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.
A few weeks ago Singaporeans mourned for the loss of their nation’s founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew. He passed away at 91 at the Singapore General Hospital on Monday, March 23. They pay tribute to Lee's achievements in turning Singapore into one of the most progressive nations in the world today.
A few days ago after Lee's death, while reading an article in a newspaper regarding the respected leader; I came across this beautiful quotation by him highlighted in the paper: “At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life.”
Less than two month before Lee demise, former Kelantan menteri besar, Tok Guru (beloved teacher) Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat passed away leaving away what Harakah's veteran columnist, Subky Latif claimed to be "hudud dan rakyat cintakan Allah dan Rasul-Nya" (hudud and people who love Allah and His Prophet).
Among others Subky in his posting (Harakah 3-5 April 2015) entitled 'Lee Kuan Yew mati lepas Tok Guru' (Lee Kuan Yew passed away after Tok Guru) wrote: "Lee Kuan Yew mati meninggalkan sebuah Singapura yang terkaya dan rakyat berpendapatan tinggi melebih penduduk lain-lain negara" (Lee Kuan Yew died leaving away a country, Singapore as among the richest nations with its people having high incomes far exceeded other countries).
Subky seemed to acknowledge what Lee Kuan Yew had said in his beautiful and famous quotation: "At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life."
At the end of his article, Subky wrote: "Lee mati berusia 91 tahun. Dia dilihat tersohor dalam kalangan semua pemimpin Asia merdeka selepas Mahatma Gandhi, Mao Zedong dan Deng Xiaopeng. Seorang yang bersih. Jika dia Islam bersihnya menjadikan dia suci. Malang tiada yang menyampai dakwah kepadanya. Jika dia menerima dakwah, dia boleh jadi dekat macam Sayidina Umar al-Khatab."
(Lee died at the age of 91. He was renowned among all Asian leaders after their countries' independence; he was after Mahatma Gandhi, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaopeng. He was clean. If he were a Muslim, his cleanliness might made him sacred. It was unfortunate that none had convey the message of Islam to him. If he accept the 'dakwah', he could have lead a life like Sayidina Umar al-Khatab - the second Al-Rashidin Caliph).
Reading Subky's opinion, my mind raced back to a 'tazkirah' (lesson) of an 'ustaz' (religious teacher) where he read and discussed the most common 'du'a' (supplication) read by Muslims -"Allahumma Rabbana Atina fid-dunya hasanatan wafil- Akhirati hasanatan waqina athaban nar" (Oh Allah, our Lord, give us all the good of this world, and the good of the life Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the hell-fire).
Yes, as Muslims we must aim and work hard for our success in this world and the Hereafter. We must strive to be successful in both worlds. So what's the key to be successful in life?"
The 'ustaz' said that the key to success is to be in His (Allah) true path, take religion (Islam) and practice all its teachings. He then gave 10 tips for a successful life. They were:
1. Be a good listener and if you don't know, don't hesitate to ask experts on the subject such as an 'ustaz' or a scholar.
2. You have to practice 'sabar' and the 'tonic' to have this trait is to do 'zikrullah'.
3. Always be thankful and the key to it is to expand charity.
4. Fear Allah SWT (takwa)
5. Make Du'a.
6. Do not be proud or arrogant.
7. Do not skip your 'solat'.
8. Uphold the truth, do good deeds as much as you can.
9. Uphold the oneness of God. (Tauhid)
10. Perform Hajj.
ABIM in one of its flyers entitled 'Ways and means to be successful in this world and the Hereafter' listed 32 items to be observed. On top of the list is to believe in Allah; the one and only Creator, Designer, Giver of Life, Giver of Death, Owner, Inheritor and God of the universe. Allah has no peer, while the universe is a tiny speck in the grandeur of Allah. Also believing in His prophets from Adam, the first man to the final prophet Muhammad. The Qur'an which was revealed to Muhammad is 100 percent Allah's words. Only one version, the Qur'an is being translated by many translators and memorized by millions. (Qur'an, 23:1 and 24:31)
The second item is regarding sincerity: Doing good deeds to please Allah and none else. Deeds done for other than Allah or along with Allah is not acceptable to Allah. Allah the Most Beautiful loves beauty. (Qur'an, 30:38)
The others are worship Allah alone, seek guidance from Allah, remember Allah always, be grateful to Allah, fear Allah (takqwa), perform regular worship to Allah (five times prayers), listen and obey Allah's law and be rationale - the Qur'an agrees very well with the sunnah of Muhammad, matches well with the wise mind and fits the 'fitrah' (innate instinct of humankind).
Then give preference to Allah's choices for Allah Sees, Hears and Knows everything, scatter over the earth and seek Allah's bounty; avoid evil deeds, accumulate the rewards of the Hereafter, jihad (strive) with speech, wealth, and life to spread the truth and Islamic monotheism, be generous for Allah's sake especially when in need of Allah's Help.
Next invite to righteousness, enjoin good and forbid evil; always be on Allah's side, practice patience and steadfastness, repent from all sins and do righteous deeds, always be mindful of the enemy, honour, assist and follow scholars (ulama) who truly practice Islam and be charitable to oneself.
We must also avoid usury and illegal income, seeking means and ways to approach Allah, purifying our souls, give kindred (especially parents), the poor and wayfarer their dues for Allah's sake, lower our gaze, protect our private parts and wear appropriate Islamic attire.
Please love each other and have no jealousy for Allah's sake, choose friends who believe in Allah and the Last Day; say the truth from Allah and His messenger even if it is unpopular and lastly ask the right people such as scholars, parents, experts, specialists, sincere friends and the like. Allah knows best.