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."

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.