@Halal April 2019 - Page 29

05 @Glam.Halal APRIL-MAY. 2019 may aff ect the credibility of Muslim speakers as a whole. “For the more conservative, speak- ers who appears on television such as myself may not hold as much weight as the ones who do not, and therefore the credibility of Muslim speakers as a whole is somewhat tarnished.” WAY OF THINKING D BEING A ‘CELEBRITY’ ON Daniyal bin Don Biyajid, or more widely known by Malay- sians as Ustaz Don, enters the café with his smart-casual dress-up, eloquent and eager to share. Ustaz Don addresses the question on being a ‘celebrity Muslim speaker’, saying that the term had never crossed his mind when he started preaching as an ustaz. According to Ustaz Don – who is also the founder of Kuiscell, if the term celebrity is used to describe a person who appears on tele- vision, then he by default, is one. Although he does not resonate himself as an ‘entertainer’. To him, it was a blight of society nowa- days. “People are prone to label, or to ‘brand’ someone with a title whenever they are in the public eye. Thus the term ‘celebrity Muslim speaker’ is used to describe me and what I do, even though both words contradict each other,” he says. POSITIVE IMPACT ON PEOPLE Although still adjusting to the whole label- ling thing, Ustaz Don delineates the pros and cons of carrying the title of ‘Muslim speaker’ as it is coupled with the term ‘celebrity’. “To be recognised as a celebrity Muslim preacher and speaker comes with extra baggage. It has come to a point where people would ask me for advice on deciding the name of their company, as they think my input in the name would steer their business into success somehow.” He does not condemn that specifi c way of thinking, rather surprised at what a person in his position can be of impact to other people. He then says, “The services of a Muslim speaker is for the society. I believe that through preaching the ways of Islam, people are inserting more of it into their daily lives. That is the positive side I see through this story.” It seems that with him, and several other Muslim speakers popular today, the job goes beyond preaching in mosques. They have become a premium source of reference for society. He believes that this issue is caused by a ‘thinking phenomenon’. “The cause for all this, I believe, is the idea that we absolutely have to follow a certain way of thinking dic- tated by the newer generation. We shouldn’t.” He takes the example from Sirah Nabawi- yah, where the Prophet Muhammad SAW said, “It would look strange for and old person to act like the young ones, and vice versa.” Ustaz Don believes that we should think and act according to how we are. “Take myself for instance. Being 34 years old, I have to act like a 34 year-old human being. I shouldn’t act and think like I am 50 years old.” But to what degree should we act as we are? What is the diff erence between acting and thinking like a 34 year-old as oppose to a 50 year-old? To this, he says to look at what our current society defi nes age and the way we act. “This is what we call Uruf, the environ- ment or the custom of a particular society. The maturity is what shapes us. The condition, the way of thinking, the physical interactions of people, should adhere to the norm. It is totally fi ne for a 50 year-old to feel young, but his way of thinking should be that of what other 50 year-olds, and not otherwise.” He then takes his explanation of Uruf and ties it with the issue. “This applies to the Asatizah (plural for Muslim speakers) as well.” “If you identify yourself as a Muslim speaker, then you should adhere to what a Muslim speaker should act, feel, and think. This is even more important for ones who are deemed a ‘celebrity’, as they are aff ecting more people at any given time.” Therefore, the role of a Muslim speaker, especially when he is labelled as a celebrity, is a lot more important. They are to uphold the values and teachings of a Muslim speaker while also holding the baggage of ‘glamour’. PERSONALITY IS KEY As a mere commoner who enjoys Ustaz Don’s sessions, I believe that there is a lot to carry for being a celebrity Muslim speaker. As their teachings and advice are highly regarded by society, they must sustain a certain level of authority while also being humble and adhering. For me, Ustaz Don is a prime example of an exemplary Muslim speaker. His humbleness to Allah as he speaks, and his mellow yet mag- netic personality is what really made people regard him highly. As do I. Take myself for instance. Being 34 years old, I have to act like a 34 year-old human being. I shouldn’t act and think like I am 50 years old.” CREDIBILITY OF SPEAKERS MAY BE TARNISHED Traditionally, people who become Muslim speakers, to spread the teachings of Islam, are the people who spends most of their life in learning the ways. “In earlier times, it would take years for someone to learn and experience Islamic teachings to fi nally become a Muslim speaker, to be able to give advice and impact other people. Whereas today, winning a competi- tion on television can already make someone fi t into the same stature.” Ustaz Don believes that this phenomenon Ustaz Don with Bro Amin.