Sunday, 2 October 2011

Lecture of Mukhtasar Minhaj al-Qasideen: Taharah Chapter


Himalaya Mountain Range by Ursula Gahwiler

When a person saves the usage of water while performing ablution, that is not something which is regarded as munkar (evil). Cleanliness is emphasized together with the economic attitude. When we think about others while using water, it is considered a noble morality. Noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w was reported as saying that there is a waste in the usage of water, even in a river which flows in front of a person who use the water from it. Water is used by society, so we must avoid from wasting it even in cleanliness matter. 

What about the ruling in the usage of water in the mosque or community center for cleanliness and ablution? The ruling of using mosque's water excessively is illegal. So, there is a reason why we should avoid from being doubtful and focusing our attention during ablution as not to waste the water. Puak-puak yang beramal dengan Islam menurut hawa nafsu pula tidak menurut syara' walaupun dalam hal menghilangkan lebihan kotoran. The groups of people who performs religious conduct according to their own desire are not following the divine way even in the matter of cleaning dirt from their selves.

There is a need to differentiate excrement and dirt where dirt could be cleaned by just wiping it out. The example for this kind of dirt is dust. If our head is covered with dust or scalp, it is optional for us to clean it up according to prophetic tradition by cleaning it up with water and comb our hair neatly after washing it, then anoint some oil on it. The same thing goes to ear wax or cleaning the tongue, brushing teeth with miswak or nowadays we may also use toothpaste and tooth brush according to our convenience. It is also optional to take bath if our body sweats before congregational prayer services. Ini beberapa hari tidak mandi, sudah berbau dan tidak menjaga kekemasan diri bukan juga akhlak umat Islam. Not taking bath for few days and letting our selves stink is not the character of a Muslim nation too. Being Muslim must be internally and externally. 

It is not a sin to go for public shower or hammaam or sauna as it is also good to purify one self. But one thing everyone must remember, 'aurat must be guarded even when the sauna is for unisex. The 'aurat of a man in prayer service is from the belly button to knees. So a man may cover their private parts from belly button to knees when in prayer service. But outside of prayer service, the limit of part should be covered by a man is the whole body. Non-related man must not see others' body part. The same thing applies to women as well. The difference of 'aurat is only in prayer service. When ones are in the sauna, they should reflect the heat in sauna as the heat of the hell and torment. This is how a faithful Muslim think when he or she is in any situation. He or she reflects everything in the world with the events of hereafter.  

Noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w while eating meat, he still reflects the hereafter. How about us? When we eat, we forget everything. We even forget the world that revolves around. The hereafter has a great meaning in faithfuls' life. An Arabic proverb says: "water in a vessel will splashes out when it's being stirred up." It means, the thought of people seems like the same, but the angle of the thought is influenced by ones' tendency toward something. For example, a person who makes carpet would particularize carpets when he or she sees everything. They will relate everything that they see to carpet. The same thing goes to a faithful person. When he sees darkness, he will reflect the hereafter. When he hears a scream, he will reflect it to the sound of trumpet during the hereafter. When we are in a dark house, we try to imagine that we are in the grave. A house is still big compared to the space in the grave. A faithful person will always feel that he is with the God.  

So, this is some reflects on the thought of faithful people who believes that death and hereafter is a fact according to the summary of the Ihyaa Ulumuddin by Imam al-Ghazali may Allah be Merciful to him. It may be called by some who denies the hereafter and natural events like death with the notion of death cult. It is also mentioned in the Christians' Nicean Creed regarding the resurrection. So, I wonder why it is difficult for people who are familiar with Christian tradition to understand this? I am not like typical Muslim who only follows others or parents so I don't consider Western world as related to Christianity or religious anyway. The West seems like having no religions no divinity but only believing in their selves (they are the God of themselves) : )

How about the mentality of a person regarding faith? Everything that happens around reflects a person's creed. Every grace by the God will be taken into account. It is not favorable to enter bathroom after the sun sunken down in the time between maghrib and 'isya' for those who have their bathroom outside of the house. Take note also at things which could be cleaned up regarding physical cleanliness for example plucking the armpit hair or pubic hair. It is not favorable to pluck out the grey hair but optional to color it with brown henna or trimming beard nicely for men. This is the explanation of the first level of taharah or purification, the physical purification and cleanliness. It covers the physical purification and moral values behind it.

Then the second level of taharah or purification and cleanliness which deals with the purification of sins through curbing body parts from committing vices. The third level deals with the purification of oneself from evil characteristics. The fourth level deals with the purification of soul from anything other than the God. No attribution to the God in terms of anything in the heaven and the earth. How we determine this? We ask our heart whatever that we do, is it because of the God or because our selves or others than the God?

This purification and cleanliness chapter though just a sub-topic but it reflects the methodology of Islam as a system of life. It taught us the meaning of being a Muslim. It is not only in superficial act or imitation but must be understood and being performed through understanding as it is a system of life. Taharah or purification of one selves is more than just cleanliness. It cleans ones life from the obstacles which obstruct the Love of the God to descend upon them. 

The noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w says: "the God does not look at how pretty we are or how ugly we are. He does not judging us based on our appearance. He looks and judges us based from our heart." So, He does not give us privilege just because we are Caucasians and fairer than the other or just because our eyes are blue compared to others who have only dark eyes. He does not care whether we are Palestinian, American, European or Israeli. He does not care if we walk like a model cat-walking on the stage with high heels. He cares for those who are sincere in embracing His Love and devoting themselves only to Him. 

A spoke person for YAPEIM had came to Pusat Islam last time and delivered talks about Palestine issue. He said that it is a sin to feel bored with this global issue. I don't see this as a special case. Inequality happened throughout this era and it is rampant. And I felt as if I wanted to puke when the Palestinian spoke person mentioned that they are the center and the star of the world. The center of the world for me is only the God none other than Him!!! This issue had long been played like a broken record. The same thing goes to Israel. I don't care about both of Israel or Palestine. What makes them so special compared to the God? Kalau 'negara-bangsa' wujud pun adakah orang ramai akan berkunjung ke masjid-masjid mendengar kuliah keagamaan memperhamba diri kepada Allah 'Azza wa Jalla? Apabila susah baru keluar Nama Tuhan. Semasa senang Nama Tuhan dibuang ke longkang dan dibuat main sewenang-wenangnya sahaja. This is what we call as thaghut, without we realize it. Human-being...

When we wash up our face during ablution, we think that it is our identity. There are many grace of the God at our face such as nose, mouth, eyes, and etc. While washing our face, we imagine that we clean up all of disgusting events which comes into contact with our face. Whatever that we performs regarding our physical cleanliness is related to our heart. A person who understood his or her religion perceives matters like physical matter deeper than it is in physical eyes.   

The Advantage of Salat Service

It is the central act of worship in a faithful Muslim life. A hadith mentions that among important thing is concentration in salat service. Noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w reported as saying: "A Muslim who come to congregational prayer service and trying to perform the service such as in the act of ablution, bowing, prostrating and etc well will be forgiven all of his sins as long as he or she is not involved in great sins." Hadith sahih collected by Imam Bukhari and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal

It is important to see that a faithful person sees daily salat service as very important. He or she will leave everything he or she conducts when it comes to salat service to see his or her Lord and only being late if there is excuse permitted by the shara' (way) or facing obstacles. Dia tidak lah akan melayah salat. In Surah al-Maa'un, it is mentioned in verse 4-6 about prayer service which should be taken seriously by everyone: "Accursed be those who are praying 4 Those who are careless in his salat service 5 And those who shows off (their prayer service to others) 6"

The sixth verse means those who are doing charity and penance not because of the God but only to show off to others as to get praises from society. So, his creed now is flawed and he has been involved in idolatry. Society now becomes his God, not the Real God anymore. So, it is very important to determine everything through ones' intention. 

Nowadays people have Facebook. They would be in front of their computer more than four hours just looking at the Facebook wall. So, they perhaps pray at the end of prayer service time where the time is almost out. Even a person would be engrossed with it till they do not realize anything happened around. Macam sampai maqam fana' pulak, hahaha. A faithful Muslim when he or she listens to the adzan calling must hastily go to the mosque or any congregational place to perform it. A prayer service with concentration, ablution, bowing and prostration 'only' for the God will be the redeemer of sins except for great sins. Great sins committed must be redeemed through repentance to the God. - end, lecture at 29th of Sept 2011

Allahumma salli 'alaa Muhammad wa 'ala aali Muhammad. Our Lord please be in contact with noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w and his family. Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!    

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