Friday, August 5, 2011

Getting the Basics Right

Today as usual while driving back to KL, I tuned in to IKIM just to keep me company and prevent me from falling asleep behind the wheels. Occasionally there will always be one or two new things that I can get out of the ~2 hours listening.

And it was no difference today. The topic of discussion was ‘Puasa Ramadhan dan Hikmahnya’. Quite a few times I was shaking my head in slight disbelief when I listened to the question asked and also the answer given. 

Issue 1:
A caller asked how to deal with foreign (I assumed non-Muslim) colleague that eats and drinks in front of him in this Holy month of Ramadhan. To me this question is in a way insulting the mentality and aqidah of a Muslim. I would understand if that question came from a kid who just started to fast, a 7 year old maybe. But the caller definitely sounds more matured than that, not less than 40, if I heard correctly. Living in Malaysia, we Muslims especially Malays always expected to be understood all the time. Remember, there is not even 70% of Muslim in Malaysia. We should have learnt how to deal with this issues right from young. Maybe because I grew up in KL, hence I faced this challenge way when I was in primary school. We learn to adapt, and refrain ourselves from being tempted to eat/drinks despite having your classmates occasionally sipping plain water in the class.

And even if you were not exposed to non-Muslim in school (say you come from all Malay school), surely at some point in your life you have encountered these challenges, at work, just walking on the road, everywhere..and by right it should not be an issue. I guess it’s important to get this value right, why we fast, why others don’t and how do we face them comes Ramadhan. It is not supposed to be an issue anymore for an adult. The challenge to curb smoking habit sounds way more reasonable for an adult here.

Issue 2:
A caller asked on what the hukum for a Muslim to be working in a restaurant during a fasting month and serve food to the non-Muslim customers in daytime during Ramadhan. The question is valid, but the answers that gets me shaking my head again. According to the Mursyid, there is no specific ‘hukum’ be it haram or makhruh. He addresses the issue by advising if at all, avoid doing so. According to him, others should understand the Muslim are fasting and should not be put in that position that is so ‘low’ –  to serve the non-Muslim during the fasting months. To me this is total bollocks.  I used to wait tables in Pizza Hut for 6 months after SPM, and I happened to work during the fasting months as well. I never felt low at all.

A person chose to work in the restaurant should know and understand well that the job scope is to serve food, regardless to whom, and at the stipulated working hours. To me, that is no issue at all, and what more that the Mursyid himself say there is no specific hukum for that conduct. The question of putting the Muslim’s position so low because he is serving the non-Muslim customer during fasting months is not as issue at all!! Its his job, and he gets paid for it. He earns his income fair and square, the customer should get the service that he paid for. There is not even an issue of undermining a Muslim’s faith during the transaction. To me, the Mursyid’s statement is not correct, and may cause understanding if a non-Muslim were to hear it.   

We live in multi religion society and we should stop to expect people to understand us more just because this is a Muslim country. Get our faith right, our basics aligned and most of the misconception can be corrected. Seek to understand, then to be understood (says Stephen Covey.. hehehe..)

My sis who teaches at a SJKC in Sungkai holds this conversation in her class last month (not exactly, but somehow like this…)

Sis: Siapa tahu bulan depan bulan apa?
Student A: Bulan 8 cikgu
Student B: bulan kemerdekaan cikgu
Sis: Betul, lagi bulan apa?
Student C: Saya tau, bulan puasa
Sis: betul…kamu tahu apa itu bulan puasa? (and she starts explaining that we cannot eat at daytime and only eats at night time)
Student X: Ooo.. kalau macam tu saya belanja cikgu babi panggang…
Sis: (*^&^%R$%#^*&*&^%R^%$@$ (she just laughed)

p/s: you could not blame the kids, they honestly don’t know that Muslim don’t eat pork, somebody has to tell them.


  1. alahai... dia kesian betul kat cikgu tu... nak blanjer lagi...hahahaaa.. mesti sodap...

  2. i listened to issue 2 while driving home yesterday. totally agree with u, not an issue at all! selagi tak langgar hukum agama, why think so much? hmm..

    oh btw, your last line in that para - i think u meant 'MISunderstanding' ?

  3. issue 1 tu kan..saja nak beritau semua orang betapa dia mengharungi dugaan yg maha besar... betapa manja dan ipis iman banding zaman nabi yg berperang di perang badar..

    eh... apsal kaktek bagi komen lagi...hehe..

  4. Takde kisah ler keje apa pun, janji rezekinya halal. Each of us has a duty. Kalau camgitu, no muslim waiter la yea time ramadan nie?
    Also, living in a multi-cultural country, we hv colleagues frm diverse background. Normal la tu having them to munch in front of us during ramadan. Itu dah di kira dugaan kita. So kena lah berbanyak sabar. Melenting kalu, markah kena potong.. Hehehe

  5. ish ish ish... babi panggang, musti your sis terkedu depan kelas tu!

    p/s ; yg pasal non-muslim makan minum depan org pose tu teringat iklan 8tv pasal hormat-menghormati bulan pose yg dibanned baru2 ni...looking at the advert I don't see any harm klu diorang siarkan pun, mmg betullah dlm iklan tu pasal amoi tu kiasu giler kt pasar ramadhan siap makan depan org lagik, it happens what! so inilah masanya nak instill kan nilai2 murni supaya other races hormati apa yg kita amalkan! oklah, selamat beramal...

  6. Jeet,
    I've seen (or more towards read) similar situation in my Fb. This college-friend of mine openly and arrogantly talks/writes bout how non-Muslims should should extremely respect us during the fasting month. Kira macam nak suruh bentang karpet merah pon ada jugak. Malu jek bila baca. Wahal bukan ke kita berpuasa untuk kita? Kalo tak nak dugaan, amik cuti sepanjang bulan puasa and dok kat rumah.

  7. kak tek, sodap x sodap, asal niat dia baik nak blanja..hehehe...kite terima kasih je la, terima barang? haarraaammmm....

    dieya, tu la, sometimes we tend to look at petty things and argue on that. i lupa nak betulkan the MISunderstanding, thanks!!

    maya, betul tu, mursyd tu buat statement tak tgk general public, kita yang dengar rasanya malu ada jugak.. :@

    kak yong, nak wat camne, layan je la budok2 tu, sy x sempat tgk iklan 8tv tu, tapi i think any educated non muslim tahu nak jaga depan muslim waktu bulan puasa ni, so mungkin we have to start from young, i.e mak bapak terap dari rumah ke..anaka2 org muslim pon kena belajar kuatkan iman..sok2 dpat blajor kat espana amacam? sokmo tak tahan...hehehe..

    aida, cadangan bernas, amik cuti pi mekah lagi bagus, senang sgt terpengaruhkan, so ddk la di kalangan orang yang tgh fokus beribadat, insyaAllah dia pon dapat berkat.. :h


“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you." ~ William Arthur Ward...

So what say you? ;)