Sunday, December 27, 2015

Umrah Travelogue - Part 4

The final part of my journey was spend at Mecca. At that time, the construction of the Holy Mosque is still ongoing.

Due to the massive construction, the environment is dusty and the places where you can perform the prayers are limited. There are hundreds of massive cranes that are scattered around the mosque. Bear in mind that I went to perform umrah before the accident of crane collapses happens. Read here.

To describe the feeling that I felt upon seeing the Kaaba is beyond words. I am lucky and honoured to be selected to come to this Holy place. It is my hope that all of my prayers will be answered and that all of Muslims in the entire world would be able to live in peace again.

To end my post, here are few pictures of the mosque including the on-going construction at that time.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The last ten nights of Ramadhan

Al-Qadr (Power) - Chapter 97: Verse 2
"Would that you knew what the Night of Power is!"

When we look today in retrospect, after the lapse of numerous generations, at that glorious and happy night, imagine the fascinating celebration the world then witnessed, and ponder over the essence of revelation and its far-reaching effects on human life and values, we appreciate how great this event was. We can then understand, to some extent, why the Quranic reference to that night is made in such an equivocal way: "Would that you knew what the Night of Power is!"

Humanity, out of ignorance and to its misfortune, may overlook the value and importance of the Night of Power. When humanity does so ignore it, it loses the happiest and most beautiful sign of grace that God bestowed on it. It also suffers the loss of the real happiness and peace gifted to it by Islam, namely, the peace of conscience, family and society. What it has otherwise gained of material civilization is inadequate compensation for its loss. Humanity is miserable in spite of higher production levels and better means of existence. The splendid light that once illuminated its soul has been put out; the happiness that carried it high up to the Supreme society has been destroyed; the peace that overflowed in people’s hearts and minds has disappeared. Nothing can compensate for the happiness of the human soul, the heavenly light and elevation to the loftiest ranks.

We, the believers in Islam, are commanded not to forget or neglect this event. The Prophet has taught us an easy and enjoyable way to commemorate it, so that our souls may always be in close communion with it and with the universal event that it witnessed. He has urged us to spend this night of each year in devotion. He said: “Seek the Night of Power in the last ten nights of Ramadan.” [Bukhari and Muslim.] He also said: “Whoever spends the Night of Power in worship, with a pure motive of faith and devotion, will have all his past sins forgiven.” [Bukhari and Muslim.]

Islam is not mere formalities. Hence, the Prophet specifies that the consecration of that night must be motivated by faith and devotion. This would make its consecration by any individual an indication of his or her full awareness of the far-reaching effects of what took place on that night.

The Islamic method of education and character building links worship with faith and establishes truth in our hearts and consciences. 

By this method, worship is considered a means for maintaining full awareness of this truth, its clarification and firm establishment in our minds, hearts and souls. This method has been proved to be the best for the revival of this truth so that it has an unfailing influence on people’s behaviour. The theoretical understanding of this truth cannot, on its own and without worship, establish it or give it the necessary impetus for its operation in the life of the individual or society. This link between the anniversary of the Night of Power and its consecration in faith and devotion is a part of the successful and straightforward method of Islam.

"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 18, pp. 280-281

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Umrah Travelogue - Part 3

My first part of the trip was at Medina followed by Mecca. 

Medina, the city of Holy Prophet. It reminds me the struggle of the Prophet and His Companions to relay the message of Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala and now Islam has been spread worldwide. 

The Prophet Mosque. 
It it the main attraction here at Medina. There are several interesting features of the mosque in comparison to the mosque in Malaysia. Apart from being the second largest mosque in the world, it also hosts the original house of the prophet and the final resting place of the Prophet and His Great companions. One of the place where supplications can be easily granted, Raudhah is also located in this mosque. There are lots of historical remains in this mosque. 

The giant umbrella
It is one of the most common structures featured in any television show whenever you talked about the Holy Prophet mosque. The umbrella is extremely tall in structure. I will let the picture shows how big and massive is the giant umbrella. 

The aircond
I was surprised at first to see the location of air conditioning system at the mosque. It is located at the bottom of every pillar inside the mosque. 

Perhaps not common in Malaysia, here in Saudi Arabia, you can bring shoes inside the mosque as long as you put your shoe in a clean container most often in the form of plastics. There are thousands of shoe racks inside the mosque. 

This place is always crowded regardless of what time it is on the day. You have to come early to get inside to the Raudhah. There are allocated time for female and male to visit this place. However, this place is open to all Muslims during the compulsory prayer.

One piece of advice from me....this also applies to Mecca as well. It is advisable to come extremely early to the mosque for every prayer time. Even during Fajr prayer, the mosque is already full one hour before the actual prayer.

to be continued...

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Career pathway for doctors in Malaysia

For many SPM leavers, one of the most popular courses in the university will be the medical programme. Therefore, in this post, I will be explaining the pathway of becoming a doctor and how to become a specialist in Malaysia.

After passing your SPM exam, you have to join the foundation course. There are many foundation courses available such as STPM, matriculation course, A-level, International Baccalaureate or any of the university pre-medical programmes. These programmes usually last between 1-3 years. 

Medical Schools
After successfully passing the foundation course, you have to compete with thousands of applicants to get into the medical programme. There are many local universities which have offered medical degree in Malaysia. If you are fortunate, you may also able to go to overseas to pursue your medical degree. On average, the duration of the medical programme is between 5-6 years. 

After graduating from the medical school, you will be entitled to join the internship/housemanship at any government hospital. In Malaysia, the duration of housemanship is 2 years. You have to do six postings throughout your housemanship.

Medical officer
Next will be your journey as a medical officer. Depending on the availability, you will be posted to any hospital/government clinics but not necessarily of your own choice. Please bear in mind that as a government servant, the Ministry of Health has the right to place its employee according to the availability. 

I believe this is the longest part of career as a doctor. This is the most important part of your career in which you choose your own pathway.

If you are no longer interested to pursue in medicine, you can quit from the job and try to get an alternative job. If you are keen to become a researcher, you can try applying for jobs in any of the research centre in Malaysia or overseas. 

If you are interested to pursue to become a specialist, you can either join the local Master programme or if possible to sit for any UK-based exam eg MRCP, MRCS, FRCR etc.

The local master programme last on average 4 years followed by 6 months period of gazettement. After you are recognised as a specialist by Ministry of Health, you can choose to join the training programme for any subspecialty you are interested.

This post was written in response to one of the comment I received in this post