Friday, 11 November 2011

'Eiduladha Sermon 2011: The Sacrifices of Life

On this day, I was asked again by the Sri Lankan Muslim Association to lead the eid prayer and give a sermon. Given the examination period, the sermon was not as intense as the 'Eidulfitr sermon. Nevertheless, the main thing was to convey the lessons learnt from 'Eiduladha.

The sermon took place at a community hall in Oakleigh.


Praise is to Allah who hath guided us to this; and we would not have been guided if Allah had not guided us. We praise Him, we seek His help, and we ask for His forgiveness. Whomever Allah guides, no one can lead him astray, and whoever is led astray by the will of Allah, no one can bring him back.
We bear witness that there is but one Allah, and Muhammad S.A.W. as his messenger, and the last messenger appointed by Allah.

O servants of Allah! Fear Allah! Fear Allah the way He deserves to be feared. And do not die as Muslims in full state of submission to Allah.

My dear brothers and sisters,

Today we celebrate the day of ‘Eidul-adha, in conjunction with two important things in Islam;
1. The ritual of hajj, which makes one of the five pillars of Islam
2. The ritual of sacrifice, to enliven the symbol that was performed by the prophet Ibrahim a.s.

With the conjunction of hajj which has been made compulsory by Allah to those who can afford so; they answer the call of Allah to perform hajj.

“…and pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon men for the sake of Allah, (upon) everyone who is able to undertake the journey to it; and whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above any need of the worlds.”
[Aali-‘Imran, 3:97]

Ever since the month of Shawwal, people have been on pilgrims to gather at the holy city of Makkah to answer the call of Allah, they answer with hearts of faith, performing what has been appealed by prophet Ibrahim a.s.; performing the hajj, worshipping the one Lord, facing in the one direction, following the path of prophet Muhammad S.A.W., and becoming an ummah that has been united under Islam, as how Allah S.W.T. has commanded:

“The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy.”
[Al-Hujuraat, 49:10]

The prophet Muhammad S.A.W. is the last prophet appointed by Allah as the messenger to mankind, which comprises of different nations and descendants, of different backgrounds, rank, wealth, and knowledge. They have been called upon to unite in the name of Islam, as how Allah has advised in the Quran:

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).”
[Al-Hujuraat, 49:13]

From a distance everyone looks the same; they wear the same garments, each of them not revealing their racial background, be they Arabs, Africans, Europeans, or Asians. No one knows who is a president, who is a cleaner, who is a minister, who is a civil servant.

The ritual of hajj witnesses the mass gathering of Muslims from the far corners of the world, glorifying the oneness of Allah upon wearing their ihram clothings by chanting the talbiyah,

“Here I am at Thy service O Lord, here I am. Here I am at Thy service and Thou hast no partners. Thine alone is All Praise and All Bounty, and Thine alone is The Sovereignty. Thou hast no partners."

They gathered despite their differences in nationality and language, not being able to understand each other’s conversations, with different ways of life, with different cultures and situations; some being too rough, some being too soft, and some being mediocre.

And in those situations, they have been commanded to perform hajj with the spirit of brotherhood, which becomes a test for them.

“For Hajj are the months well known. If anyone undertakes that duty therein, Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj. And whatever good ye do, (be sure) Allah knoweth it. And take a provision (With you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct. So fear Me, o ye that are wise.”
[Al-Baqarah, 2:197]

My dear brothers and sisters,

Today we are reminded again of the life of Ibrahim a.s., the prophet chosen by Allah, who became an example and role model to all of mankind. Allah said,

“And who would be averse to the religion of Abraham except one who makes a fool of himself. And We had chosen him in this world, and indeed he, in the Hereafter, will be among the righteous. When his Lord said to him, "Submit", he said "I have submitted [in Islam] to the Lord of the worlds.” And Abraham instructed his sons [to do the same] and [so did] Jacob, [saying], "O my sons, indeed Allah has chosen for you this religion, so do not die except while you are Muslims."
[Al-Baqarah, 2:130 – 132]

Ibrahim’s state of Islam was shown with full submission to Allah, willingly prepared to face Namrud, king of Babylon, the strongest empire of his time. Ibrahim did not submit to Namrud and his government, nor did he submit to his father who supported Namrud to an extent where he was sentenced to death by fire, ousted from his homeland by Namrud and his father.

He was then ordered to send his family; his wife Hajar and son Ismail a.s. to a dry valley where there were no foliage, no living soul, no water, and no fire. Ibrahim fulfilled the obligation with total obedience.

When he left his wife and son, he was asked by his wife,

“Did Allah command you to do this?”


“Then Allah will not abandon us.”

Hajar too submitted to Allah, willingly left alone with her son in the valley without anyone to accompany them. Yet under such circumstances, she managed to hold steadfast while tending to the young Ismail. And when the situation reached its climax, Allah bestowed upon them the well of Zam Zam.

This goes to show that it is Allah who bestows upon us all that we have; wealth, health, scholarships, ease of life; not kings, nor governments, nor people with high ranks. They are but trust holders to all that belongs to Allah. It also shows that Allah’s bounty exists even in unthinkable places.

When Ismail reached an age where he could walk, and where he could help his father with his works, Ibrahim was tested with a command from Allah that he sacrifice his son.

“And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, "O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think." He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast."”
[As-Soffaat, 37:102]

Ismail who was still young believed in his father’s prophecy, believed in Allah’ commands. And because it was Allah’s command, it must be fulfilled. We belong to Allah. It is He who has created us, who has given us the blessing of life, who has given us all the faculties that we have. All of it belongs to Allah.

Ibrahim knows that he belongs to Allah, and whatever Allah asks, he must fulfil, even though it meant sacrificing his beloved son.

When the command was about to be fulfilled, Allah commanded Jibril to nullify the command, stating that it was merely a test of faith. That is the meaning of Islam, the meaning of submitting to Allah; willing to sacrifice even the priceless of possessions for His cause.

Let us evaluate ourselves. Are we really Muslims who wholeheartedly submit to Allah; believing and accepting all the laws that relate to his Oneness even though we have never seen Him, the laws that relate to His angels, rewards and sins, and the hereafter even though we have never seen them?

The laws that relate to ourselves; Allah’s command that we cover ourselves, that we take only what is Halal and leave all those that are prohibited, that we marry and not commit adultery, and all the laws that define what is good and what is evil?

A true Muslim submits himself to all of His commands. Whatever He commands is beneficial for us, and whatever he prohibits is nothing but disadvantages for us in this life and the hereafter.

A true Muslim never doubts ever for a minute all the laws that Allah has prescribed even but a single letter.

Sadly though, there are many Muslims today who object to these laws, insisting that the teachings of Islam are not conducive in this time and age, insisting that the laws are discriminatory when they know and admit that all the laws found in the Quran and sunnah are authentic. For these people, Allah has questioned them in the Quran,

'Say, "Would you acquaint Allah with your religion while Allah knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth, and Allah is Knowing of all things?"'
[Al-Hujuraat, 49:16]

In this verse, Allah is asking them, “Are you trying to teach Me about how life should be led when you know very well that I know best of all the things I have created?”

We are all the creation of Allah, thus only He knows what is best for us.

My dear brothers and sisters,

Never even for once in your life think that just because we were born as Muslims, having inherited the religion of Islam from our ancestors that we have already a first-class ticket to enter Paradise. Just because we are readily Muslims does not give us the authority to live life as if there were no rules.

Even though we have been chosen by Allah to be in the right path, there are chances that somewhere along the way we will be led astray. An opportunity given to a student to enter university does not guarantee his leaving with a certificate. There are chances that he may drop out.

“Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said, "When is the help of Allah?" Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.”
[Al-Baqarah, 2:214]

This life is filled with challenges. Whatever we wish to achieve, we must work for it. There are times when Allah grants us of what we seek, and there are times when Allah does not grant it to us, or postpones it to a later time. That is why we must always be in full state of submission to Allah, for He knows what is best for us, and what is not.

This day of Adha reminds us that we must struggle to achieve our goals in life, that life is full of obstacles, and that we must face it while not losing faith in Allah. Sacrifices will have to be made along the way. Remember what Allah has reminded us,

“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves…”
[Ar-Ra'd, 13:11]

Ibrahim faced the threats of being burnt alive and ousted from his homeland. Hajar willingly resided in the valley with his son. Ismail willingly let himself be sacrificed. All the trouble they went through, just to fulfil Allah’s commands and to gain His pleasure. Despite the harshness and complications they had to endure, they went through it, believing that Allah will never abandon them. They were the chosen ones, and the beloved of Allah. We ourselves are but ordinary people, thus we have to remind ourselves that we have no provision of being trouble-free.

Only Allah and He alone has the power of determining our fate, our wealth, and our tranquillity. No man, no king, no president, and no government have such power over us. Bear that in mind. Work for it, and submit to Allah that He may grant you of what you desire.

“Let them worship the Lord of this House, who provides them with food against hunger, and with security against fear (of danger).”
[Quraysh, 106:3-4]


My dear brothers and sisters,

If a person loves someone he will do everything in his power to please the latter and hopefully achieve something in return. But if he hates the latter, he will do all that he can to fuel that sense of hatred.

If we love Allah, then we should submit wholeheartedly to him, and do everything in our capacity to gain His pleasure, and to abide by all his commands.

“Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."
[Aali-‘Imran, 3:31]

Let us on this day feel the greatness of the reward of Islam and Iman bestowed upon us by Allah. In fact, we should feel very proud of it. Only death while in faith and Islam will be acknowledged by Allah.

“O you who believe! Fear Allah the way he deserves to be feared. And do not die except as Muslims in full state of submission to Allah.”
[Aali-‘Imran, 3:102]

Remember that on this day Muslims from all walks of life have gathered in the holy city of Makkah. Let this be living proof that despite coming from different backgrounds, we are but brothers; we submit to one Allah jalla jalaluh, we acknowledge that the prophet Muhammad S.A.W. is His messenger and our role model, we make the Quran and sunnah as our guide in life, and we prostrate the same direction.

Once we are Muslims, there is nothing that segregates us in any way, with the exception of our level of taqwa.

We ask Allah to keep us in the right path and avoid us from being led astray.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Favouritisme & Zalim Pintu Belakang

"Have you ever considered applying for work at Petronas? You said here your father works at Petronas. Surely he can get you straight to HR Department..."

"I did consider trying to apply to Petronas. But then, the fact that my father is inside Petronas made me justify otherwise. If I was able to secure something just because I know someone inside, because I have some kind of godfather (read = lobbyist) in the organisation, then there's no challenge to that. I will not be assessed based on my capacities..."

Pagi tadi saya pergi interview kerja di Swanston Street. Alhamdulillah, Allah memberi ruang. Ini interview pertama permohonan kerja dalam bidang kejuruteraan. Soal jawab di atas tu merupakan sebahagian daripada temubual pagi tadi. Sebenarnya, soalan ini tak dijangka, tapi Alhamdulillah jawab juga.

Saya nak ajak merenung dengan lebih mendalam soal jawab di atas tu. Secara umum memang ada ethical reasons kenapa saya tak suka masuk ikut pintu belakang. Tapi ada sebab lain juga...KEBARANGKALIAN BERLAKU ZALIM.

Macam mana tu?

Setiap organisasi menetapkan piawai - piawai tertentu yang perlu ada pada pemohon - pemohon yang ingin menyertai mereka. Tiba - tiba orang yang diberi tawaran langsung tidak ada piawai - piawai yang diperlukan, tetapi kerana ada 'orang dalam', sekaligus membelakangkan orang yang sudah sedia ada menepati ciri - ciri yang diperlukan?

Tidakkah itu zalim namanya, apabila orang yang lebih berhak diketepikan dan diberi ruang kepada orang yang tak sepatutnya kerana ada pengaruh dalaman semata - mata?

Zalim = Tidak memberikan sesuatu itu haknya yang sebenar.

Situasi - situasi seperti ini banyak berlaku dalam masyarakat hari ini apabila favouritism mengatasi meritokrasi.

Bayangkanlah, jika sesebuah institusi menyenarai pendekkan 100 orang daripada beribu - ribu pemohon untuk diserap, tiba - tiba kita minta kenalan di institusi itu untuk memasukkan nama kita dalam senarai 100 orang itu. Secara logiknya, untuk memasukkan nama, kenalah buang salah seorang daripada senarai itu.

Tak pernahkah kita terfikir bahawa kita tetap kena tanggung kerugian yang dialami oleh hamba Allah tu selama mana kita masih hidup?

Tak pernahkah kita terfikir dalam kita memperoleh sesuatu dengan cara yang tidak sepatutnya bahawa Allah akan menguji kita? Bahawa kita terdedah kepada fitnah dan aib sebagai hukuman atas perbuatan kita?

Fikir - fikirkan lah...

"Dan jagalah diri kamu daripada (berlakunya) dosa (yang membawa bala bencana) yang bukan sahaja akan menimpa orang-orang yang zalim di antara kamu secara khusus (tetapi akan menimpa kamu secara umum). Dan ketahuilah bahawa Allah Maha berat azab seksaNya."
[Al-Anfaal, 8:25]

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Mimpi Di Kala Malam

Semenjak beberapa minggu ni aku sering bermimpi perkara yang sama. Mula - mula mimpi tengah dukung dua budak kembar yang dah nak tidur. Kemudian mimpi tengah kejar seorang budak sambil dukung seorang lagi budak. Dan begitulah corak mimpinya.

Budak - budak yang aku dok dukung itu tidak lain tidak bukan Idris, Hasan, dan Husin bin Haznizul; anak - anak Maulana (Ustaz) Zul dan Kak Filah.

Akhir Ramadhan baru - baru ini mereka sekeluarga pulang ke Malaysia setelah Kak Filah tamat pengajian PhD.

Bukan satu perkara yang menghairankan bagi aku dok mimpi pasal tiga orang budak tu. Walaupun Hasan dan Husin aku tak lama sangat dok bermain - main dengan mereka, tetapi Idris aku dah dok jaga, kejar sepanjang 2 tahun aku berada kat Melbourne. Satu - satunya budak kecik kat Melbourne yang aku tak teragak - agak nak sambar kalau nampak dari jauh. Anak orang lain aku segan sikit.

Anyhow, I've had a good time tending to Idris for the past two years and the twins during the last weeks of their stay in Melbourne

Sunday, 11 September 2011

A Sermon (Khutbah) in Melbourne

On the 31st of August 2011, I was asked to give a sermon in Clarinda, a suburban district south-east of Melbourne. The members of audience were mostly Sri Lankan Muslims. The Eid mass was under the coordination of the ASLAMA (Association of Sri Lankan Muslims in Australia).

The contents for the sermon were considered based on the situation of Muslims in Australia:

1. Where there is a need for Muslims to acknowledge other fellow Muslims regardless of ethnicity.

2. Whereby it is essential for Muslims in Australia to spread and preserve the message and good impression of Islam.

3. Whereby Muslims must be reminded of the history which led to the deterioration of Islamic knowledge physically and mentally.

The actual sermon differs from the text as dependence on this text was not permanent, and figure of speech and spontaneous examples have innovated the main structure of the sermon.


Praise is to Allah who hath guided us to this; and we would not have been guided if Allah had not guided us. We praise Him, we seek His help, and we ask for His forgiveness. Whomever Allah guides, no one can lead him astray, and whoever is led astray by the will of Allah, no one can bring him back.

We bear witness that there is but one Allah, and Muhammad S.A.W. as his messenger, and the last messenger appointed by Allah.

O servants of Allah! Fear Allah! Fear Allah the way he deserves to be feared. And do not die as Muslims in full state of submission to Allah.

My Brothers and sisters,
We give thanks to Allah for having given us the opportunity to accomplish the month of Ramadhan and all of its fulfilment, so that we may fulfil what has been prescribed by Allah;

"…so that you are able to complete the period (of fasting) and to glorify Allah for that which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful."
(Al-Baqarah: 185)

To be grateful, because of Allah’s reward in His guidance of making us as Muslims. Thus it has become our responsibility to fill our Islamism with perfect faith and good deeds.

My brothers and sisters,
We have just completed a big act of worship in Islam; that is to fast throughout the holy month of Ramadhan. We have been invited to be the guest of Allah during Ramadhan, to be served with the act of fasting, in which the reward of performing so is at least ten times that of a common good deed.

Allah has prescribed upon us,

“O you who have believed, fasting has been prescribed upon you as how it was prescribed upon those before you, so that you may become righteous.”
(Al-Baqarah: 183)

The reason is so that we become righteous to Allah; who fulfil His commands, and leave all that He has prohibited while we live on this earth, in our relationship with Him, in our relationship amongst ourselves, in our relationship with our wealth, and in our relationship with all living creatures that are around us. All these relationship must comply with all that Allah has commanded and prohibited.

This means that only with the characteristic of righteousness…or taqwa, that we are able to fulfill these relationships.

My brothers and sisters,
On this great day, I wish to share with you a verse from the Holy Quran, from the book of Al-Ma’idah, verse number 8 which goes,

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of other (nations) make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to taqwa, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.”
(Al-Ma’idah: 8)

First of all; Allah is reminding us so that we become a servant of Allah to establish truth all the time. It is a commandment from Allah that we establish truth irrespective of wherever we are.

As far as the duty is concerned, we must establish truth all the time wherever we are, at whatever era we are in.

Secondly, all of us are witnesses of what we do; witnesses of what other people do. So of that respect, Allah commands us to be a just witness.

Thirdly, Allah commands us not to allow our feeling of hatred towards another race, another nation, another creed make us become unjust. And Allah commands us to be just (I’diluu), for that is very close with taqwa. And in that respect, we must fear Allah, for He is well acquainted, well informed, no matter how large, how small, how public, or how discreet of the things that we do in this life.

Many of us who are here today originated from a land of mixed races. Even here in Australia we live amongst people of multiple races. To some, this is not something new as it has already been experienced in their native countries. To others, it is of a new experience if they were from a country of single nation, or grew up knowing little about those who exist outside of their respected tribes.

Brothers and sisters,
Most Muslim nations throughout the world would have once been living under colonial rule for many, many years. Most nations with majority Muslim population in one part of history have been colonialized, to an extent that they have forgotten the regimes which were set up by these colonial powers had been regimes that were subservient to their masters.

The governments that have been established and legitimised by the colonial powers were those that were of total obedience towards their masters. Henceforth our predecessors have been living under those conditions for many years. It could be 20 years, 50 years, or 100 years; depending on how long these territories were colonialized.

The trouble with many of these Muslim nations now is that we are suffering from a syndrome of trying to defend our race and blithering other races. As a result of that, nation states were created; splitting us apart, disintegrating us from what we used to be; a united force, a unified force at one point.

And today, we remain disintegrated. Because; I am a Malaysian, I am a Sri Lankan, I’m an Indonesian, I’m a Lebanese, I’m a Pakistani, I’m a Turk, I’m an Indian, I’m an Australian. These are the lifestyles that we have been caught into.

Many of us do not realise that when we hate other nations on the fact that we are predominant, that is a cause of zalim. The exact opposite of justice is injustice or zalim. Allah reminds us in this verse that if we are just, then we are close to taqwa. But if you are unjust, definitely you will suffer the opposite.

This verse tells us that one of the major causes of injustice is the hatred towards another nation, another race, another tribe, or another creed. The reason why Allah declared war on the Jews…the children of Israel was because of their arrogance in claiming that they were the chosen ones, the noblest of all tribes. No other tribes supersede them. Their hatred towards others can be seen today; how they try to obliterate our brothers in Palestine, how they try to destroy the minds of Muslims worldwide with countless hedonism.

Their act is positively against the verse I mentioned. Their hatred towards those other than their own kind has caused them to become vicious and unjust. And they will never rest until they are submitted to.

“Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with you until you follow their form of religion.”
(Al-Baqarah: 120)

Yes, they are happy that we are living their way of life; eating, sleeping, and dressing as how they do. But as long as we remain as Muslims, their struggle will not stop.

Brothers and sisters,
Have we learnt anything from the worship of fasting throughout Ramadhan? During Ramadhan, we have observed hunger and thirst. And by observing these, we are reminded of the people in other parts of the world who are also fasting; not because of the obligation during the month of Ramadhan, but because that is how they live.

They do not have enough to eat, they live in poverty. And we can see that a majority portion of these people are but our brothers in faith. There’s not much that we can do to assist them. Why? Because we are not united as Muslims. After years of colonisation, we still uphold the ideology of nationalism. And with this ideology, we tend to be ignorant of other people who are not of our kith and kin.

We are defenceless in protecting ourselves, our brothers, and this religion. We lack the knowledge of defending the teachings of Islam, to an extent that we submit to the ideology of other people who are clueless of the teachings of Islam.

We have observed from history; when a Muslim territory faced invasion by a common enemy, Muslims would travel across the land to join their brothers in fighting off the enemy. They would put aside their geographical factors in favour of defending a Muslim territory.

In today’s world; when Afghanistan was attacked, when Iraq was attacked, when Palestine was constantly bombarded by the enemies of Allah, the government of neighbouring Muslim countries would act as if nothing happened. Even if there were people who went to help defend these countries, upon return to their respected countries they would be charged for treason or supportive of terrorism. The act of total unjust and hatred was bred by a single cause of hatred towards others.

Brothers and sisters,
We are among the people chosen by Allah to travel to this country, be it for the purpose of education, or to permanently reside here. For some of us, we have more breathing space to practice Islam as a whole compared to our native country.

Take this opportunity to increase your knowledge of Islam and at the same time your righteousness…or taqwa to Allah, because as I have mentioned earlier only with taqwa that we are able to accomplish our relationship with all that is around us. And only with taqwa we can be united as Muslims.

But always be aware that while we are in a free country, there is no limit to anything. And because of this we are liable to be led astray from the right path.

And while we are at it, we are being placed amongst people of different backgrounds. Learn from each other, and spread the true knowledge of Islam as wide as possible, according to your respected strengths.

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).”
(Al-Hujuraat: 13)

The verse I mentioned tells us that this life is a life of ta’aarafuu or acquaintance. Everything we do in life begins with acquaintance. To understand Islam, we must first be acquainted with Allah. Awwaluddin ma’rifatullah.

To be united as Muslims, we must be acquainted with fellow Muslims. When we get to know our brothers we generate brotherhood. A combination of brotherhood and taqwa will eventually lead to unity for the sake of Allah. There is a Malay proverb which goes,

“Tak kenal maka tak cinta.”

If you do not know, then you will not love.

With that I conclude the first sermon.


Brothers and sisters,
A former Malaysian Member of Parliament, the late Fadzil Noor once said,

“You must be in a congregation, and do not let a day pass without thinking about Islam.”

His reference of congregation…or jama’ah does not mean this particular congregation where we gather under one roof to pray. His reference of congregation refers to Muslims who team up together for the sake of Allah to uphold this religion…teamwork if you like.

And when he said “thinking about Islam”, it means to think about contributing to Islam. Anything we do in life, we cannot accomplish it alone. We need the help of others. That’s where the concept of ta’arafuu comes in. Different people have different knowledge. And the knowledge we require may lie with them, and the knowledge they require may lie within us.

The prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said,

“You must be in a congregation for indeed being in a congregation is a grace, and disunity is a torture.”

We as Muslims have a responsibility to uphold this religion. Give contribution to Islam in any way that suits you most. If you have the knowledge of Islam, how fundamental it may be, then spread it to others. To spread Islam does not necessarily mean you need to have a background in Islamic Studies. Your knowledge and practice of what you know about Islam without doubt is sufficient.

I myself am not of Islamic Studies background. At this moment in time, I am an Electrical Engineering student. I spend my time studying the science of electricity. With the little knowledge of Islam that I bear within me, I share it with you today. And what I have shared with you, you must share with others. The prophet said,

“Pass on from me even though it is but a sentence.”

For many years, a vast majority of Muslims faced obstacles in the effort to gain Islamic knowledge, especially those who reside in countries governed by Muslims. Even if there were provisions for Islamic studies, it would be such that a Muslim only understands Islam as being the salaat, the zakat, fasting, and pilgrimage.

This trend dates all the way back to the days of colonisation. The colonies; the Spanish, Portugese, Dutch, and British alike were at war with the Muslim world even before colonisation. So it is not something surprising that when they invaded our countries, they condemned Islamic movements, and appointed people who were subservient to them to limit Islamic practice up to only the basic worships which are salaat and fasting.

The concept of da’wah at that time was only to tell people to do good deeds. But nothing on forbidding all that is evil.

Because they knew; they have learnt from the crusade against Jerusalem that Muslims cannot be brought down by force. Muslims are united in mind and strength. So they instead decided to bring down the Muslims through manipulation of the mind.

Now we are witnessing the chain reaction of that manipulation. Our lack of understanding about Islam as a whole has caused us to be disunited among ourselves. We lack the knowledge of Islam to an extent where we are subjected to abuse by the orientalists without having the strength to retaliate.

Because of that, we do not understand why we exist as different individuals. We do not understand our role on this earth.

That is why, I appeal to all of you, to enrich your Islamic knowledge, and to live by the Quran and the Sunnah. The prophet said:

“I leave behind me two things that if you abide by them, you will never go astray; the Quran and my Sunnah.”

It is never too late to gain knowledge. The prophet said,

“Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.”

This world contains unlimited amount of knowledge. The knowledge we possess is but a single drop of water on the tip of our fingers, compared to Allah’s knowledge which is as wide as the waters on this earth. All the knowledge on this earth; politics, science, medicine, mathematics, and engineering is related to Islam. There is no segregation or secularism between worldly matters and knowledge, and that of Islam.

May the knowledge that you possess lead you towards taqwa, and may our taqwa unite us into becoming a single Muslim congregation worldwide.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Pencarian Yang Tak Tercari

“Man, this subject sucks. I don’t know what the purpose of this subject has got to do with Engineering.”

“Buat apa enta pergi sana? Bukannya ada apa – apa pun. Boring tempat tu…”

Kedua – dua ayat di atas merupakan potongan daripada perbualan – perbualan saya dalam tempoh sebulan dua yang lalu.

Ayat yang pertama merupakan perbincangan saya dengan seorang rakan sekursus universiti. Kami sedang berbincang mengenai subjek Professional Practice 4A yang diwajibkan untuk pelajar tahun akhir kursus Kejuruteraan Elektrik. Subjek ini tidak fokus kepada ilmu – ilmu teknikal kejuruteraan, malah lebih kepada case study dunia kejuruteraan; politik kejuruteraan, etika kejuruteraan dsb.

Ayat kedua merupakan perbualan saya dengan seorang sahabat sewaktu itu saya pergi berjaulah ke Echuca; sebuah perbandaran yang terletak di sempadan utara negeri Victoria, 3 jam perjalanan dari Melbourne. Echuca terkenal dengan sejarah penambang kapal kargo stim (Port of Echuca).

Terus terang saya cakap, saya tak bersetuju sedikitpun dengan kedua – dua ayat di atas.

Merujuk kepada ayat pertama; walaupun latar belakang disiplin saya adalah kejuruteraan, namun hakikatnya jurutera berurusan dengan orang – orang yang tidak ada latar belakang kejuruteraan. Maka, perlulah bagi jurutera untuk mewujudkan satu platform bagi berunding dengan pihak ini, dan perundingan perlunya kepada ilmu.

Mahir di dalam Newton-Raphson Law sekalipun, pakar dalam co-generation, tri-generation, Control Theory, Engineering Protocols, tapi kalau tak reti nak berkomunikasi dengan orang bidang lain, parah jugak.

Sewaktu saya berpraktikal di Ipoh awal tahun ini, saya dapati bahawa yang benar – benar diperlukan di dalam kerja seharian adalah kemahiran berkomunikasi, kerjasama, dan kepimpinan. Ilmu kejuruteraan sahaja tidak cukup untuk untuk memenuhi kriteria ini. Pengalaman luar diperlukan.

Sepuluh tahun saya menjadi pemimpin di dalam pelbagai pertubuhan yang berbeza latar belakang, memimpin pada marhalah – marhalah yang berbeza. Setiap pertubuhan mempunyai jenis – jenis ahli yang berbeza. Memimpin setiap pertubuhan memerlukan ilmu yang lebih kurang sama, tetapi teknik dan pendekatan yang berbeza. Memimpin Lembaga Pustakawan dan Sekretariat Persatuan Mahasiswa Hadhari merupakan dua pengalaman yang berbeza.

Kalau dua pertubuhan pelajar sahaja sudah berbeza ilmu kepimpinannya, apatah lagi apabila berada di dalam alam industri kelak. Sebab itu saya merasa perlunya pelajar Kejuruteraan untuk mengetahui dan memahami kerenah dunia. Perlu kepada pemahaman sosiologi. Kalau seorang jurutera membuat kereta, maka kereta itu bukannya untuk kegunaan jurutera sahaja. Orang politik, cikgu, usahawan, beliawan, tok wan semuanya pakai kereta.

Merujuk kepada ayat kedua; Port of Echuca sepertimana yang saya jelaskan tadi terkenal dengan kapal stim. Di mana ada kapal stim, di situ ada machineries. Dan selaku seorang pelajar kejuruteraan, sememangnya benda – benda itu menjadi obsession saya.

Ramai yang mengenali saya sedia maklum yang saya ini memang ‘kaki rewang’. Asal ada masa terluang, asal ada wang, saya akan menghilangkan diri. Etimologi ‘merewang’ saya bermakna pergi melihat ciptaan Allah dan peradaban manusia. Etimologi ini boleh diguna pakai di mana – mana sahaja; di bandaraya, di perkampungan, di perhutanan, di mana sahaja ada sejarah peradaban manusia. Andai kata membeli – belah menjadi etimologi ‘merewang’, maka hanya terhad kepada bandaraya – bandaraya dan kawasan – kawasan uptown.

Andai etimologi saya dan etimologi orang lain tak sama, maka tak mungkin mereka memahami objektif saya. Mereka akan kata saya gila, namun saya takkan mengatakan mereka gila, kerana skop etimologi saya merangkumi skop mereka, sedang skop mereka tidak merangkumi skop saya (faham ke tak ni?).

Kalau nak cari ikan, cari di sungai atau laut, bukan di dalam reban ayam. Kalau mencari sesuatu, biar kena sumbernya, biar ada matlamat, dan fahamilah skop ilmu yang diperlukan. Setiap perkara wujud dengan objektifnya yang tersendiri. Kalau selamanya kita menafikan kewujudannya, sampai bila – bila kita tidak akan memahami apa – apa.

Kebanyakan dari kita mempunyai matlamat yang sama, tetapi kepakaran yang berbeza. Sepertimana lebuhraya dan landasan keretapi; sama destinasi. Ada masanya mereka berada sebelah – menyebelah, dan ada masanya mereka perlu mengharungi laluan masing – masing.

“Maka barangsiapa yang berhijrah kepada Allah dan RasulNya, maka hijrahnya itu adalah kepada Allah dan RasulNya. Dan barangsiapa yang berhijrah kerana dunia yang ingin ia memperolehinya atau kerana seorang perempuan yang ingin ia menikahinya, maka hijrahnya itu adalah atas apa yang ia berhijrah kerananya.”
[Hadith 40]

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Of Migration & Freedom

Mother once mentioned to me that music from eastern America are more smooth and easy-going, whilst those from western America are more lively. From that on, I took interest in the expansion of civilisation.

The early settlements of America were on the east coast. Later, people migrated further westwards seeking new life, and we can tell from cowboy movies that the people in the west were more lively and free, if you like.

In the modern day, migrations are more inclined towards Australia. Professionals, refugees, and asylum seekers would head for Australia or other developed countries in search of better jobs, liberation, and quality of life.

They would leave their countries that were in turmoil, dictated, or economically devastated, not to mention the legislation and constitution.

Among those who migrate are the Muslims. Many who migrate seek better space to practice their faith, whilst some too try to be free of it.

No matter where we are, we can never be seperated from the teachings of Islam. Even though some countries regard religion as a mere hobby, does not mean that we too can treat Islam as a hobby. Islam is not just a religion, it's the way of life.

Being in a non-Muslim country, our responsibility is to uphold its teaching and showing to others what Islam is all about. But because appealing Muslims disregard their religion, and took to the life of no limits, Islam is thus considered by others as nothing but a plain ideology.

A few days ago, I was watching the news. News on crimes, hoodlums, and vandalism are common. But what shocked me is that the name of the perperators were not Nigel, Bruce, or Harry. No sir, the names were Mohamed Yasin, Abou Nasser. These are names of Muslims. Muslims committing crime in a non-Muslim country.

No wonder Muslims, immigrants are being hated all around, even though they know very little about Islam, and many do not consider readin about Islam before making personal theories. Just because you live in a free country, doesn't mean that you can be stupid and act freely.

Remember this; you are a Muslim. You live by the Book and Sunnah which describes everything that you do in life. No matter where you go, they must never be segregated. You are in a deprived land, you live by it. If you are in a free country, you still live by it.

There's no use nor benefit trying to copy their ways of life, dressing, for Allah has already reminded us,

And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah's guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.
[Al-Baqarah, 2:120]

Stick to your religion no matter where you are, and live by it. If you stick to the teachings of your religion, you will unite with your fellow Muslims, and with united Muslims, this religion shall be ridiculed no more. People will respect Islam and its worshippers.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Profesionalisme vs Personalisme: Di Antara Penilaian Matang & Penilaian Bernafsu

Di dalam hal berbicara, ada macam - macam ragamnya. Ada yang berbicara dengan matang, profesional, berhikmah (tegas...bukan jadi pondan). Dan ada juga yang berbicara dengan penuh ego, menurut nafsu, dan menurut perasaan.

Kita sedia maklum, orang yang berbicara secara profesional sudah tentu tenang, jelas di dalam berkata - kata, serta menggunakan hujah - hujah yang relevan.

Dan kita sedia maklum, orang yang berbicara menurut perasaan sudah tentu kelam kabut, penuh emosi kata - katanya, serta menggunakan hujah - hujah yang tak masuk akal. bahkan jika penuh dengan ego, boleh jadi dia akan mencabar untuk berdebat, dengan memperjelaskan bahawa dia mempunyai tauliah yang diiktiraf.

Ini adalah ringkasan sifat - sifat seorang penyampai. Namun kita sebagai pendengar, bagaimanakah pula penilaian kita terhadap si penyampai?

Kalau ikut hukum alam, sudah tentu kalau si penyampai tenang, jelas, dan berhujah, dia profesional. Dan kalau si penyampai kelam kabut, menurut perasaan, beremosi, maka dia personal.

Namun, berlaku juga kes di mana kepala si pendengar ni dah masuk air, hatta penilaiannya terhadap si penyampai menjadi putar belit. Yang berhujah macam Barack Obama dia kata tak pandai berucap, bersifat personal. Yang kencing dalam seluar sewaktu di hadapan orang ramai dia kata profesional.

Macam mana tu? Apabila nafsu dan kepentingan politik melanda dirinya...

Kita tidak boleh nafikan bahawa di kalangan masyarakat kita, ada segelintir yang songsang penilaiannya.

Ini biasanya berlaku jika si pendengar mengenali si penyampai tersebut. Berhujah secara profesional macam mana sekalipun, namun jika si pendengar ego, mempunyai perasaan hasad dengki, benci terhadap si penyampai, maka sampai ke mati dia akan mengatakan bahawa si penyampa itu bersifat personal, populis, membawa agenda peribadi.

Namun, jika si pendengar 'kamcing' dengan si penyampai; biarlah pucat wajah, terkencing dalam seluar, menggunakan hujah - hujah tak masuk akal, si pendengar tetap akan mengatakan bahawa si penyampai itu berkaliber, profesional, dan ada ketokohan.

Situasi seperti ini wujud di mana - mana sahaja, dalam apa peringkat/marhalah sekalipun. Ianya wujud di kalangan seangkatan sahabat, di dalam organisasi, gerakan, persatuan, bahkan di dalam alam kerjaya.

Lebih - lebih lagi, perkara ini wujud pada mereka yang terletak dalam golongan B.O.D., barisan kepimpinan, serta mereka yang berpengaruh di dalam membuat keputusan. Penilaian sebegini adalah di antara sifat - sifat orang yang berat sebelah, dan tidak berlaku adil di dalam menghukum sesuatu.

Wahai ketua, wahai pemimpin, wahai amir amirah, wahai rais raisah, wahai CEO, wahai pengarah, wahai presiden, wahai pengerusi,

Tidakkah pada setiap Jumaat khatib memberi amaran kepada anda:

"Sesungguhnya Allah menyuruh berlaku adil, dan berbuat kebaikan, serta memberi bantuan kepada kaum kerabat; dan melarang daripada melakukan perbuatan-perbuatan yang keji dan mungkar serta kezaliman. Ia mengajar kamu (dengan suruhan dan laranganNya ini), supaya kamu mengambil peringatan mematuhiNya."
[An-Nahl, 16:90]

Maka, apa lagi hujah anda untuk berat sebelah terhadap orang yang berada di bawah amanah anda? Walaupun dia adalah insan kerdil, wujud atau tidak dirinya tiada maknanya bagimu, namun Allah tetap menyuruhmu berlaku adil pada setiap orang.

Kalau kamu cemburukan dia hanya dia mempunyai kelebihan mengatasi kamu, agamamu mengajar bahawa penyelesaiannya adalah untuk kamu berusaha mencapai 'maqamnya', bahkan lebih dari itu.

Ingatlah, kita semua adalah pemimpin pada marhalah yang tesendiri. Mungkin ada yang belum dinobat sebagai pemimpin, hanya sekadar pegikut, namun tidak ada satu pun hujah yang memberi kita lampu hijau untuk berlaku tidak adil terhadap orang lain.

Nabi S.A.W. bersabda,

"Setiap orang daripada kamu adalah penggembala dan setiap seorang dari kamu akan ditanya perihal penggembalaannya. Pemimpin adalah penggembala dan akan ditanya perihal penggembalaannya. Seorang lelaki adalah penggembala dalam keluarganya dan akan ditanya perihal penggembalaannya. Seorang wanita adalah penggembala dalam rumah suaminya dan akan ditanya perihal penggembalaannya. Buruh adalah penggembala dalam harta majikannya dan akan ditanya perihal penggembalaannya. Jadi setiap seorang dari engkau semua itu adalah penggembala dan tentu akan ditanya perihal penggembalaannya."