Idola: Nabi Muhammad S.A.W


3 Ogos 1979

Temerloh, Pahang

Education Background:

Doctorate - PhD. Communication - Branding (UPM) - 2013

Master in Communication - M.A.HSc. (Comm. UIA) - 2006

Bachelor in Comparative Religion and Communication (hons.) (UIA) – 2003

Career Background:

Senior Lecturer DS51 Faculty of Applied Social Sciences - UniSZA

Ahli Jawatankuasa Projek FRGS B-F1 “Branding Index”

Manager Student Activities and Alumni Department.

Manager Graduate Affairs Department, Kolej Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia

Tim. Dekan Pusat Bahasa Komunikasi, Kolej Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia

Kordinator Fakultas Komunikasi, Universitas Islam Antarabangsa Jakarta

Pensyarah Kolej Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia

Pensyarah Technology Park Malaysia College

Penasihat, Kelab Debat dan Komunikasi Kolej Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia

Penasihat, IIC Alumni Association

Pengarah Istiadat Convokesyen 2008-2010, IIC

Penceramah, Motivasi di Eastana Event & Consultancy

Penceramah, Sesi Kesihatan Jemaah Haji Masjid Wilayah KL

Penceramah, Sesi Kesihatan Jemaah Haji Masjid Al-Hasanah Bandar Baru Bangi

Penceramah, "Program Empower", East Coast Economic Region (ECER)

Penceramah, Pertubuhan Kemajuan Sosial Malaysia. ECER Hulu Terengganu

Pengacara Rancangan TV "Chef Halal" (2012)

Jurucakap Produk Kesihatan SayHeart Singapore (2011)

Jurucakap Produk KOFAZ (2009/2010) – All One

Ahli Kumpulan Nasyid All One

Calon bagi Anugerah Industri Muzik Ke-16 - All One

Calon bagi Anugerah Nasyeed.Com - All One

Research Projects:

(1) FRGS Project (BF1) (2010 – 2011) – “Developing a new branding index in corporate communication for an Asian country” (Research Assistant).

(2) Research (2009 -2012) – “Leveraging country's reputation and nation brand index in Bandar Melaka: Potential strategies for developing Malaysian’s city brand index”.

(3) Project (2010): “Measuring Determinant of City Brand for Institutionalizing Strategic Communication: A Study of Malacca City”.

(4) Ph.D Proposal Dissertation (2010): “Measuring Determinants of City Brand: Investigating the Antecedents of Perceived Brand Personality Scale in Bandar Melaka (Bandaraya Bersejarah)

(5) New Research Project (2013 - 2014) – “Identifying the Determinant Attributes of Halal Brands Index (HBI) that Influence the Corporate Marketing Communication (CMC) in Malaysian Market”.

(6) New Research Project (2014) – “The upcoming of innovation: Integrating Technology and Human personality”.

Conferences and Proceedings:

(1) Zakiah, M. Othman, I. & Ahmad, M.F. (2010). “Halal Business Corporate Social Responsibility”. International University Social Responsibility Conference & Exhibition - IUSRCE 2010, PWTC Kuala Lumpur, UTM Skudai, Johor, Malaysia.

(2) Ahmad, M.F. & Abdullah. Z (2011). “Measuring Determinants of City Brand: A Varification Approach in the Corporate Communication Perspective in Malacca City”. MENTION 2011, UKM Bangi. Selangor, Malaysia.

(3) Ahmad, M.F., Abdullah. Z., Ezhar Tamam & Jusang Bulong (2012). “City Brand: An Application of Brand Personality Scale to Bandar Melaka”. 21st AMIC Annual Conference 2012, Concorde Hotel, Shah Alam, UiTM Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.

(4) Ahmad, M.F., (2013). “The Stakeholder Interpretation of City Brand Personality Determinant for Strategic Communication”. Seminar Hasil Peyelidikan, Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi 2013 - Sains Sosial dan Kemanusiaan, 2 & 3 July 2013 at EDC Hotel, Universiti Utara Malaysia, UUM Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia.

(5) Ahmad, M.F., (2013). “The Antecedents of Halal Brand Personality in Malaysian Takaful Industry: A Preliminary Review”. 1st Insurance and Takaful International Symposium. 7th - 8th October 2013 at Puri Pujangga UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.

(6) Ahmad, M.F., (2013). “CSR implementation in Islamic Philanthropy: A Preliminary Review of Halal Brand Personality Concept in Malaysian Takaful Industry”. World Universities Islamic Philanthropy Conference 2013. 4th – 5th December 2013 at Menara Bank Islam, Kuala Lumpur, UiTM Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.

(7) Ahmad, M.F., (2013). “The Issues of Future Innovation: Integrating Technology and Human Personality for Reputation Management”. 2nd International Management Conference 2013 IMaC'2013. 14th – 15th December 2013 at Taman Tamadun Islam, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia, UniSZA Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia.

(8) Ahmad, M.F., (2013). “The Role of Halal Brand Personality Determinant in Malaysian Takaful Industry”. 2nd International Management Conference 2013 IMaC'2013. 14th – 15th December 2013 at Taman Tamadun Islam, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia, UniSZA Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia.

(9) Ahmad, M.F., (2013). Halalan Taiyyban: The Application of Brand Personality in Malaysian Food Industry”. International Conference on Halal Global 2013. 15th – 16th December 2013 at Perdana Hotel, Kota Bharu Kelantan, UiTM Machang, Kelantan, Malaysia.


(1) Ahmad, M.F. (2006). Communication Technology and Organizational Performance: An Analysis of The IIUM Community’s Web Sites Usage and Perceptions. Research in Master Thesis IIUM Library. IIUM.

(2) Ahmad, M.F., Abdullah. Z, Tamam. E & Bolong. J., (2013). Determinant Attributes of City Brand Personality That Influence Strategic Communication. Canadian Social Science. Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture. Vol. 9 No.2.

(3) Ahmad, M.F., Abdullah. Z, Tamam. E & Bolong. J., (2013). An Application of Brand Personality to City Brand for Strategic Communication. International Journal of Social Science Tomorrow. Society for Promoting International. Vol. 2 No.5.

(4) Ahmad, M.F., Abdullah. Z, Tamam. E & Bolong. J., (2013). Involving Internal Stakeholders in Developing City Brand Personality for Strategic Communication. Asian Social Science. Vol. 9 No.10.

Editorial Board Members:

(1) Editorial Board Members for the Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research – [ISI-Thomson] (13th November 2013), International Society Applied Sciences, Cairo, Egypt & United States of America (USA). - Global Impact Factor = 0.432

Invitation to Paper Review:

(1) Reviewer for the Journal of Place Management and Development – [Emerald insight Journal] (10th September 2013), Institute of Place Management, 1 Queen Anne's Gate, Westminster, London.

My Inspiration:

“The comprehensive excellence achievement is balancing of our life journey”

-Fazil, 2009-

“The requirement of comprehensive excellence achieved is balancing of our life journey” -Fazil, 2009-


1) Public Relations

2) Corporate Communication

3) Advertising

4) Branding & Reputation

5) Crisis Communication

6) Public Opinion & Propaganda

7) Islamic Studies

8) Moral Studies

9) English Language

Convo UIA'08

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Muhamad Fazil, PhD Project Mind Map and Research Processes 2009 – 2012 ©


By: Muhamad Fazil Ahmad

PhD Candidate UPM


PhD External Supervision By Dr Rachna

For: Muhamad Fazil Ahmad



1. When will you be done with your dissertation?

Hello, Muhamad!

Dr. Rachna Jain here with the first issue of the new and improved 365PhD newsletter. While it may seem backwards to start at the end, I'd like to begin by talking about finishing your dissertation.

I often get asked this question, "How do I know when I've finished my dissertation?"- the quick answer, of course, is this, "when they hand you your diploma."

Okay, but aside from that, how do you know when you're "done" writing or "done researching" or "done with revisions"? After all, in a way, isn't the dissertation a living document and one that can keep growing and evolving over time?

Yes, it will evolve and grow over time. The distinction is that this should happen after they've handed you the diploma.

If you have been writing the dissertation for years, you've probably already lost sight of the end. You need to clearly determine how much more you need to write, research, or do in order to get this project finished.

If you've just started to work on the dissertation, you need to outline some objective markers and firm deadlines to identify "The End."

For example an objective marker may be: "I'm done the first draft when I have 150 pages written." (Notice we didn't say 150 perfect pages or 150 absolutely stunning pages, we said 150 pages.)

Another objective marker may be, "I'm done with the literature review when I have traced this topic for the past 20 years and condensed it into 20 pages."

The point is: you have to recognize the end. If you do not recognize the end, you'll never know when you get there. And this can keep the dissertation hanging around for years and years, long past the time you should have finished it. In short, the best place to begin is by identifying when it will end.

Again, thank you for reading. If you have any tips, recommendations, or strategies you would like to share with others working to complete their dissertations, please send them to me and I will try to publish them.

It's been great connecting with you. I hope your writing process is going well.


2. Working well with your advisor

Hello, Muhamad.

If you're just beginning to form your dissertation committee, the best piece of advice I can offer is to select an advisor that you can work well with. This means someone who is open, available, communicative, and wants to help you finish.

After you have chosen your advisor, keep the following in mind:

The internet has undoubtedly changed the advisor/advisee relationship. In an age of emails, text messages, and cell phones, it seems more and more students are relying on electronic communication to stay in touch with their advisors. Late night emails, e-copies of drafts, and quick phone calls have, for many students, replaced traditional sit-down meetings with their advisors.

While there is value in instant communication, it is also essential to talk - face to face - with your advisor on a regular basis. Discussing research questions, posing format questions, or merely venting about your dissertation frustrations can bear more fruit than any short email.

Attempt to maintain a regular meeting schedule with your advisor. Meet for coffee once a week for at least 30 minutes, have lunch every other for every other Tuesday, or schedule recurring conferences for the 1st and 15th of each month. Make seeing your advisor a part of your routine, not a cry for help.

Lastly, and most importantly, keep a running log of questions and topics of discussion for your advisor. Never go to a meeting without an agenda!

Hope you enjoyed this issue.


3. Set small goals. Meet. Repeat.

Hi, Muhamad.

Small goals are a necessity when taking on a project as massive as the dissertation. Thinking of the dissertation as an overwhelmingly enormous task does nothing but bog you down and stifle your creativity. Instead, you must see your dissertation as a series of small goals and creativities that culminate in the completion of a momentous project.

True this sort of small-step approach may seem monotonous and unexciting, but it is the best way to finish without becoming overwhelmed.

When you set a small goal, you immediately feel capable of reaching it, and, in fact, you may over-reach it (meaning you end up doing more than you planned, moving further ahead than you thought.)

Operate in 45 minute increments and you will find focus and motivation. In each 45 minute session, establish a concrete goal. For example, "I will read two chapters and take notes in the next 45 minutes" or "In the next 45 minutes, I will outline the key arguments of three topical articles." Anything that is small enough to achieve, and important enough to be worth achieving is fair game for this type of goal setting.

When you set goals in 45 minute increments, you are very likely to find that you accomplish more each day. I've implemented this small goal/45 minute rule, myself, and it's really helped boost my productivity even further.

If you don't know how to make progress, set a small goal for your next 45 minutes. Meet. Repeat.


4. Making dissertation progress and personal discipline

Hi, Muhamad.

Small goals are a necessity when taking on a project as massive as the dissertation. Thinking of the dissertation as an overwhelmingly enormous task does nothing but bog you down and stifle your creativity. Instead, you must see your dissertation as a series of small goals and creativities that culminate in the completion of a momentous project.

True this sort of small-step approach may seem monotonous and unexciting, but it is the best way to finish without becoming overwhelmed.

When you set a small goal, you immediately feel capable of reaching it, and, in fact, you may over-reach it (meaning you end up doing more than you planned, moving further ahead than you thought.)

Operate in 45 minute increments and you will find focus and motivation. In each 45 minute session, establish a concrete goal. For example, "I will read two chapters and take notes in the next 45 minutes" or "In the next 45 minutes, I will outline the key arguments of three topical articles." Anything that is small enough to achieve, and important enough to be worth achieving is fair game for this type of goal setting.

When you set goals in 45 minute increments, you are very likely to find that you accomplish more each day. I've implemented this small goal/45 minute rule, myself, and it's really helped boost my productivity even further.

If you don't know how to make progress, set a small goal for your next 45 minutes. Meet. Repeat.


5. Important resources for dissertators!

Hi, Muhamad! Back again with another tip for completing your dissertation.

Today I'd like to share two very important resources that every PhD hopeful should use:

(1) Your university's librarians

Librarians are amazing people! Most librarians got their Ph.D.'s because they have a desire to help people do research. They know the best places to find whatever you need to find and the formatting for nearly every discipline's attribution system.

Find a librarian that you get along with and learn his/her office hours or make regular appointments to discuss formatting issues or general research questions.

(2) Your peers

Never discount the importance of having a solid group writing and brainstorming group of your peers. Whether or not these peers are in your department or discipline is entirely up to you, but having fresh eyes or fresh ears to share drafts with or bounce ideas off of can provide you with good ideas and offer an interesting perspective.

Share your deadlines with your writing group and serve as accountability partners for each other. Build each other up, share in your collective frustrations, and motivate one another- your dissertation need not be a solitary endeavor.

Best of luck,


6. Don't let gremlins take control of your truck!

Hello, Muhamad! Today I'd like to talk a bit about the impact of negativity on your writing process.

Sometimes during the dissertation process, you'll be going along fine when all of a sudden; your motivation declines and your actions diminish.

Every time your motivation dips and action stalls, it's because the gremlins--those negative, whining, critical voices we carry around--have gained control of the truck. When the gremlins are in control, we begin to wonder if we'll succeed. We worry that we might be overreaching ourselves or that others will be upset by our actions. The gremlins have only one purpose: to keep you safe and small. You never have to worry about playing in the big game when the gremlins are in control.

Very often, the gremlins show up when we're tired or when we've just obtained negative feedback from our adviser or when we spend too much time in isolation and not enough time with people who love us.

Are there times in your dissertation process that you've been moving toward your goal of obtaining the Ph.D. when, all of a sudden, it seems like your progress comes to a screeching halt? Sometimes, this might be necessary; you might be waiting for some more information, a new book, or a new resource. But other times, doesn't the "stall out" happen because you've begun to doubt your idea and whether you have the intelligence, skills, or ability to create what you dream of?

It happens to all of us at one time or another. When you feel like you're like a truck that is stuck in neutral--not really moving forward but not sliding back--it's time to take a look into the driver's seat and see who's gotten control of the steering wheel. If it's a little green guy with big eyes; big teeth; and a loud, critical, nagging voice--tell him to get out of the car and catch a bus to nowhere with a one-way ticket.

By noticing the gremlins and actively working to send them away, you will attain greater inner calmness and peace. Keep focused on appropriately controlling your negative thoughts and keep moving in the direction of completing your dissertation. You can do this, and remember: the Ph.D. you want also wants you.

Good luck!


7. Journaling your way to dissertation success!

Hi, there.

I'm here again with another helpful hint to completing your dissertation.

Today I'd like to talk about journaling. Keeping a journal, diary, or blog can be a very helpful aspect of staying motivated during your dissertation process. Though regular entries, you can trace your productive (and not so productive) days to discover what elements of your daily life best lend themselves to increased output.

In your journal, note the conditions of your progress in order to track trends. For example, if you note that, on the days that you take the time to organize your working area, you write more pages, make an effort to clean your space more frequently. If you notice that, on days that you check your email before writing, you tend to write fewer pages, limit yourself to 10 minutes of internet time AFTER you have worked on your dissertation for a pre-specified amount of time.

Making the focus of your journal successes of even the smallest kind ("I just couldn't focus today, but I still managed to write 3 pages" or "Today I couldn't seem to write anything, but I got 15 endnotes in tip top shape!") allows you to see the dissertation as a multitude and not a magnitude.

Too often, ABD's look at the dissertation process as one big chunk- and don't take the time to acknowledge their incremental progress to the finish line.

If you're feeling unmotivated, stuck, helpless, or could use a bit more appreciation for your progress, consider starting a dissertation success journal today. The more progress you notice, the more progress you'll make. Try it and see.

Thanks for reading!


8. Measuring your dissertation progress

Hello, Muhamad!

Today we have a tip from Tim Martin, a fellow dissertator.

Dr. Jain, My suggestion is to make the best use of time. I have a fellow learner that just expressed her concern over the delay in scheduling a conference call. I commented on how some of our dissertation schedule is dependent on the schedule of others (mentor, committee members, etc). However, use this as bonus time. When waiting for feedback (can be a couple of weeks) or the appointed time for a conference call, use the time to catch up on other items, such as double checking references, seeking out books or newsletters on dissertation or taking a much needed vacation. Remember to be flexible and adjust your schedule whenever possible.

Tim makes an excellent point! Progress isn't necessarily measured in pages. Instead, it can be measured in footnotes completed, new resources discovered, or a few days spent refreshing your mind and body.

Don't forget, if you have a helpful hint you'd like to share, email it to me and I will do my best to publish it.



9. Addressing and closing the "critical gap" between you and your dreams

Hello, Muhamad. Today I would like to discuss the "critical gap" between where you are and where you would like to be. This "gap" is the space between where you are, and where you dream of being. The gap exists, most often, because there is a strong desire for something (the completion of your dissertation), combined with a weak belief that you will actually attain what you desire. So, stated another way, you really want something that you don't really think you're going to get.

Since you already believe the "getting" is going to be hard, tough, or, maybe even impossible, you don't take action to move through the gap. Over time, it becomes easier to wish and hope than it does to take action to get it.

For example, did you start this year with some New Year's Resolutions? (Many of us did). Are you still adhering to the things you resolved to do? (Many of us aren't.) If not, this means that you've stopped moving through the gap, and have allowed yourself to believe that attaining what you want is not possible.

In my coaching work, we tend to focus a lot on changing the "inner landscape", which is made up of the thoughts and beliefs that guide your actions. Changing on the inside leads to a change on the outside- so it becomes easier to believe in your success, and, therefore, easier to achieve it.

If you want to complete your dissertation, get really clear on when you want it done, and to be very honest about what keeps you from completing it. (Hint: this rarely involves outside entities like time, space, or other people). If you have a goal that you're not meeting, it's usually because you've not fully committed to it. The first step to crossing the gap is to find, and commit to something you really want.

Now that you've found the "gap" and are ready to move through it: identify any beliefs or thoughts which are keeping you from taking action ("I'm not smart enough, qualified enough, attractive enough"), start working on shifting these belief systems (maybe by finding contradictory evidence- times that prove you are " ____ enough") and keep practicing this new way of thinking and believing. Pretty soon, you'll find that the space between where you are and what you want is getting smaller and smaller- and you will find that the distance between you and success is no bigger than a crack in the sidewalk.

Until next time,


10. Do your friends and advisors cultivate your ideas?

Hi, Muhamad- Dr. Jain, again.

Discussing your ideas is a key part of the dissertation project. The importance of brainstorming with other individuals cannot be overlooked; however, it is absolutely necessary for you to watch who you talk to.

Be careful in sharing your dissertation process or progress with people who probably won't understand, and, worse, may make you feel badly about your project.

There is value in sharing your work with individuals that are not part of the same academic discipline or know little about your specific topic, but it can also expose you to unnecessary (and possibly unfounded) criticism.

If you need to talk about your dissertation, be sure you do this in a safe place and with people you trust. If you forget this, you run the risk of having your ideas trashed and of feeling badly.

Take your ideas where they will be welcome and cultivated. This is how they will grow.

Talk to you soon!


11. Accepting criticism and critique graciously

Hello, again.

Because we talked recently about the importance of taking your ideas where they will be welcomed and cultivated, I figured that today would be a good day to talk about the importance of criticism and critique... and how to accept it graciously!

Receiving critiques can be very difficult because your dissertation is (hopefully) something you are fond of. You have invested countless hours in developing a topic, doing the research, and fleshing out your arguments. Yet, regardless of how much it can hurt, criticism is, for good or bad, an integral part of the dissertation work. While it can be difficult to watch someone poke holes in your arguments or question your research, surviving your defense requires you to be open to all types of feedback.

Sometimes, the feedback will be gently given. Other times, it will be quite harsh. The challenge for you, the dissertator, is to find a way to recover from the harsh criticism so you can keep moving ahead. It is important to remember that *you* are not being critiqued. It is not personal. So, take the criticism and use it to write a better dissertation.

In the event that harsh criticism bogs you down, the following ideas may help:
1) Have a safety net - keep a close knit group of two or three friends that you can rely on to allow you to safely and comfortably vent your frustrations.
2) De-stress by spending some time with young children and/or pets. Giving yourself time to play allows you to put the harsh criticism out of your head and takes you to a better place.
3) Do something relaxing and rewarding. You can't relax and be upset at the same time.

If you have any useful strategies for dealing with harsh critiques or a personal story about dealing with criticism, please send them and I will include them in a future email.

Until next time, best of luck.


12. Taking care of yourself during your dissertation process

Hello, Muhamad!

Hope you are making progress. In this issue of 365PhD, I'd like to take some time to talk - not about your dissertation - but about YOU. In the whirlwind of research, writing, and editing (or the whirlwind of avoiding research, writing, and editing), it is possible to lose touch with the rest of your life.

As you endeavor to complete your dissertation, take the heart the following tips to balance your life with your writing:

(1) Respect important events.

This tip comes from my own experience. During my dissertation year, I was asked to be a bridesmaid in my friend Mary's wedding. We had met during my Master's program and had stayed in semi-close touch for a few years after. When I received the invitation, I felt that I was toobusy and couldn't possibly take time away from my dissertation to be a bridesmaid and have some fun. Mary never spoke to me again. Perhaps there were other reasons, but I suspect that they were related to my refusal to make room in my dissertation process for her. In a year-long process, would taking a weekend off have been such a big deal? Probably not. Hindsight is 20/20.

(2) Schedule a complete "day off" from the dissertation at least twice a month.

Breaks are important to keep your mind refreshed and your energy high. You should allow yourself at least two days off each month. Schedule these days off several weeks in advance and protect this time. It's essential to the dissertation process. As such, you should not feel guilty or like you are "slacking off." Instead, have fun and don't even think about your dissertation! Instead of worrying or fretting or pushing yourself, spend this day reconnecting with yourself,nature, or people you care for. You'll feel an amazing difference.

Hope this helped.


13. Do you suffer from "Impostor Syndrome"?

Hi, Muhamad! Time for another tip for finishing your dissertation!

It seems that many PhD students suffer from "Imposter Syndrome". For those of you who don't know, this term refers to someone who is "playing a role" and therefore believes that his/her success is due to "tricking" others. People with "Imposter Syndrome" can live in mortal dread of being "found out" or "uncovered".

What this most often means, in my experience, is that there is a BIG HUGE gap between the person's accomplishments and his/her own self view.

For example, do you know any other students that continually say that they feel that they are not as smart as other members of your PhD program?

Do you every feel this way, yourself?


The truth is, I think we all must feel a bit of "imposter syndrome" every now and then. We sometimes "fake" that we know what we're doing, and we sometimes step out into a bigger game or a bigger world before we're quite ready. The difference, I think, comes from the knowledge that you can grow into the bigger shoes or bigger game or bigger space.

And, of course, the second step is in accepting that you have every right to be there-- because you are, indeed, who you say you are.

This week, where could you step out bigger and let the real you shine through?

Until next time,


14. The Dissertation Survival Kit

Things Every Dissertator Should Have:

Everyone writing a dissertation should have a handful of quintessential supplies that assure productivity. The following three items are my personal "Dissertation Survival Kit."

(1) A planner

Finding a planner that suits your needs is an essential part of setting and meeting your goals. Whether it is a paper-pencil scheduler or a fancy electronic gizmo, visually detailing your dissertation timeline allows you to internalize the deadlines and refer to them whenever you need.

Consider your planner your ever-evolving contract with yourself. Record your appointments and attend them. Document your objectives and meet them.

(2) A journal

Take note of your successes, explore your failures, and examine how you can recreate the successes and prevent the failures in the future.

(3) A timer

Work incrementally and use the time to be sure you're never slacking off. If the timer hasn't beeped, you are not free to check your email or surf your favorite news site.

What are the supplies that are essential to your dissertation process? Email them to me and I'll publish them.

Here's to wishing you productive and happy working,


15. Curing yourself of perfectionism.

Hi, Muhamad.

Lately I've been thinking about perfectionism. The desire to write the "perfect dissertation" can drive a dissertator to the brink of insanity. You should never underestimate your capabilities, but it is possible to set your goals too high.

Avoid pushing yourself too hard: redefine "perfect." I like to think of perfect as related to doing my best, at all times, with everything I know and have at that moment. If you apply this to your dissertation process, and know that you, too, are doing the best you can with what you have, perhaps you will find that you have attained perfection, and won't need to keep ceaselessly striving for it.

It also helps if you take the time to understand that "not perfect" is not "failure." Instead, feedback, criticism, and critiques are the guidepost to success. All feedback moves you closer to being finished with your dissertation.

The sooner you hit "wrong way" dead ends, the faster you'll find the "right way" expressways. We all make mistakes or have stumbling blocks in our progress, but the most successful people use those mistakes and stumbling blocks to further their overall progress.

Lastly, practice allowing yourself to be less than perfect. Students who are perfectionist about the dissertation often have extremely high standards in other areas of their lives. Practice living a life that isn't rigidly perfect. Don't make the bed one day, leave the dishes in the sink overnight - realize that the world won't end if you give less than 110% effort. This will not only lead to a more joyful dissertation process, but a more joyful life in general.

Best of luck,


16. Motivational methods to measure your dissertation progress!

Hello, Muhamad.

Time for another tip:

If you are planning to finish your dissertation in twelve to eighteen months, you will need to produce about five pages of writing each week (or about one page per weekday) to meet this goal. This assumes chapters of twenty-five to thirty pages and that you are steadily producing output. What you may notice from this example is that five pages a week may feel doable. By thinking of the writing in five-page increments, you can see that the dissertation need not be a mysterious and looming project without structure or focus.

With this 5 page benchmark in mind, devise a method of tracking your progress in a visible, physical way. This is a great motivator, as well as an excellent way to mark the end of each of your writing sessions.

Here are some possibilities:

(1) Physically tally each page you complete on a chalkboard

(2) For each page you finish, drop one marble into a jar.

(3) On a calendar, color in each day that you complete your goals with a brightly colored marker.

Link your visual tracking system to a reward. If you complete at least 18 pages every two weeks, treat yourself to your favorite ice cream, a massage, or dinner and a movie. Quickly, you will find yourself attempting to mark off as many tallies as possible so that, come reward day, you'll be able to rejoice in your successes.

Until next time,


17. Get the creative juices flowing!

Hello, again Muhamad!

Writing your dissertation is a test of fortitude and patience that is most easily passed with consistent, continual effort. And, though it is less dramatic or romantic, you must remember that writing need not always been prompted by great genius. It is always better to do even mediocre work regularly than it is to do brilliant work inconsistently. Graduate students who wait for the Muse to visit before working on the project tend to be ABD for much longer than those who find a way to work on it in a consistent fashion. Inspiration, deep excitement and passion are not always necessary components to dissertation progress.

If you sit down to work and cannot seem to productively commit your thoughts to paper, attempt the following to insure meaningful progress and maybe stir your creativity:

1) Stop writing and start talking. Record your thoughts and play them back. When you listen, you may make connections or see gaps. If you are a fast and accurate typist, you might even want to consider transcribing your spoken thoughts onto paper. This can help you overcome the starkness of a plain white sheet of paper that seems to be waiting--not always patiently--for your thoughts.

It may also help to talk to someone. Try talking about your ideas aloud to a peer, spouse, or partner. Sometimes, sharing our ideas with others can help us clarify our arguments. If your listener is willing, have him/her repeat back what was said and allow questions. This can demonstrate where the logic of your argument may be faltering or breaking down.

2) Ask questions. Instead of "Talk about so-and-so's contribution to XYZ," write, "What was so-and-so's contribution to the XYZ?" This technique comes from a process developed by Steve Manning, who has worked with many writers. Manning has found that it is much easier for a writer to begin writing on the answer to a question. This process may help you as well.

3) Ease into it. Consider easing into the writing by starting with a section that you know you can easily handle, perhaps one in which you are merely reporting information rather than interpreting it.

4) Don't write. If you have tried some of the above but are still stuck, you might consider spending your working time in another form of necessary activity such as organization, additional research, revision, or editing. Sometimes, you just can't produce new writing on command.

As always, best of luck.


18. All our power is in this moment

Muhamad, today I would like to share a simple thought with you: all our power is in this moment.

It is from this moment that you create your future. It is from this point- with your knowledge, strengths, "not quite right" pieces, relationships, and talents that you send up wishes, dreams, and hopes for the future.

Many of us put off joy and happiness- as we fall into patterns of thinking like, "I'll just work really hard- for now- and then take time off later, after I've made more money." Or "I don't have time to work on my relationships- there will be more time later."

How many things do you put off into the future? How much joy do you postpone?

I'll ask you to consider these questions over the next few weeks- and, if you'd like to share, I'd be glad to learn about your answers.

I am continually reminded that we all can accomplish our goals. We just have to start. In this moment.


19. Eliminate distractions to increase productivity

Doesn't our world just seem full of distractions, Muhamad? Whenever I sit down to attempt to accomplish something, the phone rings or an email arrives or I realize a show I "really want to watch" is on. Next think you know- I've spent two and a half hours watching a movie that I've already seen or I've dedicated an entire afternoon to surfing the internet for a new pair of shoes that I don't even need!

My suggestion- remove the distractions.

I know it's not easy, but it's necessary. Unless you absolutely need the internet for your work, disable your connection. Turn off your cell phone. Don't turn the television on and hide the remote so that you will never be tempted to click it on "for a few minutes."

I have started cutting back on the number of times I check my email each day and it's made a HUGE difference in my productivity.

Instead of checking it 5-6x per day, I'm gradually cutting back to just 3x per day- once in the morning, once after lunch, and once at the end of the day. It's amazing how much more mind-space I have to actually produce new things. My creativity is coming back, as is my enthusiasm.

It is also helpful to work at a time when distractions are limited. Use the quiet of the morning to focus all of your energies on your dissertation. Enjoy the silence of the night while concentrating exclusively on your day's dissertation goals.

Establishing a ritual distraction removal and working at a distraction-free time readies your mind and body for work. You become focused on the task at hand and, who knows, you may even complete it early and be able to spend the rest of your day indulging in distractions galore!

Good luck,


20. Keep It Clean!

Hello, Muhamad

As you work on your dissertation, Keep your work environment clean, pleasing, and free of distractions. It's really helpful to have extra room to work. Make it a habit to "clear out" your work space on a weekly or monthly basis- filing away articles or information you aren't actively using, shelving books, etc. This will keep your
mind clear and focused.

Sometimes, just cleaning out your space is enough to get you started working when you're stuck.

Several studies have pointed out that too much visual clutter (like that which comes from piles of papers, books, and other information) can actually increase your stress level. Being surrounded with too much 'stuff' can leave you feeling unfocused and confused about what to do next.

A good habit to cultivate is to regularly clean up your work area of any materials you aren't actively using. Try to adopt an organized approach from the beginning- it's much, much easier than trying to change part of the way through. If you've already started, then do what you can to be clutter-free from here.

Don't forget to share your best tip with us! I'll publish as many as possible! Thanks, and have a great day!


21. Don't Delay All Your Gratification

Dear Muhamad,

Planning to do the dissertation can sometimes be more fun than actually sitting down to work on it. When you feel this way, it's easy to procrastinate and avoid what you should be doing.

One of the main reasons people avoid anything is because the perceived rewards of completing the task are not greater than the perceived effort it would take to complete the task. Stated more simply: procrastination arises when you don't feel your effort will give you adequate rewards.

I just returned from a psychology continuing education program and in that program, the instructor talked about the idea that people who were able to delay gratification were shown to be more successful in life over time. The research was completed on children, but the results probably apply to adults, too.

After all, you've delayed gratification multiple times to get to this point, haven't you? And you've probably been reasonably successful until now. Something about the dissertation is different, though. It can be difficult to delay gratification one more time.

My solution? Don't delay ALL your gratification. It sounds simple, but it works. Build in rewards for your dissertation progress, and tie these, directly, to your goal achievements within the project. You finished writing a section? Go out to lunch with a friend. You finished writing a chapter? Take the weekend off. You broke through a difficult transition and found an elegant solution to the problem? Call a friend and get some praise.

We are social animals, and one of the most important keys to our happiness is our relationships. Use your relationships/relationship activities as ways to reward your dissertation progress. You'll have more fun, and will finish faster, too.


22. Select a Manageable Topic

Hi Muhamad,

Your dissertation is an incredible endeavor and so you must make sure your topic is manageable.

It's common, initially, for graduate students to select complex designs, intensive research requirements, and all encompassing topics for study.

If you want to finish quickly, though, you need to pick a topic which you can complete quickly. Design a study which will allow you to collect data quickly, or a topic in which something has been written that you can build on.

These are small adjustments which can, literally, take months or years off your dissertation process.

If you are working on pulling together a topic, be sure to pick a manageable one.

See you next time,


23. Create Your Timeline to Finish

Hi Muhamad,

A great tool to get you started in the best way is to use the backwards planning process. I wanted to share it with you here.

This tool is excerpted from my book: Get it Done, A Coach's Guide to Dissertation Success. All of my past clients have found it useful. I hope you do, too.

If you want your own copy, you can get that here:


Take a piece of paper and list, at the bottom, your desired defense date. Let's say it's August 21.

Then, count backwards three weeks from August 21 and write August 1. This is the day that you have to turn in the final draft to the committee for review.

Then count backwards 1 month from August 1, and write July 1. This is when the full draft should be turned into your advisor for his/her comments & revisions.

Counting six weeks back from that, you write May 15 which is when you must start your final chapter. Count six weeks back from that, and write April 1- this is when you must start your 2nd to last chapter. Count six more weeks back and write
February 15- this is when you must start your second chapter. And so on.

Allot about six weeks per chapter, and aim to write each chapter in six weeks or less. This way, you can know, exactly, where you have to be- and by when- to defend as planned.

See you next time,


24. Communicate Your Goals

Another great dissertation tip for you., Muhamad did you know ... it's good to set reasonable deadlines of yourself and others. Communicate about these as soon as possible.

Quite often, my clients do not discuss their plans or eventual goals with their advisors or committees, and then feel disappointed and hurt when events proceed in unplanned directions. A great way to prevent this is to communicate, clearly, what your plans are (i.e.- I want to finish my dissertation within one year, is this something we can work towards?). If you ask questions like this early on, you will be on the "same page" with everyone you're working with. When everyone is in agreement, the work proceeds quickly and smoothly.

When was the last time you contacted your advisor? Do you feel that you're on the same page with him or her? If not, make contact this week- even if it's scary. You can do it.

Don't forget to share your best tip with us! I'll publish as many as possible!

Thanks, and have a great day!


25. Overcoming Procrastination

Hi!, Muhamad

Today I'd like to share an informative article I found online.

Overcoming Procrastination: Getting Organized to Complete the Dissertation

Tara L. Kuther, PhD

Western Connecticut State University

Based upon a paper presented in J. Primavera and T. Kuther (Co-Chairs), Dissertation management: How to avoid becoming an "A.B.D. Symposium conducted at the 1999 annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, California.

The doctoral dissertation is often viewed as an ominous black cloud, looming over the All-But-Dissertation-Student's head. The dissertation is often the most difficult academic requirement a doctoral student faces; many students exhibit delay in completing it (Frank, 1984; Rudestam & Newton, 1992). Procrastination is common among college students and has been found to increase over the college years (Solomon & Rothblum, 1984). It therefore should be surprising that, after several years of education beyond the bachelors degree, procrastination predicts dissertation among ABDs (Muszynski & Akamatsu, 1991).

Why do ABDs procrastinate? Possibly because of a combination of fear and perfectionist tendencies. Those who procrastinate tend to be perfectionistic, have low frustration tolerance, high needs for autonomy and approval, and fears of failure (Muszynski & Akamatsu, 1991). With regard to the dissertaTion, perhaps the most common reason for procrastinating entails perceiving it as an overwhelming
task. Motivation may be the biggest problem that writers of the dissertation face.

From the start, it is important to recognize that the dissertation is a time consuming, lonely process, that usually takes about two years. The dissertation may serve as a major blow to a graduate student's self esteem; it is not uncommon to feel as if it is an
insurmountable task that will never be completed. The key to completing the dissertation promptly is organization and time management; the dissertation stage is often the first time in which a student must provide his or her own structure towards completing a research task. Throughout graduate school, structure is provided
to the student through courses and formal assignments as a research assistant. The dissertation is unstructured, it is now the student's turn to apply the structure, and structure must be applied in order to complete it.

One way of providing structure is to view the dissertation as a series of steps, rather than as one mammoth task; motivation may be maintained and even enhanced as each small step is completed. Remember how good it feels to cross an item off a list?
Organization provides a sense of control, holds procrastination at minimal levels, and is key to completing the dissertation. How does one get organized?

1. Outline the small steps needed to complete this large project.

All too often, students may feel that their only goal is to "finish the thesis. A goal this large may feel indomitable; break it down into the component tasks. For example, at the proposal stage, the tasks may be organized as follows: thesis statement, literature
review, method, plan for analyses. Each of these tasks entails many smaller tasks. The list for the literature review may consist of an outline of the topics you wish to discuss, with each outlined as detailed as possible. You may even wish to list relevant articles
in the appropriate places within the outline. The method will consist of the participants, including items on locating them, rewards, drafting informed consent forms, locating measures, describing psychometric properties of the measures, piloting
measures, drafting the procedure, etc.

In terms of completing tasks, it is not necessary to start at the beginning of the list, in fact, believing that one starts the dissertation proposal by writing his or her introduction and thesis and ends with the plan for analyses will detain progress. Begin
where you feel comfortable and fill in the gaps. You will find that you gain momentum with the completion of each small task. Feeling overwhelmed by any particular task is a sign that you have not broken it down into small enough pieces.

2. Make consistent progress writing every day, even if only for a short period.

Set aside periods of time to write on a regular basis; establish a firm schedule. Train yourself to write in short blocks, for at least an hour a day. All too often we insist that we need large blocks of time to write. Blocks of time certainly help the writing
process, but the ABD often lacks such resources. For example, when I was writing the dissertation, I taught 5 classes as an adjunct at 4 different schools; blocks of time were difficult to find, other than over the weekend. Aside from pragmatics, writing at least a little every day keeps the thesis topic fresh in your mind, leaving you open to new ideas and interpretations. You may even find yourself thinking about it and making conceptual progress as you complete mundane tasks such as driving to and from school and work.

3. Use incentives to assist you in overcoming procrastination.

Writing requires consistent, well-organized effort and a system of self-imposed incentives to overcome procrastination. What kind of incentives work? Although it depends on the individual, a safe bet is time off from working. I found "vegetation time such as time spent playing computer games to be helpful as an incentive to reinforce progress.

4. Methodically break through writer's block.

When it is difficult to write, talk through your ideas to anyone who will listen, or just talk out loud to yourself. Write out your thoughts without criticizing them. Take time to warm up, intellectually speaking, by writing to clear your thoughts. Get the
ideas out without scrutinizing each sentence; it is often easier to edit than it is to write. Work through your ideas by writing, THEN edit extensively. You will write many drafts of each section of the dissertation; a first (second, or even third) draft need not
approach perfection. In addition, it is acceptable to use dashes to mark when you cannot find the appropriate word to express your idea, but want to go on; just remember to fill in the dashes later. The important thing is that you develop a pattern of producing some output regularly that output can be edited or even thrown out, but
it is important to produce something.

5. Recognize and accept the fact that writing is a time consuming process; do not rush yourself.

No draft will be perfect that first time around. Expect to go through several drafts of each section of your dissertation. Once you feel comfortable with a particular section, take time away from it. Ask others to read your writing and consider their comments and criticisms with an open mind. After a few days or a week, reread the section and edit again; you may be quite surprised by the impact of a fresh perspective.

Writing the dissertation is much like running a marathon. The seemingly insurmountable may be attained through a series of small goals and deadlines; accomplishing each small goal may provide additional momentum. Make consistent progress each day, use incentives to assist you in attaining your goals, and acknowledge that the dissertation will require time, hard work, and patience.

Finally, consider the words of Dag Hammarskjold: "Never measure the height of a mountain, until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was."
This article first appeared in the Summer 1999 Edition of the APAGS Newsletter, Vol. 11(3)


It's been great connecting with you. Hope you enjoyed this issue.

See you again soon!


26. Communicate Your Goals

Another great dissertation tip for you., Muhamad

did you know ... it's good to set reasonable deadlines of yourself and others. Communicate about these as soon as possible.

Quite often, my clients do not discuss their plans or eventual goals with their advisors or committees, and then feel disappointed and hurt when events proceed in unplanned directions. A great way to prevent this is to communicate, clearly, what your plans are (i.e.- I want to finish my dissertation within one year, is this something we can work towards?). If you ask questions like this early on, you will be on the "same page" with everyone you're working with. When everyone is in agreement, the work proceeds quickly and smoothly.

When was the last time you contacted your advisor? Do you feel that you're on the same page with him or her? If not, make contact this week- even if it's scary. You can do it.

Don't forget to share your best tip with us! I'll publish as many as possible!

Thanks, and have a great day!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Oleh: Muhamad Fazil Ahmad

“Tiga rukun yang benar dan perlu dalam mencapai utama iaitu dengan tabiat, dengan pengalaman dan dengan pelajaran. Adapun musuh yang sentiasa menghalangi manusia mencapai keutamaan ialah hawa-nafsu yang menyebabkan marah dan dengki”


Bab ini akan mendedahkan Anda dengan:
• Pengenalan kepada Theory of Islah, Training and Development
• Mempertingkatkan kemahiran berkomunikasi
• Mengenalpasti kemahiran pengajaran yang efektif
• Memahami kemahiran pengumpulan data
• Mengenalpasti kemahiran berpolitik dalam bidang latihan

Model dan Teori Islah, Latihan Dan Pembangunan

Terdapat pelbagai model latihan dan dapat dirumuskan semua model mengandungi aktiviti dan fasa yang agak sama, yang berbeza hanya format dan persembahannya. Semua model latihan dapat disimpulkan memiliki fasa atau langkah seperti Merekabentuk, Melaksana latihan, Menilai keberkesanan latihan, Mengkaji keperluan latihan dan kembali kepada Merekabentuk. Model ini merujuk proses asas yang perlu ada apabila menganjurkan sesuatu program latihan. Selain itu semua model juga mempunyai sistem maklum balas yang tersendiri. Maklumbalas merupakan mekanisme penyelarasan dan kawalan untuk memastikan setiap komponen, aktiviti atau proses latihan beroperasi seperti satu system.

Pembentukan Moden dan Teori Islah, Latihan dan Pembangunan ini telah dipelopori oleh Fazil (2005) berdasarkan kajian dan penyelidikan terperinci untuk memastikan perlaksanaan modul-modul latihan dapat menjadi pemangkin kearah kejayaan seseorang yang telah mengikuti program latihan yang dianjurkan. Berasaskan dengan itu, model dan teori ini mempraktikkan perlaksanaanya secara putaran mengikut arah pergerakan jam untuk memastikan setiap perlaksanaan program latihan akan menjadi satu ikutan dan berkekalan dalam diri peserta tanpa perlu menyedarkan atau menyuntik kembali semangat murni yang telah diterapkan.

Berdasarkan Model Islah, Latihan dan Pembangunan Fazil (2005), beliau telah meletakkan indicator-indikator berdasarkan keutamaan yang mesti dilaksanakan terlebih dahulu. Di sini boleh kita perhatikan Aqidah di letakkan pada tempat yang paling utama dan diikuti Akhlaq, Ibadah dan yang terkemudian sekali barulah dilaksanakan Tarbiyah ataupun pendidikan dan latihan. Dalam pada itu, bagi memastikan proses pembentukan Aqidah, Akhlaq, Ibadah dan Tarbiah dilaksanakan dengan berkesan, maka proses fakir dan zikir perlu diterapkan. Fikir dan zikir di sini melibatkan satu asas dalam pada kita melaksanakan segala proses ini kita mestilah sentiasa mengingati Tuhan Yang Maha Agung. Proses zikir diikuti dengan berfikir adalah bertujuan untuk menggelakkan kita dari melakukan perlaksanaan zikir yang menyeleweng tanpa berfikir buruk baiknya amalan zikir yang kita laksanakan. Manakala bagi menjalinkan tautan proses pembentukan Aqidah, Akhlaq, Ibadah dan Tarbiah dilaksanakan dengan jayanya penerapan asas pemeringkatan membersihkan jiwa raga seperti Taubat, Muraqabah, Muhasabah dan Mujahadah memainkan peranan dalam menjaga mutu tarbiyah yang telah diadaptasikan dengan berlandaskan Aqidah, Akhlaq dan Ibadah

Mungkin ramai yang cuba menyangkal bahawa konsep Tarbiyah ataupun latihan dan pendidikan adalah perkara yang perlu diutamakan, ini kerana ia adalah melibatkan proses untuk mendidik. Untuk makluman para pembaca yang dikasihi sekelian, rasional di sebalik mendahulukan yang terutama daripada yang utama adalah menepati pada pengalaman, kajian, penyelidikan dan pembacaan penulis yang mana jika kita lihat sebagai contoh di sini pernahkah anda menghadapi situasi di mana berapa ramai orang yang berpendidikan tinggi dan mempunyai status kehidupan yang baik tetapi menyeleweng dalam melaksanakan tugasan mereka? Sebagai contoh mengambil rasuah, menipu dan sebagainya. Padahal mereka ini memiliki ilmu pengetahuan yang mentap, tetapi pekara aqidah, akhlaq dan ibadah diambil enteng dan diabaikan maka segala proses pembelajaran yang diterapkan dan dipelajari selama ini tidak menjadi satu yang boleh menghalang diri dari melakukan perkara-perkara yang tidak baik, malah memburukkan lagi keadaan.

Maka dengan itu, dalam proses memantapkan jiwa, serta segala apa yang telah di pelajari menjadi satu yang bermakna dan menjadikan lebih dihargai. Maka dengan itu sesuatu perkara yang baik akan berterusan dan menjadi satu ikutan yang baik kepada mereka yang pernah mengalaminya. Justeru itu penulis merasakan kesemua ciri-ciri ini perlu diterapkan kepada setiap pelatih dalam usaha untuk menuju kepada pendidikan dan latihan yang lebih berkualiti dan supaya dapat dikaksanakan sekaligus, lantas ianya bukan sahaja meninggalkan kesan mendalam dalam diri peserta tetapi akan terus berkekalan dan sebati di dalam jiwa seseorang ataupun meraka lebih berIstiqamah dalam melaksanakan kebaikan bagi mencapai matlamat yang dihajati.

Nota :

Aqidah : Faith (Islam, Iman and Ihsan)
Akhlaq : Good Behaviour
Ibadah : Worship to Allah
Tarbiyah : Education and Training (Rohaniah and Jasmaniah)

Rajah: Model Islah, Latihan dan Pembangunan
Theory of Islah, Training and Development ©
(Oleh: Fazil, 2005)

Teori Islah, Latihan dan Pembangunan ini akan mengungkap tentang perumpamaan yang meletakkan nilai manusia adalah pada amalnya dan bukan pada fizikalnya. Ini bertepatan dengan sabda nabi, Daripada Abu Hurairah, katanya, Rasulullah SAW bersabda bermaksud: “sungguhnya Allah tidak melihat kepada rupa dan hartamu, tetapi Allah melihat kepada hati dan amalmu.” (hadis riwayat Muslim)

Hati menurut ilmu perubatan adalah darah hitam yang beku, mempunyai bentuk tersendiri yang letaknya pada sebelah kiri dada.

Imam al-Ghazali pernah mengatakan bahawa hati menurut pandangan ilmu tasawuf adalah unsur halus yang bersifat metafizik yang berada dalam bentuk hati yang bersifat jasmani. Beliau berkata: “Saya hairan dengan manusia yang sangat mengutamakan kebersihan dan keindahan tubuh, sedang hatinya tidak mereka bersihkan daripada kotoran batin dan maksiat, padahal Allah hanya memandang hati mereka seperti firman-Nya dalam surah asy-Syams, ayat 7 hingga 10.”

Hati diibaratkan sebagai tuan dan jasad adalah hambanya atau sebagai pemimpin yang mengatur rakyatnya. Maka, hati adalah asas atau pusat yang mengatur dan menggerakkan semua kegiatan. Jika hati baik, maka akan baiklah kelakuan seseorang itu. Jika sebaliknya, maka buruklah peribadi seseorang itu. Sesungguhnya hati adalah nilaian Allah yang paling utama dalam setiap amalan yang kita lakukan.

Indikator-Indikator Penting Model Islah, Latihan dan Pembangunan

1. Aqidah (Islam, Iman dan Ihsan)
2. Akhlaq
3. Ibadah
4. Tarbiyah - Pendidikan dan Latihan (Rohaniah dan Jasmaniah)

Maka di sini penulis akan memperincikan setiap perlasanaan indikator-indikator Model Islah, Latihan dan Pembangunan, segala perincian adalah seperti berikut:

1. Aqidah (Islam, Iman dan Ihsan)
Aqidah adalah ajaran tentang keimanan terhadap keEsaan Allah S.W.T (aqidah jama’nya aqaid). Manakala pengertian iman secara luas ialah keyakinan penuh yang dibenarkan oleh hati, diucapkan oleh lidah dan diwujudkan oleh amal perbuatan.

Dalam pada itu, Aqidah atau kehidupan beragama dalam Islam dilakukan dengan dua cara yang lazim. Pertama, percaya kepada kebenaran peraturan teori, yang terkandung di dalam penjelasan agama. Di dalamnya ada penjelasan yang menerangkan tentang adanya ‘wujud’ yang didirikan di atas pernyataan tauhid ketuhanan; penjelasan yang menyatakan adanya rasul-rasul yang memberi petunjuk, pemberitahuan tentang adanya kehidupan lain di mana manusia akan dihisab dan diberi balasan atas apa yang dilakukannya. Di samping itu, ada juga kepercayaan terhadap kebenaran semua ajaran yang dibawa oleh agama yang disampaikan oleh wahyu yang diterima oleh Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. sebagaimana yang dinyatakan di dalam al-Qur’an al-Karim dan as-Sunnah yang tetap.

Kedua, penerapan dan pengamalan petunjuk yang dibawa oleh agama dalam bentuk perintah dan larangan yang berkaitan dengan perilaku manusia dalam erti yang menyeluruh. Untuk kaedah yang pertama, kita mengenalinya dengan istilah cara kehidupan beragama yang berkaitan dengan aqidah, sedangkan untuk kaedah yang kedua, kita boleh mengenalinya dengan istilah cara kehidupan beragama yang berkaitan dengan syari’at.

Kehidupan beragama yang berkaitan dengan aqidah ini merupakan satu prinsip yang menjadi landasan bagi cara kehidupan beragama yang berkaitan dengan shari’ah, kerana sesungguhnya kepercayaan kepada Allah dan Rasul-Nya s.a.w. yang diberi tugas untuk memikul beban risalah-Nya adalah mencakupi syari’at; sehingga aqidah merupakan landasan bagi cara kehidupan beragama yang berkaitan dengan shari’ah. Oleh kerana itu, sesungguhnya hubungan antara keduanya bersifat timbal-balik, saling memerlukan (‘alaqah talazum) yang tidak dapat dipisahkan antara satu sama lain dalam menjalani kehidupan beragama.

Jika kehidupan beragama yang berkaitan dengan syari’at diwujudkan dalam perilaku individu dan masyarakat sesuai dengan apa yang diharuskan oleh wahyu, yang berkaitan dengan perintah dan larangan, maka sesungguhnya kehidupan beragama yang berkaitan dengan aqidah menuntut adanya keyakinan yang tidak mengandungi sedikit pun keraguan. Lalu ajaran-ajaran agama yang diyakini itu ditempatkan sebagai rujukan asas semua perilaku mereka, sama ada rujukan itu berbentuk hukum-hukum agama mahupun ajaran agama yang telah ditegakkan dalam kehidupan nyata mereka. Kehidupan beragama yang berkaitan dengan aqidah mencakupi anggapan pembenaran terhadap ajaran agama yang menjadi sumber setiap pemikiran dan perilaku. Kegagalan apapun yang berkaitan dengan dua hal ini boleh dianggap sebagai penyimpangan dalam kehidupan beragama yang berkaitan dengan aqidah.

Adapun aqidah merupakan hakikat-hakikat yang sempurna kerana sesungguhnya ia menjelaskan apa yang terjadi dalam hakikat ‘wujud’ ini. Untuk hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan masalah ini, hukum akal tidak memiliki hak untuk memperbaharuinya kerana ia telah dijelaskan dengan nas-nas agama secara qat’i, dan tidak ada peluang untuk melakukan tarjih (keterangan) terhadapnya. Sesungguhnya ia telah teratur dengan sempurna dan konsisten walaupun keadaan kehidupan yang sebenar berubah-ubah mengikut peredaran zaman. Lalu bagaimanakah kemungkinan perumusan yang boleh meningkatkan kehidupan beragama dalam hal yang berkaitan dengan aqidah? Kemudian, bagaimana pula sifat perumusan tersebut?

Sesungguhnya sifat perumusan kehidupan beragama yang berkaitan dengan aqidah adalah sama seperti sifat aqidah itu sendiri. Apabila aqidah Islam itu dituruti secara dalamannya dengan sempurna dan konsisten, maka kehidupan beragama yang berkaitan dengan aqidah akan lebih mantap di dalam pemikiran kerana ia menjadi sumber pemikiran dan perilakunya sesiapa yang memilikinya. Sesungguhnya ijtihad dalam perumusan kehidupan beragama yang berkaitan dengan aqidah ini adalah bertujuan untuk mewujudkan keadaan tersebut. Hal itu akan dapat dicapai dengan dua jalan:

Pertama, menanamkan aqidah kepada umat manusia yang tidak percaya dengan cara yang menarik hati, iaitu kepada mereka yang dapat memperdalamkan pemahaman dengan cara yang memuaskan; khususnya terhadap orang-orang yang menerima aqidah itu secara kata-kata, yang tidak memiliki kesedaran terhadap pelbagai dimensinya yang hakiki sama ada yang berlaku secara langsung ataupun tidak juga oleh kerana sesuatu sebab tertentu. Penawaran aqidah ini merupakan salah satu cara perumusan yang hendak kita bincangkan kerana ia menyerupai rancangan yang bersumberkan kebenaran berteraskan akal yang menerima akan perintah itu. Kaedah penyampaian itu bermacam-macam dan berubah-ubah sesuai dengan perubahan keadaan dan budaya setempat, tetapi ianya harus tetap menjaga hukum-hukum aqidah yang abstrak itu supaya ianya lebih realistik dan boleh dipercayai di dalam jiwa orang yang menerima perintah itu.

Kedua, menawarkan aqidah kepada manusia setelah merasa puas, percaya dan yakin untuk dijadikan sebagai rujukan utama bagi sumber pemikiran dan perilaku mereka yang mengarahkan segala aspek kehidupan mereka, iaitu dengan mengatur isu-isu yang muncul di dalam kehidupan umat dan mengungkapkan dimensi-dimensi praktikalnya untuk berbagai-bagai hakikat kehidupan walaupun ia berupa teori asal serta mengaitkannya dengan masalah-masalah realistik yang timbul dalam kehidupan. Sehingga ianya bakal muncul sebagai pembeza yang membetulkan segala bentuk penyimpangan dalam perjalanan hidup manusia agar sesuai dengan pandangan agama Islam itu sendiri. Menawarkan aqidah dengan cara seperti ini memerlukan perumusan yang menyediakan aturan yang berkaitan dengan aqidah, yang sesuai dengan keadaan realistik yang berubah-ubah agar kehidupan beragama itu dapat berjalan selaras dengan apa yang diinginkan oleh agama.

2. Akhlaq
Akhlak ialah berasal daripada perkataan Arab yang membawa maksud sifat, perangai atau kelakuan seseorang. Manakala mengikut Kamus Dewan, akhlak adalah hampir sama dengan pendefinisian moral. Dan segi konsepnya akhlak agak lebih luas maksudnya daripada moral. Akhlak merujuk kepada sikap seseorang tentang hubungannya dengan Tuhan, hubungan sesama manusia dan hubungan dengan alam sekitar dan haiwan. Orang yang memiliki akhlak yang baik maka baiklah hubungannya dengan Allah, baik jugalah hubungannya dengan sesama manusia dan baik hubungannya dengan haiwan dan alam sekitar.

Dalam pada itu orang yang suka menyeksa haiwan dianggap tidak berakhlak. Serta orang yang suka merosakkan keindahan alam juga dikira tidak berakhlak. Manakala orang yang suka menabur fitnah dan suka bergaduh dikira tidak berakhlak. Di samping itu juga bagi orang yang meninggalkan solat fardu dan lain-lain ibadat fardu juga dikira tidak berakhlak, malah melakukan kedurhakaan terhadap Tuhan ini semua termasuk dalam keruntuhan akhlak secara langsung.

Satu pertanyaan yang sering dibangkitkan dewasa ini adalah yang berkaitan dengan keadaan semasa yang sering mengalami berbagai-bagai krisis moral. Antaranya ialah kenapakah orang orang Melayu terlalu banyak terlibat di dalam krisis moral dan terlalu ramai yang melakukan berbagai-bagai penyelewengan akhlak sedangkan orang-orang Melayu adalah beragama Islam dan agama Islam mempunyai berbagai-bagai set nilai moral dan ajaran yang baik untuk membentuk dan dijadikan contoh tauladan untuk manusia yang bermoral dan berakhlak? Manakala junjungan besar Muhammad s.a.w adalah sebaik-baik akhlak yang patut dijadikan contoh ikutan daripada kita semua, adakah kita hanya membisu dan memekakakkan telinga sahaja tentang permasalahan ini?

Pertanyaan begini sering dikemukakan di dalam masyarakat kita. Kerana dari statistik dan kajian yang dikeluarkan oleh berbagai-bagai pihak berkuasa ternyata bahawa peratusan yang tinggi di kalangan orang-orang yang terlibat dengan penyakit social dalam masyarakat dan penyelewengan akhlak adalah terdiri dan orang-orang Melayu yang beragama Islam. Adalah sungguh malang sekiranya perkara sebegini gagal dibendung secara totalnya.

Pertanyaan ini juga sering disuarakan di Malaysia berdasarkan hakikat bahawa zaman kebangkitan Islam yang dialami dunia Islam dan bukan Islam sejak beberapa dekad yang lalu menyaksikan Malaysia berada di tengah-tengah arus kebangkitan tersebut dan iltizam kerajaan Malaysia amatlah besar dalam merangka Islam Hadhari dan melaksanakan program-program kelslaman di dalam bidang pendidikan, kemasyarakatan, ekonomi, kepolisian, ketenteraan, belia dan sebagainya yang saban tahun melibatkan wang yang besar. Apakah program-program keagamaan ini tidak dapat menghapuskan berbagai-bagai penyelewangan dan gejala maksiat yang berlaku di kalangan masyarakat Islam di negara kita?

Persoalan ini bukanlah merupakan persoalan enteng yang boleh diabaikan begitu sahaja. Malah ianya tidaklah pula merupakan persoalan mudah yang boleh dijawab secara mudah pula tanpa menganalisis faktor-faktor sosial, psikologi, unsur-unsur pendidikan, latar belakang pengetahuan masyarakat dan sebagainya.

Dalam memberikan pendidikan agama di sekolah-sekolah dan juga di institut-institut pengajian tinggi kita, adakah pendidikan agama itu diberikan dalam bentuk dan pendekatan yang dapat menanamkan nilai-nilai murni agama dan akhlak Islam untuk dihayati oleh murid-murid dan para pelajar sebagai cara hidup mereka seharian? Adakah penerapan akhlak dihayati dengan baik, atau sekadar program selingan yang hanya untuk memenuhi waktu terluang para pelajar sahaja? Atau apakah kita hanya mengajar kanak-kanak dan para pelajar tentang agama dan ajarannya supaya mereka beragama dan mahir dalam ajaran agama sedangkan aspek-aspek moral dan nilai-nilai akhlak mereka tidak terbentuk dengan baik? Itulah hakikat yang ada pada generasi kita pada masa kini. Namun permaslahan ini sekiranya dijalankan dengan serius dan mengkaji dengan lebih terperinci maka tidak mustahil generasi kita akan lebih berakhlak dan matlamat untuk melahirkan generasi ibadurrahman (hamba yang bertaqwa dan kuat beribadah) akan tercapai.

Kita tidak seharusnya hanya menumpukan perhatian kepada pembentukan generasi baru yang beragama sahaja tanpa membentuk moral dan akhlak mereka. Pengajaran agama secara tradisional dengan ibadat sembahyang, puasa dan sebagainya dapat melahirkan generasi beragama. Akan tetapi pengajaran itu belum tentu dapat mengeluarkan orang-orang yang berakhlak. Agama haruslah diajarkan dalam satu kaedah yang menghampirkan diri kanak-kanak kepada beramal dengan nilai-nilai murni dan akhlak yang baik.

Amalan sembahyang umpamanya yang dilakukan oleh kanak-kanak seharusnya dapat menanamkan budaya cemerlang ke dalam jiwa kanak-kanak tersebut untuk menghormati imam (ketua), menjaga kebersihan, berdisiplin, merendah diri, mengurus waktu dengan baik, dan berbagai sifat mulia lain yang seharusnya menjadi budaya dan cara hidup kanak-kanak itu.

Kehidupan kita yang beragama di dunia ini haruslah menjadi budaya hidup untuk setiap manusia. Agama bukan hanya untuk diamalkan secara individu dalam hubungan dengan Tuhan semata-mata. Malah ajaran agama mengandungi nilai-nilai akhlak yang mulia untuk dihayati oleh individu untuk kecemerlangan dirinya dan kecemerlangan interaksinya dengan orang lain.

Kita juga dapat melihat ramai orang beragama. Mereka melakukan ibadat sembahyang, puasa, umrah, haji dan sebagainya, tetapi orang-orang yang kuat beragama ini juga kadang-ladang tidak menjadi orang-orang yang berakhlak dan bermoral tinggi. Pada mereka seolah-olah agama itu merupakan amalan harian yang tidak ada kena mengena dengan cara hidup dan budaya kehidupan mereka sehari-hari. Kadang-kala mereka lakukan ibadah-iabadah wajib tetapi perkara-perkara buruk dan keji masih mereka amalkan seperti mengumpat, membuang sampah merata-rata, tidak berdisiplin, menghisap rokok dan sebagainya. Inilah yang dinamakan sebagai kehidupan beragama tetapi permasalahan akhlak diabaikan sama sekali.

Perkara utama yang hendak dibincangkan di sini ialah bagaimana pengajaran agama dan amalan agama haruslah dihayati dengan nilai-nilai akhlak yang murni, supaya agama dalam konteks yang lebih umum menjadi budaya dan cara hidup orang-orang yang beragama itu sendiri.

Manifestasi beragama biasanya dilihat di dalam ibadat khusus, tetapi tidak di dalam tutur kata, tingkah laku dan sikap seseorang itu. Kita perlu orang yang beragama dan berbudaya tinggi yang lahir dalam bentuk perangai yang baik. Malah bagi bangsa-bangsa yang mempunyai tradisi dan budaya cemerlang sejak turun temurun seperti bangsa Jepun dan Korea, dalam beberapa segi kelihatan mereka lebih banyak menghayati nilai-nilai murni dan berbudaya tinggi, walau pun ada di antara mereka yang tidak langsung mengenali sebarang ajaran agama ataupun golongan ateis (golongan yang tidak mempercayai Tuhan).

3. Ibadah
Perkataan Ibadat juga berasal daripada bahasa Arab. Kalimah asalnya ialah (‘abada) yang bererti mengabdikan diri atau melakukan ibadat. Kalimah ‘abada yang sering diterjemahkan dengan “sembah” adalah tidak tepat, kerana ia membawa konotasi yang berbeza, seperti sembah api, sembah berhala, sembah raja dan sebagainya, sedangkan sembah Allah bukan begitu bentuknya. Dan segi bahasa, ibadat bermaksud sesuatu amalan yang dilakukan oleh seseorang hamba terhadap tuannya atau Tuhannya. Dari segi istilah, ibadat bermaksud amalan yang dilakukan oleh seseorang untuk menjunjung perintah Tuhan dengan perasaan rela dan patuh untuk mendapat keredaan Tuhan. Orang yang tetap patuh melakukan ibadat kepada Tuhan dipanggil ‘abid.

Dalam Islam, terdapat dua jenis ibadat, iaitu ibadat formal dan ibadat tidak formal (ibadat khusus dan ibadat umum). Menurut Abul A’la (1990) ibadat khusus ialah seperti solat, puasa, zakat, haji, korban dan sebagainya. Manakala ibadat umum pula ialah seperti bekerja, menolong orang, membantu orang dalam kesusahan, berpakaian menutup aurat, menjaga kebersihan, membangunkan negara dan sebagainya. Secara amnya, segala perkara yang baik (dalam perspektif Islam) dilakukan oleh seorang hamba merupakan ibadat terhadap Tuhannya dan diberi ganjaran pahala.

Nabi Muhammad s.a.w menggambarkan sifat jadinya manusia bermula dalam keadaan yang fitrah. Anak yang diibaratkan seperti kain putih bersih memerlukan contoh dan persekitaran yang fitrah. Ianya supaya mereka bakal menjadi remaja dan dewasa dalam iman dan takwa. Berada dan kekal dalam fitrah adalah suatu keadaan terbaik yang menjadikan manusia insan soleh dan solehah.

Manusia pada hari ini amat terdedah dengan pelbagai teladan, contoh dan persekitaran yang tidak fitrah. Yang ditonton dan dibaca, yang dilihat dan ditatap banyak terkandung bahan yang boleh merosakkan pemikiran dan sebagainya.

Yang didengar dan dirasa banyak terkandung benda yang mengasyikkan. Sebagai contoh hiburan, nyanyian yang melailaikan dan sebagainya. Keadaan ini menyebabkan mereka lupa kepada Tuhan Yang Maha Esa dan mendorong bertindak melampaui batas. Yang dilalui, dialami dan disaksikan banyak perkara jelik serta memukau hati yang mendorong manusia memiliki fahaman duniawi tinggi, fahaman kebendaan melampau dan fahaman hedonisme (berfoya-foya secara luar biasa).

Ibadah berpuasa di bulan Ramadan sebagai contohnya adalah latihan rohani yang boleh mencetuskan perubahan hati dan jiwa. Ramai orang yang memiliki penyakit hati yang menyebabkan jiwanya mati. Lalu, melakukan kemungkaran dengan tidak merasakan bahawa yang mungkar itu mungkar. Rasa tidak berdosa ini menyebahkan manusia sering melampaui batas dan melakukan mengikut hawa nafsu yang tidak dikawal. Maka sekiranya nafsu haiwaniah (kebinatangan) lebih ketara atau lebih dominon maka sekaligus kualiti insaniah (kemanusiaan) juga akan semakin pudar.

Jika sekiranya hilang rasa ketakwaan, ianya akan menyebabkan manusia semakin jauh dengan Allah. Antara rahsia mengapa tuntutan solat, puasa, zakat dan haji dijadikan amalan penting kepada umat Islam disebabkan perlunya kita sentiasa berada dalam keadaan ketakwaan dan fitrah yang suci.

Kita mesti selalu menjalakan latihan rohaniah yang supaya ianya akan sentiasa menyegarkan ingatan dan keyakinan manusia terhadap kebaikan serta kenikmatan di dunia dan akhirat.

Ibadah solat umpamanya, dapat menjadikan manusia itu mempunyai jiwa kehambaan yang tinggi kepada Tuhannya. Jiwa kehambaan yang tinggi itu akan menjadikan orang Islam itu sentiasa tunduk dan taat kepada ajaran Tuhannya. Sebab itu, kewajipan sembahyang itu dikaitkan sebagai asas mencegah kekejian dan kemungkaran.

Manakala ibadat puasa yang dilakukan pada setiap kali Ramadan menjelma membekalkan setiap orang Islam supaya dapat mengawal diri, fikiran, hati dan nafsu. Semua ini perlulah dikawal dan dilatih supaya orang Islam tahu menggunakannya dengan betul dan amanah, kerana yang sering merosakkan manusia ialah fikirannya, rasa hatinya dan kerakusan nafsunya.

Daripada amalan zakat dan fitrah, orang Islam dilatih mengenai cara penerimaan dan pengagihan sumber harta. Islam mendidik penganutnya supaya mencari harta yang halal dan berkat. Kemudian harta itu perlu dizakatkan supaya ia dapat dibersihkan, di samping menghubungkan rasa kemanusiaan dan silaturahim umat sesama umat Islam.

Menunaikan ibadah haji pula adalah puncak dalam kehidupan seseorang insan untuk kembali ke alam fitrah. Melakukan tawaf adalah simbolik perjuangan hidup yang dilihat sebagai ibadah berputar sekitar pusat atau tumpuan kepada-Nya. Melakukan wukuf di Arafah adalah gambaran simbolik alam Mahsyar yang menempatkan manusia pada hari hisab nanti. Melontar di Jamrah adalah simbolik syaitan yang sering mengganggu manusia lari daripada fitrah.

Hikmah ibadah dalam Islam ternyata bermaksud supaya orang Islam terus berada dalam keadaan fitrah. Berada dalam keadaan fitrah bermakna berada dalam takwa. Bayangkan roh ibadah yang dimiliki oleh seseorang Islam itu menjadi panduan dalam menjalani hidup. Tentunya watak fitrah itu akan sentiasa subur dalam niat dan amalannya.

Ruhhus siyam ataupun semangat berpuasa umpamanya sentiasa menjadikan manusia berjiwa muttaqin. Orang bertakwa adalah yang takutkan balasan Allah dan memiliki insaf-keTuhanan yang tinggi. Apabila sifat takutkan azab Allah itu tinggi, manusia sudah memiliki kesedaran dan keinsafan di dunia lagi bahawa apa yang dilakukan, Ia adalah kerana Allah (ikhlas). Orang bertakwa yakin bahawa apa yang dilakukan tidak pernah terlepas daripada pemerhatian Allah.

Menerusi malaikat Kiraman-katibinNya, perbuatan kita direkodkan. Meskipun, ia bakal memberi kesan baik-buruknya di dunia, tetapi di akhirat nanti akan melalui pertimbangan yang mutlak.

Insaf-keTuhanan juga penting dalam memandu manusia supaya setiap gerak dan perbuatannya adalah dalam keinsafan bahawa Allah mengetahuinya. Ia menghasilkan daya kawal yang tinggi dan keinsafan mendalam bahawa sebagai seorang Islam, hidup ini adalah ibadah dan setiap ibadah diharapkan adanya barakah.

4. Tarbiyah - Pendidikan dan Latihan (Rohaniah dan Jasmaniah)
Apakah yang dimaksudkan dengan pendidikan dan latihan (Tarbiyah)? Pendidikan dan latihan ialah suatu usaha atau proses mendidik, melatih dan membentuk seseorang individu dari segi rohani, jasmani, emosi, akal dan akhlak. Menurut Kamus Dewan pendidikan bermaksud proses mendidik atau perihal mendidik. Ia berasal dari akar kata “didik”. Dalam bahasa Inggeris, pendidikan diterjemahkan sebagai “education”. Manakala Webster’s Dictionary mendefinisikan pendidikan sebagai:

Education is the process of educating, teaching or training; a part or a stage in this training; Learning or development which results from this process of training.

Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas pula menyatakan bahawa pendidikan itu ialah:
“proses menitiskan sesuatu ke dalam diri manusia”.

Berdasarkan kesemua definisi yang dinyatakan di atas maka bolehlah dirumuskan bahawa matlamat pendidikan ialah untuk melahirkan insan yang memiliki sifat soleh ataupun solehah dari segi jasmani, rohani, emosi dan intelek. Ia juga melengkapkan tujuan kewujudan manusia di bumi ini sebagai hamba dan khalifah Allah untuk memakmurkan alam ini dengan menjadi rahmat keseluruh alam, sesuai dengan kehendak penciptanya iaitu Allah Taala.

Apakah maksud Pendidikan dan Latihan dalam Islam?

Pendidikan dan Latihan dalam Islam pula bermaksud mendidik, membentuk dan melatih potensi manusia berdasarkan ajaran Islam yang syumul ataupun yang sempurna. Abdul Halim El-Muhammady membuat definisi pendidikan dan Latihan dalam Islam sebagai berikut:

“Pendidikan dan Latihan dalam Islam ialah proses mendidik dan melatih akal, jasmani, rohani dan emosi manusia berasaskan sumber wahyu, al-Quran dan Sunnah, pengalaman Salaf al-Salih serta ilmuan muktabar, untuk melahirkan insan salih yang mampu memikul tanggungjawab khalifah yang dipertanggungjawabkan oleh Allah s.w.t. ke atas manusia supaya mengimarahkan alam ini untuk kebahagian hidupnya di dunia dan akhirat”.

Dalam definisi lain, Abdul Halim Hj. Mat Diah pula menyatakan bahawa:

“Pendidikan dan Latihan dalam Islam ialah proses yang dilalui oleh anak didik dengan bimbingan yang dilakukan secara sengaja oleh pendidik untuk mencapai tujuan membentuk manusia muslim berdasarkan ajaran Islam”.

Manakala pendefinisi yang diberikan oleh Burlian Somad mengenai pendidikan Islam. Katanya:

“Pendidikan dan Latihan dalam Islam ialah aktiviti atau kegiatan yang bertujuan membentuk individu menjadi seorang yang mempunyai personaliti yang baik dan bernilai tinggi menurut kaca mata Islam. Pendidikan dan Latihan dalam Islam juga membentuk rasa anak didik menjadi halus dan tajam sehingga mampu mencintai Allah yang ghaib serta merasa sangat takut mendapat azab Allah, merasa bertanggungjawab untuk mengangkat darjah hidup kaum melarat dan anak-anak yatim, serta perasaan bertanggungjawab untuk membela agama Allah dengan rela mengorbankan apa saja yang dimiliki untuk keperluan penjuangan kerana Allah”.

Empat Pemeringkatan Membersihkan Jiwa Raga

1. Taubat
2. Muraqabah
3. Muhasabah
4. Mujahadah

Kebahagiaan seseorang Muslim banyak bergantung kepada bagaimana dia membersihkan jiwa raganya. Manakala kecelakaan bagi dirinya juga terjadi apabila jiwa tidak dipelihara dan dicemari oIeh perkara keji dan kotor. Al-Quran ada menegaskan perkara ini melalui firman Allah s.w.t. yang bermaksud

“Sesungguhnya berjayalah orang yang menjadi dirinya yang sedia bersih – bertambah-tambah bersih (dengan iman dan amal kebajikan) Dan sesungguhnya hampalah orang yang menjadikan dirinya - yang sedia bersih - itu susut dan terbenam kebersihannya (dengan sebab kekotoran maksiat)”

Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda

“Semua di kalangan kamu akan masuk syurga kecuali mereka yang enggan.” Sahabat bertanya “Siapa yang enggan itu wahai Rasulullah.” Baginda bersabda: Sesiapa yang taat kepadaku akan masuk syurga dan sesiapa yang berbuat maksiat kepadaku, mereka itulah yang enggan.

Persoalannya sekarang, apakah itu jiwa? Menurut Kamus Dewan (1998:540), jiwa merupakan nyawa, roh dan unsur batin seperti perasaan, fikiran dan cita-cita yang terkandung dalam hati manusia. Kehidupan manusia berhubung rapat dengan jiwa. Malah segala tindak-tanduk manusia terarah dalam rangka usaha membersih dan menyucikan jiwa, bagi mencapai matlamat hidup untuk memperoleh kejayaan di dunia dan di akhirat serta mengelakkan diri daripada melakukan maksiat kepada Allah s.w.t. dan Rasul-Nya yang boleh mencemarkan jiwa. Proses pembersihan jiwa ini, harus menuruti beberapa langkah seperti berikut:

1. Taubat
Ia bermaksud mengosongkan diri daripada seluruh dosa dan maksiat dan menyesal ke atas dosa-dosa lalu dan berazam untuk tidak mengulanginya pada masa hadapan sepanjang umurnya. Allah berfirman yang bermaksud: ”Wahai orang yang beriman, bertaubatlah kepada Allah dengan taubat nasuha, mudah-mudahan Tuhan kamu akan menghapuskan kesalahan-kesalahan kamu dan memasukkan kamu ke dalam syurga yang mengalir di bawahnya beberapa sungai. (At-Tahrim:8). Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. bersabda: Wahai sekalian manusia, bertaubatlah kepada Allah. Sesungguhnya aku bertaubat kepada-Nya sebanyak 100 kali sehari.

2. Muraqabah
Ia bererti sentiasa merasakan diri kita ini diawasi oleh Allah pada setiap detik dan ketika dan berasa yakin bahawa hanya Allah yang berhak ditaati, Dialah yang Maha Mengetahui setiap rahsia dan perbuatan kita. Apabila seseorang Muslim ini sentiasa menerapkan perasaan yang sedemikian dalam dirinya, maka ia akan sentiasa mengingati Allah dan berasa lapang dada kerana keyakinannya itu dan sentiasa gemar Ingin berdampingan dengan Allah dengan beribadah kepada-Nya. Malah Ia akan sentiasa ingat dan berwaspada, andai kejahatan yang dilakukan pasti Allah mengetahuinya, walaupun orang lain tidak. Allah s.w.t. berfirman yang bennaksud: Dan sesiapa yang berserah diri bulat kepada Allah (dengan ikhlas) sedang berusaha mengerjakan kebaikan, maka sesungguhnya ia telah berpegang kepada simpulan (tali agama) yang teguh. Dan (ingatlah) kepada Allah jualah kesudahan segala urusan. (Luqman:22).

Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda: Beribadahlah kamu kepada Allah seolah-olah kamu melihat-Nya, sekiranya kamu tidak dapat melihat-Nya, maka ketahuilah bahawa Dia melihat kamu. Berkata seorang daripada para salaf as-soleh, iaitu Sufyan as- Sauri: “Hendaklah kamu bermuraqabah kepada Allah yang tidak tersembunyi daripada-Nya sesuatu pun, dan hendak kamu berharap kepada-Nya yang memiliki perjanjian, dan hendaklah kamu sentiasa berwaspada kepada-Nya yang memiliki seksaan.”

3. Muhasabah
Ia bererti menghitung dan mengimbas kembali perlakuan kita seharian sama ada amalan yang kita lakukan lebih cenderung ke arah ketakwaan atau lebih cenderung ke arah kemaksiatan. Sekiranya amalan kehidupan kita berada di tahap yang dimurkai Allah s.w.t., maka bersegeralah memohon keampunan kepada-Nya dan bertaubat, menyesal dan seterusnya melakukan amal kebajikan.

Allah berfirman yang bermaksud: Wahai orang yang beriman, bertakwalah kamu kepada Allah, dan hendaklah tiap-tiap diri melihat dan memerhatikan apa yang ia telah sediakan (daripada amal-amalnya) untuk hari esok (Hari Akhirat). Dan bertakwalah kepada Allah, sesungguhnya Allah Maha Meliputi Pengetahuan-Nya akan segala yang kamu kerjakan. (Al-Hasyr:18)

Umar al-Khattab pernah berkata: “Hisablah diri kamu sebelum kamu dihisabkan.” Dalam kehidupan ini, seharusnya manusia memerhatikan perihal ketaatan, kemaksiatan, faktor-faktor yang merugikan, dan faktor-faktor yang menguntungkan dirinya setiap masa. Dalam perkara menghitung diri ini, ada baiknya juga seseorang individu itu mempunyai borang harian atau pertanyan-pertanyaan diri bagi tujuan mengenal pasti kekurangan dan kelebihan diri dalam amal ibadah kepada Allah s.w.t. Andai tidak berkesempatan, memadailah bertanya diri sendiri apakah hari ini lebih baik dari semalam dan bagaimana pula dengan hari esok? Adakah kewajipan diriku sebagai hamba Allah telah tertunai?

4. Mujahadah
Ia bermaksud berjuang dan berusaha bersungguh-sungguh melawan hawa nafsu yang senantiasa memujuk rayu diri kita melakukan perkara keji dan mungkar. Allah s.w.t. menjanjikan barangsiapa yang bermujahadah, maka dia akan diberi petunjuk jalan-jalan Allah. Dan Allah s.w.t. akan tetap bersama orang yang baik-baik. Hawa nafsu yang ada pada manusia itu berupa satu cabaran kepada kekuatan juang dan pemikiran kita dalam menentukan keputusan tindakan kita. Andai jalan yang baik dipilih, maka bersihlah jiwa kita dan andai tewas dengan kemahuan hawa nafsu amarah itu, maka semakin kotorlah jiwa kita di sisi Allah s.w.t.

Sesungguhnya seorang hamba Allah itu tidak akan dapat mengawal hawa dan nafsunya sekiranya dia mengharapkan ada orang lain yang akan mengawalnya. Dia tidak boleh menyalahkan orang lain sekiranya dia tidak dapat mengawal hawa nafsunya. Kawalan dari dalam diri sendiri itu adalah yang terpenting. Seperti kata pepatah Melayu, hendak seribu daya, tak hendak seribu dalih. Selain itu, pendekatan diri dengan Allah s.w.t. adalah penting agar kekuatan dapat dibina sekukuhnya dengan wujudnya iman dan takwa dalam setiap diri. Apakala seorang insan itu mempunyai iman dan takwa yang tertanam kukuh dalam dirinya, maka syaitan tidak akan dapat mempengaruhinya untuk mengikut kata nafsu jahat yang dapat merosakkan diri.

Dengan dua senjata inilah, maka seorang insan itu akan mampu mengalahkan syaitan dan hawa nafsu yang merupakan musuh utama setiap manusia yang bernyawa. Apabila kita menjadi insan yang bertakwa, maka kita tidak akan menghampiri segala jenis kekejahiIan yang boleh merosakkan kita. Bisikan syaitan dan hawa nafsu akan dapat kita tepis. Kalau kita takutkan Allah, bermaksud kita takutkan hukuman Allah, takutkan neraka Allah, takutkan seksa Allah di alam kubur dan di akhirat kelak. Apabila kita benar-benar percaya dan yakin dengan seksaan Allah, maka kita tentunya tidak akan melakukan sesuatu yang dimunkai Allah.

Oleh yang demikian, belajarlah tentang akidah keimanan yang berhubung dengan peningkat-peringkat iman, benteng-benteng iman dan Iain-lain lagi. Lengkapkan diri dengan ilmu agama, sekurang-kurangnya ilmu fandu ain yang diwajibkan kepada setiap orang yang mengaku Islam untuk dijadikan pedoman dalam hidup kita. Pastikan kita kenal dan tahu membezakan apa yang betul dan apa yang salah yang hendak kita lakukan. Hanya itulah sahaja yang mampu menyelamatkan kita daripada segala kemungkaran dan kefasikan di dunia yang penuh ujian dan cabaran ini.

Kesimpulannya, hendaklah kita sentiasa membersihkan jiwa dan mengawasinya daripada perkara-perkara keji dan mungkar agar kita beroleh kejayaan berupa syurga Allah yang kekal abadi. Allah s.w.t. berfirman: Adapun orang yang takutkan keadaan semasa dia berdiri di mahkamah Tuhannya (untuk dihitung amalnya), serta dia menahan dirinya daripada menurut hawa nafsu, Maka sesungguhnya syurgalah tempat kediamannya. (An-Naazi’at (79) 40-41).

Oleh: Muhamad Fazil Ahmad

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