Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Repent, forgive and forget this Eid

******************* 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. ********************** I am now 50 years old. How time flies fast and never will be back. It seemed only yesterday I was in day one Primary One, shedding tears when my father left me alone to start schooling in Class 1 Green of a school in Melaka under the trusted eyes of one Mrs. Subramanian. Well, it was in January 1969, more than 40 years ago! ************************* Scholars have divided time into three categories – yesterday (the past), now (present) and tomorrow (the future). To the the thinking group of people, we have only the present because yesterday was gone and tomorrow nobody knows what would happen. *********************** Yesterday is too far because it is history. But I would like to recollect some of things I did, especially during my ‘jahiliah’ years (period of ignorance) during the eve of this year (2012) Eid Fitr (Aidilfitri) so that I can repent and apologize for my improper actions and to seek forgiveness from the person or persons involved. ************************** As human beings, we always make mistakes, and the best among us are those who repent and seek forgiveness from God. Mistakes against Allah SWT can be wiped off if we repent to Him because of His kindness, forgiveness and merciful but sins related to other human beings can only be erased if we repent and seek forgiveness from that person. So this ‘Raya’, it is a good opportunity to do so! ********************* Regarding these sins to fellow human beings, I would like to apologize to former friends in my primary and secondary years in school and in university as well as former colleagues in Berita Harian, Harian Metro and Harakah. *********************** During my working years in the ‘main stream media’, perhaps my sins were greater because I was involved in the 'secular journalism' where good and bad things became interlocked. For example, we would write about the importance of following the Islamic code of dressing but at the same time we also produced suggestive pictures of female superstars. ************************ The question is how and what could or should I do to make up for those aimless years and silly mistakes that I had done. ********************** In my search for a solution, I found a passage from a book entitled ‘I want to Repent, But…by Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid (International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh) very useful and helpful. ********************* In a question and answer chapter, it states clearly what I should do. ‘Alhamdulillah’ (thanks Allah) for Your guidance. The book notes: Question: I used to be a misguided writer, spreading secular thoughts thorough my stories and articles. I used my poetry to spread promiscuity and immorality. Then Allah SWT turned me with His mercy and guided me, bringing me out of darkness into light. How should I repent? ********************** Answer: Anyone who used his words and his pen to wage war on Islam by spreading deviant ideologies, misguided heresies (bid’ahs), corruption and immorality, is obliged to do the following. ******************** 1. He should announce his repentance of everything he has written and publicly – through all available means – renounce his misguided writings and refute all his old ideas. Thus, his new stance will become well known, and no one be able to claim that he was misguided by the writings that he has now disowned. ********************* This public announcement is one of the obligations of repentance in such cases, as Allah SWT says in the Qur’an 2:160, “Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.” ********************* 2. He should use his words and pens to spread Islam, expending his energy to support the religion of Allah, teaching the people about the Truth and calling them to it. **************** 3. He should direct his energies towards counterattacking the enemies of Islam, exposing them and their schemes, and proving their claims wrong, just as he used to support them before. Thus he will become a sword in defence of the truth against falsehood. Similary, anyone who has previously convinced another person – even in a private gathering – of something ‘haraam’ (forbidden) such as the idea that ‘riba’ is not usury and is therefore allowed, should go back to that person and explain the truth to him, just as he previously led him astray. In this way, he can expiate for his previous sin. And Allah SWT is the One Who guides. ******************** So, to readers and friends; I took the oppourtunity to admit my mistake and repented. Let us fight the evil inside and outside us such as publications that destroy the minds of the young generation. ******************** Instead let us work hard to produce quality reading materials for all, emphasizing Allah SWT's greatness at all times by totally submitting to His laws and orders. Insya-Allah (God willing) we would be rewarded handsomely in this world and in the ‘akhirah’ (Hereafter). ****************** Scholars have reminded us that our priorities in life keep on changing as the years pass; for example when we are young, many of us were are after wealth and a sound and peaceful married life, then as we grow older we realize that it is health, then it is love (bondness among families members) and then when we lay on our death bed, only then we realize that we long for good deeds done. At this critical moment only do we realize that our ‘amal’ (good deeds) are not enough to take us to the Hereafter; but it is already too late. ********************** The son of man grows and with him grows two things – the love of wealth and love of long life. But what about good deeds? *********************** If we knew that we need to gather lots of good deeds in this world for ‘stock’ in the Hereafter where RM, dollars and pounds were useless, we would be after them when we were still young; unfortunately many of us realize it when death is upon us. ********************** The Holy Prophet s.a.w. warned us when he said: “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; on knowledge, ro what use it was put; regarding wealth, how it was acquired and spent; and on body, how it is utilized? ******************* All things related to this world would not satisfy human beings, for example regarding richness (wealth) the Holy Prophet said: “Even if there were for a man two valleys full of wealth he would aspire for a third one, and nothing would fill man’s belly but dust, and Allah turns him who turns to Allah. *********************** So, turning 50 this year, it is timely to remind myself, friends and readers through this article, that our priority in life should be expanding our stock of ‘amal’ (good deeds) before our ‘Big Day’ (death) catches up on us. Don’t gamble with your life, thinking that death is still far away from us; who knows this Ramadan or Eid would be our last. ************************ As for this Ramadan that would be over in a few days time, pray and work hard, hoping that we would get Lailatulqadar (Night of Power). In Surah Al-Qadr, Allah SWT says: “Lo! We revealed it on the Night of Power; Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Night of Power is!; The Night of Power is better than a thousand months; The angels and Spirit (Jibril, Gabriel) descend therein, by permissions of their Lord, with all decrees; (That night is) Peace until the rising of the dawn.” ************************* To former college friends, on this auspicious holy month of Ramadan and Syawal (Eid) let us repent, forgive and forget for Allah’s sake; remember this famous song - Auld Lang Syne - which we sang with all our hearts before we departed our separate ways after Form Five. Well, it was an 'ala orang putih' (Englishman) style of life we were practising then, nevertheless it had good values in it, why not copy the good aspect of it! *********************** Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And days o’ lang syne! For auld lang syne, my Dear, For auld syne, We’ll take a cup of o’ kindness yet, For auld lang syne… ****************** Selamat Aidilfitri (Happy Eid), Maaf zahir dan batin.

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