THIS article was written on Wednesday, February 17th which was my 54th birthday. So happy birthday to me...opps it's sound odd to greet a happy birthday to oneself but that's what I would like to write about in this column after 'stumbling upon this beautiful piece' in the internet.
Birthday Prayer (Author Unknown)
Thank You, God, for giving me another year of life.
Thank You for all the people who remembered me today
by sending cards, and letters, gifts and good wishes.
Thank You for all the experience of this past year;
for times of success which will always be happy memories,
for times of failure which reminded me of my own weakness and of my need for You,
for times of joy when the sun was shining,
for times of sadness which drove me to You.
for the hours I wasted,
for the chances I failed to take,
for the opportunities I missed this past year.
Help me in the days ahead to make this the best year yet,
and through it to bring good credit to myself,
happiness and pride to my loved ones,
and joy to you.
'Subhanallah' (Glory be to Allah), how fast time flies...54 years of my life had gone (of course I could not bring it back even I shed tears of blood); and for the future nobody knows what would happen. My 54 years of life was history; I preferred not to write too much about it; perhaps the best thing to do is to make full use of the remaining seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years we still have, before the Lord called upon us.
Why I began with the seconds...because in Surah Al-Asr (The Declining Day), Allah SWT who swear with time says: 1. By the declining day, 2. Lo! man is in the state of loss, 3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.
Therefore it is a good reminder to myself and dear readers...please do not perform things except those that please Allah SWT for our existence in this world is to worship Him. In the Qur'an, Allah SWT mentions, "I have not created the jinns and the humans except to worship Me." (51, Adh-Dhariyat, The Winnowing Winds,:56)
Scholars had divided time into three categories - yesterday (the past), now (present) and tomorrow( the future).To the thinking group of people, we have only the present because yesterday has gone and tomorrow nobody knows what would happen.
So let us talk about 'the now' (present). What to do about the present? Of course we do not know what is right to do unless we were guided in His straight path by Him. A Muslim performs 'solat' (prayers) at least five times daily, altogether he/she performs 17 'rakaat' (unit) of prayers; during each 'rakaat' he/she recites the Surah Al-Fatihah (The Opening) in which he/she reads an ayah with the meaning 'Show us the straight path'.
To know His straight path we had to seek knowledge. Knowledge is the key to success in this world, what's more in the Hereafter. Human beings' knowledge is only like a drop of water in the vast oceans of knowledge so could you imagine how little we know compared to what we don't.
If you know yourself (this only could be obtained by seeking knowledge), only then you will know Allah SWT and the heavy responsibilities you shoulder in this world.Our existence is not without purpose or for play only. Each and every one of us holds higher responsibilities to God, the human race and in fact everything. Everyone is accountable for his actions, even if it is as small as an atomic part of substance.
Forgive me dear readers for 'lecturing' you on a subject perhaps your knowledge on it was miles ahead of me...but by doing so, I hope I could link it with what I mean as 'my birthday wish'. Of course people could have many wishes for their birthday, here I would only discuss a wish...
'Alhamdulillah' (All praise to Allah) after I opted to retire early at the age of 50 in 2012, almost every night I attended 'tazkirah' (lessons) in several 'masjids' and 'suraus' around my 'kampung' and now at the age of 54, perhaps after thousands of such lessons, I am in the understanding that we only need (my wish) to have Allah SWT 'reda' (blessing) in this world and the Hereafter.
If we were to look back at our past, we will realize that we had been wasting our time. If we are now in our fifties and suppose we die at the same age as the Prophet who died at 63, we have less than 10 years left to spend our lives. If we had done 'practically nothing' during our past 50 years, just imagine what could be done in our last few years. Yes, this is in case if we have a few years, but who knows if we were to die tomorrow or even after reading this article? Ooh God, I am very,very afraid!
So my 54th birthday wish was so simple...to spend the rest of my life to have His blessing. It is easy to write or talk about it, but the truth is how to have His blessing? To have His blessing, it was the greatest reward for a human being because Allah SWT says in the Qur'an: "(And) lo! those who believe and do god works are the best of created beings. Their reward is with their Lord: Garden of Eden underneath which river flows, wherein they dwell for ever. Allah hath pleasure in them and they have pleasure in Him. This is (in store) for him who feareth his Lord." (The Clear Proof, Al-Beyyinah, 7-8)
An 'ustaz' (religious teacher) during his class at a 'masjid' once said: "If we were to die at this moment, we must 'reda' (content to accept the will and decree of Allah)...the problem is had we readied ourselves to accept anything that befalls upon us what's more if it is death?" Remember His words...Allah hath pleasure in them and they have pleasure in Him!
A sincere Muslim is always content to accept the will and decree of Allah; in a 'hadith' narrated by Iman Bukhari, the Prophet s.a.w. said: "How amazing is the affair of the Muslims! His affairs are all good. If he experiences ease, he is grateful (syukur), and that is good for him. If he experiences hardship, he faces it with patience and perseverance (sabar), and that is also good for him."
Yes, Happy Birthday LanH, always be 'syukur' and 'sabar' in life...'insya-Allah' you would have His blessing (reda) in this world and in the Hereafter...that was my 54th birthday wish and it is also my 'du'a' (supplication, pleading for His blessing) until my last breath on earth! - ES