Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pearls & Gem :Surah Al Asr [Letter 103 ]


My 1st Haj,1984,magrhib time in Mina,the imam read Surah Al Asr and the 'silver bullet' hit right into the bosom of my soul .Tears percolated down my face and chest and embarasingly the sobbing became uncontrollable .I did not know what hit me.I have read Surah Al Asr before ,knew its meaning,but was never moved this way before .I counted myself as a man with a 'heart of stone'[seen them all and gone thru them :as an orphan at age 9,one had to learn fast to go thru life without much fanfare,as a doctor in later life,the 'heart' further hardens].

"By the declining day,[1]Lo!Man is a state of loss,[2]Save those who believe and do good work,and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.[3]"

Very short ,precise and very sharp,this 'silver bullet' .The message pricked the very essence of my soul.I only cried 3 times in my life so far,1st time when I was just about nine years of age ,suddenly been brought to the hospital to see my dying father .That day was the 1st day I could ride a bike and the high excitement of the day was totally dampened when I get to see the asshened face of my dad ,who I recollected much later in my medical student days, must have been in septicaemic shock from a perforated ulcer :No decent strong antibiotics then way back in 1961].2nd time when my younger sister died of a needless motor vehicle accident in Beserah ,5 days in her marriage, driving back from Kota Bharu to KL .When come from a background like this one has to learn fast ,to go through life without much fanfare ,and to get 'on your bike and get it done "!You have one chance only in life .Grab it !.And then Surah Al Asr in Mina,just after Arafah Day .

Without faith,yes ,we all are in a state of loss!Be they the likes of Bill Gates with millions and billions to donate ,or just lowly humble chaps who have to scrap the barrel to earn a mussel here and a cent there,we are all in a state of loss .If living mean to eat,sleep,defecate,fart,work and as in some lucky people with excess fund ,enjoy life to the fullest in pursuit of 'happiness' physical or mental,defined in the secular way as 'cerebral' or psychological endpoints.Without faith,our lives are total wastage . A big loss.At some point in time ,Faith must come into the equation.Without Faith we are just slightly better than lowly 'animals':Eat,play,work,satisfy our bodily functions and finally die,to be devoured by worms .Slightly better because we have language to express our souls .

With faith,our trajectory can go on a higher plane.We do good work as encouraged by shariah ,we avoid those that are clearly forbidden by the shariah,and certainly 'life is not a bed of roses' and therefore we need each other to continue to remind us of the 'straight path' as and when we stray as stray we usually do as we are human .Increasingly now the 'straight path' is not easy to navigate even though by logic it is the shortest and the most economical path as there are 'jinns' amongst men and women as there are amongst the 'unseen'.That is why we need one another to continue to remind ourselves and on top of that the right ilm ,ilm ,and ilm .

Life for those going for the 'straight path' are never easy .We have to exercise 'sabr' or endurance for want of better word ."Ridha" ,as we grow older, become an important element in 'sabr' or endurance .There is a lot of beauty and 'ridha' going on in a simple person going about his life getting a mussel there and a mussel here , at the bottom of society's ladder,trying to irk a meagre living for himself and family, following strictly to the sharia, while looking around him seemingly well to do and heedless people passing by,with no obvious help coming thru .The poor ,the homeless ,the orphans,the single mothers,the down and out .

These people only have their faith and 'sabr' pushing them thru .But to the Ultimate CEO of the Universe,these simple people who just scrap the barrel but continue to have faith in Him are bigger individuals than all the likes of Bill Gates that walk this earth !Why not ?If you yourselves are the CEO of the universe ,what criteria or key performance indicators[KPI] would you rate your 7 to 8 billions of employees at any one time, except on key performance indicators that really matter ie "Ridha' and 'Taqwa'?

Acceptance of whatever 'trials and tribulations' you throw to him ,good or bad ,exacting or mild [ ridha ] ,and how the chap looks up to you ,his level of 'unquestioned loyalty and obedience'[ taqwa ] .Taqwa as in 'god fearing ' but more appropriate meaning would be ' god conciousness ' ..At your level of things ,CEO of your stature do not give a damn whether he goes to work in a Bentley Turbo ,stays in a palace with a million dollar income per month, or just an ordinary bloke like billions others ,or a lowly road sweeper with the town council .

That person can be a King ,a Prince ,a Billionaire ,or just a lowly Road Sweeper .The KEY Performance Indicators remain the same :Riddha and Taqwa

For the chap with the Bentley with the palace to boot you of course expect a different standard from the road sweeper and his trials and tribulations may not be the same as the road sweeper but the basic indices still remain :Taqwa and Ridha .


Muhamad Ibrahim (MBI) said...

Doc Nik - fellow human, State & Kolej mate. You mentioned your blogsite when I consulted you yesterday and here I am. Very deep & moving. Speaking for me, as one gets older, one thinks of the many misses and omissions of the past with less years to do amend (which actually is no better than being younger - with lesser time passed for good deeds and more years ahead for misdeeds). "The life of this world is but play and amusement: and if ye believe and guard against evil, he will grant you your recompense, and will not ask you (to give up) your possessions" - Surah 47 Muhammad, verse 36 (Abdullah Yussuf Ali's English rendition).


Pearls & Gem said...

Do not worry Mad Ibrahim .Life in Islam,is like golf.It is not how you start but how you end.The end game is very important
Of course if you start badly and in the opening game you get caught with your pants down,you had it man!
The good ,safe Muslim is a 'child of the moment'.he lives Now but has one foot firmly in 'akhirat'as well .A fine balancing act .