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Reversal of Roles

September 21, 2012



It's funny to think back on how I used to view things when I was younger. I have always wanted to be independent. Leading my own life, chasing my own dreams. And I do dream a lot. Back then being a kid, there was always that nagging feeling that my parents are holding me back, and it sucks. But as life goes on, you witness new stuffs, experience new things  which builds on how one would view life. It gives you a whole new perspective.

Flashback back when we we’re kids, our lifes revolved mostly around our parents. One day you get a spank, the next, you end up sleeping in their bedroom. In the morning you had a row with mum, but by lunch, there's always food. You get something really lame for your birthday and complained, few months later your parents get you a new pair a uniform for school. On the day they sent you to boarding school they would nag so much, but in the end, they will always leave you with a hug.

Alhamdulillah that I'm blessed with so many life lessons that had helped me built my views. Growing up becoming an adult is not about being able to get your own house and get married. Independence, some might put it. Pfftt….

As our parents attain old age, don’t you realize that the role of which that was once your parent's are now yours. Your parents will sooner or later be weak, fragile, and emotionally unstable, just like a child. And who should take up the role of a 'parent' to them?

We may fool ourselves that our parents want us to grow up comfortably, with huge bungalows, sweet ride, awesome jobs,  yadayada. But old people have feelings and desires too, really touchy feelings, to a certain degree, they are selfish. Somewhere in those aged hearts of theirs, they do wish that we never grow old, they do want us to hang around as much as possible, they do want us to cling to them, seek their advice, listen to their wisdom.

As we grow old together with our parents, either we realize it or not, there's indeed a reversal of roles. We end up feeling more worried for our parents, concern for their well-being just like a parent fussing over their child. The urge to be there and support them! And the best gift that we can give them is not about 'successfully' leading our life with our own new family while them being on the side-line watching us, leaving them out of the circle.

The biggest duty of a child towards their parents is to become a good muslim lest we don't end up being a witness against them in the akhirah. Pause for awhile and ponder, what will your answer to Allah s.w.t be when you are questioned for your sins? On a day where every man is for himself, would we speak against our parents?

“Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that ye may be witnesses against mankind, and that the messenger may be a witness against you” part of ayah 143, surah Al-Baqarah.

Won’t the ones who live under the same roof be a witness against/for each other? Wouldn’t our parents be called upon for the sins that we did under their noses?

Put yourself in these situations:

Your parents allow you to have a relationship out of wedlock. They say it’s ok, technically allowing you to ‘approach’ zina. Deep down inside you know it’s a sin, but you comfort your anxiety by saying that “my parents say it’s ok”. But they don’t know the places that you’ve been. Those hours spent on the phone with each other. In the day of judgement, what will we say to Allah?

"O Lord, my parents say it's ok for me to go out for movies with her, so I thought You are fine with that as well. Blame my parents and spare me!"

What about those fashionistas?

"O Lord, my parents didn't advise me to wear hijab, and they never told me my clothes were too tight or too thin, blame them!"


Will we be sure that we will not speak against them when the torment of hellfire is upon us? Will we be the reason that our beloved parents to be tormented alongside (may Allah forbid)?! Surely that they are indeed at fault for not advising us, but are we going to take this against them while we know it is wrong yet we persist?

I couldn't emphasize enough on how important it is to accept this role as a guardian of our parents upon reaching old age. To understand what it is like to wake up early in the morning having no one to talk to. Having nothing else to do apart from going out to those kedai kopi and  order some teh tarik and roti canai, spending hours reading newspaper, looking at people around them just to kill time. To let them be alone like that, is just sad and pathetic.

And the second point, to bear in mind that their true happiness is not only for this life, but for the akhirah as well! We may well be a reason for them to be admitted to Jannah, or we may be a reason for their torment (may Allah forbid).

Wallahualam.

 

Filling the Void

April 25, 2012


Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.. May this post serve as a reminder for myself, and only then to others.


Often when do stuffs so regularly or routinely, over time they are rendered meaningless and void of emotions. Just like sports, music, movies, or going to school. And yet, for some of us, we manage to stick it out as we've found a spiritual or emotional attachment to those routines. 


Such is the case for salah. And this is quite generally common among us whom were born into muslim families. When done void of emotions, the salah becomes dull and dry, and eventually (nauzubillah) people starts to have a lesser regard towards them . It is no longer a form of comfort nor rest as it was for Rasulullah s.a.w and the sahabah. Thus, to be so 'dissolved' in salah, it will require an emotional attachment. And that's not easy. Aptly put (in 9-gag-ish terms), "One does not simply enjoy salah". 


Scholars have outlined the mainframe of the state of spirituality one should be in to be able to enjoy salah. They have used a 'bird' as a parable to put their ideas into perspective.

Love for Allah
For a bird to be able to live, it requires its head. The head have precedence above all parts of the bird. If it is blindfolded, the bird will fly aimlessly, reaching nowhere near its objective. If the head is cut off, the bird will probably die. And such is what love is to salah. The love for Allah is like the head of a bird, without it, our salah is useless, tampered with and our salah becomes aimless. Thus, above all emotions, love for Allah took precedence.


Fear and Hope for Allah
For a bird to fly, it needs a pair of wings. And those wings are balanced as neither can function without the other. Those wings resembles fear and hope. One can't be too fearful of Allah after committing a sin, until he has lost all hope for his mercy. And one can't be too hopeful for Allah's mercy that he feels it is okay to commit sin. Ergo, the wings of hope and mercy needs to be balanced at all times.


Now that we know the emotional essence in salah, let us strive to encompass these emotions, love, fear and hope for Allah into our salah, in hopes that it will make it more meaningful and exciting routine :D Insyaallah.

Wallahualam.

Priority

April 20, 2012




Bismillahirrahmanirrahim..
May this post serve as a reminder for myself, and only then to others.


Ironic isn’t it that up to now, we must have read dozens of text books cover to cover (and of course, for several times), fictions, comics, magazines, to name a few; and we are proud of what we garner from reading such materials (me myself, guilty as charged). I’m not implying that reading all those stuffs are a waste of time. In fact it’s simply awesome that we do so.
Yet, how many of us, have ever finished contemplating (tadabbur; digest; try to understand) what Allah have to say to us? How on earth does the writing from the pen of a writer of New York Bestseller be compared to the Revelation sent down by Allah through his angel Jibril, whom passed it on to our dearest, Rasulullah s.a.w. Yeah, so I guessed we pretty much messed up on our priority list.

So let’s put all those fictions, and magazines garb aside. And assuming that you and I both only read academic stuffs (silent chuckle), after all, Islam does put a very high standards on knowledge. And Islam do need intellectuals to improve the status quo of this deen. From the words of Umar ibn Khattab, "teach your young the knowledge of their time", this shows us that the seeking of the knowledge of dunya is very important. But it should be made clear that knowledge is a mere tool, and we have a greater goal ahead. Why would a lumberjack spend more time sharpening his axe instead of chopping more woods? We may argue (sometimes i do too), that being a student, there's simply too much time constrain. A solution to this, is to understand in what perspective should a muslim view education and knowledge.


A narration from Rasulullah s.a.w "the seeking of knowledge is made compulsory (fardh) for every muslim".

Note that in arabic, the word used is fardh, which by itself doesn't only mean that it is compulsory. There are three pronged meanings to it. If something is fardh, then it should;

1) be made compulsory
2) be made as a form of ibadah (worship)
3) be made as medium for us to be closer to Allah.

And the knowledge referred here doesn't necessarily means knowledge of the deen only, but also to the knowledge of dunya as well. HOWEVER, if we burn the midnight oil studying and end up missing fajr in the masjid the next day, what's the point of it? Are we living up to the expectation of fulfilling our fardh in the seeking of knowledge? If we holed up in our study space for hours and end up missing salah in groups, are we living up to the standards of fardh? If we are preparing for exams by doing extensive reading while the quran is allowed to gather dust, is that fulfilling our fardh? Are we going to be that much closer to Allah all because of a graduation scroll?

If we truly stick true to the code of fardh, what should happen is that the more knowledge we gain, should take us ever closer to Allah azza wa jalla. The more we study, the more we want to be involve in da'wah, the more enthusiastic we become when there is an Islamic seminar, the more curious we are in the study of this deen, the more hyped up we turn up to be to attend weekly 'bulatan gembira'.

Being in the path of Allah's Mercy, and Blessings doesn't mean you have to read the quran 24/7 or stay in the masjid all day long. When we allocate our time for our studies and understand that that is only the input. And the outcome is not only a degree; If we study according to the guidelines of fardh, our every effort in dunya will be credited and none wasted. So study smart and with ease fellas, balance your dunya and your deen, renew your niyyah, and reap the benefits from each, hereafter. Insyaallah.

Wallahualam.... For He knows best.

Sandwiched by Jannah

January 13, 2012

 

Bismillahhirrahmanirrahim… a reminder made especially for me, and only then, to others.

 

Picture a child and his mom going out shopping in a mall. Naturally, being a child, he was tad naughty. Mom then gave him a good spanking and yelling, the kid cried his head off, yet, even so, his hands never let go of his mother’s leg. His world revolves around his mother. He doesn’t want to deal with those huge and ugly strangers passing by. No matter how disappointed and angry the mother was, she was all he had. He never let go.

Subhanallah, such should be the relationship between us and Allah Azza wa Jalla,

Being what we are, we never failed to disappoint the standards set by Allah in every turn. And of course, He knows it. So much so, this trait of constantly being involved in whatever garb being thrown at us, is listed as part of the trait of the muttaqins (people of taqwa). Curious? You should be.

In Surah Ali ‘Imran, the verse 134-135 (which mentions the traits of muttaqins), are sandwiched between the verse 133 and 136, which mentions about Jannah. I don’t know about you guys, but being sandwiched by Jannah sounds pretty darn awesome.

The traits of Muttaqin (03:134-135):

  1. Those who spent their money, in times of ease, and in times of hardship. – in Arabic, infak literally means to ‘let go’, so to be exact, you’re not even spending them, but you’re letting them go, ultimately for the sake of Allah.
  2. Those who swallow their anger, and forgives out of love – here again, I want to highlight the powerful imagery used by Allah. Note that when people eat, we can see from the movement of the cheek, munching the food. But if you swallow the food, it would be hard to guess so. Such is with anger, that you should swallow it, meaning it shouldn’t even show on your face that you are angry. Not so easy eh. And even harder, is to forgive out of love. And that love is not necessarily meant for those who transgress you, as naturally most people won’t be able to do so. Technically speaking, to forgive is to give pardon to those who doesn’t even deserve it. That love is from Allah. Allah made mention on the very same verse (135), He is giving us the option between your anger to those who transgress you compared to His love.  And how terribly pissed could you be to ignore the love that Allah is offering you in exchange for your pardon.
  3. Those who wronged themselves or commit immorality. (We fit easily into the first part of this category. But take note in what Allah has to say next) but immediately, they REMEMBERED ALLAH and ASK FOR FORGIVENESS and do not persist in what they have done while they know.

 

We can never escape of doing such mistakes and falling short of the standards set by Allah. But we must never lose hope in His Mercy, for we are not even allowed to. There’s a reason why the sins of our past, which you and I are constantly doing are hidden and kept secret in the closet by Allah s.w.t, so that we would always in the end be able to go back closer to Allah. He’s the only one who knows our sins. So take time to reflect and contemplate our actions, and then seek forgiveness. Who else do we have to go to?

A final piece of advice is to heed the trick of shaytan, whenever we commit sins, he’ll come to us and mess with our heads with lines like:

“you did THAT, now you want to go and do doa?  Two-faced!”

“you’re a hypocrite, how can you face Allah after what you’ve done”

“ok first you did that, now you want to go to the masjid?”

“so now you wanna go to a lecture after doing THAT?”

These are pretty much the common lines that would probably end up in our heads, so heed it, and beware of it. Don’t fall trap to it. Isolating ourselves will only take away the khusyuk in our solah, and doa. And it’s a terribly fight to earn those back.

Again, the main highlight of this issue is to show that we all mess up every once awhile. But the thing that set us apart, are the actions that we take after we messed up. So, for whatever the reasons it may be, and even when others won’t be able to accept you, ALWAYS go back to Allah, for He is the Most Forgiving. May our struggle put us among those who are sandwiched by Jannah. InsyaAllah.


A Call to Look Back

December 5, 2011

 

Bismillahhirrahmanirrahim…

Imagine, there’s an awesomely cool jet plane in front of you. Everyone else is boarding it, and it’s free. No tickets, no need to pay. FREE. For all you know, the plane would probably be going to Disneyland, Venice, Hawaii or perhaps someplace really lame. But then again, you just don’t know. So you let it took off, not knowing where the jet was heading to. And then, you realized the mistake you made for not asking where the plane was heading to in the first place. Bummer… and the only reason why you weren’t on that jet was because you didn’t know where it was heading, so you weren’t interested to board.


I (even for the slightest bit) was never interested in history. I loved reading science, general stuffs and perhaps, a dash of psychology. History, blergh… so I was like the in the situation mentioned above, oblivious of the absurdly huge vehicle revving its engine loudly up in my eardrums, ready to take off… UNTIL, I found out where it was heading (through history? You bet!);

 

History had a funny thing to it. It’s the freaking past, yet it is also the future. There’s a cycle to it. That future is “the destination”. And so how do we peek into the future in order to find out the destination? Simple, we dig into the past.

 

It will be horrendous for me to write a complete timeline of the rise and fall of the Islamic Civilization in such a short post, but mark my words, understanding the history of the rise and fall of Islam will make you realise the big picture (InsyaAllah). Sort of coming out of the matrix-ish incubator (if you catch my drift). So, I’ll let it settle with a very popular hadith.

Hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad and many others.

“Prophet-hood shall last among you, for as long as Allah s.w.t wishes. Then Allah s.w.t. shall take it out when he wishes. Then, there shall come a Khilafah on the path of Prophet-hood. Then Allah s.w.t. shall take it out when he wishes”

“What comes after that O’ Prophet of Allah s.a.w.?”

“There shall come after that, biting kingdoms. It shall last among you for as long as Allah s.w.t. wishes. Then Allah s.w.t. shall take it out when he wishes”

“What is after that O’ Prophet of Allah s.a.w.”

“There shall come after that, military kingdoms. This military kingdom shall last among you for as long as Allah s.w.t wishes. And then, Allah s.w.t. shall take it away, when he wishes. There shall come after that, a Khilafah according to the path of Prophet-hood” and then Rasulullah s.a.w. remained silent.

This hadith mentioned about the age of Prophet-hood (an-Nubuwwah) which lasted for 23 years. The Khilafah (Khilafah ‘ala minhaj an-nubuwwah) took about 30 years. The biting kingdoms (Mulkan ‘Adhan), as translated from Arabic means kingdoms that last for long periods of time, or in another point of view, those that only pass their leadership within their bloodline (monarchy) [eg: Umaiyah (abt 130 years), Abbasiyah (abt 400 years), Uthmaniyah, Fatimiyah]. Military kingdoms (Mulkan Jabariyyan) are nations that are governed by military as we may see today. Other interpretation describe it as an age of fitnah. Where leaders lead with great pride (the bad pride not the good one) and arrogance. Which can also be applied to our current situation where we see Muslims are painfully segregated.


In short, this hadith is telling us about the future of Islam. And we are now at the very last phase of the hadith. Everywhere we go today, Islamic country or non-Islamic country; we are able to see the revival of the Ummah.


And the only reason you’re not part of it, the reason you didn’t take the ride of da’wah (the jet – in case you didn’t get the analogy given before... huhu) was because initially you never knew where the Ummah is heading to. But now you do. The jets are taking of, the engines are powering up, it’s gonna move,  and it’s not gonna wait for you. You either are part of the revival of the ummah, or get left behind. So ask yourself, do you want to be left behind in the pursuit of Islamic revival which, its ultimate reward for those who fight for the Deen of Allah is Jannah?


“Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things” (At-taubah - 39)

This jet, will continue to take flight even if you refuse to board. As Allah will simply put another person in your seat. The fact that you refuse to join will not harm Allah one bit. It is us, who will be missing out. We need this this ride. SO TAKE IT!!!


My advice/opinion/suggestion (call it whatever you like) is that we analyse history. Sort of an awesome way to gouge our eyes out, so that we can see the ‘flight route’.


Ps: interested in a short crash course of history lectures audio and video? Feel free to contact me… :D I might be able to send over some files. 

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