Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Faith in the mirror

Bismillah.

We are feeling somewhat disturbed by the comments/views which some of the non-Muslims have towards Islam, and about their perceptions towards some, if not all of its followers. We may be big in quantity, but perhaps we are not displaying sufficient quality to warrant understanding if not respect from the non-Muslims.

Some of them are making fun of us because we claim to be a peaceful religion yet our actions fall on the opposite extreme. Not just actions. Sometimes we speak too arrogantly about our 'holier than thou' faith. We have the tendency to "play God" not just towards our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters but also towards the non-Muslims. Instead of taking pity and showing compassion when the non-Muslim states suffer from natural disasters [e.g. Hurricane Sandy] some of us said "serve you right" or something to that effect. Why? Because some of us, [unfortunately] tend to treat the non-Muslims as plain "cursed kuffar". Astaghfirullah! Are we too quick to forget about the possibility of anyone having husnul khatimah (a good end). That they might eventually live and die a better person than we do.

In my opinion, when anyone is faced with hardships or calamities, it is humanity that prevails over dogma/faith. I remember watching a film by the Unity Productions Foundation called 'Muhammad, Legacy of a Prophet'. One New York firefighter [a revert] in the documentary said, when he and his colleagues perform rescue work, they simply go out and help regardless of the victims' faith or color. But it must have been difficult for him to be a Muslim firefighter working on the site of 9/11 tragedy. Still, 'Saving a life is like saving the whole humanity' was his principle. That's how it should be. We cannot act on the pretext of Islam's exclusivity when the Prophet's very existence was meant to be inclusive - he (Allah's blessings be upon him) is a mercy to all of creations, to all the worlds - rahmatan lil 'alamin.

Well, at least one notable Muslim opinion leader has said something that represents the religion more accurately. Shaykh Ninowy said: "To love and have compassion for everything would be one of the requirements to be a true Muslim, an ambassador of the Deen [faith]. The non-Muslims do not need more flyers or booklets about Islam - they need to see compassion and action."

We are also feeling somewhat disturbed by the comments/views which many of the non-Muslims have towards an article written by a Muslim in a British newspaper, about his hajj experience which he felt was somewhat affected by the modernization that seemed to overwhelm the holy cities. A Muslim needs only make one small negative remark about his/her religion for him/her to spark heavy criticism and re-ignite deep-seated hatred and misunderstanding a non-Muslim might have towards Islam. But we cannot blame the critics. We speak and act harshly towards them, they bite back.

Hmm...before we go on talking about changing the world, we should consider this - as Michael Jackson sang it so beautifully:

I'm gonna make a change
for once in my life
it's gonna feel real good
gonna make a difference
gonna make it right...
I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
and no message could have been any clearer
if you wanna make the world
a better place
take a look at yourself
and then make a change...

Wallahu a'lam.


p/s 
Our thoughts are with the victims of Hurricane Sandy and all other victims of Mother Nature around the globe.
Pic credit: news24.com

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

'The Honor and Status of the Human Being' by Shaykh Muhammad Allie Khalfe | Book Launch in Cape Town on 10 Nov 2012


Bismillah.

Book launch venue:
Timbuktu Books
Stadium on Main
Main Road Claremont
Cape Town
South Africa

10 Nov 2012 (Saturday)
4.00 pm - 4.30 pm

Special Guests
Author: Muhammad Allie Khalfe
Speaker: Shaykh Seraj Hendricks

To purchase book/enquire: islamictext@gmail.com
Price: South African Rand 160
(about GBP 11 or USD 18 or Ringgit Malaysia 56)

Read sample here:
http://islamictext.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/the-honor-and-status-of-the-human-being-sample.pdf


"...the teaching in the Quran that Allah taught the Prophet Adam all the "names", beyond the knowledge of the Angels, or that He ordered the Angels to prostrate before him. Both these teachings that the father of both men and women was a recipient and possessor of spiritual knowledge that exceeds the angelic level and that man in a certain sense is the Qiblah of the Angels, provides sufficient scriptural evidence of not only his superiority over angels but also points to the profound spiritual reality and origin of the human being."

"The Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was once asked, 'Who is more sacred in the sight of Allah, the kaabah or the believer?', to which the Prophet answered, 'The believer is more sacred.'"

- Shaykh Ahmad Hendricks
in Preface to the 'Honor and Status of the Human Being'












About the Author
Muhammad Allie Khalfe was born and schooled in Cape Town. He completed his tertiary education at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town. He is qualified in Information Technology and works in the Software Testing field. He graduated from I-TO-I International and is able to teach English as a foreign language. Muhammad Allie spent 7 years under the guidance of Shaykh Seraj and Shaykh Ahmad Hendricks from the Azawiya in Walmer Estate studying the details of Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Tauhid and Tasawuf and received Ijaza (permission to transmit knowledge) in all three fields from the Shaykhs. Furthermore, he studied the 7 dialects of Quranic Recitation under Shaykh Abu Bakar Abduraof and read more of the Dialects to various scholars from whom he received permission to read and teach. He is the author of two other works namely the "Spirit of Islam" and "The Legacy of a Spiritual Journey to God."
Credit: The Events Board, Cape Town

Monday, October 29, 2012

13th DhulHijjah 1433 H | What say you?

Bismillah.

Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
Lailahaillallah wallahu Akbar
Allahu Akbar wa lillahil hamd

It's 13th of DhulHijjah 1433 Hijri, the last of tashreek days. We are feeling somewhat sad. The hajj season will be over soon. We have been learning quite a bit from watching Salam Baitullah - an excellent Malaysian TV program - and reflecting on some of the materials we have read about hajj.

One striking lesson we could learn from Prophet Ibrahim a.s. and Prophet Muhammad s.a.w is that both, despite their high stature, humbled themselves by asking for feedback. 

You may have heard from modern management gurus about the importance of asking for feedback. It's a mark of a good leader. And subhanallah, we observed that trait in Prophet Ibrahim a.s. When he saw in a dream Allah's command for him to slaughter his son Ismail, he spoke to Ismail afterwards: "O my little son, I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you. So consider, what is your opinion?" (Quran 37:102)

Prophet Ibrahim could have just informed his son about it, but no, he in fact asked the boy 'what do you think?' And Ismail's reply matched the high regard his father had towards his opinion. Young Ismail said: "O my dear father, do what you have been ordered to do. You will find me, InshaAllah, one of those who endure patiently."

Subhanallah!    

Similarly, we marvel at the beautiful characters of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. During what was to be his last hajj and sermon, the prophet addressed his sahabah at Arafah imparting many important last words, asking them to worship Allah, offer prayers five times a day, fast in Ramadhan, pay zakat, perform pilgrimage, obey their rulers, so they will enter Paradise and he said: "Let him that is present convey it to the one who is absent. For, many people to whom the message is conveyed may be more mindful of it than the audience." Then the prophet said: "You will be asked about me in the hereafter, what will you say?"

According to Prof. Dr. Asri who spoke on Salam Baitullah last night, it was as though the Prophet was asking the sahabah if he had done well. Subhanallah

The last prophet, Al Amin, who had exhibited great leadership towards his people, wanted to know their feedback on his performance. So they replied: "We bear witness that you have conveyed the religion, fulfilled your mission and looked after our welfare."

Now what will you say about that? What can we say about the humbling lessons we have learned from the hajj events, from Prophet Ibrahim, Siti Hajar, Ismail and Rasulullah s.a.w?

What say you?

Allahumma salli 'ala Saidina Muhammad 
wa 'ala ali Saidina Muhammad 
kama salaita 'ala Ibrahim wa 'ala ali Ibrahim
wa barik 'ala Saidina Muhammad 
wa 'ala ali Saidina Muhammad
kama barakta 'ala Ibrahim wa 'ala ali Ibrahim
fil alamina innaka hamidun majid

Pic credit: Bro. Shamsul N.A


   

Sunday, October 28, 2012

12th Dhulhijjah 1433H | On pebbles and devils


 Pic: AP/Hassan Amar


Bismillah.

Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
LailahaillAllahu wallahu Akbar
Allahu Akbar
walillahil hamd

Today is 12th DhulHijjah 1433 Hijri. We are still in Eidul Adha spirit. Alhamdulillah.

Many of us non-pilgrims are enjoying one meat dish after another. Surely we are thankful for the abundant supply of meat from the qurban ritual. Alhamdulillah. But let's not forget about our brothers and sisters who are in Mina at this moment. The blessed hujjaj are busy throwing pebbles at jamarat after jamarat, a significant and symbolic gesture of ridding  themselves of mazmumah, mirroring the action of Prophet Ibrahim who threw stones at shaytan.

Let's spend this Eid weekend to contemplate on each devilish attribute of ours. The things we want to hit out at. Maybe it's a good idea to make a "hit list", so we remember what exactly we want to target with the pebbles, at all those jamarat when we make it to Mina for hajj InshaAllah.

It might look like this:
- The devil who enticed me to smoke/consume the haram.
- The devil who made my eyes linger on a woman's chest/bare legs.
- The devil who seduced me to flirt with non-muhram/commit zina.
- The devil who inflated my ego/pride.
- The devil who encouraged me to tell lies.
- The devil who motivated me to backbite/spread rumors.
- The devil who inspired me that it's ok to be lazy/delay my solat/zakat.
- The devil who disguised as my "good companion".
- The devil who tricked me into over spending.
- The devil who plotted my divorce/conflicts after conflicts.
- The devil who fanned my anger.
- The devil who fooled me into thinking I'm better than others.
And the list goes on...

May, by the help of Allah, our blood veins would be clear of satanic traces. 
Ameen.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Eidul Adha 1433 Hijri - Reflections

Bismillah.

We were listening to some heart-opening Eid tausiyah yesterday, 10th of DhulHijjah 1433 Hijri. Alhamdulillah several Eidul Adha TV programs in Malaysia have been serving a feast for the soul. 

One Malaysian khatib who spoke at Arafah said we should think deeply of how special Arafah is. Why of all places Allah had chosen Arafah as the place of meeting for Adam, the father of humanity and Hawa. And ponder why it is said haji alhajjul Arafah - Hajj is Arafah

Indeed there are endless meaning to hajj rituals if we care to contemplate deep enough and long enough. Why do we have to throw so many pebbles over so many jamrah for 3 days? If we understood the wisdom of throwing pebbles and if we could perform it well enough, we should come back from hajj devoid of satanic influences.

***
Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
La ilaha illAllah wallahu Akbar
Allahu Akbar
wa lillah hil hamd

Eidul Adha according to Prof. Dr. Hasnan Karim, should be, and is in fact merrier than Eidul Fitr because Eidul Adha is celebrated for 4 days. We get to recite eid takbeer on four days from the 10th to 13th of DhulHijjah. It's sunnah to recite it after each of the obligatory prayer on all four days. Whereas the time for us to make takbeer during Eidul Fitr is very short (from Maghrib of the last day of Ramadhan until the morning after, when the khatib recites eid khutbah). But people tend to regard Eidul Fitr as a more joyous occasion that we would celebrate if for the entire month of Shawal. And sadly, many of the celebrations are not in line with the rules of shari'a. We are inclined do things that make us more forgetful and more distant from Allah.

Eidul Adha presents us with a bigger chance to gain Allah's mercy and forgiveness. Still we should take advantage of both Eid to supplement any shortcomings of our amal and multiply our good deeds. Those whose hearts are alive would grab these opportunities.

***
Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
La ilaha illAllah wallahu Akbar
Allahu Akbar
wa lillah hil hamd

There are plenty of lessons to learn from the stories of Ibrahim, Siti Hajar and Ismail. We must appreciate this family of three who went through a great deal. Before the sacrifice episode, Prophet Ibrahim had already been presented with a test. He had to leave his wife Siti Hajar alone with their baby Ismail at a deserted place. Siti Hajar, though puzzled at first, immediately obliged when she was told it's an order from Allah.

Think about how obliging Siti Hajar was. Prophet Ibrahim himself was strikingly obliging. He didn't delay in acting on Allah's command although it was to slaughter his only child, his little boy whose arrival he had waited for so long. And subhanallah, Ismail, so young yet so obliging too. He said, if indeed it's a command from Allah, he would be patient about it. Imagine someone at his age could understand the weight of a command from Allah and offered his patience.

All three in the family made some great sacrifices. Siti Hajar sacrificed security and certainty when she was  left alone with her baby. But she had faith. She said, "If it was an instruction from Allah, something good must come out of it." Indeed something great did come out of it - zamzam, subhanallah. Zamzam which served as a catalyst for Islamic civilization and growth to this very day. And Prophet Ibrahim, as we all know, sacrificed his love of a dear child Ismail. And Ismail being the obedient and spiritually mature son he was, despite his young age, had patiently sacrificed his life, well almost.

They all have some common traits. They did not hesitate in fulfilling God's command. They did not doubt it. They were willing and hasten in making sacrifices to carry out Allah's command.

Eidul Adha is a time to reflect on this extraordinary family.

Allahumma salli 'ala Sayyidina Muhammad 
wa 'ala ali Sayyidina Muhammad
kama salaita 'ala Ibrahim wa 'ala ali Ibrahim...


Friday, October 26, 2012

Eidul Adha 1433 Hijri

Bismillah

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. Praise be to Allah for letting us experience another Eid. It seems like it was only last month we celebrated Eidul Fitr and here we are.

Blessed are our brothers and sisters who have just fulfilled the wukuf rite at Arafah. Those whom Allah would boast about to the angels.  They who came from near and far to congregate for the sake of Allah. 

This year, we learned of the amazing feat undertaken by a pilgrim from Bosnia, brother Senad Hadzic who walked some 5700 km across seven countries to get to Makkah. Subhanallah! When a servant of Allah is inspired by khatir Rabbani (whispers of the Lord) and is blessed with His immense tawfiq, nothing is impossible.  

One honorable man of the olden days who had traveled on foot for hajj was Ibrahim bin Adham. A man on camel he met along the way offered him a ride, but Ibrahim Adham refused. He said, "Indeed I have many [rides] but you do not see them. In times of hardship, patience is my ride. In times of prosperity, thankfulness to Allah is my ride. In times of feeling the temptations to commit a sin, I remember that death is near."  

On this blessed day of Eidul Adha, let's pray so that Allah would grant us such incredible invisible "rides" which we so badly need, on this winding road called life.

Eid Mubarrak! 

Reference: www. darulfatwa.org

Thursday, October 25, 2012

9 DhulHijjah 1433H | Arafah on the mind



Bismillah.

Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
lailahaillAllah wallahu akbar
Allahu Akbar
wa lillah hil hamd

We humbly observe the arrival of this auspicious day, the 9th of DhulHijjah. We had yesterday reflected on the one phrase we all long to profess: Labbaik Allah humma labbaik -  "Here I come to You, O Allah".

We were watching an excellent Malaysian TV program called Salam Baitullah last night. The learned presenters were saying, "Hajj mabrur is not up for grabs on the walls of kaabah. It [if indeed is earned or granted] is in your heart."

Still many hearts lament for being left behind when millions of believers flock to Arafah on this day. We know not if or when our two feet get to stand on the bless field of Arafah. Oh...wait a minute. How dare we say so? We cannot exclude any of His honorable servants who are there now, who could be standing on his/her two hands. Yes, by Allah, we had some years ago witnessed an old man circumambulating the kaabah on his weary looking palms. Subhanallah!

Perhaps on that day, we should be saying, 'Thank you Allah that I could stand on both feet. Thank you Allah that I could raise my two hands to make du'a. Thank you Allah that I could speak, not just speak but speak clearly. Thank you Allah, for giving me two eyes with which I could see. But glory be to you O Allah, that you could make all eyes cry even if they can't see....'

Indeed, we know not if or when our eyes get to cry a river at Arafah. How we long for the times of nearness at Arafah, to linger in the sacred moments, moments of submission, of remorse, of hoping for His mercy.

Arafah is indeed a very special  place. Its sacredness is made manifest very significantly on this day of wukuf. It can be a very surreal experience we imagine. But is it surprising that His servants would congregate before their Lord sooner or later, on one fine day? No. The day of Mahsyar will arrive for a certainty. Just as the day of Arafah becomes a reality to the chosen ones, year after year.

Until that day, inshaAllah.
Bi-iznillah.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Aku datang kepadaMu Ya Allah"

Bismillah.

Secara batin lafaz itu boleh dibisikkan di hati sebelum tiba masanya lafaz itu dapat dizahirkan oleh segenap pancaindera lahiriah. Masa itu dalam ketentuan Allah Yang Maha Kuasa jua. Masa dan ketika di mana kami melaungkan lafaz talbiyah - Aku datang kepadaMu Ya Allah. Labbaik Allah humma labbaik.

Saat ini kalangan jemaah haji mula mendatangi Padang Arafah sedangkan kami tertinggal di sini. Mungkin masih banyak urusan kami yang belum selesai. Mungkin masih ada di sisi kami ini perkara yang belum beres pada pandanganMu Ya Allah. Lantaran itu kami masih di sini. Kami belum dihimpunkan di Arafah. Belum lagi.

Astaghfirullah. Semoga Allah ampunkan apa jua kesalahan yang ada dan semoga Allah sucikan apa jua yang tercemar pada diri ini zahir dan batin agar berlaku kelak pertemuan itu - kedatangan hamba kepada sang Penciptanya. Sambutan sang Khalik merai tetamuNya.

Betul kata Ustaz Kazim dan Dr. Ridhuan dalam rancangan Salam Baitullah malam ini. Haji mabrur itu bukan letaknya di kaabah tapi letaknya di hati. Walaupun benar hakikat itu, ia bukanlah penawar bagi mereka yang menunggu dan merindu panggilan haji - untuk kaki melangkah seraya lidah dan hati menyebut 'Aku datang kepadaMu Ya Allah'. Apakah sama berkata "Aku datang" sedangkan tiada langkah dihayun menuju syiar rukun Islam yang ke-lima itu?

Mungkin hikmah tiadanya jemputan atau belum adanya jemputan itu hanya kerana Allah jua yang mengetahui betapa bekalan menujuNya belum lagi mencukupi. Apakah yang sebenar-benarnya yang patut dibawa sebagai bekalan menemuiNya itu sudah difahami? Yang pasti antara bagasi yang tiada dapat tidak kami bawa nanti ialah bagasi dosa! Pun begitu kami andaikan hati yang menghina kelemahan diri, yang memperhamba diri, yang bertaubat dan kesal dengan segala perilaku dan bisikan keji, kami andaikan hati itulah yang akan kami bawa nanti tatkala kami berkata "Aku datang kepadaMu Ya Allah. Aku datang tanpa membawa secebis syirik. Aku datang kepadaMu Ya Allah. Sesungguhnya segala pujian dan nikmat itu milikMu, dan juga kekuasaan itu mutlak pada Mu."

Kekuasaan yang mutlak bagiMu Ya Allah yang menentukan siapakah di antara kami hamba-hambaMu ini yang layak berada di Tanah Suci saat ini di Padang Arafah. Kekuasaan mutlak milikMu Ya Allah siapakah yang Engkau mahu himpunkan di tanah lapang itu hingga sarat ianya dengan jiwa-jiwa yang pasrah, hiba, yang penuh sesal dan yang mengharap belas ehsanMu Ya Allah.

Apakah sepasang kaki ini suatu hari nanti akan turut berdiri di sana? Apakah hati ini suatu hari nanti akan meraung di sana? Apakah kedua tangan ini suatu hari nanti dapat kami tadah di sana? Apakah sepasang mata ini suatu hari nanti akan menangis dan menangis dan menangis di sana? Apakah mulut ini suatu hari nanti akan terkumat kamit berdoa di sana?

Apakah Kau akan mendengar dan menerima doa kami itu nanti Ya Allah? Apakah Kau akan menjadi saksi akan hati kami yang datang kepadaMu dalam keadaan sejahtera? Apakah kami ini akan datang kepadaMu Ya Allah dengan jiwa yang tenang, dengan jiwa yang redha pada Mu dan Engkau pun redha kepada kami?

Oh Ya Allah, dengarkanlah, bahawa hidup kami dan mati kami di mana jua dan bagaimana pun jua takdirnya, adalah untuk Mu Ya Allah. Dan jadikanlah penyaksian kami ini penyaksian yang benar lagi ikhlas di sisi Mu Ya Allah.

Ameen Ya Rabbal alamin.

آمين يا رب العالمين


Thursday, October 18, 2012

'Muhammad Legacy of a Prophet' | Watch online courtesy of the Unity Productions Foundation



Bismillah.

Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) is sharing its film, Muhammad Legacy Of A Prophet. Watch the film online in its entirety here: www.muhammadfilm.tv

UPF is also offering free DVD copies of the film for education. Request a copy by sending an email to freeDVD@upftv or filling out the form here: www.muhammadfilm.tv


Credit: Lisa and the UPF Team

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Welcoming DhulHijjah 1433H


Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

The first 10 days of DhulHijjah are right before us. We are reminded to fast and recite:
tahlil (lailahaillAllah)
takbir (AllahuAkbar) and
tahmid (Alhamdulillah).

If you happen to be in KL on 4th DhulHijjah (Saturday, 20th October 2012) please be sure to swing by KLCC mosque (Masjid As Syakirin) @ 8.30 pm to 11.00 pm InshaAllah.

It looks like KL is fast becoming a city blessed with continual presence of shuyukh and habaib; majlis zikr and mawlid. Alhamdulillah indeed.

A majlis dedicated to love of
Rasulullah sallallah alaihi wasalam

It's a majlis for all. Not only for those who wear abaya, niqab or long veil. I wish to stress this after having read an article sent by a friend about Pakistani women in shalwar kameez and dupata being treated like a second class Muslim by those who think their "Muslim-ness" is superior just because they wear abaya and speak Arabic.

I personally think any majlis should be a majlis for all:
mini-scarf,
midi-scarf,
neck-exposed turban,
hair exposing selendang,
shayla
etc.

Let's go beyond the shell. 

You know my immediate neighbor is Indian Muslim. Obviously, she doesn't wear abaya. She wears a cover-up saree. But her presence gives us so much tranquility and happiness compared to our Middle Eastern neighbors in abaya and niqab who would fight and scream every now and then. 

Shaykh Ninowy said: "Judging people is not our domain, judging ourselves is." However, people have the tendency to focus on a person's outer. But a learned person like Shaykh Ninowy also said, "I see you not doing good, I still think the best of you." 

I remember someone who outwardly appeared to be "very shariah compliant" asking me sarcastically, "why are people treating Shaykh Raja with respect, why are people waiting to greet him, he is not ulama?" I think if you look at religion skin-deep, that's about all you would get - skin.

Wallahu a'lam. May Allah forgive me. May Allah forgive us all.
Sallu 'alan Nabi.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani on Salawaat Al-Fatih

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani
Kuala Lumpur
12 October 2012
Bismillah.

I was deeply moved when I heard the honorable Shaykh Hisham teaching Salawaat Al-Fatih for the second time. I heard him not once but twice, on two occasions. It was as though he's pleading to my stubborn heart and deaf ears, please...please learn this salawaat, it's good for you and by Allah it's for your own good.

Astaghfirullah, may Allah forgive us for our lack of adab towards the shuyukh, for taking them for granted, for not listening to them enough.

So I tell myself to please be grateful and practise Salawaat Al-Fatih. The merits of which is tremendous!

Allahumma salli 'alaa Sayidina Muhammad
Al faatihi limaa ughliq
wal khaatimi limaa sabaq
naasiril haqqi bil haq
wal haadi ila siraatikal mustaqeem
wa 'ala aalihi haqqa qadrihi
wa miqdaarihil azeem

Credit: sufilive.com/salawat

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A night to remember with Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. I think Friday nights should be like last night. It was a fantastic night to remember, a musical celebration for lovers of Mawlid. But then again every session with Shaykh Hisham is an event to remember.

Courtesy of the Budiman Foundation established by Dr. Azriman Rosman and wife, Hajjah Zanariah Zainal together with several other sponsors, Datuk Dr. Raj Karim and Datuk Nora Tun Rahman to name but two, we had a fabulous time at Bukit Damansara Community Hall yesterday evening. 

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani and wife, Hajjah Naziha Adil graced the event. Shaykh Hisham first made the audience sing the Malaysian national anthem. [I thoroughly appreciated that because it's been ages since I last had an opportunity to sing Negaraku].

Shaykh Hisham reminded the audience of a hadith of Rasulullah s.a.w that love of one's country is from faith. He then gave a tausiyah and for the second time I heard him taught a special salawat called Salawat al-Fatih. So let me post that separately InshaAllah.

The attendees were treated to some great performances by eight groups including the famed evergreen singer Ramli Sarip! [Yes, believe it or not.] And a whirling dervish from Indonesia, MashaAllah.

First up was a Johor qasidah group of ten. I remember one of them, a cute guy wearing a taj [a cone pointed hat] and kain pelekat (sarong) playing guitar, can you picture that? Then came the 'The Dervish Mawlid Ensemble' comprised of five vocalists and five percussionists from Kuala Kubu. They have got a new album called Mawar Buatmu Ya Rasulullah (A rose for you O Rasulullah). 

Then it was the turn for the only all-ladies group to perform. 'Az Zahra Ensemble' comprises of seven pretty young ladies based in America. One of them is none other than Sajeda Kabbani [Shaykh Hisham's daughter]. Only three of them performed last night. They had toured the USA and a few other countries and collected a good sum of money from their performances for donation to orphanages in Indonesia.

Sajeda Kabbani (middle) and two gorgeous Az Zahra members
enjoying the performances of the other groups
at Bukit Damansara Community Hall last night.

Next to perform was the 'The Haqqani Mawlid Ensemble' of KL, a mawlid group which is synonymous with the Naqshbandi Haqqani tariqa group of Malaysia. It was put together by Almarhum Shaykh Raja Ashman in 1996. This ensemble comprises of 14 members. 

After a string of quite sober qasidah performances, the audience was treated to an upbeat show by a duo 'Ahmad Ahmad' comprised of Dr. Syed Ahmad Faisal or Pacai [a famous Malaysian composer] and Ali Ahmad.  

After that came Ramli Sarip who needs no introduction really. Good news for his fans, Ramli Sarip has compiled 14 hit songs into a new album named Sadaqah.

Then, 11 members of the 'Singapore Haqqani Ensemble' took the stage. This impressive group has a qasidah album called "Our Beloved Mustafa". Their show was punctuated by a poem recital by Lina Othman on behalf of her popular sister Liza Othman [a prolific actress who is now hospitalized. Please pray for her.]

The last group to come on stage was the 'Shamsul Haq Al-Haqqani' band of Kedah, comprising of 30 members including five young performers. The youngest member of this group is 4 years old and I'd seen one of the little boys playing drum in another majlis. The eldest is 40. Brother Amzari Halim is the lead vocalist. They have lately begun to showcase Malay numbers. Let me share a couple of lines from their newly composed Malay qasidah, courtesy of one of the group members, Brother Safar [singer cum taj maker].

Engkaulah Nabi yang mulia
You are an honorable prophet
Engkaulah bulan purnama
You are a glorious full moon
Engkaulah harapan hamba
You are my hope
Engkaulah belahan jiwa
You are my heart throb

Cintamu tak akan sirna
Your love is never fleeting
Cintamu tak kan terdua
Your love is undivided
Cintamu sepanjang masa
Your love is eternal
Cintamu hirupan syurga
Your love is a heavenly potion

Berdebar hatiku bangga
My heart is nervous, proud
Berdebar senang terasa
Nervous at feeling joy
Berdebar kerana cinta
Nervous as I am feeling love
Berdebar gejolak jiwa
Nervous is my soul 

Sakitku indah terasa
My pain feels beautiful
Sakitku kerana cinta
My pain is on account of my love
Sakitku ingin berjumpa
My pain is due to my yearning to meet
Dengan Nabi yang mulia
Meet with the honorable Prophet
Muhammadun Ya Rasulullah...
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That's it from me, for now. Have a pleasant weekend.
 -E-

Note:
The wonderful event was produced by Madam Juwita Jalil. I apologize for any errors or omissions.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Almarhum Shaykh Raja Ashman - cinta milik kita bersama



Bismillah.

"Berdebar kerana cinta.  Berdebar gejolak jiwa..." bait-bait qasidah di Zawiyah Bukit Damansara malam ini, tepat menggambarkan perasaan ini. Wajah Almarhum Shaykh Raja Ashman di mana-mana. Dalam ketiadaan jasad, ruh yang hadir tetap akrab. Hanya Allah jua yang tahu perkara se-seni ini. 

Di zawiyah, ku rasakan malam ini, semarak cinta milik kita bersama. Benarlah hakikatnya bahawa cinta yang tiada terlafaz itu lebih abadi sifatnya, lagi indah.

Kaifiat cinta bukanlah dengan memiliki diri seseorang itu. Kerana kita masing-masing dimiliki oleh hanya Dia. Indahnya perasaan kebersamaan dalam rindu, itulah tanda hadirnya cinta. Malam ini dan setiap malam dimana bergema laungan zikir serta irama qasidah di zawiyah, maka pada saban malam itulah kita raikan cinta milik kita bersama.

Almarhum Shaykh Raja Ashman dalam kenangan...
Al-Fatihah

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Tausiyah, Zikr & Mawlid with Shaykh Hisham Kabbani in KL from 6 -14 Oct 2012


Bismillah.

Some of you may already be aware of Shaykh Hisham's visit to KL from 6th to 14th October 2012. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

The shaykh will have a majlis every night but we wish to highlight two upcoming events where there will be tausiyah, zikir and mawlid InshaAllah.

Thursday, 11 October (after Maghrib) 
@ Zawiyah Naqshbandi Haqqani - Bukit Damansara 
28 Jalan Setiabudi

Friday, 12 October (after Maghrib)
@ Bukit Damansara Community Hall

For events at private residences, please refer to the schedule posted at Zawiyah Bukit Damasara.

For those who are not able to attend, you may watch LIVE broadcasts on:
http://www.sufilive.com/broadcast/

InshaAllah.

Pic credit: naqshabandi.org

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Let me light my lamp



Bismillah.

"Let me light my lamp, says the star and never debate if it will help to remove the darkness." - Rabindranath Tagore.

Ah...that's it for me today, one inspiring line to brighten my day before I call it a day. We all need an inspiring moment each day to freshen our outlook on life. 

What does it mean to you? This is my take. We have to be ourselves. Stick to our role. The stars never envy the moon, nor complain about playing second fiddle when the moon becomes queen of the night. And the moon never envies the sun for having to borrow its light. No matter how small our role is, no matter how relatively insignificant we think we are as compared to others, we've got to play our own unique role.  "Why compare yourself with others. No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you other than you." - Unknown   

Can the stars help remove darkness? No. Why evaluate ourselves on our non-competency area? Let others assign value to our contribution instead, if anything. The stars serve as guides. They beautify the dark skies. They accompany the lonely moon. Their beauty lies in the eyes of their beholder down on earth. And perhaps in the "eyes" of the moon, their queen who needs a break too as she wanes and goes into hiding once a month. This life is about functioning together in harmony. It's about collaboration. 

Let's light our own lamp and not criticize ourselves for what we are not. We have come to this world for what we are and never for what we are not. That is to state the obvious.

Good nite all.
Starry starry night...
     

Monday, October 1, 2012

"Hasten to do good" - Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin


Bismillah.

Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin Al-Hamid gave a tausiyah while he was in Makkah during the recent Ramadhan. He spoke about 4 plus 3 plus 2 things we should all be cognizant of. 

He said, on any given day we cannot avoid falling into one of this 4 states. Either we sin, commit transgression, or we're patient or grateful. Besides that Allah gives us 3 kinds of blessings: iman, health (as-sihah) and opportunities (al-fara). Health and opportunities are two great blessings after iman.

Habib Ali said, some people may be healthy but they are not given the opportunity to do something good about it. Some people may have a chance to do something but they are not healthy enough to perform it. There is a hadith of Prophet s.a.w saying: "One who is given good health and have enough food to eat in a day is akin to having the bounties of this world and all its contents." Therefore, Habib Ali advised us not to define prosperity/wealth differently but to define it according to what Allah and the Prophet have stated. 

Habib Ali also explained on the importance of being grateful (shukur) for the inspiration or awareness that we have about being grateful; how Prophet Daud a.s. expressed his inability to make shukur for the blessings of shukur. One is in a shukur state if one realizes one's inability to be fully grateful for all the blessings that one is thankful for.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was foremost on matters of shukur. He was known as Sayyidul Shakirin. He was said to have performed ibadah until his feet got swollen, and he did that out of gratitude. Likewise we must be grateful for the tawfik granted by Allah that we are able to worship Him and be in the state of servitude. 

The other 2 things we have to consider after iman are: al-istijabah, that is to hurry in responding to a good opportunity and al-musara'a meaning to compete or try to outdo one another in doing good. A sahabi Anas ibn Madzar was eating dates when the Prophet s.a.w spoke about the reward for those who march forward during a battle. He didn't hear the Prophet well at first so he asked Rasulullah s.a.w to repeat what he was saying. Anas responded, "The only thing which hinders me from getting what you've just said O Rasulullah is this dates." He then chucked the dates and hurried to the battle. Anas fought and died a martyr in the Battle of Badr. The moral of the story said Habib Ali, do not procrastinate in doing good but to be quick in responding to opportunities. So that's al-istijabah.    

Al-musara'a on the other hand is related to a verse in the Qur'an about fastabiqul khairat. It's about trying to outperform one another in matters of religion as in the well known story about Saidina Umar r.a. who made an effort to turn up earlier than Saidina Abu Bakar, eager to contribute half his wealth. But he later learned that Saidina Abu Bakar r.a. had brought his entire wealth to Rasulullah as contribution for one of the battles.

Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin who was speaking on the eve of Laylatul Qadar in Makkah, encouraged his companions to grab the opportunity and make as many intentions as possible e.g. to make niyyat to do zikir, to read Qur'an, to recite salawat etc. Because whoever makes one noble intention, Allah opens up 70 doors of tawfik for each niyyat that person makes.

Concluding his tausiyah, Habib Ali again encouraged the audience to hasten to do good at every opportunity and to surpass or exceed one another in doing good.

Wallahu a'lam.
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Listen to Habib Ali's tausiyah at:
Pic credit: Darul Murtadza