Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ahliz zikri | People with knowledge

Bismillah.

A reminder from my Quran teacher when we came to verse 7 of Surah Anbiya. He said:

"Always refer to people with knowledge. We must do something based on firm knowledge and certainty, and not based on assumption. Therefore, we have to refer to ahliz zikri." 

"Fas alu ahlaz zikri. Refer to people who possess the right knowledge. We don't know how to fix the car's AC, so we have to refer to the car specialist. We are not sure what medication to take, we must refer to the GP."

***
Oh sure, I must thank Allah and pray for the long list of ahliz zikri who have assisted me in many areas related to my projects, so that Allah grant them more knowledge and reward them with extraordinary bounties. Ameen.

Wa ma ar sal na qob laka 
illa rijalan nuhi ilaihim
fas aluu ahlaz zikri
in kuntum la taqlamun

Oh by the way, someone asked me for more information on Salawat Zaatiyah. If you are reading this, kindly refer to ahliz zikri, I am not one of them. I merely shared the salawat as taught to me by one shakyh and I did not get the chance to ask him for more background info of the salawat. And to all others who had asked me very specific/high level questions on matters of the religion, please know that I am not an ustazah. I am not an ahliz zikri. This place is for me to document my lessons. Sorry, I don't know much. Sorry to disappoint you.

: )





Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The benchmark of understanding, judgment and knowledge

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah, my Quran lesson has resumed after a short break. May Allah grant my ustaz and his family sihah wal afiah and much heavenly bounties. Ameen.

I have got to place my notes here for ease of reference because Ustaz has asked me to memorize Verse 79 of Surah Anbiya and make it a daily wirid. (Since I haven't. Those of you who have and who are "holier" than me, please kindly stop reading now and go mind your own business. LOL).

Yes, we ask for understanding from Allah, but what kind of understanding? What is the benchmark? So, now I know, the kind of understanding that Allah has granted to Prophet Sulaiman is what we should pray and ask from Allah. What kind of sound judgment and knowledge we should aim for? That which was given to Prophet Sulaiman and Daud. 

Fa fahimna Sulaiman
wa kullan aa taina
hukman wa 'il ma
wa sakh kharna ma 'ad Dawud
dal jiba la yusab bih na wat thoir
wa kunna fa 'ilin

To Sulaiman We inspired the (right) understanding,
to each (of them) We gave
judgment and knowledge,
it was Our power that made the hills and the birds
celebrate our praises,
with Dawud
it was We Who did (all these things).

***




I shall practise and benefit from verse 79 of Surah Anbiya, bi-iznillah and I rejoice thinking how much benefit I could get if some of you readers will memorize and practise it too. Thank God for compounded rewards : )

Monday, April 24, 2017

Allah bless the 15th King of Malaysia - Sultan Muhammad V | Ascension to the throne

Bismillah.



May we Malaysians benefit from the presence and prayers of our 15th King, well known for his piety, humility, distinguished education, active lifestyle and zest for life. Ameen.

The King has chosen today, an auspicious date associated with Israk Mikraj, as the day for the King's installation ceremony.

We are indeed grateful and delighted by His Majesty's ascension to the throne.

"Increase your knowledge and skills 
for there is no end to learning."
- Sultan Muhammad V
24 April 2017


Daulat Tuanku!












Proud to be a Malaysian : )



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mikraj | Closing in

Bismillah.

On the eve of the day associated with Israk Mikraj, it might be good to reflect on our relationship with the Almighty, if indeed it's measured by "distance" then how far or close are we?

We have heard this question being posed by a couple of shuyukh. "Allah is close to you, but how close are you to Allah?"

I think the aim is to be continually conscious of His presence while He is continuously present and omni-present.

I remember a saying describing a person who is forgetful, that is one who is not in the state of making zikir (remembrance), is in fact a dead man. It's true, for how can a thing be alive if he/she is detached from Al Hay, due to forgetfulness and negligence. Perhaps, that's why we heard from the scholars about the importance of saying bismillah in any act that we are about to do, for only by saying bismillah, can we be connected with the blessings of Allah Ar Rahman Ar Rahim. That is one of the meanings of bi or ba in bismillah.

May Allah increase us in knowledge and makrifah and improve our akhlak.
Ameen.

May Allah continue to bless us in the remaining days of Rajab, bless us in Shaaban and grant us the opportunity to meet with Ramadhan. May Allah honor us with the capability to take full advantage of Ramadhan in the manner that will deliver us to safety and felicity in this world and in the hereafter. Ameen.

From Surah Qaf, verse no. 6.
May Allah be kind and compassionate and protect our faith
from any cracks that could increase the rifts between us and Him.
May our faith be completely sealed and fully cemented
so there is not even a tiny space
for shirik and kufur.
Ameen.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Lights of love

Bismillah.

If and/or when my mother is happy, I am happy : )

I just can't get enough of my new fave lepak (hang out) place at my Penang home in Gelugor. Did you (referring to Malaysians) know that Gelugor is one of earliest Muslim settlements in Penang? The first or the earliest settlement might have been Datuk Keramat circa 1700 and then Batu Uban (neighbor of Gelugor) in 1734 and then possibly Gelugor in 1749. Jelutong is another location of one of the early settlements but I'm not sure of the exact sequence. Datuk Keramat was a sufi from Acheh who was known to seclude for long periods of time along Pinang River. He was well known for his miraculous powers, hence the name "Keramat" or karamah.

The person who founded Batu Uban, Haji Muhammad Saleh was also a pious sufi from Indonesia (Paya Kumbu/ Sumatera). His piety had attracted many scholars, knowledge seekers and aspirants to Batu Uban including those from Arabia (Mekah and Yemen). Even the Sultan of Kedah came to learn from him. He was not only a scholar, he was a capable seafarer, merchant and plantation manager. Batu Uban used to be a port that attracted many visitors before Penang Port became big and popular. 

Datuk Jannatun who established possibly the third earliest Muslim settlement in Penang, in Gelugor in 1749 (my village) was also a pious man from Sumatera. Haji Muhammad Saleh and Datuk Jannatun were buddies. I have mentioned it before and I will mention it again, Yusof Ishak, the first president of Singapore is a descendant of Datuk Jannatun. I think anyone associated with Datuk Jannatun, the Gelugorians I mean, they are a special breed: D 

If you doubt what I said then go read up history books related to Penang, if you've got the time and interest. And please don't mess with us Gelugorians or I will call upon my Sufi forefathers and make them knock some sense on your head! LOL. 

The photo below is not related to the context of what I just wrote. Who cares? LOL. It's here on this space of mine cos I am happy to marvel at it knowing that my mother is happy at home in Gelugor. Alhamdulillah.



I think I am kinda smart because my mother Mazenah is smart.
Heh heh...
Thank you Allah for my mother.
She emits lights of love.


Ref: 
Early History of Penang - edited by Muhammad Haji Saleh/USM 
Batu Uban: Sejarah Awal Pulau Pinang - by Ahmad Murad Merican
The Chulia in Penang - by Khoo Salma Nasution

Friday, April 21, 2017

Progressive | A thousand ways to kneel

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah for a super productive Friday.
Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah.
And my success comes only from Allah.

It's 2.47 a.m Saturday actually, it's raining so I pray Allahumma sayyiban nafi'a. May Allah pour more good stuffs in my life, my family, friends and you genuine readers of this blog. You know who you are : )

Wish you a pleasant weekend. I am winding down after a marathon of reading, thinking and writing. Praise be to God, it feels good to end a hectic day with this heart-warming view of good progress taking place at my kampung home. Alhamdulillah for the joy of having a kampung.

This man seemed very focused on his craft. It reminds me of an oft-quoted saying by Rumi:
"Let the beauty of what you love, 
be what you do. 
There are a thousand ways to kneel 
and kiss the earth."

Kneeling to finish up work for "Ablution Area"
so that my honorable guests could kneel and praise the Lord with purity and humility, soon bi iznillah.
Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi ni amahu wa yukafi u mazidah

May Allah grant us more for each of His blessings that we proclaim.
"And as for the bounties of your Lord, do proclaim."
- Quran 93-11
  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Friday eve | Elevate the Words of Allah

Bismillah.

Maghrib on the eve of Friday, as we all know, is the beginning of auspicious times. It's good to be sensitive about how we use each hour of the blessed times. It's time to read Surah Al Kahfi or any sacred Words of His that one can afford to read.

Let's choose to spend the time to elevate the Words of Allah, for that would be better than to "elevate" or raise one's voice for any other reasons. We are asked to beautify our voice when we recite the Quran. How beautiful a reminder is that? For one's voice cannot possibly be beautiful when it's at a high pitch in a quarrel.  

Tonight, I realized I have begun to miss reading the Quran with my coach, as our lessons have to be postponed. I think you could say a teacher is good at its craft and sincere at that when the student begins to yearn for knowledge and progress. And in the case of Quran recital, its melody, its rhythm, its aura and its nur.

May Allah keep us pure and grant us the tawfik to continually enliven our homes with the sacred sounds of the Holy Book. Ameen.