Thursday, 29 September 2011


Bismillahirohmanirohim ( In the name of Allah the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate)

Nowadays, there are a lot of convenience store that operates 24 hours a day. This culture  originated from the West but it is not impossible to find this culture in the East too. The idea is not only appealing to the capitalist entrepreneur but also to provide convenience to consumers to make any purchase at any time of the day. Therefore it looks like a win-win situation for both parties. Since Eastern countries (/Malaysia) do not have 4 seasons, having 24 hours shops/stores seem to be a trend. One of the reason people in Malaysia like to go out at night is because of its cool breeze and hence they avoid the blazing sun during the day.

We usually claim that we follow a religion as a source of guide to life but sometimes we are not men of our words. We find it difficult to practise what we preach even though we know it is the right way. As we understand, in Islam, the night is for us to rest and also to devote our time for prayer privately as it was practised by the Prophet Muhammad salallahualaihiwasalam. Evidently when Khalid al-walid was leading the army, their night was devoted for worshipping. Qubuqlar, the Roman deputy commander sent a Christian arab to enter the Muslim camp to be a spy. So he spent a day and night in the Muslim camp as a spy and when he returned to Qubuqlar, he said "By night they are like monks, by day like warriors.."

As we know from the lifetime of the Prophet salallahualaihiwasalam, after isha' prayers it is the time to go straight home. The Prophet salallahualaihiwasalam do get occasional visits after Isha' from Abu Bakr as Siddiq due to their friendship (even before Prophethood) and also because of being the father to Prophet's salallahualaihiwasalam wife (Aisha radiallahuanha). Other than these visits, after Isha was not a time to gather/meeting/discuss. Usually the gathering/meetings are held after Fajr prayers when sometimes the Prophet salallahualaihiwasalam turns after leading the prayer and ask if anyone had any question or any dreams to be interpreted. So, according to the Prophet's lifetime, night time is for rest and worshipping.

Why is it important for the night to be quiet/spent indoor?

i) In Islam we don't just observe others' rights such as parents rights, neighbours rights and etc. Islam also observes the right of the body from the individual. We have to eat what is Halal (permitted), the right amount and etc. Similarly, our body have the right to rest.

ii)The community needs to rest. By doing this, pollution may be reduced because less people travel at night, and also less electricity/power usage.

iii) Crimes may be reduced. If the culture instill in our mind that night time is for resting, most people would stay home. Therefore, those few people left roaming at night must have certain agendas in their mind. Crimes are easier to be conducted in the dark and ideal to the criminals due to its low risk. It is easier then for the authority to monitor. Therefore staying out at night will create a higher percentage to be a victim.

iv) The night should be spent with family. Ensuring their safety of the family members from the intense of the darkness. Also the time to be intimate and appreciate each other as the day has been spent on business, learning and etc.

In Surah Al-Falaq verse 3 we are being advised :"And from the evil of night's darkness when it spreads around;" It is a clear advise and prayer for us to avoid evil in the night. The issue has been discussed from the perception of the general community or "the consumers". What about the benefits on operating business 24 hours? Some may argue that 24 hours generates more income but are we looking for more income or more barakah in the income? Sometimes it shows how materialistic we are because of wanting to generate more income without considering anything else. This is the attitude of the capitalist.

"And to (the people of) Midian We sent their brother Shu'ayb. He said: "My people! Serve Allah; you have no god but He. And do not diminish the measure and weight. Indeed I see that you are prospering now, but I fear for you the chastisement of an encompassing day in the future. (85) My people! Give full measure and weight with justice, do not diminish the goods of others, and do not go about creating corruption in the land. (86) The gains that Allah let's you retain are better for you, if you indeed believe." [Surah hud verse 84-86]

These verses show that we should always beware of our economic dealings. Even if one gains a lot of income from doing business at night, does it have barakah? Clearly I have shown that there are more cons than pros in doing business in the night. The people of Midian weren't fair in their economic dealings and mainly because of this and rejecting Prophet Shu'ayb "So a mighty earthquake overtook them, and by morning they lay overturned in their houses." [Surah al-ankabut verse 36]. Let us not be obsessed in generating income without considering anything and disobey the instructions of Allah, insha'allah.

Although this verse refers to people who rushed away without listening to the khutbah of the Prophet salallahualaihiwasalam in order to do business with the caravan that was arriving, we should ponder on it. "But when they see a chance of trade or entertainment they scatter off to it and leave you standing there. Say: "What is with Allah is better than trade or entertainment. Allah is the best of providers." [surah jumu'ah verse 11]

The night in the current trend is usually being spent by operating business(trading) or entertainment (lepaq, karoake and etc) yet, Allah has mentioned that what is with Allah is better and Allah is the best of providers. So, we should limit the business operating hours as the night is better left for rest and worshipping and not be obsessed in generating income without considering anything and disobey the instructions of Allah, insha'allah.

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