Monday, October 30, 2006

Deli France -Deli Malaysia

I spent Friday and Saturday in UMSC. Short for University Malaya Specialist Center. Because the canteen was still closed for the holidays, I had to buy food from Deli France.
My beloved spouse was there for surgery on his spine. The operation went well and his sciatic nerve is no longer pinched now.
I am announcing the birth of my new blog that is going to try to comment on current events in Malaysia. For this reason I have changed my blogger name to Dr Think!

Do visit Deli Malaysia and if you want to be a co writer, write to me and I would consider your application!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Eid ul Fitr

This is from the Wikipedia. There is more about how it is celebrated in Malaysia if you will click on the link

Eid ul-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر), often abbreviated as simply Eid, sometimes spelled Eid al-Fitr in the Roman alphabet, is an Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. Fitr means "to break" and therefore symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period and of all sinful habits. On the day of the celebration, a typical Muslim family gets up very early and attends special prayers held only for the occasion in mosques, in large open areas, stadiums or arenas. The prayer is generally short, and is followed by a khutba. The festivities and merriment start after the prayers with visits to the homes of friends and relatives and thanking the Creator for all blessings. Eid is a time to come together as a community and to renew friendship and family ties. This is a time for peace for all Muslims in the world to devote to prayers and mutual well-being.

It is a joyous occasion with important religious significance. Happiness is observed at attaining spiritual uplift after a month of fasting. Muslims dress in holiday attire. After attending the special congregational prayer in the morning, worshippers greet and embrace each other in a spirit of peace, love, and brotherhood. Visiting friends and relatives is common.

For Muslims, Eid ul-Fitr is a joyful celebration of the achievement of enhanced piety. It is a day of forgiveness, moral victory and peace, of congregation, fellowship, brotherhood and unity. Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but thanking God for the help and strength that they believe he gave them throughout the previous month to help them practice self-control.

Common greetings during this three-day festival are the Arabic greeting "Eid mubarak", "Eid saeed" or its Urdu variation "Eid mubarak!" which, loosely translated, means "Happy Eid!". In many parts of Southeast Asia, it is common to greet people with "Selamat Hari Raya" or "Selamat Idul Fitri" which means "Happy Eid" in Malay and Indonesian. In Indonesia and Malaysia, Muslims greet one another with "Maaf lahir dan batin" which means "I'm sorry physically and spiritually", because in Indonesia and Malaysia, Eid-ul-Fitr is not only for celebrations, it is also the time for Muslims to forgive each other

My own thoughts on the Eid I write here in Bahasa Melayu

Eid Mubarak!

Eidul Fitri hampir tiba. Ada kurang dari satu minggu untuk berpuasa . Suasana di banyak tempat meriah dan riang gembira menanti Syawl datang . Namun ada keluarga yang dilanda seribu satu dugaan menjelang Syawal ini.
Ada yang kehilangan ahli keluarga tersayang, ada yang terpisah dari keluarga sebab merantau bekerja atau belajar , dan ada lagi yang merengkok dalam tahanan atas sebab yang mungkin ya mungkin tidak.

Ada yang telah di duga dengan sakit sama ada diri sendiri atau ahli keluarga.
Ada yang di duga dengan serba kekurangan
Ada yang di duga dengan kemewahan.

Maka menjelang syawal kita akan takbir. Dalam ungkapan takbir kita akan deklarasi kemenangan. Kemenangan bagi orang yang puasa dan berjaya menundukkan nafsu , berjaya menambahkan amal dan zikr munajat, berjaya menghidupkan malam dengan merapatkan diri kepada Illahi , memperbaharui azam untuk terus menjalani kehidupan yang penuh erti.
Di sebaliknya bagi yang di duga dengan seribu satu dugaan dan dalam kegelapan dan kesempitan , adakah mampu kita lafazkan ungkapan kemenangan?

Sebenarnya kemenangan itu adalah kemenangan kita untuk masih cekal dan utuh di muka dugaan. Sama ada di duga dengan kemewahan atau dengan kehilangan atau dengan kekurangan.

Ayuh, kita menang sama-sama...

Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar waillahil Hamd!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Seeking the Night of Power

Ceramah Perdana Ramadhan at Kolej 12 MU with moderator Bidasuri and fellow panelists Shah Kirit and Ustazah Maznah Daud

There is a long explanation and a list of things one can do to benefit from the Night of Power or Lailatul Qadr.
You can read about it here .

I used to think I do not need to seek this night if I do my prayers consistently and make my supplications ( du'a) earnestly daily, surely on the night of power I would benefit from it.

Then again when I heard a fellow forum panelist talking about the Night of Power it dawned upon me that this Night would not have had a whole small surah dedicated to it had it not been a very special night. Then it struck me as being foolish not to seek this Night of nights, this night that is better than a thousand months of ordinary nights.

My fellow panelist Ustazah Maznah said this night is not found by all seekers and is only for the few who deserve to find it and the reward of finding it is experiencing a beauty beyond description and having our prayers and supplications answered .

I suppose I had always thought I am too ordinary to be given the gift of being a witness of the Night of Power, of experiencing it and knowing I was awake during this Night .

Now I am thinking, how would experiencing this Night change a person? What would a person need to have accomplished to be rewarded this Night? Do I know what I want to ask for? Do I know what I want for myself ? What is the price I have to pay for what I want and would I have what it takes.

I guess I will be seeking the night of Power in the coming days till the end of Ramadhan . I will be seeking it in the days and nights to come by making supplications, by telling God my longing for this day, by being good to people including to myself, by spending time listening to that voice that speaks to me from within, by really asking myself what do I really want with myself...

Monday, October 02, 2006


This is the container used to bath Rasid's body,
Most of the people who came went to the cemetary, accompanying Rasid on his last journey.I stayed behind waiting for Nabilah's phone call

Words cannot express the emotions and the experiences I went through this weekend.
Abang was admitted to Seremban Hospital for a slipped disk with nerve compression. He has been on traction on and off.
I was getting ready to go to Seremban to break my fast with him. The children and Ain were coming to, all except Aiman because he was not feeling very well , besides he had to pack to get ready to go to work on Monday. Just before leaving the house my brother in law called to break the new that my sister Salina's husband passed away.I think he is 54 years old. He had a stroke three and a half years ago but was otherwise quite well. He had gone to work the day before and was intending to cook with my sister as he usually did . My sister was out shopping for groceries and he had called her at noon to ask her to pick some things he needed to cook a dish . When she got home she went straight to the kitchen to cook . Her maid had run away the day before so she was all on her own , but expecting Rasid to come down to help her. At about 4 pm when he did not come down she went upstairs to check on him. She found him lying down on the bed , eyes closed and lips locked in a smile . She touched his body and to her utter consternation , it was cold to the touch. She could not believe he had passed away and so she checked for his breath, there was none. He must have died some time ago since the body was already cold, perhaps after he made the call to her.
I felt a sense of deja vous as I arrived at my sister's house in Selayang after breaking fast with Abang at hospital Seremban. I looked at her two girls looking so lost and forlorn and remembered a time long ago when I myself and my 3 siblings went through the same trauma of losing our father. Anissa , Salina's youngest daughter was the same age as my sister Suhana when we lost our father and I was younger than Nabilah , Salina's oldest daughter.

I felt the sad beauty of the simple service carried out in Muslim tradition. More than 70 men and women prayed the final solatul mayit.

Nabilah was in Japan and my sister could not reach her on Saturday. She left a message on her phone. It was only the next day , after the mosque officials had bathed and dressed Rasid in his all white burial shroud and we had all stood to pray in his honour that Nabilah returned her Mum's message. Salina wanted to follow Rasid to the cemetary and I took the phone from her to talk to Nabilah. The line was cut before I could say very much , Nabilah's battery had gone dead. I stayed back to talk to her when she called back. I think it was the most difficult phone conversation I have ever had to have. How does one comfort a girl so many many thousand miles away ? What does one say to her that would make it less hurtful and less traumatic. She wanted to come home and I promised her if that was what she wanted we would make it happen. She has booked a flight since then.
My son in law had remarked that those of his friends who did not return home when one of their parents died became emotionally very insecure and unsettled as compared to those who did.
Coming back , seeing her family and her siblings and visiting her father's grave was needed emotionally for a sense of closure, to say goodbye .

My sister said to me , so many things she would have said to Rasid had she known he was leaving, so many things she would have asked him. Little things ...We never realise the place a person occupies in our lives until we lose them . Then we know by the hole it leaves in our lives, by the empty feeling we feel inside, by the things that are left undone because only he knew how to do it in that certain way.

Goodbye Rasid.Youd died in a good month, Ramadhan, and you were keeping your fast when you died. I did not know you very well because you were a quiet person. You came to life when you talked about work, you gave advise to my son on how to answer in an interview to get a job, you loved to cook, and I remember how happy you were when we appreciated your fruit pudding. You wrote long emails to Nabilah even though you could never have a long conversations with any of your family. You showed your love by buying your family beautiful things.

Sister, you are going to be fine. Your children will also cope very well, just like Mum coped when father died. We are all here for you.God protect and guide you and your family/

Rasid, rest in peace and may Allah put you in the best of places. Al Fatihah !