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She writes simply to put her thoughts together.
Sometimes they're well-structured, sometimes they're in absolute mess.
But always, they're personal.

Ultimately, this is all for Him.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Rat race

Unlike every other day where I normally have my iftar and dinner at the university's prayer hall, today I decided to break my fast at home. After 10 evenings of being around so many people, I kind of miss my quiet time over meal. As an introvert, I get my energy from not being around people and I desperately need my energy to endure the remaining 20 days of Ramadan. Baru first third of Ramadan dah pancit. Adoi. Being a much more introvert than I am, one of my housemates decided to do the same.

So there we were, on the same table, yet eating different food, each absorbed in our own laptop, with headphones over our head, only with occasional attempts to chat with each other. She was watching a documentary about a woman being poured with acid (yes, I have that sort of housemates), while I was watching the Umar series. It's fine though. We're comfortable with each other that way.

Midway, I laughed hard enough for her to hear while I still have my eyes fixed on the screen. She had a quizzical look on her face. Knowing that the Umar series has a very serious storyline, she asked "Why are you laughing?" I paused the video and explained what I was watching.

It was the episode where the Prophet had come out of silence and openly invited people to Islam. At that time, the people of Quraish were mainly against him for various reasons. Rasulullah's prophethood was basically a game changer to everything the society of Mecca was used to. When the head of tribes of the Quraish gathered, they discussed of what they should do to handle this issue. In the movie, Umar said that these people all have the same aim, which is to eliminate Muhammad pbuh and his teachings, but they each have different reasons on why they want to do it. 
Amongst the Quraish, they're basically envious of the Bani Hashim tribe (which is the tribe the Prophet was from). 
Amongst Bani Hashim, they're actually envious of the Abdul Manaf family (the family of the Prophet). 
Amongst the family of Abdul Manaf, they're envious of the Abdul Mutalib branch (Abdul Mutalib was the Prophet's grandfather). 
And amongst Abdul Mutalib, they're envious of Muhammad himself!

Funny because this kind of behaviour is so childish yet it normally occur amongst the elderly. In the movie, it showed that Umar was a young man in between the elderly people of Quraish and his urge for them to fight for the same cause was simply brushed away. Boy, was he frustrated.

I then remarked that no matter how you think something is wrong, when you're in the system, it's hard to break away from such mentality and behaviour, especially when you have been in it for too long. To which my housemate replied, "that's why I never like the 'house' system at school. It's fine with having 'houses' to develop healthy competitions among students but the exact same mentality like so would also develop".

Schools in Malaysia, especially boarding schools, adopt something called the 'house' system where each student belongs to a particular house. There would be several houses to start off with. In normal schools, this system is usually limited to sport events i.e. students have interhouse competitions in sports, where winners would add points to their house and the house with the highest points win. In boarding schools, this system is taken further where every achievement and every mischief would each add and deduct points of the house. This would then be accumulated and by the end of the year, annual winners would be announced. Generally this is the case, but there are some normal schools who follows this style as well.

Such with this system is that whenever someone achieves something, the points of that person's house would be raised, and at the same time, his/her individual points would also be raised (in something called the merit-demerit system which applies the same idea). While the school celebrates the individual's achievement, in between the students, those of other houses would be silently envious of the house that that particular student is in and even in between the students of that house, they would be envious of that person of having to collect more points than them.

Back to the Umar series story. The Arabs have heard for so long that the prophet of the jewish tradition would come and silently they know that what Muhammad brought was true. They didn't go against him purely because of what he brought but because in essence, whilst everybody was racing to gain extra points here and there for themselves and/or their tribe, suddenly he came with something that would surely be of much higher points than everybody else. One of the common comments that came up as per the movie is "If Muhammad is really the Messenger of God, why would God choose him? Why wouldn't God choose someone of higher status? I'm better than Muhammad. Why wouldn't God choose me?" It's not that they reject the Messenger, they just don't want to lose to him.

And that's one of the messages of Islam: to liberate ourselves from such childish behaviour, to pull ourselves out of this rat race, and to provide ourselves with a much higher purpose. Those who accepted Islam in the early days were either people who were discriminated by such system or those who can think rightly for themselves and submit entirely to the truth. Those who didn't? They were usually too proud to accept the truth.

Have we not heard of the truth?
Then choose the path that you think is right, not what makes you more advantageous in the petty rat race with others.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Selamat hari lahir.