Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Post-RIS | Contemplating with a revived spirit


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah
for a beautiful morning post-RIS convention

The RIS Convention (RIS = Reviving the Islamic Spirit) held in Putrajaya, Malaysia from 4th to 5th March 2017 was indeed a memorable event.

As I was contemplating (not on sajadah but on a hammock. LOL) I thought about the answer Dr Umar Faruq gave to one question regarding sufism. He said, no matter how "sufi" you think you are or how "sufi" anyone regards himself, no one could exceed Sayyidina Abu Bakar as a sufi, as one who is blessed with a high degree of understanding of the tasawuf.

Tasawuf or sufism is very much a fabric of Islam on the ehsan level where you worship Allah as if you see Him and even if you can't see Him, He sees you anyway. The shaykh quoted the famous saying about a person becoming a zindiq (heretic) if he/she was to practise haqiqat without shariat. Tasawuf or ehsan builds on a strong foundation of shariat. There's no two way about it. Sayyidina Abu Bakar As-Siddiq was one who sees Allah when he sees birds flying in the sky, as in the verse of the Quran - "None holds them (birds) in the sky except Allah." No one could surpass the degree of love he had for Allah and His Messenger salallah alaihi wasalam

So I guess, what Dr Umar was trying to say is, just stop debating on the theories and philosophy of sufism/tasawuf. Just think about Sayyidina Abu Bakar as a benchmark Sufi. We are so far behind, we have lots to do as a Muslim, period.

Dr Umar said, the RIS organizer purposely designed the backdrop and event setting like a concert because they wanted to attract the younger audience. We can't just have a blackboard and talk and talk because the i-Phone generation is not going to listen. At least they would have a longer attention span and be mesmerized by the lightings etc. and listen to what the shuyukh tried to impress upon them. The shaykh hopes the RIS in Malaysia would be held on an annual basis and would attract more young people to attend.

Speaking of young crowds, one would-be medical student from Singapore asked Imam Zaid Shakir what more he could do as a young person who has abundant energy. This young man appeared to be a serious Muslim (Although outwardly you might think he is just one careless teen and he didn't even look like a typical Muslim. That's why we should not judge people from their dressing/looks.) This young man raised his concerns about people his age/the young ones who spend too much time on computer games. He felt he needed to do something more for the community and that the young generations should use their time and energy to contribute something meaningful to the society.

In his reply, Imam Zaid said he's glad he didn't spend a minute on computer games. Spending time on computer games is similar to wasting food/spending too much - only scoundrels would do. The hadith refers to anything that people waste including time. Imam Zaid encouraged the young man to invest his time researching on cheap medical supplies as it's a lifetime vocation and to travel to poor countries where people are in dire need of medical care. That he should be financially independent so he could help others. That he should disengage from social media unless it's related to his profession/studies. That he should read more Quran and memorize the Quran instead of wasting time on social media. That he may want to consider learning the Malay Pencak Silat (martial arts) so that he would become more confident. This would be good for dunya (cos people won't bother him. LOL) and also his akhirah because he would be considered as a confident Muslim who's beneficial to his community.

I am pretty sure this young man and many people went home with a revived spirit, post-RIS Convention.

Everyone, young and old,
needs an inspiring and motivating environment to excel
As we enjoy a relatively good life, let's not forget our sisters and brothers who are vulnerable, those who are mentally ill, who need a good support system and medical attention to prevent them from contemplating/attempting suicide. I gathered at the RIS convention, it is, sadly, becoming a common problem among the youth. May Allah protect us all from negativities and a bad outcome. May Allah grant us good health and prosperity. May we be prosperous in knowledge, useful knowledge that is and prosperous in amal (good deeds) and prosperous in material possessions so we could help others, so that that we will win all the way to Jannah and be praiseworthy in the eyes of Allah in both dunya and akhirah.

Ameen Ya Rabb.


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