Saturday, April 30, 2016

'Being a king for a day but the marriage is forever'

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

"Do not spy one another,
nor let any of you backbite others..." (Hujurat 49: 12)

MY wife and I are in the 50-s; now its our turn to marry off our children one by one and we too are receiving numerous wedding invitations from relatives, friends and 'kampung' folks which are usually held during weekends.

Perhaps for the Malaysian Muslims, 'kenduri kahwin' (marriage feasts) invitations would be pouring in until the end of 'Syaaban' (the 8th month of the Muslim calendar) before the coming of 'Ramadan' which is the fasting month. 

In a recently 'tazkirah' (Islamic lesson) in a 'masjid' near my 'kampung', an 'ustaz' (religious teacher) advised parents not marry off their children at the end of 'Syaaban' because the tendency of newly-weds to 'smear' the holy month of Ramadan were high!

He said 'ilmu kahwin' (knowledge about marriage) is a must to not only to would be husband and wife but also to 'veteran brides and bridegrooms' (parents) because marriage is an 'ibadah' (act of devotion to Allah SWT). We must know what is 'halal' (permissible) and 'haram' in weddings, thus wrongdoings such as fighting regarding 'wang hantaran' (dowry) which had happened in a 'masjid' di Kuala Lumpur recently could be checked.

A few days ago I stumbled upon a 'timely' old article entitled 'In good times, in tough time' by columnist Soo Ewe Jin in the Sunday Star (7 June 2015) in which he reminded all of us that a wedding is just a day, it is the marriage that is forever and one that we must focus on.

Among others he wrote: "Weddings can be simple or expensive, but however memorable that day may turn out to be, we have to acknowledge that is just one day. The marriage, however, is a different story altogether...

"In this current world of easy divorces, broken relationship and same-sex marriages, some may wonder if the original institution of marriage that brings a man and a woman together can really withstand the test of time. What then is the secret to a long and fulfilling marriage...?

"It is a question that cannot be easily answered because every relationship is unique. Bringing two different people - and probably also two families - together is a challenge in itself."

I agreed with Eve Jin that weddings are just a one day the Malay society the 'pengantin baru' (bride and bridegroom) are called 'Raja Sehari' - remember that you are 'king' and 'queen' for only a day...immediately after both of you had been made husband and wife in the 'majlis akad nikah' (marriage agreement ceremony) then your responsibilities and duties as a married couple begins.

Even most weddings are only a day, many 'pengantin baru' and their parents 'throw everything'  they have to make the event look grand, the Malay used the phrase 'bergolok gadai'. Nowadays weddings are an expensive affair, perhaps a simple one would burnt about RM30,000 from a groom's pocket money - for example for the 'hantaran' it is RM10,000 (which is considered low), the food for the feast is about RM10,000 and other requirements such as such as 'pakaian pengantin' (the newly wed robes), 'hadiah' (presents), tents, decorations and transportation would amounted to another RM10,000. Perhaps RM30,000 is not enough...

Subhanallah (Glory be to Allah SWT), after becoming 'Raja Sehari', your good times and tough times started to unroll..the husband is the 'captain' of the new ship while the wife is his 'assistant'. The ship would then sailed off in the open sea. Often there would be laughter when everything were okay, but when huge and 'angry' waves hit the ship, would the 'captain' hold on while his 'assistant' being 'royal' to him or always by his side?

As mentioned above, RM30,000 is not enough for a simple wedding...perhaps for their wedding, the newly weds had to borrow money 'heavily' from other sources...then when their honeymoon was over they had to face reality for example one factor that contributed to domestic violence is quarrels about money. It is common that couples fight over money...

Even though courting couples seldom think about their future regarding financial burden as they are absorbed in ‘cinta’ (love), when they are married and then have their own families, they will realize that they can’t have ‘cinta’ only, they have to have money to run a place name home. ‘Cinta’ cannot satisfy hunger; you need money to buy food to please your stomach!

A wedding is only a day but the marriage is forever...the question is why many among us plan 'like mad'  the wedding but take for granted preparation to be a good husband and wife in a holy knot named 'marriage'?

First of all, to have a ‘religious’ wife, you should be ‘religious’ too. A good man is for a good woman and vise versa. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him – s.a.w.) in a 'hadith' by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim said: “A woman may be married for four things: for her wealth, for her noble descent, for her beauty or for her religion. Choose the one who is religious, may your hands be rubbed with dust!” 

So to dear young men and women out there, remember that the character of a good husband is not the one who provided for all the material pleasures demanded by his wife but who was able to guide her for her safety in this world and more importantly in the Hereafter. 

The Qur’an says with the meaning: “O! You who believe, save yourself and your families from Hell-fire, whose fuel are humans and stones (idols) over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who flinch not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded.” (At-Tahrim 66: 6)

Yes, provide for and save your wife from Hell-fire; you are on the right track to be a good husband. Unfortunately in today’s material world, a man who could provide worldly pleasures and fulfill the lust of his wife is looked upon as a good husband. 

The wife’s crave for those pleasures are fulfilled. ‘High class’ women demand ‘high class taste of living'; perhaps these included shopping in top fashion and capital cities of the world such as New York, London and Paris looking for Birkin handbags, diamond rings and so on. She also demands to stay in top and exclusive hotels of the world and attending star-studded party. 

A religious wife is a precious treasure to a man for example  she would not demand from her husband worldly pleasures which are not within his means. She knows his limitation and acknowledges her obligation to obey and please him.

In Islam, the husband is the ‘qawwaam’ (maintainer) of his wife so that he will be a ‘real man’ knowing how to steer the ship of family life towards the shore of safety and guidance. 

Islam warns all men against the trail and ‘fitnah’ (temptation) of women, which may make them heedless and weak, and lessen their religious commitment, so that they turn a blind eye to the waywardness and unIslamic behaviour of their wives. 

In such a case a husband has no say: his wife is controlling everything in the home, so that he dare not disobey her, or answer to her back, or refuse any of her wimps. The Prophet (s.a.w.) was right when he said that this is the most damaging of trails and temptations that a man can be faced with: “There will be no ‘fitnah’ after my death that is worse for men than the ‘fitnah’ of women.” (Bukhari and Muslim) 

The Muslim husband is a man who is not weak in dealing with the trial of a wayward wife, no matter how difficult that ‘fitnah’ is. He gently makes it clear to her that no matter how much he loves her, he loves Allah and the Prophet (s.a.w.) more, and his desire to please Allah is stronger than his feelings for her: Say, [O Muhammad], "If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people." (Qur’an 9:24) 

In this way, the female waywardness which we see in many so-called Muslim homes will be done away with. The man who sees his wife, daughters and sisters going out in the street with make-up, uncovered heads and bare arms, clothed but seeming naked and does nothing to stop this disobedience in Islam, has surely lost his manhood, abandoned Islam and earned the wrath of Allah SWT. He is a ‘dayus’. There is no way out of this predicament but sincere repentance which will wake him up, restore his manhood and set him back in the straight path. 

Islam considers women to be a trust which has been given to men for safe-keeping. As the wife is usually influenced by her husband, he may take her with him to Paradise or lead her to Hell. Therefore Allah SWT ordered the believing men to protect both themselves and their families from the Fire and gave a terrifying picture of the awful fate that awaits them if they neglect their responsibilities towards their wives and families and fail to compel them to adhere to the truth. 

To achieve a harmonious family, what more blessing from Allah SWT The Almighty; scholars gave these advises:

1. Before being married, the future husband and wife would have to have the intention of being a good partner.

2. Thanks the Almighty for giving us a partner, the husband should think that his wife is the best for him and vice versa.

3. An exemplary husband makes his wife proud.

4. Smile when the husband returns home, the husband too should be jovial when returning from work.

5. Make sure husband and wife have time to talk to one another.

6. The husband and wife communicate with one another by SMS, telephoning etc.

7. Make the wife happy by telling her stories.

8. Have lunch or dinner together with family members.

9. Husband and wife are encouraged to take their bath together.

10. Help the wife in doing household chores such as mending shoes and shirts.

11. Practice having meetings with family members.

12. Do not divulge each other’s secret.

13. Be respectful on the wife’s family members.

14. Becoming a forgiving person.

15. Fulfill the wife’s need.

Not long ago, our government launched an ambitious program named ‘Rumahku, syurgaku’ (translated literally as ‘My home, my heaven) so that families could have homes that were peaceful heaven – like abode for them.

The most important requirement in making ‘My home, my heaven’ for Muslims is that family members should perform ‘solat berjemaah’ (hold congregational prayers). They too have to practice reading and understanding the Qur’an, reading and studying religious books and ready to help one another. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Life is a journey...enjoy it

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.

'Life is a journey...enjoy it' was the tagline of a Turkish tour operator...well I used the service of this operator when I was in Turkey a few months ago. The question was how are we going to enjoy life, I used to ask myself.

Some time ago a friend asked me this 'wake up' question: "When do you feel tranquil...while performing 'solat' (prayers) or after solat?" to which I quickly answered; "after solat." 

He claimed that most people had a feeling of relief after they had performed their 'solat'. For example after performing their 'zuhr' (after midday prayers) some workers would said: "I can now have my lunch in peace; 'Alhamdulillah' (All praise is due to God alone) as I had already performed my prayers."

Also notice this situation - when we are about to embark for a journey; say to catch a bus at 1.30 pm at the bus station, we hurriedly perform our 'zuhr' prayers at 1.15 pm before rushing for the bus; we were in the nick of time...perhaps in the bus we were pleased about ourselves because we had performed our obligation.

'Subhanallah' (Glory be to God), many people feel good after performing 'solat' and not during 'solat'. The friend asked me to do some 'muhasabah' (reflections about oneself); he said we should work hard to have tranquility during 'solat'. How are we going to have that feeling?

He said those who felt good after performing 'solat' looked as though that obligation was a burden to them, thus after doing it they could feel the burden had been taken away from them...only then they were in a relief and relax condition.

The friend recommended me to change my attitude towards 'solat'. Please try to make 'solat' as an enjoyable activity, when you do something that you love then you are in a relax position, he said, "thus you could perform it a tranquil situation."

Take for example your hobbies such as gardening or fishing. When you are too engross in your hobbies thus there are occasions you forget about time. The same could be said about reading your favourite novels; you forget about time but the question is why when you are about to read the Qur'an, you feel sleepy...that's an indicator you must change your attitude to enjoy reading the Qur'an, advised the friend. 

Not only regarding 'solat' and reading the Qur'an, the friend said we must enjoy whatever we do; but the first thing we should determine is whether it is in line with the teaching of Islam. We must know whether our activities are 'halal' (permissible) or 'haram' (forbidden). Doing 'halal' activities give us the feeling of tranquility but engaging in the 'haram' ones make our life miserable.

A Saudi scholar, Dr Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Rahman Al-‘Arifi, in his book 'Enjoy Your Life' noted that life has its up and down. But for the majority of us, it is very hard to maintain our composure and feelings when we were down the drain. 

To wipe off this situation, Dr Muhammad has the answer. He wrote: “Enjoy your life, for it is brief and there is no time in it for anguish!” Yes, we have no time to be sad on thrifty matters but wake up and be alive to reap His giving and rewards in this world and the Hereafter.

But to enjoy His giving and rewards, we have to be in the straight path. Isn’t that are what we ask from Allah the Almighty in each ‘rakaat’ (units) in our prayers when we read an ‘ayat’ in the Surah Al-Fatihah (the Opening): “Guide us on the Straight Path.”

‘Enjoy Your Life’ is on the art of interacting with people, as deduced from a study of Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) life. Solutions to all problems are present in the life of Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) His life is an example for us to follow and a model for us to refer to at all times. No matter what problem arises in our lives, if we look to the Prophet’s Seerah for a solution, we will surely find it.

If all problems could be solved, then we could enjoy our life in this world and 'insya-Allah' (God willing) in the Hereafter since we live in accordance to what Allah and His prophet had revealed and ordered us in His Holy Book, the Qur’an. But we must work hard for it because 'everything has its price'.

For example in this world, if we wanted to use a public toilet or a tolled road, we must first make payment (have money); then whats more to enter 'jannah' (heaven)...we must have 'something' that would enable us to enter it.

Of course we could only enter 'jannah' on the mercy of Allah SWT but while living on earth we must perform good deeds as much we could and refrain from 'haram' things only to please Him. That good deeds would be transformed into 'pahala' (rewards from God); hopefully He would please to grant us His 'jannah'.

In the Qur'an, Allah told us to be successful in the world and Hereafter. Muslims recited this du'a over and over again: 'Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanatan wa fil 'akhirati hasanatan waqina 'adhaban-nar' (Our Lord! grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire." (2:201)

Well, what's the meaning of being successful in life? A local scholar, Dr Rozey Baba in his 'tazkirah' at a 'masjid' near my house not long time ago, illustrated what's the meaning of ‘kejayaan dalam hidup’. He said that we would make a very big mistake or blunder if we take 'successful' to only what we had achieved in this world.

He warned that our status, position, power, wealth and all worldly achievements would of no use when we were dead. Only our ‘iman’ (faith) and ‘amal’ (good deeds) would be able to help us. 

Dr Rozey said that the key to success is to take religion and practice all its teaching. “Those who upheld religion should have no worries but enjoy life because the world would be at his or her feet but those who are after the world, they would lose the world and worst of all, doomed in the Hereafter.

He gave 10 tips (keys) to have a successful life. They were:  

1. Be a good listener and if you don’t know, don’t hesitate to ask experts on the subjects such as an ‘ustaz’ (religious teacher) or a scholar. 

2. You have to practice ‘sabar’ (patience) and the ‘tonic’ to have this trait is to do ‘zikrullah’ (remember Allah SWT by reciting words in praise of Him). 

3. Always be thankful (syukur) and the key to it is to expand charity (sadaqah). 

4. Fear of Allah SWT (takwa). 

5. Make du’a (offer prayers). 

6. Do not be proud or arrogant (takabbur). 

7. Do not skip your ‘solat’ (prayers). 

8. Uphold to the truth, do good deeds as much as you can. 

9. Uphold the oneness of God (Tauhid). 

10. Perform hajj.

On the same topic, Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (ABIM) listed 32 tips (ways and means) to be successful in this world and Hereafter. They are: 

1. Believe in Allah: The one and only Creator, Sustainer, Giver of Life, 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 all His prophets from Adam, the first man to the final prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him, s.a.w.) The Qur’an which was revealed to Muhammad s.a.w. 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) 

2. Sincerity: Doing good deeds to please only 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) 

3. Worship Allah alone: None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, the One-And-Only. (Qur’an 22:77) 

 4. Guidance from Allah: From the unadulterated Al-Qur’an and authentic ways/sunnah of Muhammad s.a.w., the last prophet. We can never go astray when we follow the Qur’an and sunnah. (Qur’an 2:5 and 31:5) 

5. Remember Allah always. Almighty Allah deserves to be remembered all the time. Only by remembering Allah, will our hearts experience true and lasting tranquility. (Qur’an 8:45 and 62:10)

6. Grateful to Allah: Be thankful and optimistic about everything Allah has prepared for us in this world by worshiping Allah zealously. A grateful person lives a meaningful life. (Qur’an 7:69) 

7. Fear Allah (takwa): Venerate, love, have hope in while being anxious and concerned of Allah. The most honourable in the sight of Allah are those who fear Allah most. (Qur’an 3:130) 

8. Perform regular worship of Allah (five times prayers) and duties like declaration of faith, fasting, tithe and hajj. (Qur’an Qur’an 22:77) 

9. Listen and obey Allah’s law. Allah’s and His messenger’s words will lead to a perfect life. 

10. Rationale: The Qur’an agrees very well with the sunnah of Muhammad s.a.w. matches well with the wise mind and fits the fitrah (innate instinct of humankind) – Qur’an 2:189 and 5: 100 

11. Gives preference to Allah’s choices Allah Sees, Hears and Knows everything. (Qur’an 2: 189 and 5:100) 

12. Scatter over the earth and seeks Allah’s bounty. Aren’t we Allah’s vicegerents on earth? (Qur’an 62:10) 

13. Avoid evil deeds; like consuming intoxicants, gambling and ascribing partners to Allah. Satan promotes lawlessness among us but succumbs among us but succumbs to those who trust and fear Allah. (Qur’an 5:90) 

14. Accumulate the rewards of the Hereafter: like the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the pious. They enjoy this life by doing good deeds and Allah’s paradise awaits them May all of us be among them. (Qur’an 7:8) 

15. Jihad (strive); with speech, wealth and life to spread the truth and Islamic monotheism. (Qur’an 9:88) 

16. Be generous for Allah’s sake, especially when in need of Allah’s Help. 

17. Invite to righteousness, enjoin good and forbid evil. Good deeds invite Allah’s Blessings. (Qur’an 3:104) 

18. Always be on Allah’s side. Unwavering dedication to Allah’s cause, wherever and whenever. (Quran 58:220 

19. Patience and steadfastness: Firm in upholding the truth and Islamic monotheism till the end of our life. (Qur’an 3:200) 

20. Repent from all sins and do righteous deeds: Only Allah is perfect and free from mistakes. (Qur’an 28:67)

21. Always be mindful of the enemy. For this reason we continuously seek and need Allah’s Help. (Qur’an 3:200) 

22. Honour, assist and follow scholars (ulama) who truly practice Islam. (7:157) 

23. Be charitable to oneself. A strong believer is dearer and more beloved to Almighty Allah. (Qur’an 64:16) 

24. Avoid usury and illegal income. Usury and illegally gained income lead to hell. (Qur’an 3:130)

25. Seeking means and ways to approach Allah. May we meet Allah at the best moment! Ameen. (Qur’an 5:35) 

26. Purifying our souls. Allah has given everyone a soul. A good soul will benefit oneself and others. (Qur’an 87:14 and 91:9) 

27. Give kindred (especially parents), the poor and wayfarer their dues for Allah’s sake. (Qur’an 30:38)\

28. Lower our gaze, protect our private parts and wear appropriate Islamic attire. Self respect is important in Islam. Insincerity and ignorance cause man to live in disunity, disarray and void of guidance. (Qur’an 24:31) 

29. Love each other and have no jealousy, for Allah’s sake: Like the Ansar and Muhajirin. (Qur’an 59:9) 

30. Choose friends who believe in the Last Day. Close friend influence our life. (Qur’an 58:22) 

31. Say the truth from Allah and His Messenger even if it is unpopular. Truth will prevail. (Qur’an 5:100) 

32. Ask the right people: Scholars, parents, experts, specialist, sincere friends and the like. (Qur’an 2: 189) 

'Insya-Allah' if we live according to Allah SWT prescriptions (be in His straight path such as obeying to His orders and refraining from doing things He forbids (haram) then we would lead a tranquil life. 'Insya-Allah' we would be safe in this world in the Hereafter; that's the true meaning of enjoying life! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pudu Sentral sudah hilang 'raya'nya

DENGAN nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. 


"Kalau sekiranya perempuan ahli syurga (termasuk bidadari) datang kepada penduduk bumi, nescaya akan disinarinya dunia antara langit dan bumi dan terpenuhinya dengan bau harum semerbak. Sesungguhnya tutup kepalanya lebih baik daripada dunia dan isinya." (HR. Bukhari) 

SELEPAS Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) di Bandar Tasik Selatan beroperasi pada Mac 2011 bagi pengendalian bas ekspres ke selatan tanah air, tiada keperluan untuk saya ke Pudu Sentral yang dulunya amat popular dengan nama Puduraya.

Pada 9 April lalu bagi menyertai perhimpunan membantah 'Dual Language Programme' (DLP) di Kuala Lumpur, saya berkesempatan berkunjung semula (revisited) ke Pudu Sentral. Terkejut saya melihat 'kesepian' di terminal bas yang dulunya mungkin paling sibuk di negara kita. 

Suasana 'muram' itu seakan-akan 'bertepatan' dengan tindakan pemimpin negara yang mengubah nama Puduraya kepada Pudu Sentral - hari ini suasana 'raya' (sibuk dan meriah) tidak wujud di terminal ini yang hanya mengendalikan perkhidmatan bas kawasan setempat dan berdekatan seperti Seremban, Tanjung Malim dan Genting Highlands. 

Ya, Pudu Sentral (bunyinya macam Pudu Jail) sudah hilang 'seri' dan 'raya'nya - sebahagian golongan yang terkesan dengan 'kemuraman'nya adalah peniaga kecil yang menjual makanan ringan, buah-buahan potong dan akhbar di tingkat satu yang mendakwa perniagaan mereka seperti hidup segan mati tak mahu.

Salah seorang penjual ditemui, Tini, berkata perniagaan merosot lebih 80 peratus berbanding ketika zaman gemilang Puduraya. Namun katanya, dia akan terus 'berjualan' seperti diarahkan 'bosnya' iaitu pemilik 'kiosk' itu. Jika zaman Puduraya dulu, tingkat satu penuh dengan gerai (termasuk gerai makan) dan kaunter tiket bas ekspres, hari ini hanya ada sejumlah 'kiosk' makanan ringan manakala sebahagian ruang menempatkan Kedai 1-Malaysia, Klinik 1-Malaysia dan premis Pusat Transformasi Bandar (UTC).

Terkejut dengan keadaan 'sepi' di tingkat satu, kunjungan ke tingkat berikutnya lebih memeranjatkan. Suasana di ruang menempatkan kaunter tiket 'menyeramkan' dengan hanya sebuah dua kaunter dibuka. Di situ ada cahaya sedangkan di kawasan lain, gelap saja keadaannya.

Penulis tidak berkesempatan berkunjung ke tingkat empat yang menempatkan gerai-gerai menjual makanan dan juga surau yang khabarnya pada 'zaman kegemilangan' dulu sesak dengan jemaah malah dapat didirikan solat Jumaat. Namun berdasarkan suasana 'muram' di tingkat satu, dapat dirumuskan Pudu Sentral sudah benar-benar hilang 'raya'nya. Maka bertepatanlah nama Puduraya itu digantikan dengan Pudu Sentral!

Namun satu persoalan timbul mengapa Pudu Sentral dibiarkan begitu sedangkan dulu pemimpin dan kerajaan 'bergolak-gadai' untuk melaksanakan projek pengubahsuaian dan pembaikan ke atas hab pengangkutan awam itu yang dirasmikan pembukaannya pada 2 Oktober 1978 oleh Perdana Menteri ketika itu, Dato’ (kini Tun dan Allahyarham) Hussein Onn. Hentian ini dibina di bawah projek dan daya usaha positif Perbadanan Kemajuan Bandar (UDA) dan agensi gabungan kerajaan lain seperti Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), Jabatan Polis, LLN, Air dan Telekom.

PM Najib Razak yang mengarahkan pertukaran nama Puduraya kepada Pudu Sentral pada 2011 sudah melakukan beberapa lawatan ke sana. Banyak wang sudah dibelanjakan untuk pembaikan Puduraya misalnya selepas lawatannya pada 2009, hentian itu diubah suai dan dinaikkan taraf dengan peruntukan RM44 juta - RM30 juta adalah untuk UDA membaik pulih bangunan dan RM14 juta bagi untuk Kementerian Wilayah untuk menceriakan kawasan sekeliling Puduraya.

Wang jutaan sudah 'dileburkan', tetapi kini Pudu Sentral dari sehari ke sehari semakin sepi. Kerja-kerja meningkatkan kemudahan awam seperti kaunter tiket lebih selesa, ruang menunggu yang lebih besar dan teratur, sistem pengudaraan (pendingin udara) menelan belanja yang besar (dikatakan RM32 juta) tetapi semuanya 'macam dibuang ke dalam longkang saja'. Ini kerana kemudahan itu tidak dapat digunakan secara maksimum disebabkan pengunjung Pudu Sentral amat kurang selepas kebanyakan perkhidmatan bas ekspres termasuk ke Utara dan Pantai Timur dipindahkan ke TBS baru-baru ini.

Demikianlah, jika pihak berkuasa dapat merancang dengan baik, tidaklah 'wang rakyat' dibuang begitu saja dengan ghairah membuat projek itu dan ini, tetapi akhirnya tidak dapat dimanfaatkan secara maksimum. Jika pemimpin daripada kerajaan Umno BN sekarang tidak dapat memanfaatkan sepenuhnya wang rakyat dengan melakukan pelbagai pembaziran, berundurlah...manakala kepada rakyat pilihlah kumpulan yang dapat mensejahterakan anda dan generasi masa depan!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Our 'face not safe'?...

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.

TO change environment, sometimes for the five times daily compulsory prayers (fajr, dhuhr, asr, maghrib and isha'), I prayed at several 'masjids' outside my 'kampung'. At a 'masjid', I saw this interesting poster; a sketch of a man's face; there's arrows pointing to his eyes, ears and mouth with 'reminding and advising words' that touched my heart.

The poster was in Malay; it's heading was 'Gaya mati kita bergantung kepada gaya hidup kita' (The way we die depends on how we live) - and regarding the eyes, it noted: "The eyes are always seeing unhealthy things...seeing all kinds of sins...when we are on our death bed (about to die), are we allowed to see 'jannah' (paradise)?"

Regarding the ears, it read: "The ears are not familiar or not interested in listening good things, advises, Islamic knowledge, reminders, 'tazkirah' (lessons), verses from the Qur'an and 'hadith'...then when we are about to die, are the same ears would be given permission to receive with open arms invitation or encouragement from someone to proclaim the 'syahadah' (pledge that there is no god except Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger)?"

About the mouth area it said: "If our tongues, lips and mouths are not familiar in reading the Qur'an and talking about good things but love to talk on bad things, like gossiping, slandering, cursing and abusing...then in our death bed, could the same mouth pledge the 'kalimah', 'Lailahaillallah Muhammadarrasulullah'?"

Based on the poster, it was mentioned three organs or parts of the body that we should guard from going astray. They were the eyes, ears and the mouth. Imam al Ghazali (Abu Hamid al Ghazali Rahimahullah) in 'Bidayatul Hidayah' discussed at length about those organs.

We should look after our body, especially after seven parts of our body; for 'jahannam' (hell) has seven doors and for every door there is a part categorized. And these doors are not specified for any person except that person who disobeys Allah Ta’ala with these seven body parts. They are:
1. The eyes
2. The ears
3. The tongue (mouth)
4. The stomach
5. The private parts
6. The hand
7. The legs/feet

Note that three of the seven parts of our body mentioned are on the face - the eyes, ears and mouth - and as for the stomach too food that enter our body must be first filled inside the mouth. So as for our face, we must be very careful with what we do with the organs on it, because we would be answerable to Allah SWT to what we did with them.

In 'Bidayatul Hidayah', Imam al Ghazali Rahimahullah noted that to know that religion has two conditions; that are (1) to leave that which is forbidden and (2) to do actions of obedience. (The Beauty of Faith)

The leaving of that which is forbidden is harder to do. This is because obedience is carried out by everyone (to some extent) but only the pious leave their desires. This is why Rasulullah s.a.w. (peace be upon him) said, “The Muhajir (one who migrates) is he who migrates from evil  and the Mujaahid (warrior) is he who fights against his desires.”

Know! That you will only disobey Allah Ta’ala with your limbs and your limbs are only a bounty from Allah Ta’ala upon you! They are a trust given to you so seek help in the bounties of Allah Ta’ala against His disobedience which is the utmost snub. To behave treacherously with a trust that Allah Ta’ala has given you is an extreme form of haughtiness (arrogance)!

Your limbs will look after you make sure you look after them. It comes in a 'hadith', “You all are guardians and you all will be questioned over those things that you looked after.”

Know that your limbs will bare testimony against you in a presentation given by a eloquent tongue on the day of 'Qiyamah'. You will be led by it at the forefront of all the creations. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an, “On that day, their tongues, hands and feet will bare testimony against them as to what they used to do.” (Surah Nur) and He further states, “On the day there will a seal on their mouth and their hands and legs will testify against them as to what they used to earn.”

Looking back at our own life - perhaps for the last 30, 40 or 50 years after we became 'baligh' (come to age); what had we done with eyes, ears and mouth which were on our face? As for me I am very afraid because they were used for both; good and bad things. Perhaps the bad things surplus the good ones. Yes, there were times we used our eyes to read the Qur'an but there were times we used the same eyes to look at sexy girls...and do not forget all 'those bad stuff' on TV, cinemas and lately internet.

Subhanallah, there were times we used our ears to listen to 'tazkirah' and readings from the Qur'an but with the same ears we  listened to bad things such as rumors, slanderous talk and so on. And the same could be said about our mouth, there were times we talk about good things but we were more involved in bad things. Perhaps we still did not realize that we were bad mouthed persons.

Realizing all the sins we had done over the years, especially via those organs on our face; perhaps our face do not fit to be in paradise...yes our face is still not safe but Allah SWT who is The Most Beneficent and Merciful open His arms for us to repent.

Those organs on our face are favors of Allah SWT to us. To many of us, they are 'normal things'; only those who had lost some functions of the said organs or they are totally malfunction, appreciate the blessing of Allah SWT to them.

Perhaps this 'hadith' mentioned in ‘Tambihul Ghafileen’ which was written by Shaikh Abul Laith Samarkandi could give us an understanding about the 'value' of those organs especially those on of face. It was about our eyes of which we always used them to look at 'haram' (forbidden things) especially during this era of information and communication technology (ICT). 

Subhanallah, many of us are always with our telecommunication gadgets; perhaps only during our sleep we parted with them. We and our gadgets are 'unseparateable'. The question is what we see via our 'much loved' gadgets? Please answer from deep inside our heart...based on those bad things we see, are our eyes fit to be in paradise? 

Angel Jibrail (a.s.) told Rasulullah  s.a.w.the following incident about a man in the past who worshiped Allah Ta'ala continuously for 500 years. He was granted a shelter on top of a mountain that was surrounded by salty water. However, Allah caused a stream of sweet water to flow through the mountain for that individual. The man would drink from this water and use it to make ablution. Allah Ta'ala also raised a pomegranate tree from which the man would eat one fruit every day.

One day, this person supplicated to Allah that, "Oh Allah, bring my death while I am in the state of prostration." Allah accepted this dua of his. Whenever Jibrail (a.s.) came down to the Earth, he found this man prostrating to Allah. 

Jibrail (a.s.) said that on the day of Judgement, Allah will tell the angels to take this individual to Paradise through His mercy. However, this man will insist that he should enter paradise through the good deeds that he had performed.

Then, Allah will tell the angels to compare his good deeds with the blessings that were given to him in the world. It will be seen that 500 years of his worship does not even equal to the gift of eye sight that was given to him by Allah. The angels will be asked to take him towards the hell fire. Then the man will plead, "Oh Allah! Enter me into Paradise only through Your mercy." At that point, the following discussion will take place between Allah and that man.

Allah: Oh my servant, who created you?

The worshiper: Oh Allah, You have created me.

Allah: Were you created because of the good deeds you have done or because of My mercy?

The worshiper: Because of Your mercy.

Allah: Who granted you the ability to worship for 500 years?

The worshiper: Oh the Almighty! You have granted me that ability.

Allah: Who placed you on the mountain surrounded by the ocean? Who caused a stream of sweet water to flow in between the salty water? Who caused a pomegranate tree to grow for you? Who granted you death while in the state of prostration?

The worshiper: Oh the Sustainer of the Worlds! You have done all of these.

Then Allah will say, "All these have happened due to My mercy and you too will enter Paradise only through My Mercy."

Friday, April 22, 2016

Muhasabah di majlis ceramah Dr Zakir Naik

Dengan Nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang, selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. 


"Wafatkanlah aku dan keadaan Islam dan gabungkanlah aku dengan orang-orang saleh." (Maksud Ayat 101 Surah Yusuf) 

ALHAMDULILLAH, Dr Zakir Naik dan majlis ceramahnya memang hebat. Dalam siri jelajahnya di tanah air kita termasuk di Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) pada Ahad, 17 April lalu yang turut saya hadiri, ada hadirin mengucap dua kalimah syahadah (memeluk Islam).

Berdasarkan pengamatan saya, pendekatan Dr Zakir yang mendedahkan antara perkara persamaan agama-agama besar dunia seperti Hindu, Kristian dan Islam adalah daya pemikat seseorang itu berfikir seterusnya mengakui kebenarannya sehingga memeluk Islam.

Antara persamaannya, agama-agama ini melalui kitab agama masing-masing ada menyatakan bahawa Tuhan itu Esa dan ada perkhabaran bahawa akan lahir seorang Rasul akhir zaman.

Kehebatan Dr Zakir adalah beliau menguasai kitab-kitab agama berkenaan - seperti Veda dan Bible...beliau memetik ayat-ayat daripada kitab-kitab sebagai hujah seterusnya memantapkannya berpandukan al-Quran dan hadis.

Bagi orang belum Islam jika berhujah berdasarkan al-Quran dan hadis saja, dikhuatiri mereka tidak atau kurang yakin dan percaya kerana pada asalnya mereka memang tidak beriman dengannya. Jadi dengan berhujah menggunakan kitab-kitab mereka sendiri, Dr Zakir ternyata memiliki kelebihan istimewa kurniaan Illahi yang menurut sesetengah pihak lebih hebat daripada tokoh tersohor perbandingan agama, Almarhum Ahmad Deedat.

Jika Dr Zakir, penganjur (UTeM) dan majlis ceramah semuanya hebat, bagaimana diri (penulis) ini pula? Saya sampai di sesi awal ceramah Dr Zakir pada jam 6.00 petang. Saya yang ada tiket undangan (diperolehi secara pendaftaran 'on-line') dihalang memasuki dewan oleh beberapa petugas Rela. Kata mereka, dewan sudah penuh, maka terpaksalah saya 'pergi' dan berpuas hati dengan mengikuti majlis daripada skrin besar di sisi dewan.

Sedang saya duduk termanggu-manggu di luar dewan, tup-tup datanglah sebuah kereta besar hitam diiringi motosikal polis trafik. Kereta berhenti di depan pintu dewan dan 'hadirin istimewa' itu pun melangkah masuk dengan gah ke dalam. Aiii, senangnya dia masuk sedangkan aku dihalang. Apabila melihat di skrin pada bahagian depan dewan, terlihat ada banyak juga kerusi kosong. Kata dewan sudah penuh, tetapi kenapa kerusi-kerusi itu masih kosong?

Inilah dunia, bisik hati saya. Kalau kau nak jadi 'hadirin istimewa' kau mesti ada 'benda'. Itulah kuasa, jawatan, pangkat, kedudukan, kekayaan dan seangkatan dengannya. Kalau kau tak ada 'benda' itu, jangan haraplah kau dipandu sampai ke pintu dewan...cukuplah kau sebagai orang 'biasa-biasa', bertenggeklah di bahu jalan.

Terlintaslah di benak saya, di dunia jika mahu layanan VIP kita mesti ada 'benda', di akhirat nanti pun kita pun perlu 'benda' untuk mendapat layanan istimewa. Kata seorang ustaz, di dunia hari ini untuk masuk ke dalam tandas awam yang kotor itu pun kita perlu 'benda' (duitlah), demikian dibuat contoh bagaimana kita mahu syurga tanpa ada 'apa-apa'.

Untuk masuk syurga apa 'benda' yang perlu kita usahakan. Jika orang dahulu bukan hanya berkorban harta bahkan jiwa demi agama, apa pengorbanan sudah kita lakukan? Berdasarkan pengorbanan orang mulia seperti para syuhada dan salihin, insya-Allah di akhirat nanti orang-orang ini akan mendapatkan layanan VIP seperti melalui titian sirat seperti kilat; persoalan bagaimana diri kita, adakah kita akan berengsot-engsot dan sudah bersediakah kita dengan 'benda keperluan' untuk dibawa ke sana nanti?

Maghrib itu saya solat berjemaah di Masjid UTeM yang besar dan cantik. Ketika berada di masjid bagi menunggu waktu isyak, pada jam 8.00 malam, di skrin-skrin besar di masjid disiarkan majlis Dr Zakir di Dewan Besar UTeM. Majlis dimulakan dengan ucapan Ketua Menteri, Dato' Idris Harun diikuti ceramah Dr Zakir pada kira-kira jam 8.25 malam.

Jam 8.27 masuklah wakyu Isyak. Sesetengah jemaah dalam masjid menjadi gelisah. Apa tidaknya, di masjid tiada seruan azan dan tidak didirikan solat berjemaah dalam dewan masjid. Mereka menunggu untuk solat tetapi solat tidak didirikan. Skrin terus memancarkan majlis di Dewan Besar. Apa sudah jadi...apakah bilal dan pak imam sudah pergi ke Dewan Besar sehingga waktu untuk menyatakan keagungan dan kebesaran Allah SWT itu berlalu begitu saja? Apakah majlis Dr Zakir sudah lebih besar daripada ibadat kepada Allah SWT tepat pada waktunya?

Disebabkan tiada solat jemaah di dewan masjid pada waktunya, maka jemaah mendirikan solat di beranda dewan. Ada secara sendirian dan ada secara berjemaah dalam kumpulan kecil. Bagi orang tempatan yang berhimpun di masjid, mereka mahu solat Isyak dulu sebelum pergi ke majlis Dr Zakir. Benar mereka boleh melewatkan solat, tetapi kebanyakannya sedar sebagai 'insan lemah', mereka khuatir tiada kekuatan untuk solat Isyak pada jam 2.00 atau 3.00 pagi kerana majlis Dr Zakir berakhir lewat malam. Jika Dr Zakir dan rombongannya boleh menjamakkan zolat, fikir-fikirkanlah keadaan orang tempatan.

Tiadanya solat Isyak berjemaah (kecuali ada jemah solat di tepi dinding dan beranda) di Masjid UTeM seolah-olah menggambarkan sikap kita terlepas pandang perkara-perkara keutamaan; sebaik-baiknya solat bagi membesarkan Allah SWT diberi perhatian; adalah tidak wajar satu waktu solat berjemaah (Isyak) tidak didirikan semata-mata bagi memberi liputan meluas (termasuk siaran di skrin masjid pada waktu Isyak) akan sesuatu majlis besar seperti ceramah Dr Zaki Naik!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Petugas 'jadi bingung' apabila masuk akhbar itu...

DENGAN nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. 


"Kalau sekiranya perempuan ahli syurga (termasuk bidadari) datang kepada penduduk bumi, nescaya akan disinarinya dunia antara langit dan bumi dan terpenuhinya dengan bau harum semerbak. Sesungguhnya tutup kepalanya lebih baik daripada dunia dan isinya." (HR. Bukhari) 

HAMPIR tergelak saya membaca catatan seorang editor sebuah akhbar arus perdana mengenai perhimpunan membantah Cukai Barangan dan Perkhidmatan (GST) yang diadakan di Kuala Lumpur pada Sabtu, 2 April lalu. Antara lain beliau menulis: "Perhimpunan itu akhirnya kelihatan sangat melucukan. Terdapat peserta menyorok dan berlindung di balik pokok kerana tidak tahan dengan cuaca panas Kuala Lumpur.

"Kerana cuaca panas melebihi 37 darjah Selsius, pemimpin pembangkang turut meninggalkan pentas demonstrasi dengan cepat. Terlintas di fikiran, inikah kualiti peserta demonstrasi membantah pelaksanaan GST? Sekadar bertanya, jika keadaan sepanas itu pun mereka tidak boleh tahan ketika mereka kononnya mahu memperjuangkan nasib rakyat, apakah sepatutnya majoriti rakyat negara ini lakukan.

"Maka, marilah kita beramai-ramai menolak pihak yang tiada intergriti ini dan individu tertentu yang mendakwa mahu berjuang mahu menyelamatkan negara tetapi hakikatnya memperjuangkan kepentingan peribadi hingga sanggup menghancurkan negara."

Demikianlah, sesetengah petugas syarikat akhbar itu dan sesetengah pemimpin dan ahli sebuah parti politik bagaikan 'bingung' pemikiran mereka dalam hujah terutama dalam menidakkan apa saja yang dibuat oleh pihak tidak disukai mereka.

Kenyataan pemimpin kerajaan daripada parti berkenaan seperti 'kalau ayam mahal jangan makan ayam' dan 'kalau tak nak bayar tol guna jalan lama atau bangun awal pagi' adalah contoh 'kebingungan' itu...dan akhbar yang dikuasai parti ini juga mempunyai petugas yang 'sewaktu dengannya'.

Hujah editor ini kelihatan melucukan...takkanlah peserta demonstrasi mencari tempat berteduh mahu dikaitkan dengan intergriti mereka termasuk dituduh memperjuangkan kepentingan peribadi. Kehadiran mereka dalam suasana membahang itu sendiri membuktikan pengorbanan mereka bagi 'mensejahterakan' orang lain iaitu berjuta-juta rakyat marhain yang kian lama kian menderita disebabkan GST enam peratus dikenakan ke atas setiap pembelian barangan sejak setahun lalu.

Entahlah, kata seorang kawan saya, orang bijak sekalipun yang masuk akhbar dan parti itu sesetengahnya 'jadi bingung' juga. Ambil contoh mudah laporan dan komentar-komentar akhbar terbabit mengenai pelbagai perhimpunan di Kuala Lumpur termasuk Bersih. Perhimpunan ini dihadiri puluhan malah ratusan ribu orang tetapi akhbar berkenaan melaporkan perhimpunan tidak mendapat sambutan. Jika peserta perhimpunan sendiri menganggarkan 10,000 orang hadir, petugas akhbar berkenaan mungkin menyatakan hanya ada 2,000 orang saja.

Sebuah majlis seperti Perhimpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat di Stadium Merdeka tidak lama dulu, dihadiri kira-kira 100,000 orang tetapi apa yang dilaporkan oleh akhbar berkenaan atau ' sejenis' dengannya'? Sambutan hangat terhadap perhimpunan itu tidak dihiraukan akhbar berkenaan tetapi yang menjadi fokus adalah isu remeh-temeh seperti kanak-kanak dibawa ke perhimpunan, peniaga terpaksa 'tutup kedai' dan penganjur tidak mematuhi syarat perhimpunan.

Akhbar terbabit juga mengambil kesempatan mewawancara pemimpin parti berkenaan dan orang ramai...maka jawapan sterotaip sudah dijangka seperti 'perhimpunan menyusahkan orang ramai', 'merugikan peniaga', malah ada berkata 'mereka ditaja oleh ejen asing'.

Apa yang menghairankan jika ada 100,000 orang berdemonstrasi di luar negara seperti Si Baju Merah di kota Bangkok maka laporan mengenainya disiarkan secara besar-besaran (termasuk gambar besar dan banyak) oleh akhbar berkenaan tetapi 100,000 orang yang berdemonstrasi di depan mata mereka (di Kuala Lumpur) tidak nampak di mata mereka. Ya, petugas akhbar ini mungkin menepati peribahasa 'kuman di sebarang lautan nampak, bangkai di depan mata tak nampak!'

Malah akhbar ini dan sejenisnya sanggap menghantar wakil untuk membuat liputan peristiwa di luar negara untuk mendapat laporan eksklusif tetapi amat menyedihkan dalam kes demonstrasi dalam negara mereka yang turut menghantar wartawan (pada Perhimpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat ada akhbar mengerahkan sehingga 15 petugas) tetapi laporan yang disiarkan adalah hal remeh-temeh seperti peserta demonstrasi membawa anak dan pokok bunga dipijak peserta. Mungkinkah petugas akhbar ini 'sudah dibingungkan' - tidak tahu mana satu 'benda besar' dan 'benda kecil'. Tidak mengerti yang mana satu mahu di'highlight' dan yang mana satu layak jadi 
'filler' (penyendal) saja. Ya mereka sudah bingung!