Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Practice make Perfect

Upon return from the 'Farm' i dropped by my friend Ah Huat the auto air conditioning 'doctor' as he is known among regulars, at his shop. He produced a bottle of French  red wine and offered me along with RM220 from selling the scrap metals he said. We sat and chat along with our friend Joe about politics which Ah Huat hates doing but does it anyway 'sembang saja, ma!'. We talked about his 'boss', the PM, Najib and how come he is raising 20 cents more to the gasoline tab. Joe was very adamant about the need for a change in government but we could not find any suitable replacement as the opposition party is as equally not all together there to be trusted to run the country...and so it went till almost ten pm. Then I stopped by my friends at the Fishermen's jetty off Lim Chong Yu  Highway annd had dinner and hung out with my Malay friends who were watching Dr. Zakir Naik the famed Muslim Speaker on TV. We talked about Heaven and Hell a the last question on the show hd something related to this matter of afterlife. Off course Dr. Zakir was well prepared to answer the question posted by one of the audience, a Hindu, a skeptical young non-Muslim out to test the Speaker.
I gave my two cents worth on the subject pointing out that at the moment of death we are face with the most terrifying state of fear that we reach out to anything and everything  that comes to mind to cling on to. We most probably will seek out images that we have felt most comfortable during our lifetime albeit the image of Christ as depicted in pictures or our closest ones like our parents. The Muslims have been prepared to channel their mind towards the All Mighty Allah and His Prophet through their daily recitations of the Verses and professions towards the One Lord and Savior, as do Christians and Hindus etc.Each reaching out towards the deity of their choice  or the elements they have chosen to be their source of power to return to. But chances are at the moment of death, unless we are not sedate by, we are bound to have a struggle in letting go of our physical reality and enter into the unknown realm of the afterlife. 
It has been pointed out scientifically that we hardly use 8-10 percent of our human brain while 90% lays dormant or inactive. Our conscious mind is capable of suppressing most of our thoughts and emotions from freely manifesting in our daily lives; those who can manifest more than usual are considered geniuses or insane. What happens at death when 100% of the human mind is unleashed upon an unprepared soul? Perhaps this is not what actually happens, but if it does, then what Islam has done is to prepare the human mind from panic and straying form the One especially at the moment of death. There is no image ot cling to but the faith in His saving Grace and the complete unequivocal surrender unto Him. The five times a day prayer plus all the rest of the rituals in Islam is to ensure that even the most ignorant will not forget when his time approaches, his faith in Allah.
Islam prohibited any form of graven images for this very reason that the mind does not wander in desperation and cling on to an image that is most comfortable to the one dying. A smiling statue of the Buddha or a Christ looking like Charleston Heston and so forth. A mind that is used to meditating upon the formless image of the Lord will only be confronted by what he has been ordained to practice especially during the moments of death and that is to surrender to His Will absolutely come what may. This meditative state of consciousness is achieved through years of affirming to one's self that "there is None, Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger." In this, it is the same principle for all faith and religious traditions; it is a matter of Practice. As one f my friends commented, "Practice makes perfect,"       

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