Guilt Trip Case Study
Abdul Rahim Said (C) February 2013
An old red Jeep rushes through the streets of a small community outside Kuala Lumpur in the direction of its only neighbourhood Surau. The driver clad in a dark green juba with a white turban over his head and a Bedouin checkered scarf around his neck flapping in the wind, is oblivious to others observing him from the roadside stalls as he passes by. The windows of the Jeep are down and you can hear Cat Stevens' "Morning has Broken" blazing away. The driver is singing along repeating the lyrics and tapping his fingers on the steering wheel in sync with the music. His head nodding and moving from side to side rhythmically enthralled by Stevens' melodious voice.
"There goes Leman!" says a newspaper vendor to his brother as he passes by their delivery stand. "Late again for his morning prayers!"
The Jeep moves quickly into the Surau car park on a beautifully landscaped hillock. Leman steps out of his Jeep just as Stevens' song comes to its appropriate ending, " Praise with elation, praise every morning. God’s recreation of the new day".
He scans the horizon for the glimmer of the dawn early light and sees the fading moon about to be outshone by the rising sun, hanging low in the Western skies and quietly expresses his gratitude to the Creator for a chance to enjoy yet another blessed day.
From nearby mosques he hears the Bilal calling the faithful to prayers.
At his own Surau, the Bilal is nowhere to be found. Reaching into his juba pocket, he finds the keys and opens the doors. Groping in the dark, he switches on the lights one after another. He sees the amplifier, turns it on, presses the button of the microphone, frees his mind of the lyrics from Stevens' song he was humming earlier, clears his throat and in a clear melodious voice calls out to his fellow Muslims to prayers: "Allah Akhbar...!"
Leman, an influential secretary of a Surau elected to office for his popularity by