Tuesday, March 30


"Yang, these bananas are for frying."
"So? I like eating them raw. It's healthier to eat bananas raw anyway."
And he looked at me and laughed. "I think that's an excuse for not having to fry them, hahaha."
And I smiled back.
Really, I don't see why certain bananas have to be fried before they can be eaten, here in Malaysia. Just because it's the norm to eat pisang goreng awak, pisang goreng rastali or pisang goreng abu, that seeing somebody eat them raw, unfried, is unusual?
If everyone has to fry bananas in a certain way, or to eat bananas in a certain way only, then life would certainly be very boring, wouldn't it?

We live in a judging society. We are judged by the way we look, the way we walk, the way we talk, the way we are dressed, etc etc etc. We are expected to conform to the social rules, unwritten but still very much imposed on each individual. And it's hard to break free.
Sometimes they're good. We shun homosexuality, foul languages, extra marital affairs, etc because we have been brought up to believe that they're bad. They're ingrained in our minds.

However, at times, the rules are unhelpful and restricting.
We become too rigid. We find it difficult to accept other people's point of views, values and new ideas.
We stick to the same way of life and the same pattern of behaviour because we've been brought up that way. And sometimes we have problems adapting to the new ideas. We insist on our old ways, despite being told that the old ways are no longer suitable or religiously correct.
The Malays have a saying, "Let the child die as long as the tradition lives on."

My Chinese family still continues with some old traditions although only the elders believe in them. The younger ones dare not voice their objections for fear of being scolded and accused of being unappreciative.
"You wouldn't be here if not for your ancestors' sacrifices," the grandma and grandpa would say. So the younger generation keep quiet and follow along although they don't understand the rituals involved.
Me? I'm the prodigal daughter :)

And he looked at me across the room.
"Aliya, I hope you don't mind that I use you as an example during the meeting. "
"Oh, not at all. Besides not many people know what they have to do if they're having the same problem as I did."
And I smiled at him, who seemed to look relieved at my answer.
And his comment made me wonder, would someone else in my shoes, be angry with him if he spoke the way he did during the meeting? Otherwise he wouldn't have apologised, would he?
Perhaps he was worried that as a woman, I'd be angry with him for 'embarassing' me during the meeting. For me, it's something he had to do, and to inform others how to act if they're in my shoes, so I'm ok with his actions.
Angry? Sulking?
Nahhhh.. I'm no longer entertaining those thoughts anymore.
I've passed that stage ages ago :)
I'm living a calmer and happier life now, alhamdulillah.

Sunday, March 28


I'm alone at home now, with both my swollen feet up on the pillows and a laptop on my bed.
This is not the best of times, but it's not the worst of times either. I've gone through worse, far worse. However, during those bad times, I was alone and unafraid, because whatever happened then, it would only involve me. Now I'm heavily pregnant; it's no longer just about me, and that fact is not helping to ease the stress experienced.

Being pregnant with first child in late thirties with pregnancy-induced hypertension is not easy. I'm just thankful that it's just hypertension, and not diabetes as well, as some older mothers experience. Anyway, my health has not been very good these days, with daily visits to the clinic to check on blood pressure. Perhaps it's just the current hot weather but the nurses were concerned and I had to take second readings almost daily, causing me to be late for work and receiving scowls from my colleagues. The poor readings could also be due to the imsomnia I've been experiencing too, as the little one seems to enjoy his late night exercises. After a sudden higher reading and considering my medical records, I've been prescribed with a higher dose of medication to keep the blood pressure down. Also 9 weeks to go before due date, the doctors have warned that due to my present condition, I could deliver the baby prematurely. That's certainly not good news.

Being alone at home to cope with stomach cramps, braxton-hicks and leg cramps when husband is working out of town is not something any pregnant woman want. I've learnt to manage alone but it's not something I like. It's scary especially when the pain starts in the wee hours of the morning and I'd be stuck on the bed, unable to get up. Only those who have had experienced them would know and understand.

Despite asking around, I still can't get a companion to be with me during my berpantang weeks. Only Allah swt knows who the mystery helper will be, or that I'd be getting any help at all. Frankly speaking, I don't know much about taking care of a newborn, as I have little experience looking after babies. And knowing that baby's arriving soon is frightening :P

I've been accused of many things since being pregnant with this child and being instructed to undergo regular medical checkups, more frequent than an average pregnant lady. 'Mengada-ngada', ' pandai berlakon' , 'menyusahkan orang' etc. Only Allah swt knows the truth and I thank all my accusers for giving me so many 'free gifts'. I don't welcome the extra stress but I know that I can still cope with the patience and strength Allah provides. All these have just made me stronger, and I know that the child I'm carrying will be just as strong, insyaAllah. It's just a test, just like any other tests. Perhaps it's tougher than what some experience but one thing for sure, the reward is greater too.

Life is like a ferris wheel; one moment you're on top and at another time, you're at the bottom. I won't say that I'm right at the bottom now, but wherever it is, I know for a sure fact that I'd soon be heading up again. People have said that I'm not feminine like the Malay ladies, and a tough nut to crack. Perhaps so, but then if I'm not, perhaps I'd not be able to survive all the trials and challenges in life that Allah swt had tested on me.

Sorry for the long ramblings, but being pregnant and alone at home can make one very moody. And I don't want to entertain the little thoughts playing in my head, which are not all God-sent :P

IMAGE: http://www.familyfunfestivals.com/ride_files/ferris_wheel.jpg

Wednesday, March 24


Siapa pengasas agama Islam?
Apakah Rukun Islam yang pertama?
Bolehkah pelajar melakukan hijrah? Bagaimana?
Selain wanita Islam, siapa lagi yang memakai tudung kepala?
Apakah yang dipercayai oleh penganut Kristian mengenai Jesus Christ?
Bagaimana kamu tahu bahawa kamu telah jatuh cinta pada seseorang?
Ber'couple' sebelum kahwin, lebih menyeronokkan atau lebih menyusahkan?

Saya suka menyoal pelajar.
Bukan untuk menyusahkan mereka tetapi sebagai satu teknik untuk mengetahui sejauh mana pengetahuan dan pemahaman mereka tentang sesuatu topik.
Alhamdulillah, tugas saya sebagai guru bahasa dan diminta untuk turut mengajar subjek Sejarah [kerana kekurangan guru] memberi peluang kepada saya mendekati para pelajar dengan lebih mudah.
Dapat berkomunikasi tentang banyak perkara.
Dan saya dapati, ramai yang masih kurang berilmu kerana mereka kurang membaca.
Kalau diberi pilihan membaca buku dengan menonton televisyen, ramai yang akan memilih televisyen.
Kalau disuruh pilih antara buku ilmiah dengan novel, ramai yang akan pilih novel.
Surat khabar jarang dibaca kerana ibu bapa pun jarang membeli. Memakan belanja besar jikalau dibeli setiap hari.
Bosan membaca buku teks yang tebal-tebal.
Maka berlakulah simptom pelajar yang kurang tahu, kerana kurang membaca.
Fenomena ini sering berlaku di sekolah-sekolah luar bandar kerana kekurangan bantuan dan sponsor [ironinya, sekolah-sekolah elit di bandar yang selalu mendapat sponsor akhbar percuma Bahasa Melayu dan akhbar Bahasa Inggeris untuk kegunaan pelajar dalam kelas, sedangkan yang amat memerlukan adalah pelajar miskin di luar bandar].

Ada yang mengaku sudah khatam al-Quran tetapi tidak faham kandungan kitab suci itu, kerana semua dalam bahasa Arab.
"Tak baca terjemahan dalam Bahasa Melayukah?" saya tanya.
Mereka senyum sambil menggeleng kepala. Rupa-rupanya di rumah tiada terjemahan al-Quran dalam bahasa Melayu. Yang ada hanya kitab lama.
Mungkin ada di antara mereka yang lancar membaca surah tetapi masih belum tahu maksud surah tersebut.
Bukan salah mereka pun.
Cuba belek buku teks Pendidikan Islam sekolah menengah. Adakah maksud ayat-ayat surah yang ditulis dalam rumi? [ ramai pelajar Melayu yang buta jawi dewasa ini]
Aduh.. banyak lagi yang perlu dilakukan untuk generasi pelapis kita.
Jikalau mereka tidak membaca, bagaimana mereka hendak tahu, hendak faham, dan hendak amal?

illustrasi: http://clipart.peirceinternet.com/png/reading-child.png

Monday, March 22


I'm still thinking. Reading. Trying to decide.
It's not going to be easy dealing with Qwertyuiop.
As a teacher, I have to teach it.
As a Muslim, I need to be careful at what I'm delivering to my students.
I've to answer before Allah.
And I need to use the most appropriate approach, without scaring the students [nahh, they won't be anyway] and without making them superstitious [but most likely they already are].
As I've said, it's not easy dealing with Qwertyuiop.

Qwertyuiop is not a person.
It's the title of a short story introduced this year under the new literature component for Form 4 students.
It's a story about a young lady and a ghost.
She communicated with the ghost using an electric typewriter, and using only her determination and intelligence, finally succeeded in persuading it to leave her office.
So tell me, how do you teach and analyse this story and its characters, which one of them is a ghost to a class of teenagers, who are already being fed with ghost movies, tahyul beliefs, syirik customs, etc ?
God help me, I don't want to make the situation worse by encouraging these easily-influenced teens to start believing that one can communicate with dead people, and in the 'special power of the ghosts'.
Don't ask me why they, those at the ministry, chose this story to be used as part of the English language literature component for upper secondary students. I'm only following orders.
Sure, the story is interesting. Students won't find it boring.
But... will all the teachers be able to impart the necessary moral values to their students, while dealing with the sensitivity/ fear/ taboo of ghosts in our Malaysian community?
I'm hoping for the best.
Not all English teachers who are going to teach this story [this year] will have the opportunity to go for special courses, and even if we do, I doubt this issue will be dealt with constructively. I might be accused of being hypersensitive over an 'insignificant issue'.
I'm learning all I can about this topic of ghosts in Islamic teachings so that I'd be able to answer any of the students' questions and comments through the Islamic point of view.
Reading this, this, this and this, doesn't help. I can inform my students, especially the Muslims, that they shouldn't believe that a dead person can return as a ghost but they'd be asking, " then why, teacher.. are we reading this story? [ go ask the officers at the ministry?]. Or shall I say," Oh, the Westerners believe in ghosts but we shouldnt?"
The last thing I want is for my Muslim students to start believing in ghosts and God forbid, have a seance to experience meeting a ghost themselves!

What do you think? a synopsis of that story : here

Saturday, March 20


"You can't tell if a man is a Chinese Muslim.. he still looks Chinese!"
Kevin still hides his reversion to Islam, for many months now, from his family members. As a son, he has more freedom to go anywhere, unlike his sisters, who'd be questioned if they arrive home later than usual. He has decided that it's time to move out of his family home, where he's been living with his Christian parents and two younger sisters, citing the long travelling hours to live alone in a flat near his office. His mother has raised some objections but she reluctantly agreed when he promised to visit every weekend.
Kevin is still deciding on the best way to inform his family about his reversion to Islam. He knows that his family would object and try to persuade him to return to his former religion. Fortunately for him, being a Muslim doesn't require any physical changes except for a certain surgical procedure. But that, is something very private and nobody has noticed any changes except for the fact that he's stopped eating seafood and eggs for about a month.
Praying has not been a problem. He'd wake up at dawn while everyone else is still asleep and perform his prayer in his bedroom, with the door locked. Zohor and Asar are done at the mosques. Maghrib and Isyak are done at another mosque or at his Muslim friends' homes. Kevin hasn't memorised the surah al-fatihah for the prayers, but he's told that he just needs to follow the imam at the mosque or surau. Anyway, he's learning to recite it properly from the ustaz after prayers at the mosque.
It's challenging and stressful for Kevin to hide his new identity from his family but it's a choice he has made and he plans to stick to it, until the day comes when he will reveal his secret to his family.
Of course, eating at home poses the question about eating non-halal food. He has been very careful not to raise suspicions, occasionally forcing himself to eat the meat his mother has spooned into his plate.
His Malay Muslim friends have persuaded him to inform his family, reminding him that it's sinful to eat non-halal food but he's still hesitating. He doesn't want his mother who has a weak heart, to suffer a heart attack. He's already inviting a few Chinese Muslim friends to his house, hoping that they'd help him to break the news gently to his family. However, should they object, he's ready to leave the house temporarily, to stay with his Malay bachelor friends in their rented flat. His bags are already packed.

Anna still relies on her family to sponsor her tertiary education. She has been interested in Islam since her school days, but was told that she couldn't choose her own religion until she's 18 years old. Anyway, she knows that her strict Buddhist father would never agree to her plan, so she's been keeping the secret desire for many years.
However, Jenny has found it hard to live a double life. She feels she is a hypocrite for doing something she no longer believes in. She doesn't want to be involved in the religious rituals performed by her family members, but they'd nag her if she refuses to pray at the family altar during religious festivals. Thankfully she's only required to do so once a fortnight, as her own family are not very religious. Only her mother prays daily, placing the lighted joss sticks in the ash container. Her own father, will pray according to his moods.
Once Anna turned 18, she decided to do something for herself. She didn't want to die a kafir, and she really believes in the teachings of Islam. Therefore she had gone to her ustazah and recited the syahadah before a few witnesses. Her friends were joyful but at her request, promised to guard her secret.
When Anna learns more about Islam, she wants to wear the hijab. Her ustazah and other Muslim sisters have never forced her to wear one, understanding that she' s hasn't told her family. Anna herself wants to do so because she knows that it's God's instructions for Muslim women. On the other hand, she is also aware that once she wears a hijab, the whole world would know that she's changed her religion and is now a Muslim. Anna faces a dilemma. She has to choose between her religion [the Islamic way of life] and guarding the secret of reversion from her family members, while she decides the best way to break the news to her family. It's not an easy decision to make. So for the time being, she has to curb her desire to wear the hijab.
Praying also poses a new problem for Anna. She has grown up praying to God as she's usually dressed [without any special attire for prayer], and she's not even required to wash herself before the prayer. However, praying as a Muslim is a new experience. She has to learn the correct way to do the ablution. When she first put on the long white telekung, she had felt uncomfortable and warm. She fumbled with the long sarong cloth around her waist, not knowing how to tie it properly. Additionally, because the other Muslimah are also in the prayer garment during prayers, she can't see their hands and legs during the prayers. So, she has to rely on her memory, trying the remember the correct steps as required to perform the solat.
In order to hide her secret from her mother who enters her room unannounced, Anna has to lock it whenever she performs her prayers. And she has to do them hurriedly, for fear that her mother would knock on the door. She can't use the prayer garments because her mother might find them, so she has worn a long shawl and a long skirt to cover her aurat during prayers.
Anna has taken a long time to memorise the surah al-fatihah. It's been tough because she doesn't understand the Arabic words. Besides, she was told by a Muslim sister that she shouldn't mispronounce the words, because it'd change the meaning and her prayer will be meaningless. Anna is worried but she tries to calm herself, believing that Allah is Merciful and understands her troubles.
Like most Asian mothers, Anna's keeps a watchful eye on her. She has to inform her mother where she wants to go and what time she would be home. That makes it difficult for her to attend special Islamic classes, and pray at the mosque. Besides, she doesn't like lying to her mother.
When she had secretly gone to the Pejabat Agama to declare her reversion, she was advised to keep her Chinese surname. A few of her friends told her that she doesn't need to change her name at all, but she herself has chosen to adopt an Arabic name. She wants to have a new identity and hopes to start a new life as a Muslim, and although she still cherishes her name given by her parents, she wants people to know that she's a Muslim, some time in the near future [after she declares to her family]. While she supports other Muslim reverts who keeps their Chinese names after reverting to Islam, she realises that it's not as easy for a female Muslim to do so. The Muslim brothers can walk about in public, and others would think that they're nonMuslim men until they wish 'salam' or enter a mosque. But a Muslim sister? People who read her name and expect to see a nonMuslim Chinese woman would raise their eyebrows, when she arrives in a hijab. And as a Muslimah, she doesn't like answering questions from strangers about why she chooses Islam.
Helen is still bidding her time. She has nowhere to go if she is kicked out of her home by her family when they found out that she's left the religion she's been brought up with. She doesn't have enough money to live on her own. The shelter home for reverts in the rural village doesn't look very welcoming for someone who is used to watching astro channels and surfing the internet at night.
She can't stay with her Muslim sisters because they're living with their own families. And while they sympathise with her plight, none has invited her to stay in their homes, perhaps because they don't have their parents' permission. And Helen doesn't want to trouble anyone.
Helen prays that Allah would provide her a way out of her predicament. She finds solace chatting with her internet friends and reading about Islam from reliable sources.
But for how long shall she wait before she informs her family that she's now a Muslim? Helen has no idea.

Friday, March 19


Jadi Model Tudung

November 17th, 2007 by aliya [ dalam blog friendster] - dipetik semula tanpa sebarang perubahan

Tak sangka sungguh, aku tak suka bergambar solo tetapi apabila kawanku yang juga saudara baru menghantar sms kepadaku pada malam Khamis memohon bantuan aku menjadi subjek dalam interviu, entah mengapa aku bersetuju. Mula-mula kufikir kena jawab soalan tentang pemakaian tudung oleh wanita Islam kerana menurut Izzati dalam sms, kawannya Victoria sedang membuat research tentang tudung. Ahh, dapatlah aku berdakwah sedikit, kufikir ketika itu. Kebetulan aku berada di USM pada hari itu sebab keesokan harinya aku bakal menduduki subjek Bahasa Cina pada sebelah petang. Memang Izzati dan Victoria bernasib baik dapat menghubungi aku ketika itu; awal atau lewat sehari aku sudah tentu menolak.
Tanpa memikir panjang, aku pun capai aje la baju dan pakaian yang ada dalam almari. Kebetulan dah nak tamat semester, hanya baju kurung dan tudung labuh 60′" yang ada dalam almari asrama. Pada fikiranku tak mungkin nak ambil foto; kalau ya pun mungkin sekeping dua saja. Ternyata tanggapanku meleset.
Rupa-rupanya Victoria, wanita Caucasian yang berusia 46 tahun tetapi kelihatan masih muda merupakan seorang jurugambar bebas. Researchnya adalah tentang cara pemakaian tudung oleh wanita Muslim di negeri Pulau Pinang yang terdiri daripada pelbagai etnik. Aduh… aku yang baru setahun memakai tudung pula yang menjadi modelnya selain daripada Izzati dan Sheita, seorang wanita India-muslim. Nasib baiklah foto semuanya dalam hitam-putih. Penat juga aku senyum ke arah kamera dalam pelbagai posisi duduk.
Aku bertanya juga kepada Victoria yang sudah 2 tahun tinggal di Kuala Lumpur sama ada dia sendiri pernah memakai tudung. Katanya pernah semasa menghadiri workshop kebaya di Kuala Lumpur … dia mengaku berasa janggal melihat wajahnya pada cermin . Mungkin sebab dia hanya memakai tudung tanpa berasa ia satu kewajipan sebagaimana yang dirasai oleh wanita Islam, Victoria berkata dia kurang selesa. Aku turut berkongsi pengalaman aku ketika mula-mula memakai tudung selepas memeluk Islam, dan kuturut memberi beberapa ayat dalam Surah An-Nur tentang kewajipan menutup aurat terhadap wanita Islam.Manalah tahu, mungkin dapat membantu Victoria memahami dengan lebih lanjut tentang Islam dan semoga Allah membuka hatinya terhadap Islam.
Erm, Victoria sepatutnya sudah pulang ke negara asalnya Australia. Entah foto aku mana satu yang bakal dipilihnya daripada belasan yang diambilnya pada malam itu. Katanya hendak membuat pameran foto tentang tudung di Australia nanti. Dapat la aku peluang jadi model antarabangsa walaupun secara tak sengaja dan tak dirancang.. heheheee.
Semuanya dah termaktub.

nota: Saya dah lupa tentang peristiwa ini sehingga menerima emel jemputan dari beliau tentang pameran yang sedang berlangsung di Museum Pulau Pinang sehingga 31 Mac 2010 :)


esei cattoni sendiri: http://www.victoriacattoni.net/downloads/Cattoni_re-dressing_singapore.pdf

esei oleh hasnul Saidon: http://www.victoriacattoni.net/downloads/HasnulJSaidon_Hijab.pdf




Thursday, March 18


Maaf kerana senyap selama beberapa hari. Saya baru pulang ke rumah setelah bercuti bersama suami di Cameron Highlands. Alhamdulillah segala urusan kami di sana dipermudahkanNya.
Ini mungkin percutian yang terakhir sebelum saya bersalin melahirkan anak [dijangka awal bulan Jun, insyaAllah]. Kami memilih tempat peranginan yang sejuk, tambahan pula sudah lama saya tidak menjejakkan kaki di CH. Tak banyak yang berubah di sana. Cuma lebih banyak gerai sahaja.

Kali terakhir saya di sana, saya masih sebagai non-Muslim. Tak kisah di mana tempat makan, asalkan sedap dan bersih. Kini sebagai orang Islam, saya dan suami lebih berhati-hati mendapatkan makanan yang halal. Kami bermalam di sebuah hotel di Tanah Rata dan sarapan disediakan. Hanya makan tengah hari dan makan malam yang perlu diuruskan sendiri. Oleh kerana was-was dengan makanan yang dijual di restoran India/Mamak yang banyak di sana, kami hanya singgah makan di gerai-gerai Melayu di medan selera. Agak terkilan juga kerana restoran Melayu yang lebih besar dan selesa, diuruskan oleh orang tempatan susah dijumpai.

Makan steamboat di Tanah Rata. Meronda pasar malam Brinchang. yang dibuka pada setiap hari sempena musim cuti sekolah [tempat parking sangat-sangatlah terhad, polis pula tunggu dengan saman, ishh ishh ishhh]. Melawat ke ladang teh, kebun bunga, ladang strawberi, ladang lebah, dan ladang rama-rama. Ahhh, dah jadi 'mak labu' pun masih larat lagi berjalan-jalan daki sana sini, hehehe... kaki bengkak dan sakit belakang terus dilupakan. Nampaknya teruja pula anak dalam kandungan ni, makin aktif kerana dapat makan strawberri yang segar. Mengidam rupanya!

Saya bersyukur kerana dizinkan Allah swt untuk berehat selama beberapa hari di CH bersama suami. Dapatlah kurangkan stres sambil menimba pengalaman baru. Boleh tambah ruangan dalam jurnal anak yang semakin tebal. InsyaAllah cuti pertengahan tahun nanti, saya akan berada di rumah sahaja kerana berada dalam pantang selepas melahirkan anak. Ketika itu, orang lain pergi makan angin, saya pula yang akan sibuk di rumah :)

Saturday, March 13


Buka berita online, terbaca berita itu. Buka halaman suratkhabar Bahasa Melayu, ada berita itu. Baca surat khabar Bahasa Inggeris, ia tetap terpampang walaupun bukan di halaman pertama.
Ishhh.. ishhh.. ishhh, apa nak jadi dengan dunia sekarang?

Geram. Terkilan. Sedih. Marah pun ada.
Sebab berita itu sengaja disensasikan oleh pihak media. Mentang-mentanglah yang tertuduh itu seorang yang berstatus ustazah, yang rumahnya diserbu pihak pencegah maksiat.
Kalau ya pun, bawalah sahajalah mereka yang tertuduh untuk dihadapkan di mahkamah syariah untuk diadili. Tunggu sehingga hukuman dijatuhkan oleh pihak yang diamanahkan.
Ini tidak, dinyatakan sebagai satu berita sensasi di akhbar-akhbar berbahasa Melayu, kemudian disusuli oleh akhbar bahasa Inggeris yang menyalin berita tersebut lalu diterjemahkan.
Seronoknya mereka. Larisnya jualan akhbar pada hari itu.
Kononnya mahu memberi pengajaran kepada para pembaca bahawa seorang yang berstatus 'itu' dan berpendidikan agama juga tidak lari daripada membuat dosa? Kononnya golongan ini juga tidak bebas daripada bergelumang dengan maksiat? Mungkin juga dengan alasan supaya masyarakat lebih berhati-hati bila berurusan dengan golongan yang beragama?

Mengapakah perlu diketengahkan sangat jawatan yang dipegang 'pesalah-pesalah' itu?
Kalau yang tertuduh itu sekadar pekerja kilang atau pelayan restoran, ada orang ambil peduli? Nak siarkan sebagai berita?
Tak tahukah mereka yang menulis, yang menyiarkan dalam akhbar itu bahawa mereka tetap bertanggungjawab ke atas apa yang ditulis untuk disiarkan kepada pembaca akhbarnya, bahwa mereka tetap akan disoal di akhirat nanti akan apa yang mereka laporkan?
Tak bolehkah sekadar menulis bahawa yang ditangkap itu seorang wanita ?

Itulah masalah besar dalam masyarakat kita.
Yang dituduh belum pun dihukum bersalah,tetapi berita itu sudah pun diheboh-hebohkan, terutama jika yang tertuduh itu mereka yang dikatakan berilmu tinggi dalam agama Islam. Pantang silap sikit, terpampanglah berita dalam akhbar, tak kiralah ustaz, ustazah atau guru.

Fikirlah juga, apakah kesan berita yang disensasikan itu kepada masyarakat yang membaca?
Sedangkan yang tertuduh belum pun diadili di mahkamah dan dijatuhi hukuman, media dan sesetengah pembaca sudahpun menghukum terlebih dahulu. Mendahului hakim.
Kalau yang tertuduh didapati tidak bersalah, apakah yang menyiarkan berita itu akan dihadapkan ke mahkamah pula?
Kalau yang membaca berita itu terdiri daripada para pelajar, apakah tanggapan mereka? Mungkin mereka akan memberi alasan,'ahhh... ustazah berpelajaran tinggi pun boleh kantoi, kita tak payahlah belajar tinggi-tinggi.'
Kalau pembaca itu orang bukan Islam, apakah yang bermain di dalam fikirannya? Tentulah bukan sesuatu yang berpihak kepada Islam.

Memang tidak salah pihak pencegah maksiat melakukan tugas mereka iaitu mencegah kemungkaran. Tetapi pada pendapat saya, kalau dah berjaya tangkap dan ada bukti mereka lakukan maksiat, bawalah dan hadaplah mereka ke muka pengadilan iaitu oleh hakim bertauliah di mahkamah syariah. Tak perlulah bawa sekali pemberita dan biarkan pemberita itu menulis berita sensasi sebelum penghakiman, kecuali ada motif di sebalik penangkapan. Takut nanti yang tertuduh sudahpun bertaubat dan dosanya sudah diampuni Allah swt sedangkan pembaca yang mengutuk pula masih dibebani dosa selagi tidak meminta maaf. Wallahu'alam.

Ingatlah bahawa Allah tidak suka orang-orang Islam membuka aib orang lain.
Nabi s.a.w. bersabda maksudnya, "Barang siapa membuka aib saudaranya, Allah akan membuka aibnya di akhirat"


Assalamualaikum semua,
Semoga sihat walafiat dan dirahmati Allah swt.

Ceramah Maulidur Rasul bertajuk 'Rasulullah Uswatun Hasanah'
Tarikh: 14 Mac 2010 [Ahad]
Masa: 9 pagi - 11 pagi
Penceramah: Ustaz Shaari Osman
Tempat: Kolej Komuniti, Bandar Baru, Kedah
[maklumat disampaikan oleh saudara Shamsul ]

Friday, March 12


Saya terpaksa menahan sebak dan berlakon seolah-olah tiada apa-apa yang berlaku. Air mata dah lama dikesat tatkala membaca keputusan SPM setiap seorang. Ada yang gagal.
Sudah ditakdirkan, saya diminta bertugas menyampaikan slip keputusan SPM 2009 kepada bekas pelajar saya, kerana pernah menjadi guru kelas mereka selama beberapa bulan. Guru kelas mereka pula telah diberi tugasan lain.
"Bagaimanakah harus saya hadapi mereka?" hati kecil ini berbisik.
Keputusan yang tidak disangka-sangka itu bakal menguji iman dan kekuatan mereka.
Gagal subjek penting adalah satu tamparan hebat kepada mana-mana pelajar. Mereka tidak akan layak mendapat sijil.
Tiada seorang guru, walaupun marah dan geram sekalipun, yang ingin melihat pelajarnya itu gagal dalam peperiksaan umum.

Media sering memaparkan mereka yang berjaya dengan cemerlang dalam peperiksaan. Ibu bapa bergembira. Pihak sekolah turut berbangga kejayaan anak muridnya.
Jarang sekali media menceritakan satu golongan lain yang terpaksa menerima keputusan yang buruk. Kita tidak tahu bagaimana mereka yang gagal itu menghadapi kenyataan. Adakah mereka akan hanyut dalam kekecewaan atau berusaha untuk bangkit semula selepas kegagalan?
Mereka yang gagal dan terpinggir ini terpaksa menghadapi keadaan bersendirian. Kecewa. Malu. Sedih.
Ada yang terpaksa pula berhadapan dengan sindiran masyarakat, yang beranggapan bahawa mereka gagal kerana kurang berusaha. Namun sebenarnya bukan semua gagal kerana malas. Hanya Allah swt yang Maha Mengetahui. Dia menguji sesiapa yang diinginiNya.

Sekeping kertas boleh mengubah masa depan seseorang. Masyarakat kita terlalu mementingkan nilai sekeping kertas itu sehingga beranggapan ia amat penting kepada seorang pelajar.
Tapi ketahuilah wahai para pelajar dan ibu bapa bahawa sekeping kertas itu bukanlah penentu segalanya. Ia hanyalah satu bentuk penilaian terhadap penguasaan akademik. Ia tidak mampu mengukur ketinggian akhlak, ketaqwaan, dan kemahiran lain yang ada pada seseorang insan. Pada Allah swt jualah kedudukan masa depan kita di dunia dan di akhirat.

"Tahniah bagi yang lulus dengan cemerlang. Untuk yang gagal subjek BM, tolong ambil kertas Julai ni, ya. Jangan tunggu lama-lama."
Pucat wajah mereka yang mendengar kata-kata saya.

Tuesday, March 9


"I don't know how you can stand the heat, with your covered head, and long sleeved clothes. I'm melting over here!" Mom's voice could be heard clearly on the phone.
I grinned. I'm used to hearing Mom complaining about the hot weather.
"I'm fine. Used to it. Anyway, I'm usually indoors," I replied.

Ahhhh.... the hot weather. Everyone's complaining. It's a challenge if you have to work outdoors or travelling. You risk falling sick.

I guess my mother, a Buddhist, must have thought that I'm out of my mind to be wearing a hijab in this hot weather. Some of my non Muslim friends did ask me once, how I coped despite the heat. Well, it's all in the mind, really.
The trick is, don't even think about the heat.

Some people think that wearing a hijab in this hot weather might cause the brain to be overheated. Hahahaa... very funny. Actually, it's on the contrary. Covering one's head when going out under the hot sun is offers one a better protection than being bare-headed. That's why Europeans wear the hats. Head covers are important when we walk under the sun, especially for those with black hair; so that our heads don't suffer from sunburn.

Oh, I do admit, wearing socks [hands and legs] is very challenging in this heat. But insyaAllah when we think about Allah and gaining His pleasure, we'd be able to go about completely covering our aurat. Of course, we Muslimah still have choices. We can choose to wear loose clothes with long button-up sleeves so that we won't have to wear the handsocks. We can wear clothes with comfortable material. And with the latest hijab fashion, we can opt to wear suitable long hijab or tudung without having to put on the underscarves. We can make smart choices.

Unfortunately we still hear about certain people who thinks it's crazy of us to go about fully covered on these hot days. "It's better to wear as little as possible, so that we feel more comfortable."
Yeah, yeah... but that applies only in the safe sanctuary of our homes. For us Muslims, we should remember that live here on earth is only temporary. There's a better world than this, and to gain entrance, we have to be steadfast in our akidah.
If we enjoy ourselves here by disobeying His laws about covering the aurat, we'd only suffer in hell. There, the heat is many times hotter than anywhere on earth.
And yes, each time a Muslimah exposes herself by choosing not to cover her aurat, she's getting a step closer to hell's door, unless she repents on time and changes her ways. Believe me, it's hotter over there.

Friday, March 5


This programme is specially organised by Persatuan Mahasisiwa Islam USM, and IPSI.
Attendance is free.
The hall is in a building opposite the CIMB Bank, in USM main campus.

addition: The tentative of the dialogue can be found here: http://bulanislamkelestarian.blogspot.com/2010/01/tentative-of-interfaith-dialogue.html
(thanks, BIK)

Tuesday, March 2


They stood near the main gate. The stalks of roses, the chocolates and books were ready to be distributed. They waited.
The group of undergraduates were Muslims. The sisters were in hijab. They were ready for the challenge.
"Hello, how are you? I've some gifts for you, please accept them," one of them approached a young Indian lady who was on her way out of the campus. It was a public holiday.
"For me? But why?" the Indian lady asked with a smile.
"Today's Maulidur Rasul, our prophet Nabi Muhammad's birthday and we would like to celebrate it with you by giving you these," explained the Muslim sister, as she handed over a stalk of red rose, some chocolates and a book about prophet Muhammad [pbuh] to the Indian lady.
"Oh, thank you! How nice. I've always wanted to know more about Nabi Muhammad," replied the Indian lady as she accepted the gifts.
Soon the boxes were empty. All the items had been received by the surprised non Muslim undergraduates. Everyone had smiles on their faces. Happy were they who gave and happy were those who received.

The event took place on the 26th of February. Alhamdulillah, I was told by the organiser that everything went smoothly as planned.
It was a first for him and the members of his team.
The project would not have succeeded without the help and financial support of members of the public.

While some people were still arguing about whether Muslims should hold processions and talking about the so-called 'banned' Maulidur Rasul celebration at Penang, alhamdulillah there're others who decided to celebrate it in a different way:
By sharing the celebration with their non Muslim friends.
By spreading the spirit of love and care for other people, which was practised by prophet Muhammad [pbuh] during his lifetime, through gifts and friendship.
By inviting non Muslims to know the prophet by reading about his greatness and why he was called the most influential person in history, in a book not written by a Muslim scholar but by a researcher who's a Christian, Michael H. Hart.

I don't know about you, but I'm impressed when I saw the photographs taken during the event.
For you do know that...
On Maulidur Rasul, we Malaysian Muslims have always congregated in mosques and suraus to listen to talks, to pray and to even to have a kenduri. That's what we often do.
How many of us have actually taken the initiative of that free-from-having-to-go-to-work-day to introduce prophet Muhammad [pbuh] to our non Muslim friends? To invite them for talks about the most influential person in history, and to explain to them why we love and honour him so much?
Or do we as usual, continue to avoid them, and to continue to call them kafirs ?
Do we continue to tell them that they're not welcomed in our mosques, not welcomed to join us in our ceramah, and that they're destined for hell for being an unbeliever?
Have we developed that 'I'm holier than thou' mentality?
Do we really believe that Maulidur Rasul should be only for Muslims?
Well, it's about time we reflect on our actions and belief system.

Congratulations to brother Kamaruddin Abdullah and his team, especially the young Muslim missionaries for their great work. They have thought out of the box and did something not many of us would ever dream of doing.
May Allah swt bless them for their efforts and open more doors for this project to be bigger and better in the coming years, insyaAllah.