Friday, June 15, 2012

Be like a turtle or a hen?

***************** 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) ********************* How time flies; now it is the month of Rajab (the 7th month of the Islamic calendar) and in a few days time Muslims would be commemorating Isra (Israk) and Miraj (Mikraj) - the miraculous night journey of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. (peace be upon him) from Makkah to al-Quds (Jerusalem) and from there he ascended to the upper heavens and Sidratul-Muntaha. ************************** This journey is believed to have taken place just over a year before Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. migrated from Makkah to Madina, on the 27th of Rajab. After Rajab it would be the month of Shaaban and then Muslims will enter the holy month of Ramadan. ************************ In welcoming the month of Rajab, Shaaban and Ramadan, it is advisable for Muslims to increase their good deeds to get closer to Allah SWT; one way is to frequent the masjid. In one of the many ‘tazkirah’ (religious lessons) I attented at a few masjids near my house, a point raised by an ‘ustaz’ ‘stuck’ deep into my heart up to this moment when I am writing this piece. ************************ The ‘ustaz’ said, we should emulate the down to earth and humble character of ‘penyu’ (turtles) and not to copy that of ‘ayam betina’ (hens). He said a turtle from the sea silently lays hundred of eggs on the beach only at night and then move quietly back home with tears in her eyes, but a hen lays only an egg during a day and after that feels proud of her deed by making a lot of noise. *********************** Only a few people choose to be liked the turture. They keep silence, perhaps nobody knows about their good deeds. Just like the turtle which lays hundreds of eggs, these people bring hundreds or perhaps thousands and millions of goodness but they prefer to remain silence. They are among the seven groups of people who will be rewarded handsomely as promised by Allah SWT. ********************* In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah, the Prophet s.a.w. said, “"Seven people will be shaded by Allah under His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His. They are: (1) a just ruler; (2) a young man who has been brought up in the worship of Allah, (i.e. worship Allah (Alone) sincerely from his childhood), (3) a man whose heart is attached to the mosque (who offers the five compulsory congregational prayers in the mosque); (4) two persons who love each other only for Allah's sake and they meet and part in Allah's cause only; (5) a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for an illegal sexual intercourse with her and says: I am afraid of Allah; (6) a person who practices charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity). (7) a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes get flooded with tears." ***************** Why are so many people preferered to be like hens? Why do they love publicity and make a lot of noise? Perhaps one reason is that they have little knowledge about the purpose of the existence in this world. If we were to look around during ‘tazkirah’ in masjids, there would be only 10-20 ‘jemaah’ (congregators) around. Why is it in a place such as a kampung (village) with 5,000 inhabitans, only a faction of them turn up in masjids to say their prayers and attend classes held there? **************** To be in His straight path so that we would be successful in this world and the Hereafter we have to have knowledge. Islam stressed the importance of knowledge; Muslims, men or women are asked to learn and enrich themselves, to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave, a hadith said: “Seeking knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim, male and female.” (Bukhary and Muslim) ***************** No matter what kind of knowledge are there, all for the benefits of this world and Hereafter, every Muslim should study and try to be a kind hearted believer, and get success in this world and Hereafter. A hadith said: “He who wants to be successful in this world, then he must have knowledge; he who wants to get successful in the Hereafter, then he must have knowledge; he who wants to get successful in this world and Hereafter, then he must have knowledge.” (Bukhary and Muslim) ********************** Pursing knowledge is like a welfare work, being conceptulalised about ‘ibadah’ (acts of devotion to Allah SWT) one can pursuit knowledge easily. There are different ways to pursuit knowledge such as going to school, reading, listening, inquiring and communicating. But the problem among Muslims nowadays, many were of the thinking that pursuing knowledge stopped when ones have completed their schooling years or their tertiary education. ******************** Then there are terms such as ‘khatam’ (completed) learning such as ‘khatam al-Quran’ and ‘khatam belajar’ (completing one's lesson) that perhaps this situation could corrupt the young poople's minds into thinking that they have mastered and completed their subjects of interest and this phenomena leads to poor attendance in masjids during ‘tazkirah’ sessions. In many masjids only senior citizens are to be seen, whereare the young ones? ******************** A learned person should practice what he himself preaches, and spread his or her knowledge to other people. This kind of scholar will be holding a higher rank in front of Allah and in social community as well. The Qur’an says: “Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks.” (58: 11) ********************* Those with knowledge would understand that doing any kind of good jobs and good behaviour, must be sincerely and faithfully done for Allah SWT Alone. Only these kinds of ‘ibadah’ can get benefit from Allah SWT. We should know that doing goodness is not for reputation and praise, but to practice the obligation of Islam i.e. only to please Allah SWT. *********************** The Qur’an says: “Whosoever doeth right, whether male or female, and is a believer, him verily we shall quicken with good life, and we shall pay them recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do.” (16:97) ********************** In life we need sincerity. We do good deeds to please Allah SWT and none else. It is because deeds done for other than Allah or along with Allah SWT will not be acceptable by Him. Allah The Most Beautiful loves beauty. Worship Allah Alone. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, the One-And-Only. ***************** So if you do a good deed just to get cheap publicity or won favours and votes, you might get what you wish for, but what awaits you in the Hereafter? ********************** It is up to you to emulate the turtle or hen; as a guideline to be safe in this world and Hereafter as we often mention in our du’a (prayers); “Rabbanā ‘Ātinā Fī Ad-Dunyā Ĥasanatan Wa Fī Al-’Ākhirati Ĥasanatan Wa Qinā `Adhāba An-Nār” (Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire, Surat al-Baqarah Verse 201), please seek knowledge because “he who knows his own self knows God.”

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