Friday, November 9, 2012

They love you because you are beautiful…

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.
OVER the years, several stray cats sought protection in garages and sheds erected near my house. My family members gave them food, and with ‘the good living condition’, they multiplied fast. Eventhough the cats roamed freely in our compound, they were not allowed to enter our house.
A lookalike civet cat, named ‘Musang’ by my family members became ‘popular’ among my children; she delivered offspring several times in a year. If she delivered three kittens at a time, imagine in a year’s time, there would be nine ‘new faces’ around.
One of the kittens became a favourite among my boys and girls. It grew up becoming a ‘beautiful’ grey cat, with thick hair and a fat body. My children called it ‘Momok’, as it was ‘gemuk’ (fat). Almost everyone especially my ten year old daughter liked to pamper ‘Momok’. They would bring it inside the house, played and sometimes sleep with the cat in bed. Momok was very ‘manja’ (like to be pampered) and playful. It did not mind if the children put it into bed and cuddled it. They all loved Momok, or was it because of its beauty?
Unfortunately Momok ‘good appearance’ did not last long. It developed illness after being attacked by lice especially on its ears. It's beautiful and soft hair started to fall in a few weeks time, it became so thin, its face swollen and small wounds were all over its body.
I felt pity for Momok. After ‘being transformed’ from a cute cat to a ‘kucing kurap’ (stray cat), nobody like it. It was not allowed to enter the house what more to be cuddled and taken to bed by my daughter. It was a sad episode for Momok, it was loved because of its beauty, when it lost that trait; it was dumped away.
Thinking about the ups and downs life of Momok, I guessed that in life we (human beings) are not love just the way we are but because the ‘things’ and ‘traits’ that are tacked to us. In Momok’s case, it was beauty that made my children fall for it, so in our life, do not make assumption that people like us just because the way we are. Perhaps they like or love us because of our beauty and who knows when this trait will fade or we fall ill, they would just dump us!
Beware, because sometimes people shower their like or love to us because of our position, money, power and so on. When we are ‘somebody’, they try to win our hearts but when we have nothing to offer, they just walk away.
So to leaders, take note that when the people say they love and support you, some might be good at talking because in actual sense they are only afraid or after your position and wealth. If you were a nobody; they would just say sayounara to you!
In my opinion, we should love all including animals the way they are. If we only love and give food and fondle our beautiful pet cat but chase away a ‘kucing kurap’, then we are not cat or animal lovers. We are only ‘beauty lovers’.
We love the cat because it is good to stroke its beautiful body; what would happen if the cat suddenly developed illness and transformed into ‘a skeleton figure’, would we be still love it? Or we just dump it as in the case of Momok? We should be sincere (ikhlas) in our actions including when treating animals. We should only love them for the sake of Allah SWT. Thus we would give the same treatment to a beautiful cat or a ‘kucing kurap’. To us, all of them are God’s creatures; they deserved to be treated fairly.
In two separate hadiths narrated by Abu Hurayrah (the cat-loving Companion), the Prophet told his Companions of the virtue of saving the life of a dog by giving it water and quenching its thirst: one referred to was a man who was blessed by Allah for giving water to a thirsty dog. The other was a prostitute, who filled her shoe with water and gave it to a dog that was lolling its tongue in thirst. For this deed she was granted the ultimate reward: eternal Paradise. Note that the man and woman gave water not to their pet dogs but stray ones; they only did the good deeds for Allah’s sake. They loved Allah’s creatures; it didn’t matter if others did not appreciate their good deeds. It was only to please Allah SWT.
Truly generous persons feed the hungry, saying, “We feed you for the sake of Allah Alone, we seek from you neither reward nor thanks.” (Qur’an: 76:9) If those who treated animals well were praised by Allah SWT, those who mistreated them would be seeing the doom. Regarding this, Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, (peace be upon him, s.a.w.) said, “A woman was punished because of a cat she had imprisoned until it died. She entered Hellfire because of it. She did not give it food or water while it was imprisoned, neither did she set it free to eat from the vermin of the earth.” (Sahih Bukhari, Book 56, Number 689)
As for non pet but animals used to help men in their work such as transportation; in respect of these dumb animals and ride them when they are fit to be ridden and get off them when they are tired. In his book ‘Enjoy Your Life’ (Darussalam), Dr Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Rahaman Al-‘Arifi, noted that when good interpersonal skills become one’s habit, they become his second nature and an integral part of his personality. Such a person is always found to be easygoing, light-hearted, gentle, forbearing and sensitive with all, including ANIMALS and non-living things.
Dr Muhammad noted that Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. loved all animals with a few examples from his life. Once, when the Prophet s.a.w. was on a journey with his companions, he stopped over to answer the call of nature. Meanwhile, one of his companions noticed a redstart bird with two chicks. He took the chicks away. The bird came and began to circle around them flapping its wings. When the Prophet s.a.w. came and saw the scene, he turned to his companions and said, “Who distressed the bird by taking its chicks from it? Return the chicks to the bird!”
On a different occasion, the Prophet s.a.w. noticed a burnt ants’ nest. “Who burnt the nest?” he demanded. One of his companions replied, “I did.” The Prophet s.a.w. became angry and said, “No one but Allah punishes with fire!” The Prophet s.a.w. was so merciful that if he saw a cat whilst he was performing ablution, he would loiwer the utensil down for the cat to drink from and then perform ablution from the leftover water. Once he passed by a man who had laid a sheep on the ground and placed his foot on its neck to slaughter it while sharpening the knife as the sheep looked on. The Prophet s.a.w. became angry upon seeing this and said, “Do you want it to die twice. Why didn’t you sharpen your knife before you laid it on the ground?”
On another occasion, he s.a.w. passed by two men in a middle of a conversation and each of them was sitting on his camel. When he saw this, he felt pity for the camels and therefore forbade people from using animals as chairs, meaning that one is not mount it except when required and that when the need is fulfilled, one should dismount and allow it to rest. The Prophet s.a.w. also forbade branding an animal in its face. Yes, the Prophet s.a.w. loved all animals, regardless of whether they were beautiful or not; but some of us love animals because of their beauty; for example a beautiful cat is pampered with love but a ‘kucing kurap’ is shooed away…!

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