I attended a glittering marriage reception last night of one of our up and coming cabinet member. Rubbing shoulders with people within the corridor of power from both divide, captains and villains of industry, shakers and movers of society. They came in various shape and size, all resplendent in their Baju Melayus and glistening songket Terengganu and Kelantan ,or brightly coloured, personalized expensive batiks.
We shared, as usual on these occasions,empty talks ,anecdotes and social niceties.Everyone at their best, avoiding prevailing issues that divide, keeping to the narrow confine of political correctness.
What suddenly striked me as funny is the stark realisation that the common denominator and attitude of avoiding the 'truth of the matter' seem to be the most important 'prerequirement' or to put it in French, the sine qua non of political correctness. 'Truth' and 'biblical' requirements are not important. 'Cari makan' and the 'bread and butter' stuff are. Not that I did not know this before but having fresh conversation with some that night seem to underline this observation further. I was, to put it mildly, a wee bit disturbed that night. The feeling that I am now out of touch and 'alien' is pretty disturbing. Am I getting too old!?,and on coming back from the occasion and returning back to the tranquility of my Quran [ http://quranexplorer.com/ ], Lo and behold! there was it, in Surah Al Mukminun, the panacea to my seed of discontent:
"Successful indeed are the believers (1) Who are humble in their prayers, (2)And who shun vain conversation, (3) And who are payers of the poor-due; (4) And who guard their modesty - (5) Save from their wives or the (slaves) that their right hands possess, for then they are not blameworthy, (6) But whoso craveth beyond that, such are transgressors - (7) And who are keepers of their pledge and their covenant, (8) And who pay heed to their prayers. (9)These are the heirs (10) Who will inherit paradise. There they will abide. (11)"
If we examine ourselves wholly and truthfully , personally, and I mean this myself, we have a long long way to go towards the simple and very definitive advisory given by God himself within the 1st 11 ayats of Surah Al Mukminun:
Be humble with our prayers [ solat ], put our 'hearts' wholly to it, reading the ayats and the 'doa' with full comprehension and 100 % attention.
Be serious, no wasting of time with vain , non meaningful activities and conversation and arguments.
Pays the zakat and be mindful of the poor, the down and out.
'Guard' our private parts, be chaste and truthful to our wife or wives and vice versa.
Be sincere and truthful to our business partners.When we have an agreement , stick to it. Do not cheat.
And understand and pay heed to our prayer.Prayer [ solat ]here underlined twice.
We 'solat' ,minimum, five times a day but our 'solat' has never liberated us or lift us beyond the ordinary. That we have to ask ourselves as to the reason why. The 'shahadah',..There is no god but God..,we say minimum nine times a day. It is a very liberating statement which even the greatest and most powerful individual on earth in the history of man, The Pharoah , learnt to his utter dismay when faced with Mosses. Contemporary Bush and Obama are just mere eunuchs compared to Pharoah. He was so powerful he even finally believed in his heart of heart that he was god himself!
Part of understanding our prayer and paying heed to it is the realization that we are here to do good, to follow His advisory and advise people to be good, to be Muslim, to embrace Islam. Fundamental to this is not to divide the 'world' into black and white, Muslim and non Muslim. We are all a 'spectrum' of God's humanity. At the extreme end on the left is black and the other extreme end is white. The great majority are a shade of gray , gray white and gray black.
If we look at humanity from this perspective, at the personal level it is mandatory for us to give good advise all the time, to behave well all the time. To be God's viceroy on this earth. From this perspective now I can understand my acupunturist's comment recently, 'Dr' Hasan Ma from China, who said," Doc, after so many years still the local Chinese in Malaysia are not embracing Islam in droves. They cannot see any beauty in Islam because you Malays are not exemplary!" It was not easy for me to accept and chew this initially but that is actually a very profound and true statement. We are not exemplary Muslims!
"You give banks to some corporate Malays, Petronas will have to bail them out. You give land and timber all will end up with Tengku Wongs. You give POWER, the country may even end up bankrupt! Some of us cannot even control our wives' excesses !"
It is high time we all take stock of ourselves. We are the Lord's viceroys on this planet earth. We have a job to be done. We need to take a fresh look at the world.
It is a wide open canvass, we are the artists!.
Yes,we, who are talented and endowed with Islam and knowledge should behave like artists. Our pastels and paint are the Quran and the Sunnah. Our canvass is the world. Let us paint the world white!
There are lots of Tun-ship, Tan Sri-ship and Datuk Sri's to be knighted, in the Hereafter!
Let us all work for it.