A Simple Man

Sunday was a great day.Only because I scored a stupendous goal.A goal that had the imaginative exploits of a trying footballer.To score a scissors kicked goal off a great play was gratifying.Praises to my Lord.I hand it solely down to Him.I’ve solved that conclusive mystery of an inspired based performance.Fact is,prior to that,I had performed my Asar prayers just before heading off to the filed at the Jamiyah Center at Geylang with Kai.This may sound ridiculous,but I had specifically supplicated that may I have His blessings to put in a good performance.After the last sujud,my eyes were just illuminated with clarity.Nothing divine behind that actually,as we all know that when you sujud,that posture allows blood through.Thus,the clarity in the eyes.And I believe I was playing that time whilst I was still in ablution state.It was just a magical and inspired evening of soccer for me.As I had mentioned to Kai and the guys,that when the ball was floated into the penalty area,everything around me just went into the background,and the ball suddenly appeared to be larger.Its movement towards me seemed to be slow in motion.It was just surreal.Everything after that was just a blank.All I remembered was me running back to the half line.Definitely my best orgasmic moment.

A few things had been occupying my mind the past few days,ever since my last entered entry.One of them is the recent execution of the Bali bombers.It brought a poignant sense of thought for me.Only because I knew one of the executed person.In person.As he was my first religious teacher.Many people do not know this,but before I had sat for my PSLE,I was actually sent to a religious school/pesantren in Ulu Tiram,Johor.The reason was because my parents had a view of having me schooled there eventually.And this individual was the Head of Islamic studies there.You know what they say about teachers being exemplary.Well,he was.The immaculate example.My first insights and interests in Islam were forged in that formative time I spent there as he taught myself and the small group of students there on the basic understanding and concepts in Islam.That time,there were only a handful of us,as it was a village based madrasah,with students coming from the outskirts of the village.Life was simple there.My daily routine there,was waking up at 4 in the morning to perform my night prayers,which continued till Subuh.After Subuh,we spent and hour on reciting the Quran for memorization.At seven we,will have our bath followed by breakfast.Sharp at nine,we will begin our lessons,with topics from Aqidah to Sirah and a whole load of other stuffs.I learned to speak basic Arabic in a week.After Zuhur,we will have lunch,followed by a two hour nap.We will then wake up,to perform our Asar prayers,followed by two hours of free activities and recreation.After an evening bath,it was Maghrib followed by Quran lessons.It was then dinner and followed by Ishak,after which we tucked in at 10.With the exception of the Friday prayers,it was a predictable daily staple of religious context.And at the thick of it all,was this soft spoken and humble man,who practiced what he preached.A simple man who taught with passion without thoughts of remuneration.A simple man whose toddler child would come crawling in disturbing the class as he taught,and he will pick up his daughter in his arms and continue teaching.A simple man who put his arms around me as I sobbed upon my inability to memorize certain verses of the Quran.A simple man who lived every facet of the Sunnah without fail.A simple man who will be in the surau first,and will be the last to leave.A simple man who took the brooms to clean the premises of the surau.A simple man,who sat with the rest of his students to have his meal.A simple man who cried at night as he led the prayers,whilst reciting the surahs.A simple man who seek the pleasures of his Lord then those of his friends.A simple man.

My heart sank when I heard of the judgment passed on him for his involvement in the Bali bombings.Though I shall reserve my opinions on the methodologies and acts of rash,I will however leave the air of opinions on his intentions to the discretion of Allah.For it is not us to brand anyone a terrorist,or on that note a martyr.For branding is a job for the uninitiated few who choose to make statements.Like a few of our local scholars who are always keen to hop on the bandwagon of media coverage,and give their “expert” opinion on such issues.They will be quick to point out citations and resources to validate their stakes of authority on the subjects.I clearly do not see any added value in condemning acts that have already been established as wrong.What weight do you bring to an issue in which judgments had already been passed?If indeed any of our local scholars wanna add value to the issue as a whole,they should  be coming up with a strategic and workable plan that will elevate Muslims around the world from perceived oppression,that does not require violence.

What my Mum told me yesterday morning was spot on,”Jaz,if you practice even a single act from the teachings that were taught from him,you would have brought blessing for him in his death.”Which is true.I do hope and pray that may Allah shower him with blessings and forgiveness,and may he be granted his wish of dying as a martyr.Earthly judgments are but temporary.It is the Lord’s judgments that matter for this people.

I read just yesterday,that we are in the age of fitan(trials).Tested by so many issues.Mundane and important.But how do we determine which are mundane and important?I believe that,if people are blinded by consumerism,acts of charity are deemed as mundane and being filthy rich is important.If people are blinded by socialism,finding the almost perfect spouse is seen as important whilst treating the poor and destitute as mundane.If people are blinded by capitalism,being seen as powerful is important whilst donating to a mosque is mundane.Am as guilty of being gullible at times too.I still remember those times whilst I was in the madrasah,when we used to lull our imaginaries of one day being married off to heavenly nymphs(bidadari).My teenage years used to be illuminated with such ideals,as motivational source of being an exemplary man.I have fell on the wayward side of life,but I also believe that Allah serves up remembrance every now and then.And am sure that along the way,I’ll improve on myself.

Old people liked to say that those who have passed away,do not have to to look forward to the future.As they will now only be needed to be accountable for their pasts.Looking at this perspective from a morbid point of view,it’s deemed unfortunate that us living have to also be accountable for the past,present and future.

Years from now,I wish that I can leave an imprint on someone’s life,my family being priorities.That may my sharing of perspectives and efforts of improving the Islamic world will be accepted and practiced,as a legacy.It can be a sad piece of life,if people remembers your presence as that of a tombstone.People become millionaires by writing self help books on a purpose driven life.But nobody becomes richer by reading the same thing in that widely available book called Quran.Strange.It should not be.

I believe in that simple thing called knowledge.You do not have to be an Al Azhar credited scholar to have a deeper faith then a simple man,who dies in that unwavering faith that he answers only to his Robb.Between a local scholar who drives a yellow Sillica and a wayward man in me,the difference lies in accreditation.But if our intention of spreading His word is the same,then blessings may it be.After all,He is the Judge.

Wallahualam.

Mohamad Hijazi
Mohamad Hijazi
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