Welcome to another edition of English Corner, my name is Rifki Kusmana. A few short articles came out in Indonesian, so I decided to translate them into English for all to enjoy, for the third time.
Knowledge is Light and Guidance
Let us fear Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, and learn His Shari’a laws, by seeking useful knowledge. Because knowledge is both light and guidance, while ignorance is darkness and error. Learn what Allah has sent down in the form of revelations to His Messenger. Indeed, scholars are the inheritors of the prophets. As for the prophets, they did not inherit dinars or dirhams, but they did bequeath knowledge. So, whoever takes this knowledge, means that he has taken a large share of the wealth from their inheritance. Learn knowledge, because it is a blessing in this world and the hereafter, and will provide a reward that continues to flow until the Day of Resurrection. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says,
اللهُ الَّذِينَ امَنُوا الَّذِينَ ا الْعِلْمَ اتٍ
“Allah will exalt those who believe among you and those who are given knowledge by several degrees.” (Al-Mujadilah :11)
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said,
ا اتَ الْعَبْدُ انْقَطَعَ لُهُ لاَّ لاَثٍ: ارِيـَةٍ لْمٍ مِنْ لَدٍ الِحٍ لَهُ
“If a servant dies, then the reward of his deeds is cut off except for three things, namely alms Jariyah, knowledge that is used by those who leave him, or a righteous child who prays for him.”
Let us see how we still feel the influences of the Rabbani scholars to this day, even though months and years have passed. Their influence is commendable, their paths are followed, their names are constantly called, their efforts are commendable. If their names are mentioned in assemblies, then people ask for mercy and pray for them. If it is called about righteous deeds and noble adab, then they are exemplary human beings in carrying out them.
Ma’asyral Muslims! Learn knowledge and practice it, because learning knowledge is jihad fi sabilillah, and by practicing knowledge will bring light and blessing from Allah.
انَ ا اهُ لْنَالَهُ ا النَّاسِ لُهُ الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ ارِجٍ ا
“What is a dead person, then We bring him to life and We give him a bright light, with which he can walk in the midst of human society, similar to a person who is in complete darkness who can never get out of him?” (Al-An’am : 122)
Ma’shiral Muslims! If a student has mastered knowledge about a problem, he is obliged to apply and implement it on himself, so that the knowledge he gains is beneficial for him. Because useful knowledge is knowledge that is actually practiced by someone, while charity is the fruit of knowledge. An ignorant person is indeed better than a knowledgeable person who cannot benefit from his knowledge and does not implement it. Knowledge is a weapon, maybe the weapon is useful for you to face the enemy, it actually harms you.
Honouring our Furqan
We are grateful for the blessings of life that God has given us. Especially for the pleasure of awareness of the meaning of life. Live righteously, well, and straight on the path to sa’adatil darain (happiness in this world and the hereafter). That is the way of true piety according to the word of Allah:
اَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوا اصْبِرُوْا ابِرُوْا ابِطُوْاۗ اتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ لِحُوْنَ
Fear Allah so that you will be successful (Surah Ali Imran: 200)
In the course of time and age, a threatening plague has sprung up. Both threaten the health and safety of the soul, as well as threaten the health and safety of religion (tadayyun); which can damage the degree of our commitment (tamassuk) to Dinul Islam which has characteristics; (1) command the makruf; (2) prohibiting the munkar; (3) justify the good; (4) forbid the bad; (5) eradicating sins and the burden of human hardship as stated in Surah Al-A’raf :157.
Because piety is everything in life, Satan as the eternal enemy of both jinn and human-type demons, will undermine and destroy our piety. Namely by exploiting the lust and pleasure (lust) in all humans. While people who are knowledgeable, he will be bombarded with attacks in the form of poisoning (syubhat).
When the enthusiasm for speaking out for good and forbidding evil begins to weaken, the scale of slander against religion increases, so that many people become sponsors or even go directly as leaders or organizers of evil. On the other hand, they prohibit and hinder the program or activity of virtue.
More than that, there will be a situation where people’s minds and reasoning are no longer healthy so they view what is right as evil, and evil as natural, good and worthy of appreciation. Such as the suspicion of the pious, Qur’an experts, and prosperous mosques. Some even continue to be physically attacked. In such a situation, Allah’s curse and punishment is only a matter of time.
Relations between communities have a short axis, friction is easy to occur and explodes into social conflict. Then there are diseases and even epidemics that have never been infected and cannot be predicted for how long. Only He is All-Knowing and Powerful.
The way to get out of this calamity (slander) is of course to repent collectively to Allah, increase istighfar, and correct mistakes made. At the same time, the substantive and fundamental side of piety must be strengthened because it is directly correlated with the power of furqan: the ability to ward off the depths of intoxication, various black accusations against religion, and its guards.
There are four main substances of piety that must be continuously strengthened:
First, be honest and stay away from lies. Because honesty directly accesses piety.
اَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ ا الصّٰدِقِيْنَ
O you who believe, fear Allah and be sure to be with those who are honest (Surah At-Taubah: 119)
Second, shame. Namely shame in committing sins and immorality. The Prophet SAW said:
“Shame comes from faith.” H.R. Al-Bukhori.
Third, try to be fair to anything and to anyone. Allah says:
اَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا كُوْنُوْا امِيْنَ لِلّٰهِ اۤءَ الْقِسْطِۖ لَا شَنَاٰنُ لٰٓى اَلَّا لُوْا اِعْدِلُوْاۗ اَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوٰىۖ اتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ
O you who believe, be one who always upholds the truth for the sake of Allah, by being a just witness. Never let your hatred of one people encourage herbal medicine to be unfair. Be fair, because fair is closer to piety. Fear Allah, verily Allah is Knowing of what you do. (Surat al-Midah: 8).
Fourth, be alert and careful by always maintaining friendly relationsFear Allah, who by using His name you ask one another, and maintain friendly relations. Verily, Allah is always watching over you and watching over you. (Surah Annisa: 1)
In conclusion, piety is characterized by an honest, shy, fair and careful attitude in speaking and acting. In a different explanation, Ibn Mas’ud RA explains that what is included in piety is:
“God should always be obeyed, not left behind, reminded not to be forgotten and grateful not to be denied”
If that kind of piety is maintained, surely Allah will give furqan. Allah will give us the ability to be able to distinguish between right and wrong and will guide us to the right path.
Longevity and Good Charity
Generally people pray to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to give him a long life. Very few or maybe even no one wants short life. They certainly have their reasons. But generally their reason is because they want to have enough good deeds during their lifetime as provisions for eternal life in the hereafter. This does have a strong basis as confirmed in the hadith of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam as follows:
“O Messenger of Allah, who is the best of people?” He replied: “People who live a long life and good deeds.” (HR: Tirmidhi)
This hadith has inspired many people to always pray to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to give him a long life. They have believed that one of the best signs of a person is when a person lives long and his life is full of good deeds. Those whose lives are long but whose good deeds are very few are not among the best people, in fact they are classified as losers. However, it is a fact that not everyone lives long even if they pray so. The question that arises then is what about those who are short-lived? Are they by themselves not among the best?
Friday congregation hafidhakumullah, To answer the question above we can refer to the explanation from Allamah Sayyid Abdullah bin Alawi Al-Haddad in his book entitled Sabîlul Iddikâr wal I’tibâr bimâ Yamurru bil Insân wa Yanqadli Lahu minal A’mâr (Dar Al-Hawi, Cet. II, 1998, p. 47) as follows: Meaning: “The best age is that which is blessed by Allah subhanu wata’la, who has given taufiq to do pious deeds and other virtues, both specific and general.” From the quote above, it can be explained that the best age is the one blessed by Allah subhanu wata’la, whom He gives guidance to do various piety and virtues. So the goodness of a person actually does not depend solely on his long life, but rather on how many good deeds he does during his life. This explanation is in accordance with the hadith of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam above.
Therefore, it is possible for a person to have a short life but his good deeds are numerous and may be equal to or even more than those who have a long life. People like this are among the best people because they are able to take advantage of their short life to do as much good as possible. This is an age full of blessings from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. In this regard, Sayyid Abdullah Al-Haddad mentions examples of some pious people who did not live long but whose good deeds were numerous and could be felt by the wider community. Among these examples is Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Idris Ash-Shafi’i, or better known as Imam Shafi’i. He died at the age of 54 years. Although his age was not long, but during his lifetime he was able to produce many good works such as works that are very important for Muslims.
Friday congregation hafidhakumullah, Among the great works of Imam Shafi’i are the first: Kitab Ar-Risalah which is a book about Usul Fiqh. Second, the Book of Al-Umm which is a book about the school of jurisprudence. Third, the Book of Ikhtilaf al-Hadith which is a book about hadith. Fourth, the Book of Tafsir Al-Imam Asy-Shafi’i which is a book about the interpretation of the Qur’an, and so on.
Some sources mention the number of books written by Imam Shafi’i more than 120 pieces, and he memorized the Qur’an at the age of 7 years. Another example of a pious person who did not live long but whose good deeds were numerous is Abu Hāmid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali, or better known as Imam Al-Ghazali. He died at the age of 55 years.
Even though he was short-lived, he made a huge contribution to the wider community, especially the Muslims. He was nicknamed Hujjatul Islam because of his services in defending the truth of Islam by defending the principles of truth with arguments that are difficult for opponents to break. Among the great works of Imam Al-Ghazali are the first: the book Ihya Ulumiddin which is a book about morality and Sufism. Second, the Jawahir Al-Qur’an book which is a book about the interpretation of the Qur’an. Third, the books of Al-Basith and Al-Wasith which are books on the science of fiqh and ushul fiqh. Fourth, the Maqashid Al-Falasifah and Al-Arba’in fi Usuluddin books which are books of philosophy and science of kalam, and so on. Some sources mention the number of books written by Imam Al-Ghazali more than 200 pieces.
Friday congregation hafidhakumullah, From what is explained and exemplified by Sayyid Abdullah Al-Haddad above it is very clear that the literal understanding of a good life is only a long life filled with goodness still has shortcomings. This understanding is not wrong, it’s just not accommodating be sensitive to the fact that many pious people do not live long. Even though these people do not live long, their good deeds are numerous as mentioned above, namely Imam Shafii and Imam Al-Ghazali.
Therefore, once again, the best age is the age that is blessed by Allah subhanu wata’la. It includes a long life and is widely used for doing good deeds and other virtues. In addition, it is not a long life but is widely used to do piety to a certain level which is equal to or even more than those who live long. Against the second group, namely those who do not live long but do a lot of piety and virtues such as Imam Shafi’i and Imam Al-Ghazali, Sayyid Abdullah Al-Haddad called him the chosen and blessed servants of Allah so that his good deeds are very good. many and maybe more and more benefits than those who have extended their life.
Friday congregation hafidhakumullah, the limitation of longevity among Muslims, there is no specific standard that is mutually agreed upon. Only most Muslims make the age of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam which reaches 63 years as the standard. This means that those who reach the age of 63 years are believed to have received an age bonus from Allah subhanu wata’la. Meanwhile, those who do not reach the age of 63 years, such as 50-55 years, or less like Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz who died at the age of less than 40 years, are short-lived as explained by Sayyid Abdullah Al-Haddad in the book mentioned above. May we all be among those who have an age that is blessed by Allah subhanu wata’la. Amen ya rabbal alamin.
School Exams Are Plus-Plus
This time the world of education is busy with the Final Semester Assessment (PAS). Honestly, when I supervise students who are facing exams, be it daily tests, PTS, PAS, UKK, they always try their best to prevent students from cheating. I often say “Do what you can, the important thing is HONEST and collect it immediately when the time is up!” maybe many say that I am a “killer” or “cruel” or “sadistic” ah let it be, because I want students to be honest and disciplined.
Do not be proud to get good grades but the results of cheating! The good ones get good grades but are the result of their own work.
PAS is a test of learning that has been taken for 1 semester. Actually, if we think deeply, PAS is not just a test to get good grades from every subject that has been taught, but more than that, aka pluses.
PAS is a knowledge ability test, honesty test, and discipline test.
PAS as a test of knowledge
That’s for sure, because PAS is an evaluation after we go through the learning process with the teacher. How far have we understood the subject matter that has been delivered by the teacher? Well, by filling in the exam questions (PAS), a teacher can assess the extent to which the students’ ability to understand the material that has been conveyed can be described by a value in the form of numbers.
PAS as a test of honesty
What is the percentage of students who are honest (not cheating) in your class? Hopefully everyone is honest, being honest is a deed and a reward, you know. If we cheat, it means we are not being honest or lying. Who is trying to be lied to? Teachers are lied to, parents are lied to, other people are also being lied to. This is it. Just imagine that you get a Math score of 100, isn’t that cool? Surely people who know your value is 100 will be amazed. Be it teachers, parents, or friends. They admire your guise, not your real abilities. Are you still proud? Don’t get used to it, this may be a small thing. But if we get used to the small things then the big things are likely to happen. Nauzubillah, if you are accustomed to being dishonest at this time, you might not be honest in the future too. Many people in this world are smart but dishonest, corruptors are one of them. They must be smart people to know how to embezzle hundreds of millions, but the truth? So, be smart and honest, okay? Stay knowledgeable and have a good character.
PAS as a disciplinary test
What is the discipline in this? Of course in terms of time. It’s customary to set the start and finish time on the question sheet. Well, that means as students and supervisors must be disciplined in terms of time, it should not exceed the specified time. Let’s just make an analogy with a timely transportation, namely the train. If we take the train, we like being on time, right? Even 1 minute late we will be left by the train. Is the train waiting for the passengers? Can you imagine if the train was waiting for its passengers, the train could be hit by the train behind it hhheee Let’s try to be knowledgeable and have good character Congratulations on taking the Final Semester Assessment If you want good grades, study hard, okay?
By Susi Susanti
And that’s it for today’s English Corner, I hope you have enjoyed this article and I hope to see you again, someday, Thank you for reading.