Thursday, November 24, 2011

Saving the Ummah with Tarbiyah

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم
In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful

Assalamualaikum wbt.

When I was young and spirited, I once thought, "Oh Allah, give me the strength and guidance to save the ummah. Choose me ya Allah, to be the saviour of the ummah!"

But the little energetic me was young, and the young are mostly foolish. Not stupid, oh no! Far from that. But heed me, I said foolish. Because the young are rash, and like to jump into fire, without fully realizing the danger they are running into!

Their spirit is an asset, but so is knowledge. Hence, it is not wrong to say that a spirited and knowledgeable youth is more promising, is it not? (smiles) 

I was there, at that stage. During the early stages of youth. Hey, I still am a youth! (smiles)

But only now do I realize, how foolish I was. How foolish my du`a to Allah was. After tonight, I knew my du`a should be;

"Oh Allah, ar-Rahman ar-Rahim. Give me the strength and guidance to save myself. Save me ya Allah! So that I may qualify (in your judgement) to be the saviour of the ummah."


Tarbiyah (تربية) means to nurture. To nurture and guide to go back in remembering Allah. To understand the reason why we are muslims. To know what Islam is all about.

I must admit, I didn't believe in the concept of tarbiyah..when I first 'shook hands' with it. When I was first introduced to it.

I had some usrah sessions during secondary school. There is a university required course in UIA/IIUM similar to an usrah. 

I was there. I was in both circles. But you know, I still didn't quite believe in it. 

It's not that I didn't want to believe that a murabbi (leader of the usrah) teaching and guiding his/her mutarabbi (all the other members if the usrah) can indeed change the people in it to become better muslims. It's just that, I had a hard time believing in something I couldn't see. Well, something I haven't seen, yet.

Well, perhaps my iman is not as strong as my readers are (insya-allah). I had to see the changes to believe it.

Getting Better Each Day

One thing that I had a hard time accepting was mutabaah `amal. Our murabbi would give us the task to increase our ibadah each week, after an usrah session has ended and she would check on our progress. For example, we are required to read 2 pages of al-Quran, read ma`thurat at least once, do solat sunat rawatib at least 4 rakaat, and pray jamaah at least once a day. These are the mutabaah amal for one day, and our progress is monitored each week. Of course, these amalan (deeds) are increased slowly one at a time.

My murabbi knows how much I protested this "idea" (smiles). See, I thought it would make me insincere in remembering Allah, when I cared so much about the sincerity of my deeds. I really do.

Because, from what little I knew, Allah does not look at one's face or rank. But it is the heart He cares the most. It is the heart, where our niah (intentions) come from, that He places the criteria of judgement. And that is why I love Allah.

Today, I am glad to say, is a different story. (smiles)

I thank Allah so much for showing me the road to tarbiyah. He has shown me the road to my salvation.

Begin with You

Exactly. It all begins with each of us.

My dear sahabahs (friends),

I love this ummah so much. I have finally learnt to truly express my inner feelings because of what Kak Ji said, "Berikrar bahawa kita beriman (kpd Allah & rasul-Nya) ialah mengatakan apa yang kita rasakan (To say that we believe is to express what (the faith that) is in our hearts."

That was what she said. What my heart heard was, "If you feel something, then let it show. Say what you truly feel."

Most of the time, I really felt like talking about prophet Muhammad saw. And his sahabahs (companions). And about Allah. But it didn't come out. Because I feared...I feared I was being boastful. Or riya' (feeling you are greater than everyone else). I feared people would see me as feeling I am better than them (lebih baik drpd org lain).

Alhamdulillah, Allah has slowly erased those mixed feelings, and replaced them with a strong resolve. (keteguhan) That I should not fear what others think. Place your intentions, and you deeds will be judged based on that. That expressing love for Islam is a beautiful thing, and nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing to be ashamed of.

I dreamed of saving this ummah, though I have no idea how and where to start (hmm). What I didn't realize was that it all had to begin with the basic of the ummah.

What is the basic of the ummah?

Why, it is none other than you and me, my dear friend! 

WE are the building blocks of our nation, just as rocks are a part of mountains, just as rivers are parts of seas, just as clouds make up the sky.

To save the ummah is to save yourself.

Untuk memperbaiki ummah, maka perbaikilah dirimu sendiri (terlebih dahulu).

Join Us

Before I go, I want to tell you something that you desperately need to know.

Do you know how I came to this conclusion? 

"Untuk memperbaiki ummah, maka perbaikilah dirimu sendiri (terlebih dahulu)."

I will tell you. Yes, I must tell you.

The answer is... tarbiyah.

My experience is telling you this. Only when you see you own weaknesses before your very eyes, do you accept that you are weak. Dreaming of saving the ummah is not enough. Dreams are for muslims...but we aim to be mukmin, don't we?? Mukmins act my friends..just look at the companions! They scattered all over the world to spread the message of Islam. Maybe they were dreamers, visioning to spread the message of Islam, but then they ACT ON THAT VISION. 

And let me tell you the very first act must be this; join tarbiyah.

Find in your residence someone who is experienced and knowledgable in Islam, ask him/her to make an usrah circle. Find your murabbi, or accept the invitation to become mutarabbi. 

Seeing others aiming towards the same a great sense of relief. Because now you see, therefore you will believe, that you are not alone.

A youth once thought she could do it alone. With what little knowledge of Islam that she has, she dreamed of bringing this ummah back to the prophet's age. She thought she had it all.

As time goes by, she realized, what she thought was an ocean of knowledge and strength, was a mere gust of wind passing by.

She now knows, she must first become the student, before Allah places her as the teacher. 

That time will come, but she must be patient. Yes, she must learn patience, for patience is a virtue of a mukmin, whom she strives to be. Insya-Allah.

Do you wish to know how the story ends? (smiles)

Then, why don't you join her? Then you can be a part of the story too. (smiles)

Inspiration: Tonight's usrah & Solusi magazine issue 38 page 3.

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