Saturday, April 7, 2012

All is Right with the World - Mikhail at the Tahlil

He insisted on the walking-stick. He dragged it around all night.
Mikhail was not pleased that I left him sleeping soon after hearing about the passing of Shaykh Raja Ashman Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Shah (Ku Ash). It was early in the morning, you see, and I didn't have the heart to wake him. He was complaining later that night to his mother, "I wish Papa woke me. I wish I went. I wish Papa didn't leave me. I wish I could see Ku Ash one more time." He even mused that, "Why did he die so soon, Mummy? Look at Tok Wan! (His grandfather who's 78)."

Mikhail is not a children of the zawiya. Indeed, he met Ku Ash only rarely. But he was there during the last couple of times I saw the Shaykh. More often, we went home early without meeting the Shaykh, but we saw him from the back of the congregation (we are always at the back, near the exit), and it felt good already. We don't need much assurance, you see - Ah, he is here. Good. All is right with the world.

When Ariffin asked me to follow him to Ku Ash's tahlil at his house last Thursday night, I agreed. As I was leaving, I told Mikhail, "I am going to Ku Ash house." My son immediately jumped up from playing his laptop and said, "I am coming!"

I waited, when suddenly Mika appeared wearing the traditional Malay costume, fully fitted from the songkok on his head down to the sampin around his waist. "You look good, Mika." I commented. He was pleased and said, "I found the clothes all by myself and wore it without anyone's help, Papa."

As me, Ariffin and Mika were driving up to the house, we saw police outriders escorting a car down the hill. Oops. That must be the Sultan, leaving after the end of the tahlil. We missed it. But we continued anyway for the rest of the night's itinerary - dzikr, the food, the maulud and the du'a (in that order of sequence). During the dzikr, which is the remembrance of the names/divine attributes of God, inter-spaced with recitations of the arch-verses of the Quran and praises of the Prophet, I notice my son's losing battle with sleep. Poor boy, it was past his bed time. He saw me gazing at him and told me that he was determined not to fall asleep.

Well, of course he soon fell asleep in my arms, while mumbling out the divine names. He snoozed for a couple of minutes before he suddenly woke up, with his eyes looking into mine and his right hand now auspiciously raised with the index finger pointing to the sky. "What the...?" I was thinking, "Is my son waking up with his hands raised that way signifying the Oneness of God? Wow.."

Nothing of that sort. Mika was still looking at me, when he began to wiggle his index finger crossly and insisting, "Papa, I was not sleeping!"

Well, so much for divine significance. But right just then I felt that same old familiar feeling returning, "Ah... All is right with the world." And it felt good. Just like before. al-fatihah

Have a lovely Sabbath, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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