Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Gift of the Traveller

Ok, my trip to KL was not totally brainless.
I did manage to buy the 3 volume Hidayatus Salikin, written by Syeikh Abdus Shamad al-Falimbani, written in 1778 in Makkah.

It was THE basic text used throughout the Nusantara (Malay speaking world) until the rise of the modern influx of Middle Eastern books.

We have forgotten much of our great wise ones of the past, which is a pity.

An excellent source of information is found at Ulama Blogspot which contains more than enough as background information on them.

I have of late become obsessed by the legacy of our Malay ulama, forgotten by our people, even by their teachers, today.

They write about the usual dry topics as if they are the most natural and self-evident things - and speak as if the Prophet s.a.w. was a Malay himself.

They are indeed evidence of why our predecessors were able to come to this part of the world and convert whole populations in a matter of generations.

We today, who live with non-Muslims so intimately every day, are still not able to convert many of them to the Truth, and the strange thing is we do not even wonder why, as if the blame is on the non-Muslims and not on us.

Whereas our ancestors knew how to package Islam in a manner that it became synonymous with being Malay, we have made it synonymous with being Arab, and we know how non-Muslims see that as - terrorism and extremism.

I wish we could only see the error of our ways - and that we could somehow, not just preserve the ashes of our forebears, but transmit their flame to our progeny.

On a different note, I am reminded of this hadith, which I have known for a long time, but have been ignoring.

When I first flipped open the Hidayatus Salikin at random, Allah forced my eyes to behold it again. It must be a sign, and a Believer must take signs as instructions.

Hadith : "Salaatun bisiwaakin min sib'eena salaatan bilaasiwaak."
"One prayer with teeth brushed is better than 70 prayers with teeth unbrushed."

Happy brushing.

(OK, I refuse to get into the discussion of whether it should be a miswak stick or a modern toothbrush. Constantly debating about the shape and colour of the car is what keeps us from moving on in the journey.)

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