Sunday, 2 October 2011

Lecture on Mukhtasar: External Purification is Followed by Internal Purification

In the Name of the God the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful

Firstly, we pray to the God the Most Merciful to guide us with His Mercy and Love. Guide us and lead us toward the straight path. Our Lord, open up for us the portals of wisdom and gather to us from the treasure of Your blessings, O the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful! 

Mukhtasar Manhaj al-Qasideen lecture notes and documents

The book begins with the chapter of purification. This is the first series on the book of the secret which could be learned in it the purification for the prayer service. It is about purification and the God had obliged it upon us. Whatever that we had done with our salat service, the development of salat service before the God. If it is viewed within the shari'ah (divine way) of the God, it touched the issue on how we understand things as a faithful Muslim.

A Muslim who accepts Islam as their nature, it is different from what others are up to. Maybe for others, it is enough with certain rituals. The first thing that we Muslim should understand, our faith is closely related to the noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w. The basis of our faith is tawheed, the Oneness of the God in every aspect. The right for the Divinity for the God, it only belongs to the God. None others have the right for worship except Him. We are confident and faithful that noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w, the messenger of the God is the seal of prophethood a sign of His Mercy to all of creatures. Everything which is transmitted through the messenger must be obeyed and accepted by us.

We accept Islam as our deen, law of life. Being a Muslim is not only about meditating and chanting holy words, performing salat service, and then we go to night club and being a General Relation Officer (GRO). Bukan kita menjadi Muslim beriman itu dengan meratib, sembahyang, selepas itu kita pergi ke kelab malam menjadi pegawai perhubungan awam, saudara-saudari kita. A Muslim is a person who accept the Islamic system, the Divine law which regulates ones life. Kita menerima nidzam perundangan kita, hukum kita yang diturunkan oleh Allah 'Azza wa Jalla.

Although the topic which is discussed is a little topic, but it shows how discreet must we be in order to be a faithful Muslim. We are Muslim in the entire place, not in certain place.

I had read few Jews forum and they also talked about this. But unfortunately, they also have many classifications of Jews like secular, orthodox, modern orthodox, ultra-orthodox, karaite-samaritan, nosrim and others.

There is no other way of life for a Muslim except for the Divine law is regulating his or her life. Try to understand Islam through the eyes of a Muslim. When we try to understand Islam through the view of other religion, way of life, or ideologies, we would have the separation of religion and daily life or what we call as secularism. We have to understand it just like a Muslim understood his or her religion.  When we separate life, we get the Heaven for the God, and earth for men society.

My humble opinion, Heaven and earth are both belongings of the God. The universe belongs to Him. The West have had been controlled by religious groups whom are dirty in their heart. They had tyrannized people but in the case of other continents, they should not see it within their view because Europeans or Westerners are not gods. Asia has long been a region which produces philosophy and different from aggressive Western world or Western Europe whom recently proposing for peace and claim it as their greatest invention, hehe. I do not blame Christianity which had been deeply rooted in Europe until it became an 'ancestral custom' with European features although most people today do not actually believe in the Christ. I know it was the fault of those people in the religious body or the Church. I am not blind. I can think like a Christian although I am not one. This is not about pluralism; we ourselves know and determine what our faith is. Not our mum or dad. Apart of it of course the God’s guidance and mercy Who determined what we are.

A faithful Muslim accepts the God’s system so everything must be based from the reference of the Quran and prophetic line traditions. Bukan sesuka hati menurut hawa nafsu. Not as what we like according to our own desire

As to say, Jesus Christ, David a.s, and others are also a prophets of Islam so their tradition is also counted as prophetic tradition. Tradition like anointing our head with olive oil while performing penance is also sunnah for me. So the term Christ is not special at all for me because it is a Greek corruption in English rusty tongue for Hristos which means the Anointed one, haha. Fasting in alternate days is also a sunnah where David a.s performed that kind of fasting. I had received a flier from Christian organization based in Kuala Lumpur at my hostel and they are trying to proselytize even in the mosque. Quite aggressive I guess, because one of them had even approached me in the mosque. I know he is a proselytizer although he's just wearing normal cloth, pretending that he had previously know me but I am not angry. I just kept my silence and sat down for dzikr. I don't need their money and I do not even accept anything given by brethren in Islam except for those whom I know, like family. I would had myself baptized in church last time when I had some misunderstandings regarding Islam and Muslims but I didn't go for church. I went for Buddhist temples after listening to spiritual teachings before repenting myself and accepting the covenant of father Abraham a.s for his grandchildren. In simple word, I am not interested with those Christian organizations no matter how big money they have, haha. Money, big car, beautiful houses, western sounding names, 'friends' and many things actually do not attract me at all, sorry. I know about Christ teachings more than them. I have contacts with churches of eastern rites and frequently visiting churches though I think that many of my Malay compatriots would curse my face with accusations such as "tak beragama." This had been proven with some tests regarding people opinion, hehe.

Respective brothers and sisters in universities, just ignore proselytizer if you do not want to accept anything. Everything actually depends on our own choice not determined by others. I would like to express thanks to Pusat Islam USM for the herald before Friday sermon too though I had already been approached by a proselytizer. I won't report them and they do not have to worry. They are not even a threat to me because I have the God as my Friend. Just stop bringing shame to Jesus Christ. He is a noble figure for me. I will kick the ass of those who dare to bring disgrace to him and claiming that it is from him. I don’t care whether he is a god or not for others but he is one of my prophets which I have faith in through the seal of prophethood, Muhammad s.a.w.

So, how is taharah or purification is discussed in the Mukhtasar Manhaj al-Qaasideen? Sheikh Ahmad bin Abdul Rahman bin Quddaamah al-Muqaddis who is the writer of the book said, purification is divided into four levels...

I. Zaahir or External Purification which could be seen from physical filth anything which comes out from our body or from other. There are practices like ghusl or bathing, wudhu' or ablution, istinja’ or cleaning oneself from feces and others.

II. Our body parts are free from sins, errors, and vices, trying to avoid our body parts from committing vices and criminals. The honorable Imam al-Ghazali said that: "there is no greater ingratitude toward His Grace than using His grants to us to disobey Him and go against Him." For example of this kind of attitude, watching porn or what we called as eyes adultery. Noble prophet, Jesus Christ had also said that those who had seen such obscene thing should pluck out his eyes for it is better than all of body parts being tormented in the hell. I'm sorry, I can't remember the source for the notion. I read it somewhere. Maybe I should try to check it because Jesus Christ is a noble prophet and messenger of the God. He must be respected too.

III. Purification of the heart from disgusting matters. This is related to our characteristics.

IV. For those who are longing His Divine Love, purification of soul is important. We must purify ourselves and souls from whatever association to Him. The benchmark for this is the soul. Everything that we are worried of is only because of Him. Not because anything else. He is the Lord and Master of all creatures and universe. Our heart is only longing for His pleasure. So, this is what I always talk regarding polytheism. It is not really difficult to determine if we try to understand this part. Daily life always makes me afraid that I would associate Him with my carnal and worldly affairs.

A person who looks at things with his heart would understand all of the levels mentioned above. If we only purify ourselves at the first level, we would only take care about small matters. That makes doubt comes to our heart due to that, our understanding regarding purification is shallow. The religion is actually an easy matter for a faithful person because he or she lives with it. It becomes difficult because human character who only sees little things so he dwells only in physical matters. For example, a person only assumes that proper istinja’ is the only dimension of religion. From the report of ‘Umar r.a, there was the issue about people performing ablution with a vessel of a Nasraniyyah (Christian) lady and the issue had been prolonged into purification issue. So, people becoming so doubtful until they performed purifications more than what had been prescribed. They could only see physical matters but ignores the character. Human character becomes so foul and they had fallen into madzmumah characteristics.

According to what is called as rabbaniyah consideration, whatever that we physically look as clean could also be dirty inside. It is almost close to, 'don't judge a book by its cover' in English. Worship must be based from sound knowledge. It is not based from desire or whatever that we like to do. Some people perhaps view zuhud or modesty as marginalized behind while dirtiness and vices being regarded as beneficial or good. Munkar (evil) is viewed as ma'ruf (goodness), while ma'aruf being perceived by physical eyes based from nafs (carnal desire) as munkar. This era what can I say, urmm...   


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