Friday, December 31, 2010

Time for hijrah and knowledge

By Dr Mohd Zaid Ismail Senior Fellow / Director, Centre for Sciemce and Environment Studies,IKIM.

The basic spirit of hijrah as highlighted by Prophet Muhammad is to progress to a truly better life and situation and move away from whatever is bad, evil and harmful.

THAT the migration (hijrah) of the Prophet Muhammad and his early companions from a hostile Mecca to a conducive Yathrib, thereafter renamed al-Madinah (the locus where the din – the real religion – blossoms to the full), is so consequential to Muslims has been well-attested to by their unanimous affixing it to their calendar year, thus rendering such a momentous event an abiding symbol at the very least.

Numerous important writings have been compiled and produced throughout the ages to record the event in full, explore its various significance, and uncover its far-reaching implications, for Muslims then as well as thereafter.

To achieve the aforementioned, a primary source they cannot but resort to is the sayings and reports from the Prophet himself.

The Prophet once reminded: “A Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand Muslims are safe. And a Muhajir (one who performs hijrah) is the one who moves away from whatever Allah forbade.” (narrated by both Bukhari and Muslim, from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr)

Similarly, during the Farewell Pilgrimage, he was reported by Fadalah ibn ‘Ubayd to have declared: “The Mu’min (the faithful, the believer) is a person whom the people trust over their wealth and lives; the Muslim is a person from whose tongue and hand Muslims are safe; the Mujahid (the one who struggles and fights for the right cause) is the one who fights his own self to obey Allah; while the Muhajir is the one who avoid sins and offences.” (narrated by ibn Mubarak in Kitab al-Zuhd)

In this respect, the Prophet had highlighted the basic spirit of hijrah, which is to progress to a truly better life and situation, moving away from whatever is bad, evil, and harmful.

So, if a Muslim today is more knowledgeable than he was before, then he has imbibed that spirit correctly.

For ignorance is by far and large deplorable, and to remain in that condition is even more reprehensible.

Similarly, and in fact more importantly, if he now knows matters which are more significant than some of those things which he had known earlier and, further, he lives his life in conformity with such knowledge, then he has lived the principle of hijrah well.

For occupying oneself with things of lesser importance, as related by Sayyidina Hasan, one of the Prophet’s grandchildren, is not only among the signs that Allah has abandoned His servant but is also – as indicated in the Prophet’s lengthy advice to Abu Dharr, one of his famous companions – among matters which will surely jeopardise oneself.

Nevertheless, all such deliberate knowing, doing, and living originate from one’s intention (niyyah in Arabic; niat in Malay).

And just as such acts – mental or otherwise – need renewal and betterment, so one’s intention also is in need of similar refreshment and improvisation.

Yet, upon further analysis, as al-Ghazzali (died 505H/1111CE) had conducted much earlier in his Ihya’, not only is deliberation and will grounded on one’s knowledge but its extent also depends on the latter.

This, among other things, is the intent of the Prophet’s famous saying as related by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab: “Indeed, every human deed is by one’s intention, and to one belongs only what one has intended.

“If one performed hijrah because of Allah and His Prophet, then one’s hijrah is because of Allah and His Prophet; if one’s hijrah is because of some worldly affairs, or in order to marry a woman, then one’s hijrah is because of such (insignificant) cause.” (narrated by both Bukhari and Muslim)

This hadith, like many similar ones, has thus been taken by Muslim jurists to provide the ground for the First Principle of the Islamic Law, the one encapsulated in the famous legal maxim “Matters are judged by their intent” (al-umur bi maqasidiha).

For any proper act of man is realised by the tripartite combination of mind, tongue, and bodily organs, intention belonging to the first.

Such understanding has in fact prompted a group of scholars to regard the aforementioned hadith as representing one third of Islam.

And as explained by ibn Daqiq al-‘Id (died 702H), Muslim scholars love to commence their writings with it, such as exemplified by the great scholar and compiler of Prophetic hadiths, Imam al-Bukhari.

In fact, ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Mahdi, ibn Daqiq further relates: “Every writer ought to begin his writing with this hadith so that it can be an admonition to any seeker of knowledge (who happens to read it) to set his intention right.”

All the aforementioned simply goes to underscore the importance of upgrading the quality of one’s knowledge if one is to aspire to something truly better.

One’s higher and nobler cause, in this regard, is only possible when one really has a clear, more refined vision, which is actually a result of one’s improved knowledge.

Hence, Muslims need to migrate from poor and lopsided thinking to creative yet sound reasoning based on truths, from ignorance or neglect of history to relearning and right appreciation of it as a vital source of consciousness of one’s true identity and direction, from mere verbosity and pure rhetoric to intelligent and meaningful discourse, from inefficiency and ineffectiveness in acts to consequential and tactful right actions.

Otherwise, no hijrah in the Muslims’ overall condition shall materialise.


Thursday, December 30, 2010


Tahniah Kepada Semua Pemain Bola Sepak Malaysia (Harimau Malaya) Di Atas Kejayaan Menjuarai Piala Suzuki AFF 2010. MALAYSIA BOLEH!!

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