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, 29 July 2010

A Letter from a Journey

Masjid Daerah Kuala Penyu. 28.08.08 (27 Sya'ban 1429)


My darling wife. It's been ten days since I left home to go in the path of Allah. My jamaah consists of 9 brothers including myself. Our amir is Hj. Muhammad Zain of Sg. Kantan. I am writing this letter as a sunnah of our beloved Prophet SAW. We took of from KLIA on 21 August 2008 by MAS flight to KK. Earlier at Sri Petaling markaz, I met my senior at RMC, Ustaz Yahya, who was also on his way to K.Kinabalu to join a Pakistan jamaat there as mutarjim (translator). He got a RM400+ Air Asia return ticket to Labuan, and from there taking a RM20 ferry ride to KK. We could have saved some money on flight tickets if we take the same route as him. Bu, insha'Allah, whatever way we spent our money will have countless rewards from Allah SWT. Anyway, we reached KK at around 6.35am. We prayed solat subuh with difficulties on board the flight. Sadly on our jamaah managed to pray amongst the many more Muslims on board. Two brothers from Beaufort were waiting for us at KK Airport ready with a 10-seater van to bring us to Beaufort markaz. Masjid Kg. Bingkul is a large two-storey masjid that could cater for approximately 2000-3000 persons. This Beaufort markaz is built on a wakaf land from a large Pakistani family. Many of them are actively doing the work of dakwah and tabligh. This family is also related to Musa Aman's family.

We stayed at Beaufort markaz overnight before we were tasykiled to halqah Kuala Penyu. We were driven to Kuala Penyu by Ustaz Saiful and Ustaz Haswadi's cars and by a local karkun's van. Both of the Ustazs are teaching in a local school in Beaufort. Our first route is Surau Kg. Kepayan. Masha'Allah, only one active karkun who is a mu'allaf is doing the nusrah here. All his own family had reverted to Islam but his father, mother and siblings are still non-Muslim. This mu'allaf karkun family is very poor but he had been to IPB for 4 months. He drives a car which makes our 1993 Proton Wira looks like a Rolls Royce. They lived in a shed which makes our house looks like Taj Mahal.Truly, only in Bangladesh I've seen such a place for a family to live. But this poor family, even as I'm writing this letter, is making so much nusrah to our jamaat. He drove us around tirelessly in his 1978 run-downed car to meet the local people.

We are now at the second route, Masid Nurul Hayat, a district masjid of Pekan Kuala Penyu. We had much difficulties in convincing the chairman of the masjid to let us in. Only after giving several conditions that he let us stay in. One of the condition is that our jamaat cannot cook our meals. Sobri, the mu'allaf karkun, insisted that his wife would cook for our jamaat. My dear wife, she even washed our clothes and I'm sure that they do not own any washing machine. Alhamdulillah, I believe Allah SWT makes it easy for our jamaah to eat and keep our clothes clean using the asbab of this poor family because of your nusrah of cooking and washing clothes for the several jamaat that had come to our masjid. And I remember you a lot for this khuruuj (journey)...

Ah! I'm glad that I bring along my mosquito net tent. Subhanallah! This is a drastic change from the comfort of air-conditioned room at home.

My darling wife, I'm leaving behind you to take care of our kids. Please encourage them and keep encourage them to make amal. I know sometimes it is quite frustrating but it will be easier when you show them by example. I trust that you could handle this. May Allah SWT makes it easy for you and may the kids listen and obey as obedience to you is obedience to Allah and His Rasul provided you keep encouraging them for amal. Do not discard dakwah iman yakin at the time of ta'lim.

I wish you and the kids SELAMAT BERPUASA. May this Ramadhan and all the coming Ramadhan will be the source of much blessing to all of us. Hugs and kisses to Ayesha, Imaan, Zubayr, Talhah & Abudzar.


Abu Az-Zubayr

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Walk of Faith

In July 2009, I began a journey in a jamaat to Sandakan, Sabah. Our jamaat is called "paidal jamaat" or walking jamaat since we practically walked along a given route stopping for two days in every masjid/surau along the route. This is a story of our walk of faith from Masjid Al-Jihad, Bukit Garam, Kinabatangan to Masjid BDC, Sandakan, stretching along an approximately 120km route.

We left Masjid Jame' Sri Petaling for the LCCT Airport after zohor. Two weeks prior, we had been pooled together in one jamaat to make effort on dakwah & tabligh beginning with a short tasykil at Sg. Buloh & Merbau Sempah areas. My good friend Hj Ramli was made the amir of the jamaat that include me, Pak Him, Pak Teh, Dr Firdaus, Nuruddin, Faisal and Hj Roslan. Together we then embarked onto the enlightening walk of faith to Sandakan, Sabah in the Borneo Island.

We arrived in Sandakan on 28th July 2009. Upon mutual consultation with the local responsible brothers, it had been decided that we would walk along the main route from Kinabatangan towards Sandakan Town. At 10am, we travelled by two chartered cars and reached our first "route", Masjid al-Jihad, Pekan Bukit Garam, Kinabatangan, about 100km from Sandakan . Pekan Bukit Garam is the furthest populated area accesible by road, situated right at the bank of Kinabatangan River. It is also called Pengkalan Bukit Garam.

About 100 families live in the area of Bukit Garam. 95% of them are Muslims, mostly from the tribe of Sungai. The Sungai people reminded me of the poor villagers of Bagerhat, Southern Bangladesh, where I had been to in 2000. They live a very simple life. They were very polite and ever ready to listen to words of dakwah. Their youths were exceptionally receptive. They flocked the masjid in large number.

I vividly remember geography lesson ages ago at school about  the importance of Kinabatangan River to the Sabahans. It used to be the only mean of transporting out quality logs. Now, although it serves as an important source of water to the inhabitants of Sandakan, ironically the muddy river could not provide the people living along its bank with drinking water. The people have to resort to rainwater, and so did we.

The scarcity of drinking water had caused some children to come to the masjid with water containers to bring water back home as there were plenty of rainwater in the tanks there. As it is a sunnah to bathe on Fridays, we jumped into Kinabatangan River though we were advised to be watchful of crocs.

Our first walk in Sabah began late at 11am when the sun was stinging hot. As I and Pak Ibrahim were earlier assigned with cooking task, our amir sent us ahead by pick-up together with our luggages and beddings whilst they travelled on foot. Pak Him and I reached Masjid Baitul Mukmin, Kg Kasih Sayang, Kinabatangan, at 11.30am and we wasted no time in preparing food for other members of our jamaat 3.5km behind us walking. By the time they reached the masjid 45 mins later, the food was almost ready. Kg. Kasih Sayang has about 30 families, all of them are muslims. By nightfall, the chairman of the masjid, the contractor who was doing some renovation of the masjid, and a villager, all gave intention to go out in the path of Allah for 3 days. The chairman's son intended to spent 40 days in the path of Allah after SPM higher secondary school examination.

The single stove cooker and the kettle were among the basic necessities for us. Cooking was really a challenge in this remote and exotic area of Sabah. We had plenty of cash but not much food to buy. We had to be contented with whatever stuff that we could manage to find. Most of the time meals consisted of plain rice, salted fishes, and veggies. Here Almighty Allah had really taught us how useless and worthless money could be.

We walked for 25 minutes for a distant of 1.6km to the next route, Masjid at-Taqwa, Kg Usaha Jaya, Kinabatangan. There were about 50 families who lived here, 10 families were christians. We were joined by 3 youths from Kg Bukit Garam - Nur Eddie, Azrin & Muhamit. Muhamit, age 20, was assigned to me. We visited the local imam together. Earlier, Muhamit was given a task to deliver a short announcement after maghrib solah. He was in panic at first fearing that he would not be able to carry out the task. But, after delivering the announcement, he was so glad and happy that he could carry out the task. Alhamdulillah, may it be the beginning of him standing up for the sake of deen.

Our next route, Surau Wahdatul Fiqri, Kg Berjaya 1, Kinabatangan, is 3.4km away. Halfway walking, we were told by Nur Eddie and a local man who had earlier volunteered to transport our luggages ahead of us, that a person refuse to let them and the luggages in the masjid. Immediately I and Nuruddin were sent ahead to sort out the matter while the others continue walking. At the gate of the masjid, I was confronted by the person who tried to stop us from entering the masjid before obtaining permission from its chairman and religious office. Failing to reason with him, we just carried our luggages in. We then performed 2 rakaat solah seeking help from Almighty Allah. By the time the rest of our jamaat arrived, the man suddenly turned soft, joining us for drink and been telling the ehwal of the village in our mesywarah or consultation. Subhanallah! By maghrib time, the locals flocked the masjid as we got to know them better and we even had meal together prepared by the locals.

It was here that we met John, a young man from Sulu tribe, who had been working for Hj Abdullah, an elderly man of Kg Berjaya 1. When he was born, his father was in a jungle working, and a christian nurse managed to coax his mother to name him John, after the christians' John the Baptist. Hj Abdullah who is also his guardian asked us to give him a Muslim name. And so we named him Yahya after the prophet of Allah. He was very happy when everyone in the masjid embraced him for his new name. After isya', Nuruddin read a short hadith from Fadha'il Amal and delivered a moving talk about the importance of fadha'il taklim at masjid and at home. Immediately after, Hj Abdullah and the man who had first refused us entry to the masjid, asked us to get a copy each of Fadha'il Amal for them.

We then moved on to Masjid al-Hilal, Kg Berjaya 2, Bt. 6, about 1.6km away. This time, Pak Teh ismail travelled ahead with our luggages in a car driven by Imam Mazlin of Kg Bt 5. When we arrived Pak Teh was still outside the masjid, sitting alone, reading Muntakhab Ahadith at the stairs of the masjid. The door of the masjid was tight locked. We were perturbed as it was Friday. Again, I and Nuruddin were sent to meet any responsible persons of the masjid. A 15 year old young man known as Giant (as a character in Doraemon) led us to Hj Asmara's house about 100m away. An announcement was made by Hj Asmara welcoming our presence shortly before Friday khutbah.

We reached Masjid al-Ghaffar, Kg Perpaduan, after walking about 3.2km. Abd Rahman and Nur Yusry assisted us a lot, taking us visiting many local folks. A number of ustadzs from the peninsular lived in the vicinity of the masjid. Most of them rented houses here far away from schools where they teach as there is a steady supply of pipeline water in this area. The ustadzs were treated with bubur kacang after isya' while we explained our mission to them.

Nur Yusry, 17, the local young man, had made a superb effort on the local youngsters. A month before, about 20 of his schoolmates went out in the path of Allah for 3 days for the first time. They visited us in school uniforms with miswaak in their pockets. A number of his Form 5 mates intended to spend 40 days after the exam. May Allah make it easy for them.

Masjid al-Falah is 3.2km away. I and Hj Roslan arrived there early to do our khidmat. We were concerned about the little rainwater left in the masjid's water container. But, alhamdulillah, by maghrib time, the chairman of the masjid had arranged for a pick-up with a water tank to refill the containers. The chairman who is a retired school principal and also a local politician curiously asked us all sort of questions regarding the effort of dakwah & tabligh. We could not help but noticed his face brightened up each time he got the answer. By lunchtime on the second day he awkwardly eat together with us in the masjid. By asar he brought a friend joining in the discussion. By maghrib both of them gave intention to go out in the path of Allah for 3 days. By isya' 3 other local folks intended to join him.

Two ustadzs from Kelantan whom we met at our previous route, Kg Perpaduan, Bt 8, each came with their cars to drive us to Kg Ulu Dusun, 23km away. Though we were in paidal jamaat (walking jamaat), we are allowed to travel by vehicle if the distance is more than 15km. We arrived at Masjid Ulu Dusun, Bt 30, by the two cars and a pick-up driven by a Sandakan karkun. We were warmly welcomed by Imam Bustamin, 80 yrs of age, of Banjar tribe. There were about 150 families living in the vicinity, half of them christians. The were 4 churches in the four corners of the village. In the evening, we made ghast with the assistance of Mamat, a 12 yr old orphan, who guided us to muslims' houses. Mamat and his two brothers were deprived of schooling but they could read well enough from a free private tuition they had received from Imam Bustamin. From this ghast, we met a group of Banjar muslim youngsters. Glen, a Kadazan christian lad, was also amongst them. When all of his muslim friends were ready to go to the masjid, Glen agreed to join his mates. We gave him a sarong to wear in the masjid and he sat listening attentively to the sitting talk right to the end. Alhamdulilah, by then Allah gave him hidayat in accepting Islam. He chosed Ghazali as his muslim name.

From Kg lu Dusun, we walked to Kg Pertanian and stayed at the masjid there for a couple of days. Just about 800m from Kg Pertanian, behind a steep hill, is Kg Garinono. This route was the shortest in between so far. The two villages are famous for salak fruits. We had eaten 15kg of salak fruits between us in the period of our stay at both villages. Sadly, we found out the hard truth that the local folks here only came to the masjid on Fidays. During ghast, one local man even asked us when aproached, "Is it Friday today?" Ah! I should not be telling you the remorseful side of the Ummah...

Well, it is essential for every jamaat to travel well-prepared, even if we have to carry our own "ta'am set" (cooking stuff) that would help us to be absolutely independent of others for food. Dependency is only onto Allah. Alas, one must not let one's self and wealth becomes a source of burden to others, no matter how small it might be. This is the minimum requirement that every muslim has to strive to acquire. On the other hand, the noblest of characteristic that a Muslim could possess is to use his self and wealth for the benefit of other people, eventhough he himself is in the state of dire need. This noblest characteristic is prevalent in all Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum. The ta'am set is collectively acquired by everyone in our jamaat and used routinely by the khidmat pairs. As there were 8 of us, everyone took turns to have the taste of khidmat every 2 or 3 days. I had since stopped complaining about my wife's cooking after my first khidmat in a jamaat years ago...(grin).

Masjid at-Tauhid, Sakilan Desa Estate, is about 4km away from our last route. Again I was sent ahead of others with the luggages and ta'am set as it was my turn for khidmat. As we reached the road entrance to the masjid, we found out that the road entrance was ordered to be blocked by a locked steel bar by the estate's non-Muslim manager. After reasoning with the estate manager, the road entrance was eventually cleared.

On the third day of Ramadhan, August 2009, we began the 'mother of the walks' for a distance of 15km  from Masjid Pekan Gum Gum to Masjid Pangiran at the outskirt of Sandakan. I will treasure the ecstasy and blessedness that I felt walking with my fellow believers, diligently humming dzikr in the remembrance of Almighty Allah. When we felt the toil we would stop briefly and one of us would remind us of the sacrifice and hardships that Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wasalam and the Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum had to endure for the sake of deen.

Sandakan, the town faces Sulu Sea, not far from Amanilah (peace bestowed by Allah) in the old Muslim-dominated Sulu Sultanate era - now is known as Manila City. I could not help but noticed Sandakan's resemblance to the port of Algeciras in modern day Spain. It was the place where the great dai'e of Allah, Tariq ibn Ziyad rahmatullah alayhi landed with the other muslim faithfuls to spread the deen of Allah and brightened the European continent from utter darkness and total ignorance.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Comfort of Life

My father told me one day
I was born the morning on Monday
He cuddled me close to his body
And whispered in my ear
Allah is Great! Allah is Great!
Allah is Great! Allah is Great!
I guess I was too small to remember

When I was a toddler
The one thing that I could remember
When I cried night and day of hunger
My mother would not let me suffer
Feeding me, I recalled her smile and tender
Not long before I believed
My mother provided me with comfort of life

As I grew up, mummy and daddy's little angel
I felt more precious than a rare pearl
Daddy brought home candies and trifles
Not long before I believed
My father provided me with comfort of life

In a distant land I sat in lectures
Speaking the language of the past masters  
In the company of strange exotic people I lingered
Not long before I believed
My degree provided me with comfort of life

Stuck in a little room every day
I took orders without any say
Every month I waited for the pay
Not long before I believed
My boss provided me with comfort of life

The persistence of the callers made me curious
Invited me to sit in the company of the wise and pious
Teaching me not to depend on others
For we are all helpless
When it is only Allah who provide us all with comfort of life

Praise be to Allah who showed me the Way
None others except Him for us to pray
Indeed I had long been drifted away
O my brothers! Please do not turn away
Pause and listen to what I have to say
Allah is Great! Allah is Great!
Allah is Great! Allah is Great!

Monday, 12 July 2010

A Wonderful Initial Effect of Fadha'il Ta'lim

You could tell the dwellers of a house by looking at its main door. If there is a cross on the door, then the dwellers of the house are Christians. If you see the endless knot or the wheel symbol on the door, then the dwellers of the house are Buddhis. If you see the Aum or Om symbol on the door, then the dwellers are most definitely Hindus. And you could tell the dwellers of a house are Muslims when you see "Basmallah" or "Assalamu'alaykum" written in Arabic at the door. However, when you enter Muslims houses nowadays, there is a great chance that you could not differentiate them with the non-Muslims houses. The mood and atmosphere in Muslim houses are the same as the non-Muslims' - the mood and atmosphere of "restaurants" (eat, eat and drink); the mood and atmosphere of "hotels" (sleep and rest); and the mood and atmosphere of "cinemas" (music and home theatre). Where is the mood and atmosphere of "madrasahs and masjids" that we are suppose to propagate in our houses...? In fact, with regard to the hopes we cherish, we are like him who hopes to reap corn after having sowed barley.

The following is based on true story:

A Muslim husband decided that he has to do something to change the mood and atmosphere of his house. Love for his wife and two small daughters prompted him to make some effort in bringing the environment of deen at home. After all what is the meaning of this life if he would be separated from his family in the aakhirah? Alhamdulillah, the pious wise men advised him to start a fadha'il ta'lim at home.

He managed to get a copy of the book, "Fadha'il Amal by Sheikul Hadith Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Zakariya Kandahlawi rahmatullah alayhi" (literally means the Book of Virtuous Deeds). The pious wise men told him that the book is to be read at a fixed place at home, and at a fixed time when everyone in the house  is unoccupied or less occupied, starting with one or two hadith (approximately 5-10 minutes), thereby it should be consistently and gradually read with patient and persistent at the fixed time and place until the day of Qiyamaah. Thus he decided to start reading the book to his family at their common living room after he came back home from masjid every night after isya'.

The first time he opened the Fadha'il Amal to read, his wife did not show any interest at all, not even a slight gesture of appeal. She was watching the loud telly, and like Cleopatra who did not wish to be disturbed, she acted as if nothing happened, focusing more on what was being watched. Their little girl, aged 2, was playing with her baby sister. After a five minutes reading with a raised voice, he closed the book and said nothing to the cold reception.

Days passed by as he kept on doing the routine. Came back home from masjid, took the book from the shelf, sat down and read it to his daughters and wife. His Cleopatra wife seemed unmoved at all by the activity around her. Patient, he taught. The pious wise men told him he must constantly remind himself what he did was to please Almighty Allah, and that the hadith read was meant for himself. In this way, if nobody listened to him then he would not feel frustration, anger or sad. And even if everyone listened to him, he would not feel self-aggrandizing and pompous. The desirable result of fadha'il ta'lim would come with patient and persistent.

True enough after about two weeks, the first sign of acceptance appeared when his wife started to bring down the volume of the telly almost to mute, albeit she still wouldn't stare away from the telly. Another days passed when his small daughter started to notice what her father was doing. When she saw her father picked up the book from the shelf, she chanted in her cute little voice, "Ta'lim...ta'lim...ta'lim..." 

Right about this time his wife then switched off the telly. He couldn't help but noticed that she was pretending to play with the girls near him,  but trying hard not to acknowledge the reading of the hadith. The positive sign made him really look forward for the routine reading every night.

One fine night, as he began the reading with basmallah, his wife suddenly put on a scarf to cover her head, sat beside him with their baby girl on her lap. He was controlling his emotion by the sight of it and tried hard to conceal his solace and at the same time struggled to finish the reading, which by this time had been lengthened to 20 minutes. The next night, he gave her a ravishing smile as he said, "I've been reading this kitaab for a long time. I think it is now your turn to read."

Thus began the effort to instill the mood and atmosphere of masjid and madrasah in his home.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

A Parable of A Wahabbi

A man was drowning in the river. He frantically shouted for help, gasping for air in and out of the water. Along came a Wahabbi near the river bank. He paused and looked at the man. He then turned away from the dying man and said, "Bidaah! Rasulullah SAW had never drown."

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

A Closer Look at Wahhabism - Part 3

Needless to say, our relationship turned sour. I ceased to attend his weekly early morning lectures. We both merely exchanged faked smiles whenever we bumped onto each other in the masjid. By this time, from the many various muzakarah or discussions and advices that I had with various knowledgeable ustaadzs who are well-versed in all the four madzhahabs, it is crystal clear to me the fitnah of wahhabism that he was trying to advocate and spread.

After about a month, I realised that he was nowhere to be seen at the masjid on his usual weekly lectures. I was told that finally the other namazis had enough of his unconventional lectures. It happened one day when apparently he caused much stir and uproar among the people in the masjid when he gave the most disparaging remarks. He told the people openly in his lecture that the namaaz or prayer of those who pray fajar namaaz behind an imam who recited the qunoot du'a would be invalidated. These ridiculous statement had disheartened many people that finally caused his lectures to be cut off and cancelled. I did not know to what extent the damage of the remarks had caused. I was not there. But I remember feeling glad that the attempt to spread the fitnah of wahhabism in my masjid was finally over.

Meanwhile, my wife and two very young daughters was enjoying an attached relationship with his wife and daughters. Both my daughters were very fond of his daughter, their Quran teacher. Sometimes my wife would cook some food and a portion of it to his family. After all we are very close neighbours. Our house are only a few feet away from their house. And during all these time I kept all the encountering episodes between me and him to myself, seeing no point to involve my family in the matter that did not concern and benefit them.

However, the most unfortunate event happened during my 40 days khuruuj in the path of Allah to Sabah. My wife started to receive photocopied articles and materials in our post box, some of which were from a wahhabis' website and some others originated from Indonesia. Most of the materials written were utter rubbish and craps condemning the effort of dakwah and tabligh with the most deregatory and slanderous statements. A couple day after that, his wife called my wife over the phone asking her opinion about the articles, coaxing and alluring my wife to  accede to the rubbish and craps stated in the materials about tablighi jamaat. Little did she knew that my wife had already traveled with me several times in khuruuj in masturaat jamaat (husbands and wives jamaat) and already had tasted the sweetness of making effort on imaan and aamal. In the end, when my wife refused to subscribe to her constant pestering, his wife then relentlessly told my wife not to send our two daughters to her house for the Quran recitation lessons anymore for her family had to severe relationship with my family for we are the astrayed (sesat) people! I briefly mentioned about this unfortunate event in my earlier notes 40 Days in Sabah.

It was just simply astonishing the extent of brainwashing he and his family were willing to force onto other people.May Almighty Allah have mercy on us and them.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

A Closer Look at Wahhabism - Part 2

Towards the end of his series of weekly early morning lectures, there existed fractions between the namaazis of our masjid. His lectures were filled with allegations of bidaah, deviation and shirk to the usual practices of the people, particularly aamal that are being practiced in Malaysia. At the same time, I frequented Mazahirul Ulum, Masjid Jame' Sri Petaling bombarding the ustaadzs there with my questions and queries about his teachings that increasingly confusing to me.

The first bombshell was dropped on me during one of his lectures. In his excitement in convincing the namazis regarding a contested issue, he jolted me with his remarks when he openly said, "The whole of scholars or ulama' during the time of Al-Ghazali had unanimously agreed that Al-Ghazali had deviated (sesat)!" I instantly raised my voice asking him question in a disapproving tone, "Ustadz! Did you mean Imam Ghazali rahmatullah alayhi, the author of Ihya Ulumuddin?" "Yes!", he replied in a high tone. "In fact, the book, Ihya Ulumuddin is more rightly called **** (he mentioned the Arabic words which I could not remember) which means the trap of Shaytaan!", he said. I could not believe what I just heard. I was wrecked and traumatized. I could not think of better action to take but to instantly stood up and walk away from his majlis.

No sooner I found myself at his house for the third invitation. This time he did not spare me and wasted no time in intimidating me. At the very first words he dropped the second bombshell on me with a smile on his face. He told me that he sympathized with me and especially my family. He told me that I worked hard just to stuck myself in the path of deviation (sesat). Not only that I deviated (sesat) but I had also deviated (menyesatkan) my family. He then continuously abused and vilified tablighi jamaat, at the same time slandering and abusing Maulana Ilyas rahmatullah alayh and his family including Maulana Zakariya rahmatullah alayh. He took out a few copies of Fadha'il Aamal which had been marked with different luminous colours on the pages. We exchanged words and engaged in heated arguments until a handsome Arab visitor arrived at his house. I then left his house in pain and distress.

Alhamdulillah, the sting and agony in my heart quickly faded away. If he had the guts and courage to abuse and vilify one of the Imams of the Ummah, Imam Ghazali rahmatullah alayhi,  should I pay heed to his abuses towards me?

A Closer Look at Wahhabism - Part 1

All praise is for Allah Ta'ala. We praise Him and seek help from Him. We believe in Him and have complete trust in Him. There can be none to misguide the person whom Allah Ta'ala has guided and there can be none to guide the person whom Allah Ta'ala has caused to go astray.

My close neighbour is a former lecturer at Islamic Faculty in a local university. He first studied in Australia but not in Islamic fields. Later he went to Saudi Arabia and stayed there for a number of years with his family. Obviously he speaks Arabic language after years residing there. 

To my pleasant surprise, he approached me one day inviting me for tea at his house. Before this, we just exchange salam whenever we crossed each other's path. I always admire him for the sunnah appearance in him. Long beard, clipped mustache and wearing robe or shalwar above the ankles.  I called him ustaadz. Sadly, the sunnah of appearance or surah of Rasulullah SAW had been ignored by the general public at large and most of the ustaadzs. I felt we were sharing the same love for the sunnah of Rasulullah SAW. Obviously I was very excited in accepting his invitation. 

The first visit was more on ta'ruf (getting to know each other) and also on the aspects of bidaah (religion practices which does not conform to the sunnah of Nabi SAW) which, according to him, is prevalent in the Ummah, particularly in Malaysia. He talked about the purported bidaah of tahlil, wirid and recitation of surah Yaa Siin every Friday, among other things. At that point of time, I was impressed by his concern for the Ummah since I lacked understanding about those noble practices and not enough appreciation about the importance of madzhaabs. He presented to me a couple of booklets relating to the bidaah of tahlil and some other bidaah  practices. The source of the booklets is from Indonesia. (Later I read a few kitaabs written by prominent ulama' on the importance of madzhaabs and have several lengthy discussion relating to the matter with the ustaads at Mazahirul Ulum, Sri Petaling who are my constant source of reference).

I began to foster a relationship with him. I sent my two daughters, aged 9 and 7, to read the Quran with his teenage daughter. His children are well-versed in the recitation of the Holy Quran. He and his family had been staying in Madinah for many years prior to his appointment as a lecturer in a local university. 

Later he invited me for a second visit to his house. 

At the second visit, our conversation touched on more serious matters. He talked about Tauhid and Aqidah (Rububiyyah,  Uluhiyyah, and Asma Was Siffat), something that was alien to me. Then the conversation drifted on the different fikrah that are in existence today. He made his opinion known to me about Ikhwan Muslimin, Maududiyaat, Jamiat Islami and PAS, among other things. When he started to talk about Sufism, I felt perturbed and upset as he made a sweeping assumptions that Sufism and Tassawuf is a practice that must be shunned and condemned by the Muslims. I could accept his opinion if he meant the practices of ignorant sufis but to impose total rejection is something that agitate me .(You may like to read an article that I posted On Tassawuf) . However, I kept the feeling to myself. I felt disagreement should not be an excuse for disrespect of any kind. I just wanted to maintain good relations with him.

At about he same time frame, someone from my masjid has already invited him to deliver early morning weekly lectures after fajar namaaz at the masjid. Hence, from the beginning I frequently sat i his series of lectures. The first thing that I noticed was that he purposely left the practice of reciting qunoot d'ua whenever he led the fajar namaaz. Sometimes his son who is a haafiz led fajar namaaz with the same attitude. 

The first series of his lectures revolved around Tauhid and Aqidah. As I had heard it before, he explained Tauhid Rububiyyah, Tauhid Uluhiyyah and Asma Was Siffat, which till now is confusing me. He frequently quoted Ibn Tamiyyah rahimahullah. The second series of his lectures turned around  fiqh. They mainly revolved around the issues of taqlid (following one of the four accepted madhahab, namely, Maliki, Hanafi, Shafie and Hanbali). 
Note: I refrain fro writing more about his lectures because I fear that they would unnecessarily create confusion. It is necessary for you to be able to distinguish between his view and the correct views of the majority of the mainstream scholars or ulama'

Anyway, he also mentioned "the top ten ulama' in the world" as his basis and authority who I suspected to be the Saudi Arabia's ulama' including Ibn Baz and Nasaruddin Albani. Once after one of the lectures, I urged him not to quote "the top ten ulama' in the world" but rather refer to the Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum as his examples since not everyone would agree to the status of "the top ten ulama' in the world" but everyone would unanimously accept the lofty status of the Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum.