Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Ostracized and Shunned Peccable Beings

Bismillah…

“Saya betul-betul nak berubah. Saya tak nak dah hidup dalam keadaan macam tu lagi. Cukuplah. Saya nak berubah.”

"Berhentilah Ayah..."

“Ungkapan ibu seringkali bermain di kepala apabila saya meletakkan kepala hendak tidur. Tidak mahukah saya masuk ke syurga? Tidak sayangkah saya pada Allah?. Suara seorang ibu mempunyai kesan yang sangat kuat.”

Today, I had a great day, a day full of invaluable lessons and experiences that are to be pondered upon as I breathe in this universe.

As part of the course assessment of Drug Abuse, we are required to pay a visit to governmental as well as non-governmental drugs cure and care centers and drugs rehabilitation centers that are located in Kuala Lumpur. The main objective of this visit is to allow us to gain insights on the causes of and treatments for drug addictions and substance abuse -our aim is mostly focused on psychoactive drugs; drugs that affect moods, cognition, and behaviours-, and to give us an exposure to the available psychosocial intervention programs run by the governmental and non-governmental anti-drugs agencies.

Our first visit was at National Anti-Drugs Agency (Gombak) famously identified by its colloquial acronyms AADK, which is right in town. This place is situated near to the hot spot areas attempting to extend access to treatment and rehabilitation services in the community on a voluntary basis to all Malaysians who suffer from drug addictions. National Anti-Drugs Agency provides services which are as follows:

I) Cure and Care Rehabilitation Center (CCRC),
II) Cure and Care Service Center (CCSC),
III) Caring Community House (CCH) and
IV) Cure and Care Vocational Center (CCVC) 

and the place that we paid a visit to is located right next to CCSC which provides Psychosocial Intervention and Guidance Program, Social Support Group, Relapse Prevention Group, Family-oriented Program and Early Recovery program. 

We then moved to a non-governmental nursing home located in Sungai Buloh. This nursing home is known as Rumah Teduhan Kasih, initiated by a revert Muslim who saw the need to nursing these exiled and shunned drug-addicts who were scattered in the city and providing a shelter for them to redefine the meaning of life and the essence of it as to give them chances to survive. The nursing home is run by a gentleman who was involved in drug and substance abuse for 13 years and has fully recovered ever since he stopped and sought treatment. 

It has so far given positive impacts to the drug addicts to start a new life and discover their potentials with the guidance of the nursing home. Believe it or not, Rumah Teduhan Kasih has branches in Indonesia and Maldives and now they are setting up a nursing home in Oman. Subhan Allah, how this idea when translated into action gives such meaningful impact to the Ummah at large.

What I may conclude here from my visit is that, there are two major contributing factors towards drug addictions which have to be handled instantly when detected. There are curiosity and peer-pressure. As I engaged with some of the drug addicts during the visit, I found out that most of them got involved in substance abuse because of the thoughts that they had in mind on how exactly drugs tasted like and how would drugs really give some sort of excitement to the body and mind, and these incessant catastrophic thoughts and burning sensations were then furthered to the behaviour of purchasing them and eventually have them injected into the body. 

Furthermore, peer pressure also leads to the compulsive use of drugs. According to them, friends play a vital role in shaping our thinking – objectives in life as specified by one of them- and ultimately our behaviours. Therefore, be really meticulous in choosing people whom you will be spending your time with.

Alhamdulillah, I was really glad when I heard that people now are much more open, especially in the city in a sense that they do not possess any stigma about the drug addicts and are willing to work hand in hand with them, combating the addiction and give them full support.

The journey today was full of emotions and lessons. It was really heartbreaking to listen to the stories of the drug addicts; how did they get involved and how has the addiction changed their previously successful and harmonious lives to disastrous ones. When we arrived there, we were welcomed with warmness of smiles and open arms by the staff of the agency and residents of the cure and care center and rehabilitation center.
I could see from their eyes, the toughness of the struggle in combating the anxiety of wanting to get back to the addiction. Yet, their willingness in getting back to normal perishes those thoughts.

Our presence was greatly appreciated especially by the residents and had given them a hope to continue surviving as they know that there are people out there who believe that they may succeed.
The following are pictures of us with the staff of the agencies who have worked their best to assist the drug addicts.

Moga-moga Allah terima amalan mulia mereka ini. Amiin Ya Rabb.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Confusion


Sometimes I wonder whether anyone ever notices how the spirit of gaining knowledge has become rather frivolous and nothing but to get in the spotlight. There is a trend now amongst the youngsters when they decide to discuss on any topics on any popular social networking websites (especially Facebook) that is to go against the so called 'traditional' way of looking at things and it has, most of the time wounded and destroyed their faith in God, little by little and I truly pity them.

Without any doubt, getting into university is everyone's dream as it offers a scroll of degree that adds more digits to your salary and transforms misery to luxury. But, if one is not well prepared, studying in university will throw one off the track. This is not something unheard of. Quite a number of students who are devout believers and are so eager to discover the undiscovered, find themselves unable to explain the existing phenomena when they get admitted into university. Well most of them end up believing this life comes into existence by chance and that every effort that others put in to call to the truth is idiosyncrasy and biased in nature as apparently, there is none well if there is any how would you explain it if it leads you to one particular belief?. It is an enigma.

Do you know how this happens?

In university, our ideas and thoughts are challenged and we are taught to not blindly believe everything without proper scientific investigation or research. Whatever you say in the class, has to be validated and supported by empirical evidences that if not would be regarded as pure assumption and remains surmise. This to some extent is true and cherished. Nevertheless, the problem comes into the picture when religions are made confused and complicated and the lecturers seem to enjoy it very much that they make it even harder when they start to post some questions which require insane level of ingenuity in finding the answers. Alright, let's not put the blame on the lecturers, maybe their intention is noble; they do not want Muslims to be mindless and ignorant. Let's look at now on how the students are making their efforts in trying to ascertain the answers to questions posted. Of course, what is known to us today about the students in university is that they are just some lazy playful uninspired undergraduates who only want to pass in every subject they take. But, there is an exception and please trash the stereotype; not all students are the same in fact there is a lot of students who are adamant in acquiring the knowledge that they would work their tails off to get everything understood properly. Unfortunately some of these students think that everything can be answered scientifically and they forgot that God in His nature cannot be seen and how on earth will scientific evidence help them to prove their faith is valid? Starting from this point, they will pick another book written by another person who devotes himself in science and talks about the existence of this universe and it perplexes them even worse when Darwin's argument is put forth.

Take for example the issue of praying 5 times a day and Freudian concept of religion as the universal obsessional neurosis of mankind. If the students fully devote themselves to Freud's humbugs of philosophies and religions then it is fair to say that these students will accept the idea that man's concept of God and his attachment to Him are simply a pursuit of the mirage of the father figure. Because of our childhood experience which we idealize our father as formidable and the most knowing and later on we figure out that he has weaknesses we resort to an intricate imagination of the most impeccable entity and bestow these qualities of the immaculate and powerful to a new higher being, that is God.

These students have successfully been indoctrinated by this baseless claptrap that they fail to see between rituals and real obsessional. How can a person who enjoys praying 5 times a day until he loses himself in transcendental euphoria be considered as mentally retarded and the one who is experiencing real obsessionals.

When philosophies are being embraced totally, then the eyes cannot see the truth or rather the reality.


There is a difference between 'psychology' and 'psychopathology' as Prof. Malik Badri puts it.

What is missing?

In Islam, Al-Qur'an is the Glorious Book of God which in it contains religious texts from God that covers every aspect of life and it is accompanied by the Hadith the prophetic tradition which helps to explain some incomprehensible texts so that it may be parsimonious. We, Muslims are encouraged to always to refer to the revelation whenever we come up with an idea in an attempt to unfold the riddles that philosophies have put forward.

When revelation is paired with reason it yields amazing outcomes. Reading the translation of the Qur'an will not help that much, one has to master the language Arabic to fully grasp the beautiful meanings of the message in its pristine form.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Managing Anger


A few years ago, my father would always advise me to set a target in life; what do I want to achieve and how do I achieve it. Of course being a young innocent mindless teenager, I did not take his advice seriously and I lived my life the way I wanted to. Well I had few undefined goals in mind but I was not really clear what they were and so I ended up avoiding myself to even think about my goals in life.

Embracing another stage of life where I had to live on my own without my parents looking after me and that grades were to determine my career, I started to have a serious thought on my life; what is it that I really want to achieve in this life?

" If you don't have a goal in this life even your existence is questionable. "

Alright, I said to myself " I have to set a clear goal in my life!. Let's look on myself first."

I started off with small things that I wanted to change in this life and having said that, I began to ponder upon one thing in my life -be it my attitude or my behaviour- that looked trivial but if removed or tamed would have given a great impact on my life thus let me flourish. It did not take much time for me to discover; it was my temper. I realized that I could so much more if I knew how to control my temper.

I opened up Youtube channel and I searched for videos that talked about controlling anger and managing anxiety. I googled up some articles. I had few glimpse on how was I supposed to tame my debilitating anxiety but to manage my anger was sort of unknown to me though my mother had always rubbed my back and asked me to be patient whenever I got ruffled up. She would say something as she did that have we ever listened to our parents' advice when we thought we knew everything?. Be honest.

I knew that anger rose from stress. I got easily angry when people acted rude or belittled anyone including me and I got easily annoyed when I had to leave my comfort zone to get something done. I would do whatever it took to satisfy my anger and it has always resulted me in pure disappointment. I used to say something that I wished I hadn't said and I had done something that I never knew I would have had. So I listened to those lectures and I began to put everything that I'd learned into practice.

First attempt did not go well. A guy that I knew acted rudely and I ended up screaming my lungs out to him. He didn't even care. Second attempt did not go well either, I kicked the door and injured my toes. Third attempt went pretty smooth, I did not have physical retaliation but I said few harsh words after having to clean up after myself. Fourth attempt, I began to only have shivering hands with my eyes rolling up but I took a deep breath and had everything under control when my mates did not do their work. After few attempts and supports from my parents, I managed to get rid of the disturbing temper. I would keep my mouth shut when someone said something bad to me or acted in a way it appealed to my aggressive nature. I tried to think of a solution.

And now, I am able to get control over myself when someone challenges my patience. I will always think twice or thrice before I decide to go for a fight, verbally or physically. I will walk away and calm myself down when people try to irritate me.

I will also take my phone out and read few verses of Al-Qur'an, any verses that help to remind myself of the rewards getting Jannah and after half an hour, I am back to normal. (:

All you need to do is to take that 'daring' step. Sadly, only few dare.A few years ago, my father would always advise me to set a target in life; what do I want to achieve and how do I achieve it. Of course being a young innocent mindless teenager, I did not take his advice seriously and I lived my life the way I wanted to. Well I had few in mind but I was not really clear what they were and so I ended up avoiding myself to even think about my goals in life.

Embracing another stage of life where I had to live on my own without my parents looking after me and that grades were to determine my career, I started to have a serious thought on my life; what is it that I really want to achieve in this life?

" If you don't have a goal in this life even your existence is questionable. "

Alright, I said to myself " I have to set a clear goal in my life!. Let's look on myself first."

I started off with small things that I wanted to change in this life and having said that, I began to ponder upon one thing in my life -be it my attitude or my behaviour- that looked trivial but if removed or tamed would have given a great impact on my life thus let me flourish. It did not take much time for me to discover; it was my temper. I realized that I could so much more if I knew how to control my temper.

I opened up Youtube channel and I searched for videos that talked about controlling anger and managing anxiety. I googled up some articles. I had few glimpse on how was I supposed to tame my debilitating anxiety but to manage my anger was sort of unknown to me though my mother had always rubbed my back and asked me to be patient whenever I got ruffled up. She would say something as she did that have we ever listened to our parents' advice when we thought we knew everything?. Be honest.

I knew that anger rose from stress. I got easily angry when people acted rude or belittled anyone including me and I got easily annoyed when I had to leave my comfort zone to get something done. I would do whatever it took to satisfy my anger and it has always resulted me in pure disappointment. I used to say something that I wished I hadn't said and I had done something that I never knew I would have had. So I listened to those lectures and I began to put everything that I'd learned into practice.

First attempt did not go well. A guy that I knew acted rudely and I ended up screaming my lungs out to him. He didn't even care. Second attempt did not go well either, I kicked the door and injured my toes. Third attempt went pretty smooth, I did not have physical retaliation but I said few harsh words after having to clean up after myself. Fourth attempt, I began to only have shivering hands with my eyes rolling up but I took a deep breath and had everything under control when my mates did not do their work. After few attempts and supports from my parents, I managed to get rid of the disturbing temper. I would keep my mouth shut when someone said something bad to me or acted in a way it appealed to my aggressive nature. I tried to think of a solution.

And now, I am able to get control over myself when someone challenges my patience. I will always think twice or thrice before I decide to go for a fight, verbally or physically. I will walk away and calm myself down when people try to irritate me.

I will also take my phone out and read few verses of Al-Qur'an, any verses that help to remind myself of the rewards getting Jannah and after half an hour, I am back to normal. (:

All you need to do is to take that 'daring' step. Sadly, only few dare.



Saturday, May 11, 2013

No Pain, No Gain


If you are not feeling the pain, obviously you have not done enough...


I set my feet on the track and move my body forward at a terrific speed that is surely faster than before. The sound of my heartbeat pounding like a wild roaring wolf preying over a herd of cattle craving for their fresh meats as I jog gives me a boost. Even though the calf muscles ache and hurt like a sword thrust into your heart fiercely with no mercy, I know that the outcome will have me living in comfort for as long as I live.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Women : The Other Half



 


Bismillah,

In 2007, when I was 16, I decided to be more serious in what I was doing in life. I had a moment for myself for a while as I leaned my chin on my hand waiting for my parents to fetch me up at the main entrance of my school. I pondered upon what could I do as a person who was not in high authority, who had no say nor seat in the parliament to get my voice heard, to contribute maybe some changes in this world changing the mind-set of the people to become more courteous amidst political polemics that have made people to become irrationally selfish, callous and heartless. I was a man who wished to rule the world with the use of power that I did not posses. For the past few years I had become a rather lazy playful chap who only wanted to have fun. It was a bit of a trouble for myself to really adapt to the new environment that I was placed in -from religious school to secular school- and praise be to the Creator of the heavens and the world, I managed to get through it.

Various thoughts effortlessly came through my head as the time passed by. Once I got back home, I quickly switched on my laptop and search for videos that talk about the rights of women that had been plundered by the power-craving men and pothead women. Women who have always become the first target whenever there is a turmoil. To be honest, that was first appeared in my mind as I thought of injustice in this world. I knew that it was not normal for a 16-year-old teenage boy to get himself preoccupied with such issues but guess what, I had tears in my eyes as I watched the videos delivered by Shaykh Khalid Yasin and Imam Siraj Wahhaj relating to the women issues. This was what concerned and interested me more at that time.

Are not you curious to know why?.

Let me share a little bit with all of you about my childhood which I thanked Allah for allowing me to have one. My parents have always been a good and religious parents. They would never allow any of the children to be the victims of countless vicious influence of malevolent practices out there. They were individuals who did not work on emotions but the truth.Therefore, they decided to send us to Islamic religious schools. Take note that they did not let go their responsibility as parents to educate us but they believed to be in a good and Islamic environment everyday even when they were away from us, shall allow us to flourish even better.


I grew up moving from one Islamic school to another for years as the teachers were not all -unfortunately- competent. They were just there to teach and to get paid, not to educate, sadly the good ones were so little. Finally, I enrolled to this one Madrasah-like school located in the middle of Kuala Lumpur where most evils occurred. I did not have any trouble learning in that school. I liked the uniforms. All male students had to wear Jubbah and Keffiyah with turban on their heads and the female students were told to cover themselves from head to toe revealing only the eyes. Niqab was not made compulsory until they reached 11. I thought to be in religious school was to be exposed to religious environment. But to my surprise, I heard news and witnessed countless events which did not resemble anything Islamic at all. I saw a female teacher went on a date with a male student who was only...15 and a bunch of students cursing to whoever walked in front of them.Truth be told, I was a kid after all and I did not give much attention to my surroundings, but I had the glimpse of what it was like to live in Islamic environment so to speak.

I stayed there until I finished my primary school and moved to different school in Gombak, next to the university where I am doing my bachelor's now and I was only there for a year before I was registered into a secular school. I did not make any judgment whatsoever on the people that I had to deal with but I could see how our education system had taught us to be a 'slave' not a 'thinker'. Of course the females students there, majority of them were not covered and no one said they were ill-mannered but I could see how it had allowed people to tarnish their reputation and stain their dignity as women who raised the other half of the society. No one found it offensive to talk to women in a very condescending manner -coming from a school where to talk to women I needed to have concrete reasons- quite shocked  me and to touch them was not a sin. As I went along, I saw injustice taking place everyday.Women were not treated as if they were really precious and needed to be taken care of very well. Do not get me wrong, those sisters, Subhan Allah were good and kind enough and some of them they had become one of the reasons why I managed to excel in my studies. They were really my good friends (and they still are but now I respect them more that I keep the distance). My point here is that, the way we men were told to act, to speak (if there was a need) or to interact with the opposite sex and to learn were all distorted. I was wondering, was there anyone brave enough to dignify them and to protect their honor? I even hated myself for having treated them like nobody's business. Of course I was incited to have some girlfriends and I myself hated it so much that I disregarded it totally. I thought to myself, 

" how can a man who has no biological relationship, who has no right over the woman, who is not related at all could easily order the woman to do whatever that pleases him?. To watch her, to control her, to ask her what to or what not to do, to touch her body...Are you guys for real?."

That what prompted me to fight for the Islamic code of conduct that was known as 'Shari'ah'. I believed this would give more rights to women that their status would be elevated and ranked high that they cannot even be touched as we wish.

This was what triggered me to fight for women in Islam.

Today, whenever I go out to the malls I see numerous advertisements with women improperly dressed and sexually objectified and are used to get the companies' products sold. I sense a policy of institutionalised apartheid against women is now pervasive, bringing their dignity to the lowest level that eventually leads to what we 'claim' to abhor; rape.

I believe this situation does not only occur in Malaysia, but also elsewhere where men who are supposed to protect women, have given them lesser status and have well subjugated and marginalized them where women are treated in a very patronizing manner. Women are silenced and tortured and their rights are denied.


Because of the lack of education and exposure of the rights that women are entitled with and how men should deal with them, women are now fighting for something that they think is their rights and all women ought to struggle for it.

Rights like; exposing the cleavage, getting naked, equality in all aspects, plastic surgery, unhealthy diet etc.


We live in a world where some women are being paid millions of dollars to be naked whilst others are being jailed and fined to be covered.

As a result of that, we can see what is taking place now in Tunisia where we have bare-breasted activists staged rallies in front of mosques and Tunisian embassies across Europe fighting against what they called an 'Islamist crackdown' on Arab women’s rights.

Like what one of my Chechen friends used to say to me;

" Women will become women if men become men."


Monday, January 21, 2013

A Way To Enlightenment


Sometimes, you feel there will never be a way to happiness and enlightenment. 

It's oppressively difficult for you to erase your past that it haunts and agonizes you wherever you step on the face of this earth. Whenever you feel like repenting, you start to imagine how diabolic are your sins that Allah will never ever forgive you.  

People say life is like a pen. You can cross out your mistakes but you can never completely erase them. Well, that is partly true but you can't be too pessimistic to believe that your mistakes in the past should remain ineradicable. Yes, they should stay where they are and not a single reason is condonable and rational enough to justify their obligatory existence in the present.  Know that we are not prisoners of our past.  

Bear in mind that you should never be bothered by the wrongful actions that you've had committed in the past. Whatever is done is done and let bygones be bygones.  

This is indeed another trap of the Shaytan to deceive your heart and cast in doubts.  Satan has tried out his tricks and temptations starting with our noble and respected parents - Adam (Alaihi Salam) and his wife Eve.  

He bamboozles (deceives) the hearts, minds and the feelings of men in an aggressive battle, that has ‘roaring sounds’ and foot soldiers and horses that are brought for combat. Therefore we need to have and live in a good social setting where there is a network for people to help each other becoming a better person in this world. Standing shoulder to shoulder, becoming a better servant of Allah, together avoiding the sinful acts that are there trying to stray us away from the Truth.  

If you were to do it alone, then you might have a bit of trouble cause Shaytan likes it so much when a person is alone and he starts to do what he is best at.  We can never stand alone. We are ONE UMMAH.  

"And deceive whoever you can among them with your voice, and assault them with your horses, and foot soldiers, and become a partner in their wealth, and their children, and promise them. But Satan doesn't promise them except delusion"(Al-Isra’: 64).


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Camel Riding - Marrakech, Morocco










Friday, May 18, 2012

Solacing


Subhan Allah. Had a great moment with Babah (Shaker Mustafa) this past evening when we were walking on the street heading to the house of Allah to perform Maghrib prayer. A beautiful orange pink sky at dusk and soothing view of sunset gave us a finely comforting feeling.

I was revising my favourite du'as while ambling around and suddenly Babah glimpsed at me and he started to murmur verses of the Qur'an from Surah Al-Kahf. I felt challenged and took up the gauntlet.

We recited the first 20 verses of Surah Al-Kahf jubilantly together and stuck in the middle because we were panting so bad and quickly continued while watching the sun sinking below the horizon  until we reached the doorsteps of the Masjeed.

It was beautiful. I love you Babah.

(Picture was taken 1-year ago during 'Eid al-Adha)

If anyone learns by heart the first ten verses of the Surah al-Kahf, he will be protected from the Dajjal. (Sahih Muslim: Book #004, Hadith #1766)


A Clarification

I just want to make a clarification here. 

If you guys notice, I have put the word Sheikh prior to my name and Al-Syariff at the end as the title of my very own shared on-line journal or blog.

The word Sheikh does not signify that I am a member of the class of ulamas (theologians) or in the high position in Islam that is essentially equivalent to the position of Grand Shaykh who is able to give his Fatwa on countless issues whatsoever, but it is merely a family name traced back to Makkah when my great grandfather came to spread Islam here in South East Asia and the only reason I decide to put the names is to trace my family lineages exist everywhere in this world.

Apparently I have found few in the United States.  Therefore, please do not come up to me saying how I am so religious as I have the title aforementioned because I do not have such large capacity knowledge of Islam and indeed I am still learning. 

I would appreciate if you guys can understand the motive that I have stated above and I hope that I have made myself clear. 

May Allah grant you peace and prosperity. Amiin.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Most Loved One


If only I could hold your hand right now,
and share the pains and anguishes,
the path that I am going through at the moment,
where I find myself in a most awful predicament

I miss you so much,
I heard about your endearing Akhlaq,
I heard about your eloquent speech,
I heard about your unwavering spirit

You put an end to the tribal wars,
You escalated the status of a woman,
You defied partiality and hostility,
You brought peace and harmony

By Allah, I tremble when your name is overheard,
though we have never physically met,
I could feel your moral force exists,
penetrating through the small apertures

Your self-effacement taught me sincerity,
Your courage taught me bravery,
Your imperturbability taught me perseverance,
Your religiosity taught me piety

It refreshes my soul,
reinvigorates my spirit,
rejuvenates my emotional states,
prompts me to be a better person worth for mankind and Him

- Sheikh Nabil Farabi Al-Syariff

Hs Cafe,
9:16 a.m.,
International Islamic University Malaysia