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.
IN our daily lives, how often do we come across suggestion boxes at strategic locations of important premises such as public transport terminals, masjids, government departments, universities and offices of non governmental organizations (NGOs). One question here is, have we at least once in our life time had try 'to push our so-called brilliant ideas' inside those boxes?
Many of us ignore this type of medium of interaction - we have negative thoughts about them. "Well 'they' (those in position or power at the said organizations) would do nothing to our suggestions - there's no point in us giving or posting our ideas into 'those dead boxes'," some of us tend to have that negative perception.
But from my own experience, 'those boxes should not be taken for granted' for they are actually 'kicking alive' - some of my suggestions have been taken up and have produced fast and positive results! But of course my suggestions were not of the 'big type' that could 'shake' our society, our country or our government, but they gave me some kind of satisfaction that could not be penned in words.
In one masjid, I noticed volumes of the Qur'an were being placed inside a rack placed just under the masjid 'mimbar' (pulpit). I thought it was not a proper place to place the holy book because when the 'khatib' (person who reads the sermon during Friday prayers) was on the 'mimbar' his foot would be facing the Qur'an and he himself would be above the holy book.
I write a letter and put it inside the masjid suggestion box, and to my surprise during my next visit to the masjid, the rack was taken away from under the 'mimbar'. Well, it was left an empty space, and nowadays whenever I visit the masjid, a feeling of satisfaction was in my heart whenever my eyes were on the 'mimbar'! Of course I did not write my name in the letter because 'aku menulis bukan kerana nama' (I write not to become famous or glamour).
At another masjid, I saw a new building housing several toilets (for men and women) was marked VIP - it was reserved for the usage of VIP whenever they had functions at the masjid. For almost the time I noticed it was closed because VIPS rarely turned up - so in my opinion 'it was a sheer wastage of public funds'.
Thus I wrote a letter and put it inside the suggestion box of the masjid. Among other things I noted: "Membazir adalah saudara syaitan" (wastage are brothers of 'syaytan') quoting from Ayah 27 of Surah Al-Israa' (17) with the meaning: "Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful."
I also wrote that ten thousands of ringgits were spend to build toilets which of no use - so please open up the facilities to all - whats wrong if a VIP too could used it for a minute or two if they happened to visit the masjid...there was no need for them to have 'a reserved place' just to answer the call of nature!
To my surprise, the following week the chairman of the masjid read my letter aloud to the masjid congregators before Friday prayers and in no time the toilet was opened to all after the sign VIP was torn down.
Readers of my column in Harakah would notice that from time to time I had written suggestions that insha-Allah (if Allah Wills) hopefully could open up our minds to do simple things that we hope to please Allah SWT and as our 'little and small contributions' to others.
In one article entitled 'Freeing ourselves from the burden of carrying coins', I encouraged readers to calculate a habit of putting away all our loose coins into donation boxes every time we do our shopping. The money is for 'simpanan selepas anda mati' (savings for your life in the Hereafter, or in crude language - savings for your life in your grave).
It was because 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)
If you 'dump' a total of RM2 in the form of shillings in a day, in a month it would be RM60, in a year in would be RM720 and in 10 years it would be RM7,200 and in 20 years (before you die) it would be RM14,400 -- perhaps enough for you to buy a simple home just like the PPRT (Projek Rumah Rakyat Termiskin) house.
'Insha-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)
Another 'project' readers could think to embark is by acting as though we have one more school going son or daughter whom we have to give he/she pocket money - but for this purpose you put that 'pocket money' say RM3 every 'subuh' (early morning) to the 'Tabung Masjid' (masjid donation box) each time we go the masjid for our 'subuh' prayers.
It is great to begin your day with a 'sadaqah' (giving donation) as there is a hadith on it: Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased on him) reported: The Prophet s.a.w. said: “Two angels descend every morning, and one says: ‘O Allah, give him who spends something, in place of what he spends.’ The other one says: ‘O Allah, give destruction to him who withholds”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
If you do that 'istiqamah' (consistently), in a month your 'acting son or daughter' ('tabung akhirat' - hereafter fund) would have RM90; in a year it would be RM1,080, in ten years it would be RM10,800 and in 20 years it would be RM21,600. Well, that amount in the eyes of some rich people may be small but if you are sincere it is big in the Eyes of Allah SWT if you do it sincerely.
Dear brothers and sisters, if you choose to donate nothing every morning (not even 10 sen); then I am afraid when you update your 'bank account of Tabung Akhirat' it would be nil (0) or 'had a negative figures' (for example you have borrowed money from someone but not repaid it) , you would be 'panicked' as you have 'no money' to spend for 'your life in the Hereafter'! In this world you would feel bad when you have no RM, American dollars, pound sterling and whatsoever then what would be like when 'you have nothing' in the Hereafter.
In this world you could borrowed money from relatives and friends or worst still beg in the streets but it the Hereafter, there is no help; if you want help from Allah SWT, do it in this world because the Hereafter is a place to reap harvest of our good deeds sowed on earth and not a place to say our repent to Allah SWT or obey His orders.
Remember that once we were 'thrown' inside our graves, there is no way we could return back - it was a one way ticket journey - we would face all consequences ourselves - so dear readers be equipped with all requirements before embarking on that 'no returning journey'. If for a journey say to the United States for a month stay we readied the requirement such as passports and clothes months before, than whats are preparation for our 'never ending journey' of the Hereafter?
Lastly, regarding the effort of certain sectors to boycott products of Israel and America regarding the latest brutally act of the Zionist on the people of Palestine (Gaza), allow me to give 'my two sen worth' suggestion - please focus on boycotting on only one product - choose a product and have the 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide shy away from it.
In the open sky era, that message could be spread worldwide; 'insha-Allah' by focusing on one product, I believe it would sent shivers to the targeting company, it no time its parent company would cease operations. The question right now is what product we are going to boycott. It would be a great impact if we boycott a product compared to boycotting say 11 products as suggested by several organizations. So to Muslims leaders worldwide, please do cooperate and make a fast decision!