Hari Raya countdown

September 30, 2008

hmm Ramadan is almost over. this means i can eat during the day again, lol…

but this year its like to fast, fasting, lol. As i grow older i begin to enjoy fasting more than hari raya, lol. when i was young i would be so exited that Ramadan is ending. now is like, why has Ramadan ended so quickly. its strange especially if you are not a Muslim. As you begin to embrace the meaning of Ramadan. you find that its not about the celebration at its end but the time spent to reach it. Ramadan is a time for sacrifice and patience, it teaches self discipline and empathy. Ramadan brings the best out of people and expose the weakness of us. it shows ourselves, how much we can tolerate and how far we are willing to go.

a few of the great things to look forward too during Ramadan is breaking fast, lol. no its not the food. but the company that surrounds you while you consume it. then there is the nights leading to its end, and the ramadan bazaar.

now that its the last day of Ramadan its a sad day indeed.


Funerals

July 14, 2008

A few hours ago, one of my great uncles passed on. a few days back an uncle passed on. one thing that is certain in all life, is death. I am taught that the time of our death, to the very fractions of a second had been made certain. that there is no way it can be extended or shortened.

but i’m here to talk about funerals. In Islam, a funeral is more than just a last gathering for th parted. it is more than a session of mourning and prayers. it is a reminder for those that are living. that we are here today for a short period of time. a few days back my uncle passed. it sad but i suppose i still need to live. i helped prepare his body for burial along side his son. as we touch his soulless body, it reminds us that we are only mortal. one day i will be lying there and someone else will be preparing me as i am preparing my uncle then.

once he is ready he is wrapped in the three layers of white linen and a layer of cotton. then we carried him out to be kissed a last time by his love ones. it will be sad if no one was there to gather ard you for a last time. so then we prepare for prayer. yet another reminder to us to pray before we are prayed for, to stand behind the imam before u lay before him. we proceed to bury him. and as i pass before the graves of those who have came before, i know that one day i will be lying there with them.

my father always say that funerals are nvr for the dead they are for the living. there is saying that we are born crying when those ard us will smile with joy, and when we depart our soul smile while those ard u weep for their lost.

thats all for now…

salam


I, Being a Muslim (part 1)

September 25, 2007

My younger years – My choice as a Muslim

I am born to Muslim parents. As such I was raised a muslim. Thought Islam since I could remember. I went to an Islamic Kindergarten. there I learn the concept of Islam and its pillars. I never really paid much heed to existent of other religion. All this began to change when I move to primary school. When my parents decided that I would go to a secular school instead, I never really understood why till I was older.

I was raised in strict islamic teachings or one might call it style. From a very young age I was taught sirah(History of Muhammad s.a.w), the Quran and Shariah(Islamic law). During those younger time I did not understand much of their significants, I just followed the rule. As I got older I slowly began to understand.

As I moved on to primary school, a secular one, I was also sent to a weekly religious classes. From my secular school(SS) I was introduce to different races, culture and religion. At first it was a bit strange. I would usually hang around other malay muslim friends. Than slowly over time we manage to get along quite fine with other classmates. During this interaction is where I learn that there are differences between my religion and theirs, but one thing stays the same is that we pray to God.

I began to question my parents and religious school(RS) teachers about other religions. Fortunately, my RS teachers were former student of my grandfather. So they said that Islam is my religion and for me to learn about the religion of others I must first learn about my own. Yet again I did not understand this. So I never asked them again about it again. Instead asked my friends, but most of the time we never ventured far just touching the surface.

During those primary years especially during primary 5&6 I studied deeper into Islam. I was introduced to fiqh(Islamic practices), akhlaq(Islam conduct), tajweed(Quranic pronunciations), tafsir(Quran interpretation) and hadith(Islamic Narations). Though I was only introduced to the surfaces of this subjects, I was amazed at how Islam/religion does not only teaches us about God but also how we live. I learn that the Shariah and Islam is derived from the Quran and hadith and in any case where I have question or doubts I have a source to turn to. With this I became less dependent on my teachers and parents for my answers.

With the books available in my home such a task of self learning is never impossible. With books such as Taisiirul ‘Alaam(A collection narrations), Tafsir ibnu Khatir(Interpretation of the Quran) and the Fathul Bahri(another collection of narration).

The Taisiirul ‘Alaam was used when I was in primary 5&6 up to my secondary years. This book helped me understand more of the practices of Islam. It is this 800++ pages book that I used to study fiqh.

Tafsir ibnu Khatir, was used by me to study the Quran deeper thus helped me understand previous questions I have about Islam. I only found this book in my secondary years though it had been there all the while.

The Fathul Bahri, this is a large set of books. Each book is the size of an A4 paper and as thick as Harry potter and the chambers of secret the paper back. Here is a collection of narration more complete than that of the Taisiirul ‘Alaam.

Through this books I learn Islam from its source. Not from Ustaz(religious teachers) who might have meddled their own opinions Or from false interpretations and narrations. My father always tells me that to learn Islam one cannot only depend on the teaching of others wholly, one must also learn to verify what was taught. This way we will never be lost or let astray.

Till the age of 12, around primary six-secondary one, I was a muslim by heritage and upbringing. I never really had a choice over my religion. Before that age I mostly assume that we are born into a religion. The thought of conversion just never existed. Then, I heard the stories of people converting into Islam and out of Islam. This time I asked My father, he answered they may have discover things that draws them to a religion, God will guide who god wills. Then a question came to me later, which I found an answer to,

2.256
“There is no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And
God heareth and knoweth all things.”

I have made my choice, I was Muslim by heritage and upbringing, now I am a Muslim by choice.

I will paused here for now…

salam


Inter-Religious Marriages

September 20, 2007

i was reading one of my friends blog which leads me to a forum regarding Inter-Religious Marriages.

In my personal opinion I believe that love has no boundaries, be it race, heritage, culture or in this case religion. but marriage, is a totally different thing. as love is recommended but not necessary in marriage. Though in casses inter-religious marriages cannot occur due to religious restriction. I believe inter-religious love can exist.

I am not familiar with Christianity, so I will not go there. However I am a Muslim and as so I will go deeper here.

In Islam Inter-Religious Marriages does exist. But there are conditions for doing such. A muslim man may marry a non-muslim, in this case, each professes to each own faith and the husband cannot force his wife to convert. For a muslim woman however, she is not allowed to marry a non-muslim, this can be explained that Islam teaches that the husband/father is the head of a family. so the only way for a muslim woman to marry a non-muslim is that the husband converts to Islam or she converts to the religion of her husband to be. However, in the later solutuion for a muslim woman to marry a non-muslim she will be conducting apostasy.

another thing, which is regarding the quote below from the forum.

“Quit your church and go Bugis Kuan Yin temple and pray to him…
Then go tell the girl you like her and you have quit your religion for her…”

now the question is if this person is so easily swayed to leave God(religion) for a girl. how easily will this person be swayed to leave this girl another girl or something else. Taking God so lightly of a matter. This definitely shows ones level of faith and how much you can trust such a person. so i advice the girl don’t go for him.

all truth be from God,
and mistakes be from me…

salam

 


Halal

August 26, 2007

Halal in Arabic meaning permissible. in our day to day usage it refers to the food that a muslim can eat. why am I writing on this post? it is because I had just read a post in a forum by a guy, most likely non-muslim. I qoute:

“Got food just eat, why care is halal or kosher or what not?!?!
Food and religion should not mix. Suckling pig is one of the nicest food on earth.”

I don’t mind the suckling pig part, maybe its true, lol. but I do mind the non-pig part, lol. Food and religion should not mix, clearly this person has a shallow understanding of religion. as religion is not merely praying to God, but building a relation between God and man. believing in God’s existent and adhering to God’s laws and regulation. having typed that, Islam imposes a strict regulation on food. I guess its a matter if a particular religion mixes itself with food. but now back to the topic.

But then I am not really “disturbed” by the comment. what disturbs me more is the fact that there are Muslims out there who cant tell what is and is not halal.

halal does not only = no pork, no lard. it also = no alcohol, no blood and no meat slaughtered in the name of other than Allah(this is why i cant eat chicken from a non-muslim stall, unless the chicken is halal of course). as quoted from the Qur’an :

“He hath only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name hath been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits – then is he guiltless. For Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful”

Further more for the meat, not all meat are allowed(I will not go into detail as most meat are allowed). before slaughtering, the animal must be well(not sick or deformed), after slaughtering the meat must be cleanse of impurities(dirty things, lol).

For fish, all fish are halal(permanent water creatures). so I can eat seafood from all shops.

like fish all vegetable and fruit are halal, and same goes for eggs.

the halal symbol is not at all a necessity, but a mere conformation that such food is halal. for example one can buy something without a halal symbol for as long as the consumer is sure that the ingredient used is halal, as in the case of me and egg tarts bought in school or takoyaki from the pasar malam. If by any chance that the consumer is in doubt if the food is halal or not. the food no longer is halal, as one of the pillars(rukun) in Islam is confident

so I hope this clears the issue of halal. if there are question still, or there are mistakes in the above please do leave a comment.

all truth be from God,
and mistakes be from me…

salam