Thursday, April 28, 2011

Know Allah; then you are on the right track – Bob Lokman

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

Ye who believe!
Be patient, discipline yourselves and hold yourselves ready.
Heed God so that you may prosper. (Ali-Imran 3: 200)

BOB (Mohd Hakim) Lokman, a big name in the Malaysian entertainment industry who recently abandoned his old way of life to be a better Muslim, gave a ‘tazkirah’ (short sermon) at Harakah’s office recently.

After a brief introduction, he told about 30 attendees, to become good Muslims, one must know God (Allah SWT) first. Allah SWT, out of His abundant Love and Mercy for mankind, has not left us in darkness to discover the right path, He had sent us Prophets, the last of them Muhammad s.a.w. (peace be upon him).

“So we have to follow Prophet Muhammad's s.a.w. way of life (sunnah) in everything we do, only then we are on the straight or His path,” said Bob Lokman.

He said those in the entertainment industry too have to know what is ‘halal’ (permissible) and ‘haraam’ (forbidden) and adhere to the five ‘hukum shara’’ which means the law of ‘fiqih’ or religious laws in whatever things we do. It is divided into five sections; that are – waajib (obligatory), sunnah (optional), harus or mubah (probable), haraam (unlawful or sinful) in whatever things they do.

If it is ‘halal’, go ahead with it, but if it is ‘haraam’, do not indulge in it. For example it is ‘halal’ (or to be exact harus, allowed) to make a film, so go ahead with it; but in the process of making the film; actors, actress and crew members of the opposite sex mix around freely, then their activities are deem ‘haram’. Then it is ‘haraam’ to portray a bed scene, so do not do it. It is ‘haram’ for the actress to wear revealing clothes; but aren’t our film makers sensitive about these ‘haraam’ and ‘halal’ matters?

Bob Lokman who had created lyrics for so many top songs such as Isabella which was sung by rocker Amy Search, said a Muslim should be careful when writing songs; in some cases his lyrics may contradict with ‘Rukun Iman’ (the articles of faith in Islam), including the believe in Allah and His ‘Qadha’ and Qadar’ (the power of doing actions good and bad comes from Allah SWT).

For example lyrics such as ‘kuserahkan jiwa ragaku kepadamu’ (I gave my entire soul to you) contradicts to the “Rukun Iman’, Muslims must surrender 100 percent to Allah, The Almighty. A Muslim must believe in ‘Rukun Iman’ completely. He cannot have partial belief. True faith or ‘iman’ can be termed as “your heart believes, your lips confess and your entire body acts towards obedience to Allah.

Thus it is not right for a singer to express a man's love by giving his soul to his girlfriend as it contradicts the ‘Rukun Iman’ – one has only SWT to determine his or her future.

Bob Lokman, after years of soul searching; could not find the local entertainment industry befitting his inner feelings; so he kept on searching and looking for the right path. He could felt the emptiness in his heart even though physically he was well rewarded in terms of money, wealth, power and popularity.

Of course Bob Lokman could not stand by himself in the industry. If he could transform himself into ‘a pious entertainer’ could he perform the show alone because there is no such thing as a ‘self-made’ man; we are made up of thousands of others.

How could ‘a pious entertainer’ engage in an industry full with un-Islamic activities; our entertainment world too heavily influenced by Hollywood, Bollywood and Hong Kong; their artistes way of life contradict almost 100 percent to the teaching of Islam which we claimed to be our religion?

So, Bob Lokman had to give up his old way of life; he transformed himself into a practicing Muslim; he is still learning and at the same time tries to invoke others including his friends in the entertainment industry to seek for the true path.

Perhaps the life of a British born singer, Yusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou, 21 July 1948, in Marylebone, London) could give inspirations to Bob Lokman and others in our entertainment industry to turn over a new leaf.

Yusuf who was internationally known as singer Cat Steven converted to Islam in December 1977 and adopted his Muslim name, Yusuf Islam, the following year. In 1979, he auctioned all his guitars for charity and left his music career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community.

He has been given several awards for his work in promoting peace in the world, including 2003's World Award, the 2004 Man for Peace Award; and the 2007 Mediterranean Prize for Peace. In 2006, he returned to pop music with his first album of new pop songs in 28 years, entitled An Other Cup. He now goes professionally by the single nameYusuf. His newest album, Roadsinger, was released on 5 May 2009.

Bob Lokman said not only those in the entertainment industry living in contradiction to the Islamic teaching; the whole society is at the brink of collapsing because we are straying away from the truth path. As a result; social problems and crimes are on the raise; nowadays not a day passes without news on murder, rape and robbery.

He said Islam is not about following others; every Muslims has to gain knowledge and upgrade it at every opportunity. That is why he is still learning and at the same try to share what he had gained in terms of knowledge with others.

“I think all of you are more knowledgeable than me; I am not trying to teach but my presence here are to remind about things that we encounter everyday. For example in carrying out our tasks; it is not solely for the purpose of winning (elections) but only to please Allah SWT,” says the artist.

Bob Lokman said his new way of life had caught the attention about 10 other artists who had signaled they might follow his footsteps. He hoped with their help they could organized a ‘ceramah’ (talk) on artists leading the Islamic way of life; and hopefully respected figures such as Tok Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, the spiritual leader of PAS could grazed their function.

The Tok Guru could inspire actors, actresses, play writers, singers, directors, comedians and so on to lead an Islamic way of life, thus giving life and new meaning to our entertainment world.

He said when those in the entertainment industry had understood their part to lead lives adhering to the Islamic teachings; then they could make the move to ‘Islamize’ products in that field such as play, drama, songs and etc.

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