In the afternoon, I walked down to the kitchen to check out on Mom. At this time, cooking would have probably been done, as how I used to know my Mom. Wearing a comfortable set of clothings (I did not want to sully it with cooking oils and foodstuffs) I hesitated for a while, contemplating if I should go fetch my brother instead (who for all warts and purposes refused to leave his room, even locking the door). However, since returning from university on a semester break, I decided that I should not be the “king” of the house and let Mom do the hard labour: after all, she’s on dialysis thrice a week, and general ailments common to folk her age would require some tender loving care from their children. So I went forward to the kitchen.
She was finished preparing the condiments for a vegetable soup, and was on her way to cutting up chicken for someayam goreng. I helped her out on the chores, doing some dishwashing and stirring the soup till it is done. I’ve also helped clear out the excess tupperware, plastic containers and cookware from the drying cabinet, to make way for the utensils that were used in the cooking later.
Throughout the chores, I was contemplating on why I bothered helping out Mom on her chores. My mind was filled with posts and tales from Facebook contacts, seeing how they seemed to enjoy fulfilling their lives with personal happiness without having to bother dealing with household chores, nagging parents, an unfulfilled life (trying to) do(ing) “normal household chores” and basically not pursuing their ambitions, relegating to filial duties.
My Mom wanted to pray for ‘Asr – as was customary for people who call themselves Muslims – so she left me with tending to the fried chickens, ensuring that they are medium well (or however I call it as “done”). At the same time, kitchen duties are concluding so it’s time to wash the dishes.
While doing the dishes (thank God that the chicken turned out as what I expected of it), my mind wandered off again to how I wish I can be like my Facebook friends, who didn’t have to bother about doing dishes. Without a care for the world they indulge in their cosplay planning and building up their costumes, gaming kakis discerning the next big thing in hardware advancements, techies who are concerned about a certain Korean brand’s new smart phone, and the “bourgeoisie riff raffs” who aren’t doing any normal things I’ve been doing for the past 3 weeks.
My finger then caught up with the sharp end of a tin can cover, which made a nice 0.5 centimetre laceration on my right middle finger.
I rushed for my mother after cleaning up the wound and applied pressure onto it with a tissue paper. She then helped to apply plaster over my wound.
This entire episode today reminded me of Allah’s messages in the Noble Qur’an:
“…لَا تَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ…”
“…Do not worship except Allah ; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy.…” (Quran, 2:83)
The entire concept of Islam is submission to Allah, to follow his instructions and to leave his warnings (‘amal ma’aruf, nahi mungkar). His Message was to do good, even if I don’t like the tasks at hand. Except when parents are calling towards perdition and ruin, always maintain good relations to one’s parents. It is noted that during Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.’s 10 years of spreading the ad-deen in Makkah, he called upon his followers not to sever their ties to their parents even if they were not following Islam; to always do good upon them up to a point of choosing your values in life.
Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said, “A family that is united and whose members support one another, Allah gives them sustenance, even if they be sinners; a family that is divided and severs ties with one another, Allah deprives them [from sustenance], even if they be pious.” [Al-Kulayni, al-Usûl mina ‘l-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 348.]
Since I always wanted to be what my friends are, I am humbled by how Allah made sure I remember who I am and what my origins are.
“…مَّا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَا أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ”
“What comes to you of good is from Allah , but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself.” (Quran, 4:79)
I am questioned with my sincerity in doing my household chores; do I do them because I have to, not because I loved my mother, and ultimately not because I do it for Allah?
I should accept that this is my life, my family, and that trying to sever my kinship with my family – at the current state which we are all Muslims – is not only ruinous but contemptuous in the eyes of Allah. Having known many of my Facebook friends who have already severed their ties to their family (those whose parents are still aiding them in terms of financial assistance, offering a house to live in, and food to enjoy together), I am humbled by this. I should now try and not to compare myself to others, accept that Allah Knows Best, and to accept His Command as was Islam’s 6th Article of Faith: “Believe in Fate (qadar).”
I am now aware of my shortcomings and fallibility. I am also reminded of who I should be, and how to lead my life as permissible by Allah who by His Grace allowed me to think in this manner, so that I shall remind myself, and to others if they are pleased with my commentary here.