Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Just before the end of the year, I want to thank you for the e-mails you have forwarded to me over the year.
I must send a big thank you to whoever sent me the one about rat shit in the glue on envelopes, because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing. Also, I now have to wipe the top of every can I open for the same reason.
I no longer have any savings because I gave it all to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time. But that will change once I receive the £15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft is sending me for participating in their special email programs. Or from the senior bank clerk in Nigeria who wants me to split seven million dollars with me for pretending to be a long lost relative of a customer who died intestate.
I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me.
I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward emails to seven friends and make a wish within five minutes.
I no longer drink Coca-Cola because it can remove toilet stains.
I no longer can buy petrol without taking a friend along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm filling up.
I no longer go to shopping centers because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.
I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number and then I'll get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Timbuktu & Uzbekistan.
I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my bum.
I can't even pick up the $5.00 I found dropped in the car park because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.
If you don't send this email to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will sit on your head at 5:00pm this afternoon & fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this bcos it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor’s ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician.
By the way.... a South American scientist after a lengthy study has discovered that people with low IQ who don't have enough sex, always read their emails while holding the mouse.
Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late.
(With the countdown to the new year begun, I just had to share this mail that I received.)
Monday, December 29, 2008
Realize that the hate you feel toward your enemy does not harm him or her in any way. And chances are, he or she gone on with life without giving you a single thought.
Make a list of the good things that happened as a result of this awful experience. You've probably focused long enough on the bad parts of this experience. Time to look at the good parts. See if you can identify 10 good things that happened specifically because of this experience.
Think of the people who help you out of the issue. Think about their kindness and unselfishness.
Look at the bigger picture. Was someone your "good samaritan"? In this biblical story, a traveler happens upon a poor soul who was beat up on the road to Jericho and left for dead. It's a lot easier to play the part of the Good Samaritan than to be the poor soul who is left bleeding and bruised on the side of the road. Perhaps this isn't all about you. Perhaps your trial provided an opportunity for others to rise to an occasion to provide you with help and support.
Be compassionate with yourself. If you've ruminated over this problem for a long time, steering this boat into a new direction could take some time, too. As you try to make a new path out of the dark woods of this old hurt, you'll make mistakes. Forgive yourself. Be patient and kind to yourself. Extreme emotional pain has a profound effect on the body. Give yourself time to heal - physically and emotionally. Eat well. Rest. Focus on the natural beauty in the world.
Learn that the Aramaic word for "forgive" means literally to "untie." The fastest way to free yourself from an enemy and all associated negativity is to forgive. Untie the bindings and loose yourself from that person's ugliness. Your hatred has tied you to the person responsible for your pain. Your forgiveness enables you to start walking away from him or her and the pain.
Stop telling "the story." How many times this week did you tell "the story" about how badly you were hurt and how horribly you were wronged? How many times a day do you think about this hurt? It is a stake driven into the ground that keeps you from moving away from this hurt. Rather, forgive your enemy because it's the kindest thing you can do for your friends and family. Negativity is depressing, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
Tell "the story" from the other person's perspective. Actually imagine that you are the other person (the one who offended you) and use the word "I" when saying what that person would say. You, most likely, don't know exactly what s/he was thinking when this event unfolded but pretend that you do, and just go with the story that comes up in your head. Sit down with a friend, or maybe even the person you are trying to forgive, and tell the story as though you are that person. It is important to do this verbally and not just in your head. Realize in advance that this is not an easy exercise, but it holds great power. Just your willingness to tell the story from the offender's perspective requires a bit of forgiveness. Also, realize that this is not a contradiction to the preceding paragraph since this perspective will change your story.
Retrain your thinking. When your enemy and his or her evil actions come to mind, send him or her a blessing. Wish your enemy well. Hope the best for him or her. This has two effects. One, it neutralizes that acid of hate that destroys the vessel in which it is stored. The evil we wish for another seems to have a rebound effect. The same is true for the good that we wish for another. When you make yourself able to return blessing for hatred, you'll know that you're well on the path to wholeness. The first 15 - or 150 - times you try this, the "blessing" may feel contrived, empty, and even hypocritical but keep trying. Eventually, it will become a new habit and soon thereafter, the anger and pain that has burned in your heart will evaporate, like dew before the morning sun. This technique forces your mind to overcome the cognitive dissonance between hating someone and acting with compassion toward him or her. Since there is no way to take back the kind gesture to agree with your hatred, the only thing your mind can do is change your belief about the person to match. You will begin to say to yourself, "S/he is deserving of a blessing, and indeed, must need one very much."
Maintain perspective: While the "evil" actions of your "enemy" are hurtful to you and your immediate surroundings, the rest of the world goes on unaware. Validate their meaning in your life, but never lose perspective that others are not involved and do not deserve anything to be taken out on them. Your enemy is someone else's beloved child, someone's employee, or a child's parent.
Further notes :
Keep the following quotes in mind if you're finding it hard to generate positive feelings for the person:
"Those who are the hardest to love, need it the most."
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness," -Hebrews 12:14a,
"As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons." -The Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
"Hating someone is drinking poison and expecting the other person to die from it."
"If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" - The Golden Rule
"Be kind, for all you meet, are fighting a great battle."- Philo
"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. But whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him[a] to make him stumble." 1 John 2:9,10-The Bible
"Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him." 1 John 3:15-TheBible
Sometimes it helps to think of how others have forgiven under incredible circumstances. Ask friends for support and examples to motivate you toward forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a choice. When you say, "I can't forgive that person," what you're really saying is, "I'm choosing not to forgive that person." If you say it the second way instead, you'll find yourself forgiving soon.
You need to keep these four points in mind when forgiving someone:
- Do not bring up the situation up to yourself.
- Do not bring up the situation to the offender.
- Treat the offender as if it never happened.
- Do not talk about the situation to others.
True forgiveness takes time. Realize that everyone heals in their own way and in their own time. It is ok for you to take time to forgive, but you must realize that you will only be free from the bondage of hurt,despair and rage if you let it go and truly forgive the hurt that is holding back the true you.
An offender who wants reconciliation must do his or her part: offer a sincere apology, promise not to repeat the offense (or similar ones), make amends, and give it time. If you don't see repentance, understand that according forgiveness to that person is a benefit to yourself, not to the offender.
However, forgiveness of this type must be applied with wisdom and discernment. Unless those who have harmed us have truly repented of whatever they have done, we need to use wisdom in avoiding repeating the hurt. This may require avoiding those who are unrepentant of the harm that they have inflicted upon us.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
What are the virtues of the month of Muharram
Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets and Chief of the Messengers, and upon all his family and companions.
Allah’s sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of the Hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…” [al-Tawbah 9:36]
Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2958).
Muharram is so called because it is a sacred (muharram) month and to confirm its sanctity.
Allaah’s words (interpretation of the meaning): “so wrong not yourselves therein…” mean do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because sin in these months is worse than in other months.
It was reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas said that this phrase (so wrong not yourselves therein…) referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.
Qutaadah said concerning this phrase (so wrong not yourselves therein…) that wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and more sinful that wrongdoing at any other time. Wrongdoing at any time is a serious matter, but Allaah gives more weight to whichever of His commands He will. Allaah has chosen certain ones of His creation. He has chosen from among the angels Messengers and from among mankind Messengers. He chose from among speech the remembrance of Him (dhikr). He chose from among the earth the mosques, from among the months Ramadaan and the sacred months, from among the days Friday and from among the nights Laylat al-Qadr, so venerate that which Allaah has told us to venerate. People of understanding and wisdom venerate the things that Allaah has told us to venerate. (Summarized from the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy on him. Tafseer of Surat al-Tawbah, aayah 36).
The Virtue of observing more naafil fasts during Muharram.
Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadaan is fasting Allaah’s month of Muharram.’” (reported by Muslim, 1982).
The phrase “Allaah’s month”, connecting the name of the month to the name of Allaah in a genitive grammatical structure, signifies the importance of the month. Al-Qaari said: “The apparent meaning is all of the month of Muharram.” But it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never fasted any whole month apart from Ramadan, so this hadeeth is probably meant to encourage increasing one’s fasting during Muharram, without meaning that one should fast for the entire month.
It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast more in Sha’baan. It is likely that the virtue of Muharram was not revealed to him until the end of his life, before he was able to fast during this month. (Sharh al-Nawawi ‘ala Saheeh Muslim).
Allaah chooses whatever times and places He wills
Al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salaam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Times and places may be given preferred status in two ways, either temporal or religious/spiritual. With regard to the latter, this is because Allaah bestows His generosity on His slaves at those times or in those places, by giving a greater reward for deeds done, such as giving a greater reward for fasting in Ramadaan than for fasting at all other times, and also on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, the virtue of which is due to Allaah’s generosity and kindness towards His slaves on that day…” (Qawaa’id al-Ahkaam, 1/38).
Just to share this message received from the universal traveler (www.tut.com) which I think is appropriate for this New Year season.
Nothing is ever lost.
Not time; for what seems to have passed, lives on in the wisdom of future decisions.
Not money; for what seems to have been spent, was only invested.
And not love; for what seems to have vanished, has only moved so close you must look within your heart to see it.
Here and now, whether or not it's obvious, you are the best you've ever been.
Last night (Dec. 27, 2008) I accompanied 2 of my nieces to Sungai Buluh to check on a cousin’s house as he and his family were away for the weekend. On the way back we decided to stop at the Sungai Buluh overhead rest area for a break. It was 11.50 p.m. As Burger King was still open, we decided to get some food there.
There are 3 service counters at the restaurant. One of them had the straw dispenser in front indicating to me that it was closed. There were queues at the other 2 counters. However, what we failed to realize was that only one of the counters was being manned.
A while later, someone told us that the counter we were queued behind was closed, so the whole queue had to move behind the one counter that was being manned.
When we told the supervisor (that’s what we assumed she was as she was in a maroon uniform while the others were dressed in black) that she should place a sign indicating that the counters were closed, her answer surprised me.
“We don’t have a sign. If you want to complain, the telephone number is there,” pointing to the wall. The number 03-2026 1800 is apparently not a 24 hour one, so I’ll have to wait till Tuesday to call them, that’s if I still want to bother giving feedback.
Anyway, I thought I’d share this for the benefit of those of you in the service industry.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Murshidah had put out a mail in the M&Y yahoogroups inviting to an “OPPORTUNITIES IN EDUCATION & TRAINING WITH THE ACCELERATED LEARNING CENTRE ASIA”. Those interested were to confirm attendance with her at her mobile number. I thought about it, but that was it. No action taken.
This morning, I just decided to try my luck and pay them a visit. Funny thing is, the only participants were myself and a Jimmy Yeoh, and Jimmy is a friend of Zeal – so he is not really a ‘participant’.
Jimmy, a retired teacher, is in the ‘making education fun’ business.
Know what my commitment was? To develop, promote and conduct Youth Development programmes. And this meeting will probably enable me to collaborate with these gentlemen to fulfill my commitment.
By the way, both Zeal and Murshidah are M&Y graduates.
Friday, December 26, 2008
I met him in May 2008 when I attended the PersonPlanet Leadership program conducted by him. The program was organized by Terrance Tan and his Money & You Team. It was a week-end well spent and worth every sen. While my proposed project from the program has gone into hibernation, it has not been forgotten.
I hope you have watched ‘Leadership 101’. Please also click on the Big Picture Small World link to learn more about the programs and games available, and to watch some other wonderful presentations or movies.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
As a Muslim, I welcome Syariah to be the supreme law of the land. If I did not wish it I would probably cease being Muslim.
Before we begin, we must first understand the assumptions of Islam and the basic tenets of the religion. The meaning of the word 'Islam' is "submission or surrender to Allah's will." Therefore, Muslims must first and foremost obey and submit to Allah's will. The Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was given the Quran to guide mankind to follow and implement His (Allah’s) will. In Islam, law and religion are one, i.e. there is no separation between ‘Church’ and ‘State’.
The Quran gives specific rules only on a limited number of cases. In most instances the guidelines are very general. We do have access to authentic sayings and traditions of the prophet (pbuh) (sahih hadith and sunnah) to fill in many gaps, but even so there is a large area where we are free to make our own choices.
The problem is not in Syariah or Hudud itself, but in the interpretation and implementation of these laws. Even where the dictates of the Quran are specific, people have given differing opinions as to its meaning – Arabic being such a language, words can have multiple meanings. What more with all the rest.
Therefore if and when we implement Syariah and Hudud in Malaysia, whose interpretation will we be implementing?
Click here for an interesting article “Islamic Law – Myths & Realities”
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The first nerd was stunned and asked... "Where did you get such a nice bike?"
The second nerd replied.... "Well, yesterday I was walking along minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up to me on this bike.
She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want!'"
The second nerd nodded approvingly.... "Good choice, the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."
Monday, December 15, 2008
A man called home to his wife and said, 'Honey I have been asked to go fishing up in Canada with my boss & several of his friends. We'll be gone for a week. This is a good opportunity for me to get that promotion I've been wanting, so could you please pack enough clothes for a week and set out my rod and fishing box, we're leaving from the office and I will swing by the house to pick my things up. And Oh! Please pack my new blue silk pajamas.'
The wife thinks this sounds a bit fishy but being the good wife she is, did exactly what her husband asked.
The following Weekend he came home a little tired but otherwise looking good.
The wife welcomed him home and asked if he caught many fish?
He said, 'Yes! Lots of salmon, some bluegill, and a few swordfish. But why didn't you pack my new blue silk pajamas like I asked you to do?'
The wife replied,
'I did. They're in your fishing box ...'
Moral of the story:
Never Lie To A Woman... especially if she happens to by your wife!!!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
However, I received a second sms, most probably from the same person, with the added ‘instructions’ that I should forward it to all my ‘Muslim’ friends and acquaintances.
I was about to delete it when I thought that I should put down my thoughts in this blog. Sms’s, to me, are short messages but this was rather long. The text of the sms was as follows:
Skrg krstian sdg aktf d Srmbn n Slngor n kian pesat ke negeri lain. Seramai 1900 org pdri Mlayu yg baru tiba dr Sgpore telah berada d sini…………….…Air tsbut tlh dcampur dgn holy water……Air ni blh m’ngkbtkn lidah keras@kelu utk mnybut klimah Allah.
Roughly translated it goes like this:
Now Christians are active in Seremban and Selangor and gaining momentum in other states. 1,900 Malay priests have arrived from Singapore and are here.…( here it warns against drinking certain brands of mineral water as) the water is mixed with holy water…This water will make one tongue tied and unable to pronounce the name of Allah.
I found this quite hilarious.
I think everyone knows that in Malaysia it’s against the law to try to convert Muslims out of Islam. So if the originator has any information of such activity, he/she should report it to the relevant authorities.
Then the sender, if he/she has not verified (or at least try to verify) the authenticity of the message, is guilty of spreading falsehood – and that’s not a small sin based on my understanding of Islam.
The sender is also telling me that my faith (Iman) is weak. Maybe so, but shouldn’t the originator/sender be actively promoting activities involved in strengthening my faith rather than just make our already rich Telcos richer.
We then have Malay priests coming from Singapore. The Malaysian constitution is clear that to be called a Malay, one must profess Islam as his/her religion. It would be different if the sms said ‘Malay speaking’ priests, but then aren’t many of the Christian priests and ministers already in Malaysia able to converse in Malay. This is a necessity as the first language for most of us is Malay even for those of different ethnic origins.
What is ‘holy water’? My Christian friend tells me that this is plain water which has some drops of olive oil sprinkled on it and prayers are recited over it by the priest by way of blessings. And if this water is able to be specific in its targeting (only making its drinkers tongue tied in pronouncing the name of Allah and the Shahadah - Attestation of Faith), all the intelligence agencies of the world should be real interested in learning its secret.
On a somber note however, we see so many misguided ‘Muslim’ and other youth loitering the streets and complexes in our towns and cities. If we as Muslims don’t guide them and show them the way, then there surely are others who are more than willing to do so.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Just to introduce Dr. Tony, he is a practicing chiropractor from China and is recently married to Ms Wendy Tan, CEO of Globe Engineering.
I tried to have some small talk with him, but he made it known that he could only converse in Chinese. Luckily for me, Danic was nearby and I roped him in to be our interpreter.
One of the questions I asked the good doctor was how he handled non-Chinese speaking patients or for that matter if he had any.
His answer was that he understood the word ‘sakit’ (Malay for pain) and as long as the patient could tell him where it hurt, he had no problems diagnosing and treating them.
Well what do you know, pain IS a universal language.
Photo above: Dr. Tony treating Reza, and I didn’t hear Reza saying ‘sakit’, he just groaned.
If you need the services of the good doctor, who by the way also does acupuncture, he is available at:
Kiara Kenangan Sdn Bhd
149-1, 3 ½ Mile Old Klang Road
58000 Kuala Lumpur
Mobile No: 016-236 0253
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The Star reports that “Abdullah expressed hope that the level of confidence on the Anti-Corruption Agency and judiciary among the people would rise once the Bills were passed”.
The PM’s statement reminds me of the recent reports that the Police will appoint an independent consultant to show that Malaysia is a safer than places like Japan.
Perception is a funny thing. People will believe and continue to believe whatever they want. What they perceive Is. To them that is fact.
As an example, let’s say that the number of crimes reported last year was 80, reduced from that which was reported the previous year which was 100. Then this year there were only 10 crimes reported. Based on that, we are now living in safer times. I should feel safe, right?
But wait a moment, the 100 and 80 cases reported happened somewhere I don’t know – to me its just some statistics. Of the 10 cases this year, 5 happened in or near my neighborhood. 2 to people I know.
Do I feel safe? Or do I feel more threatened now?
So coming back to the PM’s statement, will just the passage of these two bills increase the level of confidence in the ACA and Judiciary, especially since he also is reported to have added, “The Government met many parties, collected viewpoints and suggestions and came up with a compromise and approaches that could be accepted by all.”
Friday, December 5, 2008
A new priest at his first mass was so nervous he could hardly speak. After mass he asked the monsignor how he had done.
The monsignor replied, 'When I am worried about getting nervous On the pulpit, I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip.'
So next Sunday he took the monsignor's advice.
At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink.
He proceeded to talk up a storm.
Upon his return to his office after the mass, he found the following note on the door:
- Sip the vodka, 'don't gulp'.
- There are 10 commandments, not 12.
- There are 12 disciples, not 10.
- Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.
- Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not bet his ass.
- We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.
- The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to as Daddy, Junior and the spook.
- David slew Goliath, he did not kick the sh*t out of him.
- When David was hit by a rock and was knocked off his donkey, don't say he was stoned off his ass.
- We do not refer to the cross as the 'Big T.'
- When Jesus broke the bread at the last supper he said, 'take this and eat it for it is my body.' He did not say ' Eat me'.
- The recommended grace before a meal is not: Rub-A-Dub-Dub thanks for the grub, Yeah God.
- Next Sunday there will be a taffy pulling contest at St. Peter's not a peter pulling contest at St. Taffy's.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
- Marianne Williamson
Monday, December 1, 2008
You don’t have to send it to x number of people though, that stops right here. But feel free to share.
I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree.
The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.
Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.' The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.
I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So I thought this would be a piece of cake.
Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.
We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did.
I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside me as I turned to see why they had moved.
As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.
As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was 'smiling'. His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance.
He said, 'Good day' as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.
The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.
I held my tears as I stood there with them.
The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.
He said, 'Coffee is all Miss' because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).
Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.
That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.
I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.
He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Thank you.'
I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.'
I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son.
When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope.'
We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give.
We are not church goers, but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.
I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.
I turned in 'my project' and the instructor read it.
Then she looked up at me and said, 'Can I share this?'
I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class. She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed.
In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.
I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.
Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS - NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I’m sure no authority on Islam, but I’m a ‘practicing’ Muslim and have read a little about Hinduism. I suppose that this qualifies me to throw in my '2 sen' worth.
Issuing a fatwa is a great responsibility. In Islamic history, many a leading scholar has chosen to spend time in prison rather then issue a fatwa. So when someone or a group issues a fatwa, they must have considered it in great depth before deciding on it.
In my understanding of Hinduism, God is not only the immanent cause, but also the material cause of creation. (To explain this concept of immanent and material cause, lets take the example of a clay pot. The potter is the immanent cause of the pot, as he/she is the maker. The clay is the material cause as the pot is made out of clay.)
To put it another way, God created creation using Himself as the material from which creation originates i.e. everything is God.
Therefore, when a Hindu greets another by putting both his/her palms together, he/she is actually saying, “I worship you.”
Now to yoga - they say that it’s all right, as long as there are no chants or mantras involved.
From a Muslim viewpoint, invoking any other than Allah amounts to shrik (associating others with Allah) and is THE gravest of sins in Islam. Some even say that reciting specific verses of the Quran (i.e. when used just like a mantra) to obtain specific results may amount to shrik, if it does not have the sanction of Hadith or Sunnah (i.e. the teachings and practices of the holy prophet - peace and blessing be upon him.)
A Muslim going for yoga, does not normally involve himself/herself in chants and mantras. He/She only follows the exercise routines, so where’s the problem?
Yoga has been developed over the centuries by yogis to purify themselves and to achieve union with God. The movements, postures, breathing techniques and everything else associated with yoga are to serve this objective.
If there is one similarity between Islam and Hinduism, it’s that both do not distinguish between what is sacred and what is secular.
How does one distinguish between the religious (sacred) aspect of yoga and the ‘just exercise’ (secular) aspect of it?
Me? I prefer walking.
When I asked, the election is scheduled for April 2009 and with a sizable Indonesian population here, campaigning is already on-going.
Indonesia is a republic with a presidential system and power is concentrated in the national government.
The president of Indonesia is the head of state, commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the director of domestic governance, policy-making, and foreign affairs. The president appoints a council of ministers, who are not required to be elected members of the legislature.
The highest representative body at national level is the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR). Its main functions are supporting and amending the constitution, inaugurating the president, and formalizing broad outlines of state policy. It has the power to impeach the president.
The MPR comprises two houses; the People’s Representative Council (DPR), with 550 members, and the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), with 128 members.
The DPR passes legislation and monitors the executive branch; party-aligned members are elected for five-year terms by proportional representation.
The DPD is a new chamber for matters of regional management.
Friday, November 28, 2008
When George Washington took command of the US Continental Army the flag he used was that of the East India Company. By coincidence the flag had 13 red and white stripes. As the blue rectangle in the left corner consisted of the British Union Jack, GW replaced it with 13 five pointed white stars.
While the British lost the 1776 war, the East India Company's owners (who constituted the real power behind the British government) not only did not lose, but moved right into the new USA economy.
Interesting. Get rid of the British, but hold on to the emblem of British power.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: 'I am blind, please help.' There were only a few coins in the hat.
A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.
Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were.
The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, 'Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?'
The man said, 'I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.'
What he had written was: 'Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it.'
Do you think the first sign and the second sign were saying the same thing? Of course both signs told people the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?
Moral of the Story: Be thankful for what you have. Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively. Invite others towards good with wisdom.
Live life with no excuse and love with no regrets.
When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile.
Face your past without regret.
Handle your present with confidence.
Prepare for the future without fear.
Keep the faith and drop the fear.
Great men say, 'Life has to be an incessant process of repair and reconstruction, of discarding evil and developing goodness. In the journey of life, if you want to travel without fear, you must have the ticket of a good conscience.'
The most beautiful thing is to see a person smiling!!
And even more beautiful is, knowing that you are the reason behind it!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
A self-important college freshman attending a recent football game took it upon himself to explain to a senior citizen sitting next to him why it was impossible for the older generation to understand his generation.
“You grew up in a different world, actually an almost primitive one”, the student said, loud enough for many of those nearby to hear.
“The young people of today grew up with television, jet planes, space travel, man walking on the moon. Our space probes have visited Mars. We have nuclear energy, ships and electric and hydrogen cars, cell phones, computers with light-speed processing and more.”
After a brief silence, the senior citizen responded as follows: “You’re right, son. We didn’t have those things when we were young. ….so we invented them. Now, you arrogant little s**t, what are you doing for the next generation?”
The applause was amazing ……….
2 medium potatoes, cubed fine
1 carrot, cubed fine
chicken fillet, cubed fine
milk (fresh, full cream, low fat – your preference) about 1 cup
shallot (grind in blender) about 4 table spoons
garlic (grind in blender) about 2 table spoons
white pepper power (according to taste)
salt (according to taste)
corn flour (as jelling agent)
oil for cooking and for deep frying
cream cracker biscuits
eggs for coating the crackers before frying
Note of warning – I cook for fun. Measurements are not scientific. Use your own judgement.
To cube the potatoes, carrot and chicken, first cut into matchstick size strips. (For the benefit of the high – C’s, I’m referring to the ‘flying man’ brand matches.) Then cube them, i.e. really small cubes.
First heat oil in wok and deep fry the potatoes until it turns light brown. Remove and place on kitchen rolls to blot excess oil. The potato needs to be fried so that the filling remains good longer.
Leave a little oil in the wok and fry shallot and garlic paste until fragrant. Add the carrots and fry till soft. Add the chicken. When chicken is cooked, add the fried potatoes. Pour in the milk and cook until it is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper. Mix the corn flour with a little milk and add to the wok. This is the gum that holds everything together.
In a bowl, beat eggs. Mix some corn flour with a little milk and add to the beaten eggs.
Now don't forget to invite me!!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
“They (the Jews and Christians) have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks …..” (9:31)
Once while Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was reciting this verse, Adi bin Hatim said, “O Allah’s Messenger! They do not worship them (i.e. the rabbis and monks).” Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) replied, “They certainly do. They (i.e. the rabbis and monks) made lawful (halal) things as unlawful (haram), and unlawful things as lawful, and they (the Jews and Christians) followed them; and by doing so, they really worshiped them.”
Monday, November 24, 2008
That is until someone asked me the question, “What is Islam?”
Normally, I would have told him about the Pillars of Islam, and that would be that.
But this was someone who wanted to know about the essence of Islam. And I could feel that he was sincere in his quest of Truth.
I am what most would call a ‘practicing Muslim’. I know the attestation of faith – the syahadah. I pray the way I have been taught to pray. I fast during Ramadan. I give charity. I observe the korban (sacrifice). And I am registered to perform the Hajj in the next few years.
So it looks like I’m only a Muslim by the rituals that I observe, a ritualistic Muslim. Am I a Muslim in spirit too? In essence?
I think I can only answer my friend when I have answered this question to myself first.
Then you have FJ, another friend of mine (who says that I reminder him of a philosopher), who says that I should at least write and maintain a web log. The entries can be collected to form the basis of the book that I could write.
Then I remembered this profile that I created in ‘Blogger’ so long ago. I think its time I do some blogging, if for no other reason, it’ll at least keep Danic and FJ from hounding me.
So today you can say, “I’ve arrived.”