Saturday, February 28, 2009
Mudpie was stuck.
He volunteered from then on, and counts some of his best friendships from his association with Darul Arqam (that's the Association's Muslim name).
There was a teacher there who taught what was called a "Beginners' Class on Islam". He was a university graduate from my university, spoke English well, and yet was traditionally trained in Islamic religious studies. He was passionate about bringing the message of Islam to non-Muslims, and also as much, to Muslims who needed a different pitch. Mudpie was his trainee and student, and he was Mudpie's mentor.
Many years later, Ustaz Zulkeflee left Darul Arqam and went over to Pergas. We kept in touch, although less frequently, until Mudpie helped out in the driving-and-carrying duties for a series of talks on Islamic Thought and Civilisation conducted by Pergas and ISTAC. This was Mudpie's introduction to Pergas, which inducted him into another, different world.
Ustaz Zulkeflee later fell ill with a stroke, and could not talk or move.
So it was with much happiness that Mudpie discovered Ustaz Zul was back, and giving a talk last Friday. Although the thrust and content was not a surprise to him, Mudpie was happy just to go and see the man who had, at a critical juncture of Mudpie's life, helped him take the other, less trodden, path.
May God bless Ustaz Zul and give him health and strength always.
Here is the presentation from his talk, with his kind permission.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Habib `Umar b. Hafiz (may Allah preserve him) said,
This is why the poet said
و مزدريهم لو كان مسكا … لقيل في أصله نجاسة
Whoever respects people will be respected by them, and will win unto intelligence and leadership.
But someone who has contempt for them, were he to be made of musk, he would be told that he was originally filth. 
This is why we must approach people with love, concern, mercy, and compassion. And that is how the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) came to you: he was all mercy, compassion, humility, and politeness. This is why you will find that most of the early ones to respond to his call were the downtrodden people of Mecca … At the conquest of Mecca, Bilal  was the only one who climbed the Ka`ba when the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told him, “Climb and call the people to prayer.” (Habib `Umar b. Hafiz, Tawjih al-Nabih li Mardati Barih, Kuwait: Dar al-Diya, 2008, p. 167)
 Musk comes from the originally filthy secretions of the musk-deer that collect in a sac and solidify.
 In other words, at the height of the Prophet’s political supremacy (Allah bless him and give him peace).
 A former slave.
Now the Great Crunch is coming, and we read it in our news everyday , and we're all thinking about what we are going to do to survive it.
Now we save money, spend less, keep our jobs.
Now we pray to God to keep our heads above water to ride out the bad time to come.
So things are gonna get bad NOW? For many people in this world, it wasnt better before. So, what's the difference about NOW?
Just a reminder of the other people in this world who are facing far, far worse trials and tribulations than we possibly can imagine at this moment, and the saints who stand against the tide - the tide of apathy and selfcentredness.