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."

Saturday, 22 December 2012

You Look Like A Tablighi





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 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. 

To acquire the reality of Imaan, unlimited efforts must be made for it since Imaan has no limit and end.  To what extent the efforts on Imaan is being undertaken, Imaan will increase to such extent. And when the effort on Imaan is neglected, then the level of Imaan will decrease and become weaker in faith. The Imaan of the Prophets alayhimussalam constantly risen, the malaikah or angels are always fixed in Imaan, the Imaan of the common men fluctuate. The level of reality of Imaan arising from a person's heart will lead him to follow the Sunnah of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam.

In the early days of my involvement with the effort of dakwah and tabligh, the first thing that occured to me was that the kalimah "La ila ha illallah" is a speech of  tongue. Only the speech of tongue is not enough, but the reality of the kalimah must be rooted deep in the hearts. The reality of the kalimah is - La ila - nothing can happen or occur from any creature, - illallah - everything that happens or happened only from Allah the Almighty, the Creator of creation. As I was in constant company of the pious brothers, I learned to meet the servants of Allah with no worldly interest and giving them dakwah to the greatness of Allah, the promises of Allah and the treasures of Allah, with the intent to gain Imaan. Whenever those pious people talked in glorifying and magnifying Allah, I tried to listen attentively. And in those blessed moments of time, I used to cried begging Allah for the reality of Imaan.

It follows that the kalimah "Muhammadur Rasulullah" means that no single way of life that guarantee happiness in this world and salvation in the Aakhirah except the way of life brought by  Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam alone. It should be removed from the hearts of any fondness towards other way of life and it should be inculcate deep into the hearts that 100% success is only in  Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam's way of life. 

Without any hassle and pressure from anyone, my outer appearance gradually changed as I constantly spent my time in the effort of dakwah and tabligh and became aware of the Sunnah of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam.  Although now and then I hear foolish remarks from certain people that Deen's place is in the heart, not the outer appearance (when this remarks is actually uttered as a lame excuse for unwillingness to follow the Surah of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam), but for me it was just crystal clear - as if you feel happy, you smile and if you feel displeasure, you frown. In each case, the facial expression tells what your heart feel. So do the love of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam will lead someone to follow the Sunnah of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam, which include the Surah (the outer appearance).

As I said, the changes in my appearance happened gradually. I first began to grow goatee beard. As the tuft of hair on my chin growing longer, my wife started to complain. Then the complaints turned to constant nagging, and the nagging turned to threats. She used to hold a small pair of scissors at night before we went to sleep and threateningly said, "I will cut your beard when you are asleep." It sounds hilarious now, but it certainly was not back then. Sometimes her threat overcame me that when I woke up in the morning I instantly put my hand on my chin to check if my goatee beard was still there. Of course, this stunt of hers occured many years ago before she joined me in  masturat jamaat. Now she is used to caressing both sides of my fully grown beard and uttering "aamantu billah, aamantu bil qadar" whenever I came home from long khuruuj in the path of Allah.

Once the whole family were gathering for Eid at my mother's house. My brother made a jest about my goatee beard. He said that my beard resembled the beard of Fir'aun to the laughter and giggles of my nephews and nieces. He was referring to the many statues of the Egyptian Pharaohs which seem to suggest that the pharaohs did grow goatee beard. Though laughing at his antic, his remarks struck me like a thunder bolt. Since then I began to grow full grown beard. 

It follows that when I still spotted goatee beard, I felt uneasy and incomplete as a Muslim without kofia or  Topee or Kufi, a skullcap worn by Muslim men in Malaysia. Hence, I had referred this blog as kuffiyah.  It means different from keffiyah or ghutrah or shemagh, a traditional Arab headdress fashioned from a square, usually cotton, scarf. I first started to wear a white kofia in office on a Friday after Friday prayer throughout the afternoon. Then it became my practice to wear a kofia the whole day every Friday from morning. It was not easy to acquire the habit of wearing a kofia at work though. All kind of foolish thoughts crossed my mind. At the same time, I felt that it is important to physically proclaim myself as a Muslim. Alhamdulillah, after a few weeks, I began to wear kofia on daily basis. 

The first hiccup in my attempt to revive this Sunnah in me not surprisingly came from my wife. Back then she worked at a financial institution. Everyday we would travel together to work and back. Once she entered the car, she would grabbed the kofia off my head, followed by a good few minutes of grumblings. Initially I would put it on again attempting in vain to explain its importance to me. I even gave fabricating reason that it was meant to hide my balding head. But she would not leave the matter to rest, rather it would prolonged her grumblings all the way to work. In this matter, I fully accept that she married a person whose physical appearance attracted her and I portrayed a change in such a way that the attraction might no longer there. Thus, I only put the kofia back on after I dropped her off at her workplace. It would be off again the moment she entered the car after office hours heading back home. It went on until one day, as usually the case, she grabbed hold of my kofia off my head and said the usual words, "You look old with it. And I do not want to be seen with an old man as my husband." At that moment, somehow I just raised both palms up towards my face gesturing in du'a saying, "O Allah! Please forgive her for she does not know." For some reasons, she just giggled and I too chuckled thinking of her antics. At that moment of time, I could sense acceptance on her part and true enough she never took off the kofia from me since then. Though every now and then whenever she stumbles across my old photos she would kiss them photos in gesture and acted, "Oh! I'm in love with this man. I miss this handsome man."

In the course of time, I completely changed from head to toes after my journey in the path of Allah for 4 months to Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. And that itself is another episode of my journey in life to tell.

Did I try to emulate the tablighi brothers that I was in constant company with? The answer is a loud and clear "No!". But if the tablighi brothers are trying hard to emulate and revive the Sunnah of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam, then I too would not be slackened behind. And if that means I look like a tablighi in appearance, so be it. 

Whilst reviving the Sunnah in me is itself the ultimate reason, I believe there are other things to consider which are far from being less important. Reflect on this - the Bhopal disaster was a gas leak incident in India, considered as one of the world's worst industrial catastrophes. It occured on the night of 2-3 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Ltd pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. A leak of methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundred of thousands of people. The toxic substance made its way in and around the shantytowns located near the plant. Estimates vary on the death toll. Thousands of people had succumbed by the morning hours. There were mass funerals and mass cremations. Bodies were dumped into the Narmada River, less than 10 km from Bhopal. 170,000 people were treated at hospitals and temporary dispensaries. In 1991, 3,928 deaths had been certified. Independent organizations recorded 8,000 deaths in the first few days. Other estimations vary between 10,000 to 30,000. 2,000 buffaloes, goats and other animals were collected and buried. Within a few days, leaves on trees yellowed and fell off. Supplies, including food, became scarce owing to suppliers' safety fears. Fishing was prohibited causing further supply shortages. I dread to imagine a Muslim dead body is mistakenly burnt in cremation amid the chaos and catastrophes simply because there is no immediate sign or proof that he is a Muslim in physical appearance. 

Once it happened that a Thai Muslim man who traveled with a Budhist Thai woman had a car accident in Johor Bharu, south of Malaysia, and died instantly. His traveling companion was unscathed. Not noticing any Muslim physical appearance in him, the Malaysian authority relied on the statement of his companion that he is a Budhist and the fact that his Thailand passport bears a Thai name certainly did not help (some Muslims in Thailand have a Muslim name and Thai name). His brother came rushing from Thailand and arrived just in time before the body was sent to Budhist cremation centre.   

May Allah forgive us and shower His mercy on us. May Allah make us among the righteous and direct all our affair through the right path. And may Allah make our graves a resting place for us.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

a good reason

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