Thursday, 27 December 2012

Life is a series of choices...

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Saturday, 22nd Dec 2012, I sat for my last paper in Diploma in Usuluddin which I pursued since 2010, filling me with mixed emotions. In those 3 years I love being able to increase my knowledge in Islamic studies, whilst at the same time I can’t help but feeling sad as I do not know on how best to utilize that knowledge.

Norman Juster once quoted "You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and still come out completely dry. Most people do."

I have yet to decide on what to do next…should I continue with PhD that was put-off since 2008, or should I continue with a Bachelor in Usuluddin.  Some friends are keen to continue in the field of Syariah, some are interested in pursuing a certificate in Arabic language, some wanted to master the reciting of the Quran, some who wanted to “top-up” their credit at Darul Hikmah, and there are also some who just wished to “chill”.

For me, follow whatever field as long as it is beneficial and we sit in the council that speaks the name of Allah,   إن شاء الله   blessing and grace of God is always with us. Where we study and the area of specializations is not important. The most important is the prior knowledge of who we are and what we are after getting knowledge. 

Taking advantage of the long weekend will be my best utilized to evaluate the courses that I want to choose to study next. Perhaps Allah will make easy.

Khodi and me on our last day @ APIUM, 22nd Dec 2012

Monday, 17 December 2012

Kak Long, Abang & The Rabbits

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

My sister has 3 children. The eldest is Kak Long (10 yrs), the second one is Abang (7 yrs) and the youngest is adik Aisya (2 years). Each of them has their own unique behaviour. During the current school holidays, my sister who is also a Science and Math teacher told Abang to memorize the multiplication tables. As in previous task, Abang would request for a reward for the things that he was asked to do. That particular morning, Abang said to my sister “kalau abang hafal sifir, abang nak rabbit”. My sister responded by saying “Ok, kalau nak rabbit, abang kena hafal sifir 1 sampai sifir 5”. Two days went by, Abang was able to memorize table 1 to 4. To fulfil her promise to the son, last Saturday my sister bought 2 rabbits (RM25 each), a cage, a litter box, and rabbit food which sums up to RM200. On the way home my sister reminded the eldest 2 children that she wants both of them to care for rabbits and to ensure that the cage and the litter box are clean, so as not to dirty the house.

The next day as it was still a weekend, the father showed Kak Long and Abang on how to clean and feed the rabbits. However comes Monday, the father went to work as usual. Thus a new KPI to care for the rabbits began for Kak Long and Abang.  Unexpectedly after 3 days of rabbit caring, Kak Long and Abang got bored with this new task, especially the part where they had to clean the rabbits’ litter box. Kak Long could not stand the strong stench from the rabbits’ urine and poop to the extent where she will vomit.

I laughed my heart out when my sister informed me of what she heard about Kak Long and Abang’s du’a.  Both Kak Long and Abang raised their hands towards the sky and prayed “Ya Allah, Engkau matikanlah rabbit ni” while their eyes gaze at the rabbits in the cage and grumbled softly “susahnya nak jaga engkau!” Having heard the children’s discontentment, my sister interjected “Kenapa pulak nak rabbit tu mati, kan mahal beli tu?”

I thought about the story that was related to me by my sister all through the night. It dawned on me that pets can be great teachers for children. It helps them understand what it means to be responsible, dependable, compassion, conscientious and the ability to love unconditionally. Taking care of a pet teaches children the importance of being reliable, since the pet is counting on them to provide what they need. I suppose that's how our parents raised, protect, educate and care for us.  Never the slightest sigh could be heard, but everything is done with utmost dedication and perseverance to face the children’s ever-changing whims.

What can we learn from this rabbit story?  Every good thing enjoyed by Allah’s creation is one of His limitless blessings. Although in our forgetfulness, He would still remember and love His repeated over and over again in the Qur'an as an affirmation and reminder to His servants "I have given you many, but little are you grateful..."