Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Money really changes people

Today we are friends but tomorrow who knows? A lot of people I heard totally changes in a flash, it's just like meeting a different person. Today they are humble and polite because they feel they have no say just because they are poor, but after they reached a certain level in society and considered as rich, they feel they are unstoppable. They have the power to buy anything, they can do whatever they want, greedy and selfishness conquered their hearts, not feeling sorry for other people and hate to go back to poverty. They feel like they deserve the money because they had worked so hard to get it. Even praying to God is irrelevant, because most people only pray to get rich. If they'd found a magic lamp with three wishes, they would use it to get rich. There's a saying that a successful man is the one who can buy whatever his wife wants and still have much money left for himself, and a successful woman is the one who can find that kind of man. So what is it that is so strong about money? Why do we have to be so dependent on it?
I'm not saying we don't have to find money because we still need it to buy food for living, but all I'm saying is why people are working so hard day and night to find something that will definitely left behind? Why there's no end in finding wealth? Why do people are willing to kill others for it? let alone hurting other peoples' feeling and defying them...wars are made to show whose the most powerful being on earth. Money is not everything but it is something. One thing that matter the most, will it be counted as our good deed in our graves? If the answer is yes, then we have to go all out for it! I really admire rich people who are generous to share their wealth with the poor, inviting the needy to their weddings, sponsor the hopeless orphanage children, etc...but the fact is, that kind of people is so hard to find. If all the rich people pay the zakat, there will be no poverty in the world, provided that all the governments in the world implies the zakat concept which is quite impossible if the world is not dominated by practicing Muslims.
We tend to forget who gives our wealth, we easily forget how we use to be before we're rich, we comfortably spend anything without realizing that it is still a test from Allah. All our wealth will be the burden for us to enter heaven.
One of the the prophet's (pbuh) companion, Saidina Ali once said; Knowledge is better than money for it will take care of you while you need to look after your money, knowledge is better than money for it will be your justification while your money will be put into justice, knowledge is better than money for it will grow much stronger when shared while money will be less and finish when spent.
Let us all be extra cautious in our monetary activities throughout our lives.

Everything we are now were designed and created as a result of the impact we had in our school days. This song reminds me of my school days in SRK Kampung Tunku, PJ, SMKA Maahad Hamidiah, Kajang and IIUM Gombak. The bitter and sweet things which will be restored in my memory forever.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

In our desperate times

Recession, recession...this is the word we heard everyday nowadays. So what is recession?

In economics, a recession is a general slowdown in economic activity in a country over a sustained period of time, or a business cycle contraction. During recessions, many macroeconomic indicators vary in a similar way. Production as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment, investment spending, capacity utilization, household incomes and business profits all fall during recessions.

Governments usually respond to recessions by adopting expansionary macroeconomic policies, such as increasing money supply, increasing government spending and decreasing taxation.

In a layman's term, a recession period is the best time to really test ourselves that rizk or livelihood is given by Allah and only Him, not by our ministers, not by our employers, not by any human being. We maybe offered a VSS and out of work today but no one knows who will feed our family at the end of each month. If Allah had made that fortune is for you, then there's nothing in this world who can deny it. Ever wondered how some of the poor families survived with 13 children but some of the rich families are always insufficient even with 1 child? Allah had reserved the rizk for every living creature ever since they are not even exist in the world and those who are grateful in whatever they got will be rewarded to gain more and more. Even a small insect living in a stone has something to eat, so don't get too worried about it. I'm not saying that we don't have to work for it, but after we have work for it, we have to believe that only Allah permits us to get it. Ever wondered why we always got into accidents or our children always got sick or we always threw our food to waste? Now we realized that maybe that part of money was not meant to be ours. It's the rizk of the mechanics and their families or the doctors and their families or even to the pest in the garbage.

I'm not going to touch about how recession happened in the capitalism and Thatcherism (greedy) environment because if every bank in the world apply the Islamic banking, there would not be a recession.

Swine flu, swine flu....everyday we hear people talk about it. So what is it all about? The 2009 outbreak of influenza A (H1N1) virus is an epidemic of a new strain of influenza virus identified in April 2009, commonly referred to as "swine flu." Although the source of the outbreak in humans is still unknown, cases were first discovered in the U.S. and officials soon suspected a link between those incidents and an earlier outbreak of late-season flu cases in Mexico. Within days hundreds of suspected cases, many of them fatal, were discovered in Mexico, with yet more cases found in the U.S. and several other countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Soon thereafter, the U.N.'s World Health Organization (WHO), along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), expressed concern that the A(H1N1) could become a worldwide flu pandemic, and WHO then raised its pandemic alert level to "Phase 5" out of the six maximum, as a "signal that a pandemic is imminent".

For more information click here and here.

I'm not touching anything about the roots of the problem here because if every one apply Islamic teaching and not breeding the pigs, this problem would not exist in the first place. So you see, Islam is always taking prevention is better than cure. Don't apply interest, don't eat pork or bacon or whatever name we call it, don't drink alcohol, don't get near adultery, and so on so forth. When human are trying to think that they can outsmart God's way, a lot of hideous tragedy will emerge. There's a saying that desperate time needs desperate measures, but I have to say that any desperate measures that we decide to make have to be compliance with the Shariah. Don't commit a crime to feed our children, don't cheat peoples' money to get more, don't swindle our partner to run away from problem...In desperate times, seek help from Allah by being patience and performing prayers. Anyway, we are constantly in desperate needs for Allah blessings. So people, let us all come back to the teachings of Islam... I am urging myself and all of you, it's for your own good.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Yes we can!

Entertainment has been an intriguing industry in the world where it can generate income and a lot of youngsters are trying their luck in this field regardless from all sorts of background. Everybody seems to have fond interest in contributing towards entertainment and people doesn't seem to get enough. Nevertheless the so called artist are bound to be in the market only between a decade or two before being made redundant or obsolete. In this period of time, they are supposed to raise enough fund to live for the rest of their lives. Being an artist in a bigger country shouldn't be any problem because if they manage to make 1 hit album, they could already make a fortune out of it. Being an artist in a smaller region in the world tells a different kind of story and it isn't really exciting as other people think it's going to be. You might be in the same office as them or work in the same department, they could be your lecturer, school teacher, doctor, engineer, architect, etc during the day yet they still have to work during the night. We might see them in newspapers or magazines wearing smart 'sponsored' outfits and see them performing with smiles in their faces as though their life is perfect. Well I want to tell you this, it's not! (*sponsored means they have to be returned back)
Art as a whole is a very complicated and subjective area which many people won't understand or more precisely didn't bother to. Only a few passionate people want to associate themselves with art in depth. Thus it is not going to be the same for everyone doing the exact same thing, it's all depends on the luck and the effort put on the work they do.
So the story goes, once upon a time, in a land far far away, there lived a man with full ambitious intention to make the world a better place by spreading knowledge through songs and hoping to get Allah's blessings. Before long, he realized that he had been doing so many things for free, yes you read it correctly, free of charge. What kind of mentality does one have to make someone work for free? that's just ridiculous and a mean thing to do to a human. Islam teaches us to pay the salary to our employees even before their sweat got dried. We can understand if a person had already making a lot of money from the job that he's doing, and decided to give away something for free..that's fine. But if he's not making any money out of it and people keep on taking for granted of him, what will happen to him? I know this man was trying to be courteous but it looks like people were taking advantage of using him. So this man gave away a lot of free CD to his colleagues, families, not forgetting the press, tv presenter, radio dj, short, anyone who asked for free CD will finally somehow got it...leaving this man in debt around 10 grand just for that. Thinking that he can gain back all the money to pay the debt by his show, most of his performance are not paid in full amount as agreed, some of it didn't turn up at all. To make this story even interesting, the recording company didn't pay him a single penny of royalty because they said that unfortunately his album was not sold, everyone are downloading them for free from the internet. Then he said to himself, what a cruel world! This is reality, it's not like everyone live here know about Islam and want to embrace it as him. Time goes by and he is still fighting in that field believing someday, people might change the way they look at him. Someday people will recognize his work and appreciate him a lot more. Worse thing happened, his wife left him because of insecure and couldn't stand supporting him financially. Since he is lacking of experience to work like everyone else, he had no choice but to dedicate his life in the so called multi-million industry, but not making any. Please don't let this happen to your friend.
Some people may think that he was just mismanaging his money or it's his bad luck but I was hoping that after reading this, we will never take advantage from the vulnerable immature people. The moral of the story, firstly, whenever comes a new artist, please don't ask for free CD from him. You can ask his management or the recording company to get one. Please don't bully the enthusiastic novice and pure little boy because he will then felt disappointed to record his next album and you wouldn't be able to listen to him anymore. Please make an effort to pay their expenses even if it's a charity show. Secondly, always have back up plans! Fail to plan is planning to fail, but an idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea, because action speaks louder than words. Finish our degree, masters or phd, take any professional certificate to stay updated and let ourselves marketable. Thirdly, know that human love is limited to wealth, health and other temporary material thing but loving Allah is something everlasting and promising. So love our spouses because of Allah, not for their looks or money. Doing something for Allah and we will never feel disappointed.
Do we really want to see someone so dedicated in his work to break down due to financial pressure? Further more, that person is helping to widespread our religion and giving our children an alternative Halal music to listen to.... In a way, asking CD for free is kind of disrespecting the work of an artist. Did we go to our friend's shop and take anything for free? Can we possibly get someone to do a service for us using merely his talent for free? No, we don't... Do we need to change or can we change? Yes, we can!

"It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom to the darkest of life.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality.

Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.

Yes we can heal this nation.

Yes we can repair this world.

Yes we can.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics...they will only grow louder and more dissonant ........... We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea --

Yes. We. Can."

Monday, 11 May 2009

Happy Birthday to you (my son)

Today is my son's third birthday. Although he might not even realized it yet but it has been a wake up call for me to know that my life is shortened by three years to spend with my son. I really hope I can be a good father to teach you our religion so you can be a great teacher to your son, my grandchildren and so on. May you be pious and a good Muslim in the future, not only having a good life in this world but in the hereafter. May Allah bless you forever and ever...If only you knew how much I love you, then know that Allah is more loving than I am and He borrowed you to me within this short period of time to be my test as I was to my father, your granddad...

Allah said in the Quran, from Surah Luqman [31: verse 13-20] (translation by Yusuf Ali, Pickthal and Shakir)

YUSUFALI: Behold, Luqman said to his son by way of instruction: "O my son! join not in worship (others) with Allah: for false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing."
PICKTHAL: And (remember) when Luqman said unto his son, when he was exhorting him: O my dear son! Ascribe no partners unto Allah. Lo! to ascribe partners (unto Him) is a tremendous wrong -
SHAKIR: And when Luqman said to his son while he admonished him: O my son! do not associate aught with Allah; most surely polytheism is a grievous iniquity--

YUSUFALI: And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), "Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal.
PICKTHAL: And We have enjoined upon man concerning his partners - His mother beareth him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years - Give thanks unto Me and unto thy parents. Unto Me is the journeying.
SHAKIR: And We have enjoined man in respect of his parents-- his mother bears him with faintings upon faintings and his weaning takes two years-- saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming.

YUSUFALI: "But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that ye did."
PICKTHAL: But if they strive with thee to make thee ascribe unto Me as partner that of which thou hast no knowledge, then obey them not. Consort with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who repenteth unto Me. Then unto Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what ye used to do -
SHAKIR: And if they contend with you that you should associate with Me what you have no knowledge of, do not obey them, and keep company with them in this world kindly, and follow the way of him who turns to Me, then to Me is your return, then will I inform you of what you did--

YUSUFALI: "O my son!" (said Luqman), "If there be (but) the weight of a mustard-seed and it were (hidden) in a rock, or (anywhere) in the heavens or on earth, Allah will bring it forth: for Allah understands the finest mysteries, (and) is well-acquainted (with them).
PICKTHAL: O my dear son! Lo! though it be but the weight of a grain of mustard-seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens, or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Lo! Allah is Subtile, Aware.
SHAKIR: O my son! surely if it is the very weight of the grain of a mustard-seed, even though it is in (the heart of) rock, or (high above) in the heaven or (deep down) in the earth, Allah will bring it (to light); surely Allah is Knower of subtleties, Aware;

YUSUFALI: "O my son! establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong: and bear with patient constancy whatever betide thee; for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs.
PICKTHAL: O my dear son! Establish worship and enjoin kindness and forbid iniquity, and persevere whatever may befall thee. Lo! that is of the steadfast heart of things.
SHAKIR: O my son! keep up prayer and enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and bear patiently that which befalls you; surely these acts require courage;

YUSUFALI: "And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth; for Allah loveth not any arrogant boaster.
PICKTHAL: Turn not thy cheek in scorn toward folk, nor walk with pertness in the land. Lo! Allah loveth not each braggart boaster.
SHAKIR: And do not turn your face away from people in contempt, nor go about in the land exulting overmuch; surely Allah does not love any self-conceited boaster;

YUSUFALI: "And be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass."
PICKTHAL: Be modest in thy bearing and subdue thy voice. Lo! the harshest of all voices is the voice of the ass.
SHAKIR: And pursue the right course in your going about and lower your voice; surely the most hateful of voices is braying of the asses.

YUSUFALI: Do ye not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made his bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and unseen? Yet there are among men those who dispute about Allah, without knowledge and without guidance, and without a Book to enlighten them!
PICKTHAL: See ye not how Allah hath made serviceable unto you whatsoever is in the skies and whatsoever is in the earth and hath loaded you with His favours both without and within? Yet of mankind is he who disputeth concerning Allah, without knowledge or guidance or a scripture giving light.
SHAKIR: Do you not see that Allah has made what is in the heavens and what is in the earth subservient to you, and made complete to you His favors outwardly and inwardly? And among men is he who disputes in respect of Allah though having no knowledge nor guidance, nor a book giving light.