Chapter 51: That Is Dakwah. Tiring but Fulfilling

It was a calm and peaceful morning just like any other morning in Lekir Room. The wind from the Port Dickson beach beside UNITI College blew softly, making it a serene place to be. Zulkifli began his daily tasks as usual, without anyone knowing that it was just the night before that his house was ransacked by robbers.

It was a terrifying night for Zulkifli, his wife and children who were residing at Linggi Hospital Quarters when they were all tied up with a rope. A shiny knife was placed not more than an inch from Zulkifli’s neck.

Hurry!!! Where did you put the money???!!” The robber asked threatening them. Beside him, there were 3-4 other robbers. Judging from the way he talks, most probably they were Indonesians.

Zulkifli kept reciting istighfar, praying that night’s tragedy will finally be over. He started to sweat. He could only look as they plundered his house. Jewellery, cash and a Nissan Sentra car of his wife’s mother was taken that night.

What’s strange, it was as though his lips are sealed and he couldn’t say or do anything.

The next day, Zulkifli opened the house’s door and saw human excrements in front of his house. He shook his head and supplicated to Allah SWT:

اللَّهُمَّ رَحْمَتَكَ أَرْجُو فَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ، وَأَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ

“O Allah, I hope for Your mercy. Do not leave me to myself even for the blinking of an eye (i.e., a moment). Correct all of my affairs for me. There is none worthy of worship but You.” [1]

Zulkifli suddenly recalls that the dogs that usually barks near his house. “I found some human excrement outside our house. The dogs that usually bark, didn’t do so last night. I think maybe the robbers last night uses black magic…” Zul shared with his wife.

A police report was immediately made to prevent it from happening again. What about the fate of the armed robbers? No one knows. Zulkifli hands it over to the authorities. His gut feeling strongly says that they are already arrested.

Allah SWT states:

إِنَّمَا جَزَاءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الأَرْضِ فَسَادًا أَنْ يُقَتَّلُوا أَوْ يُصَلَّبُوا أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُمْ مِنْ خِلافٍ أَوْ يُنفَوْا مِنَ الأَرْضِ ذَلِكَ لَهُمْ خِزْيٌ فِي الدُّنيَا وَلَهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

“Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,” [2]


If he doesn’t have any classes, Zulkifli and several of his students such as Hasrul Nizam, Razman and others will gather at Lekir Room to complete several books at a time to be published in the near future. They were paid by Zulkifli himself, complete with meals and accommodation. Hasrul and Nizam for example were paid RM800 per month to help him in writing his books.

Mea, we need to hurry,” Zulkifli said to his student Razman. “You should look at Rasullullah PBUH. The Prophet PBUH is a genius in managing his time. He handles his time benefitting it with quality. Just imagine, Rasullullah PBUH from the country Medina, building relationships and sending representatives for dakwah to the Roman, Persian, Egyptian and Ethiopian empires in the span of 10 years. There were numerous battles but mostly winning side is Islam. The same approach is applied during the rule of the Khulafa’ al-Rasyidin. We have to emulate their example…

Zulkifli’s first book to be published was titled Hukum Wanita Menjadi Imam Solat: Kontroversi Solat Jumaat Dr Amina Wadud (The Ruling of Woman Leading the Prayer as the Imam: The Dr Amina Wadud Friday Prayer Controversy) received a great response on the market. It is followed by more than 10 series of other books. Concurrently, Zulkifli began actively writing in the Tafsir al-Quran Section every Wednesday in the Utusan Malaysia newspaper.

Although Zulkifli is incompetent in using the computer, Zulkifli asked the help of his students to complete his books. Normally, Zulkifli will first write his book on a piece of paper and his students will then type it in Microsoft Word. If he has free time, he will speak, translate and explain directly to his students for them to type it straightaway. Zulkifli has more than enough books of his own personal collection of references for him to complete various genres of religious books and articles.

Zulkifli’s schedule gets busier after he registered as a Doctor of Philosophy in the year 2001 under the supervision of Dr Radzi Osman in Malaysia Science University (USM) after getting the advice of his teacher in Medina when he performed his umrah in 2001. He has sermons at mosques and surau around Negeri Sembilan almost every day. This does not include his sermons outside of Negeri Sembilan, state and national seminars and conventions. Furthermore, ever since Zulkifli was invited on an al-Kuliyyah program on TV3 which was held at UNITI College Hall, he began to get recognized by many.

Alhamdulillah, Dr Radzi Osman is a very caring and understanding person in regards to Zulkifli’s hectic schedule. Once a month, Zulkifli will travel to Pulau Pinang to present his progress in his thesis writing titled “Mufti Institution and Fatwa: An Analysis on Enactments and Several Chosen Negeri Sembilan Fatwa.”

A year later, he completed his thesis writing and send it at the end of 2003. Alhamdulillah, his viva voce was a success. However, due to the General Election which was held in March 2004, the awarding of the Doctor of Philosophy Degree had to be postponed sometime after that.

At the same time, he also registered as a candidate for the University English Test (MUET) to add further academic certifications that he owned. “I’ve left the usage of English for such a long time. I hope you could teach me, Sir…” Zul asked his colleague, Sir Khuzaimi politely. If he has any free time, Sir Khuzaimi will go to Lekir Room and there, he will teach Zulkifli starting with the basics until he managed to score a Band 3.

Razman, I think that will be enough for today. You should get ready. We will depart at 11 a.m. to Johor.” Zul advised his student.  Several of his students who helped him in his book writing also drive him around if Zulkifli was involved in any programs across Malaysia. Once, he was involved in a minor accident, when he and Razman were on a journey to Ipoh. Before both of them headed to Ipoh, “Ustaz are you sure we can go to Ipoh, look, the tyres are worn.” The front tyres of Zulkifli’s Kelisa were inspected. The Kelisa had contributed a lot, for it is also the car used when Zulkili and Hasrul Nizam went to Singapore from Seremban for a sermon there.

Insya-Allah, I think it’s still fine,” Zulkifli answered simply. At 9 a.m. on the dot, they started their journey from UNITI College Surau. On their way passing the KLIA highway, it started to rain heavily. Razman tried to overtake the car in front of him, suddenly the car started to spin uncontrollably and hit the divider with a loud crash. It was fortunate for the road was quite empty at the time.

The bumper is ripped off. But, it’s fine, alhamdulillah, we’re all safe.” Zulkifli made his observation while both he and Razman inspect the damage done to the car. Without delay, both of them get on the car and headed towards the Putrajaya exit making a U-turn back to Seremban. The car is then sent to the workshop and Zulkifli had to use his wife’s Proton Wira to go to Ipoh.

Rarely or nearly never did Zulkifli ever cancel his sermon even when he arrived late due to time constraints. He disliked having to disappoint the organizer who have surely worked hard in organizing the program and inviting him. One time, both of them have to travel to Sendayan from Kuala Terengganu. Zulkifli and Razman will take turns driving the car to prevent them from getting sleepy. The supposed Maghrib sermon was postponed to Isyak sermon because they arrived late there. However, the congregants waited patiently for them.

In the car, Razman asked Zulkifli, “Ustaz, aren’t you tired? Day and night you spend your time writing books. Not including your sermons and class schedules. And you even accept TV invites.

Zulkifli smiled and replied simply, “That is dakwah. Tiring but fulfilling. We get to share knowledge with everyone. We could how people are thirsty for knowledge. I’m satisfied even though sometimes I don’t get anything.


[1] Sunan Abu Daud, no. 5090.

[2] Surah al-Ma’idah: 33

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