Summing up for the week

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I woke up on Sunday and the loss of airplane MH370 is already on the news. Impatience I was. I couldn't believe that they take too much time to tell what happen to the lost plane. Then I read about the Air France tragedy. The burning heart froze. It's still missing. I feel deeply moved by this incident. I join my fellow Malaysians and the rest of the world, praying that MH370 will be found soon. InsyaAllah.

Martin Luther is one of the propounder of movement against the authority of the Church during his time. The church had control over everything, including service for confession of sin, deed of salvation from damnation and many more. These products of Church is not free of charge. Against these, the Protestant sect emerged. The attack was not directed at the teaching of Christian. It is rather a manifestation of frustration against the religious authority. In other words, dissatisfaction against those who are claiming doing things on behalf of God.

I find similar things re-emerge. Muslim Malaysian seem to realize how important the religion is. Their crave of knowledge is overwhelming. This opening is not left unattended. Numbers of ustaz rise instantly. To have their presence is not cheap. More often than not, we could find products "consecrated" by the Ustaz. Islamic raisins, Islamic dates, Quranic water, miraculous healing black seed, to the extent of selling water which previously soaked the house of mites who ate the Holy book of Quran. Learning tajwid is no longer necessary since a reciting pen can teach us how to recite Quran, assisted with colourful mushaf which marks rule of tajwid in colour. Why study tajwid then?

Reversion of Muslims back to Islam is moving rapidly and many take advantage of it. The faster one could be more Islamic, the better. The rich does not mind to pay more, as long as they are looked more Islamic. So it seems.

I used to tell my students- "alim" means a knowledgeable person. No attire could transform someone from ignorance to an omniscience in a blink of an eye. The attire might be inspired by sunnah and may Allah reward them for their love of upholding sunnah, but styling them as "alim" is a misconception. Robing a person with qamis or jubbah does not make him memorizer of Quran or Hadith. History tells us there is no shortcut in success. 

Understanding Quran and hadith requires deep understanding of Arabic language. Reading translation is understanding Quran from the translator perspective. Another translator might have different view on translation of similar words. I recall my days at the university. There is a subject taught to us - Asbabul Ikhtilaf (reasons behind the differences). We studied this subject extensively for a year (apart from ordinary discussion in various fiqh subjects). Differences among Islamic jurist has strong roots in differences of interpretation.

I'm not trying to impress that religion is difficult to be understood. It's easy to follow but it's not an easy business to give a religious edict. Let those who know do the deduction of ruling for all of us. If we envy their authority, it is for us to strive and learn.

It is undeniable that tazkiyah nafs (purification of heart) is part of Islamic teaching. One must submit in total to Allah, in what ever good deeds he performs, or else it wont be looked upon by Allah. "Sufi" root verb is sofa - mean clean, pure. In doing so, remembrance of Allah is a must. If I may say, do so in solace. It is narrated that a companion used to recite supplication loudly in the Masjid. The prophet passed by and he reminded the companion, that his prayer is not directed to God who is deaf. Then, how about telling the world and advertising of what we do and what we feel towards Allah in the social networks? Do we pray to the God who needs publicity before the fellings and supplication reach him?

That's all thoughts for the week. Til then.


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