Sunday, July 8, 2007

What can we do to Help?

I went to the huge Shah Alam pasar tani to accompany my other half for a quick browse-through shopping. It has been quite sometimes since I last visited this market as I always prefer easy access and hussle-free shopping particularly when we are shopping for groceries. In fact, thats what we did early Sunday when my other half did her weekly groceries at one of the Fresh Market Store in TTDI and at the same time I washed the Altis near a Car Wash station there. As soon as my other half finished her shopping, my car was cleaned and thus, we killed two birds with only one stone, so to speak :-)

The visit to the Pasar Tani was primarily the interest of my other half as she wanted to buy some cakes that according to her delicious. Well, that was actually the initial reason but nonetheless she ended up buying a pair of blue-colored batik dress :)..see, thats one reason why I don't fancy going to places like this as what we ended up buying maybe something that was not in the shopping list at first. I understand the predicament that shes's having as she is now at least 1 size down as a result of controled eating habit and good food supplement. I told her that shes is now having a nice problem of having to reconsider reviewing her wardrobe collection to fit her new lesser look. Thats one problem I wish to have as I am not very discipline when it comes to eating and I think shes also helping me to control my diet by reminding almost on daily basis whether I have taken my herbal tea or not.

Speaking about Shah Alam pasar tani, as I recall this market was actually started up with Sunday Car Boot Sale maybe about ten years ago. During that time, the market was not so huge and the merchandised items were primarily used goods sold by inviduals. Today, it is a fulfledge market selling anything you could ever imagines like cars, furniture, clothes, electronic product, books and food, including fresh and cooked. When the market was not so crowded as it is now, this was one place which I patronized almost every weekened to get our groceries. Today, it is a struggle just to find a place to park the car as the number of people that turned up is probably in the thousands, and not only limited to the Shah Alam citizens. Sometimes, you may also find foreigners in this market as I think this place has also become a tourist attraction similar to the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok albeit smaller in size.

However, despite the tremendous growth and progress this market has acheived, the perennial problem of people begging along the crowded pedestrian walkways is still omnipresent. Sometimes these people are not really 'begging' as they play musical instruments like the keyboards to entertain the crowd whilst hoping that they will part with thier loose spare change, I think. This is normally the trend of the less unfortunate people of the blinds. Sometimes, there are also seemingly healthy and normal individuals who choose to sit down in the middle of the pathway and reciting verses of the Al-Quran hoping for symphaty and of course, some loose change of the crowd. Most of the time, they are very properly dressed and for the women strictly dressed according to syariah with tudung, and for the men, with kopiah or serban. I am not very sure of thier origins but I have seriuos doubt that they are locals. But whoever they are, they dressed like moslems but the sad fact is, they beg for symphaty.

There is one hadis from Rasullulah S.A.W. which says 'Sesungguhnya Allah Taala Mengasihi orang miskin yang tidak suka meminta-minta, sedangkan ia mempunyai ramai anak'. Clearly, in Islam, we are very much discouraged from begging. I did some reading on Bimbingan Mukminin by Imam Ghazali and found the following phrases (in Malay) which some simplifications by me.

"seseorang itu harus mempunyai adab dan kesopanan lahir dan batin, sama ada dalam pergaulan mahupun dalam perbuatan, dan hakikat ini harus diperhati dan dijaga".

"Dari segi adab batin, Membenci kemiskinan itu tidaklah dilarang, tetapi sesorang itu hendaklah menjaukan diri dari perasaan benci terhadap apa yang telah ditakdirkan Allah ke atasnya".

"Dari segi adab lahiriah, seseorang itu hendaklah menunjukkan sikap sederhana, tidak meminta-minta kepada orang lain, malah hendaklah ia sentiasa bersabar dan bermanis muka, tidak selalu keluh-kesah, tidak suka mengadu dan menunjukkan kemiskinan, bahkan hendaklah ia merahsiakan tentang kemiskinanya". Firman Allah dalam Al-Baqarah Ayat 273 bermaksud " Mereka itu disangka oleh orang, orang yang tiada mengetahui sebagai orang-orang kaya, kerana mereka tidak suka meminta-minta orang lain"

In short what I leanrned is that, there are roles to be played by both the fortunate and the less fortunate. For the fortunate ones, helping the lesser is always a noble cause no matter how we viewed it. However, as a moslems, we should strive our very best to avoid from asking help from other people as long as we have the capability to do it ourselves. Giving is always better than receieving and this is one quality that each moslem must strive for...

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