Sunday, January 16, 2022

Jamadilakhir 14, 1443: Pemisah hidup-mati tersangat dekat...

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


Renungan


"Dan janganlah kamu menghampiri zina, sesungguhnya zina itu adalah satu perbuatan yang keji dan satu jalan yang jahat yang membawa kerosakan." - Maksud Ayat al-Quran Surah al-Israa': 32


TIDAK lama dahulu seorang anak buah saya meninggal dunia. Ketika membantu menyempurnakan pengkebumian jenazah, terutama ketika menimbus kuburnya, insaflah saya bahawa keberadaan kita di atas dunia ini dan di bawah sana (dalam bumi) adalah tersangat dekat, jadi mengapa kadang-kala kita (termasuk penulis sendiri) begitu sombong dalam menjalani kehidupan.


Sebagaimana sebuah iklan biskut menyebut "kejap ada, kejap tiada" - demikianlah hidup kita di dunia ini terlalu singkat untuk kita berbuat zalim termasuklah dalam berpolitik. 


Mengapa kita terlalu terkejar-kejar akan matlamat kita hendak mendapat 'segala yang dilihat sebagai keindahan dunia' sedangkan jika direnungkan bersungguh-sungguh dengan hati terbuka, apa yang kita buru itu  bukanlah benar-benar kita perlukan.


Saya terpanggil untuk menukilkan kembali kisah yang kerap diulang-ulang ini - perbualan seorang hartawan dengan doktor peribadinya dalam satu sesi rawatan. Bertanyalah si hartawan yang menderita pelbagai penyakit termasuk kencing manis itu, "Boleh saya makan daging?" "Tak," kata si doktor. "Ayam?" "Tak boleh." "Durian?" "Tak boleh." "Burger?" "Tak boleh." "Ketam?" "Tak boleh." "Udang?" "Tak boleh." "Kambing?" "Apa tuan nak..."


"Habis apa boleh saya makan?" laung si hartawan geram. "Tu biskut kering sana," kata sang doktor selamba.


Berlawanan dengan si hartawan, seorang lelaki pokai pula boleh 'baham' apa saja. Ayam, durian, rambutan semuanya boleh 'dirembatnya'. Pantang jumpa, namun masalahnya duitnya tidak sentiasa cukup pula untuk membeli makanan tersebut.


Demikianlah, dunia ini bukanlah kita punya untuk kita berdabik dada bangga termasuk dalam politik sehingga kita membenarkan matlamat menghalalkan cara (kaedah Machiavelli) termasuklah menggunakan kaedah samseng, almaklum kuasa berada di tangan kita yang berada di puncak.


Kadang-kala ketika duduk sendirian atau memandu kereta termenung panjang saya selepas menghayati lagu 'Terbang Helang' nyanyian Allahyarham Dato' Sharifah Aini yang berkumandang di corong radio; saya berpendapat ia sangat tepat untuk ditujukan kepada orang dan pihak sombong termasuklah diri penulis ini.


Terbang helang

Di angkasa nan luas

Terbang sang helang bebas

Menebarkan sayapnya

Sungguh megah lagaknya

Helang mendabik dada

Membelahi angkasa

Dengan gaya perwira


Bila saja engkau menghampiri

Burung lain terbang lari

Kau merasakan dirimu gagah

Hak yang lain tak kau endah

Mengganas kau di angkasa

Dengan gaya perwira


Terbanglah engkau tinggi

Sampai ke mana lagi

Ingin engkau jelajahi

Sehingga kau terlupa

Yang tinggi jatuh jua

Bila tiba ketika

Kau ke tanah akhirnya


Usah kau lupa diri

Bahawa langit itu tinggi

Nanti lemas sendiri

Nanti lemas sendiri


Benar orang 60+ seperti saya, sudah berada di ambang kematian, persoalannya bagaimana anak-anak (generasi baharu) yang ditinggalkan. Dalam melayari kehidupan, adalah amat malang jika seseorang anak sama ada mereka berjaya dalam kerjaya atau tidak, bersikap sombong kepada ibu bapa sendiri. 


Saya ada membaca buku bertajuk ‘Air Mata Ibu’ (terbitan BSP) karya Norani Abd Hamid yang memaparkan sikap derhaka sesetengah anak. Mereka bagai helang bongkak terbang gagah mencari mangsa di angkasa sedangkan dahulunya 'tidak ada apa-apa'.


Apabila membaca kisah-kisah sedih mengenai nasib ibu yang dipaparkan penulis, perasanlah saya bahawa dalam banyak kes bukan seseorang anak itu menjadi sombong sejak azali tetapi dibentuk demikian. 


Antaranya, mereka menjadi sombong dan derhaka kerana pengaruh isteri (mahukan kehidupan mewah dan benci ibu mentua), kawan (terbabit dalam dunia dadah) dan pesona kehidupan duniawi. Kisah terbanyak dipaparkan adalah pengaruh isteri di atas kederhakaan seseorang anak.


Ya, ketika baharu memulakan hidup seperti melangkah menceburi dunia pekerjaan, insya-Allah kebanyakan anak-anak ‘baik-baik’ belaka, tetapi selepas berumah tangga dan meniti kejayaan demi kejayaan dan terpaksa mengharungi desakan hidup seperti kesuntukan masa dalam membina kerjaya dan kepenatan membesarkan anak-anak dan ditimbuni hutang piutang, dikhuatiri sedikit demi sedikit mereka mula menyisihkan ibu bapa masing-masing. 


Apatah lagi jika pasangan masing-masing adalah daripada ‘jenis sombong bodoh’, pengaruh mereka akan membuatkan si anak lupakan daratan. Kata orang, kerana isteri yang cantik punya hal, ibu bapa pun ditolak ke tepi. Itulah kisahnya yang dipaparkan melalui buku yang saya baca itu seperti ‘Si Tanggang Moden’, ‘Ikut Telunjuk Isteri’ dan ‘Buang Ibu di Rumah Kebajikan’. Si Tanggang dulunya adalah ‘anak ibu’ (anak baik) tetapi selepas berjaya dalam pelayaran dan memperisterikan wanita hartawan, tidak mahu mengaku ibunya sendiri.


Demikianlah kita berdoa bersungguh-sungguh agar anak-anak dijauhkan diri daripada sifat Si Tanggang itu (mulanya baik tetapi berakhir dengan menderhaka kepada ibu bapa sendiri) semata-mata kerana diri mula diulit dengan harta dunia, pasangan (isteri atau suami) cantik atau kacak, kemasyhuran dan kuasa. 


Jadi pada pandangan hamba yang daif ini, adalah penting untuk mengingatkan generasi muda sentiasa berbakti kepada orang tua sepanjang hayat mereka malah selepas kematian seperti mendoakan dan berbakti atas nama mereka. Ya, jangan sombong seperti helang di angkasa, sebaliknya praktikkan ajaran agama kerana pemisah hidup dan mati tersangat dekat. Orang tua mati, orang muda pun mati!


Saturday, January 15, 2022

Jamadilakhir 13, 1443: Success in life (Kejayaan dalam hidup)

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


Reflection 


There is no god but He, Praise and glory to Him; Far is He from having the partners they associate unto Him. (Tauba 9:31) 


At a ‘masjid’ near my house during a 'tazkirah' recently, 'jemaah’ (congregators) were kept awake by a fiery orator by one local top motivator. He began his lesson by questioning the ‘jemaah’ what they understand with the phrase ‘kejayaan dalam hidup’ (success in life). 

"Is getting a lot of money an indicator as success in life? It’s sad when so many people shy away from ‘solat’ (prayers) just to gain those material gains. 

“Hey, brother; let’s me stress again and again that your ringgit (wealth) will of no use when you were buried in your grave. Only your ‘iman’ (faith) and ‘amal’ (good deeds) would be able to help you. So what’s the key to be successful in life?” 

The motivator said that the key to success is to take religion and practice all its teaching. “Those who upheld religion should have no worries 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 then gave 10 tips (keys) to have a successful life. They are: 

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 worshipped 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 worshipping 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)

Friday, January 14, 2022

Jamadilakhir 12, 1443: Hang Tuah - history is whose story? (U)

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


Reflection


Praise be to God, the Sustainer of all the Worlds,

The Merciful, the Compassionate.

Lord of the Day of Judgement

Thee alone do we worship and Thee

Do we ask for help.

Guide us on the Straight Path.

The path of those on whom Thou has bestowed Thy Grace

Not of those upon whom is Thy Wrath,

Nor those who have gone astray.

Ameen. (O God! do grant us our request) - Al-Fatihah (The Opening)




HISTORY has become a topic of interest nowadays; and talking about history a reader has been sending me a few famous quotations about the subject.


Among the quotations are:


* Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters. - African proverb


Under this proverb, the sender noted: “That is why we need to read history with an open mind, and read from those who differ too...a coin has two face..”


He also noted: “History is his story, when can we tell our story?”


He too said: “How sure are we that his story is true? So don't only read his story, but read her story, their story, our story...”


Another reader noted: “His, her, their or our story, all of them will be revealed in the judgment day. It is extremely important to our current story is going well.”


* I suggest that if you know history, then you might not be so easily fooled by the government when it tells you, you must go to war for this or that reason -- that history is a protective armor against being misled. - Howard Zinn


Well, from the above quotations and opinions, what do you think about history? I remember the days when I was in primary schools (in the late 1960s and early 70s), during ‘Tawarikh’ (History) lessons, we were taught about foreign and far away heros and heroins such as Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc and Florence Nightingle but not about our own ‘knights’ such as Hang Tuah, Mat Kilau and Tok Janggut.


Talking about Hang Tuah, I am keen to know about this hero, so I devoted some time a few days ago to visit a well said to have a connection with him in Kampung Duyong, Melaka. And what did I find there?


I read an inscription about the well on a board which was erected by the Melaka Museum Corporation. Perhaps this is ‘a part of history’ about Hang Tuah, I thought.


The inscription reads:


Hang Tuah Well


Hang Tuah himself was said to have dug this well and it has never dried-up even in the most severe of droughts.


Water from the well is said to be sacred and have healing properties.


Locals believe that Hang Tuah’s soul, which takes on the apparition of a white crocodile, dwells in this well.


The presence of this well also gave rise to the notion that Hang Tuah was from Duyong.


The locals however dispute the belief and said that he was from Duyong in East Sumatera, where a similar well also exists.


Further details and background on Hang Tuah is available at his mausoleum in Tanjung Kling. This site is under the care of the Melaka Museum Corporation.


The Hang Tuah Well was gazetted as an old monument and historical site under the Antiquation Act no 168/1976 on 29th September 1977.


Well, regarding the so called Hang Tuah Well, I have written an article entitled ‘Hang Tuah’s well or is it really?’ in the New Sunday Times (23 November 1986) questioning the belief that the well had any connection with the Malay legendary hero


In the article, I wrote: “The Hang Tuah Well in Kampung Duyong Melaka is believed to have been originated from the print of Hang Tuah’s foot sole left on a stone but many elders in the kampung have a different version of the story.


The elders said the Hang Tuah Well did not exist before the 20th century. According to them, even though Hang Tuah was said to be raised in Kampung Duyong according to the Hikayat Hng Tuah, he did not leave any mark in the kampung.


The elders said about 100 years ago, a child named Mat Segel went with a friend to fetch firewood near the site which is now known as the Hang Tuah Well Complex.


At that time, the Hang Tuah Well was not in existence. The area was swampy and was covered with sago plants. At the site he saw an unused well and a few puddles of water.


When Mat Segel returned home, he told his father Mat Koyan, what he had seen. Later, his father stated boasting that his son had found the Hang Tuah Well which was actually the unused well.


The villagers believed him and soon the news spread far and wide that Hang Tuah’s well was discovered.


They were even further convinced when a sick boy was cured of his illness after drinking some water from the well.


The Hang Tuah Well looked like an ordinary well until early in the 70s when a Chinese woman known by the kampung folk as Nyonya Lilin of Melaka (she was a sinseh), built a shelther for the well.


The State Government then recognized the well as the Hang Tuah Well and a modern complex with stalls, toilets and a ‘gelanggang silat’ (silat court) was built to attract tourists to the kampung where Hang Tuah was believed to have been brought up.” Then, there's the magnificent Hang Tuah's Museum.


Well, whose story are you going to believe? In my opinion during the British era (pre independence Malaya), the British administrators were not interested in preserving local interest and heritage but once when power shifted to the hands of ‘sons of the soil’, some of its leaders started soul searching and they found solace in ‘the arms’ of old folk heros such as Hang Tuah.


So before independence, the Malays did not bothered to have or restore heritage items and sites such as the Hang Tuah Well, but in modern Malaysia, their leaders made great efforts in doing such work and today as an example, the Hang Tuah Well Complex has been refurbished with extra buildings such as ‘gelanggang silat’ (silat mini stadium), and surau (small masjid).


So today’s ‘history’ glorifies Hang Tuah but tomorow who knows, because “until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.