“Alhamdulillah…” Zul said as he smiled looking at the sunrise from Taman Paroi Jaya, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. It never crossed his mind that he will start his family life in the state that practised the Perpatih Custom, however, such is fated by the One and Only.
“What are you doing outside? Come in. Breakfast is ready,” His wife called him from in the kitchen.
As he enjoys his breakfast, Zul informed his wife of his intention to hold a simple feast as a sign of gratitude for his return to Terengganu after his studies in Syria. “I was thinking of inviting some people for a simple feast as a sign of gratitude in two weeks. Previously, people from my village have helped me a lot when I was going to Medina to pursue my studies. After that when I was going to Syria. It’s also to show my appreciation for all the people that have helped me. What do you think? Do you agree?” Zul asked his wife.
“Of course, I agree, why wouldn’t I be? I’ll follow you. InsyaAllah, I’ll apply for leave.” His wife answered smiling. His wife, Dr Shereen has started her housemanship at Tuanku Jaafar Hospital, Seremban after she graduated from RCSI Dublin. Having a doctor as a wife will surely call for a great understanding and tolerance. A doctor is owned by the ummah and society who need her. Concurrently, other than a doctor, he or she can also be a husband, wife, father or mother with children at home.
Al-Qura’an has taught a husband to treat his wife kindly, Allah SWT states:
“And live with them in kindness.” 
The majority of scholars hold the opinion that it is obligatory for a husband to serve his wife if his wife is unable or lost the ability to manage herself. The reason is it is a part of nafkah (provision or responsibility) of a wife on her husband if she is sick or in an accident that resulted in her losing her ability to take care of herself for her husband to serve his wife.
Malikiyyah scholars ruled it an obligation for a husband to help his wife if the husband is wealthy and his wife is at a position that it is inappropriate for her to do the job for if she does it, it will reduce his wife’s status. 
Whilst in madhhab Hanafi, the opinion is that if the wife refuses to grind flour or knead bread for it is inappropriate for her or if she is sick, then the husband should provide a cooked meal. Consequently, if his wife is capable to do the job, then it is not obligatory for her husband. The argument is based on the actions of Rasullullah PBUH, where he divided the tasks of the house between Ali and Fatimah where Ali is responsible for the outside tasks and Fatimah is asked to complete the tasks inside the house.
The role of a husband is to help his wife with all the household tasks. The wife would usually assume the role for it is the custom and a result of her compassion and gentle natural attribute of a woman. When Saidina Umar bin al-Khattab was advising Aqil regarding the position of a wife to help her for her tasks are too much which includes teaching and taking care of their children, cooking, and others. This is also what was done by Asma’ binti Abu Bakr when she helped her husband, al-Zubair Ibn al-Awwam. This is not unusual in the tradition of all races including as stated in history where Fatimah al-Zahra’ helped her husband, Ali bin Abi Talib by grinding wheat and others. This is also what has been happening in the lives of our ancestors who sacrificed a lot for their husbands and families.
A capable husband should lighten the burden and load that his wife bears such as by hiring a maid or buying the appliances in helping the affairs of his wife such as a washing machine, cooking utensils such as a rice cooker and others that will help and lighten his wife’s tasks.
Since his return from Syria, at the beginning he is jobless. However, Zulkifli worked hard to find a job and always supplicate to get an opportunity for a job where he can do the things that he loves; which is to teach, educate and write.
Ubaidullah bin Muhammad bin Yazid once said: “I heard my father told me of when they visited Abu Hazim and said: “O Abu Hazim, did you notice that there is a significant price hike for all the goods?” He then asked back: “What is worrying you? Indeed, the One who provided us when the good are cheap, He is still the One providing for us when everything is expensive.” 
Provision and opportunities are everywhere, one just has to work for it. Many misunderstood the concept of tawakkal and thought that it is just by handing his affairs to Allah SWT and him doing nothing. Ibnu Rajab stated that the truth of tawakkal is to depend and hope in one’s heart to Allah SWT in attaining maslahah and rejecting harm in matters of this world and the hereafter, handing all his affairs to Allah SWT as well as strengthening one’s faith, believing that none can provide, prevent or harm and benefit except for Him. 
In a hadith narrated from Umar bin al-Khattab RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
لَوْ أَنَّكُمْ تَتَوَكَّلُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ حَقَّ تَوَكُّلِهِ لَرَزَقَكُمْ كَمَا يَرْزُقُ الطَّيْرَ تَغْدُو خِمَاصاً وَتَرُوحُ بِطَانا
“If you were to put your trust in Allah as you should, you would be given provision like the birds: they go out hungry in the morning and come back with full bellies in the evening.” 
In explaining the meaning of this hadith, Imam al-Munawi said: This shows that tawakkal does not mean neglecting effort. Tawakkal should be accompanied by various efforts to lead to the desired result. The reason is birds can also earn their provision by putting in an effort. Thus, this is guidance for us in seeking our provision.
In this hadith, Rasullullah PBUH states that true tawakkal does not mean being negligent and refuse to strive to earn a living, rather true tawakkal is by striving putting in your best efforts through permissible methods in order to earn one’s provisions. 
Allah SWT states:
وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ
“And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him.” 
At a food stall, Zulkifli grabbed a newspaper and starts flipping through the pages. He was drawn to a lecturer vacancy advertisement at Islamic Technology University College (UNITI). It is a private college that was founded in March 1997, 4 months after his return from Syria in September 1997. UNITI College start its operation in a campus located in UNITI Complex, Pasir Panjang, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan. “I have nothing to lose. I’m going to give it a try. Maybe it’s what is written for me…” Zul whispered to himself. He jotted down the important information that he needs for him to apply as a lecturer there.
The morning of the interview, Zulkifli dressed smartly in a shirt and songkok. The interview was held at Uniti Consultants Sdn. Bhd. in Senawang. Among the interviewers present that way was Dr Jailani who was the CEO of UNITI College, Dr Kamal and several other lecturers.
“Ustaz Zulkifli, may I know, if College UNITI hires you as our lecturer, what can you promise us?” Dr Jailani asked. His gaze was fixed on Zulkifli, waiting for his answer. Whereas, Dr Kamal was studying the copies of certificated and supporting documents handed by Zulkifli to him.
- Copy of Identification Card
- Copy of Birth Certificate
- Copy of SPM Result Certificate
- SMASZA Ladang and SMAASZA Batu Burok Co-Curriculum Certificate
- Bachelor’s in Shariah Transcript, Islamic University Medina and Master’s Degree in Shariah, al-Majma’ al-Ilmi al-‘Ali Jami’ Sadat, Damascus
- Sanad certificate during his studies in Syria
All of these documents are filed neatly in order.
“Ahem… I learned that during the recent registration, 170 students have registered to enrol in the Pre-Science Programs in UiTM. All the courses offered in UNITI is science and IT-based. Islamic Studies graduates have a bright opportunity in various industries. If Dr gives your full trust to me, I’ll establish an Islamic Studies Diploma at UNITI College, insya-Allah.”
All the interviewers nodded their heads in agreement and is satisfied by his answer.
Not long afterwards, the result of the interview is sent to him by letter. Zul showed his wife the letter with a smile on his face. “Alhamdulillah, congratulations!” Dr Shereen congratulated him happily.
Hence, the career journey of a young man from Terengganu as a lecturer in UNITI College, Pasir Panjang, Port Dickson began. Zulkifli will travel from Paroi to Pasir Panjang, Port Dickson daily on his Kriss motorcycle that he has just bought. Sometimes, he will not come back home, stay on campus for 1-2 days and sleep there. The distance isn’t near, his sacrifice is great, but that is his passion.