Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Counting the dry days to 'gaji' time...

********************** In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ********************** Reflection *********************** “Invite to the way of your Rabb with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious, for your Rabb knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance." (An-Nahl: 125) ************************** AS I am writing this article, it is only the 17th day of the month. 'Gaji' (pay time) is still a long way to go. ******************** But as I checked the monthly allowance on household daily items to be bought for my family that I put inside an envelope; I found a last note of RM50. ********************* That money quickly finished when I bought a cylinder of gas at RM28 and a whole fresh chicken at RM20 and the balance was barely enough to buy a newspaper! ********************** How are my family and I going to survive the remaining 'long dry days' before 'gaji' time? (I am still receiving payment at the end of the month for my work as a part time worker). Well readers, this scenario I believe is common amongst many families throughout the country. *********************** Many have to dig on their savings to meet end needs; and those who do not have any, sought help from family members, friends and some to the extent of borrowing money from those feared 'ah longs'! ************************ Why is our money fast dissapearing from our pockets or 'envelopes' (as in my case)? One reason is that the prices of necessities keep on soaring; for example the chicken that I bought was priced at RM9 a kilogram! Oh, it was too expensive; but I have not much choice; for example a few days before that I bought local beef at RM20 a kilogram and on another day I bought the 'humble' ikan cencaru at RM10 per kilogram. ********************** Nowadays, as buying of fresh items such as fish and vegetables lays on my shoulder, I know the prices of those necessities are expensive and keep on soaring; even 'ikan kembong' which is labeled as 'the poor man's food' is more than RM8 a kilogram. For 'the rich man's diet' such as 'ikan parang' and 'tenggiri', the prices would soar to around RM20-RM25 a kilogram. ************************** Perhaps a small family (consisting of a father, mother and one or two children) with a daily budget of RM10 (an allocation of RM300 a month for wet items such as fish and vegetables), a housewife or a 'house-husband' (nowadays some husbands have taken the role of the house-keeper!), would face difficulties in running her/his kitchen. *********************** In Malay, people wound say: "Tak berasaplah dapur" (no cooking because of insufficient items). ************************** This scenario might be the reason why some small families prefer to buy 'nasi bungkus' (wrapped rice) to their own cooking. If a 'nasi bungkus' costs RM5, then two 'nasi bungkus' for a husband and wife would just cost RM10 where else preparing one's food in the kitchen would costs more because of the high prices of fresh items and ingredients. But to get a 'nasi bungkus' for RM5 is difficult these days as most 'warongs' (food stalls) charge between RM6 to RM10 for a 'nasi bungkus' depending on the dish one chooses. ************************* Regarding the high prices of chicken; instead of searching for a way out, a federal minister was quoted as saying the people should boycott eating it. If the price of chicken is high, do not eat chicken, he said. Did the minister realize that compared to chicken, the prices of other fresh products such as beef and fish is much higher. Local beef is between RM20 to RM24 a kilogram while 'good quality' fish such as 'kerapu', 'siakap' and 'bawal' are outside the reach of the ordinary rakyat for their two times daily meals. ************************* If we keep on thinking that it would be difficult or troublesome to sustain our days, especially during the 'long dry days' before 'gaji' time, we woud always be having not enough on almost everything. *********************** But why not beginning this Ramadan we try a 'new approach' (to some people - including me) way out by doing away with the strereotyped mind that money is everything; without money we would not be able to do anything. Well, if you think as a layman that is true because to use toilets in town too you have to have money! ************************ Not long ago, I had read a book about 'the magic and miracle of 'sadaqa' (giving alms or charity). When one gives charity or sadaqa in the way of Allah for Allah’s Pleasure Alone, hoping to get His reward from Allah in the Hereafter, he is confirming with this action of his that Allah and the coming of the Last Day are ‘haqq’ and the truth. ************************ He believes with certainty in Allah and the Last Day, otherwise he would never give away his wealth, which he loves for nothing in return. By doing this he is confirming the truth. What he has said with his mouth, he has confirmed with his actions, and that is why Allah has promised to honor the person who gives sadaqa in His Way, in this World and the Hereafter. ************************ Even the renowned profesional speaker on motivation nowadays, Prof Dr Muhaya Muhammad often stressed this point - what you give is what you get. Allah says in the Glorious Quran, Chapter 2, Surah Baqarah, verse 261: The charity of those who expend their wealth in the way of Allah may be likened to a grain of corn, which produces seven ears and each ear yields a hundred grains. Likewise Allah develops manifold the charity of anyone He pleases, for He is All-Embracing, All-Wise. ************************** A preacher noted that Allah provides the formula for the minimum reward for the charity of a believer. If you spend RM1.00 in the way of Allah, has promised return is 7x100 = 700 times; ie. RM700.00 for a RM1.00 investment! For those of you who are accountants and businessmen, can you even imagine a 700% guaranteed return on investment and maybe even more! Allah is Most Gracious, Most Merciful. ***************************** Imam Ali Abi Thalib noted that the reward of charity is increased 10 times. So dear readers when you received your 'gaji' at the end of the month, why not allocate a small part of it for charity. Say your 'gaji' is RM2,000; after receiving the money why not immediately part away RM100 for 'sadaqah'. *************************** Also don't forget your parents share; perhaps you should give them RM200. And why not slot RM1 inside the 'Tabung Masjid' (Masjid Fund) every time you go to the masjid for 'subuh' (dawn) prayers? Remember there are angels praying for goodness upon those who give charity in the early mornings! *************************** If you do this things constantly (istiqamah); then you would realize that there would always be a 'helping hand' when you 'enter' your dry days. But the help is not always in the form of money or material gains but by other ways that you do not expect. In the Qur'an, Allah SWT promises: "And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him (his needs) from where he does not expect.” (At-Talaq, 65: 2,3) *********************** One very important reward that Allah SWT bestowes to those who do charity sincerely is the understanding of religion (knowledge). Regarding 'the have not situation' such as finishing our money at the middle of the month; if we have knowledge, we could feel that situation was nothing compared to what Allah SWT has in store for us whether in this world or Hereafter. ************************ You would realize that a good Muslim does not really need to toil to grap all worldly pleasures (ignoring its halal and haram status) including food because there are many verses of Allah and His prophet states so. For example; in a hadith from Abu Hurairah - Radi Allaahu anhu– who said the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said: "A Muslim eats for one stomach, and a non-Muslim eats for seven stomachs." (Collected by Malik, Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah and others) ************************** In another hadith, from Al-Miqdad bin Ma’d Yakrib -Radhi Allaahu anhu - who said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- saying: "A human does not fill a more evil container than a stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat small portions by which his back can remain straight. If it is not possible, then he should reserve his stomach, a third for his food, third for his drink and a third for his breathing." (Collected by Tirmidhi and he declared it to be Hasan, and by Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban & Albaani) ************************* What a good Muslim needs is so little, so why worry if all your 'gaji sudah habis' (your salary all gone) by the middle of the month. Insya-Allah (God willing), He would provides for you till the end of the month and more importantly during your lifetime in this world and the Hereafter. ***************************** You must believe this for He says: "And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him (his needs) from where he does not expect."

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