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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Saigon vs Baghdad

30 years ago, on April 30 1975, the last American soldiers flew out from Saigon leaving the communist tanks to raid the last base of the Coalition Forces. After many years of fighting the occupation force (America), the communist won and managed to defeat the USA forces.

Despite that American were superior in their armory and technology, the Vietnam communist army managed to 'kick' the USA out of Vietnam forever. Although American used chemical weapon of mass destruction that destroyed many trees and jungle at Vietnam, Agent Orange, Vietnamese still able to launch massive attack at the Americans army base.

Many USA soldiers died in the Vietnam war. The involvement of USA in Vietnam war was simply an agenda of them to defeat the communist ideology and to prevent the ideology to spread to another South East Asia countries. In those time, the communist had been prevailed in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia but those ideology has been rejected by the common people. The communist ideology were crushed to ashes by Suharto army in Indonesia in late 1965. The communist rage back in Malaysia were finally controlled by 1970s. Failing to get support from the public, the communist were forcefully had to retreat to fight in the border of Malaysia-Thailand.

Back in Vietnam, the winning communist army simply marked the aggressiveness of Vietnam communist army against the once-formidable USA army. You may wonder why the USA had to involve themselves at Vietnam, the land that is very far from USA. This is one of the side effect of the Cold War between Soviet Union and USA in those perilous period in human history. The communist ideology was seen by USA as their enemy of the democracy. Thus, USA had to work around the globe to prevent the communist ideology to spread and in the same time, spreading their own ideology of democracy. The Cold War ended when Soviet Union fell to their own people by 1990 and the communist ideology were finally replaced by democracy. Thus, USA remained until today the sole superpower in this world.

Having been humiliated by the defeat at Vietnam, USA film makers tried to uplift their image by producing many films picturing the USA army defeating the Vietnam communist army. Do you remember 'Rambo' and many films of the same genre in late 1980s? This was the effort they made to improve the image of USA.

Now, 30 years after being defeated in the land of Vietnam, the USA again is involved in another war. Now, they fought against the so-called terrorist in the land of Iraq. Have they won yet?

After two years of fighting against the guerillas in Iraq, the USA forces still unable to control the situation in Iraq. The promise they make upon capturing Baghdad, that they want to bring peace in Iraq is still not being delivered.

Saigon vs Baghdad....will the history repeated itself again?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

embracing autumn, leaving summer

As I wrote this post....my fingers felt a bit cold. All things that I touched felt somewhat freezing. No more hot shiny summer at Melbourne now. Many yellow golden crispy leaves already fallen. As I cycled to the university, surely I will crushed those crispy leaves. The used-to-be- green fields now turn to be yellow.

The night now is getting longer. The day is getting shorter. The final exam is almost near now. The winter holiday too is also near (*trying to use positive coping strategies ).

Everytime I went out to the mosque to perform Magrib and Isya', I always saw the ever white moon up in the clear dark sky. The dim moon light shone upon the whole Melbourne as I walked and take another step towards the mosque.

Yet this serenity and peace was not shared by many in this entire world. If you look into the mass media; newspapers, television....everyday, they showed and infused us with many saddening, cruel events....but there always be some good news behind all those barbaric issues that make up the major headlines nowadays.

Atrocities, inhumanity may have spread eagerly throughout this entire universe, but is there any hope for this? Is there any way out of this complex matter?

There is always hope. Never gave up too easily. Life is always full of test to the believers.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Tests for the Believers: Fluctuations of Life

A person’s life in this world is not stable. One passes through alternating periods of happiness and dismay, strength and weakness, wealth and poverty, health and sickness, etc. A true believer is one who maintains a clear level of faith throughout the worldly fluctuations. He continues to remember Allah and ascribe the bounties to Him, and he turns to Him in submission, asking for relief from his affliction. This is described by the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), who said

“Indeed amazing are the affairs of a believer! They are all for his benefit. If he is granted ease of living he is thankful; and this is best for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres; and this is best or him.” (Muslim)

And Allah said

[Certainly, We shall test you with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient—those who, when afflicted with calamity say, “Truly to Allah we belong, and truly to Him shall we return.” It is those who will be awarded blessings and mercy from their Lord; and it is those who are the guided ones.] (Al-Baqarah 2:155–157)

Thus, a believer shows gratitude and thankfulness for all the wonderful blessings that Allah grants him. And he displays patience and submission during sickness and hardships, hunger, or other afflictions.

Hardships Benefit the Believer

Allah has decreed that, in this life, hardships and disasters strike both believers and non-believers. For a non-believer, they are inconveniences that hinder him from proceeding with his normal involvement in the worldly life. For a believer, on the other hand, they are instances of rest and remembrance, tests that promise great rewards, and indications of atonement and expiation of sins. Regardless of how little is the harm that strikes a believer, it carries with it good news of forgiveness and elevated rank in Paradise. The Righteous Predecessors used to be pleased when a hardship afflicted them, seeing it as a token of Allah’s forgiveness and benevolence.

Expiations of Sins

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet said, ”Hardships continue to befall a believing man and woman in their body, family, and property, until they meet Allah burdened with no sins” (At-Tirmidhi).

Sign of Allah’s Love

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whenever Allah wills good for a person, He subjects him to adversity” (Al-Bukhari and others).

Sign of Faith

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) and Ka`b ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“The parable of a believer is that of a fresh and moist plant; the wind tilts it this way and that way; and so is the believer; he continues to be subject to affliction. And the parable of a hypocrite is that of a firm cedar tree; it does not shake—until it is uprooted all at once.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Sign of Righteousness

The prophets and righteous people are afflicted the most, and their rewards are the highest. Sa`d (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“The most in their suffering among the people are the prophets, then the best, then the (next) best. One is afflicted in accordance with his faith. If his faith is firm, his affliction is hard, and if his faith is weak, his affliction is light. Indeed, one would be so much subjected to adversity until he walks among the people without any sins.” (Ahmad
and At-Tirmidhi)

Early Punishment

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“When Allah wills good for a servant of His, He expedites his punishment in this life; and when He wills retribution for a servant of His, He holds his sins for Him to judge him by them on the Day of Resurrection.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Multiplication of Rewards

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“The amount of reward is in accordance with the amount of suffering. When Allah loves some people, He tries them (with affliction). He who then is content (with Allah’s decree) has achieved the acceptance (of Allah), and he who is dissatisfied (with Allah’s decree) will attain the anger (of Allah).” (At-Tirmidhi)

Rewards for Sickness

One should not look to sickness as a gloomy episode, but should remember the great good in it. It is one form of affliction with which Allah tests His servants, giving them a chance to acquire rewards, as was explained above, as is further emphasized below.

Removal of Sins and Elevation in Ranks

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whenever a Muslim is afflicted by harm from sickness or other matters, Allah will drop his sins because of that, like a tree drops its
leaves” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “A Muslim is not afflicted by hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm, or depression—even if pricked by a thorn—but Allah expiates his sins because of that” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Sa`id said, “I was with Salman (may Allah be pleased with him) when he visited a sick man in Kindah (in Persia), and he said to him, “Expect good because Allah makes a believer’s sickness an expiation (for his sins) and a period of rest. However, when a disbeliever falls sick, he is like a camel whose owner ties it then lets it loose—it does not understand why it was tied nor why it was freed” (Al-Bukhari).

`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that once some pain afflicted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) causing him to suffer and turn about in his bed. She said, “Had one of us done this, you would have blamed him.” He (peace and blessings be upon him) replied,

“An ailment is intensified for the righteous. Whenever a believer is afflicted by a hardship, whether it is a thorn or more, a sin is taken off from him because of it, and he is elevated by one rank (in Paradise).” (Ahmad)

Retaining Rewards for Deeds Before Sickness

Usually, when a believer falls sick, he would not be able to do the same amount of good (prayer, fasting, helping Muslims, etc.) that he used to do when he was well. But Allah, out of His great mercy, continues to record for him the good deeds that he was forced to stop because of his sickness. Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “For a traveling or sick person, his deeds will be recorded in accordance with what he used to do when he was resident or well” (Al-Bukhari).

`Abdullah ibn `Amr reported that the Prophet said, “No (believing) person gets sick, but (his deeds) will be recorded for him in accordance with what he used to do when he was well” (Al-Bukhari).

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“No Muslim body is afflicted by Allah, but He will record (his deeds) for him in accordance with what he used to do when he was well—as long as he is sick. Thus, if He takes his life, He forgives him; and if He cures him, He washes him (from sins).” (Al-Bukhari)

Reason for the Reward

`Atta ibn Rabaah reported that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) told him, “Do you want to see a woman from the people of Paradise?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “It is this black woman. She came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saying, ‘I have (epileptic) seizures, and I get exposed, so supplicate to Allah for me.’ He (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘If you wish, be patient and you will attain Paradise; or if you wish, I will ask Allah to cure you.’ She replied, ‘I will be patient! But my body gets exposed (because of the fall), so supplicate to Allah for me that I do not become exposed.’ And he (peace and blessings be upon him) did” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

The scholars have differed in opinion as to whether a sick person will be rewarded for the sickness itself or for being patient during it. The correct opinion is that if he is patient and submits to Allah’s will, as in the above hadith, he would be rewarded for both the submission and the sickness; otherwise, he would not be rewarded at all because he resented Allah’s decree. This is what should be understood from Ibn Hajar Al-`Asqalani’s words: “The authentic hadiths are clear in that the rewards are recorded once affliction strikes a Muslim. As for patience and acceptance, they are virtues for which a person may get additional rewards over those for the affliction.”

`Abdullah ibn `Amr reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If a Muslim is pricked by (as little as) a thorn in the worldly life, and he seeks its reward from Allah, some of his sins will be removed, because of it, on the Day of Judgment” (Al-Bukhari).

- Sheikh Salim Al-Hilali -

Sunday, April 17, 2005

8 down, 8 more to go....

finally, I have reached the midpoint of this semester.

Within another one week, the dateline of one major assignment is due. The next week after that, is the final installation of our mid-semester exam [Finally, the mid-sem exam fever is over].

The last 4 weeks of this semester, I expect it to more torturous and arduos with the teaching of anatomy to come. The last 4 weeks will see me learning all those muscles of the hand and legs and a glance throught anatomy book, I found that there were too many of those thick long-ish muscles. I bet more than 100 muscles altogether and to learn them all....no word suffice to express my feelings.

Within another 6 weeks, the semester will be over, then there will be one week called as SWOT Vac. SWOT simply means a dilligent student at work.

Then, after the SWOT vac, the long-awaited final exam is coming.

Then, after that..yay...the winter holiday will come but not after sweating thru those rather difficult mind-tricking exam. 8 more weeks before the holiday.....

So, expect this blog to become less active and more passive as the end is coming. Have to concentrate for the final examination now. If I don't start it now, it will be very late and I will deeply regret it later. Anatomy, I wished I can finished it as soon as possible. It is already occupying lots of my memory space in my brain. Need to reorganised my neurons after the exam is over.

With that, I end my post. The next post....I don't know when it will be.

-current mode: nerd anatomaniac at work-

Friday, April 15, 2005

hatiku milik siapa?

Puas sudah,
Kucari kebahagian,
Di sisi teman-teman,
Kudapat hanya kelalaian,

Ku cari lagi,
Di hati seorang kekasih,
Kudapat hanya kekecewaan,

Dan ku terus mencari,
Dalam meniti hari,
Penuh kekosongan…

Oh, di mana lagi harus ku mencari,
Membawa sekeping hati,
Yang sarat kerinduan,
Rindu yang tiada haluan,

Aku keliru sendiri,
Apa yang kucari,
Apa yang kuperlukan
Aku masih tak bisa mengerti,

Yang pasti,
Kekosongan hati ini minta diisi..
Sejenak ku tersedar,
Aku mencari cinta agung,

Buat jiwaku yang merindukan,
Hakikat kebenaran,
Cahaya yang membelah kegelapan,
Melimpah cemerlang mengisi kekosongan.

Ku sedar,
Destinasi pencarianku di sini,
Ku mencari-Mu Tuhan,

Mengharap keredhaan,
Menagih kebahagiaan,
Dari sinar cahaya iman

-hatiku milikmu-


Kata-kata di atas diambil dari sebuah cerpen yang baru habis dibaca. Kisahnya telah berjaya membuatkan daku berfikir dan berfikir lagi dan lagi. Apakah erti itu cinta? Apakah cinta yang hakiki?

Ini linknya....hatikumilikmu

Perasaan manusia seringkali bergolak. Hati manusia mudah terpaut akan keindahan yang sementara. Mampukah manusia itu menepis segala cabaran dan mehnah itu kesemuanya?

Semoga kita semua tabah hati dalam menjalani kehidupan yang penuh ranjau ini. Berdoa dan bergantung haraplah kepada Tuhan Yang Maha Agung. Tuhan itu tempat kita meminta akan segala sesuatu.

seorang pengembara yang masih mencari dan senantiasa mencari erti cinta hakiki...the journey continues....

-wallahualam-

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The allegory of the pen - the interpretation II

The wandering devotee stood speechless for a while then turned to knowledge saying:"I am in a difficulty. The dangers of the path which you have described unnerve my heart, and I know not whether I have sufficient strength to face them and to succeed in the end.""There is a test for your strength” replied knowledge,"Open your eyes and fix your gaze on me, if you see the pen that writes on the heart, you will in my opinion, be able to proceed further on.

He who crosses the phenomenal world, knocks at the door of the celestial world, then sights the pen which writes on the Hearts."......

The next part of the articles discussed on the strength of faith towards God. Once you believe the existence of God, the next stage is to test the strength of the faith. How much you trust in God?

Many people will say their amazement when confronted with something that is beyond their experience and capabilities. For example, when someone learned the precision of the formation of rain and how the ecosystem is fully developed to interact with each of many components in the biosphere, many will be amazed. When someone knows how crucial and dangerous it is for the baby to live for 9 months in the mother's womb, he/she will be grateful that they managed to survive out of those 9 perilous months. It is very easy for baby to be killed in their early stage of life.

Now, once you believe the Greatness of the Creator, it is time for the test. How much hope you put on God alone? To what extent the belief on the existence of God coloured our life?

The devotee looked and found himself reflecting upon the divine attribute, Omnipotence.At once he realized the force of the mysterious pen’s argument, but, goaded by his inquisitive nature, he was about to put the question in the Holy Being, when a voice like the deafening sound of thunder, was heard from above, proclaiming :

“He is NOT questioned for his actions,
but they shall be asked”.

Filled with surprise the devotee bent his head in silent submission.The hand of the divine mercy stretched towards the helpless devotee, into his ear were whispered in zephyr tones:

“As for those who strive in Our cause, We will surely guide them to Our paths,”. (QS. 29:69)

Opening his eyes, the devotee raised his head and poured forth his heart in silent prayer:“Holy art Thou, O God Almighty: blessed is thy name, O Lord of the Universe! Henceforth I shall fear no mortal: I put my entire trust in Thee: Thy forgiveness is my solace: Thy mercy is my refuge”.

The last part of 'the allegory of the pen' talked about the practicality of faith on this worldly temporal life. Once you know there is God behind everything, be it bad or good, then you know that there is nothing that more powerful than the God alone. Then, how do you show your faith towards God?

That was in brief, the message that was being conveyed in this story, 'the allegory of the pen'.

When we read something, then contemplate and analyse the message, we ought to know what is good and what is bad. It is norm for human to approach a certain event from many point of views.

The first step, to know that God is the one behind everything..in my opinion is the hardest of all. Even myself wouldn't claimed that I have already surpassed the first stage. Have you?

Sometimes, when we were clouded with anxiety and difficulty, sometimes we blamed on God and sometimes we blamed on ourselves, though the best thing to do is to be patient. Have we?

Sometimes, when we were on the zenith of excellence, we claimed that this is the proof of our laborious effort in the past. We shouted to the whole world that this goes to show that we were in our own class. Cream of the cream, the so-called of those kind of group. Yet, please remember that God is the one behind everything. Eventhough we were glittered with the sparkling star of glory, don't ever forget that God alone is the one who determine everything. Not our effort though. Have we remember that?

Sometimes we forget, sometimes the whisper of evil swayed our heart to one dark side....reflect and reflect, again and again. May all of us be in the light of truth.

-wallahualam-

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The allegory of the pen - the interpretation

The rather perplexing and mind-boggling article that I posted previously certainly need an exhaustive interpretation. It certainly requires quite lot of thinking and manipulating perspective the faculty of thought to elucidate the entire message of the story written by Imam al-Ghazali.

In the first part of the story, a man called a devotee was walking towards a certain place when he found a paper blackened by a line written by a pen. Thus, the title 'the allegory of the pen'.

Then, the devotee tried to find the one who is responsible to cause the line to be written on the paper. He asked the paper, ink, pen, hand, vitality,will and finally met three matter. The mind, knowledge and reason altogether defensed themselves by saying that they are not guilty of accusation since all of them are servants to one powerful invisible pen.

The devotee was strucked by a puzzle. He already interrogated the pen and the pen said it was controlled by another matter and this seems to be in a circling riddle. Is this a joke? So, who is 'the invisible pen'?

The first part is actually an analogy of a man trying to find who or what controlled all the events that occurs in his life. When we find something that we cannot explained, we have this tendency to sought plausible reason for that matter. First, we might explored the physical matter that governed or leading to the event.

Let say, we saw an apple fall from a tree [classic story of physic law]. We ponder and contemplate the reason it fell to the ground. Why the apple doesn't went upward instead of downward? Then, we think that may be caused of the wind. Then, further contemplation reveal that there is an invisible force that we called now as gravity. But then again, if we continuously thinking, what caused the gravity to be there in the first place? Is it because the formation of the planet earth suddenly cause the gravity force to be there, without any logical reason? Or is it because the sun and the earth 'communicate' with each other to form the gravity force?

Indeed, if humans to ponder again and again on who is the one behind everything, he will found that there is The One Most Powerful God behind all matter. It is God that creates everything that we saw and felt, including the gravity.

It was revealed in the Holy Book, al-Quran; the story of Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) who contemplates on the idols, the sun, the moon and the universe in his quest to find the God.

One who thinks upon the creation will find the ultimate Creator.

to be continued....

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The allegory of the pen

A certain devotee who was on the way to illumination saw a piece of paper with lines written on it.

“WHY?” said the devotee, “Have you blackened your bright face?”
“It is not fair to take me to task,” replied the PAPER, “I have done nothing! ask the INK why she has sallied from the inkstand, where she was quite at ease, and forcibly blackened me.”
“You are right,” said the devotee, who then turned to the ink and enquired of her.
“Why do you ask me?” she said.
“I was sitting still in the inkstand and had no mind to come out, but this truculent PEN rushed at me, drew me out and scattered me over the page. There you see me lying helpless, go to the pen and ask him.”


The devotee turned to the pen and interrogated him about his high handedness.
“Why do you trouble me?” answered the pen,
“Look, what am I ? …An insignificant reed. I was growing by the banks, off silvery streams amidst shady green trees, when Lo, a hand stretched at me. It held knife which uprooted me, flayed me and separated my joint, hewed me, cleaved my head then chopped it off. I was sent headlong towards the ink and have to serve abjectly. Do not add insult to my injuries, go to the HAND and ask him.”

The devoted looked at the hand and said “Is it true? Are you so cruel?”
“Do not be angry sir,”
replied the hand.
“I am a bundle of flesh, bones and blood. Have you ever seen a piece of flesh exerting Power? Can a body move of itself? I am a vehicle used by one called VITALITY, he rides on me and forces me round and round. You see a dead man has hands but can not use them because vitality has left them. Why should I, a mere vehicle be blamed? go to vitality and ask him why he makes use of me.”

“You are right” said devotee and then questioned vitality.
“Do not find fault with me” answered vitality.
“Many time a censurer himself is reproved while the censured itself found faultless. How do you know that I have forced the hand? I was already there before he moved and had no idea of the motion. I was unconscious and the onlookers were also unaware of me. Suddenly an agent came and stirred me. I had neither strength enough to disobey nor willingness to obey him. The action for which you are taking me to task, I had to do according to his wish. I do not know who this agent is, he is called WILL and I know him by name only. Had the matter been left to me I think I should have done nothing."

"All right" continued the devotee.
"I shall put the question to Will and ask him why he has forcibly employed Vitality, which of its own accord, would have done nothing."
"Do not be in too great a hurry,”
exclaimed Will.


"Perchance I may give you sufficient reason, His majesty the MIND sent an ambassador named KNOWLEDGE, who delivered his message to me through REASON saying: “ Rise up, stir Vitality." I was forced to do so because I have to obey knowledge and reason but I know not why. As long as I receive no order I am happy, but the moment an order is delivered, I dare not disobey. Whatever my monarch might be, a just ruler or a tyrant, I must obey him. On my oath, as long as the King hesitates or ponders over the matter I stand quite ready to serve, but the moment his order is passed, my sense of obedience, which is innate, forces me to stir up Vitality. So you should not blame me. Go to Knowledge and get information there.”

“You are right," consented the devotee and proceeding, asked mind and its ambassadors: Knowledge and Reason for an explanation.

Reason excused himself by saying he was a lamp only but knew not who had lit him. Mind pleaded his innocence by calling himself a mere tabula rasa [a clean slate]. Knowledge maintained that it was simply an inscription on the tabula rasa, inscribed after the lamp of reason had been lit. Thus he could not be considered to be the author of the inscription, which may have been the work of some INVISIBLE PEN.

The devotee was puzzled by the reply, but collecting himself, he spoke thus to Knowledge.

"I am wondering in the path of my inquiry, to whomsoever I go and ask the reason, I am referred to another. Nevertheless, there is pleasure in my quest, for I find that everyone gives me a plausible reason. But pardon me, sir, if I say that your reply, Knowledge, fails to satisfy me. You say that you are a mere inscription recorded by the pen. I have seen pen, ink and tablet. They are of reed, a black mixture and of wood and iron respectively. And I have seen lamps lit with fire, but here I do not see any of these things and yet you talked of the tablet, the lamp, the pen and the inscription. Surely you are not trifling with me! "

"Certainly not!" returned knowledge, "I spoke in right earnest. But I see your difficulty. Your means are scanty your horse is jaded and your journey is long and dangerous. Give up this enterprise, as I fear you cannot succeed. If, however you are prepared to run the risks then listen:

Your journey extends through 3 regions.
--The first is the terrestrial world, its objects--pen, ink, paper, hand, and so forth, are just what you have seen them to be.
--The second is the Celestial world -- which will begin when you have left me behind,
There you will come across dense forests, deep wide Rivers and high, impassable mountains, and I know not how you would be able to proceed.

Between these two worlds there is a third intermediary region called the Phenomenal world. You have crossed three stages of it---Vitality, Will and Knowledge.

To use a simile:
A man who is walking is treading the terrestrial world:
If he is sailing in a boat he enters the phenomenal world:
If he leaves the boat and swims and walks on the waters, he is admitted in the celestial world.
If you do not know how to swim, go back!, for the watery region of the celestial world begins now, when you can see that pen inscribing on the tablet of the heart.
If you are not of whom it was said:
“O you of little faith wherefore did you doubt? Prepare yourself—for by Faith you shall not simply walk on the sea but fly in the Air”

The wandering devotee stood speechless for a while then turned to knowledge saying:
"I am in a difficulty. The dangers of the path which you have described unnerve my heart, and I know not whether I have sufficient strength to face them and to succeed in the end."

"There is a test for your strength” replied knowledge,
"Open your eyes and fix your gaze on me, if you see the pen that writes on the heart, you will in my opinion, be able to proceed further on.

He who crosses the phenomenal world, knocks at the door of the celestial world, then sights the pen which writes on the Hearts."

The devotee did as he was advised but failed to see that pen because his notion of a pen was that of a pen of reed or wood.

Then Knowledge drew his attention saying:

“ There is the rub. Do you not know that the furniture of a palace indicates the status of its Lord? Nothing in the universe resembles God, therefore His attributes are also transcendental. He is neither body nor is He in space, His hand is not a bundle of flesh, bone, and blood. His pen is not of reed or wood. His writing is not from ink prepared from vitriol and gall.

But there are many who ignorantly cling to an anthropomorphic view of him. There are few who cherish a transcendentally pure conception of Him and believe that He is not only above all material limitation but even above the limitation of metaphor.

You seem to be oscillating between this two views, because on the one hand you think of that God is immaterial, that His words have neither sound nor shape, on the other hand you cannot rise to the transcendental conception of His hand, pen and tablet.

Do you think that the meaning of the tradition:
"Verily God created Adam in His own image” is limited to the visible face of man.?
Certainly not; it is the inward nature of man seen by the inward sight, which can be called The image of God.

But listen ! you are now at the sacred mount, where the invisible voice from the burning bush speaks:

“I am that I am (Exodus 3:14)
“Verily I am thy Lord, put off thy shoes” (Qur'├ín 20:12)

The Devotee, who listening with rapture, suddenly saw as it were a flash of lightning; there appeared working the pen, which writes on the hearts---formless.

"A thousand blessing on thee, O knowledge, who has saved me from falling into the abyss of anthropomorphism (Tashbeeh). I thank thee from the bottom of my heart, I tarried long, but now, adieu !”

The Devotee then resumed his journey. Halting in the presence of the invisible pen, politely he asked the same question:

“.......you know my reply” answered the mysterious pen.
“ You cannot have forgotten the reply given to you by the pen in the terrestrial world.”
“ Yes, I remember,”
replied the devotee,
“ but how can it be the same reply, because there is no similitude between you and that pen?"

" Then it seems you have forgotten the tradition: Verily God created Adam in his Own image"
“No, Sir”
interrupted the devotee “I know it by the heart"
“And you have forgotten the passage in the Quran: and the heaven rolled up in his right hand
“Certainly not”
exclaimed the devotee “ I can repeat the whole of the Qur’an by the rote”
“ yes I know, and as you are now treading the sacred precincts of the celestial world, I think I can now safely tell that you have simply learnt the meaning of these passages from a negative point of view, but they have a positive value and should be utilised as constructive at this stage. Proceed further and you will understand when I mean."

The devotee looked and found himself reflecting upon the divine attribute, Omnipotence.
At once he realized the force of the mysterious pen’s argument, but, goaded by his inquisitive nature, he was about to put the question in the Holy Being, when a voice like the deafening sound of thunder, was heard from above, proclaiming :

“He is NOT questioned for his actions, but they shall be asked”.

Filled with surprise the devotee bent his head in silent submission.
The hand of the divine mercy stretched towards the helpless devotee, into his ear were whispered in zephyr tones:

“As for those who strive in Our cause, We will surely guide them to Our paths,”. (QS. 29:69)

Opening his eyes, the devotee raised his head and poured forth his heart in silent prayer:
“Holy art Thou, O God Almighty: blessed is thy name, O Lord of the Universe! Henceforth I shall fear no mortal: I put my entire trust in Thee: Thy forgiveness is my solace: Thy mercy is my refuge”.

-Imam Ghazali-

Saturday, April 09, 2005

kedamaian

Damaikan perasaan
Lupakan segala kedukaan
Leraikan sengketa
Yang melanda di antara kita oohh...

Usahlah dikenang
Segala kedukaan lama
Biarkan ianya
Terlerai dari hati mu oh teman

Jangan diulang kesilapan lama
Bersama kita pastikannya
Kerana orang beriman tidak melakukan
Kesilapan berulang kali

Lihatlah hari esok
Yang bakal kita hadapi bersama
Semoga ia menjanjikan
Ketenangan yang kita cari

Ku tahu kita merindukan
Ku tahu kita mengidamkan
Ketenangan dan kedamaian

-Brothers-

Dunia ini boleh ditafsirkan melalui pelbagai kaca mata. Anda boleh melihatnya dari kaca mata teknologi. Boleh juga dilihat dengan pandangan akhlak manusia. Boleh juga ditafsir melalui pandangan perhubungan manusia dengan manusia, perhubungan manusia dengan alam dan perhubungan manusia dengan Pencipta.

Di suatu sudut dunia, seorang kanak-kanak kecil menderita akibat penyakit yang dialaminya. Kanak-kanak itu mengalami penyakit jantung berlubang dan telah dibantu dengan bantuan kewangan dari pelbagai sumber untuk menjalani pembedahan bagi mengubati penyakitnya itu.

Di suatu sudut lain, seorang kanak-kanak mati kebuluran akibat ekonomi negaranya yang merundum. Ekonomi negaranya itu hancur dirakus dan dijajah oleh kuasa asing. Habis punah sumber kewangan untuk membiayai sistem kesihatan untuk para penduduknya.

Di suatu sudut lain, seorang kanak-kanak kecil cukup bergembira bersama teman-teman rapatnya menghadiri jamuan kecil ulangtahun kelahirannya. Dia cukup seronok untuk bertemu dengan rakan-rakannya dan sibuk bermain dengan segala bentuk permainan yang ada.

Di suatu sudut lain, seorang kanak-kanak kecil sedih dan pilu melihat akan keluarganya dibunuh di hadapan mata. Bangsa asing menjajah tanahnya dan merampas segala hak asasinya untuk hidup. Untuk itu, dia terpaksa mengangkat senjata bagi mempertahankan maruahnya daripada terus dirobek oleh bangsa yang tidak mengenal hak kemanusiaan itu.

Di suatu sudut yang lain, seorang kanak-kanak begitu tekun belajar di dalam biliknya yang berhawa dingin. Peperiksaan pertengahan tahun bakal menjelang. Dia harus berusaha bersungguh-sungguh untuk mencapai kecemerlangan untuk menggembirakan ibubapanya serta untuk mencapai kepuasan di hati.

Di suatu sudut yang lain, seorang kanak-kanak kecil termangu-mangu melihat akan keadaan dunia sekeliling. Terlalu banyak suasana yang cukup berbeza. Ada rakannya yang ditimpa kesedihan. Ada sahabatnya yang dihujani angin kegembiraan. Apakah ini dunia? Kenapa perbezaan ini berlaku? Kenapa? Kenapa......persoalan itu mencengkam mindanya yang kecil.

Dari Ibn Umar r.a., katanya : " Rasulullah SAW telah memegang bahuku dan bersabda : ' Anggaplah dirimu di dunia ini sebagai seorang perantau, atau pengembara. '

Maka Ibn Umar berkata : "Jika engkau berada di waktu petang, maka janganlah engkau menunggu pagi. Dan jika engkau berada di waktu pagi maka janganlah engkau menunggu petang. Gunakanlah waktu sihatmu sebelum datang waktu sakit. Dan gunakanlah waktu hidupmu sebelum datang waktu mati."

[Sahih Bukhari]

Friday, April 08, 2005

111

This is my 111th post published on this blog. Within less than a year, I managed to come up to this stage. 111 post written is not an easy task to do. Complemented with arduous life as a medical student. Nevertheless, some people can easily outbeaten me. They can easily wrote post daily without any difficulty at all.

111 posts...erm, that seems a lot. This blog managed to see me writing in two languages yet the literature of those two languanges is never my mastery. Some posts were rather personal and some were rather general and less specific.

Reminiscing the past, many things and events have occured between the first post up to this 111th post. Many significant and insignificant matter have changed my perception towards somebody or towards human overall. Changes are sometimes inevitable.

wishing for the past to change for better, that will never happens and that is also a useless thing to do. Must be brave to endure the unpredictable future and never easily giving up despite thorns and prickers along the path.

Hopefully, this blog will see the 1000th post later. Till then, wait and see :D

Thursday, April 07, 2005

argot-jargon-lingo-patois-vernacular

isn't that title so weird? ;)


Was trying to release internal cerebral pressure memorising all those medical jargons =).

After only one and a half year being a medical student, I already accumulate hundreds of weird and mouth twisting words if not phrases, though some were interesting to be applied. Not forgetting that some were confusing and perplexing, the main culprit I believed to cause my fragmented neurons.

paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea, orthopnea, apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, hypopnea, hypercapnia, hypoxaemia, hypoxia, hyperemia....these were some terms with regard to medical condition...

salbutamol, ventolin, theophyline, zafirlukast, montelukast, disodium necromil glycate, dihydroxypridine, digoxin, warfarin, adrenaline, noradrenaline, isoprenaline, acetylcholine, methacoline, propanolol, spironolactone...these were the names of some drugs that I have learned already and expected the list to be increased later in the next few weeks.

ANATOMY....this is the most ATP-consuming of all. Just imagine, within small region in the body, there were hundred of structures to be learned and I need to memorise and build a good 3D image inside my mind. No wonder this days most of my mitochodria were so active :) And, the last four weeks of this semester will be the hardest anatomy lectures of all. Learning all those muscles of hand and legs. A glimpse over the muscles, I could see many muscles layers upon layers. Expect it to be difficult as the week progresses.

Nevertheless, what is life if there is no challenge. Ought to be tough to endure these challenges. Must increase my ATP supply for full memorizing capability to prevent paroxysmal panic attack when the exam is coming ;)

With that in notion, off to study.
-wassalam-

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

mistakes

When I started blogging, sometimes I wrote in Malay and sometimes I wrote in English. Some posts were rather personal and some were simply my honest opinion towards the global environment around me.

Malay or English, I always noticed few if not many grammatical mistakes I made when writing the post. Language is never my strength. Sometimes, I tried to correct it but gradually couldn't be bothered.

Mistakes are always part of human experience. I let the mistakes engraved on this blog of mine to remind me in the future, that in the past, mistakes are part of myself. Thus, remind me to be humble and gave me the strength to endure the ever challenging life here on the planet earth.

Sometimes, we learned by making mistakes and the mistakes made us progress further. My teacher used to quote this,
"It is doesn't matter how far you fall below, but what counts is how far did you leapt from those fall".

Sometimes, the post that I wrote become controversial and received critical comments from the readers. For that, I thank to those people. Writing is prone to millions of error. In fact, the post I wrote were sometimes rather dry in that it doesn't have specific purpose nor special message to be conveyed to the readers and not forgetting to the owner ;)

Dear readers,
If you find me mumbling and rambling over insignificant matter, remind me. If you find me making grave mistakes that need to be corrected, please prompt me to do the right thing. If you find me pointing to the wrong direction, please steer me to the right one.

This blog is designed as my life reflection. The phrase on the picture on your left should tell you the purpose of me writing and posting it over the virtual world.

Monday, April 04, 2005

paradigmshift

Today, when I was sitting alone in the room...waiting for all my friends to come to sit for the exam, something that I never expect happened. One of my group members changed rather dramatically over the holiday. Yet the change was towards good.

It took someone great courage to change dramatically. It took someone strong determined will to do something that elicit thousands questions upon those changes. Nevertheless, changing towards good is something that are welcomed and should be supported.

Over the life of a human being, there will many changes that occurs following critical thought over some event in life. Some changes are minimal in effect and some are somewhat big and affecting other people. Some changes are kind of paradigmshift in which the previous and the post event after the change is rather dramatic indeed.

There exists people who resist to changes and would like to stay in their current state. Dormant and static is what their notion. Their own thought and attitude are governed by their own opinion and past experience. If someone conveyed different idea, they might analysed it over and over and then throw it out, or perhaps throw it without further analysis.

Does changes permit human to succeed in this life? Some changes lead to the worst state than prior and some lead to the better. Remaining static will never lead human to the advancement of their own mission and objective, in my opinion. Be progressive, be revolutionist not evolutinist. Evolutionist is someone who change slowly over time and revolutionist is someone who change dramatically.

Life is an uncharted ocean of experience. Faced it with oar of wisdom and wind of courage.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

angin perubahan

Cuaca di sini amat sukar dijangka. Kadangkala ia cerah panas seakan-akan musim panas. Kadangkala ia sejuk dingin seumpama musim sejuk. Mungkin inilah apa yang dikatakan hidup di negara empat musim. Empat musim yang sungguh berbeza dan membawa bersamanya angin perubahan yang tidak dapat tidak harus diterima.

Pagi tadi, kulihat sinar mentari terik memancar menyinari tingkap jendelaku. Awan kelabu berarak perlahan menutupi alam penglihatanku. Di antara gugusan awan besar kelabu itu, aku masih dapat melihat langit biru luas disinari panas matahari.

Panas pagi tadi rupanya tidak berakhir hingga ke petang. Tengah hari, angin mula menjenguk bandaraya ini. Angin laju mula menggerakkan awan kelabu. Pokok tinggi di depan rumahku mula bergoncang. Daun kuning kerna musim luruh mula berguguran. Desiran angin besertakan angin kelabu gelap mula menjangkau horizon pemandanganku dari jendela ini.

Panas mula bertukar kepada dingin. Suasana ini amat menggamit hatiku untuk tidur lena di atas katil. Ah! Aku harus bertahan. Harus menelaah lagi untuk exam yang bakal menjelma keesokan pagi.

Aku harus kembali semula kepada nota-notaku sekarang. Ulangkaji...itu suatu keperluan.