Saturday, 27 February 2010

It's not just about competing...

This weekend, Sheffield will yet again be attracting students from all over the UK and Ireland for two of its largest annual event; the Sheffield Malaysian Games and Nasheed Extravaganza 2010 (NEXT 2010).

For the past 5 years, I've always looked forward to this weekend. Not just because I get to meet up with friends from all over the country, but also because of the fond memories I treasured from one of the event, the nasheed competition, better known as NEXT.

Looking at all the hype that NEXT has attracted this year, I can't help but remind myself how much this event has grown in stature over the years. What started as a very low profile event back in 2005, has now become one of the largest Malaysian event in the UK, attracting renown nasheed artists as guest performers namely Azhari Nowseeheart, Hamza Robertson, Akbar and this year, InTeam.

I still remembered the clear objective of this event; to spread the message of Islam via entertainment, as well as raising funds for charity purposes. For those who know me well, I always find joy in singing and entertaining, although admittedly my voice isn't really the sweetest in the world and could even possibly be a nuisance to the ears of some people. However, I jumped at the opportunity to play my part in NEXT, as I know it is my opportunity to be part of the da'wah work that has been initiated.

My nasheed team back in 2005, when NEXT first started. We came home second, not bad for a debut =)

I didn't take part in NEXT 2006 as I was part of the organizing committee. But I made my 'return' in NEXT 2007, and alhamdulillah, my group was the first runner up.

NEXT 2008 was one of my favourite event, not only because we won the first place, but also because we took everyone by surprise with one very special appearance.

My last appearance, in NEXT 2009. This will forever be one of my most memorable experience, as I remembered vividly that I only just had my chemotherapy a week before the event. I felt tired and slightly weak, but that will never prevent me from playing a part. And alhamdulillah, we were announced as the winner yet again, for the second year running.

Music can be a very powerful tool of da'wah, especially nowadays where entertainment is very much deep-rooted in the lives of people. As you might notice from most of my performances in NEXT, we hardly mesmerized people with our voices, but our intention has always been clear; we want to entertain people whilst at the same time spreading as much message about the Deen as possible in our performances.

And I have always told myself, had I been in Sheffield for this year's NEXT 2010, I will definitely compete again if that allows me the opportunity to spread the message of my Deen.

I remembered that one particular night when I returned home having just finished practising for NEXT 2009. I was so drained out from the after effects of my most recent chemotherapy, and a small part of me started asking; is it worth wasting my energy to compete again in the nasheed event? That was when I reminded myself,

If I am to compete for fame, then yes, it is a waste of my energy.

If I am to compete for the sake of winning, then yes, it is a waste of my energy.

If I am to compete because I just love singing in front of a large audience, then yes, it is a waste of my energy.

But those are not my intention of competing. My wish is to do my part in da'wah. Nothing else but only that. So it is worth spending every bit of my energy for this cause.

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ

"You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma`ruf (all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah..." [Ali-'Imran:110]

All the best for NEXT 2010. May Allah reward each and everyone of you for your effort.


HangLiJo said...

nice voice afzal! :)

rhapsody LiN said...

bgus kan event mcm nie.

Najiahtul Syafiqah Ismail said...

sounds interesting!!!=)

Anonymous said...

boy... wish my kids can be as strong as you... may Allah bless U...
mommy of three

Mohd Shahnom Ismail said...

:) Teringat kat Nida

Abdullah said...

Saya masih teringat pesanan seseorang semasa kami melawat sahabat kami yang sedang koma akibat kemalangan jalan raya. Masih muda orangnya, 21 tahun. Dia mengalami pendarahan dalam otak yang agak serius sehingga doktor mengesahkan sebahagian otaknya tidak berfungsi

"Doakanlah yang terbaik untuk sahabat kita ini. Jika hidup itu adalah terbaik untuknya, menambahkan keimanannya dan akhir hayatnya dalam keadaan taat pada ALLAH maka , doakanlah dia diberi kehidupan yang lebih oleh ALLAH. Jika sebaliknya, maka doakanlah yang itu. Dibimbangi dia tidak dapat meneruskan kehidupan seperti biasa dan membuatkannya lebih jauh daripada ALLAH, rasa putus asa.

Lalu, saya mendoakan ALLAH berikan yang terbaik untuknya.Seperti doa yang disarankan oleh sahabat saya itu.

Dua hari kemudian kami dikhabarkan dia telah meninggal dunia. Dia kemalangan jalan raya semasa dalam perjalanan pulang dari Program Kem Ibadat untuk bekas sekolahnya.Subhanallah, saya yakin insyaALLAH itu kematian yang baik. Al Fatihah

Oleh itu, doakanlah yang terbaik untuk setiap perkara yang kita lakukan dalam kehidupan kita.Berusaha bersungguh sungguh dengan kudrat yang ada dan kemudian panjatkan doa ALLAH berikan yang terbaik untuk Agamaku,perjuanganku, untuk duniaku dan untuk akhiratku...

Ya ALLAH, berikanlah yang terbaik untuk saudara Mas Afzal . AMIN

ann said...

salam bro..wahh ada talent sbg penyanyi nasyid yer...yea moga terus kuat

devB said...

Salam my dear brother in Islam, we have never previously met but i came across your blog today. You have been my inspiration i write this as i shed many tears for i wish Allah gave me only a fraction of the inner strength you have, the wisdom you possess, and the love you have for Him.
Although Allahh as given me many bounties in my health i have never thought to thank him until after i read your blog.Because of you i remembered my creator jazakallah khair i promise to remember you always in my morning prayer which inshallah after today i will try never to miss because of this promise i have made to you.
fee amaan Ilah
My inspiration

your sister Fatima

Atiq said...

Assalamualaikum abg mas afzal,

Syukran Jazilan kerana mengingati kami kembali atas apa Niat SEBENAR bagi Comepetition ni... InsyaAllah saya dan juga kamis semua akan teruskan perjuanganmu disini... Untuk teruskan message da'wah melalui Nasyid...

Ribuan Terima Kasih for the reminder...


Mas Afzal said...

Dear sis Fatima,

I thank Allah that at least my writings have inspired you to become closer to our Rabb, and not just merely penning my thoughts without benefiting the readers. May Allah bless you in every steps you make.


Tahniah kerana terlibat dalam NEXT 2010, pasti pengalaman yang menarik, kan? Tahun depan join lagi tau, terus-terusan menyumbang kepada berdakwah melalui berhibur, insya Allah.

joegrimjow said...

full version macam biasa
bleh baca kat blog joegrimjow

takhta sheffield dirampas

1st time watch 2005 performance!

Mas Afzal said...

Thanks Joe for sharing about what happened this year. Rindunya dengan NEXT bila tengok video-video yang korang upload.

Tahniah dan takziah atas ujian yang diberikan untuk NEXT tahun ini, you guys still did a good job. Moga dapat ditimba hikmah perancangan Allah sedemikian rupa.

Iman said...

Feel so weird and sad too without Brother Mas performing and in NEXT.This time we dont win... :(

*hope u heal quickly

Mas Afzal said...

Iman :

I'm equally sad that I could not compete this time around, but I guess everyone will have to bid farewell eventually kan?

Insya Allah takpe, menang kalah adat bertanding. What matters more is delivering the message.. =)

Barakallahu fiik

Anonymous said...

Salam adik Afzal,
Please do update us on your latest health condition.
I've been 'addicted' to read 'ur blog everyday, ever since I heard about U from my fren in UK
Our pray for your health
You inspire other people
- mommy of three

Anonymous said...

salam saudara Mas Afzal,
mendalam minat Mas pada nasyid kan?Alhamdulillah.
akak dan rakan-rakan ada menganjurkan satu program bersama kumpulan nasyid hijjaz dan kumpulan bawah naungan mereka pada Sabtu 13hb March ni di TeratakHijjaz di Bangi.
Mungkin kalau ada kesmpatan Mas boleh berkongsi rasa dengan peserta pada malam tersebut.Prof Latif ;mantan Presiden PPIM AKAN turut serta memberikan tazkirahnya.
Kalau Mas ingin turut serta boleh hubungi akak di emel berikut

Anonymous said...

Salam Afzal,
Your blog is like a weekly ceramah for me, I only have time to read your blog every Friday, so it becomes a reminder for me at every end of the week because from Monday to Friday asyik busy with office work and sempat buat yang wajib only. Allah bless you Afzal for enriching our souls and renewing our faith to Him.