Thursday, August 14, 2014

Because Family Matters

Family is a funny thing. The Hari Raya experiences so far throughout my entire life, this year taught me personally the most important thing I need to understand: family.

To understand what is family meant. And to understand why Mother Teresa ask me to go home and love my family. And to understand too, family is a funny, actually.

Encounter with someone who never came home for decades, suddenly making a U-turn and got realized they are still have a family behind, can’t it make something to ponder about?

My dear reader, again, family is a funny thing. Our parents, our siblings, they’re always there, you know?

They’re always there. Our stinky little brother. Our super stinky sister. Our super-duper stinky older brother. They’re always there, for us.

Deep inside of us. We don’t choose them, we get mad at them, and sometimes we feel like we don’t want them. But we always, always need them. Undeniably.

I know guys – yes, a very close one and other, mostly narrated by my dad – who haven’t talked to their parents in decades, some because they passed and some because they’re bigoted pieces of shit.

These guys are doing fine without Mom and Dad around. They have successful careers, great friends; some even have families of their own.

But no matter what they've accomplished in their lives, no matter how many people are around who love and cherish them, there’s still an empty hole that long-gone family left behind that nobody else will ever fill.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like they’re crying into their soup every night. Like I said, they’re happy with their lives, with who they are, really happy.

But no matter how old we get, no matter what we achieve, we always have that little kid we once were somewhere inside of us. And that kid, well, that kid can’t help but love his mother and father, and even that pesky sister or brother.

When it’s bad, family can wound you so deep, you’re sure healing from a combination herpes infection and skydiving accident would be easier.

But when it’s good, when you feel that love and know it’s always going to be there, no matter what, when you have a strong net underneath you every day, ready to catch you if you fall - well, then there’s nothing better than having family.

And that, my dear reader, is the thing about our parents and siblings, annoying though they might be – even if we don’t always like them, they’re ours and we can’t help but love them.

Because family matters. Family matters too much.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Salam Aidilfitri 1435H

Alhamdulillah, berkat dan rahmat-Nya sekali lagi menyampaikan kita ke hari yang penuh mulia ini, yang menjadi satu penyaksian kepada kejayaan kita melawan hawa nafsu, mendidik jiwa untuk tunduk kepada fitrah selama sebulan.

Sudah pasti untuk kita yang diberi rezeki untuk menyambut kedatangan Aidilfitri, dan menyambutnya bersama keluarga tercinta, tidak dapat menafikan bahawa inilah antara nikmat tuhan yang wajib disyukuri.

Kita bergembira menyambut Aidilfitri beriringan dengan kesedihan bersama bahawa Ramadan sudah tiada lagi, yakni hanya dengan rahmat ALLAH sahaja memungkinkan kita untuk sampai ke Ramadan yang akan datang.

Tentu sekali, untuk bercakap soal itu, tidak dapat tidak kita akan merasakan betapa kecilnya kita berbanding Tuhan yang Maha Kuasa.

Setiap kali menjelang Aidilfitri, saya gemar mengingatkan diri sendiri bahawa Aidilfitri ini hanya layak untuk mereka yang berusaha tika Ramadan. Mereka yang tidak putus mengejar erti sebenar Ramadan dan mereka yang mampu membawa semangat Ramadan selepas 1 Syawal.

Saya merendah diri akan hal ini, mengingatkan bahawa untuk bergembira sakan menyambut Syawal, sudah tentu diri ini masih belum layak. Untuk mendabik bahawa sudah memenangi ujian Ramadan, kedengarannya seolah-olah sangat menipu diri sendiri.

Cukuplah merasakan bahawa kegembiraan dan kesempatan untuk menyambut Aidilfitri ini adalah tidak lain tidak bukan hanya kerana rahmat ALLAH ke atas diri ini, bukanlah atas alasan merit Ramadan untuk mendapat hak bergembira pada hari ini.

Sambutlah Aidilfitri dengan sederhana, dengan selalu memperingatkan diri sendiri bahawa, Aidilfitri ini cuma untuk mereka yang berusaha. Moga kita tidak termasuk dalam golongan yang membazir dan melampau batas.

Moga rahmat dan keampunan ALLAH senantiasa bersama kita. Moga keberkatan Ramadan mengiringi hidup kita sepanjang bulan-bulan mendatang.

Salam Aidilfitri 1435H buat semua pembaca!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Cynical Promise

Yesterday, after the Subuh prayer, the imām gave a short talk about Nuzul Quran, an annual event in Islamic calendar marking the symbolic of completion of Revelations to Prophet Muhammad PBUH.

The talk was surprisingly good and successfully knocking my brain to process the input and to ponder the points elaborated by the imām. He touch majorly on how to get the most from Ramadan, to gain the maximum benefits from this blessing month.

However, I thought the most revealing point yesterday was when the imām reminded us about our du’a to ALLAH upon reaching month of Rajab and Sha'ban: Allahumma barik lana fi Rajab wa Sha'ban wa ballighna Ramadan means "... and let us reach the month of Ramadan", and to this moment, did we utilized every single second of Ramadan by doing good and making improvement to ourselves?

The imām says, ALLAH would looked at us cynically if we wouldn’t able to fulfill our promises before Ramadan by letting the month goes without significant positive improvement to ourselves. Its comprised everything to the extent of how quality the ibadah, and how intent our worship to Him.

Undeniably it was a good point to think about.

Another thing to share, yesterday I read Hamza Yusuf’s Walk on Water. This book was enlightening, refreshing and highly recommended to all of you read it too.

Actually Hamza Yusuf comprising some of the hadith about the wisdom of Jesus (Prophet Isa) in dealing with society and the world around him.

So here, I quoting some of interesting part of the book here, in which I thought very interesting to share with you.
Once someone asked Jesus, “How are you able to walk on water?”
Jesus replied, “With certainty.”
Then someone said, “But we also have certainty!”
Jesus then asked them, “Are stone, clay, and gold equal in your eyes?”
They replied, “Certainly not!”
Jesus responded, “They are in mine.”
(Narrated by Ahmad)
Its deep right?

Another great one is,
According to Ahmad, Jesus e was known to have said, “Virtuous action does not consist in doing good to someone who has done good to you—that is merely returning a favor. Virtuous action consists in doing good to those who have wronged you.”
(Narrated by Ahmad)

Ramadan taught us the same, as indicated symbolically by both hadiths, of the justice, equitability and humanity. We are hoping by the end of Ramadan, we would reborn and becoming a better person, equipped with well-lesson throughout the Ramadan and of course, the mercifulness of ALLAH.

Thank you ALLAH, for giving us the chance to see the light of your guidance.