Friday, August 12, 2011

On Doing Virtuous Deeds Increasingly Towards the Closing Years of One’s Life0

My beloved daughters,

Did you ever watch a marathon race? Did you ever notice that the closer the runners to the finishing line, the faster they run? As a Muslim, our life ought to be analogous to that – the closer we are to our death, the more acts of kindness we should perform.

Allah the Exalted says:

"And they shall cry therein: Our Lord, bring us forth that we may do some righteousness, not that we had been doing. Had we not given you age (long life) so much that during it one might think, who desired to think (repent)? And came to you the warner. So, now taste that no one is the helper of the sinners.” (Fatir, 35:37).

How long is a long life? Imam Nawawi says that according to Ibn Abbas RA and other scholars, long life means attaining the age of sixty years. Some scholars say long life means attaining the age of 18 years. Imam Hassan, Kalabi and Masrooq say long life means attaining the age of forty years. It was said that in Madina, once a person reached the age of forty years, he used to dedicate himself to prayers.

Remember, the Holy Prophet SAW died at the age of sixty three years. Our religious teachers always say if one lives longer than sixty three years old, that is a bonus for him. Statistics show that not more than 15-20% of the world’s population live beyond the age of sixty years.

Hence, if life is a marathon, then, those who were born in the fifties – this is my generation - are indeed closing on to the finishing line. I must therefore remind myself and your mummy too, of the following: Let us speed up in doing good deeds. Let us hurry up in seeking repentant from Allah. Let us spend our night more on the prayer mat than on the bed. Let us spend more time in the mosque than on the grass. Let us spend our sight more on reading the Qur’an than on watching television. Let us spend our money more on charity than on our hobby.

My beloved daughters,

These reminders are not only for old people like your mummy and but for all Muslims, young and old. Our life is in the hand of Allah and nobody knows when Allah will call us back. So many people died at young age, and in sins.

Hazrat Abu Hurairah RA relates that the Holy Prophet SAW said: “Allah continues to forgive a person till he attains the age of sixty years.” (Bukhari. Hadith No. 112 in Riyadhus Salihin).

Hazrat Anas RA relates: “Allah the Most Gracious and Respected sent revelation to the Holy Prophet SAW more frequently towards the close of his years till he passed away.” (Bukhari and Muslim. Hadith No. 115 in Riyadhus Salihin).

Hazrat Jabir RA relates that the Holy Prophet SAW said: “Everyone will be resurrected in the condition in which he died.” (Muslim. Hadith No. 118 in Riyadhus Salihin).

A golfer may wish that he dies while playing golf so that on the resurrection day he will be resurrected in that condition. Why not? After all, all golf courses are so beautiful, like the proverbial gardens in Heaven. But before one makes that wish he must ask: “Is playing golf an act of kindness? Is money spent on playing golf counted as an act of charity? Is time spent on playing golf is the best way to spend one’s old age? Are one’s steps to the golf course rewarded by Allah in a similar way to his steps to the mosque? If we are not sure of the answers, we’d better forget about that wish.

I pick up golfer to elucidate my point simply because so many people of my age are golfers.

As Muslims, let us wish that we die in the mosque while in remembrance of Allah, not in the bar while drinking wine; while reading the Holy Quran, not watching Holywood movies; while prostrating on the prayer mat, not sleeping on the bed and while in the battle field fighting for the sake of Allah, not playing ball in the football field. Let us keep the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet SAW alive by always seeking repentant from Allah as he always did throughout his lifetime. Let us increase our good deeds the older we get.

Hazrat Ibn Abbas RA (a cousin of the Holy Prophet SAW) was blessed with the knowledge of the Qur’an. He was one of the best interpreters of the Qur’an in the history of Islam. One hadith he related is as follow:

Hazrat Umar RA used to take him (Ibn Abbas) in consultation along with the elders who had taken part in the Battle of Badr. Some companions (senior participants in the consultation) resented this (the presence of Ibn Abbas) and remarked: Why does Umar allow this boy to join us in council, although our sons are of his age? Umar told them: He belongs to the source of your knowledge (the House of the Holy Prophet SAW). Umar called me one day to show to them my skill and my knowledge. Umar asked them: What is the meaning of the verse: “When Allah’s succor and triumph come.” (110:1). Some of them said: In this verse we have been asked to praise Allah and supplicate for his forgiveness when He helps us and grants us victory. Some remained quiet and said nothing. Umar then asked me: Ibn Abbas, do you agree? I said: “No.” Then he enquired as to what I have to say. I said: “This was an intimation of the approach of the death of the Holy Prophet SAW which Allah conveyed to him.” Allah said: “The help from Allah and succor have come” means an advance information of the death of the Holy Prophet SAW has come. “Then, hymn the praises of thy Lord and seek forgiveness of Him. Lo! He is ever ready to show mercy.” (110:3). Umar then said to Ibn Abbas: “Nobody knows more than what you have said.” (Bukhari).

Hazrat Ayesha RAA relates that after the revelation of Surah An-Nasr (a sign that his death is near), the Holy Prophet SAW always recited the verse from Surah An-Nasr in every prayer: “Holy are thou, our lord and all praise is thine and forgive me, O Allah.
” (Bukhari and Muslim. Hadith No. 114 in Riyadhus Salihin).

Another version of the hadith says: “The Holy Prophet SAW often recited: Holy is Allah and His is all praise. I seek forgiveness of Allah and turn to him in repentance. Hazrat Ayesha RAA said to him: O Messenger of Allah, I hear you recite often: Holy is Allah and His is all praise. I seek forgiveness of Allah and turn to him in repentance. He elucidated: My Lord told me that I will soon see indications relating to my ummah and that when I see it I must often proclaim His holiness and praise and seek His forgiveness and turn to Him. Now, I have already seen this sign. The coming of Allah’s help and victory was the fall of Mecca and the sign was seeing people joining the religion of Allah in large numbers. The command is: Proclaim the Holiness of Allah along with His praise and ask forgiveness of Him. He is the most Merciful and Forgiving.”

Hence, people of my age and older and of your age too, must always remind themselves to constantly do self-reexamination of their faith, to avoid sins and to multiply act of kindness. The priority is to reexamine things that are fardh on us:

1. Constantly reexamine our Shahadah to ensure that it is free of any element of shirk.

2. No way that we should miss our five daily prayers anymore.

3. Strictly observe the compulsory fasting in the month of Ramadan.

4. Never forget to pay zakah.

5. Perform the once-in-a-lifetime Hajj as soon as it becomes fardh on us.

Beyond these, let us remind ourselves to perform act of kindness as much as possible. Never forget to learn (from qualified teachers) and read the Quran and its translation and perform the night prayers constantly. Multiply our zikr and perform as much as possible the recommended prayers.

Be careful not to commit sins, big or small. For me, at my age, it is already too late for this. We should rush to seek forgiveness from Allah and multiply our good deeds. Remember, our beloved Prophet SAW repented seventy to one hundred times daily and more after the revelation of Surah An-Nasr. How about us?

O Allah, grant us a good end to our life, not a bad end.

Dr. Rosli Bin Yaakop
Gulshan 1, Dhaka
Saturday, 14 May 2011

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

MBA atau ACCA?

Q: Assalamualaikum Dr. Rosli. Apa khabar. Saya ada soalan untuk ditanya kepada Dr. Rosli. Saya merupakan pelajar Ijazah Kejuruteraan Elektrik. Saya amat berminat di dalam bidang pengurusan, ekonomi dan akaun. Persoalannya, saya keliru sama ada ingin melanjutkan pelajaran dalam MBA (Master of Bussiness and Administration) atau ACCA. Saya berharap bantu Dr. Rosli untuk menyelesaikan masalah saya. Wassalam.

A: Waalaikumsalam Aizat. Memang elok ditanyakan soalan ini. Nasihat saya ialah Aizat teruskan pengajian dalam bidang KE dahulu sampai tamat dengan mendapat keputusan yang terbaik. Kalau boleh biarlah first class honors. Kerana Aizat berminat dengan bidang pengurusan, ekonomi dan perakauanan, lepas itu bolehlah lanjutkan pelajaran diluar jalur kejuruteraan. Soalannya yang mana satu?

Bila belajar pengurusan, di sana ada subjek ekonomi. Banyak juga. Begitu juga, bila belajar ACCA, disana ada diajarkan ekonomi. By way of elimination, pilihan di depan Aizat ialah di antara MBA or ACCA. Aizat yang perlu buat pilihan. Tetapi saya nak jelas beberapa perkara di sini.

ACCA adalah jurusan professional perakaunan. Bila Aizat sudah lulus semua professional examinations yang ditentukan, maka Aizat akan jadi akauntan professional. Dihujung nama boleh bubuh ACCA, CPA dan yand serupa dengannya. Boleh kerja di accountant firms, pekerja biasa atau lama-lama jadi partner. Gaji lumayan. Lagi pun, banyak syarikat besar-besar - bank dan lain-lain juga - yang mahu CEO mereka dari kalangan profesional accountant. Bidang ini sedikit tough tetapi ramai orang yang mampu meraih kelulusan ACCA ini. Ramai pula yang berjaya sehingga menjadi partner dalam firma perakaunan. Ramai juga yang menjadi CEO di pelbagai syarikat. Biasanya, orang yang ambil bidang ACCA ini bermula dari first degree atau dari Diploma perakaunan. Orang dari bidang kejuruteraan yang beralih kepada ACCA jarang saya dengar tetapi ada.

Tentang MBA pula, memang ramai orang dari bidang kejuruteraan lanjutkan pelajaran dalam bidang MBA. Malah pusat-pusat pengajian MBA yang tersohor seperti Harvard Business School dan kebanyakan business school di Amerika memang menggalakkan pelajar dari bidang kejuruteraan mengambil bidang MBA. Mereka beri keutamaan pula. Sebabnya didapati orang yang belatarbelakang kejuruteraan dengan degree MBA boleh mengurus syarikat berasakan perkilangan yang melibatkan ilmu kejuruteraan dengan cemerlang. Mereka didapati mampu mengurus syarikat yang tidak berasaskan kejuruteraan dengan cemerlang juga. Jurutera berMBA memang high demand di negara maju. Syarikat Amerika, Jepun, Jerman, Korea dan banyak lagi mengambil jurutera berMBA sebagai CEO mereka. Gaji memang lumayan.

Saya tidak boleh pilih untuk Aizat. Atas maklumat ini, Aizat kena buat kputusan sendiri. Anak saya jurutera kimia. Saya nasihatkan dia ambil MBA.

Sekian. Semoga ini membantu Aizat buat keputusan bijak dan terbaik. Buat sembayang istikarah. Wassalam.