28 August 2011

Different Perspectives.

To alternate between different perspectives from different walks of life is an interesting thing to do on the second last day of Ramadan when you have nothing to do.

For example, in Malaysia, the one-day Eid is celebrated more than the holy month itself, while in other parts of the world, the last ten days of Ramadan men and women literally foot-raced their way to the nearest mosque. In Malaysia, the sounds of explosives and the smell of the smoke marks the arrival of Eid, but in some countries the same explosions and smokes forced them to run for their lives.

To some people, the nagging of a mother is pain to the ears, but to others the same nag is the symbol of motherly love, thus prefering the piercing voice of the mother than total silence. 

Am sadly waiting for the ending of Ramadan in two days. I haven't done much during the last 27 days, thanks to my procastinating lazy ass and to a week of demam (I'm not trying to make excuses btw :P). I didn't even khatam astaghfirullah. But if I try to look from a different point of view, this year's Ramadan made me realized that I can do thirty pages at one go. Something I thought was impossible to do in the past. The key is to be positive la kot.

Moral of the story : Strive harder next year.

Selamat hari raya everyone. :)

23 August 2011

Another weird things about Malaysian masjids.


I was 90% sure when I decided to stop blogging a week ago, but a few things has happened since then that made the last remaining 10% to grow up to a hundred. Oh well.

Well the fact is the middle ten days of Ramadan hadn't been so nice to me. I was down with the worst fever since 2000, and I didn't do my usual tadarus either, which makes it even worse. I was so out of shape it's a miracle I didn't break my fast on the afternoon. But everything is alhamdulillah okay now, and I'm trying hard to catch up with my tadarus with less than a week of Ramadan left.

I found Arlene Tan's blog today, and I apologize to her on behalf of my fellow bigots of a Muslim who insulted and humiliated her with disgusting vocabularies during this holy month of Ramadan. To those who insulted her with the foulest of words, here lies the moral of the story : nak basuh berak bukan dengan najis yang kita dah buang tadi, tapi dengan benda menyucikan macam air. 

For Gaysec, let me be very clear: If forgiveness is what you seek, please

You all must do Taubat to Allah, come forward to me personally and apologise,

Gaysec must also retract all their postings about me in the internet

 must give a disclaimer message to all the blogs, facebook  group/ page and personal comments that they had fitnah me and caused grave harm and distress to my life

and must demand all these sites to delete the misinformation and stop the spreading,

I wrote a piece about one of the many weird things in Malaysian masjids before, and just yesterday something happened again, which I just refused to ignore. At my local surau, there are two main praying areas, one with the carpeted, fully air-conditioned main hall and the other being the outer part of the surau. I came fashionably late to the surau as usual because they did tahlil arwah before the tarawih, and I am not down with that. So as tarawih started, I prayed outside, because the main hall was naturally full.

At the very front saff there was one man standing in line, so being the second man left outside I prayed next to him. Two things happened next, of which I am still trying to understand the rationale behind these people's actions. Besides, the older you are the cleverer you are, right? That's rooted deep into our culture, orang-orang tua can do no wrong.

1. A third and a fourth man came to the surau and made a new saff just behind us, when there were these spaces beside me that can be filled with at least four people. I am a big man, standing 5'10" with a brightly-colored baju melayu, so it was impossible to not see me, unless there were hijabs between us.

2. The first man that I prayed next to moved away from me at the second tarawih prayer, making an obvious gap between us.

What is it with Malaysian muslims, why can't we make a decent saff? Am I too disgusting to pray next to? I don't think so, I took a shower before going to the surau. A fifth man came and pray next to me after that. But we went amok when people refused to do qunut during subuh prayer, we go ballistic if someone doesn't wear a kopiah to the surau, but we ignore this important rule about praying in mass.

It is different in Egypt, you don't have to ask them to keep the line straight and full, they'd understand. I guess it's not that big of a deal, it's just saff. Kot la. But as we go crazy over other smaller, less significant and less important aspects about prayers, we might as well make this one, the more important one to be right.

But that's just me.

Dari Ibnu Umar bahawa Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda:

“Tegakkanlah saf-saf, sejajarkanlah bahu-bahu kalian, tutupkanlah celah-celah, dan lembutkanlah diri kalian untuk disentuh tangan-tangan saudara kalian. Jangan biarkan celah-celah untuk dimasuki syaitan. Barangsiapa yang menyambung saf, maka Allah menyambungnya dan barangsiapa yang memutuskan saf, maka Allah memutuskannya.” (Hadis Riwayat Abu Daud, no. 666. an-Nasa’i, 2/93. Ahmad, 2/97. Juga dinilai Sahih oleh al-Albani di dalam Sahih Abi Daud, 1/197)

10 August 2011

Post-JOM! On-call

Salam people.

Just got  back from Putrajaya yesterday, after three days worth of activities. When I was invited to join the program two months back, I felt honored to become a part of a beautiful family. They were dedicated and talented people, who worked hard and only hoped for the blessings from Allah. :)

Mind you, I learned loads.

The speakers were uber excellent, especially Dr Hafidzi, his work rewriting the history of the Malay-Islamic world was astounding, an effort worth a Noble prize for the least. A small part of me wishes that one day, I could be as fluent and as easy on the tongue as he is, if not as knowledgeable as the likes of him. 

Dr Adnan was somewhat a little bit too outspoken about his political stand, which a little too sour for my taste. But then again, putting that aside, his experience living in a non-Muslim majority country worth every second of listening to. To be lenient with the differences and diversity of culture and religious-wise.The things that I didn't know, man, I am deeply ashamed. Time and time again I was shown this particular weakness of mine, my lack of social skills. But then again, I'm learning. Even after twenty one years of being alive.

One of the most interesting fact I love to share is this : it is only in the modern age where 18 years old is regarded as when a person reaches maturity, which is not based on any scientific studies. Hundreds of years ago, the war generals could be found as young as 19 years old, and the said young man conquered the most highly-defended city in the world at the time, Constantinople. The age where maturity kicks in started at a very, very young age back then.

Today, men and women in their thirties are still playing with dolls, soft toys and game consoles. So this is why the holy marriage of Aisha to the Prophet was such a huge deal today. The thing is you can't simply judge something that has happened over a thousand years ago based on how we run the world today.

So I have to change my perspective in life. Oh so suddenly being in my twenties is already considered old LOL.

And to those who will embark on their beautiful journey soon, be prepared to view the world using a different pairs of eyes. You have been given the best possible ammo for your journey. Kitorang dulu dapat bahasa arab je itu pun kantoi.

Welcome to Egypt brothers and sisters.

06 August 2011

Mystery solved (?)

Regarding Saiyyida 'Aisha 's age. Tajuk lapuk, untuk refresh. It is not enough to have the ability to think, but the discipline of thinking must be applied.
This issue is one of the most irrelevant issues regarding the seerah of the Prophet yet it is often one of the most discussed. This is because when people approach the seerah they approach it with a tempo-centric attitude.

That is our predisposed norms and biases that are a result of our environmental conditioning are inadvertently applied to Prophet's life. The fallacy of such an approach is clearly apparent. We are living in the post-modern world not 7th century Arabia. Our context is much different than that of 7th century Arabia. Therefore societal norms that developed the specific post-modern context cannot be applied to another setting in an equitable manner.

Now when we talk about the issue of our Mother Ayisha’s marriage to the Prophet (s) one thing that has to be clear is that this marriage was done within the parameters of the divine law. According to shariah physically immature aren’t allowed to marry. However if both parties are physically mature then regardless of age difference a marriage can be contracted between the two parties.

The notion of 18 years being the defining age by which adulthood is entered is purely a modern western concept and has no intrinsic moral value. In fact that notion of adulthood was something that varied from culture to culture.

In Islam adulthood is entered upon physical maturity. Now it is commonly speculated that girls can reach puberty anytime from the ages of 10-12. Islamically this would make them eligible to be married.

However according to modern standards this would be immoral and considered to be a crime. In light of what was already stated about tempo-centric standards we can throw out the concept that for an adult to marry a woman under the age of 18 is immoral. Now having done that it becomes clear that whether Ayisha was 9 or whatever age, her marriage to the Prophet (s) was moral because she was physically mature and Islamically able to marry.

There is not need to try to refute the dominant opinion about her age. The fact is the age difference between the Prophet (s) and our Mother Ayisha was great but irrelevant. She was islamically able to marry him end of story.

No need for apologists who try to reconcile post-modern values with that of 7th century Arabia.
Source : http://www.studying-islam.org/articletext.aspx?id=935

02 August 2011

One weird thing about Malaysian Masjids.


I can't shake off this feeling of annoyance every time I visit the local masjid. I probably has gotten used to the way of the Egyptians manage their daily prayers; the simplicity, the efficiency and the availability of masjids with soprano-voiced imams.

And it's a quite different story here in Malaysia.

In Egypt, kids as young as three years old can 'pray' beside his father at the front-most saff. In Malaysia, we provide spesific saff for children before the age of 12 to pray. 

In our Malay culture, we are taught to believe that the young age is where we should enjoy our lives, not to take life itself serious. We believe, given that each and every one of us will live to a ripe age of 80, that one's time with God is reserved for the last quarter of life. But before that, it is our divine right to, shall I say, party. Lame. But instead of seeing that an old man's place is where God is, it's the other way around : Masjids has become a place full with weak-kneed old people with hoarse voice and wrinkled foreheads.

So most masjids' caretakers consist of old, weary old men waiting for the van jenazah to pick them up for a last trip to the graveyard. And I don't mean to become a stereotyping douche, but old men (and women for that matter) are a grouchy bunch. They got mad easily, and it doesn't matter if it's to another fellow grouchy old man or to an innocent six-year-old who knows nothing.

What does a kid knows about the rules and adab in the masjid? I remembered myself when I was  six years old, all I can think of is play, play, and play. And I surely believe that the same old man was also just like me when he was six a hundred years ago. And kids, if they get yelled at, instead of comprehending the idea whether what they did was wrong, they avoid the source of trouble : the grouchy old man.

So a generation of Muslims grow up without familiarising themselves with the foundation of their belief, the masjids. Kids see masjids as where you can't have fun, so they avoid such a place where they can't have a laugh or two, which is about the only thing a kid sincerely knows to do. Kids see masjids as full with people that will yell at them at the slightest of sound, so they avoid such confrontation.

If a child knows nothing about how to behave in a holy place, the right thing to do is to teach them exactly that : how to behave in a holy place. Not throwing them out of the place just because he or she distracts you from your prayers. Just because to your limited mind, such behaviour "insults" God, because by doing so you're only doing more damage than you are repairing the wound.

Dear Pak Haji, comparing between the bahaviour of that six-year-old and to your own, yours disgusts me more. Don't take kids to be as well-mannered as an adult, because kids will be kids. Believe you me, Allah is more Merciful, loving and understanding that what you portray Him to be.
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