Wednesday, February 25

NOT OUR RIGHT TO JUDGE

"Be careful, she's crazy, don't believe what she says," the Malay lady whispered to me.
"She has been coming here frequently and once, I saw her singing alone loudly, she's abnormal," said another.
I looked at them but didn't reply. When a young ustazah said the same thing to me , I looked at her straight in the eyes and said,"I've been asked to come here to help someone understand Islam. I'll do my best, the rest is up to Allah."

I had decided to change plans. Instead of asking her to come over to my area as we initially planned, I went over to meet her right after school hours today. Alhamdulillah the trip was smooth and I managed to solat zhohor in a friend's room before meeting her.
Mei(not her real name) was friendly and looked younger than her actual age. I found out that she is quite illiterate, having undergone formal education for less than a year. She can understand basic Malay language but can't express herself fluently in that language. Therefore the Muslim Malays who had tried to revert her to Islam have failed to make her understand who Mohammad was and the teachings of Islam.

Alhamdulillah Allah swt arranged everything for us. I who was nervous and worried that alone I might not be able to explain well for Mei's needs with my still limited knowledge of Islam, had prayed for an assistant. Alhamdulillah a few minutes before my scheduled appointment with Mei, I met a kind Malay lady, Kak Nor who agreed to help me help Mei. We took Mei to the washroom at her request and showed (and taught) her how to perform the ablution or wuduk. I explained in Hokkien language to Mei about the need to wuduk and bless her, she was a good student, eagerly following everything we did. As Mei was very ignorant about Islam and can't read Malay, Chinese nor English, I decided to explain everything in the simplest term. I told Mei that as Allah swt is the greatest and only God, mightier than even the king (we always dress well to meet the king and other VIPs) we have to be clean when we pray to Him. She asked if we need to bathe each time we pray, so we told her that doing ablution is enough.
"Oh, I feel good," she said after she had performed the wuduk.

We helped her to put on her telekong(she brought one) as she had asked to know how to pray to Allah. As it's just Asar, Kak Nor suggested that Mei joined us in our solat. With Kak Nor as the imam, we performed the solat with Mei following our steps.
Mei was sobbing during the solat. I felt sorry for her. She had waited for many years for somebody to teach her how to solat. In short, we performed solat asar, maghrib and isyak together in a small room.

Mei had many questions to ask. She had many strange dreams. She felt Allah communicates to her. She confessed that despite praying to other gods, her own heart was not in peace. She has been searching for the only and only God for many years but nobody could explain to her in her own language. Alhamdulillah for Kak Nor, who with her deep knowledge of Islam and a commendable command of Mei's language (she learnt Hokkien before) and with me as a translator and assistant, Mei finally began to understand the true teachings of Islam.

"She's not crazy, Aliya. She's just lost and unable to express herself well. She looked so beautiful in the white telekong that I can't help feeling touched with her sincerity to learn Islam. Imagine what would have happened if we refused to help her?" said Kak Nor with tears in her eyes as we took our late dinner.

I looked at Mei who was busy entertaining Kak Nor's children. The children took an instant liking to her and kept telling their mother what Mei told them. They knew that she's harmless and sincere.
I realised just how illiterate Mei is when she mispronounced the name of the mamak restaurant she took us to for dinner (Kayu becomes Tajul). She mispronounced many words in Malay but alhamdulillah as Kak Nor understands some Hokkien and I could confirm the meaning with her, we manage to help her understand the concept of Allah, kiamat, syurga, neraka and malaikat, using a lot of analogy and examples that Mei could relate to. Alhamdulillah as I've taught little children before and as Kak Nor is also a mother, we managed to reach down to Mei's level of understanding. Nothing Arabic, nothing too difficult.

Astaghfirullazim. I had been selfish. I had planned to return home by 7pm for fear of driving alone in the dark of the night. Allah swt decides otherwise. I spent 6 hours with Mei and Kak Nor, explaining explaining and explaining and arriving home at 12.30 am on Wednesday morning. Kak Nor too, sacrificed her time to help Mei understand Islam. At midnight, I drove all the way across the Penang bridge under very heavy rain, relying only on Allah swt to protect me (Husband is away attending a course). And indeed He answers all prayers.

Thanks to Mei, I've learnt a great lesson today. Alhamdulillah for Allah swt has brought us together - 3 strangers who had never met one another before - in the name of Islam.
Kak Nor and I had decided not to listen to others who told us that there's something wrong about Mei. We had refused to judge her. Instead for Kak Nor and I, Mei is a person who seeks Allah swt and we are determined to show her the right path.
"Kak, I didn't want to say anything when ustazah told me to be careful about Mei. We should give her a chance. We should listen to her, really listen. They, the ones who call her crazy, are born Muslims who have never searched for the true God. What do they know?"
"Yes, it's true. A crazy person would never have survived the long heavy task of performing solat with us. Imagine, how many rakaat had she done? Asar, maghrib and isyak? And she was so eager to learn, she even taped my voice when I recited the verses during solat. She asked to see our legs to find out how we sat during tahiyyat, something I had forgotten to show her. I was speechless."
"It's bad to prejudge a person, especially someone like Mei who is actually searching for the true God. And spreading such "talks" to convince others to think bad about her, I think, is really sinful. We have no proof that she's mentally disturbed. Of course she does certain things unpredictably but perhaps that's because she's actually ignorant. Her Chinese culture is different from Muslim's, the way she thinks is different. It's up to Allah swt to give hidayah to whomever He wants. We should help people like Mei, not push her away or ignore her because we are tired of her "weird behaviour or persistent questionings." For all we know, that's how Allah swt test us, by sending someone like Mei to us, to test whether we are honest in our work for Allah or not."

"It's true, Aliya. When we judge others wrongly, we commit sin. Allah may have forgiven that person's sins but our own sin against the person we slander may not be forgotten by Allah swt unless we go and apologise to him or her. Imagine if we had ignored Mei just now, we'd be pushing away a potential Muslim."

Kak Nor and I asked Mei a few times if she wanted to be a Muslim. We taught her to recite the 2-kalimah syahadah,Kak Nor explained in Malay and I translated in Hokkien. Mei had repeated after us. Only Allah swt knows what's in her heart when she recited it. As it was almost midnight, I had to return home. As I left the carpark, I saw a happy Mei eagerly taping Kak Nor's recitation of Allahuakhbar. She wants to listen at home and repeat everything.

I'm happy today. I've found a new friend and sister in the person of Kak Nor. Mei has many of her questions about Islam answered. We had asked Mei to return to see us so that we could explain more and to arrange for more witnesses to Mei's recitation of the 2-kalimah syahadah one day in future.
It'd take time. How long will Mei need before she's ready to live as a Muslim? Only Allah swt knows.
Please pray for Mei. InsyaAllah our prayers will help Mei to cross over faster. She's halfway through for now she truly believes in the one and only God, Allah swt.
Mei has been misjudged by many Muslims who have rejected her, just because she's different. Not many can understand her statements and her dreams are treated like belonging to a mentally disturbed person.
I dare not call her "crazy". She's illiterate. Learned scholars learn Islam by reading the al-Quran and having discussions with Muslims but what can an illiterate person who can't communicate in the language used of many Muslims, do?
My work in this world is to explain Islam to those who seek Islam. I dare not pass judgement. Only Allah swt can judge a person. And I have found a good ally in kind and patient Kak Nor who confessed to me that she had prayed that she'd be given a chance to bring someone to revert to Islam(insyaAllah), for she felt in her life she had not done much for Islam.
Remember? Rasullullah s.a.w himself was once accused by the Jahilliyahs as being crazy, and we know that he was not.
There're many people like Mei who eagerly seeks the true God, but is frustrated because they can't get the answers they need to help convince them that they're making the right choice. Talks by other non-Muslim about being unable to change back to original religion adds more confusion and fear. And they're misjudged, rejected, looked down on, and ignored by those people who are supposed to help them. And yet we wonder why there're less Muslim reverts in Malaysia than the total number of people in drug rehabilitation centres, despite more than 50 years of independence ?
Alhamdulliah I'm glad I had agreed to meet Mei. I'm thankful I met Kak Nor. She's not an appointed ustazah but she's wonderful. Our paths crossed on this fateful day because He, the best of all planner has decided it'd be so.
It's been a long day bt my heart is light.
May Allah swt bless Mei.She has told us that if she is a Muslim, she wants to bring the unfortunate ones to join her in Islam. Kak Nor and I had advised her to take care of herself first, by reciting the 2-kalimah syahadah. Let's pray for her deliverance.

23 comments:

  1. tears flow while i'm reading ..... subhanallah

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  2. Sangat mengharukan...hidayah itu milik Allah....dan sesiapa sahaja mungkin dipilih-NYA.....

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  3. subhanallah..fi hafizillah...

    hampir menitis air mata. saya melihat seorang wanita yg tersesat, tercari2 jalan yg benar...mujur ada dua orang muslimah yang sudi membantu...

    dia telah dipilih Tuhan, berbahagia la penghuni langit dan bumi...

    ermm, sebenarnya kita yang gila, ada akal tapi tak digunakan utk menolong org yg memerlukan...

    apa guna reti membaca jika perkataan semudah 'simpati' dan 'saudara seislam' pun kita tak faham...

    besar nyer pahala kak Aliya.cemburu pula saya...bila la Dia akan izinkan saya buat apa yg kak Aliya buat...

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  4. Very inspirational. I'm reading it in the office and it's 8am now. This is fresh thoughts of yours, Sis. I can imagine you writing this entry in the small hours of 25th Feb, almost immediately after you got home.

    Things stopped for awhile while I was reading this post just now. I got a temporary sudden headache cos I was really concentrating.

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  6. Salam Kak Aliya,
    Beautiful. a very beautiful thing you did there. To tell the truth sometimes even Muslim by family like me lost due to the challenge of surrounding.

    People nowadays are not proud practising Islam as ad-deen. I've got an experience where there were small laughter when we actually recite doa and our friends cut their birthday cakes. And these people are born in Muslim's family!

    I believe soulfully that it is not our duty to judge. As for Mei I really hope she could survive and become the best Muslim ever.

    Pray to Allah when Islam is fully understood and practised. Ameen.

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  7. Assalamualaikum dear brothers and sisters,

    I have dealt with many similar cases involving those who were seeking Islam and were shunned and at times chased away by ignorant pompous ‘Muslims’ at our Islamic Centre at the Masjid Kapitan Keling, Georgetown, Penang.

    There are many out there today who look at those who want to come learn about Islam in a negative way.

    These blinkered folks think that Islam is like a club membership.

    Those who aren’t Malay are considered lesser beings and ought not be allowed to step foot in the masjids and suraus of this nation.

    There have been many times when physical abuse was used against people whom they considered as inferior to them.

    I recall the turning point in my life when I saved a Mualaf from being assaulted by members of the Kapitan Keling Masjid’s Committee 20 over years ago!

    Today that Mualaf is recognised and referred to by our nation’s RTM and asked for his opinion with regard to anything concerning the Christian church’s agenda here in Malaysia.

    The Mualaf I am referring to is Brother Haji Kamaruddin Santhanasamy Abdullah, the Chairman of the Islamic Propagation Society International based at my favorite masjid and personal sanctuary, our beloved Masjid Kapitan Keling Penang.

    Gems like Kamaruddin and Aliya here are Muslims who at times shine even brighter than many who are born into Islam.

    The difference between such outstanding Muslim Reverts and the ones who got Islam for free is the personal sacrifices and gauntlet of fire that these individuals have gone through!

    Thus, their dedication and commitment to be the best among the Ummah!

    I for one am honored to be part of their lives.

    Alhamdulillah.

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  8. AssalamuAlaikum wrwb Kak Aliya,

    Subhanallah, Syukur, Alhamdulillah,

    We are human beings created by Allah swt. So with this belief, Malays must change. The Malays must change.

    If we are so proud to be a Malay and the title given to us as a muslim. Isn't that a gift? From who? Allah.. Then why don't we in return follow the need of Allah swt? Allah wants us to spread the teachings of Islam and give a clear sign to those who are ignorant, disbelief about Allah swt who created the Heavens and the Earth!

    Where is the responsibility? Where do you hide it? Where is the love for others? For Malays, the non-muslims especially the Chinese only seems totally repugnant, abhorrent, disgusted, nauseated for them. Why? Just because they do not wash after they pee or poo because they are the non-muslims. Don't we have the feeling of care about them?

    The da'wah is misinterpreted by most Islamic scholars of Malays. They only give 'dakwah' among themselves. And they only know how to the non-muslims as kafirs laknatullah etc. But what about the ignorant?

    Astagfirullah. I love my race because I am a Malay too. But how can I love my whole race if Islam is not shone among most of them. What makes Malays so fear of talking about Allah, the tauhid and the Prophet Muhammad saw to the non-muslims especially and also to our own children? Many Malay children are still searching for their God and the right role model.

    Let us pray for Malays too. Ya Allah swt, engkau berilah petunjukMu dalam sebarang bentuk apa sekali pun agar kaum Muslimin Melayu sedar ya Allah. Ameen.

    Assalamu Alaikum wrwb,
    -Nurul Hanan

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  9. Subhanallah,
    Alhamdullilah,
    Allahuakbar,

    All praise is for Allah. Thank You for the hidayah you have given us and the new sister.

    Welcome to the new sister to our family. Sis Aliya, if there is anything i can do, please just email me k.

    I have gone through hardship right after my reversion and I am so lucky there are so many friends here to help me. I cant really imagine 'Mei's condition. She will need all the support.

    Yes Miss01, we can start changing now so that all our children will change too. Da'wah is COMPULSARY to all muslims. The easiest way to do da'wah is practice Islam. Just be the best muslims that we can. I know some reverts told me they come to Islam because of what some muslim practice.

    This article makes me cry.
    Syukur with what we have. Allah will show us the way.

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  10. Waalaikumussalam everyone,
    I'm just thankful that I could help her. I've never seen such enthusiasm from a person to learn Islam and Islamic way of life. Many times last night,Kak Nor and I wiped away our tears as we helped Mei to understand Islam. Her face was glowing when she put on the telekong. She was so eager to perform the solat that I left her with a note of the solat times (Only Allah swt knows what she's doing now)and how many raakat to do for each. May Allah swt bless her and help her to live as a good Muslimah.

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  11. Salams Puan...

    You're one cool Muslimah.

    Gladdened the heart some. When many Malay Muslims are going astray or finding ways to distance themselves from Islam and in some extremes even being blasphemous, you and all the wonderful people like you did the opposite. Learning more about Islam, practising it proudly and spreading to others all the beautiful Islam has to offer.

    And we who are born into the religion, are still thumping our chests implying we know it all, are even better than them Arabs. While watching akedemi fantasia reruns.

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  12. Semoga dipermudahkan urusan Kak Aliya. Insyaallah..

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  13. Subhanallah.

    Benarlah ALLAH akan memberikan hidayahNYA kepada mereka yang DIA mahu.

    Thanks Kak Aliya, this posting make me look back at myself as a born Muslim, but how Muslim am i.

    thanks :)

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  14. subhanallah!!

    apabila DIA berkehendak, tiada kuasa walau sebesar mana dapat menghalang.

    apabila DIA berkehendak, segala susah akan dipermudahkannya.

    apabila DIA berkehendak, walau jauh mana, akan didekatkannya.

    apabila DIA berkehendak, tiada yang mustahil ..

    Entry Aliya kali ini membuat airmata bergenang ..

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  15. Assalamualaikum..

    Alhamdulillah, urusan pertemuan tu Allah permudahkan.

    Semoga Allah terus berikan hidayah kepada Mei..semoga dia benar2 terbuka hati masuk Islam..

    Baca cerita kak aliya, saya teringat masa saya belajar solat dari kawan (sebelum masuk Islam), saya nak tengok macamana kedudukan tangan masa sujud

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  16. SubhanalLah. AllahuAkbar.

    May Allah bless you and kak Nab and give me the same strength to do the same.

    Amin...

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  17. Praise to Allah. I'm touched by her story. People go a great length in search for truth. God bless her and I pray for her a smooth reversion. May her showered with hidayah. Also to others like her out there.

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  18. Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahuakbar..

    I read this whilst crying.. Ya Allah, sangat menginsafkan..

    Allah bless u kak aliya and kak nor. its not an easy task.. Of all other muslimah, Allah chose u two.

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  19. Aliya,

    No word can describe my feeling right now except subhanallah Allhuakbar. You've grabbed the hand that needed the most help from us, the muslim. What you and kak Nor did was so wonderful and may Allah bless both of you for what you've done. Very inspiring story...

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  20. Waalaikumussalam tarings, yus, Pieces,mem-besar, Makcik Ila, jr Humyrah
    I'm just doing my best, and what I have been entrusted to do, that's all. And sharing my experience so that we can all learn the love of A;lah swt for us. Alhamdulillah syukur and thanks to the ustaz who contacted me to see Mei, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to contribute for Islam. Remember what Allah sees in us is our taqwa to Allah swt.
    yus, insyaAllah
    Pieces, InsyaAllah we can all improve.. strive to be the best Muslim you can be.
    mem-Besar,saya tak dapat melelapkan mata selepas tiba di rumah pada awal pagi, Teringin sangat berkongsi cerita dengan anda semua semoga Mei dapat dibantu melalui doa-doa anda.
    Sakinah, Mei amat bertuah kerana dapat belajar solat daripada Kak Nor yang baik hati dan pemurah ilmu. Menarik sekali cara Kak Nor menerangkan setiap langkah ketika wuduk dan solat.
    Makcik Ila, InsyaAllah you will. But it's not easy and not only having enough knowledge for dakwah, but enough patience and good-naturednes to smile even when you're dead tired.
    Humyrah, well I think Kak Nor and I made a good team. And Allah had arranged it so- both of us were rather free that day so could attend to Mei's needs. We're just glad to help her.
    Faizal, I remember the tough time I had when I wanted tp learn about Islam. Some were reluctant to help and were only available during office hours. I don't want a potential Muslim to feel slighted just because we're too busy/ selfish to help her.

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