Chapter 47: The Place Where It All Started

“Dad, mom… this is my first salary. I want to give it to you, dad, mom,” Zulkifli places a folded envelope on the Table. It contains most of his first salary as a lecturer at UNITI College. At first, Ustaz Mad and Hajah Ramlah refuse to accept it, considering that their son is already married and may need the money. However, Zul insisted to give it to them as a sign of his appreciation and love as their son.

The responsibility of taking care of one’s parents is an obligation of a child. There are numerous verses of the Quran which state the obligation and manners one should be mindful of when a person is caring and with their parents. Allah SWT states:

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا

“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” [1]

Syeikh Mustafa al-Maraghi said, Allah SWT has truly emphasized the responsibility of taking care of one’s parents seriously, that if people listen to the threat and grave punishments of those who disobey their parents, they will be scared and terrified. The reason is the commandment for people to obey Allah SWT and worship Him is stated. Then, right afterwards is the commandment of obeying and caring for one’s parents. [2]

From Abu Hurairah radhiyallahu ‘anhu, Rasullullah PBUH said:

رَغِمَ أَنْفُ ثُمَّ رَغِمَ أَنْفُ ثُمَّ رَغِمَ أَنْفُ.‏ قِيلَ مَنْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ: ‏‏مَنْ أَدْرَكَ أَبَوَيْهِ عِنْدَ الْكِبَرِ أَحَدَهُمَا أَوْ كِلَيْهِمَا فَلَمْ يَدْخُلِ الْجَنَّةَ ‏‏

“Let him be humbled into dust; let him be humbled into dust. It was said: Allah’s Messenger, who is he? He said: He who sees either of his parents during their old age or he sees both of them, but he does not enter Paradise.” [3]


Assalamualaikum, Dek, let’s grab a drink!” It has been a norm for Zulkifli to invite his friend Ustaz Tuan Sidek who is also a lecturer at UNITI College to have breakfast with him. As they were enjoying their roti canai and the Tarik at the food stall, they would talk about various matters. The stall which was located approximately 15 minutes from UNITI College is the place where they would hang out and talk about office issues, politics, family and the current issues in the country.

Ustaz Tuan Sidek who is also SMAASZA Batu Burok alumni, only knew of “Zul Mat” from afar. Sometimes, he would listen to his seniors’ discussion or friends calling him by his nickname Zul Mat. However, they are then fated to meet each other and become friends at UNITI College.

Zulkifli who works and the Head of the Diploma in Islamic Studies Program is the person who interviewed Ustaz Tuan Sidek. The interview for the lecturer position for the Islamic Studies program is done entirely in Arabic. He was hired not because they were friends, for they have never met during their school days. Nor was it because they were from the same state for Zul is a very objective person. It was due to his qualifications, Ustaz Tuan SIdek was then hired for the lecturer position after passing his interview there.

What’s your take when Dr Lo’loi asked PAS to place a female candidate in the GE?” Ustaz Tuan Sidek asked Zulkifli while they were having their breakfast.

Zul finishes the rest of his teh Tarik in his glass before turning towards his friend. “There are two opinions of scholars in the matter of a woman competing in an election. Among those who disagree are Syeikh Hasanain Makhluf, Abu al-A’la al-Maududi, Syeikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Baz. Lajnah Fatwa al-Azhar has even issued a fatwa disagreeing with such matter since the 50s.

The scholars who agree are also renowned and famous, Dek. Syeikh Dr Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, our teacher Syeikh Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadhan al-Buti and many more. These two opinions are presented by Quran and hadith experts each with extensive experience of their own. If one wants to tarjih a certain ruling, he must first fully understand the concept of tahqiq al-manat. What is tahqiq al-manat? It is the process of studying, analyzing and identifying in order to tahqiq the ‘ilah that is in line with nas or ijma’ or istinbat for a certain situation or issue that is not mentioned in the nas. But one shouldn’t confuse al-manat, tahqiq al-manat, takhrij al-manat, for although all three of these processes are related with al-manat or another name for it is ‘illah, they are different. This is the art of the usul fiqh knowledge.” Zul explained in-depth.

Zul suddenly caught sight of the time on his wristwatch on his right hand and exclaimed. “Eh… Dek, let’s go. I’ll continue the discussion later. We need to get to the office.” Zulkifli said hurriedly as he proceeds to the counter and pay for both their meals. “Ustaz Zul, you always treat me. Let me pay for your meals sometimes too,” Ustaz Tuan Sidek said. Zulkifli just laughed and enter his Satria car.

“Dek, for your information, I bought this Satria when I first started working at UNITI College. I didn’t have a license to drive a car at the time. I just have a motorcycle license. For my Kriss motorcycle. But then I keep on thinking, I think I need to get a driver’s license. I’ll be teaching everywhere. I then took my license. My instructor at the time was Mr Muthu. In this life Dek, we need to have a plan for our future. 10 years, 20 years in the future. What we have, we have to benefit it the best we could. When I wanted to buy my car, I have already thought of ways to fully utilize it. I don’t want to just have a car but not really using it. I want it to be a means to serve our religion…” Zul advised Ustaz Tuan Sidek. As a younger individual of the two, Ustaz Tuan Sidek considers the advice given by Zulkifli just as advice of an elder brother to him.


Zul’s friendly and warm attitude quickly forms a strong bond between him and the villagers around him. With the teaching Tauliah (Permission and Certificate to Teach) issued by Dato’ Syeikh Murtadha who was the Negeri Sembilan’s Mufti, Zul delivered scheduled sermons at Pasir Panjang Mosque, Sungai Raya Mosque, Tanjong Agas Mosque, Teluk Pelanduk Mosque and Port Dickson Mosque.

Saidina Ali bin Abu Thalib RA once asked Imam Hasan al-Basri Rahimahullah, saying:

مَا مَلَاكُ الدِّينِ قَالَ: الوَرَع قَالَ: مَا فَسَادُ الدِّينِ قَالَ: الطَّمعُ قَالَ: اجْلِسْ فَمِثْلُكَ مَنْ يَتَكَلَّمُ عَلَى النَّاسِ

What are the pillars of religion? Hasan al-Basri answered: Warak. Saidina Ali asked: What damages religion? Hasan al-Basri answered: Greed. Saidina Ali then said: Sit down, people like you are eligible to speak to a crowd.” [4]

The lesson that could be learned from the above athar is clear from the word فَمِثْلُكَ where Saidina Ali radhiyallahu ‘anhu identify the criteria which qualifies a person to teach religious knowledge to the public. Maybe this is a form of ‘tauliah’ among the salafussoleh.

When Rasullullah PBUH was about to send Saidina Muaz bin Jabal radhiyallahu ‘anhu to Yemen, the Prophet PBUH asked several questions to Muaz according to the following narration:

كَيْفَ تَقْضِي ‏فَقَالَ أَقْضِي بِمَا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ ‏قَالَ فَبِسُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي سُنَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏‏ قَالَ أَجْتَهِدُ رَأْيِي قَالَ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي وَفَّقَ رَسُولَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم

“How will you judge?” He said: “I will judge according to what is in Allah’s Book.” He said: “If it is not in Allah’s Book?” He said: “Then with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).” He said: “If it is not in the Sunnah of Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)?” He said: “I will give in my view.” He said: “All praise is due to Allah, the One Who made the messenger of the Messenger of Allah suitable.” [5]

If the above hadith is analyzed, it is clear that Rasullullah PBUH is testing the competency of Saidina Muaz in delivering dakwah. Satisfied with manhaj of Saidina Muaz in issuing a ruling which is by prioritizing al-Quran then al-Sunnah and next, his ijtihad, then the Prophet PBUH declared his gratitude to Allah SWT.

This is among the basis of the tauliah (recognition) process in protecting the religion and delivering dakwah that is implemented in every state in Malaysia which is by first assessing and ascertaining the qualifications of a preacher in teaching religious matters. It is implemented solely to drive the community to the perfect teaching of the religion and protect others from deviant teachings.


[1] Surah al-Isra’:23

[2] Tafsir al-Maraghi, 8/3932

[3] Riwayat Muslim, no. 2551.

[4] Iqaz al-Himam fi Syarh al-Hikam, p. 158.

[5] Riwayat al-Tirmizi, no. 1327

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