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."

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Travelogue Germany - Part 17

We returned to Pak Muhammadi Masjid in Frankfurt am Main for khudama' jord (the gathering of those who had spent 40 days and 4 months in the path of Allah) joining about 300-400 brothers from all over Germany during the weekend. Alhamdulillah, we had the opportunity to be in the company of personalities in the work of dakwah and tabligh such as Maulana Ibrahim Gujrati and Bhai Farook of Nizamuddin, India, together with Sheikh Yunus, the amir of France. We derived great benefits from the discourses, muzakarah and advises from those luminaries, mostly centred around the importance of love and affection among dakwah workers in particular and Muslims in general. 

We then continue our journey to Fulda, 104km north-east of Frankfurt city. We stayed at Masjid al-Andalus, Von Schildeckstrasse 9. The masjid is just beside a synagogue which seemed like it was guarded by the authority for some reason. Well, certainly there were policemen present at the synagogue at all time. 

Khaled of Palestine and Dr Khaled and Hassan of Mesr made nusrah to our jamaat together with many Malaysian brothers. There were an institution in Fulda that trained lecturers from Malaysia's Industrial Training Institute (ILP) under the Ministry of Human Resource - a 4-6 months "train the trainers" programme.  At the time, there were about 25 Malaysians attending the programme.

On 11th September 2004, our third day in Fulda, there were a lot of activities in churches within Fulda until late evening which I felt rather odd but did not think much about it. We did not realise what transpired, not until during ghast (visitations) when we met a Muslim grocery shop-owner. We were chided and abused by the shop-owner, "You people are crazy! Look at you! You come here and dress like this...It was people like you who caused the 9-11...causing all the problems. Don't you see around you!? (I supposed he meant all the activities in the churches). Go away! I do not want you here." We were used to abuses, blames and rebukes thrown at us by our fellow Muslims. Sometimes it came from our own family members, friends and neighbours. But we were deeply saddened by this event. 

So it was. Until then none of us ever thought, even for a split second about 9-11. But I am still wondering why the synagogue were guarded all the time...hmmm...

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Travelogue Germany - Part 16

Nurnberg city had been heavily bombarded during the World War Two. The remnants of the ruins were still visible, most of them intentionally preserved as a remembrance of the sorrow of wartime. A day before our arrival in Nurnberg, 22 MARA students from German-Malaysia Institute had just arrived from Malaysia together with a couple of MARA officers overseeing their placements. Nurnberg was a transit point for those students before they were placed to different institutions in Germany. We ceased the opportunity to meet some of them and gather them at Masjid Bilal together with the locals. We had prepared a feast for them after Isya', and alhamdulillah, Masjid Bilal that used to be filled with many namazis a couple of years ago before almost been deserted, began to be visited by namazis again at namaaz time.

On the third day, we then make consultation with the local brothers from Nurnberg and Erlangen and it was decided that we should go for one day to Pappenheim in Eichstatt district, 72km from Nurnberg city. On 6th September 2004, we reached Masjid-ul Rahman, Pappenheim, another Turkish-ethnic masjid. Masjid-ul Rahman is a tiny premise overlooking Burg Pappenheim, an old medieval castle. Upon our arrival, the local Turkish brothers immediately slaughtered a lamb for us and all of us enjoyed a delicious dinner with the local brothers.

There were a large number of Turkish community in Eichstatt. The majority of the Turkish Muslims worked in marble quarries as expert marble cutters. It is said that Eichstatt marble quarries produce the finest marble in the world- and the marble from here were used in the renovation and upgrading of Masjid-un Nabawi in Madinah Munawarrah. There were a masjid specially built for the workers at their workplace at the quarry where fadha'il ahadith were read during ta'leem at noon. 

The Turkish brothers worked eight months a year. During the four months winter break, many of them spent their time in khuruuj fiisabilillah for 4 months in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey etc. Some of them spent their break in khuruuj for 40 days together with their respective wives in Masturat (ladies) jamaat. Evidently deeni environment prevailed in the area. We saw Muslim ladies in pardah walking on the streets. We witnessed the men all came to the masjid in the afternoon after work, their clothes and bodies all covered in dust. We were awestruck with the fruit of effort that they had been making in the middle of nowhere in the small town of Pappenheim. The glorious men of faith in the Ottoman era had come to my imagination at the sight of those rugged heavily bearded pious men. One day in Pappenheim had totally changed my view of the Turkish people whom somehow I had previously wrongly related them with the likes of Mustaffa Kemal, the enemy of Islam and the destroyer of deen in Turkey. 

Friday, 9 April 2010

Travelogue Germany - Part 15

Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wasalam hat us seit lang verlassen. Aber die Verantwortung fur Deen ist meine Arbeit, und Arbeit von den ganzen Menschen.

We left Regensburg (Ratisbon)  for Nurnberg which is 106km away up north. Our amir and I left by train accompanied by Azizul who was our guide. The rest of the brothers left with two cars driven by Fatmir and Hisham, a Malaysian student doing his practical in Regensburg. I always volunteered myself whenever we have to split journey, opting to travel by train instead, simply because I was the youngest in the jamaat. The elderly brothers would find it difficult to take the train. Besides, I tried to avoid car sickness when travelling long distance. Nervous eyes stared at us - three bearded strange men wearing long robe above the ankles. However, the nervousness immediately turned to broad grin on the faces of those German passengers when we offered them some food and snack. A small gesture of kindness never failed to break the ice. If only it happened yesterday, I might probably be blunt and use Shah Rukh Khan's line, "My name is Khan. And I'm not a terrorist."

We reached Masjid Bilal, Zufurhstrasse 8, Nurnberg just before maghrib. To our surprise the rest of our jamaat who travelled by road were nowhere to be seen. They only reached the masjid at Isya' time. Apparently they had been followed by an unmarked police car for quite a while before the car flashed the word POLIZEI on the rear glass screen of the car and stopped them at the highway. Two plain clothes officer emerged from the car and headed towards them with hand on their gun. They checked all the luggages and passports. They were held for a long time that they all performed maghrib namaaz by the roadside on the highway. 

When the police officers decided to release them, Fatmir the Bosnian then made dakwah to them. First he asked them to spare a little time for him to talk since they had taken away his time. He then talked about Allah, the Creator. Then he talked about the Prophets that Allah send for guidance. And then he talked about the Last of the Prophets, Muhammad sallalaahu alayhi wasalam, who was sent as a guidance to all mankind. He then made tasykil to them. All the while when Fatmir was talking, the officers listened attentively. Eventually, one of them said that he was an atheist. Fatmir then told them to bear witness that he and his friends were good Muslims.

I hope Muslims all over the world would strive to show the real Muslims way of life by following the examples that had been set by our Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wasalam and his Companions radiyalaahu ahum. It is very unfortunate indeed that the non-Muslims are deprived of the best example for mankind to follow because of the mistakes caused by Muslims all over the world who had abandoned the Prophet's way of life. Today Islam only exists in books and kitaabs on the shelves but void in the lives of Muslims. 

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Travelogue Germany - Part 14

We made effort in Munchen city for eleven days, travelling 19km to the south of the city to Salih Sanli Masjid at Carl-Werystrasse 60 and then back up north to Masjid Umar, Bergmannstrasse 10, Munchen. Salih Sanli Masjid was a splendid masjid built on charity of Salih Sanli family - a Turkish family. We met Sheikh Salih Sanli himself who was a very affectionate person and supported the effort of dakwah. The masjid had a large collection of the Quran translated in many languages, including Malay language. It was like a huge library.

A couple of Pakistanis ethnic, Hussein and Tareeq, who were close with Sheikh Salih became our guide and interpreter in meeting the local Muslims, mostly of Turkish ethnic.

Jabir and his brother Furqan, made effort of dakwah at Masjid Umar. Jabir had spent 4 months and Furqan had spent 40 days in the path of Allah. We met one of the namazi, Raza, an Iraqi who used to be the follower of yarsan or kaka'i cult - a cult appeared in the late 14th century in Western Iraq. Although Muslim by name, the kaka'is do not observe Muslim rites and rituals. Although he had lived surrounded by Muslims, only when he was forced out of Iraq due to the war, Almighty Allah gave Raza hidayat to embrace Islam. We met many people, either non-Muslims or namesake Muslims, who took refuge in Germany after calamities like war and famine befell their native countries, and then subsequently embraced Islam. Raza was one of them, and another person was a Bosnian Muslim named Fatmir.

We met Fatmir at Masjid ar-Rahman, Hemauerstrasse 20, Regensburg, a city 128km north of Munchen. By the grace of Allah, through the effort of dakwah, he tasted the sweetness of iman and turned to be a pious Muslim. He had spent four months in the path of Allah. Almighty Allah gave him hidayat only after he had fled war-torn Bosnia and ended up as a refugee in Germany. There were many instances of such blessing in disguise by Almighty Allah. 

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Travelogue Germany - Part 13

It was 19th August, 2004, when we reached Masjid-ul Ummah, Tagetesstrasse 6, Munchen or Munich. It had been almost one month since we first arrived in Germany. Masjid-ul Ummah was merely a cabin used by a group of German Muslims as their masjid. Here we met a tireless dai'e, Haji Abdul Wahid of Pakistani origin. Haji Abdul Wahid, together with Farouk and Bilal, both of Turkish origin made a sturdy and dedicated effort of dakwah and tabligh that is hard to surpass. It really astonished me how Haji Abdul Wahid could endure the exhaustion when making nusrah to our jamaat. He travelled back and forth from his house to the masjid nearly 10km away and to this date I still admire his strength of imaan that he was able to perform fajar namaaz in the masjid living such distance away. He also acted as our interpreter and guide. 

I believe, by the blessing of Almighty Allah, Haji Abdul Wahid had gathered such strength of faith with the assistance of his German wife who was also very active in masturat or ladies jamaat. Masturat effort here was very good compare to other parts of Germany. Here masturat takleem (ladies circles of learning deen) was carried out once every forth night by alternating the houses. Oh! I should mention that Haji Abdul Wahid's wife was an excellent cook. He brought us all to his house for a hearty dinner. I couldn't forget the delicious halwa. Perhaps she's the best cook that I knew besides my mother and my wife.

We were brought during jaulah or ghast (visitations) to high rise apartments near 1974 Munich Olympic Stadium where many Muslims lived there. There was also a huge BMW plant and factory in the vicinity. The number of Muslims that worked there could be guessed by the number of masjids inside the BMW plant area - five masjids in total, all of which held Friday namaaz! I never had penchant for cars before, but after hearing this news I began to develop appreciation for BMW cars...astarghfirullah-al azim!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Travelogue Germany - Part 12

There were 15 masjids in Augsburg. We had stayed for three days at Masjid Salahuddin, Frauentorstrasse 10, Augsburg. Maulana Mustafa Islam, a Turkish origin, from the nearby Turkish Masjid had been with us for nusrah. There were efort of dakwah at his masjid but i'tikaaf was not allowed there. Maulana Mustafa Islam had been studying at Raiwind Markaz, Pakistan for 9 years. He knows most of the ustaadzs at Sri Petaling Markaz when they were studying together at Raiwind Markaz. 

Maulana Mustaffa Islam had gone out for one year in the path of Allah for dakwah and tabligh mission.He did not speak a word of English (although I suspect that he could and certainly he understood English), Maulana Sahb taught us a valuable lesson of appreciation and importance of holding to a madzhab or a particular school of mainstream fiqh. When asked by Haji Razali as to the most suitable name for a child , he simply said "Shafi'e" for boy and "Shafiyah" for girl, out of respect for Imam Shafi'e rahimahullah. Hj Razali's wife were pregnant at the time of this khuruuj and Shafiyah was born soon after.

We held a mini jorr or gathering for the many MARA students in Augsburg and one jamaat of three days had been formed. Among the students that I recalled were Naim Yusof, Zulfahmi Sujak, Khairul Hadi, Hasni Mohd Nor and Khairil Hussain. I've not heard from them since but I dearly hope that they continue to embrace the effort of dakwah and tabligh for their own benefits. 

The basement in Masjid Salahuddin was turned into a kitchen where we prepared our food. I had been exposed to many different kind of tea. The black tea that is usually the favourite among the Arabs is to strong for me. I began to develop a liking on green mint tea instead. Despite all that I remember serving the local Boh tea to an Arab brother and, to our surprise, it has strong effect on him that no sooner he was all sweaty and feeling sick like someone who chewed his first paan.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Travelogue Germany - Part 11

Ulama' and khudama' plays important roles in the effort of dakwah and tabligh. Muhammad Mahmood, a young aalim from Mauritania, was the imam of Arab Masjid (Multi Kultur Haus), Zeppelinstrasse 35, Neu Ulm, Germany. Both Imam Muhammad and Areen, a young Palestinian, had spent 40 days in the path of Allah. Their combination effort resulted in young Muslims inclination towards the effort of dakwah and young German natives submission to Islam.  

Imam Muhammad Mahmood recited the Quran in the style that I had never heard before. But undoubtedly the best recitation that I had ever heard. The Friday khutbah, delivered by Imam Muhammad fully in Arabic, really moved our hearts. Imam Muhammad also taught the Quran to the children in the masjid. 

Areen and his friends untiringly made effort on the youngsters. Areen received a solid support from his father, Tawfeek. I've heard countless times proud fathers talked and boasted about their kids achievement in worldly matters. But I treasured Tawfeek's delightedness of his son's involvement in dakwah effort. 

Tawfeek brought me to visit his friend Esam@Abu A'la at the political asylum centre in Old Ulm and the three of us became good friends. May Almighty Allah guide and protect Esam who had strongly resolved to safeguard his namaaz.

During our stay at the Masjid from October 11-14, 2004, we learnt that 10 German young men had converted to Islam in the past 10 months and most of them actively engaged in the effort of dakwah. Among them, Amr and Wolfgang. Amr had embraced Islam after his best friend, a Turkish Muslim, died in a road accident. While attending the funeral prayer, Amr just followed others performing ablution and then joined in the funeral prayer.