Wednesday, April 30, 2014

'Muhasabah' at the Royal Museum (2)

************************** In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ************************* Reflection ************************** "Do not spy one another, nor let any of you backbite others..." (Hujurat 49: 12) **************************** BEFORE leaving the Royal Museum (Old Royal Palace) at Jalan Istana during a visit recently, I was engaged in a long conversation with two youths - Hafiz a young man of 21 years old and a girl, Nor, 19, who worked as tourists guides inside the palace. ********************** I asked them what they thought about living in this world; based on what they saw almost everyday at the palace - worldly pleasures fit for kings and queens that were exhibited - but the irony of it, where had the majority of the 'subjects' gone to? They were no more among us, they were in their graves or 'alam barzakh' (the space between death and resurrection). ************************ In Surah Al-Hadid of the Qur'an, Allah SWT says: "Know that the life in this world is only play, and idle talk, and pageantry, and boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whereof the growth is pleasing to the husbandman, but afterward it drieth up and thou seest it turning yellow, then it becometh straw. And in the Hereafter there is grievous punishment, and only forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but a matter of illusion." (57: 20) ******************************** Hafiz and Nor were almost speechless, I had expected that as my boys and girls (children) of the same age, would react the same way; thus I guided them slowly by explaining that in this world we have to live accordingly to what Allah SWT has prescribed to human beings. All the prescriptions contained in the book of Allah (Qur'an) and Prophet Muhammad sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam who was sent for us to emulate; are to be strictly adhered. ******************************** I told them that when I was the same age as them, I 'was robust' to 'the new world of freedom' when I no longer lived with my parents but stayed by my own self. I 'was free' to do what ever I wish; it was okay for me to return home at the wee hours of night or do not come home at all. ****************************** Well, when there was no one to guard us (and we feel free from 'the eyes of Allah SWT'; we were liken to the saying 'born to be free' and I strongly believed that this is one factor that led to six youths died from drug overdose while catching the Future Music Festival Asia concert in Kuala Lumpur recently. ******************************* Imagine some of the youths were university students; in fact they were Muslim females! They who died were believed to have taken the drug methamphetamine before going to the concert. **************************** I told Hafiz and Nor that I had always reminded my five children who were in the age group of 12 to 25 years old to adhere this simple 'hadith' of the Prophet then they 'insya-Allah' (if God wills it) they would be in His straight path. **************************** On the authority of 'Umar, radiyallahu 'anhu, who said: "While we were one day sitting with the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, there appeared before us a man dressed in extremely white clothes and with very black hair. No traces of journeying were visible on him, and none of us knew him. ****************************** "He sat down close by the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, rested his knee against his thighs, and said, O Muhammad! Inform me about Islam." Said the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, "Islam is that you should testify that there is no deity save Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, that you should perform salah (ritual prayer), pay the zakah, fast during Ramadan, and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House (the Ka'bah at Makkah), if you can find a way to it (or find the means for making the journey to it)." Said he (the man), "You have spoken truly." ******************************* "We were astonished at his thus questioning him and telling him that he was right, but he went on to say, "Inform me about iman (faith)." He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, "It is that you believe in Allah and His angels and His Books and His Messengers and in the Last Day, and in fate (qadar), both in its good and in its evil aspects." He said, "You have spoken truly." ******************************** "Then he (the man) said, "Inform me about Ihsan." He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, " It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet He sees you." He said, "Inform me about the Hour." He (the Messenger of Allah) said, "About that the one questioned knows no more than the questioner." So he said, "Well, inform me about the signs thereof (i.e. of its coming)." Said he, "They are that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress, that you will see the barefooted ones, the naked, the destitute, the herdsmen of the sheep (competing with each other) in raising lofty buildings." Thereupon the man went off. ***************************** "I waited a while, and then he (the Messenger of Allah) said, "O 'Umar, do you know who that questioner was?" I replied, "Allah and His Messenger know better." He said, "That was Jibril. He came to teach you your religion." (Muslim) ****************************** To Hafiz and Nor, I said: "Believe in Rukun Iman and perform all articles under the Rukun Islam, I believed the majority of youths need only to perform their five times daily 'salah' (prayers) and fasting in the month of Ramadan, they are exempted from paying 'zakah' and performing 'hajj' as they had not fulfill the requirements." ******************************* "So as young men and women maintain in doing your 'wajib' (obligatory) prayers, but please do it the 'ihsan' (sincere) way, 'insya-Allah' as you grow older you would find pleasure in doing the 'sunnat' (recomended) ones such as praying the 'tahajud' (late night) prayers. And please, please do not dare to do what Allah SWT prohibits (haram) such as taking 'dadah' (drugs), alcoholic drinks and involved in illicit sex." **************************** Also please also take note on this 'hadith': Amar bin Maymoon Al-Audi (radhi Allahu anhu) narrates that once Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) gave the following advice to a Sahaabi: “Treasure five things before five: Your youth before old-age; your health before illness; your wealth before poverty; your free time before becoming occupied, and your life before death." (Tirmidhi) ****************************** Well, please do not waste your youth years. Yes I wished, I was still a youth and not 'an old man' of 52. If only I could go back to those youthful years with abundance of energy and spirit. **************************** Alas, it was only a dream because time flies quickly and never will be back. Scholars had divided time into three categories - yesterday (the past), now (present) and tomorrow ( the future).To the thinking group of people, we have only the present because yesterday has gone and tomorrow nobody knows what would happen. ****************************** Yesterday was too far because it was history. But I would like to recollect some of the things that I should have done during my youthful years as a guideline to youths such as Hafiz and Nor. *************************** I told them, please seek knowledge, because it is the key to success. If you know yourself and this only could be obtained by seeking knowledge, only then you will know Allah SWT and the heavy responsibilities you shoulder in this world. Our existence is not without purpose or to 'suka-suka saja' (for play only). Each and every one of us holds higher responsibilities to God, the human race and in fact everything. Everyone is accountable for his actions, even if it is as small as an atomic part of substance. *************************** So to youth out there, don't waste your time, grazing aimlessly at the empty sky, whats more taking prohibited drugs during concerts. Fulfill your days seeking knowledge, for with knowledge, you will understand that everything you do, is to seek God's forgiveness and acknowledge His Greatness. For example when you stare at the empty sky and acknowledge Allah SWT's greatness in creating without pillars and feel how small you are, then you are in the right direction to have His Blessing in this world and the Hereafter. ************************* When you realize this, you will understand, there is no such things as 'lepak-lepak' (wasting time) in Islam. There is so much to do and we are short of time to make them materialize. If we were to look at the Prophet as an example, he successfully preached Islam in 23 years - 13 years in Mecca and 10 years in Medina, and died at the age of 63. If we were to look back at our past, we will realize that we had been wasting our time.If we are now in our fifties and suppose we die at the same age as the Prophet, we have about 10 years left to spend our lives. If we had done 'practically nothing' during our past 50 years, just imagine what could be done in our last 10 years! ***************************** There were many more things I wish I had done in my youthful years like travelling (around Malaysia and the globe), writing books and polishing up my reading of the Qur'an, but I didn't take them seriously. During those youthful years, money was the setback, but wise man used to say, if you have the will, you will have the way. ****************************** Time passed, and after getting married and blessed with children, I found out that I too am 'burdened' with family's matters that I don't have enough time and energy to fulfill some of my dreams. **************************** So to youths out there including Hafiz and Nor who I met at the Royal Museum, please don't waste your precious time, fill them with your treasured dreams, for when time passes, it was gone forever. That precious time will never return!

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