Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Own your mind, before you Mind your Own…

Mind your own business. Haaaa…. That’s a pretty neat idea! People even come up with sellable software program out of that saying. Other than, "do yo own kinda thin, ain't no bitchin no nigga's thin, never mindin nobody’s bisnes thin and chillin" stuffs, what else does it lead to? Malays even have their own version, “Jaga tepi kain orang” that is normally uttered with a don’t or in Malay, ‘Jangan’ to begin with. Wait… wait… wait… do you mean Malays actually concur with such connotation of not bothering to know other people’s stuffs?

Culturally, as claimed by history, Malays commonly live in extended family instead of a nucleus. In fact, considering ancestors of Malays in most Archipelago islands, it's a given fact that Malays are communally close-bonded society. Today Malays are inhibiting most of South East Asia, with some splinter groups scattered all over the world such as Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Australia etc. How would a society based on extended family values, usage and folkways continue living with such attitude? Could it even be possible for a community comprised of extended families swapping to nucleus individualistic society?

Knowing things. Only practical to be associated with learning and education. Well, of course we need to know things first before being able to think and understand it. That’s just nature’s way of living in the circle of life. Even Simba the lion king lives by that notion. What are things we ought to know? Imam Al-Ghazali would recommend, “whoever knows himself (nafs) knows his God (Rabb)”. In a nutshell that is partially parallel to minding one’s personal business. On the other hand, the remaining part of Al-Ghazali’s recommendation is to know God as ‘Rabb’.

In Islam, God as an entity of His Own is perceived as ‘Ilah’ and ‘Rabb’. Ilah is clearly defined in Shahadah, “La ilaha illallah, Muhammadur Rasulullah”. Ilah is referred to God, of whom we worship as God. The meaning of it suggests attestation to accept ALLAH as the One and Only God for the reason that He is GOD. Rabb in its slight difference refers to God who creates, takes care, loves, nurtures, provides and all His other attributes only suit for Him as GOD. So, in order to know God upon knowing ourselves is for intimacy and relevance of being human created by God for the reason to worship ALLAH and follow His will.

Doing things upon knowing. Education alone is not sufficient. Knowledge that has been learned need to be put to work. Then only invalid perceived knowledge derived from unsubstantial and insincere truth created by man, purposely and unintentionally, will be separated from the real truth. Needless to argue, Godly Truth will prevail till the end of time. Many have experimented using philosophies, theologies, sciences, arts as well as any possible manner of putting together brainy functions and yet in the end, they found GOD, literally and technically.

Different sets of experience create different worldviews. That’s how we differ between one another as none of us ever possess identical sets of experience in life, not even twins with exception to Siamese who share a brain. No offense or prejudice please… I’m just saying.

Ability to choose things to be or not to be, upon knowing through knowledge and experiences. Here’s the thing, as one attains wisdom, the whole world has meaning. Wisdom allows us to see relativity, relations and relevancy of our surrounding that comes in touch with our concerns. It’s commonly believed that we tend to get wiser as we grow older, although it can also turn out that some got grumpier, more stubborn and intolerable as they became old.

To certain extend of rationale; the negative old-minded people might be of those who thought they are still wise enough to believe and uphold their mono perceptions, as a result of inaccurate knowledge and lack of experience. It’s either that or most probably they are loosing it. Again, no offense please! I mean it in a good way and I am clearly well intended. No puns whatsoever.

Well, that is quite a handful of items for every living human to fill their minds with. All those stuffs downloaded into our minds since the day we started learning, do we own all or most of them other than just memories? Actually even memories tend to fade away over time. Unless it has the highest relevance in one’s life, then only such memory can remain although its mere details will still slip away silently.

Many of us used to like certain things in life and later dislike them as we grow older. Just think of our favorite characters when we were growing up. Are they still our favorites just like in the old days? Ultraman generations who think Yen is the world’s only currency as a result of excessive Ultraman exposures over TV, games and internet will move on to like gothic fashion or grunge music or whatever in the future…

Strength to stand tall on fundamental principles, dogmas and beliefs in order to walk the talk. I prefer it to be defined that way. One doesn’t really own something without knowing the rights to do so, with the ability to practice such rights that normally come with responsibility and accountability. Do we really own our minds, thoughts and perceptions? To what extend do we allow influential elements to reside in our minds?

The fact that our minds dictate our actions requires us to be responsible to it. Since mankind is created with communal behavior, it is prevalent that our actions are in conformity with other people around us. This is when it gets a bit tricky for those who blindly follow human convictions without guidance from the true source of knowledge, Creator of the universe; ALLAH the One and Only GOD.

Hence, in order to own our own minds we have to be prudent in the selection of knowledge and information. When Prophet Muhammad s.a.w was first appointed as the Messenger of ALLAH, he was enlightened by the first wisdom; that is to read.
The first Qur’anic verse claimed the word, ‘Iqra’ which connotes the meaning of instruction to read and obtain knowledge.
When it was almost at completion stage of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w quest to preach mankind, he reminded us about sticking to the two ultimate sources of Guidance; Al-Qur’an the words of ALLAH and Sunnah, his ways and teachings.

Only when our minds are liberated with the right information, knowledge and wisdom, then we can call it our own. For as long as other ideals supersede our minds’ direction, it is fair to say that we are not yet mentally liberated. Materialism, capitalism, hedonism, pluralism and all other isms, empirical or metaphysical, are supposedly second in human life direction. Only GOD fits the criterion to stand as our ultimate conviction, direction and confidence. That’s how we mind our own.

Given the choice, I would opt to just bother my own business but my Prophet told me that the best person is the one benefitting others. Anyway, to those who still want to find life directions, I can only wish all of you the best of luck in finding guidance. I hereby confirm that you’re on your own because personally I am contented filling up my mind with, “La ilaha illallah, Muhammadur Rasulullah”, there’s no god except ALLAH, Muhammad is His Messenger.

By: Towil

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