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"Oh People! Spread Peace! And feed those of you in need, and pray in the night when everyone are asleep, then you will enter Heaven in peace. " Muhammad (s)

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The Historical Evidence of Religious Poetry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siddiq Osman Noormuhammad   
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 19:31

All praise is for Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted, and may He shower His choicest peace and blessings in perpetuity on His most beloved of all creations, Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina wa Habibina wa Mawlana Muhammad ibn 'Abdillah, Nurin min Nurillah, Sallallahu 'alayhi wa 'alaa aalihi wa sahbihi wa Sallim.


When we study the Ahaadith Shareef (noble sayings) of our beloved Prophet Sayyidina wa Mawlana Muhammad Mustafa, Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam and his seerah (blessed biography) to research the subject of religious poetry, we are blessed with obtaining the following historical facts:

1.    The Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam said that there is wisdom in poetry.
2.    He was greeted with madeeh (eulogy) when he entered Madina.
3.    He recited some verses as he carried stones together with his sahaba (blessed companions), Rady Allahu 'Anhum to build Masjid an-Nabawi in Madina.
4.    He encouraged the recitation of the Holy Qur'an al-Karim, the inimitable, uncomparable and uncreated Word of Allah, in a melodious voice.
5.    He encouraged wedding songs and allowed songs with musical instruments on the day of 'Eid.
6.    He had a pulpit erected in the mosque for Hadrat Hassaan bin Thabit Rady Allahu 'Anhu to stand upon and reply to the enemies of Islam in poetry.
7.    He recited some verses at Ghazwa-i-Khandaq (the battle of the Trench) while digging the trench together with his sahaba, Rady Allahu 'Anhum.
8.    He supplicated for Hadrat 'Amir bin al-Akwa' Rady Allahu 'Anhu who recited a qasida (religious poem) while they were marching to Khaybar to fight the Jews.
9.    He appointed Sayyidina 'Ali Rady Allahu 'Anhu to lead in the battle of Khaybar and Sayyidina 'Ali Rady Allahu 'Anhu replied to his opponent in verse.
10.    He gave his personal mantle (burda) to Hadrat Ka'b ibn Zuhair Rady Allahu 'Anhu after he had versified on him and on the Muhajireen (the Emigrants from Makkah) and expressed the wish that he would versify on the Ansar (the Helpers in Madina) too.
11.    He praised Labid, the pre-Islamic poet, for praising Allah in his poetry.
12.    He requested 'Amr bin Sharid's father to recite the poetry of Umayya bin Abu as-Salt. 'Amr bin Sharid's father obliged by reciting a couplet whereupon the beloved Prophet Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam continued to request him to recite more and more until he had recited 100 couplets!

To study each of these universally historic events in a little more detail, the main sources referenced are:
(a) kutub (books) of Hadith, especially
·    Sahih al-Bukhari (translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan),
·    Sahih al-Muslim (translated by Abdul Hamid Siddiqi),
·    Mishkat u'l Masabih (Niche For Lamps) of Imam al-Baghawi (translated by Al-Hajj Mawlana Fazlul Karim);
(b) classics of Muslim spirituality, such as
·    Ihya 'Ulum al-Deen (The Revival of the Religious Sciences) by Hujjatul Islam Imam Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali (translated by Al-Hajj Mawlana Fazlul Karim),
·    It'haaf-is-Saail (Gifts For The Seeker) by Qutb u'l Irshad Sayyidunal Imam al-Habib Abdallah bin 'Alawi al-Haddad (translated by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi), and
·    Miftah u'l Jannah (Key To The Garden) by Sayyidunal Imam al-Habib Ahmad Mash'hur bin Taha al-Haddad (translated by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi); and
(c) books of history such as the biography of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam by Martin Lings.
[Rady Allahu 'Anhu / Naf'anAllahu Bih / Rahmatullahi 'alayh is recited after the name of the sahaba (companions) and the mashaayikh (spiritual masters) as appropriate].

The Historical Evidence of Religious Poetry

Last Updated on Friday, 13 August 2010 20:34
 
Soccer and the Sacred PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nazim Baksh   
Monday, 14 June 2010 19:22

You can listen to a podcast of this comment here.

FIFA has spent more than 60 billion U.S. dollars getting ready for the competition now underway in South Africa. It’s a staggering amount for a month’s worth of entertainment. Many South Africans are still trying to figure out what’s in it for them. So far it has done nothing to reduce poverty and massive unemployment for the masses in Johannesburg and Soweto.

And even when the contradictions are so incredibly stark, the game of soccer has a certain magical quality that converts people from curious onlookers into ardent fans. Could there be a sacred dimension to the game of soccer?

There are many who will disagree. They have lumped soccer into the category of play and amusement or worst, declare it to be forbidden. God Almighty reveals in the Quran:

Wa Mā Al- Hayāatu Ad-Dunyā 'Illā La`ibun Wa Lahwun  ۖ  Wa Lalddāru Al-'Ākhiratu Khayrun Lilladhīna Yattaqūna  ۗ  'Afalā Ta`qilūna

What is this life but play and amusement. Far better is the abode of the hereafter for those who are God-fearing. Have you then no intelligence? (6:32)

The two important words in this verse are la’ib and lahw. According to the classical Quranic interpretations, la’ib is defined as play or sport that has no benefit. Lahw, on the other hand, is a form of amusement -- a temporary distraction from the mundane and does not require the use of the intellect.

Like most verses of the Quran, there are deep secrets encoded in its verses. Human beings were created with a propensity to play and amuse themselves in sports, but ingrained in their DNA is a recognition that there is a higher calling and that what is to come when this life is over is much more important than the here and now.

The meaning of the word religion, after all, from the Latin ‘religio’ means “to bind.” In other words, religion is meant to bind man to his contract with God Almighty. From a purely sociological perspective, religious rites emerged to remind men and women of their sacred contract.

In traditional societies, sports such as stick-fighting, gladiatorial games, jousting, yoga, swordsmanship, martial arts, wrestling, chess and archery emerged out of religious rites. Sports was a relief from the strict concentration and discipline required when fulfilling religious obligations.

The meaning of sport, from the Middle English word ‘disporter,’ means light-hearted recreational activity, or from the Latin ‘desporto’ which means ‘to carry away’ such that amusement momentarily carries us away from the tediousness of daily life.  

In Spartan society sports was a means of educating, disciplining and inculcating virtues in the youth. The gymnasium in ancient Greek culture was designed to help transition men and women from the levity of childhood to the responsibility that comes with maturity.

According to Imam At-Tabarani, the Messenger of Allah a instructed his companions to “practice archery - it’s good for you,” he is reported to have said.

In the collection of Sahih Al-Bukhari Salama bin Al-Akwa narrated that the Prophet a passed by some people of the Tribe of Bani Aslam while they were competing with each other. The Prophet said: O Bani Isma’il practice archery because your father Isma’il was a great archer. Keep on shooting your arrows, I am with Bani so and so. In other words, the Prophet, desiring to participate in the competition, picked a side. Asking why the opposing side was suddenly backing out of the competition, they said, ‘how can we compete when you’ve taken their side? To this the Prophet said: “Keep on competing, I am with all of you.”

In another hadith, this time in Sahih Muslim, the Apostle of Allah, said: “Allah Most High, will cause three persons to enter paradise for one arrow: The maker, when he has a good intention in making it, the one who shoots it, and the one who hand it off; So take aim and release and ride (your horse), but archery is dearer to me than your riding. Every form of amusement is vain except three: when a person is training his horse, enjoying the company of your spouse, and competing in archery. If anyone abandons archery after becoming adept at it through distaste for it, it is a blessing he has abandoned, (or he said), for which he has been ungrateful.”

There are some Muslim scholars, sure enough, that will say these ahadith pertain to Jihad. Yet the word Jihad is never mentioned nor implied in either ahadith. What is clear is that God’s Messenger is equating a recreational activity with the reward of paradise.  

We know these ahadith because they were handed down from generation to generation of Muslims in an unbroken chain going back to the Messenger of God. Around 1835 Sultan Mahmoud II, one of the greatest patrons of the Ottoman archer’s guild, commissioned Shaykh Mustafa Kani bin Mehmet to collect 40 ahadith pertaining to archery. In one hadith the Prophet is reported to have said that Angel Gabriel gave the first bow to Adam. In another, Prophet Ibrahim was the first to receive a composite bow from the Angel Gabriel and he and Prophet Isma’il were celebrated archers of their time.

In the community of believers the Prophet’s cousin and companion - Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas - emerged as the archetypal model for the Muslim archer and his name was invoked by members of the archer’s guild during the era of Ottoman Khilafah which ended less than a hundred years ago.

According to Eugen Herrigel’s 1950’s classic “Zen in the Art of Archery,” the archer’s aim is not directed at an external target but at the spiritual target within. The archer, Herrigel says, must master his aim until he is able to hit the bull’s eye blindfolded.

Since the art of archery has a sacred dimension, likewise the game of soccer too has sacred overtones. It is an edifying and wholesome sport that is good for both the soul and the body.

The ball represents the unpredictability of life itself and when one gets possession, skill, patience and a calm composure, often lead to making the correct decisions and a good outcome.

Soccer is played within strict boundaries and rules, much like religious life, and each player must respect them and the referee’s decision, to succeed.

Scoring a goal is a victory not against your opponent, but against the ego of our lower self. 

Soccer teaches the virtues of sacrifice, patience, self-control, temperance, courage, decisiveness, courtesy, friendship, generosity, nobility, humility, contentment, not forgetting team work, strategy and memory. It is only through these qualities that victory in the world can be achieved and a place in the hereafter can be guaranteed. 

As we cheer on our favorite teams may we become inspired  to imitate the virtuous conduct we observe in the game.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 August 2010 20:40
 
Rhythms of the Heart - A unique festival of different faiths and cultures PDF Print E-mail
Written by Amran Ellahi   
Monday, 17 May 2010 00:32

The Festival aims are to:

  • Link culture, community, faith or belief and arts
  • Develop friendships between communities
  • Develop dialogue between beliefs
  • Give leadership roles to women and young people
  • Provide activities for schools
  • Develop rural/urban links

Two full days of workshops held at Saturday 15th May and Sunday 16th May. Choose from six different workshops, forum discussions and other events. Held in Bishops Castle which is a lively small market town, with a wide choice of shops, cafes and hostelries to explore. It is an established centre for walking and biking and has plenty of evening entertainment. On Saturday night Kamran, Harjit and I performed qawali Music in the evening concert which also had

• Corndon singers - early music

• Gospel music

• Poems and readings from the Qur'an

 

On Sunday morning, BBC Shropshire conducted an interview.  Later in the day Harjit and I conducted two workshops sessions on Qawali Music - Songs of the Mystics: an introduction to Qawali music.  Participants were introduce to the spirit of North Indian popular devotion through the passionate rhythms of song.  It was a splendid weekend of sharing with others Muslim culture and music. Remarkably we were billeted at the home of a lovely couple, who wished to share [and did] the experience of the Fajr [morning prayer].  For more information you can check "Rhythms of the Heart" website here.
Last Updated on Friday, 13 August 2010 20:43
 
Humour and free speech are ideals that Islam cherishes. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nazim Baksh   
Friday, 14 May 2010 15:35

In the name of God, the most Gracious, Most Merciful.

The recent arrest in New York of Faisal Shahzad raises the sceptre of fear and the now all too familiar slogan of those who hate our freedoms and want to destroy us.

Several motives were put forward as to why Mr. Shahzad, who by purely outward signs, appears to be a Muslim. Faisal is a Muslim name and while he is a naturalized American, his country of birth is Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim country.

Even though he has been living in the New Haven, Connecticut area for years, Muslim leaders and community activists there and in nearby towns and cities do not know him. As far as anyone knows he has not left any trace of what his motives might have been. Eventually the truth will emerge and when it does it will bring an end to the speculation.

For now, American security experts see a possible motive in the proximity of Faisal’s bomb-loaded Nissan Pathfinder to Viacom’s comedy central network located in Times Square. Among other things, Viacom produces “South Park” a satirical comedy show that parodies celebrities and religious figures.

In an anniversary show marking its 200th episode, the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, didn’t want to omit mention of Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings. Concerned that they might offend Muslims, particularly in light of the Danish cartoon controversy, the creators announced that they were going to hide him in a bear costume.

However, in the following episode any mention of “Muhammad” was beeped out and the show was deleted completely. It was not even shown online.  A group calling itself “Revolution Muslim.com” issued a threat of violence against the creators of South Park.

This apparently stirred the pot of free speech on American talk shows. Jon Stewart called it an outrage. Even Bart Simpson piped in with his own two cents when he scribbled on a blackboard “South Park - We’d stand behind you if we weren’t so scared.”

American cartoonist Molly Norris created a facebook page to launch a mock campaign asking people to draw objects claiming to be the likeness of Prophet Muhammad. 8-thousand people joined her facebook to participate in “Draw Muhammad Day.”

Eventually, Norris withdrew the campaign and closed her facebook page with a cartoon that read: Try the new diet of fear.”

It is a strange world that we live in. One where humor has been reduced to ridicule and mockery and where free speech is the freedom to insult, demean and parody others. These contradictions are the absurdities of modernity.

A great Canadian intellectual, Ursala Franklin gave a rare interview this week to the CBC’s Anna Marie Tremonti. In that conversation, Franklin explained a concept called ‘scrupling.’

It’s a Quaker term that represents a new form of citizen politics. Scrupling is now a growing movement that aims to bring citizens together to clarify troubling moral and political issues and chart alternative course.

Scrupling avoids the violence that accompany revolutions and is aimed instead at reconciliation and social engagement. Instead of seeking to tear down existing democratic socio-political systems, communities that engage in ‘scrupling’ seek peaceful change aimed at the good of all citizens.

Before Muslims can successfully engage in scrupling with others we need to have some internal scrupling of our own. Violence and terror solves nothing and are doomed to fail. Humor and free speech are ideals that Islam cherishes.

Remarkably, our Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, was always seen with a smile on his face. One of his name is ad-dahhak...the smiling one. People were allowed to speak their minds in his presence and he never got angry with them even when his companions got terribly upset and urged violence as a means of silencing dissent.  

The Prophet was instead patient and merciful. When his companions petitioned him to discipline those who mocked him by referring to him as mudhammam, which means the cursed one, he responded that God has protected him....indeed, he said, they are talking about someone named Mudhammam...and I am Muhammad, the praised one.

I submit that the people who wish to ridicule and mock our blessed Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, don’t know him. But they know us and if all they see are Muslims who spew hatred and violence in the name of Islam, can we blame them if they believe its action inspired by Allah’s Messenger?

May God shower our community with love and guide us to a path that allows us to accept with humility and courtesy the gifts of spring and a heart that is forever grateful of His favors.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 August 2010 20:40
 
Perjalanan cinta dengan Aashiq Al-Rasul PDF Print E-mail
Written by Arum Sekarwangi Tunjungsari   
Friday, 14 May 2010 00:00

Bismillahirahmanirrahim
Dengan nama Allah yang Maha Pengasih lagi Maha Penyayang


Namaku adalah Arum Sekarwangi Tunjungsari, di umurku yang telah menginjak 29 tahun ini aku berada dalam sebuah perjalanan mencari cinta sejatiku. Sebuah cinta yang sejatinya akan terus menyala abadi di dalam hati, tak terkikis waktu, tak terpisahkan ruang dan jarak, hanya cinta yang tetap bersemayam walau apa pun yang terjadi. Telah berulang kali hati dan cinta ini aku labuhkan pada ketidakabadian, pada ego dan nafsu duniawi. Semuanya tak pernah terasa cukup untuk memenuhi rongga dadaku, selalu ada ruang kosong yang tak pernah terisi. Ruang yang selalu mendorongku untuk terus dan terus mencari bongkahan cinta yang tepat untuk mengisinya. Aku berpindah dari satu cinta ke cinta yang lain, berharap agar cinta yang berikutnya adalah bongkahan yang tepat. Tapi pencarian tanpa kompas adalah pencarian yang sungguh terlalu melelahkan. Saat itu aku bisa merasakan bahwa energiku mulai terkuras habis, tersapu oleh keseharian yang menjenuhkan dan melelahkan jiwaku. Berjalan antara mimpi dan kenyataan, hatiku menjerit tanpa henti, meneriakkan beribu kata-kata agar ragaku berhenti memperlakukan dirinya seperti robot yang tak berjiwa. Namun dia hanya terus berjalan dan berjalan setiap hari tanpa henti tanpa peduli. Dia mendengar teriakan hati ini, namun dia terus berjalan walau terjatuh walau terseok dan terkadang harus menyeret dirinya sendiri, karena dia tahu semua ini harus dilakukan, tidak ada pilihan lain. Aku lelah ya Allah, aku menangis Ya Allah, ijinkan aku berada dalam pelukan kekasihmu Ya Allah, walau hanya satu detik, aku ingin merasakan kehangatan itu, kedamaian itu, rasa cinta itu. Ijinkan aku Ya Allah……….


Ditengah semua keletihan jiwaku, tibalah suatu hari dimana Allah memperlihatkan kasih sayangnya yang begitu besar. Subhanallah… Hari itu adalah hari yang penuh berkah, seperti menemukan sebuah oase di tengah panas terik, kering dan tandusnya padang pasir, aku bersyukur tiada henti. Sebuah e-mail singkat terselip diantara puluhan email lain di facebookku. Email ini berasal dari Abang Mohamed Nassir salah satu pengelola simplyislam.sg di Singapore. Beliau bermaksud untuk membuat sebuah konser musik da’wah di Bandung kota kelahiranku, kota dimana aku menjalani hampir seluruh hidupku. Beliau memintaku untuk membantunya. Ya Allah..sungguh aku sangat bahagia jika dapat berpartisipasi dalam acara seperti ini, harapku dalam hati ini. Sejujurnya, jika aku boleh memilih, aku memilih untuk melakukan pekerjaan seperti ini setiap hari. Aku sangat mencintai hal seperti ini, membuat sebuah acara, mempersiapkannya, mengatur setiap detilnya, memastikan acara demi acara berjalan dengan baik, lalu merasa bahagia dan lega setelah semuanya berakhir dengan baik. Rasanya seperti mendaki sebuah gunung, walaupun terjal dan melelahkan namun merasa sangat bahagia saat tiba di puncak. Apalagi acara konser musik ini dipersembahkan untuk sebuah kampanye yang luar biasa hebatnya, kampanye yang bertajuk Arus Damai, sebuah kampanye untuk memperlihatkan kepada dunia bahwa Islam adalah agama yang menjunjung tinggi kedamaian, berperang dengan senjata cinta dan kasih saying, bukan dengan bom dan senapan. Begitulah kira-kira kesan yang aku tangkap dari kampanye ini. Kampanye ini diusung oleh Radical Middle Way Project dari United Kingdom yang bekerjasama dengan simplyislam.sg di Singapore untuk menyelenggarakan berbagai macam acara dalam rangka mensosialisasikan kampanye ini. Untuk kali ini, mereka berencana membuat sebuah konser musik, yang akan mengundang group Aashiq Al-Rasul dari United Kingdom, Naqshabandi Haqqani Ensemble dan Syamil dari Singapore juga musisi dari dalam negeri Sheila on 7, Letto dan performer lain seperti Quadra Fox (kwartet Qaari yang berasal dari Pesantren Al-Falah Cicalengka). Terbayang sudah betapa menyenangkannya acara ini. Segera kubalas email itu dengan bayangan-bayangan indah menari-nari dalam benakku.

Tak berapa lama sejak email tersebut menghampiri inboxku, akhirnya aku bertemu dengan abang Nassir, bersama beliau ada dua orang kawan yang akan ikut serta menyelenggarakan acara ini. Mereka adalah Abang Salim Alatas dan Abang Hamza Alatas. Mereka berdua akan mengurus konser yang akan diselenggarakan di Jakarta. Keduanya adalah saudara sepupu yang memiliki kedekatan sangat indah di mataku. Cinta antara keduanya adalah suatu pembelajaran yang sungguh harus aku pelajari. Begitu hangat, penuh canda tawa, penuh kasih sayang, begitulah seharusnya kita memperlakukan saudara kita. Bagiku pribadi, selalu menjadi hal yang sangat menyenangkan bertemu dengan para ahlul bayt sperti ini. Seolah rinduku pada Rasulullah sedikit terobati karena berdekatan dengan keturunannya. Hari itu perjalanan kami cukup panjang, dimulai dari mengantarkan mereka ke hotel, lalu mencari gedung konser dan yang terakhir kunjungan ke rumah Kyai Ahmad Syahid pemilik pesantren Al-Falah. Kami biasa memanggil beliau Ayah Syahid. Perjalanan kami sepanjang hari diselingi dengan cuaca yang kurang bersahabat, hujan kerap kali membasahi bumi Bandung , namun kehangatan yang kami bangun tidak tersapu oleh dinginnya udara Bandung kala itu. Sesekali diiringi dengan canda dan gelak tawa, juga pencerahan-pencerahan bathin yang sangat berharga. Subhanallah...Ya Allah..begini ya rasanya berkumpul dengan orang-orang yang penuh dengan keberkahanmu. Selalu saja ada hal yang dapat aku pelajari dari mereka. Sungguh hari ini terasa sempurna karena aku  dapat mengunjungi pesantren lagi untuk bertemu Ayah Syahid, ibu dan keluarganya setelah sekian lama tak bertemu. Para laki-laki duduk di ruang tamu depan, sedangkan aku dan ibu duduk di ruang tamu tengah, kami berdua terlibat dalam pembicaraan yang cukup panjang, aku bahagia melihat semua keluarganya sehat dan bahagia. Tak berapa lama setelah makan, kami pun pamit pulang karena hari sudah beranjak malam. Hujan rintik-rintik mengiringi kepergian kami, sekilas kulihat dari kaca jendela mobil, wajah ayah dan ibu yang tersenyum bahagia. Alhamdulillah, semoga Allah memberkahi silaturahmi kami ini. Di perjalanan pulang Abang Nassir melantunkan bagian awal Maulid Dibai, diselingi dengan terjemahannya. Beberapa mutiara ilmu aku dapatkan lagi malam ini, namun mutiara yang terbesar adalah buku maulid dibai ini, alhamdulillah abang Nassir memberikannya untukku. Bahagia? Tak terkatakan lagi....karena aku tahu buku ini sungguh berharga.

 

Tidak terasa sebulan telah berlalu sejak Abang Nassir menginjakkan kakinya di tanah Kota Parahyangan ini, hampir setiap minggu beliau datang untuk mempersiapkan acara. Beliau dibantu oleh putra ayah Syahid yaitu Ustad Rifat Syahid dan kawan-kawannya Kang Ade dan Abah Farouk dalam meyelenggarakan konser ini. Hingga tibalah hari ini, satu hari menjelang konser, sepulang dari bekerja aku langsung bergegas menemui Kak Saira, salah satu staff abang Nassir yang sudah aku anggap seperti saudariku sendiri, kami bertemu sebelumnya saat beliau berkunjung ke Bandung, sejak saat itu aku merasakan kedekatan seperti layaknya saudara kandung. Kami bertukar pikiran dan aku sering meminta nasihatnya dalam berbagai hal. Dimataku Kak Saira adalah sosok kakak yang sangat penuh kasih sayang selain sangat bijaksana dan dewasa beliau juga seorang perempuan yang kuat. Seorang motivator dan pendengar yang baik. Alhamdulillah aku dipertemukan dengannya di kehidupan ini. Hujan rintik-rintik mengiringi langkahku menuju koridor mall yang menghantarkanku pada sebuah restoran tempat kami berjanji untuk bertemu. Dingin yang menusuk tidak lagi terasa, karena hati ini terasa hangat, hangat karena perasaan yang membuncah terlahir dari kerinduanku untuk menemui Kak Saira. Sejenak kepalaku menoleh ke kiri dan ke kanan, mencari letak restoran tempat Kak Saira berada, aaah akhirnya aku menemukannya, aku bergegas berjalan semakin cepat, hup..hup…sesekali aku melompat kecil menghindari genangan air di lantai parkir. Langkahku semakin terasa ringan, hatiku menghamburkan rindu, mata ini seakan ingin melompat mencari sosok Kak Saira yang aku rindukan. Pintu restoran terletak di atas tangga ini, langkah demi langkah yang aku pijakkan menghantarkanku lebih dekat untuk menemuinya. Sesaat nafasku terengah, lalu tertahan saat mata ini melihatnya, setengah berlari aku datang memeluknya.

“jika kau harus berjalan, maka jalanilah perjalananmu karena mungkin ada petunjuk rindu disana
karena apapun yang menjadikan hatimu bergetar hebatmungkin itulah yang terbaik bagimu” (anonim)

Malam itu menjadi malam yang indah, karena aku juga dapat bersilaturahmi dengan kawan-kawan Naqshbandi Haqqani Ensemble Band.  Sebuah grup musik dari Singapore, yang sangat unik sekali. Mereka terdiri dari pria-pria berbagai macam usia, dari mulai belasan tahun hingga setengah baya. Mereka mencintai musik dan melakukannya untuk kecintaan mereka kepada Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Adil Qubrusi Al Haqqani dan kepada Yang Mulia Rasulullah SAW. Sungguh cinta ini terpancar dari sikap dan akhlaq mereka, terutama pada orang asing yang baru mereka temui seperti aku. Ini adalah kali pertama aku bertemu dengan mereka, namun kami seperti sudah mengenal satu sama lain dengan akrab. Penuh canda tawa, kehangatan juga cinta. Arti persaudaraan sesama muslim sangat aku rasakan malam ini. Hanya Allah saja yang dapat membuat hati-hati kami merasakan cinta dan kehangatan seperti ini.

Hari konser telah tiba, pagi-pagi sekali aku berangkat menuju area perbelanjaan dimana kawan-kawan Naqshbandi Haqqani sedang berbelanja. Di depan mall itu aku bertemu dengan salah satu anggota Naqshbandi Haqqani Band bernama Pak Rahim. Lelaki paruh baya yang sangat ramah dengan wajahnya yang berbinar. Beliau adalah salah seorang yang sering melontarkan lelucon tadi malam. Aku lalu menyapanya dan menanyakan kawan-kawan yang lain. Beliau mengatakan bahwa kawan-kawan yang lain sedang berbelanja. Tak lama waktu berselang, kemudian kami semua telah berkumpul dan kembali ke hotel diiringi sinar sang matahari yang mulai terik. Selepas shalat Jum'at di Pusdai, semua orang berkumpul dan makan siang di sebuah restoran sunda di kawasan gedung sate. Kami memperkenalkan diri satu per satu, disinilah pertama kalinya aku mengenal personil-personil aashiq al rasul. Jujur, saat memperkenalkan diri, aku sedikit bingung, karena semua orang menyebutkan mereka berasal dari kelompok mana misalnya Hallo my name is ... from Aashiq al Rasul atau Assalamualaikum my name is... from Naqshbandi Haqqani Ensemble. Aku sendiri tidak tahu berdiri di kelompok yang mana, karena aku hanya seorang diri saja. Karena aku gugup aku sebutkan saja Hallo My name is Arum and I am from Bandung (Halo nama saya Arum dan saya berasal dari Bandung). Kalau aku ingat lagi sungguh malu karena aku gugup. Untungnya Abang Nassir ikut menjelaskan bahwa aku adalah jamaah Naqshbandi Bandung yang ikut membantu acara ini. Tapi Subhanallah, karena kata-kata I am from Bandung itu, salah seorang dari personil Aashiq al-Rasul yang bernama Tariq Aslam menghampiri dan mengatakan bahwa beliau ingin sekali mengunjungi Dojo (tempat latihan) Aikido (salah satu jenis beladiri Jepang) di Bandung, karena beliau adalah seorang pelatih Aikido. Dengan senang hati aku mencari informasi kepada kawan-kawan mengenai dojo yang dapat dikunjungi, tapi sayangnya tidak ada yang dapat dikunjungi karena tidak ada jadwal latihan yang cocok dengan waktu luang yang tersedia di jadwal acara kami. Pada saat makan siang aku mengenal kawan baru bernama Pamela. Seorang gadis keturunan Indonesia Belanda, yang sangat ramah dan berkepribadian sangat menarik. Dia bekerja di Radical middle way project, bertugas mendokumentasikan acara serta mendampingi Aashiq Al Rasul, manager mereka Papa Alim juga Waleed Hilal. Alhamdulillah aku, Kak Saira dan Pamela cepat sekali akrab. Kami langsung terlibat pembicaraan yang ringan namun menyenangkan. Siang itu matahari cerah ceria secerah senyum kami bertiga.


Selepas makan siang, semua berangkat untuk melakukan check sound di tempat konser. Lalu semua bersiap-siap untuk acara konser nanti malam. Aku ikut bersama Kak Saira ke hotel untuk mandi dan berganti baju. Setelah semua siap, kami bergegas ke tempat acara konser. Semua tampil rapi. Kawan-kawan Haqqani dengan seragam hijaunya, Aashiq Al Rasul dengan jas dan kemeja yang sangat rapi. Aku bisa merasakan suasana hangat di belakang panggung. Beberapa dari mereka saling berfoto bersama untuk mengabadikan pertemuan ini. Sesaat saat di belakang panggung, beberapa personil Aashiq Al Rasul menanyakan keadaanku. Sebenarnya pertanyaan ini terlontar beberapa kali hari ini, tadi siang dan hari sebelumnya Omar dari Radical Midway pun menyakan hal yang sama. Aku lalu menanyakan pada kawan-kawan Aashiq Al Rasul apakah aku kelihatan tidak baik, karena aku mendapatkan pertanyaan itu hingga beberapa kali. Tapi ternyata bukan seperti yang aku pikirkan. Aku terlihat baik, namun mereka ingin memberikan perhatian dengan menanyakan kabarku. Subhanallah begitulah akhlaq para pecinta Rasulullah. Mereka sangat lembut dan perhatian. Satu pelajaran yang harus aku camkan dalam hatiku.

Acara konser berlangsung baik, walau pun hujan lebat mengguyur kota Bandung. Saat Aashiq Al Rasul tampil, aku mendampingi Waleed Hilal di belakang panggung, beliau menanyakan umurku, saat aku berkata 29 tahun, beliau sempat tertawa dengan ekpresi sedikit kaget, beliau berkata aku seperti gadis yang baru berumur 19 tahun, lalu menambahkan apakah orang indonesia tidak menjadi tua ya? Hehehheh aku tertawa mendengar komentar itu. Lalu kami berbincang sedikit mengenai album solonya yang akan keluar dan bertukar alamat e-mail agar bisa tetap saling menghubungi. Sejujurnya, sebelum aku mengetahui namanya, aku merasa bahwa wajahnya tidak asing bagiku, aku pikir mungkin karena beliau adalah anggota Aashiq Al Rasul yang videonya pernah aku lihat beberapa kali di youtube, setelah aku mendengar namanya baru aku mengerti mengapa aku mengenali wajahnya, yaitu karena beliau adalah penyanyi solo di Kanada yang aku add beberapa waktu lalu di facebookku. Padahal aku melakukan add secara acak, saat aku melihat namanya aku langsung meng-add beliau. Atas ijin Allah beberapa hari kemudian aku dapat bertemu dan berbincang dengan beliau secara langsung. Pantas saja wajahnya terasa familiar, ternyata aku sudah melihat wajahnya beberapa hari yang lalu. Begitulah kuasa Allah terlihat jelas dimataku, mengumpulkan aku yang bukan apa-apa dengan mereka orang-orang hebat seperti ini meskipun tinggal di belahan bumi lain. Dan membiarkan aku mengambil pelajaran-pelajaran penting dari mereka. Aku bersyukur atas karunia ini. Sesaat kemudian beberapa adik-adik perempuan yang sedang berada di belakang panggung meminta untuk berfoto bersama dengannya. Mereka terlihat sangat bahagia sekali dapat berfoto dengan beliau, walaupun  aku yakin sebagian besar dari mereka belum mengetahui siapa Waleed Hilal namun saat ketulusan hati yang berbicara, tidak perlu lagi kita mengenal sosok karena hati ini sudah saling mengenal. Setelah selesai berfoto, Papa Alim, manajer Aashiq Al Rasul bergabung bersama kami. Pria setengah baya dengan perawakan besar dan wajah khas Pakistan. Waleed dengan wajah yang tersenyum lebar lalu menyuruh beliau untuk menebak umurku...seolah-olah dia yakin bahwa Papa Alim tidak akan bisa menebaknya. Heheheh ternyata topik ini masih saja dibahas. Beliau lalu berkata, dengan gaya yang khas.. yaa..sekitar antara 20-30 tahun heheheheh sungguh jawaban yang "aman" kataku dalam hati. Kami semua tertawa, Waleed lalu memberi tahu umurku, lalu dengan wajah tersenyum Papa Alim berkata, aku kan bilang antara 20-30 tahun ehhehehehe. Lalu Papa Alim melihat bahwa aku memegang CD Aashiq Al Rasul, beliau menyakan dari mana aku mendapatkan CD tersebut? Aku membelinya dari depan ujarku. Lalu tanpa kusangka-sangka beliau memberikan lagi 1 buah CD Aashiq Al Rasul yang berbeda untukku. Memang rejeki tidak pergi kemana, alhamdulillah....

Penampilan Aashiq Al-Rasul adalah penampilan puncak, selepas konser selesai, mereka menggelar acara tanda-tangan dan foto bersama fans. Aku pun ikut mengantri untuk meminta tanda tangan mereka di CD yang tadi aku beli. Aku sangat menikmati malam ini. Turut bernyanyi lantunan puji-pujian kepada Allah dan Rasulnya yang dibawakan Syamil (penyanyi Nashid muda dari Singapore, sangat berbakat dan musiknya sangat indah), Naqshbandi Haqqani Band, juga Aashiq Al Rasul, menghayati lirik-lirik indah Sheila on 7, menikmati musik-musik yang menggema menggetarkan hati. Malam ini terasa melelahkan namun membahagiakan. Aku pulang dengan hati yang tersenyum.

Hari berikutnya, aku bergegas pergi ke Pesantren Al Falah, disana digelar acara pertunjukkan kecil. Aku datang dengan sedikit tergopoh-gopoh karena datang terlambat. Saat di perjalanan tadi, tanpa kusadari sandalku rusak, sehingga aku harus mampir sebentar ke toko sepatu, tanpa banyak memilih, aku ambil sepatu pertama yang aku lihat, aku coba, ternyata pas sekali, dalam kondisi normal aku akan memilih minimal tiga sampai empat sepatu sebelum aku membelinya. Tapi alhamdulillah Allah sudah memudahkan semuanya untukku. Aku langsung membayarnya lalu bergegas melanjutkan perjalananku. Acara telah dimulai saat aku datang, ayah sedang memberikan sambutan untuk kedatangan para tamu jauhnya. Banyak sekali orang di dalam gedung itu, aku lihat semua murid-murid telah duduk rapi dan mendengarkan sambutan ayah Syahid pemilik pesantren. Aku lalu mengendap-ngendap menelusuri pinggiran gedung hingga sampai ke barisan terdepan, sesaat aku lalu melihat Kak Saira dan Pamela duduk bersama ibu, anak dan menantunya yang perempuan. Aku lalu menyapanya dan mencium tangan ibu. Menyalami Kak Saira, Pamela juga anak-anak ibu dan menantunya. Lalu aku duduk dan menikmati pertunjukkan yang mulai digelar oleh Naqshbandi Haqqani Band. Antusiasme para murid pesantren betul-betul terlihat jelas. Sambutan mereka atas lagu-lagu yang dibawakan Naqsh Band betul-betul dahsyat. Berbagai macam ekpresi dari apresiasi mereka terdengar di setiap lantunan irama yang dibawakan terutama saat lagu berakhir. Gema tepuk tangan mereka semakin riuh terdengar. Seiring dengan permainan Naqsh Band pun semakin lama semakin bersemangat. Begitu pula saat Waleed naik ke atas panggung sebagian besar murid perempuan terpesona akan ketampanannya dan suaranya yang indah. Suara-suara terdengar lebih ramai di bagian murid-murid perempuan. Ayah dan ibu hanya tersenyum saja melihat kelakukan murid-muridnya ini, mereka memang masih sangat muda. Saat Aashiq Al-Rasul bernyanyi di atas panggung, sepertinya mereka selalu berhasil membius penontonnya dengan musik mereka yang mudah untuk dinikmati siapa saja. Subhanallah gedung ini terasa bergetar karena semangat yang berkobar.

Setelah makan siang dan berfoto bersama, kami bergegas kembali ke hotel untuk check out lalu aku ikut rombongan Aashiq Al-Rasul ke acara berikutnya di kampus UNINUS (Universitas Islam Nusantara). Sementara kawan-kawan Naqsh Band langsung pergi ke Jakarta untuk acara konser besok. Acara yang di gelar di Uninus terbilang sebuah sukses, walaupun tidak terlalu banyak yang hadir karena hari sudah menjelang sore. Namun antusiasme para mahasiswa yang datang untuk mendengarkan diskusi mengenai musik dalam Islam sangatlah baik. Beberapa pertanyaan menarik dilontarkan oleh para mahasiswa dalam acara diskusi ini. Lalu di akhir acara Aashiq mempersembahkan beberapa lagu mereka. Ketika acara telah selesai, kami dijamu oleh pihak Rektorat untuk makan kue-kue kecil, dan berbincang sebentar dengan mereka, setelah berfoto bersama lalu kami pamit dan segera menuju restoran untuk makan malam.

Kami makan malam di sebuah restoran padang, ternyata masakan restoran padang cukup memenuhi selera kawan-kawan dari negeri jauh ini. Mereka mencoba berbagai macam hidangan yang tersedia sambil berbincang santai. Ada satu hal yang aku perhatikan, bahkan saat mereka makan pun mereka bertukar ilmu, mereka sangat antusias sekali dalam mendengarkan pembicaraan satu sama lain .  Subhanallah... Aku dan Pamela juga terlibat dalam suasana makan yang cukup hangat, aku sungguh senang melihat Pamela yang makan dengan lahap karena sudah lama sekali sejak dia merasakan masakan Padang di lidahnya, maklumlah dia banyak menghabiskan tahun-tahun belakangan ini di luar negeri untuk belajar dan bekerja. Sebenarnya dia sangat menginginkan daun singkong namun entah kenapa di restoran padang ini daun singkongnya sudah digulai, sehingga Pamela tidak terlalu menginginkannya lagi.

Setelah makan malam, perjalanan kami lanjutkan ke Jakarta. Perjalanan cukup lancar. Kami tiba di hotel jam 11 malam. Setelah check in, kami semua beristirahat. Namun aku dan Pamela tidak bisa beristirahat dengan tenang karena tamu di sebelah kamar kami sangat mengganggu sekali. Mungkin sekelompok remaja perempuan yang sedang bersenang-senang, namun yang sampai hari ini aku tak mengerti sepertinya mereka melemparkan satu sama lain ke tembok lalu tertawa-tawa, karena aku mendengarkan suara buk..buk...di dinding beberapa sepanjang malam. Entahlah....Tapi karena badanku sudah sangat lelah sekali, aku akhirnya tertidur juga.

Pagi hari….aku terburu-buru bangun untuk shalat subuh…selesai shalat aku memejamkan lagi mataku beberapa saat, karena badanku masih terasa sangat lelah. Lalu aku pergi mandi dan bersiap-siap untuk sarapan. Sesaat kemudian aku dan Pamela sudah berada di lobby hotel menunggu kawan-kawan yang lain untuk turun, kami berdua masih membahas mengenai sekelompok remaja yang melakukan keributan di kamar sebelah semalam. Kami tak habis pikir, apa saja sebenarnya yang mereka lakukan di dalam kamar hingga menimbulkan suara seperti orang yang dilempar ke tembok. Pamela mengatakan bahwa mereka adalah ”very enthusiastic neighbour” kata-kata yang pas sekali untuk mendeskripsikan mereka hehehheheheheh.

Pagi ini kami ada wawancara di sebuah stasiun radio yaitu RASFM (Radio Alaika Salam) segera setelah sarapan, kami langsung pergi ke stasiun tersebut. Setelah berkeliling keliling karena sang supir tidak mengetahui jalanan yang harus ditempuh, akhirnya kami sampai juga di tempat tujuan.  Sesampainya disana kami kami disambut oleh Awan Albana dan kawan-kawannya. Setelah sedikit beramah tamah, hampir tiba waktunya untuk siaran. Namun ada sedikit masalah kecil, ternyata DJ Radio yang seharusnya mewawancarai Aashiq Al Rasul tidak dapat datang dan DJ penggantinya tidak dapat berbahasa Inggris dengan aktif. Lalu tibalah sebuah tawaran dari abang Nassir untuk menerjemahkan sekaligus mewawancarai mereka. Subhanallah…aku memang pernah menjadi penerjemah langsung untuk orang Jepang saat kerja di perusahaan sebelum ini, namun pada saat itu aku sudah menguasai bahasa Jepang yang kira-kira akan keluar dalam bahasan juga hal tersebut dilakukan di ruang lingkup yang kecil, hanya sebatas rapat kantor saja. Namun sekarang aku harus menjadi DJ radio yang tidak pernah aku lakukan sepanjang hidupku, lalu mewawancarai Aashiq Al Rasul dalam bahasa Inggris dan didengar oleh sekian banyak orang baik di Indonesia maupun diluar negeri. Bukanlah suatu hal yang mudah saat aku menyanggupi untuk melakukannya. Tapi untunglah mereka sudah mempersiapkan skrip pertanyaan yang harus aku tanyakan kepada mereka. Ditambah lagi aku sudah berkomunikasi dengan mereka di hari-hari sebelumnya, sehingga aku tidak merasa canggung lagi. Tibalah saatnya untuk wawancara, aku sudah di dalam studio memakai headphone sambil membaca bahan yang harus aku tanyakan. Sebelumnya aku sempat diperkenalkan dengan DJ Radio “sesungguhnya” yaitu bapak Taufik Ilham. Alhamdulillah beliau akan menjadi pembimbing aku dalam wawancara ini. Sesaat sebelumnya aku bersiap-siap dahulu, aku meminta pulpen dan kertas kepada Abang Nassir yang duduk di sebelah menemaniku dan akan membantuku jika aku butuh bantuan saat menerjemahkan. Detik demi detik semakin dekat, aku merasakan hatiku berdebar kencang, keringat bercucuran dan tiba-tiba perutku merasa mulas. Aduh bahaya jika terus mulas begini, jeritku dalam hati. Dalam keadaan seperti ini kawan-kawan aashiq, waleed dan papa alim masih sempat bercanda-canda. Aku tersenyum sambil sedikit meringis menahan rasa sakit di perutku. Tapi Alhamdulillah rasa itu berangsur-angsur hilang. Aku pun sedikit tenang. Lalu aku mencoba membaca doa Rabbis rahlis sadri wayasirli amri wahlul ukdatan min lisani yafkahu kauli, itu pun aku minta dibimbing oleh Abang Nassir karena aku tiba-tiba lupa doanya. Kalu diingat sungguh lucu karena aku sedikit panic hehehe. Wawancara dimulai setelah lagu pertama dikumandangkan. Aku akui saat awal wawancara aku sangat gugup sehingga aku sempat tercekat dan lupa kata-kata yang harus aku katakana, namun setelah beberapa saat aku bisa lebih santai dan berusaha melakukan yang terbaik. Alhamdulillah semua kawan-kawan yang ada di studio menyemangati aku, sehingga selama wawancara berlangsung aku tetap semangat walaupun terkadang headphone yang aku pakai tidak berfungsi. Setelah wawancara selesai kami semua berfoto bersama sambil berkenalan dengan kawan-kawan RASFM yang lain. Setelah itu kami langsung meluncur ke tempat konser untuk soundcheck.

Kami berada di Kampus UIN Syarif Hidayatullah sekarang. Hari ini adalah konser hari kedua. Matahari terik menemani kami yang tengah menunggu kawan-kawan Aashiq Al Rasul dan Waleed Hilal yang tengah melakukan soundcheck di atas panggung. Setelah mereka selesai, kami bergegas pergi ke hotel untuk mandi dan berganti pakaian. Lalu kembali lagi kesini. Suasana sore ini cerah sekali, Alhamdulillah tadi hujan gerimis sehingga udara tidak terlalu panas. Konser berjalan dengan sangat meriah. Aku sungguh menikmati setiap lagu yang dibawakan oleh Aashiq Al Rasul dan kawan-kawan lain. Setelah konser selesai, kami semua kembali ke hotel.

Saat tiba di hotel, aku pamit kepada kawan-kawan Aashiq Al Rasul, Waleed Hilal, Papa Alim, Abang Nassir, Omar dan Pamela. Hari ini adalah hari terakhirku bersama mereka. Sungguh berat harus berpisah, aku berharap aku dapat merasakan perasaan seperti ini lebih lama. Kebahagiaan yang tercipta karena kami mencintai satu sama lain sebagai saudara. Sungguh suatu berkah dapat bertemu dan menghabiskan beberapa hari ini dengan mereka, sehingga aku memetik banyak pelajaran dari mereka semua. Allah telah menunjukkan jalan untuk mengenal para pencinta Rasulnya. Sehingga bertambahlah kecintaanku pula. Telah kutemukan sedikit demi sedikit bongkahan cinta yang kucari dalam perjalanan ini. Alhamdulillah….

Last Updated on Friday, 13 August 2010 20:43
 
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