Thursday, October 14, 2010

Timely for PAS members to boost Islamic image

Posted on 14th October 2010
In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God (Allah SWT)...(Nisaa 4:80)

PAS spiritual leader, Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was quoted as saying that the Islamic party will field only a candidate who does not smoke in an upcoming Galas state seat by-election. It is a good sign as the party seeks to boost its Islamic image. In rejecting smokers, the Kelantan Menteri Besar said, they are not only ruining their health but also wasting money.

In 2007, PAS said it was planning to field in national polls only non-smoking candidates or those who were willing to kick the habit. Smoking is one of the many bad habits, practised among some Muslims, including from PAS.

Now the highest ranking official in PAS had made it clear regarding the status of smokers, it is timely to have a soul searching on health, cleanliness, discipline, and organisation matters among PAS workers, members and perhaps its leaders.

“Let us organise ourselves,” says Salahuddin Ayub, PAS Vice President when the writer met him recently for comments regarding the said matters among PAS members and workers. “It is okay for you to write about those issues. I am open for comments, so do PAS leaders, I hoped so,” he said.

Salahuddin said that there is nothing wrong if we were to emulate, follow or copy the footsteps of organised offices, company, society or nations. “I know a party that is highly organised and it impresses you when you enter its headquarters. Then, of course you knew about how disciplined the Japanese are, we could improved ourselves to reach their level,” he says.

The PAS Vice President admitted that many party offices (markas) and its subsidiary premises were below the accepted level in terms of organisation, cleanliness, discipline and safety.

“It is timely for us to buck up,” he says stressing that cleanliness and tidiness should be maintained at PAS premises including that of Harakah, one of the party's organs, specialising the field of communication.

Salahuddin says if a visitor was to make an evaluation of a house or an office in term of cleanliness; the condition of its toilets would be the main target. “I admit that some of our premises are in shabby condition, we have to improve things fast in line with the transformation of our party with its tagline ‘PAS For All’.”

So PAS's image as an Islamic party had to be held high in the eyes of Muslims and non-Muslims since many non-Muslims have become members of ‘Kelab Penyokong PAS’ (PAS Supporters Group), an official and latest wing of the party.

Regarding cleanliness and purification, the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. (blessing and peace be upon him) said: “Allah SWT is Good and like goodness; Clean and likes cleanness; Generous and like generosity; Hospitable and likes hospitality, so clean your courtyards and do the opposite of what the Jews do.” (At-Tirmidhi)

One of the very essential characteristics of the Muslim regarding himself and his home or office (place of work) is his cleanliness; a Muslim can share cleanliness with non-Muslim people, however he is distinguished by Islamic special cleanliness that is ‘tahara’ (purification).

Therefore, when a Muslim takes care of cleanliness and purification, he is distinguished from other people. He avoids dirt in addition to tangible and moral impurities and gets rid of them.

To achieve purity and cleanliness of the soul, a Muslim has to keep his body clean and pure as much as he can; for the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said: “No one shall guard his ‘wudu’ (ablution) except the believer.” (Ahmed and ibn Majah)

A Muslim has to keep his clothes clean as much as he keeps his body clean. Moreover, he has to keep his house (including office) clean and tidy by guarding the purity of his furniture and other things.

Wastebaskets have to be enough lest garbage should be spread around the house or office. The bathroom and especially toilets should certainly be properly taken care of, because it is the place where most of the dangerous diseases emanate.

Dust should be noticed and clean in every inch of the house or office. In addition, one should take care of what surrounds the house or office; this can be achieved by keeping the backyard of the house or office clean from dirt and anything unpleasant. – Rules for the Muslim Home (Sa’eed Muhammad Al-Deeb, International Publishing House)

In the writer’s opinion, there are no taboos in Islam; all topics including criticism should be studied thoroughly. Regarding cleanliness and organising, a friend of mine who had spent a few years studying in Japan, said he saluted the Japanese way of taking care of their environment.

“Imagine they would clean food containers such as used sardine cans before putting them in special compartments for recycle items,” he said. “Here we just throw them in dustbins or worse, dumped them in drains and rivers, causing our water ways clogged or polluted,” he said.

A Muslim has to adhere to what Allah SWT has ordered him to do, and has to avoid every forbidden act Allah SWT has forbidden. This rule applies at the office too. Allah likes cleanliness, so it timely for PAS members or workers to clean and tidy up their ‘markas’ (offices), headquarters or even its Pasti kindergartens.

Now we know how organized and discipline the Japanese were. So what about us, Muslims, especially PAS members and workers?

Allah likes goodness, so let us spread goodness in our offices. The Prophet (s.a.w.) loves neatness, organization and order, so follow his way. The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said: “You are going to meet some brothers of yours, so reform you saddles, and be well dressed until you become a shining star in the sight of the other people because Allah SWT dislikes vice and using viciousness.” (Abu Dawud)

Salahuddin during the interview in an office belonging to a PAS subsidiary says: “Look at these dull carpets and shabby condition of our office. I wish we could turn our office into a more organised and professional working place. Visitors should be impressed when they enter our premises. In short we should handle our office professionally, visitors should be guided to designated place and not let them roam around freely.”

Then offices too had to be organised as a place of worship and learning. It was because there cannot be anything more important than worship in the Muslim’s life and learning how to worship in the right way. Therefore, organizing these two matters is very important.

Thus, ‘surau’ (prayers room) should be an important section of the office while ‘tazkirah’ (Islamic lessons) should be held frequently. Remembering Allah SWT should not be forgotten in all cases, including while one was in office, so that one would be among the people whom Allah SWT mentioned in the Sacred Hadith, Allah says: “An if he remembers Me in a group of people I remember him in a group that is better than them.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

In conclusion, PAS ‘markas’ or offices including those of its subsidiaries should be run professionally and as an addition they should be places of worship (solat berjemaah, mass prayers) and where religious sessions take place regularly.

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