Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The miracle medicine

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

"Practise forgiveness, command decency
and avoid ignorant people." (Araf 7: 199)

One night a few years back while walking in front of the former Cathay cinema at Jalan Munshi Abdullah in Malacca, heading to a spot to wait for my wife to fetch me home, an Indian youth suddenly rushed to me, his face grimming with pain.

He then held out his hand and said, "Pak Haji (Uncle) please, please help me. I had sprained my hand."

I was taken aback, my throat went dry; I couldn't say anything for a few seconds. That encounter shocked me, but when I managed to get back to my senses, I asked the Indian youth what had happened and why he chose me in asking for help.

He ignored my questions, saying that he needed my help badly.

"I don't know how to help you. I am not a doctor, nor a 'bomoh' (traditional healer)," I said. The youth kept on pleading, I had no choice but to do something.

I reached for my bag and searched for a plastic bottle in which I always stored my drinking water.

I then poured the water on the youth's hand and rubbed it saying 'Bis-mil-laa-hir raH-maa-nir ra-Him' (in the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful and then went on reading Surah al-FatiHah (the Opening) which means; Praise be to Allah; the Nourisher of the worlds, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgement; To You do we worship and to You do we beg for assistance; Do guide us along the right path; The path of those whom You have bestowed favours; Not of those upon whom wrath is brought down; And not of those who go astray; Do accept our do’a, O Allah.

I didn’t know whether my action was correct in helping the youth, but surprisingly a few minutes later, he said the pain in his hand had gone.

He was okay; he was cured. I couldn’t believe my eyes, the youth was thankful but I was loss for words except thanking Allah SWT for the miracle. It’s unbelievable but nothing is impossible for Allah sub Haa-na-hu wa ta-‘aa-la (s.w.t). A treatment with only a bottle of plain water and His words had the boy cured and then he went on his way.

Unknown to many; using water treatment is common in ‘alternative medicine’, one was the Zamzam water that was Allah’s blessing on Hajar (Hager) and Ismail (Ismael) was used through out the Muslim world in curing sickness.

A few days ago I had the oppourtunity to buy a set of books discussing therapies from good deeds in Islam such as giving alms (charity), reading the Qur'an, praying and crying in fear of Allah SWT. The books were 'Hikmah Terapi Sedekah' (The Therapy in Charity), 'Hikmah Terapi Al-Quran' (The Therapy in Reading the Qur’an), 'Hikmah Terapi Solat' (The Therapy in Praying) and 'Hikmah Terapi Air Mata' (The Therapy in Shedding Tears).

The authors suggested that doing all the good deeds mentioned could help in curing illness if one is sincere to Allah s.w.t. For example saying a prayer (solat) is a therapy highly recommended in curing various illness from the spiritual and physical aspects.

Then by giving alms, it could be a bridge in curing various types of diseases, tears shed in fear of Allah s.w.t. could cleanse the eyes including neutralizing poison clustered in the eye lids.

A preacher, Dr Azhar Yaakob during his 'tazkirah' (religious talk) in the writer's office recently, mentioned about one's aura that could help in healing other people sickness.

He said by visiting, what more by touching patients, the warmth could give spark and life to them. Rubbing the hands of patients could give them confidence that they were on the road to recovery. In the case of boys, rubbing their heads would make them feel at ease.

Dr Azhar also said by mixing with people from ‘the right company’ for example with those who frequent masjids to say their ‘solat’ or be in the company of respected and pious scholars, then their aura would flow inside us, making us more cheerful and energetic , thus uplifting our health.

Regarding alternative medicine, I received this e-mail from one reader, Fadzilah Mohammad from Bukit Beruntung, Selangor.

Dear LANH,
Asalamualaikum wrt wbk.

I wish you would write about 'alternative medicine' as opposed to conventional medicine and do a review of some of their excellent websites. I myself have benefited a great deal from these websites, Alhamdulillah, and would like to share with you, hoping that you would in return, share in with readers.

Amongst them are: -

A free educational website on the internet since 1996. Shirley, author of the website, wrote: "I was once a victim of the never ending flow of propaganda from the medical establishment (which I think of as the 'disease' establishment because they focus on disease rather than a prevention and wellness) who wants to maintain a monopoly on the word 'cure' and who wants us to believe that we have no control over our own health and that our only hope to get 'well' is with drugs, surgery and radiation."

She achieved optimum health without drugs, surgery and radiation.

With over 50,000 pages of highly useful and free heath information to help you, is now the world's most visited natural heath site, and the 5th most visited health website overall.

This self-help alternative medicine site offers extensive educational information on the topics of natural healing, holistic and biological dentistry, herbal medicine, cleansing and detoxification, heavy metal detoxify, diet, nutrition, weight loss etc, etc.

This site gives information that you will find hard to obtain elsewhere. Anyone who has cancer; has even had cancer, or wishes to avoid cancer should check out this wonderful resource.

Dr F Batmanghelidj's pioneering work shows that Unintentional Chronic Dehydration (UCD) contributes to and even produces pain and many degenerative diseases that can be prevented and treated by increasing water intake on regular basis.

In this website, you will listen to amazing water cure testimonials from people cured after science said there was no hope.

The natural news network is a non profit collection of public education websites covering topics that empowers individuals to make positive changes in their health, environment and sensitivity, consumer choices and informed scepticism.

Weston A Price Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer, Dr Weston Price, whose studies of isolated non industrialised people established the parameters of human health.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What time is it?

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

"...whosoever killeth a human being
for other than man slaughter or corruption in the earth.
it shall be as if he had killed all mankind.
and whosoever saveth the life of one,
it shall be as he had saved
the life of all mankind. (Maidah 5:32)

My article entitled ‘The miracle medicine’ (Harakah 25-28 January) received much feedbacks from readers. Some asked about bookstores that sell the books mentioned in the article – ‘Hikmah Terapi Sedekah’ (The Therapy in Charity), ‘Hikmah Terapi al-Quran’ (The Therapy in the al-Quran), ‘Hikmah Terapi Solat’ (The Therapy in Prayer) and ‘Hikmah Terapi Air Mata’ (The Therapy in Shedding Tears).

I bought the books at Nufair Street Sdn Bhd (a centre of alternative sources) at 22, Jalan Pahang Barat, 53000 Kuala Lumpur ( but the publisher is Al-Hidayah Publication at 27 Jalan Ipoh Kecil, 50350 Kuala Lumpur (

I also received this e-mail, asking me to highlight problems regarding the ‘one Malaysian time’ introduced by the then Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1982.

Dear LANH,

I refer to your article entitled ‘The miracle medicine’ where you gave much space to one reader, Fadzilah Mohammad, who noted various websites on ‘alternative medicine’.

Here, I write as I would like to, if you would allow me on this platform, raise my concern on the current state of the Muslim obligatory prayer times in Malaysia. A majority of us perhaps would probably have not noticed it given that it has been something taken for granted and therefore may not mean much to them.

A little over under 30 years ago, a national leader who had just ascended onto power and in the name of national unity, declared that on New Year's Day of 1982 the hour hand of clocks in Peninsula Malaysia would be pushed ahead by 30 minutes so as to be synchronized with clocks in Sabah and Sarawak.

The effect was such that although Kuala Lumpur (101) lies within a similar longitude as that of Bangkok (100) and Jakarta (106), it now has a time difference of one-hour ahead of the latter two cities when up till then all three shared the same time zone.

By pushing the hour clock ahead, both dawn and dusk in Kuala Lumpur has been effectively 'deferred'. Where previously KL celebrated say, New Year's Day at precisely the same time as Bangkok and Jakarta; KL now celebrates an hour earlier.

The effect for such a move was such that, Muslims now have to wait 'longer' before they could perform their prayers. For example, Fajr (dawn) prayers which would have come into effect at 5.40 am, are now only effective at 6.10 am.

Similarly, Maghreb (dusk) prayers are now performed at 7.25 pm instead of 6.55 pm. Such timings have arguably caused our local Muslim society to develop relatively bad habits and lifestyles.

Not only are the timings of the two aforementioned prayers affected, as obviously all the remaining timings of the zuhr, asr as well as that of isha' are similarly affected as a result of the decision to 'unite the country'.

If unity was the primary factor, perhaps President Barack Obama too would have wanted Los Angeles, Chicago and New York – cities in different longitudes – to share a single pan American time in unison. Geography dictates otherwise though and to this very day, New Yorkers continue to live within the Eastern Standard Time, and by virtue of getting sunrise earlier, are 2 hours ahead of Californians.

One can only look at the horrendous consequence of having such a decision implemented – albeit even after almost 30 years in place – where school children actually arrive in school when the sun has not actually risen. Granted that the time actually fluctuates within a variance of 30 minutes between one extreme to another during the year but still, it does look odd for Muslims in Peninsula Malaysia to only start performing the Fajr prayers at 6.10 am when people in Jakarta, for example have already made their way to work.

I dread to think the number of Muslim school children and workers not actually performing the fajr prayers lest they miss the bus to school or work – which in all likelihood is a high possibility. Imagine a Muslim school bus driver who has to pick up at least 30 children in his school bus going to at least 2 schools in say Petaling Jaya, which commence classes at 7.30 am. There would be no shortage of true tales and living proof of how this bizarre timing has had a profound effect on our lives, especially on us Muslims who have had to grapple with life's daily struggles vis-à-vis our faith and our prayers' obligation.

Personally, I have experienced schooling in the days before the dreadful decision to push the clock ahead and I must say that it was a much better environment then. I can still remember very clearly, literally, how I would be picked up by my school bus at 6.30 in the mornings when it would be just about bright and by the time I arrived in school at 7.00 am, the sun was already up.

Today, I would be sending my children to school at 7.00 am with my car's headlights still on. Just last week, I was on the Federal Highway at 7.00 am and the street lights of what is widely known as one of the earliest federal main thoroughfare were switched off precisely at that time, when you could not really figure out if there are potholes ahead of you in the dark.

I am sure there are many readers out there who share my displeasure on the issue of the Malaysian time zone and have their own experience to tell insofar as the incongruity of the timing is concerned.

I can only hope that when Pakatan Rakyat takes over the reign of the government of this country, the issue of the current timing system would be reviewed. I seriously do not think that the present Najib Razak-led administration would even contemplate reviewing it as it would go against the grain of its much hyped 1Malaysia chants.

I shall leave the Muslim readers with some imagination on how this absurd timing has had a profound effect on, amongst many other examples, the performance of the weekly obligatory Friday solat.

With zuhr prayers now at its 'peak', reaching almost 1.30 pm in Kuala Lumpur, an average Muslim Malaysian would invariably have his lunch before coming to the masjid for his prayers. By the time the Muezzin completes his call for prayers, it would be at least 1.50 pm before the Khateb begins his sermon.

On a 'bad' day, the khateb takes at least 20 minutes to deliver his sermon. On a 'good' day, he could drag it further to last 30 minutes. You do not have to tell me what a male with his belly full with lunch just devoured would do, sitting cross legged in the masjid, seemingly intent on 'listening' to the khateb, whether it is within the comforts of the cooling air-conditioner or as indeed, under the drones of the electric fans trying to wage a war against the sweltering humid heat.

I will try my very best to have good expectations on my fellow Muslim brothers where their responsibilities of performing the solat is concerned against the backdrop of an incongruous prayer timings brought about by an imprudent decision of some 30 years ago but it is difficult not to pass judgments based on the various complaints, observations and experiences I have come across throughout the past 28 eventful years. Wallahu a'lam. - ABU FARIS, Petaling Jaya

Monday, March 29, 2010

‘My home, my heaven’

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

For ye do worship idols besides God,
and ye invent falsehood.
The things that ye worship besides God
Have no power to give you sustenance:
Then seek ye sustenance from God,
Serve Him and be grateful to Him:
To Him will be your return. (Ankabut 29:17)

RECENTLY I registered my thirteen year old son at a residential school. The fees (for food, Parents Teachers Association, etc) amounted to more than RM1000. So education is expensive; parents ought to prepare for the financial burden years ahead before their children started schooling, going to secondary schools and to university.

One factor that contributed to domestic violence is quarrels about money. It is common that couples fight over money, normally regarding who should provide for the needs of the family.

Of course in Islam, the father who is head of the family, has to provide for his family’s needs, but in today’s modern society where both husband and wife have jobs and income, splitting the money on who should pay what and how much is not easy; at times it ends in fights.

So newly wed couples have to plan the future regarding money. Perhaps they should start to have special ‘tabung’ (funds) before a child is born, then have an education fund for each child because as years pass by, at every important stage of a child’s growing up such as entering primary and secondary school and university, the financial burden could be minimised.

Even though courting couples seldom think about their future regarding financial burden as they are absorbed in ‘cinta’ (love), when they are married and then have their own families, they will realise that they can’t have ‘cinta’ only, they have to have money to run a place name home. ‘Cinta’ cannot satisfy hunger; you need money to buy food to please your stomach.

To make our home, ‘Rumahku, syurgaku’ (My home, my heaven), one aspect should not be neglected is willingness of the couple especially the husband to work hard to provide for the needs of the family. The husband has to bring in ‘halal’ money for the family needs. Have money, you could go a long way, no money you are in big trouble, as a saying goes.

Normally in domestic violence cases including those involving money, the victim would be the wife but nowadays there are reports that husbands are being beaten by their wives, said one Ustaz Amran Abdullah from PERKIM in his ‘tazkirah’ (Islamic class) at the writer's office recently.

He said the steep increase in crimes including murder, rape cases and juvenile delinquency could be traced from homes; the family system is slowly collapsing, we are now seeing and experiencing events and things that were unthinkable before such as a son murdering his father, a wife killing her husband or a husband stabbing his wife.

In his ‘tazkirah’ Ustaz Amran listed some pointers to achieve a harmonious family, what more blessing from The Almighty.

Among others, Ustaz Amran gave these advises;

1. Before being married, the future husband and wife would have to have the intention of being a good partner.

2. Thanks the Almighty for giving us a partner, the husband should think that his wife is the best for him and vice versa.

3. An exemplary husband makes his wife proud.

4. Smile when the husband returns home, the husband too should be jovial when returning from work.

5. Make sure husband and wife have time to talk to one another.

6. The husband and wife communicate with one another by SMS, telephoning etc.

7. Make the wife happy by telling her stories.

8. Have lunch or dinner together with family members.

9. Husband and wife are encouraged to take their bath together.

10. Help the wife in doing household chores such as mending shoes and shirts.

11. Practise having meetings with family members.

12. Do not divulge each other’s secret.

13. Be respectful on the wife’s family members.

14. Becoming a forgiving person.

15. Fulfill the wife’s need.

Not long ago, the government launched an ambitious program named ‘Rumahku, syurgaku’ (translated literally as ‘My home, my heaven) so that families could have homes that were peaceful heaven – like abode for them.

The most important requirement in making ‘My home, my heaven’ for Muslims is that family members should perform ‘solat berjemaah’ (hold congregational prayers). They too have to practise reading and understanding the Qur’an, reading and studying religious books and ready to help one another.

Ustaz Amran said the wife has to take great care of her husband’s sight, smell, belly and so on. She should make sure he only smells good things from his wife.

There are many books on how Muslims families could make their home ‘Rumahku Syurgaku’. Among them in my home library are ‘The Muslim Home – 40 Recommendations (In the Light of the Qur’an and Sunnah) by Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid’ (International Islamic Publishing House) and ‘Rules for the Muslim Home’ by Sa’eed Muhammad Al-Deeb, also published by In ternational Publishing House.

The writer of ‘The Muslim Home…’noted: “Having a home is a blessing from Allah, the All Glorious. So every Muslim should maintain his home in the light of the guidance and teachings of the Noble Qur’an and honourable Sunnah of the last Prophet, Muhammad (blessing and peace be upon him, bpbuh).

This book discusses issues from forming the household - making a good choice when choosing a wife, striving to guide one’s wife to the atmosphere outside ones house.

In creating an atmosphere of faith in the home, the writer recommends among others, making the home a place for ‘dhikr’ (remembrance of) Allah, making your home a Qiblah (direction of the Ka’bah), spiritual training for the members of the household, paying attention of ‘adhkar’ and Sunnah du’a (supplications) related to home and reciting ‘Soorat’ (Surah) al-Baqarah regularly in the house to ward off the Shaytan (Satan).

About good manners, the writer discusses about spreading kindness in the home, helping one’s wife with the housework, being affectionate towards and joking with members of the family, resisting bad manners in the home and hanging up the whip where members of the household can see it.

Regarding evils in the home, the writer warns about non-mahram (marriageable) relatives meeting women when their husbands are absent, about the dangers of having male drivers and female servants in the house, the dangers of TV and the evils of the telephone.

Meanwhile Sa’eed Muhammad Al-Deeb in his book ‘Rules for the Muslim Home’, puts forward ten rules “to make reader feel the severity and clarity off the word ‘Rules’, and that any disobedience’ deserves punishment either in this life, the Hereafter or in both.”

The rules are:
First rule: Cleanliness and purification.
Second rule: Neatness and, organization.
Third rule: Lowering the voice, keeping secrets, and not annoying one another.
Fourth rule: Organization of worshipping and learning.
Fifth rule: Economy on food, drink, clothes, and living.
Sixth rule: Relations and manners of dealing.
Seventh rule: Taking care of health.
Eighth rule: Protecting members of the home from deviation, and going astray.
Ninth rule: Making charity to the kinship, and the guest.
Tenth rule: The way of entering and leaving the house.

‘Insya-Allah’ (God willing) by following the guidance of scholars be it ‘tazkirah’ or reading their books; we would have the courage to transform our homes into ‘Rumahku syurgaku’ (My home, my heaven).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pendidikan percuma matlamat Pakatan Rakyat

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

Daripada Abu Hurairah r.a. bahawasanya Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda; "Tidak terjadi hari Kiamat sehingga Sungai Furat (Eupharates) iaitu sebuah gunung daripada emas. Ramai orang berperang untuk merebutkannya. Maka terbunuh 99 daripada 100 orang yang berperang. Dan masing-masing yang terlibat berkata: 'Mudah-mudahan akulah yang terselamat itu'. Di dalam riwayat lain ada disebutkan: 'Sudah dekat suatu masa di mana Sungai Furat akan menjadi surut airnya lalu ternampak perbendaharaan daripada emas, maka barangsiapa yang hadir di situ, janganlah dia mengambil sesuatu pun daripada harta itu'." (H.R. Bukhari-Muslim)

MASA depan negara bergantung kepada generasi mudanya. Mereka wajar mendapat pendidikan terbaik termasuk bimbingan kerohanian bagi membolehkan generasi akan datang memberi sumbangan bermakna kepada agama, bangsa dan tanah airnya.

Namun demikian, kos pendidikan semakin lama semakin tinggi, suatu hari nanti dikhuatiri tidak mampu ditanggung golongan sederhana sekalipun. Perkembangan ini sungguh membimbangkan kerana pendidikan sebenarnya adalah keperluan asas yang didambakan setiap rakyat.

Mengapa kos yang dikenakan ke atas anak bangsa berterusan naik sedangkan negara didakwa sebagai paling berkembang maju dan dinamik di kalangan negara-negara sedang membangun? Malah ada pemimpin mendakwa Malaysia sudah mencapai taraf negara maju.

Hakikatnya, di banyak negara maju seperti Britain, pendidikan adalah percuma sedangkan ibu bapa di negara kita dikenakan bayaran yang berterusan bertambah pada sesi baru persekolahan.

Pada penggal baru Januari lalu, pelbagai bayaran persekolahan dinaikkan; antaranya bayaran makanan pelajar sekolah asrama yang dinaikkan daripada RM1 kepada RM3 sehari (membabitkan ibu bapa berpendapatan lebih RM5,000 sebulan). Kementerian Pelajaran turut mengurangkan jumlah hari peruntukan makanan kepada pelajar kononnya sebagai langkah penjimatan.

Berikutan bantahan pelbagai pihak termasuk parti politik gabungan Pakatan Rakyat, Kementerian Pelajaran akhirnya menambahkan peruntukan makanan pelajar di sekolah berasrama daripada 200 hari kepada 240 hari setahun.

Ini bermakna pelajar sekolah asrama termasuk berasrama penuh tidak perlu lagi pulang setiap minggu atas alasan makanan tidak disediakan. Kini ada sekolah berasrama penuh menetapkan pelajar wajib pulang bermalam pada hujung minggu sekali saja dalam sebulan.

Sebelum ini pelbagai pihak terutama ibu bapa meluahkan rasa tidak puas hati kerana anak-anak mereka terpaksa pulang hampir setiap minggu kerana pengurusan asrama tidak dapat menyediakan makanan pada hujung minggu kerana tiada peruntukan kerajaan untuk tujuan itu.

Ketua Sekretariat Pakatan Rakyat, Salahuddin Ayub, ketika diwawancara penulis berhubung kejayaan desakan rakyat ini, berkata perkembangan itu membuktikan bahawa betapa pentingnya rakyat menghantar lebih ramai wakil Pakatan di Dun dan Parlimen bagi membolehkan suara dan kepentingan mereka didengar pihak pemerintah.

Katanya, suara rakyat yang kuat amat diperlukan kerana apabila bantahan dibuat terhadap tindakan kerajaan yang mengetepikan kepentingan rakyat, ia akan lebih berkesan dan mempunyai peluang lebih besar untuk berjaya.

“Kita tahu pengurangan peruntukan makanan di sekolah asrama itu telah mendatangkan kesan berganda kepada ramai ibu bapa. Mereka terpaksa bersusah payah mengambil anak masing-masing pada hujung minggu manakala yang terus tinggal di asrama perlu membayar sendiri untuk makanan. Ini semua akan meningkatkan perbelanjaan rakyat,” katanya.

“Sebenarnya, Pakatan Rakyat bukan saja berjuang untuk penambahan hari penyediaan makanan di asrama itu, tetapi apa yang kami hasratkan adalah memberi PENDIDIKAN PERCUMA kepada semua rakyat Malaysia, daripada peringkat tadika sehinggalah ke pengajian ijazah pertama,” kata beliau yang juga Anggota Majlis Tertinggi Pakatan Rakyat.

Salahuddin berkata pendidikan percuma itu adalah antara perkara terbesar akan cuba dilaksanakan Pakatan Rakyat apabila berjaya menguasai kerajaan Pusat; oleh itu seluruh rakyat perlu menyatakan sokongan termasuk pada pilihan raya umum ke-13 yang akan diadakan dua tiga tahun lagi.

Katanya, pendidikan percuma itu adalah berdasarkan Perkara 153 Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang mana antara lain menyatakan hak bumiputera untuk berdaya saing dengan kaum lain; salah satu carannya melalui pendidikan.

“Kami di Pakatan Rakyat bercadang melanjutkannya kepada semua kaum; semua pihak terutama pelajar yang memerlukan akan dibantu sepenuhnya agar semua rakyat berpeluang mendapat pendidikan daripada tadika sehinggalah ke pengajian tingggi,” katanya.

Salahuddin yang juga Naib Presiden PAS, yakin berdasarkan perolehan negara termasuk melalui pencukaiannya dan keunungan puluhan bilion ringgit oleh Petronas, membolehkan rancangan pendidikan percuma itu dijayakan.

Menurut beliau jika kerajaan mentadbir kewangan negara dengan telus, tidak timbul soal untuk memotong peruntukan dengan banyaknya dalam bidang pendidikan.

“Mengapa perlu dikorbankan generasi muda sedangkan mereka inilah yang akan memimpin negara pada masa depan,” katanya.

Katanya, penekanan Pakatan Rakyat kepada pendidikan ini kerana berpendapat ia satu tanggungjawab sosial dan kerajaan yang ada sekarang ini tidak boleh culas dalam bidang ini. “Tiada kompromi dalam soal pendidikan rakyat ini,” tegas beliau.

Selain pendidikan, Salahuddin yang juga Ahli Parlimen Kubang Kerian, berkata Pakatan Rakyat memperjuangkan agar rakyat mendapat rawatan kesihatan terbaik dengan yuran minimum kerana menjadi tanggungjawab kerajaan untuk memastikan kesejahteraan rakyatnya.

Beliau menyatakan kurang senang dengan perkembangan semasa di mana kerajaan dilaporkan bercadang menswastakan bahagian-bahagian tertentu di hospital dan pusat kesihatan.

Katanya, bidang kesihatan adalah tanggungjawab sosial kerajaan dan menjadi hak rakyat untuk mendapat rawatan terbaik, terutama di kalangan golongan veteran yang telah banyak menabur jasa kepada perkhidmatan kerajaan.

Katanya, pelbagai langkah penjimatan termasuk catuan ubat-ubatan seperti dilakukan sekarang, menunjukkan bahawa kerajaan menghadapi masalah serius dalam bidang ini. Ketika ini banyak farmasi kerajaan menyediakan tong plastik di kaunter bagi menggalakkan pesakit memulangkan ubat-ubatan yang tidak habis mereka gunakan.

Salahuddin percaya perkara ini tidak berlaku jika kerajaan telus dalam perbelanjaannya termasuk pembayaran ‘bail out’ dan menjayakan projek mega yang diberikan kepada kroni-kroni tertentu.

“Seperti bidang pendidikan, kesihatan rakyat juga perlu menjadi keutamaan. Bagi saya tiada kompromi dalam bidang-bidang ini,” kata bintang muda yang menyinari politik tanah air itu.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Puduraya: Kejap tutup kejap tak tutup, apa cerita?

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

Firman Allah SWT maksudnya: "Dan antara tanda-tanda yang membuktikan kekuasaan-Nya dan rahmat-Nya bahawa Dia menciptakan untukmu (wahai golongan lelaki) isteri-isteri daripada jenis dirimu sendiri supaya kamu bersenang hati dan hidup mesra dengannya dan dijadikan antara kamu (suami isteri) perasaan kasih sayang dan belas kasihan. Sesungguhnya yang demikian itu mengandungi keterangan-keterangan (yang menimbulkan kesedaran) bagi orang-orang yang berfikir...(Surah Ar-Rum Ayat 21)

MENTERI Wilayah Persekutuan dan Kesejahteraan Bandar, Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin sudah menghebahkan kepada media, Hentian Puduraya akan ditutup selama empat bulan untuk kerja-kerja meningkat taraf hab pengangkutan awam itu mulai 19 Mac; tetapi mengapa tiba-tiba ia dibatalkan pula.

Seluruh ‘kampung’ sudah heboh, tetapi ‘ tiba-tiba tidak jadi kahwin’ pula? Maka berterusanlah Hentian Puduraya menjadi tumpuan warga kota berpendapatan rendah dan sederhana serta perantau bagi mendapatkan perkhidmatan pengangkutan awam. Tetapi apa sudah berlaku berikutan pengumuman terburu-buru menteri berkenaan?

Tinjauan mendapati sejumlah premis perniagaan sudah ditutup; antaranya kedai buku dan pakaian. Malah autoteller seperti CIMB, Maybank dan Bank Rakyat pun sudah ditutup. Ada peniaga sudah memindahkan barangan mereka, dengan sampah memenuhi lantai kedai. Sebelum pengumuman terbaru ini, seorang peniaga buku yang ditemui berkata dia akan terus berhenti daripada berniaga kerana tidak sesuai berniaga buku di stesen bas sementara yang dicadangkan di Jalan Galloway , tidak jauh daripada Ibu Pejabat Kontijen Polis di Jalan Hang Tuah.

Kerja-kerja pembinaan berterusan berhampiran Platform 1 manakala sejumlah tangga yang menuruni platform ditutup dengan kayu pemidang. Kerja-kerja ini mendatangkan ketidakselesaan kepada penumpang. Orang ramai dan peniaga yang ditemui menyatakan rasa terkejut dengan pengumuman baru itu. “Apa ni, kejap kata tutup, kejap kata tak jadi pula?” luah seorang penumpang yang kesal dengan sikap agensi kerajaan terutama menteri wilayah.

Uda Holdings Berhad yang menyelenggara hab pengangkutan awam berusia hampir 40 tahun itu, berkata penangguhan itu dibuat selepas mesyuarat antara pihaknya, Kementerian Wilayah Persekutuan dan Kesejahteraan Bandar, Lembaga Pelesenan Kenderaan Perdagangan (LPKP), Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ) dan polis.

Jika di Hentian Puduraya, peniaga, orang awam termasuk penumpang terganggu dengan ‘cerita tak jadi kahwin’ itu, tinjauan di stesen bas sementara Jalan Galloway menunjukkan pelbagai prasarana sudah disediakan. Sebuah lapangan besar sudah dibina, demikian juga khemah lengkap dengan kipas dan lampu malahan sebuah tangga dibina menuruni bukit berhampiran stesen monorel Hang Tuah.

Berapa banyak kos sudah dihabiskan di Puduraya, kini ditambah lagi dengan kos pembinaan stesen bas sementera Jalan Galloway. Takkan wang dihamburkan begitu saja bagi memuaskan hati PM Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak yang tidak puas hati dengan keadaan Puduraya selepas beliau melawat hentian itu awal tahun lalu?

Kedudukan stesen bas sementara itu terletak di kawasan sesak. Biasanya di Jalan Hang Tuah berlaku kesesakan lalulintas amat teruk. Di tepi jalan itu sudah dipasang papan tanda jalan bahawa sebuah jejambat akan dibina melepasi persimpangan Jalan Hang Tuah-Jalan Pudu. Apabila kerja-kerja pembinaan dijalankan kelak, tentulah kawasan bertambah hiruk pikuk malah mendatangkan bahaya kepada orang ramai.

Demikianlah betapa rakyat golongan kebanyakan terpaksa menerima kepahitan akibat perancangan pihak berkuasa yang tidak berpandangan jauh. Disebabkan kebanyakan pengguna adalah daripada golongan bawahan, mereka tidak peduli dengan arahan mereka yang tidak tepat itu. Seolah-olah rakyat dipermainkan saja lagaknya oleh pihak berkuasa. Rakyat bagaikan bola yang boleh disepak dan diterajang begitu saja.

Jika rakyat ‘dihayun’ sebegitu di Hentian Puduraya, kebanyakan pihak diam saja; tetapi apa kata dibuat ‘cerita kejap tutup kejap tidak tutup’ ini di KLIA, bagaimana agaknya reaksi menteri dan orang-orang besar. Ringkasnya, rakyat kebanyakan menderita ‘tak pa’, jangan orang kaya dan VIP yang kerap menggunakan KLIA itu, mereka perlu dijaga dulu, kini dan selamanya.

Berdasarkan apa yang berlaku di Hentian Puduraya, slogan muluk ‘Rakyat didahulukan, pencapaian diutamakan’ hanya bahan gorengan saja. Hairan juga, slogan ini banyak diletakkan di sepanjang susur gajah antara Hentian Puduraya dan stesen LRT Plaza Rakyat, sedangkan keadaan bangunan Puduraya dan Plaza Rakyat yang pernah siap-siap itu, membayangkan di mana kedudukan rakyat.

Bukan saja konkrit Plaza Rakyat terbiar karat, lantai susur gajah itu sudah berlubang-lubang, menunggu masa untuk membaham mangsa pertama! Mungkinkah rakyat didahulukan untuk ke kubur?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mengapa akhbar arus perdana dibakar?

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

Sesiapa yang menziarahi saudaranya yang sakit atau menziarahi saudaranya kerana Allah, menyerulah malaikat: "Eloklah kamu dan eloklah perjalanan kamu serta Allah akan tempatkan kamu di dalam syurga." (Riwayat al-Tarmizi)

ZAINUL Arifin Mohammed Isa sahabat lama saya. Kini beliau menjadi Pengarah Urusan Kumpulan NSTP, jawatan eksekutif tertinggi di Kumpulan NSTP yang menerbitkan akhbar New Straits Times, Berita Harian dan Harian Metro selain akhbar-akhbar mingguannya.

Saya masih ingat bersama-sama Zainul menyelusuri kebun dan desa membuat liputan mengenai klon koko Mardi di Ulu Dong, Raub pada tahun 1987.

Kami seangkatan, bersama-sama bermula dari bawah, bintangnya bersinar cepat sehingga ke jawatan sekarang. Dulu kolumnya ada dalam akhbar New Straits Times tetapi sejak dilantik ke jawatan baru tidak lama dulu, beliau ada kolum di Berita Minggu yang logonya hanya memakai gambar dan namanya.

Tidak lama dulu Zainul menulis mengenai kematian Setiausaha Politik seorang Exco Selangor, Teoh Beng Hock. Sebagai pembaca yang menghormati idea bernas beliau, saya terperanjat apabila beliau dalam artikel ‘Kematian Teoh timbulkan pelbagai spekulasi politik’ berusaha bersungguh-sungguh mengaitkan isu ini sebagai sesuatu yang bersifat perkauman.

Isu Teoh bukan bersifat perkauman tetapi apa diperjuangan adalah keadilan dan ketelusan. Secara kebetulan yang terbunuh adalah seorang pemuda Cina, tetapi kalau kematian itu membabitkan seorang Melayu apakah ia perlu didiamkan saja kerana secara kebetulan juga peneraju dan majoriti petugas agensi kerajaan seperti Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) dan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) adalah orang Melayu?

Zainul juga mempertikai dan merendah-rendahkan Menteri Besar Selangor, Khalid Ibrahim dengan menulis: “Kenapa, contohnya perlu kerajaan Selangor mahukan pakar bedah swasta untuk siasat kematian Teoh? Adakah pakar hospital kerajaan tidak layak? Atau tidak boleh dipercayai?

“Kenapa Menteri Besar Selangor, SEORANG MELAYU, meragui kebolehan orang sebangsanya bertindak tulus dengan adil? Bukankah banyak pegawai agensi atau institusi kerajaan orang Melayu? Adakah polis, hakim, guru, penyiasat, doktor, pensyarah Melayu semuanya tidak boleh dipercayai?”

Saya percaya Khalid tidak pernah meragui kemampuan dan kejujuran orang sebangsanya tetapi apa ditekankan adalah ketelusan dan keadilan. Tidak usahlah penulis seperti Zainul melepaskan panahan beracun sehingga mendakwa Khalid tidak mempercayai bangsanya sendiri. Adakah Zainul bermaksud orang Melayu mesti menyakini orang Melayu sekalipun dia korup dan diselimuti 1,001 perkara negatif lain?

Ambil contoh mudah ini; saya seorang Melayu Islam, jika mahu mengamanahkan sejumlah wang sebelum saya ke luar negara, tentulah saya tidak sewenang-wenangnya menyerahkan kepada seorang individu Muslim yang saya diyakinkan tidak amanah. Dalam Islam, memanglah salah untuk menyatakan seseorang itu munafik tetapi sifat munafik itu boleh diketahui, iaitu jika dia berjanji dia mungkir; jika bercakap dia bohong; dan jika diberi amanah dia khianat.

Jika seseorang itu sekalipun Muslim ada ciri-ciri demikian (dan sudah diketahui umum) adalah bodoh bagi saya untuk menyerahkan wang itu kepadanya. Jika saya melakukannya juga bermakna saya bukan saja bodoh tetapi telah mengkhianati orang lain yang mempunyai kepentingan ke atas wang itu seperti isteri dan anak-anak saya.

Bagi saya, Zainul telah menulis artikel itu berdasarkan semangat meluap-luapnya untuk menghentam Pakatan Rakyat sejak daripada awal lagi. Ini dapat dilihat daripada peranggan pembuka (intro) beliau yang berbunyi: “Adakah ahli dan penyokong Pakatan Rakyat saja yang berasa sedih ke atas kematian Teoh Beng Hock.”

Beliau menyambung dengan nada sinis: “Tentu sekali jika dilihat dari(pada) muka-muka sama yang bergegas mengepali tunjuk perasaan apabila saja ada kejadian seperti ini…”
Pada para ketiga beliau menulis: “Oportunisme politik boleh merampas kesedihan untuk dijadikan modal politik. Kematian boleh dijadikan pemangkin untuk naikkan kemarahan, dan juga batu hikmat menarik sokongan.”

Wahai sahabatku Zainul, memanglah kematian menyedihkan semua (kecualilah mereka yang dapat mengaut keuntungan seperti pengurus rumah mayat), tetapi apabila berlaku kematian meragukan, penyiasatan telus diperlukan. Apabila tidak berlaku keadilan, timbullah rasa tidak puas hati, bantahan seterusnya demonstrasi dan revolusi.

Hal ini tidak ada sangkut paut dengan perkauman. Dan hal yang sama tidak terbatas di negara ini saja. Di luar negara pun sama, apabila ketidakadilan tidak terlihat, tidak terzahir; maka berlakulah kebangkitan rakyat yang membawa kejatuhan sesebuah kerajaan.

Zainul mengakhiri artikel dengan menulis: “Janganlah termakan kata-kata orang, yang agendanya kadang-kadang hendak mempersoalkan kebolehan orang Melayu.” Hakikatnya tiada siapa mempersoalkan kebolehan orang Melayu, dan akibat daripada tuduhan inilah sesetengah pihak bertindak membakar akhbar yang diterajui Zainul!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

‘Teach our children to respect God’

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

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. slept upon a mat and got up with marks on his body made by the mat. Someone said, “O Messenger of God! If you had ordered me, I would have spread a soft bed for you.” Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said; “What business have I with the world? My state in respect of the world is that of a man on horseback who stops under the shade of a tree for a while and then leaves it.”

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” I found this interesting quotation while surfing the internet, its words were beautifully arranged; its meaning captured my imagination.

Yes, I tried hard to teach my children about life and a great opportunity arrived when I took my whole family for a northern trip (from Malacca to Kedah) during the short school term break (13-21st March).

We travelled in a MPV, and how happy my wife and I because our three teenage boys and two girls were all together. In recent years, it was rare for us to have this opportunity to be together because school holidays do not coincide with the eldest sibling’s university term breaks.

Once, during the journey, I gave a ‘tazkirah’ (talk) lasting more than an hour to them. I began with mentioning how lucky we are because we are born Muslims. Therefore we had to ‘bersyukur’ (be thankful) to Allah the Almighty for that special gift. And how lucky we are because we are chosen to be followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Even prophets before Muhammad (pbuh) and their followers wished to the Prophet’s ‘ummah’.

Then I told them the importance of talking about Allah SWT greatness again and again. Allah should be always on Muslims’ minds. At every event, people should be reminded about His greatness. So always mentioned Allah-u-Akbar (Allah is Greatest).

“If Allah SWT is always on our mind, then we could not go wrong in our lives. All our deeds are subjected to the laws of Allah SWT; whether they are ‘halal’ (permissible or lawful) or ‘haram’ (forbidden or unlawful). Then there are laws such as ‘makruh’ (detestable, less than degree than haram) and ‘sunat’ which means something or some practices you need to follow/to perform but not mandatory.

Each time before beginning our task, ask our hearts sincerely whether it is ‘halal’ or ‘haram’.

“If the answer is ‘halal’ go ahead; if it is ‘haram’ just abandoned it. For example, earning from odd jobs such as washing cars is ‘halal’ but stealing is ‘haram’, so just don’t do the latter.

“To know what is ‘halal’ and what is haram’ is not difficult. Just ask your heart sincerely, feel the inside of your heart. It will give you an automatic answer; for example you know that drinking soft drinks is ‘halal’ but taking alcoholic drinks is ‘haram’. So you do what’s permissible (halal) and abandon all the forbidden (haram) activities and things.

“But the truth is that you must learn what is ‘halal’ and ‘haram’. You must be knowledgeable on the teaching of Islam. It is a must for Muslims, men and women to learn about Islam. Every Muslims should know what’s ‘halal’, ‘haram’ ‘makruh’, ‘sunat’ and so on, we should have a sound knowledge on Islam.

“Each of you would enter workforce one day. If you became an engineer, be an engineer who summits to Islam. If you became a doctor, be a practising Muslim doctor. It is no point if you became a renowned professional but one who never put one’s foreheads on the ground; submitting himself/herself to the Almighty (solat).

“Always be humble in life. When you receive your first pay, don’t keep all the money to yourself. Set aside 2.5 percent of the money to pay ‘zakat’ (a tax at a fixed rate in proportion to the worth of property, collected from the well-to-do and distributed among poor Muslims). Then, it’s no harm to ‘belanja’ (spend) your office mates. Order two big kettles of coffee and tea and a tray or two fried mee and beehon; recite the du’a (prayers) and invite them to ‘taste the first fruit of your labour’.

“It’s normal if you had a girlfriend or boyfriend and decided to get married. But please don’t hang around the girl or boy or bring them home; if you are serious with your girl, start saving money; the earlier the better to prepare for the marriage. Nowadays ‘hantaran’ (dowry) is expensive, perhaps RM20,000. If you save RM200 a month, it would take 10 years to have that amount. If you start working when you are 23 years old after graduating from university, you would be 33 years then!

“But don’t worry. Father would help you. The important thing is to follow the Islamic way of life, including when seeking partner (wife or husband) and holding marriage celebrations.”

I lectured my children until we reached our destination. Some of them looked bored, but they have no choice but listen to my ‘ceramah’. As for me, that’s a golden moment that should not be wasted; it’s difficult to have all my children gathered around me since they had started moving their different ways; the eldest in university, the second in college and the others to residential schools. Only the youngest stay with us.

Watching my children made me remember an encounter with an aged and abandoned Sikh man named Jami Hal Singh near a LRT station recently. I wished him ‘good day’; then gave him some money for his breakfast.

I called him ‘Uncle’; he was touched and said, it was the first time in many years a person had called him so. He then pulled me by his side and told me his story.

“I have a daughter in a high position working in a well known institution. Well, for years now she doesn’t care about me. After she married, she went away with her husband, and I was left here to be rotten, waiting for death.

“My friend,” he told me, “Teach your children to have respect of God; when they had the respect for God, only then they will respect you. If they do not respect God, how would they respect you?

“I had learnt my greatest mistake, I didn’t teach my child to respect God; I gave her treasures of happiness, now it’s my turn to swallow the bitterness of life.”

How true, the quotation mentioned earlier fit well for this man: “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

Looking at frail body of the old man, I remember a ‘hadith’ (tradition of the Prophet s.a.w.), “On the Day of Judgment, one will not be able to move away before Allah until he has accounted for his life (how it was spent); knowledge (to what use it was put); wealth (how it was acquired and spent) and body (how it was utilized?)”

The Holy Qur’an warns: “O ye who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families a Fire whereof the fuel is men and stones. Over which are set angels strong, severe, who resist not Allah in that which He commandeth them, but do that which they are commanded.” (66:6)

“Know that the life of this world is only play, and idle talk, and pageantry, and boasting among you; and rivalry in respect of wealth and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whereof the growth is pleasing to the husbandman, but afterward it drieth up and thou seest it turning yellow, then it becometh straw. And in the Hereafter there is grevious punishment, and also forgiveness from Allah and His pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but a matter of illusion.” (57:20)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kenapa dedah kejelekan pasangan selepas bercerai?

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

1. "Orang yang terbaik antara kalian ialah orang yang mempelajari al-Quran dan mengajarkannya." (HR Bukhari)
2. Sesungguhnya orang yang di dalam rongganya tidak melekat sesuatu ayat al-Quran, maka dia laksana rumah bobrok." (HR. Thurmidzi)
3. Adakan janji dengan al-Quran ini, demi yang memegang jiwa Muhammad, al-Quran ini lebih cepat hilang (daripada dada seseorang) daripada seekor unta daripada tambatannya." (HR Bukhari dan Muslim)

BERSYUKUR kita kehadrat-Nya kerana dipanjangkan usia, antara lain dapat dimanfaatkan masa singkat sebelum mati untuk berbakti sesama manusia. Akhir-akhir ini kita begitu dukacita dengan kecenderungan sesetengah ahli politik yang mendedahkan apa yang didakwa keburukan dan kejelekan rakan malah pemimpin partinya sendiri.

Dalam memuzakarahkan perkembangan ini, kita mengambil kehidupan suami isteri sebagai perbandingan. Saat bercinta sebelum berkahwin, memanglah indah belaka. Apa yang dilihat dan alami adalah perkara muluk-muluk saja. Semasa berjumpa, jika mahu terkentut pun ditahan atau dilepaskan jauh-jauh agar pasangan tidak tercium bau busuknya.

Kemudian ketika awal berumah tangga, keadaan masih manis belaka. Namun lama kelamaan kelemahan atau tembelang diri terdedah satu persatu. Suami didapati tidak menepati cita rasa diri; bangun sudahlah lambat, jenis pengotor pula. Pakaian kotor ditanggalkan dan dibiarkan terperuk di sana sini. Kegemarannya asyik menonton televisyen dan tidur, selepas itu ‘chatting’ dan bermain ‘game’ berjam-jam depan skrin komputer.

Si isteri pula jenis tidak masuk dapur. Hari-hari makan di kedai. Kegemarannya membeli nasi dan lauk bungkus. Dapur tidak berasap berhari-hari. Pakaian hanya dicuci hujung minggu. Rumah pun tidak disapu. Dulu ketika berkasih, penampilan diri, waduh; tetapi sekarang wajah kusut masai dengan rambut mengerbang macam hantu.

Si suami tidak suka perangai buruk laki dan si laki tidak suka kejelekan isteri. Akhirnya mereka sepakat bercerai. Sudah bercerai, adakah wajar si suami menjaja kejelekan isteri dan sebaliknya? Kenapa dicerita yang buruk saja; tidakkah ada sekelumit pun yang indah dan membahagiakan. Daripada seribu kejahatannya, tentu ada satu dua yang baik.

Perceraian telah menoktahkan perhubungan mereka, jadi tiada hak dan erti janda dan duda masing-masing membawa cerita lagi. Kalau dibuat juga itu namanya jahat mulut.

Lalu apakah gelaran layak diberi kepada politikus membawa cerita jijik yang didakwa dilakukan bekas rakan dan pemimpin dalam partinya dulu? Bahkan dia melakukan di dewan mulia iaitu Parlimen di mana undang-undang negara digubal. Bukankah perbuatan itu amat tidak wajar kerana boleh membawa suasana kurang senang dalam negara.

Kejelekan yang didedahkan itu baru di peringkat dakwaan atau tuduhan; tiada siapa yang dapat mengesahkannya. Malah orang yang dituduh tidak berpeluang melakukan pembelaan diri, si penuduh diberi peluang melepaskan geramnya semahu-mahunya dan media massa tidak melepaskan peluang mengeksploitasinya dengan seluas mungkin.

Kita bimbang pendedahan ini ada persamaan dengan kes mahkamah membabitkan tokoh yang sama tidak lama dulu. Pemimpin itu diaibkan seluas-luasnya oleh dakwaan si penuduh; media massa membantu menyebar-luaskannya sehingga rakyat di ceruk pun tahu akan dakwaan kejelekan itu.

Namun selepas kerosakan paling teruk dialami tertuduh, kes itu ditangguhkan. Apa yang penting matlamatnya sudah tercapai, pemimpin berkenaan sudah dimalukan sehingga peringkat maksimum.

Kini apa yang didakwa kejelekan pemimpin berkenaan kembali didedahkan oleh rakan separtinya. Rakan menikam sesama rakan, demikian bahaya seorang rakan sehingga ada cendekiawan mengungkapkan bahawa memelihara seekor anjing adalah lebih baik daripada mempunyai sahabat yang jahat.

Anjing, jika dilatih dapat berbakti kepada kita, kesetiaannya tidak berbelah bagi, ia hanya taat kepada kita. Tetapi seorang sahabat yang jahat, segala keburukan kita akan dibongkar dan kemudian dijaja bagi membolehkan dia mendapat keuntungan maksimum.
Kita tidak ubah bagai alatnya saja – jika kita berguna untuk dia sampai ke kemuncak dia akan cium tangan kita, selepas kita tidak berguna lagi, dia akan menikam kita, kini bukan dari belakang lagi, tetapi berdepan, almaklumlah kita sudah lemah.

Kepada orang beriman, hanya kepada-Nya kita berserah diri selepas berusaha. Hanya Dia yang dapat menyelamatkan kita daripada kejahatan dan fitnah.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Oh Ummah, please stop fighting over trivial matters

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

Say: "If the whole of Mankind and Jinns
were to gather together
to produce the like of this Quran,
they could not produce the like thereof,
even if they backed up each other
with help and support."
(Bani Israil 17:88)

RECENTLY I attended several ‘Maulidur Rasul tazkirah’ (talks or lessons in conjunction with Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) birthday. Some interesting points raised by speakers caught my attention and I would like to share them with readers.

One ‘ustaz’ (a religious teacher) said it’s no point to get involved in ‘Maulidur Rasul’ processions but ignored and going against Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) teaching. He said among those who were jubilant when the Prophet’s was born was Abu Lahab, but 40 years later when Prophet Muhammad revealed that he was the Messenger of God, this uncle of the Prophet started war against him.

He said when Abu Lahab heard news that a baby boy was born to Aminah who was his brother’s (Abdullah) wife, he was full of joy that he circled the Ka’abah seven times (tawaf) and proudly paraded in the holy city.

But when Muhammad (pbuh) was made a prophet, Abu Lahab dan his wife, work continuously to make it hard for the Prophet; in the Qur’an, there is ‘Surah al-Tabat’ mentioning about Abu Lahab and his wife horrible fate in the Hereafter.

In another function in a masjid near the writer’s home, a preacher, Dr Rozey Baba, said its high time Muslim ceased fighting over trivial matters but concentrated their efforts to raise the living conditions of Muslims; whether regarding faith or daily life.

He said year after year Muslims held celebrations such as ‘berzanji’ (reciting the life story of the Prophet) and held talks in masaajid (plural of masjid), but the condition of the ‘ummah’ was getting from bad to worse.

“What’s the point in fighting over trivial matters in ‘solat’ (prayer) such as how high to raise the hands during ‘takbiratul ihram’ (reciting al-laa-hu ak-bar – Allah is the Greatest) and where to put one’s hands while praying; whether under the navel, on the left side of the stomach or just leave the hands straight,” he said.

Recently some Muslims were subjected to dispute between those who prefer saying ‘dhikir’ (remembrance of Allah) and supplication of the ‘du’a’ in mass after prayers and those who were against it saying it was ‘bid’ah (things that was not done by Prophet Muhammad pbuh).

In his talk, Dr Rozey said, Muslims should avoid such trivial matters; there are many things to do to upgrade the status of ‘ummah’. “Look around you,” he said, “the faces you see are always the same, why are young men not around in masaajid?”

He then lambasted certain masjid officials, saying they were only interested in getting positions; a few secretaries only keen in heaping huge amount of money derived from public donations, in bank accounts.

“There’s no point in piling up those money. It should be used to finance masjid’s programme for various groups of society; i.e. for the veteran, middle age group, women, youth, boys and girls,” he said.

“Masjid officials should think on how to improve society, if not they should step down,” said Dr Rozey. “And please don’t talk about trivial matters that could undermine society.”

In Islam, differences in opinion on trivial matters should be dealt with open hearts. For example it is a common knowledge, that the majority of masaajid in Perlis, hold ‘solat subuh’ (dawn payer) without saying ‘du’a qunut’.

While I was in Meulaboh, West Aceh, a few years back, I noticed the people there said their ‘subuh prayers’ without the ‘du’a qunut’.

And in Masjidil Haram in Mecca and Masjid Nabi in Medina too, during ‘subuh’ (dawn) prayer, the iman does not recite the ‘du’a qunut’ but gives ample time for congregators to say a short du’a – al-laa-hum-magh fir-liii yaa gha-furr – (O Allah, the most Forgiving, forgive me for my sins).

I received this e-mail from a friend, AHMAD KHAI in Kuwait; telling about his experience mingling among the local during prayer times.

“I have learnt quite a bit about the practicality of Islam as a way of life since I started working and living in the Gulf. It is also where I have actually seen the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) being literally practiced as a way of life. Not that I was not aware of it previously at home but being here actually is for me like being lunged into the manifestation of what Islam is all about.

A simple illustration – it doesn’t normally rain here in the Arabian Gulf region. So when it does rain, it is a big thing such that what would be otherwise routine will now have to be configured to take into account the occurrence of the rain, and its consequences thereto.

Rain fall here in the Gulf normally occurs when there is a change in the season – somewhat a precursor of the incoming season. When autumn was about to transform into winter recently, it incidentally occurred when we were celebrating the Eid Al Adha. I remembered that it was a Friday when we celebrated the recent Eid Al Adha. The Eid morning prayers were held about 15 minutes after Shurq (sunrise). By the time I had completed the Solat Eid, it began to drizzle.

Clouds had begun to gather by the time it came for the Solat Jum'ah. This being a Friday, a fatwa by Sheikh Ibn Baz (rahimahullah) from the Grand Masjidil Haram of Makkah says that it is legislated for Muslims if the Eid coincides with Friday; they are to perform the Eid solat and the Jum'ah solat in the masaajid where the Jum'ah solat is (normally) held. And it is also permissible for one who had attended the Eid solat to leave off the Jum'ah and instead perform the Zuhr prayer.

And so it happened that we did eventually perform the Jum'ah solat and whilst the khutbah was being delivered, the rain outside began to increase.

Immediately after the Imam had given his salam to mark the conclusion of the Jum'ah solat, he got up and walked towards the window to size up the rain fall outside. He then returned to his original position, announcing somewhat nonchalantly that he will now lead the Asr prayers, which will now be performed collectively (jama') with the just concluded Jum'ah prayers.

I thought to myself then, this was cool! I had only been used to performing the jama' wal qasr prayers when travelling but suddenly realized that herein lies what Islam is all about – and the verse from the Holy Al Qur’an comes to mind, with the meaning: "Allah wants to make things easy (facilitate) for you, and Allah does not want to cause difficulties for you."

I had already personally experienced the jama' prayers almost a year earlier but at that point in time I had thought that what was going on then seemed to be an exception rather than the rule.

As I gradually began to understand how things are done here insofar as mu'amalah is concerned, I soon began to understand the real meaning of the ayah (verse) as described above. On first impression, one could be forgiven for thinking that the locals were just prone to take the easy way out but one gradually realizes the significance of adopting the practice described above – a manifestation that Islam is a way of life that takes into account the welfare of its subjects, the Muslims.

I wondered then if such an approach would have been practical back home, notably when rain in the monsoon season is a matter of course. Would the folks balk at the thought of the Imam making such a seemingly brash decision?”

Monday, March 22, 2010

The young tap thief

In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate, blessing and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

RAMADAN reminds me of this story. It was 10 am Saturday, the 14th Ramadan or 7th October 2006. As I was busy looking at some workers changing the old pipelines near my home, I heard a loud commotion. A man armed with a 'parang' (machete) was bringing a youth he accused of trying to remove a brass tap at a nearby 'surau'.

As the man had to report the matter to the police and informed the 'surau' officials, he trusted in me to look after the boy. During the more than an hour waiting time, I used the opportunity to 'dakwah' (lecture) the boy after asking his background.

He was just seventeen and was from a village about 15 kilometers away. He will be sitting for the the 'Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia' (SPM) examination at the end of the year but he chose not to go to school since the middle of the year.

He said he could still sit for the examination because his name was registered as a candidate and the school authority had 'no power' to stop him from doing so. The last thing they could do was suspend him from school. Their actions only delighted him, so schooling was history for the good looking, some five feet seven inches boy.

His only concern was how to make full use of his youthful life. He told me many of his friends were having motorcycles and almost everyone had fancy handsets. Many of them were not from well off families, but their style of living looked as though they were sons of rich parents.

He said he was the oldest of three siblings and his parents didn't have any idea about his 'activities'.

The boy, whose father was a general worker at a nearby oil refinery while his mother a housewife, said he wanted to emulate his friends' ways of life. So he borrowed a motorcycle from one of his friends and started to make money the easy way - stealing and removing valuable items from homes, mosques and public buildings.

I searched for his wallet. It contained some calling cards, plastic cards and a RM1 note. "Where's your IC?" I asked and the boy answered he had lost it some time ago. "Where's your driving license?" to which he replied he didn't have any.

Looking at the faded RM1 note, I felt pity for the boy. At that moment I was left alone with him. He was sitting on the children swing and I was standing at his side.

The boy was lucky because his captors didn't tie his hands or legs or beat him up.
I assumed the boy was too green and had not been a totally spoiled brat because in that situation, he could spring off and run away or overpower me easily. But he chose not to do so but listen to my 'lectures'.

I asked him if he was fasting on that day. He said he wasn't and he needed some money to see the day through. That's why he tried to steal the brass tap. I told him that he had made multiple mistakes and it would be tough for him if the police took him to the police station. First he had no identity card, second he had no driving license, third he was caught stealing and fourth he was not fasting on that day.

He said he had only fasted for a few days and when I questioned him whether he said his prayers regularly, he answered: "Sometimes."

To attract the boy's attention, I gave him a RM10 note. I knew that getting money was his agenda for the day. With money he could buy that day's lunch and dinner, buy petrol to fill up the tank of his borrowed bike and top up his handset.

"Now, listen to what 'pakcik' (uncle) has to say," I said to him. "You are lucky because you are caught now when you are only beginning to become a thief. You are just learning to become a crook. That means Allah SWT loves you because He wants you to realize your mistake at the early stage. He wants you to repent now. Imagine if you are not caught, and you became from bad to worse as the days pass by and lastly you become the king of crooks or gangsters."

The boy remained silent and I continued my 'lecture'. "'Pakcik' pities you very much. My eldest son is the same age as you. If I would like my son to be a good and humble boy, your father too hoped that you be a good son. If I would like my son to do well in the coming examination, your parents too hoped that you would do the same.

"Now, tell 'Pakcik' what drove you to do such a thing?" The boy kept silent but from his attire, his trademark helmet and handset, I guessed he must been chasing the easy and materialistic way of life adopted by many among the new generation.

In school, many upper secondary students have motorbikes while a few especially in the Sixth Form drive flashy cars compared to a few teachers who still use the Honda and Yamaha 90 cc old bikes and old cars such as the Saga, Opel Kadett, Toyota Corolla and Mazda 323.

On seeing him reluctant to open his mouth, I continued: "You have a long way in life. You are only 17 and if you live until 60, you have more than 40 years in life, so why spoil it by doing such a stupid thing? 'Pakcik' hopes that you repent now, turn over a new leaf and become a new you!

"Had you heard the story about a robber who had killed 99 people but wanted to repent?" I asked the boy who only shook his head. "The robber then went to a scholar and asked him whether God will forgive his sins to which the man said 'no'. The bad man then killed him, so he had killed 100 people.

"The robber then went to another wise man who said Allah the Almighty will forgive whoever He wishes. There is room for everyone who had acknowledges his/her mistakes and wants to repent. The wise old man then told the robber to go to a specific village where the people there were obedient to Allah SWT.

"On his way to the village, the robber was mobbed and killed. To determine whether his resting place will be in heaven or hell, the angels calculate the distance between his notorious home and the good village. It was found out that the distance to the village was nearer so the man ended up in heaven."

The boy looked up at me and said: "Please, 'pakcik', please let me go this time," to which I replied: "If you were caught stealing in 'pakcik's' compound and by 'pakcik', 'pakcik' will let you off with the assurance that you repent. But in this case, you were caught in a 'surau compound by a stranger and with this brass tap as proof, so 'pakcik' has no right to release you. You are now subject to police treatment.

"'Pak cik' believes that you will face hard times after this, but you must always remember what 'pakcik' had told you. This is a lesson for you, you mustn't think it as an unfortunate incident but think positively; it is fortunate for you being caught at a tender age so that you will be able to turn over a new leaf."

As I was still speaking to the boy, two policemen on a motorcycle arrived. The men rushed to the boy, and one of them after asking; "So you are the tap thief in the 'kampung'?" slapped him on the face. I guessed the policeman was referring to another case when the village's mosque was broken into one night and the thief ran off with 33 brass taps.

The boy didn't answer while the policemen swiftly handcuffed him, dragged him to their motorcycle and they were all gone. That episode was just like the drama shown on TV, and this time, I was one of its characters!

This 'drama' could be a good lesson for all especially parents in bringing up their children.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Etika kewartawanan hanya untuk dipelajari?

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

"Barangsiapa beriman kepada Allah dan hari akhirat, maka janganlah dia menyakiti hati tetangganya. Dan barangsiapa beriman kepada Allah dan hari akhir, maka hendaklah dia memuliakan tamunya. Dan barangsiapa beriman kepada Allah dan hari akhir, maka hendaklah dia berkata yang baik atau diam." (HR. Bukhari dan Muslim)

SEMASA saya menuntut dulu, seorang pensyarah kewartawanan berbuih-buih mulutnya menyatakan seseorang wartawan itu tidak boleh membabitkan dirinya (seperti memberi pendapat, pandangan dan rasa hati) dalam penulisan berita dan rencananya.

Masih terngiyang-ngiyang peringatan itu walaupun sudah hampir 30 tahun berlalu. Laporkan saja sesuatu kejadian kerana awak pelapor bukan pengulas, katanya. “Tugas awak macam posmen, menghantar surat, isi dalam surat itu jangan awak pandai-pandai tambah,” tegasnya.

Tetapi hari ini apabila membaca berita dan rencana, terasa apa yang dikuliahkan pensyarah itu tidak terpakai lagi. Pelapor (wartawan) sudah mengambil bahagian dalam pemberitaan. Mungkin si wartawan membuat laporan seadanya tetapi telah ditambah itu sang editor, menjadikan laporan itu kelihatan ‘senget’ (bias).

Ambil contoh, sebuah laporan politik yang memperincikan keputusan pilihan raya, mengapa ada nada seperti ‘pihak kita’ bagi merujuk kepada Umno-BN? Adakah pihak media bekerja sebagai wartawan yang membuat laporan atau mengesahkan sudah menyebelahi pihak dinyatakan?

Kemudian dinyatakan pula, parti pembangkang sebagai ‘pihak lawan’, persoalannya sejak bila parti yang didakwa pembangkang itu menjadi lawan kepada golongan media?

Syarikat media gergasi yang ada di negara kita sering mendabik dada mereka mempunyai wartawan terbaik dan cukup terlatih, tetapi mengapa perkara asas kewartawanan ini mereka ‘tidak lepas’? Mengapa wartawan mereka sebelah kakinya sudah masuk ke kem yang disebelahi mereka, menunggu masa untuk memasukkan kedua-dua kakinya ke dalamnya?

Media ini mendakwa mereka bebas, objektif dan telus dalam laporan mereka; hakikatnya mereka seakan-akan sudah menjadi organ parti. Mereka mendakwa sebagai media arus perdana hakikatnya mereka tidak lebih daripada organ parti.

Oleh itu akhbar mereka perlu dilabel dan dicetakkan perkataan ‘Untuk Ahli Umno saja’, ‘Untuk Ahli MCA saja’ atau ‘Untuk Ahli MIC saja’, sama seperti syarat dikenakan ke atas Harakah yang dicop ‘Untuk Ahli PAS saja’.

Jika akhbar-akhbar arus perdana ini sudah disahkan sebagai organ parti, ia juga perlu diletakkan di rak-rak khas yang ditulis ‘Untuk Ahli Umno’ dan parti lain. Jika bukan ahli Umno dan parti BN lain yang membelinya, pihak berkuasa hendaklah melakukan rampasan dan serbuan dengan segera. Penjual dan penerbitnya hendaklah dikenakan tindakan juga.

Jika akhbar-akhbar alternatif seperti Harakah, Suara Keadilan dan Roket didakwa ‘bias’ dalam laporan mereka, hal itu tidak menghairankan kerana ketiga-tiganya adalah organ dan suara parti. Semua orang tahu, mereka tidak berselindung tetapi apabila media yang mendakwa sebagai akhbar nasional, tetapi bertindak bagaikan organ parti, terjejaslah imej dan kredibiliti wartawan.

Menyebelahi sesuatu pihak dalam pemberitaan ini juga dikesan dalam siaran berita luar negara. Tidak lama dulu menonton siaran berita luar negara mengenai pencerobohan ke atas Iraq, wartawan Barat yang bersama pasukan tentera Amerika dan Britain, mengungkapkan ‘perang kita…’ dan ‘tentera kita…’. Ini secara tidak langsung mengesahkan wartawan berkenaan adalah sebahagian daripada armada tentera Amerika atau Britain.

Perkembangan ini membuat hati ini tertanya-tanya apakah prinsip asas kewartawanan itu terpakai lagi. Atau apakah penulis tersilap tafsir asas kewartawanan yang diajar oleh pensyarah dulu?

Bagi penulis, seseorang wartawan Muslim itu bukan hanya perlu tahu dan mengamalkan etika kewartawanan, tetapi lebih penting tahu dan mengamalkan asas-asas Islam. Mereka perlu peka tentang perkara halal dan haram.

Sebelum memulakan kerja, mereka tahu dan sedar Yang Maha Berkuasa sedang memerhatikan mereka. Bersandarkan ilmu yang menyuluh, mereka tahu yang mana halal dan haram.

Melaporkan berita secara tepat adalah halal tetapi memesongkan berita adalah haram. Menyiarkan berita pihak berkuasa menggempur kedai judi adalah kerja kebajikan tetapi menyiarkan keputusan empat nombor ekor adalah haram.

Mereka juga tahu menyiarkan kisah artis mencari jalan pulang (mencari Tuhan) adalah bagus tetapi mereka juga tahu menyiarkan gambar artis terlondeh sana, terbuka sana adalah haram; jadi mereka akan buat yang halal dan meninggalkan yang haram. Inilah yang kita mahu dalam dunia kewartawanan kita. Bersediakah wartawan-wartawan kita berubah, berhijrah?

Mengenai etika kewartawanan Islam seorang penulis menyatakan ia ada sedikit perbezaan dengan etika kewartawanan Barat yang mengutamakan kebebasan tanpa batasan dalam semua perkara.

Seorang wartawan Islam perlu sedar dia adalah seorang pelapor yang merakamkan kejadian sebenar seperti lensa kamera. Wartawan Islam dibatasi dengan hukum-hukum syariat halal-haram.

Seorang wartawan Islam itu sekali gus seorang pendakwah. Lembut lidah pendakwah dalam menyampaikan risalah Allah, lembutlah bahasa wartawan. Tinggi hemah ulama, tinggilah hemah wartawan. Tajam pandangan ulama,, tajamlah pandangan wartawan. Keras ulama mencegah kemungkaran, begitulah sikap wartawan. Wartawan juga perlu menjawab segala kebohongan yang dilemparkan terhadap Islam.

Berikut adalah sebahagian daripada etika kewartawanan Islam yang boleh dijadikan panduan:

1. Betulkan niat iaitu bekerja semata-mata untuk mencari keredaan Allah.

2. Memulakan setiap kerja dengam Bismillah dan apabila selesai mengucap Alhamdulillah.

3. Berada di medan penulisan kerana melaksanakan kewajipan dan fardu kifayah.

4. Kekalkan pendirian menulis hanya atas dasar kejujuran.

5. Bercita-cita menegakkan yang makruf dan mencegah/ menentang kemungkaran.

6. Melaksanakan Islam dalam diri, keluarga, masyarakat, negara dan dunia dengan mengambil kira hukum wajib, sunat, harus, makruh dan haram. Membenci dan meninggalkan perkara yang haram dan makruh.

7. Menimba ilmu Islam melalui pengajian (berguru) di samping pembacaan dan pemerhatian.

Penulis ini mengingatkan bahawa pena adalah pedang jihad bukan senjata yang memuntahkan peluru-peluru fitnah, tohmahan dan seumpamanya. Sentiasa menimbang akan dosa dan pahala sebelum melakukan penulisan.

Kepada penulis baru, selamat berjaya; sentiasa timbangkan halal dan haram dalam berkarya!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Allah not the private God of Muslims

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

He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is Knower of all things." (Al-Baqarah (Cow) 29)

IN my ‘kampung’, there is a Chinese sundry shop, which the folks there named it ‘Kedai Bongkok’ which is run by brothers who are used in speaking Arabic Islamic terms such as ‘As-salaa-mu-‘alai-kum’, ‘al-Hamdu lillaah’ and ‘Laa ilaa-ha il-llaah’.

Each time a customer enters the shop, one of them would recite ‘As-salaa-mu-‘alai-kum’. Normally village folks, who were accustomed to their habits, would just ignore them, but to strangers, they would be surprised at their fluency in speaking those words.

They too would first recite ‘As-salaa-mu-‘alai-kum’ during a telephone conversation with customers when the latter would purchase items via phone.

Once, when one of them uttered ‘Laa ilaa-ha il-llah’ when I was about to pay at his work desk for items bought at his shop; I asked him whether he knew the meaning. He shook his head; and quickly I told him “that there is no God except Allah.”

“Yes, yes Allah, Allah,” he said. I believed the words were only on his lips; it did not involve his heart. It is common among some Malaccan Chinese who are very accustomed to the Malays/Muslims life that had no difficulty in following Malay dialects including speaking the Arabic Islamic terms.

Yes, many non-Muslims in Malaysia know that Muslims pray to the One God, Allah. They too, as the Chinese shopkeepers, utter ‘Allah’ in their daily lives, even though they might not have grasped the true meaning of the word.

On my daily journeys to work by express bus from Malacca to Kuala Lumpur, I befriended a passenger whom I taught was a Malay man based on his looks and fluency in the language. Before I got to know him, I always wished him ‘As-salaa-mu-‘alai-kum’ whenever I met him in the morning.

He did not reply; but always smiled broadly to me. One day, he told me ‘the truth’: “Pak Haji (Uncle) actually I am not a Muslim. I am a Malaccan Chetty. My name is Krishnan and I am a Hindu.”

Once, while sitting a seat away from me in a bus from Malacca to KL, Krishnan, whispered to me: “Why the fuss about the word Allah, ‘Pak Haji’? Can’t we non Muslims use the word Allah? My Muslims friends while having conversations with me, once in a while use the word Allah, so could I use the word Allah when speaking to them?”

I only gave Krishnan a brief answer; I was afraid in making mistakes. I only said that Allah refers to The Only One God. I refer to the short ‘surah’ (one of the easiest to me) that is ‘The Unity’ with its translation; In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

1. Say; He is Allah, the One!
2. Allah, the eternally Besought of all!
3. He begetteth not nor was begotten.
4. And there is none comparable unto Him.

And to get ready my answers for Krishnan whenever I might bump into him, I dug into my resources.

In a pamphlet entitled ‘The Foundation of Islam’ produced by Islamic Outreach ABIM, among other it notes: “Allah in Arabic refers to The One and Only True, Universal God of all created things in the seen and unseen worlds. He created them to worship Him. The refusal of anyone to worship Him does not reduce His Majesty as He is independent of needs.

Arab Christians, Arab Jews and Muslims everywhere refer to God as ‘Allah’. The word for God in the Arabic Bible is ‘Allah’!


Worshipping the only True God and living by His Commands is the only way to achieve success here and salvation in the Hereafter.

Belief in the ‘syahadah’ and converting this belief into action in all aspects of one’s life in the way to attain freedom from servitude to all forms of falsehood and superstitions is true belief.

Man is incapable of knowing God on his own. He can know God only from what God has revealed about Himself.

All the earlier revealed Books of God have either perished or been corrupted by alternations over time.

The only unaltered description of God is found in the Noble Qur’an which contains the exact Words of God.

God is the One and only, independent of all things, has no child or parents, nothing is comparable to Him, and beyond the grasp of human imagination.

He calls Himself ‘Allah’ in The Qur’an. This Arabic name has no male or female equivalents, and has no plural.”

In ‘The Light of Revelation’ (Islamic Outreach-ABIM), it notes: “From the beginning of mankind, the first of all revelations is the guidance in the understanding of the ONE TRUE CREATOR GOD – Who He is and who He is not. This knowledge forms the basis of true faith. It is rational and frees man from worshipping inanimate or animate created objects which have no capability even to create themselves. How then is it going to help those worship it?

In trying to understand God, we are told to look into our own existence and the existence of this whole universe. When we rationally think about the methodical arrangement of this whole universe, we have to admit that there is definitely a Creator. Do you think it is rational to say that nothing created us or can we ever create ourselves?”

In Surah Hashr 59: 22-24, The Almighty says (translation):
He is God,
There is no God but He.
He is the knower of the Unseen and Visable
He is All-merciful, the All-compassionate.

He is God
There is no God but He.
He is the King, the All-holy, the All-peaceable;
the All-faithful, the All-preserver
the All-mighty, the All-compeller,
the All-sublime.
Glory be to God, above that they associate!

He is God,
the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper.
To him belong the Names Most Beautiful.
All that is in the heavens and earth magnifies Him:
He is the All-mighty, the All-wise.

In ‘Suara Pusat Islam Universiti (UPM)’ dated 26th February 2010, under the topic ‘Rasulullah (pbuh) as the the leader of Ummah’, noted: “Rasulullah (pbuh) changed their (the people of Makkah) corrupt and ignorant belief (idol-worshipping) and culture. They transformed from a society who worshipped gods created from stones to a society who worships only Allah; and they discarded all their culture and habits that were forbidden in Islam such as consuming alcohol, adultery, gambling, ribaa-based transactions, cheating, bribery, killing female infants and so on.

Allah SWT says in the Al-Qur’an: “And verily, we have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah (Alone) and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc, i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah.”

Regarding Prophet Isa (Jesus) pbuh, the book ‘Light of Revelation’ notes: “Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was as human as any man. He ate, slept, fought the Romans, worshipped God, wept and cried to God for assistance and salvation! If we read the Bible with an open heart, we can find in not less then 60 verses, statements as clear as daylight, that God is one and that Jesus is a human being and a prophet. He was never worshipped as God by his Disciples. The mission of Prophet Jesus was the same as all the 124,000 prophets sent to mankind.

Jesus said of his and our God: “And Jesus answered him. The FIRST of all commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord OUR GOD is ONE Lord.” (Mark 12:29).

Sincerely ponder over the above verse and Isaiah 43:10 (below) and ask yourself whether there is any place for the belief in Trinity. God says: “Besides Me there is NO OTHER GOD; there NEVER WAS and NEVER WILL BE.” That God is Allah SWT, the Most Merciful to all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hukum rimba kuasai manusia

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

"Maka gembirakanlah hamba-hamba-Ku yang mendengarkan akan perkataan lalu mengikuti yang paling baik (iaitu perkataan-perkataan Allah), merekalah yang beroleh petunjuk daripada Allah, dan merekalah yang dapat berfikir." (Az-Zumar: 18)

JANGAN guna sekolah, masjid dan surau untuk tujuan politik – demikian rakyat sering diberitahu. Sekalipun arahan ini bersifat umum, ada pengecualiannya.

Tidak lama dulu di Kelantan, seorang pemimpin utama merasmikan sebuah perhimpunan Wanita Umno di sebuah sekolah. Demikian juga di tempat lain, bangunan dan tempat awam dijadikan tempat perjumpaan dan perhimpunan parti.

Malah baru-baru ini gempar sebuah dewan Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) dijadikan tempat konvensyen Umno. Dan menjadi perkara biasa untuk Umno cawangan mengadakan mesyuarat hatta mesyuarat agung di surau.

Kecenderungan sesetengah pihak berkuasa untuk melanggar peraturan/undang-undang yang kadang-kadang digubal sendiri pihak terbabit bukan sesuatu yang luar biasa.

Pada peringkat antarabangsa tidak lama dulu, kita kerap mendengar betapa pemimpin Amerika beriya-iya mendakwa Iraq mencabul Konvensyen Geneva selepas gambar tahanan perang Amerika dan Britain ditunjukkan di televisyen.

Kini pelbagai tuduhan dilemparkan kepada Iran dan masyarakat dunia lain yang membabitkan Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB) tetapi apabila Amerika sebagai kuasa besar melakukan pencabulan, tidak banyak pihak berani bersuara.

Demikianlah, dunia ini sebenarnya dikuasai oleh hukum rimba. Yang berkuasa menindas si lemah dan yang lemah menindas yang lebih lemah. Hanya mahkamah Illahi yang dapat menjatuhkan hukuman seadil-adilnya kepada manusia.

II. Biar aman walau jiwa terseksa

Ketika perang berlaku di sebelah lain rantau dunia, pemimpin kita gemar berkata, “alangkah beruntungnya kerana kita aman.”

Memang benar kita wajib bersyukur dengan suasana aman itu tetapi kadang-kadang penggunaan kata-kata itu diucapkan dalam konteks yang salah.

Kita jadikan kisah yang dipaparkan dalam sesetengah filem lama sebagai contoh. Sesebuah kampung itu digambarkan aman selepas penduduk kampung bersetuju untuk membayar wang perlindungan atau ufti kepada sesebuah kumpulan samseng.

Sekumpulan pekedai juga digambarkan akan hidup aman damai jika bersetuju membayar wang perlindungan kepada ketua samseng.

Suasana aman juga dirasai jika sesebuah negeri itu bersedia untuk membayar ufti kepada kerajaan yang lebih berkuasa. Ugutan huru-hara akan berlaku menjadi mainan pihak yang lebih berkuasa bagi jaminan keamanan itu.

Dalam suasana hari ini, kita lihat kuasa besar dunia (Amerika Syarikat) menjanjikan keamanan jika negara lain mengikut cakapnya. “You are with us to fight terrorism or…” Anda ikuti kami atau kami perangi kamu, menjadi slogan mereka yang berkuasa.

Berdasarkan senario ini, keamanan hanyalah mainan dan janji pihak yang berkuasa dan bukan keamanan sebenar. Keamanan sebenar adalah mengikut jalan yang ditunjukkan oleh Yang Maha Kuasa kerana Dia-lah yang menjadikan segala-galanya.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pertarungan hak, batil sedang memuncak

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

Abu Umamah r.a. menyatakan Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: "Kelebihan orang berilmu daripada orang beribadah (yang bodoh), bagaikan kelebihan bulan pada malam purnama daripada semua bintang-bintang." (HR. Abu Daud, Termizi, An-Nasa'i dan Ibnu Majah)
PAGI Sabtu baru-baru ini saya menghadiri program motivasi seorang anak saya yang berada di bangku sekolah menengah. Selain sesi teknik pembelajaran, ada slot ceramah agama. Saya tabik pada penceramah kerana beliau begitu bersungguh-sungguh membuat pesanan itu dan ini kepada pelajar dan ibu bapa selama lebih sejam.

Banyak tips penceramah lontarkan. Beliau begitu bimbang anak-anak semakin jauh daripada pegangan agama. Akhlak anak-anak muda termasuk pelajar semakin buruk, kewajipan agama seperti solat semakin terlerai. Beliau mendakwa sebuah kajian dilakukannya menunjukkan hanya sejumlah kecil pelajar solat, yang menunaikannya lima kali sehari semalam boleh dibilang dengan jari.

Ketika diajukan soalan kepada pelajar, siapa yang tidak pernah tertinggal solat walau sewaktu pun sepanjang tempoh sebulan lalu, tidak sampai lima pelajar mengangkat tangan. Lantas beliau berkata: "Ini sekolah terbaik, jumlah yang solat sepenuhnya beberapa orang saja, tidak dapat saya bayangkan bagaimana keadaan di sekolah lain."

Berdasarkan kebimbangan itu, beliau 'membasuh' pelajar dan ibu bapa cukup-cukup. Misalnya ibu bapa dan anak-anak terlalu mementingkan kejayaan akademik, soal keagamaan tidak berapa dititik-beratkan. Kejayaan diukur dengan deretan A dalam peperiksaan awam sedangkan pegangan agama termasuk akhlak ditolak ketepi.

Beliau bertanya berapa ramai ibu bapa membekalkan anak-anak mereka di asrama dengan baldi dan bahan pencuci tetapi tidak membekalkan mereka dengan naskhah al-Quran. Mungkin ibu bapa terlupa, katanya, tetapi itulah yang paling penting, anak-anak perlu ditanamkan dalam jiwa mereka untuk mencintai kitab suci itu, membaca, mengkaji, memahaminya setiap hari seterusnya mengamalkan suruhan dan menjauhkan larangannya dalam kehidupan.

Demikianlah betapa hebat pejuang-pejuang ini seperti pendakwah, pakar motivasi, guru dan ustaz bertungkus-lumus memastikan anak bangsa terutama generasi muda berada di jalan benar. Mereka bekerja siang dan malam, sebahagiannya tidak mengenal erti kebosanan, mereka mengharapkan ganjaran-Nya pada hari tiada perlindungan (akhirat).

Tetapi pada masa yang sama, ejen-ejen kebatilan juga sedang bekerja keras untuk menjahanamkan anak bangsa. Mungkin mereka tidak sedar, tetapi hakikatnya mereka bersama menyumbangkan ke arah kehancuran. Mungkin hati mereka sudah diselaputi kegelapan, jadi mereka gagal melihat jalan lurus itu.

Ketika di sekolah, guru bertungkus-lumus mendidik murid-murid tetapi sebaik saja berada di luar pagar, pelajar berhadapan dengan pelbagai unsur negatif. Misalnya, jika pelajar singgah di kedai mamak akhbar, mereka terdedah dengan akhbar dan majalah yang keterlaluan dalam penyiaran bahan mereka. Bukan saja akhbar dan majalah khusus mendedahkan itu dan ini termasuk anggota tubuh yang patut ditutup, tetapi akhbar yang dianggap arus perdana pun sama.

Bayangkan dalam melaporkan perkembangan semasa, istilah seperti liwat, dubur, zakar dan perkara menjijikkan lain seperti hubungan dalam kelambu hampir setiap hari digunakan. Apakah pihak-pihak berkenaan termasuk pemerintah, penguasa kehakiman, media dan sebagainya tidak ada cara bagi mengelakkan perkara yang menjijikkan ini tersebar luas di kalangan masyarakat termasuk anak-anak sekolah?

Perasaan ingin tahu anak-anak adalah tinggi, di sekolah apabila subjek 'reproduktiviti' mula diajar guru, maka bisinglah anak-anak murid; inikan pula perkara jijik ini ditulis dalam akhbar arus perdana yang dibaca mereka. Selain kes liwat ini, semaklah akhbar-akhbar Melayu pada hujung minggu di mana kadang-kadang gambar artis perempuan terkangkang atau mulut ternganga pun disiarkan, apa sebenar nak jadi dengan orang media kita hari ini, tak sensitif langsung pada agamanya sendiri?

Pada suatu hujung minggu selepas membeli dan menatap sebuah akhbar arus perdana Melayu, saya rasa amat malu sekali kerana kedapatan gambar seorang artis perempuan Melayu dengan pakaian terlondeh dengan wajah kehausan seks, maka akhbar itu saya sorokkan di bawah tilam. Saya tidak sanggup membiarkan anak-anak saya menatap akhbar yang tidak bermoral ini. Jika orang tua macam saya ini, kopiah boleh terbang melihat gambar-gambar gila itu bagaimana agaknya perasaan anak teruna saya yang baru bermimpi basah?

Orang media, tolonglah sensitif pada agama sendiri, janganlah otak yang dianugerahi Illahi itu diletakkan di kepala lutut. Nak untung jual akhbar, mahu habis laku (sold out) pun takkan sampai tak kenal halal dan haram. Janganlah rosakkan generasi muda termasuk anak-anak tuan dan puan sendiri yang kini dididik separuh mati oleh cikgu dan ustaz di sekolah.

Pada ketika guru berusaha bersungguh-sungguh membendung anak-anak daripada perkara negatif termasuk mengadakan program motivasi dan ceramah agama, pelbagai pihak lain seperti orang media dan mereka dalam industri hiburan, menanamkan unsur-unsur negatif seperti penyiaran bahan lucah dan penganjuran konsert dan hiburan. Malah ada anak-anak yang di bangku sekolah sekolah rendah ditarik untuk menjayakan program hiburan seperti Bintang Kecil. Maka berminggu-minggulah mereka ponteng sekolah, tinggal di sebuah akademi, belajar bagaimana mahu berkinja-kinja di pentas hiburan.

Dalam majalah Guru keluaran Oktober 2009 terbitan Kesatuan Kebangsaan Profesion Perguruan (NUTP) ada dinyatakan bagaimana guru perlu bersiap sedia menghadapi cabaran akibat perkembangan internet. Guru berusaha keras membentengi pelajar, tetapi mengapa golongan masyarakat lain termasuk media tidak sensitif?

NUTP menyenaraikan sembilan cadangan bagi membendung gejala penyalahgunaan internet yang antara lain meneruskan kempen penggunaan internet dengan cara betul, mengetatkan penguatkuasaan oleh pihak polis dan majlis perbandaran, membuka ruang dan masa untuk berkongsi pendapat dan berbahas mengenai sesuatu isu yang timbul dalam internet kerana pelajar lebih mempercayai guru dan tindakan undang-undang perlu dikenakan kepada mereka yang melanggar peraturan.

NUTP juga bimbang alam siber akan merosakkan generasi muda dan sehubungan itu mengusahakan kaedah melindungi kanak-kanak yang katanya adalah tanggugjawab bersama. Antara pesanannya: "Kami berharap guru di sekolah dapat memberi kesedaran kepada para pelajar bahawa mereka boleh mencapai internet dan menggunakan segala maklumatnya dengan selamat, tanpa menjadi ancaman di alam siber."

Jelaslah pertarungan hak dan batil sedang berlangsung dalam masyarakat. Di negara kita, ratusan ribu guru dan ustaz diperlukan untuk mendidik anak bangsa supaya menjadi 'manusia' tetapi dalam hal kejahatan, seorang guru pun tidak diperlukan untuk mengajarnya kerana nafsu dan syaitan sudah sedia menanti. Malahan mereka diperkuatkan lagi oleh syaitan bertopeng manusia dalam bentuk pengamal media massa, pemimpin dan sebagainya!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

From KFC to Ramly burger and Zamzam drink

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. May blessing and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. slept upon a mat and got up with marks on his body made by the mat. Someone said, 'O Messenger of God! If you had ordered me, I would have spread a soft bed for you.' Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said, "What business have I with the world? My state in respect of the world is that of a man on horseback who stops under the shade of a tree for a while and then leaves it."

COMING out of the conference hall at the end of the 'South East Asia (SEA) Organizations Roundtable Conference on Palestine and Lebanon in facing the Zionist and Anglo American Imperialism' at the Century Paradise Club, Kuala Lumpur, I was met by my eight-year old son who begged me to treat him at a KFC outlet.

After being told not to eat at KFC, drink Coca-Cola and refuel at Caltex as part of a campaign to boycott American and Israeli products, I said a 'shaky no' as the boy kept on begging. It was a big test for me as I was torn between staying in line with what was raised and agreed upon at the seminar and to fulfill my son's small request.

I was about to give in because I didn't have the heart to say no to such a request, moreover it was about food, but at the last moment I pulled out the pamphlet given by the Anti-Zionist and Boycott America Movement (GAZA) and gave it to the boy to look at.

On the cover, there was a picture of a dead Lebanese child with the words, 'If you did this (ate at KFC, drank Coca-Cola and refueled at Caltex), you have conspired with the American and Israeli regimes to kill the Muslims of Palestine and Lebanon'.

The boy flipped to page two and saw 10 other reasons why Muslims should boycott American products. In page three, there were logos of about fifty products to be boycotted by Muslims.

The boy looked closely and said: "Father, Pizza Hut is not listed, so let's go to Pizza Hut!"

Softly, I told him to see the back page, and the boy saw the pictures of more than 10 dead bodies of Palestinian and Lebanese children, many of them covered in blood. The words on that page read: "If you keep on buying American products, the brutality of the Zionists will be prolonged."

After much persuading, my children at last agreed to have Ramly burgers (a product of a Muslim entrepreneur) at Kampung Baru as an alternative. I was relieved and as the boy and his siblings were busy ordering their food at a stall, I flipped open the file of the conference.

The roundtable talk that was organized by 'International Affairs and Foreign Relations Department of the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS)', saw two papers presented by one representative of Hamas, Omar Obeid (he represented the Chief Whip of the Palestine Parliament, Dr Khaleel a-Haya) and Essam Mustafa from a Palestine NGO, followed by discussions by representatives of various Muslim groups in South East Asia and South Asia such as Jamiat-el-Islami of Pakistan and Bangladesh, Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS Indonesia), Muslim Association of Thailand, Parti Pembangunan Bangsa (Brunei), Jamaah Islah Malaysia, Parti KeADILan Rakyat (PKR) and Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM).

The conference ended with resolutions, among others condemning the incursions and continuing atrocities perpetrated by the Zionist-Israeli regime, the delayed action on the part of the Security Council of the United Nations and gave unanimous support to the Palestinian and Lebanese people in their confrontation against the aggression and tyranny of the Zionist-Israeli regime.

The roundtable conference also unanimously agreed and resolved that participants from all countries; undertake, in the immediate future, to set up a Secretariat to be headed by a Secretary preferably from Malaysia. This Secretariat requires a seed capital or funding to move the planning by galvanizing both Islamic parties and Muslims-based NGOs.

Four areas were highlighted to be worked on - they were the political initiatives and lobbying efforts (international, regional and national), humanitarian and relief work, media-cum-research and development and fund-raising (economic action) and aid.

When discussing the Palestinian and Lebanese issue, a point raised by a delegation caught my attention. He said Muslims were alarmed when a specific issue popped up but it will be much better if Muslims were always equipped and ready to cope with any circumstance that might befall the ummah.

The Muslim community all over the world, especially when they were the minority in a country; were ill treated even to the extent of being prosecuted in their homeland. History speaks volumes about that situation, for example the plight of the Rohingya Muslims of Burma, the Kashmiris in Indian-occupied Kashmir, the Moros of Southern Philippines and the Malays of Cambodia and Southern Thailand.

To get a clearer picture I interviewed a few delegates. The first was Ustaz Mohamed Islam, the Vice President (International) of the Rohingya Ulama Council, who said the sad episode of the Muslim minority groups began when they were betrayed by their leaders.

"The leaders were not sincere, and when the cruel regime in power chased us out of our homeland, they betrayed us in exchange for worldly pleasures," he said.

He and a member of the council, Mohd Sedek, said, the government and Western media were biased in their reports and often portrayed the Muslims as rebellious, traitors, terrorists and guerillas.

They said Muslims were also to be blamed because many were not living in accordance to Islam. They swayed from the Muslim way of life and practiced un-Islamic norms such as usury and the Western way of living like exposing their aurah (physique).

Maulana Ataur Rahman, a Jamiat-e-Islami member of Parliament from Pakistan, agreed that some of the Muslim leaders were not sincere in protecting the ummah and to uplift their lives in accordance with the Islamic requirements.

He said in Pakistan, the people were tired with Western ideas and propaganda and were trying to make Islam as a way of life but its leaders were swaying and bowing towards Washington and London.

He said it was clear that some of the Muslim leaders were betraying the ummah as they were not sincere in their actions but only wanted to hold on to their power even if they had to bow down to those at helm in Washington, London and Moscow.

Ataur Rahman said, Muslims, whether they were Shiite or Sunni, should always be united not only when confronting and pressured in certain issues such as the plight of the Palestinians and Lebanese, but in all areas at all times such as education, economic and international relations.

If the Americans could be proud in producing world renowned products and food such as KFC and McDonald's and drinks such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and so on, why can't Muslims produce their own brand products that could be easily marketed to the 1.5 billion ummah. Perhaps Zamzam drink and Ramly Burger could take off as the maiden projects among Muslims!