Hey there, Salam Alaikum.
So I was making French Toast this morning for my dad when all of the sudden, he came barging into the kitchen and got all hype telling me about his new idea for the upcoming documentary series. I calmed him down, served the toasts and let him pour in the news. It must have been my non-frantic looks, because somehow, after 5 minutes or so, he changed the subject. We started talking about the house instead.
I'm a bad daughter, I know.
Well, it was morning. You don't talk about work at 9 am.
When its holiday.
Hehs. Poor Dad will have to wait for my mum to come back from the Uni for him to be able to blurt out everything of his chest. I'll just pass this one.
So, we talked about random stuff, finishing the toast together... something about the difference between TWITTER and FACEBOOK (yes, many adults don't know how different those two are, really), when suddenly, my dad took a sip of his morning tea and asked me lightly.
"What do you think of the fact that they are using comedians as an ambassador for Islamic Causes?"
I was washing the dishes, so I didn't see his face when he said this. But the tone was undoubtedly serious.
Oh-uh, I thought. I gave a small laugh, trying to tone-down the thick atmosphere of probable rage and plopped myself back on the chair beside him. Dad was looking straight ahead-pass the wall, pass everything. Man, he can be so dang serious at times.
"You mean like Afdhlin Shauki?"
He looked at me and nodded. "Yes. The fact that they're sending a clown like him to Palestine."
Clown? okay, it was way harsher in Malay. Badut.
My Dad is calling Afdhlin Shauki 'Badut'? I want to laugh, seriously.
But then he wore all that stupid clothes and was named BOBOI with Harun Salim Bachik and..
(well, badut and boboi kan x jauh. lol)
"I dunno," I shrugged. "Maybe it's a good thing, you know. Like, that's how they pull the crowd."
"But he's a comedian. And this Palestine matter is serious," Dad added. "I don't know why but I'm sad, really. I'm disappointed at how people are perceiving this issue. How things are not the way it was.."
"You know," I started, wanting to end the conversation. "Maybe this is another way to pull the crowd. Like the Ustaz Izhar Idrus and Zizan Raja Lawak thing. No one can deny that was a success, right? These celebrities, they have the untouched market, the gazillion followers on facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube, so, their poularity does help in telling the people the real deal that is going on around the world."
"Yes,"Dad nodded. "And once it is all over, they just go back to the real them and take away with them the gazillion followers. They go back touching non-muhrims, make jokes that hurts the ummah indirectly, they go back insulting pendakwahs with the Manisnya Kurma Ini, Selami Lautan Dalam...everything. They go back worshipping celebrities and other people like them.. So, they're just a mere crowd puller. Crowd for what? Temporary repentance."
Ha-di-ha. I hate debate. I hate debating with Dad, espescially.
"You know I watch Maharaja Lawak. And Maharaja Lawak Mega," I said, vaguely.
"I know," he said. "But then that's it. These things don't mix."
I was so not in mood for early morning debate.
I rather read the nursery rhymes. Really.
"These people, these celebs, they know how to talk to the crowd," I said, being all confident. "What the crowd wants etc, they live with the crowd. They befriend the crowd. They have the attention of people that most of the utazs and ustazahs don't. So, maybe it's not a big change, but they can at least spread the awareness to the people that wouldn't very much care for Gaza at all. People who tune in to these comedians just for the sake of some humor will be forced indirectly to know their updates on these islamic causes. So there..."
There was silence as we both finished our last piece of toast.
"I believe Allah controls the heart of people," my Dad slowly says. "Not them."
"If this is the situation of the ummah now," he says. "It's worrying. I know I can sound so orthodox talking like this but, there are things that have essence. You don't make Qurans into small colourful children booklets with fairies and cartoons around just to attract your children to read them. You don't make concerts with people dancing half naked and call the ticket fee funds to build a new mosque. You don't make shawls that are overly attractive with half the prints are studded with diamonds and bling-blings like some Gypsy hip just so girls will be more looking forward to cover their hair and what, lower the gaze of the men(?). You don't manipulate the islamic identity just so you wanna get the crowd. Just so you can say, "At least these people are doing 50% of the good deed."
I sipped my cold tea and smiled at Dad. Weak smile.
"If you are true to your heart," my Dad continues. "If you are sincere about your cause, you can send just anyone, and you'll get the crowd. Because from the way I see it, the cause has turned channel. It's no longer all the worries for Gaza people, it's this forever-to-be-praised celebrity that got off his comfort zone and went as an idol of the Muslims for the Muslims. The mindset had shifted."
"The great leaders of the past touched people's heart," said Dad. "Not their desires. If you give men everything, you'll lose them. Give them what they should have. Tell them what they should hear. Allah will do the rest."
"Let's just," I said slowly, clearing away the table. "Pray for the best."
"Yeah. For the best," Dad says and smiled at me...
"So! what are we having for lunch?"
I groaned and let Dad get back to his script-finalizing at the living room while I boil the water for his second cup of tea. And it got me thinking back to his words which are just plain truth.
We've been so desperate wanting to change the world, we forget how to do it properly.
My Dad might be wrong about Afdhlin Shauki. He might change after he get back, make thousands of good islamic movies, or he'll set up a really good foundation for muslims, pull even bigger teenage crowd that from rempit-ers and super comedians to people that fight for Islam.
I mean, we don't know right. Many celebrities change. There's Sham Kamikaze and Catriona Ross and okay, many of them...slowly changing, becoming even better muslims and knows how to tackle issues most of the ustazs and ustazahs don't.
But yeah. He has a point when he says things have essence.
Are we gonna delve deeper into the world where it's okay to drink at Starbucks as long as you still give donations to Palestine? Or its okay to lie down with your boyfriend on sweet smelling grassy field as long as you don't touch each other or talk about anything stupid? Or its okay to tweet 'I'm gay' and dance to 'Oppa Gangnam Style' as long as you don't mean what you say or understood the dirty meaning behind the porn dance...
This world is a complicated place.
And no matter how many times I look at it, it's us who are in deep trouble, in deep danger, in massive manipulations.
The Palestinians make thousands hafiz and hafizahs in a month. Their friends are people who dies as syahid and syahidahs. They live worshipping Allah. They die for Allah. For real.
They are guaranteed.
Where do we stand, exactly?
Are we making Islam better, or worse...think about it.
All of these will end. And there's only two ending for every individual.
Well, you know that. You're big enough.
Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Lailahaillallah, Allahuakbar.
Dear Afdhlin Shauki, if you still get to live after the Gaza cause, please set a good example afterwards for all of us here in Malaysia.
Because it's either my dad is wrong or we are really in a serious mess.