Thursday, 22 September 2016

Rumours Has It....

“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” ― Socrates

One night, a sister whom I know, called me sounding very distressed. It seems that someone had started a rumour about her that affected the perception of her friends towards her. She tried to dispel the rumours and explained the truth but her friends didn't want to hear it. She asked me what she should do.

I'm sure that some of us had been victims of vicious gossip that turned into a rumour. It's never nice to hear nasty things spoken about us especially if it's untrue. Some rumours can be downright malicious.

I have read about cases whereby the victim of the rumours committed suicide because they could not take the pressure of being ridiculed, scorned at or ostracized.

Now, that's how dangerous a simple gossip or backbitting can be. A gossip can turn into a rumour and a rumour can be very lethal.

O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.

Qur'an 49:6

 The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has forbidden you to disobey your mothers, to bury your daughters alive, to not pay the rights of others and to beg from others. And He dislikes gossip for you, asking too many questions, and wasting money.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2231. 

Sometimes, we might think what we spoke about was harmless but truthfully, it will harm us more than the person whom we spoke about.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “A man might speak a word without thinking about its implications, but because of it, he will plunge into the Hellfire further than the distance between the east and west.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (6477) and Sahîh Muslim (2988)] 

This would also apply to the sharing of news or information on Facebook, WhatsApps or other social media. We must be careful not to slander anyone.

The question is, how can we stop others from creating rumours about us? Honestly, we can't. While we can control our own tongue, we can't control others. There is a Malay saying, "Mulut tempayan boleh ditutup tetapi bagaimana dengan mulut manusia".  Which basically means you can put a lid on a crock but not on people's mouth.

So, what do you do? Simple....just ignore it. Don't lose sleep over it. The mantra 'ignorance is a bliss' would be very handy here. Truth is, people would still talk regardless.  Just think of it as a blessing instead. I know you must be shaking your head at me....How can a nasty rumour be a blessing?  Well....let me tell you how it works... on judgment day, the person who started the rumours and slandered you will end up giving his or her rewards to you and if there's no more rewards to be transferred then that person will take over all your sins.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The one who is bankrupt from among my followers is he who comes on the Day of Resurrection with prayer, charity, and fasting to his credit. However, he had insulted this person, struck that person, and seized the wealth of another, on account of which his good deeds will be taken from him. Then, if his good deeds are exhausted, the sins of those whom he wronged will be taken from them and foisted upon him and then he will be cast into the Fire.”
[Sahîh Muslim (2581)]

I'm no saint and I have made mistakes in the past but the idea of giving away precious brownie points that I had painstakingly collected, does not sit very well with me. So, let this be a constant reminder to you and me, not be among the 'bankrupt'.

So in the end, I told the sister to just relax and do nothing about the rumour mongers. After all, they are giving away their rewards to her and if she's really lucky, they might even carry her sins!

Monday, 12 September 2016

Devotion and a Dream...

"Allahu akbar kabira walhamdu lillahi kathira wasubhanallahhi bukratau waasila. Wajjahtu wajhia lillazi fataras sama wati wal ardha hanifam muslima wama ana minal musyrikin. Inna solati wanusuki wamahyaya wammamati lillahi rabbil’alamin. La syarikalahu wabiza lika umirtu wa ana minal muslimin."

"Allah is ever greatest, Much praise be to Allah. Glory to Him morning and evening. I turn may face to Him who created the heavens and earth, a pure montheist, in submission , and am not of those who associate others with Him. My prayer, worship, life, and death are for Allah, Lord of the Worlds, who has no partner. Thus I have been commanded, and I am of those who submit."

This is the dua that we recite at the opening of our prayers. For years, I recited it without knowing the meaning. One fine day, many many years ago, I finally found out from the Wise Owl the meaning of the dua. To be honest, I've never felt like a big fat liar like I did that day.

Here's the reason why. In the dua, I'm actually making a declaration to God Almighty that 'my prayer, worship and life is for Him'. Is that true? Well, I can safely say that it's not. If my life had been for Him, then, I wouldn't have done the things I did before. I knew that I needed to stop lying to my Creator.

So, I stopped reciting the dua in fear of God's wrath towards me for being a liar and a hypocrite. I dare not make promises that I can't keep or guarantee that I can ensure that 'My prayer, worship, life, and death are for Allah, Lord of the Worlds'. Is that even possible in this current time?

It wasn't until when I went for hajj that I had the guts to start reciting the dua again. It was my intention to devote my 43 days in Holy land for Him and tried I did. Whether it was enough or even accepted, I leave it entirely to Him. I figured that even if I incur the wrath of God and die, at least I died trying, in the Holy land.

During hajj, all I did was pray, dhikr, recite Qur'an, eat, sleep and performed other sunnah acts, every single day. It became my daily routine. My entire time there was entirely devoted to Him. It was only then I realised that to be able to give 100% of one's time to Him is actually a blessing and privilege given by Him to His servants. He removes all obstacles and worries from the person so that the heart is at peace and is able to worship Him better.

If you ever come across the opportunity, grab it and don't waste it as you may not get a second chance.

To me, to be able to devote one's entire time in worship without worries or obstacles was nothing short of a miraculous gift. It was sheer bliss.

I would give anything to have that privilege again but alas it's not just possible. Perhaps, that's why they call it 'a journey of a lifetime'. Still, I harbour the hope and dream of getting a second or even third chance again...Ameen..... 

"So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me."

Qur'an 2:152

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Somebody 's watching me...

“Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.” ― H.L. Mencken,

I used to sing this song by Michael Jackson..."I always feel like, somebody's watching me....". At that time, little did I know how true the lyrics are.

When I was small I remember learning about the angels on the right and left side of our shoulders whose task is to write down every single thing that we do. Of course, that bit of info was conveniently forgotten as I was growing up.

" Behold, two (guardian angels) appointed to learn (his doings) learn (and noted them), one sitting on the right and one on the left. Not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him, ready (to note it)."

Qur'an 50: 17-18

" But verily over you (are appointed angels) to protect you,- Kind and honourable,- Writing down (your deeds):"

Qur'an 80: 10-11

Are we truly aware of the angels writing down all of our actions and deeds? Has that fact prevented us to committing sins in private or when we think no one is watching? Are we truly conscious of God Almighty watching us 24-7?

In some places, we see cctv cameras being placed as a reminder to people that they're being watched. It's also as a deterrent to would- be criminals. If a crime was committed and it was captured on camera, chances are, the culprit can be apprehended.

The hard truth is, when we see a camera pointing at us, we try to be at our best behaviour because we get self-conscious but why do we always forget about the 24-7 surveillance on our shoulders?

Some say 'seeing is believing' but for Muslims, to believe has everything to do with Faith.

I have to remind myself, the next time I want to say or do anything, think of what the angels will write.....

The Prophet pbuh said “Whoever intended to do a good deed, but did not do it, it is written for him as a complete good deed.  If he actually performed the good deed then it is written as ten good deeds, or up to seven hundred times or more.  If a person intended to do an evil deed, but did not do it, it is written as a good deed, while if he entertained the thought and acted on it, it is written as a single evil deed.”

Hadith Bukhari and Muslim