Monday, December 31, 2012

Ma'thurat 37

"O Allah! Bestow Your grace to Muhammad and to the family of the Muhammad, as You gave to (the Prophet) Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim; and bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim in all the worlds.Indeed You (Allah) are Praiseworthy, Glorious."

What a way to end a year. Instead of getting spoilt rotten in either Bali or Chiengmai, here I am still at work.Many of my friends are away (it is the revision week and it will be full swing with final exams when they return in the new year.Me and my postgrads had decentralised our exams so maybe I'd go on leave in the new year but Mama is still sick so no exotic holidays for me.KIV dulu.What to do, ayam tak masak, itik tak sudu).

I must tell you peristiwa I diperangkap monyet a few days back at the Kull carpark where the trees were.Most people were away so the car park was deserted.I came earlier than usual for some important meeting or something.I came out of my car pretty confident.Then I realised that a group of hungry monkeys were infront of me, above me (on the trees) and around me! One big and hostile monkey (rasanya jantan) with gigi tajam menyeringai at me rushed to attack me (perasaan I, he would melompat on me).Wough folks! I had never felt so terrified so I screamed sekuat-kuat hati I (am so good at this! Haha).No one came to help (org memang takda!). Then I saw a  guy.Eye contact is good at times like this.I saw him.He saw me.So I screamed louder, Help! Help! He came closer and shoo-ed shoo-ed those bloody monkeys.I masih terpaku kat situ.The guy said, it's OK, walk on.Barulah I berani and walked quicker to a safer space (next to this guy..may Allah bless him).

I asked who he was (my knight in shining armour). He said his name was Ibrahim.A postgraduate from Algeria.Aptly named! Ibrahim.Kita selalu baca selawat ke atas Rasulullah and Nabi Ibrahim.Now you know why.Even the namesake is so blessed!

So tadi I bumped into a group of cleaners who always clean daun2 gugur at the car park.I asked them mana monkeys pagi ni (kah3).I told them what happened to me.One of them laughed and it was you who screamed so loud? (bagus punya cleaner!) I said yes..kenapa kamu tak tolong kalau kamu dengar dan ada di situ? (I laughed with her). She said itu hari pun she kena kejar.I said lain kali kalau dengar org minta tolong, cari kayu and halau the monkeys.Ya right! :))

Of cos' I had reported the incident ke pihak berwajib.Mungkin monkeys tu semua dah kena bius.Or ditangkap letak kat zoo.I wish.

My new year wish: come prepared with pepper spray for all the monkeys in the world.
Happy new year, folks!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

End of year blues

Life was great with kenduris, spas and possibilities of flying to exotic places to end the year.And we adopted Nuruah for the whole afternoon and spoilt him rotten.

Then the bomb dropped.

Nik's mom sakit luarbiasa.So after Asr, we rushed to her plc but Lina and Faisal had taken her to the hospital.When we went to see, she was already like in a deep sleep.

As the night wore on, docs kata the condition worsened and she was observed kat ICU and would be put on life support.Stroke with blood clot in the brain.

I balik and had some sleep but Nik and siblings semua tak tidur semlm (now he's catching up with some before going bck to the hospital doing his shift).

She is a nice mom in law.Does not interfere, a shoulder to cry on and would be on my side when Nik does me wrong.I think because of her kindness, we often take her for granted.Not enough time is spent with her although we live close to each other. Syukur alhamdulillah, of late, Nik spends more time with her..often suapkan mak dia makan (she was bedridden for shoulder dislocation sebab terjatuh kat bilik air).Nik yg uruskan a physiotherapist dtg twice a week to care for her physio needs.Semlm before the collapse, she was better..dah ada selera makan, etc so we went out bersukaria kat kenduri one relative, thinking she would be resting and needing some quiet.The household is full of people but except for the maid and mak yah, everyone was away for an hour or two.When my sis in law came to feed her afternoon tea, Mama dah tak berapa nak sedar and giving sign language je.

Pls recite al fatihah and wish her well.Hajjah Nik Maimunah.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ma'thurat 36

"I seek forgiveness of Allah, there is no God but He, the Ever-living, the Ever-subsisting, and I seek repentance from Him."

Let's worry if Allah has cabut rasa malu dalam diri/sesama manusia bila kita buat dosa or maksiat.Let's hope with the new year (although a Gregorian one), we'd do another hijrah to be better servants of Allah and not slaves to our nafs (kata Rumi ..tame that nafs and let it not ride you).

It has been an exciting week..penuh drama yang mendebarkan.The kinda time when you know who your real friends are (and I found 2 new ones and feel blessed to meet them).Nama dia Prof. Is and the other Dr. Shaff (not full names to protect them.Ahaks).We will doa that our last shot to save the needy is heard and may Allah protect the affected ones.

I spoke to another expert on the way home from work tadi. Looks like Kuantan is in good hands.A lot we can learn from them, actually but then again, we have different concerns and needs.We'll see what will happen in the new year.

I hope it is not too early to say Selamat Tahun Baru, semoga bertambah rahmah di tahun akan datang.
Semoga kerja-kerja kita yang menimbun akan selesai semuanya dan memberi manfaat kpd ramai orang.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Yann Martel on Xmas Day

If you guys have not seen  Life of Pi, go. It has won some awards and while we enjoyed the movie, I suspect the book would be better and much more intelligent than the movie.Yann Martel is one of Z's fav. writers and since her sch days, she had listed Life of Pi as one of her choice books.Must look up her lib and read the book.I think it was first mentioned to me if not by Kit, Mark..many years ago in one of the Asia-Pac conferences.

Yann Martel was born in Spain of Canadian parents. He had lived everywhere including India.You can read more here:

I thought his philosophical take on the need for religion or the rejection of it was very sound.But that could just be the interpretation of the filmmaker (I really need to read Martel's book to compare). Oh by the way, Shaukat..if you are reading this, our film script made it to the top three.But if they do not find the money to turn all three scripts into short films, we are out. We are advised to rewrite it in Malay so that we could compete in international film festivals. MasyaAllah. Let's hope there's rezeki somewhere for this.Kot2 boleh jadi mcm Yann Martel nanti. :)

P/S Baru tau Richard Parker (rimau kawan Pi in the movie) bukan rimau betul.Gosh, he looked so real! Kata Nik, kalau betul, habis kena bahamlah the actor playing Pi.Kah3.Yup, Ang Lee's latest achievement is his use of digital creations in this movie.I loved the clear water lake scene where he was stranded and almost got killed by the swamp.Simply brilliant!

P.S.S Found the book on Z's shelf in her room ( gosh, I miss that gal, now shopping in London on Boxing Day).Yup, the book is better but the movie is true to the book. At least of the early part I've covered so far.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Buat ke sekian kalinya... again.

The clan went early but Nik and I decided to go ptg sikit.Bibik and I went to do our Xmas shopping at the Curve.It was supposed to be a quick one but bdk2 tu semua dah started Xmas carols..kita pun took our time shopping lagi.Rasa mcm kat Adelaide, London, New York la pulak.Ahaks.

Then after Zohr, we went to Maria's son's wedding.Of cos' Maria and I do not know each other but our moms forced us to get together..nak merapatkan silratulrahim.I should have gone with the clan.Sampai2 we didn't know who the hosts were.Org dah ramai dah balik (3 mins to 4 pm).I asked the groom where's mak pengantin (I didn't even know anak Maria tu groom or bride...hence, the safe question!) Malangnya, she's nowhere to be found.Maybe dah masuk dlm rumah.So we proceeded to the banquet table..then En. Khair came..suspecting we must be strangers he had not met and was so welcoming.I had to introduce myself as my mom's daughter.He looked like he knew or had heard of us.So I just sat je lah among strangers and started making small talk with the young man next to me.He happened to be Khair's nephew.Dah ada biz sendiri..for a young man, he's doing very well with clients like Astro and Air Asia..production house.Dia ada partner 4 org.One of them a UK grad.Nice to know bdk2 muda sekarang doing something they enjoy as their career.

Finally I got to meet Maria, ibu the groom.She works for IBM.Slightly older than I am.I was closer to her other cousins who taught me how to wade in the small stream belakang rumah nenek mereka every raya.Maria's great grandad and my grandma were siblings so you figure out what my ties are with Maria.I'm lost.:)

As we were leaving, I heard someone calling my home name.Only my inner circle knows this name.I terkejut berok juga..sepupu mana pulak ni? I turned around..Maria's cousin! The one who taught me to wade in the stream.I call her Kak Long since we were so young.Her mom and my mom are best friends forever.OMG! It's been some time since we met.So we sat with them.First time jumpa her hubby and gosh, Hatta and Nik got on so well mcm dah kenal lama! We joked and laughed about their life in Cameron Highlands.Hatta is a Pengarah of some office up there and Kak Long had quit her job with the bank and runs a homestay biz now.Seronok dengar cerita lawak diaorg.I asked apt you tu ada aircon tak? Forgetting Cameron can be as cold as England ( 8 C, kata Hatta) Diaorang pakai heater, you!

I wish we had more time but they were rushing back..musim cuti sekolah ni, demand is high so they have to leave to attend to their clients.

Entah mengapa sedih hati I as I reflected my happy times growing up with Kak Long, Bah (her sister who's married to a rich Indonesian biz man) and of cos' Kak Chik yang kelakar.We are not going to get these precious moments again,kan? And shucks..the radio was playing that Chicago song pulak!

And I thought of my other school friend, Kok Tuan.That was the song he sang at our school reunion some years ago.

I guess it's that passage of time that got into me although Nik and I were laughing hysterically listening to the song on the radio.Kok Tuan was our fav. at the reunion dinner.Kelakar giler.

Friday, December 21, 2012


I had a great time at my function last night.Pics will be posted later (janji palsu! :)) )
Bumped into Zafran and husband and as we went through the Qatari dessert spread, teringatlah al kisah si Z and their S's time in Turkey during the Turkish Language Olympics and how both kids balik with excess luggage of RM2000! (and they brought home baju2 kotor and selimut Olympics yang tebal tu.Bukan souvenirs! It was funny talking about Z&S.Zafran: terkejut sebab tak nampak apa barang yang excess sampai RM2K)

I met interesting people (ada tycoon bawak mistress yang baya anak dia so there's another naive guest yang tanya mistress tu so you work with your dad? Gamaknya gal tu la kata boiferen dia tu dadnya.But I saw they were not dad and daughter.Berbisik2 dan meraba2.Oh well, cheap gets as cheap can be)

Mart and Dato and family were there too.Masa salam dgn Ambassador tu I tanyalah pasai filem on the Prophet (pbuh) which Sean alerted me.HE pun tak tau but said drop by to discuss apa2 yang patut. :)

And now Friday.It ended on the Lynas issue.Entah mana Quayum jumpa this Prof from UTM.He said the whole thing has nothing to do with scientific truth and had turned political with much economic slant.Sebenarnya takda apa2 IF regulations and safety measures are implemented.But he's an expert on radiation bukan chemical expert.I tanya pasal concerns over waste product or product waste..tak berapa nak clear.But I'm with him when he said any decision to stay open or closed must be based on ilmu/facts, not political hysteria, etc.But I said why defend Lynas cos' it is not even a Msian company and do not expect technology transfer to happen (if we wanna argue from economic perspective of what is it for the rakyat? Nanti yang untung orang lain, rakyat terus kais pagi makan pagi, rumah masih macam reban ayam).

Patut I pi dengar that Iranian writer speaking at DBP (happening at the same time).Mungkin byk manfaatnya lagi. :)

Oh well, happy Friday folks.Am looking fwd to the break over Xmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Umar al-Khattab

We only know them by name (the Prophet's companions) but here's another account of one of his closest companions who had done so much for Islam after the Prophet's death (pbuh).Aunt Wiki (Wikipedia) has this to say of Umar (buried in Madinah!):

1. 'Umar, also spelled Omar (Arabic: عمر بن الخطاب, Transliteration: `Umar ibn Al-Khattāb, Umar Son of Al-Khittab, born 579 CE – died 7 November 644 CE)

2. One of the most powerful and influential Muslim caliphs (rulers) in history.
He succeeded Caliph Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second Caliph of Rashidun Caliphate on 23 August 634.

3. He was an expert Islamic jurist and is best known for his pious and just nature, which earned him the title Al-Faruq ("the one who distinguishes between right and wrong").

4.He is sometimes referred to as Caliph 'Umar I by historians of Islam, since a later Umayyad caliph, 'Umar II, also bore that name.

5. Under Umar the Islamic empire expanded at an unprecedented rate ruling the whole Sassanid Persian Empire and more than two thirds of the Eastern Roman Empire. His attacks against the Sassanid Persian Empire resulted in the conquest of the Persian empire in less than two years.

6. It was Umar, according to Jewish tradition, who set aside the Christian ban on Jews and allowed Jews into Jerusalem and to worship.

Prof Kasule who spoke on Umar al Khattab at the recent meeting of female academic leaders said in Islam, there's no restriction on female leadership.This gender divide is advocated by the Western modern mind because it cannot handle differences, diversities (wough!) and wants uniformity and standardisation all the time (pedas cili api!)
That was the reason why he purposely chose Umar al Khattab's model of leadership for the women's conference although he agreed Aisya and Khadija would make good examples as well but Aisha was more the academic leader (hey, I said it first, OK? haha).Anyway, it was truly a delight listening to Prof Kasule.Suka dia.

Umar's key characteristics as a leader include the following:

1.Having moral courage.He'd defend truth, righteousness and justice regardless of anything/anyone.Dengan Rasulullah pun dia tegor. :) Prof Kasule advised all female leaders to be like not fear to speak truth to power, etc.

2.Having moral balance: he was strong but not violent, lenient but not weak, generous but not extravagant, economical but not miserly.

3. He had moral vision and foresight: having clear sense of direction, active and confident leadership (bkn flip flop macam siapaa?)

4.He had moral commitment to serve the community (community is not family members, Okeh?)

5.He had moral integrity: keeping away from any appearance --- yup, even appearance TAK BOLEH -- of financial impropriety even if that means denying himself and his family their due rights.Anak dia pernah mengamuk: apa ni Abah? Abang Long buat kerja ni dgn titik peluh sendiri bukan proxy ke hapa ke.

His dad said: but people know you are my son.Maybe they were lenient to you in their dealing with you.They make it easy money for you cos' they know you are my son.

Macam tu sekali, Tuan2 dan Puan2.Hiba, kan?

His financial integrity possibly remains unchallenged by today's standard.He would confiscate and deposit  profits made by his son Abdullah, in the public treasury eg his sale of a camel bought with PERSONAL funds.Itu pun habis kena rampas masuk public funds.

Umar also sold personal gifts sent to his wife by the Byzantine Empire and again deposited the proceeds in the public treasury. Oh Momma Obiang (another dictator in Africa)..habeh lari la isteri2 mu! Oh Rosemary...

Umar also refused to give entitled state money to a relative but preferred to give him from his personal money.

For him, not even appearance of inappropriety must be tolerated.
He did not appoint his relatives to public office (setengah cabinet..sepupu, anak, isteri, suami semua nompang dua2 kaki)

He even inflicted public punishment on his son more severe than the common citizens (susah nak implement this)

Umar would make sure that those reporting to him had the highest moral standards, given fixed salaries and their wealth regularly audited.

This is the story of Umar.If we were to study the characteristics of the Prophet (pbuh), we'd cry rolling on the floor.

Support for working women

I'll summarise the gist of the meeting of female academic leaders and I hope young working women will be inspired and not quit their job or like me, live and work through guilt all the time as a young working mother.I would not want you, young ones to lose focus and not achieve your potentials.I suppose this would apply to young men and young dads as well:

1. First of all, we should not work just to make or improve the statistics ( yes, we may outnumber men at uni but we are still below 50% in the workforce and fewer in the decision making positions.The corporate world is even lower and in politics, female representation is no where.Is it a wonder crime against women, children is increasing each day?)

2.There is no gender divide in Islam so we should not encourage it.The realities can only be addressed if each Muslim knows his and her rights in Islam.Prof Kasule, a medical doctor trained at Harvard who speaks 6 languages, now working in Saudi said we must take our marriage contract seriously..women must spell out their dos and don'ts before they marry e.g. would the future husband allow her to work after marriage, would she have the freedom to determine where she wants to live should they have to move abroad,etc etc.The women must set all these in the marriage contract (even if they do not want to cook, etc) and the guys also should be clear about their dos and don'ts.If they are not compatible, walk out now then divorce later cos' it's gonna be very messy.The children will suffer,etc.

3.Allah gives talents to everyone.Talented women must contribute to society cos' they bring in different perspectives to workplace. An American Prof. of Engineering converted to Islam, in her hijab but an authority in the US on automobile safety advised that women must not quit their job cos' we are all accountable to Allah.Life is a test, life is a service and we would be questioned on how we've lived our lives..what goodness we've brought to our society, etc.However, it is also important to plan ahead and make sure that the family is not shortchanged.It is all about planning and managing your life, she said.What I liked most about her talk was when she said what we do is also teaching.If we excel at work and home, our children will look up to us as role models and we do not have to sit with them and preach.They'd learn values just by watching what we do.Her children are all successful despite her being a busy mom.One son graduated from Oxford's medical school and teaches at Columbia Uni in NYC.But they are all grounded in Islamic values.

How comforting! How inspiring to young parents.

4. Prof. Kasule used Omar al Khattab as an example of principled leadership.I'd share with you some examples later.

My last class today before exam starts tomorrow and I have a party this evening.Watch this space for news.:)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Intelligent women in Malaysia

For all my female academic leader friends

There's a gathering of female academic leaders this week which was supposed to be officiated by Datin Sri Paduka Rosmah Mansor but she didn't turn up for reasons known only to herself and sent the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Dato Saifuddin, a favourite of many mean of many academics.Saifuddin ni pun kuat perasan..every opening sokmo cakap dia dulu hensem. :)) Whatever.Orang Pahang memang weird.Bukan salah ibu mengandung.

I wasn't part of the organising comm but was invited to chair a session.Nak cerita scenes belakang tabir pun tak molek but let me put this waylah ya, women should support each other NO MATTER what.If we find a lack, we must be quick to assist cos' do not expect the men to assist us up (they will only assist us up when they prefer the up position..maaf cakap but I kadang2 geram juga...but I will not say more.The clan and I have decided to push for real reforms for women in the academe.This would require kesepakatan.Jgn jadi ketam dalam raga.We need to hold each other's hands, everyone's in the circle.Gitu).

I also learnt not to judge too quickly..women who I thought were so sombong, clannish/clickish had many good points in them which were humbling.Today, I simply had to go up to a couple of these smart women and shake hands with them cos' I was so inspired (and so humbled walaupun wajah2 wanita ini sokmo masam...macam siapa? Haha).

I took a room last nite at the hotel sbb my chairing was early this morning ~ tak kuasa nak meredah jam PJ-KL.Nik joined me late in the evening.Kira honeymoon la gitew. :)

I will jot some interesting insights (later when I find the time) by Prof Malik Badri on seeing with all the senses esp. heart (which has its own memory). Heart should govern mind.Heart should be pure.That would be a typical sufi reading.

As always, women's conference is like a beach holiday for me.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Meeting of minds, meeting of hearts

It's much easy to weave ketupat but this evening, I saw why Allah chose certain people to lead.I saw the good sides of this person.I will not name who for fear of being accused of apple polishing, kaki kipas etc.Ahaks.But share with you, I must, so that you too will not anyam ketupat so easily as many of us. :)

Do you remember some time ago I blogged about Prof. Arif who had just recovered from cancer? Stage 4, OK?

Well, this evening I heard the full story from his charming wife, also an old friend.Mereka ni org Pakistan, rakyat Amerika.And Prof Arif sgt committed to Islam orgnya.Dia buat sekolah agama di US sebelum dtg kerja di UIA di mana dia serahkan jiwa raganya.Dia lah yg letakkan uia sebagai institusi yg telah mengeluarkan debaters taraf dunia.Kita bolot byk awards for decades.Antara yg di belakang kejayaan ini adalah Prof Arif.Sgt2 humble orgnya.No enemies.

Masa dia sakit dan terus dibawa anaknya balik ke New York to get the best treatment from world's top surgeons, para doctors ni semua berbelah bahagi sama ada nak buat surgery ke tidak.Ada yg kata tak payah..dah terlalu merebak the cancer.Mind you, semua surgeons ni Yahudi.But one of them said as a Muslim, you kena percaya qada and qadar so you must do the surgery.So he agreed.Dgn izin Allah..selepas setahun, dia boleh travel ke KL dan if I post you the pic, dia nmpk lebih sihat dari anak muda umur 20 tahun! Inilah rahmat Allah kpd hamba yg ikhlas dan berserah.I was so moved when his wife told me the story.

Yang lebih moving was when our colleague visited him while he was recuperating from his chemo and all in May.He was invited to join the uia team ke meeting with the UN.Apparently that gave him the semangat to fight back and live.MasyaAllah...kadang2 wht is a small gesture to us is a life giving for others.Masa nilah my perception of this other colleague berubah.We gotta understand turun naik seseorang itu adalah dgn ketentuan yang Satu itu so just go with the flow.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December is escalating

too fast, don't you think?

I was sleeping last nite when someone beeped me ajak buat ketupat! Wough, my eyes segar bugar kembali.We were discussing how things could have been better.Biasalah, kan? Those who can't, talk. But I told my fren ni, sabar jelah. :)

Wedding no. entah ke berapa sebentar lagi.My PERKIM friend's son's wedding.Pastinya meriah cos' the whole gang would be there (ACCIN).I'm looking fwd to this.

I also look fwd to an exciting women's conference next week..all the 3 female VCs will be under one roof! Wahlau! And Rosmah Mansor is officiating the meeting.Mesti mengetop, yah?Watch this space for news.

The group met to decide on winners of the best script semalam.Next week, full house.Rasa tak terkejar.

Oh December, be gentle with me!

P.S. The wedding was meriah.There were performances..budak2 doing traditional dances and songs.
Cute miut.I only saw Datuk Zainal.We were late juga (and left early to visit mil tak sihat) but Tun Mahathir and Tun Hasmah graced the majlis.I sempat juga ambik gambar diaorg.Will post later.Datuk Hasbullah (wedding host) ni nmpk baik orgnya, kata Nik.Yup,at ACCIN meetings they are all humble people.It's an honour having the opportunity to work with them.I learn mucho.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Ma'thurat 35

"O Allah! You are my Lord; there is no deity except Him.You have created me, and I am Your slave, and I am bound to Your convenient and Your promise to the best of my ability.I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done.I proceed to you with Your graces on me, and I confess (to You) my sins. So, forgive me, for none is there to forgive sins but You."

Have a good Friday, everyone! :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kak Pah

Masin betul mulut I sejak dua menjak ni.Sebut je, muncul! :)

Kak Pah is in town (she moved back to JB a couple of years ago but travels to KL every now and then). Kak Pah is one of my bestest friends (I have so many bestest!) but we also quarrel a lot (biasalah, kan? Brain exercise ..also my fav sport. :) )

I'm arranging something besok.HZ ckp nak visit the Gombak campus.I said ok, I'll pick you up.Kakak dia pun nak ikut.All I have to do is dress up Kak Pah...(mampos I if Kak Pah gets to read this blog entry..those who know Kak Pah..don't you dare tell her!)

p/s: lunch berjalan lancar, debates by the river, left KP-HZ to discuss further world history.Am the happiest if a mosque could be built. :))

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How old was Aishah when she married the Prophet (pbuh)?

When someone posted an article published in Cairo debunking the much accepted (well..I'm keretapi tanah melayu rupa2nya! Apparently my colleagues in the Islamic Studies discipline said this was not new) view that Aishah was 9 when she married Rasulullah (pbuh), I posted it in my Kull mailing list...many responded and I learned so much from the responses.I love this uni!

The link sent was this : (with my question: have we done our maths?)

And here are some responses from my colleagues (and they come from every where..Europe, sub-continent, North Africa, Asia, etc):

It's not really a new thing. Has nothing to do with math tho', purely based on hadith and historical writing method.
Mawlana Asri Yusuf from Kubang Kerian has been talking about this in Malaysia and been refuted by many.

Unfortunately, it was debated based on purely hadith method without looking into historio-socialogical approach at the issue. Need a thorough research and taking a holistic approach too.
But why not give some room for a healthy debate.

I am very happy to read your suggested link on the age of one of the Greatest Ummahat al-Mu'minin. This is proper critical and logic reading of hadith in Salaf way. Sometimes I am very angry with our blockheads whose misreading & pseudo-exegesis give fuel for filthy kaffirs to denigrate, to defame Islam and helping them in blasphemy. Marriages of children were very popular in the medieval Christian Europe for dynastic coalitions. Several Byzantine princesses were married in age of 3, 5, and 7. Marriages with 8-9 year-old were consummated by Christian kings and princes older than 50.

Example: Hungarian princess Hedwig d'Anjou was married in her age of 10 by the Lithuanian Grand Duke Yogaila (who baptized himself for this occasion) who was old polygynist ( He still kept his ca. 90 slave-wives). Queen Hedwig of Poland was not in love with him because he was already engaged with Austrian prince when she was 3 year old! And she was "loved". She donated her jewels to the University of Cracow in 1390s. She is venerated as St. Jadviga by the Polish Catholic Church plagued today by cases of pedophilia.

Today, in Europe, sex between 10 year old children is politically correct by secularist and liberal standards. Children in primary schools of European Union learn that sex between two women or two men are "normal". This is a Animal Farm ruled by the subaltern pigs more equal than the rest of "progressive" cattle.

More details on Christian and Hindu tradition of marriages between toddlers. Write to me and I will give you data.

Thank you for sending this article. Since the opinion of the author is supported by evidences, we should accept it.

Here is another piece on the subject. Adil Salahi is the author of Muhammad: Man and Prophet

At What Age Was Aishah Married to the Prophet
Adil Salahi, Arab News Staff
Saturday 8 March 2003 (04 Muharram 1424)

Q. I have been asked numerous times about the Prophet’s marriage with Aishah and her age at the time. Could you please throw some light on this issue, and explain the reasons why this marriage took place at such an early age?
A. Ahmad , USA

A. Yes, this question will inevitably be raised time after time, particularly with the steadily increasing attacks against Islam and against the Prophet personally. Yet there is nothing in Islam, or in the character and behavior of Muhammad (peace be upon him), God’s last messenger to mankind, that we need to apologize for, or feel embarrassed about. However, some discussion of his marriage to Aishah and her age at the time of their marriage is needed in order to show that there was nothing wrong in all that.

The most commonly quoted report suggests that Aishah was only six years of age when the Prophet proposed to her, and their actual marriage took place when she was nine. People tend to take this as an established fact. But when we examine this report and take into consideration all factors and related reports, we find that this report does not stand to even elementary scrutiny.

The first thing we have to understand is that the Arabian society at the time of the Prophet was largely illiterate, with very few people able to read and write. There was no particular calendar used for dating major events, let alone the births and deaths of people. We read for example that the Prophet was born in the year of the elephant, which was the year when an Abyssinian commander went from Yemen to Makkah at the head of a large army with the aim of destroying the Kaaba. A large elephant marched in front of the army. Hence, the name given to the event and the year.

Reports of people’s ages in Arabia at the time of the Prophet are often confused, and always uncertain. For example, the common idea of the Prophet’s age at the time of his first marriage to Khadeejah is said to be 25, while she was 40. However, in the most reliable biography of the Prophet, written by Ibn Hisham, which gives him that age, we have two additional reports, one putting his age at 30 and the other at 21. There is simply no way we can determine with any degree of accuracy which of the three figures indicating the Prophet’s age is the correct one. Khadeejah’s age is also subject to speculation with different reports saying that she was 35 and 25. One report by Ibn Abbas, the Prophet’s cousin who was one of the most authoritative scholars among the Prophet’s companions, says that both the Prophet and his wife were 28 at the time of their marriage. Considering that Khadeejah gave the Prophet six children, there is no way she could have been 40 at the time of their marriage, which is the most common report. She must have been much younger, and the report that she was 28 or 25 seems far more reasonable.

The Prophet did not marry anyone else while Khadeejah was alive, and he lived with her for 25 years. When she died and he was facing great pressure, a woman companion of his suggested that he should get married, so that he would have companionship and comfort at home, after a long day of preaching his message. She suggested either a virgin, Aishah, or a previously married woman, Sawdah. The Prophet told her to go with his proposal to both of them.

The idea behind a new marriage was to give the Prophet companionship and comfort, and yet those who suggest that Aishah was six at the time want us to believe that the woman who wanted the Prophet to get married would suggest to him a girl of 6 to marry! That is some companionship! I wonder whether she meant companionship to him or to his youngest daughter who was older than Aishah, if we accept this report.

But then we cannot take the matter on logical factors alone. We have to have some other basis. Consider then that in Ibn Ish aq ’s biography of the Prophet, which is the basis and most accurate of all biographies, we have a list of the early Muslims, who accepted Islam in the very early days of the Islamic message. He lists about 50 people and this list includes the names of Abu Bakr’s two daughters, Asmaa’ and Aishah, adding that she was young at the time. On that list, Aishah comes at number 20, but let us not attach any importance to this order. We will only take the fact that all these were Muslims before the message of Islam was in its fifth year, because in that year the first immigration to Abyssinia took place, when many of those included in this list were among the immigrants. So, at that time, in year 5 or earlier, Aishah was young but old enough to be listed among people accepting a new faith. What age do we give her? Surely it cannot be said that she was 2 or 4 or 5, and still be included in such a list of illustrious names. Otherwise, all children born to the other 50 people on the list would have been mentioned. She must have been old enough to make an informed decision of the serious magnitude of changing or accepting a religion. To me, she could not have been less than 10 or 8, if people would insist on making her younger.

We now need to find out how long after that her marriage took place. Well, we know that the marriage took place after the Prophet and his companions had settled in Madinah, which means year 13 or 14 of the beginning of Islamic revelations. Simple arithmetic shows that she could not have been less than 14 when she was named to the Prophet as a possible wife, or less than 17 when he married her, with the stronger possibility that she was even older, perhaps 19.

Then someone might ask why the Prophet would marry a young woman of that age when he was 53 or 54? In order to understand such issues we need to remember that we cannot apply our own social norms to a different society, even though we live at the same time. Thus, American social norms may not be applied in Africa, Malaysia or Japan , nor can the social norms of any of these societies be applied in the other. At that time in Arabia , people did not consider age difference between man and wife to be of great significance. Take the case of Umar ibn Al-Khattab and his daughter Hafsah. When she was divorced, Umar suggested to Abu Bakr, who was at least 10 years older than him, to marry her. The age difference in that marriage, had it taken place, would have been nothing less than 30 years, and Umar thought that it would have been a great and welcome match. When Abu Bakr was slow in answering Umar’s suggestion, Umar offered her to Uthman, who was only a few years younger than him. But Uthman had a reason for not marrying her, and then the Prophet married her. He was about the same age as Abu Bakr or slightly older. The age gap counted for nothing at the time.

The issue , it seems , is long back resolved & concluded... Here is translation of an Urdu work that I read in original a few decades back ...

It seems that the Urdu (Muslim ) world is ahead of time.
Click here to find more on the following topics:

Aishah’s marriage and her exact age
The ancient historical references
Some thought-provoking suggestions
Some historical facts that need considering carefully:
The age of Aishah in relationship to the age of her sister Asma
Abu Bakr’s children were born before the advent of Islam
Abu Bakr’s marriage to Umm Ruman
Aishah was one of the first children to embrace Islam
Some background details of the marriage
Abu Bakr’s concern about the delay of Aishah’s full wedding
Aishah was playing on a swing when called to her marriage
The date of the death of Aishah
The status of the narratives in the Sahih collections
Sayyid Sulayman Nadvi’s statement examined
Aishah’s dolls
Aishah’s ‘playmates’
Aishah’s Needlework
Aishah’s Account of the Miraj and the Hijrah
Aishah’s role in the Battle of Uhud
Aishah’s knowledge
Her status as a jurist
A word of caution from a colleague:

Feel free to disagree . In no way does either of the opinions form a part of Islamic belief ('iman / 'aqida).
It can even be ignored! This should in no way be allowed to open doors for sectarianism ,discord or any westoxicated /westoxified " ...ism"

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bila Selangor cuti...

...ramai yang berXmas shopping!

Do you want to know about other horrors of staying at the Sanctuary Resort (other than me returning home, limping and ankle wrapped in a bandage)? Mei visited me in my office semalam and told me about the food poisoning,families being attacked by mosquitoes, aircon not working,karan selalu takda, beddings la we decided to lodge an official complaint via the net (webnya kemainlah canggih).I hope the place isn't owned by that pemuda berkuda. :))

Anyway, got my ankle treated tadi.Kurang sikit bengkaknya so took the opportunity to lunch out with my friend, Haji Zaidon.He said most of his PTD frens dah habis meninggal.But his old bosses hidup lagi and they are having their reunion with Najib this Saturday.HZ ni 2nd generation Turk and I met his two sisters tadi.One is married to an Arab but back on a holiday now.They live in Jeddah.The other is a former Editor of a mainstream n/paper.Nice people.Kakak HZ suruh I carikan isteri HZ.I thought of Kak Pah. Sama padan.But sister dia nak org dlm umur 50an.Know anyone?Beep me. :)
The books HZ gave me nmpk cool.One is a national bestseller abt Katrina and racism in New Orleans faced by a Muslim couple (although a humanitarian aid provider was arrested as a terrorist just becos' he was a Muslim.Gila! Will share with you later).

The other book is a winner of a writing prize competition abt a female Syrian revolutioner. Semua ni nak menokok nambah my kepahlawanan ni..I'm sure I'd be so inspired by this female courage. :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

More East Coast Delights

 at the muara

 unfortunately, not swimmable

 mengintai peluang

 designed by baby crab?

 equal rights

 caught this delight tengah memancing with his dad, a nelayan
(sihat bebenor Mat ni.So cute!)

 Mat is adorable

 the fishing community.Pakcik Daud tengah clean our tenggiri

 how could you not be in love with this?

 strolling by the beach with mak Dr Mazslee

 this is what they call Yu Bodo (mmg nama dia Yu Bodoh)

 a kilo RM20

 rumah rehat the nelayan

 Pakcik Daud doing the packing for us.They were too kind

 Baraqah, my escort when Nik was not around

 Fresh banget

 Ketam betina di sebelah kiri.The biru is always jantan (right)
kerupok lekor yang byk tepung ubi
melepak by the beach

patin laut
Pakcik Daud, joking with his friends
doing the cleaning

he said insang is good but we said, no thank you, kasi buang semua

Kedai kerupok lekor Adnan, in Kemaman (first right after the pintu gerbang
Kuantan-Kemaman borders)
the satar at this stall is not from this planet.Sedap giler
Inilah rupanya.Satar cili api

gambar di sebelah atas tu ketam jantan, di bawah itu betina (betina has more isi)

deliciously authentic (lekor kemaman)

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Beach treat

 cantik mmg cantik but badly maintained

 the apartments from the private beach

 kids playing water soccer

 view from my balcony

 the weather was fine, alhamdulillah

 loved it here

 Baraqah my niece in Kuantan (anak my aruah sister) is about Zafirah's age.
We built sand castles together

 Zac, me and Swee Hai (friends of NZ days)
Aging in style.Haha

Clown yang melampau. :)
From SH's camera

A real treat for my colleagues and I as we spent our annual IEEP at the Sanctuary Resort in Kuantan over the weekends.A real sanctuary at the apartment..there were a lizard and a bee in it which sent me screaming in the middle of the night! I didn't like the apt..the lift didn't work, too many dangerous steps around..I almost sprained my ankle as I tripped over one and fell! The ustaz2 came around to help but oopps..tak leh pegang so a female colleague helped me up..and I limped bck to my room.This on the last day.I went to see the mat salleh manager.Mak oiii..he's gone local..was very defensive at first.I could not believe it when he said: I have worked here 11 years and this is the first time I hear this.I said maybe people did not go to you and complain.I hope you'd take my feedback seriously cos' if someone broke a leg or arm over lack of safety, they'd sue you, you know.Dia pun mula lembut and apologised and asked how I was..I said I was limping.

But I loved the beach.Siapakah gerangan pemuda berkuda di pantai itu? Nik and I stared at him, he looked at us, stared back, senyum, nodded and rode on. Baru nak jerit..hei anak muda..kasi makcik pulak naik kuda tu.:)) It was a very relaxing atmosphere.

My niece Baraqah teman I tidur tht Fri evening cos' Nik would arrive the following day je (busy with his mlm epf).The second evening, Swee Hai came to pick us up to dine at Impiana at Cherating.Zac met us there.It was a good reunion with them.We stayed up so late talking about the good old days in NZ.Nik pun tompang riang ria.I am grateful that I continue to be blessed with great friends who I still get to meet even after 30 or so years.

We took a quick drive to Kemaman to buy some kerupok lekor as advised by Adnan on fb.Bought Kemaman satar which had green cili api in it.I loved the taste of it.Beli kerupok mcm nak berniaga di pasar mlm.I got a wee bit outa control in Kemaman. :) And oh, we bought ikan tenggiri fresh from the sea and live crabs and Pakcik Daud,a fisherman at Sg Ular taught me how to tell a female crab from a male one.A female crab has more flesh than a male one.Biasalah, kan? :)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Menyelam sambil minum air

My PhD students would always energise me.We discussed Hellenistic philosophers and compared them with early Muslim scholars (my candu for the day) and moved on to Said Nursi to Gullen to Mohamed Morsi (Egyptian President). Candu day! :)

We concluded that IOK was not widespread in educating Muslims (and non-Muslims) to be aware of the greater picture/happening in the Muslim world and beyond.We agreed new terms to define many things had to be created if we wanted to breakaway from the consumer/slave mentality (many of the terms/labels were created in the West e.g. the word modern or modernity..if we added Islamic modernity then you would be guilty of assuming there were a time/period/space in which Islam was not modern, etc etc..if you say you are a modern Muslim, then you assume there are non-modern Muslims some where..terok, kan? I raised this before with my American political scientist friend but he said this is just to facilitate the intellectual's intellectual cos' we endorse it as such).

Lepas kelas, kami fikir jalan mcmana nak tolong kawan kita dari Palestin ni.Dia takda scholarship.Takda gaji.Gaji semua dah kena sekat.Sourgrapes betul Israel ni.Dah kalah tu, buatlah cara kalah, kan? :))

End of the year spring clean

Sometimes we keep things which we don't really need.And we keep buying new ones.Oprah pernah kata, if we buy one, get rid of an old one so that our space is not cluttered.

I'm doing just that now.Start with the office.

Wall decorations, oil paintings (premature ones), books (yang you know have very little value in terms of on earth did they make it to my book shelves in the first place? Must be door gifts...recycled gifts yang your friends pun nak get rid of and what better way than to pass them to another friend...I don't do this to you, OK? :)) )

The office looks cleaner and better, actually.Sedap sikit mata memandang.

Kat rumah nanti, the wardrobe..too many clothes which I do not use much.I think I'll give some to the cleaners.Merelap-relip la pulak nanti depa.Many of the bajus are for weddings/baju kerja.Ada sapa2 tau if there are organisations which won't mind baju2 yang mcm traffic lights/Xmas trees? Please beep.I'd be happy to give away some of my old (and not so old) baju kurungs.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Lagi cerita insaf

I must blog this before I forget.The week will get busier.

I will not disclose my source (ahaks) but ceritanya begini:

Cik A is a Xtian who went on an early retirement some years ago.She spends her time on community work, work with children and will be migrating to Perth soon.She told my source fadilat sedekah ni besar.From my Ramadan stories, you should by now be convinced but wait! Here's something which will make us more insaf.

Cik A was saying depa tak mampu nak send anak2 belajar overseas.She was just a B officer.Hubby pun kerja sendiri.So one of the gals pun setuju masuk one private local college buat twinning prog.Then after finishing her diploma ke hapa told the mom dia nak juga pi Oz for her degree.Dia pun applied but Oz uni said diploma dia not recognised so kena spend juga 4 years.Mak dia bertawakal..ambil semua subjects yg anak dia dah buat kat sini,compared dgn subjects kat sana and appealed.Bukan je Oz uni was convinced, depa benarkan anak dia terus masuk year 2! So taklah beban sgt financially.

Cik A kata ini mesti sebab kerja2 community dia.Selalu dia rasa bila ada je masalah mcm ni..ada je jalan keluar Allah beri.Pernah satu ketika masa dia masih kerja, ada pelanggan yang tidak dikenali cerita dia perlukan RM4 ribu sebab anak nak masuk uni.Kalau takda, budak ni tak boleh masuk uni.Cik A tengok dlm akaun dia ada RM4,600 je tapi sebab kesian,dia tutup je mata dan kasi RM4K tu.Dia tak fikir pun nak balik ke hapa ke duit tu.Years later,bdk yg pinjam duit tu graduated & kerja..dia bayar balik that RM4K and they became close friends.Touching,kan? Kita selalu fikir Allah jaga kita je org Islam tetapi org2 bukan Islam yg baik mcm Cik A ini juga mendapat rahmat Allah.Maka betullah janji Allah dalam ungkapan Bismillahirrohmanirroheem...Dengan nama Allah yang Maha Pengasih dan Penyayang.

Something to think about, really.

Ma'thurat 34

"O Allah, I seek refuge in You from disbelief and poverty; O Allah! I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave. There is no God but You."

This verse sums up the purpose of our existence, right? No one wants to live in disbelief (imagine the pain!) No one wants to live in poverty. Finally, no one wants to be tortured after living in pain (after living in disbelief and poor living!)

We had another round of meeting on a couple of new progs which the Dean wishes to propose.If they happen, you gonna love him for them but my friend from West Germany was right to voice her concerns but I think the progs are in good hands.Everyone has got fiqh or shariah b/grounds.Kita ni takut sangat nak innovate.Kalau conservative sangat sampai tak leh bergerak pun tak elok juga, kan? Scholars dulu2 pun innovated juga.Ijtihad is a plus in the religion.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Centre of Alliance of Civilisations

IIUM launched hers semalam.Kak Oni yang jadi Directornya.Aptly chosen.So the former UN Prez of the 66th Session now the UN High Rep to the Alliance of Civilisations His Excellency Nassir Abdulaziz Al Nasser met us tadi.Chandra Muzzafar pun ada.And Prof Ariff pun ada (back from NYC for a visit.We all miss him so much.Hatinya mulia.Walaupun he left cos' he got cancer and now fully recovered..syukur..dia masih bawak masuk byk international networks kat IIUM..mulia sungguh hatinya).

A lot of discussions on UN, Security Council, Palestine, OIC.The gist was as follows:

From Prof. Kamal Hassan: our intellectual consciousness is often related to the concept of state instead of civilisational consciousness or discourse (heh.I think this was wht he said).He advised Muslim youths to transcend beyond the State as the civilisational discourse would open up the mind.

From Prof Chandra Muzzafar: we often generalise the western civilisation as an exaggerated individualism and often forget that it is the same civilisation which has a deep sense of community.Similarly, when we think of Asian civilisation, we often look at it as totalitarian.We forget it is the same civilisation which produces great individuals and groups who fight for the value of accountability,openness, human rights etc.Gandhi, Rizal, Anwar Ibrahim ( tambahan) all come to mind at this point.

Chandra stresses on the fact that there ain't any clash of civilisations ~ only clash of interests.The crusaders didn't kill Muslims only but Jews and Christians alike.

On the issue of promoting peace in Palestine, he said while we should use UN to solve the political turmoil in Palestine-Israel, there are other means which have been effective and backed up by the masses even in countries which support Israel i.e making use of BDS which stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions first introduced by NGOs in Palestine some years ago.I recall the same was done in Iran boycotting the tobacco industry in their fight against the Brits zaman dulu kala.

So folks..make sure we boycott bkn sahaja Israeli products but also sekutu2nya.

No one was convinced that a two-state solution would work.State ke hapa jadah as Palestinian borders shrink daily.The only way, says Chandra, is to psyche up for  a single democratic state.Amboi kau! Takkan boleh berubah sekelip mata...and they would want to expand their territory once they are done with Palestine.Nanti menular ke Syria, Iran,Iraq, Jordan. Senangnya nak mengalah!

Kak Oni on growing Palestinian settlements: the Jewish settlements built around Jerusalem are even more would limit movements of worshippers esp. Muslims. The problem is the ruling elites in the Arab world.Mereka ni yg tak berani nak bersatu and think of ways to strengthen the ummah.

Part 2, Centre of Alliance

Semalam wife Dr. Cassim came and when someone rang me and said she wanted to meet me, I said silap orang tu..I know no Dr. Cassim.But I said but if she wants to see me, pls show her the way to my office.

Then I recalled.Of cos' I know Dr. Cassim! (my Liverpool alumna!) MasyaAllah...I need more gingko for my memory.Pls do not give me surprise visits..nanti jadi mcm Mamun..excited to surprise2 org..bila I went can you please tell me your name again, tak ke dua2 malu? :)

Anyway, Dr. Cassim left for Gaza semalam.We wish him and his medical team well.

Monday, December 03, 2012

The proud momma..

How could you miss my proud moments..

Z dah pandai memasak! (less than 3 months, living away from home.Syukurlah!).
Some pics below:

                           cinnamon & garlic roast chicken with brown rice

 I don't know what she called this but I think
it's salmon and sour cream she made herself and garlic ciabatta

Top pic: burger she made herself and broccoli soup ~ not from the can.
Below: Her best friend, H, enjoying the burger.H is a better cook but she said
everything's sedap. :)

Ma'thurat 33

"O Allah. grant me health in my body.O Allah, grant me health in my hearing.O Allah, grant me health in my seeing."

It sounds odd reading the translation in English but if it helps, this is how it is in Malay:

"Ya Allah, sejahterakanlah badanku.Ya Allah, sejahterakanlah pendengaranku.Ya Allah, sejahterakan penglihatanku."

Hearing and Seeing (Sight) are important in Islam.But you can't have them without a healthy body.How often do we take our overall health and well-being for granted? I have a colleague who feels guilty if she goes on mc.She whines, "I'm not using my brain! I'm not using my brain!" And I tell her this: your brain has taken control of you, not vice versa.Take charge!

What good is a rich nation if its people are weak and dying early? Worse, what good is a poor nation if its people are also perishing early.I hope organisations are taking care of their workers' work-life balance.I know some MNCs would shoo off staff when it's 5 pm..go home and spend time with your family.

Have a good week ahead you, folks.I'm energised after a good weekend.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

December projects

I'm working on a few projects this month.One of them is a short story entitled Pengembaraan Aji Kitul.It wants to be written.Cerita ini tiada kaitan dengan yang hidup atau mati but it has been playing in my mind for so long! It was Dipika and Suchen who told me that some stories and characters would come alive and scream to be written.

The moment has come.I won't rush it.I am writing it down bit by bit as it hits me.