Friday, 24 February 2012

Three Die due to Starvation

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

I can't help but to feel sad when reading this news published in the Guardian. Click on the title to access the news Family of Three Die from Apparent Starvation. It happens in Japan which is a highly developed nation. I went to Japan for a ziyarah before I studied as an undergraduate student in Penang and before I was registered as a pilgrim to holy Mecca. I also went to few Buddhist temples there because I respect those few gurus from Japan, hehe. I indeed found many people living in the boxes in Amanuma park near Tokyo. 

We found that we have similarities in term of culture and customs with the Japanese though I don't like what imperial Japanese army did to our brothers in Islam in Nanjing during the world war. That's not the fault of all Japanese brothers and sisters but it happened during the war. I love brothers and sisters in faith in China, I mean our Hui brothers. They are also our mirror because I consider some of them as hybrid Arabs or hybrid Hebrews of China, counterparts to us of Indian and Persian descents. I also love Japanese brothers and sisters.   

I Personally Think

I think that perhaps the Japanese family think it is not a good attitude to burden others so they would rather die in starvation. I watched few Japanese animations and they also portray the same thing as the real life that we read in the current news.

Childhood Starving Experience

I have the same experience with malnutrition too when I was a young little child. I understood how it feel. We had to move here and there like nomads since dad had to shift work place as he was a reporter.

When there was a need for him to shift and being sent by editorial, he had to shift. When I first arrived in Kedah state around 90's, we can't find suitable place to live. I was with second and little sisters. We arrived earlier than parents and we were starving. I think I could compare how I looked like, just like those bony Somalian kids lying on the earth due to starvation. We just temporarily stayed in an old house in Taman Hijrah near the Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin primary school in Jitra before parents arrived in the next days. We know nobody while parents were still in Kuala Lumpur dealing with some unsettled matters in the city. Not even one of our Muslim Malay relatives in Kedah came and helped us because they never care about us. My second sister cooked something as she found a stove and some gas in the old house.

When I tried to return to our paternal heritage, I wish that no relatives of mine feel offended because we are already foreigners for them. I try to make myself fluent in Arabic dialect and Urdu again since I returned from Holy Mecca. Siap pinjam books from library lagi to learn how to read and write in Perso-Arabic Urdu script, hehehe. so next time my beloved Tablighi brothers may come and perform their da'awat to me in Urdu. Just kidding lar, people can speak in any language to me as long as I can understand them but I can't guarantee I will reply in the same language, hehe. I will spare some special foods and drinks for brothers or sisters and honoring them with carpet as it is our custom to respect our athithi (guest) like angels : )  

Some Japanese Culture

I found that Japanese brothers and sisters also have the same attitude of respecting gifts or help from people around them although they have quite high dignity. As for me, I feel shy to ask help or assistance and I feel I will burden people. So, when people come and offering help to me without I ask them, I feel so grateful. Perhaps I would also put their shoes on my head due to my gratitude to their assistance. When I was a Buddhist, I also did the same and even until now I put heavy emphasize on dignity. I recited kathas whether in my mental or with my lips to respect and blessing the soul of those who helped me according to my previous belief. If I am still a Buddhist right now perhaps I would make altar for gifts from brothers and sisters and worship them together with Buddha images because brothers and sisters had already burdened themselves for me, lol. But now I am not doing so because it is not according to the Creed of the Quran and Sunnah teachings. I just put gifts from friends or brothers and sisters with my prayer books and Quran. Then I will only recite the Quranic verse and salawat to bless brothers and sisters as a sign that I respect their gifts.

Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)

In Malaysia we also have the same departments which deals with unfortunate people just like in Japan or anywhere around the world. But sometimes they could not properly function because the social workers could not reach them or perhaps because of bureaucracy in getting the assistance for the unfortunate. So, first of all nobody is to be blamed. Non-governmental organizations could be more active perhaps as they are the non-state actors which could transcend boundaries. We should make social visit as apart of our habit and if Muslim brothers wanted to perform da'awa, this is also one of your opportunity to spread His mercy to the world regardless to Muslim or non-Muslim. It is not like we intrude people's privacy when we visit people's house or trying to burden people. I also think like that but somehow I believe that we need to slightly change our perception in the mind. We visit people because we care and we must learn the manner of dealing with our hosts as to make our interaction more pleasant especially to the hosts. 

A Visit by Buddhist Association

Yesterday, I was visited by two Malaysian Chinese kids. I believe they are from Buddhist association. I asked them whether they are the student from this university? They said... They are not from this university but they visited me and greeted me while I was on my way to the toilet to clean my teeth because they are also searching for people. We had few chat in front of my door. They asked me whether I am a Buddhist by faith and they wanted to find Buddhist students to invite them for their activities.

So I know that they are from Chinese Buddhist association. Then I answered that I am a Muslim but if they wanted to find their brothers perhaps those in the room at the front wing are Buddhists (not all Chinese are Buddhist. Please don't generalize Chinese with a single religion. Buddhism is a foreign religion for them. Their folk religion is Taoism and ancestral worship according to Chinese rites. They might also worship a 'Malay' guardian spirit according to the land where they live or they could be people without religion). One room which was my previous room is inhabited by two Malaysian Chinese postgraduate juniors. I never talk with those who stay in my previous room because I have no reason to talk with them but we use to nod our heads when seeing each other. 

I feel bad because I didn't expect that they would come and visit me and I didn't invite them in. They just thought that I am a Chinese national though I don't know celah mana that I look like a Chinese national. I just told them I am a Thai national though I could just admit that I am a Malaysian because I don't want to further talk about the difference in our slang or raising curiosity to people. I don't know how northern is my Chinese sounds but I think it is a standard Chinese and I use many terms which are the same like our Chinese compatriots while talking.

At least if I said that I am a Thai, they would think that I am a Northern Thai because many Thais from Northern and Central part of Thailand could also converse in Chinese whether in Mandarin, Teochew, or Cantonese. I am also waiting for Tabligh Jama'at brothers here to visit me since I noticed their presence in the musalla of our hostel, but they never visit me except before I feel so sad after I knew that few Tabligh students didn't inform me about their problems that made them disappear when others jotting me down for three days outing in their center. I had also invited few of them to come to my room to listen to them because I don't sit in the crowd or mingle with many people. I don't talk when there are so many people around because I am a loyal friend. I only interact with only one person and not with many people at one time. I prefer to do everything in a low-profile including when I listen to teachings, I love to listen it without being acknowledged by many people. Our method of da'awat usually involves hikmah (wisdom) and prayers which are also practiced by some of our Shi'a Muslim brothers. We try to pray a lot to the Lord and we also encourage people around us to also pray for each other by providing them with prayer books or just showing them the way to pray to the Lord. We don't talk much but we try to walk the Lord's command and in the same time we hope that the Lord would protect everyone from evil traits and characteristics.

Urm, I think bygones should be bygones. I don't feel anything except sad and just thinking perhaps I am not worth to be their brother in faith :'( I realize that I am filthy, sinful for being a kafir (infidel) unlike those who are confident with their religion, I am not a pure Malay, irreligious in my appearance, still in the process of learning about the Lord, and I am not a good student since I was a little child until now. So, siapa lah saya ini. Saya sedari akan kekhilafan diri ini, fakir harta tiada, rupa tiada, tiada berguna, apa pun tiada. Saya hanya ada saya punya Allah dan saya punya hati sahaja


I feel very sad for this family and I believe many cases like this happens everywhere around the world not only in Japan or in Malaysia. I had a very nice experience in Japan and they treated me nicely though sometimes we had to communicate only with writing. That is the benefit of traditional Chinese characters where everybody within the cultural sphere could understand them though we pronounce things differently as the ideograms are the same, hahaha.

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!

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