Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Tracking Apostolic Civilization Series: 13 Zulqa'ida 1432

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Thank You, Lord. I managed to practice Your hidayah and tawfeeq. I had got a good lesson today regarding branches of religious science, which is seerah nabawiyyah (prophethood history). The talk was delivered by Dr. Sheikh Abdullah Hassan Mydin at Islamic Center just after Maghrib service. 

I didn't take any commuter bus to the mosque or to return to my room. It is just to remind myself that I must be sincere to You, dear Lord. It is for Your pleasure, please don't hate me. It is OK I am unfortunate in this world. This world is just a dream, the hereafter is the truth. I am sorry I blamed You and I hate You, last time. I was an ignorant but You still are Merciful to me :'(

This talk is based from the Fiqh Seerah by Dr. Sa'id Ramadan al-Buti. There is divine wisdom within the life of prophet Muhammad s.a.w. We can not just learn about prophethood history like learning other figures for examples, Napoleon Bonaparte or Mahatma Gandhi. Prophetic historical line is according to the era where it prolongs until the resurrection. It is holistic where it could be applied in all aspects of life. How about Ahimsa taught by Mahatma Gandhi? It can't be used in all aspect of life. 

I know the professor who delivers the talk does not mean to belittle Ahimsa or the late Mahatma Gandhi. He is a Muslim Indian as well so I believe he is familiar with the figure. But as far as I know, Ahimsa is not the philosophy introduced by Mahatma Gandhi. I am lazy to open up my mouth, but in here I would like to clarify it since the professor has no time to talk about Ahimsa in detail due to time constraint. Ahimsa was introduced by Jina Mahavira Vardhaman, the 24th Thirthankar of Jain tradition. Last time when I followed Buddha's path, I was also attached to this philosophy where I avoid from harming environment around, avoid meat, choosing to walk on pavement rather than walking on grass, looking down the pavement to avoid from harming insects and discreet animal, and etc. When I performed pilgrimage and performing repentance to return to the path of our patriarch Abraham a.s, it was not so difficult for me because there are also requirements for us to avoid from harming environment around the haram ash-shareef area. I had also avoid from drinking milk taken by force from a camel where the little camel was also drinking at its mother breast. The camel owner had kicked the little camel so I refused to buy his milk, and it serves him right!  

First important question for this talk, why is it important for us to learn and understand seerah? The main objective is for us to understand the value of fact regarding Islam. The glorious Quran that we recite and read everyday has basic principles but the reference for execution of practices and principles is based from the seerah. There is a story by the professor about his non-Muslim Indian friend who reverted to Islam. He said that he reverted to Islam after he understood the seerah or the life of Muhammad s.a.w. Before that he was an anti-religion person and he hates religion. But he reads on how prophet Muhammad s.a.w deals with his wife, 'Aisyah r.a. How he treats his wife and how his wife has to choose to live like hermits with their husband or being released to enjoy the life and world. Through seerah, we will know what happened during prophethood time. 

Now, in Malaysia there are many polemics regarding the criminal law within shariah law which is called as hudud. Some 'modernists' think that it is a cruel and inhuman law so they had put up statements in newspapers and medias as apart of political strategies to win over the opposition side who talks about the issue. In divine law, there is actually many space for forgiveness to criminals but it is just a matter of concern if crimes hit their family member or themselves, whether they have 'Great Soul' to forgive the criminals who harmed them? There is a story and evidence on how prophet Muhammad s.a.w had actually asked an adulterer to go home after he came by to prophet Muhammad s.a.w asking for punishment. The noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w had asked the man to go home three times and each time he returned home he felt guilty because of the level of faith in his heart. The fourth time he came, then only the judgement has to be decided on him. But many people had articulated this wrongly and it also includes Muslim ourselves : ) So, it would also be the matter of judgement in the hereafter where the Lord will ask us after the resurrection why we being such a 'snake' in the world to slander our own prophet, Muhammad s.a.w. 

Regarding the issue of forgiveness value in criminal law of shari'ah (way), we could also watch a Hindi-Urdu movie titled Dor to get a picture. This movie was adapted from a Malayalam movie but I can't remember it's Malayalam title. The movie was released in 2006 and was directed by Nagesh Kokoonor. So, anyone from the US or Europe who fails geography could try google where is India. It is about two women of different religious background being together after an incident. Zeenat, a Muslim woman from Himachal Pradesh has to travel to Rajasthan in Central India in order to seek forgiveness and getting signature from a widow for ma'afi nameh (forgiveness letter) to release her husband from the judgement. Her husband, Amir was accused in Saudi Arabia on the crime of causing death to his compatriot, a Hindu man which is the husband of the Hindu lady in Rajasthan. How the movies go on? They had also exchanging thoughts about forgiveness with Quranic verses (basic principles) in a scene. In Islam it is regardless a person is proved guilty or not, he or she is still having the space to be set free from sin through forgiveness of the family of the victim or the victim itself if the victim is still alive. But would anyone in this world being so generous? Even those 'modernists' or those who think that Dull Continental European Law or British Common Law based is more advanced, can they forgive those who raped them or those who kill their beloved ones like dad, mum, siblings, pets and etc?

In order for us to understand the fact of Islam and the value within our daily practices, we need all of these branches of sciences which are:

1. Quranic sciences for basic principles of divine way     
2. Hadith in which they are further elaboration and explanation of the Quran
3. Seerah for the example and model of execution of divine way and law

Many people today do not actually understand what is shari'ah so when we talk about shari'ah, they think that it is barbarity. Why is that so? Because those idiots in Pakistan or Afghanistan had sprayed acid to womens' face or raping lower caste women? That is not shari'ah, that is evil desire of those particular group who are mistaken as Muslims. Shari'ah is not like that. Those who maintain the knowledge of shari'ah are not as idiot as what 'modernists' think. They are just the same like those who wear ugly white wig in British Court. Only that they do not wear ugly wig and robe like those in British Court. Shari'ah Court also has representatives or wakeel (attorney) for defendants and plaintiffs and it is just the matter of terminologies. In divine way, there is also no need to be graduated from Oxford, Harvard, Institute of Europe or from universities but it is acquired through faith, the scripture, sunnah, comprehension of Divine law and Way, and from hardworking teachers who are knowledgeable.

Shari'ah is not only revolving around jinayyah (criminal), but also in other matters which forms the life such as creed, worship, morality, matrimonial, financial and commerce. Basic principles for all of these come from the glorious Quran which is divinely revealed by the God to prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Media should not just put the notion about something without knowing anything which lies behind the notion. This is not only the problem in medias in the West but everywhere. I do not know whether there are media etiquette in the West but many elderly reporters in my country are quite high in morality and dignity. They do not only do their job for the sake of living, comfort or for their nation but also doing community service. But nowadays, I could only see evil here and there, including in my country.

Now comes to sub-objectives of learning seerah nabawiyyah...

1. To understand the fact of Islam internally and externally. Externally, when we see the event of life through seerah, we will feel the impact. We love the God, we follow the prophetic tradition, and we recite the life of prophet Muhammad s.a.w. We don't read about prophet Muhammad s.a.w like we read the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. When we recite his life, we implant intention because of the God. What are we following in our daily life as example? Are we following our ancestors? Are we following our favorite singers or actors? For us, Muslims, our prophet and messenger of the God, Muhammad s.a.w is the leader for the whole life. He is still here with us though he had long passed away. Christian fellows regard Jesus Christ as their King. For us, our King is the Lord our God, who needs no crown and our example to lead the life in the earth is Muhammad s.a.w.

2. We learn about prophet Muhammad s.a.w characteristics not because we want to be great or intelligent. This is about revelation and the Divine Light of the God. We follow the noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w due to revelation and the command of the God. Some of apologetic Orientalists maybe would write about prophet Muhammad s.a.w as the great man in history just like other figures. As to say, once again we accept this man and learning about him not as a great man like other figures. It is because of the revelation. Muhammad s.a.w is not a magnificent man like European orientalists or 'modernists' today but he was directly educated by the Lord. We call this as Rabbaniyyah Education. It has to do with our Creed since it is related to the Revelation. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w is a universal example for nations. Gandhi or Napoleon is not universal example. Their situation could not be applied at all places. We take holistic example as a model. We already have our own basic principles consisted in the glorious Quran for our selves. We do not need other people's standard to measure our life standard. We don't need people to tell us what to do since only the God is the One who command us. The God's standard is far more higher than human made standards. Many of people who call themselves Muslims yet mocking whatever being told through seerah because of doubt and crisis of confidence. They have this kind of disease of shaqq which means doubt. It will never end in this very world but will also bring consequence to them in the hereafter. Other figures are just side models.

3. Our reliance is within the glorious Quran. Our guidelines regarding daily life is portrayed through the messenger of the God, Muhammad s.a.w. We do not want to regret in our life or in hereafter due to our lack of confidence to the God and His messenger. Through seerah, we could also understand the glorious Quran. Seerah is also in the glorious Quran and they are related to each other. We may make comparison between figures of the world and figures of seerah. What happened? In war and battle for example, there is a report that prophet Muhammad s.a.w cried without stop when the war has to be waged when people around threatened the Light of Revelation. He does not want any war. If we compare with other figures in Europe, perhaps they are having meeting with women and alcoholic drinks beside them and later they accuse people in the East with immoral accusation through their Orientalists. What an ugly attitude. 'Modernists' perhaps think that some matters in sunnah are not relevant today, so they just take whatever they feel suit them and leave whatever they do not agree with and it is 'religion' which is also the 'nature.' To understand seerah does not take us hundred of thousand years. The noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w is actually the most soft-hearted person and he hates war but when the Divine judgement comes, it has to be executed. If he loves war and chaos, he did not have to go far from the society and meditate in the cave before the revelation and his ordination to prophethood.

On the other hand I think that, chaos in the modern world happened because of the West. They dragged the world into World War and we may look at the World War I. The theory of socio-political realism was proposed in the West. In Asia we do not need such theories and we do not even know what is that. I had to break a leg to understand what it is since I am not a violent person. I don't even kill an ant.

Here I also have something to share regarding the Italian girl who stayed at our house for an exchange program. The one who wrote a blog about white ghosts and refers it to our mum wearing white hijab during prayer service session. She supposedly staying at elder sister's house since the one who was excited to take European kid as the guest is eldest sister. But it ends up she stays in our house and we are actually doing charity with her free internet to bash others who provide her the facilities. Now, she was transferred to Perlis as what has been told by little sister. Serves her right anyway ingat orang heran ke hang. Ungrateful European kid who thinks she is so pretty that people would worship her ass. Last time she looked at me and hoping that I would become like a typical Asian who never sees Caucasians. I am so sorry, I am not a boy anymore though I may look young, hehehe. I am not also a cheap man who only thinks about genital 24/7 like what is shown in European movies as romantic and I am not a pervert. I would had been a monk if I am still a Buddhist and I did tried to enter monastery and prepared myself by memorizing Vinayya Law and Pattimokh stuffs for monks. We are far different from Europe and these kind of immature kids always bring misunderstanding to people when they do not do any research but just burst out to people who do not see her attitude. She said that she was forced to go to the mosque. Well, during Ramadan people are not cooking at home. Mum usually breaks her fast at the masjid and she was afraid that the silly girl hungry so she brings her together. But she nor my sisters never force her to enter the masjid area nor doing any force conversion to people. There were other two kids from Germany and Belgium who had previously being dumped at our house too. Religion is not something to play with and we are far more tolerant than Europeans in term of ideologies or religion. Though last time nobody realizes about I had been a Buddhist but I still could live without any problem with parents and sisters. I had warned eldest sister not to receive any guest especially immature exchange students if she only wants to dump them here in our house!     

4. We learn seerah to understand the life of a Muslim. We also try to understand the Rabbaniyyah civilization. It is a divine civilization where the God is the Generator of the civilization. When we have a civilization, we do not proud of it and telling everyone that our civilization is the greatest so everyone must submit themselves to us but we give credits to the God who is the Real Generator. Divine civilization is universal and it is not only about Arabian Peninsula and its civilization. Arab civilization is actually a weird case as it develops within desert. Usually when we learn about World Civilizations like the Egyptian, the Indus, the Chinese, and the Mesopotamian, all of them began near river. In Arabian Peninsula, Mecca only has a well which is the result of water emerging from the sand when Jurhumite tribes of Yemen met Hagar and Ishmael a.s. Our practice and life as Muslims are actually a lot more easier compared to those who think that they are modern. In this sense, I do not reject modernity but I think that those who think that they are modern are just wannabes while they are not, haha. Knowledge and education is very important for everyone. Knowledge of shari'ah and 'aqeedah are also important. Prophets of the God from Noah a.s until Jesus a.s. had taught the same thing regarding the God and life. For Moses a.s. the shari'ah imposed to the nation of Israel is heavier compared to others. In Islam, regarding criminal law, the space for forgiveness is very wide. But in the shari'ah of Moses a.s. the space is very tight. Prophetic traditions and lineage is actually a heritage and inheritance. 

5. We learn seerah as the example for da'awa and educating ourselves. It is the manual for us to bring everyone together to the God and for salvation and mercy. It taught us how to perform da'awa to ignorants like my self, and how to approach them.

In management, there is a statement saying that: "to achieve success, ones need clarity of mind." We need clarity of mind to achieve success and to achieve clarity of mind we need to follow steps divinely revealed to us by the God. Seerah is a component of knowledge and science to understand the glorious Quran. Shari'ah is the Way to reach the source of Water. A faithful man is a living man while a non-faithful ones are those who are dead. I had also listened to Easter hymn for Paschal Troparion sung by Madame Fairuz regarding Jesus Christ where it talks about the Christ trampling the death. Those who believe in the God and His messenger will taste no death but only eternal life. It's not difficult at all for me to understand it. During Ramadan, Malaysian radio sometimes playing song by Madame Fairuz, but I bet not all really know about her background, hehehe. She's actually a Christian of Greek Orthodoxy after she married to her husband. Before she married, she was a Syriac Orthodox Christian based in Antioch and Damascus. She did communities work and also a polite mother and one of her children is not blessed like other children. She also sings song about prophet Muhammad and Hegira New Year in Lebanon for example the song aquul wa aanastu : )

Youngsters have to learn seerah for their practices. Example of youngsters who are matured is prophet Muhammad s.a.w. He understood his family situation, environment around him, he understood and think about the problem faced by society. Nowadays, many youngsters had get wrong impression about life. They think that they must enjoy the life by totally abandoning their religion. Maybe when they grow old, they would return to religion. But what is wrong if we achieve high morality and characteristics while we are young? It is better we receive salvation earlier compared to when we are old, and we say we are going to repent our sins. Who knows while we just said that, we already collapsed and being buried right away at the point where we collapse, naudzubillah.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w has no self-interest at all, he leads the people with the Divine assistance. He passed away without any 'national' ceremony like figures that came after. He has no property at all. He has no sons to inherit his property or fame or anything like power (politics). His sons were all taken away by the God. He only teaches people to live in manner and politeness. It is up for people to choose it or to leave it. Even his followers like Imam Ahmad, Imam Syafi'ie, and other imams also live modest life. Some even were tortured by their governments like Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal for their strong abiding to principle. Look at their life and background. We will know.

Allahumma salli 'alaa Muhammad, wa 'alaa aali Muhammad. Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin! 

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