The passing of ayah reminds me the words of one of his idols; Imam al-Ghazali. Just like his idol, ayah had left to meet his Creator on Monday, 25th of March 2013.
Imam Ghazali woke up one early morning and as usual offered his prayers and then enquired what day it was, his younger brother, Ahmad Ghazali replied,”Monday.” He asked him to bring his white shroud, kissed it, stretched himself full length and saying “Lord, I obey willingly,” breathed his last.
And underneath his head rest they found the following verses; composed by him, probably, during the night.
“Say to my friends, when they look upon me, dead
Weeping for me and mourning me in sorrow
Do not believe that this corpse you see is myself
In the name of God, I tell you, it is not I,
I am a spirit, and this is naught but flesh
It was my abode and my garment for a time.
I am a treasure, by a talisman kept hid,
Fashioned of dust, which served me as a shrine,
I am a pearl, which has left it’s shell deserted,
I am a bird, and this body was my cage
Whence I have now floron forth and it is left as a token
Praise to God, who hath now set me free
And prepared for me my place in the highest of the heaven,
Until today I was dead, though alive in your midst.
Now I live in truth, with the grave – clothes discarded.
Today I hold converse with the saints above,
With no veil between, I see God face to face.
I look upon “Loh-i-Mahfuz” and there in I read
Whatever was and is and all that is to be.
Let my house fall in ruins, lay my cage in the ground,
Cast away the talisman, it is a token, no more
Lay aside my cloak, it was but my outer garment.
Place them all in the grave, let them be forgotten,
I have passed on my way and you are left behind
Your place of abode was no deweling place for me.
Think not that death is death, nay, it is life,
A life that surpasses all we could dream of here,
While in this world, here we are granted sleep,
Death is but sleep, sleep that shall be prolonged
Be not frightened when death draweth night,
It is but the departure for this blessed home
Think of the mercy and love of your Lord,
Give thanks for His Grace and come without fear.
What I am now, even so shall you be
For I know that you are even as I am
The souls of all men come forth from God
The bodies of all are compounded alike
Good and evil, alike it was ours
I give you now a message of good cheer
May God’s peace and joy for evermore be yours.”
I remember the first time when I saw Dr. Muhammad ‘Uthman El-Muhammady in his signature grey jubah and his orange hennaed hair and beard. It was in 1999 at the guard house near the IIUM Matriculation Centre mosque. There he was standing alone rummaging through his bag looking for something. “Itulah dia, ayah Ahmad El-Muhammady” claimed my friend. I was thinking “masyaAllah, alim orangnya!”. His son, Ahmad El-Muhammady was a classmate of mine in HS13 under the tutelage of Ustaz Nasir a.k.a Xifu. Whereas his sister Asma was also a good friend of mine after we were introduced by Ahmad.
Years went by. Who would’ve expected that Allah had destined for me to be betrothed to Ahmad in 2009. It was from here that I really got to know my father-in-law. The first two years of our marriage, me and my husband had resided with my kind parents-in-law in ISTAC before moving to our own abode.
Being brought up in an Islamic boarding school in Johore, I’d have to admit that I had this preconception towards men of God. It was not a general framework of assessment that I had applied to all religious men but to some of them. I thought of how some ‘ulama who could be judgmental towards people due to their appearances which leads to unfriendly engagements or statements. Ayah was none of this. From my observation, his akhlaq and way of life was an embodiment of Islam which bears humility, ehsaan, ‘ilm as its main characteristics.
He was a man who was always doing something in high spirits. One day, there was only me and my younger sister in law at home with him as my mother in law had went back to their kampung in Pasir Mas. Hafsah had suggested that we took ayah to drop our elder sister a visit in Selayang. I said “Ayah, nak tak petang ni kita pergi rumah Kak Ma. Nanti la petang sikit bila ayah dah boring buat kerja ke?”. I know it sounds kind of silly to say boring but ayah didn’t seem mind though. He just said “Eh, ayah tak pernah boring…”. I was laughing and I thought that it was true because ayah was a man who was always busy at doing something. Even if he took a break from tapping away on his laptop or reading, he’d find something else to do at home. He’d be in the kitchen helping mak washing the dishes or clean the oven. He’d even do some sewing on his own! He’d usually prepare his salad on his own or sometimes make his own favourite teh susu. As a husband, he was really helpful at home. Just as Prophet Muhammad had encouraged husbands to do.
Ayah had never ever hurt my feelings. If he wanted to correct something, he would always do it with hikmah. Being corrected in a beautiful way leaves a deep mark in our hearts. That was ayah in educating us at home. Even though ayah seemed garang by his appearance, he was actually a loving man who was full of sympathy and modern understanding. I could talk about anything with him. He was a good listener. “Tak apa…sabar. Nellie mesti kuat.” as he would say when I shared my troubles with him. He would share his experiences and the ways he dealt with problems. Indeed, they were great lessons for me.
There are too many loving memories of him and lessons that I have at the back in my mind. He was my murabbi and my source of strength. I shall always treasure the knowledge he has imparted directly or indirectly.
May Allah Forgive all of your sins and may jannah be your eternal home ayah. al-Fatihah.
When I saw Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib in the news last night walking the red carpet on the soils of Gaza Palestine , I was touched by the historical humanitarian event. Throughout the years of strong support shown by Malaysia for the Palestinian cause, this was the first time ever that its Prime Minister had visited the Holy Land. In a war-struck area not only with the Israelis but also with its Muslim brethren Fatah, the Hamas ruled Gaza faces grave safety complications. It is indeed an audacious attempt by the PM for willing to jeopardize his life to show his support and see that a conciliation work head its way.
Although the opposition-thinking may view this visit as a measure of fishing sympathetic votes by fervent Muslims, the ruling government and its ruling party’s support towards Palestine has been an ongoing affair. The question if this visit had cause a stir among the Fatah leaders may arise. But still, its ruling party UMNO has a rock solid party to party relations with Fatah for so many years. In the most recent annual international conference held by UMNO in conjunction with its general assembly, both Hamas and Fatah representatives had sat together with Tun Dr. Mahathir and MILF Chairman, Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim. It depicts Malaysia’s position in encouraging peace and unity among states.
The avid support shown by Malaysia towards the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah does not imply that it is an extremist Muslim country. Despite that it bans its citizens from travelling to Israel, the government has lift bans for Christian to go there on pilgrimage. The government’s leniency in easing the ban laws resonates its stance of moderation.
The ruling government and various NGOs in the country has stepped up in its efforts of remedying tribulations of the Palestinian people. These includes the sending of humanitarian aids, life endangering visits and organising programmes in creating public awareness on the troubles of the Palestinians. The Prime Minister had even personally spoke to US President Barack Obama urging him to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict. Recently, the government had appointed Datuk Abdul Azeez Rahim as the honorary ambassador for Palestine.
It is unknown if the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah would for sure materialise. However, with Malaysia’s offer to be its mediator (as it does have the experience with the signing of the Framework of Bangsamoro), we know that at least there is a starting point for such efforts.
The YouTube sensational song Gangnam Style by South Korean rapper PSY has sparked numerous responses internationally. The song has been a subject of discussion by people ranging from those in the entertainment and cyber industry and even the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon, who also happens to be a fellow citizen of South Korea. He had proudly acknowledged that the Gangnam Style is a force for world peace! He had also admitted that he was sort of hooked to the video clip by replaying it a few times.
Well I myself had searched for the clip due trying to figure what was all the fuss about this song. Initially I found that the music itself was not something new to my ears. The catchy beat bears similarity to Benny Benassi’s Satisfaction and LMFAO’s widely known I’m sexy and I know it. So what made it more popular than its predecessors? A portion of its recipe is the hillarious video clip and the lyrical meaning of the song that had successfully propelled it into becoming a global popular culture.
Since we were small, we were taught about Islam; it’s five pillars, the six pillars of Iman, Prophet Muhammad’s sunnah and etc. The norm is that we did not know the relevance of these things to our being. We only know that being Muslims, we are bound to adhere to the pillars of Islam and Iman. We are also encouraged to follow the footsteps of the Prophet by emulating his sunnah in our daily lives. Our parents and teachers remind us to do good and avoid committing sins. If not, Allah “will be angry” at us. On a logical note, we avoid what is haram on the premise of preserving morality. Nevertheless, we rarely seek to explore further the wisdom of these laws of Allah. Most of us would practice the Islamic way of life on a mundane basis.
Just like brushing one’s teeth, he brushes his teeth because he is used to it since he was small. He does not understand the underlying effects of brushing to his overall health. What he only knows is that his mouth feels clean and smells nice, that’s all. In fact, he does not observe whether his method of brushing is proper, whether his diet enhances his oral health nor understand the functions of the components that make up the oral part of his face. In the end, his teeth decays at an early age without knowing why when it is too late to save it. By 30 years old, he already loses one mature tooth!
Syahadah, Solat, Fasting, Hajj, Zakat: Ask WHY?!
By this, I don’t mean that you should question about all the deep inexplicable things such as the existence of rouh or the authenticity of the al-Quran. What I mean is that you should try to study what is the relevance of these actions to yourself. Before that, you must know one thing; Allah is the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate.
What does it mean? It means that Allah is the most Loving existence in any universe! Allah Loves His creations; you, me and all mankind. That is why He had brought us into this world and Endowed us with the Quran and His Prophet’s sunnah.
How? This physical body you have is only lent by Allah. It is an instrument for you to carry out your rouh’s promise to Allah in this realm. Whatever that is in this world (animals, trees, earth, sun, skies and etc) are the paraphernalia made for you to use to assist you in carrying out this promise as a His vicegerent (khalifah) .
Why did Allah give us the Quran and Sunnah?
If you recall, whenever you buy an electronic item or a gadget, it would always come with a manual. This manual would comprise all information about the components of the gadget, accessories that is included with it and also the dos and don’ts. This information is provided as a guideline for the user in making full use of the item. The dos and don’ts would enable the item to be long lasting and highly efficient in its functions.
The same goes for our existence and this world. Allah provides the Quran and Sunnah for us to understand the overall existence of ourself and this world so that we would not be clueless of what we have. Whereas Prophet Muhammad had taught his sahabahs and followers of all the correct ways of behaving and leading a Muslim way of life from all aspects by illustration.
The main point is that whatever that is instructed, encouraged and forbidden by Allah SWT is for our own good and benefits! If we do good or if we sin, it will not affect Allah. In fact, our actions and choices will only come back to us. Whereas the effects will be experienced by us either in this world or in the Hereafter. That’s why Allah mentioned that “By al-‘Asr (the time). Verily, man is in loss, except those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth, and recommend one another to patience.” (103:1-3).
How do I know if the Quran and Sunnah is for my own good?
Easy. Try ask Uncle Google. Yes, the internet. However, always search with caution. One must seek knowledge with an open mind but a principled heart holding strongly to Tawheed. Try to reconfirm the information you find with someone more knowledgeable in Islam.
What to search? Search for scientific explanations of the things that Allah ask us to do. Such as the effects of solat, wudhu’, azan, fasting, zakat, covering the aurah, reciting the Quran. You can also find the benefits of sunnah; to sit before eating and drinking, waking up before fajr, praying on time, eating together in one tray, licking your fingers after eating, kindness, human relations, doa, zikir and many more.
Another method is to study the Quran by understanding its translations. One thing that people do not know or bother is that all knowledge about this world is consisted in the Quran; Math, Science, Humanities, History, Geography, Architecture and others.
Its boons and benefits are bountiful, masyaAllah!
Start from these methods and you will be extremely amazed with what you find. I myself will keep on searching on the beneficial secrets of Allah’s Commands. InsyaAllah, I will share more with you people.
The Electoral Studies Unit and the Department of Communication of the International Islamic University (IIUM) with collaboration of the Department of Political Science, IIUM is organizing a one-day seminar on politics and the new media entitled “Youth, Media and Politics: New Identity”. The programme is going to be held as following:
Date : 18 July 2012 (Wednesday)
Time : 8.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Venue : Library Auditorium, IIUM
Fees : RM100 only (could have been more expensive)
The themes would cover on:
- Empowerment of youths in politics
- The new media as a political strategy
- The young voters’ identity
For more information, email email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org or call 013-294 5440 / 012-218 2642 now
Want to know more? Click on the pictures below
The advancement of global informational facilitates the travel of people, goods and money within a shorter period of time. Today, financial transactions are conducted online with just a click at the end of our fingers. Flight or bus tickets can be booked on websites, clothes are ordered with online forms and payments can be made in an instant.
Spending at eateries, department stores or boutiques could be supplemented with the pre-value-laden debit card. With this type of financial facility, it saves one from worries of walking around with wads of cash in his wallet or even being burdened to pay back debts to the bank like those days when credit cards used to rule.