Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Jamadilawal 22, 1443: Reaping the fruits of positive suggestions...

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.

IN our daily lives, how often do we come across suggestion boxes at strategic locations of important premises such as public transport terminals, masjids, government departments, universities and offices of non governmental organizations (NGOs). One question here is, have we at least once in our life time had try 'to push our so-called brilliant ideas' inside those boxes?

Many of us ignore this type of medium of interaction - we have negative thoughts about them. "Well 'they' (those in position or power at the said organizations) would do nothing to our suggestions - there's no point in us giving or posting our ideas into 'those dead boxes'," some of us tend to have that negative perception.

But from my own experience, 'those boxes should not be taken for granted' for they are actually 'kicking alive' - some of my suggestions have been taken up and have produced fast and positive results! But of course my suggestions were not of the 'big type' that could 'shake' our society, our country or our government, but they gave me some kind of satisfaction that could not be penned in words.

In one masjid, I noticed volumes of the Qur'an were being placed inside a rack placed just under the masjid 'mimbar' (pulpit). I thought it was not a proper place to place the holy book because when the 'khatib' (person who reads the sermon during Friday prayers) was on the 'mimbar' his foot would be facing the Qur'an and he himself would be above the holy book.

I write a letter and put it inside the masjid suggestion box, and to my surprise during my next visit to the masjid, the rack was taken away from under the 'mimbar'. Well, it was left an empty space, and nowadays whenever I visit the masjid, a feeling of satisfaction was in my heart whenever my eyes were on the 'mimbar'! Of course I did not write my name in the letter because 'aku menulis bukan kerana nama' (I write not to become famous or glamour).

At another masjid, I saw a new building housing several toilets (for men and women) was marked VIP - it was reserved for the usage of VIP whenever they had functions at the masjid. For almost the time I noticed it was closed because VIPS rarely turned up - so in my opinion 'it was a sheer wastage of public funds'.

Thus I wrote a letter and put it inside the suggestion box of the masjid. Among other things I noted: "Membazir adalah saudara syaitan" (wastage are brothers of 'syaytan') quoting from Ayah 27 of Surah Al-Israa' (17) with the meaning: "Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful."

I also wrote that ten thousands of ringgits were spend to build toilets which of no use - so please open up the facilities to all - whats wrong if a VIP too could used it for a minute or two if they happened to visit the masjid...there was no need for them to have 'a reserved place' just to answer the call of nature!

To my surprise, the following week the chairman of the masjid read my letter aloud to the masjid congregators before Friday prayers and in no time the toilet was opened to all after the sign VIP was torn down.

Readers of my column would notice that from time to time I had written suggestions that insha-Allah (if Allah Wills) hopefully could open up our minds to do simple things that we hope to please Allah SWT and as our 'little and small contributions' to others.

In one article entitled 'Freeing ourselves from the burden of carrying coins', I encouraged readers to calculate a habit of putting away all our loose coins into donation boxes every time we do our shopping. The money is for 'simpanan selepas anda mati' (savings for your life in the Hereafter, or in crude language - savings for your life in your grave).

It was because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: " After the death of a person, his actions stop, except three things that he leaves behind: first, CONTINUOUS CHARITY, second, knowledge from which some benefit may be obtained, third, a virtuous son who makes dua (prays, supplicates) on his behalf." (Related by Muslim) 

If you 'dump' a total of RM2 in the form of shillings in a day, in a month it would be RM60, in a year in would be RM720 and in 10 years it would be RM7,200 and in 20 years (before you die) it would be RM14,400 -- perhaps enough for you to buy a simple home just like the PPRT (Projek Rumah Rakyat Termiskin) house.

'Insha-Allah' your 'rumah PPRT' would be converted into a grand palace 'or to a larger scale' in Paradise (which is eternal) for Allah SWT says: "Whatever you spend in the cause of Allah shall be paid to you in full and you shall not be treated unjustly." (Qur'an 8:60)

Another 'project' readers could think to embark is by acting as though we have one more school going son or daughter whom we have to give he/she pocket money - but for this purpose you put that 'pocket money' say RM3 every 'subuh' (early morning) to the 'Tabung Masjid' (masjid donation box) each time we go the masjid for our 'subuh' prayers.

It is great to begin your day with a 'sadaqah' (giving donation) as there is a hadith on it: Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased on him) reported: The Prophet s.a.w. said: “Two angels descend every morning, and one says: ‘O Allah, give him who spends something, in place of what he spends.’ The other one says: ‘O Allah, give destruction to him who withholds”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

If you do that 'istiqamah' (consistently), in a month your 'acting son or daughter' ('tabung akhirat' - hereafter fund) would have RM90; in a year it would be RM1,080, in ten years it would be RM10,800 and in 20 years it would be RM21,600. Well, that amount in the eyes of some rich people may be small but if you are sincere it is big in the Eyes of Allah SWT if you do it sincerely.

Dear brothers and sisters, if you choose to donate nothing every morning (not even 10 sen); then I am afraid when you update your 'bank account of Tabung Akhirat' it would be nil (0) or 'had a negative figures' (for example you have borrowed money from someone but not repaid it) , you would be 'panicked' as you have 'no money' to spend for 'your life in the Hereafter'!  In this world you would feel bad when you have no RM, American dollars, pound sterling and whatsoever then what would be like when 'you have nothing' in the Hereafter.

In this world you could borrowed money from relatives and friends or worst still beg in the streets but it the Hereafter, there is no help; if you want help from Allah SWT, do it in this world because the Hereafter is a place to reap harvest of our good deeds sowed on earth and not a place to say our repent to Allah SWT or obey His orders.

Remember that once we were 'thrown' inside our graves, there is no way we could return back - it was a one way ticket journey - we would face all consequences ourselves - so dear readers be equipped with all requirements before embarking on that 'no returning journey'. If for a journey say to the United States for a month stay we readied the requirement such as passports and clothes months before, than whats are preparation for our 'never ending journey' of the Hereafter?

Monday, December 27, 2021

Jamadilawal 21, 1443: 2022: Usah bebani rakyat (U)

DENGAN nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.


Demi masa, sesungguhnya manusia dalam kerugian, kecuali orang beriman, beramal salih, berpesan-pesan dengan kebenaran dan berpesan-pesan dengan kesabaran. - Maksud Surah Al-Asr 1-3

SELAMAT tahun baharu 2022, insya-Allah. Antara perkara ditakuti rakyat apabila memasuki tahun baharu adalah peningkatan kos kehidupan. Biasalah bagi mereka bergaji,, pendapatan bulanan mereka akan dinaikkan dan dapat menyerap peningkatan itu, tetapi persoalannya bagaimana nasib golongan lain?

Kenaikan harga barangan keperluan asas yang kerap berlaku pada tahun baharu juga menyebabkan penderitaan rakyat kebanyakan di kawasan luar bandar dan setinggan di kota semakin parah.

Penulis yang pernah mendampingi penduduk kawasan pedalaman mengerti betapa susahnya kehidupan seorang petani, nelayan, penoreh getah dan pekerja upahan. Malah peneroka tanah rancangan hidup sukar dengan 'hutang bertimbun'.

Ada keluarga yang penulis kenali; kerana kemiskinannya membeli beras ‘timbang’ tidak seperti orang bandar yang membeli sekampit 10 kilogram. Mereka membeli setengah atau satu kilogram beras setiap kali ke kedai; demikian juga barangan lain, pembelian dilakukan secara sedikit-dikit seperti suku kilogram biskut kering dan satu lingkaran (bukan kotak) ubat nyamuk.

Ada keluarga yang terlalu tersepit kehidupan mereka seperti tidak dapat menoreh getah, terpaksa berhutang di kedai runcit kampung malah ada yang menebalkan muka pergi ke rumah jiran bagi ‘meminjam’ satu atau dua pot (tin) beras. Tentunya kesusahan ini tidak dirasai golongan kaya termasuk menteri yang bijak berkata-kata bagi merasionalkan kenaikan harga barangan keperluan seperti minyak (petrol), gula dan tepung.

Berhubung kenaikan harga barangan keperluan ini, sukacita saya menarik perhatian pengalaman saya ketika berada di luar negara bagi mengimbangi ‘kata-kata menyakitkan hati’ yang diluahkan menteri dan pegawai pada era rejim lalu, berhubung kenaikan harga barangan seperti “harga kita terendah berbanding negara Asean lain”, dan “harga minyak kita adalah amat rendah berbanding di UK dan negara maju lain.”

Sekalipun taraf kehidupan di negara maju seperti UK adalah tinggi, harga barangan keperluan asas (yang belum dimasak) adalah sangat rendah, demikian beritahu seorang saudara ketika saya mengunjungi beliau di Manchester tidak lama dulu. Katanya harga bahan mentah asasi seperti tepung, ayam dan sebagainya amat rendah tetapi melambung tinggi apabila disediakan sebagai makanan terhidang di restoran dan hotel.

“Pokoknya di sini harga barangan keperluan harian adalah rendah, ia mampu didapati orang miskin sekalipun, termasuklah golongan yang mendapat bantuan (dole) daripada kerajaan,” kata saudara itu.

“Namun kepada orang kaya, terpulanglah kepada mereka untuk menghabiskan wang mereka yang banyak itu di restoran besar yang harga makanan dan perkhidmatannya tersangat tinggi. Apa yang penting, orang miskin pun hidup selesa dengan syarat mereka kena berusaha lebih seperti memasak sendiri makanan,” katanya.

Ketika menunaikan haji dan umrah, saya dapati di Makkah, makanan asasi seperti roti kerap diberikan percuma; di kedai-kedai tidak menjadi masalah untuk orang ramai mendapatkannya dengan harga yang tersangat murah. Malah orang miskin boleh mendapatkannya secara percuma di tempat-tempat tertentu.

Suatu ciri unik di sesetengah kedai di kota suci ini, roti yang disediakan adalah percuma tetapi apabila seseorang itu mahukan kuah (kari), harganya boleh meningkat sehingga 5 riyal (SR) ke SR10 atau lebih daripada itu, bergantung kepada lauk yang diambil.

Disebabkan roti diberikan percuma, saya perhatikan ada penjual di jalanan dan pengemis yang menggunyah roti itu saja tanpa sebarang lauk. Saya pernah berhenti sebentar, melayan seorang penjual kain tudung wanita Afghanistan di jalanan yang sedang asyik mengunyah ‘roti kosong’ bersama seorang budak lelaki yang agak saya cucunya.

Dia yang melarikan diri daripada perang Afghanistan, mengakui roti itu boleh didapati dengan harga murah, malah ada yang diberi percuma. Kerana tidak mampu membeli lauknya, dia mengunyah roti itu dan sesekali meneguk ‘air kosong’ dalam botol di sisinya bagi ‘menolak’ roti dalam tekaknya itu.

Cucunya pun asyik menelan roti itu; tetapi daripada wajahnya yang liar memandang ke sana sini, saya mengerti dia tidak enak dengan keadaan itu. Mungkin dia berfikir, alangkah nikmatnya jika roti itu dapat dicelupkan dalam kari ayam atau daging. Kari ikan mungkin lebih mahal kerana spesies haiwan laut ini sukar didapati di sini.

Keadaan di luar negara ini mungkin boleh dijadikan pedoman bagi pihak berkuasa di negara kita – sediakan makanan asasi dalam harga paling murah agar rakyat miskin dan termiskin tidak terbeban. Misalnya, beras yang menjadi makanan ruji rakyat, biarkan ia berada pada paras harga paling rendah.

Demikian juga minyak masak (bukankah kita pernah menjadi pengeksport minyak sawit terbesar dunia), gas memasak dan sejumlah kecil barangan keperluan lain seperti gula, tepung, cili dan asam garam. Jika ini sudah dilakukan, mungkin rakyat tidak merungut jika menteri mahu membandingkan harga barangan dengan di UK atau negara Asean lain!  

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Jamadilawal 20, 1443: Stabbing, friends, former friends

In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessing and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.


"O ye who believe! If ye keep your duty to Allah, He will give you discrimination (between right and wrong) and will rid you of your evil thoughts and deeds, and will forgive you. Allah is of infinite bonty." (Qur'an, Surah 8:29)

YEARS ago I received a unique wedding invitation card. It was the first time in my life I came across a ‘bahasa Melayu’ (Malay) card that had an English poem written in it.

The poem was beautiful, I love it; it touched my heart. The poem’s title was ‘The Arrow and the Song’ and was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Reciting the poem, slowly word by word, memories of yesteryears started reminiscing inside my mind. Yes, I remembered reading this poem in English class when I was in secondary school.

I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For, so swiftly it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For who has sight so keen and strong,

That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak,

I found the arrow, still unbroke;

And the song, from beginning to end,

I found again in the heart of a friend.

Who’s Longfellow? Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, notes: “Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American educator and poet whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and "Evangeline". He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy and was one of the five Fireside Poets.

“Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, then part of Massachusetts, and studied at Bowdoin College. After spending time in Europe he became a professor at Bowdoin and, later, at Harvard College. His first major poetry collections were Voices of the Night (1839) and Ballads and Other Poems (1841). Longfellow retired from teaching in 1854 to focus on his writing, living the remainder of his life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a former headquarters of George Washington. His first wife, Mary Potter, died in 1835 after a miscarriage. His second wife, Frances Appleton, died in 1861 after sustaining burns from her dress catching fire. After her death, Longfellow had difficulty writing poetry for a time and focused on his translation. He died in 1882.

“Longfellow predominantly wrote lyric poems which are known for their musicality and which often presented stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and also had success overseas. He has been criticized, however, for imitating European styles and writing specifically for the masses.”

I remembered when we in English class some 40 years ago, our teacher asked us to write down the meaning of the poem. Since we were ‘green’ then, many of us concluded that this poem was about friendship; true friendship could never be broken just like the arrow mentioned!

While writing this article, I smiled and laughed, recollecting how easy we had jumped into that conclusion. I didn’t remember what our teacher concluded about the poem because I was daydreaming.

To understand the poem, I made a search in the internet and found some interesting findings.

A fan of Longfellow notes: “Here we have a couple of symbols flying into the air: an arrow and a song. The arrow, a deadly weapon, might symbolize anything bad, but since both objects are travelling, let's call it bad words said about someone. A song always symbolizes something good: happiness perhaps, but to make it parallel, let's says good words said about someone.

“See where this is going now?

“The arrow lodges in a mighty oak, but the arrow doesn't break - just as bad words (rumours, for example) are very hard to stop, once they are started. The song stops, too, but in a good place. And isn't it true that when someone says something nice about us, it does our heart good?”

Billy from United States notes: “I learned this poem when I was in primary school and now at 75 year of age, it comes to my mind friendship has no boundary or specific destinations. It is for and to all.”

Henry from Canada says: “In this poem...I've got moral lessons, even though I could hurt people (we are not perfectly made), thus, it just only reminding us people that we should be careful what we say and what we do! Sometimes our patience could be gone!!! But here in poem shows that there is forgiveness if we have mistaken...If you have some of angriness in your heart just let go! Just say to God He'll take the fight and win it for you!!!”

Jeff writes: “In the first line of the first stanza, the word arrow represents a friendship because like arrows, friendships can fly a far distance. The second line of the first stanza, “It fell to earth, I knew not where;” signifies that what the arrow symbolizes has been forgotten or lost from sight. The last two lines in the first stanza signify that things can change in a blink of an eye because if you blink you can literally miss the flight of an arrow.

“The word song in the first line of the second stanza can represent many things. It can represent memories, dreams or rumours because if any of these things are spoken aloud, like a song, others will learn of them. I also noticed that the first two stanzas were very similar to each other and that lead me to believe that the arrow and the song both symbolize the same things. Also the second line of the first and second stanzas, “It fell to earth, I knew not where” represents that you can have no idea of where certain things may end up and they may bear unexpected consequences. The last two lines of stanza two confirm this. It also represents that a small act of kindness can convince a person to do an act of kindness to another and so on and so forth.

“In the first sentence of the last stanza, I believe they choose the word oak because oaks are solid, strong and in this poem are used to symbolize a person’s soul. Also in the second sentence of the first stanza, “I found the arrow still unbroke;” signifies that they found that the friend from the first stanza was still their friend, no matter what disagreement they may have had. Finally, the last two lines of the third stanza states “And the song, from beginning to end/I found again in the heart of a friend.” These lines imply that seeing or talking to a friend can revitalize hopes, goals, and dreams.

“The title also supports my theory. Since an arrow is intended to be harmful, this may be the reason that the friendship was “killed”. Also, since songs are meant to be meaningful, pure and beautiful, this can easily represent memories, dreams or goals, since they are meant to be meaningful, pure and beautiful.”

Patrick Steeves from Canada notes: “This poem is about the good and bad things we do in our lives, although we lose track of them. The arrow represents bad and the song represents good. Although it’s impossible to keep track of all of your deeds, many will come back to you. The bad deed pierced the recipient, represented by the oak, marking it, and still whole. The good deed was found in the heart of a friend, and is remembered entirely as well. This may mean that a close friend has held it in their heart, or that the good deed has resulted in a new friend. Both can transcend time, and although forgotten by the sender, remembered by the receiver.”

Gigi T Salvador writes: “This poem is about the bad things and the good things which we do not realize affect people in a positive as well as negative way. The author realized that these "things" can survive the passage of time.”

A poem could give different meaning to different persons. From the many opinions, I love this suggestion: “The arrow lodges in a mighty oak, but the arrow doesn't break - just as bad words (rumours, for example) are very hard to stop, once they are started. The song stops, too, but in a good place. And isn't it true that when someone says something nice about us, it does our heart good?”

In our own Parliament sitting recently bad and foul words were spoken; friends and leaders in the same party had suddenly become foes. Friends too suddenly turned into ‘monsters’, stabbing their former ‘mentor’ this time from front, not from behind!

How true for Longfellow when he wrote that the arrow shot (bad words) could not be retrieved, it had pierced into an oak (heart) and would remain there for a long, long period. People, what’s more the accused would remember the damaging words, perhaps until they die!

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Jamadilawal 19, 1443: Usia 80-an, semangat 20-an (U)

Dengan Nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang, selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.


"...dan Kami telah menurunkan kepadamu al-Kitab (al-Quran), untuk menjelaskan dan (juga memberi) petunjuk serta rahmat dan pengkhabaran gembira bagi orang-orang yang tunduk kepada-Nya." (Maksud Ayat 89 Surah an-Nahl)

SUATU petang, ketika memandu kereta, menghantar seorang anak ke stesen bas untuk pulang ke asramanya, saya ternampak seorang lelaki tua berpayung berjalan terhuyung-hayang di tepi jalan. Saya kenalnya, dia penduduk sekampung, berusia 80-an.

Saya memberhentikan kereta, mempelawa dia naik. Fikir saya, apa salah menumpangkan beliau, rumahnya dalam laluan perjalanan kami. Dapat juga pahala kerana menyantuni orang tua.

Dalam kereta, rancak pula dia bercerita. Katanya, minat beliau sekarang adalah berjalan-jalan. Duduk-duduk saja di rumah terasa bosan.

“Awak mahu pergi mana?” tanyanya. “Perak, Kuala Lumpur? Saya mahu ikut!” Eh, senangnya dia berkata begitu, nanti kalau keluarganya ‘report’ kehilangannya pada polis, susah saya.

Saya mendiamkan diri. Sebaik saja tiba di tepi jalan berhampiran rumahnya, saya memberhentikan kereta, menunggu dia turun. Tetapi dia tidak mahu turun sebaliknya bertanya, “awak mahu pergi mana?”

Saya menyatakan destinasi saya, dia berkata mahu ikut. Lalu saya bawalah dia, jadi panjanglah perbualan kami petang itu. Katanya, masa muda dulu dia askar.

“Kamu tahulah orang muda, macam-macamlah saya buat. Ah, orang muda mestilah nakal,” katanya ketawa memanjang. Saya tak tahu apa dimaksudkan dengan nakal itu tetapi otak saya sudah berfikir yang bukan-bukan.

Banyaklah perkara kami bualkan sepanjang perjalanan setengah jam itu, salah satu pertanyaannya, mendatangkan kesan mendalam dalam kepala saya. “Mengapa ya, saya sudah 80-an tetapi semangat saya macam pemuda 20-an?”

“Apa maksud datuk?” tanya saya balik.

“Itulah, kemahuan saya macam orang muda-muda. Saya mahu beli itu, beli ini. Saya bersemangat hendak buat apa orang muda buat…” dia berhenti pada ayat itu tetapi saya tafsirkan sendiri, agaknya dia mahu kahwin anak dara agaknya, mahu ‘enjoy’ macam zaman muda dia dulu.

Serkap jarang saya terhenti apabila dia menyambung: “Tetapi disebabkan tidak mampu, saya diamkan diri saja, tetapi semangat saya meluap-luap mahukan itu semua, yalah macam orang 20-an mahu!” Dia ketawa terkekeh-kekeh.

Susah saya mahu menjawab pertanyaan pesara askar ini. Umur sudah 80-an tetapi bersemangat dan hendak hidup macam anak muda 20-an. Itulah ada orang bijak pandai berkata bahawa dalam kehidupan ini mudah benar seseorang itu tersandung; ketika kanak-kanak dan remaja, ilmu tiada pengalaman pun tiada jadi tersandunglah kita; kemudian apabila muda, tenaga banyak, ilmu dan pengalaman kurang maka tersandung juga kita; kemudian apabila sudah tua, ilmu dan pengalaman sudah banyak, malangnya tenaga sudah habis, maka akhirnya tersandung juga kita.

Ya, orang tua ini asam garam kehidupannya sudah banyak dilalui tetapi tenaga sudah habis, jadi bagaimana dia mahu hidup bagaikan seorang pemuda berusia 20-an? Demikianlah betapa kebanyakan manusia mahu kembali ke zaman silamnya tetapi semua itu adalah fantasi, tak mungkin semalam atau kelmarin akan kembali apatah lagi yang sudah berlaku 10, 20, 30, 40 atau 50 tahun lalu. Namun di akhirat nanti akan ditanya, di mana dan ke manakah usia muda itu kamu habiskan!

Ilmuan agama sentiasa mengingatkan bahawa usah dikenang detik sudah berlalu, yang kita ada saat sekarang, pergunakanlah waktu ini sebaik mungkin untuk memperbanyak bekalan ke akhirat nanti. Esok usah difikir kerana belum pasti sang matahari muncul.

Ada bijak pandai berkata, biasanya apa yang biasa kita buat pada usia muda itulah juga yang hendak kita buat masa kita tua. Jika masa muda kita gila muzik, sudah tua nak masuk kubur pun kita masih gila muzik juga. Penulis dapat saksikan kebenaran ini, seorang lelaki tua berpangkat saudara juga, pada masa sakit menjelang mati, masih melakonkan aksi memukul kompang, pada masa mudanya dia memang seorang juara kompang.

Berdasarkan apa yang penulis saksikan ini, benarlah apa diperkatakan lelaki tua yang menumpang kereta itu; dia berusia 80-an tetapi semangatnya macam dia berusia 20-an. Dia hendak buat itu dan ini seperti dilakukannya 60 tahun lalu, tetapi apakan daya hampir semua anugerah Ilahi seperti tenaga, kekacakan dan keupayaan pancaindera (mata, telinga dan sebagainya) sudah dicabut satu persatu.

Kini nyawa saja masih bergantung kepada badan yang lusuh tetapi mengapa masih terfikir pasal hal ehwal orang muda lagi seperti kahwin baharu, duit dan harta banyak dan paling malang sekali benda haram jadah macam judi? Tidaklah malukah apabila generasi baru berkata; kubur sudah kata mari, dunia kata pergi, tetapi masih terhegeh-hegeh mahu bercerita pasal kelazatan dunia termasuk perkara maksiat.

Namun pengakhiran cerita lelaki tua tadi mengesankan saya. Katanya: “Sekalipun bersemangat muda, Allah Taala telah bagi bagi ‘warning’ (hadiah) kepada saya. Dia bagi saya sakit angin ahmar, dulu saya teruk, sekarang kaki sahaja lemah. Jadi perkara orang muda buat, tidak bolehlah saya buat. Sekarang saya simpan saja semangat muda itu, harap-harap Dia terima taubat saya.”

Sebelum menghantarnya pulang sehingga ke halaman depan rumahnya, saya sempat bertanya: “Boleh pakcik nasihatkan saya; apa pesanan pakcik bagi orang berusia 60+ seperti saya?”

Jawapannya mudah tetapi membuatkan saya termenung panjang. Katanya: “Buatlah apa yang Allah dan Rasul-Nya suruh dan tinggalkan apa yang dilarang. Insya-Allah kau akan selamat dunia dan akhirat. Amin.”

Lantas dia meninggalkan saya yang masih termanggu-manggu, memikirkan bagaimana nasib saya pada usia senja nanti!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Jamadilawal 17, 1443: TV, phones, computers - parents' nightmares this holiday (U)

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. 


"Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80) 

IT is school holidays again.  At home, I have a 14 year old boy and her sister aged 9, having a 'boring' holiday; they are waiting for me to announce a holiday package for the family but again it is about my busy schedule that hampers their wish. 

For the time being, the children have to spend most of their time at home - the main trouble, they would spend hours and hours glued in front of TV or playing games, chatting and working FB over computers and smart phones. 

Yes, the idiot box and computers and phones keep the children at bay (busy at home) and help stop them from going out too often; but spending too much time on these electronic devices, are too bad for them. 

Beware; perhaps too much TV will kill your children. A review of published studies in the past 40 years has shown a higher risk of diabetes, heart problems and early death among people who watch lots of television, US researchers said. The results of the meta-analysis performed by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Heath are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association recently. 

An AFP-Relaxnews reported that more than two hours per day of TV watching boosted risk type two of diabetes and heart disease, while more than three hours a day increased a person's risk of dying prematurely.

I was quiet concerned about this warning as my children especially the girl spent hours and hours in front of the box. If she was a 'kaki TV' (a person glued to the TV), my son would spend hours and hours on the computer. 

It was annoying when you had to face this situation - when you go out to work in the morning your child is in front of the computer and when you come back late in the evening, he is still there! 

The report noted that each two-hour increment in viewing per day was linked to a 20 percent higher risk for type two diabetes; a 15 percent increased risk for fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular disease; and a 13 percent higher risk for all-cause mortality.

While the association between time spent viewing TV ad risk of type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease were linear, the risk of all-cause mortality appeared to increase with TV viewing duration of greater than three hours per day. 

The habit of plunking oneself down in front of the television and watching for hours makes up about five hours of daily activity on average in the United States, but is also prevalent practice around the world. 

In Europe, people spend about 40 percent of their daily free time - or three hours - in front of the tube, and in Australia, the average is 50 percent of daily free time or four hours, the study said. 

"The message is simple. Cutting back on TV watching can significantly reduce risk of type two diabetes, heart disease, and premature mortality," said senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard to the news agency. "We should not only promote increasing physical activity levels but also reduce sedentary behaviors, especially prolonged TV watching." 

Television and computers are modern day gadgets; during my childhood days in 1960s and 1970s, my family home did not even have a television set. If today's boys and girls would spend hours and hours in front of the TV and computers this school holidays, during ‘our school holidays’, my brothers, friends and I spent the days among others playing small sampans made from ‘seludang kelapa’ (sheath of the palm blossom) in a small river near my house. 

We would also play various games with rubber bands such as catapulting rubber bands arranged on a stick and throwing slippers to hit rubber bands put on tins. We also played ‘rounders’, ‘police sentry’, ‘hantu galah’, ‘teng-teng’ and ‘captay’ (a few feathers of fowl strapped on a circular rubber which was kicked or thrown at one another). 

Regarding the bad effects of TV and computers, experts said parents can improve family life by switching off televisions and computers to communicate better. Technological advances combined with hectic schedules have led to parents and children spending less quality time with each other, according to human development researchers. Their findings also show people who devote more time to digital technology are more likely to eat unhealthy, exercise less, and do worse in exams. 

Recently a news agency reported Prof Kelly Warzinik, from the University of Missouri, gave this advice: "Powering down digital devices is a vital step in maintaining family relationships. Instead of watching television or talking on a mobile phone, parents can take advantage of daily opportunities to interact with their children at meal times or in the car. Touch base throughout the day by calling, emailing or texting, and after children are asleep, out down the iPhone, turn off the television and just focus on each other."

As well as strengthening family connections, turning off the television could lead to better health, said University of Missouri human development specialist, Saralee Jamieson. "People who devote more time to digital technology are less likely to make healthy food choices or be physically active and are less successful academically. Those who watch a lot of TV are exposed to thousands of ads for high-calorie, low-nutrient foods as well as violent programming. While it might not seem harmful, having a muted TV on while sleeping disrupts healthy sleep patterns and contributes to chronic fatigue." 

Tips for parents include limiting time with TV, video or computer screens to two hours daily, removing TV from bedrooms and learning to negotiate and take turns watching different shows. And families are encouraged to turn TVs off when eating or socializing and develop hobbies and become more involved in the community. 

So during this holiday (many of the 'rakyat' cannot afford to have a good holiday because life is hard as prices of necessary items and services are high), dear parents, why not organized ‘old time games’ such as playing ‘hantu galah’, ‘teng-teng’ and ‘chaptay’ with your beloved ones instead of leaving them glued hours after hours in front of the TV sets, phones and computers!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Jamadilawal 16, 1443: Mengusahakan kebarakahan KL, Malaysia...(artikel lama untuk renungan)

Dengan Nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang, selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.


"Dan janganlah kamu menghampiri zina, sesungguhnya zina itu adalah satu perbuatan yang keji dan satu jalan yang jahat yang membawa kerosakan." - Maksud Ayat al-Quran Surah al-Israa': 32

DENGAN perkembangan ICT termasuk media massa dan media sosial, percambahan pemikiran diharapkan membawa perubahan dalam masyarakat Malaysia - pemimpin dan rakyatnya perlu berjiwa besar, tidak lagi dikongkong di bawah tempurung rejim lama yang merasakan dia saja betul lantas tidak memberi sekelumit peluang pihak berlainan pandangan mengutarakan pandangan mereka.

Ya, pada keluaran kali ini, saya mengajak pembaca berfikir sejenak ke satu sisi yang mungkin tidak dipersetujui sesetengah khalayak. Hal ini difikirkan selepas ada yang bertanya adakah kemungkinan negara kita dan khasnya ibu kota yang kita sayangi KL menghadapi bencana alam besar-besaran seperti yang menimpa negara jiran, Indonesia.

Kita berdoa agar Yang Maha Kuasa menjauhi kita daripada bahana itu tetapi hal itu tidak cukup jika kita berterusan membiarkan anggota masyarakat kita berterusan melakukan perbuatan mungkar yang mengundang kemurkaan Allah SWT. Apabila Yang Maha Kuasa murka, yang baik dan jahat turut menerima akibatnya.

Ada hadis dan huraian bijak pandai mengenai hal ini. Andaikan jika kita menaiki sebuah kapal, penumpang di dek bawah apabila berkehendakkan air menebuk kapal itu tetapi tiada yang melarang termasuk mereka di atas, akibatnya semua orang dalam kapal itu akan 'binasa'.

Demikianlah kita mengundang bala daripada Yang Maha Kuasa apabila  berani menganjurkan pesta larangan-Nya seperti parti arak. Melanggar perintah Allah SWT menyegerakan kehancuran walaupun pada hakikatnya semua 'benda baharu' (manusia, tamadun dan semua yang ada di alam ini) akan musnah jua akhirnya.

Tidak lama dulu ketika menghadiri satu majlis ilmu di masjid yang pengajarnya membicarakan kitab 'Hikam', terpegun saya apabila Tuan Guru bersyarah, menyatakan tiada sesuatu yang baharu boleh kekal, semuanya akan musnah. Perkara baru dimaksudkan di sini adalah alam ini (selain daripada Allah SWT). 

Tersentak saya apabila Tuan Guru berkata, orang berakal tidak melihat pada apa-apa yang bersifat kebendaan, semuanya tidak kekal, semuanya akan hancur, semuanya akan musnah. Hanya orang tidak berakal yang menyanjung kehebatan kebendaan, memikirkannya tidak akan musnah, mahukan ia kekal dan terus kekal. 

Orang berakal akan berfikir bukan saja apa-apa yang hebat itu seperti kota Kuala Lumpur, malah New York, London atau Istanbul, semuanya akan musnah. Kejahatan sesetengah rejim sudah memusnahkan kota Baghdad, Kabul dan Baitulmaqdis.

Sebagai 'makhluk baharu' diri kita sendiri akan musnah, jadi apa nak dihairankan sangat jika Kuala Lumpur musnah atau hancur lebur. Bukti sudah ada depan mata, tetapi kita buat-buat tak pandang dan tak ingat. Bukankah sikit masa dulu, Banda Aceh musnah, dihancurkan oleh tsunami yang melanda ganas, menyebabkan hampir 200,000 orang mati? Bangunan yang hebat-hebat di Aceh runtuh, mayat-mayat bergelimpangan. Sekarang ini gempa dan tsunami menghancurkan bandar lain di Indonesia seperti Palu di Sulawesi.

Jika Banda Aceh yang terletak di seberang Selat Melaka boleh musnah secara mengejut, Allah boleh melakukan apa saja termasuk terhadap Kuala Lumpur dan Malaysia. Kepada-Nya kita berserah diri, usah asyik mengejar kebendaan yang pasti musnah suatu hari nanti. Hari kiamat juga akan menyusul, memusnahkan segala-galanya. 

Dalam al-Quran pun ada kisah kaum-kaum hebat, yang membina bangunan dan tamadun tinggi tetapi musnah akhirnya. Kaum Tsamud begitu hebat, mengukir bangunan dalam batu akhirnya lebur juga. Demikian juga kerajaan Sabak di Yaman, begitu hebat projek pembangunannya termasuk membina empangan Ma'rib yang masyhur itu, akhirnya musnah. 

Firaun dan Haman yang mendakwa diri hebat itu akhirnya musnah juga. Demikian juga Qarun, Abu Jahal dan sebagainya. Dunia akan hancur, apa nak dihairankan, kata Tuan Guru. Semua barang berharga atau tidak berharga, akan hancur, akan rosak. 

Orang ada akal, kata Tuan Guru akan mengejar akhirat. Ini kerana semua yang ada di dunia akan rosak. Semua kehebatan dunia akan hancur. Bangunan akan hancur, Mercedes yang kita sayangi akan binasa, tiada apa yang akan tinggal. 

Orang yang sempurna akal, kata Tuan Guru tidak menganggap dirinya warga dunia. Dia rindu menjadi warga akhirat. Dia siapkan dirinya untuk menjadi warga akhirat. Orang paling rugi dan tak berakal adalah yang tidak menyiapkan bekalannya ke akhirat, asyik dan gila dengan kelazatan dunia yang akan musnah. 

Jika kita meneliti kehancuran kaum Tsamud dan kerajaan Sabak, kedua-duanya dimusnahkan disebabkan kedurhakaan penduduknya kepada Allah SWT. Kemajuan dan kehebatan mereka dalam urusan dunia seperti membina bangunan dan empangan menyebabkan penduduknya lupa akan kebesaran Allah SWT. 

Kuala Lumpur malah Malaysia mengundang kemusnahkan jika kehidupan penduduknya tiada kebarakahan. Maksiat menjadi-menjadi, penyelewengan sudah sebati manakala pemimpinnya bagaikan serigala, mencari saat mencengkam golongan miskin. Saat kehancuran akan tiba jika rasuah dan riba dianggap urusan halal seperti berjual beli. 

Semakin hari, gejala moral semakin teruk di tanah air tercinta. Sudah banyak kes luar biasa seperti ibu bunuh anak, anak bunuh ibu bapa tetapi pemimpin dan rakyat terus hanyut dalam aneka kemewahan dan hiburan yang melalaikan. Sewajarnya kes luar biasa ini dijadikan iktibar, mencetuskan rasa bimbang dan cemas di hati, apa agaknya dosa-dosa dan kesalahan kita sehingga negara dilanda suasana begitu teruk sekali. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Jamadilawal 15, 1443: Batu bergolek tak kumpul lumut...(U)

Dengan nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.


"Orang-orang yang meninggal dunia di antara kamu dengan meninggalkan isteri-isteri (hendaklah para isteri itu) menangguhkan dirinya (beredah) empat bulan 10 hari." (Maksud ayat 234 Surah Al-Baqarah)

NAMA masjid kampung saya Al-Abrar. Masjid orang baik-baik. Tidak lama dahulu kuliah subuhnya menampilkan Ustaz Zul Ramli, seorang pendakwah terkenal yang sering muncul di Radio IKIM dan program Tanyalah Ustaz TV9.

Antara pesanan sang ustaz ini yang 'cukup melekat' di hati saya adalah sebagai insan tidak cukup untuk kita menjadi orang baik-baik. Alhamdulillah jika kita orang baik-baik, teruslah berusaha sepenuh tenaga, jiwa dan hati serta berdoalah semaksimum mungkin untuk kita mengakhiri hidup kita sebagai orang baik-baik. Mati dalam husnul khatimah. Mengakhiri hidup sebagai orang baik-baik itulah yang didambakan sebelum kita menemui Tuhan kita.

Apa itu husnul khatimah? Seorang ulama menukilkan: Husnul khatimah merupakan suatu kondisi yang mana seorang hamba diberi taufik oleh Allah Ta'ala sebelum datangnya kematian untuk meninggalkan segala macam perbuatan yang mendatangkan kemurkaan Allah Ta'ala, dan dia diberi taufik oleh Allah Ta'ala untuk bertaubat daripada segala dosa dan maksiat dan bersegera melakukan ketaatan dan perbuatan baik, kemudian dia menutup usianya di atas kebaikan.

Anas bin Malik r.a., berkata: Rasulullah s.a.w. yang bermaksud: “Apabila Allah menghendaki kebaikan bagi seorang hamba, maka Allah akan mempekerjakannya. Para sahabat bertanya: Bagaimana Allah akan mempekerjakannya? Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: "Allah akan memberikan taufik kepadanya untuk beramal salih sebelum dia meninggal dunia.” (HR. Ahmad (12036) dan Thirmidzi (2142) dan disahihkan oleh Al-Hakim, Dhiya' Al-Maqdisi, Al-Arna'ut dan Al-Albani)

Ustaz Zul Ramli mengingatkan pengakhiran yang baik adalah kemuncak daripada perjuangan kita  dalam menjadi orang baik-baik. Pengakhiran itulah penentunya - misalnya apa erti jika kita memasuki perlumbaan lumba lari seperti 400 meter; kita bermula dengan pantas dan mengekalkannya pada sepanjang  larian tetapi pada 10 meter terakhir kita tidak dapat menamatkannya?

Lantas beliau mengingatkan hadirin sebuah hadis yang secara ringkasnya bermaksud ada orang berbuat baik (ketaatan) sepanjang hayatnya tetapi apabila tinggal sedepa lagi untuk dia memasuki syurga dia terjebak dalam amalan jahat menyebabkan dia dicampakkan ke dalam nereka manakala ada orang yang hampir seumur hidupnya berbuat kejahatan tetapi pada 'last minute' (minit terakhir) dia berbuat kebajikan lantas dia dimasukkan ke dalam syurga.

Orang salih (baik-baik) amat takut dengan ancaman ini. Mereka berterusan berdoa kepada Allah SWT agar dimatikan sebagai orang baik-baik. Selain pasrah kepada Allah SWT, mereka juga memerhatikan amalan mereka. Salah satu jalan adalah 'mengistiqamahkan' diri di jalan Allah.

Istiqamah boleh dimaksudkan sebagai berdiri teguh ataupun tetap pendirian sepanjang masa atas dasar kebenaran dan petunjuk tanpa ragu-ragu. Istiqamah  bukanlah sesuatu yang mudah untuk dilakukan oleh seseorang itu, tetapi tidak mustahil untuk dilakukan sekiranya keimanan dan ketakwaan kita kepada Allah cukup teguh.  

Jadi kepada diri saya dan semua, beristiqamahlah dalam kehidupan (perjuangan)...jangan lari. Alhamdulillah, di negara kita, orang Melayu yang amat rapat dengan Islam dapat menterjemah 'istiqamah' ini dalam mereka melayari kehidupan. Mungkin peribahasa-peribahasa Melayu ini dapat memberi serba sedikit kefahaman kepada kita. 

Misalnya, orang tua-tua menjelaskan bahawa batu yang bergolek tidak akan mengumpulkan lumut. Kita disyorkan bahawa 'alang-alang menyeluk perkasam biar sampai ke pangkal lengan' atau genggam bara biar sampai jadi arang. Mandi biar basah, makan biar kencang; ya mungkin tidak ada gunanya atau tidak membawa hasil yang bagus jika kita sekalipun bersungguh-sungguh dalam melakukan sesuatu pekerjaan tetapi tidak dapat melakukan 'finishing'-nya (penamat yang sempurna). Misalnya, kita mengecat rumah, tetapi apabila tinggal berbaki 10 peratus lagi, kita 'give up' (berputus asa misalnya kerana penat) jadi apakah bentuk hasil yang kita dapati?

Realitinya dalam kehidupan, ramai yang tidak istiqamah...ramai yang melarikan diri daripada terus berada di atas rel kebenaran, ya kita tak tahan pancaroba serta ujian kehidupan.  Jadi akuilah bahawa sebenarnya kita perlu istiqamah dalam kehidupan ini. Ingatlah pesanan bijak pandai Melayu itu - batu yang bergolek tidak akan mengumpulkan lumut. Kalau kita melompat ke sana ke sini, tidak banyak manfaat dapat kita kumpulkan dalam hidup kita.

Mungkin ada orang berkata, jika di sesuatu tempat itu tidak lagi kondusif untuk kita, maka langkah terbaik adalah berhijrah. Ya, berhijrahlah (tetapi jangan lari kerana ada perbezaan besar antara kedua-duanya), tiada siapa yang menghalangnya; tetapi kita mesti ingat ada pepatah Melayu berbunyi - tempat jatuh lagikan dikenang, inikan pula tempat bermain. 

Nabi kita Muhammad s.a.w. adalah contoh ikutan terbaik - baginda s.a.w. berhijrah ke Madinah selepas 13 tahun berdakwah di Makkah tanpa hasil memberangsangkan tetapi selepas 10 tahun di Madinah, baginda s.a.w. kembali semula ke tanah airnya yang tercinta, Makkah...lokasi dakwah berbeza tetapi perjuangan baginda tetap sama...iaitu meletakkan seluruh manusia tunduk hanya kepada Yang Maha Kuasa! Baginda Nabi s.a.w. istiqamah dalam perjuangan...bagaimana diri kita? Didoakan kita tak lari...

Monday, December 20, 2021

Jamadilawal 14, 1443: Kubur kau kubur kau...(U)

Dengan Nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang, selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.


"Adapun manusia apabila Tuhannya mengujinya lalu dimuliakan-Nya dan diberi-Nya kesenangan, maka dia berkata: 'Tuhanku telah memuliakanku'. Adapun apabila Tuhannya mengujinya lalu membataskan rezekinya, maka dia berkata: 'Tuhanku menghinaku'." - Maksud Ayat 15-16 Surah Al-Fajr

KETIKA ke masjid di kampung saya untuk solat zuhur, saya ternampak sebuah keranda yang ditutupi kain di tepi dinding. Ya, ada orang kampung meninggal tetapi saya tidak tahu siapa.

Selepas solat zuhur, dilangsungkan solat jenazah; keranda pun dipikul orang ke kuburan. Sekalipun si mati tidak saya kenali, saya berusaha mengangkat keranda, sama-sama menyembahyangkannya dan kemudian ke kuburan.

Daripada apa yang saya dengar pada kelas pengajian, orang yang menyembahyang mayat mendapat ganjaran satu qirat dan jika dia turut hadir di pengkebumiannya, dia akan mendapat ganjaran dua qirat. Teringat kelebihan ini, saya pun bersama-sama ke kubur walaupun saya tidak tahu siapa si mati.

Apakah ganjaran qirat itu? Daripada Thauban r.a, bekas hamba Rasulullah s.a.w, beliau berkata: “Rasulullah s.a.w. telah bersabda: ‘Sesiapa yang mendirikan sembahyang jenazah, maka dia mendapatkan satu qirat (qirat adalah kinayah bagi ganjaran pahala yang sangat banyak). Jika dia menghadiri pengkebumiannya maka dia mendapat dua qirat. Satu qirat adalah sama dengan bukit Uhud’.” (Nombor Hadis Dalam Sahih Muslim : 1575)

Di kuburan, saya hanya jadi penyaksi kerana sanak saudara si mati begitu ramai. Saya lihat mereka perlahan-lahan menurunkan mayat, disambut tiga lelaki yang sudah ada dalam kubur. Mayat diletakkan dalam liang lahad. Apabila semuanya sudah beres, tanah pun dimasukkan perlahan-lahan, kemudian mereka mencangkul tanah dengan cepat bagi menimbus kuburan itu.

Ketika itu saya dapat saksikan, ada beberapa orang yang sedang bekerja itu bergurau dan ketawa-ketawa. Hairan, mereka masih boleh gelak-gelak ketika mengkebumikan saudara sendiri. Ada pula yang 'begitu syok' menikmati rokok.

Apakah maksud semua ini? Ertinya orang yang hidup masih dengan ‘drama di pentas kehidupan’ masing-masing, orang yang mati, awak tanggunglah sendiri baik buruk apa yang kamu lakukan semasa hidup di atas muka bumi.

Itulah agaknya, kata-kata seperti ‘kenapa menyibuk hal aku, bukankah kubur kau, kubur kau; kubur aku, kubur aku!” Sekalipun ungkapan ini begitu negatif sekali, setiap orang wajar ingat bahawa dia perlu menyediakan bekalan semaksimum mungkin sebelum dia memasuki kuburnya kerana orang lain apa peduli kerana ‘ketika mengkebumikan kita pun mereka masih boleh ketawa-ketawa’.

Sebenarnya ketika hidup tidak ramai orang memikirkan rumah mereka dalam tanah itu. Hanya sedikit orang teringat akan rumah yang satu itu, apatah lagi membuat persediaan untuk memasukinya. Ramai tidak bersedia, tetapi mahu tak mahu, suatu hari kita tetap akan memasukinya.

Sufyan Ats-Tsauri berkata: “Barang siapa yang banyak mengingat kubur maka dia akan mendapatkan kubur itu sebagai salah satu taman daripada taman-taman syurga. Dan barangsiapa yang lalai kepada kubur maka dia akan mendapatkan kubur itu sebagai salah satu jurang daripada jurang-jurang neraka”.

Sayidina Ali karromallahu wajhahu di dalam khutbahnya mengatakan: “Wahai hamba Allah ingatlah mati, ingatlah mati kerana kamu tidak dapat menghindar daripadanya. Apabila kamu diam, maka ia akan datang menghampirimu; dan apabila kamu lari, ia akan mengejarmu. Ia terikat pada ubun-ubunmu. Carilah keselamatan, carilah keselamatan. Di belakangmu ada kubur yang selalu mengejar kamu. Ingatlah bahawa kubur itu merupakan salah satu taman daripada taman-taman syurga, dan boleh pula merupakan salah satu jurang daripada jurang-jurang neraka. Ingatlah bahawa sesungguhnya kubur itu setiap hari berbicara tiga kali dengan perkataan; “aku adalah rumah gelap, aku adalah rumah dukacita, dan aku adalah rumah ulat.”.

Jika rumah abadi dalam tanah itu tidak ramai yang peduli, hampir semua orang bermati-matian dan bergolok gadai akan hal rumah sementara mereka di dunia ini. Mereka berlumba-lumba membina kediaman paling hebat dan segak. Manusia yang sering lalai lupa rumah di dunia ini adalah sementara saja, mereka menyangka kehidupan di dunia adalah abadi untuk mereka nikmati sampai bila-bila.

Disebakan hal ini sebahagian besar daripada manusia bermati-matian mengumpul wang ringgit, kemudian berbelanja habis-habisan untuk membina rumah kediaman bagai mahligai dengan bahan binaan yang mahal termasuklah batu marmar yang diimport. Hiasan dalaman juga begitu hebat, kebanyakan perabotnya juga didatangkan dari luar negara.

Dari segi ukuran akhirat, rumah adalah pelaburan paling merugikan kerana tidak banyak kebaktian dapat dibuat dengannya, apatah lagi apabila seseorang itu bertindak memasang pagar dan tembok tinggi di sekeliling kediamannya menyebabkan orang fakir, miskin serta yang memerlukan bantuan tidak dapat ditolong.

Daripada Anas r.a. bahawa Rasulullah s.a.w. telah bersabda bermaksud: “Setiap harta yang dinafkahkan itu kesemuanya dikira fisabilillah kecuali harta yang dibelanjakan untuk membina rumah, tiada kebajikan padanya.”  

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Jamadilawal 14, 1443: (Fairness) Satu untuk kau, satu untuk aku? (U)

 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.

DURING an 'ustaz' (religious teacher) 'tazkirah' (lessons) on 'nafkah' (livelihood allocation) at a 'masjid' near my house recently, he asked his audience what did they understood about fairness.

He then recalled a P Ramlee movie in which there was a scene where two thieves divided their shares on their loot - 'satu untuk engkau', satu untuk aku' (one for you, one for me) which made his audience burst into laughter.

"If you believe that the concept 'one for you, one for me' is fair, then think about this -  you as a father when you go home after this 'tazkirah', stop at a store and buy a songkok each for your Ahmad and Aminah. Both get a songkok, that's fair isn't it?

"That's not fair. It is 'bangang' (foolish)," said the 'ustaz'. "For Ahmad it is great for him to have a songkok, but for Aminah, a 'tudung' (head covering) might please her.

"So what's the meaning of 'fairness'? It is to place something at a right (suitable) place and time," said the 'ustaz'. "If you agreed that buying a songkok each for Ahmad and Aminah was not a fair action but to be fair is to give him a songkok and her a 'tudung', let's us continue our discussion...

Regarding 'nafkah', the ustaz said a man has a very heavy responsibility towards his wife and family, his parents, his siblings and those under his care. Muslim man has been given the position of 'qawwaam' (protector and maintainer) over women.

It is because of the characteristics which Islam instills in him, the qualification it has given him and the conditions and limits it has imposed on him. Allah SWT says in the Qur'an with the meaning: "Men are 'qawwaam' of women, because of Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means..." (Qur'an 4:34)

Thus, regarding women's right of inheritance, Allah SWT, stated in the Glorious Qur'an, with the meaning: "Allah commands you as regards to your children's (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females." (Qur'an 4:11)

Why two parts to the males an one part to the females? This is NOT FAIR shouted many women liberation movement. They wanted the concept of 'one for you, one for me'. For them that is fair, said the 'ustaz'.

Yes, to those who misunderstand Islam claim that Islam does injustice to women in terms of inheritance. They are in the opinion that it is unfair to grant the male a double to that of the female even though they are children of the same parents. Allah SWT, offered a full and detailed method of women's inheritance in the Qur'an and Sunnah.

Allah has determined all the shares of all the relatives in respect to their relationship to the deceased. As He the Most Wise said: "There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether the property is small or large, an obligatory share." (Qur'an 4:7)

The 'ustaz' explained that the responsibilities of men and women are different. A husband 'wajib' (must) provide 'nafkhah' to his wife and family members. If he failed to do so he would be 'berdosa' (being sinful) and would be punished not only in the Hereafter but also in the world such as loosing 'barakah' (blessing) in his life and he would be called by the 'Pejabat Agama' (Religion Department).

The husband must (wajib) provide for the necessities of his wife and family such as a place to shelter (house), clothing, food and needs for example living in this modern world, education for his children, medical expenses, transportation and so on, said the 'ustaz'.

But a wife is not required to give 'nafkah'. If she owned some monies and properties or has an income, those are her's and her husband has no right to 'touch' them. What is required from her is to be obedience to her husband and she is 'in charge' of everything inside her husband's house," he said.

The 'ustaz' said in our society nowadays many husbands failed to provide for the 'nafkah' - some took it lightly, they thought it was right to share the responsibilities with the wives especially those who had jobs. 

"If a husband failed to provide for the 'nafkah', a wife could even 'steal' from her husband," warned the 'ustaz' who cited the case of Hindun, the wife of Abu Suffian. Such as the case of Hindun during the time of the Prophet s.a.w. complained to the Prophet that her husband refused to give adequate maintenance to her and her child. The Prophet instructed to take of her husband’s property "what is sufficient for yourself and your child according to custom."

According to the 'ustaz', other than 'nafkah' for well-being of a family, a husband must also provide for a special 'nafkah' for his wife - for her to buy her personal necessities items such as toiletries and makeup, Many 'modern' husbands failed to do so, especially if their wives had their own incomes.

"The correct way for a husband to excuse himself from providing the personal 'nafkah' to his 'rich wife' is by asking her to 'halal' (forgive or to consider as settled)," said the 'ustaz'. "If she agrees than it is okay, but if she insists, the husband must pay the 'nafkah' to her."

Other than providing for his wife and family, a man is also entrusted to look after the welfare of his parents and siblings. A husband (man) responsibilities are too heavy, thus, demanding a 'fair', 'just' or 'equal' share of inheritance for both male and female Muslims, who do not have equal financial obligations and responsibilities, is an unfair and unjust demand. 

It is only fair and just to give preference to a male heir, in light of his financial responsibilities, over the female heir from the inheritance of the father, mother or others. Considering all this, the fact that a female is still entitled by the Islamic law to a half share of the portion of inheritance received by the male, and sometimes an equal share, is indeed fair, just, and generous.

Islam views men and women to be equal in their humanity. The Holy Qur'an did not address men alone, when treating general issues in life; but meant both for men and women to hold due responsibilities in this regard. Thus, the Qur'an values the roles of male and female believers alike, for Allah says: “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.”(Qur'an 33:36)

Men are men and women are women. Hence, both men and women, go along side by side practicing their duties before Allah, in accordance with His Messenger’s teachings, so that one’s life would be a portray of one’s sound actions… All that includes men and women; thus, male and female believers ought to abide by Allah’s holy decisive speech.

Yes men are men and women are women and to those who choose to equal men and women in every aspects of life; think why in sporting events even at the Olympics men and women are separated based on the sexes. Why not have men and women compete among themselves say in the 100 meter dash because they are equals...and that is 'fair' according to some of us!

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Jamadilawal 13, 1443: No more 'climbing from tree to tree' (U)

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.

It is the fruit season again. In my hometown many fruits stalls have sprung to life by the roadside. Orchard owners and 'peraih' (fruit sellers) hands are full. They are having a field day in their gardens or at their stalls.

It was 'balik kampung' time for some urban families who still had their elder relatives in the villages. In some 'kampungs', fruits are in abundance, durians are left rotten at the foot of the trees while rambutans are left to dry on the branches.

The fruit season brings back fond memories when I was young in a village in the south of the peninsula. Even though my family didn't own an orchard with durian or rambutan trees, my father had a few mangosteen trees near our house.

So during the fruit season, I had my 'happy hours' on the trees. My siblings and I would spend hours on the trees, eating the white juicy soft flesh and then playfully throwing the black or purple skin of the mangosteen at one other or into the water of the padi fields nearby. The popping sound of the skin hitting the water was music to our ears.

Imagine, after coming home from school, we (including a few friends) spent the whole afternoon (until five or six in the evening), eating and joking away on treetops. We even built a small tree house to relax and unwind our minds.

During those fruit seasons, father would bring back a few durians or branches of rambutans (he bought them or were given by friends and relatives), and we would eat and eat until our stomachs were full and we couldn't take in more!

When I was at college and university, those 'happy hours on the trees' became lesser, but surprisingly it became alive when I got married to a girl whose father owned a 'kebun' (orchard) with durian and rambutan trees.

So whenever I was at her kampung during the holidays, I would go from a rambutan tree to another (climbing tree to tree), tasting the delicious and juicy fruits. I would eat and eat until I couldn't take anymore.

I was doing that (eating and climbing from one rambutan tree to another) but was 'forced' to stop and ended that habit about five years ago when I was 40. It was not my father in law or her daughter who gave me that order but it was a warning from God the Almighty – I was diagnosed for being a diabetic.

It was hard for me to accept that my days of enjoying delicious food especially fruits abundantly had come to an abrupt end. Nowadays when I visit my father in law's orchard, I could only take one or two rambutans and spend the days seeing my children having their hands and mouths full of the fruits.

For me, the days of 'climbing from trees to trees' were over. Looking at my children, I thought, well, boys and girls, enjoy God's precious gift while you could. You will only realize that gift when you are without it!

Being diagnosed having an illness is a gift or a warning by Allah (SWT) so that we take the necessary steps to be closer to Him. We will realize that money, power and position cannot not buy everything. Other than sickness, the thinning and graying of one's hair is also a 'gift' from God to warn you not to stray from His straight path.

Even though you have millions of ringgit or you are the most powerful man on earth, you cannot buy health. When the doctors advise that you could only eat a small portion of durian, you could only eat that amount even though you have millions of ringgit in your bank account. In your jest, you eat 'satu biji durian' (a durian), you could do so, but that means you are asking for trouble. It is up to you for risking your life.

When you are on your deathbed and about to die, nobody can help you, not even the best doctors or team of medical experts in the world. It is your faith (iman) that helps you during that difficult and trying period.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), once asked for forgiveness from the people, asking them to come forward and point up his wrong doings. A man was said to come forward with a cane to whip the Prophet but he never did that, instead hugged the Prophet to show how much he loved him.

On his deathbed, Al-Fudail bin 'Iyad fainted, and when he regained consciousness, he opened his eyes and said, "How far my journey is! Yet how little do I have in terms of provisions (i.e., good deeds)!"

During his final illness, Ibn Al-Munkadir began to cry. "Why are you crying?" he was asked. "By Allah," he said, "I am not crying for the sins I know I perpetrated, but instead because I fear that I did something, I considered to be minor, when with Allah SWT (i.e., His Judgment) it is (a) huge (sin)."

I quote these stories from the book 'Glimpses of the Lives of Righteous People' compiled by Majdi Muhammad Ash-Shahawi, published by Maktaba Dar-us-Salam (2004).

Friday, December 17, 2021

Jamadilawal 12, 1443: Usah bikin anak isteri berputih mata...

Dengan Nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang, selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.


"...dan Kami telah menurunkan kepadamu al-Kitab (al-Quran), untuk menjelaskan dan (juga memberi) petunjuk serta rahmat dan pengkhabaran gembira bagi orang-orang yang tunduk kepada-Nya." (Maksud Ayat 89 Surah an-Nahl)

SEBUAH hadis daripada Abu Hurairah r.a. menyatakan: Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: "Usia umatku (umumnya berkisar) antara 60 sampai 70 tahun. Jarang sekali di kalangan mereka melewati (angka) itu." (HR At-Tirmidzi)

Benar semua orang berada di garisan kematian, tetapi orang tak berapa muda seperti saya (60+) perlu lebih beringat akan hakikat sudah hampir benar ke kubur. 'Orang sudah mati' satu hal, tetapi bagaimana yang hidup...salah satu bab terpenting adalah menguruskan peninggalan si mati seperti hartanya.

Ketika ini salah satu kelas pengajian mingguan di masjid berhampiran rumah saya membicarakan bab faraid. Pelajaran bab ini sudah berlangsung beberapa bulan, mutakhir ini ustaz menerangkan bagaimana menguruskan harta pusaka si mati. 

Sebelum memfaraidkan harta pusaka oleh waris, perlulah dibereskan daripada harta si mati beberapa urusan seperti belanja mengurus jenazah, kemudian dibayar hutang kepada Allah (seperti fidyah puasa dan badal haji) serta hutang sesama manusia, kemudian diselesaikan harta sepencarian membabitkan isteri/suami dan apabila semua perkara-perkara berkaitan dapat dibereskan, baharulah harta si mati dibahagikan mengikut hukum faraid. 

Ustaz itu kemudian memberikan contoh pengiraan pembahagian harta pusaka. Tidak menjadi masalah besar jika harta pusaka si mati mengatasi hutangnya tetapi apa akan terjadi jika hutangnya lebih banyak daripada harta yang ditinggalkan, tentunya pewaris akan 'pucat muka' dan terkebil-kebil biji mata mereka. 

Katakan si mati meninggalkan harta yang keseluruhannya bernilai RM500,000 tentunya pewaris seperti anak, isteri dan sebagainya menyangkanya banyak dan tertanya-tanya berapa yang akan mereka perolehi daripada bahagian masing-masing tetapi selepas disemak hutang si mati berjumlah RM600,000; pendeknya hutang lebih banyak daripada aset; apa akan terjadi selepas itu? Berputih matalah anak isteri. 

Tentunya waris tidak keruan, mereka sebenarnya bukan dapat harta pusaka, sebaliknya perlu membereskan hutang sebanyak RM100,000. Membereskan hutang itu tanggungjawab waris yang wangnya diambil daripada harta si mati, tetapi apa akan terjadi jika waris tidak dapat membayarnya? "Menjadi kewajipan pihak berkuasa (seperti Baitulmal) untuk melangsaikannya," kata ustaz.

Demikianlah dalam kehidupan ini, terutama pada zaman orang banyak berhutang sekarang ini seperti penggunaan pelbagai kad kredit, dikhuatiri seseorang itu meninggal dunia dalam keadaan mempunyai beban hutang  terlalu banyak. 

Tentunya si mati 'sudah selamat' dimasukkan ke dalam kubur (dari sisi pandangan dunia) tetapi keluarga yang ditinggalkan akan menanggung bahana berpanjangan. Hakikatnya bukan saja keluarga saja yang menderita di dunia, si mati juga menghadapi 'masalah yang tersangat hebat' di alam barzakh disebabkan hutangnya itu apatah lagi mereka yang sengaja tidak mahu membayar hutang atau melengah-lengah atau mencari dalih mengelak diri daripada membayarnya. 

Sabda Rasulullah s.a.w. bermaksud: "Sesungguhnya sebesar-besar dosa di sisi Allah ketika seseorang hamba itu berjumpa dengan Allah nanti selepas dosa besar lain yang ditegah ialah seseorang lelaki yang berjumpa dengan Allah pada hari hisab dengan mempunyai hutang yang belum dijelaskan lagi." Sabda Baginda lagi, bermaksud: "Semua dosa orang yang mati syahid diampuni kecuali hutangnya." (Hadis riwayat Bukhari, Tarmizi, An- Nasai, dan Ibnu Majah) 

Sekalipun ancaman terhadap orang berhutang adalah besar tetapi berhutang seolah-olah sudah menjadi budaya masyarakat kita. Hampir semua kegiatan jual beli berhutang. Beli rumah hutang. Beli kereta hutang. Beli televisyen hutang. Beli perabot hutang. Beli barangan runcit dan ikan pun hutang. Malah makan di warung pun hutang dengan ditulis dalam buku 555 (dahululah).

Jadi tidak takutkah jika kita mati nanti meninggalkan aset banyak bernilai RM500,000 tetapi hutang kita sekeliling pinggang berjumlah RM600,000! Kita bukan menyenangkan anak isteri yang ditinggalkan sebaliknya menyusahkan mereka yang akan berputih mata! Ya Allah, Kau ampuni dosa hamba-hamba-Mu ini dan janganlah kami dibebani hutang-hutang yang tak sempat dan mampu dilunaskan.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Jamadilawal 11, 1443: Dosa kepada ibu bapa dibayar 'cash'...(U)

DENGAN nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.


Daripada Aisyah r.a., berkata: "Saya mendengar Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: 'Semua manusia dikumpulkan tanpa memakai alas kaki, telanjang dan belum dikhatan.' Aisyah bertanya; 'Apakah antara lelaki dan perempuan akan saling melihat antara satu dengan yang lain?' Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: 'Urusan pada hari itu lebih dahsyat daripada mementingkan hal-hal seperti itu.'" (HR. Bukhari dan Muslim)

DENGAN melihat Kaabah saja seseorang itu sudah mendapat pahala...dia akan diganjari oleh Allah SWT. Ini kerana Allah SWT menjanjikan rahmat kepada orang tawaf, solat dan memandang Kaabah.

Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda yang bermaksud Allah SWT menurunkan 120 rahmat setiap hari, diturunkan kepada Kaabah 60 rahmat untuk orang tawaf, 40 rahmat untuk solat dan 20 rahmat untuk orang memandangnya.

Ya, tanpa berbuat apa-apa, hanya memandang Kaabah saja sudah meraih keuntungan besar, namun persoalannya di tanah air selepas menunaikan haji terutama bagi golongan 'veteran' yang sudah pencen, mana ada peluang bagi kita untuk menatap Kaabah bagi mendapat kelebihan ini. Gambar Kaabah yang digantung di dinding atau dalam siaran televisyen bolehlah kita lihat, tetapi apakah itu berpahala?

Namun ada amalan lain 'kalau tengok saja (selain Kaabah) sudah dapat pahala' yang boleh diusahakan semua orang berdasarkan sebuah hadis daripada Aisyah r.a. bahawa Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: "Melihat pada tiga perkara adalah ibadah. Melihat wajah ibu bapa, melihat al-Quran dan melihat lautan." (Riwayat Abu Nuaim)

Apa yang ingin ditekankan di sini adalah tawaran untuk mendapat pahala dengan melihat ibu bapa kita seperti ditazkirahkan seorang ustaz dalam satu majlis yang penulis ikuti baru-baru ini.

Katanya, ibu bapa terutama yang sudah terlalu tua benar-benar berharap anak-anak di perantauan menjengok mereka terutama pada hari kebesaran Islam.

Bagi mengukur hati budi seorang anak katanya, adakah si anak yang menelefon 'orang tua' bagi bertanya khabar atau si ibu dan bapa yang 'menyibuk' menelefon anak dan cucu.

Kalau si ibu yang 'menyibuk' menelefon si anak tetapi tidak bagi si anak, membayangkan si anak sudah mula melupakan ibu bapanya.

Menjelang lebaran misalnya, mungkin si ibu akan bertanya, balik tak raya nanti yang mungkin akan dijawab oleh si anak; "Mak saya sibuk ni (sibuk apa selepas pencen?), tak dapat balik, mungkin raya tahun depan kot!"

Jawapan ini, kata sang ustaz, akan membuat hati seorang ibu luruh, bagi orang tua yang cukup sensitif dia sudah dapat rasakan 'mungkin ini Ramadan dan Aidilfitrinya yang terakhir'.

Ingat, kata sang ustaz, jika inilah jawapan yang kita beri, dikhuatiri 20 atau 30 tahun nanti, anak kita pula akan memberi jawapan yang sama kepada kita.

"Biasanya dosa kepada ibu bapa, Allah Taala akan bayar 'cash' di dunia ini. Sebelum pembalasan di akhirat apa saja perbuatan kurang baik kita kepada ibu bapa akan ditunjukkan balasannya di dunia lagi," tegasnya.

Mungkin jika anaknya tertangguh-tangguh untuk balik, hanya dua batu nesan kaku saja yang dapat ditatapnya. Menatap tanah perkuburan sudah pasti tidak sama dengan menatap wajah tua ibunya yang Allah SWT sudah sediakan pahala seperti yang termaktub dalam hadis.

Memang jauh bezanya menatap wajah si ibu atau ayah berbanding batu nesan mereka. Seorang sahabat saya bercerita balik kampung tidak bererti lagi bagi dirinya selepas kedua-dua orang tuanya meninggal dunia. 

"Balik kampung pun buat apa, rumah saudara mara yang ada takkan sama dengan rumah mak bapak kita sendiri," katanya.

Oleh itu bagi mereka yang masih ada ayah bonda atau salah seorang daripadanya, baliklah, kata sang ustaz. "Jengoklah mereka, peluklah mereka selagi mereka masih ada. 

"Rebutlah kesempatan ketika mereka masih hidup kerana ramai anak-anak yang meraung menangis menyesal perbuatan mereka selepas orang tua sudah tiada," katanya.

Beliau berkata berbaktilah bersungguh-sungguh tatkala ibu bapa masih ada. Gunakan segala kesempatan sementara mereka hidup.

Namun bagi yang sudah kehilangan ibu bapa, mereka juga boleh berbakti dengan menjadi anak salih yang sentiasa mendoakan kedua-duanya, melakukan kebaikan seperti bersedekah atas nama mereka, mengeratkan siratulrahim sesama anggota keluarga serta berbuat baik kepada sahabat mereka, kata ustaz.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Jamadilawal 10, 1443: Jalani hidup berkongsi, berjemaah...(U)

DENGAN nama Allah Yang Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang; selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.


Demi masa, sesungguhnya manusia itu dalam kerugian, kecuali orang beriman, beramal salih, dan berpesan-pesan dengan kebenaran, dan berpesan-pesan dengan kesabaran. - Maksud ayat 1-3 Surah Al-Asr

ISLAM mengajar kita hidup berkongsi, ya hidup berjemaah. "Share' kata orang sekarang. Misalnya, seseorang yang berharta (kaya), apabila cukup syarat-syaratnya dia perlu berzakat. Hartanya perlu di'share' dengan orang miskin dan asnaf lain.

Mengenai bab haji dan umrah, kosnya mampu ditanggung (agak murah) sebab hampir semua kemudahan dan perkhidmatan disediakan secara berkongsi. 

Naik kapal terbang sudah pasti berkongsi, naik bas berkongsi, bilik berkongsi, tandas pun berkongsi, makan berkongsi (beramai-ramai). Kalau kita pergi sendiri (seorang-seorang) hampir pasti kosnya tidak mampu kita tanggung.

Ya, sesetengah 'orang kita' mampu pergi umrah berkali-kali hatta 'travel' ke USA pun kerana hampir semua kegiatan dilakukan secara berkongsi. Kalau pergi sendiri, entahlah, mungkin tak terbayar kosnya.

Dalam menjalani kehidupan, terutama pada zaman sukar sekarang, kita perlu 'ke depan' dalam amalan berkongsi kerana insya-Allah ia dapat mengurangkan sedikit sebanyak beban yang kita pikul.

Kini semakin ramai rakyat menghadapi keadaan sukar. Sehubungan itu jalan keluar perlu diusahakan. Di samping mengusahakan kehidupan baharu, di sini disyorkan orang awam menukar gaya hidup bagi mengurangkan sedikit sebanyak tekanan dari segi kewangan.

Bagi menghadapi 'zaman sesak' sekarang ini, ada bijak pandai mencadangkan kepada kita dua pilihan bagi menghadapinya; pertama bertindak segera bagi kesinambungan pendapatan kita seperti mendapatkan pekerjaan walaupun dengan gaji yang kurang daripada dulu atau melakukan lebih daripada satu pekerjaan, manakala satu lagi jalan mengurangkan kos kehidupan. 

Pada detik cemas seperti sekarang kita perlu berjimat cermat. Antara kaedahnya adalah menyemarakkan amalan berkongsi dalam menjalani kehidupan. Ya, terapkan amalan berkongsi bermula daripada di rumah kita sehingga dalam kehidupan bermasyarakat.

Kongsi, kongsi dan kongsilah semaksimum mungkin. Jika kita sebuah keluarga lakukan aktiviti bersama sebagai contoh beli bahan mentah, kongsi (bersama) masak dan 'kongsi' makan...tak payahlah kerap makan di luar kerana ia membabitkan kos besar! Jika kita bersama rakan-rakan dalam sebuah rumah, kita juga boleh kongsi masak dan makan.

Banyak lagi aktiviti kita boleh kongsi. Kongsi tonton TV, kongsi beli bahan bacaan, kongsi barangan keperluan kegunaan bersama dan kalau sesuai, boleh kongsi kenderaan untuk ke pejabat.

Di luar, banyak kegiatan yang kita boleh berkongsi seperti membaca akhbar dan buku di perpustakaan, berkongsi kemudahan di masjid dan 'berkongsi' kenderaan awam seperti bas dan tren. 

Pada tahun baharu nanti bersedialah menjalani kehidupan dengan kaedah berkongsi dengan orang lain. Perkongsian akan mengurangkan kos kehidupan kita...apabila kita bersedia berkongsi, maka harga barangan dan perkhidmatan dapat dikurangkan!

Ada orang kahwin pun kongsi majlis. Ada keluarga kahwinkan dua anak atau tiga anak secara serentak. Ertinya adik beradik kongsi majlis. Yalah, kalau buat tiga majlis, berapa banyak wang dan masa akan habis?

Selain itu, ada 'besan' (mak bapak pengantin lelaki dan perempuan) bergabung tenaga mengadakan satu majlis saja. Tentu ada sebab keluarga pengantin berkongsi majlis atau mengahwinkan beberapa anak serentak. Antaranya untuk mengurang kos...ya kongsi, kongsi dan kongsilah untuk kehidupan yang lebik baik.

Berkahwinlah (bernikah) wahai anak muda, itu sunnah Nabi; jika perlu berkongsi majlis atau berkahwin beramai-ramai teruskanlah; semoga dengan hidup bekeluarga Allah SWT akan menambah kebarakahan kita semua pada zaman yang serba sukar dan mencabar sekarang ini.

Selepas berkahwin, boleh berkongsi 'travel' untuk berbulan madu termasuklah jika mahu ke Makkah buat umrah...harganya lebih murah berbanding pergi sendiri-sendiri. Kemudian pasangan suami isteri baharu kongsilah bilik (sudah pasti, heh...heh...).

Demikianlah bertapa amalan berkongsi dalam kehidupan amat menguntungkan. Ya Islam mengalakkan amalan berjemaah (berkongsi) dalam kehidupan - sembahyang berjemaah, makan berjemaah dan sebagainya. Jadi kongsi, kongsi dan kongsilah dalam kehidupan! Jangan kedekut untuk berkongsi (hidup berjemaah).

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Jamadilawal 9, 1443: Nikah gantung: 'Saya pun kena tanya ustaz'...(U)

Dengan Nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Penyayang, selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.


"Dan janganlah kamu menghampiri zina, sesungguhnya zina itu adalah satu perbuatan yang keji dan satu jalan yang jahat yang membawa kerosakan." - Maksud Ayat al-Quran Surah al-Israa': 32

TIDAK lama dahulu saya diminta mengedit sebuah artikel seorang pelajar dengan tajuk 'Nikah khitbah di mata remaja' saya memutuskan untuk mengulasnya bagi menunjukkan betapa pentingnya seseorang belajar, membuat penyelidikan dan melakukan wawancara sebelum menulis artikel.

Dalam pengajian asas kewartawanan terutama penulisan berita, seseorang itu diminta untuk memenuhi lima persoalan iaitu 5W dan 1H yang menjadi asas pengumpulan maklumat sebelum menulis.  Jawapan kepada persoalan ini adalah formula bagi mendapatkan laporan menyeluruh mengenai sesuatu subjek.

Lima W itu adalah 'who' (siapa), 'what' (bagaimana), 'where' (di mana), 'when' (bila), 'why' (mengapa) dan 1H itu adalah 'how' (bagaimana). Untuk menjawab persoalan ini, seseorang itu perlu bertanya; jadi mana mungkin sesebuah berita malah artikel ditulis tanpa ilmu, bertanya atau melakukan wawancara.

Di sini disiarkan sebahagian artikel 'Nikah khitbah di mata remaja' tanpa dinyatakan nama penulisnya: 

"Khitbah membawa maksud pertunangan. Nikah khitbah atau nikah gantung menyerupai pertunangan kerana pasangan tidak duduk serumah. Tetapi nikah khitbah adalah pernikahan yang memenuhi syarat pernikahan biasa, cuma tak ada kenduri dan pasangan masih duduk berasingan (sebab itu sering dipanggil nikah gantung).


"Selain itu,ia bermaksud pernikahan di mana pasangan pengantin tidak duduk serumah untuk satu-satu tempoh ditetapkan hasil persetujuan bersama kedua-dua belah keluarga suami dan isteri.

"Dalam kata lain, majlis akad nikah diadakan terlebih dahulu tetapi majlis kenduri kahwin (walimatul urus) diadakan kemudian.

"Penangguhan majlis kenduri kahwin tersebut boleh hingga menjangkau tempoh bertahun-tahun lamanya. Akan tetapi rukun-rukun perkahwinan seperti biasa perlu diikuti iaitu perlu ada suami, isteri, wali, saksi dan akad (ijab qabul).

Tidak ketinggalan juga mas kahwin pun perlu dibayar. Untuk hantaran boleh ditangguhkan dulu. Tujuan utama nikah gantung ini adalah bagi mengelakkan berlakunya penzinaan dan kelahiran anak luar nikah. Setelah kedua-dua pasangan ini melalui nikah gantung, mereka boleh bertemu, 'berdating', dan bermesra. Malah jika melakukan seks pun hingga melahirkan anak ia tidak salah dan tidak haram. Anak yang mereka lahirkan itu adalah sah hukumnya.

"Tanggungjawab pemberian nafkah oleh suami kepada isteri juga diringankan dan boleh dilepaskan." 

Ketika membaca perenggan ini, terfikir di minda saya - siapa cakap perkara ini, bagaimana penulis boleh membuat andaian kerana hukum hakam agama bukanlah berdasarkan andaian. Sewajarnya penulis mewawancara seorang tokoh agama, ustaz dan ustazah bagi mendapatkan penjelasan mengenai topik 'nikah gantung' yang ditulisnya.

Bagi mendapatkan penjelasan mengenai subjek 'nikah gantung' ini, saya menemui seorang ustaz dan mewancaranya. Sepatutnya pelajar berkenaan mencari ilmu termasuk mewancara ustaz sebelum menulis artikelnya, ini saya pula (sebagai penyunting) kena tanya ustaz.

Ustaz berkenaan menjelaskan 'nikah gantung' tiada dalam Islam. Katanya, yang ada hanya nikah, apabila berlaku pernikahan termasuk di kalangan pelajar, maka sesuatu pasangan lelaki perempuan itu sudah menjadi suami isteri yang ada perkara haram dalam perhubungan lelaki-perempuan sudah menjadi halal manakala suami dan isteri mempunyai tanggungjawab terhadap satu sama lain yang perlu ditunaikan.

Berkenaan tulisan pelajar berkenaan kononnya "tanggungjawab pemberian nafkah oleh suami isteri juga diringankan dan boleh dilepaskan", ustaz itu berkata, jika perkara itu diniatkan bagi melangsungkan pernikahan, ia sudah menjadi tidak betul kerana matlamat nikah bukanlah sedemikian.

Namun demikian, katanya, jika sudah berlaku pernikahan di kalangan pasangan yang belum mampu dari segi kewangan misalnya sesama pelajar, tanggungjawab nafkah si suami kepada isteri adalah berdasarkan kemampuannya; jika kedua-duanya mendapat biasiswa atau pinjaman boleh dibincangkan bagaimana mahu membiayai kehidupan masing-masing.

Kata ustaz itu, 'nikah gantung' hanyalah istilah dan mengikut kefahaman orang Melayu; ibu bapa yang telah menikahkan anak-anak mereka tidak mahu mereka duduk serumah kerana pelbagai sebab antaranya majlis perkahwinan (berlangsung dan bertandang) belum lagi diadakan. Hakikatnya anak mereka dan pasangannya sudah menikah, mereka adalah suami isteri sah yang tidak perlu 'digantung' dalam hal-hal tertentu lagi!

Monday, December 13, 2021

Jamadilawal 8, 1443: 'Mat Jenin'...

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.

WATCHING the life styles of our new generation for example young men and women in my housing area or even my own grown-up children made me scared; the majority of them were in 'comfort zone' - they were pampered with luxurious of life - among youngsters with jobs almost of them own cars or at least motorcycles. 

Yes, I had never seen these working youngsters using public transportation. And regarding food; the majority of them rarely ate at home; they frequented stalls including those run by 'mamaks' and sometimes ate at fast food chains. They too rarely cook at home, perhaps they only knew how to cook 'maggi mee'!

They too were dressed in 'the style of the rich and famous' and regarding 'accessories items' such as electronic gadgets they were always up to date. As for the girls, their 'tudungs' were from renowned house of design and fashion.

I was amazed at the style of living of our youngsters. For example a young man who was a neighbor and had been working as a postman for only a few years could own a new Proton Saga FLX...it's totally different from my way of life when I entered the working world as a journalist in 1986.

During the first and second year of working, I still used the old Yamaha kapcai 90cc motorcycle which I bought during my university's years and after three years working only then a managed to buy a car...mind you it was a 'third-hand' one!

Perhaps I was in 'the wrong train'; yes how could I compared the slow and nostalgic 'train' of mine compared with 'the fast and furious one' of the new generation. 

My way of thinking and their's did not matched; well let's the young generation live the way they liked but one thing that disturbed my mind was a 'tazkirah' (lesson) by an 'ustaz' (religious teacher) at a 'masjid' near my house recently, who warned about the danger of living in 'comfort zone'.

To begin with he told a story about a monkey perched on top of a coconut tree. The monkey was trying to have a rest after a day's hard work. But the whether was troublesome...suddenly there was a windstorm, the monkey hugged and hold tight...the more fierce the wind blew, the more the monkey tightened his grip to the trunk of the coconut.

Then it was over; the whether became fine, the wind was mild and gentle The breeze made the monkey comfortable (he was in a comfort zone) and as he sat on a branch, he felt asleep. He was too deep in his sleep that he loose balance and fell flat to the ground from 30 meters...well he was 'pronounced dead'!

So 'which type of wind or style of living' made the monkey fell down? It was the gentle wind that made the monkey felt comfortable and at ease thus he was not careful or alert to dangers around him. But in a tight situation such as facing a thunderstorm he understood he would be in trouble even dead if he just took things easy. He worked and 'prayed' hard that God would saved him by 'taking away' the menacing wind.

There's another story, famous among the Malays, about a 'daydreaming' guy named Mat Jenin. When he was perched on top of a coconut tree, Mat Jenin who was poor, dreamed of becoming rich until he could have the hands of a princess in marriage...and as he about to touch the beautiful lady he crashed down and as the monkey he too 'was pronounced dead'!

Living in comfort zones made many of our youngsters took things too easy. They did not understand the hardship of life, for the majority of them think their existence were 'to enjoy worldly pleasures to the maximum'. Well some had guts to say "semasa muda ini enjoy dulu, tua nanti taubatlah" (while we are still young have fun, when we became old then we would repent).

So when they 'have some money' after working, they started to buy worldly pleasures they dreamed off previously such as cars, home audio visual sets, electronic gadgets and so on even if they had to make heavy loans.

To our youngsters, please seek knowledge so that we would be safe in this world and Hereafter. Allah SWT says in the Qur'an: "Competition in (worldly) increase diverts you; Until you visit the graveyards; No! You are going to know; Then no! You are going to know; No! If you only knew with knowledge of certainty...; You will surely see the Hellfire; Then you will surely see it with the eye of certainty; Then you will surely be asked that Day about pleasure. (Qur'an: Surah Al-Takathur; 102, 1-8)

Being 'playful' in life thinking that we were still young and far away from death is a 'dangerous game' because Allah SWT The Almighty could take our life at anytime...remember there's a Malay proverb saying "putik kelapa pun ada yang gugur" (young coconuts too fall down).

Remember even 'skillful' monkeys too fall from trees. Monkeys are coordinated physically and are well suited to a life of trees proving that they are skillful animals when it comes to climbing and swinging around on the branches of trees. But sometimes these monkeys while playing with on the tree slip and fall down. There is also a Malay proverb which reads: "Sepandai-pandai tupai melompat akhirnya jatuh ke tanah juga" (as clever as the squirrel hops, it will, one day, eat dirt).  

Watching the people around us especially our youngsters we have to acknowledge that many are madly in the 'rat race chase' - their lives are only to fulfill their desires; they work, eat and play and have no time even to say 'thank you' (Alhamdulillah) to their Creator such as performing the 'solat'. 

Some people seemed like animals; Allah SWT says in the Qur'an: They are like cattle, who only think about what it eats, and does not think about the future and prepare for another life. They are not only like cattle but even worse, because cattle obey Allah in reasons of its creation. This is reflected in Surah al-Furqan where it says: "They are only like cattle - nay, they are even further astray from the Path - even worse than cattle." (Al-Qur'an 25: 44)

Nowadays people are heaping 'worldly pleasures' like mad. They do not care if they had to make loans which involved in 'haram' (prohibited) process such as 'riba' (usury), giving and receiving bribes or involved in money-laundering.  

Allah informs man about the insignificance and deceptive allure of the world in the Qur'an: "Know you (all), that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying (in rivalry) among yourselves, riches and children. Here is a similitude: how rain and the growth which it brings forth delight (the hearts of) the tillers; soon it withers; you will see it grow yellow; then it becomes dry and crumbles away. But in the Hereafter is a penalty severe (for the devotees of wrong). And forgiveness from Allah and (His) good pleasure (for the devotees of Allah). And what is the life of this world, but goods and chattels of deception? (Surat al-Hadid: 20)

True wealth belongs to those believers who never show an inner interest in possessions in this world and truly believe that only Allah gives everything to man. These are actually the really wealthy people in this world; they do not limit their lives to a mere 60-70 years. Believers engage in the best trade by obtaining paradise in exchange for this life. They prefer permanent instead of temporary wealth. Allah informs us about this in the following verse:

Allah has purchased from the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Taurah, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded: that is the achievement supreme. (Surat at-Taubah: 111)

Subhanallah, nowadays we, especially our youth are now living in a comfort zone...hopefully we are not going to ZZZZZ (doze off) in this challenging era just like 'the fallen monkey'!

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Jamadilawal 7, 1443: Curing sickness of the heart...(U)

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.


"Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80)

I am a diabetic and know it. Thus I seek treatment at a nearby community clinic and was given metformin which is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels.  I too was given glibenclamide which is a sulfonylurea antidiabetic agent, a class of drugs used to treat type II diabetes mellitus.

Well, that is about ones physical illness - we could detect them (there are signs regarding them) and proceed for treatment at government or private hospitals and clinics but many among us do not realized that we have had for a long time suffered 'sickness of the heart'.

Before proceeding on the topic; it is timely for the writer to wish readers a happy new year, insya-Allah, hopefully in discussing 'sickness of the heart' might help in 'transforming a new me' in 2022 and 'insya-Allah' (God Willing) in the years ahead.

'Sickness of the heart' is resulted from the failure of human beings to safeguard seven parts of their bodies. Scholars said if we are able to control 'two openings' in our body that are the mouth and private parts, 'insya-Allah' we would be safe in this world and Hereafter.

The importance for us to guard our mouth (sometimes mentioned as tongue) and six other parts of the body was taught and discussed at length by one of the greatest Islamic scholar in the field of 'tasawuf' (way to be closer to Allah SWT, mysticism), Imam Al-Ghazali (Abu Hamid al Ghazali Rahimahullah,1058 – 1111).

For example in his 'Bidayatul Hidayah' it was mentioned that we should look after our body, especially after seven parts of our body; for 'jahannam' (hell) has seven doors and for every door there is a part categorized. And these doors are not specified for any person except that person who disobeys Allah Ta’ala with these seven body parts. They are the eyes, ears, tongue (mouth), stomach, private parts, hands and legs/feet.

Three of the seven parts of our body mentioned are on the face - the eyes, ears and mouth - and as for the stomach too food that enter our body must be first filled inside the mouth. So as for our face, we must be very careful with what we do with the organs on it, because we would be answerable to Allah SWT to what we did with them.

True, a hospital or a clinic is place for us to treat our physical illnesses such as diabetes which I was diagnosis some 15 years ago,  fever, broken limbs, and other disorders of our internal organs such as the kidney, liver and heart. 

Physical illness of the heart could be treated at hospitals but are there 'hospitals' to treat 'sicknesses of the heart' such as having negative traits like boasting, being greedy and having selfish attitudes .

"Unfortunately, there's no hospital to treat sicknesses of the heart," said an 'ustaz' who lectures weekly at a 'masjid' near my house. 

"This is a big problem, our society or perhaps every government of the world only provides facilities to treat physical illness such as fever and  injury in clinics and hospitals but there's almost no place to treat 'sicknesses of the heart' such as being greedy, selfish, envious, jealous, arrogant; proud, pretending, liking to show off and so on.

"The problem is that we do not even know if we have been infected by 'these sicknesses'...only some people realize they are affected with these negative traits, and only a few people try to 'cure' themselves from 'these diseases'."

The 'ustaz' said, for the physical illness, we can feel them; if we feel unhealthy, for example down with fever, cold or have problems with our internal organs such as our hearts (symptoms shown such as having difficulty in breathing) then we could go to a clinic or hospital for examination and have treatment.

But who knows they have 'hearts which are sick'? How could we know that we have 'problematic hearts'? How are we to know that greed has overpowered us; we are greedy for money, greedy for power and fame, greedy for everything. How are we to know that 'other bad traits' such as arrogance, pride and jealousy have affected our hearts and become a part of us?

The 'ustaz' gave some of the ways to know and realize the negative traits inside us and that would be by attending learning circles of knowledge gatherings such as 'tazkirah' and 'kuliah' (lessons) at 

'masjids', reading and learning the Qur'an, being awake at the wee hours of the night to do some reflection, saying the 'tahajud' recommended prayers and to get into personal touch with 'truthful' religious teachers who could point out our inner bad characters.

"And pious and sincere persons around us such as our fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, children and even friends, could tell us about our bad traits, for example a very good friend telling his friend that he had gone the crooked way such as by being too 'bossy' or ignorant in the office. Of course only a sincere person, for example between a husband and a wife, would have the courage to tell us about our bad traits.

"After knowing that we 'are down' with 'sickness of the heart', are there 'hospitals' to treat them?"

The ustaz said, there was no such hospital; after realizing the bad side of us, we have to do some 'mujahadah' (struggle to overcome desires or engage in a  spiritual struggle) to cleanse ourselves from the bad traits.

"Again, we have to learn or have knowledge on our 'nafsu' (nafs or desires) from the lowest rank that is 'ammarah', 'lauwammah', 'mulhamah', then 'muthmainnah', 'radliyah', 'mardliyah' and 'kamilah' being the highest that was attained by the Prophets.

"Reaching the 'muthmainnah' level is good enough because in Surah Al-Fajr (The Dawn, 89: 27-30), Allah SWT says with the meaning; '[To the righteous it will be said], "O reassured soul, Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him], And enter among My [righteous] servants, And enter My Paradise."

Being unable to control our anger is in the category of ''lowest nafs' - 'ammarah' - so after following some lessons about 'sickness of the heart', I tried my best to contain my anger during 'the parking incident'.

To be successful in this world and the Hereafter you have to have 'sabar' (patience); isn't this mentioned in Surah Al-'Asr (The Declining Day, ayah 1-3) with the meaning: "By the declining day, Lo! Man is in a state of loss, Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance."

And to those still with 'nafs ammarah' such as being greedy for power, fame and position and being selfish, let us begin correcting ourselves before it is too late and when we are 'six feet underground' (dead).

Unfortunately, there is no hospital to treat 'sicknesses of our hearts'...so we must begin with pleading to Allah SWT to show us His true path as we read 'Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem' (Guide us on to the straight path) at least 17 times during our 'solat' (prayers).

'Insya-Allah', He will guide and show us the way to lead a life with us at least commanding 'nafs muthmainnah' which would enable us to enter His Paradise. Ameen.