Thursday, August 29, 2013

'Merdeka' (Free) from practicing favoritism

******************** 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. *************************** ************************ HAVE you a pet cat (or any other animal)? Why do you love it? Is it because it is beautiful and has other 'heavenly characteristics' attached to it such as the much 'priced' Persian or Siamese cats? ******************** In my opinion, we should love all including animals the way they are. If we only love and give food and fondle our beautiful pet cat but chase away a ‘kucing kurap’, then we are not cat or animal lovers. We are only ‘beauty lovers’. ********************** We love the cat because it is good to stroke its beautiful body; what would happen if the cat suddenly developed illness and transformed into ‘a skeleton figure’, would we be still love it? Or we just dump it? We should be sincere (ikhlas) in our actions including when treating animals. ******************* We should only love them for the sake of Allah SWT. Thus we would give the same treatment to a beautiful cat or a ‘kucing kurap’. To us, all of them are God’s creatures; they deserved to be treated fairly. ******************** I reminded readers and myself to love animals as what they are after receiving this posting from a dear friend who was residing in Kuwait. And his posting was commented by other friends. ********************* Assalam alaykum; After 'maghrib' (dusk prayer) last Friday and coming out of the 'masjid', I heard cries of a little kitten. Me and my son looked and saw this poor thing. ************************ I then picked it up (with a newspaper) and thought of bringing it home but as I was about to bring it into my car, an Egyptian guy saw what I was doing and forbade me from doing so. ************************ He said, the mum could return anytime so there's no need to take it away. Just leave it there, he said. There were ants at where I found the kitten so taking heed of the Egyptian fella, I left the kitten slightly away from the ants. ******************************** Then me and my son went home and me son then told his mum about the encounter. When 'isyak' (late evening prayers) came, I brought along my wife to the 'masjid' to pray and also to see the kitten. Yes, the kitten was still there, crying for the mum. After 'isyak', my wife decided to bring it home. It could have been just two days old... ****************************** It was a difficult task, raising an orphaned kitten. My kids quickly googled to get info on how to save the poor kitten. ************************* Me wife also emailed to the local PAWS the next day and rather pleasantly she received a reply not too many hours later, only to regretfully be told that they're not taking in any kittens. *********************** So the arduous task began. ************************** First, my wife/kids fed it (not sure of its sex) with our usual carton milk but upon reading online, we were informed that the next best milk after its own mum's milk would be goat's milk. *********************** I duly bought a carton... ******************** On Saturday, the kitten was still crying out...gradually the cries became lower in volume and by Sunday...the cries were already few and far in between. ************************ As I sat waiting for the 'azan' (call for prayers) to break fast on Monday, my wife described the kitten as almost similar to humans struggling to breath, gasping for air in the face of death. 'Masya-Allah'. *********************** By 'isyak' there were no more sound coming from the poor thing but it was still breathing - one could see the body still moving inhaling and exhaling... ************************ My wife told me that it could be just a matter of hours now...she told me that if it was confirmed, she wants me to accompany her to bury it - preferably at where we picked it a few nights back - immediately so as to avoid any stench in the house. *********************** By 11.30 pm, I went to the box where it was lying and knew that it had already breathed its last.. *********************** I summoned my wife and kids and announced that it's gone....inna lillah wa inna ilaihi raji'un... ********************** By 12.15 past midnight, we drove - me, wife and eldest - to the site. I was told to do the digging! ************************* The sandy nature of the soil made the task easy. I only dug up to a foot deep and then my wife placed it's gone... ********************** We all quickly covered the hole with the sand and headed home... ************************ Done...buried on the night, just 72 hours after we picked it up... ************************** Look at the animal...even the mouth is opened just like a human's mouth would, in death... ************************** Just a reminder, that we all shall return to Him ultimately. ******************** Actually I never did like cats. I took pity on the poor thing only because I had intended to save a life with the intention of releasing it no sooner than it could walk... ******************** Never understood why people would spend hundreds if not thousands of ringgit on 'whiskas', cat shampoo...etc. The sight of people shopping in Tesco with cans of 'whiskas' in their trolleys could make me wanna throw up... heck, there are people out there trying hard to make ends meet... ************************* But I guess geopolitics could well influence as to why people prefer Persians and Cheshire as opposed to Siamese... ************************** * A most noble, yet futile attempt as you have observed. We had exactly the same experience once with a much older kitten. Apparently there's more to just feeding the kitty to give it the will to survive. It must have been sick at birth and could have been abandoned by the mother when it showed the signs. True indeed, there are lessons in there for all but most important, it is the compassion for the lessor 'insan' (human beings) that surfaced there. A good lesson in life; in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. *************************** * Can't say I love cats. Don't have one now, never bought one. Just happened to pick up a 'pariah' one once in a while and took care of it just in case I get questioned later at the gates of heaven by the voice like the alien in Chicken Little, “Did you take care of the poor cat?". And I can meekly say, “do I get brownie points for it?".... ************************* * 'Alhamdulillah' I have had the honor of surviving three abandoned kittens over the last decade. My late jogs at night in and around Tasik Perdana almost as a daily constitutional, and a number of times we pick up a kitten in fear of them either getting run down by traffic, or just dying of starvation or the rain. We would take them home, clean them up, feed them, talk to them (hoping that they would somehow understand what we were trying to do), and basically keep them warm and safe. The next day we will usually call the vet and have them come over and give them all the typical vaccinations and vitamins, and basically give them a clean bill of health, with follow up visits. ****************************** We raise them like our own children, and treat them like one, too, and give them names. One of them, Sweetie, even grew up having her own, to which my wife was the 'bidan' (midwife). She died being run down in front of our house. Another became my son's pal, Commando (you can guess what kind of kitten he was) was the entertainer of the house for many years until he decided his life was in the jungle. The third, and last, was Yasmin. She sneaked into the engine compartment of our car one night, and her foot got caught in the belt when I switched on the engine in the morning. She had to have surgery to have the foot amputated, but the three-legged one survived the ordeal and lived happily with us for many years until she got run down in front of our house. ************************ It was then that I said, “no more". The loss of a loved one was heart-wrenching to say the least, but to have to go through it three times was quite frankly unbearable. *************************** Yes; dear readers, do not love animals because they are beautiful etc. Be 'merdeka' (free) from that attitude. Do not practice favoritism. Love them all. Love them only because of Allah SWT, the Beneficent, the Merciful even though they (for example 'kucing kurap') are skinny, dirty and with illness; perhaps their faces are swollen and had wounds all over theirs body. ************************ Treating animals well without looking at their conditions were recommended by the Prophet s.a.w. In two separate 'hadiths' narrated by Abu Hurayrah (the cat-loving Companion), the Prophet told his Companions of the virtue of saving the life of a dog by giving it water and quenching its thirst: one referred to was a man who was blessed by Allah for giving water to a thirsty dog. ************************ The other was a prostitute, who filled her shoe with water and gave it to a dog that was lolling its tongue in thirst. For this deed she was granted the ultimate reward: eternal Paradise. Note that the man and woman gave water not to their pet dogs but stray ones; they only did the good deeds for Allah’s sake. They loved Allah’s creatures; it did not matter if others did not appreciate their good deeds. It was only to please Allah SWT. ************************* Truly generous persons feed the hungry, saying, “We feed you for the sake of Allah Alone, we seek from you neither reward nor thanks.” (Qur’an: 76:9) If those who treated animals well were praised by Allah SWT, those who mistreated them would be seeing the doom. Regarding this, Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, (peace be upon him, s.a.w.) said, “A woman was punished because of a cat she had imprisoned until it died. She entered hellfire because of it. She did not give it food or water while it was imprisoned, neither did she set it free to eat from the vermin of the earth.” (Sahih Bukhari, Book 56, Number 689) ************************* The Prophet s.a.w. was known to be very fond of animals. He was so merciful that if he saw a cat whilst he was performing ablution, he would lower the utensil down for the cat to drink from and then perform ablution from the leftover water. Yes, the Prophet s.a.w. loved all animals, regardless of whether they were beautiful or a 'kurap' one; but some of us love animals because of their beauty; for example a beautiful cat is pampered with love but a ‘kucing kurap’ is shooed away…! ********************** So, please dear readers, 'merdeka' our 'corrupt mind' from liking and loving only the 'seen pleasures and goodness of this temporary world'. 'The unseen' such as the Hereafter (akhirat), paradise (syurga) and hellfire (neraka) are everlasting; grab every opportunity to do good deeds including treating a 'pariah' cat well so that we will be rewarded well as to those persons mentioned in the Prophet's hadith.

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