In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
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.
WHEN asked, "What is the best jihad?", Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him - s.a.w.) replied. "Telling the truth to a despotic ruler." (Bukhari)
In the wee hours of the night before taking my 'sahur' (meal before beginning fasting) on Thursday, 17th July or 19th Ramadan, I read Surah Ya Sin of the Qur'an and after that its translation in Malay.
Reading the beginning part of the verse, suddenly it crept inside my mind to think over what seemed to be Allah SWT The Greatest was telling me regarding to the news I received via the social media earlier that a Malaysian plane was down in Ukraine after being shot by rebels. All more than 290 passengers and crew members of the ill-fated plane were feared dead.
While writing this article I refer to 'The Meaning of the Holy Qur'an (English Translation by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall); in Surah Ya Sin, ayah 1 to 11 it reads: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
1. Ya Sin
2. By the wise Qur'an,
3. Lo! tho art of those sent
4. On a straight path,
5. A revelation of the Mighty, the Merciful,
6. That thou mayst warn a folk whose father were not warned, so they were heedless.
7. Already hath the word proved true of most of them, for they believe not.
8. Lo! we have put on their necks carcans reaching unto the chins, so that they are made stiff-necked.
9. And We have set a bar before them and a bar behind them, and (thus) have covered them so that they see not.
10. Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not, it is alike for them, for they believe not.
11. Thou warnest only him who followeth the Reminder and feareth the Beneficent in secret, To him bear tidings of forgiveness and a rich reward.
Ayah 5 and 6 reads: "A revelation of the Mighty, the Merciful, That thou mayst warn a folk whose father were not warned, so they were heedless."
The Qur'an was sent to us to guide us in life; it covers all aspects of life. Islam covers from the very small matter such as going into the toilets to the very top of what human beings thought such as governing or administrating a country or the world.
Regarding the culinary and hospitality aspects of our national airline, what the Qur'an has to tell us about some of it? In Surah Al-Baqarah (2:219) it says: "They ask you concerning wine and gambling. Say "in them there is great sin, and some profit for mankind, but the sin is greater than profit."
"O you who believe. Approach not prayers, with a mind befogged, until you can understand all what you said." (4: 43)
"O you who believe. Intoxicants and gambling (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan's handiwork. Avoid such (abomination) thay you may prosper." (5: 90)
"Shaytaan's plan is to show enmity and hatred amongst you with intoxicants and gambling, and to hinder you from remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you not then give up?" (5:91)
Allah has asked us; "Will you not then give up?" What is our answer to His question? If we could not answer or are 'too proud and ignorant to give a straight forward answer', then we (I included) should trembled to what He had said in Ayah 7 to 10 of Surah Ya Sin (with the meaning): "Already hath the word proved true of most of them, for they believe not. Lo! we have put on their necks carcans reaching unto the chins, so that they are made stiff-necked. And We have set a bar before them and a bar behind them, and (thus) have covered them so that they see not. Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not, it is alike for them, for they believe not."
While reading Surah Ya Sin, that was the feeling I had; but the question is that I am not a knowledgeable person whats more on religious matter; my reading of the Qur'an was poor and I know no Arabic. So was my feeling and understanding of the Qur'an correct? I have no choice but to see an 'ustaz' (religious teacher) for some explanation and elaboration of the surah.
Last Sunday (20th July), I attended a 'kuliah subuh' (early morning class) at a masjid near my house and after lesson I talked to the ustaz about my understanding to the message of Allah SWT and the attitude of many of us in ignoring and worst still go against Allah SWT's commands such as regarding alcoholic drinks served on planes.
The ustaz smiled, nodded and said that my understanding of the ayahs was correct. Allah SWT had given us the warning, be in His straight path (including putting aside alcoholic drinks) or you would see the doom. Ulamas, political parties, writers and man on the streets have advised our leaders and those at helm of the national carriers to do away with alcoholic drinks but it was just like 'mencurahkan air ke daun keladi' (pouring water on to yam leaves which means 'an aimless and fruitless effort').
The Qur'an warned us: "Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not, it is alike for them, for they believe not" and in another ayah, "They ask you concerning wine and gambling. Say 'in them there is great sin, and some profit for mankind, but the sin is greater than profit'."
Have we not learnt our lessons - two planes were lost in a span of not more than half a year? Pardon me if I sound too harsh in this article but that was the feeling I got and experienced while and after reading Surah Ya Sin.
Are there still hope? In ayah 11 of Surah Ya Sin, Allah SWT says: "Thou warnest only him who followeth the Reminder and feareth the Beneficent in secret. To him bear tidings of forgiveness and a rich reward."
My heart is with the families and relatives of the decease of the down plane; only to Allah SWT we surrender our fate. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un (Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return). Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir Batin from LanH