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M. Bakri Musa

Seeing Malaysia My Way

My Photo
Location: Morgan Hill, California, United States

Malaysian-born Bakri Musa writes frequently on issues affecting his native land. His essays have appeared in the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asiaweek, International Herald Tribune, Education Quarterly, SIngapore's Straits Times, and The New Straits Times. His commentary has aired on National Public Radio's Marketplace. His regular column Seeing It My Way appears in Malaysiakini. Bakri is also a regular contributor to th eSun (Malaysia). He has previously written "The Malay Dilemma Revisited: Race Dynamics in Modern Malaysia" as well as "Malaysia in the Era of Globalization," "An Education System Worthy of Malaysia," "Seeing Malaysia My Way," and "With Love, From Malaysia." Bakri's day job (and frequently night time too!) is as a surgeon in private practice in Silicon Valley, California. He and his wife Karen live on a ranch in Morgan Hill. This website is updated twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays at 5 PM California time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Emulating Our Holy Prophet, s.a.w.

 Emulating Our Holy Prophet, s.a.w.

Damien Hardy (12 Years)
Rumah Kasih Harmoni Paya Jaras, Selangor, Malaysia
[With Ramadan ending, I post two prize-winning essays sponsored by the Silicon Valley, CA, non-profit organization GiveLight Foundation. The first is “Emulating Our Holy Prophet (s.a.w.)” by Damian Hardy, a twelve year old student at Rumah Kasih Harmoni Paya Jaras, Selangor. Tomorrow I will post the second essay, "Rahmatan lil'Alamin! (Blessings To All!)" by Nabila Fitri (Year 10, High School, GiveLight Home, Indonesia. The originals were in Bahasa. I had the greatest pleasure in translating both.
GiveLight Foundation was started by the former Proctor & Gamble Aceh-born executive Dian Alyan in response to the 2004 Asian Tsunami that devasted her home province and took the lives of 40 of her close relatives. The organization has now expanded in over 16 countries, including Malaysia and United States. Huffington Post’s O’Brien Brown described Alyan as “The New Global Leader: Dian Alyan, Building Homes And Futures For Orphans Around the World.” (https://www.huffpost.com/.../the-new-global-leader-par_b...)
If you wish to support this worthy cause, please visit the foundation’s website: giveligh.org]
Emulating Our Holy Prophet, s.a.w.
Damien Hardy (12 Years)
Muhammad son of Abdullah, the Love of Allah Most High, the prophet who brought the true religion of Islam, our Last Prophet (and Allah shall not send any prophet after him), had endowed us with a special message – the Al-Qur’an. He also chose Muhammad to impart this precious gift to humanity, as he was the most noble amongst all the previous prophets. If Moses was the Friend of God, then Muhammad was the Love of Allah.
He was born on the 12th of Rabiul Awal, the Year of the Elephant. So named because that was when the angry King of Yemen, Abrahah, and his Army mounted on elephants tried to destroy the Ka’aba in Mecca. Why he wanted to do so is a long story that began much earlier before the Prophet’s birth.
The King wanted to make his country famous by building a grandiose church that could compete with the Ka’aba in attracting visitors and pilgrims. He hired the best architects and builders and poured tens of thousands of dinars into the project. The days turned into months, and the months to years before the expensive edifice was completed. Alas, that beautiful monument attracted no one. Even migratory birds did not see fit to stop there. Soon it was defiled by vagrants as people continued to visit and trade in Mecca.
That made the King angry and vowed to destroy the Ka’aba. He dispatched his soldiers of thousands, mounted on elephants, to destroy that shrine in Mecca. Instead of meeting a huge defending army, they were met by its custodian, Abu Mutalib. The King told him that he wanted to destroy the shrine. Mutalib replied in a calm a manner that the Ka’aba belong to God, and that He will protect and save what is His.
Whereupon the King marched his army to destroy the place where Prophet Ismail had grown up. The Ka’aba, built by Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail, faced the prospect of being destroyed, with only the memories remaining in the history books.
However, Allah protects what is His. So at the very moment of the attack, He sent forth a huge flock of ababil birds, each carrying in its beak a pebble that had been plucked from Hell, while carrying two more, one in each clutched claw. The birds pelted those pebbles onto the invading army.
Allah in His Miraculous Power had made those pebbles light and not hot while they were being ferried by the birds. However, once released they regained their original properties of being hot and heavy. Thus was the invading army destroyed, like leaves eaten by a swarm of locusts. Such was Allah’s power! What He commands, it shall be so!
That was the year our great Prophet was born. He was orphaned at a very young age. His father died before he was born, and he lost his mother Siti Aminah Binti Wahab in Abuah. She died after taking young Muhammad to visit his father’s grave in Medina.
Alas all that lived must die! What impressed me about our Prophet was his steely endurance considering that he was only four when his mother died.
Muhammad involved himself in trading during his youth. He never cheated, be involved in corrupt practices, or sold haram goods. By age 30 he married his employer, Siti Khadijah Binti Khuwalid. She was impressed by his honesty when conducting business transactions. The couple were blessed with eight children.
Allah had chosen Muhammad to be His Last Prophet. Meaning, there will be no more prophets following him. There may be another prophet when he was still alive but none after he died. It was said that after The Last Prophet died, one Musailamah Al-Kazzab (may the curse of Allah be upon him!) proclaimed himself Prophet. That triggered the gruesome War of Yamamah, pitting the followers of Khalid Al Walid and the other non-believers under the command of Musailamah himself against the followers of Muhammad, s.a.w.
Early in his prophethood, Muhammad, s.a.w., went to Taif to preach and proselytize. He was hoping to convert the majority of the population there but instead he was met with hostility by their leaders. Nonetheless he never lost hope and continued his preaching with the masses despite their hurling stones, excrements, and other assorted rubbish at him. They encouraged even their children to chase and humiliate the Prophet, s.a.w., such that his shoes were filled with blood.
The Angels came to his help, telling the Prophet, s.a.w, that they (the angels) could make the mountains swallow the whole city to avenge for the cruelty of its citizens upon him. The Prophet, s.a.w., did not want that to happen. Nonetheless the Angels repeated their offer of help, and promised that the earth would swallow the city should the Prophet’s blood drop to the ground. The Prophet, s.a.w, pondered the offer but opted instead to pray to Allah that the city instead be blessed by giving birth to a Muslim in its midst.
Thus was born one Muhammad Bin Harith who grew up to be a great Muslim military commander.
I am proud of my Prophet’s bravery in war. One day I hope to be like him. It was reported that once the Prophet, s.a.w., heard news of the movements of the Roman army and thus readied himself for war. His military commander at the time was Ibnu Zahid Al-Harithah who was only 16 then. Despite his youth, the qualities of his leadership was high and thus the Prophet, s.a.w., entrusted him with the leadership of the whole Muslim army.
The Romans had a force of over 100,000 while the Muslims, only 3,000. Nonetheless the Prophet, s.a.w, was undaunted and never wavered in his courage. Likewise his companions; they willingly sacrificed their lives in the cause of Islam.
If we Malaysians were to be blessed with such individuals as those early Muslims, the Portuguese, Dutch, British, and others would never have colonized us. As such we should emulate the leadership principles of our Prophet, s.a.w., in governing our country. That is the formula that would protect our sovereignty . Our Prophet, s.a.w., was not intimidated by an enemy of thousands. What he feared was Allah, and only Him!
One hundred thousand enemies? Can Malays face that? I have watched the movie “Mat Kilau” many times but I still do not understand the story. Am I watching it out of boredom? We had been colonized for over 500 years, yet our people have yet to understand what colonialism is.
Merdeka! Freedom! What is the meaning of freedom? To have fun? No! If the late Tengku Abdul Rahman had not negotiated for our independence, what would be our fate now? Like the Palestinians? A bleeding Gaza?
Instead, what do we Muslims do? Play Tik Tok? That is not our culture. That is not the culture of Muslims. So let us emulate our great Prophet, s.a.w., in leading our nation.
Damien Hardy (12 Years)
Rumah Kasih Harmoni Paya Jaras
Selangor, Malaysia.


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