Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Purpose of Life?


(From a Volunteer)

What is the purpose of this life?
Money, holidays, a beautiful wife?
There is no point in us denying
Each heart beat brings us closer to dying

You’ll breathe your last
Your life will have past
Don’t pretend
Death’s not the end

You will taste death, death never waited
Look around you, everything’s created
It has a creator, it has a meaning
A mother gives birth and then comes it’s weaning

The sun rises and gives us light
It sets, then falls, the blanket of night
The plants all grow, when falls the rain
They give fruits to man, and they too will wane

Why does man think that he will get away?
Spending life aimlessly, as if he’s here to stay
A fixed time is appointed, everything will perish
Everything you hate, everything you relish

Except the Almighty Allah, He will remain
And then will come judgment, all on one plain
Allah will say, I gave you life
I gave you health, wealth and a wife

What did you do with your time?
What did you do in your prime?
Did you spread my message, did you spread Islam?
Why not? Did you not read the Qur’an?

My friends, we Muslims, we are so blessed
Allah gave us Islam to supercede all the rest
My non-Muslim friends, the Qur’an must be read
Read before it’s too late and you’re dead

You owe it to yourselves, it will make you cry
You’ll know these words are from the Lord most High
Instructing mankind to the purpose of life
And the reward my friends is everlasting life

Our purpose is to worship our Lord most High
The reward is heaven where no one will die
You’ll have anything you want, all the best dishes
And Almighty Allah will grant all of your wishes

This life my friends is just a cage
We should live by His orders, to be safe from His rage
You will understand when you read the Holy Qur’an
You’ll know the religion of truth is Islam

Protect yourself and your families from hell
Embrace Islam and all will be well
For the deeds of this life, you’ll pay the price
In the depths of Hell or in Paradise

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Back to Basics.

Alhamdulillah, yesterday we had the opportunity to meet and have a ‘chill out’ session with a lecturer from our university who specializes in ‘Aqeedah. It was the first time for me as a guest to the home of a Saudi. I’ve been to houses of others who live here but they are are not Arabs. They’re originally from Fatani or Pattani, now a part of southern Thailand.

One of our friends from Islamic University of Madinah dropped by over the weekend to perform ‘umrah and crashed at our dorm. He was the one who initiated visiting the sheikh as he knew him and had visited him before. Initially he tried to ‘bait’ us to accompany him by talking about food. The last time he was there, the sheikh had prepared a big feast. While it may actually work for others, it caused me to think twice as I don’t really enjoy having a feast; for me, I’d eat just so that I’d have enough energy for the day. I feel that overeating is a waste and unhealthy. And i’ve experienced how much food have been prepared and wasted here. There is a simple hadith which says,

Nahnu qaum la na’kul hatta naju’.. wa iza akalna la nashba’ which translates to something like, We(muslims) are a nation that do not eat unless we are hungry and when we do so, we do not overeat. Just stick to this hadith, insya Allah, you’ll be in a healthier state.

Correct me if I’m wrong but to my knowledge, I think Arabs are one of the most excessive in the world in terms of what is served in a feast! Still, in the end I decided to go anyway as the purpose is not about the food but to visit the sheikh and get to interact and exchange thoughts and ideas. And if there were to be a feast, then at least I could chip in, though not much, to help prevent excessive food wastage.

And so, five of us went. I asked my Madinah friend some questions about the sheikh to learn a little about him. He had met the sheikh in Perlis, Malaysia during a convention a few years back and had remained in contact occasionaly ever since. According to him, the sheikh is someone who likes to travel and enjoy meeting with Asians as they normally portray a pleasant outlook and courtesy. He’s also interested learn more about them, their culture and exchange ideas with other Islamic scholars in Asia. He’s also someone who lived humbly, going to Masjidil Haram and even our University sometimes by bus.

To cut the story short, in the end, there was no feast..just dates and 3 different servings of drink(fruit juice, Saudi coffee, tea).. but we attained valuable knowledge and had made a new acquaintence in the sheikh as well. I also realised later, that he is actually the Head of Deparment for ‘Aqeedah in our university. But there were no airs at all. He was humble, very welcoming, friendly and spoke to us in an engaging, light-hearted manner. At times he cracked jokes. And also gave us advices and often ended conversing with a supplication for us.

The topic of conversation varied from our situation as students at the university to the state of our country and the conditions of the Muslims there to how the Arabs and Asians view coffee and tea differently and even about marraige. All these took place in the guest room, Arab style; a large room with adjoined cushioned seats around all four corners of the walls decorated nicely with matching colours and curtains. There are also small tables available to be used when needed and nothing else. Before we left, he also gave us a copy of a book which he wrote entitled,”Ahwal al-mukholifeen li ahli al-sunnah fi al-imaan” (The state of contradiction for Sunnis in Islamic belief) published by Muslim World League and suggested to us to contact him if we ever needed his help in anything. Alhamdulillah for this opportunity and experience.

One of the things which i'd like to highlight from our meeting is about 'Aqeedah(Islamic belief) which is the main, integral part of a Muslim. My madinah friend had asked the sheikh about how to da’wah to others especially those who are Muslims by name only but are lacking or do not practice Islam as a way of life. He gave a simple answer similar to what i’ve learnt before..Back to basics. It’s all about the 'Aqeedah.

Once the islamic belief of a person is strong and he had understood what is his purpose in this life, insya Allah he will change for the better and the rest will follow. Only then, would he be more aware of the implications of his daily actions in life as a Muslim and seek self-improvement to reach the highest possible state of taqwa, insya Allah. Allah had taught us through Rasulullah (peace be upon him) whereby he imparted 'Aqeedah to the people of Makkah in the simplest manner and for them to understand it and have a belief that Allah is the only God, in charge of all the affairs of the world, seen and unseen and to direct their supplications, prayers and worship only to Him and none other. Only after that, other aspects of Islamic practice was slowly introduced.

Reflecting back during my childhood days, the basis of ‘Aqeedah was not one of the main things that was focused on. It was more on how to solat, to do purification before solat and to fast. And it was the same when I attended a weekend madrasah. There was ‘Aqeedah in the curriculum but I never understood it well, probably too hard to understand. There was no focus on the subject of knowing our purpose here and our relationship with Allah. As a result, I know that we have to do this or that in Islam but I didn’t understand why. I had memorised the verses and supplications to recite during the solat but don’t understand the meaning to it. It was just a blindly followed practice that was performed (because my parents would nag) without any understanding of it. As a result, I had no qualms about neglecting it often during those period whereby I was plainly ignorant.

There was also no focus on understanding the Noble Qur’an. For many years we recite it and sometimes hear beautiful recitals of scholars from around the world but for most of us who are not Arabic linguists, we do not understand the meaning of the verses behind the recitations. And even after learning how to recite it well, or to a standard, many still do not read or even find out the translation and knowledge behind the surahs. How do we learn from the Qur’an that way? Hypothetically speaking, sometimes when a person loves a piece of music, he would learn its lyrics wholeheartedly and to try to connect the link between the music and the lyrics so that it have a deeper impact on the feel of the music. Without the lyrics the music would be souless and with the music, its as if the lyrics came to life. In the end we would be easily bored after listening only to the piece of music or reading the lyrics. It’s similar for the Qur’an. Some people can even go to extremes looking for translations and meanings of a foreign music like korean or japanese music, so why not with Arabic language for the Qur'an?

On another note, I feel it’s useless to answer to a person directly, when he asks why he must perform solat at the specified times or not wear the hijab for example or why Islam have strict rules and regulations. There exists a more important issue before we deal with all these secondary issues. That issue is regarding the purpose of life. Anyway, how would he understand if we tell him this or that is Haram because the Qur’an says so, this is what Islam requires and quote the Qur’an and Hadith. The person may not have even heard of what is a hadith. In the end, what may happen is that we’d be amazed that we are able to quote so many proofs but in the end, the person would still be stumped and clueless. The first thing to do is to tackle the root of the problem. Note his understanding of Islam, then we try to impart to him to how he would understand it and to focus on what’s more important at hand which could be his ‘Aqeedah and to make him realize or remind his purpose of life here. Only then it may help him to understand better, insya Allah.

As what is reflected in a article, if we want to know what is our purpose of life, we have to ask our creator and Allah has given us the complete set of answers in his book(instruction manual) called the Qur'an. One of the things that is said about our purpose of life is..

"And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)" (Surah adh-Dhariyaat:56)

And ustaz 'Abu Saif' went on to explain that the concept of worship is not just through performing the daily prayers, give alms to the poor and needy, fast or perform the hajj but it encompasses our whole lives. Whatever that we do in accordance of what Allah requires of us as His humble slaves through the guidance of the Qur'an and actions of our prophet (Sunnah), that is the concept of worship in Islam!

And if we can agree on the reality that we need God in our lives, only then we can go further to explain to the questioner why we need to perform the daily prayers; we need to pray because we need Allah in our lives. And if we can agree to the necessity of prayers, only then we can explain why women have to cover themselves and wear the hijab. If Malaysians have to don a certain dresscode when facing their yang di pertuan agong(sultan) it's even more compulsory when facing Allah during and even after prayers because that is what Allah requires of them!
Link to article here.

And Allah SWT knows best.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Away from the comfort of SG..

Alhamdulillah. Today was one of the better days I've had concerning the 'administration experience' in this part of Saudi. Together with another two of my friends, coupled with sheer determination, help from above and perfect timing we managed to complete the admin process for registration for admission to a driving school within one day! Yes one day!!

Masya Allah.. haza shai' 'ajeeb.. this is something extraordinary! Let me explain. Firstly, we didn't have any background information regarding the hows, whats and what nots about the registration process. This itself could cause us all sorts of problems. All we knew was the location of the driving school and that we have only the weekdays from morning till around noon to register. This also meant that we had to skip a day of lectures.

So off we went, and after 15 mins by taxi we reached the place. We became lost for a while as there were no clear signages to direct us to the registration area. We tried to locate it for a while but finally gave up and asked one of the officers there. Then we found a small poster listing the things needed for registration process. One of the things that is needed is to complete a medical assessment form of health, blood type and eye vision. This can only be done at one of the many polyclinics or health centres. Which meant that the chances of completing registration within in a day looked bleak as that would require a one-day completion of the medical assesment form which is rarely possible.

We headed for the admin counter to get the the medical assesment form. One of my friends asked the admin officer how to register? The officer asked back whether he had six photographs. And then said that he will only give the medical assesment form if we have the photographs. Two of us only had 3 photographs.

But just to try out the "system", one of us with six photographs went to register while two of us observed. The officer took only 1 photograph and he gave him the form with the photograph clipped to it. So we asked again requesting for the form as he only used 1 photograph. Thankfully, he obliged and passed us the forms as well.

Now, we can't do anything till we get the medical assesment form filled up. It was still early, so we headed for our University Clinic hoping that it would still be open and all the doctors that we needed for their assesment of our health would be present. Miraculously, all the doctors were present and we managed to get the form completed within 15 mins. How do you get to complete a medical assesment within 15 mins? It's called a 'verbal Q and A medical assessment'. Thats it. Go figure.

After that we went to get more scans of our photographs and had some forms and our identity card photocopied just in case the admin process required them. Seeing that there was still an hour before the driving centre closes, we decided to try going back to complete the administration process within the day. Barring any hiccups such as a crowd similar to the one we witnessed earlier, it was possible, insya Allah.

So we made a trip there again and we managed to complete the admin process 'smoothly' after going through 4 different counters with all our forms and photographs. Our photocopies proved useful as we found out that one of the admin officers required them as well. Finally, we received a receipt and form indicating the date and time to the start of our first driving lesson. "kholass?.." we confirmed one last time. And the officer nodded.

As you have observed, this is just one of the many "admin processes" that we have to go through during our stay here. Be thankful that back home in Singapore, this kind of process can be completed within half an hour or even lesser! There is generally no system in place here.

Picture this.. A process that could be completed within minutes at just one admin counter in Singapore. Here, that same process may require more than one staff member in charge of a small part which could be done by one person. If just one of them is not available or worse(but something common) the officer felt lazy and decided not to do his work that day, you'd have to return another day! During my first year trying to register a bank account, it took me one and a half months! Imagine that! Something which could be done within 5 mins at Singapore. I've heard all the simple reasons that they gave at different banks I went to.. "bukrah insya-Allah"(tomorrow, God Willing) or "ba'da usbook"(after a week) and once "ba'da shahr" (next month).

Thats why something which could be completed within a few minutes, be it at the bank or the school or others could take days, weeks or even months to complete! And don't even think about complaining. It won't work and may even cause you more problems. The rule of thumb is to persevere, ensure all documents needed for the process and hope that the admin officer is in a good mood or felt a little hardworking that day and hope for the best.

Alhamdulillah. Reflecting on the scenario this morning, imagine, what if just one of the doctors is absent? What if, we didn't find the all important poster? What if the admin officer had refused to pass us the medical assessment form? What if we didn't take the initiative to photocopy the important documents? And so on.. With just one of these factors missing, that's it for the day..come again..

For us here, in these kind of situations, we always have keep in mind that it's the way things work here and to exercise patience, lots and lots of it and not to let our emotions overcome us. Anyway, this is actually not the worse case scenario. The admin processes in Saudi can still be considered quite ok as compared to other arab countries like Egypt. Ask the students there of their admin experiences. You'd be shocked!

Anyway, this is something that the Arabs should place priority in improving. One of the top priorities. To perform their duties proficiently and professionally.

For now, for those experiencing this faulty part of Arab culture.. Fasobbrun Jameel.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Talking about books..

here are a list of books that I bought recently..

Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom

The Alchemist - Paolo Coelho

Akidah Salaf dan Khalaf - Dr Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi

Mengemudi Bahtera Perubahan Minda - Dr Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin

Blink - Malcolm Gladwell

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus - John Gray

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People - Dr Stephen R Covey

Alhamdulillah, have finished reading some while others still lie in the corner either partly/half read or still untouched.

I kinda started the habit of leisure reading quite late. During primary school, I was quite an avid reader of fictional story books, mostly by Roald Dahl and loved Garfield comics, then during secondary school the habit waned and I only read the paper occasionally. Then the constantly, interesting real-life stories of Readers' Digest magazine perked up my reading habit a little around the start of tertiary life and finally began reading more non-fiction books during my NS period.

Hm, wished I could turn back the clock and start this habit much more earlier in my life. But well, that's in the past so let's concentrate on the now and the future. Reading is definitely the key to get out of ignorance. And also proven a key to success.

Successful people have always shared that they do a lot of reading. Recently, caught this Korean TV show about a quiz for students on general knowledge ranging from various topics. The questions were really hard. I was stumped on most of the questions and for me, similar gameshows here in Singapore for the same level are nowhere near their standard for the questions asked. In that particular episode, there was this Elementary school kid similar to a pri 5 level here who was competing with 5 others who were already in High school, all at least above the sec 2 level. And he actually became one of the final 2 for the Final round of the gameshow losing only by a small margin. There were also a number of times where he was the only one who knew the answer to the questions asked.

When asked by the host of the show how much reading he does, he said that during holidays, he could read up to 10 books a week! I guess that explains his depth in knowledge on general topics which others in the gameshow way above his level struggle with.

So yea, I'm seriously lagging in this. 10 books a week uh. That would be a great target to reach. My list of books bought doesn't even reach that number, hahah.

Anyway, just to recommend one of the books in my list entitled "Akidah Salaf dan Khalaf" by Dr Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi. I bought it at Joo Chiat Complex, Toko Warisan. Before that, tried to find it at MuslimMedia located at the Pergas Building near Masjid Kassim but it was sold out!

Here's a brief description of the book..

"Permasalahan seputar Asma' wa sifat, wali dan karamah, tawassul, dan ziarah kubur adalah bahagian yang tak terpisah dari permasalahan akidah, ia betul-betul harus difahami secara benar. Kerana pemahaman yang salah akan menyebabkan sikap dan hidup yang salah pula. Menghadirkan perdebatan ulama' salaf dan khalaf seputar masalah di atas dengan tetap mendepankan objektif, tentu bukan pekerjaan ringan. Ia membutuhkan keseriusan dan perhatian khusus. Itulah yang dilakukan oleh penulis buku ini, Dr Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi, kajian yang beliau sodorkan(jalankan?) akan memberi pengetahuan yang mendalam seputar masalah yang dibahas, dalam buku ini."

There were also a few topics in the book which caught my attention as I was browsing the book initially, they are..

- Ulama Al-Asy'ari Kembali kepada Mazhab Salaf
- Imam Al-Haramain Kembali kepada Mazhab Salaf
- Al-Asy'ari, Al-Ghazali dan Ar-Razi Kembali kepada Mazhab Salaf

It's interesting to note that the forefathers of the Khalaf Mazhab actually acknowledged and leaned more towards the Salaf Mazhab towards the end of their lifetime. However, don't judge the book just by the few topics that i highlighted, keep an open mind, read the whole book and judge it thereafter.

And Allah SWT knows best.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Penjelasan Perletakkan Jawatan Mufti Perlis

Post from

Oleh kerana isu perletakan Jawatan Dr. Mohd Asri bin Zainul Abidin sebagai Mufti Perlis telah menjadi polemik, maka dengan ini dikeluarkan beberapa kenyataan rasmi;

1. Isu ini diharapkan tidak dipanaskan lagi kerana beliau telah membuat keputusan dan surat beliau kepada USM untuk kembali bertugas telah pun dihantar dengan rasminya.

2. Beliau juga berterima kasih kepada Negeri Perlis yang telah memberi peluang kepadanya sepanjang tempoh yang lepas.

3. ‘Permainan silap mata politik’ adalah perkara yang biasa berlaku dalam negara ini, namun maksud tersebut tercapai dengan mudah kerana beliau sendiri mempunyai hasrat untuk berhenti.

4. Terima kasih kepada Kerajaan Perlis yang lepas dan juga Pihak Istana Perlis yang selama ini memberikan ruang yang amat baik.

5. Tanggungjawab dakwah dan seruan kepada kebenaran akan diteruskan seperti biasa.

6. Perletakkan ini juga adalah bukti bahawa pandangan, teguran atau sokongan tidak bertujuan mendapat kedudukan dan jawatan.

7. Beliau kemungkinan akan pergi membuat cuti penyelidikan di luar negara dalam masa yang terdekat.

8. Ruang dakwah dan memberikan pandangan insyaAllah masih terbuka di masa hadapan dengan apa yang akan Allah permudahkan.

9. Pandangan yang berpaksi prinsip sentiasa terpaksa membayar harganya, dan ini mungkin sebahagian daripadanya.

10. Diharapkan mereka yang berjawatan yang sama selepas ini sentiasa memberikan pandangan untuk kebaikan imej Islam, rakyat dan negara.

11. Beliau berdoa kepada Allah agar dalam tempoh dua tahun yang lepas semasa beliau bertugas sebagai mufti beliau telah berbuat sesuatu dalam pembinaan prinsip dan minda rakyat berasaskan kepada kefahaman dari al-Quran dan al-Sunnah.

12. Kontrak muftinya akan tamat pada akhir Oktober 2008.

13. Terima kasih kepada banyak pihak; rakyat dan pemimpin yang telah memberikan sokongan moral dan semngat yang begitu padu selama ini.

** Penjelasan rasmi daripada Mufti Perlis ini disediakan oleh webmaster
** Terima kasih.

Just to add..

I felt that within these two years, he has done a lot. He has made good use of his position as a Mufti to resolve many issues that exist within the country. He has somewhat improved the image of Islam in Malaysia.

Many misconceptions about Islam were resolved and even non-muslims were more satisfied with his views and explanation of Islam rather than the form of Islam that was portrayed generally in Malaysia. He has made people understand that Islam is strong by itself and has always been progressive, fair and a way of life that is practical at any time and place.

He advised and voiced out on all fronts regardless of race, political party or leader when Islam is being misrepresented or misunderstood and does likewise when praise is due concerning Islam.

He's always consistent in his da'wah, whatever he advised or brought up was the same as what he had done previously as an independant da'ie before he was selected for the Mufti post. The only difference is that his position as a Mufti enabled him to reach out to a wider scope and as a result it garnered more attention from the media.

Well done Dr Asri!

I haven't had a chance to meet him personally, but just to share a story, some friends from University of Madinah did. They asked him for advice and to supplicate for them as they hoped that one day, they would be able to be da'ies like Dr Asri himself.

But Dr Asri told them this,"Don't be like me, be even better than me!"

May Allah bless his efforts and grant him health and success in his future endeavors. May Allah bless our region with even more proficient scholars similar or even better than Dr Asri in the future, Ameen.

Monday, October 06, 2008

What If I Never Heard About Islam?

Interesting question.. Link Here!

Salam, My question is if someone is born in such a place like in some deserts of Africa or somewhere in village in Fiji. I mean in such a place where he doesn't even know about Islam, and his fathers too don't know about Islam nor they tell him. And he dies without knowing about his true Lord, i.e., Allah. How can he be blamed tomorrow for not becoming a Muslim?

Name of Counselor: Tarek Ghanem

Salam, Umair.

Thank you for your question.

I would like to bring to your attention something basic which is that Muslim history has brought to the world the most sophisticated intellectual production the world has ever seen.

Those scholars are not only amazing thinkers who brilliantly and creatively mastered many sciences paying unequivocal attention to Islamic bases and ethos, they were also righteous souls who achieved what they achieved by piety and closeness to the God. Few examples of these disciplines are the works of theology and jurisprudence.

Now in relation to your question, which is a sensitive one since it deals with a core theological endeavourer, I will base my answer on the works of major acclaimed scholars. And being a student of scared knowledge, I will try to restrict my answer to their views, without any creative thinking.

What you should know to begin with is that the issue has been dealt with by many Muslim scholars and from many theological schools. First, there is a theological technical term which deals with the subject matter, "ahl al-fatrah", the people who existed between the arrival of the message of two messengers, without having heard them.

Following the two orthodox schools of theology, the Ashari and Maturidi, there are two opinions. The respected opinion of Maturidis believe that while the stipulations to follow the law of certain message is dropped from such a people, they nonetheless have to believe in the oneness of God, most-High. This is because human intellect on its own is perfectly capable of reaching this end of belief.

For the Asharis, as stated by the highest seat of Sunni Islam scholarship and its mouthpiece, Dar al Ifta, the ruling is such a people who existed before Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and after Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), are saved from Hellfire.

This is the opinion of many revered and notable scholars, including, from the early generations, Imam Al-Qurtubi, and from the latter generations from this theological school are the eminent scholars; Imam Al-Nawawi, Ibn Hajar, Al-Manawi, and Al-Suyuti, among scores of others.

Proofs for adopting this position are based on many evidences including:

*{We never punish until we have sent a messenger.}* (Al-Israa' 17:15);

*{And how many a community have We destroyed that was thankless for its means of livelihood! And yonder are their dwellings, which have not been inhabited after them save a little. And We, even We, were the inheritors.}* (Al-Qasas 28:58);


*{As it would burst with rage. Whenever a (fresh) host is flung therein the wardens thereof ask them: Came there unto you no warner? [i.e. a messenger].}* (Al-Mulk 67:8)

Now, many scholars, including Imam Al-Ghazali in his momentous work Faysal al-Tafriqah (On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam, translated with an important introduction by Sherman Jackson) believe that the same ruling of ahl al fatrah, from the first school, applies to anyone at any time, who either did not hear about or only found distorted views about Islam, including ones in modern day urban life even who are surrounded by storms of distorted and twisted views of Islam. This directly answers your question.

Finally, we always have to remember something that God, majestic in His praise, His mercy, as He ascribed to His transcendent self, is above His justice.

This means only that all humanity will be dealt with from this standpoint, that even the torture of the most deniers of the unity and the existence of God, despite many proofs and human experience that elude to the contrary of their beliefs, in itself, this is a form of mercy.

I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Lessons from Bujang Lapok

There was a telecast of "Bujang Lapok" at Suria last night which reminded me of an old post..

I just caught "Bujang Lapok" recently(yes.. again for the umpteenth time!) and still had a good laugh watching it. There's something magical about the late P.Ramlee's movies as it caters for both young and old. Ask any malays around and they will have their own favourite P.Ramlee movie. For some of his movies, we can never go bored even though we've watched them countless number of times.

When I was little, I laughed at the antics of "Ramlee", "Ajis" and "Sudin". As I grew older, I understood the movie better and realised that the jokes are creative and also sarcastic (lawyer buruk?) which only made the movie even funnier than before. I also realised that the movie also educates people about life.

For example in "Bujang Lapok", aside from the comedy, on a more serious note, there are a number of scenes that we can learn from. Right from the beginning, it tells about the problem of gambling(horseracing). How the manager was so into gambling that it affects him even during work. He was upbeat before but immediately becomes depressed after learning about his betting loss. Then there's the part where it portrays the life of the poor, that some had to resort to selling themselves and cheating others, just to survive. Therefore, it's imperative that the government ensures that the poor in the country is not neglected but acknowledged and assisted to help get them out of thier plight.

Then there's the part about the division between the rich and the poor. How being rich can make someone proud and arrogant looking down on others of different this case, makcik(mak Zaiton) and thier riches in terms of gold/precious diamond rings. Then there's a part about how alchoholism destroy people's lives. An alchoholic rarely maintains a decent job for income and when in debt, they would resort to anything to pay off thier debt just to satisfy thier addiction! It not only affects themselves but also the people around them.

There's also a part about the cons of "hantaran" for lavish ceremonies in marraige which is not part of Islam as we all know but most still go to extremes about it!? "Ini sumer, MAK BAPAK kao punya pasal!!" Remember that part? Before that, Ajis was sharing his views disagreeing with big ceremonies after he learnt that Sudin's mother had agreed on a high hantaran for Zaiton. He said the it is waste of money..he cannot fathom why there's a need for excessive overspending on ceremonies.

Zaman P.Ramlee sendiri dah dicoba diperbaiki!? Its 2006 now..we are supposedly modern people but sadly, we still go to extremes with this tradition which doesn't benefit us in any way but instead, sours and may even lead to unwanted difficulties in people's lives and relationships.

Anyway..yeaa.. all this from one movie. Isn't that wonderful?

However, while there are many good points about the movie, we should still remind ourselves that the movie is weak in Islamic values. So let's take pointers from what is good that matches Islamic values and not be influenced by what is not part of Islam.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Bloghopped to this blog ( and stumbled upon this entry..

Wahabbism. What does it mean actually? To be honest, i'm not quite sure myself, because the so-called "Wahabbis" don't call themselves that. Well I'm not here to give the history of the origin of that word, because I didn't take the 'History of Saudi Arabia' module. And, despite my title, that isn't what I want to discuss.

What is more pertinent here is the issue of Madinah students: why are they really hated/condemned by certain parts of our community? Well the easy answer would be ignorance, or sometimes, just blatant disrespect.

Usually, these people would (as always) justify their hatred of Madinah/Saudi people by quoting the authentic hadith, whereby Nabi s.a.w refused to recite doa for the people of Najd despite being asked by his companions, adding that Najd will be the place where the "2 horns of syaitan will appear." But is Najd really Saudi Arabia, as the anti-"wahabbis" claim?

Well, if we do not know, we should ask the experts in that particular field, and in the field of hadith, there are not many more expert than Ibnu Hajar Asqolani, a prominent scholar of hadith in the Syafii madzhab. According to him, in his book Fathul Bahri, Nabi saw was in Madinah while saying that line, and he pointed to the East while saying that; Ibnu Hajar came to the conclusion that Najd is actually Iraq. In fact, he quoted numerous scholars in that book, and none of them said that Najd is Saudi.

How then did the Najd=Saudi theory came up? Wallahu a'lam. I don't know whether it was done in spite or it was a genuine mistake or whether that is indeed the case.

Since there's so much ambiguity in that interpretation, let's turn to other sources of evidence that are less ambiguous.

Firstly, in kitab sohih Bukhari, there is a whole chapter on the superiority of Madinah: there is not 1 on Mecca, Yemen, Syria, Jordan: nope, there's none. Only Madinah. Surely, to the intelligent person, that means something.

Allow me to quote just 1 hadith from that chapter: Nabi saw said:

"Yemen will be conquered and some people will migrate (from Medina) and will urge their families, and those who will obey them to migrate (to Yemen)although Medina will be better for them; if they but knew.

Sham (Syria, Palestine etc) will be conquered and some people will migrate (from Medina) and will urge their families, and those who will obey them to migrate (to Yemen)although Medina will be better for them; if they but knew.

Iraq will be conquered and some people will migrate (from Medina) and will urge their families, and those who will obey them to migrate (to Yemen)although Medina will be better for them; if they but knew"
.-(aukama qal)

This hadith cannot get any clearer, yet people like to condemn Madinah and its people. Its one of the 2: either they did not come across this hadith, or they do NOT want to find it.

Well for those who's seen this hadith, please, don't hide the truth. And even if you haven't seen this hadith before, or you have some other interpretation to it, there is absolutely no reason for us to slander other people, just because our opinions differ from them, or just because they are from Madinah. Ultimately,our differences in opinion should not stand in our way of our unity.

After all, we're are but 1 ummah, not 2 ummahs.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Post Ramadhan

The blessed month of Ramadhan had passed by in a flash. May our prayers and deeds during the month be accepted and that we will be given an opportunity to witness it again next year if Allah wills.

Yesterday, there was a sudden surge of crowd at the mosque I went to for Eid prayers and I heard it was the same at every other mosque. While this is good, we just can't help it asking this question.. Where have all these muslims been all this while?

We don't even get this kind of reception during Friday prayers which is more important than Eid prayers. I reached the mosque quite late, around 720-730am (though this may be considered still early for some) and the mosque was already filled to the brim! But credit to the organisers of the mosque for setting up an alternative in an open area to accomodate the expected overcrowding. Performing Eid prayers in an open area is actually recommended by Rasulullah (peace be upon him) by the way.

That aside, let's now focus on Post Ramadhan. I'm sure many have made an extra effort during the month of Ramadhan. There was more reading, regular recitation of the Noble Qur'an, more efforts of dhuha prayers, waking up for night prayers, more acts of volunteering, aid and charity to the less fortunate and also visits to the mosque. And now that Ramadhan had passed, let's try to repeat this and maybe strive to do even better thereafter. And even continue to fast monthly or even weekly! We shouldn't restrict the regularity of these deeds only for the month of Ramadhan.

Lastly, there was short reminder speech on the radio yesterday focusing on visiting during Aidilfitri and its content was great. It was from a Malaysian radio channel. It highlighted the importance of visiting among Muslims with references to the Qur'an and Sunnah. A few points that we can take note of:

1) Try to foster more regular visiting among neighbours, family or friends, not only during special occasions. This will ultimately strengthen the bond among ourselves.

2) Try to educate the young the importance and benifits of visiting each other. Children tend to look forward to the festive visits just for "money collection" and overlook the real purpose for the visits. It is a tradition here for working or married adults to give a token sum of money to children or generally those who are still schooling. While visiting is to foster closeness and strengthen bonds among all, it may motivate them instead to visit only those with a richer status who can give more amounts and neglect others who give less or even not at all, though they are also part of the family.

3) During visits, try to focus on communication and not the TV! Going to someone's home, then focusing on the TV or food and having little conversation just defeats the purpose of visiting doesn't it?

4) Islam has never restricted the act of forgiving each other only for a certain occasion. It is for the whole year, all day all night, 24/7. But of course, since it is a tradition to practice this regularly during Aidilfitri, let's take this opportunity to cease any reserved enmity or disparity we had before this and forgive one and all.

And I speak for myself before others. Reminding just in case you forget..

Have a great Aidilfitri! (",)