Saturday, March 19, 2011

Entrapment by Love is the Sweetest Servitude - Umrah Pilgrimage Part 4

I arrived late (what’s new?) at the Tabung Haji (The Malaysian Haj Fund) Complex for my short seminar on the manners and guide to performing the Umrah (lesser pilgrimage). There was a 15 minutes recess and I left the compound for a nicotine break.

I made way to a small park across the road, and there was an event. It appears that the local community organized a sepak takraw event. From the crowd, I can see that most of the participants were the local boys. They were all sitting and listening to the pre-game talk by a motivational speaker.

The speaker must be in his late 40s or early 50s. In the beginning he talked about Japan, but not about the tsunami, rather the people. He has previously volunteered in disaster areas like Acheh and Pakistan. He recounted how the aid volunteers sometimes had to flee from the mass of desperate refugees when they arrived at the camps bearing food and medical supplies. Hungry, battered and angry, people simply forget themselves and their everyday manners. Clamoring for aid, the situation often deteriorated into a free-for-all. No wonder the police and army had to be on hand to keep chaos at bay.

“How different it was for the Japanese”, he recounted. "The Japanese, instead of falling into a melee, queued orderly and when it is his turn, the man would tell the aid worker his name and current predicament, then asks, 'Am I entitled to the medicine?'" In the super-high stress conditions of post-tsunami, the traditional Japanese way of respect and politeness are, you must admit, truly praiseworthy.

Coming back to the main topic, the speaker continued to say that it is important for you to be disciplined. To wake up early and catch the morning sun. To work and play according to what is beneficial. “There is a good way to have fun. There is a good way to lepak (relax) or play sports.” Then he continued. “All these are not forbidden. But you must find a way how to do these things beneficially.”

The last thing which he touched on was one that is dear to me. He spoke of the Prophet. Obviously he left the best for last. He spoke how in the final moments of the Prophet’s passing, Muhammad Habibullah counseled his nation never to forget solat (prayers). Then the speaker said these words, “Upon the last instance when God’s Beloved breathed his last on earth, what did he utter, and what or whom was his last thoughts? Was it about his favourite camel? Was it about Aisha, his beautiful wife? Was it about his Mosque in Medina? Was it about his daughter, Fatima az-Zahra? Nooo… my friends! He was thinking about you, you and you! You, you and you! All of us here right up to the end of time. He said ‘umati, umati, umati’ (oh my people, my people, my people).”


Entrapment by Love is the sweetest servitude. I try to run from one congregation, and another ambushes me in the park. I have no where to run. Maybe I don't wanna run...

66. Love That Has No Reasons
Lock my heart in love for Thee
With love that has no reasons
So my mind can never sway me
With words all wise but treason.

Lock my heart in love for Thee
With love that has no seasons
So neither snow nor sun in spring
Will steal me from my Loving King.

Lock my heart in love for Thee
And chain me to Your Ocean
Throw away the prison key
And take away my freedom.

Lock my heart in love for Thee
And make my soul Your Garden
Plant in me Your Jasmine Tree
With roots that reach Your Ocean.

Lock my heart in love for Thee
With love to awe this heathen
Make AHAD my beating heart
And make Ahmad my passion.


Have a wonderful Sabbath, pet. This morning I said that I feel the Love. Now I do not see anything but Love. I know this vision shall not last forever, but I don’t care. I am happy.

Pax Taufiqa.

Footnote: The poem above has been posted earlier. But it just suits this posting, so I hope you don’t mind.

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