Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spiritual Journey

Assalamualaikum all,

Today I will be leaving for the holy land Madinah and Makkah for umrah.
I sincerely would like to apologize to all my readers for any shortcomings in my writings.
I need your prayers and I shall be praying for all of you too, InshaAllah.

I hope to come back as a stronger person, a better muslim.
May Allah blessed us all.
Amiin..Ya Arhamar raahimiin.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thank You for Your Kindness

Yesterday, I was in a hospital for blood transfusion.
I had been suffering with severe anemia for a long time, and yesterday my doctor decided that I need to be given two pints of blood. The worst that can happen to an anemic is heart failure because the heart has to pump harder and faster to compensate for the decreased oxygen levels in the body.
O Positive
I never knew that and was kind of shock when the doctor told me.
All these while, besides looking pale most of the time and feeling lethargic on certain days of the month, my condition doesn't really have any undesirable effect on my daily activities.

Alhamdulillah...all praise be to Allah, I was able to function normally even with such a low hemoglobin level.

As I was being prepared for the procedure, my mind wondered. The blood that I would be receiving must have came from a donor. My blood type is usually called as universal donor, because anyone with any blood type can receive it. But I never had a chance to be a blood donor, I am not qualified.

The procedure took almost the whole day and I took the opportunity to read a book while waiting.Once in a while, I looked at the blood dropping slowly into the tube.
I was thinking how I would never had a chance to thank the person who donated this blood.
The donor never knew that his/her act of kindness had help me to become healthier. He/she might not even felt anything much while donating the blood.
But I am now forever indebted to him/her.

I was also thinking how much our life depend on others. Other people's help and kindness. I am so grateful that we still have kind people who are willing to give and never ask for any return, not even a word of thanks.

I was actually preparing for a long journey. I will be traveling again next week and this blood transfusion is part of my preparation for the journey. My doctor was worried that I would not be strong enough to perform the rituals required in my journey, so she prepared me for the procedure. And now I want to repay the kindness of the donor.
I pray to Allah that whoever had donated the blood would be rewarded by Him. May Allah guide him/her, protect him/her and blessed his/her life in this world and the hereafter.
I believe from every single drop of blood that was given to me, for every reward that I hope Allah would bestow on me for my worship, the same reward would also be granted to him/her.
And, when I reach my destination next week, InshaAllah, I shall pray again for him/her.
I would be praying in the two holiest masjid in the world.
I would be praying in His house.
I would be praying as His guest.

Labbaikallah humma labbaik...
Labbaika laasyariika laka labbaik..

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lest We Forget

March 11, 2011.
A massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake has hit the northeast coast of Japan triggering a 30-foot tsunami.

A powerful earthquake not only shakes the earth but it shakes our hearts.
Not only triggers an enormous tsunami, but triggers fear and apprehension even to the most powerful man.

How many times had these happened?
How many lives had been lost?
How many cities had been flatten?

We read the news, we read the stories about disasters not only in the internet, not only in newspapers, but also in history books.
We also read the story in the holy book, a book revealed more than 1400 years ago.
The book tells us about previous civilization, which possibly could be far greater than our current civilization, the people vanished from the surface of the earth, within minutes, within hours.

We are afraid of earthquake, we are terrified by tsunami.
But, we forget the Creator of earthquake, the Creator of tsunami.
The earthquake rocks our lives, the tsunami engulfs our worlds...left people in despair.
But, we forget The Creator of everything, Al Khaliq.

We are afraid of the earthquake and tsunami, why are we not afraid of HIM?
The earthquake is powerful, the tsunami is gigantic,
but He is Al Jabbar, The Compeller
He is Al Qahhar, The Subduer
And we also forget, He is Ar Rahman, Ar Rahim, The Beneficient, The Merciful.

Ya Allah
Ya Rahmaan Ya Rahiim
We beg for your forgiveness Ya Ghaffar
The earthquake is submitting to You,
The tsunami is under Your command,
This is a reminder from You
That You ARE the Greatest of all,
That You make all the plans
That You HAVE all the control..
This is a reminder from You
That ONLY to You we must submit
Only to You we must worship

Ya Allah
Turunkanlah rahmat dan kasih sayangMu
Kepada hamba-hambaMu yang lalai ini
Ampunilah dosa-dosa dan kesalahan kami
Ya Arhamar raahimiin.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Luv Islam

It was a busy weekend but we just couldn't miss it. We didn't know the speaker, but reading his background was enough to convince us that it is going to be an enlightening and inspiring talk.
Our heartfelt thanks goes to the team of iLuvislam who extended the invitation for us to attend the program.

The keynote address was given by the CEO of Kumpulan Karangkraf Sdn. Bhd, one of the leading publishing house in Malaysia. A humble man with cheerful exterior, Dato' Hussamuddin bin Hj Yaacub shared with us, an audience which consisted of mostly young generation, about his life journey. He singled out his parents as the one who played the fundamental role in designing his success.
"The reading habit that my parents inculcate in me was the basic foundation that makes me who I am today", he said. And he continued on describing his childhood and how reading became his main source of knowledge and creativity in solving problems.

Imran Koyube, the president of iLuvislam gave an impressive presentation after the keynote address.
Subhaanallah...May Allah give him the strength to continue in his endeavor in using the media of iLuvislam to infect the young generation with the love for Islam. Viral daawah was the term that this former medical student coined to describe the method that he used to spread the beauty of Islam through media. The message of Islam was spread through the cyberspace like a virus infecting our computer. His love for Islam is clearly demonstrated in his work through iLuvislam, and I was deeply moved when he said that the only driving force behind it is the promise of Jannah from Allah. MasyaAllah...

When the invited speaker, Sheikh Yawar Baig took the stage after Imran's presentation, he began with a prayer for Imran, a special prayer that pierced deep into my heart. The learned sheikh said,"I pray that you'll continue to be sincere in your effort and always remain connected to Allah, and may Allah protect you from the evil of wealth and fame". It made me realized that in our journey, not only that we have to aim for success but we must also seek protection from the danger of success.
Sheikh Yawar Baig gave a very inspiring talk. I've learned so much from him within a relatively short time. He stressed on the importance of education in producing excellent leaders. It is very unfortunate that nowadays education is reduced to gaining knowledge and acquiring paper qualification for a chosen career, to make a living. The main purpose of education is to build character, hence education is for life not merely for a living.
While Dato' Hussamuddin kept on stressing that success is by design, not accidental, Sheikh Yawar Baig continued in the same tone that successful leadership is the result of investing thoughts, time and resources consistently in pursuit of a vision that spans generation.
We cannot simply be nostalgic about the glory that the Muslim once had in the eyes of the world, but the time has come for us to create new history. We forgot that Islam came not to imitate others, but to set standard. A standard that would ensure success not only in this world but more importantly in the hereafter as stated in the Qur'an,
"Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day(hereafter) and remembers Allah much" (Al-Ahzab:21)
Our standard had been set to such a noble degree as portrayed by our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW.

Again, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Wan Mohd Firdaus Wan Yusof, the Head of Events and Training of iLuvislam who sent us the invitation email.
May Allah blessed all your effort and guide you always. It was definitely a very meaningful day for us.

Note: The above posting gave a very brief content of a leadership program organized by iLuvislam. I am aware that it doesn't do enough justice to the intent of the event, but I certainly hope that it has given you an impetus in the credence that learning never ends.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Man of Character

University of Granada, Spain.
The world is held up by four pillars: The Wisdom of the Learned, the Justice of the Great, the Prayers of the Righteous and the Valour of the Brave.
(Dunia ini dibangunkan di atas empat tiang utama: Kebijaksanaan para Ilmuan, Keadilan para Pemimpin, Doa para Solihin dan Keberanian para Pahlawan)
Those inspiring words are the inscription at the entrance of University of Granada in Spain, a university which foundation was laid by Muslim.

Wisdom, Justice, Faith and Bravery were the foundation of the Muslim society that ruled Spain for almost 800 years. Tariq ibn Ziyad came to Spain to liberate her from the cruelty of the Visighotic rule and consequently Spain bloomed into a beautiful golden era that eventually lead to the  Renaissance in Europe. The history of the world was profoundly influenced by the Muslim Spain whose society placed education at the highest priority in developing the nation.
When the last Muslim ruler was finally driven out of Granada (the last city to fall) in 1492, he looked back his shoulder and wept. His mother's bitter words are remembered until today: "It is well that you should weep like a woman for a city you would not defend as a man!" It was indeed painful to read this history.

Thomb of Sultan Muhammad Al-Fateh
At that time, in Turkey, the great ruler of the Ottoman empire, Sultan Muhammad Al-Fateh had passed away. Sultan Muhammad was a living example of a person with the four qualities in one person, a wise learned man, a just ruler, a righteous servant and a brave warrior. It was reported that during his reign the pious Sultan had tried to help Spain but it was not meant to be. Eleven years after he died, Muslim Spain fell to the Christians.

In contrast to the fall of Muslim Spain, the history of the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 was legendary. Sultan Muhammad definitely deserve the title of the great commander as described in the hadith. The commander who lead a great army  of 250,000 people.

Learning was a substantial part of Sultan Muhammad's upbringing. Besides his ability to memorize the Qur'an before the age of 8, he was also multilingual. Sheikh Aq Shams al-Din, one of the scholars who supervised his upbringing and education succeeded in inculcating the spirit of jihaad to the young Muhammad that he grew up to be very devoted to jihaad, highly ambitious, widely cultured, and had a deep knowledge of the skills of war and combat.
So deep was the influence that the teacher had on him that after the conquest of Constantinople, Sultan Muhammad said that it was not him who conquered the city, but his teacher, Sheikh Aq Shams al-din.

After almost 700 years ruling a vast empire that covered three continents, Asia, Africa and Europe, in 1922, the Ottoman caliphate was dissolved.

Reading the history of Muslim Spain and the Ottoman caliphate is both inspiring and heartbreaking. Both nations suffered the humiliation of falling from grace when they began to lead a materialistic way of life devoid of spiritual strength.
Any nation can grow and progress into glory for as long as the nation is blessed with great leadership and is founded by strong principle with education as the main priority in producing the human capital. Wisdom, justice, faith and bravery are the essential foundation of a great leadership. Besides, the leaders must be a firm believer in Allah and not be blinded by the glitter of power and wealth of this temporary world.

They are not just a man of power, but a man of character.

Note: This entry is written after the writer attended 'Seminar Baldatun Tayyibah', organized by Persatuan Ulama' Selangor, recently. The writer wish to apologize for any error or inaccurate details that may occur here. Please feel free to give any comments.