I See It Now

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Edited to include pictures courtesy of Gondai.

I have no idea how to start writing this post. But I know that what I felt last night was something worth sharing.

As I'm writing this, I feel tears welling in my eyes. I've been blinded all these years. I say that I'm a Muslim, but I've never truly embraced Islam as what's been preached by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Like most, I was born into the religion and I became complacent. I expected to be rewarded but don't do anything more than what bare minimum was expected of me.

But I have in the past year or so, prayed for His guidance. I began to seek out knowledge and I'm still learning. I have to thank friends and bloggers alike for all you've shared to me so far, knowingly or not.

Anyhow.

Last night, Sheikh Yusuf Estes came to our little BukitJelutong.


Deep in discussion.


I was very eager to see him, to listen to him. I have in the past month or so, been blessed with the CD of the lectures of Anwar Al-Awlaki and I find him very simple, truthful yet engaging. I particularly love the excerpts of Quran read by others and they sound so beautiful. I was listening to CD #14 where he talked about the Hellfire and the hafiz cried while reciting the Ayat. It moved me. Many thanks to Azen for lending me the CDs and to Lollies for pointing him out to me.

Anyways.

The kids wanted to tag along too. I had huge reservations. Mine are rowdiest between 8pm to 10pm. Outside that time, they are mostly less rowdy. Ha ha. Anyhow. We got there and after stern warnings in the car, we all sat down in the packed hall. 15 minutes in, they i.e. Ariz & Adani got restless and began to peck at each other and whine and whinge and whatever else 3yo and a5yo would do, when there's no other entertainment. There weren't other kids around anyway. That's when I got MrGart to ship them home and they gleefully obliged.


The packed hall at Jalan Adang.


Well.

The Sheikh was insightful. He was funny. He was filled with one-liners and he joked around a lot. But when he was serious, he was serious.

At one point, he asked if there was any hafiz (those who memorise the Quran) and no one did. His face turned ashen and he said that this was scary. Even in remote American towns he's been to, there would always be 3 or 4 or 5 hafizs. I shuddered.

He asked too how many of the audience were Muslims and how many weren't. Only 6 non-Muslims were present and he bellowed "Do you not care for your non-Muslim friends? Why didn't you bring them along tonight?" I was shaking my head, ashamed of myself.

As expected there was a yoga question. FYI, there's been a fatwa or edict issued in Malaysia banning Muslims from practising yoga. The question asked about how to explain the fatwa to the non-Muslims friends. Simple. You don't have to. Fatwas are issued to Muslims. Non-Muslims may do anything that they please. But Muslims, you must abide by it. And never question a scholar's issuance of a fatwa to another scholar, for second opinion. You must go back to the one who issued it for better understanding. But, above all, doubtfulness of a scholar indicates signs of disbelief and that's dangerous.


The Moment of Truth.


The defining moment for me was this young Chinese guy who posted a question and then was invited to join Yusuf on stage. He brought his Quran with him and he asked questions about them and Yusuf answered them as simple and as truthful as he could. When he uttered the Syahadah, I felt a pang of emotion in me. More like I was stabbed from the inside. It felt so strong, it emanated from my heart to my body that I quivered. I had tears in my eyes and I had to wipe them away. That was such a beautiful moment. To have been there listening to a non-believer uttering the Shahadah, I felt an undescribable joy. I do not believe I've ever felt that way ever before. Alhamdulillah.

So, there. I believe there's a point in time where one just takes a step back and re-assess one's life. I think I might have stopped dead in my track and looked back. I hope I'm not too late.


Yours truly.

16 growls by fellow growlers ...:

ery kumagai said...

best tu kan dpt dengar ceramah2 yg bagus mcm tu. yang takde poor-litics elements at all.

:)

Ummu Layth said...

better late than never, ms gart ;)

yusuf estes is a wonderful guy. he's so funny and makes u feel silly if u don't THINK. bila dia dtg melbourne hari tu berbondong2 manusia datang dengar.

kat malaysia, i notice that kita selalu dengar cerita orang murtad aje. depressing! JARANG sekali dengar orang masuk Islam dengan sukarela..bukan sebab nak kawin. kat sini kan, selalu sgt dgr pasal orang masuk Islam.. and watch them ucap syahadah in public kat conference, lepas solat at the masjid, masa raya. it gives motivation and semangat tau. ada jugak rasa insaf sebab diri sendiri dah diberi nikmat Islam tapi tak hargai tapi orang2 ni bleh masuk Islam dengan berFIKIR dan sukarela.

zan said...

what a beautiful moment. i saw him on tv3, very funny man!

never too late dan mudah2an dipanjangkan umur for us to learn more abt our religion, islam..

a reminder to me as well.

elisataufik said...

masya-Allah.. this is such a touching post. i pun nak menangis membacanya..

p/s tudung jahit sendiri or M ori?

mosh said...

very well-written, as usual, from you. though i had to check the address a few times to see if it was really yours ehehe.

OndeOnde said...

*wipe tears*

this is so moving..
not everybody gets hidayah from Allah but we also have to seek hidayah. When you heart felt something, vibrate, emotional listening to the words of Allah Alhamdulillah, we still have time to catch up..

what mr yusuf said about para huffaz is true..that's why sekarang being directly involved in this kind of school, I can see those Allah dah bagi hidayah, menangis2 mereka nak hantar anak ke jalan agama ni (disamping akademik), merayu-rayu..tapi kalau hati dia belum dapat hidayahNYA whatever you told them, semua tak lekat..

There's one Datin whom we are pleading her to rent out her bungalow as one of our hostels asked us this:

"Apa tujuan you all buat sekolah macam ni? Ada akademik, agama dan AL-Quran sekali gus???"

"Hantar anak sekolah tahfiz, esok2 nak kerja apa?"

We were like terkedu jap sebelum jawab her question.

Baru jer this afternoon, I met one quite senior auntie who told me:

When you take Al-Quran (akhirat) as your priority in life, the dunia will come to you BUT if you choose dunia, you will only get dunia sajalah..there's more, prolly I'll blog about this, insyaAllah. (sorry I get so moved by your entry)

Adelita said...

Syukran jazillah for posting this article ya ukhti.

I can't wait to go for his talk this Friday, insyaAllah. =)

butterflutter said...

The same thing linger in my head. I shd find time to really look into myself.

ClipperSeep said...

me like terkedu..

i know the feeling when suddenly there is a gush of emotion coming through and the hands standing straight thinking of God.

but very unusual we get the feelings...

envying those who get it everytime they perform solah

Gartblue said...

ery .. betul tu .. poor-litics! I like that ..

UmmuLayth .. betul tu .. too much emphasis on the wrongdoers and not a lot of encouragement and motivational stuff .. sad eh ..

Zan .. it was a reminder alright .. insyallah ..

elisa .. mari kita nangis sama-sama. psst tudung ori M, yang handmade, masih tak berjahit tepi. Akan ku usahakan by next week. Insyallah.

mosh .. *ketuk sikit* .. thanks babe .. u shud stop after the "well-written". hahaha ..

OO .. babe .. you should blog about this and let that be reminders to us all .. you kawan-kawan in need of inspiration and guidance. thanks for the support babe ..

Sis Adelita .. it was an experience for me and I wished it upon others. sharing it is the best I could do. U do wonderful sharing too, sis. Keep it up!

Butterflutter .. sama la kita.

Clipperseep .. true .. envy those ppl, but like OO said, to get hidayah, we must seek for it. Insyallah babe ..

tasya said...

kak..
u make me wanna go and listen to him..can i know where n when he will be giving talks again?mana nak dpt schedule ye?

Gartblue said...

tasya dear ..

Pendant of Joy at http://summerjoyforever.blogspot.com/2008/11/sheikh-yusuf-estes-live-in-malaysia.html has his talks schedule .. it's the last few days for him to be in Malaysia. So, I hope you'll get a chance to listen to him.

theotheraj said...

what actually happened to you while you were in singapore ah?

Gartblue said...

screw .. hello!!! i had dinner with you two nights in a row! that was.

elisataufik said...

Just to miotivate you,
I dah siap 2 tudung munahmurah, and baru aje pegi beli kain lagi!! Cadangnya sambil berzikir di Mina nanti, nak menjahit instead of kira batu tasbih.
Insya-Allah..

Lollies said...

ALLAHHU AKBAR! ALLAHU AKBAR! ALLAHU AKBAR!

May we all be an exemplary ummah.

Nak dengar lagi lecture from more sheiks?visit huda tv. excellent!