Friday, September 20, 2013

'Please, don't mention it!'

********************* 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. **************************** LIFE is like a wheel; sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down. Sometimes you are on top of the world; sometimes you are at the bottom of the sea. *********************** Sometimes you find yourself flying up in the sky, sometimes you find yourself crying on the ground or buried deep inside the earth. *********************** Normally when we are at the bottom (of the wheel) we pray and cry (usually within) for help. And 'insya-Allah' (God willing) there would always be help to those who themselves had helped others before. Please believe me! *************************** Many, many years ago when I was a student at a local university (1982-85), my 'trustworthy friend' - a Yamaha Cup which I had bought as a second hand item for RM1,200 - broke down and had to be sent to a workshop. ********************** When the repair was done, I was unable to make payment as I did not have enough money. I was at a loss but suddenly a gentleman who was also at the workshop walked up to me and offered to top up the bill. ************************** Yes, help had come; I thanked the good Samaritan who later told me he was a lecturer at a university but to my surprise he said: "Please, don't mention it!" *************************** Truly generous persons feed the hungry (and help the needy) saying, "We feed you for the shake of Allah alone, we seek from you neither reward nor thanks." (Qur'an: 76:9) *************************** Dear readers; I reflect this touching experience after hearing a 'tazkirah' (religious reminder) by an 'ustaz' (Muslim teacher) recently that we should not be telling others about the good things that we had done what more boast about it. **************************** But it today's 'material world' where almost all of us are for praise, we tend to tell the world of our good deeds; the social network such as Facebook is a good example. We tend to display the fair side of us but hide all bad things about ourselves. ************************** And our mass media especially during election time runs too many programmes, advertisements and talk shows telling the people all the good things that the Umno-BN government had done and given to the people such as their 'luar bandar' (rural) development projects, financial assistance such as 'Bantuan Rakyat 1-Malaysia' (BR1M) and book vouchers to students. *************************** Remember what Allah SWT says in Ayah 2:264 (Al-Baqarah or Cow) with the meaning: "O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury as does one who spends his wealth (only) to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day. His example is like that of a (large) smooth stone upon which is dust and is hit by a downpour that leaves it bare. They are unable (to keep) anything of what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people." ****************************** The 'ustaz' said to be in the correct path is that we should forget all our good deeds but always remember others' help rendered to us. In terms of bad deeds we should always remember our part on others but forget what other people had done to us. *************************** "Revealing one's good deeds falls into two category; one by telling fellow human beings which is not allowed and make that person feel a loser this world and Hereafter and the other by mentioning them to Allah SWT in ones supplications which is allowed. ***************************** The 'ustaz' then mentioned this story about three persons blocked in a cave to illustrate that Allah SWT allows us to mention our good deeds to Him, in what he termed it as 'tawassul' (seeking Allah's help by mentioning about ones good deeds). ************************** The Messenger sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam (s.a.w.) said: “Three persons of a people before you, were on a journey when they were overtaken by a storm and therefore they took shelter in a cave. A rock slipped down from the mountain and blocked the exit of the cave. ***************************** One of them said: “The only way for deliverance left is to beseech Allah in the name of some virtuous deed.” Thereupon one of them supplicated, “O Lord, my parents were very old, I used to offer them their nightly drink of milk before my children and the other members of the family. One day I went astray far away in search of green trees and could return only after my parent had gone to sleep. ************************ When I had milked the animals and brought their nightly drink to them, they were fast asleep, but I did not like to disturb them, nor would give any part of the milk to my children and other members of the family till after my parents had their drink. Thus, with the vessel in hand, I awaited their awakening till the flush of dawn, while the children cried out of hunger at my feet. When they woke up, they had their drink. O Lord, if I did this thing seeking only your pleasure, then do relieve us of the distress wrought upon us by this rock.” Thereupon, The rock moved a little but that not enough to let them pass out. ************************** Then the second man supplicated: “O Lord, I had a cousin whom I loved her more passionately than any loves a woman. I tried to seduce her but she would have none of me, till in a season of great hardship due to famine, she approached me (for help) and I gave her 120 dinars on condition that she would have sexual intercourse with me. She agreed, and when we got together and I was just going to have intercourse with her, she pleaded: ‘Fear Allah, and do not break the seal unlawfully’; whereupon I moved away from her, despite the fact that I desired her most passionately; and I let her keep the money I had given her. O Lord, if I did this thing seeking only your pleasure, then do move the distress in which we find ourselves.” Again the rock moved a little but not enough to let them pass out. ***************************** Then the third supplicated: “O Lord, I hired some laborers and paid them their dues, but one of them left leaving behind what was due to him. I invested it in business and the business prospered greatly.” After a time the laborer came back and said: ‘O servant of Allah, hand over to me my wages.’ I said to him: ‘All that you see is yours – camels, cattle, goats and slaves.’ He said: ‘Don’t play joke with me, O servant of Allah.’ I assured him: ‘I am not joking.’ So he took all of it sparing nothing. O Lord, If I did this seeking only for your pleasure, do relieve us of our distress.” ***************************** The rock then moved away, and all the three came out of the cave safe and sound! (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim) ************************** Based on this hadith, the 'ustaz' said it is okay to mention our good deeds to Allah SWT but he reminded us that there is no point in us revealing our good deeds to our relatives, friends and office mates because human beings as Allah' s creatures are all too weak and poor thus are not in any position to 'upgrade' our position or provide the help and material things that we intend to have. *************************** For example if we tend to 'show off' how generous we are by giving away a mock cheque say RM10,000 to a charity organization in front of cameramen but postphone the event if the pressmen are absent, then we are only making a mockery of ourselves; not only in this world we would be a loser but the punishment that awaits us in the Hereafter is unbearable and everlasting. *************************** The 'ustaz' said all praises should be addressed to The Creator Allah SWT. "So if a person mentions about our good deeds to him or her, 'return' it to Allah SWT by saying 'Alhamdulillah' (All praises be to Allah SWT)." **************************** He said only knowledge could guide a person to be safe in this world and in the Hereafter. He who knows Allah SWT knows himself/herself which is too weak and poor to be 'showered with praises'. We too know 'we are not good enough to recieve all those praises! We too know all of our bad side, and if Allah exposes them, we would be finished! Allah loves us so He hides all of them from others! *********************** A Muslim who knows himself would become a Believer (Mu'min) when the knowledge he or she witnessed 'finds its way to the heart'. The Mu'min are "those who believe in Allah and His Messenger, then never doubt, and struggle with their wealth and lives in the cause of Allah. They are the ones who are truthful in their claim to be the Believers." (Qur'an 49:15) *********************** Thus it would be a shame if we keep on telling people that we have 'done this and that' (good things to fellow human beings and performing our 'ibadah' to Allah SWT such as doing the late night (tahajud) prayers; instead we should be quiet about it and keep it to our ownself until our final moment on earth (death). ********************** By gaining knowledge we should know that doing good deeds is to please only Allah SWT and none else. Deeds done for other than Allah or along with Allah is not acceptable to Him. ******************************* Allah The Most Beautiful loves beauty. "So give to the kinsman his due, and to the needy, and to the wayfarer. That is best for those who seek Allah's countenance. And such are they who are successful." (Qur'an: 30:38)

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