The Ritual of Being Spiritual

Sahih Bukhari

2:23:389
Narrated By: Anas
Translations By:Dr Muhammad Muhsin Khan
The Prophet said, “The real PATIENCE is at the first stroke of a calamity.”

I’ve been tempted to broach on certain thoughts in my head,ever since I am headway into half of the book,that am reading right now.(Jaz Readz).You know what I am beginning to realize over time?I’ve been following the wrong role models.We have always been told of that particular need of having a mentor as a guide and role model.And we go around looking for those,as human as we are.Full of failings and misgivings.The wonderful thing about the book,was that the author had skilfully dissected the various functions performed by the Prophet during his lifetime,as

  • An Educator
  • A Politician
  • A General
  • A Husband
  • A Father
  • A Leader
  • An Economist
  • …and so many others

And he fulfilled all those roles with perfect distinctions.Now that is quite a role model.And the best trivia will have to be the fact that he had managed to achieve all this within the time frame of 23 years of Prophethood.He literally built an empire in 23 years.Such perfection eh?Guess with the guidance of God,everything is possible.That is why,Adidas’s credo of Impossible is Nothing,should be adopted by Muslim Malays in Singapore.That once marketing campaign by Adidas,”Me + 10″,should be changed to,”Me + God”.

Anyway,talking about Muslim Malays,I had a disheartening meal experience with my wife over at Yishun this afternoon.The quality of the ordered food left much to be desired.Not only were they slow with the delivery,though we are but one of only two ordering customers,the food served was blasphemous.Horrendous is too small a word.My recent gripe and complains about Halal certifications being given to non Muslim stalls,have been utterly vindicated.They,(the non Muslims),deserves the certifications,if going by the attitude of some Muslim Malay stallholders.Just because you serve Muslim food in an otherwise non halal outlet does not render you absolute rights to a customer base,when you just do not give enough value.Wearing singlets and smoking as a stall holder?Oh please.Do the community a favor.Get that freaking mentality out of your system.This small group of vagabond,shady and ruthless stall holders should be given a lesson in “value”.Eurgh.

Anyway,back on the book I was reading.The topic of spirituality has been resonating through my thoughts,as I read the book.My discussion with my brother in law,the other day is worth sharing here,to perhaps highlight certain points which I concur with the book.I wonder if anyone realizes that,in the beginning years of the Prophethood,the ordains of prayers,zakat,puasa and hajj were not actually put in place for his Companions to follow.If you are to understand that in the Quran,there were two sources of Ayats.One,was those that were revealed to the Prophet in Mecca.And the other one in Madinah.The Ayats revealed in Mecca had a strong theme running through.The spiritual aspects of Islam.You know those things like Iman,Tawheed,the Oneness of Allah and so forth.Where in the case of those Ayats revealed in Madinah,it had to do with the practical aspects of Islam.The prayers,zakat,puasa and so forth.Now take a look at the Pillars of Islam.

  1. Recitation of the Syahadah
  2. Fulfilling the obligatory prayers
  3. Fasting in the month of Ramadhan
  4. Paying Zakah
  5. Performing Hajj where possible

Now most of us,perhaps equate the last pillar,(Hajj)as the penultimate obligation able to be done by any good Muslims.People who have done their Hajj are revered in some sort of manner.Am not arguing any basis in that.There is utmost merit in it.BUT…here’s the teaser.If you were to look at the whole structure of the 5 pillars,there is something significant about it.

Where people are inclined to believe that the last pillar to be the greatest of deeds,the obligation of Hajj is only mentioned  twice in the entire Quran.Amazing!!!And the obligation falls on you,only on the basis of afford ability.Same for Zakah in the sense that,it falls into that category if you are wealthy enough to contribute,you must.How about Puasa?If you are sick,you are exempted.If you are traveling,you are exempted.There are instances where you are exempted,but of course with the provisions of paying it back in one form or another.And you are obligated only during the month of Ramadhan.Now take a look at the obligatory prayers.Are there any leeways?Or exemptions?Afraid not.Even if you had to lie on your back,immobilized,you pray by virtue of your blinking eyes.Heh.Note how important is is?Now if that is the case…how important then is pillar number one?

The answer is,VERY VERY VERY Significant.

Reciting the Syahadah affirms our faith.And do you know how many times the word faith comes out in the Quran compared to Hajj?249 Ayats.So what does it says?

It serves as a reminder to me,that often the most significant things,are actually manifested in the most menial manner,that we perhaps conceived.It is so much easier to recite the Syahadah then it is to perform the Hajj,but unfortunately,we fail to undertake its intrinsic meaning.Scary huh?Just another example,the shortest prayer in the day,Subuh,is often times the most neglected.The simplest,yet the most neglected.Does not make sense right?(I’m guilty as charged)But I guess,what my brother in law mentioned was right.We are blinded by the small significant things,in the chase for the glorified but less meaningful deeds.Thus as mentioned in the previous entry about Maslow’s hierarchy…spiritual acknowledgment and affirmation is of utmost priority.I am of the humble opinion that most of our failings in life are just due to that spiritual void.Tests and tribulations are God’s way of saying,”Hello…remember Me?”.Makes me recall of that incident just a week ago.A Chinese girl,was asking me about the book I was reading.I showed her,and she patted my back,”That’s good.Reading up on your Prophet.I used to read about him when I was a Christian.”I queried back,”…when you were a Christian?”She replied,understandingly,”I’m a free thinker now.”I chuckled.”So what made you change?”I asked.

Her answer made the day,”THANK GOD,something in my mind,said that I should be a free thinker.”

Even in that statement,the Oneness of God was acknowledged.Ironical eh?

I guess,I’m gonna end reading the book and will probably end this Islamic chatter.Not that I do not like discussing about it,but it’s just that I can go on and on and on about it.Hahaha.Wait till I get started on the NWO theory…

The point is this.As much as I may indulge in that occasional chatters of life,friends,women,success,fame,money and glory…a small corner of my heart is always in constant worry about something.That devoid attachment of not remembering our Creator.Sometimes,just before I lay my head beside my wife,my hearts skips a beat…worried about perhaps not waking up the next morning.Worried about not meeting my wife in the Hereafter.Worried about not doing enough.As guilty as I am of recurring sins,I just feel glad that I’m not forgetting Him,in whatever capacity.Kai mentioned,the other day,of his Dad’s advice,that one may pursue any activities or deeds,but remembrance in Him should never be forgotten.It was a concise and succinct piece of advice.

I’ve been practicing a simple habit everyday since then.Putting my palm against my chest,and feeling the palpations and beatings of the heart.And I never fail to forget of two things.First,it does not beat on its own.Secondly,it will stop one day.Makes it hard to forget Him.That is spirituality I guess.We are either SPIRITUAListic entities or RITUAListic creatures.

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One thought on “The Ritual of Being Spiritual

  1. It’s true isn’t it bro? We’ve rattled out so many names of so many people to be our idols in our lives, but we never realize that the ultimate role model has already been made known to us all our life. Such is the propaganda fabricated by people trying to dilute the significance of this wonderful religion that we have been born into.

    We should really work on infusing Islamic practices and values into everything that we do. Perhaps one day, we’ll be able to reap the benefits.

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