Saturday, January 28, 2017

The free ride and ‘lecture’ on the MRT…

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.

ALHAMDULILLAH (all praise belongs to Allah) I have tried the Mass Rail Transit (MRT) recently; travelling from the stations of Pusat Bandar Damansara to Sungai Buloh and back. 

It was a free ride; PM Najib Razak while officially launched Phase One of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line, the country’s first MRT line on December 16th said commuters would be given a free ride for a period of one month.  He too said the public is free to give their comments.

This section of the line involves 12 stations between the Sungai Buloh Station and the Semantan Station, namely Kampung Selamat, Kwasa Damansara, Kwasa Sentral, Kota Damansara, Surian, Mutiara Damansara, Bandar Utama, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Phileo Damansara and Pusat Bandar Damansara.

Before trying the MRT, I did some research on the internet and was glad to know the authorities provided shuttle buses – so on the early morning of ‘that historic day’ I went to the bus stand in front of the Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) building in Jalan Raja Laut to catch that ‘special’ bus.

While sitting on the bench of the bus stand, a gentleman whom I guessed a Bangladeshi gave me a ‘salam’ and after waiting for almost half an hour, he loose patience and mumbled some words which I could not understand.

He then asked for my destination; well both of us were waiting for the ‘bas pengantara’ (feeder bus) to take us to the MRT station of Pusat Bandar Damansara.  After getting to know each other, we were at ease to talk about Islam and problems faced by the ‘ummah’ (Muslims).

So during the ride (which was also free) on the feeder bus which came about 15 minutes later and on the MRT we exchanged thoughts but it was the Bangladeshi who ‘dominated’ the conversation. I let him pour out his heart.

Only once I interrupted the Bangladeshi’s ‘lecture’.  I heard him saying, among others: “Brother, I came all the way from Bangladesh to Malaysia for what purpose….Yes I am here to heap as much money as I could. After my contract ends, I would take home all the money I have. Back home I will start a new life.

“Here in Malaysia we need to have the ringgit. With that money we could buy things for our needs…rice, salt, sugar and so on. Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia are paid in ringgit. I have a wife and six children back home. Every month I sent them some money.

“There in Bangladesh, arm with the ringgit you could not spend your money. You need to have the ‘taka’.  Ringgit is worth to spend only in Malaysia while taka is acceptable only in Bangladesh. Now listen very carefully, if you need to have ringgit in Malaysia and taka in Bangladesh, oooh brother tell me what ‘currency’ is of value ‘to spend’ in the Hereafter?”

I was stunned to the Bangladeshi far sighted views.  I only replied that we needed ‘pahala’ (rewards for good deeds) in the Hereafter. I then looked around; there were only a few commuters on the train. The MRT run and passed towns and housing estates …the Bangladeshi continued his lecture:

“Yes, it is ‘pahala’. We need ‘pahala’ in the Hereafter as we need money in this world. It is okay for us to heap as much money as we could. But remember dear brother, we must obtain the money by the ‘halal’ (permissible) way. The food that entered our mouths and stomachs must be ‘halal’ and obtain from ‘halal’ sources.  Our wives and children must be fed with ‘halal’ food derived from the ‘halal’ money we earned hard from our work…

“The problem in Bangladesh, corruption is too bad. Corruption destroys our country.  Here in Malaysia, I see the main problem is ‘zina’ (adultery). Leaders fall because of women. If this trend is not check, it will also destroy the country.”

The ‘lecture’ by the Bangladeshi reminded me about my own lecture notes which I had compiled over the years. Among others, I noted that our 'worldly treasures' including houses, cars, money and businesses would of no use in the Hereafter. The much sought items there are ‘iman’ (faith) and good deeds; unfortunately the Hereafter is not a place to do good deeds but a place to reaped ‘our best crop’ grown on earth! 

The world 'is only a stepping stone' for one to gather as much as 'benefits' as possible to be taken to the Hereafter. It is only a place to sow seeds but the fruits shall be reaped in the Hereafter. The duration of our life in the world (say 60-70 years) is only about two and a half hours compared with the next world which is for eternity. 

Our temporary life here is only a life of probation, for perpetual life in the Hereafter. All life ends in death. Therefore, let us remember that a certain time is fixed for us when we will be abandoned to the darkness of our graves. We should be therefore, consider the passing life of this world as a means towards our ultimate goal. Yes, this material world is not the main object of our life but a means towards a higher goal.

So it is really a very big mistake we put so much effort for our worldly gains and benefits in this world but forget our share in the Hereafter. Everything we heaped in this world would be left behind. The correct way is to follow the path shown by Allah SWT. From the Quran (Surah al-Baqarah 2:201), we recited this popular 'du'a': 'Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanatan wa fil 'akhirati hasanatan waqina 'adhaban-nar" with the meaning: "Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire."

Two of the best companions of the Prophets traded their worldly pleasures for the Hereafter. During a war campaign when the Prophets asked Muslims to help to finance it, Abu Bakr As-Siddiq gave all his properties while Umar Al-Khattab donated half of his belongings. To Abu Bakr, the Prophet s.a.w. asked: "What did you leave for your family?" Abu Bakr answered: "God and His Prophet."

In the Qu'ran (Surah an-Nisa' 4.74), Allah SWT says: "So let those who trade the life of this world for the Hereafter fight in God's cause. Whoever fights in God's cause, whether he is killed or victorious, We will grant him a tremendous reward."

But there are people who seemed not to bother at all about their fate in the Hereafter. Many people even 'veterans' are madly in the 'rat race chase' - their lives are only to fulfill their worldly desires such as having a big house, a fleet of cars and lots of money stashed in banks.

Some seemed like animals; Allah SWT says in the Qur'an: They are like cattle, who only think about what it eats, and does not think about the future and prepare for another life. They are not only like cattle but even worse, because cattle obey Allah in reasons of its creation. This is reflected in Surah al-Furqan where it says: "They are only like cattle - nay, they are even further astray from the Path - even worse than cattle." (Al-Qur'an 25: 44)

Allah informs man about the insignificance and deceptive allure of the world in the Qur'an: "Know you (all), that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying (in rivalry) among yourselves, riches and children. Here is a similitude: how rain and the growth which it brings forth delight (the hearts of) the tillers; soon it withers; you will see it grow yellow; then it becomes dry and crumbles away. But in the Hereafter is a penalty severe (for the devotees of wrong). And forgiveness from Allah and (His) good pleasure (for the devotees of Allah). And what is the life of this world, but goods and chattels of deception? (Surat al-Hadid: 20)

Subhanallah, in life we begun with nothing...we brought nothing along with us but as the days turn into weeks, months, years and decades our 'properties' increased for example regarding vehicles, we started from owing a walker, then it is a bicycle, a motorcycle, a car and so on; but what is the state of our ‘imam’?

As children we stayed at our parents house, then we rented a room; after getting married we managed to rent a house, then we bought one, then had two or three houses or enlarge the former until the day when we die...we would be send to our 'deep and narrow graves' with nothing (worldly properties) attached to us...yes we were from zero and would be back to zero but this time around we would be answerable to all our actions in the world in the form of 'dosa' (sins) and 'pahala' (rewards)!

The Bangladeshi whom I befriended on the bus and MRT was right…his ‘lecture’ was priceless. It reminded me to be always on His straight path…but in my opinion his advice is not only for me but applicable to leaders of the country – well it is great for us to have ‘great projects’ like the MRT, the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) and the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) but all of them must be in ‘HALAL’ ways!

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