Tuesday, December 29, 2009

RIS Canada... (3)


Assalamualaikum wrt..

KNOWLEDGE RETREAT 2009 - Reviving the Prophetic Spirituality in The Last Days.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am right now attending the continuation of RIS program which is the Knowledge Retreat, started yesterday..The program introduced pretty much the same scholars from RIS, only this time we will learn from the scholars in a lecture like environment..

The theme for this year's program is as stated above..being in the event for two days, I could conclude that the topics brought by the scholars are from Tasawwuf branch of knowledge..this is the area of study in which I like the most by far... As far as tasawwuf is concern, it deals a lot with purification of the heart and soul or tazkiyyatunnafs in oneself...within my little knowledge, I believe that correcting one's inner condition; the heart and the soul are always crucial before anything else matters..in Islam, this subject of study is usually connected to Sufism..Not all Sufis are diverged..but it is undeniable that there are many who are..Anyways..

Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah - Spiritually from Quran and Sunnah
Habib Ali AlJifri - Sulook (Wayfarers to God)
Shaykh Hamzah Yusuf - Qawaid Al Tasawuf (Principles of Spirituality) by Sidi Ahmed Zarruq
Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad - Ajaib Al Quloob (Marvels of the Heart) by Imam Al Ghazali
Imam Zaid Shakir - Reflections from the Quran
Shaykh Abdal Hakim Jackson - Taj Al 'Arus - On Refinement of the Heart by Ibn Ata'allah

Those are the instructors and the subjects that are being brought to the class..I would like to share some part from Taj Al 'Arus - On Refinement of the Heart by Ibn Ata'allah, instructed by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Jackson...

Human beings can't escape from doing something wrong, sometime, somewhere in their life. If one is state of disobedience, one can still please Allah by doing TAUBAT.

There is a hadith by Sahih Muslim (might not be accurate..) which states, "...Allah is happy if a person repented from his wrongdoings..Allah's happiness is more than the happiness of a man in a dessert who loses his camel that carries his food and water and finds it back..he lost hope and thought that he's gonna die in the dessert..suddenly when he woke up, his camel was there along with his food and water.."

Imagine Allah is happier than the deserted man whenever His servant do Taubat..Allah loves when we do Taubat..Taubat is basically the beginning of everything..Even the Prophet that we all love SAW repented over 70-100 times in A DAY! That was the prophet who was ma'sum..but how about us as ordinary human beings..? If we can do the 'small' sunnahs of the prophet SAW i.e. doing siwaak, cut nails, shaves..how about a sunnah as big as TAUBAT?

Ibn Ata'allah said that there can't be a refinement of self without taubat..To achieve repentance, rather than being outwardly focus, we also have to focus on our own habits and deeds by heart..we have to ask forgiveness from Allah SWT and stand before Him, for we can fool people by hiding our wrongdoings, but we cannot fool Allah, the All-knower...we also need to be honest to ourselves when we're standing before Allah SWT and repent..we need to rebuke ourselves which undeniably will be painful, but Allah has promised that He will eventually substitute the darkness with light, hardship with ease...

We tend to think that being smart is the only thing we need to live our lives..but rationality alone does not help..we only have the knowledge in mind, but we have no control of our hearts..where is the instruction of the heart? Just look at all the bad decisions that we have made in our lives..Does this happened because our lack of rationality? NO. This happened because we don't know ourselves..as the results, some ended up marrying the wrong person, having the wrong career, moving into a wrong city...and again, this happened when we don't know what we want in this life..We only care about being praised by other people..So, we have to be honest to ourselves, rebuke ourselves before Allah...the benefit of repentance and refining the soul will come to us..it is for US..Allah has nothing to gain when one repents or not, let alone to lose anything..the lost is on the person..

We rebuke ourselves in order to TRAIN ourselves...where the hardest thing to do is to say NO to our desires..Maksiat leaves some effect to us...The more we disobey Allah with wrongdoings, the more difficult it is to leave the act of disobedient, we will lose all the incentives to leave it! When we committed maksiat on top of other maksiat, and on top of other maksiat, we can't, can't and can't get the taubah..it suddenly feels so hard..So, engage to taubat immediately..indeed heart is blackened by all the disobediences, unless we repented...

Disobedience has corrupting effects to a person..Without taubat, we can be corrupted; we tend to lose hope and feels despair, thinking that we are not worth being a good Muslim anymore. DON'T! Muslims never give up, no matter how big our sins are..If we make taubat, it doesn't mean that we're maksum. If we did taubat and did the wrong things again, that doesn't mean that we are hypocrites. This is a normal human behavior..Allah has created us to be like this, so that we will remain being dependent and rely to Allah and Allah alone..Again, Allah loves when His servant asks for His forgiveness and taubat..

Ibn Ata'allah made an analogy; we are like a brand new pot, and flame lit on it at a certain duration..the bottom of the pot will get blackened as time goes by..if we wash it immediately, it can come off..it WILL come off..but if we leave it and does not wash it in instant, the blackening will be crust, and washing it will be of no use anymore..Washing is like doing taubat..So, constantly seek repentance, for the act of it is the sign that we are dependent to Allah..Again, Allah loves those who repents..and He wants us to love Him..

We have to deal with our own 'demons'..only we know what's inside ourselves..In order to do that, it requires a lot of COURAGE and HONESTY..we have to have both in order to face the disease of our heart..By knowing the disease well, then we will know the perfect 'medicine' to cure the sickness...

Taubat could be the link between us and Allah..Allah said whoever doesn't repent, he IS indeed the wrongdoers..Many of us understand the values of obeying Allah SWT. However, if we do not undertand, do we lose the values? NO. By making taubat IS actually the value..So there is nothing to lose when you make taubat. The prophet said, "...if you take one step closer to Allah, Allah will be 1000 steps closer to you..".

Syeikh Abdal Hakim Jackson then asked us...."we know that Allah does exists..but does he forgive?.." Definitely.. sure.. of course.. right? But do we say that only intellectually, or by heart? In other words, do we say it from the mind, a cliche? or we meant it by heart? He gave us a good example..Bill Gates donated 30 billion USD to a charity..This made him a generous man generally. Now let's say we're broke, will we ask Bill Gate for some money knowing that he is a generous man from earlier story? Yes? No? Maybe? The logical answer would be NO. This is essentially because we don't have any relationship whatsoever with Bill Gates. Now apply this concept to our discussion..we are from azali has the servant-God relationship with Allah...but do we constantly ask forgiveness from Allah? Do we ever do taubat after sinning?

The Syeikh gave his two cents on this matter.. he said that the lack of this kind of relationship between us and Allah is due to the definition of power in the world that we lived in..Most of us came from an autocratic relationship of 'master-slave' since we were small..we got punished when we did something wrong, and therefore we tend to hide or run when we did anything wrong, instead facing 'the master' and come clean..a simple example for this concept would be the relationship between student-teacher especially in Malaysia..have you ever got spanked for something that is not worth of spanking?..do we have the guts to face the cikgu if we did the wrong things again? Not a chance!=p

Taubat is not only for major sins..Minor sins could be more dangerous..the pot CAN be blackened even with slow flame..Minor sins are eating us alive..It seems like something that is negligible, but if persistently done, it WILL become major sins. Minor sins are like a spark of fire. Even a small single spark can still destroy a whole city. A realistic example would be like 2 imaams who have grudge between each other.. which can destroy the relationship between 2 communities...

Repentance is not easy, but it is not impossible...We have to be sincere in our repentance..Insincere happened when the intention is not to turn to Allah and if there is no commitment to overcome from doing the sins. Then, there will be no effect of wiping off the disobedience..Sincerity is between us and Allah SWT..It's a hard, private work. However, sincerity can be seen through our behavior for example solat...

Repentance is difficult before own self is powerful. Repentance is not a sweet medicine for the disease of the heart. We have to force ourselves to repent and repel from the sweetness of the disobedience. It is good to know that, good deeds are heavier than bad deeds. When we do one good deed, Allah will reward us 10 times the size of the deed. If we do one bad deed, the accountability will be only one.

It is undeniably hard to leave the passion and desires of doing something bad, but this does not forbid or prevent us from doing taubat. For example, one who cannot stop talking about other people, he/she can repent each and everytime..even Rasul SAW repented 70-100 times each day...

HOWEVER, it is important to note that we cannot play around with repentance. Ibn Ata'allah said that, "..one who repents and do sins repeatedly is like drinking poison and the antidote over repeatedly.." They are not trying to help themselves, in fact they are abusing themselves..Imagine one day when they might not be able to take that antidote before the time comes....?? So, do not play with taubat. It is a gift from Allah SWT. Everytime we did wrong and do taubat, Allah will help us and make us less likely to do it again. Don't reject this gift, and don't play around with it. It is not easy to restrain ourselves not to do it again but we have to be PATIENT. That is the key..

There is a saying, "..he who repents has win, he who don't loses..". It's like when there is sickness, there is still still chance and hope of getting better as long as there's life...or it's like an archer who has to make effort to shoot..if he doesn't get anything today, it could be tomorrow...It's like sinning...do not ever give up on self... DO TAUBAT. we are always worth it.

It is important to gain support from a righteous community. We could gain inspiration and motivation from such community. It is natural that when we're in an Islamic environment or knowledge retreat as such, that we will be inspired and our imaan feels like it increases to a high level. We feel energized..But like everything else in this world, the feeling will be eventually perished..However, don't ever let the facing away inspiration despairs us..we're not hypocrites if this happened, which it always do...

In maintaining ourselves, we have to pace ourselves. We cannot expect things to happen just like that..it has to be one at a time..it's a process, so it will take some time..We have to be honest and patient, verily Allah is forgiving..He rewards His servants by their EFFORTS to please him..not the end result.

The Syeikh said that we cannot questioned, "..what good does it bring to me to attend an Islamic class or conference or halaqah as such..". Events like this gives you an opportunity to strengthen yourself, so why not giving yourself a chance? It is not necessary to be a righteous and pious Muslim immediately after attending such program..At least it inspired you in a way if not many...

So..Why not give yourself a chance? =)

Monday, December 28, 2009

RIS Canada... (2)

Autographed Maher Zain's CD....XD

Maher Zain in person...('botok licing' bak kata Jiha) haha

Assalamualaikum wrt...

I would like to start this post by expressing my happiness and excitedness (if that's even a word) for getting Maher Zain's autographed CD and actually saw him in person too..well, he is actually quite a shy person, man with few words, smiles a lot..malu-malu rupanya..=p

And I would like to express too, my highest gratitude to Allah..Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah...because with His power and will, we were given ease and steadiness to attend the RIS program from the first day, until the end of the event...my endless list of 'paranoidness' for bad things that could happen along the way i.e. snow storm, blizzard, car stuck in thick snow, slipping car on ice and what not; were all remained as paranoid..alhamdulillah..the coldness here I think is still bearable..and I thank Allah for that also..

If one word is to be used to describe how the RIS event went, I would say, "it's not fair!=p"..because it deserves all the best words exist..SubhanAllah! the program was by far, the best convention I have ever went in my life MasyaAllah...the speakers were awesome, event organization was tip top, and the most valuable things ever would be the knowledge, ukhuwah, and the effect of this whole trip brings to our hearts..

I would love to share some of the knowledge I have gained there right here..and I will try my best InsyaAllah..And I would also like to encourage all the readers..to seek knowledge if they were given the opportunity, time, good health..because the best time to seek knowledge and experience is when we are still young, healthy, financially affordable..and yeah, you get the idea right?

OK..enough chit chatting =p

Reviving the Islamic Spirit this year introduced awesome speakers like Syeikh Hamzah Yusof, Syeikh Habib Ali Al-Jifri (His parents are both descendants of Imam Hussien son of Ali..), Syeikh Abdallah Bayyah, Imam Zaid Shakir, Imam Johari Abdul Malik, Dr Jamal Badawi, Dr Tariq AlSuwaidan, Prof Tariq Ramadan (cucu Hassan AlBanna..), Imam Tahir Anwar..and the list goes on.. the speech each speakers gave was breathtaking..

I would like to share some words from one of the speaker, Imam Yassir Fazaga, Finding Our Spiritual Coordinates..(bersempena dengan New Year 2010 yang hanya disekeliling corner..=p)

He said that, time seems to go fast nowadays..year goes like a month, month feels like a week, week feels like a day and so on..this is a sign of the approaching yaumul qiyaamah..he also said that, people nowadays have introduced a lot of technology that helped to compensate the time that slipped; robots, jetplane, and even digital coffee maker..=p...people run and run and run..we actually rushed..and thus the time feels like it's running away ,like us..

Imam Yassir Fazaga said that there are basically 3 things that built each one of us. 1) Reputation, 2) Personality, and 3) Character. Reputation is how people see us. Personality is how we present ourseles to other people. While character is who we really are. We spent too much time in maintaining our reputation and personality in which we are willing to do much to enhance both these, and spend less time building the character of ourselves, which is a lot more important in defining what kind of person we are..People usually do stuffs only to please other people, they care about their reputation a lot because reputation can be tarnished by other people. On the other hand, character can only be tarnished by the person him/herself because the only person who can change oneself is the person him/herself...

He also added that, we have to make sure that every tomorrow is better than the day before, because if today is the same as tomorrow, indeed we have lost, and if it is worser, maka celakalah kamu...nauzubillah.. and he quoted from the Prophet SAW from a hadis that says, "..people who will be closed to me are the people with ahsinul akhlaaq-the best of akhlaq.."

Imam Yassir Fazaga also stated that, there are 6 essential characters, that if one have them, one is developing oneself to be a better person one has been..the 6 characters are..:

1) Conscience
I quoted from Wikipedia = 'is an ability that distinguishes whether one's actions are right or wrong..It can lead to feelings of remorse when a human does things that go against one/moral value..'

2) Compassion
One should try hard to be raheem to others..being compassion is to have the ability to feel the pain of others..and true compassion is for those who least needed it..

3) Consideration
One should be thoughtful to all makhluk especially to people, and also the environment..because what we say and do, will impact the people around us..Imam Yasir gave an example from a story of the prophet..(may not be accurate..)..There was a man who love Rasulullah so much..one day Rasul SAW came to his house..He was so happy that he asked Rasulullah to sit down, and he gave Rasul SAW some grapes to eat..the man fed Rasul SAW the grape one by one, using his hand..and he was so happy that he got to feed Rasul SAW with his own hand, that he smiled and smiled, and fed Rasul with the grape over and over again...then one time he put one grape into his mouth, and spitted it out because the grape tasted so bad..he asked Rasulullah.."Ya Rasulullah..did all the grapes taste like this?". The prophet said "yes" and he added "I saw you're so happy feeding me that I don't want to wipe off that smile from your face.."

4) Control
One must also learn to control the emotion and has to be in charged with one's desires..People usually interchanged between 'should' and ' must' (needs and wants)..they lose control and let their worldly desires take over their action which usually leads to something bad..one example is that a person should control the jaws (talking)..indeed tongue is sharper than the sword..

5) Courage
Is doing what is right despite of fear that may exist...be it fear that exist within oneself or even the fear from pressure given by the people around..because verily, he who do something or do not do something in order to please others, will displease Allah and Allah will eventually make others displease him back..

Imam Yassir Fazaga made a joke, he said that there are 3 numbers that we have to remember in life...13, 40 and 60

13 is the age when you care about what other people thinks about you..40 is when you don't care about what other people thinks about you..and 60 is when you feel that nobody is thinking about you...=p

6) Confidence
One has to do what is right, all the time..because Allah has promised that right will always win..

He also said that, if anything in this world does not impact how we behave, then it is not important..

If one asks..which one is more important..akhlak or ibaadah? which is better..a person who has good akhlak but less ibadaah, or a person who do a lot of ibaadah but with no akhlaq?..Imam Yassir Fazaga said it's like asking whether to poke the right eye or the left eye..?=p..both is no less important than the other...so one has to have ahsinul akhlaq as well as righteousness..

Some notes that I managed to jot down..

I will spend another 6 days for another program: Knowledge Retreat, a continuation kinda for RIS, only with less people (~800 for Knowledge Retreat vs. 20,000 people for RIS, SUBHANALLAH..never see that much Muslims before..), the concept is more like a class, where we get to learn from the sheikh in a lecture-like environment..

Alhamdulillah..I got a seat two rows from the middle-front today..it feels awkward but yet so breathtaking to sit very close to all these knowledgeable scholars..makes me feel like an ant...makes me realize how ignorant I am with so puny and perverse knowledge that I owned, 21 years of living in this world..

InsyaAllah I will share the knowledge here..I've been wanting so much to share as much as I can with the knowledge I got..it's not easy, but I will try my best..May Allah make things easy for me..

“Oh Allah! Make useful for me what you have taught me and teach me knowledge that will be useful to me. Oh Allah! I ask you for the understanding of the prophets and the memory of the messengers, and those nearest to you. Oh Allah! Make my tongue full of your remembrance and my heart with consciousness of you. Oh Allah! You do whatever you wish, and you are my availer and protector and best of aid.”

Saturday, December 26, 2009

RIS Canada...


My friends and I have safely arrived in Canada 2 days ago..

Even though we got through some difficulties along the way..Allah had made it easy for us later on..Yerp, truly there is nothing too hard of a burden in this world, that is not bearable by the human..

Alia, Shasha, Jiha and I arrived in Toronto by car, a few hours earlier than Nik and Zed, who came by flight and by bus..We got some problems with our lodging at first.. but alhamdulillah, everything went well later that day...we went through almost 2 days on the road, (only 3 hours sleep in Syasya's home at Pittsburgh the day before) without good sleep and proper meals...hmm..

We rented a full-equipped apartment, strategically located in the heart of Toronto city, where almost everything is reachable by just a few minutes of walking distance, including the convention center...

We wandered around Toronto yesterday...managed to snap pictures and experience awesome sight-seeing of the city..we also bumped into 2 or 3 groups of Malaysian students in Canada who came for the RIS or just wandering around the city like us...funny how both we and them just looking at each other and wondering the necessity to greet..plus with the unsureness of each other nationalities..=p

We greeted them first eventually..they were quite surprised to know we were from US...(tak sangka orang US nak datang Canada kot..=p..why not? Canada IS pretty anyhow..).

We went back to our apartment later that day after a long walk..my feet were aching..We ended the day with a heartful home-cooked meal, ..yeah..we brought everything from home...(beras, bawang semua..=p..tapi ada jugak barang yang tertinggal..cis..)

And...today, we went to our first day of RIS...which was AWESOME...I saw Maher Zain today..LIVE! which really made my day..=). Anyhow..how I wish I can put everything here but it's too late now and my eyes are already sore out of tiredness...

I'll update later with much details and pictures of the event...InsyaAllah..

Stay tune! =)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Susahnya nak berubah..

Pernah tak kita terbangun pada suatu hari....tiba2 rasa macam nak buat satu perubahan yang positif untuk haritu...maybe dah tak nak banyak tidur lagi, tak nak buang masa, nak joging setiap pagi, nak diet..apa2 sajalah!


Pernah tak bila kita tengok orang2 tertentu di sekeliling kita, .. contoh macam orang2 yang berilmu, kuat agama, berpengaruh..atau pun bila tengok gambar2 kawan2 kita kat Facebook serata dunia, they seem larger than life, happy go lucky, cantik, bergaya, kaya..whatever lah that makes you envy them!..tiba2 tercetus rasa macam nak jadi seperti mereka..

Siapa pernah? Angkat tangannnn

Saya pernah..=)

Change is needed at certain stage of life. Biasanya kita berubah sebab keadaan memerlukan (berubah atau perlu berubah...). That's how we human beings keep living on, by adapting ourselves to the change of the surroundings. Even civilization pun, kalau tak mampu nak berubah seiringan dengan masa, be it in any aspects: ilmu, teknologi, pemikiran, ekonomi dan sebagainyalah..they won't survive..apatah lagi kita sebagai seorang individu kan..

Yang paling penting perubahan tu sepatutnya ke arah yang positif..setuju?.. Dari kurang baik kepada baik, dari jalan gelap ke jalan terang, dari kiri ke kanan....

sekadar berkongsi...

Short and sweet!

Quoting ustaz's word, "dalam hidup ni ada satu perkara yang paling susah daripada susah..iaitu BERUBAH.."

I strongly agree with that..

Rasa nak berubah tu, mudah je datang..hanya perlu ada pemangkin, inducer, twist dalam hidup, motivation..

Perlu "percaya untuk berjaya..."

OK..so perlu ada 'rasa' nak berubah je ke?

Nope. Totally not.

Melaksanakan perkara2 untuk mencapai perubahan tu...tu yang penting. Dan bila dah laksana, nak 'maintain'kan perkara2 tu, pun lagi penting..dan perkara yang penting2 ni biasanya paling susah nak buat..betul?

Pernah tak kita terbangun pada suatu hari...kita dah buat perkara untuk berubah tu semalam, harini kita rasa macam masih boleh buat lagi...dan kita buat. Cuba kalau kita terbangun esoknya pulak, minggu depan, bulan depan, atau maybe tahun depan, insyaAllah kalau panjang umurlah kan... tiba2 kita rasa lesu dan macam takde kudrat lagi utk meneruskan perkara untuk perubahan tu.. ataupun adakah kita masih ada 'rasa' lagi untuk berubah tu?

Saya selalu rasa macamtu..

Kadang2 geram dengan diri sendiri, kenapa susah sangat nak berubah...Kadang2 marah jugak diri sendiri, kenapa susah sangat nak 'maintain' buat satu benda tu untuk berubah... kenapa ek? kat manalah silapnya..

"...kita perlu berusaha untuk melihat apa yang kita percaya..", bak kata Ustaz. Percaya untuk apa? Percaya untuk berjaya...dan berjaya untuk berubah...So, pokoknya, usaha je yang kita mampu buat untuk berubah...betul tak? dan di akhir usaha, jangan lupa kedapkan dengan doa dan tawakal...Maybe kat situ kurangnya...DOA + TAWAKAL..

"O Allaah, let us see the good as good, and bless us with following it. And show us the falsehood as falsehood, and bless us with staying away from it, with Your mercy, O Most Merciful.."

“Wahai pemilik hati, wahai pembolak balik jiwa, teguhkanlah hati dan jiwa kami untuk sentiasa berpegang teguh pada agamaMu dan ketaatan di jalanMu”....

"Perubahan bukan satu pilihan..tapi kemestian..", kata Ustaz lagi....

Berubahlah Azni!

P/S: didoakan semoga siapa yang membaca ni ditetapkan iman, 'thabat' (tetap) dan istiqamah dalam melaksanakan perkara yang baik untuk mencetus perubahan dalam diri....=) ..Ameen..

Monday, December 14, 2009

Finals and RIS Canada

Assalamualaikum wrt..

Alhamdulillah baru usai final Robotics tadi...well, can't say much..did the best I can..I've done my part and the rest is tawakkaltu 'alallah...

2 more finals to go..Heat Transfer dan Control System. both take home, open book open notes..alhamdulillah, moga Allah permudahkan yang ini pulak...

menghitung hari untuk ke RIS di Canada http://revivingtheislamicspirit.com/

i'm sooooooooo excited for this event. This would be the biggest convention I have ever been in USA. I've been to several others; ISNA, ICNA..but this one is different. and much HUGE!

in the same time, quite nervous juga sebenarnya journey ke utara ni..16 hours drive in thick snow, ice, blizzard and Allah knows what not...Allahumma yassir wala tu'assir..harap sangat2 Allah permudahkan segala urusan perjalanan; Visa, cuaca dan sebagainya...moga diselamatkan perjalanan pergi dan balik jugak....

doakanlah ye...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pardon the 'rojak'ness...

Hari ini hari yang tenang..

Actually, maybe tenang after half of the day went by..

Pagi tadi quite hectic juga..terbangun lambat ke kelas Heat Transfer. Ikutkan hati dah nak 'ter'ponteng, tapi didesak juga secara lembut oleh Alia sahabat se'Mechanical Engineering' ku, merangkap housemate nombor 1, untuk pergi.

"Cikgu nak cakap pasal take home final harini...", katanya.

Terkedip-kedip aku memandang Alia..dengan mata separuh terbuka dan minda yang masih separa tertinggal di alam mimpi..ok...gagahkan jugakla diri ni. Terus capai tuala masuk bathroom. 'This better be a productive day'...

Terlambat 20 minit ke kelas, Alia hanya tersenyum tipis tika aku meletakkan beg dan menarik kerusi di sebelahnya...nasib baik juga, 'Cikgu' Greg Walker baru je menyudahkan explanation mengenai fenomena2 sekeliling yang berkaitan Heat Transfer..i hope i didn't miss much..

i think and im sure that everybody who has taken it agrees, Heat Transfer is such a hard subject. Cikgu said that unlike other subjects in Mechanical Engineering, Heat Transfer is different such that, in any heat transfer phenomena analysis, it is hard to even get something that is close to what the actual occurrence. Heat transfer occurs everywhere, uncontrollably and complicatedly, that we often had to 'wave our hands a little bit' (a phrase Cikgu repeatedly say in every class) and thus get results far from actual. frankly, i spent most of the time in the class wondering what he's talking about...yeah, i slipped away most of the time..=/

And then he started talking about the final..great timing..

Usai kelas, berulang alik ke sana kemari uruskan personal stuff pula..running the errands bak kata orang putih =)..it's almost impossible to get these things done next week with the approaching finals..so, buat ajelah hari ni kan, since ada masa...

dari kelas, jalan kaki pulang ke rumah kejap untuk ambil passport for tax documenting purposes...Along the way, tiba2 teringat sesuatu...Alamak! aku tepuk dahi. tertinggal dompet pulak kat rumah tadi....

pulang ke rumah lagi jalan kaki.... (-_-")

Dari Stevenson Center Library memfotostat passport, ke CVS Pharmacy membeli money order, ke Station B untuk mengepos, then berjalan kaki ke HR Office berhampiran Starbucks West End Ave menghantar dokumen...all that was done by walking in the -5 Celcius-coldness...and mind you the places are not near to each other..pheww..

On the way pulang, sempat singgah Starbucks Coffee...aku decide untuk duduk melepas lelah kat situ kejap...Caramel Brulee Latte dengan 3 keping Vanilla Bean Scone jadi peneman. Fuh! Sedang enak2 menghirup coffee dan mengunyah scone yang terlebih gula itu, tiba2 ditegur Bam yang singgah untuk membeli the-over-priced-but-people-still-buy-it Starbucks Coffee..sempat dia meninggalkan sekeping over-sized chocolate chip cookie sebelum pergi..thanks Bam!..anyways, why am i talking food now..? =/

Selepas lelah dilepaskan, digagahkan tubuh meredah kesejukan luar semula untuk pulang ke rumah..tak apalah..kat Malaysia nanti tak rasa dah sejuk macam ni, unless you wanna stick your head inside the fridge..=p. Kat rumah, Zed, housemate number 2, after fretting about how bad her presentation went, ajak pergi swimming kat Rec after Maghrib. And i said why not and i'll definitely go! lama dah nak belajar berenang tapi xmenyempat2...=)

We spent 2 and a half hours in the water...naik kecut dah jari2 tangan dan kaki...we had fun, I had fun =)..balik tu semua dah kelaparan...lucky enough, housmate nombor 1 a.k.a Alia, masak ayam kurma dimakan dengan nasi beriyani...Alhamdulillah! xperlu hassle untuk masak lagi..Zed request nasi lemak sambal ikan bilis dengan ayam goreng KFC dah masa swimming tadi...hehe. Sorry Zed, other time k! =). Usai solat, nap for 2 hours...malam kena pergi kerja pulak..

So here am I right now, with aching muscles out of tak warm up betul2 before swimming, and temporary pekak telinga belah kiri, out of kemasukan air waktu swimming tadi..haha.. working my guts off in a 4 hours-shift, starting 12am tadi. 5 more minutes to go as you are reading this sentence...just can't wait to curl up in bed and sleep!...

i'm calling this a heck of a day! (pardon the mild oath..huhu) =)

i'm off, thanks for reading my not so normal blog post..sekali sekala cakap pasal how the day goes okay jugak kan.. =)

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Assalamualaikum wrt wbt.,

I would like to share some knowledge that I've earned from a Tafseer class that I attend every weekend in Nashville Islamic Academy.

Let's look at Surah An-Nisa' (ayah 34) and go to the intricate details, word by word:

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband's property, etc.). As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great.

- "qaama" in Arabic means "stands on", extracted from the word ﻘﻭﻤﻮﻦ early in the ayah.
- In the context of the ayah, ﻘﻭﻤﻮﻦ means "to protect", "to provide", "takes care". "Arrijaal" means "men" and "alan nisaa" means "on the women".

- So, this ayah says that men are the protector, provider and maintainer of the women. Men (husband) basically have the role of maintaining his Islamic household by providing the women (wife) either financial, physical and even emotional support in order to sustain a well-balanced family institution.

- The ayah also says that "because Allah has made one of them to excel the other". This ayah means what it actually means, which is Allah has created men with some 'extra advantages' compared to women; in terms of physical strength and emotional controllability. For example, in sports, games are even being categorized into men and women due to the different physical ability of both genders in question. At large, men are generally recognized as the leaders of the family, and also at larger scope of institution. One might refute that women nowadays have the same ability and power that men have. True. However, it is important to stress that we are speaking in generality here in the context of the ayah, in which men are generally more stronger than women in terms of physical and emotional strength. Let's eliminate any exceptions exist.

-"fassolihaat" means righteous women. The ayah then continues "qaa nitaat" which derived from the word "qunuut" which means "humble", "humility", "obedient". And "haa fi zo tun" which means "guard" and "lil ghayb" - "the unseen"

- Who are these righteous women? Righteous women in this ayah are being described as women who are obedient to Allah and to their husbands and also who guard the secrets of their marriage which includes the intimacy and the 'aib' of their spouses. A righteous woman also guards the wealth of her family as well as her children with the best of their ability. Question may rise; does this means that the responsibilities of the household fall on the women and the women only? Answer is no. Men are being held accountable to the same responsibilities women have in the household and even more. Allah has created everything in this world justly where with the strength men have, they recieved heavier responsibilities and obligations they need to meet and fulfill. So, men and women are equal in ability and responsibilities, according to the nature of strength of each being created. In this ayah also, Allah ordered the women to guard the
"qaa nitaat" and "ha fizaat lil ghayb", which is her chastity, her husband's wealth and secrets etc.

- The second part of the ayah deals with the "nusyuuzahunna" which comes from the root word "na sya za" which means "when people rises up" or "rebellion".

- This part of ayah clearly states the steps that should be made by a man (husband) if a woman (wife) is in the state of "nusyuz"/ being rebellious to the commands being subjected to them, as mentioned in the first part of the ayah. The case of "nusyuuz" among the women is not a small matter. A woman denying her responsibilities or fail to follow basically shows that she is not obedient to Allah's command, which lead to major sins and punishment in the hereafter.

- The ayah states in order, the steps to deal with "nusyuuz" : "fa'izu hunna", "wah juruuhunna" and "wadribuu hunna". It is important to do this in the order stated, where if the previous step does not work, then the one comes after is to be done next.

1) "fa'izu hunna" - men should first admonish them with love, good advices and tell them the rewards from Allah for being obedient ect.. It is important to advice them with gentleness and with "hikmah". If this does not work, do the second step.

2) "wah juruuhunna" - comes from the root word "ha ja ra" or "hijrah"- "to go away", "to escape". In this context, the husband should do "hijrah" from the wife by refusing to share bed with her which usually will affect her emotional deeply. If this does not work, the next step could be done.

3) "wadribuu hunna" - comes from the word "da ra ba" which means "to strike". Striking in this context has very strict conditions in which the strike will not leave any mark on the body, not striking on the face, and the purpose of the striking is to try to change the behavior only. This should be the last resort for the men, and should not be taken as a greenlight for them to abuse the women physically.

4) Last but not least, the next step that could be taken is to find a third person/judge; one from each family (the husband's and the wife's) to help settle things down in a fair manner. The dalil for this step is in the next ayah of the surah [4:35].

All in all, this ayah is protecting the rights of men in marriage. If we study the quran more, there are also ayahs that are revealed to protect the rights of women in marriage, in dividing the will etc.

Isn't Islam fair and just? =)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Buku oh buku..yayy..

Assalamualaikum wrt wbt.,

Tak sabarnya nak dapat buku..=)

Baru-baru ni Pesta Buku Antarabangsa 2009 berlangsung di KL. Sejujurnya, diri tak pernah pun berpeluang pergi..bukan orang KL..tapi kali ni, untung ada Senior yang baik hati bertanya kalau ada apa-apa karya yang mahu dikirim dari situ. Orang tuanya di Malaysia kebetulan akan pergi ke event tersebut dan akan datang ke US untuk graduation day Senior yang baik hati tu...Maka dengan itu bolehlah diri mengirim sebiji dua buku..=)

Jadinya, setelah selidik-selidik,

Buku-buku yang dikirim:


menjadi pilihan hati..

Diri memang suka karya Faisal Tehrani. Walaupun mungkin ada suara-suara enak dan sumbang yang akan mengatakan diri terlalu sastera, tradisional, bunga-bungi dan sebagainya, biarkan... banyak yang boleh dipelajari dari novel Faisal Tehrani ni. Kalau ada sesiapa yang pernah baca dan suka, akan perasan yang karya-karya Faisal Tehrani sangat sarat dengan mesej kehidupan, sejarah, malah isu semasa, yang diilustrasikan dalam pelbagai cara : novel, cerpen, drama dan sebagainya. Faisal Tehrani memang bijak menggarap idea yang dicanai mindanya dalam susunan bahasa yang kreatif, dan konsep yang pelbagai dan menarik. Walaupun kadang-kadang ada jugak yang sukar difahami..hehe.

Sebenarnya kalau orang mahu membaca buku dengan mata hati dan bukan mata zahir sahaja, segala isi buku tanpa mengira apa genre pun akan meresap ke jiwa. Bukan sahaja buku, malah movie, watak manusia, kejadian alam, ujian dan malapetaka yang menimpa diri sendiri dan lain-lain.. sungguh, kalau manusia 'membaca' setiap perkara dengan mata hati, nescaya takkan timbul konflik dan segala macam penyakit hati di dunia ni. Kenapa? Sebab setiap perkara tu ada baiknya, walau sekelumit cuma. Sesungguhnya setiap perkara tu Allah jadikan ada hikmah dan pengajaran yang boleh kita pelajari. Cuma sedar tak sedar, mahu tak mahu je..Yang baik dijadikan teladan, yang jahat jadikanlah sempadan.

Jadinya..bacalah segala macam jenis buku, tontonlah segala macam jenis movie, berkawanlah dengan segala macam jenis orang, tapi dengan syarat: iman dan hati kenalah ditetapkan, batasan syarak harus dijaga. Jadilah macam ikan dalam air laut yang masin, yang tak berubah menjadi masin. Jangan jadi lalang yang ringan ditiup angin, condong saja mengikut arah tiupan angin.

Sekian =)

p/s: baru-baru ni senior tu bagitahu, buku-buku tersebut dah dibeli maknya, siap ada autograf asli dari Faisal Tehrani =) Alhamdulillah...Seronoknya!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hari yang produktif!

Alhamdulillah! =)

Hari Sabtu yang lepas ni, diri terasa produktif sikit...dapat buat banyak benda dengan berjayanya..alhamdulillah dengan izin Allah jua diri diberikan kudrat dan kekuatan walaupun hari Jumaat tu, banyak pula dugaan-dugaan yang tak disangka datang...alhamdulillah 'ala kullihaaal!

Malam Jumaat haritu Nik beri email kepada semua orang, InsyaAllah awal pagi dalam jam 5 akan dibuat qiyam untuk kali keduanya, kali ni buat kat Commons pula (building freshmen), yg mana minggu lepasnya dah buat kat Highland Quad...target kami insyaAllah nak buat at least sebulan sekali untuk setiap tempat tersebut, dalam usaha kami nak menaikkan bi'ah solehah (suasana Islamik) kat bumi Vanderbilt ni..semoga usaha kami yang sedikit ni dapat keberkatan dari Allah! =) doakan semuanya dipermudahkan ye...

Well anyways, sambung balik cerita tadi.

Nak jadi cerita, awal pagi dalam pukul 2 hari Sabtu tu, dapat message dari Nazirah, ada request dari orang untuk diri jadi pemberi tazkirah waktu qiyam nanti...Allah..mulanya rasa keberatan dan ketidakadilan juga since minggu lepasnya diri dah beri tazkirah 'bidan terjun'..tambah pula diri sedang down dengan masalah-masalah lain yang menimpa..dan tambah juga dengan tahap kemengantukan yang sedang tinggi, since dah 3 hari berturut2 waktu tidur berterabur2..tapi diri cuba tepis jugak semua perasaan tu jauh-jauh..dalam segala situasi pun, perlu husnuzhonn (berbaik sangka) dengan Allah..sesungguhnya Allah tak pernah turunkan sesuatu kepada hambanya tanpa tujuan. kena sedar yang setiap kesusahan yang turun tu akan ada kesenangannya nanti. dan akhirnya..diri berjaya meng'convince'kan diri sendiri dan anggap dengan memberi tazkirah tu, dapat beri tazkirah untuk diri ni jugak...

Dalam tengah mencari-cari artikel yang best untuk tazkirah lepas qiyam nanti, terjumpa artikel ni:

Sejak akhir-akhir ini, seorang teman rapat pernah mengadu kepada saya, mengapa dirinya tidak habis-habis ditimpa musibah dan masalah yang cukup berat didalam kehidupan beliau.

Memang hidup ini tidak akan pernah sunyi dari setiap dugaan dan ujian. Apa yang boleh saya katakan, sebagai umat Islam seharusnya kita yakin sesungguhnya setiap cabaran dan ujian hidup itu adalah bukti kasih sayang Allah terhadap kita.

Berdasarkan dalil daripada ayat 15-17, surah al-Fajr

"Oleh yang demikian, maka kebanyakan manusia apabila diuji oleh Tuhannya dengan dimuliakan dan dimewahkan hidupnya, (dia tidak mahu bersyukur tetapi terus bersikap takbur) serta berkata dengan sombongnya: Tuhanku telah memuliakan daku! (15) Dan sebaliknya apabila dia diuji oleh Tuhannya, dengan disempitkan rezekinya, (dia tidak bersabar bahkan dia resah gelisah) serta merepek dengan katanya: Tuhanku telah menghinakan daku! (16) Jangan demikian, (sebenarnya kata-kata kamu itu salah). Bahkan (perbuatan kamu wahai orang-orang yang hidup mewah, lebih salah lagi kerana) kamu tidak memuliakan anak yatim, (malah kamu menahan apa yang Dia berhak menerimanya); (17)"

kita harus fahami bahawa setiap kenikmatan dan kelapangan yang diberikan itu BUKAN bermakna Allah telah memberikan kemuliaan. Dan setiap orang yang diberikan ujian dan cubaan itu BUKAN bererti Allah telah menghinakannya.

Ibnu Qayyim dalam mensyarahkan dalil daripada ayat-ayat tersebut menyatakan golongan pertama itu sebenarnya telah diuji dengan beberapa kenikmatan dan golongan yang kedua itu pula telah dimuliakan dengan diberinya cubaan dan ujian.

Apa yang penting bersabar dan bermuhasabahlah selalu kepada Allah swt. Setiap orang yang beriman pasti akan menerima cubaan. Yang pasti, setiap ujian itu akan sentiasa kita alami sepanjang hayat, cuma tahap dan bentuknya mungkin berbeza-beza. Sebagaimana yang diriwayatkan dari sebuah hadis,

Saad bin Abi Waqqas pernah bertanya kepada Rasulullah saw., Siapakah orang yang paling berat cubaannya ?

Jawab baginda, Di antara orang-orang yang paling berat cubaannya ialah para nabi, kemudian mereka yang seumpama dan seterusnya. Seseorang itu diuji sesuai dengan kadar agamanya. Jika dia mempunyai kekuatan dalam agamanya, maka beratlah ujian yang diterimanya. Sekira agamanya lemah, tentu dia akan diuji sesuai dengan kadar agamanya. Ujian akan selalu datang menimpa seorang hamba selagi dia masih berpijak di atas bumi, dan sehingga tiada lagi kesalahan padanya.

(Riwayat Tirmizi)

ujian yang ditimpakan ke atas para Rasul, para nabi, wali-wali dan kekasih-kekasih Allah. Ujian ke atas mereka bermaksud untuk meninggikan darjat dan kedudukan mereka di sisi
Allah. Allah takdirkan ujian demi ujian untuk memberi peluang kepada kita mendapatkan pahala sabar. Barangsiapa yang sabar dan redha tanpa mengeluh, merungut atau marah-marah pada Allah, insyaAllah ganjarannya di syurga. Oleh itu, apa salahnya Allah uji kita kerana hendak menyelamatkan kita di akhirat kelak!

Setiap kali diuji, walau seberat manapun cabarannya, ketahuilah... ianya akan menjadi kayu pengukur yang menentukan keteguhan iman seseorang. Pelbagai ujian dan dugaan yang diterima itu, adalah bukti kasih sayang pencipta terhadap hambaNya. Dan juga untuk memastikan kita semua memiliki iman yang lebih kuat selepas berjaya menempuhnya dengan penuh kesabaran. Bagi orang yang Allah kasih, di dunia lagi
Allah hukum, tidak di akhirat. Yakni dengan didatangkan kesusahan, penderitaan, kesakitan,
kemiskinan, kehilangan pengaruh dan sebagainya. Sekiranya kita boleh bersabar dan redha, maka itulah ganjaran pahala untuk kita.

Imam Ghazali ada menulis di dalam kitabnya Mukasyafah Al Qulub,Sesungguhnya bala merupakan pelita bagi orang arif, menyedarkan orang murtad, memperbaiki orang mukmin dan menghancurkan orang yang lupa. Tidak seorang pun akan mendapat manisnya iman sebelum dia ditimpa bala, rela dan bersabar.

Selain bersabar. Apa yang paling penting ingatlah Allah dan berdoalah selalu. Doa itu adalah ubat yang paling mujarab. Menurut Ibn Qayyim di dalam kitabnya Ad Da Wad Dawaa, Doa adalah musuh segala bencana. Ianya dapat menolak malah dapat menghilangkannya. Ataupun sekurang-kurangnya doa itu akan dapat meringankan segala bentuk musibah yang datang.

Sesungguhnya berdoa itu adalah senjata orang mukmin. Sebagaimana sabda Rasulullah saw yang diriwayatkan oleh Al-Hakim di dalam kitab sahihnya yang berasal dari Ali bin Abi Talib ra., sabda Rasulullah saw,

Doa adalah senjata orang mukmin, tiang agama dan cahaya langit serta bumi.

sabda Rasulullah saw dibawah. Semoga ianya serba sedikit boleh menjadi penawar ataupun sekurang-kurangnya memberi sedikit suntikan kekuatan untuk kita di dalam menempuh apa saja ujian yang datang.

Janji Allah dalam sabda Rasulullah saw,

Tiada seorang Muslim pun yang ditimpa sesuatu yang menyakitkan berupa penyakit atau lainnya, melainkan kerananya Allah akan menghapuskan keburukan-keburukannya sebagaimana pohon yang menggugurkan daun-daunnya.

(Hadis Riwayat Bukhari)

Begitulah Allah Yang Maha Pengasih kepada hamba-hambanya, tidak mahu hukum kita di akhirat, kerana penderitaan di Neraka berpuluh-puluh kali ganda lebih dahsyat daripada penderitaan di dunia. Sekiranya kita telah dihukum di dunia lagi, kita patut bersyukur kerana apabila kembali ke akhirat, kita telah bersih daripada dosa.

Dan ingatlah, andaikata kita diuji, kita masih wajib bersyukur kerana masih ada 1001 jenis nikmat lain yang Allah kurniakan kepada kita! Jadi mengapa mesti merungut ketika diuji?

Semoga kita semua sentiasa bersabar, mengingati Allah dan berdoa selalu di dalam menghadapi apa saja bentuk ujian yang mendatang.

PERCAYALAH sesungguhnya Allah menyayangimu..

Nah, kena kat batang hidung sendiri! =). Diri decide nak guna artikel ni je untuk tazkirah nanti.

Pagi tu, dalam jam 4.50a baru diri terbangun. dengan mata yang bengkak dan kepala yang kesakitan, gagahkan diri jugak pergi ke Commons dengan berkereta. nasib baik tak keseorangan..Oya jadi peneman setia menempuh kebekuan pagi tu =). Nak pendek cerita, tak ramai pula akak-akak yang datang pagi tu, freshmen, alhamdulillah ramai! So....dengan tidak semena-mena nya, diri terpaksa jadi imaamah untuk qiyam pagi tu..erk, tak pernah jadi imaam qiyam. tapi buat ajelah. tazkiyyah ni...

Alhamdulillah all's well end's well...=) semuanya berjalan lancar dan terharulah dengan semangat adik2 frehmen ni. Sayanglah korang! ..hehe

Agenda seterusnya untuk pagi tu, usrah Qiyadah MISG bersama Akh Fazrul pada jam 10 pagi, Usrah Azni & Zed bersama-sama anak usrah kami jam 1 tengaharinya nanti. InsyaAllah nanti diri detailkan lagi pada post yang seterusnya...dah lambat nak bersiap g kelas pagi ni.

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