18 05 2009

HOW I wish the titled equation could be true. I can’t help thinking about the subject — happiness — after reading popular blogger Mr BR’s posting today in his Daily Brunei Resources blog on Project Happiness by Gretchin Rubins… Most people would shrug off happiness as being a relative matter, though.

In my previous posting I featured a happy-go-lucky veteran world-class singer Billy Joel who turned 60 last week. My last post was about another singer-musician, ‘comeback-kid’ Cat Stevens, who has happily chosen his Muslim name, Yusuf Islam, ever since he reverted to the Islamic religion in the late 70s. Incidentally, Yusuf Islam will turn 61 come July 21st! 🙂

Bruneian citizens who share both the singers’ respective ages are the happiest generation because His Majesty’s Government is the only one in the world to freely hand-out the Old Age Pension allowance of B$250.00 to each of them upon their reaching that ‘Golden Age’ of 60. For Billy Joel and Yusuf Islam, such a scheme is the last thing they’d ever ask for from their governments considering comfortable royalty fees they get from their evergreen recordings. Still it’s a lot of money if you accumulate it to a year’s total of BND3k! 😉 The question remains: Are all Bruneians aged 60 years and above much happier than their counterparts in other countries? Obviously money can’t really buy happiness, can it? 😦

Some years ago, I visited a neighbouring country and met a middle-aged man (in his late 70s) whose daily routine was to walk up and down staircases to and from his 8th floor flat to go to the nearest Masjid or mosque five times a day — no miss! 

One early dawn then, I was taking my ablution ready to perform the Subuh prayers when that particular wise but frail old man asked me if the Old Age Pension Scheme benefits middle-aged Bruneians had been enjoying was true. And somehow the good news had even reached as far as Johore in Malaysia. So I explained to him how my own parents were some of the lucky Bruneians to have been privileged and lived long enough to benefit from it (by the Will of Allah).

In my heart (or I couldn’t recall if I did say it out to him loud enough for him to hear) I told him that he was the luckiest servant of Allah to be getting much more rewarding “Pahala” or blessings from the Almighty for his sincere action of performing the daily prayers for years on end.

Strangely enough, the day after our encounter that early morn’, I heard that that poor old “Hamba Allah” fell ill and couldn’t walk to the Masjid no more since he was bed-ridden. He passed away peacefully in his sleep the following day. I had the opportunity to “ziarah jenazah Allahyarham” or pay my last respects to that deceased pious Muslim and managed to see his face in death — HAPPINESS was clearly written all over his fair-complexioned and patient but calm look! 🙂 

May Allah Subhannahu Wataala bless his soul — Amin! AL-FATIHAH…





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