.: Quote for da day :.

Tanggalkanlah pakaian duka cita dan putus asa,
Lantas pakailah pakaian jihad dgn AKTIF, tanpa MALAS,
Perhalusi kematian sbg satu seni sehingga anda tahu bagaimana menghirupnya apabila tiada jalan lain,
Tanpa ketakutan

- Dr Yusuf AlQardhawi.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stranger in The Dark

A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, dad was fascinated with the enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome in me into the world a few months later.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in our family. In my young mind, each member had a special niche. My brother, Bilal, five years my senior, was my example. Fatima, my younger sister, gave me the opportunity to play big brother and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors. Mom thought me to love the word of Allah, and dad told me to obey it.

But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spell bound for hours each evening. If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew it.

He knew about the past, understood the present and seemingly could predict the future. The pictures he could draw so life that I would often laugh or cry as I listened. He was like a friend to the whole family. He took dad, Bilal and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movies stars.

The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn't seem to mind but sometimes mom would quietly get up while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories far away places, go to her room and read her Qur'an and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.

You see, my dad ruled out our household with certain moral convictions. But the stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house- not for some of us, from our friends or adults.

Our longtime visitor however used occasionally four letter words the turn my ears and made dad squirm. To my knowledge, the stranger was never confronted. My father was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in his home, as well as Muslims should. but the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcohol beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars mainly, and pipes distinguished. He talk freely (probably too much, too freely) about sex. His comments sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know that the stranger influenced my early concepts of man-woman relationship.

As I look back, I believe it was the grace of Allah that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time, he apposed the values of my parents. Yet, he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave. More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Wan Gee Road. He is not nearly as intriguing to my dad as he was in those early years. But if I were to talk into my parents' den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner waiting for someone to listen to to his talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name you ask? We called him TV.

" O Lord! Forgive us our sins and expiate from us our devil deeds, and make us die in the state of rightousness."

--An award winning short story. I couldn't remember which award. But this story really open my eyes and letting me see TV in other perspective.

" Ya Rabb kami, jgnlah Engkau jadikan hati kami condong kpd kesesatan sesudah Engkau memberi petunjuk kpd kami, dan kurniakanlah kpd kami rahmat dari sisi Engkau kerana sesungguhnya Engkaulah Maha Pemberi Kurnia." [Ali-Imran : 8]

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