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."

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."