Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sharing the cake of wealth fairly...

******************** 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. ************************ MORE than 10 years ago I wrote an article which was published in Harakah (Malay section) about how animals and plants had sacrificed their lives just to fullfil tummies of men. *********************** For example in the 'nasi lemak' (rice cook with coconut milk) which some of us take almost every morning, there might be a heap of fried 'ikan bilis' (anchovies). *************************** Imagine tens of anchovies 'having willingly surrendered to die' in the name of Allah the Greatest (SWT) just to be chewed and swallowed into our stomachs; but had we done our part in saying 'thank you' to The Creator of those 'ikan bilis' and even we ourselves? Have we say 'Alhamdulillah' (Praise be upon Allah SWT) and lived accordingly to His commands! ****************************** Recently I met an old friend who surprisingly recounted the article and said that it had some impact on his life. Yes, if living things such as fish, fowls, cattles and vegetables 'surrendered to die and be on our plates' in the name of Allah SWT just to satisfy human beings' needs, why must we reluctant to lead lives according to His wish? Allah SWT has prepared and readied everything for us, but why must we reluctant to bow to Him? Why must we be arrogant to Him? ***************************** A few days ago in a weekly 'tazkirah' (Islamic lesson) at a masjid near my house, the 'ustaz' (religious teacher) who was having a discussion of 'hadiths' (sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.) on food asked congregators to have some thought about the usual dish laid on our table. **************************** "The fish is from the South China Sea; perhaps the meat is from New Zealand; the vegetables is from Cameron Highlands; the salted egg from Ipoh, the rice from Thailand. Now, by only looking at the various food from various places on the table, one who is a thinking person would have his knees on the ground, thanking Allah SWT for all the good deeds He had bestowed upon us. ***************************** "Imagine if we were to ready those food ourselves; for fish we have to go to the sea, for meat we have to rear cows and for rice we have to toil ourselves in the fields. And what about the ingredients, utensils and fuel used; if we were to prepare our meal 'on our own', then it would take us a very long period and the costs beyond our reach. Think, if not for Allah's compassion and mercy upon us, then we would be in trouble. So why be arrogant against Him?" ************************** The ustaz said, one is recommended to eat along with others, either as a guest, family member, son or daughter or servant. This is based on this hadith: “Eat your food together, for you will thereby be blessed in it.” (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmithi who said it is Sahih) ************************** Regarding sharing a meal from a 'dulang' or 'talam' (dish) example during a 'kenduri' (feast), the 'ustaz' said Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. recommended us to be fair in having our share on the food laid upon. In a hadith, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, "Do not take two pieces at a time without your companion's consent." (Bukhari) *********************** From this hadith, we should be aware that Islam puts great emphasis on being fair in distributing and receiving the cake of wealth. If while taking food in a group; each member has to follow the fine etique of Islam such as "do not take two pieces at a time" which means to be fair in having our share of the food, then what could be said about the larger aspects of sharing in life such as acquisition of money from allocations and funds. This means we have to be fair in sharing or distributing the cake of wealth. ******************************* Talking about this subject; last Monday (13th May), Mohd Shamsir Mohd, 44, a commitee member of PAS task force (UPU) of Bukit Katil, Melaka, called on me to talk about how PAS is to manage its operations to service the people of Bukit Baru (a state constituency in Bukit Katil) after Dr Khalid Kassim became its new representative. Yes, how could the people have their share of the cake of wealth of the nation even though their 'wakil rakyat' is no more from Umno-Barisan Nasional. *************************** This is the first time PAS has a 'YB' in the Melaka State Assembly; thus Mohd Shamsir on behalf of the task force put on some ideas and suggestions on paper how to bond the people of Bukit Baru and Bukit Katil to PAS. He felt than Dr Khalid would not be given allocations to finance small projects in his constituency thus fresh ideas were needed fast to overcome this. **************************** He said PAS Bukit Katil had already establised a 'Pusat Aduan Rakyat' (People's Complaint Centre) and for the beginning they would help to bring the people's woes to the right authorities and agencies. ************************ Shamsir said, every 'rakyat' had their share on 'the cake of wealth' thus he and his team wowed to push for their needs regardless of their political inclination. "If they meet the requirements, then they have the right to have their share, we must be fair to all," he said. ***************************** Shamsir said his team would call a meeting with members of the 'Jawatankuasa Kemajuan dan Keselamatan Kampung' (Village Development and Security Committee, JKKK) and commitee members of masjids in the area so that they would produce ideas on how to service the people, including in matters regarding the distribution of allocations and subsidies. *************************** "We hope to have their support; let us leave aside our 'political inclination' but forge a sincere cooperation to help the people," he said. ********************** The energetic Shamsir said PAS had to win the hearts of the people; thus he had formed a youth team to render their assistance and help free of charge at functions and happenings in kampungs in Bukit Baru such as during weddings, religious festivals and funerals. ************************** He too acknowledged that women's group have big influece on kampungs' folks, thus he tried to get the PAS Muslimah to follow the footsteps of the youth team. *********************** Shamsir was confident PAS Bukit Katil would make inroads in a short period of time, 'insya-Allah' (God willing). "For example, recently 31 youth and women in the area had submitted their forms to be members of PAS to Dr Khalid who is also a committee member of PAS Bukit Katil. **************************** He said these new members led by Mohd Taufek Abdul Rahman, 35, pledged support to Dr Khalid and PAS in a 'majlis kesyukuran' (thanksgiving function) for winning the Bukit Baru seat at Surau Haji Ibrahim Hitam in Bukit Katil. *************************** "Yes, we want the people to share the cake of wealth fairly, we want to help not only PAS members but everybody including hardcore Umno members and supporters," said Shamsir. *************************** This is what Islam teaches us, to be fair to all!

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