Saturday, July 07, 2007
Reverts to Islam are at times so much better than born Muslims!
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
It means 'May Peace , Mercy and the Blessings of Allah be upon you!'.
Surely, you'd agree with me that this greeting which is more of a prayer is the best form of greeting that you would want to receive and give to others as well.
Well, know that this is what we Muslims wish upon each other and exactly the same form of greeting that was uttered by our Creator upon all his Creations and by all His Prophets and Messengers from Time immemorial till this very second and Insya Allah @ ' By the Will of Allah' till Eternity.
Now, let's get to what I want to share with you about why I say that some 'Reverts to Islam' are so much more better than the majority of those who are 'born Muslims'.
Personally, I have had the pleasure to be in acquaintance with some fantastic and dedicated 'Reverts to Islam' who can hold their ground and even excel over any number of those who strut about being cocky and think that they are so much better and higher in prestige over others because they were born Muslims.
Plain, dumb old ego at work, I must say. Unfounded feelings and delusions of being superior either in race or lineage.
Some go about being a pompous ass in their mannerisms and are haughty towards all others because they say that they are from the lineage of the Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam and have the title 'Syed' or 'Sharifah' before their names, or are the descendants of some of the Companions of the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam or some Auliya or Anbiya, Rahmatu Alaih.
Personally, I'd just address anyone who comes to me with that 'high and mighty' attitude and counter claim that 'Hello! I am a descendant of the Prophet too!'.
At this , the said person will at once brighten up and ask 'Really? From whose lineage? Saiyidina Ali or Siti Fatimah?'
I'd be a bit solemn and reply, ' From Saiyidina Adam Alaihis Salam!' which would immediately deflate that pompous ass's ego and bring him or her down , back to Earth!
Hehehehehe... each and every humanbeing, no matter what color or creed they are, comes from the lineage of the Prophet Adam Alaihis Salam and who is the noble and blessed Father of All Mankind.
You are no less in status than any other person here on Earth and equal before Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala save for your faith in Him and as per your Deeds.
Remember to use this exact response and reply to anyone who tries to belittle anyone of you reading this!
I have this to say about a fellow Da'ee of Islam and the very person who was instrumental in my decision to be a Caller to Islam today.
He is Brother Haji Kamaruddin Santanasamy bin Abdullah, whom I saved from being beaten black and blue by a group of men in front of the Masjid Kapitan Keling, back in Georgetown, Penang Island, my home island in the north of Peninsular Malaysia, back in the late 80's.
I was working opposite the historical Masjid Kapitan Keling at Berkat Jewellers as a Jewellery Sales Executive when the incident took place.
A group of Malays and Indian Muslims were assaulting this Indian chap who was trying his best to parry off the attack by the 'gang'!
I looked at my boss, Haji Mohamed Hussain bin Haji Mohamed Abdullah, who nodded and gave his permission for me to go see what it's all about?
I immediately ran over, crossed the road and intervened in the assault!
I was quite well built back then , having returned from Singapore and indulged in a bit of bodybuilding for over 6 years whilst being there from 1980 to 1986 and thus posed a formidable figure to the fellows!
I shielded the Indian chap from being further attacked and asked the group why were they attacking the fellow?
They said that he needs to be taught a lesson for he was 'kurang ajar' towards them!
I then asked the chap who he was ? He replied that he was a fresh convert to Islam and that his name is Kamarudin bin Abdullah!
I turned to the group and asked them who they were? They said that they were Committee members of the masjid and were pissed off at him for he didn't ask their permission to do what he did in the mosque!
I then asked him what did he do? The chap replied that all he did was to pass out pamphlets about Understanding Islam to visiting tourists to the mosque and try to do some 'Dakwah' work at the mosque!
I was perplexed and turned to the group and asked them what the hell was wrong with that?
They said he didn't ask for their permission to do so! I was pissed off immediately and took them to task!
I blasted them and said 'Look here! Here is this new Muslim who is doing what the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam enjoined and yet all of you have the audacity to attack him for doing just that and which you should in the first place help and support him!
What if he becomes a 'murtad today' because of what you have done to him? You will have to bear the sin of causing him to apostate! Aren't you all ashamed?
This is the masjid of Allah and he doesn't need your permission to do what Allah SWT Himself commands of each Muslim! You do not own the masjid! It belongs to Allah Himself and every Muslim has the right to be in it and carry out Dakwah work within the place!'
The group were silent and didn't answer. I then challenged them and said, 'If any of you want to attack him, you will have to go through me!'
They then backed off and went back into the mosque compound. Tch..tch..tch..tch!
I then introduced myself to the revert and promised him my protection and told him that from that moment onwards, I will be his helper in the work and we struck a friendship from that day itself.
I did just that and from that day onwards, joined Kamaruddin in handing out Dakwah brochures and pamphlets from ABIM to the tourists and visitors to the masjid and started conducting guided tours of the masjid's areas excluding the main prayer areas but sat down with the tourists whom we supplied jubahs and tudungs to wear when they were in the masjid's interiors.
We were joined in our work by Haji Yassin, a tough looking bearded Muslim brother and many others who slowly became interested to join us in our Dakwah activities in the masjid.
You can read more here where I have written about our efforts in raising the first ever Islamic centre within the compound of the historical masjid and after fighting the red tape of both the masjid's committee and pursuing the approval of the Majlis Agama Islam Pulau Pinang for more than 7 years , we finally got the approval and permission to turn the vacant space below the masjid's minaret tower structure into a practical Islamic Centre of our own.
Here is a picture of us , the founding members of the centre in front of the entrance to the space below the tower of the minaret building of the Masjid Kapitan Keling, Penang.
Picture shows the founding members of the IPCI (Malaysia) with Haji Abdurrahman , a visiting Islamic Activist from the UK.
L to R : Haji Mohd.Yassin, Haji Kamarudin Abdullah, Haji Abdurrahman, Zainol Abideen a.k.a Mahaguru58 (since blogging in 2004)
Haji Yassin works as a bank clerk with Standard Chartered Bank in Penang.
Haji Kamarudin Santanasamy Abdullah is a former Roman Catholic now turned Da'ee and had worked as a Passenger Services Assistant with Malaysian Airlines in Penang before.
He is now a full time Da'ee and is financially supported by several Muslim companies to carry out his work in Islamic Propagation as best as he can.
Haji Abdurrahman is a full time Islamic activist from the UK and travels the world to share info about Islam. I have lost contact with the man and hope he's okay, wherever he is.
At every given opportunity , we would converge at the IPCI centre and attend to the hundreds of visitors coming from all over the world daily.
We cherished each and every moment of being able to continue the noble work of the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW in our own limited ways. Alhamdulillah hi rabbil alameen!
Times have now changed and the IPCI that we set up is now known as the IPSI @ Islamic Propagation Society International and Kamarudin is now known as 'the sole founder' of the centre! I don't mind.
Worldly titles and recognition isn't what I set out to achieve when I saved his butt from being whupped by those chaps from the masjid's committee and I am not much for positions.
As long as I get to share even a morsel of truth about Islam with anyone who bothers to learn and listen, suffices enough for me to have been blessed to do my bit.
May my efforts be rewarded with Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala's forgiveness of all my sins which I have committed knowingly and unwittingly, Ameen!
Same goes for Haji Yassin. Haven't met him since I left Penang for KL in 2001 after my divorce. I hope to see him again in the near future. Haji Yassin is also a great Da'ee and he speaks fluent Italiano, English, Tamil and Malay.
You can find him at the Standard Chartered Bank in Beach Street, Georgetown, Penang. He is a Sufi disciple of Syaikh Nazim Adil Al Haqqani Al Qubrusi An Naqsyabandi like me and is a dedicated mureed.
I am however not as enamoured with 'hero worshipping' anyone except Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala thus I am not your typical gone overboard Sufi mureed as many unfortunately do all over the world.
Haji Yassin is one. His ways of doing Dakwah are naturally quite different from Kamaruddin's and at times, these two get into differences and are your proverbial 'love and hate' brothers in Dakwah! :D
I used to be the peacemaker between the two but now that I am here in KL, I can only pray that these two great Muslims will go easy on each other and learn to live and let live! Hehehehehe..May Allah SWT bless them both. Ameen.
Recently, I had to go to Kepala Batas , Penang to get our herbal medications from our herbalist specialist, Phang Oo Lang for my diabetes and my missus's general health.
I went over to Penang and met my friends and acquaintances from my jewellery days. It was nice to be back home in the island where I was born and grew up in. The sights, smells and the historical places all brought back memories to me and I just loved being back in Penang.
It was a bit too hot actually, the weather gone crazy and all that but still, it was home. My beloved Penang Island.
Nowhere else would I love to be but circumstances cause me to have to migrate in search of peace of my mind and the love of my life, my present and eternal wife! Rosmawati my lovely , kind, gentle, understanding wife. May Allah bless her! Ameen.
I had the opportunity to perform my Zohor prayers at my favourite masjid of all times, the place where I found peace and sanctuary for my soul and where I have met some of the nicest people in my life including this chap who was influential in my decision to be a Caller to Islam!
Many familiar faces were so eager to greet me and I was equally excited to be with them ans we exchanged hugs and wellwishes.
Imam Haji Abdul Latiff was very happy to see me again and said that only the other day, he had dreamt of meeting me again.
Alhamdulillah, his wishes were granted by Allah Azza Wa Jalla and it was my pleasure to be with him once more in the confines of the blessed Masjid Kapitan Keling.
Time for prayer came and I had the golden opportunity to be in the first saff right behind the Imam and besides the Muezzin, who was also glad to see me again.
These were my constant companions when I was living in Penang before. So, it is only natural to feel so happy being back with my fellow Muslims in our beloved sanctuary.
I had just finished praying the congregational prayer when this familiar voice called out from behind me!
'Assalamualaikum Brother Zainol Abideen!' Masya Allah, pleasure to see you again brother, I hope that you are back here in Penang for good, etc!'
I turned around and saw him whom I have at times hugged with the camaraderie of being Brothers in Arms, lambasted him if and whenever he got out of line and became too bigheaded for his own good at times, supported him when he was feeling down, adviced him when he seemed lost, been his friend, mentor and comrade all these while.
Haji Kamaruddin Santanasamy Abdullah is not someone who minces his words and aspirations now when it comes to speaking his mind as he has gone through hell and heaven here on Earth and has survived the 'Baptism of Fire' in the world of Islamic Dakwah.
He has been assaulted by idiots who think that they are better Muslims than him because they were 'born into Islam'.
He thus has become a tad arrogant in his person but still comes up tops as far as his zeal to do his best as far as the field of Dakwah is concerned. I don't blame him.
When I see him being badmouthed by many around him there in the masjid, I ask them, what have you done better than what he has achieved?
What makes you think that you are better than him before Allah?
Have you done anything for Islam and the Ummah except badmouthing someone who has stayed the course all these years and in a way keep the work alive by remaining committed to the cause of Islam there in Penang , no matter that some of you think he's too snobbish for his own good?
You want to look for faults in anything? I can bet you that you will be able to see a thousand and one faults with just whatever it is you set your eyes and mind upon.
Same thing goes if you want to look for the plus points in anything too. I can guarantee you that a thousand and one positive things will highlight themselves to you if you so choose to look for them and have the right mindset.
It is Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala who creates everything and it is through His gift of Reasoning that we are able to figure out what is right and what is wrong with anything?
Learn to appreciate all that we have before us and do not be a nitpicker.
To me, Kamaruddin Abdullah may not be perfect but hell, he's so much more precious to me than many others born into Islam but fail to live up to its tenets and principles.
He asked me to be with him at our centre and attend to a group of four tourists who were there. 3 Norwegians and a New Zealander. Two ladies and two gents.
Tamara, one of the Norwegian ladies was a real smart lady and she was very funny as well, Allah bless her soul.
I ended up sharing with them many facts about Islam and they all responded very well and understood all that I shared with them. Answered their questions about Islam and Kamaruddin gave them some books about Islam for free.
Subhanallah, it sure felt good to be able to do my stuff all over again at the centre. There's nothing better on Earth than carrying out Dakwah to our Brothers and Sisters from all over the world.
After all, ain't we all the Children of Adam?
Kamaruddin was so happy to have me back in the centre but I could only be there for a few hours as I needed to get back home here in KL.
He gave me a few books to bring back and asked me to get the Masjid Jamek Bandaraya KL Islamic Centre going and promised to share books and pamphlets with me once I get the centre in operation.
That's good news. I also bought a DVD of him and another revert to Islam speaking at a masjid in Kuala Kangsar, Perak.
They were both very passionate in their speech to the Muslims attending and Kamaruddin lambasted the chaps in JAKIM for not doing enough for the Dakwah efforts movements here in Malaysia and for the manner in which they drag their feets so to speak when it comes to helping out with funds and the necessary material needs of Islamic Propagation societies like the IPSI, etc.
To round it all up, to me , reverts like Kamaruddin and so many others all over this world are at times so much more better than those born into Islam but are Muslims in Name Only!
Substance rather than mere labels of being born Muslims speaks louder than words or coming forth as smug holier than thou morons.
To all Muslims, I say this. Do not look down on those who have become Muslims today.
They deserve to be respected and supported for their own personal 'Hijrah's from being Kaffirs to now being excellent Muslims!
Allah SWT knows best as to who's more of a true sincere practicing Muslim and who's just coming across as a Muslim in name only and at times be a hypocrite and enemy to the Ummah from within.
Remember that the reverts to Islam become absolutely sin free when they proclaim their Shahadah's and are exalted before Allah Azza Wa Jalla!
They have to go through so much torment and tests when they have to give up on all their former positions, perks and privileges, sacrifice many important things they used to have and enjoy, face life and death situations!
Many of these courageous and dedicated Muslim reverts have been killed for their beliefs, and all other things which many born Muslims wouldn't even be willing to face or go through for one split second of their life's.
Reverts to Islam. I salute you and welcome you to I.S.L.A.M.
The International System of Living for All Mankind.
Wabillahi Taufeek Walhidayah. Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.