Friday, February 28, 2014

Free ourselves from the burden of carrying coins…

************************** In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. *************************** Reflection ********************* Surat Adh-Dhariyat 55:56 (The Winnowing Winds) Allah SWT says, with the meaning; "I have only created jinn and men, that they may serve Me." ************************* A few days ago I paid a visit to the EPF headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur. I travelled to the city by bus from Melaka Sentral. Since I had not travelled to KL for a long time I was taken aback while checking at bus counters to find out that fares of all bus companies had risen by about 10 percent with the most expensive being Transnasional which was at RM13.80 and the lowest offered by Metro at RM10! ********************** At the EPF office, I heard a man grumbling about 'his difficulties in withdrawing his hard earned money which was stacked in EPF'. Of course if we could not fill in the requirements drawn up by EPF, 'we could not withdraw our money saved there because the money was simply for 'simpanan hari tua anda' (savings for your old age). ************************* While there, I pick up a booklet entitled 'EPF Savings and Your Retirement' and noted a few important messages from EPF with the first question being: "Are your retirements saving sufficient?" ************************* Then there was this question: "How much do you need for your retirement?" The answers given were: ************************* * It all depends on your needs and requirements, the state of your health and lifestyle. *************************** * If you wish to spend RM800 a month for a period of 20 years (55-75 years), you need to have savings of RM192,000. ************************ * If you wish to spend RM800 a month for the period of 15 years (assuming that you retire at the age of 60 years), you need to have savings of RM144,000. ****************************** Wow, that was a lot of money; I refrained myself from discussing further on matters regarding 'simpanan hari tua anda' but moved on to 'muzakarah' (exchange of ideas) on subjects regarding 'simpanan selepas anda mati' (savings for your life in the Hereafter, or in crude language - savings for your life in your grave!). ********************** A week ago I heard this story from a 'tok guru' (religious figure) while giving a 'tazkirah' (lessons) at a 'surau' (small masjid) near my house: "Once a great caliph asked the pious man, Hassan Al-Basri why he was not happy as power and wealth was already at his feet. The grand sufi gave a simple answer: "Your Majesty, you are only thinking on how to multiply your worldly gains such as building palace after palace but you have not built any palace for yourself in the Hereafter." *************************** Well, with the EPF money we are only thinking about our life after retirement, but what about our 'lives after our death'? If we assumed ourselves 'to go on' living for another 15 to 20 years after retiring at the age of 55 or 60 years and needed about RM150,000 to RM200,000 to 'sustain' life; then what would we have planned for life after death which is 'forever and forever' (eternal or in Malay 'abadi')? ********************************** Surely, if 'we have a sound mind', we know we need 'billions and trillions of ringgit (even that is not enough)' for our eternal life in the Hereafter. Unfortunately, dear readers and friends, in the Hereafter our ringgits or whatever you call it, such as dollars, pounds, riyals, bahts, rupiahs and rupees are of no use. ************************** The much sought after items would be 'iman' (faith with the most excellent saying 'La-Illaha-Illallah' - there is no God but Allah) and good deeds; unfortunately the Hereafter is not a place to do good deeds but a place to reap 'our best crops' grown on earth. **************************** If during our working days we have contributed to EPF, then at 'old age' we would reap our hard earned money; the same thing could be said about our life in the Hereafter -- if we have sowed 'a seed', during our existence on earth, 'in sha-Allah' (if Allah Wills) we would reap it the Hereafter. ***************************** The question is what is that seed? Dear brothers and sisters; here comes the importance of knowledge. Begin all things with knowledge, for he who knows his own self knows God. Since the beginning of this simple 'muzakarah', I mentioned about money and EPF, then I shall continue focusing only on 'our money' we could do charity even though it is 'ciput' (of a tiny amount). ****************************** The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: " After the death of a person, his actions stop, except three things that he leaves behind: first, continuous charity, second, knowledge from which some benefit may be obtained, third, a virtuous son who makes dua (prays, supplicates) on his behalf." (Related by Muslim) ********************* Since 'our money' (I am not talking about those rich 'fellas' -- tycoons, kings, queens, head of states, first ladies etc -- who could do big 'wakaf') is barely enough for us to survive in life, then how are we going to make 'those small amount of ringgits and even sens' as our very important source of help in the Hereafter. **************************** Never mind about the small amount, the most important aspect of doing good deeds is to be 'ikhlas' (sincere) and follow the way of the Prophet s.a.w. There is a 'hadith' which mentioned Aisha, the Prophet's young wife who one day donated a single grape to a beggar. Yahya related that Malik said: "I heard that a beggar asked for food from Aisha, umm al-muminin and she had some grapes. She told someone to take him one grape. He began to look in amazement. Aisha said, 'Are you amazed? How many atoms' weights do you see in this grape?" (referring to Sura 99 (Az-Zalzalah, ayah 7 - So whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it) ****************************** One simple way for us 'orang hanya cukup makan', (barely enough for our basic necessities) to do charity is by 'dumping' away all loose coins in our pockets at 'every opportunity we come across'. Well, free ourselves from the burden of carrying 'those heavy' shillings. ********************** For example, while paying at shops and restaurant counters, drop all shillings you receive as returns into 'tabungs' (donation boxes) placed there. I am sure there are bound to be several 'tabungs' such as for poor orphans, for building 'tahfiz' (memorizing the Qur'an) schools and building masjids and suraus. ************************* Then whenever you are at a masjid, drop all your coins inside its donation boxes. If you go five times for your fardhu prayers, then you have five 'great opportunities' to 'wipe off' all the shillings from your pockets. If you happen to carry a lot of shillings, do not hesitate or look back but just 'dump in' all your shillings without much thinking. ****************************** And in case you fail to find those 'tabungs', give your shillings to primary school going children. But please do not give a child 10 sen, 20 sen or even 50 sen. These amounts are not enough for them to buy perhaps an ice-cream. So give them shillings amounting to RM1 or RM2. Please do not bring home any shillings. 'Dump' them all before going home. *********************** After 'dumping off all your shillings' you may feel the tranquility in you. You could feel the happiness in you. You feel lighter; you know you could do it. Ask any person who had performed hajj, they would tell you they were at ease without 'those shillings' because in the Holy Land during hajj, the lowest denomination is 1 riyal which is equalivent to RM1. Hujjaj do not burden themselves from carrying 'those heavy shillings'. **************************** Imagine if you 'dump' a total of RM5 in the form of shillings in a day, in a month it would be RM150, in a year in would be RM1,800 and in 10 years it would be RM18,000 and in 20 years (before you die) it would be RM36,000 -- more than enough for you to buy a simple home just like the PPRT (Projek Rumah Rakyat Termiskin) house. *************************** 'Insya-Allah' your 'rumah PPRT' would be converted into a grand palace 'or to a larger scale' in Paradise (which is eternal) for Allah SWT says: "Whatever you spend in the cause of Allah shall be paid to you in full and you shall not be treated unjustly." (Qur'an 8:60

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