Month: June 2011

The Art of Giving and Giving Up

If there’s one thing I hate about driving, it will probably be the fact that one really cannot multi-task while driving. It requires so much focus and if you have a multiple-track mind like me, that’s really wasteful.

If my mind is not too tired while braving through the terrible traffic on my not-so-occasional work and leisure trips, I’d prefer to listen to lecture. Sure, my mind would not be able to absorb much since I have to put my focus on the road, on the car next to me, the car behind me, the car in front of me and if there is some carefree motorcyclists on each of my sides, but at least there is something I can benefit from when I happen to catch some useful lines.

And as my downloaded lecture of Sh Hamza Yusuf on the Rights and Responsibilities of Marriage is gone with my problematic laptop, I am more than grateful that a friend of mine kindly lends me his CD set on the same lectures, and I have been listening to it whenever I could.

One thing that has been highlighted and stressed so many times by the Shaykh is the fact that though he is discussing the rights AND responsibility of the social contract called marriage, the parts on rights should be well-looked ainto nd taken care of.

Islam and the Prophet himself, throughout his life has exhibited the practical side of giving up rights but never the responsibility.

That’s something unusual really, when I started to think about things that we do in life that are more of self-preservation in nature – demanding our rights – for freedom to do this and that. And upon listening to this lecture that I began to consciously notice about the image illustrated in TV shows I constantly watch – those imported from Wild Wild West of course -it is not rare to see children turning their backs to the parents; old time revenge that leads to estrangement, kids disrespecting the parents, complete severe of the tie and the list goes. These are all talking about rights not being violated.

But rarely in this day and age we are being reminded about our responsibilities.

In many relationships we have in this life, if we look really closely, we can agree that we keep barking about our rights not being fulfilled, but more often that not wish that our responsibilities being left unquestioned.

Think about our relationships with our parents.

Our family members.

Our friends.

Our spouse, if any.

The community and society.

Like what Harfan in the film Laskar Pelangi said : Jangan Pernah Menyerah, Hiduplah Untuk Memberi Sebanyak-banyaknya bukan Menerima Sebanyak-banyaknya”. (Translate: Do not give up.Live to give as much as we can, not to receive as much as we can).

The Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h demonstrated this throughout his life. Not once that he gave up his rights – he could have done some sort of retribution when he conquered the city of Makkah for what its people had done to him and the early Muslims, but he did not do anything. Not a soul being separated for its body, nor a house being destroyed for that sake. No, nothing.

And it’s not infrequent that we read narrations about him being nice to those who treated him badly. It’s his responsibility to those people whether they treat him well or not, that remains a priority.

Though no one was born with that trait,  I have to admit that I seldom make the intention consciously to seek to understand, hence fulfill others’ rights then to be understood i.e. have my rights met.

Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.

Ask not what others must do for you, but ask what you must do for them.

It is the art of giving their rights, and giving up your rights.


Living with the Quran

Qur’ān. V49:11–13: "come to know each oth...

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How to Study Quran manchester


The study circle I usually attended (OK, I missed the recent one) has embark on this initiative to start reciting the Quran for 2 ‘ain per day, beginning with the first chapter. I have to admit, rather shamefully that since working, I tend to read less than I used to during my student years – do not even talk about memorising. That’s why I welcome such effort.

And now that we are in the ‘Read 2 ‘ains per day’ programme, I recall that I have one very useful presentation slides in relation to that.

I have been meaning to share these slides with my readers (if there are any, which I suppose there is), which for me, one of the most beneficial lectures I have been to.

I think it was during one of MCOT’s programme, MaxIs Week (Maximising Islam Week) back in Manchester that they invited this fantastic speaker Dr Riza Mohammed to share his knowledge.

I was busy, but as you know, I needed a break so I dragged myself to the prayer hall to attend this one. And I am glad I did, though I am yet to apply in my life (I started a Quranic journal myself, but it did not last long) some of the methods he suggested.

It was built based on experience, and it is really beneficial, and I really hope you can find time to read it. Oh well, how many times have I mention that this is beneficial?

Dr Riza also conducts Quran study course in the UK (which I did not have the chance to attend), and if you happen to be there, maybe you can find out more about it.

Other potentially interesting links:

Don’t forget to check the slides out!





The Worst Flight I've Taken

Let me check.

Hmm.. I supposed there were at least two that I can remember.

The first one would be my first flight ever from LHR (London Heathrow) back to KUL (Kuala Lumpur) at the end of my first year.

The suffering was rooted from this one little 'sin' I have committed:

I deliberately took the salted peanuts offered by the flight attendant.

Well, if you little tummy is sensitive to any 'wind-inducing' food, you shalt never touch peanuts, salted or whatever. And of course, that little temptation of crunchy peanuts handed by a fairly attractive flight attendant (let me keep the gender secret this time around) caused me such a painful experience for a 13-hour flight.

Let me recall the suffering I had to endure — my sensitive stomach started growling, I could not sit properly, I was hungry and I ate, but the food (I am not fond of MH food, so that's another trauma) could not properly sit in my stomach, the 'wind' kept my stomach unrest and I could not enjoy the in-flight entertainment.

And worst of all, I puked as soon as we landed. So yeah, for the record, I was one of the users of that paper bag.

Well, that was the first one.

The next one was less physical, but rather emotionally bad.

That was the flight from Cairo to London, and I was crying so badly half of the journey (That was 4-hour flight, if my memory serves me well). No, I was not leaving my loved ones, literally, but I was so sad to leave the incredible experience in that land, after spending two months over there.

In the back of my mind, I know that there's no way I could replicate the experience even if I were to come again next time – what builds an experience away is not much of the place itself I suppose, but also the people you were with. And I saw no tangible way to have Hakimah (who's now quietly residing in Miri), Aswani (safely married), Ustaz Luthfi (the last time I heard, he's teaching in Kedah, happily married with two kids!) to come together and re-do.

So I cried. I was so emotional that I cried while watching the supposedly funny Shrek movie sequel.

Oh, yes, these are two of my worst flights taken, and let me put it again:

I like airports but I don't like flying – and shall I say it is not good for the earth too?

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