(a long and heartfelt post. just saying. in case you don't dig long and heartfelt)
Once, we used to have Friday morning tazkirah every fortnight. Each session probably lasted about ½ hour, sometimes a lil’ bit more, but they really made my mornings. I must admit though, that at first, I was rather reluctant to attend. There was always something bugging me, I always felt like I had something more urgent to do and most importantly, I felt like I was being discriminated/ prejudiced because of my physicality.
Ternyata sangkaan aku meleset.
Those Friday morning tazkirahs eventually grew on me. I became addicted to them. And most importantly, nobody was looking at my hair. Rather, they were really just sharing with me invaluable information and knowledge; things I either already knew about but needed reminding or reassurance or new things altogether – no judgment nor discrimination. To them I was just another eager, wide-eyed new officer, who attended those sessions for whatever my reasons may be.
Bottom line is that I loved those sessions; they really filled me up in ways you cannot imagine.
But then, came the shuffle in the organisation and the constant penceramah was promoted to a higher post, somewhere better. Naturally, the sessions stopped. And naturally, with no constant reminders of our being and how much we owe to our Creator, I eventually became emptier and emptier.
If you haven’t already noticed, religion is a very fragile and sensitized matter in Malaysia. I don’t say it is sensitive because by nature, it really isn’t. Rather, it is made sensitive by various quarters, so much so that talking about religion makes people all touchy and feely, especially in cases where there are interracial misunderstandings.
Worst, religion is now used as an agenda/tool by most political parties, that when you voice out an opinion or take a particular stand, you are deemed to be in support of a particular political party, even when in fact you are, or should be apolitical, like me.
But of late, I have been itching for new knowledge and enlightenment. There’s only so much of darkness and emptiness that you can tolerate after some time, especially when you’ve had such a blessed and happy life. You start to wonder whether your Creator is spending any time on you or whether He has forgotten you or whether He still loves you because there are times when you are too happy. So happy that you are delirious; so delirious that you forget that life is indeed is a cycle. This happiness is bound to end or be tested some time and you know that when you hit the ground after so much time on top, it’s going to hurt. And bad.
And at times like these, I wished I knew who or what to turn to. Books, articles, people, something.
My understanding of my own religion is far from commendable; hardly deserving of applause or praise, but I know for a fact that my religion is actually really simple. When something seems so simple to do, people tend to ask, “So, what’s the catch?” and the real answer is “None” because it really is that simple.
The complications that come with it are as a result of (mis)interpretations or difference in opinion. I think it’s quite common in all religions and much as I admit that it’s important to be in the know of what those scholarly opinions are, I guess it’s also important to go back to the basics; you spend time on your Creator, your Creator will spend time on you.
And spending time on my Creator can be as easy as reading/reciting verses of the al-Quran.
I may not fully understand the al-Quran (yet), may not read it as often as I would like or should and most times, I take its existence for granted; what good is a book left on the shelves collecting dust, right? And oh, yes, shame on me, I make excuses for not reciting it; among other excuses include – no time, I don’t even understand its meaning, work, too tired, etc. etc.
And with all those excuses, I expect my Creator to spend time on me? The fact that He’s made my life easy should already make me thankful and now I want Him to pay more than more attention to me?
I guess I really have to sit down and reevaluate myself. Clearly, there is something “lacking” in my life despite “having it all” and it’s worrying me.
And because it’s actually really easy to get up close and personal with my Creator in a “no-holds-barred” kind of way, without so much of “a catch”, I’ll have to start stopping making excuses especially with the most obvious all encompassing answer to what books, articles, people, something is; the al-Quran. I was the one who said it was that easy. I guess it really is.
After all, I should always pay heed to this story,
"Suatu pagi di hujung minggu, seorang budak bernama Mikail terdengar atuknya membaca Al-Quran. Sebaik sahaja atuknya selesai mengaji, dia terus menerpa ke atuknya lalu bertanya,
“Tuk, Mikail nak tanya ni. Tuk faham tak ape yang atuk baca tadi?”.
Dengan tenang atunya menjawab, “Mestilah faham cu. Dulu atuk pernah belajar bahasa arab dengan arwah bapa atuk. Kenapa cu?”
Mikail kemudian menyatakan pendapatnya tentang membaca Al-Quran. Dia memberitahu bahawa beruntunglah atuknya itu sebab tahu membaca dan memahami isi kandungan Al-Quran sedangkan dia hanya tahu membaca tapi tak faham langsung. Jadi tak ada faedah bagi dia membaca sebab tak faham. Serupalah jugak kalau kita membaca surat khabar bahasa jerman ke atau bahasa perancis. Baca boleh tapi apa pun tak faham.
Kemudian atuknya membawa Mikail ke luar rumah. Sampai sahaja di tasik berdekatan dengan rumahnya itu, disuruhnya Mikail untuk mengambil air dari tasik itu untuk diisi ke dalam baldi di hadapan rumahnya dengan menggunakan bakul sampah.
Mikail kehairanan memikirkan apa yang disuruh oleh atuknya itu. Namun tanpa berfikir panjang, dia lakukan juga. Selepas beberapa kali cuba, dia tidak dapat mengisi air ke dalam baldi tersebut. Mikail akhirnya berputus asa. Lalu dia pun berkata kepada atuknya,
“Atuk, dah banyak kali saya cuba tapi tak boleh jugak sebab air keluar daripada bakul ni. Macam mana?”
Kemudian atuknya memberitahu,
“Begitulah juga kalau kamu membaca Al-Quran tetapi tidak dapat menghayati isi kandungannya sebab tak faham. Meskipun baldi tersebut tidak dapat diisi, tapi bakul smapah tu tadi yang kotor sekarang sudah bersih. Begitu lah juga dengan hati kamu. Selagi kamu membaca Al-Quran, selagi itulah hati kamu akan sentiasa bersih.”"
InsyaAllah, may this be a beginning to all enlightenings. Amin.