Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rozita Che Wan wears 'tudung' in Kota Bharu

****************** In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ******************** Reflection ********************* "Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80) ******************** (Final part of the writer's journey in the East Coast states) ************************* SINCE my family and I only spent a day trip to Kota Bharu from Setiu, Terengganu via Tok Bali and Bachok, we had very few grouses to report because for almost the entire journey we were inside our car; stopping only for prayers, having lunch, buying local products at stalls on the roadside and and filling petrol at a gas station. ************************* Prior to this visit; whenever we went to Kota Bharu from Terengganu we would use the main road via Pasir Puteh town but during the last journey we took the Kampung Raja-Tok Bali-Bachok coastal road. It was quite an experience especially when driving on a very high bridge across a wide river near the port of Tok Bali. ************************* It has been wriiten in the book of fate that on that day, we would spend almost half an hour at the highest point of the bridge as a section of the bridge was closed to make way for repair works. ************************* From that spot we could see the beautiful sight of 'Pelabuhan' Tok Bali; there was a large garden on the river front; the sea looked calm and blue, the wind blew gently as I lowered the window screen of my car. ************************* After inching our car foward, finally we were 'freed' from the massive traffic jam. As the sound of 'azan' (call for prayers) was on air, we stopped at a nearby masjid for 'zuhur' (mid-day) prayers. It was a medium sized masjid with lots of PAS flag posts stacked at a corner of its verandah. ************************* After prayers; once inside our car, my wife mumbled this words: "Dear, next time looked for a main masjid. Don't stop at a small masjid like this one. The women's section is dirty; the floor seemed as it had not been swept for a long time; 'tahi cicak' (lizard's excrement) was every where. The toilet stunk and was dirty. Oohh, the water smells..." **************************** In that 'tense' situation; I chose not to say a word; I did not want to add fuel to my wife's grouses but in my heart I admitted that the men's section too was not clean either; the carpet was full of dust, 'tahi cicak' was seen on window panels and at the corners of the prayers room. And true, the pipe water was smelly...and one thing that made me red in the face and made me uneasy was that the masjid was a PAS controlled one, an assumption based on the flag posts stacked inside it! ************************* After experincing that 'small letdown' at the masjid, I knew my wife would pour out more of her grouses and dissatisfications on the things she saw as we moved on to Kota Bharu. ****************************** True, she complained about the long grass on the roadside that was left uncut and in some places 'semak' (bushes) remained unattended; its growth almost reached the road... ****************************** Then as me arrived nearer to Kota Bharu, upon seeing a huge billboard her voice changed into an excited tone; "Look, even Rozita Che Wan wears a 'tudung' in Kota Bharu!" *************************** Yes, only in Kelantan can you can see the usually 'non-hijabi' actresses wearing 'hijab' on billboards. It is a rule if any female would be featured for advertisements in the state. Thus Rozita, a well known 'sexy actress' donned a 'tudung' for the Safia Rania Gold billboard. ************************** A few years ago, I had written an article on another popular actress, Maya Karin who too 'had to wear' 'tudung' in Kota Bharu. Even though the picture of Maya Karin and Rozita Che Wan were touch ups (the 'tudungs' were superimposed on their heads), it seemed to create some awareness upon the people who were accustomed to the usual picture of the actresses baring their heads and hands on billboards in other parts of the country. *************************** The figure of Maya Karin and Rozita Che Wan with their 'tudungs', reminded us that we were in a state headed by an ‘ustaz' or 'ulama’ (an Islamic scholar) as the Menteri Besar (Ustaz Ahmad Yakob) is from the Islamic party, PAS. **************************** Only in Kelantan has this rule of donning the 'tudung' been applied, including pictures of ladies in advertisement boards whereas in the whole country, state leaders could not care less. *************************** In the 13th general election (GE13), Kelantan PAS lead by Tok Guru Dato' Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat managed to hold on to power by winning 32 of the 45 state seats; PKR won one while BN which staged a 'noisy campaign and challenge' at the earlier stages, limped away with only 12 seats. However sadly, the Tok Guru willingly gave up his Menteri Besar post to Ustaz Ahmad due to health and age reasons. ************************* For the Parliamentary seats in Kelantan, PAS won 9 out of 14 seats; the rest taken by BN. PAS won convincingly in urban and semi urban areas such as Kota Bharu. In the Parliamentary seat of Kota Bharu, PAS's Takiyuddin Hassan won with a big majority of 15,822; for the state seats under this Parliamentary; all three seasts namely Tanjong Mas (Rohani Ibrahim), Kota Lama (Anuar Tan Abdullah) and Bunut Payong (Dr Ramli Mamat) were won by PAS. **************************** The results reflect Muslims and non-Muslims have faith in PAS; including its Islamization programmes. A few years ago, Kota Bharu was proclaimed 'Bandar Raya Islam' (an Islamic city). Thus its administrators were reported to work hard to make sure all activities in the city were in line with Islamic principles. ************************* The 'Majlis Perbandaran Kota Bharu Bandar Raya Islam' (MPKB-BI), enforced a by-law regarding female attire where the girls and ladies were to be not too revealing in public. Some sectors backed the move but others lambasted it. ******************************** To the local Muslim ladies, do feel proud to wear the 'tudung' because women from other countries including Muslim countries such as Turkey and Tunisia have to face hardship and discrimination in their determination and desire to practice the Islamic way of life. Even in some Western countries Muslim women have do some form of 'korban' (sacrifice) to wear the 'hijab'. ************************* Carol L Anway in her book Daughters of Another Path (Experiences of American Women Choosing Islam, Yawna Publications) recorded several 'Muslimah' experiences and hardship in their pursuit to wear the hijab. ***************************** * Wearing hijab was easy, but people were always asking me if had some sort of disease. They seemed to assume that I had lost my hair and I was covering up my baldness. Then after I explained about the religious reasons and significance of wearing hijab, they would say, "You mean I can never see your beautiful hair again?" It was as if my personal choice of practicing my own religion was taking away one of their pleasures or privileges and they did not approve of that! They missed the point. ***************************** * Taking on Islamic religious practices wasn't hard once I did it for a while. Wearing hijab was the one that took the most getting used to, both for me and for others around me. I lived in a very small town and I encountered strange looks there, and several people asked me about it. But in our larger university town, the majority of people are educated about it and see women wearing hijab around town. I started wearing hijab in winter, so it wasn’t difficult until summertime. Many people wear a scarf or hat in winter, but when summer came and I was still wearing a scarf, I did stand out in the crowd. But Islam is not about blending in or 'when in America, do as the Americans do'. It is about standing up for what you believe and what you know is right, even if others do not, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. ****************************** * Covering was a very gradual change. I went from jeans to skirts and long sleeve shirts or blazers. Then I decided I would wear the scarf and long clothes or coat after I had my first child. It was very hard to cope with the looks and questions about the way I dressed (i.e., long sleeves and jackets in the summertime) while I was working. That's why I waited to fully cover. Once I start fully covering I was very uncomfortable and felt so different from everyone else that I almost took it off, as if to prove to everyone (even those I didn't know) that I was still the same person as before. But I kept it on and eventually got used to it. Now I get mad at people who stare at me or make fun of me, but that makes me want to wear it more. I've been covering for three years. *********************** Iman Daglas in her book A Well Guarded Treasure (Darussalam), wrote: "Alhamdulillah! Everything I found said it was incumbent on Muslim women to wear proper hijab upon reaching puberty and proper hijab included covering the face and hands. Allah knows best." ************************* In the Quran, Allah the Almighty says: "And when you ask them (the wives of the Prophet) for anything you want, ask them from behind a curtain, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts." (Quran 33:53) *********************** The 'curtain' would be a veil which covered them completely. Allah, the Almighty says: "(Tell the believing women) to draw their veils over their necks and bosoms. (Quran 24:31)." *************************** Shaikh Ibn Uthaimin in Islamic Fatwa Regarding Women says about the proper hijab: "The Islamic hijab is for the woman to cover everything that is forbidden for her to expose. That is, she covers everything that she must cover. The first of those body parts that she must cover is her face. It is the source of temptation and the source of people desiring her..." ******************** Well, to me Kelantan is the best place to practise the teaching of Islam as its leaders and rakyat were open and receptive to it (except for a few letdowns such as encountering untidy masjids and unattended roadsides as mentioned above), including donning the 'tudung' by Muslimah (Muslim women). ************************* Notice even self-confessed 'First Lady' Rosmah Mansor too wore 'hijab' when she was with her husband Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak when she attended the just concluded Qur'an national reading competition in Kota Bharu!

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