A dear sister, Kak M, went to Yemen Ramadhan last year and spent the entire Ramadhan and a few days of Eid there. She went to Tareem, specifically.
Tareem is a town in Hadhramaut, Yemen, whose important focus is in Islamic learning and has been a place where many Islamic scholars are produced. When she got back from Yemen and shared her experience there, we were all listening in awe and amazement. According to her, the people of Tareem are one of the nicest, kindest, the most humble people on earth, possibly the only people alive now resembling those who have lived the life of the people during the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. They are living the sunnah everyday in their daily lives, activities, in their speech. One of the things I remember from what she shared was that the women in Tareem are treated like a queen, that you don't have to go out to buy groceries and stuff. Your groceries will go to your door and you just have to pick what you want. I would want that (I think, to a certain level). When Kak M got back to Malaysia, she shared a beautiful poem about Tareem. which I will share here maybe in my next post, because Tareem is not what I'm gonna talk about in this post but see how far I have gone on the introduction(!). Lol.
Anyway, Kak M also shared, that in Tareem, when you go to visit other people's house especially those older than you, you are expected to share some stories with them. Not a gossip session, mind you :) Something like a sharing session about the Quran, or about any knowledge that you have, and then, they will share their knowledge too and there will be some serious discussion on the topic, while giving or getting a massage or something like that. That is what I want to write about. The sharing session. That was what Kak M pointed out to us in usrah that day, that to gain knowledge, be around the circles of those who are way beyond your age, so that you can find benefit in what they talk about.
Thing is, I'm never one who chats a lot, especially with the elderly because to me, they always seem to portray that they are always right. They're not, really! So when I got the chance to sit and chat with them for the past few weeks (and today, too), it has given me a rather different perspective about life.
Brother X is my mentor for one of my volunteering activities. He frequents the masjid for congregational prayers, sits in classes for Arabic, hadith, basically Islamic knowledge despite his old age, takes responsibility of his duties seriously. When he has free time in his hands, he will start discussing about the deen or about his travel experience with all of us in the room. A few weeks ago, he shared some of his experience during his Jahiliyah days much to my surprise, because he is quite a private person. There are a few key take-aways that I've noted for my reference from that session, but the one with the biggest impact on myself has got to be seeing Allah's great mercy for him to get from a low place of jahil to where he is now. A better person who contributes so much to the society. He also related about this one incident while doing his umrah (when he was still in his Jahiliyah days), there were a lot of issues that he has encountered, from his visa, to his delayed flights, to his (miscommunicated) hotel bookings. But the best thing was that when he finally got his hotel room issue sorted out after a long, tiring day, and then walked into the room, the view from his room was of the beautiful clock tower and the magnificent Kaabah! No matter how much we've done wrong in our life, Allah pasti akan bagi some rahmah to us. Nampak atau tak je, sebenarnya. Not that we go to Mekah to just see these man-made beauty of course.. we've got bigger plans! Hehe
Aunty B, was married to an Italian and was living abroad for quite sometime. She got a divorce (alhamdulillah, she said) after some 20 something years and got back to Malaysia because she wanted to become a practicing Muslim. It was very hard, she said, to live a Muslim life abroad when those close to you are not practicing the deen. When she got back, she bought a house nearby a masjid on purpose, so that she can't find any excuse not to pray in the masjid. She is a very humble lady, kind and has a very positive outlook on life. She now takes in a Syrian kid in her home while he studies in KL.
These people just amaze me. And now I am still finding ways on how I can make an impact to others like how they did. I'm still learning, too. And being patient, really is a great virtue. While driving home today, I was thinking, how much of my life is spent towards the worldly life and how much of it do I spend towards the akhirah? And I must say, I'm ashamed of myself :( Yesterday, I attended a talk on the life and geniuses of the 2 companions, Umar al-Khatab and Abu Bakar as-Siddiq and I learn that everyday, we are only using 40% of our capacity. I thought to myself, at 40% capacity of my daily life, I feel that I have exceeded doing what I need to do for the day because I was draining out of energy so much.
And that's just using 40%. Imagine if I were to really use 100% of my capacity. I can do so much more at work. But how do I do that without draining energy so much? Time management, the speaker said. Which I am sooo bad at.
Let's put that in my 2016 resolution. I want to be a better me. I want to love myself more and marvel at the world more. I want to step it up on making that impact and make more plans into actions. God willing!