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 December 2011

Close Encounter of the Tabligh Jamaat: Part 7 - Sharing the Spark of Hidayah

"What are you saying?" I asked her. "You've changed." came a short answer from her sobbing voice. "In what way?" I asked. She kept quiet. "Do I go around seeking other women?" I asked. No answer and still sobbing. "Am I now frequenting pubs or clubs? Am I being harsher towards you? Am I neglecting you or our children?" I continued asking, trying to understand her. Silence. No reply. Wiping away her tears.

I now understand why most women (or most wives, to be more precise) feel threatened when their husbands are being approached or visited by tablighi brothers. The mere presence of strange heavily-bearded brothers talking to her husband could bother or haunt her, as if those strange tablighi brothers are going to grab her husband away from her.

It is natural for a wife to love her husband and vice versa. But sometimes a wife would go beyond the boundaries in such a way that she wants her husband all to herself. Whereas the obligations of a husband are firstly, towards Allah Ta'ala and His Rasul sallalaahu alayhi wassalam; secondly, towards his mother; thirdly, towards his father; fourthly, towards his mother-in-law; fifthly, towards his father-in-law; and then towards his wife. Often many wives failed to recognise these constraints of their husbands. She always want to be No. 1 in the sight of her husband, nothing less. It grieved me when I read in the newspapers or magazines or even on telly, how ignorant and moronic a wife can be when complaining of her mother-in-law (her husband's mother) intervention in their marriage. She would not be that mindless if she knows her proper place.

Stunningly, it is even easier for a wife to (unconsciously, I hope) place herself higher than Allah Ta'ala and His Rasul sallalaahu alayhi wassalam. For instance, at the sound of the calling of the adhaan, when her husband is getting ready to go to masjid for solah, the wife scowls, "You said that you would bring me for shopping (or to do this and that). It's getting late and now you're going to the masjid." Her frowning and sullen face stops her husband from going to the masjid and hurriedly perform solah at home instead. At that point of time, the wife is putting herself above Allah Ta'ala and His Rasul sallalaahu alayhi wassalam!

Having said that, I firmly believe that it is the fault of the husband if, void of any effort on his part, his wife fail to recognise her position. Did not our beloved Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam tell us that every one of us is a shepherd and and every one is answerable with regard to his flock...that a man is a guardian over the members of his family and shall be questioned about them? Every one of us is a guardian and every one of us shall be questioned with regard to his trust.

Thus, I consider the night when my wife suddenly broke into tears was the very moment she began to realise that her husband is not exclusively hers. And that her rights and demands upon her husband is limited. That the right towards Allah Ta'ala and His Rasul sallalaahu alayhi wassalam is second to none. All praise be to Almighty All-Knowing Allah for the swift first spark of hidayah in an episode that I foolishly feared would ruin our marriage.
The rest of the episodes could be read in the chapter "A Wonderful Initial Effect of Fadha'il Ta'leem" and "An Introduction to Masturat Jamaat".

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Close Encounter of the Tabligh Jamaat: Part 6 - The Hidayah

In this day and age when materialistic prosperity is the principal aspiration, and which unfortunately surpasses Deen in terms of chief priority, live revolves entirely around carnal and sensual pleasures. Thus, the purpose of life itself has been forgotten and the gift of life wasted.

Imagine, believing that you are a Muslim and suddenly realising just the opposite. Though my parents had given me a noble Muslim name, I never lived a life of a Muslim. I never ate my food like a Muslim should. I never slept like a Muslim should. I never went to the bathroom like a Muslim should. I never dressed like a Muslim should. I did not even look like a Muslim. I never talked like a Muslim should. I never even thought and felt like a Muslim should.

I did not live a life of a Muslim. I did not have a mindset of a Muslim. I did not have a heartfelt of a Muslim. And if Allah Ta'ala take my soul away before the blessed 3 days, I do not know whether I'd die as a Muslim. I will continue to beg to Allah Ta'ala for His guidance to do righteous deeds and beg Him to grant us proper understanding. May Allah Ta'ala bestow upon us correct understanding and the light of reason.

The first thing that happened to me when I arrived home was the jolt and quiver that I felt whenever I heard the Adhaan. It never happened before that I rushed to Masaajid at the call of the Adhaan. I remember one brother said at a discourse during the 3 days, "How does a farmer get the chickens to return to his backyard chicken coop? Let the chickens roam, peck, sleep and eat in the chicken tractor within the chicken coop for three days. At the end of three days, even if the chickens are outside roaming, they will return back to their coop. Subhanallah! If Allah could do that to chickens, indeed it is not difficult for Allah to cause the hearts of His servants to be attached to Masaajid after spending 3 solid days in the Masjid." It was then that I felt the amazement and admiration to his simple yet deep simile.

By the same token, I then had impression that all the while my usual sitting position at home was improper since my feet were pointing towards the Qiblah. Similarly, I abruptly changed my sleeping position as it too cause my feet to be pointing towards the direction of the Qiblah. I would not start eating my meals without first washing both my hands and cover my head. When I entered the bathroom to ease myself, I would cover my head and sometimes I would stepped back outside whenever I forgot to enter it first with my left foot. I began to direct my attention to the daily Sunnah of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam, whatever that I learned and practice during the 3-days period, with the hope that I would eventually changed my erroneous routines to the blessed Sunnah routines.

For a couple of weeks, my quest for practising the daily Sunnah continued. I regard it as something basic for me to do with just a little effort. After all, who would be so foolish not to grab the opportunity of obtaining the promise of a hundred rewards of martyrdom by Allah by just reviving a Sunnah? It turned out that what I regarded as something basic and easily done has actually had a tremendous effect on other people. One night, to my puzzlement, my wife suddenly shed tears, and I was dumbfounded as she wept, "I want my husband back."

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Close Encounter of the Tablighi Jamaat: Part 5 - The First 3 Days

The hijrah (migration) of the Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum highlights how they left their dearly loved homelands, an act that is extremely difficult for a person. They also left with the intention of never returning until their deaths. The hijrah was more beloved to them than the world and all its pleasures and that they gave preference to the Deen above mundane pleasures and were not concerned when these pleasures were lost. The Sahabah travelled from place to place to protect the Deen from evil, as if they were specially created for the Aakhirah and were its sons. It therefore appeared as if this world was created for them.

In February 1997, I finally had the sense and courage to take a leave on Friday to join my brother in a 3 days jamaat when I took a flight from Kuala Lumpur to join the jamaat in Johor Bharu. It was an experience beyond descriptions. Suffice to say that on the third day, I burst into tears with unexplainable emotions. I, for instance, could attempt to explain to you the taste of durian (a local exotic fruit) but you will not be able to appreciate it until you yourself tasted it. Verily, at the end of the 3 days, Islam had entered into me. I recalled a conversation that my brother had with my mother years ago when she asked him how he felt after his first 'going out for dakwah' for 3 days. My brother said, "I just became a Muslim." Indeed, I too just became a Muslim after my first 3 days in dakwah and tabligh effort.

Everything immediately changed for me right after the 3 days in the path of Allah. On the return flight, I saw a couple of monks with large beads in their hands. I thought, "O Allah! They are in the baathil belief, but yet they make effort to please whatever that they worship." I felt deed sympathy to the monks and at the same time I could not remember the last time that I made wird or zikr of Allah before the 3 days that I spent in absolute deeni environment. How I had wasted much of my time and age. The one disturbing question that always buried deep into my heart which, for ages, remained unanswered, "Did Allah create me only to live my daily routines of life like the non-believers - wake up, eat, work, eat, sleep?" 

Alhamdulillah, all praise belongs only to Allah, within that blessed 3 days short time frame, Allah Ta'ala had given me a crystal clear answer for it. We are engrossed in businesses, occupations, farming and so many other engagements. It is only in these pursuits that all our time is spent. We have begun to serve the things that ought to be our servants. It is therefore necessary that we make the object the purpose of our lives which Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam was sent for and which was placed on the shoulders of the Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum. We should make this concern as our concern. Our mindset should be that we have been sent to this world for the responsibility of dakwah and tabligh and although we may engage in business, the business is the servant while Deen is to be served and is the true objective.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Close Encounter of the Tabligh Jamaat: Part 4 - Wealth & Wife

Right about the time when I first received my 'tablighis' guests at home, I had been offered a new job in another public listed company. Higher position, better pay and a posh comfortable office room with a great lake view. The job was another phase of trial that I had to endure.

Whenever tasykeel was being made that required me to take a few days off from office work, the first thing that came to my mind was how on earth could I take a leave when it was just a few days I had started on the new job. Those tablighis brothers ought to be more sensitive of my awkward situation. How could I possibly justify my leave after only a few days on board the new company? The excuses dragged from days to weeks, and from weeks to months. Even when months passed by, I still thought the excuse not to take leave was justifiable. The truth is I had put the importance to go out in the path of Allah for only three days as priority number 100. But as time passed by I began to feel more and more guilty about it. There were many times when the weekends were coincided with public holidays on either Monday or Friday, but I was still not serious enough to use the long weekend for the purpose of dakwah and self-rectification, even without having to apply for leave. Other things seemed more important that giving time for dakwah and tabligh effort. When you put ten cent coins right in front your eyes, you would not be able to see the millions of money in front of you.

When I were able to somehow painstakingly subdued the ordeals mentioned, I had yet to face another trial. This time the tribulation came from the person closest to me - my wife. My first initial contact with tablighi jamaat had invited averse and dissenting treatment from my wife. I could understand the rejecting attitude of my wife since the foremost thing that she saw from all those visits was to lure her husband away from her, away from home and away from family. But I could not understand the rather irritating controlling attitude that overcame her which I had never seen coming from her before. I know now that Shaytaan could have made special efforts to get our life companion to call in question, take issue, disapprove, defy and protest against the central and paramount effort that Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam had left to be continuously carried out by his Ummah after him. Let other people do it, but leave my husband alone! He is all mine, and mine alone. The most obedient wives could turned rebellious and unmanageable against her husband when it concern dakwah and tabligh. Mark my word in bold. You will never truthfully and faithfully know your wife until you experience this. The brief turmoil relationship of Adam alayhis salam and Hawa radiyalaahu anha came to mind.

"Say: If it be that your fathers' your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline; or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you that Allah or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause; - then wait until Allah brings about His Decision; and Allah guides not the rebellious." (At-taubah 9:24)

Man's heart clings to his own kith and kin-parents, children, brothers and sisters, husbands or wives, or other relatives, wealth and prosperity, commerce or means of profit and gain, or noble buildings, for dignity or comfort. If these are a hindrance in Allah's cause, we have to choose which we love most. We must love Allah even if it involves the sacrifice of all else. If we love our worldly ties and comforts, profits and pleasures, more than we love Allah, and therefore fail to respond to Allah's cause, it is not Allah's cause which will suffer. Allah's purpose will be accomplished, with or without us. But our failure to respond to His will must leave us bereft of grace and guidance, "for Allah guides not the rebellious."

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Close Encounter of the Tabligh Jamaat: Part 3 - Afraid of Change

Throughout the 6-months period of constant tasykeel being put on me urging me to spend my time for three days in the path of Allah on dakwah and tabligh mission, I had to withstand several phases of trials.

Initially I was unenthusiastic and averse to the idea of changing my appearance and lifestyles. More often than not I was fighting with my inner self. I was pleased and delighted with the way that I looked, the fashion that I wore, the manner of my characters, the system that I followed, the scheme that I planned, plot that I designed, and the measure of my lifestyle. I then asked myself, why should I bother to change them and be incline towards the appearance and lifestyle of these 'tablighis'? I thought everything seemed perfect and in order with the way they were.

All those hysterical thoughts were constantly in my turbulent mind when the fact is that not even once I was told by anyone to change the way that I looked, the fashion that I wore, the manner of my characters, the system that I followed, the scheme that I planned, plot that I designed, and the measure of my lifestyle. The truth is that I had known nothing about Sunnah of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam, let alone loving the Sunnah. The reality is I let myself to indulge in those crappy thoughts, formulating reasons not to give my time to go out in the path of Allah.

The love for music and movies had been one of the contributory cause of a dilemma within myself not to immediately embrace the effort of dakwah and tabligh. I loved movies and musics. Yes, it was then a big deal to me. I thought what would I do with all those precious collection of hundreds of CDs and movies? No - I was not willing to part with the grungy songs of Nirvana, the trashy sound of Metallica and the rocking voice of Bon Jovi. But the silly thought really came as lame reasons for me not to join the noble and divine effort to strengthen my own imaan against shaytaan and my own evil desires. To some extent I still watch movies and listen to music. But I am now also aware of their evil nature. The pious and learned men say that music is the gate of munafeeq (hypocrisy). What more to say about films and movies that combine a cocktail of evils to sight, hearing and corrupting the mind. What we see, hear, say and think will definitely affect our heart - just like contaminated streams polluting a lake, so does music and movies affect a Muslim's heart. May Allah grant us all strength to totally be free from those evils.

Looking back at my younger self, I understand better the story of a skin tanner who had been all the time involved with the tanning of animal skins and had become used to the bad smell of the skins. He had been used to living in a bad smelling environment and bad smells had become second nature to him. In the meantime, the fragrant scents of perfume shops had made him sick. Really, those who become perplexed and agitated at the sweet-smell of Allah's and His Rasul sallalaahu alayhi wassalam's obedience and those who are not inclined to a life of following the Sunnah, should be considered as having the same sickness as the tanner. In our dirty way of life and the dirty environment of sinful living, we spent a whole lifetime, so that our hearts and brains become familiar with those things and are inclined towards them.

The treatment of getting us to change that life is to slowly, step by step, to get us out of that environment of sin and to make us wander around the fragrant gardens. We should be brought to the gatherings of the pious and saintly ones and into their company. After frequenting these places for several days, we will realise, "In what dirty environment were we?" Then thinking about the life of the past, perhaps we would cry and sigh and will be very grateful for the company of the righteous ones. Gradually our noses will become used to the fragrant scents (i.e. in the love and service of Allah).

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Close Encounter of the Tablighi Jamaat: Part 2 - Sect or Group?

The idea of joining any so-called Islamic groups or sects had never appeased me at all. I do not like the branding of Islam. I tried as much as possible to distant myself away from those people who, I believe, more concern of calling people towards their leaders, parties or organizations. It's bad enough that people are using Islam to hide behind the evil and corrupted self-benefits, when all the real intent and purpose is to fulfill their own desires. Shouldn't a Muslim only concern towards calling people to Allaah Ta'ala and His Rasul sallalaahu alayhi wassalam instead?

Alhamdulillah, I did not see those undesirable and distasteful attributes among the many people that I had met and mixed around at Markaz Masjid Jame', Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, throughout the years. Though it used to bother me a lot that the people who are attached to the effort of dakwah and tabligh are regarded by many as belonging to a separate grouping or sect by giving the 'brandname' of Tablighi Jamaat. However, I told myself that perhaps people are used to the notion of branding others by what is being perceived. I mean, is it not true that people tend to call a man delivering newspapers to houses 'newspaper man', and those who sell ice-cream are called 'ice-cream men'? I suppose 'Tablighi Jamaat' got its name when people see them travelling or visiting from house to house, alley to alley, street to street, town to town or city to city in groups in the course of conveying the message of Islam. The word 'tabligh' itself literally means to convey, and 'jamaat' means a group of people. Alhamdulillah, I have yet to hear people call the muazzeins or the callers for prayers as Muazzein Jamaat!

The reviver of dakwah and tabligh in this specific form, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas rahmatullahi alayhi is reported to have said, "If I have to give this effort a name, I would have given it a name 'Tahrikul Imaan' (the reviver of imaan). Maulana Muhammad Ilyas rahmatullahi alayhi expressing his concern for the Ummat and the objective of this work states, "The object of this work is to create zeal and thirst in the hearts of those who have no zeal and thirst for Deen and its practices.When this is created in them, they will rush to the fountains of ilm (knowledge) i.e. to the Ulama." He also states, "The actual aim of this work is to teach the Ummat everything with which Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam came with i.e. to get the Ummat attached to a complete system of thought and practice of Islam." His predecessor, Maulana Muhammad Yusuf rahmatullahi alahi states, "The aim of this work is to achieve the level where Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wasallam had left for this Ummat." What is the level? 100% of this Ummat, men and women, are dai'e of Allah Ta'ala, 100% of this Ummat, men and women, safeguard the solah, tilawah, zikir, du'a etc.

In the meantime, although I had managed to come out with some lame and silly excuses, still numerous tasykeel had been asked for me to spend my time for 3 days in the path of Allah again and again. For each tasykeel that had been made upon me, I began to think harder what harm could it be done against me? Until one day I ran out of excuses.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Close Encounter of the Tablighi Jamaat: Part 1 - Exotic Strangers

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

To you and the rest of the world, they are known as "Tablighi Jamaat". To me, they are simply the people that had completely changed my life through the blessing and mercy of Allah Most High.

They had come to visit me at least once a month at home for almost six months. Headed by my elder brother, they came in group of four to six persons. They were all my seniors in age, most of them were childhood friends of my brother. Prior to that, I only knew them by names. Most of them were from my hometown. The first thing that I noticed about them were their unique dresses and long flowing beard. Being part of ethnic pushtun family, I had been familiar with kurta and shalwar, but recalled only occasionally put on the dress during my childhood days. Their beards were in different colours. My brother had grey black beard, another persons had mat black and dark brown beard, while the other one's was red. Amusingly, it was like 'United Colours of Benetton'.

I received them with warm heart. When they talked about Deen, I listened to them attentively but with some degree of caution. I was cautious that they would say something that was unacceptable to me, something totally different from what I knew about Islam, albeit my very limited knowledge of Deen. But what had been said during those visits simply fascinated me, especially when they told me the stories of, and narrations about the Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum - about their lives with Rasulullah Sallalaahu Alayhi Wassalam

From all those nights that they visited me, not a night passed by without me feeling awestruck at the stories of the Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum. Their lives and actions simply astonished me. At that point of time I began to question myself how could I had only heard of a handful of them like Sayyidina Abu Bakar, Umar, Usman, Ali and Abu Hurayrah radiyalaahu anhum before this? How could the textbooks that I read at school failed to mention a great many more of the Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum

In this manner, we engaged in Deeni talks and discourses sometimes until fajr during those blessed nights. Then whenever they were around, I began to frequent Masjid Jame' Sri Petaling, the central markaz of dakwah and tabligh effort in Malaysia which also host Madrasah Miftahul Uloom where hundreds of youngsters studying hifz and aalim. The Deeni environment there was so overwhelmed to me, as I began to mixed around with thousands of people that gathered there on weekends - talking, eating, joking, and more importantly sharing their concern for Deen. 

I observed that they not only look alike with one another, but they shared the same thing - one mindset and one heartfelt. Never had I witnessed anyone talked more about the bounties and greatness of Allah anywhere before - not just the discourses in the Masjid but also on the streets, in shops, at restaurants, while eating, while selling, while buying, by elderly men and youngsters - it was a whole new enlightening experience to me.

For about six months, I was like someone who wandered on a journey in the darkest of night, with thunder and lightning - every time the light (helped) me, I walked therein, and when the darkness grew on me, I stood still. And during this vital period, numerous tasykeel had been asked for me to spend my time for 3 days in the path of Allah.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

An Introduction to Masturat Jamaat - Pt 7

The second tafakud resulted in the similar manner, same excuses, but even lesser effort to convince her on my part then before. I guess I myself was not fully ready for it and had a negative preconception about the result, though I could not help but felt bad about it. Then came the third tafakud.

I felt entirely different during the third tafakud. The first one was rather blurry for me. The second one was lacked enthusiasm on my part. But I was overwhelmed with shame during the third tafakud. At first I could not bear facing the same responsible brothers for the masturat effort for three consecutive times in three consecutive months. What would be their perception of me? How could I not convince my own wife to join me and the other couples in the blessed journey of dakwah and tabligh? All sort of shameful thought came to my mind. I've heard of a few unfortunate people's easy way out when they said that even Prophet Nuh alayhis salam's wife had disobeyed her husband. But I refused to compare my other half with the wretched wife of Prophet Nuh alayhis salam. How could I ever do that? And how could I even compare my effort with the great effort of one of the great Nabi of Allah, when Allah Ta'ala declares that Nuh alayhis salam had made the effort of dakwah "layla wan nahar" (night and day, day and night , ceaselessly) for 950 years? I know that I had to shun the feeling of shame facing men rather than bowing down in shame facing Allah Most High on the Day of Judgement. There is no other option for me other than to face the third tafakud. (Please note that I was fighting with my own feeling and in no way it suggests that the noble wise responsible brothers of the masturat jamaat harboured any awful thought against me).

Soon after I had faced the ordeal of the third tafakud, one of my dear friend, Edy Herianto Majlan @Abdul Hadi, who was also in the same masturat jamaat with me, suggested for me to buy all the necessary items at the shops in the compound of the markaz for my wife, in preparation for her to join the jamaat. It was something that I had never thought of before. What is the point of making tasykeel to your wife when there is no preparation made to ease her in making decision? Thus, I bought an abaya, a two-layered pardah, a pair of ladies gloves and a pair of stockings - all of them black in colour. 

I laid all the items that I bought on the bed in front of her when I arrived home with a grin on my face. She shrieked when she saw them. Her shrieking came with words of disapproval but somehow I could see a smile on her face. She even tried the pardah in front of the mirror amidst her mumbling of complaints. 

A day before the scheduled departure of our jamaat, I sat alone after zuhur namaaz in our old small wooden surau/musolla and made du'a to Allah Ta'ala after two rakaat of solatul hajat. I complained, complained and complained of my weakness to Allah until I burst into tears. I honestly could feel that my du'a would be accepted by Allah. However, it was not after more tests being put before me. On the morning of the scheduled departure date, I found myself pleading to her to join the masturat jamaat. I was ready with my luggage and bedding packed since the night before but she had made nothing in preparation. Nothing...and we  were already late for masturat hidayat bayan. It was the longest plead to anyone that I could recall of. Abdul Hadi has been calling me several times over the phone. It seemed that the best I could do was to make her promise to join me in a masturat jamaat the next month when deep inside me I know that there would never be a fourth tafakud.

I was about to give up entirely and decided to join the local three days men's jamaat that was scheduled on the same day, when my last plead to her was, "You may promise me to join a masturat jamaat next month, but know this that you will have to join a jamaat that are strangers to you. You won't be joining people that you know, who are your friends like this jamaat." At the point when all hope and expectancy gone, as I picked up my luggage and bedding to leave, to my utter pleasant surprise she said, "Alright then." 

Subhanallah! Truly Allah Ta'ala decides in the most astonishing and marvelous way!


Monday, 9 May 2011

An Introduction to Masturat Jamaat - Pt 6

"Why should I go out leaving the house and the children for three days? Is it not sufficient just to read the ta'leem at home with the children? If you want to go out for tabligh, then go! Leave me out of it." That might not be her exact speech word by word, but that was certainly the gist of it when I asked her to join the three days masturat jamaat that had been formed. I had to refrain myself from turning my invitation to a prolonged argument that may be detrimental to the whole intent and purpose - mainly, because I could easily get agitated and angry as a husband and as a father; another reason was because of the advises that I got from friends who have experience in masturat effort: "Hawa had been created by Allah Ta'ala from the rib of Prophet Adam alayhi salam. Hence, like the shape of the rib, women's liking and behaviour is naturally 'bended'. You cannot use force to straighten it, alas it will break in two. But if you leave it as it is, it will forever be 'bended'." 

So, when the scheduled date to join the earlier formed masturat jamaat had passed in vain, I told my other half that I would go for another tafakud for the second time, albeit her protest.

Hazrat Mufti Mahmud Hassan Gangohi rahmatullah alayhi further wrote, "The objective of the tabligh jamaat is to learn the Deen and to become steadfast in it as well as to prepare others to do the same. It is often necessary to undertake distant journeys for this purpose. Just as men need to learn the Deen, women do too, but there is not always the infrastructure in place for this. To achieve this objective, it will be permissible for them to undertake journeys even to London on condition that they are accompanied by a mahram, hijab and other regulations are observed and no rights of any people are violated. In fact, doing this is beneficial and necessary for the Deen. If the children are not so small that they are totally dependent on their mother and if the grandmother is capable of caring for them, there will be no harm in the mother going. May Allah Ta'ala bless this journey, assist the jamaat, bring them back with success and take care of the children."

Monday, 25 April 2011

An Introduction to Masturat Jamaat - Pt 5

Hazrat Mufti Mahmud Hassan Gangohi rahmatullah alayhi wrote, "Upon the request of the women, Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam fixed a day of the week and a venue for women, to gather (to be addressed by him). In addition to this, women used to approach the Prophet's sallalaahu alayhi wassalam wives to learn and to ask questions. This is all reported in the Ahadith." He continued, "It is utmost importance for some arrangement to be made to teach women. Of course, it is necessary that such arrangements conform with the Shari'ah. For example, they should attend a venue in their locality donned in hijab and not in the company of non-mahram. If one of the women has to read from a book or say something, her voice should not reach any non-mahram male. No loudspeakers should be used and the women should not gather without good purpose. If they need to go to another locality, they should be accompanied by a mahram. If the regulations of the Shari'ah are flouted, evil will be the only product. May Allah save us from that."

Weeks passed by and we continued to spend our weekend for two and half hours every week. She would join the closed ladies circle of knowledge in the house whilst I would wait for her in the the adjoining masjid. When we took our children along, I would take care of our baby boy in the masjid, while our two elder daughters joined their mama in masturat ta'leem. Men are expected to take care of their children so that their wives would get full benefit from ta'leem, uninteruptted by children.

Meanwhile, after the weekly mesyuarah that I attended at Kuala Lumpur markaz, without discussing it first with my wife, I decided to enter my name for the first time for three days short tour in masturat jamaat. I then set for tafakud together with the other few brothers who also intended to go in masturat jamaat (as I said earlier, there were not many persons involved in masturat effort then). In masturat effort, the tartib and usool (rules and regulations) in accordance to Shariah concerning women are very strictly adhered to in order to preserve the chastity of womenfolk. For example, I first learnt that women's names are not to be written in the prepared sheet. It is sufficient just to enter the husband's name who represents the couple.

I felt a little awkward during my first tafakud for masturat jamaat. Tafakud is the aamal where a couple of responsible brothers would interview each individual men who are destined to travel in the same jamaat. What is your experience in masturat effort? Have you taken your wife to masturat ta'leem? Will you be using your own transport? (among other things asked). If everything is satisfactory, an amir or a leader among them will then be appointed. Only then, the jamaat will be endorsed and given a route. 

All the jamaat formed will then be briefed of the tartib and usool of masturat jamaat. I must say that having listened to the briefing for the first time, I was astonished at the details and strictness of the rules and regulations in relation to the masturat effort, especially in preserving and elevating the chastity of Muslim women. So much so that there is one usool above the others, "Let the hearts break, but let not the usool break." 

Thursday, 14 April 2011

An Introduction to Masturat Jamaat - Pt 4

A marriage vows in Islam means the passing of huge responsibilities from the bride's guardian to the groom to do his utmost to safe the bride from the torment of Jahannam and guide her into the blessing of Jannah. That was the essence of a khutbah nikah (marriage sermon) that I, for the first time, heard in a marriage ceremony in India during my dakwah and tabligh journey there sometime ago. I had never heard such thing before. Not even during my marriage ceremony. The practice of khutbah nikah is alien in our country, at least not in the form that I've witnessed in India. The short speech was full of advices and moral exhortation. 

Anyway, for quite some time, the mere mentioned of masturat ta'leem had invited extended negative rambling and nagging from my wife. I had to instantly kill the subject partly because I have short temper, but mainly because I knew I did not get it right the first time. But I have no choice - as a husband and a father, I could not just shove away my responsibilities towards my wife and my children in respect of Deen. There is no compromise. I had to find the solution.

Alas, alhamdulillah, in the midst of my troublesome, my wife befriended a few wives of my karkun friends who made occasional ziyarah at our house. From their visits, my wife had learnt about another place that host weekly masturat ta'leem not far from our area. Actually, I had known the place even before I first took my wife to her first 'disastrous' masturat ta'leem. But I threw away the idea of bringing her to this place thinking that the latter large double-storey bungalow house would appease her more than the simple rustic single-storey wooden house. And how I had gravely misjudged my wife! 

It was the simple unadorned wooden house that opened up again the pathway for her to the effort of Deen. Open door and open arms, everything had gone perfectly well this time. My impure corrupted heart was astonished when she came out from her long-overdue second masturat ta'leem in jovial mood and full of praises to the host. It was totally contrary to her first 'bad experience'. It was a priceless lesson to me that I know I could not get by merely reading kitaabs. What my wicked mind thought as unpleasant and objectionable, turned out to be pleasant, splendid and delightful. Allah Ta'ala only requires pure concern for Deen from us, nothing more, nothing less.

In awe-struck, I was thankful to Allah that my plan for our first three days tour together in masturat jamaat was right back on course.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

An Introduction to Masturat Jamaat - Pt 3

Hazrat Ali radiyalaahu anhu, as regards this statement, "Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire" (surah tahrim 66:5), has said, "Teach good to your household." In Tafsir Tabari, it is is like this, "Give them education and teach them good manners." No doubt men would have to shoulder this heavy burden. Nevertheless, womenfolk, being wives and mothers, the hands that rocked the cradles are the first madrasah-like institutions to the children. Since the time of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam and the Companions radiyalaahu anhum, it has always been the case, and it will continue to be the case that women manage the household, educate the children, whilst men go for jihad and work for provisions for the families. Thus, the piety of a mother would have huge impact in the development of pious generations and society at large. 

Without experience and with limited knowledge that I have from conversing with those brothers who had been with masturat jamaat, I began the first step in introducing the effort of masturat jamaat to my wife. It was a disastrous result.  Not knowing how to explain to her and for fear of outright rejection which I was not ready to swallow, I simply rushed her to go for the weekly ta'leem masturat one weekend. Ta'leem masturat is an amal where ladies from the surrounding areas would gather in a specific house to listen to the knowledge imparted. This amal is exclusively for ladies. It is conducted once a week for two and a half hours (usually on weekend) at a specific time and specific place. 

Perhaps I was too eager and impatient in my effort. I simply told her that there was a 'ladies-only' invitation at a friend's house not far away. After some coaxing and convincing, she finally agreed to attend the house gathering. I drove her to the doorsteps of the house and made her enter the house to her annoyance and hesitation. Silly me! What was I thinking at that time? I could not blame her for feeling awkward in entering a stranger's house without anyone that she knew. The truth is I, myself did not even know the house-owner in person. At the end of her first ta'leem masturat, my wife came out with blazing fury.

"You left me with total strangers!", she said. "I felt out of place. I don't know anyone. I don't know where I was suppose to sit. I don't even know who the host is!" And her complaint and nagging continued until we reached home. I realised I had made some errors and I knew then it would be an uphill tasks for me.

Friday, 1 April 2011

An Introduction to Masturat Jamaat - Part 2

Before I focussed my attention towards masturat effort, I used to carry a wayward thought about the few brothers (at that time) who were involved in masturat jamaat. I thought of them as a little 'softies' and even the way they interacted did not appease me. Perhaps my head was clouded with the idea that masturat jamaat was about men serving women. But it just proved how naive I was about the masturat effort.

The object of dakwah and tabligh effort in general is to bring Deen alive in the entire world. The object of masturat jamaat in particular is to bring one hundred percent of Deen alive into the lives of every single women. This is the utmost importance, since nobody can ever be successful if he/she does not have Deen. No person can claim that he/she is pious and does not have to go in jamaat because of his/her piety. There is no end to piety. The person who claims to be pious is in reality the one who is most in need of going out in jamaat. The effort in jamaat is not confined to those who are far away from Deen and who are living on the streets but it is also and more important for those who are regular in solaah, zikr, tilawah, etc. to go out in jamaat in order to perfect these actions, to develop devotion and concentration in solaah and zikr, etc. and also to bring others (who are away from Deen) more closer to Allah Ta'ala. Masturat jamaat enables the womenfolk also to propagate this Deen directly to other women.  

My wife had been regularly sitting in the circle of fadha'il ta'leem at home together with my children. Every night after Isya', I and my wife would alternately read the kitab - Fadha'il Amal. At that point of time, when her reading came to the chapter on virtues of dakwah and tabligh, she would stop reading and passed the kitaab to me to continue. I then realised that my other-half was still not willing to accept or support my involvement in the effort of dakwah and tabligh. She could see the benefits of ta'leem, but she still could not see any benefit to her and the children in being left by her husband, travelling in tours of dakwah and tabligh.

I just could not ignore the fact that true happiness in marriage and family only will come if both husband and wife, and all the children share the same thing - one mindset and one heartfelt. For the non-believers, they find it in fulfilling the common worldly desires. For us Muslims, we will find it in bringing the complete Deen in our lives. Thus, I started another quest for an effort to bring the work of dakwah and tabligh in my family. I thought, "If she is not ready for it - and nobody that I knew was gladly ready for it at first, including myself - I would present it to her in such a way that she would have no reason not to accept it."

Thursday, 17 March 2011

An Introduction to Masturat Jamaat - Part 1

About two or three years after my journey of dakwah and tabligh to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh for three chillah (four months), I still did not place serious thought about the importance of involving me and my wife in masturat jamaat. Not until my friends, Salman Kantani and Sufi Hassan, came back from their first three days of dakwah and tabligh tour in masturat jamaat, together with their respective wives. 

I remember Salman had just been married at that time. His parents had rejected the idea of him marrying a daughter of any karkun (tablighi). All sort of unreasonable excuses and vindication were placed before him. Perhaps they are not ready to accept another tablighi in the family, or they might have thought that a lady-partner not associated with dakwah and tabligh effort would eventually subdue and abrogate the 'extremism' in their son's way of life. 

And it followed that with full blessing from his parents and barakah, Salman uttered the sacred vow of nikah to a fine lady who would later became one of the closest friends of my wife. As much as I want to say, "And they live happily ever after...", the best part did not end here. A couple of months after their marriage, the newly-wed couple, together with Sufi Hassan and his wife had embarked onto a tour of faith for three days for the first time in masturat jamaat.

Verily Allah Most High ordains the attainment of felicity (attainment of desires, happiness, success, propserity, freedom from anxiety in this world and the next) of mankind, men or women, in the practices of the perfect deen, insofar as he/she obeys Allah Most High and His Rasul. Women are greater in number than men in today's population of the world, whereas the number of children are larger than women. When womenfolks understood and have concern for deen, they will revive the environment of deen in their houses. When the environment of deen prevails in the houses of Muslims, there will come forth pious children - male & female - alim and alimah, hafiz and hafizah, mujahid and mujahidah.

Back from their three days tour in masturat jamaat, both Salman Kantani and Sufi Hassan did not waste time at all in alluring me with their karguzari (narration and description) of the tour in masturat jamaat. The magnetism of their karguzari  had kept me listening to them for almost two hours in my car right from after Isya' prayer.And that was the first time anyone had ever put a serious thought on me about the importance of involving my wife in masturat jamaat.

And both Salman and Sufi Hassan had started a delightful episode of their lives having their respective wives as a driving force behind their intensifying effort of dakwah and tabligh. By the grace of Allah Most High, I surely would not let myself miss the ride!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Sufi Hassan - Part 2

On the third day of his i'tikaaf at our surau, he started to make himself visible to us. Quickly and easily, he get himself acquainted with all of us karkuns especially when he quoted familiar hadith and sayings of pious predecessors in the conversation. At that time, we were not aware that he had extensively been reading from Fadha'il Amal for 3 days in the surau. 

Sufi Hassan has a high-pitched tone when conversing. His conversation is always full of enthusiasm. At times he could be blunt and direct. But at the same time, he is witty and fun to be with. So far that I knew him, his bluntness or priceless humor quotes always related to deen. What I like most about Sufi Hassan is his spontaneous actions or reactions that reflect his sincerity. For instance, he would utter, "Terima kasih, Allah!" (Thank You, Allah!) when he suddenly remembered things or names, or "Ampunkan aku, Allah!" (Pardon me, Allah!) if he was unsure of things or names, in the midst of conversations. To some people it was funny, when actually, he was dead serious. Another instance is that he see all things, no matter how negligible it is, happened by the Will and Wisdom of Allah - something that most people failed or ignored to reflect.

Prior to his first 3-days tour of dakwah, as I said earlier, Sufi Hassan had been engaged in tarekat or sufism of Naqshabandi order, practising excessive wirid, zikr and durood. He even had a dream of being repeatedly stamped by a man with the word 'Muhammad' all over his body, the level according to him, is termed as "qulluman jasad". He was then taken to meet Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam who was sitting together with Hazrat Abu Bakar, Umar, Usman and Ali radiyalaahu anhum. In his dream, he was told that they liked his excessive recitation of durood shariff. Having said that, Sufi Hassan concluded that the ecstasy that he experienced during the past 18 years of his sufism practices is incomparable with his first 3-days tour of dakwah & tabligh effort. I guess one will never know how the feeling was until one experienced it oneself. 


Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Sufi Hassan - Part 1

Every night after Isya' solaah at our masjid, one of us would read hadith and commentaries from the kitaabs Fadhail Aamal and Muntakhab Ahadith to all musoleen. It is one of the daily masjid amal that originates back since 1997. There were a smaller number of musoleen in our old small wooden surau/masjid back then.

One night as any other nights, after the ta'leem of Fadhail Aamal had been read, we all headed own ways. Some of the more blessful among us continued the amal scheduled to fulfill the two and half hours, some headed straight back home, whilst some went for a night session of  chai with friends. None of us, however, were aware of the presence of a lone figure behind the wall in the surau separating the men sections.

Haji Hassan had been listening attentively to the hadith on virtues of zikrullah (remembrance of Allah) that had been read that night. He had begun the first day of i'tikaaf at our surau, unnoticed by everyone. Although he lived not far away, he had never been to our surau and he did not know why he had chosen to make i'tikaaf there. Haji Hassan had been in the sufi order (tarekat)of Naqsyabandi for 18 years, and having cited tens of thousand of wirid, durood sharif and istighfar. But never had his heart and soul been rocked and taken away by the words of Allah Most High and His most beloved Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wassalam as he felt that night. This prompted him to sneak onto the pages of Fadha'il Aamal while everyone was not around. The more hadith that he read, the more ecstasy they made him felt. He jotted a few hadith down in his note book.

In the morning, still managed to avoid our attention, he quietly observed us. After our daily mesyuarah (consultation) after subuh solaah, we would sit quietly in the surau until the time of isyrak for our daily wirid of tasbeehat, durood and istighfar. Unknown to us, the environment or mahul in the surau had really excited him. Even our sitting postures amazed him. It is customary for him to sit with both knees up and wrapped both his arms around the knees when he is making zikir. He thought it was offensive to sit like that. When he saw some amongst us sat in the same posture, he was overcame with awe. Little did he know that it is one of the sunnah ways of sitting.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Story of Salman Kantani

It has long been a tradition that every year, many bright young Malaysians students are sent to study in universities in United Kingdom, among other places. Having spent two to four years abroad, their return was keenly awaited by people close to their heart whom they had not seen for ages. The homecoming would typically come with with souveniers and gifts - a pair of rejected Clark shoes from Tommy Ball for elder brother, an England red rose rugby jersey for younger brother, a Liverpool or Manchester United away football jersey for kid brother, a couple of London t-shirt for kid sister, plenty of porno mags for close friends, and loads of Yorkie chocolate bars for everyone else.

A number of these young men surprised their parents and family members as soon as they arrived at the airport. Everyone at the airport expected to see a sharp-dressed young man with Bruberry jacket and Marks & Spencer pants at the arrival gate. Instead, emerging from the gate was a bearded chap with white skull cap on the head, wearing all white kurta and shalwar. Ironically, even those graduates from the universities in Egypt and Syria came back with fancy jacket and pants!

He was one of the many young Malaysians university graduates who came back from the United Kingdom a changed man. Bestowed with unpronounceable real name, he is known to us all as Salman, following the sahabi Salman the Persian radiyalaahu anhu. I first met him at our small old wooden surau/masjid. He had then spent time in the path of Allah after his graduation to Pakistan prior to returning home. Though a lot younger than me in age, I consider him as one of my mentors in the work of dakwah and tabligh. He progressed well in tabligh effort at younger age. His presence in our mohalla had opened up fikr for younger generations. But at the same time, he had been subjected to much taunting, trials and tribulations from the elderly people in our mohalla. The worst trials, unfortunately, came from his own parents. In the face of those adverse circumstances, he remained steadfast.

It really is not easy to try to live simple when the world around you expects you to live on the fast lane. When his peers looked for glamourous time consuming job, he opted for a teaching job that would secure him time for 40 days or four months for the effort and the advancement of his own iman and aamal. When his peers look forward for high wages and high-flying positions in large corporations, he opted for a low profile job that could give him more time to obtained piety and virtues in this world and rewards and benefits in the aakhirah. To me, really, when his peers are caught onto the web of slavery, he opted for being a master of his own time.

Sometimes whenever laziness overcame me and decided not to go to markaz, for instance, Allah Most High frequently used Salman Kantani to suddenly pop-out in front of my house on his motor-bike, asking whether we were ready to go to markaz for our weekly i'tikaaf. It was always the case for me, after seeing his big grin, alhamdulillah, my idleness instantly turned to liveliness, as I grabbed my bedding  for another fruitful night at the markaz. He definitely is one of my circles of friends that fit the saying that a good friend is someone, when you see his face you would remember Allah Most High, and when you hear they speak, your knowledge of deen would increase.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Journey Towards Al-Khaliq - Part 12

I spend a lot of time by simply looking at the Ka'abah. I would sat down leaning forward close against the railing on the top floor of Masjidil Haram watching thousands of hajis circumbulating the Holy Ka'abah. It was mainly due to my laziness, but never lost my hope in getting rewards from Allah Ta'ala. 

Keeping on reading Fadha'il Hajj had helped me a lot. In 45 days of my hajj journey, sometimes laziness overcame me. Alhamdulillah, by the grace of Allah, the kitaab had kept me going. In one hadith, Hazrat Ibn Abbas radiyalaahu anhu reports that the Messenger of Allah said, "One hundred and twenty mercies descend upon the Ka'abah every day and night; sixty for those performing tawaaf, forty for those performing solaah and twenty for those merely looking at Ka'abah." Merely looking at the Ka'abah is a form of Ibadaah. Hazrat Saeed ibn Musayyib rahmatullah alayhi the well-known Tab'iee use to say that whoever merely looks at the Ka'abah with complete faith, becomes so cleansed of his sins as the day he was born. Subhanallah! How great is the mercy of Allah to this ummah!

In the midst of thousands of pilgrims encircling the Ka'abah, I caught a glimpsed of a towering man walking slowly towards Hajarul Aswad assisted by two men. It was a unique scene. The people made way for the towering man approaching the Hajarul Aswad. Normal men's height only barely reached his waist. I recognised the towering man from a news report I read before. At 7' 8", Haji Alam Channa of Sindh, Pakistan, the tallest man in the world at the time, kissed the Hajarul Aswad with much difficulty.

Friday, 14 January 2011

The Journey Towards Al-Khaliq - Part 11

When I first arrived in Makkah a couple of weeks before wukuf at the Plains of Arafah, performing tawaf around the Kabaah at the ground floor square was an uphill task at any time with thousands of people cramming at one place. It was alarming and distressful to watch hundreds of people tried to squeezed in the corner of the Kaabah where Hajarul Aswad or the Black Stone is situated.  No doubt the kissing of Hajarul Aswad is a sunnah and a gesture of love to the Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wassalam.  But how could those people justify the hardship caused by them to others when they forced their way through to the corner?

At this point, I have to reveal a despicable violation by certain few hajj pilgrims, right in front of the house of Allah.  It is not to my enjoyment to bring out into open something that could disgrace other hajj pilgrims, but I consider it something beyond contempt that all of us should avoid when, by the grace of Allah, we are accepted to perform hajj or umrah. A handful Indonesian brothers, without shame, had taken advantage of the hajj season to provide an unsanctioned services of getting women pilgrims to kiss the Hajarul Aswad. It is not as honourable as it sound, in fact the manner in which they provide the so-called services was just simply tastless and nasty. 

First, two men would approach women hujjazs to provide 'assistance' for them to kiss the Hajarul Aswad for a fee. An over-enthusiastic woman who agreed to their proposal would then be forcefully pushed towards the corner of the Kaabah, sandwiched between two men. She would have to hug from behind the man in front of her, whilst the man behind her would tightly hug her. I've seen a couple of women were in terrifying tears while being pushed forward without being able to back-off. Another woman was being pulled out by another couple of pervert men (perhaps after managing to kiss the Black Stone) in a condition that her hijab was pulled off and her hair disheveled. Once I walked near two men who were negotiating the service and I could not help but sternly rebuked the two Indonesian men. What a shameful act to promote!

May Allah Ta'ala have mercy on us all.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Journey Towards Al-Khaliq - Part 10

Up to the time of hajj, I had always been comfortable wearing only Pakistani kurta (shalwar and kamis). Only after hajj, I started to wear jubah as well. Hence, the whole time when I was performing hajj that year, I had only wore kurta whenever I was not in ihraam. It was rather amusing that I had been stopped a couple of time in Makkah by the Masjid al-Haram's security men, when I walked holding hands with my wife. On both occasions, they were shouting, "Haram! Haram!" causing other peoples' attention towards us. Apparently, the security men had mistaken me as a Pakistani Pushtun man holding hands with a non-mahram Malaysian woman. The fact that my wife wore white hijab that has a word "Malaysia" spelled in Arabic letters at the back of her head also contributed to the confusion. 

On the first occasion, I tried in vain explaining to them our relationship as husband and wife from the same country. Even the stainless steel chain on my wrist with the word "Malaysia" that all Malaysian hajj pilgrims were required to wear as an identification would not convinced them of my identity.  Only after I showed them a hajj identity card that has a photo of me did they notice the truth. Well, on the second occasion, I had the ID well-prepared and straight away showed it to them. And on both occasions they blushingly offered kind words of apology to us for the mistake. It was hilarious, really. 

The ulama' say that when Allah Ta'ala gave the glad tiding to Ibrahim alayhi salam about the coming of his first son to be born, Ismail alayhi salam, through His malaikat (angels), they told Ibrahim alayhi salam that his wife would bear a son whom the called "haleem"; the forbearing son. Certainly true to their status, the Arabs, the descendants of Ismail alayhi salam, are charitable people, most clement and considerate, patient and thoughtful towards millions of the hajj pilgrims that poured into Hijjaz every year. They, the Arabs, are certainly most suitable to be the hosts and guardians of the two holy cities.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Journey Towards Al-Khaliq - Part 9

In Makkah, the fitnah of television set in each and every hotel rooms was indeed menacing and alarming. Even Madinah, the city of our beloved Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wassalam was not spared of the raging fitnah. 

The non-believers are prohibited from entering the holy lands of Makkah Mukarammah and Madinah Munawarrah. However, the enemies of Islam had sketched a master plan to destroy the sanctity of our holy lands. Though unable to be physically present at the holy cities, they seemed to had reached their goal by filing the holy cities with harmful and deleterious products - the most damning of all are television sets. They had cracked their heads for so long, thinking how to corrupt the minds of Muslims all over the world, even at their centre of devotion, during the acts of worship that suppose to be the harvest of piety. It looks like their strive and struggle had achieved fruitful results now that just a few metres away from the entrances of Masjid al-Haram, from every angles, vileness, indecency and vulgarity are being played and watched over the television sets in the premises surrounding the Masjid al-Haram.

Thus, the very moment that we discovered a television set was placed on the wall  in each room in our hotel in Makkah, we resolved amongst us karkuns that everyone need to be told of its evil. Each and everyone of us would start among their respective room-mates. We started to convey the message to our room-mates of the fact that although a single good deed practiced in Makkah Mukarramah would equal 100,000 thousand good deeds practiced elsewhere, it was utmost important also to restraint ourselves from doing even a single bad deed, as it would also equal 100,000 bad deeds practiced elsewhere. Alhamdulillah, most of the hujjazs in our group shared our concern except for only a handful addicts who could not seem to resist the impulsion for the small screen.

As for me, nothing was more captivating than watching Pok Soh smiled broadly whilst I pushed him on a wheelchair towards Masjid al-Haram, with my wife pushing Mok Su's wheelchair, tailing not far behind, across a sea of devotees. Sometimes I would giggle with my wife whenever we heard Pok Soh mumbled, "Please don't trample me. I'm just a small-sized man." Probably the scene I cherished most was when. in one occasion, Pok Soh was carried on a stretcher by two strong and tall dark African men on their shoulders making tawaf around the Kaabah.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

The Journey Towards Al-Khaliq - Part 8

Every morning after subuh prayer I would rush back to the residential hotel. We would gather in a room that we had collectively agreed upon for our gathering place every morning for our daily mesywarah or consultation. Before the consultation started, someone would deliver an early morning bayan or a talk exhorting the listeners for the effort on deen. As the room was just enough to accommodate 4 beds, sometimes the many people that attended the morning consultation would spilled outside the room. Blankets were spread on the floor for us all to sit. We took turn between ourselves in conducting the consultation. The consultation generally discussed to what extent our effort in the work of dakwah and tabligh among the hujjazs in Makkah for the last 24 hours, and what would be the extent of our effort for the next 24 hours. It was also decided who would conduct the daily reading of the kitaab (book) Fadha'il Haji, Umrah and Ziyarat by Sheikhul Hadith Hazrat Maulana Zakariyya Kandhlawi rahmatullahu alayhi, and who will deliver the early morning bayan the next morning.

At approximately 10am every morning, we would spread blankets on the floor outside an appointed room and one of us would begin reading the Fadha'il Hajj. After sometime, a pair of us would go from room to room exhorting and urging the hujjazs to join in the assembly of the reading of hadiths relating to the virtuous deeds of hajj, umrah and ziyarat. A few minutes after the pair had join back the assembly, another pair would continue to make a round from room to room urging the same thing from the hujjazs.  The rounds would continue until the assembly dispersed after about 2 hours for everyone to get prepared for midday solaah. The assembly would usually attracted a handsome number of hujjazs sitting in the circle of ta'leem.Sometimes during the rounds, we learnt that a hajji was sick and we would find time to visit him again later. These are the daily routines of our effort. My wife, on the other hand, would also read the Fadha'il Hajj to her room mates at an appointed time daily in her room. Alhamdulillah, we find ourselves absorbed and occupied during the whole duration of our journey for hajj. This was only due to the great blessing from Allah Most High.

One of my room mates was a hardcore PAS or Islamic Party of Malaysia's member. He used to say in amazement that even in Makkah and Madinah the tablighis were on the move with their programmes. His words caused a broad smile on my face although they were not actually 'programmes'. In fact, they were aamal or devine practices that Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam and his blessed Companions radiyalaahu anhum had taught and passed on to the ummah after them.