Well... long story short, last week my friend asked me to write a speech for MAICfest opening ceremony. Here the speech goes:
Assalamualaikum and a very good evening... -solutation-
Alhamdulillah, thanks to Allah, the most Gracious and most Merciful for giving us a chance to assemble here in this beautiful and barakah night, for us to gather as brotherhood in Islam. Praised be to Allah that we are finally managed to organize this event which, insyaAllah, be the best programme ever held here in CFS IIUM.
In accordance to the theme of our programme, 'Beautifying culture, upholding Islam', it will be my pleasure to remind you, and myself especially, what is considered as Islamic culture. Basically, culture is who we are and what we portray, it is the value we have to offer.
Islamic culture refers to the customs and traditions that Muslims have adopted in their respective countries from the attires we wear, to the food we eat, to the courtesy in dealing with people and many others.
Unfortunately today, our nation and society are slowly losing all these values. The identity of being a true Muslim is slowly but steadily eroding from generation to generation. Today, when we walk in KLCC, or Bintang Walk, or any shopping complex, it is difficult to differ who is Malay, who is Chinese, and who is Indian because almost everybody has turned blonde, wearing short skirts and tight tops.
It is easy, for a Muslim, when faced with such scenario to launch into a tirade about jahiliyah and the evil of western society. But when we are dealing with a real person, a damaged young woman who is obviously suffering from low self esteem, someone who has gone astray, who is on the path of self destruction and doesn't know where to look to find inner peace. What do Islam and a Muslim lifestyle have to offer in her situation?
When someone, may be your friend or someone from your neighbourhood, reaches the crossroads and realizes their lifestyle must change, sometimes an overwhelming sense of guilt or anguish at their past deeds can paralyze them and prevent them from making a fresh start. As a Muslim student who knows our responsibility, we have to give them a helping hand, try to guide them and in the same time, show them our attitude as a Muslim who practices a real Islamic lifestyle.
Perhaps the fear that given the seeming enormity of their past actions, nothing can redeem them now. Islam teaches that it is possible to wipe the slate clean. You can really make a fresh start. Islam emphasizes that Allah is compassionate and merciful. What a person who wants to make a fresh start needs, is simply a sense of repentance and to ask Allah for forgiveness. As prophet Muhammad told us:
"Allah the Almighty has said: O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it."
Let us hope when we leave this hall tonight, we will return to the hostel and not with empty-handed or empty-hearted. The year ahead stretches before us, is as uncertain as the horizon on a misty day at the sea. We know little of the future and nobody knows how long they have left. The best thing to do then, is stop worrying about the future, stop groaning or being nostalgic about the past, and yes, start living in the present.
How do you live in the present? Aren't we doing that anyway? Valid questions, but the answer is simple. Living in the present means making the best of what we have. That may be time or health. It may be wealth or youth. Living in the present means seizing the present with all its opportunities and using it to full potential.
So far, so good, but what is it we should be striving to achieve? What would the goal be? Does using opportunity to full potential mean having a good time while you can? Does it mean laying the ground for good education, then a brilliant career, and then a comfortable retirement? Or does using the present in the best way mean something else?
I leave the questions for all of you to ponder upon. Hopefully, from now on we start to realize how crucial our responsibility as a Muslim student is. With the theme of 'Beautifying culture, upholding Islam', hopefully this event could be a kick-start to instill and enliven the spirit of Islamic culture among students. Thus, now it relies on us to islamasize the present culture, and thus upholding Islamic culture in the communities as one way to bring back the victory of Islam. InsyaAllah
With that, assalamualaikum and thank you.
Not really good, actually. But I'm fluttered when the Programme Manager was really reading this text during the opening ceremony hahaha =D. Feeling of anticipation ^.^ (retarded kan? hahaha ^^)