Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mummy, I'm coming home!

Oh it's very blur! But whatever it is, take a good look at the date!! YES! I'm so gonna be home on 13th December 2010! That is in 2 weeks time people~ Weeee~~

So to my beloved SAHABAT, please clear your schedule for our most awaited gossip moment ya! I'll be in the office on 14th for my ACD Assessment (good luck to me!) and should be free after that. To Aliza, Beebee, Padi & Aliaa, really really hope to spend time with you!!

I should buy a ticket back to Perlis too since mommy couldn't extend her stay in KL. So, to PUAN Fariza, let me know if you're gonna be in Perlis or KL okeh? Note to Cik Emi too!

Rough plan for my 1 week holiday:

13/12 - Reach KL, back to my sister's new crib. Should I unpack my stuff or just let them stay in their boxes? Hmm.. Then, plan to spend whole day at The Curve, doing mani+pedi, a few waxing, get new haircut with potential new hair colour, eat good food, watch movie if there's any energy left. Hopefully I won't suffer prolong jet lag on this day. Potential meeting with Cik Emi???

14/12 - Go to the office, prepare for "interrogation" by the CTE. Spend time with bosses, saying Hi and provide updates with little hope they will give me good rating for my next appraisal ;p.. Meet Aliza, Beebee & Aliaa when time permits.. Will go for facial! My skin desperately needs a couple of facial treatment. Probably go for sauna and have nice body massage too..

15/12 - Thinking of flying back to Perlis. Need to start looking for ticket now. To be spoiled with mom's delicious cooking for days!

17/12 - Back in KL for weekend outing with sis & family. Or maybe stuck at home unpacking? Nahh.. Should go shopping and dining! Probably look for furniture for my house.

20/12 - Packing & probably have last facial.. fly back to la la land.. :(

21/12 - Shopping in Paris!! Weee~~ Please weather, don't be too cold!!

Now, I have to make list of what to buy from Nouakchott as souvenirs.. Told you, cottons are damn cheap here! ;)


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Religion Part 1

These past few weeks, I’ve been digging up information on many things that have been taught to me when I was young. I must admit that being born as Muslim, I had never put any attention to what I was told to do and not to do. In fact, there were times when I can’t really recall the 6 articles of faith (Iman), or probably get myself confused with the 5 pillars of Islam. Ignorant.

But now after being a typical Muslim for the past 27 years, I’ve started to realize and questions all the things that we were TOLD to do and not to do. Are all these clearly written in the Quran? Or was it just based on cultural beliefs, which most of you are aware, the Malays dictate the Islam more than the Quran.

This post is going to be a little bit BOLD as I had never wrote any kind of religious post before this (so far as I can recall). And before you read further, please get yourself prepared with what you’re about to read. It may be offended, some might even label me MURTAD or even ask me to “mengucap” again. But at least, I’m doing a research and I truly welcome your opinion, if you have any.

I would like to just start with the Quran and all the school of thoughts that we have now. Many of us would probably claimed we have “khatam” the holy book, but I must admit I didn’t even finish reading the Quran when I was young, not even up until now. The “ustazah” quit halfway and I was not sent to any other “ustazah” after that to complete my Quran lesson. In fact, the “ustazah” kept falling asleep during my readings and I doubt if I even have mastered all the “tajwid”. No, I’m not pointing any fingers to anybody. It all goes back to me when I was matured enough and good enough to take care of myself and my needs.

I tried reading the Quran on my own and bought myself a book on “tajwid”. Sometimes I just followed the “tajwid” lessons aired on TV at 6.30pm to make sure I have the right understanding. But then I never managed to finish reading the whole Quran. I always have this gap and after so long I would just start reading it again from the beginning. So it never ends! Couple years back, I bought the translation of the Quran, the “tafsir” since I realized I don’t really understand what was written in Quran, coz I don’t really speak or understand Arabic. I would like to know what does Quran trying to tell me and how can it benefit me.

There was a story about a young child asking his father the main reason for Muslim to recite Quran. And the father just gave him a very dirty basket and asked him to go to the river, to fill it up with water. The basket does not hold any water in it since it’s pretty much broken and was in poor condition. The child had no choice other than going back and forth filling up the basket with water to a point the father asked him to stop. The father then asked the child to look at the basket and see if there’s any difference. The dirty basket turned very clean from the “wash” the child did with the water. And the father said, reading Quran is similar to cleaning the basket from the dirt. It’s a purification process to human, Muslim in particular.

As much as I agree that reading Quran will make us feel closer to God, I beg to differ. Reading or probably reciting the Quran alone is not enough. It’s as if we complete reading the whole Engineering Handbook without really understanding the content. For instance, in order for me to design a well (be it oil or gas well), I must learn how to predict the pressures of the formation and the fracture gradients expected before I can simply set my casing point. So, if I do not understand the whole pore pressure prediction process, how can I design a good well that will not collapse nor burst and definitely will not be another Macondo well? (read: the Deepwater Horizon case). Probably this is too much of an example but bottom line is, how can you understand what Quran is trying to tell you if you don’t really understand Arabic?

Now, I’m slowly reading the translations. It’s not actually DIRECT translations. Most of the “tafsirs” are the interpretations of the translations. The words are translated to whichever language we prefer and there will be more interpretations attached to each verse. This triggers me, who did the translations and who did the interpretations? Does it really, exactly reflects the exact meaning of the “ayat”? Sounds like I’m sitting for the “Ujian Pemahaman” back in Primary School, where we have to find “isi tersirat” in each sentence. Then who can actually say our understanding and our interpretation is correct or wrong? Who can deny what we think or view? One must always remember that each of us sees things from different angle and we definitely have different views and opinions. Agree?

This then makes me realize that all 4 schools of thoughts that we have are mostly based on interpretation. I’ve yet to dig up information of all these 4. I’m curious. Why is Shafie deemed better than the other 3, Hanbali, Maliki and Hanafi? And how did we arrive to a decree that Shafie is the one that we must follow, in Malaysia? If I managed to dig up all info on all 4 schools of thoughts, can I follow Maliki, if I think it’s the best school based on my interpretation and views? Would that make me less Muslim than the others? Would you, as my family or friends see me differently, or probably would not accept me at all? Ok, probably I’m getting a little bit dramatic but thinking of how the Malays think, I can pretty much expect those things to happen.

I’ve found many other things that will definitely surprise most of you. But that will follow later. Do you think I’m less Muslim now or my faith is weak? Whatever you think, I don’t really care. To me, it’s better for me to fully understand the whole Islam by doing the research, obviously based on the Quran, rather than listening to what people think or the Majlis Fatwa thinks, or what Malays think. And most importantly, God is one, regardless of what schools of thoughts we follow, it all goes back to worship the one and only God. I’m not giving any conclusion. Yet.