Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Voting Time..!

I teach statistics.
As boring as it may to many students, the lesson in statistics is crucial. It's the basis of decision making.
It's a dry subject unless you are able to see the wisdom behind it.
Meticulous calculation, charts, tables and not to forget the ever confusing concept in probability.

But, statistics offers some significant objectives. It teaches you not to be judgmental,  not to make claims, not to jump into conclusion, before you have the facts. It gives you the method in collecting the proper data so that your decision is based on actual facts, free from prejudice and bias opinion.

We are at a cross road now. The whole nation is.
In less than two weeks, we will have the opportunity to decide. And it's going to be one of the major decisions that we make in our life. To choose the leaders of our beloved nation.

We need to learn the facts, we need to examine the data. We can't make a wise decision using some nostalgic and emotional racial sentiment, let alone some hideous immoral campaigns.

Time has changed. This is the information age. We cannot simply rely on old fashion, traditional method of obtaining information, such as the old television channels, the old newspapers, the ones that are still using childish way of influencing the mass.

Be a grown up. Be mature. Be wise. Because I believe our nation is.
Our beloved nation has indeed progressing beyond the boundaries of rigid racial prejudice and baseless suspicions. And to move forward we need fresh new ideas.
In the end, we cannot run away from the fact that part of being mature is having the courage to make brave decisions and not to be afraid of changes.

Decision is a reflection of who you are, and what you believe in.


And on the day of judgment, we surely shall be held accountable for all our decisions.


To my dear students,
I hope the lessons that you learn from my statistics class can be used as guidance.
The future of our nation is in your hands. Literally.

To all my readers and followers who will be voting in May 5th, 2013,
All the best to you..
Let's pray for a better future.
Insha Allah.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Vicious Cycle

Teacher:  You have not been following my advice, have you?

Myself:    No, I am sorry.

Teacher:  It seems that you actually don't understand my advice.

Myself:    I understood..believe me, I can understand all your advice.

Teacher:  Okay...you understood then. But you didn't accept it, do you?

Myself:    What do you mean?

Teacher:  Listen to me carefully. 
                You use your ears to listen. You use your brain to understand.
                But, in order to accept, you have to use your heart.

Myself:   But..

Teacher:  You heard and you understood, but deep inside, your heart refuse to accept. 

Myself:   ..............
                 
Teacher:   Remember we talked about 'learning'?

Myself:    Yes...learning means change. If there's no change, it means learning has not occurred.

Teacher:  When you heart refuse to accept, then, no change will happen. You know why the heart refused?

Myself:    Why?

Teacher:  Arrogance. Pride. Ego...it's a vicious cycle you know...

Myself:    Vicious cycle...?

Teacher:  Yes...following my advice will lead to crushing your arrogance.
                  But your arrogance stops the heart from accepting the advice.

Myself:     But, what's the point of following your advice when I am not sincere?...

Teacher:   Just do it.... Force your self! .....
                  Sincerity has to be developed through practice.
                  You are just making excuses, because you are so full of yourself. 

Myself:   .............

Teacher:  I am sorry for being so blunt..I hope you are not offended.

Myself:   No, not at all...you can say anything... your words never offended me..
                Because........

Teacher:  Because..?

Myself:    Because you are right.











Hearing is not necessarily understanding.
Understanding is not necessarily accepting.
Because, hearing is a function of the ear, understanding is a function of the brain. But, acceptance is a function of the heart.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Deluded

"Tuhan, Maaf, Kami Sedang Sibuk"
Translated as, "God, Sorry, We Are Busy"

The title of this book startled me.
What kind of book is that?
How could anyone ever say that?
I certainly would not utter those words. Ever.
May Allah protect my tongue from saying it.

But something stirred in my heart, and after a few steps, I returned to the shelf to pick up the book. I read the title again. Immediately, tears begun to well up in my eyes.
Reading the synopsis on the back cover of the book made me realized about something.
Something deep and insidious.

Reading the first few pages of the book brought more tears and my heart sank.

O Allah...
Please forgive me.
Please forgive my arrogance.

Yes, my tongue never and would not say the words. No, of course not.
But, weren't there countless times that my actions, my hands and my feet were saying exactly that?
Astaghfirullah....
On the day of judgement, it is not the tongue that would be speaking. It's my hands and my feet.

Everyday, my worldly affairs kept me busy.
What am I busy about?
Who am I doing it for?
Who am I trying to fool?
I was not busy pleasing Him, was I?
How many times have I delayed answering His call? How many times have other things took priorities over reading His words? How many times have I forgotten Him?

My heart is diseased.
I am deluded by my arrogance.
Astaghfirullaah...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Returning

I am afraid of the dark.
Darkness scares me.
I need light to brighten up my life.
I need light so I would know my way.

But when the darkness is inside the heart
When the darkness is blinding the heart
Only The Light can guide you
The Light from An Nuur...

Ya Nuur..
Help me find my way to You.
Help me please..

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Exam

I was invigilating the final exam for my students today. The hall was quiet as everyone was concentrating on answering the exam, a typical scene of an examination in progress. Nothing out of the ordinary.

But, as I observed some of them one by one, I realized how different they looked. The smiles are gone, taken over by deep thoughts and undivided attention to the exam paper.
For almost three hours, they were off lined, unplugged, from the outside world.
That's how we normally deal with any test or exam, because a test is an important part of assessment. Passing a test is an indication of success in the life of a student.

As I walked around the hall, I was contemplating on the reality of life. Life itself is a test. A continuous assessment of our faith. As the episodes of our life unfolding, we come face to face with the multiple types of assessments. We kept collecting and losing scores from our daily activities.  And because of that, just as we take our exam seriously, shouldn't our lives be taken seriously as well? After all just like any test that requires our concentration for a relatively short time, our life IS short.
Very short and brief indeed.
Astronomers estimated that the universe is 13.75 billion years old, and that makes our life span of 60 or 80 years extremely brief and insignificant!
Not only that our life occupy a very tiny period of time, our physical existence actually disappeared when in comparison to the vast universe.

But since the time period of our life is kept unknown as part of the intended test, we lost our focus, forgetting that this life is a real test, the one and only test that we should give our undivided attention at.

I saw today, the look of relief that some of my students had, upon walking out of the exam hall. I know that they've worked hard, they've tried their best, and they would come through with flying colours. And later they would smile with joy looking at their result.

To all my students, the exam is over and you'll be enjoying your long break.
However,  let me remind myself and you that we are still continuously being tested. It's not over yet.
Your exam will be marked, your would soon see your grade, but your sincerity, honesty and patience are the ones that we can't measure. That section of the assessment did not appear in the exam but the marks are already being recorded, in a special book. You can't carry your CGPA on the day of judgement. You and I will carry our deeds because that is the one that really matters in the eyes of Allah.

Everyday we started the lesson in class by raising our hands in prayers.We asked for guidance from the One who guide, we asked for mercy from The Most Merciful. And everyday, we ended the class by asking for forgiveness from the One who forgives.

Today, let us raise our hands again.
Let us pray for a continuous mercy, blessings and guidance from Him until the day when we return to Him. The day when the test finally ends and we can all smile with contentment, because we have done our best. When finally the score of our entire life is revealed, when the book of our deeds would be handed to us, let us pray that we would receive it with our right hands.
Let us pray that we can finally meet again in a beautiful place, our real home in paradise.
Aamiin... Ya Arhamarrahiniim..

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Boat

Assalamualaikum to all, 
I am sorry for not updating for so long. I would like to share the following words of wisdom:


In a river, a boat travels on the water and the greater the amount of water, the more at ease the boat will be. However if that very water enters the boat, it will capsize. The heart is as the boat and the sorrows and heartaches of the world are the water; everyone’s boat has sunk except that of the people of Allah - those who do dhikr - which always stays afloat. 


I am currently having difficulties with my boat, especially after the blessed month of Ramadan has ended and the struggle against the enemies of the heart intensified. 

May Allah protects us all. Amiin..

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's That Time of the Year Again

Student:   It's the month of Rajab now. I sincerely need some words of advise from you, my teacher.

Teacher:   Yes...it's time to do some reflections and serious preparation for Ramadan.

Student:   What should I reflect on?

Teacher:   Your previous Ramadan...was there any significant change in you after the last Ramadan?

Student: ........I think so....may be...

Teacher:   Tell me...Why do we fast in Ramadan?

Student:   Umm..cleansing the soul...


Teacher:   Yes...cleansing the soul to attain Taqwa...which means self restraint, God conscious, steadfastly vigilant in practicing Allah's command...

Student:   Taqwa is self restraint?

Teacher:   Yes..it's all about self restraint... In Ramadan, we restraint ourselves not only from the unlawful things..which we should do all the time...but in Ramadan we restraint even from the lawful ones..in order to develop a high level of self discipline and patience.

Student:   What about soul cleansing?

Teacher:   That too..and by fasting the physical body is weaken in order to strengthen the spiritual self. Don't you notice that it's always easier to perform long prayers and Quran recitation in Ramadan..?
It's a month dedicated to self improvement, continuous struggle to be better..

Student:   Sometimes it's really daunting..this struggle of being better..when I look around me..I feel that I am not strong enough like other people..

Teacher:   Of course it's good to look at others to make comparison, we need a bench mark...but changing to be better is not about being better than others..

Student:   Shouldn't we compete with others?..

Teacher:   Yes...but  the thing is...when we change for the sake of competing with others, sometimes we tend to take the easy way out..and feeling complacent..

Student:   Easy way out?

Teacher:   Well..haven't you experienced that when you see someone committing a sin..you would feel that you are better than that person because you didn't commit that sin?

Student:   Yes..sometimes...Who should we compare ourselves with then?

Teacher:   If you are serious in improving yourself..if you are really sincere.. there's only one person you need to compare with..

Student:    And the person is.....?

Tecaher:   The person is, YOU. Compare yourself with who you were yesterday. After all, it's immaterial how good we are in comparison to others.

Student:    I understand now... we should be better today than yesterday.

Teacher:   Yes...and my teacher taught me that in order to change, 3 things are needed. First, change yourself, because you can't change others, second take small baby steps, small changes are easier to be consistent at, and third start now...not tomorrow..now.(Ubahlah diri sendiri bukan orang lain, ubahlah sikit-sikit dan ubahlah sekarang)
May Allah bless our teachers.


“Those who state their deeds today worse than yesterday are cursed. They who today are the same as yesterday are losers. And whoever todayis better than yesterday, they are the fortunate ones"










“O Allah bless us in Rajab and Sha`bān and enable us to reach Ramadān!”