Friday, February 27, 2009
The topic actually comes from the writing of Paulo Coelho from the book, 'like the flowing river'. Paulo has written quite an inspiring book, though some contents might be contradictory to my beliefs. However, i wanted to share with readers out there 5 lessons (i call it lessons, the original writer calls it qualities) one can derive from a pencil. Let's emulate the pencil.
Many perceived that the words written with the pencil are the most important thing. The pencil is actually a mighty tool. Just like humans. We are the most intelligent of all beings created by the Almighty, and we are capable of doing anything. Yet, we must never forget that even with our capabilities, we can never surpass that of God. No matter how capable we are, there is always a hand that will guide us according to His will, and that hand is Allah.
That's the first lesson.
Lesson 2: Now and then, we need to sharpen the pencil. Yes, the pencil will suffer, but afterwards it is much sharper. Same goes with us. We have to bear pains and sorrows, because they will mould us to be a better person. Because we will try our best to overcome them, we, in return, become stronger in the face of adversaries.
Lesson 3: The pencil is equipped with an eraser at its back. It allows us to rub out the mistakes we might have done. This means that correcting mistakes is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice. Everyone is not without mistakes, but only the great can admit and correct their mistakes.
Lesson 4: What's important in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside. That's applicable to us too. We sometimes think too much how others look at us on the outside, but we rarely pay attention to our inside. Yet, the outside reflects the inside. When the inside is pure, then the outside will shine.
Lesson 5: A pencil always leaves a mark, be it words or pictures. In the same way, we should know that whatever we do, we will leave a mark. No matter how simple our action or gesture may be, the effect is there. So try to be concious in every action.
We might think what use the wooden pencil is to us, especially now when we rarely use it. But we can see that Allah s.w.t actually reveals his knowledge through many things, and many ways. Even a lifeless pencil can give us much to think about.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and a four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together nightly at the dinner table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating rather difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass often milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.
"We must do something about grandfather," said the son. I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor. So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner at the dinner table. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. Sometimes when the family glanced in grandfather's direction, he had a tear in his eye as he ate alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and mama to eat your food from when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.
That evening the husband took grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day that building blocks are being laid for the child's future.
"And We have enjoined on man
to be good and dutiful to his parents"
[al-Ankaboot (29): 8]
"And your Lord has decreed (commanded) that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents..."
[ al-Isra (17): 23]
"The Lord is pleased with the pleasing of the parents, and the Lord is angry with him who angers the parents."
[Saheeh al-Jamee (3500) ]
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Alhamdulillah. Yesterday was truly a rare opportunity given. Allah s.w.t has made it all possible. Allah works wonders, Subhanallah.
I have not been exposed to many non-muslims before. I can count the number of chinese or indians whom are considered as friends. Even though i am living in a community where chinese are dominant, i can sadly say i don't know many of them. So, simply said, i am oblivious to their culture and religious practices (oblivious yes, but not totally oblivious)
But yesterday i've been given the opportunity to actually talk (really talk) to a Buddhist believer. She was very approachable. We were giving out flyers regarding Valentine's Day, but our aim was to approach just muslims, since we wanted talk to them (muslims) why we are prohibited to celebrate the day. We thought being a non-muslim, why should one care if Islam prohibits it, since a non-muslim is not obligated to adhere to any Islamic practices.
Elly (i think that's the way her name is spelled) waved to us, showing interest in what we were doing. I actually hesitated, contemplating whether i should approach her or not. But seeing others were walking towards her, i decided to follow them.
When we explained that we were giving out flyers about Valentine's Day, she quickly asked for one. I felt weird by her actions, because i thought she wouldn't be interested in reading or listening to a bunch of muslimahs talking about why celebrating Valentine's Day is haram and such.
We started out by talking about Valentine's Day from the Islamic view as well as Buddhist view. Islam prohibits it but in Buddhism, there is no concrete prohibition. Then we started to talk about Buddhist practices and Islamic practices, the similarities and the differences in both faiths. Elly did not stopped talking or avoided us when we were talking about Islam and its practices. I can sensed her sincerity when she talked to us.
I felt truly in awe. If i was alone and being approached by Buddhist believers (at 12midnight, mind you), maybe i wouldn't be so open. Maybe i'll run away. But Elly did not, and this shows that she really was sincere.
Elly seems like a potential person we can do dakwah on. She was open, approachable and agreeable. I must not let the chance pass. A friend told me, sometimes we already have the chance, the opportunity of dakwah, yet we let it pass. Just like a story she told, one muslim exchanged numbers with a non-muslim during a brief encounter at the airport. After 4 long years of silence, the muslim decided to contact the other party. And the message he received was, "I've waited for 4 years to hear about Islam from you."
Lesson learnt: build rapport with the potential person to do dakwah on. Sometimes they really wanted to know more about Islam, and they are willing to wait for the one person who told them about Islam to contact them again.
Same goes with Elly. Maybe she will wait for us to contact with her again, and talk with her about Islam. Who knows? Only He knows...
Saturday, February 7, 2009
I am now practising self-restraint. My laptop, for the umpteenth time, is being sent to the 'doctor', because it suddenly blacked out a couple of days before. I felt at loss without it, but somehow, i feel there is a hikmah behind what happened to my laptop.
It also served as a reminder to me to take care of my laptop better. I've been neglecting the safety use of laptop for quite sometime, and this has been sort of a punishment for my negligence.
I would really like to update some things, but it just doesn't feel right. Just because i'm using someone else's laptop. Haha.
I guess i'll have to wait till my laptop is better. Maybe next tuesday. Hopefully. InsyaAllah :D
Sunday, February 1, 2009
i've taken out the previous post regarding halal and haram in food items. I figure (with help, of course) that there are many questions that are being raised, and some points just don't relate to one another, which makes the post seems rather confusing.
i'm re-constructing the post, so hopefully others will be able to comprehend what i'm writing, insyaAllah.
by the way, thanks for the feedback. the post has been bugging my mind, but i was just too much of an egoistic to take it out. thanks once again for helping me to 'bow down' my ego. :D
Ok, i know...the title creates a little bit of suspense. Well, when do you always hear the word 'sah'?
In a wedding ceremony, of course.
So i'm guessing you readers can already guess what i'll be discussing about, right? :D :D
A post from a friend actually spurs me to write about this. That, and some other things as well. Huda might know...hehe
Marriage and having children are what i've been hearing for quite some time now from my friends and classmates. I guess, as we are in a marriageable age, that's why this issue, of all other issues, is being discussed. Furthermore, we as young male and female adults being in close company most of the time, the attraction for the opposite gender is inevitable. It is already mentioned in the Holy Quran that we humans are created 'lita'aarafu', so what we are doing is actually fitrah.
However, we as muslims must know our limits in terms of having relationships with members of the opposite sex. Relationships do not have to be a boy-girl (or should i say man-woman) relationship. Relationships also mean being friends, classmates, members in an organization and others as well.
Okay, so i'm deviating a bit from the topic. Huhu...
What i'm trying to point out is, even if one has the dream or the ambition of having his/her own family one day, he/she can do so, as long as he/she follows the guidelines that Islam has posed. Because Islam promotes the act of having family, just like the prophet's saying (or an ayat from the Quran, i can't remember) that nikah will complete the other half of you.
May Allah bless our souls... Amiin