Thursday, 22 March 2012

Curing the Heart: 'Uzlah

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

A very blessed Friday. I just read some portions of the small treatise by Muhammad Afif bin Yahya of Perlis. I don't put his name like al-Barlisi because it is not a necessity. I am aware that Perlis king is a Sayyid of Southern Arabia descent but I don't really like everything to be Arabized. If people wanted to be affiliated with the native place, then just use the native name without the Arabic al- article. The title is coincidentally the same with another old book but the treatise is much simpler in modern Malay.

What does 'uzlah means? It simply means separating ourselves from the society. This is what low-self integration means if people looking it through modern psychological studies. A brother in musalla in our previous semesters had encouraged to me to join people. He was not wrong that I was not friendly. Yea, I know I wasn't friendly but I was practicing the sunnah of prophet Muhammad s.a.w and prophet Abraham a.s. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w had performed 'uzlah before the prophethood seal and Revelation reached him in the Hiraa' cave in Holy Mecca. I now would like to know how brothers and sisters view on sunnah? Is it just from what has been written only in Hadiths or from the whole traditions in the Holy Quran, the Hadiths, from the History of Prophethood, from the Morality of Prophet, and from the Qisaas al-Anbiyaa (prophets' narrations)? No need to answer here. Just answer it with our selves.

Brief Story about 'Uzlah

The more extensive meaning of 'uzlah is no empty chit chatting and keeping the silence while with the people around. Says Imam al-Ghazali rahimahullah: "Apart of the obstructions for us to perform worship to Allah are creatures. Most of fellow creatures will make us turn away from worship and instill confusion in our heart. It is like in the narrations of a scholar where there were a group of men practicing archery. Among this group of men, one of them sitting alone far from his 'friends'. He then approached the guy to talk with him. But the guy said, it is better for you to remember Allah rather than talking with me. Then he asked the guy, but you are alone and separated from your friends! He answered, no... I am not alone! I am with my Lord. There are two angels accompanying me at my left and right sides. The scholar further asked: "Who will eventually win among them? He said, those who were forgiven by the Lord. He then asked the guy, where is the way to reach that? The guy pointed his fingers showing the Heaven. Then the guy stand up from his sitting and walking while saying, dear Lord, most of creatures are making me turning away from You!"  

Regarding Talking too Much and Speech

Says Umar al-Khattab radi Allahu 'anhu: "Whoever laugh a lot, his authority and prestige will be less. Whoever looking at other fellow human as unimportant, thus he will receive insults.Whoever that is so into something, he will be known as a specialist. Whoever talks a lot, he will have more faults. Whoever have many faults and errors, he will be a person who has less shameful feeling. Whoever with less shameful feeling will have less obedience to Allah. A person with less obedience to Allah will a have a dead heart.

A person who talks to much will be exposed to errors and flaws

Says our noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w: "Indeed, in the Resurrection Day, a person who has the heaviest sin is a person who says a lot of feckless words which never benefit him." (Narrated by Ibnu Nasar)

This part remind me of my previous lessons that I had learned in the Eight Middle Path taught by lord Buddha Gautama and I could clearly remember this since I wake up at four in the morning after taking bath without anyone notice me when I was 15 years old and recite everything that I memorized in Bali and Malay also performing prostrations while imagining emptiness in my mind. It's in the middle part of the three parts of chediya (pagoda) diagram known as seela (ethics) and I recited it as samma wacha which means right speech. This one is also mentioned by lord Buddha in Panchasila when he advised Muchalinda Naga who was a dragon/cobra snake incarnation and it sounds in Bali like musawada werramanni sikhapadam samaadiyaami which means I undertake the precept to refuse from false speech. Further, Gautama Buddha was also known as Sakya Munni. It means a person who keeps his silence and observe from the Sakya tribe. Today, people only translate Munni as a "little, clan, tribal" prophet but the real meaning is a person who keeps his silence.  

Wisdom of Silence

Reported by Anas may Allah be pleased with him: "Prophet Muhammad s.a.w says: 'Silence is a Wisdom and a Virtue. Only a minority of people are capable to do that."

Says Abul Qasim al-Qushayri: "Silence whenever is necessary is a noble thing. Muhammad s.a.w has taught people to guard their words and making one self familiar with silence if it brings benefit. Silence when it is not necessary to be silent is a disgraceful thing. For example keeping the silence when something is wrong and refrain to tell the truth. This kind of silent person is known as a "mute demon"." 


I don't think that I am lack of socializing in term of speaking. Yea, sometimes I have problem to speak with people but that is because I am thinking which level should I suit the counter-speakers level of speech. I guess I am just a secretive person and I don't like to be revealed to a multitude of people. Less people know me, then my attention could be directed easily to the people that I know. I don't like people to see my practices or my religious rituals because it makes me feel uncomfortable. I don't think like majority of people and yes my head is a bit complex. 

Some people said I am not an easy person to be read because I would react differently from what people expected to react. I love to talk with people but if I see there is no use for me to talk I would just keep my silence and keeping my distance. Most of all I can talk like normal people according to level. I even could talk about things which are not-related to religious talk if a person feels not comfortable with it like in the case of my ex-colleague, Amir. 

If a kid talking to me, then I will treat a kid like a kid but still with respect. If an elderly talk to me, I will treat him like and elder person. I treat everyone equally but sometimes it is also according to the level of their thought and thinking. Not based on physical body because a person with a big body does not mean that he or she thinks like a grown up man or woman. I don't normally show my emotion to people. I was taught to keep my patience until it is unbearable then maybe the emotion would burst out but it is a rare case. I only burst out like angry when I was 15 at that time I was at religious secondary school where my classmates trying to bully me because they always see me alone and different from others who would be dying to join them. Maybe they thought I was an easy prey but it ends up that I almost hit their head with science class apparatus but before the stuff hit their head I get my consciousness and I just put the thing down and walk away. This is why I always feel sympathy to those kids who are bullied in school or madrasah. This experience is just rampant and everywhere. It happens to others also. I just put it here to make it easier to apply in everyday life by other brothers and sisters. 

Regarding over-socializing, scholars of Islam mentions that it will bring chronic diseases and the root of disasters and evil. Sometimes it grabs away the grace that already possessed by one self. It brings enmity and hatred sunken in the heart will cause physical diseases. These makes the "heart and soul" become rotten and careless in remembering Allah.

Says a scholar: "Indeed words in the heart are constructed by the speech and made by tongue articulation".

Says Muhammad s.a.w: "Those who have faith in the God and the Hereafter, thus they only speak good things or else they would keep their silence".  

Muhammad s.a.w further says: "You will be in peace as long as you keep your silence. But when you begin to speak, your speeches will be recorded whether it is good speeches or evil speeches."    

Anas bin Malik radi Allahu 'anhu says: "Act with noble morality and keep your silence as possible as you can. By the One who holds my soul, a person who decorates himself or herself with these are among beautiful people"

Ibrahim bin Adham also says: "I made friends with ascetic at the mountainous area in Lebanon. They advised me when I am about to enter the society with four advices which are 1) who eats a lot will never feel the sweetness and the grace of worship 2) whoever sleep a lot will never receive blessings of life 3) whoever hoping for the pleasure of human, will have any hope on Lord's pleasure 4) whoever talks too much on less beneficial things will receive evil endings and becomes an apostate."  

I wish that the Lord is pleased with brothers and sisters in faith and wishing that He helps us to be obedient and grateful slaves and servants may He be pleased with everyone.

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

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