Monday, September 07, 2009

Sharing Session

Day and time check: Sunday, 9.30 am

I’ve just got back home since yesterday afternoon, feeling groggy, body starting to ache all over, however feeling quite fulfilled for the events that took place for the past few days. Alhamdulillaah. It has become a regular occurance, that each time I visit a different mosque for the night prayers, I’d bump into a friend or acquaintance. Yesterday was by far the most unexpected but at the same time a delightful experience.

My mosque-hopping escapades were mostly a spontaneous affair. Last night was no different. It was already about 5 p.m. and I thought since there would be a soccer gathering at ECP sports planet at around 11 p.m., might as well go to Masjid Kampong Siglap. As soon as I entered the mosque, I bumped into bro Ash-Shafi’ie, one of the Islaamic University of Madeenah undergrads who was attached for work there. While waiting for Isya’ prayers, I was thinking about where to have a bite after the night prayers before the soccer meet when I saw bro Khairu Rejal,

“Salam, apa ko buat kat sini bro?”
“Wassalaam. Ada program ah nanti lepas taraweeh 8 rakaat, join ah!”
“Program apa?”
“Ada sharing session gitu, join je”

Just before I entered the function room where the ‘sharing session’ was held, I bumped into bro Dzar, one of my current schoolmates. Then as I entered the room, I saw Dr Al-Bakri and went over to say Hi. Hm, event apa nie? Macam serious je, I thought. Only after further enquiry that I realized it was an iftar, tazkirah and qiyam program jointly organized by the different bodies of Muslim activists in Singapore. And I wasn’t part of any organisation, haha. Freelance lah. I guess being invited by Bro Khairu would make me part of SAFF eh? Boleh? I also met Bro Muhammad from NTU at the talk, who just recently got married. He was my bunkmate during NS. Small world uh.

The tazkirah session was short but enriching. Topic was Da’iyah and Tarbiyah, presented by Ustaz Zainal Arifin former mudir of Madrasah Aljunied. His knowledge is vast, Masya Allaah. Baarakallaahu feeh. The tazkirah session was too good to give it a miss that I decided to come a little late for the soccer meet. Ok lah, at least I’d still have 2 hours of soccer. But it was extended for another hour anyway. Hah.

Anyway, da’wah and tarbiyah is a responsibility of each and every Muslim. There are numerous references we can turn to in the Noble Qur’an and about the basis of da’wah by the Prophets and the importance of spreading knowledge from what we have learned and practiced. For example Allah Almighty says in the Noble Qur’an in these few verses for example;

{“(And remember) when Allaah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) to make it (the news of the coming of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w and the religious knowledge) known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it..”}
[Suurah Al-‘Imraan 3:187]. This ayat demands those who are endowed with knowledge should teach it. While the verses that follow show that it is Haraam to conceal it.

{“And who is better in speech than he who [says: ‘My Lord is Allaah (believes in His Oneness),’ and then stands firm (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allaah’s (Islaamic Monotheism)…” [Suurah Fussilat 41:33]

{“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad s.a.w.) to the way of your Lord (i.e. Islaam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur’an) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better…”} [Suurah An-Nahl 16:125]

There are also hadeeths mentioning the importance and excellence of tarbiyah (teaching).

`Ali said that the Messenger of Allah said to him: "If Allah guides a man through your help, it is better (for you) than red camels." [Bukahari and Muslim]
N.B. Red camels at that time were from among the people's most precious possession. He also said: Whoever acquires knowledge and keep it concealed Allah will bridle him with a bridle of fire on the Day of Resurrection. [Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, At-Tirmidhi]

He also said: "Verily Allah, His angels, the inmates of the heavens and the earth, even the ant in its hole and the fish in the sea send salutation on the one who teaches good to the people." [Its chain is Hassan]. He said: "If the son of Adam dies, all his works is stopped except three. Charity that‘s continuous, useful knowledge or a righteous child who supplicates for him." [Muslim]

The messenger of Allah said: "Whoever guides or directs to good, then he gets the same amount of blessing as the one who does it." [Related by Muslim].

Since there was going to be another tazkirah session after fajr prayers by Ustaz Zainal Arifin, I decided to come back to the Mosque after the soccer meet. This time, the soccer meet was attended by lesser people as compared to last week. This meant more playing time for us and faster ‘pancit’ time. What to do? This is the reality of getting further from the tireless age of youth and the result of practicing a lifestyle of irregular exercise, tsk tsk. But it was still all good, merapatkan ukhuwwah antara kita, alhamdulillaah.

Back to the mosque, I realised that three other bros from the Islaamic University of Madeenah were at the mosque too, Wafi, Zainal and his brother, Umar. They were helping out for the RYC camp for youths. Masya Allaah, I met so many people in one place.

The morning tazkirah was mainly about the meaning and importance behind Suurah Al-Asr. Basically, it somewhat depicts the code of conduct, what the past Prophets and the early generation Muslims who strive in the cause of Islam hold on to. Ustaz also stressed on the importance of understanding ‘Aqeedah the way the salafussoleh (Prophet Muhammad’s companions and the two generations thereafter) believed. This is the basis for a Muslim. If one's understanding of ‘Aqeedah is strong and sound, then everything else will fall in place.

Another thing that I'm impressed apart from the ustaz's knowledge is how humble and approachable he is. He went around interacting with all those who were present irregardless of standing or age. He's like a fatherly figure to all of us.

Alhamdulillaah, for the opportunity and experience gained. Some of the things I’ve learned and experienced so far for this Ramadan while Mosque-hopping, would never have occurred if I had just stayed at home or remained in my area for night prayers.

We still have about 13 days to go, insya Allaah. Let’s try our best for these remaining days and nights of Ramadhan being firm and steadfast on the good that we have done so far and let's strive to increase our efforts and may we be blessed and granted the opportunity to meet the Night of Al-Qadr’(decree), a night better than a thousand months.

And Allaah Almighty knows best.

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