Thursday, 22 March 2012

Nothing... I am Just Low...

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Nothing to talk about, dear Lord. I feel quite low... The story about Adi Shankarachariya emerged in my mind on how he had confronted the swapakah (outcaste, untouchable). Shankara is an Orthodox Brahmin priest in the 8th century Southern India state of Kerala. Unfortunately, this is about Hindus. I am sorry if I am a Muslim talking about a Hindu priestly caste. I didn't mean to talk anything bad about others or to offend others. Instead I respect the Brahmins according to their duty and I will not talk in extensive about Advaita philosophy that I learned in some gap before I was registered as a humble undergraduate student in Penang Island.

Are We Judging or Looking at Something with Physical Eyes? Where are Our Inner Eyes?

He had asked the swapakah and four dogs to move aside and avoid their group while walking from the ritual cleansing place in Banares to a temple. The swapakah then asked him a question: "Do you want me to move my body made of flesh or my spiritual self?" The Brahmin immediately understood this and he prostrated himself in front of the untouchable. This question actually consists philosophical meanings. It is about whether we are judging a person by his appearance or by his inner self? Are we making friend with others because of their looking? Their nationality? Their ethnicity? Their knowledge or skill? Because they possess things that can help us like motorbikes, cars, vehicles? 


So any brother who knows me and monitoring this side, these are among my experience. I know maybe some of you had encountered these too. Maybe you encountered these with me or with others. If you encountered these with me, firstly I would like to sincerely apologize to all of you. I made this publicly as to show to you I am sincere and I am not ashamed to apologize even if you demand it in front of me now. I don't mind to apologize, bowing to you regardless whether you are younger or older than me and reflecting on myself. We must keep on the muhasabah (reflection) on ourselves always and everyday.

Sometimes when I mingle with people in musallas or masjids, I always wonder whether I am in the place of these Brahmins or actually a swapakah? I do not have courage to talk with people after I listen to them or looking at them or maybe I am afraid that I will scare them away. I know I have no extensive knowledge about Islamic religion or tradition though I am learning them now from the patches that I have in my head after my reversion despite of being occupied with this life. I am not an obvious practitioner of the path. Sometimes I try to remind myself through friends or brothers. I am also feeling afraid that I might be annoying but I closed my eyes for the benefit of the world. When I invited some of them to come to my place to talk to me about whatever they wanted to say, they just keep their silence but on the other side they are eager to come closer to me. 

The worse one that I had encountered when I was a degree student. I greeted a teacher candidate known as Yusri and asking him how he feels today? Just to be friendly at the TV place. This guy is from Langkawi and he just answered me with a question... Why are you asking me? It is not like we know each other only that day but I know him for about a year and when I try to break the silence I get this answer (actually another question in reply) : ) After that incident, I never greet people anymore but waiting for people to greet me. I also lowered my gaze down because I don't want to see people's face and having my perceptions working while they could be harmful.

The second incident, as an example, while with Charlie. He is older by two years than me. Now I am 26 years old and he is about 29 years old. He was my junior in the previous hostel though older than me. He was the one who greeted me while he saw me alone walking here and there without noticing people at my previous hostel. Last semesters, he asked me to accompany him to Bukit Jambul. In the beginning he just said that he wanted to see some printer because his printer does not work. When we arrived there with his motorbike, I realized that actually he wanted me to hold the printer that he is going to buy because he has no friend to help him. I don't mind to help or even crucified for my friends, moreover if it is my brother in faith, Muslims. But why not being honest with me? You only use me when you are alone but when you have friends you just leave a 'loyal' friend behind. It's not only once but few times I was tricked like this by friends. I came back here last time because I feel pity for Charlie maybe he would be alone. I should just tear the invitation for master when I received that. But because of a friend, a brother in faith that I just known in my last year I came back. It is like I am stepping inside the hell for a brother and a friend while I could go to paradise. Now I am in hell because of friend. I messaged him early this semester asking about language classes schedule which is important for me to be graduated but he replied me not. So I decided to delete his number. It's not once that I had been treated like this. Many times... He text me last week, but I do not reply anymore. I just said I could barely remember you, I am sorry for my nervous system breakdown. I observe people too and not only looking at their physical, the important part for me is the spirit and soul. I don't make friend with physical bodies but with spiritual ones.

Another incident was when I stayed with brother Zaidi during my undergraduate second year. In the beginning I had severely tested him with my bad attitude. I did kicked his clothes and the mess that he made on the floor but I actually testing him his patience and also teaching him to keep his cloth on the hanger or placing them in the pail as it would be unclean if people stepped on his clothes on the floor. Then I never talked with him in the room in the beginning but I do observed him. Only when I am sure that he is a "suitable" guy to talk that I began to greet him. I do everything step by step and not in rush. But few times he refused me when I wanted to treat him for respect so I just sleep down the floor to apologize to him every night until I finished the semesters. We have two beds in the shared room, but I purposely sleep on the floor to apologize to him maybe he could also kick me as to repay what I did to his clothes. Maybe I did wronged him in that way that made him refused to befriend me or assuming me as a brother. When I encountered these kind of incidents, I would be thinking maybe I had wronged the people around until they do not even accept my offerings to them.

Let me tell everyone something, though we are not pure Arabs but our customs apart of them is that we can't accept when people refuse our services or offerings that we sincerely offer. Just the same like those counterparts in Arabia. It is considered as rude and we would feel so ashamed, so sad, and sinful until we feel like tearing our own face. Personally it is o.k for me if whatever services or offers that I sincerely offer to them to be dumped behind me or given to others but they first need to receive it though they don't like it. It is just to make not me feel 丟臉 (humiliated) and disgraced in front of the Lord. That is why I never refuse what people give to me though it's just a piece of hair because it is to keep the dignity and the face of the giver to us beside showing them our appreciation. The same thing applies to me. I know Eastern culture is different where we do not burden people. I am also accustomed and well-understood about these because I am raised in Eastern part of the world and born here. I live my 26 years of life in Malaysia. A country with people of different ethnicity and various vernacular educational system... Malays, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Natives, non-Native migrants such as Javanese, Minangs, Achehnese from Indonesian islands and etc. I am also aware about religions around me and I had once was dipped into the religion of natives of South East Asia: Buddhism.

Maybe I am not a good brother for them, maybe scary and weird. So, perhaps I should avoid them and apologize to them like the swapakah for crossing the path of their life. I didn't mean to be like this. Yea, I was an infidel, a lost soul. Once a kafir unlike other Muslims who never question their faith since they were born in Muslim family and it's their culture and traditions that they are proud of telling non-Muslims that you people will be burn in hell unlike us who are noble and holy. I realize about this.

My Personal Thinking

When I didn't talk with people, there would be some people come to me and saying come on join everyone be friendly with everyone. But when I try to be friendly I just receive pain in the chest. Maybe it's a destiny that I should remain alone nor keeping any contact with people. This is a test from Allah and I should remember whatever I am doing including being friendly to people is for Allah's sake and not for myself. There are tests coming and I am also facing it. We just face it with perseverance, insha Allah.

Praising Lord time........ Allahumma salli 'alaa Muhammad wa 'alaa aali Muhammad...

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

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