Monday, August 15, 2011


This guy I met, he is a Muslim, just he is not from Malaysia. He is married to a Catholic wife and has been a happy couple since. A very outspoken man with a secular-liberal ideology. Don't ask if he's practising or not, I don't know myself and I don't speculate - I've learnt my lesson. Talking to him will always allow you to learn something about the world, in a funny sense though. Don't ask how, you have to experience it yourself.

There was one time my friends and I gathered around him and he happened to be talking about Islam. I knew it was going to be a good talk - it's always a one sided discussion. But let him talk, I don't mind. I love listening to other people's views on things. We were laughing to all what he has to say. Not that it's ridiculous, but he has this way of conveying serious and logical things in a humorous manner. I'm okay with it but there are some people who gets offended by his ideas and the way he says it. That time, he was criticizing Malaysia and the way Islam is propagated over here anyways - yup, just who would not be offended by this.

This is what he told us;
"You don't need an Islamic state to propagate the idea of Islam. Islam is better spread and more accepted in secular countries. In Malaysia, it doesn't allow revenues for people to really know Islam and you kind off  force people to accept Islam using the constitution. JAIS and JAKIM is just ridiculous. Islam is better off in a non-Islamic state."

He also told us on how he got married to his wife, after which he sought advice from an Imam in his country - and the Imam told him that it's okay. How he was out with his wife on Valentine's Day in Malaysia and JAIS came to him, and he told them off by saying that he is not a Malaysian and doesn't fall under JAIS's jurisdiction. This has nothing to do with my post, but just to give you a big picture what kind of guy he is. He is a nice guy though.

But what I want to refer to is his ideas on where Islam could be spread better. In an Islamic state or a secular country? In Malaysia and Egypt or United Kingdom and United States? In some place where Islamic rights are protected or where Islam is most misunderstood and oppressed?

I've always shared the same view on this matter in a sense.

I always believed that Islam grows faster in a place where it is being oppressed the most, or at least in where the Muslims live in hardships. Just not Malaysia. Where Muslims live in luxury and protection, we tend to be complacent and forgetful. History have shown us this - repeatedly, but we never take lessons from it. Just look at the people of the Ottoman Empire during the fall of the Strongest Islamic Caliphate, how were they? How did they live their lives? How was the governance of the country and it's wealth? We tend to feel satisfied with what we have just because we were not raised in hardship.

Hardship is a factor of success for most community and races. Have a look at the Jewish people around the world and the Chinese people in Malaysia. The Jews were once terribly oppressed in Europe, and had to work hard to gain recognition that they get now. Jews grow to become the media tycoons and the lobbyists that greatly influence the American government as we speak.

The Chinese people lived poor lives in Mainland China before they came to Malaysia. When they arrived here, they were ready to strive and go all out to improve their standard of living. This kind of spirit is what is lacking from us Muslims. We don't want to work hard, we are not that ambitious, and we rather fall back on what we feel is already enough. But we never realize that our future generation might suffer heavily from our complacency.

Now, let's go to the West and see how our Muslim brothers are doing. They are doing great! How's so? The fastest growing number of Muslims is in the West, where people's perception towards Islam is not so good. Islam is labelled bad names including "extremists" and "terrorists", yet the number of conversion to Islam is the highest over there compared to any other parts of the world. And the number increases from year to year. Again, how's so?

It's simply because, the more you are oppressed, the stronger you fight back. The less revenues you are allowed, the more creative you become. The more you are denied, the louder you shout back. The more they try to break you, the firmer you stand together. And where does these trials fall upon the Muslims? In the West! But why does these trials make them stronger and more successful?

"Verily, along with every hardship a relief. Verily, along with every hardship a relief (i.e. there is one hardship with two reliefs, so one hardship cannot overcome two reliefs)" [as-Syarh 94:5-6]

What about us? You want hardship to befall on you before you start to realize how much bounties Allah has given you, but how little you have done for His Deen? That should not be it. Don't wait until Allah takes all these pleasure and luxuries from us as to remind us of our responsibilities. Make use of the great opportunity that lies in front of you - living in a peaceful society, good economic development, fairly good education system, political stability and all other good things. Be thankful for that. A lot other people don't get all these things.

What if Islam grows in Malaysia and you don't have a share in it, are you not at a great loss? There's a lot of ways and channels for us to contribute to the growth of Islam in Malaysia. It doesn't mean that you have to be an Imam or a preacher. Just be a Muslim, I mean, be a good Muslim and then be good at what you are doing. Be a good doctor, architect, engineer and all, and it's already good that way. Why? There's one saying, "Uphold Islam in yourself, Islam certainly will cultivate around you" (Tegakkan Islam dalam dirimu, nescaya Islam akan tertegak di keliling mu).

We are forgetful and we are seldom thankful. Why is it not conducive here in Malaysia for Islam to grow? It's not because of the Islamic state that we are in nor the Islamic jurisdictions that we apply, and of course not because of Islam itself. It's because of ourselves! What we do determines peoples perception towards us, and Islam altogether. And this is our major problem. People look down on Islam, Islamic states and Islamic jusrisdiction - all because of us.

It has always been my belief that Islam and Muslims progress faster and further in places they are being oppressed the most, or where the Muslims live in hardship. And I cannot agree more with the guy we had a chat with. But it doesn't mean that we have to abandon the idea of having an Islamic state and judiciary system. We need it. but we also need to constantly remind ourselves of our responsibilities. Living in peace and harmony does not mean that everything is okay and will continue to be just fine. We need to share Islam with the world, and only then our responsibilities are lifted.

This is a reminder for myself, and those who read. Le't be a good Muslim.

Currently reading "A Doctor in The House". There are some examples that I quote from this book =) A good book to read - if you read it with an open mind of course. 

Friday, August 5, 2011


Dialog 1
Sebuah petang yang hening dan tenteram di selatan Ibu Kota Kuala Lumpur. Sebuah tempat bernama Sungai Ramal Dalam, yang terletak di titk pertemuan tiga daerah - Serdang, Bangi dan Kajang. Daereh yang pernah diduduki hero Malaya - Leftenan Adnan. Di sebuah rumah terrace corner lot yang mempunyai laman yg penuh dengan kehijauan. Sebuah keluarga berbicara ringkas mengenai pokok2 yang ada di laman.

dalam rumah
Ibu : Zubair, tolong pergi siram pokok di luar tu.. Lama dah tak bersiram tu..
Saya : Baik ibu.

Saya(beralih kepada adik berusia 4 tahun) Liyana, jom ikut abang siram pokok?
Liyana : Ok. jom!

di laman luar rumah
(sedang menyembur pokok dengan hos air)

Liyana : Abang, kenapa Ibu sayang sangat kat pokok-pokok2 ni?
Saya : Kenapa? Yana tak sayang ke semua ni?
Liyana : Yana sayang pokok yang ada buah je..
Saya : Yang ada bunga? Yang lain tak sayang?
Liyana : Yang ada bunga sayang juga.. Yang lain tak.. Tadi pun Wak sebelah tu bagi buah kat kitorang dari kebun sebelah sana tu.. (ignore the end part.dah lari topik..)

Perbualan ini membuatkan saya teringat kepada satu kata-kata oleh Hasan Al-Banna;

"Jadilah kamu seperti pohon yang berbuah,
apabila dilemparkan batu,
dibalas kembali dengan buah-buahan" 

Setiap Muslim haruslah menjadi seorang yang memberi manfaat kepada manusia dan masyarakat di sekelilingnya, tanpa mengira bagaimana layanan mereka terhadap kita. Sepertimana juga Nabi Muhammad mendepani pelbagai ujian, begitu juga para rasul sebelumnya. Namun, mereka tidak pernah jemu membawa kebaikan kepada umat mereka.

Andai kita tidak menjadi sedemikian, maka kita akan menjadi seperti pohon-pohon yang tiada buah, yang tidak memberi manfaat kepada manusia melainkan hanya sedikit - atau tiada. Ketidak hadiran atau kehilangan kita pun tidak akan dirasai dan dengan cepat akan dilupakan manusia. Malahan lebh buruk lagi, dibenci oleh manusia kerana kurangnya manfaat yg mampu ditawarkan.

Untuk orang sebegini, mereka haruslah digesa dan digalakkan supaya mencari potensi diri yang mampu memberi kebaikan kepada ramai. Andai merasakan diri tiada kebolehan, maka mencari dan menguasai ilmu sahajalah caranya. Tidak boleh bertolak ansur dengan alasan-alasan yang hanya akan membantut perkembangan diri.

Dialog 2
Suatu petang yang panas di sebuah kawasan jauh di luar bandar. Di satu perkampungan yang penuh dengan kehijaun, di ceruk sebuah negeri yang bernama Pahang. Di daerah Temerloh, di kampung Paya Luas, di Jalan Haji Taib (bukan Lorong Haji Taib di KL ya), seorang cucu dan neneknya berbual ringkas di hadapan sebuah pokok yang besar dan tinggi di belakang rumah.

Di laman belakang rumah
Saya : Nenek, pokok besar ni dah berapa usianya?
Nana : Tua dah ni.. Berpuluh-puluh tahun juga.. Tapi dia dah tak nak berbuah lagi dah..
Saya : Ooo..
Nana : Orang tua-tua ajar kalau pokok yang dah tak berbuah ni, kita kena ugut dia baru dia berbuah semula..
Saya : Ooo..

Nana : (sambil menepuk-nepuk batang pokok) Hey engkau nih! Kalau dah tak nak berbuah lagi, aku tebang kau!!
Saya : =D

Kisah ini bukan dirujuk untuk menceritakan petua warisan nenek moyang. Tetapi merujuk kepada perbuatan mengingatkan pokok tersebut akan tanggungjawabnya untuk berkhidmat kepada manusia. 

Begitu juga manusia, andai gagal memberikan nilai tambah kepada masyarakat yang mereka tumpangi, maka buruklah pandangan manusia kepadanya. Lebih-lebih lagi andai kehadirannya di situ hanya dirasakan sebagai "menyemak" sahaja. Di sini kita harus bermuhasabah. Hakikatnya manusia tidak suka kepada sesuatu yang tidak mendatangkan manfaat kepada mereka.

Bagaimana hendak mengendalikan Muslim sebegini? Mungkin ugutan berkesan juga. Mungkin nasihat lebih baik. Bergantung kepada individu tersebut, kerana setiap manusia berbeza dan pendekatan untuk setiap satu juga berbeza. Perkara paling penting adalah sentiasa duduk bersama orang-orang soleh. Moga mendapat tempiasnya.

Nasihat ini adalah untuk diri saya sendiri.  Semoga saya mampu menjadi pohon yang berbunga dan berbuah, disukai serta disayangi oleh adik-adik seperti Liyana. Memberi manfaat kepada umum tanpa mengira siapa. Sebagai pharmacist, sebagai seorang sahabat, sebagai seorang jiran, above all, sebagai seorang Muslim.

Be a tree that will always be loved forever. At least, as long as you live..

This is an attempt to write in Bahasa Melayu baku. Reading it back, it's boring. BORING!! I think I write better in English.