Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Assalaamualaikum to everybody who come by this Blog of mine. Here, in this space I let my reasoning, my searching, my questions, my findings roam around. So for anybody who is looking for authoritative works on Islam, this is NOT THE PLACE to refer to. I dont profess to be a learned person, let alone an authorithy of any kind. I am just a person in searching, and I question even the commonly held true practice of Islamic learning. However, let it be made clear here that I am a Muslim who held fast to the fundamental of Islam, ie; There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger and I have respect for the authoritative works of early Muslim scholars. Those who feel that I have something to contribute or question to share are very welcome to browse these pages and leave comments. I also welcome counter arguments backed by logical reasonings and facts. However those who wish to use vulgar language and cheap pranks in alternative to intellectual reasoning, please be known that you are not welcome here.

Here I would like to put forward the question as to why out of 99 attributes of Allah s.w.t, only 3 He chooses for us to repeat daily at regular intervals. Those attributes are as shown below;

  • Allahu Akbar ( Allah is Great)
  • Bismillaah ir Rahman ir Rahim (In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful)
These are repeated in daily solat; 20x of Basmalah (4 times each solat), and Allaahu Akbar = 11 in Subuh, 21 in Zuhur, asar and isyak, 16 in maghrib = 90X in daily solat.

Apart from that, Basmalah is said at every start of good activity and Allaahu Akbar at every occurence of significance. When we see something that awe us we say Allaahu Akbar. When we are enchanted with something we say Allaahu Akbar. We say Allaahu Akbar when we see the great forces of nature at work, seeing beautiful creations such as rare butterflies or beautiful horses. As we say these we give attention to The Most High.

Why are these attributes so important for us to keep reminding ourselves? Those who have lost the significance of these are to be symphatised with, their mouth wet with zikr but the essence of it does not seep in beyond the speech and citation. We are supposed to say these with full consciousness and not just chantings like a mantra.

When we get up in the morning the first thing we do is Subuh Solat. We start each day by saying ALLAAHU AKBAR... Before anything, any mundane works, any task, any job, we proclaim Allah is Great. Before we face the world, people, works, bosses, Tuankus, our family, we declare that Allah is Great. We set our mind at the start of the day that Allah is Great; nothing worthy of awe, fear, intimidation, utmost loyalty but Him. Allah is the Greatest, nothing else matter but Him and our devotion to Him. These we say every day but how much impact does have on our lives?

Immediately after that we proclaim the 2 other attributes of Him; Beneficent, Merciful. We remind ourselves 20 times daily that whatever we do, whatever the outcome of our labour, whatever went wrong or right in our daily chores, Allah is Beneficent and He is Merciful. We say this CONCIOUSLY and not just a chanting to be counted in numbers. We remind ourselve that Allah gives and Allah have mercy on His creations. But how much does it motivate us to do good, how much effect does it has on us upon facing calamities and trial of life?

Saying these daily consciously should have tremendous effect on how we live our life, on our balance in life?

How does the ritual reflect on our countenance? Are our faces perpetual clowns in ugly grimace or in perpetual sadness if these are said in full consciousness 20 times daily at intervals? What about those that perform all the daily solat plus other sunat solats but these words have no effect on his countenance nor his soul and he goes about daily as grumpy individuals seeing threats at ever corner, suspicous of all people not in his group, his family always suffering from the lashes he gives out with that organ Allah give for speech. Are they really reciting the Basmalah or not?

It is really hard to convince myself that these people really feel what they recited daily and put beneficent and merciful attitude in their daily life...

Similiarly those who say every now and then that Allah is Great but kow tow to every evil deed their bosses asked of them, political bosses or bosses at work. Similiarly chickening out of every job needing courage and persistence but daily chanting Allah is Great is making a mockery of Allah. Also those given the amanah to uphold Justice, failing to act in justice when the catch is big enough to jeopardise his 'periok nasi' but acting like a big tiger upon small pawns is also mocking the Allaahu Akbar.

It is time to realise and come back to the basic of the Teachings. The Teachings are actually simple but we make it complicated. The rituals are simple and heart touching but we make it a ritual of habit with some esoteric aim rather than the simple practice that it is, customised to help us in daily life. No wonder we gain little from the the ibadah required of us...


  1. Salam Sheikh. To be "present" in ibadahs is really a challenge for mere mortals. And starting with fully conscious basmallahs, can help us focus on the activity at hand, while at the same time relying on Allah's mercy and beneficience. The same can be applied when we face trials and tribulations. We ask of Allah guidance, we continuously perform good actions and deeds in the hope to resolve the problems, and we then leave it to Allah's mercy and beneficience, not forgetting being syukur for whatever comes, knowing that Allah tests us only with that we can withstand.
    Being a mere mortal, I have to be constantly reminded. Thank you very much for the reminder.

  2. By the way, there's a hadith which says

    “No act of worship is as meritorious as reflection (tafakkur). So reflect on Allah’s bounties and the works of His Power, but do not try to reflect on His Essence and Being, for you will never be able to comprehend it.”

    I have not found a commentary that I fully understand about this. Perhaps Sheikh you can shed some light on this in our Malaysian lingo-lah. Murid dah tanya guru ni... :-)

  3. Zendra,
    I am fully in aggreement with you. That act of consciuosness in performing the ibadah must be constantly be cultivated. However my post is about WHY only 3 attributes have SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE IN DAILY LIFE that Allah made us say at regular intervals. Of course the benefit only comes with saying in full consciousness and not chantinglike.

    Setahu saya Zendra maksud Hadith itu adalah ".. Hendaklah kamu merenung terhadap kekuasaan Allah dan ciptaanNya dan janganlah cuba untuk memikirkan tentang ZAT Nya kerana kamu tidak akan dapat menjangkaunya"

    Akal manusia adalah ciptaan Allah, space (ruang) dan masa adalah ciptaanNya. Kita manusia hanya dapat memehami HASIL Ciptaan Allah kerana ciptaan Allah adalah di dalam ruang dan masa yang boleh ditinjau oleh akal kita.

    Bagaimana kita dapat menggambarkan ZAT Allah yang tidak terbatas oleh ruang dan masa, yang tidak ada dahulunya dan tidak ada kemudiannya dan BERSALAHAN DENGAN SEGALA SESUATU? Akal kita hanya dapat memahami hasil perbandingan; kecil kerana ada besar, hitam kerana ada putih, panjang kerana ada pendek, wangi kerana ada busuk dan seterusnya. Bagaiamana kita nak meninjau hakikat Zat yang Bersalahan dengan segala sesuatu; tiada permulaan dan tiada akhirnya??

    Itulah sebabnya kita diberitahu bahawa akal manusia tidak akan dapat menangkap hakikat Zat Allah s.w.t Yang Maha Agung, Maha Sempurna dan tidak dapat diukur kebesaranNya.

    Ada ulamak menyatakan bahawa tidak menjadi dosa untuk kita merenung ZatNya jika kita faham akan batasan tersebut dan akur bahawa kita tidak akan dapat menggambarkan ZatNya, cuma untuk mengagongkanNya...

    Zendra, saya kurang senang dengan martabat guru ni kerana hakikatnya ialah saya Murid Dalam Pencarian Ajaran Sebenar Agama dan saya berkongsi pendapat dan pengalaman dalam blog ini.

  4. Thanks for the reply, Sheikh. Ya, kita sebagai makhluk ciptaan tidak mungkin dapat mengetahui segala rahasia Zat pencipta kita. Hanya setakat cuba mengenalinya melalui Asma'ul Husna sahaja yang termampu akal kita agaknya, serta merenung akan ciptaan2nya, baik yang nyata mahupun yang ghaib. Namun saya masih mengkaji pandangan-pandangan so-called sufis tentang hadith ini vis-a-vis ayat 59 Surah al-Furqan. Saya akan cuba blog mengenainya kalau mampu, tapi saya tak pandai langsung bab penulisan argumentatif ni.

    Berkenaan "Why the 3 Attributes?", wouldn't that be answerable only when we have understood and is in full knowledge of the Essence of Allah? Which is something we will never attain, according to the hadith?

    Allahu a'lam.

    I too am searching, Sheikh, though I am embarassed to say at 55 I am only starting.

  5. No Zendra, you got confused between attributes which is Sifat and Essence which is Zat (the `material' body). We can learn the sifat. We are enjoined to learn the Asma'ul Husna. We are enjoined to understand all His attributes in order for us to know Him. But such knowledge only make us know Him and not His Zat. That is reserved for the Hereafter where the ultimate reward for the citizen of al Jannah is to see Allah in all His Glory.

    I give you a simple anology. Let us say we constantly receive gifts and donations from a certain individual who wish to remain anonymous. We only know from the acts of donation that the individual is a 'dermawan'. But does that give us any idea on the physical appearance of the man; is he a he or a she, is he Malay or chinese, is he tall, is he fair or dark...

    No Zendra, embarassment is only for failing to keep searching and keep on learning. Give syukur that you have the zeal to keep learning. Better late than never.

  6. Thanks, Sheikh, for the clarification and for the encouragement.

    Just to share, there's a hadith qudsi which explains why we should be in full awareness and hope when we utter the 3 attributes which you mentioned, which is:

    "On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
    When Allah decreed the Creation He pledged Himself by writing in His book which is laid down with Him: MY MERCY PREVAILS OVER MY WRATH.
    It was related by Muslim (also by al-Bukhari, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah"

    So we should never despair of Allah's mercy no matter how far off the rails we had gone before in our lives.

  7. Zendra, I think you have grasp the essence of the Teaching. This is why we must never feel fully satisfied and must keep questioning and searching on even mundane things that we think we already know of. So instead of saying the Basmalah by rote, try to involve the heart on the essence of the Basmalah..