Thursday, 9 June 2011

Revision: Philosophy of Ramadhan Lecture

Assalaamu'alaikum wa Rahmatullah!

This is actually a recycle of my notes that I jot down in Putra Mosque around 2009, before Isya' prayer service in conjunction to the Nuzul Quran event. The lecture was delivered by honorable Ustad Farid Ravi Abdullah. I have a huge respect for this ustad too. He doesn't look like a newly revert brother, but his speech is always amazing. It sometimes stabbed right here in my filthy heart, the heart of a Muslim by generation. This lecture was actually parked somewhere in my previous blog. 

I began blogging when I faced problem with my lecturers concerning attitude during the first semester of my third year bachelor degree. I parked any note that I jot down from different teachers in the mosque that I visited in few blogs but I didn't have any intention to properly having blog nor sites. I didn't even know how to properly use blog back then, hahaha. Just learned about it these recent and still could not fully understand how it functions with gadgets and others. I had also recorded them in documents for me to personally revise them as reminders of what should I do in the future or what are my sins to people around. I talked about what I feel about the environment surrounding in few notes and writing them down in papers and they were just my personal opinion. I did that since I learned about Buddhism practices, mantras, gathas and folk beliefs.

Lecturers actually misunderstood me, and I was a friend to a student that they thought a punk so I must be a punk too. At least that is what they think, I don't know where did they get the idea. Further I did not attend the seminar organized by these particular lecturers which they said, to enhance our professionalism for future career while I was in shortage, occupied with another component of the course final project for translation and I couldn't tell anyone because it is not acceptable excuse for not attending the seminar. Surprisingly other students who were absent could get away with that although excuse given is lame and they were investigated after I was scolded. I know that the lecturers are actually helping their consultant friend to gain some income from students and actually many students disagree but they were afraid to voice it out. Few who dare to challenge the lecturers were crucified and being the sacrifices

I am the only one who was badly being scolded and the first one to be blast. Some of my ex-classmates too gossiping about others after the incident through their blogs and specially I befriend or at least having contacts with losers in our class. Losers here means that we were not apart of their group nor mixing around with other classmates. That made us outcasts in their eyes though I don't even care. The day I was blasted by two lecturers who taught interpretation, I slammed the door at their face. 

I can't stand one of the lecturer mocking my parents, and he knows not me nor my parents. At least he should take care of his manner of speech. I speak no word in the room and just staring at their eyes. It doesn't suit him as an elderly and a lecturer. When I arrived at my room, I kicked the pails and tore down my cloth because I was so upset. Then I took the wudhu' (ablution), prays to the God to give me patience as I still have another semester to finish that particular course and I slept to counter my anger. I avoid from talking with my roommate and anyone. I was afraid that I might punch others' face too. Drunken Arab genetic perhaps but I had tried to be patient anyway, lol. 

Later, I wrote a letter to one of the lecturer who blast me out and commented on her and the other lecturer attitude. I had got a reply letter sent to my house through postal mail. She couldn't accept a degree student comment on her and the other lecturer attitude, but I know what I said is the truth as I talked in my letter through Quranic guidance. I did prayers as well asking the Lord how should I write the letter to the elderly and teachers. I had sent a card to her near the end of our term as bachelor student and apologized to her if I did wrong or said anything wrong to her in my letter. I didn't mean to be harsh to anyone but the words of her fellow lecturer who is an elderly is unacceptable for a person of his level. This new blog is only for me to muhasibah (muse) my self and that was an experience. Whatever that we said to others, we must also remember to reflect ourselves because others are just mirrors to our selves. We are not perfect, He is the only One who is Perfect without any flaw!

Back to lecture, it was said that although people are married and posses children, lots of money in their accounts; but those things could not being dragged into the grave with us when we are dead. Once a person leaving this world, the people around would recite Yaasin hoping that the departed soul would enter the paradise. The question is, by reciting the Yaasin, are we also forcing the departed soul who doesn't want to enter the paradise to do what he or she refused to do? Through this question, it is important for us to understand the meaning of taqwa. What does it mean?

Taqwa is not an easy word to be translated into English. It means fearful and in the same time faithful to the God. That is a mere translation. Our caliph, 'Ali r.a explained that taqwa is defined with these four meanings: 

1. Fearful to the God
2. Sufficient with what God had granted us
3. Practices through the guidance of glorious Quran
4. Prepared to see Him at anytime

Our Ramadhan would be flawed if we lose one of these four since they are the performance key indicator of a faithful slave of the God. How many of us are istiqamah (constant) in performing charity during Ramadhan? The descension of the glorious Quran in Ramadhan is now celebrated around the world. There is also a question, since tomorrow is the 17th of Ramadhan dear gentlemen. What is the difference between Lailatul Qadr (the Night of al-Qadr) and Nuzul Quran (descension of Quran)?

Lailatul Qadr is described by the God in Surah al-Qadr. It is the night where the glorious Quran was descended from the Luwh Mahfuz (the Celestial Guarded Tablet) to the first heaven which is the heaven of the world. It was revealed by the Lord part by part into the heart and soul of prophet Muhammad s.a.w according to the needs and issues for about 22-23 years. The revelation was poured by the archangel Jibril (Gabriel) into the heart of prophet Muhammad s.a.w, and as Muslims we faithfully believe that Quran is not the fabrication of prophet Muhammad s.a.w. It has no intervention of human words.

Glorious Quran consists of 114 suras. Each suras began with basmallah or the invocation of the Lord's holiest Name except for surah at-Tawbah. The glorious Quran will always be as it was revealed due to that it is the mu'jizat (miracle) of the God. Post-prophetic era, there was a liar who claimed himself as a prophet and a messenger of the God. He was known as Musailamah al-Kazzab. He claimed that he was revealed too, but his composition of the scripture by his own is so ugly. It is impossible to even compete with surah al-Kauthar. Because Quran has its rhythmic system and not only in poetical Arabic style or the selection of words. I myself had found that it is very difficult to pronounce the Quranic verses according to approximation sound because it has certain rules. The rules were analyzed by scholars although the science about Quranic sounds did not developed as it is now in prophet Muhammad s.a.w era. Even when I heard fellow Arab brothers recitation, some of them recited the verses with violation of the tajweed system. I was insensitive about this, but when mum persuaded me to the mosque that I realized about the sin of improper recitation of the holy words.    

The Quran was revealed when human behaved worse than animal. There was no morality. The way and the system of human life is based on those who are strong would survive. They stepped on others to survive, and they have no mercy to others. I personally dislike to listen to some local ustads or ustazas talking about ignorance era and using racist or bias statement in describing other race or ethnics such as "Muhammad was sent by the God to the Quraisy or Arabs as a whole nation, because they are worse than animal unlike Malays who are polite" as an example. It is so contradictory to Islamic teachings and partially not true. Those who are not reading Seerah would just accept it and generalizing every Arab or other race that they see while everyone are the same human-being. They would also spread it wide.  If the message of peace is only for Arabs, what is the need for the message to be spread to other nations? What had been said by our holy prophet Muhammad s.a.w regarding this issue? About superiority of human being over others in his khutbah (sermon)?

The Quraisy are among the descendents of our father, Ibrahim a.s. through his son, Isma'il a.s. Mecca was actually a land of prophet Ibrahim a.s. And the people of the holy city were deflected from the path of their forefathers. They were deflected from the faith and the creed toward the Only God. The God has His Will to cleanse the land from the newly invented faith (idolatry) and glorify it again as it was. Thus He sent, His noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w to the people. That is why we could still hear about the remnants of Ibrahim a.s teachings practiced by some people such as our holy prophet, Muhammad s.a.w before the revelation. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w was in 'uzlah (isolation) and the God by His emissary, Jibril a.s revealed the first surah (divine letter), which is Surah al-'Alaq. I recited this surah when I faced problem with lecturers, classmates, and feeling lonely crying my tears down at the bench under the trees near the Computer Science school just across the university mosque early in the morning during my first degree third year.      

Five early verses of al-'Alaq talk about the recitation and readings which also appoints prophet Muhammad s.a.w as the messenger of the God and receiving prophetic tasks. After the event, the celestial revelation gradually revolutionized the life of Meccans and other nations around the world. Nowadays, humans are reading and reciting the text from glorious Quran, but we do not understand nor having deep thought on what is ordered by the God through His revelation on our practices and our way of life.

These are portions of the lecture that I had integrated with some experience as a student. Life of a student in the university is not always life with friends or companies around like in Bollywood movies that we watched. Where there are students who began their lovey dovey life in the university, outing together with friends with activities or successive in studies with help from lecturers and fellow friends... There are also lone-ranger students, those who we might assume as losers because they are not as good as other students, and many kinds of people if we discreetly observe around.

This concrete university is not even the end of the education life and not the genuine one. Knowledge in general is not in certificate nor written but it is in heart. It is also in practices, experience, sincerity, and through the guidance of the God. I asked one of my colleague on what is her future plan after we finished our contract? "Is she going to further studies like other friends?" She said, "I would just entering the university of life...."  It becomes crucial for certificate today because of frauds. But still fraud happens because people could buy certificates. 

Future or current teachers, please do not tell students that they would be a successful student when reaching university. It is not true and deceiving! I always heard this when a was a school kid and it turns somehow differently when I am a university student. I couldn't even think that I am successful, and I saw few classmates dropped out from their studies when I was in my first degree. The real success is not determined as such although furthering studies in the university is crucial for job-market today. 

Success for the faithful is determined in the end. When we see Him. That would eventually be the end for success. We seek knowledge because of Him, but today it is corrupted with other worldly intentions that made knowledge impure anymore. Many students only think about career because we need money and continue our life. I myself have the same problem but I keep praying to the God for the path of holy prophets and messengers of the God to lead this life and not any other things. Nobody would help us except the God while we are alone. This is what happened to our father, Ibrahim a.s. He was initially alone when he faced the world, worse it was when being chased by his own father.

As a reminder for myself and beloved brethren in faith, each time after daily prayer services please recite at least four pages of our glorious Quran regardless of surah. With the intention to get the blessings of the God, getting some knowledge through the revelation for practices and to please only Him.   

May the God grant us with His guidance and all of the success are only from Him. May the God forgive the sins of fellow faithful Muslims if they had sinned on others and may the God forgive my sins if I had sinned others with my words. I had tried to guard my thinking with Your holy words and revelation but if anything evil slipped of me, it is my fault not of anyone. Sealed with prayers for mercy, love, and peace.

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