Sunday, September 27, 2009

From Your Christian Sister With Love


My Dear Muslim Sisters,

Between the Israeli assault on Lebanon and the Zionist "war on terror," the Muslim world is now center stage in every American home. I see the carnage, death and destruction that have befallen Lebanon, but I also see something else: I see you. I can't help but notice that almost every woman I see is carrying a baby or has children around her. I see that though they are dressed modestly, their beauty still shines through. But it's not just outer beauty that I notice. I also notice that I feel something strange inside me: I feel envy. I feel terrible for the horrible experiences and war crimes that the Lebanese people have suffered, being targeted by our common enemy.

But I can't help but admire your strength, your beauty, your modesty, and most of all, your happiness. Yes, it's strange, but it occurred to me that even under constant bombardment, you still seemed happier than we are, because you were still living the natural lives of women. The way women have always lived since the beginning of time. It used to be that way in the West until the 1960s, when we were bombarded by the same enemy. Only we were not bombarded with actual munitions, but with subtle trickery and moral corruption.

They bombarded us Americans from Hollywood, instead of from fighter jets or with our own American-made tanks. They would like to bomb you in this way too, after they've finished bombing the infrastructure of your countries. I do not want this to happen to you. You will feel degraded, just like we do.

You can avoid this kind of bombing if you will kindly listen to those of us who have already suffered serious casualties from their evil influence.

Because everything you see coming out of Hollywood is a pack of lies, a distortion of reality, smoke and mirrors. They present casual sex as harmless recreation because they aim to destroy the moral fabric of the societies into which they beam their poisonous programming. I beg you not to drink their poison. There is no antidote for it once you have consumed it. You may recover partially, but you will never be the same. Better to avoid the poison altogether than to try to heal from the damage it causes.

They will try to tempt you with their titillating movies and music videos, falsely portraying us American women as happy and satisfied, proud of dressing like prostitutes, and content without families. Most of us are not happy, trust me. Millions of us are on anti-depressant medication, hate our jobs, and cry at night over the men who told us they loved us, then greedily used us and walked away. They would like to destroy your families and convince you to have fewer children. They do this by presenting marriage as a form of slavery, motherhood as a curse, and being modest and pure as old-fashioned. They want you to cheapen yourself and lose your faith. They are like the Serpent tempting Eve with the apple. Don't bite.

I see you as precious gems, pure gold, or the "pearl of great value" spoken of in the Bible (Matthew 13: 45). All women are pearls of great value, but some of us have been deceived into doubting the value of our purity. Jesus said: "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you" (Matthew 7: 6). Our pearls are priceless, but they convince us that they're cheap. But trust me; there is no substitute for being able to look in the mirror and seeing purity, innocence and self-respect staring back at you. The fashions coming out of the Western sewer are designed to make you believe that your most valuable asset is your sexuality. But your beautiful dresses and veils are actually sexier than any Western fashion, because they cloak you in mystery and show self-respect and confidence. A woman's sexuality should be guarded from unworthy eyes, since it should be your gift to the man who loves and respects you enough to marry you. And since your men are still manly warriors, they deserve no less than your best. Our men don't even want purity anymore. They don't recognize the pearl of great value, opting for the flashy rhinestone instead. Only to leave her too.

Your most valuable assets are your inner beauty, your innocence, and everything that makes you who you are. But I notice that some Muslim women push the limit and try to be as Western as possible, even while wearing a veil (with some of their hair showing). Why imitate women who already regret, or will soon regret, their lost virtue? There is no compensation for that loss. You are flawless diamonds. Don't let them trick you into becoming rhinestones. Because everything you see in the fashion magazines and on Western television is a lie. It is Satan's trap. It is fool's gold.

I'll let you in on a little secret, just in case you're curious: pre-marital sex is not even that great. We gave our bodies to the men we were in love with, believing that that was the way to make them love us and want to marry us. Just as we had seen on television growing up. But without the security of marriage and the sure knowledge that he will always stay with us, it's not even enjoyable! That's the irony. It was just a waste. It leaves you in tears. Speaking as one woman to another, I believe that you understand that already. Because only a woman can truly understand what's in another woman's heart. We really are all alike. Our race, religion or nationalities do not matter. A woman's heart is the same everywhere. We love. That's what we do best. We nurture our families and give comfort and strength to the men we love. But we American women have been fooled into believing that we are happiest having careers, our own homes in which to live alone, and freedom to give our love away to whomever we choose. That is not freedom. And that is not love. Only in the safe haven of marriage can a woman's body and heart be safe to love. Don't settle for anything less. It's not worth it. You won't even like it and you'll like yourself even less afterwards. Then he'll leave you.

Sin never pays. It always cheats you. Even though I have reclaimed my honor, there's still no substitute for having never been dishonored in the first place. We Western women have been brainwashed into thinking that you Muslim women are oppressed. But truly, we are the ones who are oppressed; slaves to fashions that degrade us, obsessed with our weight, begging for love from men who do not want to grow up. Deep down inside, we know that we have been cheated. We secretly admire and envy you, although some of us will not admit it. Please do not look down on us or think that we like things the way they are. It's not our fault. Most of us did not have fathers to protect us when we were young because our families have been destroyed. You know who is behind this plot. Don't be fooled, my sisters. Don't let them get you too.

Stay innocent and pure. We Christian women need to see what life is really supposed to be like for women. We need you to set the example for us, because we are lost. Hold onto your purity. I hope you receive this advice in the spirit in which it is intended: the spirit of friendship, respect, and admiration.

From your Christian sister with love.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Revived

Sometimes Allah breaks our spirit to save our soul.
Sometimes Allah breaks our heart to make us whole.

Sometimes Allah allows pain so we can be stronger.
Sometimes Allah sends us failure so we can be humble.
Sometimes Allah allows illness so we can take better care of ourselves.

Sometimes Allah takes everything away from us,
Just so that we can learn the value of everything He gave us.

Plan, but understand that we only live by Allah’s grace.



Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kembali kepada fitrah

Allahuakbar.. Allah Maha Besar..

Setelah sebulan kita berpuasa, setalah sebulan berperang dengan nafsu semata-mata, hari ini kita kembali kepada fitrah kita, fitrah seorang insan yang baru dilahirkan.. suci sesuci bening pagi, putih berseri bak kapas bersih. InsyaAllah, begitulah hendaknya.

This Ramadhan has been a tumultuous one for me. Madrasatul Ramadhan, I have emerged a much better person (I hope), insyaAllah. It is hard to express what I feel when the feelings are too vast to be expressed into words. Above all I thank Allah, for giving me the opportunity to correct my wrongs, to expunge my sins and cleanse my soul.

Lesson 1:
giving up something that I love for the sake of Allah.
Reward: Liberation from the feeling of guilt.
Feeling: Indescribable.

There are many kinds of love in this world. And there are so many things to love. But there are only two categories of love, one is because of Allah and the other because of our nafs. When you love something or someone because of Allah, you will be willing to sacrifice your own feelings for the sake of the hereafter more than what the world offers you. Sometimes what you love may not bring the best for you in the hereafter, thus you sacrifice you feelings so that you may get something way better in the hereafter.

Ramadhan ini, saya telah melalui pengalaman yang sangat sangat berharga. Kisahnya biarlah menjadi rahsia hati saya. Keperitan pada mulanya memang sukar digambarkan. Apa tidaknya, cuba bayangkan Nabi Ibrahim yang terpaksa menyembelih anaknya Ismail dengan tangannya sendiri atau bayangkan kita yang terpaksa menyembelih anak kita sendiri (untuk yang belum ada anak, bayangkan menyembelih mak ayah kita). Bayangkan ketika anda memegang parang di leher mereka, agaknya apa perasaan anda ya?

Sakit, sedih, pedih, pilu, semuanya ada. Tapi saya tahu kalau saya tidak korbankan perasaan saya itu, sampai bila-bila pun saya akan terperangkap dalam dunia tunggang terbalik ('stuck in limbo'). Sebab saya tahu Allah sudah nyatakan apa yang Dia suka dan apa yang Dia larang, setiap satunya ada hikmah tersembunyi yang tak terjangkau dek akal manusiawi kita. Jadi, yang saya rasa (saya rasa je pun bukannya saya yakin, hehe) baik untuk saya, tidak semestinya baik untuk saya dan begitulah sebaliknya. Kerana yang Maha Tahu hanyalah Allah swt. Namun, cukup untuk saya katakan bahawa perasaan bebas selepas melalui fasa yang menyakitkan itu rasanya, aduh.. seperti terbang di awan biru! Subhanallah!

“Boleh jadi kamu membenci sesuatu, padahal ia amat baik bagimu, dan boleh jadi (pula) kamu menyukai sesuatu, padahal ia amat buruk bagimu; Allah mengetahui, sedang kamu tidak mengetahui.” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 216)

Lesson 2: Meletakkan pergantungan semata-mata kepada Allah.
Reward: Peace and tranquility.
Feeling: Calmness enveloping.

Two days ago, I lost my car keys. That day, duty started like usual at 8 am. Walking to the hospital that morning, I was carefree and feeling youthful. We saw an assisted vacuum delivery in the Labor Room around 9 am and there was a case presentation from 10.45 am to 1 am. It was around 1.30 am when I finally realized that my car keys was not in my white coat and not in my bag. By that time, no one else was around since it was the last day of school just before the Raya break (i.e last friday) and you can guess by now that they have all gone back home.

Setelah solat Zuhur, saya lakukan solat sunat taubat takut-takut Allah uji saya dengan kehilangan kunci kereta dek dosa saya yang saya telah lakukan tanpa saya sedari. Pada ketika itu, hati masih tenang dan masih yakin bahawa kunci akan ditemui dengan pertolongan Allah. Setelah itu, saya pun keluar dari surau hospital menuju ke OT (Bilik Bedah) yang merupakan destinasi pertama saya pagi tadi. I was trying to retrack my steps from the time I walked to the hospital to where I was at that time. Saya ke sana dan ke mari, ke situ dan ke sini.

Dan dalam perasaan gundah gelana, saya leka daripada memerhatikan waktu yang telah dihabiskan berjalan dan bertanya. I have been walking all around the hospital and the faculty for 2 hours non-stop! Tiba-tiba terbayangkan Siti Hajar bersama Ismail, ditinggalkan Nabi Ibrahim ditengah-tengah padang pasir yang tandus lalu terasa diri amat kerdil. Bibir mengucapkan Hasbunallah wa nikmal Wakeel - cukup, cukup, cukup bagiku Allah semata-mata sebagai Wakil. Allah alone is Sufficeint for us. Pergantungan semata-mata kepada Allah Yang Maha Memberi Pertolongan. Pada ketika diri hampir sahaja berputus asa, saya merendahkan hati padaNya dan berdoa, "If this is the best for me, than strengthen my Iman because of it O Allah!"

Malam itu, Ibu saya terjumpa kunci spare kereta (which was actually hanging on the key holder on the wall!) dan Alhamdulillah kami selamat tiba di kampung pagi tadi sebelum sahur dengan menaiki dua buah kereta, kereta saya dan kereta Ibu saya. Alhamdulillah.

Mungkin cerita kunci kereta saya ini terlalu simple dan mungkin bagi yang tidak melaluinya tidak dapat menangkap apa yang ingin saya sampaikan. Tapi demi Allah, if I can turn back time and go through all the worry and hardship of what happened, I would! Just so that I could get the feeling of Hasbunallah wa nikaml Wakeel back. Cukup mengasyikkan.

"Those (believers) unto whom the people (hypocrites) said, "Verily, the people have gathered against you (a great army), therefore, fear them." But it only increased them in Faith, and they said: "Allah alone is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs." (Surah Ali Imran: 173)

Banyak lagi kisah-kisah Ramdhan yang lain. Dan terlampau banyak lessons yang dapat diraih dalam madrasatul Ramadhan kali ini, tapi cukuplah dua pengajaran ini untuk saya kongsi pada kali ini. Semoga bermanfaat untuk saya dan semua pembaca.

***

Esok hari pertama Syawal. Seharusnya, hari kegembiraan menyambut kembalinya kita kepada fitrah seorang bayi yang tidak berdosa. Hari memuji kebesaran Ilahi yang telah mengembalikan kita kepada fitrah kita dengan kasih sayang dan rahmatNya.

Tapi saya takut. Takut saya tidak mampu untuk terus mengekalkan momentum amal saya seperti ketika Ramadhan, takut saya tidak akan bertemu lagi Ramadhan pada tahun hadapan, takut hari-hari mendatang melemahkan Iman saya lalu saya kembali menempek hati dengan karat-karat jahiliyyah, takut kelak saya tidak layak meraih redha dan syurga tertinggi Allah...

Allahumma Balighna Ramadhan.
Ya Allah, sampaikan aku dan saudara seislamku kepada Ramadan.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kopi-Pasta: Suntikan Iman

“Seseorang Islam itu sudah cukup untuk dikatakan menyeleweng apabila dia meninggalkan jihad di jalan Allah, cenderung pada keduniaan, mencitai dunia melebihi akhirat, bencikan mati, mengikuti hawa nafsu, tunduk kepada syahwat, tenggelam dalam maksiat sehingga mereka dihina oleh Allah dengan kegagalan yang paling besar kepada mereka dan menjadikan pimpinan mereka pada tangan golongan yang menyeleweng dan merosakkan mereka”
-- Ustaz al Sawwaf

Di Luar Topik Ilmu Tabib

Have been studying a bit around the geography of Indonesia and the spread of Islam in the region. Very intresting, Subhanallah!

"Simpulan sembrono itu ternyata berasal dari pernyataan mantan wartawan Far Eastern Economic Review yang mengaku-aku sebagai pengamat gerakan Islam, Sadanand Dhume. "Hanya ada pemikiran kecil yang membedakan PKS dengan JI. Seperti JI, manifesto pendirian PKS adalah untuk memperjuangkan Khilafah Islamiyah. Seperti JI, PKS menyimpan rahasia sebagai prinsip pengorganisasiannya, yang dilaksanakan dengan sistem sel yang keduanya pinjam dari Ikhwanul Muslimin… Bedanya, JI bersifat revolusioner, sementara PKS bersifat evolusioner. Dengan bom-bom bunuh dirinya, JI menempatkan diri melawan pemerintah, tapi JI tidak mungkin menang. Sebaliknya, PKS menggunakan posisinya di parlemen dan jaringan kadernya yang terus menjalar untuk memperjuangkan tujuan yang sama selangkah demi selangkah, dan suara demi suara… Akhirnya, bangsa Indonesia sendiri yang akan memutuskan masa depannya akan sama dengan Negara-negara Asia Tenggara lainnya, atau ikut gerakan yang berorientasi ke masa lalu dengan jubah fundamentalisme keagamaan. PKS terus berjalan. Seberapa jauh ia berhasil akan mempengaruhi masa depan Indonesia."

(2009: 27, sebagaimana dikutip dari FEER, Mei 2007).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pemuda = Syabab

Pernah dahulu, As-syahid Hassan Al-Banna bercerita tentang cita-citanya kepada seorang sahabat ikhwan, katanya..

"Andai diumpamakan ISLAM seperti sebuah bangunan yang hampir roboh, maka Aku akan berjalan ke seluruh pelusuk dunia bagi mencari jiwa-jiwa muda.. Aku tidak ingin mengutip dengan ramainya bilangan mereka.. Tetapi aku inginkan hati-hati yang ikhlas, untuk membantu dan bersamaku membina kembali bangunan usang itu menjadi sebuah bangunan yang tersegam indah, kemudian masyarakat terkejut melihat betapa hebat dan indahnya bangunan yang dahulunya hampir roboh. Mereka tercengang-cengang melihatkan pemuda-pemuda yang berada di dalamnya..Mereka bermanis muka dan berpakaian kemas..sungguh berbeza dengan masyarakat luarnya..."

Semoga ketaqwaan dan keimanan itu menjadi cita-cita teragung kita semua. Ayuh golongan Syabab!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Perservere!

We fall.

So, stand up again.

We fall again.

Wipe that dirt off your forehead. Push yourself up, and stand up again.

We fall again and again.

Stand up! Stand up!

Don't give up now. DON'T.

Because Allah is here. He WILL help you get through this.

He is helping you right now!

Soon He will guide them and amend their condition. And admit them to the Garden which He has announced for them. O you who believe! If you will aid (the cause of) Allah, He will aid you and plant your feet firmly (make you steadfast in you faith). [47:5-7]

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

.....

Bagaimana harus aku ungkapkan kata-kata hati kecilku ini? Sesungguhnya hanya Allah Maha Mengetahui hakikat kebenaran yang pasti.

Awak yang saya sayang.

Apabila hati mula terdetik, apabila langkah mula menapak, apabila pandangan mata dipenuhi dengan cita-cita agung nan suci untuk melihat nama Islam dijulang tinggi... maka, saat itulah diri akan diuji. Saat itulah kesakitan datang bertubi-tubi. Saat itulah cercaan menerpa berkali-kali. Saat itulah pandangan serong manusia sudah mula menjadi sebati.

Kita mula ragu pada diri sendiri. Malah lebih menakutkan apabila kita mula sangsi kepada ketentuan Ilahi. Mula berkira-kira untuk berkorban itu dan ini. Terasa seperti memberi alasan itu lebih menyeronokkan daripada mengorbankan keenakan duniawi. Ketika itu, bukan iman lagi yang menjadi raja hati tapi nafsu yang menguasai diri.

Murabbi-murabbi, akhawat-akhawat, sahabat-sahabat - iringan doa mereka memang takkan pernah putus untuk kita. Agar terus diberi kekuatan untuk mengharungi lautan kesusahan. Kata-kata semangat dan kasih-sayang mereka mengalir bagaikan arus deras di sungai, tanpa henti, tanpa kompromi. Supaya Allah terus menyatukan hati-hati kita untuk berjuang demi yang haq, kerana perjuangan ini takkan menang hanya dengan sekeping hati menyendiri.

Tapi.

Tapi, sampai bila kita nak harapkan orang lain memberi semangat dan aliran kasih sayang kepada kita? Sampai bila kita nak menunggu orang lain yang memberi dan memberi dan memberi. Di mana usaha kita? Belum tibakah masanya kita pula mula berbakti. Di mana pembuktian bahawa kita layak menerima hidayah yang kita terima ini?

Syurga itu mahal harganya. Dan Allah itu Maha Adil.

"Dan orang-orang yang berjihad untuk mencari keredhaan Kami, Kami akan tunjukkan kepada mereka jalan-jalan Kami. Dan sungguh, Allah berserta orang-orang yang berbuat baik." (29:69)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Tangisan menyucikan hati yang kelam.

Ku mencari kembali kasih yang hilang.
Lalu ku temuinya.
Dikala hati tertanya-tanya.
Apakah aku masih layak meraih cinta?
Atau diri sekadar menabur alasan untuk menyendiri?
Tapi mungkinkah menyendiri itulah yang kucari.
Yang akhirnya akan membawa aku kepada Ilahi.

"Ya muqallibal qulub sabit qulubana 'ala dinik wa 'ala tho'atik"