Saturday, October 20, 2012

Jom jadi anak-anak yang soleh

Alhamdulillah, I was told by one of my siblings that somehow they got bored reading my entries on Mak as they seems to portray that I was such a good son to Mak. I smiled when I heard that, thank you very much for the reminder. The problem is that I don't remember having big/major disagreement with Mak; I tend to agree with her most of the time. So I don't have that much - if at all - to tell in term of disagreement with Mak. In other words, the bad sides of my relationship with Mak.

Hence my story lines in previous entries have been very consistent, and I standby on my stories.

It was not my intention to show off, or brag to all and sundry. What's point? Would I be richer? Not really, I am not gaining anything, material-wise. I am only seeking jannah through Mak's blessing. That's all. Uwais al-Qarny said this to his mother, when she asked him if he had asked for forgiveness from Allah for all of his own sins (other than asking for forgiveness for his mother's sins):

"Dengan terampunnya dosa ibu, ibu akan masuk syurga. Cukuplah ibu redha dengan saya. Maka saya juga masuk syurga. "

That's exactly what I am hoping with Mak. I do hope that she is satisfied with me. Indication from my other sibling who talked to her is that she was. I can only hope; I don't know for sure. So if anyone feels like I am bragging, I seek His forgiveness for doing that (hopefully without intention). Bragging is normally done to seek someone's attention - or favour - and that someone is no longer around to see, or read my entries.

You see, filial piety is not a zero-sum game. If I have done my part for Mak - I hope I have, then it does not mean other siblings have not done it. If you have done it, on the other hand, it does not mean I (and others) have not done it. It is not like that only one person in the family can do good things to Mak. 

Everybody could, and many have done them.

In other words, we need not compete with each other. Even if we are not endowed with similar capacity financially, and hence may create some form of competition, but if one were to use percentage in providing for Mak, then we can equalize things. My ringgit may not exactly be worth the same as your ringgit, if you know what I mean. A poor person's ringgit is valued higher than the same ringgit donated by a rich person.

But then again, our loves, care for Mak and the likes, these are things every children can bestow upon their parents, regardless of their financial position or worldly possessions. If Kak Sham can care for Mak with such loves that Mak can be (really) satisfied with her, there is nothing stopping me from doing the same thing - technically speaking, that is. If my youngest sister could take unpaid leave to care for Mak, now that's something that I have not done for Mak.

Mak could be with us until the judgment day, most likely I will not have the opportunity to do what she did. I'll be the first to admit.

So everyone of us could do the same things, or do something totally different, or even more, and Mak (and we) will be rewarded accordingly.

But to be honest, when I read the Chinese filial devotion stories, my heart just stopped.

I felt so small going by their tales, and what I have done for Mak seems miniscule. Too miniscule.

How can you surpass this woman who cut her own liver to feed her mother; or the boy (he was eight) who was shirtless the whole night so as to draw the mosquitoes away from his parents; or the man who sold himself to servitude to pay for his father's funeral?

YOu can read about them here. This was also featured by the The Star many weeks ago.

The shirtless boy Wu Mang said, "All my blood comes from my parents; if this cannot be given to the mosquitoes, how can I do something to honour my parents when I grow up."

Who would you value more, should you need to choose, between your children and your parents? Most would say that we would never be in that position having to choose one over the other. We hope so. Most likely we can cater to both of them. But you'd be surprised how challenges (dugaan) can be put on your pathway by Him that would warrant you to think of that. I was given one at the height of Mak's illness. I had mistakenly thought at that time that my children are more important that Mak. After all, I thought, they are the future, and should be treated accordingly. And I excused myself by saying that Mak also has other children to care for her in my absence.

I was totally wrong when I read the Chinese filial stories where parents are everything. I would like to seek Mak's forgiveness for even thinking that way. This is my regret towards the end of Mak's life for even having such thought. She may never know such thing had crossed my mind, but the regret is here in my heart nevertheless. Something I could not deny.

Kuo Chu AD265
Kuo Chu has three sons. His mother reduces her food in order to give some to her grandsons. He then discusses with his wife: "I feel very sad, our mother always spares her food for our sons. She herself does not actually get enough food. You can give birth to more sons. Could you give birth to our mother? Hence, better it is to bury our sons and let our mother have sufficient food." His wife agrees with him.

Three feet deep they have dug in the ground, but instead of burying their sons, they find some large pieces of gold on which it is written: "God of wealth gives this gold to the filial Kuo and his wife!"

Masya Allah, such a beautiful story. Something I could not emulate in my lifetime, even if I am given another. If you still have a mother or father, remember Kuo Chu. You can read more of him and other filial devotion stories in Twenty Four Stories of Filial Piety with Pictures and Poems.

Why I am quoting such Chinese stories here in my blog? Filial piety and devotion cut across all boundaries and cultures. It does not matter if they are Chinese or Middle Eastern, they are something for us to cherish in the modern world where monies are more important than devotion to our parents.

There are more stories from our own religion.

I cried when Dr Harun Din (he's such a good story teller) related in Mekah in 2010 the story of Uwais al-Qarny whose devotion to his mother is second to none. Someone who had carried his mother all the way from Yemen to Makkatul Mukarramah for the Haj. Can I be one? Would I be able to do such thing? No way. I know I am not Uwais. Not even close. 

Read the exploits of Uwais Al-Qarny.

I did not even go with Mak when she was doing her Haj when I should have, let alone carried her, and I was the eldest son. Instead she went alone, all by herself. Shame on me. Luckily nothing untoward happened.

You know, irrespective of how we had treated Mak when she was alive, we can all be anak-anak yang soleh, and anak-anak yang soleh is - like filial piety - not a zero-sum game. The two phases of Mak's life may not necessarily be identical, as far as we, her children, are concerned. Everybody can change, and I am now adamant too to be an anak yang soleh.

For Mak. And Bapak.

Because I was not. And I am nowhere near being one at this very moment.

But neither is this a competition amongst family members, and everyone can be one. The more the merrier for Mak and bapak, and insyaAllah, our own children will be one themselves. For our own sake.

When I pray that we will all be granted the status of anak-anak soleh, one should aminkan the prayer/doa. It is for us all, and not meant to show off to everybody that I am an anak soleh.

I wish I am.

I asked my eldest sister K Sham a week after she arrived in Mekah (for Haj 2012) to pray for all of us to be anak-anak soleh, knowing well this would be our tickets to be in touch with Mak (and bapak) again, and to help them in the afterlife. Once someone has passed away, their connection to this world is over. Whatever we have accumulated in term of wealth, whatever our shortcoming previously in dealing with Mak, will no longer be of used to her.

The only way we can pay back our non-deeds (if I may term of it that way) for our parents would be by being an anak-anak soleh.

I bought this book Dahsyatnya Doa Ibu last week. Actually Arif bought it, after I argued that the book is of no use to me anymore without Mak. There is a chapter towards the end about berbakti dan berdoa selepas ibu tiada, and that's very relevant to me. It is a good reminder of what I could still do for Mak eventhough she is no longer with us. It lists down everything that we could as children of our parents.

It is full of anecdotes, and stories that we could emulate. It talks about

1. mendoakan ibu
2. melaksanakan wasiat dan nazar
3. silaturahim with kerabat
4. berbakti kepada ibu saudara sebagai pengganti ibu
5. Menziarahi dan berdoa di kubur ibu
6. Bersedeqah untuk ibu
7. Menunaikan haji untuk ibu

I am told that berbakti kepada ibu dapat menebus dosa.

It talks about seven deeds yang terus mengalir pahalanya. It talks about the virtue of doing good deeds to and for our parents.

There is a story that is quoted from Irsyadul Ibad. It was told by an ahli ibadah. Beliau bercerita, "Aku bermimpi melihat ramai ahli kubur keluar dari kubur mereka dan mengutip sesuatu. Antara mereka aku melihat ada seorang ahli kubur hanya duduk di atas kuburnya tanpa mengambil apa-apa. Aku pun mendekatinya seraya bertanya, "Apakah yang mereka ambil itu?"

Dia menjawab, "Kiriman hadiah dari kaum muslimin iaitu bacaan doa atau Quran."

Lalu aku bertanya lagi, "Mengapa kamu tidak ikut sama mengambilnya?"

"Aku sudah cukup," jawabnya.

Aku tidak memahami maksudnya dan bertanya, "Bagaimana?"

Dia berkata, "Setiap hari, anakku mengirimkan hadiah untukku. Dia menjual kuih di pasar."

Keesokan paginya, aku pergi kepasar dan mencari anak ahli kubur yang aku mimpi kan malam tadi. Ternyata anaknya seorang pemuda. Aku melihat bibirnya asyik terkumat kamit. Aku bertanya kepadanya, " Mengapa bibirmu asyik bergerak-gerak?"

Dia menjawab, "Aku mengucapkan ayat-ayat Quran dan aku hadiahkan untuk ayahku yang sudah meninggal dunia."

Tidak lama selepas itu, aku bermimpi lagi. Aku melihat semua orang mati dalam kubur keluar dan orang yang duduk dahulu turut mengambil kiriman ayat-ayat qur'an dan doa seperti kawan-kawannya. Apabila aku terbangun daripada tidur, aku segera kepasar dan mencari anaknya yang menjual kuih. Apabila aku sampai di situ, ada orang memberitahuku, pemuda itu sudah meninggal!

Just imagine, there are 12 of anak-anak Mak still living. If we can all be like that pemuda whose mulut terkumat-kamit berzikir and membaca qur'an, just imagine how wonderful it would be for Mak. And bapak. That's the beauty of someone who had given birth to 12 children and adopted another. This is not something I could even get close to with only two children of my own. Now I can see the beauty of having many children. 

Ya Allah, jadikanlah kami semua anak-anak yang soleh yang terus berbakti untuk kedua ibu-bapa kami. Amin.


If I have been less than polite in pin-pointing some of our shortcomings in our relationship with Mak, treat it as a reminder form an elder brother. Treat it as a base from which we can improve our deeds for the next phase of Mak's life. 

I may be right, I might be wrong, but in the end it does not matter at all to us. I am not important; I am just the messenger. I write from the heart. Unfortunately it may get in someone's way. I can't help it there to be honest.

But if there is any fact that is wrong, let me know. I stand corrected.

Treat it in a positive manner such that we would all be heading to be anak-anak Mak yang soleh.

1 comment:

  1. Man,

    My mum passed away in 2001 and my father in 2005. These are what I have done for them since:

    1. Ziarah kubur di Shah Alam setiap bulan
    2. Niat 1/3 kebajikan yang dibuat untuk disedekah kepada mereka
    3. Sedekah Fatihah setiap sorang sekali setiap solat fardhu
    4. Ziarah rakan-rakan mereka yang masih ada
    5. Sedekah Fatihah setiap kali terkenang mereka
    6. Doakan mereka
    7. Masa mereka masih hidup, hanya mereka berdua dan nenek yang tangan dicium, hanya setelah mereka tiada penghormatan tersebut berpindah kepada ibu/bapa saudara.

    Kau mampu untuk buat lebih dari itu. (Z-KEVII)