Being a Listener

I am (still) reading Dale Carnegie’s book on How to Win Friends and Influence People. Time has really constrained my choices of reading, as well as the time being spent on it. I have just finished another interesting chapter written by him, ‘an easy way to become a good conversationalist’. As much as other chapters have been written, this chapter also captures the same pattern of writing. It is a more of sharing on how such aspiration is of daily experiences through stories of many people.

Humans, its nature is wanted to be heard, by anyone, by someone closer, by important figures, and some others. Such condition is expected more especially in times of desperate, and frustration. As Carnegie says it, what they want is only an attentive listener, with no interference, no other side story but his or hers. Indeed, that is the nature of US human, is it not? We love to talk about ourselves, what we have done, what we have achieved, and the list goes on.

But, in order for us to achieve a higher and more important role in society, we ought to let go such wanting of being heard and put ourselves in the shoes of those listeners. It might turn out that the attention you have given others would reward you in a better place, conditions, and feeling. Not that we should expect those in returns, but it would come to us due to our sincerity and honesty. More of these stories can be read in Carnegie’s book.

It is actually proven that the attention we provide others, the ears we lend them, is an asset to many great things. Being a psychologist requires you to have this skill of listening attentively. Failure of doing so, may cause you not to be able to engage your clients deeply, hence causing them not to be open to tell all the problems they are experiencing. Being a manager also requires the same skill and failure of doing so, may contribute to the low performance of your subordinates in their jobs.

What more if you are calling people to Allah. Indeed, listening is the skill every dai’e needs to master. Sometimes we only want to deliver what is right for them without allowing them to speak for themselves. For instance, some may judge that this person is ‘bad’, hence is taken lightly and is given no importance, but probably that person has problems that he or she needs someone to talk to. Being an attentive listener could bridge you to that person’s heart, hence able to win him or her on our side. What may lose in conversation is sincerity and honesty. Carnegie quotes, one may not pay attention when he or she is thinking of what to be said next. Why not, we allow the conversation to develop itself, and let the flow leads you into your conversation, hence making it natural. What more important is listening.

Some ways you may motivate the person to talk more of him or herself, or of the problems they have are; pay attention, show your genuine interest, be emphatic, inquire more if you really do not know, look in to their eyes, give ‘short’ responds (e.g. ‘hmm’, ‘ahuh’, ‘I see’), avoid interruptions and many more. I believe the more you are engage in the conversation, the more experience you will gain in tackling people.

Good Bye

Time really flies fast, it has been two years already since I first touched Australian ground. Tomorrow, this journey of mine will be ended, in the land of Kangaroo at 3.40 PM (Sydney Time). It feels as if only yesterday I had come to this land. So many things I have learned, so many experience I have undergone, so many obstacles I have endured, so many souls I have learned to know, and indeed I always believe that there are still many things I need to learn. Indeed this life is but a short journey, what more is to expect from the two years here.

I remembered the time when I came to Australia and stayed at Macquarie University Village, not only after two weeks of my arrival that ‘Awe’ contacted me. Since then I started to know all other ‘ikhwahs’, when visiting their home (of which I’m staying now), I began to know even more people. And then, it starts to grow, and grow to interstate level and then national, and then international. It may sound exaggerated but that is the truth. Rasulullah had once said that the good souls will tend to be with the ones like them, what I am trying to convey here is, once you are committed to tarbiyyah, you will find that you’re not the only one in your place doing it, wherever you would find them, they are your brothers.

Willingness to undergo the tarbiyyah process actually signifies our readiness to uphold Islam and what it requires of you. I don’t really know what others think about it, but those who say bad things about tarbiyyah are being biased as they are only being spectators and watching. I have lived among the people who wanted what is best for their ummah and for themselves, seen their struggle to fight the unnecessary in their life so they could clear their path to serve Allah, and so many things. Therefore I know what is of truth and what is of lies.

To some, friendship and brotherhood would be good if they could serve your needs, and only at good time. But the real friendship and brotherhood is actually how you survive the hardship and could still smile and cherish the bonds you have. To some, life is about enjoying the moment and carpe diem, but all these perspectives of life only last for a while if we do not live it the way Allah wants us to. To some, working in an organization means rewards, fame, popularity, and status, but working for Allah (if one understands) does not provide those worldly returns, but He assures us permanent rewards that could be very useful in hereafter, famous and popularity among the angels and His creation not only on earth but also in the heaven, and of course status that will ensure us place in His sight, blessing, and jannah. To some, it is important how their friends perceive them, therefore they would not want to leave the up-and-going lifestyle even they have understood the urgent need for tarbiyyah, but losing the brotherhood and those who could help us during the hardship day is worse than all those perception.

Maybe, if we want to learn how to sacrifice, we have to live among these people. They work very hard and sacrifice everything they have for the ummah who are sleeping next to a burning fire, waiting to destroy them. Indeed, this ummah is sleeping still, very sound in the blanket of their enemy that kept lying to them about the truth, and as time passes by the fire become closer and closer to them as what they believe in the enemy would bring them to the hellfire. And this small group of people are trying to save them from that fact, from that burning, the same like what Rasulullah had done during his lifetime. I have seen them return from work and did not go straight back home but spend some times for the ummah, so they would know what Islam is. I have seen them taking out money as if they have so much, to see this deen grows. I have seen many things, despite what the others would say, because they are only spectators.

But now, this field is no more mine, I will have to leave it as another field awaits me in near future. Till then, I would like to express my gratitude to all my brothers who have coached, facilitated, trained, and guided me, may Allah bless you all and reward you for your deeds, to those who have been my companions in sunny and rainy days, moments of happiness or the times when I need to lean on someone, jazakumUllahu khayran katsiira.

of Nobody Important

I guess nobody would have made her presence of one that is important, nobody but me. She is someone special to me, though she is nobody to me. I hope writing this down is never too late for her for she has passed this world a week ago.

She was a simple lady, a mother of few, a dedicated wife to her husband and the family. I called her ‘Acik Eton’, she came to my school ‘Maahad Ahmadi Gemencheh’ to work as a dishwasher at our Dining Hall. She used to wash for the boys, hence cleaning up the boys’ area. As I have said, she was nobody to me, the only bond I would have with her is that we are Muslims, yet I am closed to her. Maybe I am closed to every ‘Makcik Dewan Selera’.

She passed away last week, in all of a sudden, without anyone noticing it. I only knew about this matter when I called one of the ‘Makcik’ who had taken me as her adopted child. It was on the Tuesday last week when she said she had had headache, so she applied for an off day on Wednesday. On Thursday, she still had not showed up, I believed that some of the ‘Makcik’ had been wondering of her absence. Without them knowing, she had been submitted and to remain at the ward for operation, her child did not inform the ‘Makcik’.

When the matter had got to them, they went to the hospital and paid a visit. She was supposed to go for an operation when she was identified to have appendix problem, but the doctor kept her waiting too long, attending to other patients and letting her suffer from not eating since morning to the next day. On Friday, she passed away, her appendix had perforated, it was too late, and moreover she was too weak due to the restrain from eating more than a night.

I don’t know who to blame. Is it the doctor who kept delaying the operation or due to the restrain from eating more than a night, of which also to be put on the doctor. She is not the first person of whom I know to have experienced such mistreat. My late aunty was one of them, she had diabetes so it had infected her leg, pus was coming out at every bit of her skin and the smell was also awful. So the nurses wrapped her leg, but did not care to clean it. She was also verbally abused by the nurses. My question is why? Why would you say bad things like that? Aren’t you supposed to do your job? She died few days after, and we didn’t get to see her for the last time. Was it because that she was nobody important to you that you did not give her attention she needed?

Remembering ‘Acik Eton’, even though she was only a dishwasher, I had honoured her as I had honoured my mom, I gave her respect as she deserved it as a Muslim lady. At times when I paid a visit to my old school, I would talk to her and the other ‘Makcik’ and kept them company. We conversed about many things, and she always asked of my well-being and expressing her concern. Sometimes we laughed together as I helped her cleaning the veggies and cut them to pieces. Sometimes she teased me for my “too-urban” style when I was cutting the chicken to pieces for lunch. It would be wrong if I said that I am not sad with her passed, but it was too fast, and the way her life ended was tragic, in the sense of the value of life was put at stake, and you (the doctor) with the skills had kept her waiting without food, and suffering.

For the late Allahyarhamah, al-Fatihah,  Please to know that even though you are not tied to me in any official relationship, you are always dear to me. And I ask of Allah that He would lessen your burden in the grave and He would lighten up the darkness, and make your grave spacious of most. Above all, may Allah put you with the believers, and may we meet again in jannah.

a Day with Hope


One of my previous experiences was being a facilitator at various types of camps of which involved mainly students as their participants. Having said that, such role had brought me to various parts in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, up north to Perak dan to the east in Pahang. There were leadership, motivational, co-curricular camps, and the one that I had created my own when I was asked to was ‘Anak Soleh’ camp. And every time I would to go for such camp, I would bring this new-kind-of-spirit feeling (of course, depending on what type of camp and role I was acting as) to work with the kids.

One of the memories I had was still fresh in my mind when I first joined the team (of facilitators from UKM and IPB [Inst. Profesional Baitulmal]) was the camp held for the heavy smokers among form 3 students around Gombak dan Hulu Langat Districts. If I remember them correctly, there were 150 participants who were mainly Malays, some were Chinese and Indians. Some of this kids smoked two boxes of cigarettes per day (one of them was a little lady I should say), some averagely a box per day and so on. Needless to say, I was quite agitated and worried as it was my first experience dealing with such kids, there were bombardment of speculations and thoughts in my head.

My friends and I came on the second day (probably as trials as we stayed there only for a day) and we were given short briefing of what needed to be done. After a while the students were divided into smaller groups, and each of us was to take one group for an internal ice-breaking session and a brief talk about smoking. These kids were very active and I seemed to get the good ones (not really, maybe a little). So I was thinking, how would I get through these kids? I introduced myself first and then asked them to introduce themselves to one another, and I put up a little game, of which they would be tested about other’s biodata, with this, I could get them involved and concentrated.

What really happened was I took down all the walls of differences between me and them, bridged the gap, put away the prejudices, and accepted them as who they were, kids of our future generation. What happened all day was mainly on the concepts I put above. A teacher inspires their students, motivates their students, build their students’ self-esteems, and guide them to success. I also gave them the chance to speak, for them to prove and deem themselves worthy, for them themselves, for the school, for the family, and for whatever they wanted of. Guess how it turned out?

I reckoned when you treated others as humans, giving them their rights to be respected, despite the ‘thing’ they were into, they would honour you the same. As I was saying that we came on the second day, the first day didn’t go very well with the earlier facilitators as they were treating the kids like savages, and convicts while they themselves blew the same smoke they were trying to curb.

There were very much memories for only a day of facilitating, and I couldn’t write them all. As night had covered the earth with its blanket, we ought to leave. Some of the kids were crying that we had to leave, some were begging for us to stay until tomorrow. Even the naughtiest of them all asked  the same thing. We really hoped that we could, but that was how far it went. Nevertheless, we did leave our numbers with them, so they may ring us up if anything.

What I was trying to say here is that, there is hope in everyone. What they need is a chance, to prove, to deem themselves worthy, to be treated as who they are, not what they do, free from prejudices. What is required of us then, is to give them the chances, to open up our door of acceptance, free from prejudices, and a clear intention to help. Since then, I have fallen in love with such role and I am still looking forward to be a teacher. Remembering those memories have always made me wanted to teach and educate even more.

P/s: up until today, I still keep in touch with one the participants, and he had stopped smoking. He had health difficulties now, yet he is still strong. For that I love him due to Allah.

Praying at the Pyramid

I was walking around the seemingly packed shopping mall when I received an SMS. My friend had just told me that he’ll be arriving at Sunway Pyramid in about 30 minutes. I gazed at the time and thought, “I should pray Isya’ first”.

I have lost my way once in this huge mall and I did not want to take anymore chances, so I searched for the nearest directory. Fortunately, there was a prayer room in the same floor. I walked to it, passing through designer outlets, one after another. The prayer room was conveniently located but there was nobody there other than three cleaners who are busy cleaning the ablution area. They seemed to be Bangladeshi. I smiled at them as they saw me taking my shoes off. They smiled back.

As soon as they realized that I was going to perform my prayers, they carefully arranged their brooms and mops and proceeded to take wudhuk as well. They signalled to me that they wanted to pray together – jamaah. I felt a sense of peace and delight as we prayed together. They insisted that I lead the prayers. After we completed our prayers and I have prayed sunnah, I became aware of the time and rushed to leave the prayer room.

My hand was pulled. It was the cleaner. Shell-shocked, I looked at him. He smiled again.

He then said, “I’m sorry, I just want to shake the hands of the imam”.

He pulled out his right hand and I reached his with mine. We both exchanged smiles and I bid him salam before leaving the prayer room.

I could not stop smiling. I did not know what triggered me to feel that way.

Maybe it was because I felt the purest form of brotherhood from a stranger. A brotherhood that stems from being a Muslim.

Maybe it was because I had always found it strange that Malaysians usually don’t pray jamaah together in a surau (prayer room) especially at shopping malls. They rather pray alone even though there are 20 people praying alone in the same room. Of course there are exceptions but I mean, the majority just wants to pray alone.

A friend of mine once said, “They actually want to pray together, they just don’t have it in them to initiate it.” I have seen incidences when his theory was proven true. When someone else starts a jamaah, everybody else will join in. Someone just have to start.

I see hope. Hope for Malaysians. Hope for Muslims.

Thoughts On Air

“Are we landing in Jakarta?” a confused Australian lady asked one of the cabin crews on board.

“Yes, we are madam,” she replied.

The fact is, a majority of the passengers of MH 147 that night had no idea that the flight they booked will transit into Jakarta before taking off to Melbourne. Some were disgruntled, while others just kept their disagreement to themselves.

I was not too keen about it at first, but then we were told that it will only take one hour before we leave Jakarta for Melbourne. Plus, the arrival time to Melbourne remains the same. That’s that then.

As I arrived to my seat, a Chinese-looking young lady was sitting right next to me. I said; excuse me while squeezing myself into my window seat. She smiled and we proceeded to mind our own business. As the rest of the passengers got comfortable and took their seats, we both reached for our books to read. For some reason, I was curious to know what she was reading. And I sensed she was eyeing my book as well. To my surprise, she was reading a book about Islam. About Allah and His Messenger. About my religion.

You see, this lady seemed very modern – stylish clothes, dirty blonde hair and did I mention she looked completely Chinese. I would never imagine her to be a Muslim.

And then it struck me. I was being totally judgmental and incredibly naïve about it all. I had no knowledge if this lady and just by a mere look at her appearance, I made a conclusion that she is a non-Muslim. I even felt a quiver of hesitance when I wanted to read my book (Memperbaharui Komitmen Dakwah by Muhammad Abduh). In a split second, I thought to myself, would this lady next to me mind that I’m reading a book about Islam? But I reached for the book anyway.

We didn’t converse with each other. But I sat through the flight feeling rather embarrassed at myself for thinking the way I did.

After all, the Quran has time and time again reminded us about the diversity of people that Allah has created.

Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in God’s sight is that one of you who best performs his duty. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (49:13)

One of His signs is the creations of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colors (30:22).

Islam has spread throughout the world, into the hearts of millions of people regardless of race and nationality.

It was a total wake up call. Allah is the only worthwhile judge.

Personal Hygiene and You!

Have you ever been close to somebody and his or her body produces bad body odour? I bet you wish you could keep your distance from that person as far as you could. Well, try to put yourself in that person, who produces bad body odour’s shoes, what would you feel? People would avoid being next to you because you produce this smell that gives an annoyance to them. In this condition, they cannot be blamed, and we sometimes forget how important it is.

You may ask, ‘if such is true, why does nobody talk to me about this?’ well, the answer could be that they don’t want to hurt your feeling, yet they do make some indirect signs, signalling such occurrence is disturbing, it’s just that you may not realize it if you’re so over yourself. In addition, you may also say that, ‘hey, it’s normal aye~ it’s the male’s scent!’ believe me; many of us would reject that point of view as today’s world has a better provision of such scent.

We want to take care of our personal hygiene and appear better in front of everyone not because we want to impress them, and those who do that are stereotypical. Take it like this, imagine yourself as a promoter, or a salesperson, and you have products to be sold, what if the product you’re trying to promote is not getting sold not because you can’t promote it well, but it’s due to your unacceptable natural scent (how sarcastic is that?)?

What more if you’re trying to promote Islam to others? Do you think others would accept what we call others for if we ourselves are not well-taken care of? More to that, it’s not just your body odour, it’s also your underarm, breath, etc. Seriously, if you notice that you’re having this problem but others do not respond, they are just acting so, so that they would not hurt your feeling.

Moreover, it’s not wrong to wear your best every day as Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty (Recorded by Muslim and at-Tirmizi). But we don’t have to do it excessively; it’s good enough that we take care of the basics, and the rests are additional and may act as compliment.

The only reason I would write about this is, I have observed how many people who work to call others for Islam but ignoring this aspect or view this as something unimportant. ‘Sincerely’, would you feel comfortable standing or seating next to somebody who has that problem? I remind myself before writing to you guys, till then, salam.

for more info on personal hygiene, click here!

What Happened in Spain?

I was reading a research paper on ‘The Implication of Globalization on Arabic Language’ for my final assessment when I found a paragraph written about the Islamic Empire in al-Andalusia (now Spain) during its fall down. I felt an utter urge to share this with my Muslim brothers and sisters here.

The paragraph wrote about what happened when the Spanish Crusade had managed to overthrow the Muslims Caliph, they were deciding what to do with the millions of Muslims left. They (the Crusaders) decided to impose a forced conversion to Catholicism as well as destroying anything that relates to Islam. Knowing that that would happen, the Muslims only had two choices; leave Spain or pretending to be like the Catholic but keep the faith inside (Watt, 1965, p. 182).

The crusaders actions were full of hatred; honestly, I didn’t understand the reasons why they did all these besides they were envious and lustful for the power of ruling Spain. They banned the Muslims’ dress, prayers, fasting, pilgrimage to Makkah, and paying the zakat. The Muslims were also prohibited to speak or write in Arabic, and the penalties were severe;

  • 30 days in prisons in chains for the first offense
  • Double the sentence above for the second offense
  • A hundred lashes and four years in the galley (boat or ship, to work as slaves, rowing them)
  • Women and youths under 17 years old were imprisoned for four years.

(Thomson, 1989, p. 295)

The Muslims at that time were even unaffordable to utter ‘Allah’ in front of their young children, being afraid that the children would get the whole family in danger if they said the word at public upon hearing it. As time passed by, the knowledge of Islam was torn away from their mind and heart, what was left was the ‘syahadah’ being affirmed silently in heart without understanding the true meaning and obligation of it (Thomson, 1989, p. 285).

What happened to the Muslims back then was the biggest mourning by the Muslims’ world, it was unacceptable for what had been done to our brethren. It was totally the other way around when Islam captured Spain.

Tariq bin Ziyad was leading the Muslims navy from Morocco when they reached the Gibraltar Strait (did you guys ever wonder where the Gibraltar word came from? [Jabal (Gibral) Tariq] (tar)?], and marched the cleansing of Andalusia (the Land of the thieves, now known as Spain) from the barbaric gothic armies, saving the people from enslavement and suppression.

Besides bringing in the technologies, knowledge, civilisation and development, what more important is , Islam had never ever forced anyone in their region of caliphate to embrace Islam, instead, not only the Christians, but also the Jews were let to live in harmony and peacefully from any danger. Even more, in Toledo the three religions, Islam, Christian, and Jew were working together to translate the old transcript to Arabic before translating it to Spanish and other languages (an Islamic History in Europe, BBC 4).

In addition, Islam had also brought in the knowledge of medicine with its scholars, Avicenna (Ibn Sina), agricultural, philosophies, and some others. The most profound technology brought into Andalusia was architecture that was not only adopted by others in Spain, but also by one of the biggest cathedrals in the United Kingdom (When the Moors ruled in Europe). The magnificent build of the Cordova Mosque Pillars were adopted until today by many parts of the worlds for its beauty and its uniqueness.

Islam does not necessarily bring all the technologies, but surely Islam had never ‘murdered’ any culture is has come in to contact, it had either improvised it for the betterment, or provide assistance in living the right ways. Either or, Islam does not permit such separation of the believers of faith from their religions.

A LESSON for us, Muslims.


[video] An Islamic History of Europe, BBC 4, UK
[video] When Moors ruled in Europe, not known
Thomson, A. (1989). Blood on the cross: Islam in Spain in the light of Christian Persecution through the ages. London: Ta-Ha.
Watt, W. M. (1965). A history of Islamic Spain. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

The Capture of Egypt

When Egypt was captured by the Muslims in Umar al-Khattab r.a era, there were 1 million Roman Soldiers in control of the nation. The Muslims who were led by ‘Amr ibn al-‘As were only 8 000 in sum, but 12 000 in strength.

The story went back to after Baitul Maqdis was won by the Muslims. ‘Amr ibn al-‘As who led his troops was moving towards Egypt with the intention of capturing Egypt when he sent his subordinate to ask for permission from the Caliph, Umar r.a. In addition, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As himself was among of those who were intelligent at his time, so when Umar r.a. sent his messenger for the answer, he refused to accept to see him (and kept refusing the messenger) until they crossed over the border of Egypt. And the messenger was called for the answer by Umar r.a;

“If you have entered the border of Egypt, continue but if you’re still far, return to Madinah.”

The plan to capture Egypt was now on but he was still insufficient of soldiers, so he sent his messenger to ask for assistance from the caliph. When Umar asked how many of them paying the Jizyah (which means how many of the enemies are fighting, because only those who can fight have to pay jizyah if they are captured, nevertheless, it’s also to determine the size of the armies), he told Umar that they were 1 million of them.

Umar r.a. then gathered the Muslims in Madinah (most of them had gone spreading Islam towards east and had reached India at the time) and sent them to ‘Amr ibn al-‘As. He told ‘Amr that there were 8 000 of them being sent, but when ‘Amr counted them, there were only 4 000 of them. So, ‘Amr asked Umar where were the other 4 000? Umar answered;

“among these people, there are four people of whom their strengths are equal to 1 000 men, they are Muhammad ibn Maslamah, Zubair ibn Awwam, Ubadah ibn Samit, and al-Miqdad ibn Aswad.”

That’s why they were only 8 000 men in sum, but 12 000 in strength! As they were entering Egypt, the people of Egypt were very happy as they were giving them the freedom from the Romans and many embraced Islam. The Muslims had captured Egypt in only three months when they gained total control of Alexandria!

Refreshed and extracted from Dr. Tariq Swaidan’s lecture on The future of Our Religion

Dress Code

In sociolinguistic, we learn that a person would resort to speak, dress, and behave etc like a group of people of which he or she wanted to feel the self-belonging. One may come from a different part of the country to a place; for a certain purpose he or she has in mind, thus in assuring that the purpose is fulfilled it is very important that he or she makes themselves accepted by people around them. The same goes to when a teenager wanted to be like a certain figure; he or she would dress up, speak, and behave like the person he or she tries to imitate, a personality or a group.

The key here is; changing one’s preference (in dressing, speaking, behaving, manners, tones of voice, etc) to other so he or she is accepted. Such finding made by the sociolinguists was never a new thing to Islam, as our prophet has recorded it first. Hence, the finding above approves what has the prophet said;

Whoever imitates a people, they are among them [recorded by Ahmad, Abu Dawud].

The question that some may want to ponder upon here is where would the du’aat be in such claims? Should we dress like the others (the people we call for Islam) or how? Calling the people to Allah’s path in the present era needs us to be ‘in-line’ so that the term ‘exclusivity’ would not appear in the perception of the people whom we are calling. However, it should not be misunderstood that we should dress as the way others dress. We need not to wear baggy clothes, or sag jeans, or whatever just to call people for Islam and Allah.

Be moderate in what we wear and wear what is permitted by Islam that is by making sure that it covers our “aurat”. The du’aat are the ambassadors of Allah, we represent what have we understood from its teaching, despite the fact that we should wear our best; it does not necessarily mean we have to overspend on our clothing. We also learn that in Islam, moderation is the best, it’s not the path-in-between or the middle-way, rather it’s not being extreme or taking it too lightly.

As much as we want to follow the sunnah of the prophet (PBUH) in ibadah, we would also want to follow his guidance in our attitude and manners (akhlaq). Moreover, experiencing the difficult target to be approached does not need us to give up our principles for if it goes against Allah’s will, and then everything would go wrong. Al-akh or a dai’e ilAllah is the example set on others to follow, in Islam we call it qudwah hasanah as Rasulullah SAW had said, the best among you, is the best in his attitude and manners.

p/s: not all imitation of people is bad, imitating the pious, the scholars, sabiquunal awwalun, and the prophet could never be a bad thing aye?!~

Love if You May

“No matter how much you would love somebody, there would be a boundary to it, for the greatest boundless love is only for Allah. Deny this at your will, but you would never live the life you have now if it is not for His love and mercy.”

I wrote the saying above for a brother in Islam, but come to think of it, it is inevitably true. You may say that you would swim sea of fire for them, or hike the highest mountain on the earth so you may prove your love (in an odd way I reckon), but bear this fact with you, there is a boundary to it. Even when the choice is ours, the boundary is predetermined. This is something crucial needed to be understood.

The predetermined boundary to our love; be it brotherly or to our parents, maybe to the wife one has, or to the children they have brought up, is DEATH. Spend if you may, decades of your life with your loved ones, but they will leave you when the time comes as Allah has made His fate unto all of His servants. He mentioned this in the Holy Quran;

Never did We destroy an ummah that had not a term decreed and assigned beforehand. Neither can a people anticipate its term, nor delay it. [NQ:15:5]

I instantly recall a moment when Archangel Gabriel (Jibreel a.s) came down to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with words from Allah (referred to as the al-hadith al-qudsi as it was not compiled in the same book of Quran) saying; ‘love anyone ye may, but forget not for they will die’. How this very much explains the argument I put above, that love for human is limited. Unless when you love Allah for He is eternity, when the sky falls, and the earth shakes and crumble, everything will die even the angel of death will have to take his very own life, but Allah will perish not.

Loving Allah has no boundaries and limitless, for when we love Him a step forward, He has come forward a thousand steps closer to us. If we come to him walking, He would run coming to us (as mentioned in hadith, to show how He would be dearly to His servants’ love). Up to the stage when He wants to give His light and assistance unto the people of faith (of whom have made efforts to follow His ruling) nobody could stop Him, and when He would turn the world upside down, nobody would dare to stop Him.

What Allah out of his Mercy doth bestow on mankind there is none can withhold: what He doth withhold, there is none can grant, apart from Him: and He is the Exalted in Power, full of Wisdom. [NQ:35:2]

Loving Allah will save us from the hellfire for when we love Him, His path would be the path we choose to follow, yet, to love human being for the sake of Allah is an ibadah, doing as He says. Nevertheless, there are still boundaries, as such there is no halal relationship between the opposite sex before marriage. Thus, beware of loving our loved ones too much for Allah has forbidden us to do so up to the stage where we have come to ignore His call;

Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious. [NQ:9:24]

Numbering the Zero

Try to add zero to another zero, what will you get? Correct! A zero. Try to add millions of zero, what will you get? Still, a definite zero. A definite zero without a value. This is what a renowned Muslim scholar from the past, Syakib Arsalan had been trying to explain when the Muslim scholars all over the globe sent him a letter, which regard to returning the caliphate to its state. He said; “what is the use of gathering the weaklings? What is the use of adding up the zeros?”

The reality

The fact is, at that time, all Muslims were drown by the influence of the British Colonials to overthrow the caliph from his place just because he was a Turkish, with the propaganda that if the caliph was to be established, it should be the Arabs to hold the position, not the Turkish! While in Turkey itself, the propaganda by the Zionists and the backstabbers had also contributed to the banishment of the last caliph Sultan Abdul Hamid II. By the time the Muslims had realized it, it was too late.

It is still fresh in my mind, the words of our beloved last caliph, Sultan Abdul Hamid II when Theodore Herzl came up to him to buy the Palestinians land with a tremendous amount of money, he said; “I am not going to give one inch of Palestine to the Jews as Palestine is not mine give, but it belongs to the Ummah, and Ummah have shed blood to defend this land, but if one day the Islamic State falls apart, then you can have Palestine for free, but as long as I am alive, I would rather have my flesh be cut up than cut out Palestine from the Muslim land. I will not allow any carving up while I am alive!”

Until the end of his life, he is still fighting not for himself, but for the ummah. And we shall mark the day when the caliphate fell as the darkest day in the Islamic History.

The work

Even when the Abbasiyyah’s Caliphate had been attacked by Hulagu Khan, and the Muslim world in chaos, the work to rebuild this ummah had started since then. Ibn Taimiyyah had started rebuilding the individuals after almost 1 000 000 Muslims had been massacred by the 10 000 Tartar armies in Baghdad. Why did he make the effort and struggle to build the individuals while he could actually do more than that?

Simple! Let’s look at this analogy. If one wishes to build a tower, what should he first do? He should learn about the space, the area, the site, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the specific area. He then, must identify what are the materials essential to build a tower. Before proceeding to building the tower, he must build a very strong base. Why is this necessary? Because without a strong foundation or base, it will never be able to hold the weight of the tower thus, would actually cause the tower to fall down, and then only he can build the tower on it.

The same with this ummah. We are very far behind from the previous ummah who had preceded us in civilisation, technologies, knowledge etc. Therefore, we must identify the weaknesses and the strength of this ummah. We are fallen apart, we are not united, we are separated by barriers created by the colonials, what we are proud of is our own race and nation, despite the irony that Islam has made us brethrens with the tie of faith, the tie of iman! Our strength is that when we understand the true message of Islam, and we then unite again as an ummah, we are strong! Therefore we are now set to build the foundation.

Who are the foundations? We are! The Muslims are, the individuals who are called Muslims and wanted to learn about Islam. It is very important to build the individuals, not to create individuality, but to produce the individuals who can work for his ummah, not merely his desire. Because, there is no use in having an Islamic state if the ummah is weak to protect and defend it.

This is what Syakib Arsalan tried to tell us, the modern Muslim Ummah, the end-of-time ummah! We may have 1.8 billion Muslims, but if we add them up, we gather them up, they are no more than a definite zero! Due to the fact that Islam is very far away from their life, that Islam is no more than a ritual to them, that their iman or faith is like a submarine of which always submerges and only resurfaces during Syawal, Dzulhijjah, or even Friday Prayer. All these can simple be defeated because we are weak inside out.


I wish to compare the present ummah with the first ummah established in Makkah and Madinah by our beloved prophet Muhammad (PBUH) despite of the fact that it is universally known these two can never reach equality in comparison. They are very much better than us.

Imagine, they had suffered days in hunger, and yet they are still strong, and they can still fight for the sake of Allah, compared to us, even when the hunger is only for an hour or two, we are barely able to survive it. Shame on us, who called ourselves Muslims!

Compare, they are more than willing to put their materials and belongings (even lives!) at stake, while us, would be counting fingers to take a dollar or two out from out pocket! Shame on us the end-of-time Muslims!

To them, what is the most worthy of protection and honours was their faith, which they can never trade it with something else, except to Allah. While us, what are our precious? Our house, money, car, and all the sorts of stuffs that will never remain with us forever! Shame on us Muslims!

Verily, we can never reach them for equality in iman, they were what Allah has said in the Quran as the best ummah, the cream of the cream, they lived for the sake of Allah, they also died for the sake of Allah, their deeds and ‘amal, were all for Him, alone. If I would to make anymore comparisons, none of them will win them, we are far behind.

What Maududi said

Abul ‘Ala al-Maududi said that being a Muslim is not what is presented by our names, or clothing, because what is the use of having those if our lives are no different than the non-Muslims? even worse, some of us are very bad in behaviour compared to the non-Muslims! Even if we pray, what different would it make if we still commit sins? Islam is not merely saying the syahadah, but to understand it, living it, and implementing it. Islam is not presented by simply names, and clothing, but also our way of life, as Islam is not same with other religion, Islam is not simply ritual, but it is the way of life, of which Allah has written what is allowed and what is not.

Living the life as prescribed by al-Quran and as-Sunnah has never stopped us from living a luxurious life, or earning wealth, but there are ways in living it. We are taught to be moderate and share what we have with the poor as what we earn includes their share; therefore we are to purify it by giving out zakat. Islam is a complete and holistic religion, therefore we are to accept the deen as a whole not refusing some and accepting the parts where we like most. Islam teach us to be the real human.

In fact, we ought to be grateful to Allah and being a Muslim because our way of life is set by and sent down by the Almighty Allah, and is not interrupted by the human hands, or even their limited minds.

The efforts

The struggle, the effort in returning the righteous place for the Muslims and returning Islam its dignity, is nevertheless only by building up the individuals, individuals who understand Islam thoroughly, and then work for the creation of a Baitul Muslim (the Muslims Families) of which the understanding of Islam and its teaching are practiced and implemented. Thus, creating the Muslims community of which reminding each other of what is right and what is wrong, of the al-Haq and separate it from al-Bathil. All these people will then govern the state by the ruling of Allah and Islam. Hence, from there, creating a Muslim state or country whereby all the citizens abide to the rule of Islam. And then, the caliphate can be restored to its honour. Thus, Islam then, can lead the world again, under its umbrella (Asy-Syahid Imam Hassan al-Banna).

All Muslims are obliged to re-learn Islam and practice it, because Islam is not the deen of utterance, the proof of faith is by confessing it by heart, utter it by the tongue, and practice it with deeds. There are more about Islam than what we know today. There are more about our history we need to reread, so we could learn lessons from them, not merely as morals and values but also as reinforcement to bring back what is ours. We will be really surprise to know that we don’t know much about our deen. The deen of which we are very proud of. We are now returned to the phase where the prophet Muhammad had started, and we shall continue his effort to rise up Islam to the the top.

Again and Again

bismillahi walhamdulillah...

have we ever counted all the good things that have been given to us? even if we made the attempt of counting all the ni`mah that Allah has given us, believe me, we can't, simply because it's countless. yes, in the other word, we owe Allah a lot. but have we ever thought about it? have we ever reminded ourselves that we have lived this life merely because Allah allows us to? instead, we tend to forget, we act as if we govern our own life, that we are not the creation of the Almighty Lord, Allah. how could we? even the breath we inhale is from Allah, how could we actually deny His existence in our daily life? subhanAllah (from any weaknesses).
And if you should count the favours of Allah, you could not enumerate them. indeed Allah is Forgiving and Merciful [NQ:16:18]
And He gave you from all you asked Him. and if you should count the favour of Allah, you could not enumerate them. indeed mankind is most unjust and ungrateful. [NQ:14:34]
today, i have had an experience for an afternoon with brother Mehmet, him and i had our lunch somewhere at lane cove. he has indeed reminded me of how much Allah has made me favours, which are uncountable even if i would to write all of it. subhanAllah. i am counting myself in front of Him. i am reminding myself now, as much as i am reminding you readers. Allah is the All-Knowing, All-Seeing, All-Listening, for every word we whisper, also we think of, even before we take it out as saying, Allah has learned it and noted it earlier. He knows of our intentions. astaghfirullah...

this is one big favour Allah has done for us, where He has given us a turning point to shift our paradigm, making a 180 degree change for a better person, how could we forget? for all these time, maybe we have been living as a mere human, knowing the fact that we are Allah's servants but act not as we are. and there is this one moment in our life He had given His light of Hidayah unto us, we are awaken from this deep sleep of ignorance starting to learn about our environment that has been dirtied by fake and false philosophy of life. we learn about the Ghazwul Fikr that has been set upon us, we learn also about our glorious history where Islam had once taken 2/3 of the world under its protection, thus govern it for a better world. hence, world at that moment witnessed the best era of humankind, unlike today.

not to be forgotten how lucky we are, when Allah has given us a shelter to live under, clothes to wear, foods to eat. yet, we are still ungrateful for what we have now. we with our lustful desire want more than what we have had been given by Allah the Almighty Lord. who are we to be ungrateful? have we ever thought of our Muslim brothers who have been fighting for their own rights of living? they have been fighting against missiles and bombs with JUST stones, even al-Qassam is a rocket, what is there to be compared between a rocket and a missile? they have been fighting for foods, so they could replace the hunger. what do we do to help them? we call ourselves brothers and sisters in Islam, but what do we actually do to help them? even to boycott PEPSIco and Coca Cola would be a burden on us, since we have a big thirst for it.

we Muslims admit that this world is temporary, yet i find it very ackward that we are so easily tempted with what Gucci, or Dolce and Gabbana, or maybe Banana Republic have to offer. and in the end of the day, we call ourselves the humble servants of Allah, how all these contradict our words. owh, we have forgotten how action speaks louder than words, thus forgetting that Allah judges us from our doings, judges us for what we have put as efforts to get closer to Him and become a better servant. let us be reminded that we are not judged for the looks we have, the ancestry we are attached to, or for the wealth we own, but we are judged by our hearts and our deeds. by our hearts and deeds, we know that it is by executing all the commandments provided in the Qur'an and teaching of Islam, also the Sunnah of our dearest Prophet Muhammad SAW.

above all, it is us, bear in mind, those of you (including me) who claim to shoulder the syu'ur of Allah SWT, who work for Him in spreading His words in Quran, in teaching people of what Prophet Muhammad SAW has brought in Islam are to be responsible for this. for whatever we say, we think, and we do, we have to make sure that it all go along together, words with actions, not simply saying this and that, this is wrong, this is right, but our actions lead us wrongly. may Allah SWT forgive us for our mistakes.

we as the ones claiming ourselves as Ansharullah must be the best people for those who work for Allah are the ones whom others can take as role models, we are indirectly being observed as we witness that Allah is the only Almighty Lord to be worshipped and that Muhammad is His messenger. we have been given by Allah another chance whereby He has taken us out from Dzulumaat and transfer us into Noor, are we not grateful for that? for that we want to share it with other people in this world, therefore we are the benchmark. if we call people to Allah's path, but we act against it, people will not only go away from you but they will also insult this religion, insult our prophets, insult Allah.

this is the big favour that Allah has also lies upon us, to spread His words. nobody else in this world is given this reponsibility but human. not even the mountains nor the birds, none other than us. we have to have our 'izzah upon it, for we are the best people. we have owed Allah a lot, and this is now the time to repay for what Allah has done for us, to work for Him for his religion.
And who is more unjust than one who is reminded of the verses of his Lord, then he turns away from them? indeed We, from the criminals, will take retribution [NQ:32:22]
o Allah, from our sins we repent, so forgive us, and accept our repentance. it is only to You we seek refuge, so forgive our sins that we have committed, forgive our parents' sins and shower them with Your blessings as how they have brought us up. make us this life a better life for us, make us a better person out of this short life. o Allah, guide our path in front of us to Your path, don't let us go astray for we are forgetful creatures. may all of our deeds go along together with our sayings, our niaats, our faith upon you. we ask You no other than Your blessing, for if it is not Your blessing, how could we enter Your Jannah. Ameen ya Rabbal Alameen.

let us remember the favours Allah has given us.

the authors

Ahmad Arif Hussin was born in Kuala Lumpur on February 1986. His early education was in Kelana Jaya before entering secondary level at SMK Seri Permata and MRSM Kuala Kubu Bharu. He is currently doing his degree in Medicine at Monash University, Clayton Campus Australia. Before leaving for overseas, he did his preparation at International Education Centre UiTM. His interests are in Literature, Psychology, Islamic History, English, and Mathematics/Physics. He has had experience in representing MRSM KKB in English and Malay debate, acting as director for the annual Winter Trip for 2008, and is now the member of the Academic and Welfare Bureau ISMA Australia (Victoria Branch).

Mohd Azmir Mohd Razli was born on September 1987 in Kota Bharu Kelantan. He had his early education in Seremban Negeri Sembilan before continuing his secondary learning at SMA Rembau (formerly known as SMRA Rembau) and Maahad Ahmadi Gemencheh, Negeri Sembilan. He also had done his preparation programme in Institut Pendidikan Guru Malaysia, Kolej Bahasa-Bahasa Antarabangsa before pursuing his degree in B.Ed TESOL at Macquarie University (currently in 3rd Year). His major interests are behavioural psychology, photography, Islamic literature, motivation, education and Islamic history. He has had experience in acting as Editor in Chief for his secondary school and college’s bulletins, representing Maahad Ahmadi in English speech and debate, as well as Malay public speech.

Hanan binti Othman was born on the 1st of April in Liverpool, England. She had her early education in Liverpool, England followed by Bandar Baru Bangi from standard three onwards before continuing her secondary learning in Kuala Selangor Sains Secondary School (KUSESS). She then did a one year preparation course with the Monash University Foundation Year (MUFY) at Sunway College before persuing her degree at Monash University, Clayton Campus, Australia. With a major in Geosciences, she is currently working as a geoscientist with PETRONAS Carigali Sdn Bhd. Her main interests are in education, motivation, mathematics, atmospheric science, and of course, rocks. She holds a black belt in Taekwondo and loves outdoor activities. Back in Australia, she was the website PIC for the Academic and Welfare Bureau ISMA Australia (Victoria Branch). She also has experiences in representing KUSESS in english debate, public speaking and scrabble.


Bismillahi walhamdulillah,

The blog has started as an aspiration from a brother, wanting for articles (of which are beneficial) to be written in English. Both of us are aware that he himself could do this; instead he has asked us to do it. After consulting and discussing with us personally, both of us (the writers) have agreed to his request and then discussed among us, how we could make this possible.

At first, the request is to write a book, unfortunately that is quite too abrupt and both of us cannot make it. Then, there comes the blog idea where we would write and post what we have to share in our minds with you guys. Even at the discussion level, it is not an easy task to do, as we have to decide what, how to write, and even the name of the blog.

Hence, in the name of Allah, here it is; ‘Ordinary People Extraordinary Minds’, we would do our best to write what comes from our heart and knowledge we have learned so it may serve you readers best. We seek guidance from Allah, may He be with us in doing this task, and is counted as the bits and pieces of da’wah efforts.

JazakumUllahu khayran katsiira~

Warm regards,


Subscribe via E-mail

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Something About the Blog

we write from our hearts so we may reach yours, as we endure the life full of challenges, and we choose the Quran and Sunnah as our guidance to live the life

Keep Updated!

Recent Comments

Powered by Blogger Widgets