Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dear workers; let's 'stop' 5 minutes for reflection...

******************* 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. **************************** DEAR workers; 1st May is Labour Day. As you dear readers especially workers reading between the lines of this article, perhaps it is not late for me to wish you Happy Labour Day. May Allah SWT bless you in your work and accepts it as your 'ibadah' (act of devotion) to Him. ************************* In conjunction with this 'special' day, may I seek permission from you, dear workers to 'stop' five minutes from your busy and priceless schedules to continue reading this article? Don't worry, it would be a short one; I purposely have written it precisely, its length only half my normal weekly article, so it would only take a few minutes to grasp the idea and then do the thinking, including as you are on your job... ************************* As an 'ex-worker' (officially, but in Islam there is no such thing as retiring oneself from work), I must confess that there were times during my working years of more than 12 years in a top publishing house and another 13 years in Harakah, when it was totally a 'nightmare' for me especially at the former. ******************************* It was true as for almost 20 years (1994-2012) I had traveled almost daily to and from my house in Melaka to my offices in Kuala Lumpur. In the early morning I would dash off to work by express bus and only come home late at night when my children had already slept. I would only sleep a few hours, and at dawn the next day I would be on my bike, dashing off to catch the bus. ******************************* I have written about some of the 'nightmares' in my own published work 'Dilema Seorang Wartawan Islam' (The Dilemma of a Muslim Journalist) such as I had became so obsessed in my work as a journalist and at times denied myself from performing some of my religious obligations. ************************ In the preface to the book, I acknowledged that in the early days of becoming a journalist, one thing that was in my mind was "work, work and work and at the end of the month would be eager to get my 'gaji' (salary)." ************************** Yes, many of us work because of the pay, and one sad thing would be that obsession with getting money would become our 'target' or 'goal' in life. We would have forgotten that 'money' is only a tool for us to reach our ultimate goal. Scholars liken it to a 'galah' (bamboo pole) to be used to 'jolok' (push) fruits such as 'mangga' (mangoes). Our goal would be to have the mangoes not the bamboo pole. ************************** To know what is our goal we must first know why we were sent into this world and where we are heading for. In short what is our duty? On why we were sent into this world, in Surat Adh-Dhariyat 51:56 (The Winnowing Winds) Allah SWT says with the meaning; “I have only created jinn and men, that they may serve Me.” ******************** Yes, human existence along with the jinn are to worship Allah SWT, but many of us, me included, have missed out this very important point. Worldly pleasures such as money (property), position, status and accolades have become our 'goals' in life. As in the case of ‘nudging the mangoes' is the pole our 'target' or is it the mangoes? *************************** During my early years in office, I worked like mad. There were times I would head for work at 3.00 am (starting the first Malay evening newspaper - Harian Metro) and slog on until 12.00 midnight; the question is how were my religious obligations such as 'solat' (prayers) and relationship with my wife and children? Is working such a way in line with our claims that it is part of 'ibadah' (worship)? ********************** So dear readers, if you are still carrying out a life just like what I had experienced in my younger days, please 'do pause'...and start thinking; "what and where actually am I heading?" Working should be part of our 'ibadah' and to qualify for that status, all the terms laid out by the religion should be fulfilled - for example 'solat' at the workplace and are you in a business forbidden by Islam such as in industries involved in gambling, alcohol production or practicing usury. *********************** Time is running out, my five minutes '2 sen lecture' is over; now it is your turn to make a decision - ask yourself first my dear readers - is having the bamboo pole your goal or is it the mangoes itself? Remember life is too short a time -- there is no point regretting of not being on His straight path when we are already six feet underground!

No comments: