Sunday, February 12, 2012

Let's talk about love.

One of my personal pet peeve is the brouhaha over Valentine's Day. It comes up every year. It annoys the hell out of me. Like SERIOUSLY. It's haram. It's a Christian thing. It's immoral. bla.bla.bla.... I am not sure when they will get it. Or will they ever get it.

"They" as in my fellow Muslims.

To me, the real issue is relationship and youth. What's the root of the youth issues? Why do they get into a relationship? How should they manage the relationship before marriage. Should u? Shouldn't u? If u do, what can u do. How far can u go. What's the consequences. etc.etc.etc.

Different people have different thoughts. Different religion has different rules. But as far as I know, no religion endorses sexual promiscuity. No religion endorses immoral behavior. So let's be respectful and learn to respect the differences, shall we???

Don't get me wrong. I have 2 teenagers in the house. It is crucial for me to educate my kids about this matter. To nip it in the bud. And it is beyond important to me that the government and respective organizations do their part to address the youth issues. I am not belittling the concern on the rise of wedlock babies, teens having sex, teens loitering in shopping complex with no chaperone, dumped babies, Mat Rempit, illicit drug use etc etc etc. I am very concerned. To the point of worried sick. Which makes me more annoyed when the authority is missing the point. Dig in deeper and address the root of the problem.

The real issue is not the day. Valentine's Day is just a publicity stunt to rake in more profit. Don't u see it?? Just like how the industry commercialized other things like Mother's Day, Father's Day, Hari Raya, CNY etc etc etc. It has nothing to do with religion. It's pure commercialism. It's all about the money. So stop getting emotional and jumping up and down over the DAY and missing the point. The BIG picture.

Human have feelings and by nature would love to love and be loved. One of my favourite books on love and parenting is "The 5 love languages of teenagers". By Gary Chapman. He has written the whole series. But I only have this one. I have this habit of hitting the book store whenever I am stressed with the kids, or hit the dead end and need some answers. Yeah2 it's an excuse...hahaha...it's a combination of stress + retail therapy + bookaholics.

So u probably can guess which kid makes me buy this book...hahahaha.
Quoting some gems from the book;

"At the root of much teenage misbehaviour is a teen's empty love tank. I am not suggesting that parents do not love their teenagers. I am suggesting that thousands of teenagers do not feel that love. For most parents, it's not a matter of sincerity but rather lack of information on how to communicate love effectively on an emotional level."

"The reality is that if parents and other significant adults do not meet a teen's need for love, the teenager will go looking for love in all the wrong places....One of the reasons emotional love is so important for your teenager is because it affects every other aspect of the teenager's life. Their motivation for learning...their ability to emphatize with others.....research has shown that one reason teenage girls have babies is their deep desire to have someone who will love them."

Last night we went to Pusat Islam to attend a programme. On celebrating love. I have my reservation because we (especially the kids) rarely enjoy local religious speakers. But I thought, maybe give them another chance. On paper, the program looked OK. There were forums and performances. Celebrities and speakers. Let's give it a shot. But I did caution the kids not to fix their mindset. Due to their previous experiences with local speakers. Just be sincere to learn and seek knowledge.
So we went, and we left. We left 1 hour after the programme started. So disappointing. No offense but it was late and I didn't see the point to drag my kids into it when they were fidgeting restlessly. I can't comment on the whole programme coz the first forum wasn't even finished when we left.

My kids do enjoy going to lectures. They still rave about 2011 Twin of Faith until today. But our experience with the local speakers is so far disappointing. To say the least.

My kids’ comments pretty much summed up my thoughts about the event.
Luqman; “Ummi, the problem with these people is they diverted so much from the initial topic and they go on and on around the bush until I totally lost myself. Why can’t they get to the point? Like Dr Bilal Philips and Sheikh Hussein Yee? I don’t even see the point. Can’t even take notes. I was doodling most of the times.”
Hajar; “Ummi, next time we will only go if it’s the foreign speakers talking.”
Me; “Well, Sheikh Hussein Yee is local.”
Hajar; “Yeah, foreign and reverted Muslim speakers. They seem to know their stuffs”
OK kids. Noted. Points taken. No offense. But I think all local Muslim scholars should buck up. You have a responsibility. To the audience. Maximize it. Inspire them. And u can’t do that if u r just rambling randomly. On general issues. Research your topic. And research well. Draft your speech. Get to the point. Cut the crap. Upgrade your public speaking skills. Be relevant. If your talk is very good, u don’t need to continuously make effort to get the audience’s attention. Or resort to lame jokes. Don't take the responsibility for granted. Stop complaining the youth are not interested to attend religious events. They do come. To good events. Events that feed their intellectual needs.  SIGH.

They lost me during the officiating speech. When the director of JAKIM kept quoting we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day bcoz it’s a Christian thing. For the record, it’s NOT a Christian thing. Get your facts right. Read here.

Ironically, the write up was published last year in response to JAKIM. And they repeated the same blunder this year. And then we get pissed off when people don’t respect our religion. And we wonder why. Wonder no more. Seek to understand please.

Anyway, let's talk about love. In Hafalan Shalat Delisa, little Delisa hugged the mother and told her "I love u mom because of Allah" . I thought it was so beautiful. Yes. That's how love should be. The foundation of love is love to The Creator.The greatest love should be love to The Creator.
If u get that straight, then love will bring the best out of u. Love is not destructive. Today, the world lost Whitney Houston. I grow up listening to her song. To an outsider like us, it's perplexing how such a talented person like her can end up in a very destructive relationship.
I remember watching her interview with Oprah last year. When she finally has the courage to walk out. To leave the husband and the destructive relationship. She told the audience how despite being constantly under the influence of drug, she constantly prayed. Pray God will give her courage to walk out. And while she was isolated from her friends and the world, her closest friend like Oprah prayed for her to get out of the mess. I was crying buckets. She had a tough life. Rest in peace Whitney.

But to me, her life story is a good example of good love and bad love. Love to a friend is good love. You pray for them when they are in trouble, without them knowing. You rejoice at their happiness. And weep at their sorrow. All in the name of God.

Her love to her husband was bad love. Love to a man has limitation. If it doesnt, it's destructive. Staying in a relationship with a man who abuse u and destroy u is not love. It's madness. Love to our child has limitation. Love to our parents has limitation. If it leads us astray, we should remind ourselves the foundation of love is The Creator. So get back on track. The right path.

And love is universal. It goes beyond a man and a woman. A child and a parent. Love to mankind. Animal. Nature. Earth. Love conquers all.

And of course not forgetting love to our dearest prophet. Love to Rasulullah saw. In the name of Allah. Love to the prophet should never go overboard to the point of glorifying him. There are many hadiths on Rasulullah and sahabah cautioning the people Rasulullah was just a messenger. Do not glorify him and idolize him. Love him as in getting to know the man. Living our life like him. Educate the children the hsitory. The seerah. Make Rasulullah saw part of our life.

Love to our fellow Muslims. I always find the story of strong brotherhood between the Ansar and Muhajirin during the time of Rasulullah saw so inspiring. What is mine is yours. Wow!!

Love to mankind. Regardless of their belief and religion. Stop being shallow and judgmental. Being Muslim doesn't make u superior. It reminds me the story of Khalid ibn Walid's brother. How he reverted to Islam due to the beauty of the brotherhood. He was captured as a prisoner of war during the Battle of Badr. And there's no jail during the time of Rasulullah saw. Each of the Muslim would take one POW to live with them until the ransom was paid. So Khalid's brother had the highest ransom due to their family's wealth and influence. The brother had to stay with the Muslim family for a few months until Khalid finally came to pay the ransom. On the way back to Mecca, the brother decided to go back to Medina and revert to Islam. Because he was captivated by the way the Muslim family has treated him. That's the power of love.

Spread the love people ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Stumbled upon yr blog today .. many interesting postings that caught my attention .. especially raising kids / teens .. keep writing ya ! JOE RIZAL :)

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