Thursday, December 15, 2011

The sincere Preacher

****************************** In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ***************************** Reflection **************************** 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. ****************************** THE closure of the Klang Bus Stand also known as Pasarama Kota Bus Terminal, making way for a MRT project evokes fond memories of my younger years in Kuala Lumpur. ********************** The bus station which used to be one of the most notable landmarks in the Kuala Lumpur, ceased operations on 1st November to facilitate the construction of the new underground Pasar Seni MRT station. ************************* The Klang Bus Stand, located in Jalan Sultan Mohammed which was near the Klang River, has been serving Klang Valley folk for over 40 years. It was built in the late 1960s, and in the middle of 1980s, I was one of the regular patrons there. So the news on the demolition of the Klang Bus Stand brings back nostalgic memories to me. ************************** In early 1985 I began my university journalism practical training with a giant media house in Bangsar and a year later I was accepted as one of its staff. During those early years, as a green reporter, with my old trustworthy Yamaha Cup, I roamed the streets of Kuala Lumpur. ***************************** Some seniors told me, if you needed to 'master' the roads and areas in the city, during your off-day, just filled up the tank of your motorcycle to the maximum and have a 'jolly' ride without any specific destination in mind. ***************************** I did what they told me and in not more than a month, I had 'mastered' many areas in Kuala Lumpur including its 'red districts' such as Lorong Haji Taib in Chow Kit, Bukit Bintang and a side road at Padang Kelab Selangor, nowadays known as Dataran Merdeka. So to young reporters out there, try your luck by following my footsteps! ************************** During my 'rounds' I would stop at some interesting landmarks (to me-'lah') such as Campbell Shopping Complex in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the Klang Bus Stand, Hentian Puduraya (now Pudu Sentral), Dayabumi and of course Masjid Negara (the National Mosque) to say my prayers. ******************** One day during that 'carefree' time, I stopped at the famous cave of Batu Caves and had a try climbing the hundreds of steps there. It turned out to be history because it was the first and the last time I entered it until this day. ************************* Among those landmarks, the Klang Bus Stand stood above the rest because it was here since 1986 I normally fixed appointments to meet my sweetheart (now she had been my wife for more than 20 years and we have been blessed with five children); she would travel all the way from her campus in Shah Alam and I waited for her anxiously at the bench of the dirty and crowded terminal. ********************* At that time I I have nothing to complain because the anxiety and feeling to meet my 'rose' was too great, much greater than effect of the miserable condition of the station. ********************** At times she would arrive at the Klang Bus Stand by the famous KL-Klang-Port Swettenham red buses. ****************** At that time mobile phones were unheard of so meeting with one's love was a 'great and much awaited event' that was much treasured. ***************8 If she came to the meeting spot by bus, normally I would ride my Yamaha Cup and parked it at a lane that was sandwiched by two rows of shop-houses near Klang Bus Stand before making my way to the station. ************** I would leave the bike there; move to the premises of Klang Bus Stand and after meeting 'my girl', we would went on our way walking, taking buses or taxis to move around Kuala Lumpur. ********************* It was troublesome and not a 'cool' thing to bring one's helmet, what’s more when one is on a date, so I would just lock it at the bike. *************** One evening after sending off 'my love' to Shah Alam from the Klang Bus Stand, I went to seek my bike and was at a loss for words after discovering my helmet was gone. The thief had cut off the strap of the helmet, and without it, I had a long night at the station; only at 10.00 pm I did manage to call a friend who came an hour later with an extra helmet for me. ****************** The Klang Bus Stand had 'taught me a lesson' - never, never leave our things unattended or expose yourselves to danger because the place was hangout for many types of people; vagrants, beggars and drug pushers! But what 'a great impact' Klang Bus Stand had on me. It was at this spot, I 'watered and tendered' the seed of love that I had planted in since 1986; in 1988 I pulled enough courage to sweep 'my rose' off her feet as my fiancĂ©e and a year later, she and me got married and we 'live happily ever after' hopefully until our final breath. ***************************** When I was used to the life in Kuala Lumpur, I ventured to some 'trouble' spots such as the famous Lorong Haji Taib. Some senior journalists told me to be a ‘jack of all trades’ in the field of journalism; one had to have a true life experience meeting all sorts of people including prostitutes. *************************** All the years, I had heard about this 'red light district', after a few months of being a reporter, one night I went to the spot alone. It was easy to go there; I parked my bike near the Maybank building in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, walked along a small side road and then entered the red light district of Lorong Haji Taib. ***************************** I swear I did not indulge in any unmoral activities there; I was only to please my curiosity and of course ‘to broaden’ my knowledge and experience as a ‘thoroughbred’ reporter and writer. **************** After many nights observing activities there; I was attracted to a ‘pendakwah’ (preacher) at a roadside who would talk and talk about religious matter especially about the heavy punishment by Allah SWT to people who indulged in adultery. At one point, I saw him shout to some men who were seen entering a back entrance of a cheap hotel. *************** “Don’t enter!” he reminded them. “Adultery is a great sin. You would be thrown into Hellfire!” The men ignored him, but that did not dampen the preacher’s spirit. He continued his ‘lecture’; but people just passed him, they were more interested gathering around peddlers who sells items such as sex toys and stimulus products or around those who had opened fast gambling activities. ************************ That preacher had truly captured my heart. If an ‘ordinary’ religious teacher (ustaz) lectures or gives lesson in masjids (nowadays many masjids are fully air-conditioned), this man would surely stand high above them all. Perhaps he was not paid even a cent for his‘dakwah’ work. ******************* In my opinion he was very sincere in his work, he was only hoping to be rewarded by the Master of the Universe, Allah SWT who says: “Every self will taste death. You will be paid your wages in full on the Day of Rising. Anyone who is distanced from the Fire and admitted to the Garden has triumphed. The life of this world is the just the enjoyment of delusion.” (Qur’an, 3:185)

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