Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Rabiulawal 13, 1443: Masuk syurga seorang-seorang? (Going to Heaven alone?)

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


O ye who believe! Retalation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. And for him who is forgiven somewhat by his (injured) brother, prosecution according to usage and payment unto him in kindness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. He who transgresseth after this will have a painfull doom. (Al-Baqarah, 178)

DURING ‘Maulidur Rasul’ (Prophet Muhammad's s.a.w. birthday), I attended several lectures on the subject, a talk by one preacher, Ustaz Long Kechik moved my heart and I would like to share it with readers.

His talk and presentation with aid of a power point illustration was simple; it revolved on why we were sent into this world and where we are heading for. On why we were sent into this world, he quoted Surat Adh-Dhariyat 51:56 (The Winnowing Winds) with the meaning; “I have only created jinn and men, that they may serve Me.”

Yes, human being existence along with jinn are to worship Allah SWT, but Ustaz Long explained in this ‘ayah’, Allah SWT used the word ‘men or mankind’ and not Muslim, so the duty of Muslims is not confined only to worship Allah SWT, it is more than that.

So what are other duties of Muslims? To explain this, Ustaz Long discussed at length about Allah SWT's mercy in sending His prophets.

Allah SWT, out of His abundant Love and Mercy for mankind, has not left us in darkness to discover the right path by trial and error alone. Coupled with our intellectual capability to reason, Allah SWT bestowed upon us divine guidance that outlines the Criterion for truth and the knowledge and reality of our existence in this world and Hereafter.

From the beginning of mankind Allah SWT sent exemplars or prophets to convey His revelation and to invite all mankind to the path of true peace and obedience to one true God. This is Islam.

This message was conveyed to all nations and tribes in this world throughout successive generations through more than 124,000 prophets – all inviting mankind to the same path.

Ustaz Long said prophets before Muhammad s.a.w. were sent to their own people or tribe. Their followers were not given the duty to preach the religion and when the prophets died, they were replaced by other prophets.

But Prophet Muhammad being the ‘khatamah’ (final) Messenger of Allah; was not only sent for his own tribe (Quraisy and Arab) but for all mankind and even jinn at every corner of the planet and his teaching would valid until ‘kiamah’ (the end of the world).

“If Prophets before Muhammad s.a.w. died; their teachings would be upheld by their followers and when they swayed from the true religion, Allah SWT would send another prophet, but what would be the case of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.’s followers?” asked Ustaz Long.

He said, after Prophet Muhammad's demise; the duty to preach and uphold the religion falls on the shoulder of every Muslim. This is what the Prophet s.a.w. used to tell his Companions to do: “Convey (knowledge) from me if it is just one ‘ayah’.” (al-Bukhari)

In another hadith, the Prophet s.a.w. said: “Whoever calls people to the truth will have a reward like that of those who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.” (Sahih Muslim)

Based on this fact, Ustaz Long stressed that the duty of every Muslim (the followers of Muhammad) is to worship (serve) Allah SWT (as mentioned in Surat Adh-Dhariyat 51:56 “I have only created jinn and men, that they may serve Me”) and to do the ‘dakwah’ (be a ‘daie’ – preacher).

‘Umat’ (the followers of) Muhammad was in front and have special place in the eyes of Allah SWT compared to other Prophets’ followers because among others they were given the task to spread the message of the Final Prophet s.a.w.

“So do we carry out the two tasks given to us as the followers of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.?” asked Ustaz Long. “True some of us devote ourselves to worship Allah SWT and to refine it such as doing the ‘tahajud’ (late night prayers) or ‘iktikaf’ (spending much time in masjids; praying, reading the Qur’an or thinking about God or oneself) but sadly, many of us distance ourselves from doing the ‘dakwah’ work.

“I would like to give you some simple examples. I know during ‘subuh’ (dawn) prayers many of you dashed off to the masjid with your bike. Sure, you devout yourself to your Lord but sad to say some of us do not bother on whether our wives of children say their prayers or not. To some extent; some of us were not bothered to wake up our children to say their prayers especially during their school holidays.

“Then how many of us are concerned about our wives and daughters attires; do they comply with the Islamic code of dressing? Then there are cases where the mother wears the hijab but the daughter puts on sexily clad dress.

“Why this situation is rampant in our Muslim homes? One factor is we do not do our ‘dakwah’ job. The father thinks that he should be a good Muslim but forget about his wife and children.

“He should ‘dakwah’ not only himself but his dependents for Allah SWT says: "Believers! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones, over which are angels stern (and) severe as wardens, who flinch not (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded." (Qur’an 66:6)

“After doing ‘dakwah’ to one’s family, have a look at our neighbourhood. Are our neighbours good practising Muslim or if they were of a different belief, have we shown them good aspects of Islam so they would be interested in the religion. Have we talked about Islam to them?

“Then we have to look at problems of our society, our state, country, and globally and lend our hands in solving them.

“The problem with Muslims nowadays is that we do not do the dakwah work, we only concentrate on own ‘ibadah’ (acts of devotion to Allah SWT) only as though we are going to Heaven alone. Remember a man would be stopped from entering Heaven by his wife or wives, daughters, sisters and mother if they insisted he had not done enough in guiding them to the straight path,” said Ustaz Long.

Sadly, nowadays dakwah seemed so strange, said the ustaz. Malays must not forget that they become Muslim from the hard work of dakwah of Arab, Indian and Chinese preachers who were mostly traders and they efforts were rewarded when rulers of Pasai/Perlak, Melaka, Aceh, Palembang, Patani and almost all entities in the Malay Archipelago accepted Islam beginning from the 10th century and reached its peak in the 15 and 16th century.

“If not because of the dedication of these traders and preachers, Malays would still be pagans, Nauzubillah,” said the ustaz.

Centuries ago, the Chinese such as Laksamana (Admiral) Cheng Ho had their part in preaching Islam to the people of Melaka and Palembang. Nowadays have the Muslim Malays done their jobs in explaining Islam to the Chinese community? The same should be asked on the dakwah work of the Malays to the Indians community.

So, based on the fact that dakwah seemed to be left out these days, Ustaz Long suggested it should be rekindled; insya-Allah (God willing) the ills of society would be able to be checked and more non-Muslim becoming interested in the religion and insya-Allah become Muslims themselves.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Rabiulawal 12, 1443: Simple things by the Prophet for us to emulate...(U)

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. 

I had the opportunity to attend several ‘Maulidur Rasul tazkirah’ (talks or reminders in conjunction with Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) birthday. Some interesting points raised by speakers caught my attention and I would like to share them with readers especially regarding those small matters carried out by the Prophet which are easy for us to follow. 

One ‘ustaz’ (a religious teacher) said it was no point in getting involved in ‘Maulidur Rasul’ processions while ignoring and going against Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) teachings, what more the simple ones. He said among those who were jubilant when the Prophet was born was Abu Lahab, but 40 years later when Prophet Muhammad revealed that he was the Messenger of God, this uncle of the Prophet started a war against him. 

He said when Abu Lahab heard news that a baby boy was born to Aminah who was his brother’s (Abdullah) wife, he was full of joy that he circled the Ka’abah seven times (did tawaf) and proudly paraded in the holy city. 

But when Muhammad (pbuh) became a Prophet, Abu Lahab dan his wife, worked continuously to make it hard for the Prophet; in the Qur’an, there is ‘Surah al-Tabat’ mentioning about Abu Lahab and his wife’s horrible fate in the Hereafter. 

Another 'ustaz' said many of us did not know the life story of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and his struggle, thus how could we fall in love with him? He said the love for the Prophet s.a.w. was very, very, very important because he is the only one among Allah SWT's creations (makhluk) who could render us help in our journey in the Hereafter beginning with our lives in our graves (barzakh). 

The 'ustaz' said, once inside our graves, the angels, Munkar and Nakir, would pose questions such as who is your Lord and who is your Prophet? What do you know about this man (Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.)? Based on this, the 'ustaz' said, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. would be beside us in our graves; but if in our lives we were ignorant of him and his teachings, then it would be difficult for us to have his 'syafaat' (blessings). 

One way to get to know the Prophet s.a.w. is by following his 'sunnah' (way of life). Some 'sunnah' are so simple yet because of our ignorance, we just look it down or push it aside. 

From the several talks of Maulidur Rasul that I had attended, here is a compilation on the simple matters carried out by the Prophet as told by the 'ustazs' for us to follow. It is because of our love for him that we do our best to emulate his ways. Please do away with our ego and shyness in following the Prophet’s s.a.w. way of life 

On family matters

One 'ustaz' said the Prophet s.a.w. was very loving towards his family, including to his wives. This 'ustaz' said one of his habits was to lay his head on the thigh of his beloved wife, Aishah upon returning home from a hard day’s work preaching to his people. 

"So after this talk, I recommend to husbands on returning home to show your affection to your wives. Please upon returning home, greet them with a 'salam' (greeting with a blessing) and whenever the two of you are free, do hold hands, never mind if you have been married for 20, 30 or 40 years. Your wife would be full of surprise, because all those long years you had not done that, but do not hesitate, go ahead; always be intimated with her, 'insya-Allah' (God willing) you would find out that your home would be full of 'barakah' (blessing) and with love."

Drinking and eating

"Oh, what a simple thing to emulate the Prophet," said an 'ustaz'. The general rule is to sit whenever one eats or drinks; begin with reciting 'Bismillah' (in the name of Allah) and when finished, recite 'Alhamdulillah' (all praises to Allah). Then one should drink or eat with one's right hand. 

"But this simple thing of the Prophet s.a.w. too people cannot follow...look around you, there are functions where even the ones organized by educated people and religious bodies where you find the guests drinking and worst of all, people eating whist standing."

 Conveying 'salam' 

An 'ustaz' said, when two persons (or more) meet, begin with 'salam' 'Assalaamu alaykum" (peace be upon you). And in the Qur'an in Surah An-Nisa 4:86) Allah SWT says; "And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it or (at least) return it equally." 

Is it difficult to give 'salam'? It is a simple thing to do and by doing it, we are following the Prophet's way of life and it is a way to prove our love for him. But why does it seem hard for us to convey salam'? It seems to be 'the hardest word'... 

Seeking knowledge 

"Why masjids are always 'almost empty' during 'tazkirah' (talks) normally held between maghrib and isya prayers?" asked an 'ustaz'. "Seeking knowledge is a duty on every Muslim," says the Prophet in a 'hadith' narrated by Imam Bukhari. 

The Prophet's way of life is to seek knowledge which must continue as long as breath of life reminds in our bodies. Allah SWT says: "...those truly fear Allah, among His servants, who have knowledge..." (Qur'an 35: 28) 

So why not take time from our busy schedules to be at the masjid for at least during the maghrib-isyak 'tazkirah' slot. Is this difficult for us to follow?

'Leading by example' (kepimpinan melalui teladan) 

An ustaz said: "During the Ahzab War (War of the Trench), a 'sahabah' (Companion) of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. by the name of Salman Al-Farisi suggested that Muslims dug wide and deep trenches around Madinah to stop the invading allied forces of the Mushrikin armies. Their leader, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. toiled and sweated in the hot sun with his 'sahabahs', many a time without enough food and water. There was a time when the Prophet had to tie a big stone onto his stomach to lessen his thirst and hunger.

But today, why must our leader be only good at officially opening “projects”? He will officiate at a ground breaking ceremony or the laying of a foundation stone of the project, and in the next hour or worst still minutes later he would be gone... 

Why not our leaders emulate the Prophet’s s.a.w. way of life? Always be with the people and in this way you can share their feelings and their 'pangs of life' such as coping with the ever rising prices of necessary items or having 'kangkung goreng' (fried kangkung) every day for their lunch and dinner tables!

Monday, October 18, 2021

Rabiulawal 11, 1443: Anak-anak lelong harta...(U)

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


"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

SEJAK 'pencen' saya mengusahakan sebidang tanah pinggir (seumpama Felda) milik isteri saya; suatu pagi ketika berada di kedai runcit perkampungan tanah rancangan itu terdengar saya 'perbuatan hangat' sekumpulan penduduk di kedai kopi sebelah.

Beberapa 'penghuni tetap' kedai kopi itu mengusik seorang lelaki Tionghua yang baru datang - antara lain mereka berkata: "Ha, kau Seng, kau ini tahu lelong saja harta bapak kau. Itu saja kerja kau sedangkan bapak kau macam nak mati bukak estet, kau perhabis hartanya."

Memang betul, lelaki Cina itu telah 'sapu licin' harta peninggalan bapanya - dulu hartanah (estet) mendiang orang tuanya terkenal seantero negeri sekarang nama itu tidak disebut lagi.

Namun 'penghuni setia' kedai kopi itu patut menginsafi diri - dulu mereka atau bapa mereka memiliki kebun getah yang luas tetapi semuanya sudah habis 'dilelong' terutama kepada 'pihak bijak' yang rapat dengan penguasa negeri - kononnya tanah itu akan dibangunkan oleh kepentingan bangsa dan masa depan negara, hakikatnya tanah itu dibangunkan perumahan mewah yang banyak terjual kepada orang 'Singapore'!

Sekarang ini kebanyakan peneroka atau anak mereka hanya memiliki tanah tapak rumah - yang lain sudah habis dilelong. Dulu peneroka bersusah payah menebas hutan, menanam pokok getah selepas dianugerahkan tanah pinggir atas inisiatif PM ketika itu, Tun Razak Hussein, tetapi kebanyakan tanah-tanah itu sudah dilelong.

Memang betul ada peneroka dan waris mereka sudah menjadi jutawan segera sehingga ada yang 'menambah bini' dan 'mengupah pemandu' (bagi yang tidak tahu memandu kereta baru yang mereka beli) tetapi semua tinggal kenangan.

Anak-anak peneroka itulah yang ramai menjadi 'penghuni setia' kedai kopi - bapa mereka 'macam nak mati' kumpul harta, kebanyakan mereka pula sudah melelong harta itu.

Jika golongan anak seperti Seng (anak tauke estet), Ali dan Ahmad (anak-anak peneroka) sudah melelong harta bapa mereka, apa pula kurang segelintir pemimpin negara kita yang sudah dan dalam proses 'melelong' hartanah hatta negara ini sendiri.

Jika kita menyoroti sejarah, misalnya kejatuhan empayar Kesultanan Melaka ke tangan Portugis pada 1511; antara puncanya adalah pemerintah (Sultan) terakhir adalah korup dan suka berfoya-foya termasuk suka menambah isteri cantik tak kira kalau perlu merampas isteri atau tunang orang. 

Apabila pemimpin korup, pembesar pun begitu, akhirnya empayar Melaka yang gagah itu jatuh ke tangan Portugis. Cuba bayangkan negara Portugal yang jauh ribuan kilometer itu dengan askar armada perangnya terpaksa berlayar berbulan-bulan di lautan, akhirnya dapat menewaskan pahlawan Melaka yang hebat-hebat.

Kira-kira 100 tahun empayar Melaka boleh bertahan kerana pemerintah-pemerintah awalnya berwibawa tetapi musnah disebabkan 'kekorupan' pemerintah terakhir; kini kita amat bimbang jika sejarah ini berulang.