Wednesday, March 1, 2017

'Istiqamah' in conveying the message of Islam...

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.

RECENTLY several non-PAS opposition political party leaders invited me to write for their newspapers. I politely told them I need time to think about their offer; and to this day I have not made a decision.

It was because my mind was always on my conversation with a good friend several years ago who advised me not to write for ‘any newspapers’ but to be 'selective' and 'loyal' because a good writer is ‘istiqamah’ (steadfast) to the values portrayed in his/her writings.

He said a writer should not be like ‘lalang’ (thatch grass) which sway in the direction of the wind but he/she should be like a strong, firm shady tree which is of beneficial to others such as human beings and animals such as birds, insects and so on.

It is 13 years now since my first article (on a regular weekly basis) appeared in the English Section of Harakah that is in February 2004. So from this month, if I carry on writing it would be the 14th year! My 'anak sulung' (first child) was published in the 1-15 February 2004 issue with the title 'PAS is waiting for its 'anak sulung' in Melaka and as I checked my files of published articles, I found out that this article (if published) is the 526th.

Alhamdulillah (all praise to Allah), PAS Melaka has had its 'anak sulung' after its candidate, Dr Khalid Kassim created history to become the first PAS 'YB" (state assemblyman) in Melaka after winning the Bukit Baru state constituency in the 13th General Election (GE) on 5th May 2013. It only happened almost 10 years after that article appeared in Harakah!

But now with some 'unexpected developments' in politics including that of the opposition, could PAS hold on to its 'anak sulung' in Melaka? Hopefully so, but the party must work very, very hard to convince voters especially the Chinese there of its worth.

During the GE, Dr Khalid won by defeating Karim Yaakob of BN with a very slim majority of 45 votes. Dr Khalid gathered 9,292 votes compared to Karim's 9,244. Dr Khalid won convincingly in Chinese dominated areas such as Bukit Baru Dalam (a majority of 697 votes) but lost in traditional Malay kampungs such as Kampung Bukit Katil and Bukit Pulau. At that time, Melaka PAS leaders admitted that Chinese votes contributed to the party's success in winning the Bukit Baru seat.

Thirteen years of writing is a long period of time; along the years I had enjoyed the fruits of my hard labour and effort including honorarium paid to every article but sadly it was over a year now payment had been stopped. Yes, what actually happened?

I did not know the ‘real situation’ but I carry on writing as usual. As a Muslim we must faith in Allah SWT upon His ‘ujian’ (test) to us. Well, in Surah Al-‘Asr (The Declining Day), Allah SWT says 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.

Yes, be 'sabar' (to be patient), ‘sabar’ and ‘sabar’. To 'sabar' myself and to have guidance and raise my spirit, I had a quick look at Harun Yahya's book 'Learning from the Qur'an' (Masterpiece) on the subject regarding the believers who would never weaken in their fight in the way of Allah.

Under this subject, Harun notes the words of Allah SWT; among others: "Do not give up and do not be downhearted. You shall be uppermost if you are believers." (Qur'an, 3:139)

"So be steadfast. Allah's promise is true. Do not let those who have no certainty make you impatient and shake your firmness." (Qur'an, 30:60)

"Many a Prophet has fought, when there were many thousands with him! They did not give up in the face of what assailed them in the Way of Allah, nor did they weaken, nor did they yield. Allah loves the steadfast." (Qur'an, 3:146)

"Do not relax in pursuit of the enemy. If you feel pain, they too are feeling it just as you, but you hope for something from Allah, which they cannot hope for. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise." (Qur'an, 4:104)

An 'ustaz' during his 'tazkirah' (Islamic lesson), said Muslims must do their work especially 'ibadah' (act of obedience to Allah SWT) sincerely. It is one of the two requirements for ones work to be accepted by Allah SWT. The other requirement is to do it according the 'sunnah' (Prophet's way).

He said if we were not sincere in our work for example seeking the pleasures of others such as our boss or for show off, then we would only gained tiredness. We too would also easily loose hope because in life we would not be able to please people.

But if we do work only for the sake of Allah SWT, then we would 'istiqamah' because we would be bothered by the reactions of human beings. We 'would be the same we' even people curse or praise us.

I carry on writing because I realized that it was an oppourtunity for me to pen the message of Islam. The Prophet s.a.w. ordained all his companions and, thus, every Muslim who possesses some knowledge -- even as little as one verse -- to disseminate what they know to others: He said, "Convey (what you learn from me) even if only one verse…" (Related by Imam Bukhari)

Regarding the conveying of knowledge, I must admit that I am not good at words and am also no ‘ustaz’ (religious teacher). My knowledge is very limited and I depend a lot on others for views. 

During the 13 years of writing, many readers had written words of encouragement so that I could continue slogging on on my work so that others would perhaps benefited from them. 

Perhaps this simple note from a young man, Alakazam made up my day thus inspire the spirit in me to keep on writing: "Assaalamualaikum warahmatullah. Wahai Saudara LanH, saya seorang budak remaja Melayu amat meminati artikel nukilan saudara setiap kali Harakah diterbitkan. Di sini saya ingin meminta nasihat serta tunjuk ajar daripada saudara tentang bagaimana caranya menghasilkan penulisan berbahasa Inggeris yang senang difahami dan padat dengan isi sepertimana yang telah dinukilkan dalam setiap artikel saudara."

(Assaalamualaikum warahmatullah...Brother LanH; I am a Malay teenager who is very interested in your article each time it was printed in Harakah. Here I would like to request to you for advise and tips in producing articles in English which are easy to understand and compact as what you penned in your articles)

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