Tuesday, 2 February 2010
The House of al-Arqam ibn Abi Arqam (r.a.)
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) reported that the Rasulullah (s.a.w.) came to a graveyard and said, “Peace be upon you, abode of a believing people. Allah Willing, we will join you. I wish that we could see our brothers.”
The swahabah asked, “Are we not your brothers, Messenger of Allah?”
He said, “You are my companions. My brothers are those who have not yet come.”
They asked, “How can you know someone of your community who has not yet come, O Messenger of Allah?”
He said, “Do you not think that if a man had horses with white blazes which were among dark black horses, that he would recognise his horses?”
They said, “Yes indeed, O Messenger of Allah.”
He said, “They will come with white blazes from wudhu and I will precede them to the Basin.”
‘Dar’ may mean ‘house’, ‘home’, ‘abode.’ It is the place we can lay our head down and rest. At the end of the day, it is important to ensure the 'Dar' remains in Dar al-Arqam. al-Arqam bin Abi al-Arqam (r.a.) was the cousin of Abu Salamah (r.a.) and therefore distantly related to the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). He was from Banu Makhzum and amongst the most notable early converts to Islam from that clan. He was a rich man and gave his large house at the foot of Mount Safa’ at the disposal of the Prophet (s.a.w.) to teach the converts to Islam. This was the first waqf that we know of. And it for the disposal of the education of converts and the propagation of Islam.
This is the hope when The Muslim Converts’ Association was named Darul Arqam Singapore. And with that is an amanah, a forgotten one. al-Hamdulillah, it had taken almost three decades to build Darul Arqam Singapore to where it is with its own building and financial security. Throughout those years, it has not always been smooth sailing. The spirit that formed Darul Arqam Singapore as a place for converts by converts, and the Grace of Allah (s.w.t.), has always managed to see it through. But like everything, its time has passed. The building is empty and the barakah is diminished. It is a converts’ organisation without many converts.
The values that made Darul Arqam Singapore what it was are still present. An organisation is found in people and their deeds, not buildings and structure. As long as we have a group of people, convert or born-Muslim, who believe in the sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.) as he gathered the believers in that first Dar al-Arqam, there will always be a hope and a sense of mission. We are part of something greater than ourselves.