Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Take time

******************** In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ********************** Reflection ********************* O ye who believe! Retalation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. And for him who is forgiven somewhat by his (injured) brother, prosecution according to usage and payment unto him in kindness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. He who transgresseth after this will have a painfull doom. (Al-Baqarah, 178) *********************** YOU never can tell what type of impact you may make on another's life by your actions or lack of it. Others too influenced us a lot; but factors that melt our hearts do not necessary be involving human beings but almost anything including functions, encounters, books and magazines. ******************** One day while visiting a relative who was admitted to a ward in Melaka Hospital, I came across a pamphlet with these soothing and inspirational words. Please read them slowly, taking your own sweet time to absorb the words into your heart and mind. ********************** Take Time *********************** Take time to is the source of power, ************************* Take time to is secret of perpetual youth, *********************** Take time to is fountain of wisdom, ************************ Take time to is the greatest power on earth, *********************** Take time to love and be is God-given privilege, ************************* Take time to be is the road to happiness, ************************** Take time to is the music of the soul, **************************** Take time to is short a day to be selfish, ************************** Take time to is the price of success, **************************** Take time to do is the key to heaven. **************************** The key word here is ‘take time’. Don’t rush to do things just to complete it. Once I read I lovely article in a local daily entitled ‘How to live a simple and peaceful life’ in which the writer noted that in our daily lives, we often rush through tasks, trying to get them done, trying to finish as much as we can each day, speeding along to our next destination, and then leaving so that we can go to another one. **************************** At the end of the day, we realize what madness this all is. We often become exhausted and stressed out from the grind and the chaos and the business of the day. We don’t have time for what’s important to us, for what we really want to be doing, for spending time with loved ones, for doing things we are passionate about. ************************ It doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to live a simple life, one where you enjoy each activity, where you‘re present in everything (or most things) you do, where you are content rather than rushing to finish things, writes the well-being guru. ******************************* The guru also suggested that we slow down (take time as mentioned in the pamphlet I found at the hospital) and enjoy every task. Whatever you are doing, whether it’s a work task, eating, brushing your teeth, cooking dinner, driving to work; slow down. Enjoy whatever you are doing by paying attention, instead of thinking about other things. Be in the moment. ******************************* Be in the moment and being present – this advise was also given by an ‘ustaz’ (religious teacher) who teaches in a ‘masjid’ near my house on how to concentrate when one is performing his/her ‘solat’ (prayers). Often during ‘solat’ our minds would stray, our bodies would be on our prayers mats perhaps in a row of congregators in ‘masjid’, but we would be thinking about worldly things such as our activities before ‘solat’ or plans to execute after performing the 'solat'. ****************************** If this thing often happens to us, then we have to practice being present. One way to do it is to enjoy our tasks including performing ‘solat’. It is during ‘solat’ we have the opportunity to meet the King of Kings (Allah SWT). Isn’t it a pleasure to us if a king invites us to his palace to meet him in person? ******************************* An Islamic scholar, Y Mansoor Marican advises us to make a list of things that prevent us from achieving ‘khushoo’ (devotion or being present) in our ‘solat’, and work towards removing them one by one. For example we can ensure that there is nothing in our pockets that will fall off and distract our ‘solat’. **************************** Back to the topic of ‘take time’ and ‘what type of impact you may make on another's life by your actions or lack of it’, some time ago I found this piece from a blog ( which reviewed my book, ‘Dilema Seorang Wartawan Islam’ (Dilemma of a Muslim Journalist). The book was given a fresh appearance and some updated content by a publisher, Kemilau Publika and was given the title ‘Travelog Wartawan Islam’ (Travelogue of a Muslim Journalist). ******************************* “Foremost, a confession: Of late, I seldom buy Malay books. Why? Don't ask me, it is just the way it is. Take it or leave it. Then what made me buy this book and give it a review? Let me rephrase the reply on the first question first: I seldom buy Malay non-religious books. Full stop. *************************** If one had been reading The English Section of Harakah print, Sunday editions, one would most probably have noticed LANH's column on the second last page of that section. If so, then one can expect the same tone and writing of this book as in the said column: non-acrimonious and non-vindictive, to the point of almost being non-committal and passive. *********************** I may sound rather harsh here for someone I have a deep respect for, but the truth is, LANH is writing about his experience as a Muslim journalist throughout the 23years of his career as one. He is also writing in the form of a pious Muslim and hence, has put down any firebrand approach which may have the book branded as politically inclined. Political, yes. As the very nature of human management in any society is political, but not politically inclined for any political party. *************************** Here, it should be noted that LANH produced this book on his personal accord and that his book had its first print in 2001. Off course, at that point of time, the person writing this review had just experience political awakening, still groping about in semi-darkness, and hardly knew LANH then. ****************************** But time remedied the situation, insya-Allah (God willing). Reading through the book, many of the events LANH described can be seen in our everyday life. Thus, one may be forgiven to think "Hey! I know about this and that!" But the question is not what a person know, but what is the person doing about it? ***************************** As mentioned earlier, this book is non-acrimonious and non-vindictive, which may open one's mind to suggestions...not from the writer, but by one's inner self! LANH, after all, is sharing his experience and not trying to be anyone else but himself. Do purchase the book. If anything, it would encourage the writer to produce more. Besides, it does make a good read. “ *************************** Yes, regarding the subject 'to take time’, in the preface of ‘Travelog Wartawan Islam’, I suggested to readers to stop a while for some reflection on whether all along they were on the straight path; then do some thinking and corrections before embarking on their next journey in life. ******************************* One has to be in the straight path because life is: “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 good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but a matter of illusion.” (Qur'an 57:20)

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