Education in Dar al-Mustofa, Tareem

After 3 years, my little brother has returned to Malaysia from Tareem for the holidays this Ramadhan. At 22 years of age, he has become a fully grown young man. However, shyness remains one of his main traits. I am glad to see how Hadramawt has changed him. It has indeed put him in the right path. Exactly what he has been dreaming of since his adolescence.

In 2016, my brother had departed for Tareem, Yemen to continue his religious studies in an islamic school known as Dar al-Mustofa (House of The Chosen One). When I was told that he was heading to one of the failed states in the world, I had feared for his life! My mother then had explained how Habib Ali Zainal Abidin had suggested that my brother should pursue his studies after graduating from Madrasah al-Attas. Knowing Habib Ali, I felt definite that what my brother had chosen to do was for the sake of Allah.

Is Dar al-Mustafa, Yemen safe?

Alhamdulillah Tareem was safe from the wars that erupted in the South of Yemen. I heard that there were minimal incidents of crossfires but Dar al-Mustafa was safe from any conflicts. I suppose it is due to the barokah of its teachers and the learning students. May Allah always continue to Protect them from any harm.

What is the Nature of Learning in Dar al-Mustofa?

It is a must for students to be well versed in the Arabic language before they are able to enroll for their core courses. Habib ‘Umar bin Hafiz who is the Dean insists that everyone speaks no other language than Arabic in Dar al-Mustafa. That is why the students chose to study in Yemen in the first place anyway.

Their campus is convenient with basic facilities. One thing though. One should understand that Tareem is a place of no worldly luxury life. If you are a student of Islam who intends to seek knowledge and embark on a true spiritual cleansing journey, then Tareem is the best place for you. Thus, before really opting to further your religious studies in Dar al-Mustafa, you must make sure that you have tuned into the right mindset. However, if you are looking for a more modern setting, then it is better that you head off to Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the likes.

Certificates, pointers and examination results are not a priority in Dar al-Mustafa. Instead Habib ‘Umar greatly emphasizes in deep understanding in knowledge. This is because he does not want the students to chase cosmetic achievements but he believes in learning and adopting it as a way of life. Which is the life of our beloved Prophet S.A.W.

What is the Objective of Dar al- Mustafa as an Islamic educational institution?

Its objectives consists of 3 facets; Knowledge, Suluk and Dakwah. Firstly is the enable the students to attain authentic Islamic Knowledge from its great scholars of ahlussunnah wal jama’ah. These knowledge are acquired or passed down by the method of sanad which can be traced back from Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.

Believe it or not, the practice of teaching knowledge by passing down to the future generations is not only practiced via the chains of scholars to their students but also culturally maintained in families in Yemen.The sharing of knowledge in unbroken chains (sanad) is a strong practice there.

Then there is Suluk where the students seek to be close to Allah SWT by cleansing their hearts and strengthening spirituality. Throughout the day, besides attending lectures, students would come together for sessions of dhikr and recitations. They have a small kitab of compilation of dhikr known as the Khulasah. Habib ‘Umar bin Hafez hopes to create more emulators if not close copies of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.

Finally there is the Dakwah. Students of Dar al-Mustafa are taught with various methods to spread Islam and Sunnah of the Prophet S.A.W. When the time comes, selected students would set out to certain places to do dakwah.

Currently, there are students who have graduated from Dar al-Mustafa and are doing dakwah with a more modern approach that suits the current trend. It is hoped that Dar al-Mustafa will keep on producing more excellent students who will continue the responsilibites of dakwah like our beloved Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. Insyaa Allah!

Interested in pursuing your studies in Dar al-Mustafa? Visit their site at http://www.thedowra.org . By the way, they also have Dar al-Zahra for the girls.

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Love as The Foundation of Being Human

I remember my grandfather told me once “Manusia jadi jahat sebab satu benda je, mereka hendakkan kasih sayang” (People become bad because of only one thing, they want love). His statement was in response of me curiously asking him why on earth his everybody calling atuk or abah. A queer character, my tok sedara was a prolific political writer but also a philanthropist. More often than not, he would accept guests with open arms. His warm welcome made people at ease. They become so comfortable that some even stayed for months. Oh well, that’s his part of charity for the Hereafter.

Back to his statement, how illogical it may seem to me at that time. It does have some truth to it. In a book I read recently entitled “Raising girls: Helping your daughter to grow up wise, warm and strong” by Steve Biddulph, he says that a girl (perhaps applies to boys too) goes through five stages of growth. The first stage which is vital in providing the stable platform of being human is being secure.

Babies from the day they were born to 2 years old are in a phase of total insecurity. They need full attention. Like building a house, a child will have a strong emotional foundation if it is loved via hugs and attentive communication. A crying child would calm down if a mother takes it into her arms for cuddles. Feeding and clothing a child would be insufficient for it to develop prosperously emotionally and mentally.

Biddulph asserts that affection is the key. Not only via hugs and cuddles but also play! I saw a documentary on pregnancy that explains how pregnancy would affect the infant’s character and intelligence. It says that if you want an intelligent child, the father must play the role to care and show affection to the mother during pregnancy. It shows that how much does love and affection is instrumental in the process of human growth along the way.

However, despite that the seeds of love should be sown from the beginning stages of life, it is never too late for anyone at any phase. All they need is a little compassion and love.

The Fate of Sheer Personifications

I have abandoned this blog for way too long. I had some time perusing my old posts since 2007. It is interesting to reread what you wrote years back. It reminds yourself of who you were and what you went through at that particular time. Our existing conditions usually influence the way we narrate our stories and the ideas we lay out. Those days I can see how complex and philosophical my thoughts were.

Now? I am more focused about what can I do for my family and how I can prepare for my Hereafter life. You see, people change by the phases of their lives. Or perhaps labour has altered my brain.

Anyway, I wish to revive my writing activities in this space. None about politics at the moment. It’ll be more about sharing information, thoughts or even reviews. Sorry my dear political pundits but life goes on. Hope you’ll still find something useful anyway.

TUURKiSH : Imported Turkish Scarves in Malaysia (Tudung Turki)

Over the years of traveling overseas, I have been an avid collector of scarves and shawls. Among them I find that turkish scarves are unique due to the amalgamation of Islamic and European arts in its designs. Thus, I’ve founded TUURKiSH which offers imported turkish scarves in Malaysia.

Tuurkish logo big

At TUURKiSH, you can own from affordable non silk scarves to exclusive pure 100% silk scarves and shawls. Besides having a great array of classy collections, TUURKiSH scarves and shawls are made of high quality Turkish produced material. These scarves and shawls can not only be adorned as a hijab or tudung turki but also as fashion accessories.

If you are looking for branded scarves from Turkey in Malaysia such as Aker, Armine, Cacharel or Pierre Cardin, look no further than TUURKiSH on Instagram @tuurkishscarves or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tuurkish.my . Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates and sale!

For orders, come WhatsApp or SMS us at +6012.208.8824 .

It’s Time to Go TUURKiSH

Motherhood Changes The Way A Woman Sees The World

Stature changes a woman’s view about the world. From the beginning of womanhood marked by puberty, marriage and becoming a mother. All these are the variegated phases of life. Age factor also influences this shift of perception. For example, the way a 21 year old first time mother thinks would differ from a 31 year old new mum.

Life is Short
I myself find that being a mother has altered the way I read my surroundings and the way I react to it. The first thing that comes to my mind is how short life is. Probably it’s because I’ve gone through that 50/50 life and death moment. As Ustaz Ebit Lew puts it, a woman dies and relives to bear a progeny for the husband. MasyaAllah! When you’ve had a glimpse of death, you know that life should be treasure and preparation for afterlife should be taken more seriously.

Empathy OverFlow
Empathic as I used to be, I find myself having more empathy for others. That every human is Allah’s Creation and must be treated with love. Yes, I’m often reminded that the other person must’ve been a child before. Hopeless and know nothing of the world, always needed to be cared. I felt pity. I suppose it’s the oxytocins at work.

Enthralled by The Creator of Man
Previously, I used to travel and be blown away by His Creations of nature. This time I had witnessed His Greatness within me through pregnancy and labour. Every month I saw how just from a heart beating nodule grew into a full fleshed child. After labour, I learnt of how sophisticated the make up of a human being is. My child grew from a helpless baby into a foodie opinionated 10 month old. There is no creation that will ever match His Khalifah.

Be The Change
I remember Jennifer Lopez mentioned in one of her interviews “Kids don’t do what you tell them to do. But they do what YOU DO”. I didn’t understand that till I had a child of my own. Parents have expectations of how their children should turn out. I learnt that children are greatly influenced by their parents and their surroundings. So if we want them to be better than us, then actually it is us who needs to improve first. So that they can imitate us to develop the best qualities.

These are only some of the thoughts that I have in mind. How about you? Has motherhood changed how your mind works? Let me know in the comments below.

Last words before death from a famous Islamic sufi -Al Ghazali

 

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.”

Malaysia’s PM Visits Gaza

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.