Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tolong Saya...& Salam Maal Hijrah ;)

I have been attending this usrah and for me though we have some differences, we still get along well and I learnt a lot from them too. There is this one kakak at work, Kak K, she has been asking me to join her usrah for quite some time, but since her timing never suits mine, I passed. Last two weeks, so happened she asked one more time and I said yes, based from what she said, they will discussing some ayat from the Holy Quran, nothing more. For me, anything associated with new knowledge, am up for it. She also asked some of our colleagues, but I don’t know whether they can make it or not.

So off I went to her house, expecting no less than 5 people (because from what she said last time she asked quite a lot of people to attend as well). When I got to her house, there is one man, herself and her husband. And to my ‘horror’ surprise, her husband was the one to lead the usrah, fine, I’ll hear what this is all about. He started off with Bismillah (just Bismillah, nothing more, not even Al-Fatihah…) . After asking a little a bit about myself, he started. One of his opening statements caused me to be uncomfortable immediately. He was saying that teaching or sharing anything in the Quran is not an exclusive right to certain people. I said to myself, sure it is….you could not just take any teaching or sharing of the Quran from any Tom Dick and Harry. Someone must have at least a certain level of knowledge to be able to share and dwell on the details of the ayat in the Quran. That is why we refer to ulama’.

And my discomfort did not stop there, let me briefly share some:
He reads all the translation and start on discussing the ayat. Jumping from one ayat to another to make his point. His discussion points are merely from the translation, pure translation, he did not refers to any of the tafseer by Ibn Kathir, or Qurtubi, or any other renowned ulama’. He read some of the ayat in Arabic and I can tell that he did not know Arabic, he may memorize some of the ayat, but he definitely did not know the Arabic language, and to me this is the priority no 1 for anyone to start discussing and making a point from any verse in the Quran. If the person did not have the knowledge, at least refers to the tafseer. And it is a sin to interpret the ayat based on the translation only, not backed by any tafseer and any hadith, even if we are right, it is still a sin, refer to one of my post in Surah Yusuf. I used to do it sometime back, and I admit I was wrong.

When he jumps from one ayat to another, he uses the terms like 2:185 , at first I was lost, then I got it, Its Surah Al-Baqarah, ayat 185. I mean, which ulama’ that I know refers to ayat like that, by numbers? Not even recognizing from which Surah it was, NONE!!! I was a bit pissed, I may be wrong, but why does majority of ulama’ never refer to ayat by numbers? Beats me, I don’t know the real valid reasons, but the only people that refers to all these verses by numbers are Christian, that I know. Furthermore, he could not even pronounce Surah Al-Waqi’ah properly; his pronunciation was ‘Wakiah’. There is a difference between ‘qaf’ and ‘kaf’. The makhraj are way different. I know I am picking on small things, but doesn’t different pronunciation leads to different meaning?

Oh ya, one more thing, throughout the whole discussion I felt like I was being put on the spot, any ayat, any further discussion, he keeps on asking for my feedback, every single time. The other guy just sat there in silence and as if he is just an observer. If we were all there to learn, then why is he picking on me? Asking whether I understood, what do I think, yada yada… At the end of the session, I felt as if I was lured into some kind of cult, they want me to believe what he was trying to prove (all the jumping of ayat tells me that). I may be over thinking, or over reacted, but that is how I felt. They did not say anything but the way the whole session went on makes me think so.

The close the session with ‘Alhamdulillah’. Just that, not even the whole sentence, no tasbih kifarah, no Surah Al-‘Asr. I felt that was odd. All the ustaz in Madrasah Al-Hijrah and many other tazkirah session that I have been to never failed to do both of the above.

So after that very uncomfortable session, I kind of avoided Kak K in office. I was thinking, if she did not say anything I will let it slide. But last two days, I received an SMS from her. She was asking when we can have the second session. I am contemplating on whether or not to voice out my concern. There is one case Kak Y share with us via email some selawat to add on to our daily zikr, but she (Kak K) lashed back at Kak Y asking her why we have to refer to the rest, whereas the Al-Quran is complete? Something is not right here. No doubt, Quran is the most complete guide that we Muslims are blessed with, but let’s be real; we are not living in the same age as Rasulullah, or even the sahabah. We didn’t even know Arabic language, the grammar, the asbabun nuzul (why the ayat was revealed) and later the details that complement the ayat. We can get all that completed by referring to Hadith, Sunnah and many other great masterpieces written by ulama’ all across the world. A colleague also mentioned there is a lot of ayat mutashabihat in the Quran, so we could not just take the translation at the face value. I see Kak K will have some difficulties in accepting what I am going to say. What should I do?

I think in a way I am responsible to explain to her why at least I think what they are doing now is not quite right. But for now I need to gather my thoughts properly, so that she will not misunderstand. Help me….  

p/s: sebelum terlambat, Salam Maal Hijrah 1433H. Moga tahun ini ibadat kita makin bertambah dari tahun sebelumnya, amin….


  1. Jeet
    Amin to your doa n salam Maal Hijrah ..

    Berdebar2 I baca your entry kali nih. I think berterus terang lebih baik; but having said that if you do tell the truth, that Kak K will be even more defensive pulak -cs-

  2. jeet... selalu kaktek scan je post tulis panjang2 ni... haha... kali ni surprisingly satu perkataan pun tak tinggal!

    concur with cs... defensive tu sudah pasti tapi anggap saja ini ujian buat jeet dan kaktek yakin jeet seorang yg kuat.
    lgpun you'll lose nothing kalau dia start avoiding you.

  3. Jeet,

    Salam Maal Hijrah.

    I dulu pun kena jugak mcm u Jeet. My fren & her hb yg introducekan kat we all this group of urban professionals yang berkumpul & share on the terjemahan al-quran. Their target is always professional working couples. Memula tu layan jugak, tapi after 3-4 meet up, i told my hb to call it quit. I can see that they cannot explain in depth. Also they ask us to avoid tafsir and instead just focus on terjemahan. I queried from my ustaz, he said sepotong ayat itu bole di terjemahkan ke 99 cabang. So, why restrict urself to only terjemahan?
    No harms of letting Kak K knows about ur thoughts. After all, she has to accept criticisms. If she does carry some anger towards you, then it shows her true colors - ego. Bila nak tuntut ilmu Allah kita tak bole bongkak & ego, yea tak Jeet?

  4. CS, tu la, tgh prepare bullet point ni kalo dia start defensive, tggu signal je ;)

    kak tek, thanks for the vote of confidence!! :D

    maya, macam2 ek sekarang ni, silap2 kalo kita x ckp ilmu, mgkin kita pon tak terfikir nak tepis benda2 mcm ni.isk..isk..isk.. harap kita terpelihara dari sikap ego dalam menuntut ilmu kan, insyaAllah...


“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? ;)