The Path

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar radiyalaahu anhuma had mentioned, "Whoever wishes to follow the way of another, should follow the ways of those who have passed away. These were the companions of Muhammad sallalaahu alayhi wassalam, who were the best people of this Ummah. Their hearts were most pious, their knowledge was deepest and they were least pretentious. They were people whom Allah Ta'ala had chosen to be companions of His Nabi sallalaahu alayhi wassalam and for the transmission of His Deen. You people should emulate their character and mannerisms. By the Rabb of the Kaabah! The Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam were correctly guided."

Thursday, 28 January 2010

A Poem to Muslim Women (and to a Partner in this World and Aakhirah)

One of the least expected thing (even to myself) that I unconsciously like to do is writing a poem. However, I realised that the poetic mood only came once a while, rarely I should say. Well, I don't really know how to explain it. I had written a few poems in my lifetime based on events and what really affected me at certain time. Well, actually I only wrote a handful pieces of poem in a very long span of time.

This piece of poem had been written about 10 years ago, specially dedicated to my beloved wife and daughters, and the Muslim women in general.

O Woman!
You are like a princess
Holding the highest place in the hearts of common folks
Be thankful that Allah raises your stature above others
You were raised as dignified royal families
But how could you become unfamiliar with the royal ethics?
Unheard of the Royal Decree?

O Princess!
Your high stature demands you to be in isolation
Surrounds by royal maids and royal guards.
The Princess is not to leave the palace as she please
Understand the reason behind the decree
It distinguishes a princess from a commoner

O Wife!
You are like a rare precious stone
So rare and precious that you are locked in a safe behind the wall
Then there are other valueless common garden stones
Scattering outside among the muddy soil
O Wife! It is not a place for the precious stone to be outside among the common garden stones
Or else it will be kicked and stepped on just like the common garden stones

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

From Tall Tales to Phenomenal

In my early childhood days, I vividly recalled that womenfolks in our neighbourhood, usually near sunset, used to frighten us small children with bogeyman or psycho thriller-like story that terrified me and my friends. Our play would abruptly stop the moment a caller shouted, "Go back home! Get inside your house! There're keling (indians) with sacks carried on their back looking for children to chop off their heads!" We would leave everything behind, frantically fleeing the play spot, heading back home, some of us bare-footed, didn't even bother to look for our shoes.

Actually, the story that I heard from the folks was that the wandering indian would put the children's heads in his sack after chopping them off to use in a mystical ceremony. Pretty scary, huh? I'm not trying to give credit to the author of the story for terrorising children but I must say it was quite an effective way to get the children back home immediately. But it amused me where did the idea about "keling with sacks carried on their back" come from? Well, finally it occurs to me that in those days, a jamaat of dakwah and tabligh from India must have reached my hometown and stirred up the people's attention. In those days, generally there was no assistance nor hospitality rendered by the locals to jamaat of dakwah and tabligh. And in those days, the few early jamaats that came to Malaysia were from South Asia, namely, India and Pakistan. I imagine local people would treat them as strangers, if not worse. Maulana Umar Palanpuri rahmatullah alayhi used to advice the early jamaats that were send to South East Asia, "You are going to the place where you have to dig your own well if you want to drink." Rightly so, those early jamaats had walked the distance in our homelands with sacks and beddings on their back, not knowing our language, travelling from place to place on foot most of the time. Praise be to Almighty Allah, because of those "wandering keling with sacks carried on their back", many people in this country had benefited tremendously. And by the grace of Allah, because of the sacrifices and du'a of those "wandering keling with sacks carried on their back", the orders of Almighty Allah and the sunnah of Rasulullah SAW had begun to creep into our lives.

Another tell tale story that crossed my mind when I was a kid is the tale of Hantu Kum Kum or the Kum Kum Ghost. Whilst the the wandering keling tale had been confined only to my neighbourhood (as far as I know), the Hantu Kum Kum tale had nation-wide effect. I recalled reading about it in a famous malay newspaper something about the appearance of a mysterious woman in a place in Melaka. The local people claimed that the woman was seen wandering at late evenings targeting young virgins as her victims. It was claimed that the woman had been practising black magic to turn herself into an irresistible pretty maiden but forbidden taboo practices had changed her face ugly and scary. In order to restore her beauty, she had to claim certain number of lives of young virgins. She would conceal her face with purdah and wandering near her victims' houses calling "Assalamu'alaykum kum kum". Hence, the name Hantu Kum Kum. Though, at that time, the tale of Hantu Kum Kum had caused nightmares to girls and young women nationwide, including my sister and cousins, now it sounds hilariously stupid. It occurs to me that in those days, very few women wore tudung, and purdah was totally alien to the majority of the people. Even most ustazah only covered their head with scarf. Thus, I relate the tale of Hantu Kum Kum to the cruel mockery of the ignorant author against a handful pious purdah-wearing women at that time. May Allah SWT forgive the rumour-mongers who must have caused great pain to all those pious obedient women. Praise be to Almighty Allah, now the sight of purdah-wearing mothers and daughters is common among us.

Now there is a good chance that many wandering kelings are happily married to Hantus Kum Kum.