Sunday, September 22, 2013

Oh Ya Mutaal | Elevate

Bismillah.

Oh oh oh...it's Sunday. Sometimes, things are going your way, going forward but somehow you just want to take a back seat, retire in the background for a bit. I remember being described as 'someone with a retiring nature'. Actually yes being recluse can be so much fun.

Oh by the way, I am told, if you are a woman and having your menses, it's good to call upon Allah Ya Mutaal. I think that makes sense because when your hormones bring you down, you would need a picker-upper and who best to elevate you, if not Allah Al Mutaal - the Exalted, the Highest. He is ever up there so it gives you a sense of perspective of your nature as a servant being down here. And because we are weak we have our down times.

Sometimes down time is good because then you are in touch with your true self. You become more sane than when things look so "happening" that you become high and lose your sight or even lose your balance. So as a person and as a woman I think down time is good as it helps restore your equilibrium in a way. In other words, it keeps you grounded.

A Libran is especially good at weighing things and striking a balance. God makes them come to the world in Autumn for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. Though I wonder what is the reason for this nonsensical rambling. Maybe because it's Sunday so we let our hair down. To let one's hair down, according to the Urban Dictionary means "To leave behind one's inhibitions or to behave in a way that is free from social limitations or any code of conduct."

I think writers should always let their hair down, that is to write in a free or uninhibited manner. Because if they don't then they won't enjoy one of the main benefits of writing which is to release oneself from bottled up thoughts and emotions. Then writing won't be as therapeutic anymore. They won't get the good ol' endorphins out of writing.

Oh I feel better already. Thank you people for being my sounding board. Actually, the best part of writing is having a default sounding board and it need not be a real person if you get what I mean.

Back in 1961, Susan Sontag wrote in her diary, I quote from Brain Pickings:
"The writer must be four people:
1. The nut, the obsede [obsessed]
2. The moron
3. The stylist
4. The critic

No. 1 supplies the material. No. 2 lets it out. No. 3 is taste and No. 4 is intelligence. A great writer has all four. But you can still be a good writer with only 1 and 2. They are most important."

LOL.
- A nutty blogger who lets it out.

Praise be to God who elevates.
p/s 
The wealthiest of men may buy his girl this and that, but he can't buy her the joy of writing.
: D

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Habib Munzir Al Musawa has passed on to the realm of barzakh

Bismillah.

Innalillah wa inna ilai hirajiun.

We learned about this sad news from a brother in Singapore whose heart is brimmed with respect and love for the habaib.

We also learned from the news that the honorable habib has passed on to the realm of barzakh due to a prolonged illness. Never mind his physique which failed him at a relatively young age - 40. Habib Munzir would be remembered by many as a man whose heart had been enlivened by zikrullah; whose mind had been lighted by makrifatullah; whose limbs and tongue had all been of service to the deen. Imagine how many souls have benefited from his presence alone. MashaAllah.

The posting below was an outcome of my first and last time being in his majlis. We all have learned about the importance of the tasbih - subhanallah wa bihamdih subhanallah al-Azeem. But on a personal level, since the time I heard it from his nur-laden tausiyah, I have been reciting the tasbih while acknowledging that it's him who impressed it on the heart. May Allah reward Habib Munzir Al-Musawa for the beneficial knowledge we learned and practice on account of his speech.

May Allah forgive us and count us as one who loves those who love Him and remember Him plenty. Allah knows best the maqam of His chosen servants. 

Al-Fatihah.

Lisan al-Din posting on Habib Munzir:
http://lisanaldin.blogspot.com/2012/01/habib-munzir-at-darul-murtadza.html

News source: 
http://news.okezone.com/read/2013/09/15/337/866376/redirect
Credit: Mas Taj     

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sebesar hati | Ghaibkan pandangan mereka




Bismillah.

Sebesar hati yang bisa menampung Dia
Sedalam jiwa yang menyimpan seribu rahsia
Gagahkan dirimu menyapa takdirNya
Menentang arus pemikiran manusia
Menepis pandangan sinis mereka yang terkongkong akal oleh stigma

Wahai jiwa
Berdirilah atas kebenaran
Sesuatu yang dibenarkan agama
Sesuatu yang dianjurkan Nabi
Tiada perlu kepada justifikasi
jika ia membawa manfaat
buat agama diri kendiri
dan kepada agama hendaklah berbudi

Tuhan jua yang mengetahui semua
Tuhan jua yang mengampuni segala
Tiada erti kebaikan, jika Dia membenci
Tiada bernilai khilaf jika Dia meredhai
"Oh Tuhan, Kau lakukan apa saja ke atas ku,
akan ku dakap takdirMu,
selagi diri tidak tergolong bersama mereka yang Kau murkai."

******

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. Semalam kebetulan saya menghadiri majlis ta'lim yang dipimpin oleh guru yang kita muliakan Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam al-Maliki. Majlis anjuran Ba'alawi Kuala Lumpur.  

Shaykh Fahmi seperti biasanya adalah ibarat air dingin yang mengubati jiwa yang haus. Semalam beliau mengupas hikmah Kitab Al Hikam berhubung pandangan manusia. Berikut antara butiran nota saya:

Engkau hilangkan atau ghaibkan pandangan makhluk kepada engkau. Makhluk memandang pada perbuatan engkau tetapi jangan kau ambil kisah kerana mereka tidak dapat memberi apa-apa kesan terhadap engkau. Pandangan makhluk tidak dapat membawa untung. Bahkan ia mungkin dapat merosakkan pahalamu. Oleh itu jangan diambil kira pandangan makhluk. Dalam beramal, hanya ambil kira pandangan Allah. Allah mengetahui perbuatanmu yang sekecil-kecil dan sebesar-besar. Allah yang akan memberi pahala sedangkan makhluk tidak dapat berbuat apa-apa.

Orang yang riak adalah orang yang mengambil kira pandangan manusia, yakni orang yang menuntut harga diri di hati manusia. Riak bererti lihat. Shaykh Fahmi berpesan, biar di antara kita dengan manusia hancur tetapi kita dengan Allah betul. Memetik kata-kata Rabiatul Adawiyah: apa saja di atas bumi ini, nilainya tanah. Kenapa diambil kira pandangan tanah? Cukuplah kita dengan pengetahuan Allah. Cukuplah Allah mengetahui perbuatan kita kerana Dia yang akan membalasnya.

Anggaplah makhluk seperti orang mati. Yang mematikan ialah Allah. Yang memberi rezeki ialah Allah. Apa gantinya? Cukuplah bagi engkau musyahadah iaitu engkau berhadap kepada Allah. Bagi diri orang yang ikhlas, mereka hanya mahukan zat Allah. 

Tidak mungkin kita dapat memuaskan hati manusia. Manusia hendak berkata apa saja kepada kita, itu terpulang kepada mereka. Imam Ghazali berkata: yang banyak merosakkan manusia ialah manusia. Engkau boleh bersama manusia hanya untuk perkara kebaikan sahaja. Cukuplah engkau dengan pandangan Allah. 

Hilangkan darimu "iqbal"nya yakni berharapnya manusia terhadap kamu. Ibn Mas'ud berkata: Jika engkau tahu apa yang aku lakukan setelah aku menutup pintu, tiada siapa pun yang akan menghormati diriku.

Martabat ikhlas yang tinggi ialah yang tidak mengambil kira pandangan makhluk. Sesiapa yang mengenal yang Benar, maka dia akan musyahadah Allah pada segala sesuatu. Dia akan teringatkan khaliknya. 

Maqam baqabillah ialah bagi orang yang melihat kedua-dua Allah dan makhluk. Sebagai contoh, apabila melihat duri buah durian, dia merasa takut akan sifat Qahar Allah kerana dia mungkin terkena duri tersebut. Begitu juga bila melihat harimau, ular dan sebagainya, dia merasa takut akan sifat Jabbar dan sifat Muntaqim Allah. Orang yang berada di maqam baqabillah, tatkala dia melihat sesuatu itu, dia akan mengenal Allah dan mengenal kebesaran Allah.

Tahap yang lebih tinggi ialah fanafillah iaitu bagi mereka yang ghaib dari segala sesuatu. Seperti nukilan di dalam salawat al-Mashish: "...sehingga aku tidak melihat dan mendengar, kecuali dengan Allah...". Begitu juga dengan ayat yang menyebut tentang Allah yang melontar. Ini semua menunjuk kepada fahaman wahdatul wujud.

Sesiapa yang mencintai Allah, setelah mengenal Allah, dia tidak akan melebihi yang lain selain daripada Allah. Apabila disebut nama Allah, nescaya bergetar hatinya. Sesiapa yang kenal Allah, dia tidak akan melebihi yang lain kerana yang menguntungkan dirinya ialah Allah; yang menghidupkan dan mematikan ialah Allah; yang memberi rezeki ialah Allah. Ini lah orang yang makrifat kepada Allah. Perumpamaamnya ialah Allah itu sangat dekat dengan engkau, sebab itu tidak nampak.

Shaykh Fahmi juga mengupas tentang adab berdoa. Engkau mendapatkan sesuatu itu bukanlah kerana doamu. Jika Allah mengerjakan sesuatu itu dengan sebab (dengan sebab kau berdoa) maka itu tandanya Allah bersifat kedekut. Doa kita ialah sebagai menzahirkan kehambaan kita kepada Allah. Allah akan beri mengikut kehendakNya dan mengikut masa ketentuanNya. Jika Allah tidak kabulkan permintaan kita pun tidak mengapa kerana Allah lebih mengetahui perkara yang jauh ke hadapan. Bila Allah hendak beri, itu ikut suka Allah. Sebenarnya, apa yang Allah tidak beri, itulah juga pemberian Allah. Allah tidak akan menganiayai kita tetapi Dia akan membuat yang terbaik untuk kita. Jangan anggap Allah itu perlukan kepada alasan yakni Allah memberi kerana kita meminta. "Inayah" atau perhatian Allah kepadamu bukan kerana sesuatu yang terbit daripadamu, tetapi semata-mata kerana kurnia Allah. Kita dilahirkan sebagai umat Muhammad, ini adalah kurnia Allah semata-mata. Kurniaan Allah itu letak di mata Abu Bakar dan tidak di mata Abu Jahal. Semuanya kerana petunjuk daripada Allah dan bukanlah kerana kita ini pandai. Ramai orang yang pandai, tetapi mereka tidak pun mendapat petunjuk Allah.

Sekian.
Allahu a'lam.

******

p/s Nota ini saya usahakan khusus untuk adik Wan yang tidak dapat hadir ke majlis walaupun berniat menghadiri. Semoga Allah memberikan kita kurniaNya yang besar lagi hebat. Amin.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Haji Pulau Pinang | "Jak u Arab" - something about the Acehnese

Bismillah.

Pulau Pinang is the official name for Penang - an island state in the northeast of Peninsular Malaysia. In the old days, Indonesians who intended to go to Makkah via Penang but got stranded due to whatever reasons, were called Haji Pulau Pinang! LOL. This I learned from an Acehnese who presented at the 'Penang & the Hajj' conference.

So I am "Hajjah Pulau Pinang" in a way because I don't get to go to Makkah to perform hajj this year! LOL. Only 40 days left until wukuf in Arafah, but here I am. Never mind, let's try again next year InshaAllah.

I learned quite a few interesting things from that Acehnese presenter particularly on the concept of wealth among the Aceh people. His name is Kamaruzzaman Bustamam-Ahmad from the Sharia'h Faculty at IAIN Ar-Raniry in Banda Acheh. I thought he was one of the better presenters at the conference because he made the audience laugh by his casual presentation style. When the audience laugh, chances are they will remember your contents.

He talked about Jak u Arab which literally means 'going to Arab'. It's Acehnese language referring to the acts of going for hajj. Jak means go. Acehnese who wish to perform hajj would not use their cash savings. They would use/trade off their wealth known as baynah. It corresponds to the Arabic word baynah meaning proof. One is proven to be wealthy if one owns gold, cattle and lands. Wearing beautiful clothes or living in a big house does not indicate you are rich.

Using one's baynah for hajj or for other worthy purposes e.g. travels, weddings/feasts is known as hareukat. Again this term is borrowed from the Arab language harakah meaning "move" which I deduce, it refers to the movement of wealth i.e. spending.

Beurekat from the Arabic word barakah is an important concept that pertains to wealth. For the Acehnese, one's wealth is not measured by quantity but by quality. Any kind of wealth that lacks barakah will not be taken home. So to protect their baynah (wealth) and make it barakah the Acehnese would hold an annual feast (kandhuri thon) for orphans and the less privileged. This is done once they have paid zakat (alms) for the yearly earnings.

Consequently, one is considered ready to go for hajj or jak u Arab after having traded one's baynah. To recap, he three main concepts of baynah are hareukat, beurekat and kandhuri. It basically means to spend (hareukat) one's lawful (barakah) earnings for a good deed like hajj after one has expressed gratitude to God (shukur) by holding a feast (kandhuri) for the needy.

I thought it's a beautiful Islamic concept indeed. And these Acehnese who went for hajj in the early days were really wealthy. They would simply give away (waqaf) their properties in Makkah. Presumably those hujjaj who decided to stay on in Makkah after their hajj. They're known as al-Ashi. These waqaf properties in Makkah were of course meant to support other Acehnese pilgrims who jak u Arab, year in, year out.

OK people that's about it. If we can't jak u Arab this year, we try next year InshaAllah :)

[Mabruk to Sis N and family of Cape Town who is going for hajj soon. Do remember us in your prayers. May Allah grant all of you hajj mabrur. Ameen.]

The Blue Funnel ship departing from Penang.
Carried thousands of pilgrims from the Asian region
including Aceh.

Acehnese practice of waqaf is also evident in Penang. To this day, many plots of lands and houses in this island are waqaf properties. In fact, it was a man from Aceh who first discovered Penang even before Captain Francis Light did in 1786.

By the way, my great great grandfather was one Aceh trader who came to Penang by boat :)

May Allah bless the souls of the solehin of the past.

I leave you with this brilliant quote by one eminent Singaporean law icon, the late Ahmad Ibrahim (1916 - 1999): "The words 'piety' and 'charity' have a much wider meaning in Muslim law and religion than in any other system. They include every purpose which is recognized as good or pious under the Muslim religion and Muslim law; and the test of what is "good" or "pious" or "charitable" is the approval of the Almighty. Every good purpose (wajah al-khair) which God approves, or by which approach (khurbat) is attained to God, is a fitting purpose for a valid and lawful wakaf or dedication."
   

Monday, September 2, 2013

Bitter me or better me

Bismillah.

Ahh...it's sweet September! If it's your birthday month [it's mine] let's say: 'Don't grow old. Just grow you!' That I quote from another sweet girlfriend of mine.

How to 'grow you'? Let the past makes us better and not bitter. We all get sick every now and then. When we are down, we know the bitter pills of life just need to be swallowed before we can get better. 

As we traverse this rugged path, we are bound to meet people who are bitter towards us or we might even be the cause of someone's bitterness. It's inevitable because we are all unique and His decree for each one of us is undoubtedly unique as well. At the end of the day, we all know this life is a test, it's temporal, so why sulk too long? [Heh heh...now I can laugh.] Or why complicate matters? [Now she's talking, you might say.]

Yes, when we are at it, in the middle of a crisis, it's too dark and tangled, of course. But when the chest begins to expand again, and rationality sets in, we can even laugh about it. I am sure you have experienced that too. Detachment from people - sweet, bitter or bitter sweet people and circumstances of the same nature, can bring about real freedom and independence. 

By the way, happy belated Independence Day to all Malaysians! 

What book are you reading now? I am still reading Hamza Yusuf's 'Purification of the Heart' a book in which he translates and elaborates the poems and teachings of Imam al-Mawlud's Matharat al-Qulub. This is an excerpt from a chapter on hatred.  

"Hatred or strong dislike of a person for no legitimate reason is the disease of bughd. The Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam once said to his Companions, 'Do you want to see a man of paradise?' A man then passed by and the Prophet said, 'That man is of the people of Paradise.' One of Companion of the Prophet wanted to find out what it was about this man that earned him such a commendation from the Messenger of God, so he decided to spend some time with this man and observe him closely. He noticed that this man did not perform the night prayer vigil (tahajjud) or do anything extraordinary. He appeared to be an average man of Medina. The Companion finally told the man what the Prophet had said about him and asked if he did anything special. The man replied, 'The only thing I can think of, other than what everybody else does, is that I make sure that I never sleep with any rancor in my heart towards another.' That was his secret."

"The cure for hatred is straightforward. One should pray for the person toward whom he feels hatred, making specific supplications that mention this person by name, asking God to give this person good things in this life and the next. When one does this with sincerity, hearts mend. If one truly wants to purify his or her heart and root out disease, there must be total sincerity in carrying out the treatments and conviction that these cures are effective."

"Arguably, the disease of hatred is one of the most devastating forces in the world. But the force that is infinitely more powerful is love. Love is an attribute of God; hate is not. A name of God mentioned in the Quran is al-Wadud, the Loving One. Hate is the absence of love and only through love can hatred be removed from the heart."

So people, let's not sleep with any rancor in our heart. And if our "enemies" happen to read this, people who hate us for whatever reasons, hope they will send us some prayers instead :)

Peace! No hatred!

p/s To all who eagerly wait for my ramblings, thank you. I love it that you look out for me. I love you too :)
               
Credit: Shaykh Hamza Yusuf & Sandala