Saturday, December 17, 2011

on the islamicity index

There's an interesting study in the Global Economy Journal by two scholars from George Washington University. It's called "How islamic are islamic countries?"

There's a whole lot of indicators taken into account, from economic opportunities to political rights to international relations. Basically, which countries are the best in terms of applying islamic values, regardless of whether they're actually muslim.

Here's the list (for the actual study, click

Countries Overall Islamicity Index Rank
{208} (OIC countries are highlighted)
New Zealand 1
Luxembourg 2
Ireland 3
Iceland 4
Finland 5
Denmark 6
Canada 7
U.K. 8
Australia 9
Netherlands 9
Austria 11
Norway 12
Switzerland 13
Belgium 14
Sweden 15
Portugal 16
Germany 17
Bahamas 18
France 18
Czech Rep 20
Estonia 21
Costa Rica 22
Spain 23
Barbados 24
U. S. 25
Slovenia 26
Hong Kong, China 27
Latvia 28
Japan 29
Malta 30
Hungary 31
Slovak Republic 31
Italy 33
Chile 34
Lithuania 35
Cyprus 36
Singapore 37
Malaysia 38
Panama 39
Trinidad and Tobago 40
Poland 41
Mauritius 42
Croatia 43
St. Vincent and the
Gren 44
Namibia 45
Greece 46
Jamaica 47
Kuwait 48
Uruguay 48
South Africa 50
Botswana 51
St. Lucia 52
Ghana 53
Argentina 54
Brazil 55
Mexico 55
Bulgaria 57
El Salvador 58
Philippines 59
Dominica 60
Israel 61
Monaco 62
Lesotho 63
Bahrain 64
Brunei 65
Romania 66
United Arab Emirates 66
Belize 68
Andorra 69
Cayman Islands 70
Seychelles 71
Fiji 72
Uganda   73
Tanzania   74
Antigua and Barbuda   75
Gabon 75
Jordan 77
Thailand 78
Grenada 79
San Marino 79
China 81
Nicaragua 81
Cape Verde 83
Macao, China 83
Tunisia 83
Colombia 86
Dominican Republic 87
Peru 88
India 89
Aruba 90
Russian Federation 91
Honduras 92
Greenland 93
Guyana 94
Netherlands Antilles 95
Mozambique 96
Mongolia 97
Macedonia, FYR 98
Oman 99
Suriname 100
Bosnia and
Herzegovina 101
Ukraine 102
Turkey 103
Maldives 104
Liechtenstein 105
Korea, Rep. 106
Kazakhstan 107
Timor‐Leste 107
Senegal 109
Albania 110
Moldova 110
Qatar 112
Puerto Rico 113
Armenia 114
Kiribati 115
Sri Lanka 116
Georgia 117
St. Kitts and Nevis 117
Morocco 119
Northern Mariana
Islands 119
Papua New Guinea 119
Zambia 119
Bolivia 123
Gambia, The 124
Azerbaijan 125
Ecuador 125
Guatemala 127
Belarus 128
Malawi 129
Mali 130
Saudi Arabia 131
Burkina Faso 132
Vanuatu 133
Vietnam 134
Rwanda 135
Paraguay 136
Kyrgyz Republic 137
Korea, Dem. Rep. 138
Virgin Islands (U.S.) 139
Indonesia 140
Venezuela, RB 141
Madagascar 142
Palau 143
Kenya 144
Guinea 145
Samoa 146
Benin 147
Pakistan 147
Cuba 149
New Caledonia 150
Nepal 151
Bangladesh 152
Egypt, Arab Rep. 153
Cambodia 154
Tonga 155
Burundi 156
Swaziland 156
Lebanon 158
Zimbabwe 159
Algeria 160
Micronesia, Fed. Sts. 161
Cameroon 162
Iran, Islamic Rep. 163
Myanmar 164
Central African
Republic 165
Bermuda 166
Bhutan 167
Sierra Leone 168
Afghanistan 169
Guam 170
Congo, Dem. Rep. 171
Togo 172
Turkmenistan 173
Nigeria 174
Uzbekistan 174
Haiti 176
Tajikistan 176
American Samoa 178
Cote d'Ivoire 179
Ethiopia 180
French Polynesia 181
Congo, Rep. 182
Equatorial Guinea 183
Lao PDR 183
Serbia and
Montenegro 185
Syrian Arab Republic 186
Marshall Islands 187
Faeroe Islands 188
Niger 189
Guinea‐Bissau 190
Solomon Islands 190
Sao Tome and Principe 192
Djibouti 193
Liberia 194
Mauritania 195
Libya 196
Chad 197
Yemen, Rep. 198
Angola 199
Comoros 200
Iraq 201
Channel Islands 202
Sudan 202
Eritrea 204
Isle of Man 205
Somalia 206
West Bank and Gaza 207
Mayotte 208

Of course, this has to be taken with a pinch of salt. But its a good indicator of the pitiful state of 'islamic countries'

And a typical malaysian would say "wow, we're highest at 38!" 


if Malaysia Boleh, then we should be top-ranked in terms of islamic values. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

on real superheroes

Yesterday's role models:

Today's role models:

Who should we take as role models?

Allah has given us at least 25 men in the Qur'an, men who are exemplary in their belief and conduct. These are his prophets and messengers, and they are the ones who we should take because:

1) they believed strongly and deeply in Allah, and
2) they spread that belief no matter what came in their way, and their conduct in this mission is an example to this very day.

They are the real superheroes.

Allah sent us prophets and messengers who found themselves in all sorts of situations.

Some people say, "I can't do D&T, i'm too busy with my business and my wealth."

Well you can't be wealthier than prophet Sulaiman a.s. He was given the greatest kingdom, that no one after him was given. But he used that power to make other kingdoms submit to Allah. And when the queen of Saba' gave him a gift, he said

فَلَمَّا جَاءَ سُلَيْمَانَ قَالَ أَتُمِدُّونَنِ بِمَالٍ فَمَا آتَانِيَ اللَّهُ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا آتَاكُمْ بَلْ أَنْتُمْ بِهَدِيَّتِكُمْ تَفْرَحُونَ

So when (the messengers with the present) came to Sulaimân, he said: "Will you help me in wealth? What Allâh has given me is better than that which He has given you! Nay, you rejoice in your gift!" (27:36)

In modern language, that's like saying "are you trying to bribe me? nay! What Allah gave is better!" (i love the word 'nay', sounds so classical-ish). 

Some people say, "I can't do D&T, i can't even pray, i'm too sick *coughcough*"

You can't be sicker than prophet Ayub. He had a long life, a lot of wealth and a lot of children. Then Allah tested him, and took away his health, his wealth and his children died. But he never comlplained. After 7 years of severe disease, his wife complained. But he said

"Tell me how long did I enjoy good health and riches?"

"Eighty years."

"How long am I suffering like this?"

"Seven years."

"In that case I am ashamed to call on my Lord to remove the hardship, for I have not suffered longer than the years of good health and plenty."

And even when his wife left, he did not complain. He prayed to Allah for mercy.

وَأَيُّوبَ إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنْتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ

And (remember) Ayûb, when he cried to his Lord: "Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy." (21:83)

If it was us today, we would say "urghh! curse this disease!" but prophet Ayub praised Allah, "O most Merciful of the merciful".

There are countless other examples for all our excuses not to do D&T.

Family problems? Troubled childhood? Prophet Yusuf's brothers threw him down a well, but he forgave them when he grew up and became a ruler.

Too many past sins? Prophet Adam got himself out of heaven, but he sincerely asked Allah for forgiveness.

No one listening to our D&T? Prophet Nuh called to his people for 950 years, and according to narrations less than a 100 people accepted Islam. 

So you see, there are no reasons not to do D&T. Our prophets and messengers have been in all types of trials and tribulations, but they persevered. And in the books of seerah, we have the complete life of prophet Muhammad SAW, down to every last detail, so we know what to do in every part of our life.

So what are we waiting for?

Just DU-IT. (Doa' Usaha Ikhtiar Tawakkal). 

Monday, December 12, 2011

on being good to one another

i learnt a very profound hadith of Rasulullah SAW.

“Do not be envious of one another; do not artificially inflate prices against one another; do not hate one another; do not shun one another; and do not undercut one another in business transactions; 

and be as fellow-brothers and servants of Allah.

A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. Piety is here – and he pointed to his chest three times. It is evil enough for a Muslim to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for another Muslim: his blood, his property and his honour.”

And in the evening,

Saturday, December 3, 2011

on the old man who wouldn't give up

There are no coincidences in life. Yesterday we were talking about falling down and getting up, and in today's khutbah there was the story of the man who refused to fall, who refused to let anything get in the way between him and Allah. Subhanallah.

*dialogues re-created for added effect*

The story goes like this. The khatib went to hajj recently, and in his hajj group there was an old man. He was very old, frail and ailing, suffering from lots of diseases. He must be 80 years old or more.

But there was something special about this old man. He wasn't born muslim. Even those of us who were born muslim take it for granted that we're muslim.

4 years ago, this old man happened to hear the azan, and something struck his heart. After that its all history. He became muslim, and at a ripe old age. Who says its too late for you to change. So this old man made a dream to save the little money he had from his meagre pension, so that he could go to hajj.

After he had saved enough (and it happened this year, so he could meet the khatib, who could tell this story to us, and i could tell the story to you. Allah is the best of planners), he went to hajj. This man had a wheelchair, and he brought it along. But disaster struck! When the plane landed in Jeddah, the wheelchair had not arrived.   

"It's OK uncle, we'll try and search for your wheelchair."

Did the old man say "sure, i don't feel so good either. Biasalah, dah tua (I'm an old man, you see)." ?

No, he did not. Instead, he said something like "If Allah wants me to go without my wheelchair, then i am pleased with what he has determined."

And the old man continued his journey, using a walking stick to move around. 

And before the day of 'Arafah, the old man's health deteriorated. His leg was painful, his back was painful, he had fever, and all sorts of afflictions. 'Arafah is the most important rite of the hajj. If you did not go to 'Arafah on the day of 'Arafah, your hajj was null and void. But the old man was very weak indeed. Unable to move, he just laid down in the hotel. 

And the whole of Makkah was starting to make their way to 'Arafah. He was alone. He wanted to go really badly.

Then the night before 'Arafah, he had a dream. He dreamt that he was on a motorcycle, heading towards 'Arafah. When he woke up, a miracle happened. He no longer felt any pain. No leg pain. No back pain. Nothing.

And coincidentally, another man from his hajj group came back to Makkah to check up on the old man. And guess what?

He brought a motorcycle along to carry the old man to 'Arafah. Subhanallah.

Like we said before, there'll be whispers all the time, asking us to go astray, to follow the easy way out. The old man had everything against him. He was in poor health, he was alone, he had no relatives.

But he made a firm intention to please Allah, and Allah helped him. May Allah grant him paradise. Amin.

Friday, December 2, 2011

on falling down and getting up

One thing that amazes me about the Qur'an is this: no matter how many times you repeat the same verse over and over again, you're bound to learn something new.

Maybe the first time you listened to a commentary on the verse, you were like "yeah, uhuh, if you don't mind i'd like to call my mum" and you don't actually learn anything.

Then the next time something happens and you're all alone and there's no one to turn to but Allah. Now you listen more, and probably think "wow..these verses are really comforting".

Then the next time you maybe feeling down because you preach day and night, write blogs, post nice statuses on facebook, like every single good comment, and still no one listens to what you say. Now the verses have even more impact. "Allah is with me, as long as im with Him."

So recently i listened to a commentary on surah an-Naas, and learnt something. Or you might say i re-learnt it, because as humans we forget.

Its a simple surah, and even preschool kids memorise this surah.

As i was saying. Some of you will know how it feels when we get that spark, that motivation. That feeling of closeness to Allah, that you are willing to do anything for Him, that you want to improve yourself, that you hate being in sin.

And as the ocean tide rises and falls, so does our iman. Maybe we were too busy with our worldly affairs and forgot to remember Allah. Maybe we saw all the good things that life has to offer, and suddenly we're thinking "Why am i choosing this life? I could be carefree, hakuna matata, i don't need to think about D&T..i want to enjoy hanging out, i want to spend however i like, i want this, i want that.."

Well brother, in heaven we can hang out with the coolest people. People who never talk bad about you, never say frivolous stuff, you love them without the slightest envy, and they love you right back.

And in heaven you can have anything you want. And there's a whole eternity to enjoy all that. Not a bad deal at all, if you ask me.

We get up, we fall down. And in surah an-Naas, Allah tells us about the dangerous enemy that tries to steer us away from the true path.

مِنْ شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ

"From the evil of the whisperer who withdraws (from his whispering in one's heart after one remembers Allâh). Who whispers in the breasts of mankind, Of jinns and men." (An Naas:4-6)

There are a lot of whisperers, asking us to stay away from the straight path. But remember, they are khannaas, they are like the stars that appear at night and disappear by day. They'll be there to ask you to go astray. Once you do the evil deed, they'll say 'arrivederci' and leave you to bear the consequences alone.

But this surah also teaches us a powerful lesson : who do we ask for help in dealing with all these whispers, and who will get us on our feet again.

 قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ مَلِكِ النَّاسِ إِلَهِ النَّاسِ
Say: "I seek refuge with (Allâh) the Lord of mankind, The King of mankind, The Ilâh (God) of mankind, (An-Naas:1-3)

The whisperers, they come and go. But Allah is always there, he never gets tired and never sleeps. 

Its normal to fall. But do get up soon. It'll be good if we're neighbours in heaven.

Friday, November 25, 2011

on discrimination and stereotyping

Today in Organizational Behaviour we learnt about

Discrimination & Exclusion

The difference: Discrimination is more obvious and overt, where you target a group because they are different from you.
e.g: "I am firing you because you are dyslexic."

However, racism/other -isms are now socially unacceptable (at least in the UK). So people resort to Exclusion, which is more subtle and hidden, but nevertheless shows that you dislike a certain group.
e.g: being unfriendly to another race, trying to get as far away as possible from 'that brown dude', etc.

I remembered this one time, we were searching for a house, and the landlady was doing this

And one of the reasons why we discriminate and exclude is stereotyping. We generalise people and put judgments on them, even before we meet them. 

So today i'd like to say something about stereotyping people who do D&T.

During the time of the Prophet, the Quraisy used to spread all kinds of propaganda to prevent people from listening to the call of Rasulullah.
"He's doing witchcraft. He's bewitching all of us to leave our stone idols."
"He's a poet. That's why he recites all these beautiful verses."
"He's crazy".
"He's a traitor who's trying to split the unity of us Arabs."

There was a man called At-Tufail ibn 'Amr. The Quraisy used to tell him all sorts of propaganda, until he stuffed his ears with cotton to block out the message of the Prophet.

But Allah guides whom He wills. One day, at-Tufail happened to meet the Prophet, cottons still in his ears. But you know, with cottons stuffed in your ear, you still hear something. And what at-Tufail heard was the most beautiful thing. The truth. The Quran. And experiencing the truth first hand, the propaganda of the Quraisy melted away, and at-Tufail became a guided Believer.

These things will still happen until the Day of Judgment.

"D&T people? I heard they're very closed-minded, have messy beards and have serious faces all the time. And they smell too. If i were you, i wouldn't get too close to them"

There sure are a lot of stereotypes, and im sure you've heard some of them. Not only negative stereotypes, but positive stereotypes as well. In fact, people sometimes expect D&T-ists to be perfect.

"You don't cut your nails! im not going to listen to you."
"You don't comb your hair! Bye bye"

وَقَالُوا مَالِ هَذَا الرَّسُولِ يَأْكُلُ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشِي فِي الْأَسْوَاقِ لَوْلَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مَلَكٌ فَيَكُونَ مَعَهُ نَذِيرًا
And they say: "Why does this Messenger eat food, and walk about in the markets (like ourselves). Why is not an angel sent down to him to be a warner with him? (Al Furqan:7)

DISCLAIMER: I am not asking you to stay just the way you are. Indeed, a believer should improve himself every day. This is a reminder to all of us to hold on to the truth, wherever it may come from. 

So pull that cotton wool out of your ear and go find some good ol' soul-nourishing and some good company.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

on international solidarity

These past few days, the Intelligence Bureau at Reflective Perspectives (with only one staff member -.-) has been picking up almost similar snapshots of the public mood..yes, this intelligence source is none other than Facebook:

"congratz malaysia!!"

"see, indonesia can't play!"

which sometimes degrades into..

"indonesians are dishonest"

"indonesians are creating a facebook page to condemn malaysians.."

"..please, don't respond to these provocations, this is a conspiracy to split muslims."

I'd like to give a gold star to that last commenter.

At the beginning of the 20th century, old empires started to crumble and lose their power. These were vast empires with control over huge territory, like the Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Prussian Empire. Another important characteristic of these empires was that they ruled over a multi-ethnic society.

For example, the Ottoman Empire didn't just consist of Turks. There were Arabs, Greeks, Kurds, Greeks, Bulgarians, Armenians, and so on.

For the empires of Islam, what binded all of inhabitants together was islamic brotherhood, eventhough there was sometimes fighting amongst the rulers. This was what enabled to Ibn Battuta to travel far and wide throughout Dar-ul-Islam, the Muslim Lands.

But towards the end, islam and islamic principles no longer took centre stage in people's hearts. So people began to have a feeling that you're only my brother if you have my skin colour and speak my language.

Add that to a whole lot of other reasons, and the empires began to crumble into small nation states. So now there was Syria for Syrians, Turkey for Turks, and so on.

This happened throughout the muslim lands.

And there was Malaysia for Malaysians and Indonesia for Indonesians. There was a lot of nationalist sentiment all around. soulless nasionalism.

That things could degrade to such a level is a shame. Take the malay archipelago, for example. When Malacca was invaded by the Portuguese, the islamic Sultanate of Aceh and the Sultanate of Demak in Java tried to repel the invaders. Aceh and Java are in present-day Indonesia.

There is even a malay proverb,

"Kalau roboh Kota Melaka,
papan di Jawa kami tegakkan."
(If the city of Melaka crumbles, we will build a new one in Java)

International islamic solidarity.

'Umar ra had it right when he said,
"We were a humiliated people, and Allah gave us honour through islam. If we tried to seek honour through other ways, Allah would humiliate us again."

Allah also says in the Quran;

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

"The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islâmic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allâh, that you may receive mercy." (Al Hujurat:10)

The history i present to you today is simplified, to know more there are lots of good books to read. But the main thing is,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

on the market for excuses

Today in accounting class i learnt an interesting term.

"The Market for Excuses"

WARNING: Accounting terminology coming up.
Accountants can choose different methods for accounting. So they say 'Method A' is good or 'Method B' is good, and come up with reasons. But sometimes they may say this method is good for the public interest, when actually they have underlying private interests. "Prawn behind the rock".

e.g. A company lobbies the government for lower tax. They give the reason that lower taxes encourage businesses and is good for the economy (public interest). But actually they want lower taxes to have more profits in the income statement, and the manager gets a fat bonus (private interest).

This is the market for excuses. Saying something noble as an excuse to do something selfish.

And as always in Reflective Perspectives, we do it the other way round. accounting class/daily life is just an excuse to talk about the big things:

There is a HUGE market for excuses nowadays. People give noble excuses for doing err, not-so-noble things:

"Why do i smoke? well i'm trying to help the malaysian economy you know."

"Eh, its my freedom lah, to wear hijab or not. La ikraha fi al-din you know (no compulsion in religion).

"I thank God for giving me this Most Vogue Artist Award. God likes beautiful things you know."

We should be careful about the market for excuses, because it afflicts nearly everyone. Ever had that feeling that you really really want to do something, but its not really proper? And then to make it 'legal' you try and find ayat from the Qur'an, from hadeeth, anything that would support your wishes. If someone 'religious' says,

"Owh, its okay to do that. I also do that."

You say

"Yay!! Finally *big grin*"

"awww, you're such a boring person. Ni tak boleh. Tu tak boleh. (this can't. that can't)"
Well im not saying we can't do anything. Just be careful not to let God's commands follow your desires. Let your desires follow God's commands.

Allah says,

وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ بَعْدَ الَّذِي جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَا لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ

"..And if you were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge, then you would have against Allâh neither any Walî (protector or guardian) nor any helper." (Al Baqarah:120)

So be true to ourselves. Are we doing things for our own pleasure, or to gain the pleasure of Allah, Most High. We can give any amount of excuses, but Allah knows what is in every heart.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

on lost paradise

Friday, November 18, 2011

on inner peace

This life is a prison.

There's this one scene in Malcolm X, where another inmate says to Malcolm while they were in prison:

"Everywhere you go, you're in prison. Because its a prison of your mind."

We can't do as we like, when we like, however we like. 

But as Ibn Taymiyyah said,

"what can my enemies to do me? My paradise is in my heart and it goes with me wherever I go. If they imprison me, it is private devotion with my Lord. If they kill me, it is dying for the sake of my Lord. If they drive me out of my land, it is making hijra for the sake of my Lord." 

I do not know who you are while you are reading this. I do not know where you were born, who your family is, what your inner beliefs are. But i do know that to be have problems is to be human. 

You might be stressed preparing for exams. You may have received a call saying "im sorry, he's..gone" You may be feeling inferior, all this while you're the top scorer, now you feel like you've achieved nothing.

On a loftier scale, you might be feeling really worried about the state of the ummah, and stressed because of your lack of efforts in helping.

You might be suffering under oppressive regimes. You might be worried because you just read Harian Metro this morning and thought "things are getting worse..what if this happened to my family?"

Be patient.

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ

"Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving" (Al Mulk:2)

This life is just a test, to see which of us are the best in deed. Be patient enduring this prison. Because paradise is in our hearts, we are just waiting for the Day when Allah says

يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ ارْجِعِي إِلَى رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَرْضِيَّةً فَادْخُلِي فِي عِبَادِي وَادْخُلِي جَنَّتِي

(It will be said to the pious): "O (you) the one in (complete) rest and satisfaction! Come back to your Lord, Well-pleased (yourself) and well-pleasing unto Him! Enter you, then, among My honoured slaves, And enter you My Paradise!"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

on the priceless ones

Broken blackberry = £30/month X 24 months

Argan oil spilt on Khalil's papers = a few pounds

hungry. 1 piece chicken + chips = £1

friends-in-faith = priceless

self-improving advice = priceless

Iman = priceless

Some things money can buy. But for everything, there's Allah.

Monday, November 14, 2011

on how to mould brilliance

I want to change the world.

If i don't do that please shoot me.

Or don't shoot me. Don't want to die doing nothing.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

on being as pure as a newborn

This is a sequel to the previous post on change.

Rasulullah SAW said in a famous hadeeth:

مَا مِنْ مَوُلُودٍ إِلاَّ يُوْلَدُ عَلىَ الْفِطْرَةِ، فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ أَوْ يُنَصِّرَانِهِ أَوْ يُمَجِّسَانِهِ

"There is not a child except he is born on fitrah (the natural state, i.e being submissive to Allah). Therefore his parents will make him a Christian, a Jew or a Magian (Majusi)" (HR Bukhari)

Every human being is born in a natural state, the fitrah. It is natural for humans to want good things. For example, take a robber. What if he were robbed?

"#@#*^$&!! Lu berani rompak gua?!! Mati lu nanti!!"
"#@#(((*:-)!! You dare rob me?? You'll pay for this!!"

So even the robber hates it if he is affected by the evil.

Another one of our fitrah is to recognise a Supreme Being who created the world, is all-powerful and has power over all our daily affairs.

You could see this in Youtube. Malaysian artists, eventhough they may not follow the commands of God completely (like wearing hijab), what will they say if they receive an award?

"ALHAMDULILLAH i received this award, i didn't expect it" *while wiping away tears*

Even Lenin, the leader of the first Communist state, said on his deathbed

"Oh God, i am in pain" (citation needed)

قُلْ لِمَنِ الْأَرْضُ وَمَنْ فِيهَا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ سَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّهِ قُلْ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ

"Say, [O Muhammad], To whom belongs the earth and whoever is in it, if you should know? They will say, To Allah . Say, Then will you not remember?" (Al Mu'minuun: 84-85)

So everyone, in their hearts, recognizes that natural state.

A friend of mine illustrated this beautifully. No matter what religion you are, you will always go to places like this

to get some peace of mind. Because these places are the creation of the Supreme Being, its all natural and magnificent, unlike our man-made structures.

My dad also gave a good analogy regarding asking people to return to their fitrah.

Let's say that someone shows you the shirt that you wore when you were in kindergarten. A Kikilala tshirt, for example.

"Abang, this is your tshirt."

"No its not, it's too small to be mine."

"But this is yours, see? Even has your name on it. See this spot over here. That's when you played in the rain and fell down in a muddy pool. See this little hole. You were riding on your bike but fell down, you came to us crying, but we made you some Milo and then you were alright."

It is our shirt. In the process of 'growing up', we might have forgotten about it, we might think that we're 'too big, too mature' for it, we might have 'moved on'.

But it is our shirt, nevertheless. 

Let us go back to our fitrah. Pure and simple.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

on mission:possible

Yesterday a friend of mine posted this status on facebook. Nowadays, after Syaikh Google, The Kitab of Facebook is where people get their wisdom.

"Umar Al-Khattab berubah, Saidina Hamzah berubah, Wardina Safiyah berubah, Amer munawer berubah, Ruffedge, VE, bob lokman semua pun berubah. Kalau diorang boleh berubah, kenapa tidak kita?


"Umar al-Khattab changed, Sayyidina Hamzah changed, Wardina Safiyyah changed, Amer Munawer changed, Ruffedge, VE, Bob Lokman, all of them changed. If they could change, why not us?"

Nice question.
Why not us? Change, as they say, is the only constant.
Umar al Khattab was a feared and brutal man before he changed, but after changing, he could cry just from listening to verses of the Qur'an.
How did the author change? Ever heard "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach?" It started with physical nourishment, it changed to mental spiritual nourishment.
Its strange how people fear change. I've heard some of my friends say
"Did you hear about this guy? After he flew to the UK/egypt/america/etc, he became really alim. He's a good guy now."
Everyone, in their heart of hearts, wants to be good. Its just that they don't know how.
So i'll let you in on a little secret, one that helped me:
Step 1: Pray to Allah for guidance.
Step 2: Find the good guys. And learn from them.
Step 3: I'll post it on this blog if i remember.
Have a lecture to catch now. Salaam.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

on blaming everything else, not me

Salaams all.

I frequently hear this statement from some of my friends and family.

"It's fated. It was my fate to be this way. Nothing could help me."

"Alah, what to do. Ayam patuk itik sudu." (my dad likes this rhyme)

"I was born osem."

Erkkk to the last one. -.-

Could we do nothing to change the situation we're in? are we so hopeless that we just surrender without trying and say 'i've done my best?'

Could we just watch as our brothers and sisters endure this?

And this?

And this?

Allah says,

...إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ
"..Verily! Allâh will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state themselves.." (Ar Ra'd: 11)

Allah has set the laws of the universe, and we call this sunnatullah. For example,

If we drink water, our thirst will be gone. This is sunnatullah. Imagine there's a water in the table in front of you. If you just scream out, "water! water!" The water will not magically fly to you, and you will become thirstier from screaming. You have to get up and take the glass of water.

If you just shout out "oh Allah help us! help us!" and just sit there doing nothing, nothing's going to happen either. Every day, babies get thrown away, children go hungry, families fall apart, drugs wreck people's lives, while we sit in inaction, with our comfortable homes, comfortable lives.

"I was fated to be stuck in facebook." 


Monday, November 7, 2011

on eid-ul-adha

Eid Mubarak!

From the author, his nuclear family, his extended family, his family-in-faith and everyone who celebrates eid in the spirit of sacrifice.

Friday, November 4, 2011

on golf balls

this is a good one, from a friend of mine.

The parable of the golf ball.

Once you hit the golf ball, it lands somewhere.

If you're an amateur like me, it lands far from the hole, in the rough. in malay we call that 'ke laut' (to the sea).

Or if you're good it may land closer.

Or if you're Tiger Woods it may land just a leeeeeetle bit off the hole.

Either you land in the rough, on the fairway or on the tee, it doesn't matter. The ball's still not in the hole.

Allah says,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ

"O you who believe! Enter perfectly in Islâm and follow not the footsteps of Shaitân (Satan). Verily! He is to you a plain enemy." (Al Baqarah: 208)
Some people say "i'm already rotten boy. You still have a chance."
Some people say "yeah, im a muslim. During eid-ul-fitri and eid-ul-adha."
Some people say "i know i do these things, but at least i pray and fast. Not like THAT GUY, he's even worse."
Rough, fairway or tee, doesn't matter. Still not in. If you're still on the outside, find someone to whack you in.