Ittiba' Ar-Rasul.

3:04:00 AM

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم

Alhamdulillah…I'm just a weekend away before starting the new semester. I have summer and fall semester to go and inshallah I'll be done with my degree. Please make dua for me. Everyday I need to remind myself that the clock is ticking away. It's not too early to start the final countdown. Allah, I'm nervous about leaving the States. I don't want to leave America with regrets thinking of what-I-should-have's. Nampaknya kita kena start buat a bucket list of the things to do before returning home. :)

Did I mention that last semester was quite something to me? One particular event that changed my view  about treating people was the time MSA members and I did tabling for Pink Hijab Day. Allah I want to thank you for the rezq of such awesome friends. Neth and Chenda stopped by at the table to hang around with the MSA girls and one of them even wanted to try wearing the hijab for a day. Heather, a close friend of mine who's the President of STAND (Anti-Genocide Coalition of NIU) also came as promised to support our cause. But what's even more touching was that she brought along her friend.

He seemed quite reserved and quiet, more of an observant. Being me, I tried to break the ice and welcome them with a friendly gesture and smile all the way. I love meeting new people. They are always interesting at the first encounter. After a short talk and introduction of ourselves, I offered to treat them cupcakes that were sold for the fundraising. They declined and said they'd come back later and bring money to support us. In the midst of chaos, they left. Later in the evening, Heather texted me saying she'd stop by again but excuse her friend who didn't want to sound like a liar for not being able to come as promised.

Being me, I wanted to make a joke out of that statement along the line like "Oh, too bad. That's his loss" or "I guess we didn't click huh" or "Tell him to get his butt right here right now or else!" with some "…lolz". But instead I said, "That's cool. If he came for the second time, I'd still treat him cupcakes", little that I know what I said meant more than what it appeared to be.

As the crowd was slowing down, and the time to pack away was approaching, she came. We sat down and just chatted about life in general. She said, the fact that she came with her friend earlier was purposely to let him meet me in person and the rest of the MSA members. Oh? How come? He was in the army for a couple of years and was sent to Iraq. He hates Muslims and his animosity didn't go away  even after his service was done in the army.

My heart skipped a beat.


What had I done?

What had I said?

Apparently she forwarded my message to him. Then I felt my legs weakened. Suddenly I felt drained like I just saw a ghost. I almost sold my religion for unnecessary and silly comments. It was eye opening and made me think a lot about how simplest acts and words could've affected him for the better or worse in viewing Islam. In this case, what I did and said. The slightest impression could've impacted him in a profound way. Ok, maybe I'm being a drama queen here but still, astaghfirullah haladzim.

A Story of an Imam from London
Several years ago an Imam moved to London, United Kingdom. He often took the bus from his home to the downtown area. Some weeks after he arrived, he had occasion to ride the same bus. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a twenty pence (a.k.a 'tuppence') too much change. 
As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, you better give the twenty pence back. It would be wrong to keep it. Then he thought, "Oh, forget it, it's only tuppence. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway the bus company already gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a gift from Allah (swt) and keep quiet." 
When his stop came, the Imam paused momentarily at the door, then he handed the twenty pence back to the driver and said, "Here, you gave me too much change". The driver with a smile, replied,"Aren't you the new Imam in this area? I have been thinking lately about going to worship at your Mosque.I just wanted to see what you would do, if I gave you too much change." 
When the Imam, stepped off the bus, his knees became weak and soft, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, and held on for support, and looked up to the heavens and cried: "Oh Allah, I almost sold You and Islam for twenty pence!"

What I could reflect upon this experience is that you're being watched at all times. By Allah is one thing, by insan is another thing. Being watched by Allah should aspire ihsan (as though He sees us if not, we see Him) hence bringing the best out of you in the most genuine way. But being watched by other eyes could...

1. bring the best out of you in the most ostentatious way (if you get your niyyah wrong).
2. bring the best out of them through observation (if you get your character right…not necessarily niyyah. Why? Let's check it out).

Dari mata, jatuh ke hati bak pepatah orang. You can't cheat people with your character. Out of our own forgetfulness and heedlessness, we or at least I don't always make niyyah every time I do something or every time I meet people. May Allah forgive me and us for that. Jadi, instilling good character (akhlak) is crucial as it presents me as myself naturally at all times. Meaning I shouldn't have to think about being nice to certain people, at certain time and certain occasion for certain reason. I just be and do and it is. Allah Maha Penyayang, Dia nak aku belajar dan ambil iktibar dari pengalaman ni. Had I said the wrong words and found out later about his state of mind, it'd be hard to forgive myself.

Shaping our character is a process that takes time, knowledge and understanding. People wish you to be wiser as you get older because being wise has to do with one's level of maturity, education, experience and all together, demeanor. Good character/akhlak is how we can influence the watchful eyes and the best thing is, you don't have to be anybody else but yourself. You better self :)

Tak caye? Ce tengok betapa susahnya nk jadi princess ni. Cara pergaulan, duduk, berjalan, pakaian dan  basically semua pergerakan dialah kena di basuh dan diQC (quality control) dengan tarbiyyah daripada queen tu. It's all about establishing the princessy/royal character right. Once it has been drilled in her, she doesn't have to be all pretentious anymore. She can just be her better self. 

That guy that I met, could be one of the hundreds more people that I bump into everyday that have that sentiment about Muslims. Tinggal lagi, Allah nak singkapkan sket reality tentang dia terhadap Muslim. Yang kita face on the news everyday pasal Islamophobes, jangan fikir just because people don't talk about it or act out openly doesn't mean they don't have that thoughts and inclination like that about Muslims. I need to get my character right. Subhanallah…kebetulan pulak teringat kat ayat tadabbur semalam, Al-Hujurat (49):13

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much (Al-Ahzab 33: 21).

And indeed, you are of a great moral character. (Al-Qalam 68:4)

‘A’ishah (ra) that once she was asked about the character of the Prophet (saw). In reply she did not give an extremely long and detailed answer to this question but simply said that “Kaana khuluquhu al-Qur’an – His character was the Quran (Sahih Muslim).” This is the dalil for what was just said, that the Prophet (saw) was a living Quran. 

If trying to be someone I'm not is bad and being myself is not good enough, then what do I need to do? Better myself.

Sollu ala nabi..


Do you have any comments, concerns or inquiries? Or else, just drop me a note to say hi! :)