Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Righteous Mufti - Chapter 1: The Funeral

The Righteous Mufti is a collection of short stories designed around the Let’s Read The Quran Campaign. The story is about the protagonist and title character himself - Pak Manfi, his family and his life as a Mufti in the fictional land of Darul Salamshah. When I was writing about Pak Manfi, I imagined a wise and kind man that I, myself, would love to meet. Pak Manfi is far from perfect, as evident in some part of the stories, but his ongoing pursuit of learning, understanding, and applying the Quran in his life and through his leadership, is an admirable quest.

The inspiration of The Righteous Mufti saga is the Quran itself. Most of the stories are built upon a collection of verses on a particular topic. I hope that these stories will inspire you to be better acquainted with the Quran too. I would like to thank the two writers that helped me in writing these stories. For any feedback or enquiries, please email us at

                                                                                                                            Thank you,
                                                                                                      Anas Zubedy.

The Righteous Mufti
Chapter 1: The Funeral

It was a sad day for the people of Darul Salamshah.

The sky was gloomy, rain was pouring and wind was blowing softly. It was as if the universe understood that Darul Salamshah had lost a gem by the name of Othman Hanafi Al-Takwa.
Othman Hanafi was a simple man. Known fondly as Pak Manfi by the people, he was Darul Salamshah’s most loved Mufti. A kind and gentle soul, Pak Manfi was everybody’s friend and confidante, be it the royalty or commoners.

“Darul Salamshah has lost a great man,” a man was heard sighing.

“I remember the time when Pak Manfi helped my family get a new house at Taman Gasing. Our old house had burned down and we were left with nothing. Pak Manfi approached me after hearing my story from the villagers and decided to take out his hajj savings and gave it to me. I was shocked that he would do such a thing,” replied another man, with tears in his eyes. “I would never be able to repay what he did for us.”

This was Pak Manfi. He believed in the Quran when it said that Hajj is about sacrifice. The Quran teaches how we should spend our money, which is spending it for charity – first for the parents and relatives, next for the orphans and the needy as evident in the Quranic verse 2:215,

They ask thee what they should spend (In charity). Say: Whatever ye spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarers. And whatever ye do that is good, -Allah knoweth it well.
(Quran 2:215)
Always kind and helpful, he listened to every complaint, every story, every sighs with intent and empathy.  He took the Quranic verse 2:110 seriously, 

“And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah: for Allah sees Well all that ye do.” (Quran 2:110)

Indeed, he was the people’s mufti. He was offered numerous of positions and titles but all of them were received by rejections. The only reason he accepted the name, “Al-Takwa” by the people was because he took it as challenge to live up to righteousness as stated in the Quran. For Pak Manfi, he sees this as the 10 commandments to the Muslims.

“Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes:
1.   in Allah
2.   the Last Day
3.   the angels
4.   the Book
5.   and the prophets
6.   and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to:
·        relatives,
·        orphans,
·        the needy,
·        the traveler,
·        those who ask [for help],
·        and for freeing slaves;
7.   [and who] establishes prayer
8.   and gives zakah;
9.   [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise;
10.              and [those who] are patient in:
·        poverty
·        and hardship
·        and during battle.
Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.”
(Quran 2:177)

By this time, the Intan Muslim Cemetery was filled with thousands of people who wanted to pay their last respects to “Al-Takwa”, the Mufti. Silence filled the cemetery as the procession began. Mumbles and sniffles could be heard.

Around his grave, sat his widow, three children and two grandchildren. The widow, Khadijah, or fondly known as Aunty Khaty, sat there stoned-faced, trying to comprehend what had happened to her husband.

“He was only 64…,” her thoughts trailed off.

It was a Sunday evening when it happened. Pak Manfi had insisted his children and grandchildren to come home.

“They came home yesterday, Manfi. Why do you insist on them coming again today? Won’t it be too troublesome for them?” asked Aunty Khaty.

While reading the newspaper, he answered simply, “I miss the children and the girls.”

Aunty Khaty gave a short sigh and shook her head. This was typical of Pak Manfi. Always so loving and at times, clingy.

Their three children were the light of their lives. Amir came a year after their marriage, followed by twins, Sham and Sarah 2 years later. Their lives became more joyful when their grandchildren, Tessa and Zahiril came.

A devoted family man, Pak Manfi met Aunty Khaty at a local university when they were 19. They studied different courses, Aunty Khaty, TESL, Teaching English As A Second Language and him, Economics with a minor in Islamic Studies.

“I was a naughty boy, when I was growing up,” said Pak Manfi proudly to Aunty Khaty during one of their dates.

The then 19 year old Khadijah laughed, “I don’t believe you, if you were a naughty boy, why did you choose Islamic Studies as your minor?”

Pak Manfi became more serious, “It’s a long story, Khaty. I’ll tell you another day.”

For 40 years, Pak Manfi and Aunty Khaty became inseparatable. He had always treated his wife as his equal and would always ask opinions from her. “She’s my partner,” he used to say of Aunty Khaty to the people. He quoted the Quranic verse 33:35,

"For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward."
(Quran 33:35)

He also loved the Quranic verse 4:19 which states,

"O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dowry you have given them - except when they have become guilty of open lewdness. On the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them, it may be that you dislike something and Allah will bring about through it a great deal of good."
(Quran 4:19)


"And among His signs is this, that He has created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them; and He has put love and mercy between you. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect."
(Quran: 30:21)

“Let’s go for a walk, I’m too tired for sepak takraw,” announced Pak Manfi, happily.
Aunty Khaty’s thoughts were interrupted as Pui Lee, the local teacher called her, “Aunty Khaty?”

“Yes..?” she answered.

“I am so sorry for your loss. Pak Manfi was a good man. God always take the good ones first,” cried Pui Ling, while hugging Aunty Khaty.

Every soul shall have a taste of death: and We test you by evil and by good by way of trial. To Us must ye return. (Quran 21:35)

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