Monday, 4 April 2011

What is Islam? On What Basis It Is Founded?

Assalaamu'alaikum wa Rahmatullah!

I suppose be doing my readings for tomorrow proposal but I am also worried for Tablighi brothers that I met in my hostel. 

Last two days, I asked what is the meaning of going out in the path of Allah to one of the karkont (cadre).  Because I was asked by the congregation of Tabligh in the Musalla about khuruj (going for da'awa) and a karkon from South Africa said he couldn't believe me that I had never went out with their Jama'a for three days. They want to tashkil (reform) me. I asked them what do they mean by tashkil? They said, it means persuasion. In my understanding of Arabic, tashkil means reforming. What should I reform? I can't understand that. I sat with them because of silaturrahim (the connection of mercy) and they had invited me so I respect them. I just learned their term, respecting brothers is called as Ikram. It means we honor others in Arabic, I understand it but maybe they articulate it differently or with the meaning according to their context. All the things that they performed, I do perform them even before I came to know them. Even when my maternal uncle trying to tasykil us, I had already reading tasawwuf books either in English, Malay or Arabic. 

I admit that I was a lazy gut and never try to memorize Quran, but now I am working it again with my intention only to seek His pleasure. I do not want to be attached to any congregation or group because I do not want people to be afraid and we need to spread mercy to every creature. Sometimes I have to follow some naughty boys but I am actually trying to drag them to Him. Then, if that is considered as sinful I beg His mercy to lift me from sins :'(

I always sleep in the masjid when I was at home and meditating in the masjid whenever I am free. I believe I have no real home and masjid is only my sanctuary. I am also doing some donations to friends around be they Muslims or non-Muslims and I always remember each of the people who had contact with me although I am so sure that they would never remember me anymore after we go our separate way. That is normal for me. I am just used to it and I care nothing. I had took buses to my hostel mate house in Yan when his dad passed away during our second semester in the first year degree. I am so sorry to him that I didn't realize I took buses from Penang to that difficult to reach area. Walked alone in the village tracks until Maghrib reach. That is apart of my da'awa effort. It is just an example, I did many other things which only me and Allah know. I will let them be my secret with Him. I will feel bad after letting people know about these things which shouldn't be big deal at all. I did those things because of him. I have no term for them whether kerja agama (religious work) or whether it is usaha agama (religious effort), or khuruj. I am doing it simply because of Him and his creatures, I pray for His mercy always to everyone including enemies. I hope for His pleasure to everyone.

Well, I am so glad that he answered according to what he understand. His answer is that going out 3 days, 40 days, and 4 months to learn the morality of prophet saw and also the way to preach Islam to our brethren. Well I don't despise that. If Maulana Ilyas mentioned it in his kitaab with the support from Hadis of Rasulullah I would never despise it.  Then I ask the karkon, what about if we perform pilgrimage to Holy Mecca or Haj to Baitul Haram (the Respected House of Allah)? He said that is different. A very safe answer. But I could guess his thought because he did mentioned my question is a tough one for him. 

I didn't mean to make fun of him or anyone after I know the answer. I have this sympathy in my feeling. Although last time I was not really happy being cast by my parents to madrasah in Perlis and later being insulted by teachers in Sekolah Agama Rakyat in Selangor for my weakness in academics because Syariah students are considered in the Sekolah Agama Rakyat as students who have no contribution toward Science, Technology, and Innovation as what had been implied by our ex-PM and policies in the country. We were failed products in education system and it affects us even until today. This is the reality in my schooling time. I don't know about now, what is the view toward the religious study.  Whether it is only a place to dump naughty kids in order to teach them lessons although religion is something which is rooted in the family as well. The parents took it easy by letting others educating their child even the basic ones.

The karkont is a physics student and now I believe they have no religious education background I mean the particular one. Because in National Education System, everyone learns Fardhu 'Ain, and Islamic Education and that is also included into the certificate for passing the exam like UPSR, PMR, or SPM. 

But I really appreciate his effort in joining the Jama'at or the particular congregation. His sincere answer actually saddened me not because of the pilgrimage matter but it is about the understandings. They learned a lot about Sunnah and prophet's tradition in Bayan (lectures) each time they would be conducting Bayan. 

I read everything about the Jama'at Tabligh or initially known as the Movement of Faith which was founded by Maulana Ilyas. I have my respect to this figure for his effort. But sometimes when we see the followers of the Jama'at and also my maternal uncle, it seems different. 

We can't blame them. I am certain about this. They are also in search for the path, but maybe they sometimes had assumed that they had already in the right track although the definition of the right track might be varying or not specific at all. Well at least for me who was an ex-Syariah student or an outcaste from a religious school. What I heard in the Bayan of Tablighs are about Iman (Faith) and Amal (Practice). That is certainly true. But they had forgotten the addition of Wahyu or Revelation or in the other words, Wisdom and Knowledge. It is also in conjunction with Hidayah or Guidance that we try to acquire through the prayers to Allah.  

Hajj and pilgrimage is mentioned by Muhammad saw when he was asked by an unknown person in the mosque in front of companions. It is the fifth pillar of Religion or Deen. On the other hand, Deen is a synonymous word to Syari'ah Islamiah. Syari'ah means the Way of Him. While Deen means the Law which terminologically refers to the Law of Life or Sunnatullah. Deen is also a Suryani word where we still can find its meaning in the name of a prophet called Danial which means the Law of God. 

I am sorry I do not have time for the particular mention and report of the Hadis Qudsi but I remember that I read it in Sahih al-Bukhary together with linear English translation concerning Iman. I hope my translation of what I remembered is not wrong but we still can find the text in the Sahih al-Bukhary for reference, His Will.

It is narrated by 'Umar al-Khattab (ra): "Once upon a time, when they sat together with the prophet saw, suddenly came a young man wearing an extremely white robe, his hair is extremely black in color, and he doesn't seem like coming from a long journey to see prophet saw but nobody knows him. He then sat in front of prophet saw until his knees touching the knees of prophet saw.  Then he began to ask prophet saw..."

The Guy: Tell me about Islam o Muhammad! 

Prophet: Islam is when you bear your witness that there is no god (worth to be worshipped) except Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger, Islam is when you are performing Salah, Islam is when you are performing Zakah, Islam is when you are observing Sawm (fast), Islam is when you are performing Hajj whenever you can afford it.

The Guy: You are indeed right!

Companions were so astonished when they see that the guy is asking the prophet saw but he is also certifying the answers of the prophet saw. Then further ask him to prophet saw.

The Guy: Tell me about Iman!

Prophet: Iman is when you have the faith in Allah, His angels, His scriptures, His prophets and messengers, the Hereafter, and the Good and Evil Taqdir.

The Guy: You are indeed right! What is Ihsan then? 

Prophet: Ihsan is when you perform the act of worship and service to Allah, it is like when you are seeing Him. If you do not see Him, but you still feel that He is watching You!

The Guy: Tell me about when is the Resurrection Day?

Prophet: You who asked me knows more than me who is asked.

The Guy: Then, tell me what are the significance for it?

Prophet: If a slave giving birth to her master, and if you see people barefooted and chest, poor and shepherd, (later) competing in building tall edifications.

And after the guy had listened the answers, he went out of the mosque and I (Umar al-Khattab) sat still for a moment. Then the prophet asked me.

Prophet: Do you know who was that person asking me?

Umar: Allah and His messenger know it well. 

Prophet: He is Gabriel who came to you in the meaning to teach the religion to you.

(Report from Muslim)

From the karkon answer, I am so curious to know about what they think about people who do not join the specific congregation? Aren't we the same nation with them or they are higher in term of Taqwa in front of Him rather than people who also perform the same preaching only without being in the specific group or congregation? How do they judge people? Is it according to superficial appearance? 

Taqwa (fear to Allah) is not something that we can easily measure with our own barometer but it is something abstract and only Allah knows the answer for it. It is not a concrete matter. Concerning this hadis, when I was still confused about what path should I choose, I read back this hadith for umpteenth of times until I made my decision to return back to the faith of ancestors, Islam. It is not easy, I know what those Tabligh karkonts are talking. I have struggles in myself even until today it will never end to the last breath and I hope Allah will protect me at the 'time.'

This are some of the experience I had encountered in this hostel. The guy can't be seen in Musalla after I asked him, I asked him only through medium which can't be seen or known by anyone because I have my ethiquette too. I would feel sinful if he had not been there because of my question. I was just curious and I thought that he could help me answer my curiosity. I did not intend to test him, put him into shame or causing offense to him. I consider everyone even non-Muslims as my brothers in humanity. Muslim brethren are like my blood and flesh, especially those in faith. I would rather cut my wrist if I have to hurt them :'(

Today I had messaged the particular guy I asked asking him about this hadis but I did not mention it as a hadis qudsi. I hope he could find his way through this hadis or redefine it again according to the light of Quran and Sunnah.

Please help me pray to Allah to guide everyone of us. Allah please forgive my sins if I had sinned to my brothers and sisters. Please forgive their sins too if I could not apologize to them. Blessed be prophet saw and his companions and his family. Blessed be the Muslim nation. Amiiin!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. this is my 2 cents. just my thought on wat little i know.

    the outings they have is something of a group support + training. if you consider how it was when the tabligh started, this makes some sense. take a good person, put him in a group of real bad people... either 2 things will happen. he'd be a bad person or if he is strong enough, he'll be a good person.

    so the outings puts the person in a really spiritually rich environment. spends time in a masjid, most talks are about religion and surrounded by people who wants to be close to Allah and His messenger. so this would help get the person to change.

    so the basis of the tabligh's is just another method of dakwah. it wants to help bring someone closer to Allah. which brings him to a want to do the next thing: haj. and umrah. and the other hard stuffs we do everyday like saying no to ourselves.


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