Friday, November 16, 2012

Give people a chance


Where have I been? I am so last year. I didn't know about so many Malaysian celebrities re-embracing Islam, until several days ago. They all had some amazing stories to tell, mashaAllah. And I could relate to all of them.

From my own experience, if I could sum up two piece of advice to the "better Muslims" out there, it would be this:- 
1. Please don't be too quick to judge people based on their outward appearance. 
2. Please always have husnul zan towards anyone who appear less religious than you.

You must have heard about the story of Abdullah Taqi Takazawa, a Japanese ex-Yakuza tattooist who embraced Islam in 2006, performed pilgrimage in 2008 and now serves as imam at a mosque near Tokyo, and he is Tokyo's only native imam, subhanallah! Imagine if the dai'e had steered clear from him just because he looked fierce and had a body full of tattoos? Praise be to Allah, the brave and sincere dai'e [a Caucasian] approached Takazawa, gave him a pamphlet on Islam and taught him syahadah. And the rest is history.

Believe me, it means a lot to the "ordinary people" or people who might probably regard themselves as "bad", when a good, pious looking Muslim approach them in a non-judgmental manner. The gesture in itself is a dakwah.

The photo below means a lot to me, I mean a lot. I remembered the moment I stepped into Melbourne airport, I noticed a heavily bearded man, standing some 300 meters away, who almost instantly looked at me. I was with a girlfriend then. Before long, this man walked up to me and began chatting. I felt very nervous and out of place because he seemed to be a well mannered and learned elderly man. He turned out to be someone senior at a Bangladeshi government agency. It so happened we were on the same flight and he was seated in the row before mine. Without thinking twice, I left my girlfriend, changed my seat to sit next to him. We talked and talked all the way to KL, mostly about work and religion. I was so touched by the whole meeting that I gave him an Asma'ul Husna booklet I bought in-flight. It was funny, me giving him Asma'ul Husna?! But this man was so humble, he even asked me to write a prayer for him in the booklet. MashaAllah.

We said our goodbyes at KL airport and there he asked to take a photo together.

Brother Mohammad Nawsher Ali and me - 2001

Brother, if you happen to read this, know that you had inspired me more than you could ever imagine. May Allah grant you a long and fulfilling life. May you have another excellent new year. Thank you for all your prayers for me. Thank you for having given me a chance.

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