Friday, August 24, 2007

Sell my dignity? the price is priceless

When we talk dignity, we talk about self valuation or the so called harga diri.

When we have 'harga diri' it means that we can trade our dignity with something...

Just something for us to ponder about.

Allah buys us with heaven...

heaven is priceless!!!

But we tend to sell ourselves to materials... which have prices!!!

But no matter how pricey the material is, its still cheap. Why? because unlike the heaven, jannah, materials don't last forever.

So let's 'sell' ourselves to Allah. I don't mean sell as if 'selling'. I mean submit. Prostrate to Allah...

How? guidelines from our beloved prophet Muhammad pbuh are here to help us 'selling' ourselves to Allah.

1. amalan
2. charities fisabilillah
3. beneficial knowledge...

so money and materials are just tools for me to do these three real business.

It's a simple, clean, peaceful and prosperous way of life isn't it?

This is Islam... a deen that is so beautifull... woe to me that i have missed many chances to embrace this deen full-heartedly during my 20 years duration of life.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Let's Jihad... the Malaysian way

Jihad... its always been associated with guerilla warfare and suicide bombings. Well everybody knows now that that's merely a wrong interpretation of the west. We know that Jihad literally means 'strive to the best'. Its a motivational connotation which applies to every single things that we do. Coincidenytly its the best word to motivate and arouse the spirits of Muslim army during the many wars that Muslims from all ages involved in. Hence the labelling 'jihadist' by the simple-minded westerns for those who strive for their best to defend their land in Palestine and Pattani.

Well, those westerns don't call them jihadists for nothing. They call them jihadist because Muslims fight the parties that colonised them with force. Muslims in Pattani fight the Thai government by force because since 1826 this free Islamic state was colonised by the Siam government. So does the Palestinian. Well, of course our fellow muslims from these region call themselves as 'mujahideen'-loosely translated as jihadist. They do the Jihad their way because they are forced to.

However, our fellow muslims there are keep losing the war. Day by day they are more oppressed no matter how strong their jihad spirits are. More and more Palestinians are killed.

Let's ponder on history for a while. I've been reading the first chapter of a book entitled "Ulama' Dalam Sorotan Perjuangan Kemerdekaan" (Ulama' in the strive for Independence) by Riduan Mohamad Norand Mohd Fadli Ghani. These ulama's histories are covered with their jihad fighting the imperialists by war. Some of them win the war like the Indonesian, Libyan and Sudanese ulama's. But some of them lost the war like those in Pattani. But the winners in Indonesia and Libyan despite of their success in ousting the Dutch and the French, fail to form an Islamic country or a Daulah. The secularist won instead. Libya and Indonesia today is a rather secular country with Islamic movements are being oppressed. The JI in indonesia is a good example. Now as I looked back to these histories I formed a simplistic and biased conclusion that these Mujahideens has failed. Yes, force is an option for them, but they are losing. We muslims are yet to see a living daulah, like the Umayyad, Abassinian and Ottoman empire.

The question is why? Why, despite of our brothers burning jihad spirits fighting the 'ignorance' with force, we are yet to form even a small, succesful daulah?

Because a daulah, an Islamic government cannot be formed through force. For me it can never ever be formed through force. Lets get back to the Quran. Allah's first message in the Quran is "Iqra'". Read. We muslims are told to prioritize knowledge first. Hence that's how our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) spread the message of Islam. By knowledge. By knowledge of tauhid.

The first daulah was not formed by sword's effort. It was formed by the effort of spreading the tauhid knowledge to the people of Madinah. And so forth. The next generations of Muslims are able to topple down the Roman and Persian with the effort of knowledge. Islam became the order of the world because of the muslims ability to master knowledge of various areas.

The world power was held by those who become the master of knowledge. Its the law that Allah has set for us human being. The wests became the world order today because they master knowledge. But how can they become the master of knowledge?

They master knowledge because they have peace. United States of America, France, Italy, Great Britain, Netherland, Belgium, German. These are all peaceful countries. They are peaceful and prosperous, rich! With peace they can expand knowledge. Taking Stephen Hawking for example. There's no way he is able to expand his ideas and knowledge if the British government doesn't have fund to patronize his study. Without funding from a peaceful and prosperous government like Great Britain, there's no way the Big Bang theory can be born.

But, our fellow brilliant brothers in Palestine, Sudan, Indonesia, Pattani doesn't have peace. I believe there are many potential Ibn Sina out there in these countries. Of course there must be one. Indonesia alone has hundreds of millions of muslims. Its impossible that all these hundreds of millions of muslims in Indonesia are the dumbs. Its true that the majority of a society are the dumbs. But there must be geniuses. But they cannot be geniuses because there's no peace in their upbringing place. A brilliant proffesor from Sudan are forced to work here in Malaysia because there's no way he can expand his ideas and knowledge there in Sudan.

Malaysia, unlike Paletine, Sudan, Indonesia and Pattani is a peaceful country. We Malaysians are so proud of this status that we sing it daily in television. But singing alone is not enough. Appreciating it is better. Let's Jihad. No, don't try to topple our beloved Agong the Al-Maunah way. Let's jihad the Malaysian way instead.

Malaysia is a peaceful country. And its quite prosperous too. Therefore as I said before, knowledge can be expanded and mastered if there's peace. Hence our Jihad is to master various areas of knowledge. We should master the Historical knowledge. Get to know the real history of our forefathers. We should master engineering knowledge. Build our own bridges, refinery plants, roads and so forth. We should master biology. Formulate our own medicine, products and so forth. We should master physic. Be the next scientist to expand the Big Bang theory.

This is our Jihad. So to those who claim themselves as dai'e, this is your next job now. Besides spreading the tauhid awareness through programmes and usrahs, jihad yourself to master knowledge of your area of expertise. If you are a medical student, be the best medical student who are able to teach medical knowledge to thousands of other students. If you are a farmer, master the best farming method and share the knowledge to thousand other farmers all around Malaysia. Beside our jihad in spreading the Islamic message, this is also our Jihad! So let's jihad the Malaysian way. Because I see that Malaysia is a bright place to spark the reemergence of a daulah. Happy independence day everyone.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How humans need religion and God...

Why do humans need religion? Let us ponder for a while... A man, proclaimed that he is a free thinker, an atheist. He has loudly proclaimed that he does not believe in God. But one day, he went parachuting. He jumped from an airplane at the height of 20000 feet. Suddenly when reaching the correct height that he should open the parachute, his parachute refuse to open. At this moment, he shouted loudly... "Oh My God, oh my God, oh my God!"... then the parachute opened and he safely landed on the ground feeling grateful to God whom he refuse His existence before. Hence an atheist still need God. He still need religion.
Let us now look back at the history. We may want to start with the American history. George Washington, the first president of the United States of America has desinged a secular constitution so strong that after three centuries of America's independence, this country is still a secular country. Nevertheless, no matter how secular America is today's president, Bush won the election because of religion. Bush won because he championed his background as a member of a roman catholic church. People vote for him because of his religous background. Given that bush championed his secular background i doubt that this president will ever reach the White House.
Now lets look at Malaysia, my beloved country. After the independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman was seen as trying to bring Malaya into secularism. This was evident by his action of approving the lotery licence for TOTO, MAGNUM, and many other companies. He also championed the establishment of the casino in Genting Highlands together with his chinese partner. The current site of KLCC was once the site for the horse racing stadium, a betting centre. In those days, women wearing the hijab are absurdities. Even the ustazahs wear the mini scarf while doning a tight kebaya...
Amid this moral downfall of Malaysia's citizen, during the 80's come the islamic awareness wave. This Islamic awareness was championed by several islamic groups like ABIM and Al-Arqam. During those days, ABIM and AL-Arqam was a phenomenon. Their movement was effective that people began to gain great awareness about Islam. Women wearing hijabs are not absurdities anymore. Large crowd flock to Ustaz Ashaari's sermont. Then, Anwar Ibrahim became famous and Mahathir won the UMNO's presidency because he brings in Anwar Ibrahim. My mother who doesn't wear hijab when she first went to the US suddenly don robes and long hijab. She got married early to my father, at the age of 21 and follow usrah groups under the MISG. And today, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, with his Islam Hadhari won 2004's election with great phenomenon. He grabbed over 90% of the parliamentary seats, a record that he himself cannot beat after this.
Why must all this happen? It happen because history repeats itself many times. Pak Lah wins because he learns history. Mahathir wins because he learns history. They repeat history. What history? Its the history of human being so keen on returning to religion. Its a history that when it comes to religion, man are not being hypocrite because they cast their votes for religion's sake... just like the Americans and Malaysians as well. Man just love to repeat history right? Yes. but why? Because, the history we are talking about relates with man's nature. Human will never fail to repeat their nature. Its their nature to return to God. Hence when it comes to religion, man will repeat history.
Therefore, an atheist will shout "Oh my God!" when he's in danger... Americans vote for bush who destroys Iraq and Afghanistan... Malaysian returns to religion when Tunku tried to make Malaysia a secular state... Turkish Islamic party wins the mandate as government despite her status as a secular country... Mahathir won UMNO's presidency because he brings in Anwar Ibrahim, one of the person who revive Islamic awareness in Malaysia besides allaryarham Dato' Fadzil Nor... Pak Lah wins a phenomenal election thanks to his Islam Hadhari... and so on.
As a conclusion, we need Allah... ALLAHUAKBAR.... SUBHANALLAH....

Monday, August 13, 2007

what I should do and what the ustazs should do... after all its all for the sake of dakwah isn't it?

I haven't been writing for more than a month. But one comment spurred the urge to write tonight. Its easy to spot other's flop and write thousands word for that. Yes its true and I did that. So does many others who doesn't have strong islamic educational background but yet write islamic-articles like me.
These flops in today's malaysian muslims has been the target of constant bormbardment from these writerr. Some claims that islamic practices in Malaysia is not relevant. Then it spurs waves of retaliation from the so-called conservative muslim, claiming that these writers don't have authority or lacking in islamic knowledge to put such claims in their writings. And some of these waves are emotional rather than objective. When it starts to get emotional, sensitivities comes in.
Let's make things clear first. Good journalists and columnists and bloggers write reports rather than write their own biased articles. They have holistic views from many angles and produce a fair report. Eventually they are happy to let the reader judge the issue themselves. At least that's what a blogger who doesn't have sufficient understanding in Islam like me should do. And I did realise that I made a mistake. I report what i saw but then i gave my biased, one sided arguement on what i saw.
Yes I do think that i have made grave mistakes. I never thought of this before. Medieval Islamic scholars, get themselves cleaned up, wear good clothes, put on perfume, take ablution perform istikharah, and pray before they start to write their great books on Hadith, Fiqah and so forth. Therefore their ideas are great ideas, least corrupted by their own prejudices, nafs(desire) and all those undesireable human flops.
If I, a normal improperly educated person wants to write my own view on religious matter, i might get biased and (God-forbid) touches community's sensitivities. Hence what a 20 year old chap like me should do is reporting instead of forming corrupted ideas. I should report ideas from many parties regarding a particular issue. Let's take the hijab issue for example. i do think that if I am to write a good unbiased article about this issue, I should take ideas and situations from the obidient women, the ikut-saja women (who wear hijab because their mom wear it) and those who didn't wear it. I should also take ideas from women overseas. Those muslims in France for example.
However one might say that it'll be so rigid if i refuse to form my own views. Well, for the sake of reporting, i don't care much whether I am rigid or not. At least this is how i view a media should be: reporting.
Taking Dina Zaman for example. She produces a book entitled I Am Muslim. She posted her hijab-less picture on her book. Its ironic right? My firts damn shallow judgement was that Dina Zaman is just another liberal muslim trying to obscure the real islamic message.
Forgive me Dina, I was wrong to judge. Initiallly i refuse to buy the book because i judge her like that. Then I realize that I should not judge people. Allah has place the judgement based on the level of takwa, which is logically unknown to human being. Hence bought the book and found that her articles are full of reports, not biased sellfish views and ideas. She has represented the diseases our malay-muslim culture. She has revealed bit by bit, the corruptness of our people.
However, simply reporting doesn't satisfy readers. The reports presented us the problems in our society. Readers nowadays need answers. Thanks to the journalists, i think now our ustazs have jobs to do; clarify the reason why these problems occur (Some of these problems may be caused by them) and how to solve it. I urge our contemporary ustaz to embark on this new task because they have claimed (through the title ustaz) that they must have the fundamental undestanding of how this deen works. Young, uneducated chap like me should gain more knowledge in the deen and keep reporting instead.