Sunday, 27 December 2009

Performing The Haj Is Not A Goal But A Means

Alhamdulillahi rabbila'lamin. My wife and I arrived home from Madinah safely at 4.00 am on the 24th of December 2009,  after performing the Haj, the fifth pillar of Islam, since 13th of November 2009.

Sadly our arrival was not without bereavement as I have lost my beloved sister on the 21 December 2009. She passed away due to an ailment that has kept her bedriddened for more than two months. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun. May Allah forgive her and bless her as a solehah muslimah. Ameen.

I don't mean this note to be a show-off but I really want to say something to others who haven't perform ed this obligatory act. I learned a lot from performing the Haj and I guess sharing the lessons learned from it is mandatory for me (of course with your consent to listen).

Firstly, perform your Haj when you are young. I know many of you disagree with this notion.  Some may say "Where and how can I earn that huge sum of money to perform it?" or  "Our kids are still very young and  they are still very dependent on us" or "It's still too early to go now since I'm young and always exposed to committing sins" or worse still "Belum dapat seru".

Well,  if you are among the people who have these reasons then you may skip reading this article.

You need to be strong physically and mentally. I was 53 when I performed the 2009 Haj but felt like I was 65 while performing it. Trust me!The Haj is truly a test for your stamina and emotion. You'll have to do a lot of walking to the mosque and back to the hotel everyday for 40 days or so. Even if you are a billionaire, you are still compelled to walk some distance to places like the Jamrah for three days, Safa to Marwa for seven times, and of course circumbulating the Kaaba for seven times, too. That's just for the Haj but if you wish to perform the umrah, then you may need more energy, motivation  and stronger iman.

You may have problem controlling your emotion or thinking before, during and after performing the Haj. There may be about two or three million people out there performing something similar to yours. If you are not used to large crowd of people then you have to adapt to that kind of situation effectively.  Resist all  negative emotions or perceptions. You may easily be annoyed by other pilgrims and thus, patience is the only keyword that you have to cling to.

Out there in your ihram, you may look like the rest of the people. So don't bother taking along your status or titles  such Dr, Dato', Tan Sri, Professor and so forth. Just leave them home because nobody really care who you are except that you are their brother or sister in Islam. Don't get disheartened when people call you Haji or Hajah when you expect them to call you Tan Sri or Prof'. Anyway, if you crave for any titles, Haji or Hajah is the most appropriate title that you should deserve during the Haj.

Secondly, always remember that performing the Haj is not a goal  but a means. It doesn't end there because it is a means to uplift your iman and ibadah to greater heights. So performing it correctly and  sincerely (although once in your life) for the sake of Allah is sufficient to create a new you who will be beneficial to all Muslims or non-muslims the world over and ever. And that's when you achieve your true goal - a Mabrur Haj.

“…There is no reward for a mabrur haj except Paradise.” 
- (Al-Bukhari)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Berita Sedih

 Tinggal kenangan

Dukacita dimaklumkan itik kesayangan Hakim yang pandai posing itu telah mati dibaham seekor kucing pada 9 November 2009 pada jam 4.00 petang. Itik tersebut mengalami cedera parah di bahagian kepala dan leher. Ia telah selamat dikebumikan di tepi tasik depan rumah Pak Ngah.
Walau bagaimanapun, itik yang seekor lagi (itik betina yang berlari macam peluru tu) telah berjaya menyelamatkan diri dengan terjun ke dalam parit di depan rumah Pak Ngah. Dia bersembunyi dibawah jambatan parit itu sehingga ditemui oleh anak Pak Ngah, Hadi. Itik itu berada dalam keadaan trauma apabila ditemui. Hakim yang masih dalam keadaan sedih berjanji akan membalas dendam ke atas kematian itik kesayangannya itu. Kucing pembunuh itik itu masih tidak dapat dikesan.


 Kini itik ini tinggal sebatang karah

Sesungguhnya tiada yang kekal di dunia ini. Hanya Allah jualah yang kekal untuk selama-lamanya.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Itik Kesayangan Hakim

Ini adalah gambar-gambar anak itik yang semakin membesar dipelihara dengan kasih sayang oleh anak Pak Ngah, Hakim.

 Pada mulanya Pak Ngah beli empat ekor tapi seekor mati dan seekor lagi hilang entah ke mana.

 Yang ini betina dan saiznya kecil tapi larinya macam peluru.

Pagi-pagi lagi Hakim akan melepaskan dua ekor itik kesayangnya ini dari reban.

Tempat pertama mereka akan pergi ialah dapur.

Pak Ngah ambil gambar ni ketika itik-itik ni menuju ke dapur dan yang seekor ni ternampak Pak Ngah sedang mengambil gambarnya. Tak sangka dia pandai posing.

Satu perkara yang kurang menyenangkan Pak Ngah tentang memelihara itik ialah dia akan melabur di mana saja dia suka.

Lepas tu dia pergi macam tak ada apa-apa yang berlaku. Kesian Hakim.

Friday, 30 October 2009

The Agony of Defeat and the Thrill of Victory

I was invigilating an examination yesterday, 29th of October 2009 and took some images of the students while they were solutioning for the answers to the questions. The hall was so quiet but I could sense the noises in their minds.

Preparing for war: Outside of the examination hall before it begins,  some students are deeply immersed in their last minute revision.

To some, examination is not just another academic activity but a jihad.

The candidates are positioned in a manner that they are unable to see others' scripts.

Then the going gets tough...

and tougher...

and the blank hundred yard stare.

But then the tough gets going...

and going...

 and gone.

May Allah grant success to all of you.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Why do you like to fish?

I was once asked by someone with that question and I must say that I have 1001 answers to it. But the best part of fishing is when you catch a real big one.

The thrill of fighting the fish and finding your way out  to land the monster while you are all alone will put you in a situation of quick rational thinking.

No one is around to help you net the fish and your rod is too small to carry it over to the land. When this happens, don't rush to land it. Be cool and enjoy the rare moment. Be stubborn and don't give in to the fish. Hold the rod vertically and don't let go. The fish will continue to fight to free itself but after awhile it will get weaker and the fight is over. Then, that is when you start pulling it ashore.

I have caught quite a number of big siakap from a pond in front of my house in Bagan Lalang. Frankly speaking, I wasn't really into serious fishing until I bought the house in 2004. I have fished before but the size of the fish was minute and no fighting was needed to land them. In Bagan Lalang however, that wasn't the case. For the first few tries, all the fish escaped out of my ignorance in tying proper knots. So I searched the internet to learn about knots, and later about baits, rods, reels, and even fishing boats and kayaks.

UnfortunatelyI became obsessed and started buying all the gears and gadgets from tackle shops as well as from some fishing stores in the internet.  I have spent thousands of ringgit to fulfill my lust in fishing. At one point, shopping was a lot more enjoyable than the fishing itself. I bought expensive rods and branded spinning, bait casting and fly fishing reels namely Shimano, Daiwa, Sage and what not. I even bought a small Pelican boat with a 3HP engine, a Pelican kayak etc etc. What a waste!

I have learned a  lot about fishing and if you ask me now about it, I'm sure you'll get the right answers. But let me give you a piece of advice in fishing. Size doesn't matter, price doesn't matter, quality doesn't matter. I caught all the big fish not with the most famous rods or reels. But what matters most is the process of fishing. So don't waste your money. Save them for your Umrah or your Haj, InsyaAllah. At the meantime, enjoy these pictures of me with the catch from mediocre rods and reels.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Lunch with Prof John Leipzig

Last week, a visiting professor from the Alma College in the US, Dr John Leipzig came to our department to asses programs in Corporate Communication and Leadership. Our head of department Dr Siti Zobidah requested me to take him to lunch at the IOI Hotel and Resort.

Prof Leipzig is a very friendly and affable person. You'll like him the moment he talks to you.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Dahulu dan Sekarang

Pengetua Baru dan Mantan Pengetua bersama staf Kolej 14

Pengetua baru dan Staf Kolej 14

Selamat Tinggal Pak Ngah, Mantan Pengetua Kolej 14

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Menyambut Hari Raya Tema Arab

Anak-anak Pak Ngah selepas solat sunat Aidil fitri.

Tema Arab ini adalah pengaruh Ajib Al-Haj, anak Pak Ngah.

Rumah pertama yang kami kunjungi ialah rumah jiran kami iaitu En Hanif yang meraikan Aildil Fitri dengan tema Pakistan, he he he.

Rumah En Hanif memang besar dan perabotnya sangat outstanding!

Menikmati kuih raya di rumah En Hanif is like having meal at a 7 star hotel.

Anak En Hanif ada 5 orang dan ini adalah 3 daripada mereka.