Saturday, 27 August 2011

Being Thankful to Everyone

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah!

This morning of 27th of Ramadan 1432 H just after Fajr service, I heard a speech given by a preacher whom I guess a Thai in the mosque. He talked about being thankful and grateful to everyone around us. How many of us are thankful to our family member say a husband being thankful to his wife for helping him preparing his needs in daily life? About a wife being thankful to her husband for taking care of her. About parents being thankful to their children for being their children. About children being thankful to their parents for love, care, and education provided by them. And about servants being thankful to His or Her Lord.

Al-Qamah and His Mother

He re-narrated to everyone the story about al-Qamah and his mother from the report of Thabrani and Ahmad. Al-Qamah was young man, very diligent in obeying the Lord through salat, sawm (fasting), and charity. Then come a news that he fell ill. Day by day, his illness became serious. His wife met the messenger of Allah, Muhammad s.a.w to tell him that her husband is on deathbed. The noble messenger s.a.w sent two of his companions whom are Bilal and Suhaib to guide the person on his deathbed with the testimony of faith. When they reached the place, they both guide him to say: "there is no gods but only the God," but al-Qamah could not recite the testimony. These two companions returned to the messenger s.a.w and informed him that al-Qamah could not recite the testimony. 

The messenger and prophet of the God ask them: "is his parents alive?" They both informed him that al-Qamah still has his mother alive and very old. The noble prophet s.a.w sent the old lady a message saying that if it is convenient for her to come, then she should quickly come as he has something urgent to talk about with her. If she could not come, then the prophet s.a.w will see her. She could not come, so the prophet s.a.w himself went to see her. 

She was informed by someone that the prophet s.a.w had arrived at her house. She leaned to her stick with her while saying: "may my life be a ransom for him, it is my pleasure to see the noble prophet s.a.w." After they exchange greeting, the prophet s.a.w asked her: "o.. al-Qamah's mother, tell me what type of person is your son?" She answered: "he is a good person striving in salat, in fasting, and spending amounts of his expenditure for charity." The prophet then said: "tell me the truth is that only you want to tell me, dear mother!" She said: "I am angry with him, he had preferred his wife over me. He did not put together the food that I prepared for them while I visited them last time." Then, the noble prophet s.a.w said: "surely, your anger prevents him from reciting the testimony of faith in his deathbed." The prophet s.a.w later turned and said to Bilal: "o Bilal! collect a piles of wood. We are going to cremate al-Qamah." She asked the prophet s.a.w in surprise: "what do you intend to do, dear prophet?" The prophet replied her: "I will burn him in front of your eyes." She suddenly burst into tears saying: "dear prophet, he is my son! I could not bear to see him being burnt!!!" Prophet s.a.w said to her: "dear mother, the God punishment is more severe and unbearable! If you wanted him to be in happiness in the hereafter, be reconcile with him and forgive him on what makes you feel angry! By the One who holds my soul, prayers, fasting, and charity is of no benefit to your son if you are angry with him!" The mother announced her forgiveness and pleasure to her son in front of everyone saying: "dear prophet of the God, I call upon the God the Most High, His angels, and those who are faithful present here to be my witness that I am now pleased with him. I forgive my son on whatever happened." The prophet asked his companion, Bilal to go to al-Qamah's house to see whether he could recite the testimony. Just to check whether the mother sincerely forgive her son or not. Upon stepping his feet into al-Qamah's house, Bilal heard al-Qamah reciting the testimony. He was assured that surely al-Qamah's mother anger toward him had tied his tongue to pronounce the testimony. Only after the mother feel pleased and freeing her anger that al-Qamah could get pass away in peace. The same day, al-Qamah passed away in peace.

The noble prophet s.a.w came to his house and ordering everyone to help with burial process which includes the ritual cleansing of the body and shrouding. They performed the salat for the body and buried the body of al-Qamah. The noble prophet s.a.w stood by the grave of al-Qamah saying: "you had accompanied the migrants (meccans) and the assistants (medinans). If anyone favors his wife over his mother, the God, His angles, and everyone around be it invinsible or visible will anathematize him! The God will never accept his spending for charity and his righteousness unless if he repents toward the God the Glorious the Majestic, and reconcile with his mother attaining her pleasure. The God's pleasure consists in mother's pleasure while the God's anger consists in mother's anger." It appears that al-Qamah had actually forgotten to put together his mom's cooking while they had their meal together. He didn't favor his wife over his mother. It was just a misunderstanding event. May Allah forgives al-Qamah, his mother, and his family and be pleased with their souls. This story that happened in the history is to emphasize that a mother is an important figure in a family. Children have to respect their parents and love them as it is apart of the God's order toward His servants. 

For Jama'at-e-Tabligh members who have non-member parents, make sure that you pleased your mother and father before you perform anything. People have different thinking. Till now, I still could not reconcile with my Tabligh cousins from my mother's brother which is my uncle. They still view me, my father, and my sisters as ungodly due to that we do not wear attire like them, speak in their style of speech nor behave like them. Perhaps, I still look like a kafir (infidel) in their view. Little sister just told me that cousin sister who currently lives in Britain with her family had told me to remove some pictures which seems not nice to her when she checked my previous blog. I had forgotten to delete that old blog. I thought that I had posted something evil but it's just some pictures regarding my opinion. I'll just delete that blog and I just open it up for personal language learning class. It was an effort to increase my skill in the language during my first degree time. I don't need it anyway since people could already detect me. 

Luckily I had long deleted my facebook account. It is so not me when people know me. It is better no one ever know me or my faith. I love the God for Him and not for others to judge my physical appearance. For my cousin's view on me, never mind. The God will judge me and everyone. If I am sinful, it is His right to cast me down the torment in hell. I am already facing punishment now when my already in sorrow heart is scratched here and there. He has His full right on me. On the contrary, I have no right to tie His hand to put me into hell or paradise though He is Merciful.

Preacher Experience Interwoven to the Topic

I don't know what is the person who gave us this morning lecture name but I guess he was a Thai from his experience and from his Thai proverbs. He reminds me of myself too when he told the congregation about when he almost thought that Buddhism is the path for him as he was schooled in Thai system. I wasn't schooled in Thai system but I observe the environment and monitoring it myself. 

And he talked about how thankful he is when his parents sent him to madrasah in Southern Thailand memorizing tough things from Arabic grammars to other religious sciences after his schooling time. When he was a child, he almost thought that Buddhism is the path for him. Later, Christian missionaries with pamphlets about 'Jesus Love to be spread into Family' in their schools in Southern Thailand and he almost thought Christianity is a path for him. So, his parents had performed their responsibility and displaying love and care through his education. This is what I heard from him.

I don't think that those catechists had done anything wrong. They just perform their duty according to their path to evangelize and providing information to others. It would come back to individual ability to think, education provided by family, choice, and guidance from Allah. There is nothing to be proud of for others if a person embrace a certain faith. That is a personal choice for a particular person, we do not have stamp to identify whether we are Muslim, non-Muslim or others on our forehead though sometimes we may judge people from their attire or physical appearance. It is in heart, practices, and how we conduct our life. Allah will eventually judge everyone regarding which path He wants us to be with.

The preacher also listened to a great Buddhist guru talked about being thankful. I would just translate what he said in Thai into English. He said that the guru said: "servants need to be thankful to trees for providing us air to live, thankful to parents for incarnating us. Being thankful to food that becomes our meal." He said that there is no mention about the God in the guru speech.

Buddhist Worldview on Liberation of Soul and the God

As this teaching is also the teaching that I had previously learned and practiced, I would like to inform brothers and sisters on what I had learned as a matter of comparative studies if brothers and sisters are interested in the development of ideologies and religions. Buddhism never talk about any Supreme Being as to avoid speculating beyond metaphysical boundaries. Buddhists have some suttas dealing with this but not all of people reading that part. The goal for Buddhist, Jains, Sikhs and Hindus are alike. To achieve liberation from the cycle of life though they might differ in developments. Take note that cycle of life means hell and torments for physical cage. Physical cage is human body, or any other forms such as animals, insects, or plants.

As to achieve liberation of soul, they need to perform 'responsible life' in which they call it as dharmma. Life in this trailokiya (three realms) whether in hell, in the earth, or in paradise is determined by our deeds. That is called as karmma. When karmma is crushed only, a person will be liberated. So, the conduct of life is very important for them compared to know about the God as to avoid being harmed by karmma and reincarnated in the hell realm, the earthly realm or paradise realm in which a soul will stuck there for thousands of years undergoing tortures. There is no creation nor destruction in its greater cosmology. Since unknown period, there were many universe like this universe. When this particular universe being sucked out and blast off after the end of dark period of the universe. There will be other universe emerge. This process never stop and something which continues. It has to do with previous Brahman scriptures when talking about cosmology. I hope that it more or less helps enhance anyone who passed by here in understanding how some of your neighbors or non-Muslim friends view these worlds.

Importance of Morality and Religious Sciences   

What I could recall, the preacher said, there is of no use if a person or students getting good grades, study well if he or she knows nothing about morality. Or doing something without sincerity. Maybe he or she is forced by parents to study and getting good grades. That would be what his or her parents want. It is superficial. The more important thing is to educate children according to what is prescribed by the God through His scripture (Quran) and prophetic traditions. It is ok if our children do not do well in academics but make sure that our children have ample religious education. My previous lower six teacher had badly humiliated me in front of my friends though she studied in prestigious university in the US :'

He talked too about the analogy of fan at the wall or pillars in the mosque. If the moving fan is not attached to the wall or pillars, it will slash people's head down there. It is an analogy for ideology that we hold. When we hold something without any basis and guidance, it will harm others and ourselves.


What I could summarize from this is that, people today neglected soul in everything. Some are afraid and allergic to purification of soul until those who tried to purify their soul being condemned to hell through earthly lisaan (tongue). We have to be careful with our speech, our thought, and our acts. We'll be responsible with all of these in front of Him in the hereafter. When we do not care about our soul, then what is the mass? Can a mass move without soul? Take a look at stones. What happened when we scold the stone? Or talking to the stone or wall? Regarding soul, the preacher had used cellphone analogy with sim-card in it. Sim-card and processor in the cellphone is the soul and mind while the phone is the mass. Without the card, the phone would be of no use. This topic about being thankful to others also related to soul. When we are thankful and appreciate everyone close to us, we will be at peace. The world will have less war and fights. 

Thus I end this post and the record of what I had listened in the morning with my humble prayer for forgiveness for myself, my parents, my grandparents may Allah bless us all no matter where we are. I pray that His wisdom descends on everyone, insyaallah. Sealed with prayers for peace, mercy, and love, amin!

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