Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The art of sharing

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


"We did not create heaven and earth and everything in between them as a game. If We had desired to have some amusement, We would have derived it from Our Presense, but We do not do that." (Qur'an, 21:16-17)

RECENTLY I found this information about my blog in the internet. It read: “ is ranked #25,795,418 in the world according to the three-month Alexa traffic rankings.”

Ooh, what a feeling! I felt proud of the achievement (imagine Lanh14 is included in a world ranking!) but it quickly diminished as I realized that the credit was a temporary one – one’s life and fate is just like the movement of the wheel – at one time it was at top and another time at the bottom.

But by having that blog, I was pleased for being able to share my little experience and knowledge with readers. Sharing is a great experience; it was not only on knowledge but almost anything; the Prophet Ibrahim a.s. (Abraham) was known to have never taken food alone in his whole life – he was said to travel hours just to seek a partner to share his food.

One day, he found the right man and began eating without looking at his partner (It is not proper to stare at a person when he is eating). When he had finished, he looked up and was very surprised as the man had not touched the food. Prophet Ibrahim asked the man who he was; he replied that he was a ‘malaikat’ (angel) sent by Allah SWT just to accompany the Prophet while he was eating. This story was narrated by an ‘ustaz’ (religious teacher) during a ‘tazkirah’ (religiou lesson) in a masjid near my home a few days ago and took this opportunity to share it with readers.

Recently while reading a letter to the editor's section of a religious magazine, I pondered after reading the sender’s wish to have all issues of the magazine bounded and stock at her house for reference. I thought it was a good idea as I had done it many-many years ago, but after ‘my hair and beard had gone white’ (become older-lah), I realize it would be more beneficial if these reading materials be read by others compared to storing them at home.

If you are a good reader, over the years; you would find out that your reading materials have taken almost all the space at your home or you had to move to other places or you had to face disaster such as flood, so before that situation occurs, why not contribute the books and magazines to those who needed them badly such as children's homes and libraries and reading rooms in the kampung? Believe me, if you do not take good care of your stored reading materials, one day you would be frustrated after finding out they have been destroyed by termites and other insects!

So share your books and magazines with others. If you do it sincerely in the name of Allah SWT, you would not only be rewarded handsomely in this world but also in the Hereafter. His rewards in this world should not only be measured by material wealth but in other forms such as health, tranquility, free time and having a harmonious family.

If you don’t know the place to distribute your good reading materials, just leave them on public places where people would easily reached for them such as in buses and trains.

Other than sharing books and magazines, scholars also suggested to us these following activities:

* Buy a translation of The Qur’an and present it to a non-Muslim friend.

* Visit a Muslim welfare organization to find out how you can help in their activities.

* Get permission from an orphanage to let an orphan spend a weekend with you.

* Get to know someone who has converted to Islam, and help to strengthen his/her faith.

* Read bedtime stories to your young children – in your reading, include stories that highlight Islamic values and stories from the lives of Prophet (pbuh) and great Muslim men and women.

* If you know of a public lecture on Islam, tell others about it and try to attend it.

* If you have a good idea that will help the ummah, mention it to those that you think will take it to the next level.

* Be upfront with others when you have to perform your Islamic duties by saying, for example, “Excuse me for a few minutes, I need to pray to my Creator.”

* Write a letter of appreciation and encouragement to a Muslim brother or sister who is doing a lot to help the ummah.

* Gather your family members for a 15-minutes Islam course every month to explain basic concepts of Islam. For example, one session could be devoted to explaining the difference between zakat and sadaqah.

* Invite one Muslim family in your neighbourhood to your home for a meal as a way to strengthen your bonds of Islamic brotherhood and sisterhood.

* Keep donation box in your home and encourage your family members to put their donation into it. At the end of the year, use the money to buy something useful for a poor family.

* Invite one non-Muslim family in your neighbourhood for a meal and use the opportunity to find out what aspects of Islam that they don’t understand. If you are unable to explain, find out from others and convey the explanation to them.

Among the greatest of Allah’s blessing to us that ought to be shared with others is knowledge. And what’s more knowledge of the Qur’an because Uthman r.a. relates that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: “That the best of you is the one who learns the Qur;an and teaches it to others.”

Pursuing knowledge is like a welfare work, being conceptualized about ‘ibadah’, one could pursuit knowledge easily. There are different ways to pursuit knowledge; going to school, reading, listening, inquiring and communicating. (Islam is Simple – JAKIM)

A leaned person should practices what he himself preaches, and spread (share) his or her knowledge to other people. This kind of scholar will be holding a higher rank in front of Allah SWT and in social community as well.

The Qur’an says: “Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks.” (58:11)

No matter what kinds of knowledge are there, all for the benefits of this world and Hereafter, every Muslim should study and try to be a kind-hearted believer, and get success in this world and Hereafter.

So acquire knowledge because it enables its possessors to distinguish right from wrong; its lights the way to heaven; it is our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion when friendless; it guides us to happiness; it sustains us in misery; it is an ornament amongst friends, and an armour against enemies.

One hadith said: “Who wants to get successful in this world, then he must have knowledge; who wants to get successful in the Hereafter, then he must have knowledge; who wants to be successful in this world and Hereafter, then he must have knowledge.” (Bukhary and Muslim)

Another hadith said: “Seeking knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim, male and female.” (Bukhary and Muslim). Then after having knowledge, why not share it with others!

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