Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Reflecting on life's purpose | The things we do


Today, the 2nd of September 2014 is another sombre day for Malaysians as we receive the third batch of the remains of flight MH17 victims. The ill-fated plane was shot down on July 17. I flew Malaysia Airlines during my recent trip to Hong Kong, and my respect for the crew deepened.

I am having mixed feelings knowing the sad occasion and reflecting on life in a different way after having spent hours and hours walking on the streets of Hong Kong and having met two special ladies at Kowloon Mosque. Am thinking now: what's my life purpose? How many handbags do I need/want? How many pairs of shoes would satiate me? Is endless shopping a crucial aspect of life? I have spent so much, so what? What is it that gives real meaning to life? Having had an overdose of retail therapy in the last few days, do I need to visit KLCC this weekend? What is there for me?

Sorry people, am just thinking aloud and trying to rationalize things here.

Sister Bibi Jal whom I met at Kowloon mosque is 65. She came to Hong Kong some 20 years ago, alone. Imagine being widowed at 45, she decided to move to a foreign land. Imagine her life as a mosque care-taker/cleaner. Imagine living a simple life like that. She does not need a Longchamp handbag in her hand. I bought two Longchamps and a Furla and wish to buy a Gucci and LV in my next travel. What's the matter with me?

Sister Insiyah is in her 40s. She has been working as a maid with non-Muslim families in Hong Kong for the past 9 years. She decided to migrate to Hong Kong  when she was on the brink of divorce. She specializes as carer for the elderlies. Two of the old folks she attended to, had died in her presence. One of her side duties is to cook for the families she works for, and that includes pork. Therefore, she would keep taharah soap handy. The flats are small so she sleeps in the living room. She doesn't mind it, as long as her employer lets her pray at home, allows her to go to the mosque and wear hijab. She now looks forward to a second marriage and a better life in her country Indonesia.

Let's pray Allah will make it easy for her and fulfill her intentions. Ameen. I met Sister Insiyah on my first day in Hong Kong and twice again afterwards. On my last day in the vibrant city, we had dim sum for lunch at the Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Center canteen in Wan Chai. There's something special about her. It's her heart. She didn't seem to mind that I appeared rather "worldly" as every time we met I had so many shopping bags with me. She treated me like an old friend of hers. God bless her plenty!

With Sister Insiyah at Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Center, Wan Chai
Lunch time at the Islamic Center canteen - always full house
The canteen is the only place in Hong Kong
that serves halal Cantonese cuisine.
It's also popular among the non-Muslims.
The canteen has a sign on the wall that says:
"Reminder to Muslims to Attend Prayers When Azan is Called"
The late Captain Wan Amran Wan Hussin who piloted MH17 died in service. He "arrived" and was laid to rest today 2nd of September 2014 - his 50th birthday. Millions will remember him for the role he played. He had a real life purpose. And a news report says, he was a philanthropist, regular in contributing funds for orphans with HIV. What a great way to be remembered! MashaAllah.

I guess, it doesn't matter if Wan Amran had a liking for expensive hobbies or watches or was inclined to something. Most people do. What's important is that we must learn from all the good men and women out there who have a meaningful life purpose, people who live to serve others whilst being grateful for all the bounties that Allah has bestowed on them.

May Allah forgive us. May Allah make us useful for the ummahAmeen.

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