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29 June 2006

Back From Camp; 1001 Feelings And Reflections

I just got back from camp. Back from 'reprogramming' myself. Back from going out wild in the outdoors. Back from stepping outside my safe haven of computers and comfy chairs. And back home like a fisherman's ship that returns to the harbor after harvesting the riches of the ocean.

I have always treasured experience. Never mind what sort of experience. Oh, there are some that I dislike. Those I do not look for. Yet if they come, I will accept and make it part of 'programming' myself as adDa'ie and a mu'min. In relation to that I now know I will cherish the memories and lessons learnt in the past week of struggling to better myself.

The past holiday I have oft found myself in a state of declining fluctuation. Constantly going up and down between high and low points of iman. And even in that state, the high points tend to get lower as time moves on. I became immersed at a point in a state of confused depression.

I had a few projects to get done, and yet due to this depression, I was taking a lot of time. Conflicts were building up inside. A building friction between the urgent sense of need to get things done and another feeling of need to get away and let go.

Until last week... A whole week and a day of rethinking; restructuring thoughts and filters and rebuilding whole again my iman.

In the past years... I have always tried to get away from such kinds of programs. I have always felt sufficient. Felt an arrogance that blocked me from seeing that nothing is ever sufficient in building iman. You can never have sufficient iman. You can never have sufficient things that drive you to Allah. You must always try for more. Yet... I felt that way.

Somehow this year that feeling escaped me. Maybe the urgent need to reform myself opened my eyes to see what was right. Maybe I did something I thought was small and inconsequential but helped me in a way to gain Allah's Hidayah. But whatever it is... This year I felt a certain relief and happiness to be able to join the whole camp. The whole length of it. Even the nights.

The first part of the camp were indoor activities, which had the guys camping at my old home. The house that I now refer to as The Old House at Desa. Or simply The Old House. There were about 8-10 people most of the time there. And the great thing was that the internet was also still there. Therefore I could also go about my Iqra' obligations to communicate to the others (who were not there) without having to leave the programme much.

The whole week passed with a kind of tranquility. In contrast, it was also quite fun. In that, I mean the getting together and doing all this together between brothers of the same faith who accept and understand the same path. We sometimes joked around. We ta'arufed more with each other. Getting to know each better than before. We also got to know the habits of each other. Said in Malay: kami berukhuwwah bersama.

The last part of the week was an outdoor camp. The destination not told to us even on the morning of departure to wherever it is. The reason: we had to go find the camp spot ourselves. The first activity module happened to be something like an explorative journey/treasure hunt. Something like the reality shows 'The Amazing Race' or Malaysia's 'Explorace' without the fancy prizes and the competition.

We had to go and find certain checkpoints located all over the state of Johor. And then there were tasks at each of these checkpoints. We were tested on our PR abilities, our creativity, our guts, our financial management, our street wisdom, our knowledge and I believe whole array more of other things. A fun experience. And a one to spark reflection and pondering. You know how I was ranting on The Importance of Da'wah Fardiyyah before? Well, at the time we were forced to apply the first part of it; approaching the mad'u. So it was like I said... A very reflective experience.

When we arrived at Teluk Gorek, Mersing (yes, the final destination was Mersing), we set up camp, prepared dinner, solat Maghrib and 'Isya' (jama'-ed), had the lessons-learnt section for the day's activity and commenced on to the night activity: Penghayatan Malam. For those of you who do not know me, I am a facilitator of KRj Johor, and I gone through a range of Penghayatan Malam modules. Yet I have never experienced Penghayatan Malam as such that I went through that night. I can only say that much.

The next day brought the most tiring activity of all: Orienteering And Jungle Trekking. Man did I really find out how unfit I was... The only consolation I had, was that my team was a jovial and light mooded one. Nothing like the serious and win-oriented teams some people tend to form. All the way through jungle and sea and hill we went together without a trace of enmity and friction. I have been in teams before doing the same kinda thing but without the light mood. It was like a team from hell. Waiting to explode on a wrong remark. So I was very glad that my team was very much the opposite.

Everyone in our team gave their cooperation in finding our way to the orienteering checkpoints. Everyone balanced each other's spirits. Everyone contributed ideas. Everyone helped search for clues that we had to find. Everyone offered knowledge. Everyone offered their comprehension. It was all very well that we all managed to enjoy the trek through the fatigue of climbing the hill. It was all well that we managed to endure the trip and gain success in the end.

When we came back to camp, there was ample time to rest and regain part of our spent energy. We had come back much earlier than was expected by the organizers. Something like 5-6 hours or so earlier (with the exception of 2 groups both of which had their own casualties). We spent that time relaxing and taking a dip the the sea. And we also spent it replenishing our depleted energy resources.

That night the organizers got something going for the guys. Initially I thought it was gonna some night jungle trek. I wasn't so fascinated with the idea, what with already having dried myself and not having gotten over the fatigue from the day's toil. But when it was mentioned that there was gonna be a kind of war game, I became excited and suddenly I felt rejuvenated. I was always fascinated of the tactics and strategies in warfare. They always relate to life in certain ways. The concepts, the principles, the philosophies, the application. All of it reflects the wisdom in which we handle our lives.

Maybe that is also why I have also been a fan of Counter Strike (the computer game) since stepping out of school. Yet playing Counter-Strike gives only a virtual experience. There is not much room for feeling for yourself the thrill of pitting your intelligence and courage against that of your enemy in person. There In the war game however, you can include yourself in the experience and there exists a thrill of a certain amount in betting yourself in the game. If you lose, you lose. And if you die, you die.

The best part of the war game though is devising a strategy and putting in in action. You can only imagine the great feeling you get when you pull off something you planned yourself. We played two rounds. The details can be viewed here.

The next day, we were given a crisis situation. Heck, what else to follow up war games?

We were all blindfolded. Pushed into 4 separate vehicles. 2 ikhwah vehicles and 2 akhawat. Then we were sent to unknown locations. When we arrived (approximately at 8:45 am), we were told to take off the blindfolds. We then received a piece of paper containing requirements to get us out of crisis. The requirements are as below, and to be done by 12 pm:
  • 1/2 kg of fish
  • Some batteries
  • 2 bungkus of nasi dagang
  • Transportation back to camp is on your own

Now THAT got our brains storming. We pondered these requirements a while. Myself, i was kinda expecting something like this. I saw and heard some hints the day and night before and then I have heard this kinda activity from a coursemate of mine in UTM. So I wasn't really surprised.

Not long after, the other group arrived. The immediate action was to combine forces. We were in essence still two teams as the task required that we fulfil it in two teams. But then there never was a prohibition of cooperation. So we coordinated our efforts.

It so happened that the other team's requirements were also the same as ours with the exception of the batteries. They had to find a roll of film in its place. So we decide that our group would go and find fishes (1 kg for 2 teams) and batteries, and the other would go for 4 nasi dagang and film. On top of that, we all had to try and collect money for the bus ride.

We split up looking for chances of gaining funds and money plus chances of acquiring the required items at the cheapest price or none. Our group went towards the market and explored the shops while the other stayed and explored the bus station area.

We found out that one kind of fish cost only RM2 per kg. And with rough estimates, we came to the conclusion that the cheapest kind of batteries would cost approximately the same. So we now have our targets.

Our first job was acquired at a roadside gerai. The owner was very courteous and pleasant. When we said we needed to get money, he gave us something to do, and paid in advance. All we had to do was to sort out the garbage pile so as the area behind his gerai would not be so messy and the garbage would easily be picked up by the garbage disposal. He also offered free drinks for us all. From him, we acquired about RM8.

During that time, we sent Fared to go meet up with the other team at the arranged time (10 am). Fared returned and reported that the other guys had acquired their items. He also said that getting derma was a more feasible way of getting money in such a short time. He also reported that the bus to the junction to Tanjung Resang cost RM2. Besides that, he also bought the fish with the advance money. We finished up at the gerai and went straight to looking for more prospects of getting money.

After that, we continued on looking for other chances. Me and Khubaib went from shop to shop asking for any small donation. Not many were willing to spare even 1 or 2 ringgit. Until we arrived at this rather muslim shop. It was also at that shop that we decided to change tactics. We explained fully who we were, what we were doing, and asked for a job. And if he could not offer us any or direct us to someplace that can offer any, we hoped that he could offer a bit of a donation. A ringgit or two would do. So he said that he knew not any jobs offered around there, and he'll just donate a few ringgit. The few he gave was RM10, which was a substantial amount for us. May Allah bless him and murahkan rezekinya.

Then we went to meet the others for the second meeting at 10.30 am. We then split our group. I went with Ihsan to wherever his group was. The others went to find more donations and get the batteries. I went to split the fish and the nasi dagang.

When I met up with the rest of the others, I was frankly surprised at their situation. They were lounging relaxedly at this small gerai chatting with the owner and just finishing up their cold Milo drinks and lunch. My first impression was that they had acquired so much money that they could get all that. I was wrong. As soon as I stepped in into the gerai the owner immediately told me to sit and she'll make a drink for me. She did. And she also provided some food for me to eat. I was flabbergasted. I never expected this kind of courtesy! Besides I was rather ashamed to eat out of her daily source of income (which was food - she sells 'em). So I tried to take the least costly lauk.

I guess when my teammates arrived they got the same impression as I had when I arrived. The owner, Makcik Kamisah (if I heard right), took no time to usher them to sit down and provide them the same as what she provided to us who came before. And as I was, they were flabbergasted.

Then it came time to leave. We said thanks and went on the bus. On the bus, all of us got a discount, because the other group had helped to clean the bus companies front area. It was no meager discount though. They something like 25% off. So instead of RM2 per person, we paid only RM1.50 per person. I was like... Wow.

After all that, we can only pray for the well-being of each and everyone who lent their hand and helped us. Makcik Kamisah, Makcik Zainab (another makcik the other group befriended), the bro who gave us something to do and paid in advance, the kind shop owner who donated the RM10. May Allah bless them all. May Allah provide them with a place in His paradise.

Supercamp taught me a lot of things. It also reminded me a lot of things I had forgotten. And besides that, it helped renew my resolve. Islam is the solution for mankind. And as adDa'ie, I must open the idea to others. This I hold now with resolve and I pray that Allah will give me strength to hold on to that resolve.


27 June 2006

War Tactics: A Night of War Games

The best part of the war game though is devising a strategy and putting in in action. You can only imagine the great feeling you get when you pull off something you planned yourself. We played two rounds. The details are as below:

The rules and regulations:
  • Each team has their own flags
  • Each team has 5-6 members
  • Each team gets about 27 water-filled balloons as ammo
  • Each team knows the location of the other's flag
  • To win: retrieve opponent team's flag and plant at mortuary OR kill all members of opposing team.
  • To kill: hit an enemy with a water balloon (whether it breaks or not is something else, s'long as it hits).
  • To tie: end of time limit without planted flag at mortuary.
  • Dying: a person who has died must sit and shut up for the remainder of current battle. Then they must go to the mortuary (located at center of war grounds) as soon as the battle is over (end of battle does not signify end of war). HONESTY IS REQUIRED.
  • Silence of Death: no dead person may pass info on to living team members.
  • Prohibition of Relocation: no flag can be relocated.
  • Scout Phase: the game begins with scouting. Each team MUST send 2 scouts to check out the enemy. Scouts may be killed. But scouts may NOT retrieve flags.
Second Round Revision:
  • No Scout Phase.
  • No dummies allowed (White Chair Barrier/False Flag Plantation)
  • No human shields allowed

1st Round:
  • Team Leader: Ubai
  • Team Members: Ubai, Myself, Thaariq, 'Athif, Saifuddin, Hafiz
  • Team Size: 5.5 strong (the 0.5 is for one injured person, Hafiz - a casualty in the trekking activity)
  • Tactical Division:
    • 4 person Attack Team (3 assault - Ubai, Myself, Thaariq; 1 ammo supplier - 'Athif)
    • 1.5 person Defense Team (Saifuddin, Hafiz)
  • Tactics:
    • Offensive:
      • Strike and Return - strike enemy base, retrieve flag and return (to mortuary).
    • Defensive:
      • White Chair Confusion Barrier - White chairs are planted all around the flag. Purpose - to confuse and slow enemy for easier shot.
      • 2 Person Ambush.
  • Enemy: Ihsan NK, Fared, Iswan, Khubaib, Taufiq, Umar
  • Actual event playout until I died:
    • We were just readying our tactics and divisions when the enemy offensive came full blown. They wove in and out between themselves and came in fast. Using the poor light to their full advantage.
    • The first wave came fast.
    • We barely took cover behind a confusive barrier of white (very visible) chairs and took the defensive. Enemy missiles flew over us and hit none.
    • The enemy retreated. Probably not expecting the incoherent barrier of white in their planned path.
    • We entrenched ourselves behind the barrier and waited for the second wave.
    • The second wave came just as fast. This time with a flurry of missiles aimed at possible places for us to hide. One fell just short of me and blew up in front of me. Luckily I wasn't hit.
    • The second wave disregarded the barrier and pierced through to the flag. Hafiz saved us by killing Ihsan off first. Luckily he was situated right in front of flag in some shadows, unseen unless he moves. He got to Ihsan as he touched the flag. Whew.
    • The rest began to falter behind Ihsan (to my perception). I rose up from where I was sitting to get a better angle to shoot (stupid of me). Hit someone then someone else hit me square in the right chest. Daym!!
    • Final toll of The Battle of The White Chair Barrier: 4 Enemy dead, and from our side, myself. Just my luck...
  • After my death:
    • I didn't really catch much, but the death toll continued to rise until the end of the time limit. The dead enemies were hoping that the brunt of our force wouldn't attack hard before the time limit ends. And they didn't. God was I frustrated at the time. I knew we could have won. But due to no intelligence on enemy numbers, my living team members were worried about enemy retaliation. What a waste.
  • Result of war: Tied (no flag by end of time limit)
  • Enemy Tactical Division:
    • 1 person defense (Fared)
    • 5 person attack team (everyone besides Fared)
  • Enemy Tactics:
    • Defensive:
      • False Flag Plantation - 7 false flags planted to confuse us from the real one.
      • 1 Person Ambush.
    • Offensive:
      • 5 Man Strike Wave - 5 persons running erratically forward towards the flag. Purpose - get flag, avoid casualty.
      • 5 Man Strike Wave 2 - same as above plus logical placement of water bomb assaults.
2nd Round:
  • Team Leader: Me
  • Team Members: Ubai, Myself, Thaariq, 'Athif, Saifuddin, Hafiz
  • Team Size: 5.5 strong (the 0.5 is for one injured person, Hafiz - a casualty in the trekking activity)
  • Tactical Division:
    • 3 person Vanguard Team (Ubai, 'Athif, Saifuddin)
    • 2.5 person Homeguard Team (Thaariq, Hafiz, Myself)
  • Tactics:
    • Offensive:
      • Scout and Kill - Vanguard Team to scout out enemy offensive and kill from behind.
      • Hammer - press enemy towards home base, cut them off from support and kill with support from Homeguard Team.
      • Strike and Return.
    • Defensive:
      • 3 Person Triangular Ambush.
      • Anvil - provide support to hammer tactic.
  • Enemy: Ihsan NK, Fared, Iswan, Khubaib, Taufiq, Umar
  • Actual event playout until I died (my point of view):
    • Vanguard Team moved out.
    • Entrenched myself in the shadow of a coconut tree close to flag (1st Point of Triangle).
    • Hafiz entrenched in tent (2nd Point of Triangle).
    • Thaariq entrenched near tree (3nd Point of Triangle).
    • Waited a while.
    • Something started to happen between The Facilitators' Chalets and The Toilets. Couldn't make out what it is. (I was told later that there was a battle there at the time).
    • A lone figure came back and shouted a report from a distance of approximately 15-20 meters that 2 had died . Couldn't make out friend or foe. Also couldn't tell whether it was true or trick.
    • Waited still a while more.
    • Noticed Hafiz's absence from post. AWOL. Made sure all clear before moving to his position.
    • Hafiz came back and reported sighting of 3 enemies along beach approach. Lost interest in apprehending him.
    • 2 Vanguard members returned. Reported 2 enemies killed (whew... thought it was them who got killed), recount of enemies gives 4 persons strong. Reported absence of security in enemy base. Also reported split in Vanguard force. 'Athif will approach along northwest fence. Other 2 will come back for support then attack from main center approach. 'Athif already on his way and waiting for support.
    • Based on intelligence that 3 is approaching along the beach, that means that at most there should only be 1 enemy left to guard enemy base.
    • Decided to take offensive. I went with Vanguard. Vanguard is now 4 persons in teams of 3 and 1.
    • Homeguard of 1.5 persons left to defend. Triangle is now Pincer.
    • Attack commenced. We approached cautiously whilst shouting password request. Reason - to get 'Athif's attention and attack simultaneously.
    • We sook to overwhelm and retrieve enemy flag in the confusion. We also tried not to waste our ammo.
    • Saifuddin went in and got hit. (Later he told me that he had faked a bomb throw to force the enemy to show himself. When he got no reaction, he went in with his guard lowered. It so happens he got killed by one enemy in front of the flag. Same as how Ihsan got hit in the first round. Trust not leaning from history).
    • Seeing as Saifuddin got killed, me and Ubai tried to close in. All the while anxious that 'Athif hasn't joined the battle.
    • Then I went in.
    • As I noticed the guy who killed Saifuddin and gotten ready to throw, I got hit first. (Daym!!).
    • Ubai got killed by another at about the same time. (Daym again! Why were there 2 here?! Faulty intelligence!)
  • Result of war: Lost (daym! And it was a great tactic too!)
  • How we lost (recounted by Hafiz and Fared): When the Vanguard Team's main offensive got wiped out. The enemy's defensive team decided to take action. They sent 1 person (Fared) to strike at our base. He went to the flag and was confronted by Hafiz. There was an exchange of bomb throws before Fared tripped and fell. Hafiz then had the chance to kill Fared. Yet he hesitated in reflection to how he took Iswan out in the first round. He was rather unwiling to hurt another person this time. Fared took that chance to kill Hafiz with a bomb concealed in hand and sauntered back to the mortuary with our flag. Thus history records our loss. Lesson learnt: never trust an armed (or possibly armed) enemy.
  • Extra comments: I sympathize with the Enemy Decoy Team. They had been crawling all the way to a distance close enough to our base but never got to see any action. It happens that they were waiting for the Assault Team to begin the offensive. They never knew that the Assault team got killed before even seeing our base. Hahaha! Sad...
  • Enemy Tactical Division:
    • 2 person defense team (Fared, Khubaib)
    • 2 person attack team (Ihsan, Iswan)
    • 2 derson decoy/support team (Taufiq, Umar)
  • Enemy Tactics:
    • Defensive:
      • 2 Person Ambush - daym this was effective.
    • Offensive:
      • Decoy - 2 sent down along beach approach. Cautiously and carefully. Purposefully visible to confuse us. Never saw action though... Haha!
      • Assault - 2 sent along the northwest fence approach. To strike as we were distracted by decoys. This team got killed by 'Athif who went back to report from afar that 2 enemies are dead. 'Athif was the figure I didn't recognize.
      • Pincer - Assault attacks and retrieve flag with backup firepower support from Decoy.
Something I learnt here: Communications is a very important tool in executing a plan well structured. It also plays a role for flexible adaptation to emerging circumstances (refer to Decoy Team)

My Talent. Be Aware And Beware!! Ahaha!

Your Hidden Talent

  • You have the power to persuade and influence others.
  • You're the type of person who can turn a whole room around.
  • The potential for great leadership is there, as long as you don't abuse it.
  • Always remember, you have a lot more power over people than you might think!

What?! 16?! But then hey... It doesn't matter!

You Are 16 Years Old

  • Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.
  • 13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.
  • 20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.
  • 30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!
  • 40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.
True nuff... So nuff said. Ahahahahaha! (gleeful laughter floating on air)

22 June 2006

ﺩﻋﻭﺓ ﻓﺭﺩﻴﺔ (Da'wah Fardiyyah)

Just this afternoon we had a discussion regarding what makes da'wah slow in campuses all over Malaysia. There one point that came up to me speacially; da'wah fardiyyah (ﺩﻋﻭﺓ ﻓﺭﺩﻴﺔ) or individual da'wah.

Islam is *the* way of life. Following the teachings of Islam with faith and diligence could guarantee peace of mind and a well lived life. Islam is a religion of the community. The effects of its practices are best felt in a community that practices it. Anything will thrive in its most ideal environment and Islam and its practices thrive most in a solehah environment where there is always a positive atmosphere. The ultimate world would be a world where Islam is practiced unhindered. Where the solehah atmosphere is prevalent to all other ambiences. Where Allah can worshipped without prejudice. Thus a civilization where the core of it is Islam would the bliss.

Yet how can this vision be realised? How can we begin stepping towards this ideal picture of the ummah? It's hard to build a building if you do not have good material. It's hard to build a building if you don't build good foundations. And it's hard to build a building if you have too little resources and materials to work with. Likewise the Islamic civilization. This is where tajmii' plays a great part and hence the importance of da'wah fardiyyah.

Da'wah fardiyyah is a form of da'wah, where a da'ie (ﺍﻠﺩﺍﻋﻲ - person who calls others to embrace Islam wholly and fully) tries to recruit more da'ies and murrabbis (teachers/educators) on a personal level. Da'wah fardiyyah is a very important tool of tajmii' (ﺘﺠﻤﻴﻊ - process of gathering people). It gives emphasis on building the most basic blocks of the Ummah; the individual.

Many da'ies in IPTs all over downplay the importance of da'wah fardiyyah. Many have the tendency to focus more on very public and very general forms of da'wah. While the it's good to have majlis ilmu and exhibitions and road shows, these programmes can have only general objectives and targets. They also take up a lot of our time trying to set them up and get them running. In contrast, da'wah fardiyyah in application promotes a relaxed and informal atmosphere where it is much easier for a da'ie to get close to his/her mad'u (ﻤﺩﻋﻭ - the subject of da'wah).

Myself... I have only quite recently realised the importance of da'wah fardiyyah. It is not enough that people come to knowledge and information centric programmes. Every da'ie has to try and commit himself to calling more and more people towards Islam. And the simplest and most practical way, it seems, is to do da'wah fardiyyah. It takes up little more time than making a new friend and spending time with them. It gives a personal touch in instructing the mad'u in the teachings of Islam which in turn gives more effect than simply having the mad'u attend a ceramah/talk. The personal level of commitment that a da'ie gives for his mad'u could raise the mad'u's interest in Islam. It also gives room for the da'ie to supervise proper development of his/her mad'u.

Da'wah fardiyyah is something that every aspiring da'ie must do. Yet some people give excuses to themselves to get out of having to do da'wah fardiyyah. Here are some examples:
  • I'm afraid that person will reject me after this.
  • What if that guy doesn't want to listen?
  • There are many others who can do this... Let them do it.
  • What I say might be sensitive matter...
  • What if I fail?
These are but excuses to escape a responsibility to be faced. My current opinion: JUST DO IT! (Sorry Nike... Your slogan seem the best fit for the situation). As a final say, Allah will ask us what we have DONE and not how much we have WON.

Allahua'lamu bissawab...

(pardon the rushed ending... it's nigh Maghrib now and I just have to finish)

20 June 2006

Books Read; Books Absorbed; Books Consumed by The Bookworm

Read thus far (not full list):

  1. Robert Jordan: Wheel of Time Series (all)
  2. JRR Tolkien: Lord of The Rings Trilogy (yeah!! read all...)
  3. Star Wars New Jedi Order Series (still missing a moajor major part of the story)
  4. Anne Rice: Vampire Chronicles Series (3 or 4 books)
  5. Robert Ludlum: Bourne Trilogy (didn't read the sequel by Lustbader)
  6. Cate Tiernan: Wicca Series (most - don't remember how many)
  7. Eoin Colfer: Artemis Fowl Series (1st book only)
  8. Marion Zimmer Bradley: Darkover Series (2 books)
  9. Douglas Adams: Hitchhiker Trilogy (50% - have yet to complete the second half)
  10. Frank Herbert: Dune Series (1st book so far)
  11. K J Parker: Scavenger Series (2 books / 3)

Read over the last holiday period:

  1. Michael Crichton: Prey, Andromeda Strain
  2. Susan Cooper: The Dark Is Rising Series (3 books / 5)
  3. Tamora Pierce: The Lioness Rampant Quartet (4 / 4)
  4. Dan Brown: The Da Vinci Code, Angels And Demons

18 June 2006

The Reality of A Doc's Life

Read this...

When I read this, I was so touched. Why? Because my mum is a doctor. I guess being part of a doctor's family gives you an extra edge towards empathizing with the lives of doctors.

Not many really understand doctors. And to that effect, most are either afraid of doctors, dislike them or plainly despises them. Many people think that doctors are "pencekik darah" people who leech out money from their patients. But not many know that in actuallity, many goverment doctors are paid less than their due.

Many people in Malaysia do not understand doctors and their world. They cannot possibly perceive the stress that doctors have to go through everyday. Theirs is a different world.

My mum sometimes tells her experience at work. She tells of people who doesn't respect doctors. She tells of people who are of such selfishness, that they do whatever just to get back at perceived insolence. These people do whatever they like and when told about respecting hospital operation they perceive it as insolence and rudeness. Up to the point my mum had to explain herself even though she was doing the right thing.

When I look at my mum and her vigour and faith in helping people, I can only see a very strong woman whose dedication I may not ever be able to rival. Yes. I do go to schools over Johor to motivate the students. Yes. I am the head of one club in my IPT. And yes. I do have a lot of things that I have to dedicate to. But when I compare myself to my mum, I do not think I can ever possibly comprehend the level of dedication that she puts into being a mum, being a wife and being a doctor all at once.

I have met some of my parents' friends who are doctors. And to this moment, I do not think I have met many as sincere and dedicated as they are. I have seen their achievements with my own two eyes, and I can safely say that there are not many who can do so much with so many burdens and responsibilities.

Overall... Even though I do not aspire to become a medical doctor myself, I can only admire and respect those people who actually set their minds and spirit to walk the path of a doctor. Even more so a Muslim Da'ie doctor. To those who have begun walking this path, I pray to Allah that you may achieve many things in this life and in the afterlife. May Allah bless your sincerity in your work.

Got A Virus... Via TAG? (The Perfect Lover)

I got a virus... The blog tagging kind. Thanks to Mr LOQ.

Here are the rules:
  1. The tagged victim has to come up with 8 different points about his/her perfect lover.
  2. Have to mention the gender of his/her perfect lover.
  3. Tag eight other victims to join this game and leave a comment on their blog.
  4. If you are tagged the second time, there is NO need to do this again.
  5. Lastly, most importantly, HAVE FUN DOING IT.

My Perfect Lover (Female) Must:

1. be a Muslimah.
Of course... Islam is the perfect solution. So being a Muslimah is natural.

2. understand Islam and practice it
What kind of muslim would someone be who does not practice it?

3. be a good mom
As I have to be a good dad; likewise, anyone who my wife should be a good mom.

4. be able to accept my family for what it is (an ever busy one)
My mum gave me one condition so far for any wife of my choice, "whoever it's gonna be should able to accept her as a busy mom-in-law". My mum's a doc. In fact... Not just my mum. My entire family is not the type to stay at home. There's a ton more things that has to be done out there, and if we can all contribute, then all the better.

5. must understand my cause and support me with it
I live for a cause. And that cause is to see Allah's deen rise on the face of this earth. So no matter how small my effort, I want to contribute my part to that vision.

6. have a cool outlook in life; slow and steady
I have a fiery nature. So maybe I need somebody who will douse that "fire" at times. Ahaha!

7. must have a profession that relates to me and my life
There are some professions that I empathize with. No... I won't list them out here. Thank you very much!

8. be married to me!
Cinta sebelum kahwin adalah nafsu.

These people are now infected:
1. Zaido
2. Zakri
3. Dr. Lola
4. EXultEXalt
5. Ms. Myra
6. Mr Us0pz
7. Goblin
8. --

(Not enough 8 blogs... But anyhow, at least these people have commented me or at least I know their blogs)

16 June 2006

My Seniors Naim And Zaid

The Glow of Friendship Envelopes Us...

Naim (left) was my naqib once upon a time ago at school...
And Zaid (right) was a "rakan seperjuangan" at UTM.

Both of them were my seniors by two years at school.

They have now paved their paths into the world. each in their own way... May Allah bless you both... Amiin

For Anyone Who Doesn't Know Me...

This is the Wolf-Eye 'Umayr

This is me... Truly and truthfully

Ouh I Dunno... Is This A Test?

Hey... Maybe it is...

Comment anyone?

Hallo Halo?

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Dilemma; Haunting and ARRRRRGH!!

DILEMMAS... What are they? What makes them so hateful?

DILEMMAS are hungry little animals that for you to relax, then eat your head of you... You believe that? (GOD, naive people still exists!!) Here's the real def: dilemmas are those things that happen when you are faced with two decicions of equal importance/priority to you. NOW you can believe me. Hey... Your fault for being naive. I didn't make it so.

MYSELF... I hate such times when that happens... The last week, I was faced with several dilemmas. Go KONSIS or not? Go Microsoft MEDC or not? PaLS Rehlah or Camp? Heck... Sometimes dumb mattresses have more advantages over humans!! (this statement is a direct influence of Douglas Adams Hitchhiker series).

HOW did I solve my dilemmas then? Heck... I didn't really. Well at least I haven't. the KONSIS decision was made through help from a bro of mine. The others... well... They still haven't occured yet. So there's still time to think on it.

PROBLEM is... Thinking on it takes brainpower. I mean, if you compare computers and brains (hey, I'm an SC-grad-to-be, what other analogies could there be?!), then you would find that if computer memory has too much in it, processing power will lag. Likewise the brain. If you have too much on your mind, the resulting occurence: stress. Which brings about LAG in THOUGHT and WILL. Heck... nasty ain't it?

SO what else should I do? People? Any suggestions? No? And I thought I was writing to a group of intellects here... Maybe that's what they call The SS Syndrome (Syok Sendiri). So what should I do? I knock them off, outta my head! Genius trick ain't it? Not everyone can do that you know... I mean, most people get mired in their own problems, until they stress themselves out on something unimportant. At least something less important if not unimportant.

KNOCKING things outta your head doesn't really mean forget and move on... It'll come back to you later, if you do that (these dilemma thingies are like ghosts; tendency to come back haunting). What I mean is... Knock them outta the conscious proportion of your head, then pray that new data shows itself that is of use to decision making. Solve your problem? No? Well it isn't supposed to... It's supposed to solve MINE! Ahha! Gotcha there...

OK... So maybe not everyone can "knock problems out" but hey, the best solution to a dilemma is simply to choose. Then hope and pray to Allah that your decision was right. In that sense, solat istikharah wil help a lot, and I mean a lot. It'll at least ease your conscience if not anything else. And then look at it from this angle; getting help from THE MOST POWERFUL being in the universe should be THE BEST help you can get ever. Who am I talking about?? Don't act stupid... Of course I'm talking about ALLAH SWT.

CHOOSING'S the easiest and simplest way. You could also compromise. Say if you had to attend two functions that's happening simultaneously. You could go to one halfway, then attend the other the rest of the way. It all depends on your objectives. You might not have to have all of one thing to achieve your objectives.

NOW we come to the part I least like in all writing projects. Part that I hate most cause I hate things to end, not to mention that I suck at it. Yeah... It's the conclusion. Ok... Let's see... (1) Dilemmas are multiple choice decision times where the choices are of equal importance/priority; (2) other people can help you with dilemmas, you only need to ask; (3) dilemmas tax your resources, especially brainpower and will; (4) Dilemmas can be overcome, they're not the worst of problems; (5) Dilemmas can be forgotten, but they will come back if not taken care of; (6) dilemmas should be taken care of in your own way; (7) dilemmas are best solved by simply CHOOSING a choice; and finally (8) you could take the extra way - COMPROMISE.

SO then... That'd be all for now... If you didn't catch anythings I mentioned in this writing, then GOD bless you and I pray that experience helps you on your way. Not my fault that you couldn't read between the lines.

Cloud Brings Rain, Rain Is Rahmah

This cloud shows my state of mind...

But hey... a cloudy mind might bring rain? And rain is Rahmah from Allah... Ain't it true people?


Ever asked yourself "what makes a good writer?" Is it imagination? Or maybe experience? Is it emotion? Or just plain detachment? My personal answer... I not so sure. Some people say, though, that reading a LOT is important. Maybe it is... Whatever reason though, I make sure I read a lot.

I have been fascinated with books ever since I was a little more than two years of age. Ever since a newspaper photographer took a picture of me holding a book (never mind that it was upside down). I got so fascinated, with myself that I actually wanted to read. My parents encouraged it more with books as presents. With going to the library. Even school in my primary years had that special time in the afternoon where everyone sat down to read.

I love reading. I used to read everything. Ok, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration, but I did read almost everything that came in front of my eyes. To this day, I still couldn't resist anything readable that is of interest. Sometimes I'd get lost the subject I was reading.

Now, with the internet, reading becomes much more interesting, what with information being a click away. Sometimes I could get literally lost in thw web. Looking up matters of interest via search engines and then following links that relate to associated subjects. Hours could be lost just spending time to follow subjects so broad.

One of the first really serious books that I read was Hikayat Hang Tuah. An epic saga of the most renowned Malay hero ever. Of course, it was in Malay... The Hikayat form of it. The language was beautiful in its own way. A bit hard to understand, but beautiful nevertheless. Not many would bother to read it in such form though.

Whenever I read, I was transported into the world described in the book. The ecstasy of experiencing things that happens to the characters of the book. The wonder of flashing emotions throughtout the story. The beauty of seeing an insight of life. All those, are only part of reading.

Reading differs to each and every person. If you can find for yourself a reason to read. Then you will have found that a new door has opened for you to a whole other realm.

Wisdom Through Experience

I have always been fascinated by the act of gaining experience. No matter what sort; so long as it brings something relatively new to me, something that I can take part in; have a role.

Experience has been a major objective for all my endeavors. For I believe that with experience, one may gain wisdom otherwise hidden from him/her.

Not many men are gifted with wisdom. I do not deny that many of today's world are geniuses in their own relative right. Even if they are not so, at least they are clever, bright or intelligent. Yet as awesome as one's intellectual capacity may be, they may not be able to see certain rights or wrongs in actions that demand morals and ethics. Cold logic would not be able to solve such fluid problems as is the nature of morality.

How does one comprehend wisdom then? How does one relate the set of moral values acquired by theoretical learning? To do so, one must first and foremost relate such values to life. One must relate to one's self; relate to the lives of family and friends; relate them to the community as a whole. One must be in the community. ONe must feel and experience life. One must cherish all emotions and appreciate them. One must learn consequences of on's actions. All this... One must comprehend and truly appreciate the beauty of experience in life. Then, maybe only then, can wisdom come.


"Relinquishment of power may bring greater power than holding it tight within your grasp..."

How true is that statement? Sometimes to me it brings a great feeling and sense of truth. Yet at times... Power is just something that you cannot relinquish easily. It has that attraction; a certain allure... That just calls to you to keep holding... and holding... and hold furthermore.

I have held a few positions thus far in my twenty (almost twenty-one) short years of life. Yet one after another, I find that often the position is more "beautiful" when painted and viewed from an outside perspective. That is... Not being on the "throne of power"; whatever kind that might be. Often I would be tempted to move for that position. And often, the picture painted when on that "throne" is different black is to white.

I find that as I trudge forth on this path called Life, that more and more, I dislike being drawn as such to power. I dislike the burdens that come with it. I dislike having expectations to be fulfilled. So I began to think maybe relinquishing all would give me relief. Yet as I looked back... If I were to give up now, turn my back on responsibility... I would begin to question myself. What then would I be? Could I even hope to be Muslim after such a betrayal of trust? Then came to my thoughts that this is another trapping of power. Doubt... doubt of the consequences of letting it go.

Come all that... power has yet to be defined in this scope that we confine ourselves. What is power? What is this word of five letters that would force and demand bidding? What is this drug that because of it so many fall out of grace? But then what is this 'something' that effected to correct usage, would turn good for all mankind?

By the meanings of many... power is the ability to effect change. The possession of authority or influence. Yet a double-sided sword it is... With ability to effect change either way. Towards good... or towards bad. 'Tis a choice faced by many leaders. Yet only a small group manage to avoid its trap entirely.

As to that... I guess we must all pose ourselves the question: are we infatuated; drowning with power bestowed upon us? No matter how much power given... Even a little may corrupt. As to that... Maybe the best solution is that if we learn to relinquish it. Learn to pass it on. Learn to diminish its influenece on our souls. And as to that, "relinquishment of power" does, in its way, bring "greater power".

Obligation, Shame, Fear... Courage

Sometimes you are just given obligations. Obligations that you may not know the weight until you are actually bearing it. Then maybe at such times... You see yourself straining to survive that weight, and yearning to end it.

Yet at times... When indecision plagues the smoothness of such obligations. Whether to prioritise one responsibility over another. Whether to neglect one in favor of another. It brings shame so fast that you would quickly be mired. Stuck in a pit; a bog that pins you; a hole so deep that its opening seem like a pinhole.

Shame would hold you from tying lose ends. Shame unjustified. But shame nevertheless. You then find that obligation is ten times the weight it was before. And even more times harder to cast off. You become mentally crippled. Aware of your surroundings, yet unable to act. Then shame turns to fear.

Fear... When it is irrational, those whom it fills will feel it not. Yet as people look on. They would soon perceive that something is wrong. An uneasiness here and there. Something not right here and there. Until it bursts.

Fear is like an abscess on your skin. It grows with your pain. And then comes such a time it is too big; it bursts. No one had better be near at such times. For fear of getting stained with the substance of abscess and infected from it.

Thus obligations are nothing small however small it may seem. As I have learnt in past actions and decisions. It is better to accept it all with courage, and with responsibility face it all and all the consequences. Courage is a weapon many underestimate. Yet only that first step needs courage, the others... well... They'll follow.

The Battle Cry

When the hours are early,

And the Call obligates Wake,
Chant the Battlecry!
Chant the Battlecry!

When the hours demand Faith,
And no hindrance hither,
Chant the Battlecry!
Chant the Battlecry!

When no virtue exists,
And time calls for change,
Chant the Battlecry!
Chant the Battlecry!

When wrong is done,
And all demands righting,
Chant the Battlecry!
Chant the Battlecry!

When The Enemy lie in wait,
For chances of our mistake,
Chant the Battlecry!
Chant the Battlecry!

We fight... ourselves!
We fight... The Syaythan!
We fight... all that lead us astray!
Bend all to will.
Restrain self from desire.
Allah's Hidayah,
Guides us away from Fire.

Chant the Battlecry!
Chant the Battlecry!
The hour is near,
How should we die?
Allahuakbar! Allahuakbar! Allahuakbar!
Lailaaha illa Allah!
Syaheed, our hopes are high!

Horror of Waking

Have you ever had that feeling when you wake up that you feel incomprehensible horror rushing towards you? Horror in rememberence of things done or undone? Horror of the consequences of such things. To be faced now, tomorrow, the near future, the distant even... Horror of the knowledge that you might not have done enough to right that wrong? That you might be able to do nothing more than beg mercy from Allah that he may spare you suffering?

Today I woke up with such a horror. Yet there was also this unimaginable detachment. A kind of separation from feelings. A cold realization of inevitability.

Such realizations make rethink and reflect. What does it really mean to be me? Sometimes I wonder... Why have been entrusted with responsibility? At times I feel that I tire of obligation and resposibility only to find that I may not run lest all falls; lest I be questioned of my actions on the Day of Judgement and not be able to answer.

It may be that I am not fit to be a leader... Maybe not in any form of leadership at all. At times I feel people choose me for charisma rather than ability. Yes... Even that statement proves my unworthiness. Should not a leader be humble? Even as a leader unto his own self? Yet there I have stated a statement full of arrogance that it bites in what little shame I have in me.

Turnings of The Heart

The heart...

Shall I tell of the state of my heart?
The pain I bear...
The struggle that continues...
And on...
And on...
Forever more..
Towards the end that all must face.

I feel mired.
Mired in a bog of uncertainty.
Uncertain of who I am.
Uncertain yet of who I should be...
Uncertain of my place...
Uncertain of all that is given to me.

Whence should I draw strength?
From within?
Where exist naught but void so deep 'tis unfathomable?
Whence then?
Ah... But I know the answer...
Knowing brings naught but shame.

For I know that strength comes from the One GOD.
Allah Almighty.
Lord of all that exists.
King of Kings.
He that governs ALL.

Yet shame...
So great do I feel for my shame that hide do I try.
Turning my face away...
For fear of unacceptance...
Fear of all that I have done.
Fear of sins done and unforgiven.
Fear of sins repeated.
Fear of having stepped in the realm of HARAM
through stepping in the unknown areas of SYUBHAH
Fear of SYIRIK unnoticed...

Yet that small voice in my heart offers that ALLAH
Is all-forgiving...
Is all-merciful...
So great his mercy
That no sin too big to forgive.
Save syirik...

Yet as I look back...
It is these moments of reflection that help me remember.
Remember who I am.
Remember my duties.
Remember my responsibilities.
It is these moments that help me find my way back...
When astray from the Straight Path.

It is Iman that holds me.
Iman that binds me to the Path towards al-Ahad.
Yet if Iman fluctuates...
My friends I hope to be there to remind.
At times when weakness prevails.


For now...
Let us find the Path of Truth...
Let reflect upon this moment that we may strengthen our resolve...

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