Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tagged: An Islamic meme

Nadia, a high-school junior of mine tagged me this interesting meme (sorry it took me so long, Nadia - have some targets to meet). It's all about what inspires you as a Muslim - one Quranic verse, one hadith, one Muslim man (other than Rasulullah), one Muslim woman, one contemporary Muslim, and Islam in general. It also requires you to think of your own contribution as a Muslim to inspire others. Let me however warn you that some of the things I will be writing here are things I have mentioned already in the past. Repetition is not meant to bore, but merely to reinforce my own belief.

Rules:

1) Answer the following questions (7 in total)

2) Post on your blog with link to who tagged you

3) Tag a minimum of three other bloggers and include links to their blog in your tag. Make sure to let them know you’ve tagged them too.


Meme Questions:
1) What Qur’anic verse do you find most inspiring and why? What does it mean to you personally?

وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا

And put your trust and reliance in Allah, and sufficient is Allah as a Trustee. (Al-Ahzab 33:3)


The concept of Tawakkal is oft heard and learnt since my younger days - total surrendering to the Almighty after great effort on our part. Alhamdulillah, the meaning now goes deeper than that, and after experiencing His greatness, I now understand (past entry on this).

I have now (why has it taken so long??) made Him as my best friend, whom I totally trust and turn to at all times. Previously, I made my late husband as my best friend - for he was mine, so I thought. Of course, I believed in the Almighty, and knew that He could take anyone anytime. I also believed that things had to be done Lillahita'ala, oh yes I did. What didn't occur to me at that point of time was how lonely I'd be without my best friend by my side anymore, despite the many wonderful friends and family all around! That's when I realised: "And trust and rely on the Living One (Allah), Who will never die, and celebrate His praises and thanks. And Sufficient is He to be acquainted with the sins of His slaves." (Surah Al-Furqan 25:58)

The more we rely on Him, the greater the chances that we will try to please Him by following the guidance He has given us, which in turn will lead to goodness in this world and success in the Hereafter. Isn't that just amazing? By fully trusting in Allah and relying on Him, I am just not depressed by what I have lost, or intoxicated by whatever I have achieved, or even troubled by what I have yet to encounter. Everything is in Allah's hands. And that should be enough to make me not only humbler but more submissive to God, thus a better believer, InsyaAllah.


2) What Hadith (Qudsi or Sunnah of the Prophet salalahi alahi wa salaam) do you find most inspiring and why?

Hadith Qudsi 16:
On the authority of son of Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both), from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), among the sayings he related from his Lord (glorified and exalted be He) is that He said:

Allah has written down the good deeds and the bad ones. Then He explained it [by saying that] he who has intended a good deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds to seven hundred times, or many times over. But if he has intended a bad deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed.

(related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
This hadith shows us how obvious Allah loves us - His creations - to no end. I am inspired by the Rahman and Rahiim that is illustrated through the hadith. It is so easy to score using His system, isn't it? To think that we humans always argue and fight for equal rights, demanding anything and everything possible. Does this hadith reflect the sense of equality we humans fight for, or tit for tat?

In our daily lives, this is what we should be practising too: to acknowledge a good move or intention by a child, friend, acquaintance or any other being, with praises and words of encouragement. On the other hand, a mistake or negative act should not be condemned and highlighted for sheer embarrassment or amusement ('aib). Generate more good deeds and then InsyaAllah we'll be blessed in this world and the hereafter.


3) Other than the Prophet himself salallahi alaihi wa salaam - what Muslim man do you find most inspiring and why?

I have always been inspired by the character of Saidina 'Uthman ibn 'Affan since a child that my admiration for him continues till today. He was the fourth man to embrace Islam, and the third of the four caliphs. I am truly inspired by the great virtues in him; a very wealthy and generous person. For instance, in one of the battles against the Romans, he contributed 200 ounces of gold as charity, 1,000 dinars, 900 camels and 100 horses in total. Rasulullah was very touched at 'Uthman's sincerity that the prophet reassured him that from that day onwards, nothing will harm `Uthman regardless of what he does.

How can I not be inspired by a gesture so pure and refreshing? Nowadays, there are so many wealthy people around but donations must always be publicised. How many of us (me included) would never hesitate to contribute ANYTHING and EVERYTHING for others simply for the sake of the religion and Allah swt? Sometimes we are too selfish with our possessions, which are ironically, not even ours. Yes, 'Uthman ibn 'Affan should certainly be made a role model.

4) Who is the most inspiring Muslim woman to you and why?

I am attracted to strong characters and Saidatina Khadijah is one strong character I totally admire. Okay, so we share the same name - perhaps that's how I became so fond of her. But Khadijah portrayed a woman of strong personality which women today (especially those who take Women's Liberty to fancy) should pay more attention to.

She was 40 when she married Muhammad, aged 25. She was the prominent one - the successful and wealthy businesswoman who employed Muhammad. So intrigued was she by his honesty and diligence that she felt he was the one worthy of her - so much that she proposed to him herself! (There you go ladies - chuck the perigi cari timba saying). You see, Khadijah had been married twice before and had lost both her husbands in the wars. So, she had basically decided earlier that she was never ever going to marry for the third time, for fear of being widowed again. All that changed when she met her perfect match - Muhammad!

When Muhammad became prophet at the age of 40, she became his pillar of strength and support throughout all the difficulties and hurdles he went through. As the last prophet, Allah had provided him with the best woman to help him during his trying times. She was the FIRST to embrace Islam.

The greatness of Khadijah's personality is truly evident in how Rasulullah projects her. The year she died was called Year of Sorrow - and she was undeniably Rasulullah's favourite. He took no other wife till after her death. Aaah... true love!

Why am I inspired? I don't want to just bear the name I have. I want to have the same qualities and traits of this righteous woman - the best wife in the world; among the four greatest women in the whole world. Subhanallah...

5) What CONTEMPORARY (i.e., living) Muslim do you find most inspiring and why?

Hmm... Let's see. I'm going back home into our backyards for this. One contemporary Muslim I find most inspiring just has to be Nik Aziz Nik Mat, the Chief Minister of the only Muslim state in Malaysia. Why shouldn't he be, as his lifestyle reflects Islam as the true Deen - the way of life. Humble and amanah, he runs his daily life just like any other citizen, without splashing out on luxuries of mansions finished with marble and gold. He is a man with qualifications that could easily fill up a wall yet never so greedy to obtain more than his fair amount of share.

Why I admire Nik Aziz does not have anything to do with my political stand in Malaysia. Nonetheless, I can't help thinking, if every leader - politically inclined or not, were like him, then surely we'd get to lead our life the way we should - Lillahi ta'ala, for the hereafter. How can I not be inspired by such moderate living by someone who sets as an exemplar to us all? Having watched a recent YouTube documentary on him, I am determined to aim for one of his practices: to perform the Dhuha prayers before the start of each day. Isn't that just wonderful? I may not have a state to rule, but I do have other responsibilities important to me - to Him we surrender, to Him we beg for forgiveness and guidance in life.

6) How has Islam inspired you in your daily life?

How can it not, when Islam is the only thing that has made sense in every single step or happening I have treaded on in life? I have been shown the light as through solat and du'a, the ummah is always behind me - with Allah's help and will. Allah loves us all, and although we feel so alone, we never really are.
I look at everything around me, good or bad, and everything just points to the mightiness of Allah swt. Not inspired enough? Then there's definitely something wrong with the Imaan...

7) If you could do anything at all to inspire others through Islam, how would you do it?

I would love to inspire others with every move I make! Islam is the way of life. If only I can live my life as a Muslim should, then I hope that would inspire others to link up with me. Let's work on it together because in this world we live together. Shouldn't we help one another, inspire one another and build a better life and world together? Unfortunately, I still have a lot to work on before I can really inspire anyone!!
**********
I hereby tag 3 others (if only I could tag more!!):

1) rd (who I believe has interesting facts to share)

2) AZ (another high-school junior)

3) al-amiNJ (for a man's point of view)

7 comments:

Nadia said...

Beautiful Kak D!!!! alah, I took a long time responding to the tag too....composing and thinking :P

i just realized...we share the same muslim woman! Ameen!

I love your first answer especially..i think from this meme,a lot of people can glean deep lessons from the first question ...one of the miraculous nature of Quran..subhanallah.

A.Z. Haida said...

alamak kena tag! hmm, but this one is worth pausing and reflecting - so insya Allah I'll make time for it..

littlemuffins said...

D..

hehhe you tagged me. Alamak!! nk kena kerja keras fikir2 ni.. heheh

myheartbleeds said...

d -- this entry is truly inspiring!!! THANK YOU!!!

D said...

nadia,
if you had asked me to write this last year, my respond would not have been deep. Alhamdulillah, He knows best.

AZ,
take your time, but NOT too long, eh?!

littlemuffins @ rd,
keje keras? eh, macam tak biasa pulak!!! LOL!

myheartbleeds,
we've gone thru the same thing, I'm sure we share similar experiences and feelings. It's all about the Imaan, right?

(ps: our song was your song too?? we are about the same age or the same age, right?)

Rd said...

D,

I have just done the tag!!

Pheww!! Alhamdulillah siap.. hehehhe :)

Minci said...

i like what you say about 'repetition as a reinforcement to your own belief'.
it is so true. and I love this meme.