Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Straight From The Heart.

UPDATE: As Cikgu mentioned, I have tagged 2 people. One of them I am not at liberty to mention now as she is rather preoccupied with her job, but the other...please do visit miqdad, he has a beautiful entry on 'Muhibah'.

At the same time, I would like to add a further 2 - just as Cikgu did; Pak Mior and Accia.


Have you seen those simple Petronas Public Message Service where they asked primary schoolchildren what they think of their friends (of different races)? I like those PMS, and the message they are trying to put across. Those children, just as we once were, are colour blind. In fact, we still are to some extent. It is only the fear we have of the unknown, or the fear that was instilled in us, have caused us to be wary and cautious of people of different skin colour. Perhaps, even that is not correct as we have dark Malay, pink Malay, fair Malay and brown Malay. The same goes for the Chinese and Indians though to much lesser degree. So what is Muhibah? Honestly, I don't know!

I have lived all my life mixing with people of different ethnic background, skin colour and beliefs, the only difference I really see is in their belief to God.

One of Turkish greatest known figures of the past is Suleyman The Great, or Suleyman The Magnificent, as some would call him. He lived in the pomposity of the royal courts but had a slave boy who became his best friend and confidant, and later his best general. Yet the boy was not a Muslim during their years of growing up. And still, they forged a bond that was stronger than a friendship - each with mutual respect for the other.

Take Kublai Khan and Marco Polo; the former almost revere the latter to such an extent Marco Polo was the only European to be allowed free passage to any parts of China. Yet, they were of different skin colour, tongue and even belief!

Where am I going? Honestly, I have no clue at all! But I do know Muhibah, for what ever the word means, is basically about understanding and respect for one another irrespective of race or belief. It is not, as the politicians would make us believe, something that exist between races. It is something, which I would like to believe, that exist between one human and another.

I don't know. I have tried writing and rewriting but still have no clue to what Muhibah is. Without wanting to sound pious, perhaps I can draw inspiration from surah Al Kafirun. Though this surah is with regards between a believer and a non-believer, it clearly outlines the difference that will always be within one human and another, and that respect should be accorded to each belief. I guess that's it as I am certainly no philosopher.

Islam, by the way, cuts through all racial barriers and skin tone. Perhaps a hadith is proper here, though you must forgive me for I have forgotten the source: A child is like a white cloth. It is you who will give colour to the cloth. As with a child, so it is with society.


bangkai said...


Maybe this is why we are such good friends. You are nothing like me, nor I you. But it works, right?

cakapaje said...

Salam MB,

Yeah, you got that right; we are twins, remember? You, Danny Devito, and I, Arnold! lol!

Kata Tak Nak said...

Lovely, honest and engaging and with substance. I am glad I tagged you. You could tag 2 others you know?

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

Tag 2 others...give a minute or 2 to think who. By the way, thank you :)

Mior Azhar said...

Somehow reading your entry reminded me that when I was in the primary school, we were required to sing a Negaraku and a funky song (funky ker?) called Muhibbah. I, for the life of me, could not even remember its melody, let alone its lyrics. But I remember I like it more than NegaraKu. Hmm nostalgic lar this one brother.

cakapaje said...

Salam Pak Mior,

Foremost, you have to thank Cikgu for the nostalgia. The other, well, I still remember the tune but not the lyrics except for the opening line "muhiiibah! muhiiibah!" :)

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

Pak Bilal,

nice write-up, as always. quite informative too. after reading yours, i feel like to rewrite my muhibbah posting. malu wooo...

suddenly this crossed my mind. a restaurant in Tmn Tun is called Muhibah for obvious reason. they serve halal chinese food so that the malays and indians as well as the chinese themselves can have a meal together, or at least in the same premise but different table.

cakapaje said...

Salam kerp,

Yo! Bro, apa pasal mau malu? Ini bukan exam, bukan test...ini cuma kita punya fikiran saja. Kasi tulit apa you pikir tatak salah o! Ini matcam balu kita boleh kasi tukar itu otak. Oops! Bukan otak...itu olang putih panggil idea ma :)

InsyAllah, tomorrow I'll write down the names of those tagged! :)

PrincessJournals said...

CA, i stil remember when i was in primary school, the chinese and indian boys wud be the ones hitting at me. *blush* and the trend continued when i was in early 20s-30s.

iv said this before that until we'v accepted others for whoever they are and respected them for it, there can never be a true muhibbah.i hate it when ppl use the word 'tolerate'. i mean, u 'tolerate' something tht u dont quite like/agree, right?

Mat Salo said...

Hmmm Bilal-man, great post. How is anyone gonna to top this? He-hee..

Hey have you been divulging state secrets to a certain Miss PJ in Orange Ca.? It was alleged that Mat Salo, great grandson of Bugis sailors, was found to be suffering from motion sickness along with his two boys, in a dimly lit cinema while watching the JJ Abrams (Lost) produced movie "Cloverfield". He claims it was the jerky camera-work and insists that the movie should come with a warning.. Muaahaaahaaaaa!!!

P.S. You sure you weren't trying to hit on the nurse Mr. B?

cakapaje said...

Salam Princess,

I like what you mentioned about 'tolerate', and find it is true.

Anyway, if I were the guy growing up around you, I too might might be 'hitting' at you, but in a more friendly manner. Oops! No offence meant :)

cakapaje said...

Salam MS,

Alamak! News of state secrets leaks spread fast! I plead innocent and want Cikgu to be my attorney! lol!

The nurse? lol! How could I when my heart's elsewhere :)

tokasid said...

Salam Shah:

I'll have a problem when I do my Muhibbah piece later. You summed up what I thought too. And the al_kafirun thing is what that came up my mind when che'gu tagged me.

Anyway I'll try from another angle.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Doc,

Alamak! Doc, minta maaf. I did not mean to...

tokasid said...


No its okay syeh...see, you and me same wavelenght,right?

cakapaje said...


Alhamdulillah, it does seem we are, thank you :)

acciaccatura said...

true lah shah and doc. Al Kafirun comes to mind bila cerita pasal muhibah ni. senang that way,it is already in the Quran.

cakapaje said...

Salam Accia,

Glad we think alike :)

Miqdad said...

Since cakapaje has tagged me to write on Muhibbah, I have done just that in my blog. Hope readers will go to my site and leave a comment. Thanks.

cakapaje said...

Salam miqdad,

Thanks :)

acciaccatura said...

salam shah,
done the tag shah. but i must say you and miqdad punya lebih baik lagi.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Accia,

Ma'am, mana ada kira siapa punya lebih baik...semuanya hanya luahan pemikiran kita dan kesemuanya adalah baik belaka. Yang terbaik? AlQuran :)

A Voice said...


First time coming to your blog sir.
On this this part from your posting

... Without wanting to sound pious, perhaps I can draw inspiration from surah Al Kafirun. Though this surah is with regards between a believer and a non-believer, it clearly outlines the difference that will always be within one human and another, and that respect should be accorded to each belief.

... Glad you saw it in the same manner as i saw it.

Interesting how a sura that can be read as a message to draw teh line betwen faith is also a source to understand muhibbah.

cakapaje said...

Hi A Voice,

Alhamdulillah, we seem to think alike. And thank you for visiting, insyAllah, I will be returning the visit too.