Thursday, October 20, 2011

Of Steve Jobs and doing good deeds in Islam

***************************** In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ******************************* Reflection ****************************** The Declining Day (Al-'Asr) 1. By the declining day, 2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss, 3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. *********************************** THE Holy Prophet said: "On the Day of Judgment, one will not be able to move away before Allah SWT until he has accounted for his i) life and how it was spent; ii) knowledge and to what use it was put; iii) wealth and to how its was acquire and spent and; iv) body to how it was utilized." ************************************** The Holy Qur’an warns: "O ye who believe! Ward off from 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." (Qur’an 66:6) ************************************ I noted the meaning of the above hadith and Qur’anic verse at a time when my e-group former college batch had a heated discussion on the demise of Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs who died at the age of 56. He was seven years older than me and my batch class of Form Five 1979 who would be half a century (50 years old) next year. ********************************** Jobs may just have been the most important innovator in the remarkable business history of the United States or perhaps the world. Among the icons of American design in the Museum of Modern Art are 45 of his products. Jobs was said to be the PC and everything good about it that has evolved. *********************************** Even though Jobs and his inventions cannot be separated, he also left several messages such as how to lead a happy, rewarding and fulfulling life; to be successful if we put our spouse and children above all else (of course as Muslims God and His Prophet are our top priority); to find out hidden opportunity whatever the situation is and to look at the positive side at things and circumstances. ************************************ Perhaps it was too late for the majority of us from the 1979 batch to make a fraction of what Steve Jobs had contributed to mankind and the human race; so thanks Jobs but this message from a friend in Kuwait, made me stop to ponder for a few minutes: ****************************************** He wrote: "Bismillah wassolatu ala rasulillah. Don't eulogize that servant of Allah as though he (Jobs) was a prophet. SubhanAllah. I dont have iPhone, iPad etc and I get by - many too in here (in Kuwait), I would have thought. Of course his contributions to the human race was tremenderous - Qur'an too could be download and read with ease with iPad and iPhone. **************************************** But he was just a human being. He also fell sick and die. How is he in his grave (barzakh) now? But some of you talk 'nonsense' as though life in this world would be meaningless without those creations. None of you seemed to feel sad when reaching the age of 50, our 'solat' (prayers) were still full of mistakes, and we only 'khatam' (completed reading) the Qur'an once a year or none at all? Isn't the Qur'an 'huda wa rahmah'? Are iPhone etc have the same status as the Quran? Don't we feel sad if we leave this world without proper preparation?" **************************************** Yes, as Muslims, we must remember that our life in this world is not for the sake of material enjoyments of this world alone. Our temporary life here is only a life of probation, for perpetual life in the Hereafter. **************************************** As we sow here, so we shall reap in the next world. To quote a saying of the Holy Prophet: "This world is a tillage for the Hereafter" i.e. we plough and sow here to reap in the next world. We, Muslims, therefore, cannot afford to live an irresponsible and reckless life. ******************************************** In fact, the whole of mankind are the vicegerents of Allah in this world, and according to the Islamic concept they are on deputation in this world. The non-Muslims may not accept this position but the Muslims must and, true to this position, it is their duty to discharge the great responsibilities put upon them as such representatives of their Lord – a position of unique distinction. – quotes from the book, Pearls of the Prophet (Islamic Outreach-ABIM) ********************************* Allah says: "Verily We have created men in the best of mould but by their own deeds the descend to the lowest depth of degradation, except those who believe in Allah and do righteous deeds, for them is unmeasured recompense…" (Qur’an 95: 3-6) *********************************** Regarding righteous deeds, I remembered an old ‘ustaz’ (religious teacher) who told me this many years ago: "If you can’t do a good deed, do not involve in a bad one; for it is also considered a good deed!" This is in line with the Prophet’s saying: "A Muslim is he from whose tongue and hand other Muslims are safe, and a ‘muhajir’ is he who forsakes what Allah has forbidden." *************************************** He also said the lowest of the good deeds is to put aside torns on the roadside and the highest is declaring and reciting "Laa Ilaha IllAllah" (there is no God but Allah). Iman (Faith) has over 60 to 70 branches; the most excellent of these is the saying, ‘There is no God but Allah,’ and another one is the removal from the way of what is harmful, and modestly (haya’) is also a branch of faith. ************************************* So it is not that hard to do a righteous deed? You don’t have to be Steve Jobs (I mean his contribution to the human race and not his faith) but be consistence in doing simple tasks. ****************************************** In their book ‘Seeds of Righteousness – Tools for Muslim Women to spread Islam, (published by Darussalam, Riyadh), Abdul Malik Qasim and Ibn Abdur Rahman Al-Qasim compiled 176 Seeds of Righteous, green and fruitful, for Muslim especially women to sow and reap. ******************************************** These Seeds were sown by Muslims sisters who took care of them until they grew to produce various fruits and benefits. These are also good examples of ‘dakwah’ to Allah SWT that should be practiced by Muslim women, who strive hard to acquire safety on their path to the Hereafter. ****************************** Here I picked up four Seeds ******************************** * She writes articles in newspapers and magazines on women’s issue, dedicating her writing to the subjects that resurrect faith and modesty in her Muslim Sisters. She also tries to refute that some people raise about Islam. In general and about women’s issues in Islam, in particular. Only her friend know about her activities, for her friend takes her articles and ask her brother to mail them to relevant address. ********************************* * She became ill and is admitted to hospital, but her stay there became a blessing for her and those around her. She gave away Islamic books and tapes in various languages to the doctors and nurses in the hospital. She also gave many more books and cassettes to the patients and left some books in the waiting room. She met an old woman in the hospital who does not have sufficient Islamic knowledge, so she gave her a radio and kept it tuned to the Quran station. ************************************ * She visits women’s workshop selling Islamic books in Arabic and other languages and distributes them to the workers and visitors of these shops. Her efforts are modest, but several women have embraced Islam as a result. How many women do the same as this good Muslim woman? ************************************** * She works hard for her Hereafter, attending Islamic lectures, giving sincere advice to her sisters and engaging in every act of righteousness, as much as she can. At the end of every month, one of her fellow teachers came to know, she sends her entire salary to a charity organization. She pays all of her salary to the orphans, to support printing Islamic books and helping the cause of ‘jihad’. *************************************** All life ends in death. Therefore, let us remember that a certain time is fixed for us when we too will be abandoned to the darkness of our graves. If Steve Jobs returned to his Lord at a very young age of 56, we do not know when it would be our turn. What would happened if we were to die after reading this article or this evening? Are we ready for our next phase of 'life'? ************************************* So with the time we still have, work and pray hard so that we would be rewarded not only in this world but also in the Hereafter. Isn’t that we prayed to God almost each time after our ‘solat’ (prayers) ‘Rabbana atina fiddunya hasanah wa fil akhiroti hasanah waqina ‘adzabannar’ (O Our Lord, gives us good in this world, and give us good in the Hereafter, and prevent us from the Fire).. Ameen. Dear readers, with the creative inventions of Steve Jobs, perhaps we could do our 'dakwah' jobs more efficiently, so thanks Steve Jobs.

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