Happily Melancholic!

I pride myself at being a very resilient sort of person. Alhamdulillah….and I pray I will always be this way.

I have always known that I bounce back fast and easy. When I am annoyed, I don’t stay annoyed long. When I am sad, I don’t stay sad long. My anger doesn’t last beyond the time for the next prayer. When I am anxious, I took steps to fight them. And for all those times when I am annoyed, sad, angry or anxious, you can always bribe me with novels and coffee.

You see, my constant background mood is that of contentment and happiness. That’s why I always find myself much happier being around a happy person. Being melancholic and wallowing in self-pity are not my style.Really. Even though I whine a lot, I know that the only reason I do that is because I am an attention-seeking middle child (ok, pecah rahsia) and my parents don’t really mind anyway. They know that I am the sort of person who TALK myself out of misery.

I can not possibly be disappointed for a long time when I can’t get what I want. Because I have this incredible ability to change my desire anytime I please. If I can’t get what I want, then I will simply make myself stop wanting it. That way, it would not matter anymore. If I can’t do something I wanted to do, then I would reason with myself why I should not be doing it anyway.

To me, that kind of attitude is the best attitude when dealing with heart desires. No person and no object and no other worldly things would have power over you when you have the ability to adjust your desire of worldly things, and just shrug and said, “Oh, I don’t really need all those things to be happy, anyway.”

I used to think that you can either be happy or be melancholic. Never both.

****

I have a good friend. She has (maybe ‘had’ now) a fiance. They have problems now.

I wanted to tell her, “Why cry? Can’t you make yourself not like him? It can’t be that hard. You see, you love him too much. So he has power over you. That’s why you are hurting. Can’t you see? The reason he is not hurting is because he is the one who can say ‘I can live without you and my happiness doesn’t depend on you’. You should be that way too. You are the one who define what makes you happy and you should be able to change it anytime you please. You decide!”

But I bite my tongue. Who am I to say these things, when I don’t even know what she is feeling. But I am making sense, right?

Or no?

****

At the moment, my heart desires to be home with my family for Eid.

I could not get what I want, of course. I am in Australia and my family members are all over the place.

So, how do I cope with all that? I can’t possibly say “Ah, I don’t need to be with them for Eid in order to be happy. “

That sounds heartless, isn’t it? Sounds so cold and uncaring. And it would not be true….well, yes I don’t need them to be really happy for Eid, because Eid always makes me happy, anyway. But I know that having them with me would make me even happier.

So, I guess, the best way to describe my feelings at the moment is : I am happily melancholic; I am happy celebrating Eid; but I am melancholic because I am not with my family. So, I am happily melancholic.

And I think that if you want to be melancholic about anything, the best of way of being melancholic is to be happily melancholic.

Being happily melancholic is an art. It is when you know that you can be HAPPIER when you have something, but not having it would not make you sad…just LESS HAPPY. But STILL HAPPY.

Do you know what I mean?

I think, that’s how everyone should be. They should be happy and content with whatever fate God has decreed for them, even though they know they could be happier if they have this and have that or do this and do that.

Next time I saw my friend, I should probably give her the Eid&Family analogy.

I will tell her, “You don’t need to be happier. You only need to be happy. Would losing your fiance destroy your happiness…or just your happier-ness? I am sure, before you met him, you were happy. After meeting him, you were happier. So losing him now should only change your happiness status from ‘happier’ to ‘happy’. Right?”

I guess, what I am getting at is, after attaining God’s pleasure, NOTHING and NO ONE in this world should affect your happiness too much.

Don’t seek to be happier…when would it end? Just be happy.

But sometimes, life can be hard, I know. And during those times, melancholy would strike, I am sure. Being happy in those times would be hard, of course.

If you can’t be happy….then try being happily melancholic by telling yourself:

“I don’t need to be happier in order to be happy.”

My Latest Obsession!

Okay, I have said this before. But I will say it again.

I like him. When I listen to him, I feel that my soul is in harmony with what he is saying because it makes sense! I like things that make sense; that I can reason out. I like structure. I like explanation.

I hate instructions, direction and expectations. But when you give me all those things along with a good explanation, I can accept it. Because it makes me feel like I am not doing it because you ordered me to! Who are you? I am doing it because what you ordered me to do makes sense to me.

At the moment, the hottest topic in our household is that of mazhab. You know, with an arab housemate living with us, it’s just such an interesting topic and has become my latest obsession. Last week, I was obsessed with Palestine because I was asked to present that topic. I thought about it non-stop and talked about it with Yana non-stop. This week, it’s mazhab. I am still thinking about what I should be interested in next week.

Dr. MAZA is brilliant. I mean, really. If all Sekolah Agama teach religion like this, everyone will be drawn to it and will not run from it to go to MRSM instead, lol.

Have you ever wondered how mazhab came about?

Have you ever questioned the saying of those ustaz when they said, “Siapa yang ikut mazhab Syafie’ maka dia tak boleh suka-suka hati nak ikut pendapat mazhab lain dalam sesetengah perkara sahaja. Contohnya, nak sembahyang cara Maliki, kena tau juga cara nak ambil wuduk macam Mazhab Maliki. ”

Have you ever asked back, “Macam mana ambil wuduk cara Mazhab Maliki ni? Cuba cerita sikit!”

I would love to hear the answer!And how do you come up with the statement “If you want to pray Maliki style, you have to perform wudhu Maliki style as well.” Did Imam Maliki say this?

All the 4 grand Imams said “Jangan kamu ikut kepada ku dengan kamu tidak tahu, tapi lihatlah alasan ku.” Which means, we should be allowed to make comparisons between all of them with regards to their reasoning.

Do you know what makes a good presentation or a good debate?

-The audience may not realize it themselves but when they hear a good debate or a good presentation, they know it. They may not be able to point out exactly what makes it so good, but they knew it’s good.

-It’s like writing stories as well. What makes a good story is exactly what makes a good presentation and a good debate.

-The secret is in being thorough in your reasoning! You have got to make the picture complete. Whatever issues you have raised, you have to answer them. You have got to tie ALL the knots! Don’t leave any questions unanswered. Once you have opened one aspect of the presentation, answer everything about it!

For example, if you say “In order for you to change the mazhab, then you have to know everything about the mazhab first.” then you should explain it. Once you have said this, there are sooo many questions that came into the audience mind and you have to anticipate these questions and answer them accordingly.

They will ask you things like:

-Why did you say that? Did the Imam Malik himself said this??? Can you come up with that particular statement where he said, “Those who follow my opinion, you should not learn and follow another mazhab’s opinion, ”

-Tell me, what is so different in the way Imam Malik practice religion as opposed to Imam Syafie (or any other imams) that you make it sound as though we have to learn religion all over again if we want to use his opinion instead of Imam Syafie in certain aspects.

-What is different in the time of the Sahabah as opposed to now? They don’t have mazhab then. So, they would follow opinions…and some sahabah had different opinion than other Sahabah. Don’t they just follow whichever that is easiest for that particular situation? How do they decide among each other?

I wish someone can be thorough in their explanation. We don’t need knowledgeable people merely giving us instructions. That’s not a good teacher and the students would not become good students when they have to swallow every questions that they have in their minds.

In the world of intellectual pursuit, we have to be exposed to multiple point of views. Only by teaching religion this way can we entice more intellectual people who take up position of importance in the society, to pay more attention to religious matters. Otherwise, you are making them run away in the other direction. Some of them may be able to find their way back into the fold of Islam, but deep inside they will blame you: why was I not told about this before? Why was I only exposed to one strict opinion before? They don’t blame the strict opinion itself, but they blame the unfortunate circumstances that had caused them to know only one thing and nothing else. They blame you for all the guilty feelings that they have felt all these years when they thought “Oh, it’s too hard!”

It’s time to revolutionize our education system. We are in such dire need for change, don’t you agree? To quote Julia Gillard, it’s time to move forward!