Saturday, 11 June 2011

Imam an-Nawawi

Assalaamu'alaikum wa Rahmatullah!

I actually do not know what to do once I finished my reading and jotting down sources for the research that I'm currently pursuing. And today is actually the day specifically to perform 'amal (practices), making personal supplications and seeking religious knowledge for myself. 

I had chosen the day based on the old tradition. I would either go to the mosque or trying to find majlis (ceremonies) to get some benefit from congregational activities regardless of affiliations. Usually I would do these alone, without any friends nor companies. Because I don't believe people perform the same practices. I found some similarity in few Tabligh kids in my current hostel but they are not here for long and I am not a member of the particular jama'at. I would also not be here for long and I hate to say goodbye to friends especially when I didn't get to know them for long due to time constraint. 

When I was in the first semester I had performed an extreme law that had limited me from the contact with outside world. I did that alternately when I finished my first degree too. It is totally a hermit life and I performed that since I have no one in common. I would only be in contact with people when I visit the mosque or musalla. I could not recruit people like other movements since I became a beginner again so I would feel comfortable performing practices and whatever I believe alone to avoid from quarrels. 

People today actually believe that only their madzhabs (schools) or firqas (groups) are the righteous ones and according to sunnah. In the same time, they implied that they are following the sunnah (tradition). When our thoughts are in common, then only we could perform a jama'ah (congregation). For now, I don't believe in a unified nation, we are not even a unified nation yet but nations if we insist that only our way is the only authentic one while everyone are the same brothers in faith following the same syari'at (law of life). Only some khilaf (differences) that made us go against each other.
I came across of hadith matan arba'in which means the root 40 hadiths. It is compiled by our honorable imaam Nawawi. I believe many people know him and he is a famous figure in Syafi'ie school of jurisprudence. His work is considered as authoritative in jurisprudence area. I should have memorized this compilation of hadiths when I was in I'dadi level in the ma'ahad. But I was a lazy and stubborn boy. I just could remember the first hadith concerning niyyat (intention) and it is the only hadith that I could memorize perfectly without any problem. It is useful for me to understand the concept of criminal committed when we learned about Tort law and law language style for translation during our bachelor degree. 

The teacher in the ma'ahad had painstakingly spanked me and slapped my face for my stubbornness to follow the teachings. Other kids experienced the same too. Only few are nice and with good brain in both academic and religious studies. I hate to study anything because of that but now I understand the meaning behind of those acts. They are not doing that on purpose, because kids could not understand the things revolving around. We just know to play around back then. 

Imam Nawawi real name is Abu Zakariyya Muhiyuddin Yahya bin Sharaf and he was born around 1234 C in an-Nawa. It is a suburb area in the city of Hawran, Syria. He died when he was 45 years old and never married. Such a young age! Guess if he used his time properly for Him, it should not be something to regret. May Allah bless his soul.

This figure had already displayed scholarly personality when he was a young child. He never join other kids playing around but reciting Quran. Some kids had forced him to play with them, but he just ignored them. He survived in Rawahiyyah school with limited food and taking nap on his kitabs. I believe he must feel lonely living in this world too.

When doing some readings and seeking knowledge what did he do?

1. He reads 12 lessons everyday.
2. Writing explanation and commentary of every lesson besides making addition.
3. He made marginal notes and write explanation in whatever books that he read.
4. Spent his time contemplating on the interacted and complex issues finding for solutions.

Regarding his manner?

1. Devout scholars like him usually ignore worldly chattels but giving preference to religious knowledge and academic pursuits.
2. Propagate the faith.
3. A God fearing person.
4. Possess knowledge and its branches.
5. Avoiding worldly inclination, for example he wore simple dress and ate simple food.
6. Inviting for charity (faith) enjoining virtue and forbidding vice.

He wrote many kitaabs but in Malayan Peninsula, the popular ones are the matan hadith arba'in (fourty root hadiths) and riyaadhus saalihiin (garden of the righteous). Think that I need to structure my religious studies too since I am learning them without any institution. When I don't understand about certain explanation, it would be good to ask teachers at the mosque. I hope that some excerpts about this figure could inspire everyone especially myself to strive hard in order to see His glorious and noble appearance in the end. 

May Allah bless all the four imams' souls. May all of the scholars in faith and religious sciences of the past enjoy peace and rewarded with goodness in the hereafter. May their prayers being the fort for us, these generations. May Allah forbid brothers and sisters in faith quarreling regarding small matters but unify us; make us learning about each other, dear Allah! When there is only a God and a glorious King, so does His subjects must also be one in nation. Sealed with prayers for peace, mercy, and love. Amin!!! 

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