Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Put the chair back!"

Last Monday, I decided to bring my wife and Maryam to the masjid. I want to train her to love masjid. Unfortunately, things did not went well.

First, my wife and Maryam prayed together in the women section. Alhamdulillah, I'm so lucky that Maryam, despite just two years of age, is willing to wear hijab and pray together in the line with other women. However, as soon as the prayer finishes, my wife was scolded by her older neighbor, saying that kids like Maryam cannot pray in the same line. Since Maryam prayed together with them, she said that Maryam's presence had made the line being cut-off and she will not receive full rewards from Allah. She said that Maryam should have prayed at the back, behind the women line.

Well, I have several arguments here. Yes, there are some opinions among the scholars who believed that girls should pray behind adult women. However, this actually contradicts the sayings of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam who mentioned that the best line for the women is the last line. And then, there is no such things as a line being cut off with the presence of kids in the line. A line is being cut off when you did not make the line straight and adjacent to each other. So I advised my wife to pray at the back, not the front line. The one nearest to the door would be better. Then, if Maryam need to pray behind, who will look for her, if something bad happens?

Then, after the prayer, Maryam played at the back with the flashcards that I made for her
on a study desk and chair available in the women section. Another old woman (whom Maryam gently addressed her as grandma) shouted at her, asking her to return the chair to her, since it's her chair. Maryam obediently brought the chair and the table to her, for which again she shouted that the chair is not hers, so put the chair back at its place. Grandma only want to have the desk, not the chair. My wife had to help Maryam put the chair back behind, and at the same time asked the old lady to be patient - Maryam is only two years old.

Realizing that my wife was very uncomfortable with all these, we left the masjid and did not wait until Isyak as originally planned. Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam reminded those who attend masjid to behave, masjid is not market. And the best place for women to pray is within their own home. It is my dream that I shall have my kids to accompany me whenever I go to pray at masjid. I need to make them love masjid since they are small, unlike most of those who only attend prayers in masjid at very old age.

Well, Maryam, don't worry. Insya-Allah in Canada no one will scold you. Its only in Malaysia that the olders discourage kids from coming to masjid.


RM 5 Investment

It's so sudden. Last Saturday night, while praying at the masjid, I realized that I have such a huge responsibility. I started to ask a question to myself: What do I want my kids to be? Or, to be specific, what is the first thing that I want them to know? And when does I want it?

Maryam is two years old, while Aiman is one. I have been spending about a week attending religious classes at Masjid Al-Taqwa in TTDI, and now I realized that all of those who attend the religious classes are old people. The youngsters are nowhere to be seen. I did not realize this when I was a student at IIUM since the masjid is always full with students, even for religious classes. Now, before it's too late, I think I need to start teaching my kids about God now. They need to know their God soonest. Otherwise it will be too late.

My kids shall be my greatest investment for my Hereafter. They must be good servants of Allah. In order for that to happen, I need to introduce them to God, and there is no choice but to teach them Arabic. So that night I went to the grocery shop, bought a marker and poster card for only RM 5. That shall be my first capital that I shall invest. I shall teach them the Arabic letters, even if only one letter per day. That would be easy for Maryam. Aiman can wait for another year. As soon as I arrived home, I made one poster with Arabic letters, and one flashcard of them. Specially designed for my kids.

Maryam can sing a lot of songs, while Aiman starts to sing also (in his own language). Well, hopefully it's not too late to put more interest for Al-Quran in Maryam's heart than songs.

Pray that my investment shall be profitable!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kaki atau Buntut?

Maryam and Aiman love this video song:

Whenever they were fighting with each other, we open this video and both of them will immediately stop fighting and watch it. This song originates from Indonesia. After such a long while, there is a word that we did not understand.

Baba: Bebek tu apa ya? Kalau nak kena potong baru masak, maknanya bebek tu kaki la, kan?
Mama: Bebek tu buntut la. Maknanya potong buntut angsa baru masak.
Baba: Ye ke bebek tu buntut? Bukanke kat Indonesia sup buntut tu maknanya sup ekor?
Mama: Eh, tak percaya pula dia. Jom tanya Non (our maid, she's from Indonesia). Non, bebek tu apa? Buntut kan?
Non: Bukanla. Bebek tu maknanya itik, sejenis itik berleher panjang.
Mama: Oh, ye ke? Itik rupanya...

Maknanya potong itik angsa la dalam Bahasa Melayu... HAHAHA, dua-dua salah. Sorang kaki, sorang buntut. Enjoy the song!

Lawak Nini

Ada dua pau yang bersahabat baik, pau kaya dan pau kosong.

Satu hari, kedua-duanya telah pergi menonton wayang. Filem sedih. Di akhir cerita, pau kaya menangis teresak-esak, tetapi pau kosong 'cool' sahaja.

Kenapa pau kaya sahaja yang menangis?

Seperti biasa, semua anggota keluarga Nini terus mengalah dan meminta jawapan dari Nini.

Jawapannya, sebab pau kaya ada 'filing' (feeling), pau kosong pula takde inti, sebab tu pau kaya sahaja yang menangis.

Camana pula pau kosong tu boleh jadi kosong? Mungkin sebab tukang masak pau lupa nak letak inti kacang merah.

Friday Prayer at Masjid Pakistan, Kuala Lumpur

This morning I went to the Police Station and made a report with regard to yesterday's attempt to break into our house. The officer who took the report was the same officer who received my call that night. That really helps in writing down the details of the incident. Another officer who came to our house that night informed me that early this morning they spotted a man carrying a big parang with a bag roaming around Taman Tun, however he escaped when they tried to catch him. So be careful if you want to move around early morning.

Today I had a lunch at Grand Season Hotel, opposite of Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. My colleagues at the department organized a farewell lunch for me, although I'm leaving at the end of August, but since Ramadhan is approaching they decided to have an early makan-makan.

For Friday Prayers, my friends and I decided to pray at Masjid Pakistan near Chow Kit. At 1:15 p.m. the masjid was already full with people, while the water for ablution was so slow that it is almost impossible to make ablution there. There was a speaker asking for donation while waiting for prayer time, and it was delivered in Urdu. I managed to sneak a place within the main prayer hall. Surprisingly, I saw a square hole above the mihrab - this must have been something to do with the view of certain jurists that for those who pray on the above floor, there must be a direct hole for them to see the imam leading the prayer downstairs, otherwise the congregation of those upstairs are not accepted. Then I was really surprised at the khutbah - in less than five minutes the khutbah ended. The imam delivered the whole khutbah in Arabic, although it sounds more like an Urdu (or Hindi) song (or poem) to me.

That's the shortest Friday Khutbah that I have ever attended throughout my life. The first azan was made around 1:40 p.m., and before 2:00 p.m. everything was done.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Panggung Wayang Gambar

Two nights ago I watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at GSC One Utama, since someone is so kind enough to pay the ticket, and someone else vetoed and forced me to go. Hahaha... well, when was the last time I entered a cinema? Almost twenty years ago. I used to watch Rambo series (never missed them) and the last movie that I watched was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, all in late 80s. How old was I? Six. When I went to primary school at 7 years old, no more cinemas.

So it had been such a long time, that I thought that I would never enter a cinema again, until two days ago. Well, to be frank, the movie was good (it's Harry Potter ok), the sound system really adds to the thrill; it just that I am not used to cinema... After the movie finishes at 10:30 p.m., I had a headache and couldn't sleep. Maybe my eyes are not used to watch big screen in a big dark room. It took me about one hour to stabilize my brainwave and put it in hybernate mode.

Listening to a boring class on Wasiyyah at the masjid is more bearable to me compared to cinema.

Preliminary Itinerary

Our preliminary itinerary:

28 August 2009 - 11:55 p.m. Depart from KLIA (KUL) via MAS
29 August 2009 - 5:30 a.m. Arrive at London Heathrow (LHR) - One night stay at London
30 August 2009 - 1:00 p.m. Depart from London Heathrow (LHR) via Air Canada
30 August 2009 - 4:00 p.m. Arrive at Ottawa (YOW) - Two night stay at Aspen Village Hotel :-)
1 September 2009 - Prince of Wales Dr. until August 2013. End of story.

p/s: Travelers have the option to break fast, right?

Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah...

Last night there was a attempt to break in our house at Taman Tun Dr. Ismail around 3 a.m. It was raining heavily, so I had a very good and deep sleep after having a dinner at Santai with my wife and Ana. However, around 3 a.m. I was awaken by a strong noise at the entrance door. I tried to use my logic to explain the sound. It might be some cats fighting in the middle of the night as of other nights. It was still raining heavily, and at 3 a.m., I guess I cannot trust my logic that much since the sounds were becoming stronger. It sounds like somebody was hitting our door grill and shaking it strongly. That's no cat for me.

Immediately I make sure that our bedroom is locked. That's my advise to all of you out there. Bedroom shall be your final defence perimeter, because the whole family is there - your wife and your kids. Then try to look from your windows if you could see what's happening outside. Quickly spread the news. I called my in-laws upstairs and informed them of what I heard, and they told me that they heard it too. One very important thing is make sure you know where your cellphone is when you goes to sleep. Please put it somewhere near you. Emergencies happen because there are not expected. When it happens we get panicked and cannot find our stuff quickly.

Switch on the lights. Lights will scare off petty thieves and some risk averse burglars. Don't try to be smart thinking that you want to investigate further yourselves. Call the police right away. Its best to keep the number of your nearest police staton. Believe me - its important. I called Taman Tun Dr. Ismail Police Station, told them that we heard strange sounds at our entrance door, and asked them to send a patrol car. At the mean time we locked ourselves in the bedroom. Less than 5 minutes the police arrived. Three patrol cars. My wife guessed that the police had become more efficient nowadays as the crime rates are increasing. My salute to Malaysian Police Force.

We found that the padlock ear at the entrance door grill had been damaged. Maybe the thieves ran away after we switched on the lights.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Visa - ready!

Dear **** *****,
Your application for Temporary Resident Visa is ready to be finalised.
You may now submit passports to our office at:
Our office hours are 8:30 - 11:30 & 13:30 - 15:30 from Monday through Thursday and 8:30 - 12:30 on Friday except public holidays.

Alhamdulillah, our visa application is approved, the countdown shall start soon after we get the visa and booked our flight. Ottawa here we come!

The Mongol King Who Remade China

Why there was no update? Oh yes, I was busy reading John Man's Kublai Khan - the Mongol King Who Remade China. Interesting story, if just John Man avoid from interfering in the story with his own adventures. In his writings, it seems that Kublai owes a lot from Muslim intellects that together with Chinese form the backbone in his administration in China. If not for his wise mother, Kublai would never be made the Great Khan and later the first foreigner to conquer and rule China.

By the way, Tibet was actually an independent state until Kublai conquered it and made it part of his empire. Since the Mongolian King also claimed the Imperial Throne of China, then Kublai is a Chinese emperor and Tibet is part of China, although today Mongolia the original home of the Kublai is not.

Politic is so complicated!

p/s: Movie pasal Kublai Khan mesti lagi best dari Harry Si Pembuat Pasu dan Putera Berdarah Separuh (Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince)... hahaha! Siapalah yang suka tengok movie pasal Raja Gemuk ni.


Too many things that have passed since June. Let me start with a talk that I attended at Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan at Jalan Duta. The speaker was none other than the ex-Mufti of Perlis, Dr. Mohd. Asri Zainul Abidin. It was a big shock to see how Dr. MAZA managed to deliver a talk there, considering how JAKIM (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia), the administrator of Masjid Wilayah, had chosen to be a nemesis to Dr. MAZA.

The talk was organized by PERKIM (Islamic Welfare Society of Malaysia) that main role is to look after the welfare of new converts to Islam in Malaysia. It is headed by the ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia, Y.A.Bhg. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. The current vice-president is Y.B. Dato' Seri Shahidan Kassim, the ex-Premier of the State of Perlis. That completes the overall picture how did PERKIM organize such a talk. It turned out to be an event with all the 'formers' (Majlis Mantan-Mantan - 3M) - former Prime Minister, former Premier, and former Mufti. Although the event was organized by PERKIM, actually all the works are done by a group of students who unite themselves under the banner of GMT (Tajdid Students Movement). GMT is basically a federation of students' representatives from most universities and colleges in Malaysia that support the Islamic revivalists in parallel with the salafus-soleh understanding and interpretation of Islam.

How did the organizer managed to penetrate of of the four grand masjids of Malaysia under the control of JAKIM, their arch nemesis? The answer is the same as how the Japanese Empire manages to struck Pearl Harbour in World War II. The element of surprise is very important if you want to win a war. The organizer managed to keep things secretly while promoting the talk through smses to relatives and friends. Tun Dr. Mahathir is not a factor since we were told that he declined to attend the talk firstly, and made a surprise presence to everyone including Dato' Seri Shahidan that night.

The main content of the talk was basically about the Islamic view on the current political happenings in Malaysia, the proposal for a unity government in Malaysia between UMNO (United Malay National Organization), the de-facto ruling party of Malaysia and PAS (Islamic Party of Malaysia). I'm not going to talk about this issue right now, let the politicians decide what's best for the people (hopefully!!!). However, Dr. MAZA's opinion seems to me to be the suggestion put forward by Islam - put Islam first before anything. You are a Muslim before you are a Malay. Islam cherishes cultural differences but NEVER allow it to supersedes the supremacy of Islam.

Anyone remember Cordoba, Toledo, Seville andd Granada? These great Muslim cities that enlightened human civilization when Europe and others were in Dark Ages fell because the Muslims were so busy allying themselves with Christian kingdoms to fight among each others. Not many similarities between Andalucia and Malaysia - that was a long time ago, don't worry it won't happen here... hahaha.

We'll talk more later.

Friday, July 17, 2009

No News is Good News

Salam to all. It has been more than a month without any updates. Well, an old Chinese saying says that no news is actually good news. Well, good news for now...