Thursday, January 29, 2004


Dr Fadzilah Kamsah

Kenal peribadi melalui Graphology (Kajian). Grapho ertinya tulisan, Logy ertinya bidang ilmu.

Pertama : Tekanan

i. Tekanan yang kuat
Seseorang yang menulis dengan kuat tekanannya sehingga berbekas di bahagian belakang kertas.
. Sihat, cergas, pantas dan sedikit agresif

ii. Tekanan yang ringan
Seseorang yang menulis dengan lembut dan ringan dan tidak berbekas.
. Kurang bertenaga, kurang sihat dan mudah sakit

Kedua : Bentuk Tulisan

i. Tulisan yang bulat-bulat
Semua huruf ditulis dengan bulat
. Emosional, prihatin, pengasih penyayang, kepekaan tinggi dan banyak memakai otak di sebelah kanan (otak kreatif)

ii. Tulisan yang tajam-tajam atau leper-leper
Tulisan yang angular dan sharp
. Rasional, berkerja dgn sistematik, pandai mengurus dan banyak
memakai otak di sebelah kiri (otak logical)

Ketiga : Kecondongan

i. Condong ke kanan
. Extrovert, suka bercerita, berkongsi maklumat dgn orang lain, peramah, suka campur orang, mudah memimpin, mudah menunjukkan kasih sayang, berani, pemurah

ii. Condong ke kiri
. Introvert, suka menyimpan rahsia, agak pemalu, tak suka berubah, amat setia kepada kekasih, keluarga, organisasi dan negara tetapi tak suka campur orang

iii. Tegak
. Systematic, mudah kawal diri, suka berkawan tetapi tak cari kawan sebaliknya kawan cari dia, tak suka gaduh-gaduh, suka ambil jalan tengah

iv. Campur-campur
. Emosi tak tetap macam remaja yang belum cukup umur atau macam orang perempuan datang bulan (maaf)

Keempat : Kerapatan

i. Jarang-jarang
. Tak suka campur orang, kurang mesra dan sedikit boros.

ii. Rapat-rapat
. Suka campur orang, amat bergantung kepada orang lain, jimat atau kedekut

Kelima : Pada huruf J, G, Y, Z

i. Ada ekor

a) Besar, panjang dan sempurna
. Tahap emosi yang dipamer itu jelas, pengasih & penyayang, pemurah, mudah kesian pada orang, mempamerkan tahap kerajinan

b) Kecil, pendek dan tak sempurna
. Tak pandai mempamerkan emosi, kurang rajin, tak pandai mempamerkan
kasih sayang walaupun sayang itu banyak dalam diri

Keenam : Pada palang huruf kecil T (t)

i. Tinggi
. Tahap aspirasi tinggi

ii. Rendah
. Mudah berpuas hati, cita-cita rendah

iii. Tengah-tengah
. Usaha dan tahap pencapaian itu di tahap sederhana

* Diambil dari website akh Rahmat. Not very sure of the authenticity, validity and reliability of the source, but the study of graaphology does exist. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Seeing the Light

John Marshall McCormack Henshaw Mahboob: A preppy WASP's conversion to Islam.
By Beth Carney, 11/16/2003

Fourth-graders at Milton Academy have just completed a year studying the Middle East, and they are celebrating with a party. Tables at the private school are spread with plates of hummus, falafel, and dried fruit. Children are posing for photos in head scarves and robes. A bazaar has been set up in a classroom, where guests are encouraged to haggle over the price of postcards and tiny souvenir cedar trees.

About a dozen students from the Islamic Academy of New England have joined the Milton class as part of an exchange. After lunch, a teacher from the small Muslim school in Sharon, known to his students as Mr. Mahboob, leads the noon prayer in the gym.

Wearing a long black tunic, a skullcap, and leather socks, the teacher goes through the ritual of bowing, standing, kneeling, and lowering his forehead to the floor while praising Allah in Arabic. Behind him, students from both schools arrange themselves in segregated rows, boys in front of girls, and try to follow along.

Mahboob, born John Henshaw, doesn't fit the typical profile of an ambassador for the Muslim world. Blond and more than 6 feet tall, he is a former prep-school football player who grew up in nearby Dedham, the son of a private-school teacher and a lawyer. His ancestors sailed on the Mayflower and fought in the Civil War. He was christened in the Episcopal Church with a string of family names, John Marshall McCormack Henshaw, or Marshall for short.

Yet he is a Muslim, what he calls "a traditional, conservative Muslim." Ten years ago, as a teenager at St. Mark's School in Southborough, he accepted Islam as his true faith and added to his lengthy name a new tag, Mahboob. That adolescent decision has shaped every aspect of his life since then and landed him on the far side of a cultural divide.

"That was funny," says Henshaw as the service breaks up. "I've never led a bunch of non-Muslims and Muslims in prayer in a gymnasium before."

Even before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a preppy American teenager's converting to Islam was an unusual step. Choosing to become a conservative Muslim means embracing a lifestyle completely outside the American mainstream. At age 25, Henshaw doesn't drink alcohol, date, or listen to popular music. He has spent months in Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria, worshiping with other Muslims and visiting mosques. When he's in the United States, whether at the nondescript triple-decker that serves as a mosque in Roxbury or the Islamic school in Sharon, Henshaw is used to being in the minority, one of the few white, American-born men in a room full of Middle Eastern and south Asian immigrants, children of immigrants, and African-Americans.

I'VE KNOWN HENSHAW HIS ENTIRE LIFE. HIS FAMILY HAS LIVED across the street from my parents' home in Dedham for 25 years, and his older sister is my lifelong friend. I remember when Henshaw became a Muslim at around 15. I sat next to him at his mother's Christmas Eve party, where he declined to eat a dessert made with vanilla because it contained forbidden alcohol. The general impression then was that he was going through a phase.

Indeed, he strayed from strict observance for a couple of years at college, where he partied, had a girlfriend, and hung out with what he calls "preppy, private-school, frat-boy types." But over time, he has made Islam a focus in his life. At Harvard, he majored in Near Eastern languages and civilizations, and at the baccalaureate ceremony during graduation, he read a passage from the Koran in Arabic. He's had jobs teaching at the Islamic school and working for a finance firm that specializes in investments that comply with Islamic law.

For Henshaw, negotiating life as a contemporary-preppy-American-conservative-Muslim involves constantly shifting between cultures. It means praying five times a day, yet not objecting when his sister plays Eminem in the car. It means spending a weekend in Maine worshiping with Somali immigrants at the Lewiston mosque before visiting his father at the family's Brunswick farm.

"It is a struggle," he says. "I feel more like I am something of an outsider on both sides, because I'm straddling two worlds, but I don't feel

Until recent government restrictions on immigration, Islam was the fastest-growing faith in the United States, thanks to a combination of Until recent government restrictions on immigration, Islam was the fastest-growing faith in the United States, thanks to a combination of like people are rejecting me."

Until recent government restrictions on immigration, Islam was the fastest-growing faith in the United States, thanks to a combination of immigration, population growth, and conversion, says Yvonne Haddad, a professor at Georgetown University who has studied Muslims in the United States. There are no US government numbers on Muslims in the United States; estimates range from 2 million to 8 million, depending on who is counting. But without question, the growth in the Muslim community has been dramatic, Haddad says, considering that a 1960 survey reported 78,000 Muslims in the United States. A 2000 study released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations reported that half of the 1,200 mosques in the country researchers counted that year had been founded since 1980. According to that report, some 20,000 Americans converted to Islam in 2000.

Henshaw describes his own discovery of Islam as "miraculous." St. Mark's School is an unlikely place for a young person to find Allah. The 138-year-old Southborough prep school is nominally Episcopalian, and the teenagers who go there tend to be more concerned with getting into a good college than finding their way to Eternal Paradise.

Henshaw arrived at St. Mark's in 1992, following a long family tradition. At 14, he was a good student but shy. In his first weeks, he struggled to adjust.

One Saturday night, he was moping around the dorm when he followed the aroma of spicy food to a room where a classmate was eating chicken curry with his brother. The classmate, a Kenyan-born student of Indian descent who was an enthusiastic Muslim, shared his meal with Henshaw. That night, Henshaw made a new friend and picked up a jocular nickname, Mahboob Chaiwala, or "beloved tea seller," later shortened to Mahboob.

As Henshaw got to know his Muslim friend, the boys would talk about Islam. The basic tenets of the faith, with its emphasis on one God, made immediate sense to Henshaw. "I think I always had an innate belief in God," he says. He also describes himself at that age as "very moralistic" -- shocked by classmates who were smoking cigarettes or drinking -- and so the strictures of the faith were appealing.

His conversion was gradual. He gave up pork early on, as a test of willpower. When Houston Rockets player Hakeem Olajuwon spoke at a St. Mark's assembly about his life as a Muslim, Henshaw was inspired to pray for one of the first times in his life, in a dorm room alongside the basketball star.

At the same time, two other classmates from the Boston area who were close to Henshaw's Muslim friend were also developing an interest in Islam. One spring weekend, the four boys took a road trip to New York to visit a mosque. On the highway, they stopped at a McDonald's, where they performed the ritual cleansing of their hands and feet in the restroom and then prayed together on rugs they laid out in the parking lot. Henshaw had never prayed in public before. The entire experience deeply affected him.

From the beginning, Henshaw was attracted to the rigor of Islam and the conviction of the Muslims he knew. The message was similar to what he'd heard in church, he says, but it seemed more urgent.

"The purpose of life was put into much starker definition. There is a hereafter, and this is how it happens, and then they explain exactly what happens on the Day of Judgment in great, great detail," he says. "It made a lot of sense to me, and the people's real belief had a strong effect on me."

As it happened, Henshaw was the last of the St. Mark's group to convert. Before the end of that school year, his freshman term, the two other classmates had accepted Islam. Henshaw made his decision that summer.

Over the years, the four young men would become best friends. During college, when three were in Boston and one in Colorado, they kept in touch. When Henshaw was at Harvard and had, for the most part, stopped practicing, he continued to go to mosque on Fridays, because one of his St. Mark's friends, Noor ad-Deen, would show up at his dorm to go with him.

"I think having these friends has been extremely important. It's a collective thing," says Noor ad-Deen, who asked to be identified by his Muslim name.

Noor ad-Deen, who grew up in South Dartmouth in a "nominally Christian" family, now lives in Cairo, where he studies Arabic and is married to an Egyptian woman. The other St. Mark's convert, who lives on the North Shore, is married to a Bengali woman. The couple is so strict about segregation of the sexes that Henshaw doesn't know the woman's name. None of the friends, Henshaw says, expected their lives to be so shaped by their acceptance of Islam.

When you see Henshaw today, there's no mistaking that he's a Muslim. He sports a full, reddish beard. He usually dresses in a long shirt-dress (called a dishdasha) worn over his pants, a skullcap, and leather socks that allow him to pray throughout the day without having to repeat the ritual washing of feet. I have seen him wearing these clothes in Dedham while shoveling his parents' driveway, with a parka zipped over his robe, or trudging up the street from the train station to his house.

Henshaw wears these garments to imitate Islam's seventh-century founder, Mohammed, and to make a statement about his identity. In his robe and beard, he can go to any city in the world and immediately be welcomed by other Muslims as a "brother." It's the same reason why he generally uses his Muslim name.

"Listen, if I don't do these things, as a white American, it's very easy to turn on and off my Islam," he says. "It'd be very easy to lead a double life."

Henshaw describes himself as "orthodox." He prays five times a day, avoids prohibited food, and doesn't socialize with women. At the mosque he usually attends, only men meet to pray; their wives and daughters gather separately, in private homes.

Henshaw's outlook on Islam has been greatly influenced by a conservative Islamic movement called the Tablighi Jamaat, a group founded in India in 1927 that is considered to be the most widespread revivalist Muslim movement in the world. Beginning when he was in college, Henshaw has gone on Tablighi Jamaat proselytizing pilgrimages in New England, the Midwest, Great Britain, India, and Pakistan, and last summer he traveled from Pennsylvania to North Carolina promoting the practice of strict Islam among other Muslims.

The Tablighi Jamaat is expressly apolitical and, in the United States, intentionally keeps a low profile, although in the past two years it has received some negative attention linking it to extremists. Notably, American John Walker Lindh was reported to have traveled with the Tablighi Jamaat before linking up with the Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. The New York Times reported in July that law enforcement officials believe some terrorists have used the group as a cover. Law enforcement officials were quoted as saying that terrorists used the group as a recruiting ground for terrorists looking for Muslims drawn to extremist teachings, a charge that the group's leaders reject.

"I've definitely never seen anything like that myself," Henshaw says.

In general, Henshaw bristles at the suggestion that practicing a conservative brand of Islam is connected to being an extremist. He sees fundamentalism as "practicing the fundamentals of the religion" -- not something dangerous.

"It's hugely problematic to say Islam encourages people to adopt extremism. We don't suggest that Christianity does that just because there are some guys going around killing abortion doctors," he says. "You can try to implement Islam in a traditional manner while still acting in a positive way in the world."

With his robes and beard and well-worn passport, Henshaw is aware that some people may view him with suspicion. "The profile is similar to a John Walker Lindh," he says. He tells me he's surprised that he has never been detained while traveling. But Henshaw insists the Islam he practices is spiritual, not political, and he doesn't see himself as rejecting American values: "I certainly don't see leading a fairly conservative Muslim lifestyle as in any way encroaching on the rights of others, if it's a spiritual thing."

Practicing Islam successfully, however, does mean creating an Islamic environment. Henshaw thinks it's important for Muslim children to go to Islamic schools. When he sets up his own household, he expects that visitors to his home will socialize in sex-segregated groups. He hopes to have a wife whose primary focus, even if she has a job, will be raising children to be good Muslims.

"Sometimes my dad's like, 'Well, we let you become a Muslim, what if your kid wants to become Hindu?' " Henshaw says. "And I say, that's not going to fly."

When Henshaw and I were talking last spring, he was living with his mother and stepfather in their 320-year-old house in Dedham. He had finished the job working for a finance firm in South Africa and had come home to look for work.

Though he doesn't mingle with women on his own time, he is comfortable meeting and talking with his parents' friends in their home. The only surprising thing I notice him do is shoo away the family's beloved dog, Rocky, because, he tells me, he believes touching dogs is impure.

Henshaw grew up in the Dedham house with his parents, two half-brothers from his father's previous marriage, and a half-sister from his mother's previous marriage. When he was in the second grade, his parents divorced, and his father moved to Hingham. By the time Henshaw was in high school, his parents had remarried, and he remains close to both.

Neither of his parents was especially religious, and neither was fazed by Henshaw's initial interest in Islam. "In some ways, having these liberal, noncommittal Northeast intellectual parents has made my life easier," he says. His mother and father liked his St. Mark's Muslim friends, and they saw the advantages of having their teenager adopt a doctrine that prohibits drinking alcohol or taking drugs. It didn't seem out of character that he would gravitate toward a religion with strict rules, but they also assumed he would grow out of it. Henshaw jokes, "I think my dad probably saw it as a ticket to getting into a good college: My son's too white. Oh, good, now he's Muslim."

Over time, however, Henshaw's parents have accepted that their son's religion is a central part of his life and have continued to support him. His mother, Tyler Knowles, recently took a course on Islam, and she and her husband, Larry Flood, a few years ago traveled to Syria with Henshaw on a family vacation. "We have friends who sort of roll their eyes," Knowles says.

The September 11 terrorist attacks created complicated fears for Henshaw's parents. At the time, Henshaw was at a mosque in India, having just spent a few weeks in Pakistan with the Tablighi Jamaat. Knowles and Henshaw's father, Weld Henshaw, were worried for their son's safety and anxious about anti-Muslim feeling at home. Then came the news of the arrest of Lindh. Like Henshaw, Lindh was the son of affluent, liberal, divorced parents, and spent weeks at a time traveling abroad with Muslim groups.

"I really did have the feeling, there but for God goes my son," says Knowles. She wanted to write to Lindh's parents but was afraid any sign of support would make Henshaw a subject of suspicion. Henshaw's siblings relate to him -- and his religion -- in their own ways. Steve Henshaw, 39, who works for a medical response company in Framingham, has for years practiced a variety of Eastern and Western religions and now goes to mosque as well.

Henshaw's sister, Stephanie Knowles, 32, a New York artist, wrangles with her brother over women's issues. "That's the one thing about his being Muslim that really irritates me. How did he grow up in a house with a single mom for a portion of his childhood and now he's in this thing where the woman he looks to be with is going to have all these restrictions?" she says. "I feel like we were so different from that, and it's sort of insulting in a way."

Henshaw doesn't rationalize the rules he follows. "If you accept the fundamental tenet, that this religion is coming from God, it is your responsibility to implement the whole message to the best of your ability," he says. "At the end of the day, we're not the judge. God is the judge, and he knows best."

One of the challenges of being a 25-year-old devout Muslim guy in Boston is finding what Henshaw calls "halal fun." He learned this when he returned to Harvard after a semester in Egypt, where he recommitted himself to Islam. Upon his return, he gave up his bedroom in a 16-person dorm-room suite in order to live in a party-free off-campus apartment with Muslim roommates.

Now, the friends he sees are virtually all Muslims. In his free time, he plays a fair amount of basketball, and he often spends his weekends at social gatherings organized by his mosque. While I was with him, his mobile phone rang regularly with calls from male Muslim friends.

Still, Henshaw doesn't think it's normal for people to spend their 20s apart from the opposite sex. He would like to get married soon. "I think if I were not Muslim, marriage wouldn't be something I'm thinking about at this point," he says. "But the whole idea of not interacting with women before marriage only works in a society where you marry early."

Given his restrictions, in order to find a wife, Henshaw must meet one through friends. He thinks making a match would be easier if he came from a Muslim family and his female relatives were involved. Ideally, he'd like to find a wife who will be comfortable mixing in non-Muslim environments, such as Thanksgiving dinner with his mother's extended family in Virginia. The most important quality he is looking for in a wife is her commitment to Islam, which he hopes to be the basis of his family life.

"I think when there's some spiritual basis of the relationship, a sense of trying to live together and grow together as good Muslims," Henshaw says, "I think it will probably strengthen the relationship and put it on a different plane."

I go to meet Henshaw at the school in Sharon where he is teaching social studies. The Islamic Academy of New England is tucked away on a former horse farm, surrounded by woods. I pull in next to a car with a bumper sticker that reads: "The most excellent jihad is one against the self."

The school is cheerful. The walls are decorated with children's artwork, including colorful drawings of Arabic letters. A group of boys dressed in white shirts and long dark pants is playing basketball on an outdoor court. In the backyard, girls wearing head scarves and long skirts play softball. As we tour the mosque, Henshaw talks about one of his far-off dreams, which is to start a Muslim prep school modeled on St. Mark's but offering an Islamic environment.

At 25, Henshaw is still deciding what kind of career to pursue. He found that he wasn't fulfilled working at an Islamic finance firm. He's drawn to college-level teaching about Islam, but he doesn't know if there's room for devout Muslims in American universities. He's not sure if he would fit into a big law firm or bank.

"There are very committed Muslims, even Muslims with big beards who dress in these clothes who work in corporate America. People get used to it," he says. "But I found when I've tried to do it that it has been difficult."

The question of what to do for work worries him only so much. As long as he's practicing his faith, he has peace of mind. "The big-picture questions are solved for me, in terms of what life is all about, what happens after you die, what are the things you should really make the most effort for," he says.

In the meantime, he enjoys teaching. At the school, Henshaw often sees immigrant parents who are anxious about raising Muslim children in America. Although, as an American, he knows the issue is different for him, he often thinks about aspects of his life -- from finding a wife to fasting during Ramadan -- that would be easier for him if he lived in a Muslim country.

A few weeks later, he solves his dilemma for a year when he accepts a job teaching at a private school in the United Arab Emirates. It is not an Islamic school, but the dominant culture in the city of Sharjah is Muslim.

Henshaw can see himself staying in the Middle East if he finds that he loves his job or if, as he puts it, "something happens on the marriage front." For now, though, he is thinking of the posting as a yearlong commitment, after which he will probably return to the United States.

Earlier in the summer, he explained to me the conflicting emotions he feels about settling abroad. It was a hot day, and he had taken off his robe, and was sitting in his olive-green golf shirt talking about heading up to Blue Hill, Maine, where his mother and stepfather spend the summer.

"When I'm here, I'm always thinking it's so nice to have a mosque around every corner. It's so nice to hear the call to prayer," he says. "But when I'm in the Middle East, I'm thinking about the climate in New England. I'm thinking about Blue Hill. I'm thinking about playing golf and tennis, and I want to go home."

Beth Carney is a freelance writer who lives in London.

© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Menikmati Setiap Episode Hidup
Sumber: Manajemen Qolbu Online [Kajian Bening Hati - Manajemen Diri]

Oleh : Aa Gym

"Demi masa. Sesungguhnya manusia itu benar-benar berada dalam kerugian, kecuali orang-orang yang beriman dan mengerjakan amal saleh dan nasehat-menasehati supaya menaati kebenaran dan nasehat-menasehati supaya menetapi kesabaran." (QS. Al-Ashr (103):1-3)

Alhamdulillaahirabbil'aalamiin, Allahuma shalli 'ala Muhammad waala aalihi washaabihii ajmai'iin, Saudaraku yang budiman, langkah awal agar kita mampu menikmati setiap detik hidup ini, adalah dengan menumbuhkan sikap ridha (rela menerima kenyataan). Kebahagiaan dan kesedihan, keuntungan dan kerugian, akan terasa nikmat dengan sikap ridha. Mengapa demikian?

Kesengsaraan hidup walaupun dihadapi dengan sikap dongkol uring-uringan, keluh kesah, tetap saja kenyataan sudah terjadi. Pendek kata, disesali ataupun tidak, ridha maupun terpaksa, tetap saja kenyataan itu sudah terjadi dan dialami. Jadi, lebih baik hati kita ridha menerimanya.

Tentu saja ridha terhadap kenyataan yang dialami, bukan berarti pasrah total, sehingga tidak bertindak apapun. Itu keliru, ridha itu amalan hati, sedangkan pikiran dan tubuh kita wajib ikhtiar untuk memperbaiki kenyataan dengan cara yang diridhai Allah. Kondisi hati yang ridha sangat membantu menjadikan proses ikhtiar menjdi positif, optimal dan bermutu.

Saudaraku, orang yang stress adalah orang yang tidak memiliki kesiapan mental menerima kenyataan yang ada. Pikiranya tidak realitis, tidak menerima kenyataan dan tidak berpijak kepadanya. Sibuk menyesali sesuatu yang sudah terjadi. Sungguh, suatu kesengsaraan dan kepedihan hidup yang dibuat sendiri.

Oleh karena itu, sadarilah hidup kita ini terdiri dari berbagai episode yang tidak monoton. Kenangilah perjalanan hidup anda, ambilah kearifan dari setiap episode yang anda telah lalui. Kenanglah dengan kelapangan dada, dinginnya emosi, dan keikhlasan. Tidak ada gunanya menyelimuti kenyataan hidup ini dengan keluh kesah. Itupun tidak menyelesaikan masalah, bahkan menambah luka yang anda alami. Tetapi atasi dengan hati yang ridha, sehingga kita menikmati setiap episode hidup kita sambil berikhtiar memperbaiki kenyataan pada jalan yang Allah ridhai. Wallahu'alam bish shawab.(and/yn)***

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Ku pinta, namun tiada ku peroleh..
Ku pinta lagi, namun tiada ku peroleh..
Lagi ku pinta, namun tetap tiada ku peroleh..

Alhamdu lillah atas nikmat yang tiada ..
Things Could Have Become Worse .. and Allah Knows

If we succeeded
we would become arrogant
and start looking down on others.

If life was easy
we would stop knocking on His door
something we never stopped doing before.

If we were wealthy,
we would stop donating to the poor
thinking it is rightfully ours.

If we were such good PRs
we would deem others who are not beneficial for us
as insignificant.

If we were praised
our hearts become inflated
our face starts to bloom
don't we realize
it's just because they don't know
who we really are?

If we were insulted
our breasts become constricted
our face starts to blush
do we forget
for whom we were doing the action for?

If we got the 'thing' we wanted
more and more time we spend on it
less and less time we spend with Allah
more and more attachment to the khalq
less and less attachment with the Haqq.

If we were loved by people
we would remember more of insaan
we would forget more of Ar-Rahmaan

If we had great leadership capabilities
would we really invite them to the light
and would we really invite them to The Light
or we would manipulate them to our own cause.

If we ceased to fall, and ceased to slip
we would have stoned hearts, and dry eyes
for repentance is a gift, for only those who realize.

For even in the things we don't have .. all praise is to Allah .. there's so much to be thankful for ..


for, Allah is what we seek
for, Him is what we want our hearts to be filled with
and nothing else really matters anyway.

- Ibaad Ar-Rahmaan -

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Bismillah ir Rahman nir Raheem!

Assalaamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah Sisters and Brothers!

Alhamdulillah, the Fall 2003 edition of the MSA Link was a great success and packed with useful updates and information on MSA activity. If you haven't already seen it, an internet version of the Link is available at

However, the Spring 2004 MSA Link is now in the works and we are currently seeking articles, writings, contributions from YOU. If you want to use your writing talent for the furtherance and benefit of Islamic work in the US and Canada please send in your contributions today! We look forward to receiving articles on issues related to campus life, school, religious/student/political activism and any other relevant issues. Advertisement space for forthcoming conferences and programs is available.

Articles sharing student reflections, goals, projects or any MSA events in your area, as well as poetry or artwork, will also be appreciated and considered for print.

The MSA Link is a continental student newsletter, written and run by Muslim students for Muslim students. We challenge and encourage you to be a part of it.

To make a contribution, please email us a copy at


JazakumAllahu Khayran,
Wa alaykum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
The MSA Link Coordinating Committee

The Muslim Students Association of the US and Canada

Monday, January 19, 2004

The Etiquette of Disagreement

Dr Abdulhakim Jackson
Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies,
The University of Michigan

A lecture presented on Friday 24 November 2000 at the Islamic Council of New South Wales Hall in Sydney, organised by the Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth (FAMSY).

In the Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful. Peace be upon you, and The Mercy and Blessings of Allah.

First I would like to thank the members of FAMSY for affording me this wonderful opportunity to come to Australia. I would like to extend to them on behalf of myself, my wife and the Muslims of America our most heartfelt thanks for the wonderful hospitality that has been shown to us throughout our stay in Australia. This will truly be one of the more memorable periods in our lives and that we would take back to the United States wonderful news about the developments that we have seen in the Muslim community here in Australia.

Islamic Civics

My topic tonight is entitled "The Etiquette of Disagreement", and I think that sometimes the titles to things have everything to do with how they are understood. Some of us believe that a topic like "The Etiquette of Disagreement" is one of those topics that scholars and the ulamaa up in some ivory tower discuss and that it has very little to do with our everyday life, on the level of our everyday activities. What I want to propose to you tonight is that what we’re really talking about is a lesson in Islamic Civics. Where I come from in the United States public education is compulsory still in many states up until the age of sixteen. In some states its not compulsory but only because in those states they allow for private education, you can arrange for the education of your own child in your own home; but education is compulsory. Part of that education is what we call Civics (in some schools they call it Government while in other schools it is called Social Studies).

These are lessons that are designed to prepare students to grow up to be citizens; to live in a society in such a way that they will be productive. That they will be able to contribute to the society — they will be a positive addition to the society and that they will promote the interest of the society as defined by the society’s leaders. What I want to propose tonight is that we need to get back to Islamic Civics, of how we as Muslims can function as productive individuals in groups in society in such a way that we promote the interests of Islam. We further the integrity of the religion and that we support the furthering of our interests both in terms of our activities among ourselves and what we deliver to the rest of the world. Now I think it’s a forgone conclusion with all of those ayat that we have in the Quran that Allah (swt) has not asked, but commanded us as a community to love one another and to promote unity. And there are many ayat in the Quran just to name a few: "Those who divide up their religion and become groups unto themselves you have nothing to do with them Muhammad"; "And do not be like those who divided themselves up and differed among themselves after clear signs have come to them and these are the people whom will receive a grievous penalty."

The Jama‘ah

Allah (swt) says in another verse: "And hold fast to the rope of Allah all together and do not be divided and remember Allah’s bounty upon you when you were divided and He made you brothers out of His blessing to you". It is related on the authority of Abdullah ibn Masud, the famous companion, that he once said, "Being together as a jamaa’ah, being united as a jamaa’ah, this is the Hablullah (the Rope of Allah) that Allah is talking about in this verse", and he (ra) goes on to say that, "That which you do not like in the jamaa’ah is better than that which you love in your own little separate group." So being with the jamaa’ah is preferred over being in your own little separate group. This is all well and good, to talk about being a jamaa’ah, but what about the fact that there are people who have ideas that we don’t agree with. What about the fact that there are people who endorse notions that we believe to be haram, what about the fact that there are people who advocate doctrines that we believe to be antithetical to Islam, that we believe to be against Islam? How can we maintain a jamaa’ah with these kinds of ideas in our midst? And it’s here that we come to the whole point of Islamic Civics, and what all of us in this room, in fact all of us who say laa ilaaha illallah Muhamadu rasulullah, what all of us have to remember is that this Deen is not our personal property. This Deen is the Deen of Allah (swt). And it is supposed to be practiced as Allah (swt) has commanded us to practice it. And Allah has commanded us, not asked us, commanded us in many ayat to be united, to have love and compassion among us. We are going to differ in our interpretations. We are going to differ in what some of us hold to be priorities from what others hold to be priorities. How could that not be the case?

The Companions Differed

The companions themselves differed on their understandings of various things that the Prophet (s) said, or that the Prophet (s) did. We are no better than the companions. We are human beings just like them and so we will differ. But the point becomes how do we manage our differences? How do we differ in such a way that while our ideas may differ and be separate, our hearts are united and we recognise each other as brothers and sisters involved in one mission? How do we do that? This is the Etiquette of Disagreement that I am talking about as Islamic Civics.

Rules of Discussion

One of our main problems, if I might be permitted to say so, because I did not come all the way to Australia to add to the problems of the Muslims in Australia. I came inshaAllah, if anything, to lesson those problems and I asked Allah (swt) to grant me the taufiq that will enable me to do that inshaAllah. By my humble estimation one of the reasons that we often times fall into disagreement with each other, the kind of disagreement that leads to hatred, distrust, mutual accusations, is that we attempt to go into discussions of issues with no rules of discussion. We’re playing without rules of interpretation, and this is one of the things that separates us from our pious ancestors. They had rules for interpretation.

We all know that the Prophet (s) passed away and his companions succeeded him and went to the various parts of the Muslim world where they began to encounter realities that were unknown to the Arabian Peninsula. All kinds of new people started coming into Islam. We have to remember that during the Prophet’s (s) lifetime Syria was not an Arab country. It became Arab after the Muslims went their with Islam — they were not forced to be Arabs, nor forced to be Muslims, Islam won the hearts of the Syrians. Egypt was not an Arab country, it became an Arab country, it became a Muslim country. Likewise with Iran, North Africa — you have all these people coming into Islam from different backgrounds and histories. How was it that they were able to maintain a sense of unity?

We all know that Imam Ash-Shafi’i (r) came on the scene in the 2nd century of Islam, and Imam Ash-Shafi’i wrote an important book called Ar-Risalah; and this was the book that started the Muslims to develop rules of engagement. Rules of Engagement — that is to say brother you have a hadith and I have a hadith. Okay, what does the hadith say. The hadith says ‘do this’, what does ‘do’ mean in Arabic? ‘Do this’ is what they call in Arabic seeghat al amr. It’s a command. Imam Ash-Shafi’i sat down and said command can mean a number of things - it could mean that something is waajib (you must do it) or that something is mandoob (you should do it) or that something is mubaah (you may do it). And so now when Muslims come together and they discuss commands, if one of them says this means you have to do it and the other one says you should do it, they both know now what that command could mean; it could mean you must, or you should. And he who says that it means you must, has he corrupted the hadith of the rasul? No, this is consistent with what commands could mean, and vice versa. And this was the way in which the Muslims were able to accommodate all these different people and it kept them talking about Islam among themselves and debating the issues without dividing into sects and schisms.

This is the first lesson that we need to learn. And in these Islamic schools that we have, we need to put into the curriculum this Islamic Civics because often times especially among young people, we have young people who go home and read Quran and with the best of intentions they come back and they have an opinion and they don’t know that there may be another way to understand that ayah, and they say therefore that anybody who does not see it as I see it, he must not be serious about deen. Therefore we fall into schism and distrust and we become disunited and can’t get very much done. So one of the main things we need to do, and I’m going to plead from this podium tonight with the ulama of Australia, that they get together and develop a program for Rules of Engagement among the Muslims. The Muslims used to call this Usool-ul-Fiqh. How not only to understand, but how to discuss our issues? If we don’t have rules of engagement there’s only going to be one opinion I’m going to recognise, you know what that opinion is? It’s my opinion and anybody who disagrees with that opinion I’m not going to recognise. I’m going to accuse them of being either insincere or not wanting to accept the truth. So this is one of the first things we need to do.

The Jama‘ah and ‘Ismah

The second thing we need to do in this Islamic Civics, is recognise that in Islam there is no church. We don’t have a pope or vatican. In Islam we have what is known as ‘ismah or infallibility — that the Prophet (s) had a perfect understanding of the revelation and this is why any time we go to the Prophet (s) and we asked him a question and he gives us an answer we know that is a correct answer. Because the Prophet (s) is ma’sum min al khata (protected from error in interpretation). This is one of the basic characteristics of being a prophet. All of the prophets were ma’sumeen min al khata. But what happens after the Prophet (s) dies? What happens to this ‘ismah? Who gets this ‘ismah? Do I get it? Do you get it? According to Ahlis Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah it is the jamaa’ah who gets this ‘ismah. The Prophet (s) is reported to have said that his community (ummah) will not universally agree on an error. In other words everything his (s) community universally agrees upon is true, and therefore is binding on every believer; but that which his (s) community does not agree upon is subject to debate and there are many things that the community disagrees upon. And where the community disagrees no one party can accuse the other party of being in error in the absolute sense. The most that they can do is what the Imam Ash-Shafi’i did. Al-Imam Ash-Shafi’i said, "I believe my opinion is right with the possibility that it is wrong and I believe the opinion of those who disagree with me is wrong with the possibility that it is right." This is the spirit with which the Muslim approaches those issues on which there is no consensus in the community.

When we try to make everything in Islam a matter of consensus, we are going against the way of our pious ancestors no matter what we call ourselves. This is a fact, and another fact is that our pious ancestors differed on more than they agreed on. There was one scholar named ibn Al-Mundhir who died in the year 310H. Ibn Al-Mundhir wrote a book called Kitabul-Ijmaa’, this was a book that included everything that the ulamaa agreed upon up until his death. This book is only about 250 pages big. The rest was all subject to ongoing debate, ongoing discussion. But the Muslims then had rules for discussion and that is why they could discuss and continue to debate and even change their minds without it leading to hatred and distrust and someone accusing the other of not being a pious Muslim.

They came in fact to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal who used to say that if your nose bleeds then you have to renew your wudu. Imam Malik said that if your nose bleeds you do not have to renew your wudu. So they went to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal and they said what if you were praying behind somebody and they have a nose bleed and they don’t renew there wudu, do you continue to pray behind them? And Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said, "How can I refuse to pray behind somebody like Imam Malik? I have daleel (evidence), he has daleel; I have solid daleel, he has solid daleel." The companions of the Prophet (s) took different things from him and went out to the various parts of the Muslim world and they taught those different things in those various parts. All of them got what they taught from the Prophet (s) so Imam Malik has his point of view and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal has his point of view. This was the spirit of our pious ancestors, and this is what we have to get back to.

Get Priorities Straight

One of the things that we have to do if we’re going to have this Islamic Civics, this Etiquette of Disagreement, is that we are going to have to get our priorities straight. We are going to have to understand that there are some things in Islam that are not subject to any compromise. I’m reminding you in this regard that the Prophet (s) in the 9th year of the Hijra (Makkah was conquered in the 8th year) went back to Madina and in that year a whole bunch of tribes came to Madina to pledge their allegiance to the Prophet, to accept Islam. There was one tribe by the name of Bani Thaqeef from Taif, and they came to Prophet (s) and said that they did not want to make salah. The Prophet (s) said to them there is no good in any religion that does not have salah. They then said that they wanted to keep our idols. The Prophet (s) told them: "No, you are going to get rid of those idols now." They said that if they were to destroy the idols their people would go bizirk. The Prophet (s) said that he would send somebody to break the idols for them. And then they said they did not want to fight any jihad. The Prophet (s) said okay. Then they said that they like women and wine. The Prophet (s) said that these things are forbidden. Then they said that they didn’t want to pay any zakat. The Prophet (s) said you’ll pay. What is the point here? When they said "we want to keep our idols" what did the Prophet (s) say? "You are going to get rid of those idols now" — cause this is a violation of Tawhid and this is something we cannot compromise on but when they said "we don’t want to fight any jihad" what did the Prophet (s) say? He (s) is reported to have said: "We’ll work with/on that". Did he (s) give everything the same priority? No he (s) didn’t.

Allah (swt) doesn’t give everything the same priority. "Do you make giving the pilgrims water and taking care of the Ka’ba like somebody who believes in Allah and the Last Day and fights in the path of Allah", these things are not equal. Wallahi (By Allah) sometimes we take a brother who says laa ilaaha illallah Muhammadu rasullallah and then he doesn’t have a beard and we treat him like he is a kaafir, subhanallah! What priority does this have? We know the hadith of rasullallah (s), he said on the Day of Judgement there’s one man who took a card written on it Laa illaha illallah, on one side of the scale, put all his other bad deeds on the other side of the scale and what happened? This card outweighed all the other deeds. This is not my words, this is the word of the Prophet (s), whether we like it or not, this is the deen that the Prophet (s) taught us. And he taught us that for a reason.

This is the last chance that humanity has for salvation. There are over one billion Muslims in the world today, and they come from all different kinds of backgrounds, with all different kinds of histories, with all different kinds of problems. We are very aware of what’s going on in Palestine and we see the carnage and it disgusts us. It hurts us and makes us angry at ourselves that we are so weak that we can’t do anything. But let me tell you something brothers and sisters, there are Muslims in this world who are starving and whose situation is so bad, that they don’t have a television to watch what’s going on in Palestine. We have people who have all kinds of different realities confronting them, and they have different timetables. If we are going to remain one ummah we going to have to learn how to accommodate each other. That means getting the essentials straight and agreeing to continue to work on those things that are non-essentials.

There is a hadith of the Prophet (s) in Sahih Muslim, Shaikh ul Islam Ibn Taymiya talks about this hadith in some detail. A man at the time of the Prophet (s) used to drink wine and would get caught and was whipped. He would drink again and be whipped again. One day they caught him drunk again and brought him before the Prophet (s) and after punishing began to curse him. Do you know what the Prophet (s) said to them? He (s) said: "Do not curse him because he loves Allah and the Prophet." There are weak Believers and strong Believers and not all Believers are strong. This does not mean that they are not Believers. And this is what the Prophet (s) has taught us. If we continue to act in the way that the Prophet (s) taught us to act toward our brothers and our sisters may be next year, five years or ten years from now they will evolve into a much better Muslim. And the Prophet (s) said, "Gentleness and kindness was never a part of anything except that it made it beautiful, and harshness was never a part of anything except that it made it ugly." This is our model, our teacher, our uswah hasanah and this is what we are going to have to learn if we are going to get rid of this ‘adaawa wal baghdaa that is among us as an ummah and we have to know this is a curse. When Allah (swt) talks about al ‘adaawa wal baghdaa in the Quran who does He talk about? He talks about ahlul kitab for things that they did that contravened the revelation as a punishment for them. So let us not look at our division and blame somebody else. This is a problem of this ummah as a whole. And we must get back to an etiquette of disagreement if we are to overcome this.

Trying to make Mustahab Waajib

Another reason that sometimes we fall into needless fights and schisms is that we dispute about things that are either mustahab or makruh and we try to make the mustahab wajib. Or we try to make the makruh haram. And then we go on fighting about these things. In Islam the ulama, not Abdulhakim Jackson’s Islam from America, agree there are five rulings in Islam. These are haram, makruh, mubah, mustahab, wajib, and most of our disagreements come in these two areas of makruh and mustahab. What does wajib mean? It means that if you do it Allah will reward you, if you don’t do it He will punish you. Haram means that if you do it Allah will punish and you if you don’t do it He will reward you. Mustahab means that if you do it Allah will reward you and if you don’t do He won’t do anything to you. Makruh means that if you do it Allah will not punish you but if you don’t He will reward you.

The two rak’aat before Fajr is mustahab. A brother just accepted Islam or a sister married to a Muslim man all her life but just came back to Islam recently and they come to the masjid for Fajr and do not pray the two rak’aat of Fajr. What do I say to them? Do I start accusing/abusing them? Why should I since the two rak’aat are mustahab! Give that person time to evolve and develop. What did the Prophet (s) say to Bani Thaqeef about jihad, he (s) said we’ll work on this jihad — Omar (ra) went bizirk, he could not understand the Prophet’s (s) response. The Prophet (s) said to Omar (ra) they will come around — they will accept it eventually. After the Prophet’s (s) death a number of tribes in Arabia left Islam; one of the tribes who did not leave Islam was Bani Thaqeef. Those same people who just a few years earlier who said they did not want to fight any jihad. Do you see the wisdom of the Prophet (s). And he said: "I know that there will come out of these people some who will defend Islam and who will take it to the horizons."

A Matter of Education

Why are we going to get into a fight over how to position the hands during salaah and forget the fact that I am praying despite having my hands on my chest or by my sides. Which is more important, the fact that I’m praying or the fact that I’m not praying the way you’re used to? This is part of our problem and a big part of the problem is a matter of education. And this is why in our Islamic schools we must get back to our Islamic Civics because if we don’t we will be repeating the same old song over and over again. If we teach our children this now, then by the time they are young men and women they will know better. If we can put aside all these kind of minor arguments then we have time and energy and love to put into our real issues — building a future for our youth, making our society a place in which our veiled women can walk with a sense of pride. Getting into society and taking it back from the people who want to direct people toward the path to hell. That’s what we could do, but not if we’re sitting around arguing over things that we don’t need to argue over, and this is a matter of education.

This is even more important in a place like Australia than it is in Lebanon or Syria or Pakistan. This is so because in Australia you’ll have Muslims from all over the world and all these people saw one Islam all their lives. Now they come to Australia and they see other Muslims doing things differently, so now they’re going to have to show who is the "right Muslim".

I respect all ulamaa, whether I agree with them or not; and the only person who doesn’t respect an ‘alim is a jahil — he doesn’t know what knowledge is all about. Ibn Taymiya said that part of our problem is that many of our ulamaa don’t teach the people that there is more than one way of doing things. Instead they leave the people to think that there is only one way of doing things and therefore whenever they see someone doing something different they think the person is involved in the biggest bid’ah (innovation) that entered planet earth. And this is a problem. Ibn Taymiya (r) said, (from kitab Risalat al ulfah baina al Muslimeen) not only should the ulamaa teach their people that there is more than one way of doing things they should even model that from time to time.

The prophet (s) said that his ummah will not agree on an error. He (s) did not say that you will never make a mistake, or that I will never make a mistake, we make mistakes all the time, he said the whole ummah is not going to make a mistake. This is something that we need to remember. We need to come back to the sunnah of the Prophet (s) in Islamic Civics — how to live together. In Spain they used to say, man aslama faqad tahadara, meaning whoever becomes a Muslim acquires hadaarah (civilisation), the ability to live with each other. To know that in this room nobody is ma’sum (infallible) and in the absence of the Prophet (s), who was ma‘sum, we have no choice but to continue to talk about these differences.

Issues that are Clear

Let’s get something straight. The Prophet (s) has spoken and in some areas he has spoken very clearly. If he (s) has spoken clearly then the ummah will know that. The ummah will not disagree on it. This is why we don’t find any ‘aalim who says that you don’t have to pray for example on a Tuesday afternoon. Any ‘aalim who says riba (usury) is halal is wrong, it is haram! Stealing is haram, zakat is fard — there is no disagreement on these issues.

But there are many things that the Prophet (s) said that are subject to interpretation and we learned this from the companions. We all know the famous story of the Prophet (s) when he told the companions (ra); "There is no prayer to be offered until you reach the camp of Bani Quraizah." Some of the companions said what he meant was to hurry up and get to Bani Quraizah because you don’t want the salat time to be missed. The other companions said no that’s not what he meant, he meant don’t make salat until you get to Bani Quraizah. So one group made salat on time while the other group prayed when they got to Bani Quraizah (after the time of Asr had elapsed). When this incident reached the Prophet (s) he did not rebuke either of them. Both groups took the Prophet’s (s) words and with complete integrity, not trying to undermine his (s) mission, not trying to get out of what they were commanded to do, but with the best of intentions trying to fulfill their duty to obey the Prophet (s) — both will get their reward. These were the companions of Rasullallah (s). Are we better than they are? Subhanallah, this is where our problem is. That is what we have to get back to Islamic Civics.

Levels of Disagreement

There is one other area that I want to touch upon because sometimes a lot of the poison in our discussion comes from the fact that we’re not even clear on what we’re differing about. There are at least three levels that we can disagree on.

1. The level of revelation: Is this ayah from the Quran or is this hadith sahih can we accept it?

2. The level of interpretation: After accepting that an ayah is from Allah or a hadith is from Rasulullah, what is our interpretation of it?

3. The level of application: Sometimes when we agree on the levels of revelation and interpretation, we might disagree on the level of application. For example, during the time of the Prophet (s) their was a group who were known as al mu’allafatul qulub — either new Muslims or even non-Muslims whom the Prophet (s) was attempting to open up some psychological space. These were people who were not opposed to Islam but were afraid that when they became Muslim their lives would change in ways that they were uncertain about. So what the Prophet (s) wanted to do was soothe their hearts by givinge them gifts, money, camels and all kinds of things. And once they got these they might consider Islam and think it not bad. After the Prophet (s) died and Umar (ra) became caliph (Abu Bakr was only caliph for 2 years) one of the tribes that the Prophet used to give money to came to Umar and requested the money that the Prophet used to give to them. Umar responded by saying that: "I’ll give you this (sword) and that’s all you’re going to get." The companions questioned Umar saying that the Prophet (s) used to do that. Umar replied that the Prophet (s) used to do that in our time of need, "I know why he did it I was there. He (s) did it when we needed to — when we were weak and afraid of the tribes around Arabia. Now there is no longer any cause to do this, I will give them nothing but this (sword). " The question arises, did Umar accept the ayah? Yes! Did Umar accept the Prophet (s) interpretation of the ayah? Yes! Where did Umar differ? With the application of this ayah.

What are not Daleels (Proofs)

"Astagfirullah," is not a daleel. Anger is not a daleel. Yelling is not a daleel. Even takfeer (calling someone a kaafir) is not a daleel. What do I mean by this? Sometimes when I can’t convince you about my point of view, rather than give you daleel I yell and scream. I start out with "astaghfirallah hil atheem", this is not daleel. What is needed is proof from Quran, sunnah, qiyas, and ijmaa’. Let us not terrorise our brothers and sisters.

Things we should not be arguing about

If we’re arguing about an issue of tauhid/shirk, or whether the Prophet (s) always spoke the truth or not, or whether there is a Day of Judgement or not — then we have a problem. We are not supposed to be arguing about these essential things — we’re supposed to be agreeing on them. But if we’re talking about something that is not fundamental, then either I can convince or I can’t and let us leave it at that.

The Ignorant and the Hypocrite

We have to get to know our people because sometimes a person may hold a view, and they may hold that view because they are ignorant. Let us try to tell the difference between someone who is arrogant, who has no regard for the truth and who doesn’t care whether you are right or not, they just want to hold on to their opinion - that’s one kind of person. Then there is another kind of person who if you convince him he may see your point of view. So we should be careful about holding everybody who makes a mistake as a person who rejects Quran and Sunnah. He might just have made a mistake.

Ibn Taymiyyah (r) said that many people who hold wrong ideas may be believing wrong minded, erring Muslims (Mumin mukhti, daal ‘an ba’di ma ja’a bihi rasullullah). Or he may be munaafiqun zindeeq, a hypocrite who wants to hide behind fancy words and doesn’t really believe in Allah and the Last Day. Therefore, we have know the differences between people in order for us to get back to Islamic Civics, inshaAllah.

Transcribed by Sr Faiza Abdullatif


Thursday, January 15, 2004


by Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah rahimahullâh (d. 751H)
From "Madrâjis as-Salikîn"
Printed in Al-Jumu'ah Magazine

The first of the ranks of the journey of servititude (ubûdiyah) is awakening, which is alarming and stirring up of the heart from the sleep of heedlessness. By Allâh, how priceless is that revitalising alarm! How valuable and indispensable for the journey! Whoever experiences it, by Allâh, he has indeed experienced the breeze of success. Without experiencing it, every one is lost in heedlessness. His hearing is asleep while his eyes appear awake. It is this blessed alarm that wakes one up and makes him a seeker of Allâh. The seeker now rolls up his sleeves and musters up his courage to set out on the journey to Allâh, station by station.

Perhaps it is this rising up from sleep that is mentioned in the following Qur'ânic verse:

"Say: I exhort you only to one thing, that you rise up for Allâh's sake in twos and singly, then ponder; there is no madness in your fellow citizen (Muhammad); he is only a warner to you before a severe chastisement." [34:46]

The first realisation that illuminates the seeker upon this awakening is the immensity of gifts of Allâh upon him. The believer's heart glances at the gifts and bounties of Allâh and is overwhelmed by his own sense of inability to even count them, let alone thank Allâh for them all. The second realisation is the realisation of the inadequacy of his gratitude and worship to Allâh. These realisations are in fact both the cause and the effect of the first station of awakening. As the believer (alternatively, the seeker, for there is no difference between the two, every believer is indeed a seeker of Allâh – tr.) advances on his journey and as his heart is sharpened by these two realisations, it becomes incumbent upon him to notice more and more the innumerable inner and outer, open and hidden gifts of Allâh and recognise his own shortcoming in thanking the Giver adequately. These two realisations make the seeker actualise the supplication of the Prophet, may the prayers and blessings of Allâh be upon him, in which he said: "(O Allâh), I admit Your bounties upon me, and I admit my sin, so forgive me, for no one can forgive but You!" (al-Bukhârî) At this point, one realises why this supplication is indeed the master of all supplications for forgiveness (as the Prophet has told us). The believer also realises at this point that if Allâh were to punish all the dwellers of Heavens and the Earth, He would not be in the wrong. If, on the other hand, He were to exonerate and reward them all, his reward and mercy would far exceed their deeds. The believer, therefore, realises that he must be ever mindful of Allâh's bounties and his own shortcomings.


The seeker inevitable realizes his sins and failings, and feels that he is in serious danger on account of them. He remembers Almighty Allâh's censure for those who forget the verses of Allâh after they have been reminded of them:

"And who is more wrongful than one who is reminded of the verses of Allâh, yet he evades them, and forgets what is awaiting him." [18:57]

Once the seeker is fully cognizant of his offences, he rolls up his sleeves to compensate for what has been lost. He breaks off the shackles of sins with the strength of istighfâr (seeking forgiveness) and penance. He yearns for purification, just like the purification of gold and silver from impurities when they are burnt, so that he may enter the paradise prepared by his Lord for him, for nothing impure can ever enter the Paradise:

"…those whose lives the angels take in a state of purity, saying (to them), "Peace be on you, enter the Garden, because of (the good) which you did (in the world)." [16:32]

This purification is carried out by four means: (1) repentance by turning away from sins (tawbah), (2) actively seeking forgiveness (istighfâr), (3) good deeds that erase the bad ones, (4) and calamities that efface the sins. If one is purified by these four means, he becomes of those who is greeted and congratulated y the angles upon death, and assured by them of his abode in the Paradise, and that he shall see grief and fear no more. Without any of these four, one's repentance is not complete and is not likely to be enough to counter balance his sins.

After one's death, when he is in the state of Barzakh (the state between death and the Final Day), his sins may be effaced by the following: (1) funeral salâh for him performed by the faithful, (2) the trials of the grave (may Allâh protect us from this), (3) what his brothers from the Muslims present to him after his death, of virtuous deeds, like charity, Hajj, fasting, recitation of the Qur'ân and salâh on his behalf. The jurists agree that the charity and supplications of the living will reach him and benefit him after his death. Majority include Hajj in this list, while the Hanâbilah include all good deeds in this list; the Hanbalî way being the most liberal of all in this matter.

Those who are still not purified by these means, may be purified by the dreadfulness of the Day of Resurrection or by intercession of those whom Allâh will allow to intercede that Day, and finally and most importantly, by the pardoning of his Most Forgiving Lord.

If one's sins are still remaining, the Fire or the purgatory then purifies him, the extent of this punishment being proportional to one's sins. When one is cleansed of sins and corruption, and all that is left is pure and good, he is now entered into the Paradise, into which one but the pure may enter.


The first of the two realisations, the recognition and appreciation of Allâh's endless bounties, is assisted by three things: the light of intellect, Allâh's favors, and consideration of the suffering of less fortunate people.

The light of intellect is the light that caused one's soul to wake up in the first place. One is able to appreciate the bounties of Allâh only as much as the strength of this light allows him. Some may not realise Allâh's bounties except in ordinary things like food, clothing, safety and their standing in the society. Such people may not have even a piece of this light from Allâh, for the real bounty to consider and appreciate is the bounty of Islâm, of Îmân, of Allâh's message, of the opportunity to remember Him and the honour to obey Him. This faith is the supreme bounty and gift of Allâh, and one cannot see it expect with the illuminated inner eye.

Sensing the rays of Allâh's favors through the clouds of mundane life and darkness of the desiring self is the second part of appreciation. One observes the unfortunate people who are heedless of Allâh, or lost in innovations (ibtida') and forgotten the essence of the Dîn of Allâh. Such disbelievers and innovators are indeed greater in misery and suffering than those who are dying of starvation and disease. Once the seeker realises the misery of the misguided, he realises the immensity of Allâh's mercy upon him to have guided him, for things are known through their opposites.


The second of the two realisations associated with the Awakening of a believer is the realisation of one's sins, which again is assisted by three things. Realising the greatness of the Truth, knowing oneself, and certainty in Allâh's admonitions.

Realising His greatness from the core of one's heart is the key to understanding the enormity of defying Allâh, the Most High. If one contemplates in the greatness of Allâh and his own infirmity and weakness before Allâh, and his need for Allâh at every moment of his life, the enormity and wrongness of his sins becomes glaringly obvious. Knowing the nothingness of one's own self before Allâh, therefore, is an essential step in abandoning sins.

The axis of all success is belief in Allâh's promises and admonitions; and if this belief dwindles or weakens in the heart, so does any hope for success. Allâh has clearly told us that His verses and signs are of benefit only to those who believe in His promises and warning and fear the punishment of the afterlife:

"Indeed, in these there is a sign only for those who feared the Punishment of the Hereafter," [11:103]

"You are a warner exclusively for those who fear it (the Last Day)." [79:45]

Those deserving of salvation in this world and in the Hereafter are none but those who believe in and fear the admonition of Allâh:

"And We will establish you (the believers) on the Earth after them (the disbelievers), that is the reward for those who feared meeting Me, and feared my admonition." [14:14]


One of the highest grades of this Awakening is the realisation of the lost days of one's life, which leads to the commitment to compensate for the lost time and fill the remaining days with goodness and virtue. Such an awakened soul then is miserly about wasting even an hour, indeed even a breath, in anything that is not helpful in its journey to Allâh. Every wasted moment is a regret and loss on that Day and a hindrance on the journey to Allâh.

Three things enhance the remorse for the lost days and the concern to compensate for them in the remaining days of one's life; knowledge, responsiveness to admonition, and company of the righteous. The more one knows the worth of deeds and enormity of their consequences, the more he realises the worth of his loss. Similarly, one's responsiveness to the admonisher of his heart (according to a hadîth of the Prophet, every believer has an admonisher in his heart who warns him against possible sins) determines how much he can improve. The company of people who have great concern for the condition of their hearts and determination to reach the highest levels is another great help in the path of the seeker.

Thus ends the description of the first station (maqâm) of the Madârij (ranks) of the seekers of Allâh.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

In the Name of Allah: the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

..: MAS Freedom Foundation* :..

<< JANUARY 14, 2004 UPDATE >>



Broad investigation seen as "witch hunt"

(MASNET & News Agencies) - The Senate asked tax officials to provide confidential tax and financial information on more than 20 Islamic charities in the United States for suspected ties between tax-exempt organizations and terrorist groups, it was reported.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be asked to provide information on the groups, including a list of their top officials, their financial records, and donor lists, relating to Muslim charities and foundations, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Reuters news agency.

The request is a rare and unusually broad use of the committee's power to obtain private records held by the government, The Washington Post reported.

While the Senate Finance Committee is authorized to request private financial records from the IRS, it rarely invokes that power, the paper said.

IRS officials say they expect to comply with the request because it falls within the panel's statutory authority, according to the Post.

As part of an expanding probe, investigators are particularly interested in some 20 U.S. organizations that enjoy tax-exempt status and whom senators sponsoring a request for the information suspect of having ties to the al-Qaeda network or Hamas.

"Government officials, investigations by federal agencies and the Congress and other reports have identified the crucial role that charities and foundations play in terror financing," Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, and the panel's senior Democrat, Montana Sen. Max Baucus, wrote in a Dec. 22 letter to the IRS.

"We have a responsibility to carry out oversight to ensure charities, foundations and other groups are abiding by the laws and regulations, to examine their source of funds, and to ensure government agencies, including the IRS, are policing them and enforcing the law efficiently and effectively."

Among the groups that could face Senate scrutiny are the Holy Land Foundation - the largest Muslim charity in the United States - the SAAR Foundation and its affiliated entities, a defunct network of organizations based in Northern Virginia; Global Relief, whose founder was deported to Lebanon; the Muslim Student Association; the Islamic Society of North America; the Muslim World League; the World Assembly of Muslim Youth; and the Islamic Circle of North America, the daily said.

As part of the battle against terrorist financing, the United States has frozen nearly $137 million in funds suspected of belonging to terrorist groups.

Muslim leaders and attorneys for charities say the government's investigation has tarnished their reputations and chilled financial support for groups that provide humanitarian support for the Middle East and elsewhere, reports Reuters.

Roger C. Simmons, a Frederick, MD, lawyer who represents the Illinois-based Global Relief Foundation, whose assets have been frozen by the government, said to the Post: "This kind of blanket request would further chill the tendency for American Muslims to give money.

As far as the organizations themselves, I'm not sure what else they can do to them that they haven't already done."

Committee staffers said the investigation is based not on ethnicity or religious affiliation but rather on concerns that the groups may have ties to terrorists or their supporters. "This is not a fishing expedition targeting Muslims," one Senate aide said. "All the groups we're looking at are suspected of having some connections to terrorism or of doing propaganda for terrorists. We're not presuming anybody's guilty."

"We want to look into where all their money comes from," one committee aide said. "Is it from foreign embassies? Does money come from obscure individuals in the Persian Gulf? We're the only ones that can look at

List of targeted organizations and Charities:

SAAR Foundation and its affiliates
Global Relief Foundation
Benevolence International Foundation
Muslim Arab Youth Association
Muslim Student Association
Islamic Association for Palestine
Holy Land Foundation for Releif and Development
Muslim World League
International Islamic Relief Organization
Al Haramain Foundation
Alavi Foundation
Institute of Islamic and Arabic Science in America
Islamic Assembly of North America
Help the Needy
Islamic Circle of North America
Islamic Foundation of America
United Association for Studies and Research
Solidarity International
Kind Hearts
Islamic American Relieaf Agency (or Islamic African Relief Agency)
Islamic Society of North America
World Assembly of Muslim Youth
Rabita Trust
Human Appeal International


Calls for community to rally around leader

(Cleveland, OH) -- The Cleveland chapter of the Muslim American Society (MAS) is standing with Imam Fawaz Damra, the leader of the Islamic Center of Greater Cleveland, after his indictment yesterday on federal charges. The Imam has pleaded not guilty, and he was released from custody after putting his house up for bond.

MAS-Cleveland is calling on the Muslims of the greater Cleveland area to unite behind Imam Damra, a man who has dedicated his life to serving the ummah, and a decade serving the spiritual needs of Muslims in Northeast Ohio.

After years of investigation, federal prosecutors have uncovered no criminal activity by Imam Damra. The indictment alleges that on his application for citizenship, Damra made a technical violation by failing to list organizations he was allegedly associated with. That was 10 years ago, in 1994.

Lawyers and community leaders are very confident that the Imam will be vindicated, and they see this indictment as a desperate attempt by the government to show something for all of the time and resources that
were invested in investigating Imam Damra, instead of going after real criminals and terrorists.

The fact that he was released on bond the same day of his arrest is also an indication of the weakness of the government's case, compared to other cases across the country where Muslims have been accused of similar crimes and have been held in jail without bond because of the government's claims of terrorist associations or activities.

We ask that you keep Imam Damra and his family in your prayers.

* The Freedom Foundation is the public affairs arm of the Muslim
American Society (MAS), a national grassroots religious, social, and
educational organization. Learn more at

MAS Freedom Foundation
1050 17th Street NW #600
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 496-1288
Fax: (202) 463-0686

Note by webmaintainer: An increasingly alarming state of grave concern.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

The Parable of the Light of Allah

From Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'Azeem by Ibnu Katheer, available at

`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said:

[Allahu nuur as-samawaati wa al-ardh]

(Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.) means, the Guide of the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth. Ibn Jurayj said: "Mujahid and Ibn `Abbas said concerning the Ayah:

[Allahu nuur as-samawaati wa al-ardh]

(Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.) He is controlling their affairs and their stars and sun and moon.'' As-Suddi said concerning the Ayah:

[Allahu nuur as-samawaati wa al-ardh]

(Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.) by His Light the heavens and earth are illuminated. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "When the Messenger of Allah got up to pray at night, he would say:

«Allahumma, laka al-hamd, anta qayyim us-samawaati wa al-ardha wa man feehinn, wa laka al-hamd, anta nuur as-samaawati wa al-ardh wa ma feehinn»

(O Allah, to You be praise, You are the Sustainer of heaven and earth and whoever is in them. To You be praise, You are the Light of the heavens and the earth and whoever is in them. ) It was narrated that Ibn Mas`ud said, "There is no night or day with your Lord; the Light of the Throne comes from the Light of His Face.''

[mathalu nuurihi]

(The parable of His Light) There are two views concerning the meaning of the pronoun (His). The first is that it refers to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, meaning that the parable of His guidance in the heart of the believer is


(as a niche) This was the view of Ibn `Abbas. The second view is that the pronoun refers to the believer, which is indicated by the context of the words and implies that the parable of the light in the heart of the believer is as a niche. So the heart of the believer and what he is naturally inclined to of guidance and what he learns of the Qur'an which is in accordance with his natural inclinations are, as Allah says:

(Can they who rely on a clear proof from their Lord, and whom a witness from Him recites it (can they be equal with the disbelievers)) [11:17]. The heart of the believer in its purity and clarity is likened to a lamp in transparent and jewel-like glass, and the Qur'an and Shari`ah by which it is guided are likened to good, pure, shining oil in which there is no impurity or deviation.


(as (if there were) a niche) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Muhammad bin Ka`b and others said, "This refers to the position of the wick in the lamp.'' This is well-known, and hence Allah then says:

[feeha misbaah]

(and within it a lamp.) This is the flame that burns brightly. Or it was said that the niche is a niche in the house. This is the parable given by Allah of obedience towards Him. Allah calls obedience to Him as light, then He calls it by other numerous names as well. Ubayy bin Ka`b said, "The lamp is the light, and this refers to the Qur'an and the faith that is in his heart.'' As-Suddi said, "It is the lamp.''

[al-misbaahu fi zujaajah]

(the lamp is in a glass,) means, this light is shining in a clear glass. Ubayy bin Ka`b and others said, "This is the likeness of the heart of the believer.''

[az-zujaajatu ka annahu durriyyun]

(the glass as it were a star Durriyyun,) Some authorities recite the word Durriyyun with a Dammah on the Dal and without a Hamzah, which means pearls, i.e., as if it were a star made of pearls (Durr). Others recite it as Dirri'un or Durri'un, with a Kasrah on the Dal, or Dammah on the Dal, and with a Hamzah at the end, which means reflection (Dir'), because if something is shone on the star it becomes brighter than at any other time. The Arabs call the stars they do not know Darari. Ubayy bin Ka`b said: a shining star. Qatadah said: "Huge, bright and clear.''

[yuuqadu min shajaratin mubarakah]

(lit from a blessed tree,) means, it is derived from olive oil, from a blessed tree.


(an olive,) This refers to the blessed tree mentioned previously.

[laa sharqiyyatin wa laa gharbiyyah]

(neither of the east nor of the west,) means, it is not in the eastern part of the land so that it does not get any sun in the first part of the day, nor is it in the western part of the land so that it is shaded from the sun before sunset, but it is in a central position where it gets sun from the beginning of the day until the end, so its oil is good and pure and shining. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas commented on:

[zaituunatin, laa sharqiyyatin wa laa gharbiyyah]

(an olive, neither of the east nor of the west,) "This is a tree in the desert which is not shaded by any other tree or mountain or cave, nothing covers it, and this is best for its oil.'' Mujahid commented on:

[laa sharqiyyatin wa laa gharbiyyah]

(neither of the east nor of the west, ) saying; "It is not in the east where it will get no sun when the sun sets, nor is it in the west where it will get no sun when the sun rises, but it is in a position where it will get sun both at sunrise and sunset.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr commented:

[zaituunatin, laa sharqiyyatin wa laa gharbiyyah, yakaadu zaituha yudhee']

(an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself)) "This is the best kind of oil. When the sun rises it reaches the tree from the east and when it sets it reaches it from the west, so the sun reaches it morning and evening, so it is not counted as being in the east or in the west.''

[yakaadu zaituha yudhee', walau tamsashu naar]

(whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it.) `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said (this means) because the oil itself is shining.

[nuurun 'ala nuur]

(Light upon Light!) Al-`Awfi narrated from Ibn `Abbas that this meant the faith and deeds of a person. As-Suddi said:

[nuurun 'ala nuur]

(Light upon Light!) "Light of the fire and the light of the oil: when they are combined they give light, and neither of them can give light without the other. Similarly the light of the Qur'an and the light of faith give light when they are combined, and neither can do so without the other.''

[yahdillahu li nuurihi man yashaa']

(Allah guides to His Light whom He wills.) means, Allah shows the way to the ones whom He chooses, as it says in the Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad from `Abdullah bin `Amr, who said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah say:

(Allah created His creation in darkness, then on the same day He sent His Light upon them. Whoever was touched by His Light on that day will be guided and whoever was missed will be led astray. Hence I say: the pens have dried in accordance with the knowledge of Allah, may He be glorified.)''

[wa yadhribu Allahu al-amthaala li an-naas, wa Allahu bi kulli syai-in 'aleem]

(And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything.) Having mentioned this parable of the Light of His guidance in the heart of the believer, Allah ends this Ayah with the words:

[wa yadhribu Allahu al-amthaala li an-naas, wa Allahu bi kulli syai-in 'aleem]

(And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything.) meaning, He knows best who deserves to be guided and who deserves to be led astray. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said, "The Messenger of Allah said:

(Hearts are of four kinds: the heart that is clear like a shining lamp; the heart that is covered and tied up; the heart that is upside-down; and the heart that is clad in armor. As for the clear heart, it is the heart of the believer in which is a lamp filled with light; as for the covered heart, this is the heart of the disbeliever; as for the upside-down heart, this is the heart of the hypocrite, who recognizes then denies; as for the armor-clad heart, this is the heart in which there is both faith and hypocrisy. The parable of the faith in it is that of legume, a sprout that is irrigated with good water, and the likeness of the hypocrisy in it is that of sores that are fed by blood and pus. Whichever of the two prevails is the characteristic that will dominate.) Its chain of narrators is good (Jayyid) although they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it.

(36. In houses which Allah has ordered to be raised, in them His Name is remembered. Therein glorify Him in the mornings and in the evenings,) (37. Men whom neither trade nor business diverts from the remembrance of Allah nor from performing the Salah nor from giving the Zakah. They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned.) (38. That Allah may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His grace. And Allah provides without measure to whom He wills.)

Monday, January 12, 2004

Warkah dari Mu'allimah*

Waalaikumussalam warahmatullah

After reading some postings from your site, I decided to put it under favourite. So next time nak baca senang nak cari.

The reason why I am very 'happy' ( that's a mild description actually ) to see your site is because.. well Faiz, let me tell you a story. I hope you won't fall asleep reading this.

Almost 20 years ago, I was a student like you in a foreign land. A western land. But that land brought me closer to Islam. With friends ( true friends, that is ).. we went through the process of tarbiyah. We were young and full of ambitions some of which were too idealistic. Your parents were among the respected seniors. I still remember you as a boy clinging to your mother during one of the summer camp that I attended. I wonder in my mind how/what would this boy grow up to be.

Well.. apparently your parents and their peers had bigger worries than me. They went back home and set up the preschool that grows into primary school and then into secondary school. These schools grows together with the children. These schools built up the character of the students at the time which is most crucial.

They just have to make sure that their children will have a better education. No.. not by sending them to glamourous, prestigious boarding schools that they went to.. but by setting up a school from scratch.. ( remember how the condition of the school was?) They are some of the smartest students in the country ( ask your parents who are the recipients of government scholarships in the 70's).. and yet they send their children to sekolah kampung in dilapidated condition... which I am thankfull that Allah gave me the chance to offer my little tiny contributions..

Why? I think you know the answer. Now you have graduated from these schools.. like I said 'dah jadi orang'. Now I am wondering..

"bolehkah mereka menarik nafas lega sekarang?" and pass the baton to the children to proceed on in the journey? What are their children's plan for their grandchildren? You are now at their stage 20 years ago.. a young man who's going to start a family. You must have visions.. you must have plans.. the future is not going to be any easier.. you have to prepare your children for the decadent world.

Faiz, after 20 years, some of us had actually finished the term in this ephemeral world. Some of us are still here.. some of us has left the struggle in search of a "better" life.(???) Nobody can say that .. okay.. now I am old enough to retire ( from dakwah ). or I am done... I am almost 40 now and at that age our beloved Prophet SAW had just started the journey. All of us has a to do our part no matter how small or big it is... but , don't leave the dakwah..

So.. now that we see graduates from Hira' had shown the qualities that we were trying to instill, at least we can breath easier.... ( that was not an easy job you know ). Alhamdulillah.. only Allah alone deserve all the praise.. this is the best part of being a teacher.. that is to see our students succeed.. no.. I am not referring to the pay cheque that you will receive, or your shining brand new car.. others have that too.. and as a teacher I am very selfish actually..because with the little tiny contribution that I offered I am hoping for a long term return/reward from Allah. because..."Izaa maata ibnu aadam.. in qata'at amaluhu.... illa.. ( sori kalau salah quote hadith ni.. muallimah masih belajar lagi bahasa arab ni ).

My last word for now..ini harapan muallimah..

Continue this struggle wherever you go wherever you are.. choose the means that you're good at...and do it the best way that you can. I am in the teaching field and this has been the path that I chose ever since I graduated. I've worked everywhere but always as a teacher because.. I don't like teaching, I love teaching..

Segala yang baik itu dari Allah dan segala kekurangan adalah dari kelemahan hambaNya yang dhaif ini.

Wassalam. Do remember me in your prayers.

Muallimah Rahimah

*Mu'allimah is an arabic word which means teacher, and that was the term that we used to call our teacher instead of using 'cikgu', back in Hira'. Jazakum Allah khaeer mu'allimuun dan mu'allimaat - jasamu bagai mutiara, kan ku semat di hati segala pengajaran, jasa dan budi. Doaku sentiasa untuk kalian. Insha Allah.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

What Are We Doing with Our Lives

A very enlightening lecture by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, may Allah reward him, hafizahullah.

Could be found at or you could listen here, or you could save it by right clicking and hit save as.

Annasu niyaam, wa iza maata intabahu.
People are asleep, and when they die they awaken.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Mengimbau Kenangan di Bumi Wakafan

Aku, Cita-cita dan Harapan
Diambil dari mailing list KISAS

9 Januari.... hari ini mengimbau kenangan bersejarah bagi diriku.....

Walaupon pada hari ini aku terlalu sibuk dengan tugas, sekali sekala, dikala melakukan kerja sebagai seorang jurutera terdetik didalam hati....

Hari inilah bermula segala kisah betapa hebatnya perubahan yang terjadi dalam hidupku....

Tanggal 9 Januari....

9 Januari 1996, hari jumaat, aku tidak pernah lupa, hari inilah aku melangkah kaki ke Kolej Islam Sultan Alam Shah, KISAS.

Aku masih ingat, tidak pernah ada dalam kamus mindaku untuk ke KISAS, tidak pernah langsung!

Mana mungkin orang sepertiku layak kesana, ku topeng mukaku..... dicermin... aku sedar aku tidak layak...

Semasa dipersekolahan menengah rendah, aku jahat, aku main-main, aku abaikan tanggungjawab yang diamanahkan oleh orang tuaku.... aku malas membaca buku... terlalu malas!... masa-masaku kuhabiskan dengan sia-sia pada perkara-perkara yang tidak berfaedah....

aku tersentak suatu ketika, apabila adikku meninggal dunia, ibu menangis, ayah sedih....

aku tersentak lagi, melihat ibu menangis ayah diam membisu tidak berkata apa-apa apabila kakak ku mendapat pangkat dua dalam SPM. Dikala itu, keadaan hanya tertumpu pada diriku....

Aku adalah harapan ayah dan ibu.....


Arwah datuk pernah bercerita, suatu ketika 40 tahun yang lalu, ketika ayah masih bersekolah, ayah selalu mendapat number 1.

Selesai saja persekolahan rendah, ayah ditawarkan belajar di STAR Ipoh, ketika itu adalah sekolah elit
selain Malay College dalam aliran Inggeris.

Arwah datuk berbangga, namun jauh disudut hati, datuk rasa sedih kerana keluarga kami ketika itu terlalu daif. Mana mungkin untuk datuk tunaikan tawaran itu sedangkan hutang persekolah rendah ayah juga masih belum berbayar.

Ditambah lagi dengan hutang2 persekolahan adik beradik ayah yang lain.....

Ketika itu, datuk hanya mengambil upah mengerjakan bendang orang.

Terlalu berat dan sulit dihati datuk, namun terpaksa juga datuk kisahkan pada ayah yang datuk tidak dapat menunaikan hasrat ayah untuk belajar di Sekolah Berasrama Penuh.

Dan ketika itulah, ayah faham, namun kerana terlalu sedih ayah melarikan diri kedalam hutan nipah....

Sambil menangis.....

"Hanya dua orang saja anak melayu dipilih untuk belajar disekolah Elit itu dari daerah ini...salah seorang adalah ayah"....

Ayah memang hebat! Ayah memang tekun membaca diterangi lampu minyak tanah.... seblah tangan menunjuk pada baris-baris bacaan, seblah tangan menghayun buaian adik...... hidup ayah dahulu sungguh susah, tapi ayah sabar... ayah redha dengan kesusahan itu.... ayah tidak pernah menyalahkan datuk....."


Selepas PMR, aku sentiasa meminta pada Allah, hajat dihati untuk menebus semula kegagalanku dan menunaikan hasrat ayah yang tertangguh 40 tahun lalu.... kupohon pada Allah agar aku dapatlah kiranya, menjejakkan kaki ke Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK). Pada hematku, disitulah nanti akan kutebus segala kekecewaan yang lalu. MCKK sekolah elit suatu ketika dahulu.....

Berkat anugerah Allah, pada 5 januari 1996, aku mendapat tawaran dari SBP.

Kubuka sampul itu, akhirnya, bagai tidak percara yang aku telah ditawarkan belajar di....

KISAS dalam aliran Sains Tulen.

Syukur dan terlalu syukur, melompat aku dihadapan ayah yang baru selesai solat zuhur.....

Dalam keadaan gembira itu, dihatiku terlalu gelisah.... mampukah aku di KISAS nanti..... mampukah aku.... berhadapan dengan kawan-kawan yang hebat nanti....

Kulihat wajah ayah, terlalu gembira..... dihatiku bagai tertaklif satu tanggungjawab yang amat besar untuk ku kotakan...

9 Januari, pagi-pagi lagi kami sekeluarga bertolak ke KISAS, Klang.

Ayah seawal pagi sudah mengejutkan aku, untuk bersiap kesana.... Biasalah perjalanan kami jauh... 6-7 jam ke Klang.

Didalam kereta, aku sudah memasang niat untuk belajar bersungguh-sungguh biarpun seringkali aku tersedar siapalah aku berbanding kawan-kawan.

Kukuatkan semangat, kukenang kesusahan kami.....seolah-olah ketakutan tadi hilang.....

Kami sampai, jam 1150 pagi, aku mula terpandang pada pintu gerbang KISAS.....

Dihadapan pejabat, dibawah pohon Piuus Caribbea, ibu berpesan padaku, "agar solatlah selalu, belajarlah agama baik-baik disini.... belajar rajin-rajin.... tidak ada yang terbaik boleh ibu dan ayah berikan melainkan peluang belajar..."

Ayah dan ibu tinggalkan aku di KISAS, kulihat seolah-olah laluan arah hidupku sebelum ini terlalu gelap seperti sudah disimbah cahaya.

Ku berjanji pada diriku, yang aku tidak akan membuang masa, aku akan menerima ajaran agama yang diberikan pada diriku. Siang malam akan kuhabiskan dengan perkara-perkara berfaedah. Tidak akan ada lagi erti membuang masa seperti dahulu. Aku sedar yang ayah dan ibu telah banyak bersabar dengan karenahku.

Aku telah berubah.....

Suatu ketika kupulang ke kampung, ayah dan ibu sungguh gembira, namun sebelum aku berangakat pulang ke KISAS, ayah bertanya padaku, suatu soalan yang mana aku tidak mampu untuk megelak.

"Macammana fizik?"

Aku tahu, walau ayah tidak berpeluang sepertiku, namun aku faham, ayah menaruh harapan padaku.

Ayah nak anak-anak berjaya dengan kesederhanaan keluarga kami.

Aku tidak mampu berbohong pada ayah.... lalu kutunduk mengatakan "bolela..." sungguhpun sebenarnya aku Gagal!.

Malam itu, ayah menghantarku pulang bersama ibu....

Seperti biasa, sebelum aku melangkah kaki naik keatas bas, ayah akan menghulurkan wang perbelanjaan buat bekalanku di KISAS, banyak tu.... sekali-sekali mau dekat 150-200 tu....


Selepas dari malam itulah, makin menebal cita, harapanku bersungguh-sungguh di KISAS. Seandainya aku tidak faham, akan kutanya pada guru.

Dalam keseluruhan guru di KISAS, semuanya terbaik.

Namun bagiku, insan yang telah mendidik aku sehingga memilih arena ini adalah: "Mr. Ch'ng Teng Hong"!

Kerana cintaku pada ilmu fizik itulah, aku memilih kerjaya ini, kutolak perubatan kerana dalam mindaku ingin memahami semiconductor :)

Seandainya, ada insan yang mengatakan diriku terbaik, percayalah aku sentiasa menganggap ayah, ibu dan guru-guruku adalah yang terbaik!.

Semoga Allah merahmati ibu dan ayah. Mereka adalah insan istimewa.

Pada guru-guruku, semoga sentiasa diberkati Allah.

Sekian, wassalam.