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So you think you can think


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Think again. My inner-self has this quest – are we thinking in the right way? I continue my monologue here with that very big question especially for moi to kick start the New Year 2008 and the coming Hijra 1429, hopefully with a paradigm shift ingrained in my head and a new ‘esprit de corps’ installed.

If we ever notice, Al-Quran in many verses urges us to think, hear, see or have sense. Many of its examples and parables insist us to ponder and to think about. It’s almost the normal features of the verses ended with invitations for us to start analyse and ponder over its meanings like - have you think about it, for those who can think, for those who understand, Oh! you that understand, etc.

Al-Quran obliges us to think and it is a command from Allah. By thinking, evaluating and reasoning the ayats, we can intensify our faith, answer our raison d'être and strengthen our taqwa. By thinking of the prevalent questions are also the essence of the glory of the past Muslim scientists and scholars in the fields of science and technology such as Ibn Khaldun, Al-Kwarizmi, Ibn Battuta, Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, etc. They rose to the glory by thinking of the many questions stated in the Quran – about this universe, about the magnificent creation of Allah, why is this, why is that, how was this created, how was that, how can we use this and that, etc, etc… They reasoned everything and made discoveries. They strived to find scientific explanation behind all while science and logic never replace their faith.

Now, lets look these few selected verses. I prefer to cite the Tafsir in my mother tongue as I found the meanings more profound and more ‘touchy’ as compared with my twisted London’s tongue. Before that, Achtung! I want to remind any soul over there that I have not done any Islamic study and my interpretation might be wrong. Most of my thinking were done at the many abandon lombong (tin mines) at my place here in Manjoi. I warn you! I have to make this precautionary statement, I know. If you are interested to know the real details please refer to the authoritative Tafsir available aplenty on the net. You can do so by typing the equivalent surah name and the ayat numbers. There are overwhelming information more than you can handle. And you can be totally drowned in the ocean of blablabla (Hey! Why I am thinking that I am writing for Time magazine, anyway this article is made solely for my soul self prescription…).

Sesungguhnya pada kejadian langit dan bumi dan pada pertukaran malam dan siang, ada tanda-tanda (kekuasaan, kebijaksanaan dan keluasan rahmat Allah) bagi orang-orang yang berakal.

What do you think?

I reserve this last verse for moi

Patutkah kamu menyuruh manusia supaya berbuat kebaikan sedang kamu lupa akan diri kamu sendiri; padahal kamu semua membaca Kitab Allah, tidakkah kamu berakal?
(Surah Al- Baqarah. Ayat 44)

All these reflections and thoughts will be meaningless unless I start them off with my self imposing questions such as where I am heading for, what I am doing here, what are my contributions, etc, etc. I know these questions will haunt me for answers as I read again and again this writings as I am the most frequent visitor of my own blog… Btw, self questioning is what actually drives the excellence of a person and what differentiates between a thinking man from a non-thinking animal. I pray (and please doa me too) to be in the best of iman and aqal for the years ahead…ameen

(Surah Ali Imran, Ayat 190)

This ayat is one of the many that oblige us to ponder the creation of this world. Every creation of Allah is a sign and evidence of His Existence, His Oneness and His Might. I remarked that in Al-Quran many verses call us to observe, to reflect and to study the various ‘signs’. And very often the signs in offer are very much related to our living world, our nature, our environment, our habitat. Those signs are indeed very close, very near and sometimes very obvious to us.

I want to relate now in this could be confusing essay with my ‘passion’ that I developed not long time ago – aqua planted. I am ‘playing god’ with my experimental 4 feet aquarium. I discovered many things in developing this hobby. It is not easy to create the natural aquatic habitat for my little creature called fish. I tried my best to imitate the nature and failed many times. Pardonnez-moi les poissons…. And I learned valuable lessons. It is impossible to have a sustainable tank (what?!). There is the nature equilibrium that I unable to create: The CO2 cycle for the plants (as the natural respiration from fish is not enough). The O2 in particularly at night as the plants inhale O2 during their grazer, mid range dwellers, algae eaters. The fish population dynamic for reproduction, the predator-prey relationship, the foodweb cycle, etc, etc, etc, etc… They all conjured up to me finally that in the real world there must be only one invisible force that take care all of the so called world chores. Through my experience, multiple ‘Lord’ (i.e. my wife, my son) can make the tank equation off balance and end up destroying the ecosystem when they tampered with my settings. By the way, if there every single god as claimed by each and every existing religion in this world today, to the trend of ridiculing and condemning each other, be rest assured, there must already a ‘war’ up there! There must be only one and only one supremacy power to govern this world. No power sharing.

Al-Quran ini) sebuah Kitab yang Kami turunkan kepadamu (dan umatmu wahai Muhammad), Kitab yang banyak faedah-faedah dan manfaatnya, untuk mereka memahami dengan teliti kandungan ayat-ayatnya dan untuk orang-orang yang berakal sempurna beringat mengambil iktibar.
(Surah Sad, Ayat 29)

Dan demi sesungguhnya! Kami telah berulang-ulang kali menyebarkan hujah-hujah di antara manusia melalui Al-Quran supaya mereka berfikir (mengenalku serta bersyukur); dalam pada itu kebanyakan manusia tidak mahu melainkan berlaku kufur.
(Surah Al-Furqan, Ayat 50)

Yang berusaha mendengar perkataan-perkataan yang sampai kepadanya lalu mereka memilih dan menurut akan yang sebaik-baiknya (pada segi hukum agama); mereka itulah orang-orang yang diberi hidayat petunjuk oleh Allah dan mereka itulah orang-orang yang berakal sempurna.
(Surah Az-Zumar, Ayat18)

The sahaba read only one book – Al-Quran. They modelled their lives after the Quran. They attained the highest pinnacle of moral development and achieved remarkable levels of knowledge. They set the foundation to the Islamic Renaissance or Islamic Golden Age, with Al-Quran as their main source of inspirations. It is this heavenly book that made them outstanding individuals in the history until to date.

Al-Quran has a mystical power that people constantly discovering miracles in it. Scientists are conducting research on the Quranic information and structure. Based on the Al-Quran’s emphasis on thinking and learning, the past eminent Muslim scientists penned some of the best and most eloquent praises of science that ever written. They became the unrivaled intellectual for philosophy, medicine, education and championed many other branches of knowledge.

Au contraire, we people of today proudly stated in our profiles that we read tones of books ranging from J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fantasy series to the many other unknown famous authors. As student, we spent part of our life studiously read and peruse volumes of books glutted with complicated theories, formulas, concepts and fundamentals. We surf zillion hours on the internet for piles and piles of information. Worst, we nonchalantly derive our ideas from newspapers.

We are not cultivating our inspirations at the right place. The one book that has compelled, generated and triggered gazillion of initiatives and efforts. We bother not to read the book that is authored by our Creator. The book of Allah, the life manual, to understand its philosophy, teachings and instructions.

Katakanlah (wahai Muhammad): Tidak sama yang buruk dengan yang baik, walaupun banyaknya yang buruk itu menarik hatimu. Oleh itu bertakwalah kepada Allah wahai orang-orang yang berakal fikiran, supaya kamu berjaya.
(Surah Al-Maaidah, Ayat100)

Dan tidak (dinamakan) kehidupan dunia melainkan permainan yang sia-sia dan hiburan yang melalaikan dan demi sesungguhnya negeri akhirat itu lebih baik bagi orang-orang yang bertakwa. Oleh itu, tidakkah kamu mahu berfikir?
(Surah Al-An'am Ayat 32)


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Posted by Joi Manjoi at 12:54 AM

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