 'gaji' at the end of the month, why not allocate a small part of it for charity. Say your 'gaji' is RM2,000; after receiving the money why not immediately part away RM100 for 'sadaqa'. 
Do simple thing; such as why not slot RM1 inside the 'Tabung Masjid' (Masjid Fund) every time you go to the masjid for 'subuh' (dawn) prayers? Remember there are angels praying for goodness upon those who give charity in the early mornings! 
If you do this things constantly (istiqamah); then you would realize that there would always be a 'helping hand' when you 'enter' your dry days. But the help is not always in the form of money or material gains but by other ways that you do not expect. In the Qur'an, Allah SWT promises: "And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him (his needs) from where he does not expect.” (At-Talaq, 65: 2,3) 
One very important reward that Allah SWT bestowes to those who do charity sincerely is the understanding of religion (knowledge). Regarding 'the have not situation' such as finishing our money at the middle of the month; if we have knowledge, we could feel that situation was nothing compared to what Allah SWT has in store for us whether in this world or Hereafter. 
You would realize that a good Muslim does not really need to toil to grab all worldly pleasures (ignoring its halal and haram status) including food because there are many verses of Allah and His prophet states so. For example; in a hadith from Abu Hurairah - Radi Allaahu anhu– who said the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said: "A Muslim eats for one stomach, and a non-Muslim eats for seven stomachs." (Collected by Malik, Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah and others) 
In another hadith, from Al-Miqdad bin Ma’d Yakrib -Radhi Allaahu anhu - who said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- saying: "A human does not fill a more evil container than a stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat small portions by which his back can remain straight. If it is not possible, then he should reserve his stomach, a third for his food, third for his drink and a third for his breathing." (Collected by Tirmidhi and he declared it to be Hasan, and by Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban & Albaani) 
What a good Muslim needs is so little, so why worry if all your 'gaji sudah habis' (your salary all gone) by the middle of the month. Insya-Allah (God willing), He would provides for you till the end of the month and more importantly during your lifetime in this world and the Hereafter. 
You must believe this for He says: "And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him (his needs) from where he does not expect."
The more you contribute, the more you get the rewards. But mind you, these rewards should not be looked as material gains only but also the spiritual aspects of life including good health, vast and rich experiences, satisfaction in life and sound education.Generosity is both a spiritual value and a spiritual practice.


In the Qur'an states that whatever we give away generously, with the intention of pleasing God, He will replace it. God knows what is in the hearts of men. Say: “Truly, my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His slaves, and also restricts it) for him, and whatsoever you spend of anything (in God’s Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers.” (Qur'an 34:39) 

Whoever is kind to His creatures, God is kind to him; therefore be kind to man on earth, whether good or bad; and being kind to the bad is to withhold him from evil, thus in Heaven you will be treated kindly. He who is not kind to God's creatures, God will not be kind to him. 

Another 'ustaz' says that all, irrespective of their beliefs and religions would 'insha-Allah' (God willing) get rewards for their good deeds. But he stressed that the rewards would be of use in this world only; for any good deed to be beneficial to the doers in the Hereafter the person or persons concerned must first be on His straight path, he must have the 'iman' (faith). 

Let us have a look at what Allah SWT has to say in Surah Al-'Asr (The Declining Day) with the meaning: 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. 

Allah SWT says that everybody is in a state of loss except those who have 'iman'. This 'iman' (faith) is mentioned first, if you do not have 'the iman', then the rest of it is naught; you could do all the good deeds but they would not be looked upon what more counted by Allah SWT. 

Those with 'iman' too would be in a state of loss if they do not do good works including rendering help to the poor and the needy. Those who 'cover' these two aspects too would be in a state of loss if they do not exhort one another to truth and endurance.

Monday, November 13, 2017

GST: Rintihan si miskin tak dipeduli...

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

Renungan
Daripada Abu Hurairah r.a. katanya: Aku mendengar Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda; "Umatku akan ditimpa penyakit-penyakit yang pernah menimpa umt-umat dahulu." Sahabat bertanya, "Apakah penyakit-penyakit umat terdahulu itu?" Nabi s.a.w. menjawab, "Penyakit-penyakit it ialah: (1) terlalu banyak seronok, (2) terlalu mewah, (3) menghimpun harta sebanyak mungkin, (4) tipu menipu dalam merebut harta benda dunia, (5) saling memarahi, dan (6) hasut menghasut sehingga menjadi zalim menzalimi." (Hadis riwayat Hakim)

SEKARANG ini saya perhatikan semakin banyak masjid menyediakan almari, rak atau ruang menempatkan barangan makanan asasi seperti beras, tepung, biskut, minyak, gula dan kopi yang mana boleh diambil pada bila-bila masa oleh golongan kurang berkemampuan.

Sikap prihatin terhadap kesusahan penduduk kejiranan terutama oleh pemimpin dan AJK masjid amat dialu-alukan; ini menandakan semangat berkongsi rezeki di kalangan rakyat semakin meningkat namun ia juga membayangkan semakin ramai 'orang di luar sana' (rakyat) yang kurang berkemampuan hatta untuk membeli barangan asasi bagi kesinambungan kehidupan seperti beras, tepung dan minyak.

Ketidakmampuan membeli barangan keperluan harian di kalangan rakyat ini sewajarnya tidak berlaku di negara 'mewah' bernama Malaysia yang pemimpinnya ketika pembentangan belanjawaan baru-baru ini asyik menyebut wang 'berberbilion-bilion' ringgit. 

Yalah, kalau 'derma' pun sudah membabitkan wang berbilion-bilion ringgit, tentunya rakyat Malaysia 'tersangat kaya' (ketika saya melancong ke sebuah negara jiran, ada pekedainya berkata orang Malaysia tersangat kaya kerana 'duit tumbuh atas pokok' jadi janganlah saya banyak soal dalam membeli barangan jualannya).

Demikianlah agaknya tanggapan orang luar terhadap Malaysia (negara terlalu kaya) sehingga berbondong-bondonglah 'Mat' Indon, Bangla, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Filipina dan negara lain) ke negara ini melakukan pelbagai pekerjaan daripada 'pilot helikopter' (tukang mesin rumput) kepada 'penjual karpet' dari rumah ke rumah dimonopoli lelaki Pakistan. 

Rakyat kebanyakan sekarang ini merintih kerana harga barangan keperluan mahal, sebahagian pihak menyatakan ia disebabkan cukai barangan dan perkhidmatan sebanyak enam (6) peratus berkuat kuasa sejak 2015. Namun rintihan itu tak dipedulikan pemerintah, sejak 'dulu sampai sekarang' kadarnya tetap enam peratus - (mungkin selepas kemenangan BN pada PRU-14 akan dinaikkan ke kadar lebih tinggi) tidak pernah terfikirkah pemimpin kerajaan untuk mengurangkan misalnya sebanyak satu, dua atau tiga peratus?

Belanjawan 2018 berlalu tanpa ada usaha untuk mengurangkan kadar GST ini...apa yang parti pemerintah tahu mereka dapat mengutip sehingga RM40 bilion setahun...namun apa ertinya 'perolehan ini' yang sebahagiannya 'diambil secara paksa' daripada rakyat yang hendak makan nasi dan roti pun susah sehinggakan wujud inisiatif pihak prihatin seperti pengurusan masjid yang menyediakan almari berisi makanan asasi!

Namun pada ketika sesetengah rakyat sengsara sekarang ini, pemimpin negara kerap kali mendabik dada dan dihebahkan secara-besaran oleh media massa tajaan mereka kononnya apa didakwa kekayaan dan kemewahan negara adalah hasil kebijaksanaan mereka mentadbir negara termasuk mengurus ekonomi dengan melaksanakan GST itu yang mendatangkan hasil berbilion-bilion ringgit.

Tentunya jika dilihat secara zahir, seolah-olah benar apa yang direpekkan oleh pemimpin-pemimpin berkenaan. Benar sejumlah rakyat kelihatan hidup mewah tetapi persoalannya golongan manakah ini? Apakah 'golongan feudal' saja mahu kaya dulu, kini dan selamanya sedangkan rakyat bawahan hidupnya kais pagi makan pagi dan kais petang makan petang.

Allah SWT telah melempahkan sumber alam yang cukup kaya kepada negara ini – petroleum, kelapa sawit, getah dan sebagainya – tetapi apakah kekayaan ini mendasar kepada kehidupan majoriti rakyat terutama yang tinggal di desa dan pedalaman? 

Jika dari segi ekonomi dan taraf hidup sesetengah rakyat ketinggalan terlalu jauh, kini masalah sosial pula menambah derita dan ketakutan rakyat kebanyakan. Jenayah seperti pembunuhan, perompakan, ragut, rogol, zina dan membuang bayi semakin menjadi-jadi. Daripada setinggi-tinggi jenayah berprofil tinggi termasuk pembunuhan warga asing termasuk dari Mongolia sehingga pembulian di sekolah, semuanya membimbangkan, membayangkan terlalu banyak perkara tidak beres dalam masyarakat kita.

Jenayah kejam yang tidak terfikirkan dulu seperti anak membunuh bapa dan anggota keluarga lain termasuk suami isteri, perlu dimuhasabah; apa sebenarnya sudah menimpa masyarakat kita? Apa sebenarnya sudah berlaku kepada generasi muda yang kita didik di sekolah-sekolah kita hari ini?

Kita percaya ada kaitan antara jenayah yang semakin menjadi-jadi dan moral masyarakat yang semakin buruk ini dengan kemewahan dalam negara yang didakwa pemimpin berkenaan. Kita bimbang jika berlaku istidraj, iaitu adalah pemberian nikmat Allah kepada manusia yang mana pemberian itu tidak diredai-Nya. Rasullulah SAW bersabda: ”Apabila kamu melihat bahawa Allah Taala memberikan nikmat kepada hamba-Nya yang selalu membuat maksiat (durhaka),ketahuilah bahawa orang itu telah diistidrajkan oleh Allah SWT.”(Diriwayatkan oleh At-Tabrani, Ahmad dan Al-Baihaqi) 

Tetapi, manusia termasuk pemimpin yang durhaka dan sering berbuat maksiat yang terkeliru dengan pemikirannya merasakan bahawa nikmat yang telah datang kepadanya dan pengampunya adalah kerana Allah berserta dan kasih dengan perbuatan maksiat mereka.  Sekarang kita dapat saksikan betapa sejumlah pemimpin dan rakyat (pengampu) yang bermaksiat seperti terbabit dalam amalan rasuah, perjudian dan jenayah seksual, hidup mereka semakin senang dan masih berkuasa dan berkedudukan tinggi. Mereka masih memegang jawatan tinggi termasuk dalam parti politik. 

Sebagai kebalikannya, orang taat dan baik termasuk pemimpin, ramai yang hidup sederhana saja malah ada yang susah sehingga masuk penjara. Manusia istidraj adalah orang yang lupa daratan. Walaupun berbuat maksiat, dia merasa Allah menyayanginya. Mereka memandang hina kepada orang yang beramal, mereka tidak tahu sebenarnya, Allah memberikan nikmat yang banyak dengan tujuan untuk menghancurkan mereka. Manusia, apabila mendapat nikmat, cuba hendak melawan Allah SWT, termasuk hukum-Nya. 

Buktinya, Firaun. Nikmatnya tak terkira, tidak pernah sakit, bersin pun tidak pernah kerana Allah berikannya nikmat kesihatan. Orang lain selalu sakit, tapi Firaun tidak, orang lain mati, namun dia masih belum mati-mati juga, sampai rasa angkuh dan besar diri lantas mengaku dirinya tuhan. Tapi dengan nikmat itulah Allah binasakan dia. Namrud pula cuba membakar Nabi Ibrahim. Betapa besar pangkat Namrud? Dia begitu sombong dengan Allah, akhirnya menemui ajalnya hanya disebabkan seekor nyamuk masuk ke dalam lubang hidungnya.

Pemimpin hari ini janganlah sombong. Pada bila-bila masa Allah SWT boleh jatuhkan. Di negara jiran, Suharto, Marcos sudah jatuh; di pentas antarabangsa pun sama...mana dia Gaddafi, Saddam, Mubarak dan sebagainya....semuanya sudah tersungkur...tidak ada pemimpin boleh kekal dulu, kini dan selamanya...kita semua bagai buah kelapa; ada yang awal-awal lagi sudah jatuh tetapi ada juga yang liat sampai 'bertombong di udara' tetapi akhirnya tetap tersungkur jua, bukankah begitu?