A Reflection In Turkey

“We were the most humiliated people on earth
and Allah gave us honor through Islam.
If we ever seek honor through anything else,
Allah will humiliate us again.”

– Umar ibn Al-Khattab (r.a.)

“Syukurlah Malaysia masih aman.” A statement the locals often speak with a tinge of sarcasm. After a few months of staying in Turkey, I can truly and sincerely say: “Alhamdulillah, Malaysia masih aman.”

Often when we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, it is at those moments that we are able to truly appreciate the blessings we still have. It is these times spent away from home that I have come to realize how much ni’mah Allah has bestowed upon us Muslims in Malaysia – and these blessings are often taken for granted. While the majority in Turkey are Muslims, their lifestyle says otherwise. We came to know some terrible events that happened to a good friend of ours and his Muslim acquaintances (may Allah protect them all): a lecturer, who temporarily stopped his class so that everyone could perform the Zuhr / Asr prayer, was warned by the Dean (yes, the Dean!) when a student complained what he did; an attempt to flunk a student who scored 90/100 just because he is “religious”; as well as the dirty looks and the backbiting that ensue just because they are “religious”.

Our friend observed there is still something amazing about Malaysia. In Turkey, Muslims are fighting for / against secularism, but in Malaysia it is more about fighting for / against traditions that people think are Sunnah, or the ‘my sheikh vs your sheikh’ squabbles. Yes, the squabbles are awful. But the point of the matter is the majority of us WANT to do good, WANT to be better Muslims, WANT to please Allah.

And I think that’s one of the most important blessings that we still have, yet often overlook: that we still WANT ISLAM.

It is undeniable that Malaysia is far from perfect – but we shouldn’t let these things blind us with ingratitude. I don’t know much about politics or economy, but I do know one thing: Rizq comes from our Rabb. He grants to and withholds from whomever He wishes. The GPS towards a country full of barakah is the Qur’an and the Sunnah. So when we make ANY decision or action, always, always return to the Qur’an and the authentic teachings of our Rasulallah s.a.w.

“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people
until they change what is in themselves.
And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it.
And there is not for them besides Him any protector.”
[Ar-Ra’ad 13:11]

We need to stop complaining, and start mending our spiritually-broken self. DO positive actions that conform with the Qur’an and Sunnah. Because only then will Allah grant that change in our country that we so desperately seek.