- "The Sincere Advice" : from the desk of Ustaz Zhulkeflee

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيۡهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسۡلِيمًا

"... O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation." (QUR'AN:AL-AHZAB:33:56)

"O Allah, I believed in Muhammad but did not see him; do not deprive me in the Gardens of his vision. Bestow his company upon me and cause me to die in his religion. Let me drink from his pool a quenching, pleasant, delightful drink after which we shall never thirst again. You are powerful over everything. O Allah, convey to the soul of Muhammad my greetings and peace. O Allah, as I believed in Muhammad but did not see him, do not deprive me in the Gardens of his vision."

O Allah! I make the intention to invoke blessings on the Prophet, may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him, in compliance with Your Order and as an attestation of  the Prophet sent by You, our master Muhammad, may Your blessings and peace be upon him; in his love and in my yearning for him and with the respect due to him as he merits it. Accept it from me by Your Grace and Kindness and remove the veil of negligence from my heart and make me among one of Your righteous servants.

A-MEEN! YA ROB-BAL 'AA-LA-MEEN ! .............











"DALAA-ILUTL-KHAY-RAT" was compiled of Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Sulayman al-Jazuli r.a. May Allah Reward & Bless his soul.  (and to reciter Ishak Danis)

...  Al-Faatihah !


Thursday, July 18, 2013

"ISLAM: ... not to be reduced to any single racial groupings" - ( first posted - 2 August 2012 on my FB notes)


Islamic civilization was the most cosmopolitan of human civilization ever evolved. Although the main lingua franca used for its spread was Arabic, its people's culture and racial make up are very diverse, such that the majority of the Muslims adherents and the people who helped build this civilzation (ethnically) are overwhelmingly non-Arab.  Yes, it is problematic when people wrongly assume that this religion, referred to as “al-Islam” is an Arab religion and therefore whatever is “Arabic” is therefore Islam.

Lest we forget earlier Prophets were non-Arabs and their knowledge and wisdom, are the ‘lost treasures’ of the believers which we are commanded to seek them and to possess them wherever we may find. And without learning, understanding and appreciating other languages, even ancient ones, how could Islam have grown and spread?

Islam is only concern with conveying truth and ensuring the arrival to correct meanings, which does not mean we seek to replace all other languages with Arabic. It is not and should not be associated with "Arabization".

Yet being Muslims, in trying to express ourselves we tend to use Arabic terminologies. This may be misperceived as our being presumptuous when these terms may not as yet been adopted into “Malay”. Not that our Malay heritage lack these words, but it is only because we (or should I say) I, am lacking in the knowledge and the Malay vocabulary – (which may already be there from Sanskrit, Austronesia, Khmer. Tagalog, Pali, etc.), So, to me, any input that may increase my knowledge of my culture and heritage is very much appreciated. Often times knowing these adds to a profound realization of our reality.

Even the Arabic language (“Aamiyah”) as used by contemporary Arabs is not above criticism by Islam. Although Prophet Muhammad s.a.a.w. was Arab and the Qur’an was revealed and continuously preserved in pure Arabic (“Fus-hah”, which is to be differentiated from that spoken by many Arabs), yet we must be reminded that the Prophet s.a.a.w. denounced racism and discrimination of every kind, especially of concern to him was the Arab tribalism (Asobiyyah Jahiliyyah). 

His ummah was charged towards forging a universal brotherhood transcending parochial racial or even national exclusivity. Lest we forget, the concept of Ummah is towards establishment of a truly cosmopolitan society – each retaining their positive uniqueness - and yet nurturing an all-inclusive civilization based upon adherance to Tauheedic creed, which embrace every truth and beneficial knowledge, science, wisdom and culture from every people, present, past or future.

“Al-Islam” is the catalyst (which motivates the positive change amongst (racial) elements in their integration/assimilation, but its own essential teachings do not change), as well it provides the criteria and guidelines towards this process (“civilizational osmosis”) that many nations become noble (“Ikram”) . 

Interestingly, the Malay equivalent term “mulia” , which is not Arabic but perhaps may be from other earlier influence long before our Prophet Muhammad’s time, signifying a people who regarded themselves as “noble” because they had adopted a ‘religion’ or a higher civilization / philosophy (Hinduism, Buddhism etc.) differentiating or freeing themselves from those who still do not have any – and I was told that when the word was later written later in Jawi script - “mim-lam-ya”, this came to be pronounced whence the term “Malaya” and “Melayu” may have originated from – waAllaahu a’lam. 

These nations, touched by the teachings of Islam’s final Messenger, which have evolved since, are not necessarily supposed to be uniquely or distinctly Arabic, but must positively include their own unique history, languages and cultural legacies . And yes, our Malayo-Nusantara people are one of these nations, just as the Turkish, Persian, Urdu speaking groupings etc. And, not only its original past languages ought to be appreciated, but its other culture or customs can still be accommodated – as had been done by the muballigh in spreading Islam in the Nusantara. 

Most importantly, although we Muslims are to remain a diverse “ummah” in terms of our cultural make up, with every nation within this hegemony, contributing towards this beautiful and unique tapestry, yet we must stand united with “Al-Islam” as criteria. Any attempt to place any groupings, race or even nationalism as the ultimate consideration for this hegemony, promoting it above that based upon the Islamic ‘Taqwa’ – creedal consciousness of its people, is to divide the Muslim Ummah.

 يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ 
إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّـهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ 

“O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him (Taqwa). Behold, Allah is all-knowing, all-aware.”

(Qur'an: Hujurat: 49: 13)

WaAllaahu a’-lam

zhulkeflee (14 Ramadhan 1433 / 2 August 2012) 

This brief elucidation of the meaning of being Muslims ...... hoping only to highlight some of these meanings which can be discerned from Ramadhan
“as a spectacle of the Divine.”

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