Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Nasty Lion

A nasty lion once ruled over a pride. He treated his lionesses like lower class and gave them no love or respect. When he wanted something, he would order them in a haughty tone, and they would never deny him because he was their leader. When there was a hunt, he would lie down under the shade as the lionesses strained in the burning sun to bring back food for the pride. He would never lift a paw to help them, but only roughly order them to get the food. And when the hunt came back, he would proudly walk to the carcass and eat his fill of the best portions and leave what remains for the tired huntresses.

The lionessess did not mind the work that they did because it was their responsibility. Nor did they mind him ordering them around, because it was his job.

What they did mind is the way he treats them. The way he talks to them, the way he orders them about, the way he shows them his appreciation – or not show them.

One day as the nasty lion was napping as usual, the lionessess saw a pair of male lions walk into their territory. When grown male lions walk into another male lions territory, it is never for a friendly visit.

“We must warn the boss” one of the lionessess said, because a fight was definitly coming.

“No” said the oldest and wisest of the lionessess. “This is not our responsibility. We are not obliged to help the boss in a fight for the pride. This is his job, let him do his job”

The lionessess were many and strong. They could have defeated the two young male lions with ease, or at the very least give the nasty lion a warning about their coming.

But they did neither because it was not their responsibility. They were not obliged to do more than what is their responsibility and they had no reason to exert themselves more than they have to for a leader as nasty as the nasty lion.

The nasty lion was caught by surprise. The two younger lions ganged up on him.

“Get rid of these miscreants!” he ordered his lionessess in his usual tone. He fully expected them to obediently comply as usual, so it made him angry when they did not come bounding to his orders. But when he saw them lying in the shade as if watching an amusing show, dismay settled in.

The nasty lion was defeated and chased out of the pride that was once his. He lost a battle that he may have won if the lionessess had alerted him, and that he would have definitly won if they had helped him – if only he had treated them with more respect.


1. There is a world of difference between a leader who is feared and a leader who is respected. 
2. It never does to be a leader who leads by fear. 
3. If you lead by fear, you may be able to make your subordinates do their job, but you can never make them do more than what they have to do. 
4. Everyone will need help some times. Do not be arrogant into thinking that you can survive on your own. 
5. So treat others so that they will be willing to do more than their share and lend you a helping hand when you need it.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The story of the disbelieving scholar

There was once a scholar who was well learned in the sciences. His knowledge was wide and deep, and he was known among the people as a man of wisdom. However, this scholar for all his knowledge and supposed wisdom did not believe in the existence and the omnipotence of Allah Most Great.

“The existence and the creation of the world does not need a god to explain it”, he proclaimed. He thought that he had found how the world was created, and he believed that his theory did not need God. He could not see that before his theory, there were many other theories. Each one, the people of the time thought explained everything, and each one was, with time, shown to be wrong. This is the nature of human kind. Whatever we make might seem to be the best, but time will always show things that are even better. Only Allah Knows the true best.

The disbelieving scholar proudly spread his misbelief. He gave many lectures and wrote many books that belittled the people who believe in Allah. Because he was known to be knowledgeable and respected for his knowledge, many weak hearted people followed him. They too did not believe in Allah, and they too looked down on the people that believed in Allah.  They thought them foolish because they (the believers) were not on the same side as a knowledgeable man. As if the scholar knew better than the Creator Himself. As if the scholar had the knowledge and ability to create even a single fly.

One day, the disbelieving scholar decided to go visit his friend in a distant land. So, packing up his clothes and a bag full of books, because scholars never go anywhere without a good supply of books to read, he took the first ship that left the jetty.

The  journey to his friends country would take many days and they would have to go through many dangerous waters, but the disbelieving scholar had his books to read and the Nautilus was a big ship that could brave even the most treacherous waters. The disbelieving scholar was not bored through the journey, or afraid of storms or sea monsters.

One sunny day while the disbelieving scholar was telling some fellow passengers about his ideas that god did not exist, a little girl came up to him and asked: “Why don’t you believe in Allah mister?”. It was an honest question from a pure heart that could not understand how one may not see the obvious, that Allah Most Great Exists, and that He is The All Powerful.

The disbelieving scholar knelt down to look the little questioner in the eyes. “I do not believe in what I cannot see”, he said. “If god exists, then where is he?”.

That night there was a mighty storm. Although the Nautilus was a big and strong ship, it rocked violently in the storm. How powerless humans are before the Might of Allah, yet most men do not see.

At first the disbelieving scholar did not worry about the storm. He did not believe that anything could happen to the Nautilus. He was very wrong.

A gigantic wave as tall as a skyscraper hit the side of the Nautilus, causing the behemoth of a ship to almost turn over. The disbelieving scholar who was reading in the ships dainty library was thrown out the window, over the side of the ship and into the raging water.

The disbelieving scholar was a very good swimmer, and he used to think that he would never be scared in the water. However, the stormy sea pulled and pushed and twisted him everywhere. The water was dark and freezing cold, and no matter how he struggled, he was powerless against the stormy sea.

Darkness closed in around him, the cold gripped him, and the air left his lungs. He struggled to find the surface, but the current battered him back into the endless depths. In his desperation for a gasp of air, he breathed in the icy water which only caused him to suffocate even more.

He was going to die, and he knew it. There was nothing he could do, nothing anyone could do. No one knows that he was drowning in the storm, no one was going to come save him.

In that moment of desperation and hopelessness, when no one and nothing can help him, that was when he saw his last hope. In fact it was not his last hope – it was his only hope. It was always his and everyone’s only hope.

And the disbelieving scholar humbled himself before Allah.

Oh Allah, please, please…help me…

Suddenly his head broke free above the waves. The once-disbelieving, but who was now the humble scholar, took in a deep gasp of air. It was the second sweetest thing he had ever tasted. He never knew that breathing was such a beautiful thing despite all his knowledge. He never even thought about it.

By the Grace of Allah, the storm subsided, and the Nautilus found the humble scholar. He was saved. From the brink of death he was Given another chance at life. Another chance to serve His Lord, Creator and Most Merciful Sustainer.

From that day on, the disbelieving scholar became the humble scholar. He devoted his whole life, his wealth and fame to spreading the beauty of Islam (da’wah) and to educating the believers (tarbiyyah). And of course, the sweetest thing that he has ever tasted, is the taste of Iman (faith).

May Allah bless the life and efforts of the humble scholar. May Allah Give us strength to give our lives, and our wealth to the Greatest Cause, the spreading of peace (spreading and empowering of Islam). And May Allah Guide those who have yet to see, to discover the beauty of faith. Amin.

Note: I have re-named the disbelieving scholar to the humble scholar after his discovery of Iman rather than to the ‘believing scholar’ because the strongest feeling one feels when one has found (or rediscovered) Iman is humbleness. To be totally and utterly humbled before the Majesty of Allah Most Great. Indeed Iman is the greatest gift one may receive, and to be given it…the feeling of endless gratitude that we feel towards our Lord Who has Deigned to Grant it to us; that feeling causes us to be totally humbled before Allah.  

How intriguing...

It is intriguing how we spend so much time, effort, and resources for this world, and so little for the next when we are leaving this world and heading for the next. 

This is akin to a man who worry about adding another wide-screen TV or two to his lounge when a Terrorist Israeli bulldozer is just outside his door, ready (and just dying) to rip his house apart and bury him and his family alive in the name of 'Zionists right to a land of their own even at the cost of non-human Gentiles' lives'

Do not mistake the value of this transient world and the value of the eternal hereafter. 

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Best Ambition

Save for one, nothing is 100% guaranteed, 
You may wish to be a doctor for example, so you get into med school to achieve that ambition. People say that once you've stepped into med school, you're 'almost' guaranteed to become a doctor (though becoming a specialist is a whole different thing). But how many people suddenly decide that they'd rather do something else half way through, or maybe decide to open up a business after getting their degree...

How many people have walked down a certain path to an end they desire, only to turn another way half way through - or were violently thrown off the path by factors beyond control.

No ambition is unachievable as long as you have the will and the gut, but no ambition is 100% assured, however sure you might think it is. Indeed this is one of the lessons life teaches us, clear and pristine.

The one thing that is sure - 100% without doubt, is that all that live must one day die. 

So while the not-so-certain ambitions are OK to have, I'd say that aiming for the sure-to-get is the coolest way to go. I least there won't be the awkward embarrassment and depressing frustration when we don't achieve our worked-all-our-life for and sacrificed-everything for ambition.

Since death is assured, then why not go all the way and get syahid - the most noble of deaths. Indeed, this is the best of ambitions I'd say, no?

©Text Copyright property of Abdul Hafizh bin Mohd Zubir, 2011; Illustration Copyright property of Muhammad Aiman bin Mohd Zubir, 2011

In the Name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful we launch the aimanarts group and blog.
May it be a boon to Islam, a strength for the ummah, a mercy for mankind.

We are but one of many groups dedicated to the service of Allah Most Great: to spread the mercy of Islam (da'wah) and to shape the community of believers (tarbiyyah).
For our part, we achieve this through creative arts and writing - and the combination of both!


To serve Allah in every way available to us.

1. To share the beauty and mercy of Islam with the whole world (Da'wah)
2. To shape and strengthen the Muslim Ummah (Tarbiyyah)
3. To offer an alternative source of educational material for the Ummah and the world
4. To offer educational material that are both in line with the Quran and sunnah, and interesting to the current generation.
5. To show Islam for how it truly - how Rasulullah SAW and the companions saw it, insyaAllah.

Of course, we too are but humans and thus not free from mistakes. We will insyaAllah do our best to not paint a wrong picture of Islam, but should we err, we will be most thankful for advise and guidance from our brothers and sisters who read this blog.

May Allah accept this as an ibadah, and be Pleased with us...Amin
Do pray for our parents, for our siblings, for our forefathers, for our family and for our small selves.