HIJRAH with Ustaz Kazim

In Islam, its synonymous with being a good day or more specifically night; the night before Friday came. ‘Malam Jumaat’ is a term that Muslims are connotatively familiar with about a day or time of the week to do good things. Lastnight was a malam jumaat. We had an ooportunity to do something worthy of the goodness of Malam Jumaat, attending a religious forum in Air Merah mosque in Kulim to listen to ustaz Kazim. He’s not new to us (my family), we all listen to his talks on the radio, watch it on you tube and have copies of his CDs that hubby play on the TV while we carry on with our house chores on house cleaning weekends. But last night was the first time, we managed to plan successfully to attend his talk and see the man in the flesh. He did not disappoint. He was as insightful, funny and witty as he has always been in all his previous talks. It was a night full of humour, knowledge and entertainment.

I forgo the final episode of a tv drama series that though I wasn’t an ardent follower, was still curious of the ending. But Ustaz Kazim stole the appeal, because Tentang Dhia is not Ustaz Kazim. Gone were the days when religious talks were a drone of boring lecture that lulls you to sleep you hardly remember anything that was being said – which in the end beats the purpose of you attending because you did not get the message anyhow. Ustaz Kazim not only got his message across, he managed to make us enjoy hearing everything he had to say, so much so that even after 3 hours and past midnight, we still dreaded the end of his talk – forgetting rest and sleep.

The topic last night was about Hijrah – more specifically focusing on a transition to become a better person tomorrow than you are today. It is befitting at the time of the year where lists of resolutions are usually in the practice of being listed out. As it is, I now have a few additions to my list that I get after his talk last night.

So back to the contents of his talk on Hijrah – What are the strengths and ammunitions needed to be successful in the transition, the Hijrah?
To be a better person tomorrow than you are today and so on, to be successful and well liked.

TAUHID – Faith unto The One and Almighty so great you would do anything to be the good Muslim as required of you. To always believe no matter what the obstacles, ultimately God will help you succeed and therefore to never give up and lose faith. If you believe in God, you will succeed.

AKHLAK – In speech and in practice – a good attitude is a must. In speech, be good to people, think of good thoughts about others and speak in good faith. Bersopan santun. If you have nothing good to say about another person, whether he/she is in your presence or not, don’t say it. If you must say anything at all about anyone, say it only if its good. The bad opinions, (as humanly natural for you to have of others) keep it to yourself. No one needs to hear it. Smile and give Salaam, it builds friendships. In practice, have a good heart. Don’t be judgmental of others just because they’re different (street rockers, mat rempits, transvestites and people with opposing ideas and the likes included). Befriend them if you want to influence good in them. Have good intentions towards them. Having said that, don’t assume you’re already better. You’re just there to remind each other towards achieving ‘goodness’. Berpesan pesan ke arah kebaikan not because you are already baik, but because you yourself are striving to be. And strive to find what’s positive and likeable in others, things you have in common with them, not purposely look for faults and focus on the negatives of others. That’s how you create many friends, become a likeable person and succeed in whatever you do when you have many friends respecting and supporting you.

ILMU – This is a no-brainer. To succeed in anything, you have to have the knowledge to do it. Find the knowledge, share wisdoms. Be courageous about learning, be persistent and study well. You cant open a mini market without knowing how to operate it or even start the business. Without knowledge, you wont succeed.

EKONOMI – You have the economical strength to succeed. Economy is not just about how well you are financially, but also about how well other Muslims are too. There are so many Muslims in the country, who daily spend to supplement their livelihood. Taking this into consideration, if all Muslims buy from muslim producers and suppliers, Muslim made breads, muslim grown vegetables, Muslim mini markets, in short Muslim made products then the economy of the Muslims in Malaysia will improves and will be able to compete and contribute much more to the country’s economy than we are now. Support your Muslim brothers and sisters. It is time, we excel not just in politics, but economy and social too.

PERPADUAN – There is no success in disunity. Especially among the Muslim communities in Malaysia, these days friendships and allegiance corresponds to the flag colour of your preferred political party. People nowadays focus so much on the difference of political opinions to a degree that creates unnatural and unnecessary hatred among opposing quarters who may not necessarily have directly harmed them in anyway. It is so bad sometimes, it becomes irrational. People stop attending Kenduri’s just because the tent colour of the place is opposing to their flag colour. How absurd to discard all the similarities you have with each other and refuse to unite just over one dissimilarity – a different political opinion. People become judgmental and negative towards you because you don’t agree with their choice of political party. We Muslims, we live the same, speak the same, have the same faith and religion, belong to the same race, and have about 80-90 percent of our life aspects similar to each other. Rationally, we will more likely have the same interests, the same battles, the same challenges, the same aspirations. Why then should a Muslim instead of uniting with another Muslim, choose instead to unite with people of a different race, religion, language and about 80-90% of their life aspects different from us that it will never be possible to have the same motivations, objectives or aspirations that can be mutually achieved satisfactorily with each other? There are so many more grounds of similarity and positivity that Muslims can unite with, and succeed together, why focus on the little-little differences and negativity for disunity and risk the failure of the whole race altogether? Why create a culture of hate among fellow Muslims? It is time Muslims push aside their ego and arrogance, their negativity and obsession, their hatred and hasad; to unite for the betterment of its people and our religion. Without unity, there’s no success.

JIHAD – The willingness to fight for your own success and that of umat Islam as a whole. Jihad to be the best in your field. Jihad to obtain knowledge as best you could. Jihad to unite and support the Muslim community. Jihad to improve the Muslim community’s economy. Jihad to help other Muslims succeed. Jihad in achieveing greatness in all you do for Allah.

Don’t let these 4 things distract you:
Dunia – and all its flashy temptations that sway you from the path of righteousness. The fleeting enjoyment that is against the religion – the ones that distract you from being a good Muslim and succeed as one.
Makhluk – People who are negative and try to pull you down, discourage and tamper with your objectives.
Iblis – the word itself says it all. The demons that daily plague you to be less than a better person that you can be. They’re usually disguised as the inner demons that prompts you to make bad decisions. Delay prayers, laze around, argue with your parents etc. Fight it, push against it, strive to always be good, to be better.
Nafsu – The sinful temptations that devils plant in your heart and your thoughts. Resist the temptations, stay objective.

You know what you need to succeed, you know what can distract you, now how do you achieve it, the successful hijrah?
1) START NOW – don’t wait.
2) START WITH YOURSELF – improve yourself, become the best person you can be before you worry about improving other people.
3) START WITH SMALL STEPS – slowly but persistent. Small steps, the smaller2 aspects of being good, and doing good, is not burdensome. When it slowly becomes a lifestyle, the bigger steps will come more easily.

Actually I think Ustaz Kazim missed out the last point because he mentioned earlier there are 4 things needed but then proceeded to explain only three. It could also be because of time constraint. Either way, I am guessing, the last one to be istiqamah. Perseverence. To have the strength to persevere and continue on unfailingly. But maybe I’m wrong. I think I’ll email him and ask.

Anyway, thanks to Ustaz Kazim, I have pledged this year to
1) Smile more, and give Salam to other fellow Muslims even if strangers. Make more friends – all kinds and share wisdom.
2) Learn a new thing and expand my knowledge about it.
3) Be a better Muslim in all conceivable religious aspects. Read more Quran, understand the contents, pray on time, make sure the zakat you pay is enough, donate more etc.
4) Look for the good in others only, never focus on the bad. Have a kind heart and good intentions.
5) If you must say anything about anyone, don’t be judgemental and say only good things. For if you judge a person negatively (even in Facebook), , even if you say it in fact it is still ‘aib; if you say it in falsehood, it is fitnah; and if you comment on a similar saying of others that is able to influence other people to either agree or disagree with you, it is subahat. None of it is commendable in Islam. It is enough for you just to be aware of the issues; for to have knowledge of your surroundings is a must, but refrain from any fitnah, ‘aib or subahat. [ I think today’s politics have engaged a lot of people with fitnah, ‘aib and subahat – and I see this from facebook alone].
6) If people start talking bad about other people, if you can’t stop them, don’t stay and listen. Leave.
7) Say prayers for other people for goodness even if they have wronged you. Never wish them bad no matter how hurt you are, worst still if they have done nothing to hurt you.

Alright people.

Hope everyone succeeds in their transition. Hope this helps too.

Happy New Year. Happy Hijrah.

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