I am a regular patron of our housing estate's surau. In fact since my return from performing my pilgrimage to Madinah and Makkah I had been visiting the surau more often that before. For me this is my answer to a challenge made by one Ustaz Ali who was our hotel's religous teacher in Makkah.
Ustaz Ali said if here in Makkah we tend to pray in congregations or groups why don't we do the same at home in Malaysia.
There is a notice board at the surau on which the surau's activities are written for everybody to see. When somebody in the area holds a kenduri it is normal for him to invite us through the surau. Normally he invites us to read the Yaasin and Tahlil too. The surau officials will put a note on the notice board with details of the date, time, address and the host's name.
Last week I was shocked when somebody added the words, in Malay meaning "He never came to the surau and never participated in the surau's activities" below the details of an oncoming kenduri. True, I have never seen the host at the surau. But it is certainly quite unfair for anybody to put such a remark.
I never asked who wrote the remark. But I could guess his intentions. He wanted the surau patrons to boycott the kenduri, as simple as that. But for me being invited is an honour itself. I never care if the host is a regular patron of the surau or not.
The remarks remained on the notice board right until one day before the function. By then somebody had erased the remark.
I went to the kenduri and there I could guess who wrote the remark. There is a group of patrons in the surau who always mingle together. It is not that they do not mingle with the rest of us. They do. But they mingle closer to each of them than the rest. This group was absent from kenduri. My guess was one of them must had written the remark with the consent or instigation of the others.
Nevertheless the group's absence was never felt by anybody. The Yaasin and Tahlil recitals went smoothly and after that the host served us some great kampung food. On top of that each one of us was given a bag of souvenirs to take home for our spouses.
Well, for me life goes on.