Month: March 2008

Anak Halal the Movie

The translation of the film title is ‘Legal Child’, well, think of it as the opposite of ‘Love Child’.

I watched this film last night (on Youtube of course), with Hanee, despite our projects being far from complete. And all the way watching that film we did nothing but commenting – ‘What is the average time between two hugging scenes?’, ‘This film sucks big time’, ‘Ewww, nasty!’. We really seemed like we had nothing to do, didn’t we?

To be honest, this film is crap. Crap to the power of 10 000. No, your calculator can never bear the number of digits. I mean, shallow plots, stereotyping, and yeah, I have to admit that film is nasty. No, I don’t have any problem with the film looking nasty if that is a real world – the world I’ve never seen. But shut up, you don’t have to pay Muslim actors and actresses to do hugging and kissing scenes, never mind the ‘berkemban’ scene.

Nasty, disgusting. Cannot find any other words.

With Maya Karin and Farid Kamil (both are Muslims, remember?), wearing singlets/sleeveless and hugging each other even from the start, I couldn’t stop thinking whether this is a real film or just a commercial selling such garments.

Then comes the scene of two siblings (Adi Putera, whoever he is and Raja Farah), with Raja Farah ‘berkemban’, wearing a piece of cloth strapped around her body – and, oh-so-lucky Adi Putera, he gets to kiss Raja Farah on her head while his fingers lingered on her bare shoulders. He must have not mind if he did not get paid for this film. Plenty of chances to kiss and hug pretty girls. No wonder why there are increasing cases of ‘Sumbang Mahram’ (incest) and rape in Malaysia.

Malaysian films are getting worse. Seriously. Years ago, when the film ‘Leftenan Adnan’ was release, there was a controversy on the kissing scene (between the Lieutenant and his wife at the train station). Later it was explained that the scene was done carefully using a camera technique without the actor having to kiss the actress’s forehead. Within years, the sensitivity of Malaysians changed so much – now people don’t really give a damn if the film have a kissing scene (no mouth-to-mouth yet) – it has become a common thing! Ugh!! What are they thinking? I bet in two years time we will see ‘the real kissing scene’ in Malay cinema.

I really wonder why were there so many fighting scenes. Must be quite a number, I should have computed the rate. As if there is no police at all in Malaysia- now it feels like watching Hindustani films. Haha.

Now I have to stop. This is a seriously bad entry, but I couldn’t help but ranting about it here – what happened to our value system, Malaysians??

p.s. I pity Raja Farah. I watched her in one telemovie before (was it Sanggar Saadah? can’t remember well) – and there she was, being raped again. Too bad, girl. Find some other films/telemovie in which you are not portrayed as a sex object.

Muhammad, My Hero

That is the title of the song by Hamza Robertson. I think that is cute. Another inspiring way to think of our beloved Prophet.

But love, like any other feeling, has its ups and downs. Sometimes we claim to love someone, in this case our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) so much and adhere to his every teaching, but at some other moments the feeling is not there and we are these lazy muslims.

A friend of mine suggested this film — Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet.

Fourteen hundred years ago, a humble merchant who could not read or write changed the face of Arabia. Today, his influence has spread to every corner of the world including the United States. This is the story Muslims have passed down from generation to generation for 1400 years. It is a story about the merchant, husband, father, statesman and warrior whom they consider the final prophet…. the man whose legacy continues to shape their lives today.

Take some time to watch. Hopefully, knowing him more will help us to love him more, and more motivated to be excellent muslims.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

A Prayer and a Cup of Coffee

 

A Prayer and a Cup of Coffee

The alarm sings out at seven bringing me out of my sleep

It draws me out of my slumber so comfortable and deep.

I open my eyes and stretch my limbs as I say

Thank you, my Lord for another wonderful day.

I dress, wash up, brush my teeth and comb my hair.

I speak to my Master as into the mirror I stare.

Then I go downstairs, turn on the TV

To see what this day’s weather will be.

I pour myself a cup of coffee hot and straight

It helps to bring out of my slumber some state.

Each day, Lord, I start just as the day before.

By your grace I hope tomorrow brings me one more.

The coffee will soon give my energy a boost up

But I thank you for each day as I sip from the cup.

They say the need for coffee is simply a habit for me

And I will not argue for it’s easy to see

That I have started my days in the same way for years.

Like coffee, prayer is a habit but one that God hears.

He is stronger than coffee and more gentle, it’s true

For with each prayer I utter, my faith he will renew.

So, I will drink my coffee and I will continue to pray

And I will continue to thank God for each glorious day.

p.s. But today I opted for a cup of green tea with lemon and honey. Hopefully I’ll get well soon.

Journey to the Past: Sinai Part 6

From Sinai,Fayyoum...

Betul-betul di pintu masuk kawasan Wadi Arbaien. Seingat-ingat saya, bangunan itu adalah rumah tumpangan.



Bukit besar. Di celah-celah bukit inilah kami berjalan. Nampak sahaja panas, tetapi nyaman.



Pemandangan di kiri saya. 

 


 


Batu berlekuk dua belas yang mengelirukan saya. 

 


 


Poko kecil yang tumbuh mendiami lembah itu. Entah dari spesies apa. 

 


Bilik kecil tempat kami menginap.

Ujian apa?


‘Ujianlah, nak tahu betul ke budak-budak UK ni larat nak panjat Gunung Sinai.

Kalau tak larat memang malu. Kak Bibah yang mengandung enam bulan pun boleh sampai ke puncak.’


Wah, wah , wah! Ini sudah melampau! Saya membebel dalam hati. Saya pantang dicabar, ustaz!


Tapi memang betul, kalaulah saya termengah-mengah untuk memanjat Mt. Sinai malam nanti, itu adalah sesuatu yang memalukan dan pastinya Ustaz Luthfi akan mengejek sepanjang jalan. Kak Bibah yang ustaz maksudkan itu adalah isteri kepada sahabat ustaz Luthfi yang kami singgahi rumahnya ketika di Iskandariah untuk makan tengahari minggu lalu. Memang memalukan kalau kami yang muda remaja ini cepat mengalah, Kak Bibah ketika sarat mengandung pun masih mampu menawan gunung tersebut.

Nak menguji di mana?’

‘Tunggulah,’ kata ustaz Luthfi, ‘yang pastinya sekarang ini kita sudah sampai di Wadi Muqaddas.’

Wadi Muqaddas.

Saya terdiam sebentar. Terkesima.

Lembah Suci.

Does not that ring a bell?

Apakah telah sampai kepadamu kisah Musa?

Ketika dia melihat api, lalu berkatalah dia kepada keluarganya:’Tinggallah kamu (di sini), sesungguhnya aku melihat api, mudah-mudahan aku dapat membawa sedikit daripadanya kepadamu atau aku akan mendapat petunjuk di tempat api itu.’

Maka ketika ia datang ke tempat api itu dia dipanggil: ‘Hai Musa.

Sesungguhnya Aku inilah Tuhanmu, maka tanggalkanlah kedua terompahmu; sesungguhnya kamu berada di lembah yang suci, Thuwa.

(Thaha:9-12)

Frasa yang disebut jelas dalam al Quran ‘ Innaka bil waadil muqaddasi tuwa’

Lembah suci yang disebut Allah dalam kitabNya, lembah yang pernah menyaksikan peristiwa agung pertemuan Saidina Musa a.s. dengan Allah Rabbul ‘Izzati. Tidakkah harus saya bersyukur dengan peluang yang Allah berikan, peluang untuk menjejakkan kaki di tanah yang pastinya bergegar kuat saat-saat Allah mengurniakan mukjizat kepada rasulNya?

Kereta Hyundai Matrix yang kami naiki berhenti betul-betul di hadapan sebuah bukit besar. Dan saya cepat-cepat keluar, menghilangkan lenguh setelah lama terperap di dalam kereta.

Ini Wadi Arbaien, kata ustaz. Arbaien dalam bahasa Melayu bermaksud empat puluh. Ada pelbagai kisah mengenai tempat ini; ada yang meriwayatkan bahawa di sinilah tempatnya Saidina Musa a.s. bertemu dengan empat puluh nabi yang hidup sezaman dengannya, ada pula yang mengatakan di sinilah tempatnya empat puluh pendeta Yahudi berkumpul.

Apa sahaja teorinya, saya yakin tempat ini memang bersejarah. Jika tidak, masakan ada gereja kecil terbina di situ, betul-betul di pinggir batu berlekuk dua belas, yang dikatakan tempat keluarnya air untuk dua belas clan pengikut Nabi Musa a.s. (sekarang saya sudah keliru, di sini atau di ‘Uyun Musa?)? Mana-mana lokasi yang ada sejarah berkaitan Islam, akan ada gereja berhampiran, jelas ustaz.

Kami sampai di batu berlekuk dua belas ini setelah melalui (untuk mengatakan kami mendaki adalah tidak tepat, slightly hiking itu mungkin) jalan berbatu, berselisih dengan sekumpulan arab (saya fikir sekeluarga, kerana ada anak-anak kecil juga) yang tidak dapat saya pastikan tujuan mereka berada di situ. Saya tidak menyedari sehinggalah ustaz menyatakan – Lembah ini nyaman tidak seperti suasana padang pasir yang biasa. Itu memang benar, fikir saya. Di celah-celah batu-batu besar yang membentuk bukit itu saya dapat merasai kenyamanan udara. Sejuk tanpa haba yang memeritkan. Barangkali itu kelebihan yang diberi Allah kepada lembah mulia yang disucikan?

Kami kembali ke kereta – saya sedikit termengah harus diakui – mula terasa menyesal kerana tidak bersenam begitu lama. Malam nanti kata ustaz, kita akan mendaki Gunung Sinai, jadi sampai-sampai sahaja di motel terus tidur. Dua pagi tepat kita perlu bergerak ke kaki gunung. Kami mengangguk sahaja.

Pekan kecil di st Catherine menyambut kami petang itu, dan saya terasa aura kedamaian yang tidak tergambar. Sungguh. Sehingga kini setelah hampir lapan bulan berlalu, keredupan petang itu sentiasa dalam ingatan saya – menyebabkan kerinduan yang berpanjangan. Satu pekan di tengah padang pasir, tentunya hidup kerana pelancong-pelancong yang tidak pernah bosan mengunjungi lokasi bersejarah untuk tiga agama langit : Yahudi, Kristian dan juga Islam.

Melintasi deretan kedai, ustaz menyimpang masuk – membeli apa yang patut, makanan tentunya. Terus ke motel, kami diam di dalam kereta, sedang ustaz berurusan dengan tuan punya motel. Malang sekali saya terlupa untuk merakam gambar motel comel itu. Bilik-bilik kecil dibina dalam bangunan kuboid ala-ala kediaman Arab Badwi. Ustaz Lutfi dan Ustaz Karim yang menghuni bilik bersebelahan, saya fikir kedua-dua mereka memang terus tidur (setelah memaksa kami tidur juga) keletihan.Tetapi kami bertiga yang kelaparan, apa lagi, setelah selesai bersolat mahu tidak mahu memaksa diri menelan nasi dan ayam panggang lebihan makanan tengahari di ‘Hammam Firaun yang tawar. Yang lebih penting, fikir saya, adalah untuk memastikan perut tidak masuk angin kerana lapar!

Di luar bilik di perkarangan motel yang dilingkari tembok kecil, ada bangsal tempat sekumpulan arab yang duduk selesa mengelilingi unggun api sambil minum-minum teh. Ada kumpulan pelancong bukan arab lain juga.

Saya memaksa diri untuk tidur meski sebenarnya saya teringin benar berada di luar menghirup udara nyaman Lembah Suci ini.

Journey to the Past: Sinai Part 5

Journey to the Past: Sinai Part 4

Journey to the Past: Sinai Part 3

Journey to the Past: Sinai Part 2

Journey to the Past: Sinai Part 1

Ayat-ayat Cinta? *Sick*

I don’t know why so many people recommend this film if not the book. I tried to read the book (I think I managed to finish half of it, but then too lazy and bored to continue) – I’d say the book is not that bad. My friends and I had a lengthy discussion about the reality of the main character – is a character that ‘perfect’ realistic? With so many girls after him – I doubt it, I doubt it. They say Habiburrahman Shirazy (is that correct?) might be the new Hamka, but since I never read Hamka’s book, I can’t comment anything about that statement though I admit that I benefit from the reading (in term of remembrance of Allah).

Then the film is released, and I had hundreds of recommendation to watch it on Youtube. I tried, I managed to watch 2 parts out of 13 without skipping any scene but my conclusion is that the film is DISASTROUS!

Even during the first part I knew that the filming was not in Egypt – seems like in a studio somewhere. That is disappointing enough. Then comes the portrayal of the main character, who is it, I can’t even remember his name, with Maria the Christian girl – which is far from the kind of image the author projected in his book. That is not how he (the main character) supposed to be, I said.

I could not stand it anymore that I stopped watching in the middle of the third part. Disappointed really, but what can I say, when it comes to films, people think more of the profit than conveying the message of dakwah (with exception).

So don’t talk to me about Ayat-ayat Cinta anymore.

p.s. Hanee wanted to hit me since I could not stop laughing and commenting on the actors and actress speaking Indon despite their character being Egptians/Arabs. Haha. I am a skeptic, I am.

p.p.s I’ve just checked, the film is no longer available on Youtube. haha.

Enterprising Futures


MONEY-LAUNDERING Part 1
Originally uploaded by endraum
I almost changed my mind yesterday morning – 11 a.m in the morning was not too early, it was the bunch of other works that nearly convinced me that I better stay at home than going for this event. But still. I managed to get out of the house. Off to Bridgewater St, Humanities Building.

I know I have too much sympathy that I am not gonna be a very good entrepreneur, but I know the other side of me- the bossy, reluctant follower side – can never comprehend the idea of working for others for the rest of my life. I long for flexibility in my career, so why not invest a fraction of my time for this event?

The keynote speaker was the CEO of One Central Park – Prof Auckland. This is the second time I listened to his lecture, the first time was in one of MLP Lectures ( I think he discussed about social entrepreneur last time) – and he was, as always, inspiring. Big companies (think Shell, BP if you are a chemical engineering undergrad) is not affected whether you are there or not, you go, someone will take your place, the machine will still run. Only suitable for those who like being administrators, and prefer orderly and predictable setup, and security. But small companies are driven by innovation – very predictable, and he stressed this point over dan over again , that it is exciting. Exciting it is, I think, uncertainty rarely bores me, it keeps my adrenaline high most of the time. But the key skill he said, is SURVIVAL and ability to RECOVER from the ups and downs.

I guess I came to the right event, I can’t tell you how inspiring the panelists in the second session were. Most of them age less than 40, yet they are very successful. Some were driven by childhood dream, some were just excited by all the risks – but all of then admitted that there were sleepless weeks and months if not sleepless night. But is it worth it? In my point of view, it is worth all the freedom you gain, all the flexibility you have. Jo Ashburner, mentioned about her flexibility of dividing time for family and the company. Above all, I think that is what I want. I do not want to spend my lifetime working 9 to 5, I’d rather suffer at the beginning and later being able to give a good childhood to my children. How does that sound?

Oh, by the way, the event was not just about listening- we had this Dragon’s Den session as well – given a role play (Ideas for a Franchise for first year students to help them earn some money). I was damn nervous (we had to present the business strategy in front of the ‘dragons’ i.e. the experienced entrepreneurs , but my group was indeed fantastic. We did not win the £100 shopping voucher- but the idea we had was pretty good – Cafeteria chain in university accommodations. With the room services and all. And lucky me, I found someone, a PhD student doing Sustainable Development to help me with my Environmental Law and Regulation coursework! Yeay!

I was inspired, and I could not help but planning my business in my head all the way back home

Anyone wants to be my partner?

Roots

‘I sit with Ronnie and his friends sometimes and I listen to them talk about things and you know I’ve never heard half of the words before.’

I haven’t write about this one, have I?

We (by ‘we’ I mean my ‘anak-anak usrah’ – Atiyyah, Eryna, Hani, Naimah and I) agreed to have discussion session every Monday, but unfortunately, a few Mondays ago I was just too busy to prepare anything for the session. But promise is a promise, right? So I changed my mind – we are going for a theatre today, I said to them. After all, it is only £4. And I haven’t watched a single production for a few months. None in fact, for the previous semester.

So there we went. Hani, Atiyyah and Eryna- all of them are first timer. I am definitely a bad naqibah, while others are discussing ‘Perkara-perkara yang membatalkan syahadah’ (Actions that invalidate syahadah) – I am busy dragging my ‘anak-anak usrah’ to the Royal Exchange. Hoho. After all, I believe that to think and reflect is far more important than sitting, listening and that’s it. I think I knew my girls (this is how I’d call them) well enough not to bore them with such thing. Everything you see can be something you can reflect upon, and eventually bring you closer to the Lord.

So Roots by Arnold Wesker – later I checked, didn’t receive much compliment. Too long they said (and Atiyyah even fall asleep a few times), the actresses, erm, I’d say they were not bad. the storyline goes like this:

Explores the theme of ‘self-discovery’. BEATIE BRYANT, daughter of Norfolk farm labourers, has fallen in love with RONNIE KAHN from the ‘Chicken Soup’ family. She returns from London to visit her family all of whom await the arrival of RONNIE. During the two-week waiting period BEATIE is full of RONNIE’S thoughts and words. To greet him the family gathers for a huge Saturday afternoon tea. He doesn’t turn up. Instead comes a letter saying he doesn’t think the relationship will work. The family turns on BEATIE. In the process of defending herself she finds, to her delight, that she’s using her own voice. (arnoldwesker.com)

Beatie was a young woman, naive in some ways, thought that she found her love, when she succussfully seduced Ronnie into being her boyfriend. But things were different. They were different. Ronnie was a ‘cultured’ man (this is a post-war play, a bit of socialist elements here and there I think) while Beatie came from this farmer family. And she tried hard to be accepted by Ronnie’s friends – had been tought over and over again by Ronnie to ‘ask’ whenever she is confused -for people love to be asked (oh well, that will make you think that you are superior than the one asking, right?)

Self-dicovering, soul-searching – I can’t relate to Beatie, she’s too childish in some ways that I hate her.

But I have to say that props were wisely arranged – Hani and I couldn’t stop planning for next Ladies Gala – that’s gonna be in November hopefully.

So ihave to admit I made a bad choice going for this theatre. I would normally read the script earlier but could not manage to do that and for a few minutes or so in every hour I’d be lost – they were using thick accent (was it the Northern accent?) I can hardly understand.

That is one point.

The worst is when Beatie stripped naked in front all of the audience, in front all of us.. and there goes our usrah session!

Now I have a topic to discuss in the next meeting – shyness and humility, maybe?

p.s. The only reason I didn’t write this entry any earlier is that I don’t want Mancunians reading my blog rushing to see this one 😛