Friday, May 17, 2013

The Secret.

The most random (read : brilliantly destined) things seem to be the topics of this blog over the past few post.

Today my immediate boss sent an email titled 'I know you can' (as in, i know you can do it). And in the email there was no text, just an attachment labelled 'Attributes of a supervisor'.

Thank you, mr. J. I appreciate the encouragement *grin*.

The attributes are :

Attribute of supervisor

·         Achievement oriented
·         Strong sense of commitment
·         Perseverance
·         Good communication skills (oral and written)
·         Good analytical skills
·         Good understanding of applicable laws, rules and regulations
·         Proactive
·         Good knowledge in insurance operations and practices
·         Well informed on latest developments in Insurance
·         General knowledge in IT and ability to use basic IT applications
·         Matured and able to make constructive and appropriate judgement
·         Focused mindset
·         Objective and transparent
·         Strong sense of accountability
·         Value-add to auditees
·         Ability to adapt to changing environment
·         Concern for order
·         Problem solving skills
·         Decision making skills
·         Diligence
·         Courteous, tactful but firm
·         Not arrogant nor too demanding
·         Maintain secrecy at all times
·         Avoid situations of conflict of interest
·         Maintain good working relationships
·         Teamwork and cooperation

 Behaviour of supervisor

·         Observe code of conduct:
–         Dignity
–         Personal honour
–         Honesty
–         Integrity
–         Punctual
·         Approachable
·         Focused and cool
·         Avoids arguments
·         Always offer suggestions for improvement
·         Value add to auditee - give reasons why and ways to improve 

If every supervisor had these attributes, then i think that all women would want to marry supervisors. Just think about it. 'Avoids arguments', 'maintain secrecy at all times', 'not arrogant nor too demanding'.

See what i mean?

Anyways, the first thought that went through my mind while reading this was 

'Well, if you're a good da'ie (caller) you'll be a good supervisor".

No, that's not quite precise.

'If you're a good da'ie you'll be a good EVERYTHING'. =DDDDDDD

Good communication skills. This is an obvious trait that you'll build, if you spend half your time trying to 'fish' people out of their mudholes out into the light.

Honesty. In the 'house of brothers' (crude translation of Rumah Ikhwah) that i stayed in previously, there were bottles and bottles full of coins. Why? Because there were lots of spare coins lying around the house, but no one dared to pick them up for personal use. 

See what i mean?

When you're a good da'ie with a solid foundation of iman and rigorous education that perfects your characteryou'll be even better than superman (because du'at wear modest clothing, definitely no undergarments on the outside).

When asked about the most important thing going into the 'working phase', a senior of mine didn't tell us to get good qualifications, or satisfy bosses, or save lots of money. He said

"Take care of your da'wah and tarbiyah. Then other things will fall into place. If you chase after other things hoping to become 'stable' before you start D&T, you will never be stable".

How true, how true.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The happiest place on earth.. not Disneyland. Its much closer to home.

Revelation has stopped descending and the Noble Prophet is no longer living among us,

But somehow allah guides us every single day in His magical ways.

The ayah in quran that we 'randomly' looked upon, yet pierced straight to the heart.

The friend who came to us at exactly the right time with exactly the right advice.

The novel that someone suggested, and in all but name the character is you!

If you want to believe in magic, don't go to disneyland. Join d&t. Honestly.

Because the happiest place on earth is your own heart, when its connected to the truth :)

"No calamity befalls except by the permission of allah; and whoever believes in allah, He will guide his heart. And allah is knowing over all things." (At taghabun :11)

Good night dear readers ;)

Friday, May 10, 2013

sky juice

We interrupt the flow of this blog to bring you breaking news.


10.30 a.m

Mr X : "lunch at lanai today? I'll belanja this time"
Me    : "Sure"

"Let's call first la, order in advance"
"any drinks/desserts?"
"We'll order over there"

Close to 12.00 pm

Boss calls for pep talk.

12.30 p.m.

Legs start to move on their own, mind starts to ride on a flying cloud all the way to lanai.

"let's go for jumu'ah!!!"

12.45 p.m.

Pretend to do hand exercises whilst actually stealing a glance at my watch.

12.55 p.m 

Run off to Lanai which is actually 5-10 minutes away (the adhan for Zuhr is at 1.12pm). While walking fast under the midday sun, thought to myself 'didn't order any drinks would be nice to have a glass of Brain Power.'

Note : Back in my orientation days, we had a RM15 voucher for every dinnertime. So we could afford to have a main course and desserts, plus a glass of Brain Power (which is Banana + Milk + Honey, why they call it Brain Power beats me. maybe inspired from the Quranic verse "..and in it (honey) is medicine for people"?? wow...)

1.05 p.m.

I finally arrive at Lanai, with 10 minutes left before Jumu'ah. "minum air kosong je lah kot.."(looks like i'll have to drink plain water..)

I rush into the cafe and there was Mr. X, the dishes we ordered and

2 glasses of Brain Power. 

*shining eyes, choir says 'haaaaaa~' in the background*

"I didn't know you could read minds."

"I didn't order it. I just ordered one for me."


"..then suddenly they sent two".

Imagine how scrumdiddlyumptious drinks are in Paradise :D

it was as if the drink came down from the sky.

Rasulullah once said to Ibn Abbas, who was still a young boy at that time :

"..Therefore know, that if all the people come together to benefit you, they would not benefit you except by what Allah has decreed for you.

And if they come together to harm you, they would not harm you except by what Allah has decreed upon you.

The pens have been lifted and the scroll has dried." (HR Tirmidhi)

Rasulullah gave this advice to a young boy. What a great advice to give to someone just starting in life.

This event had a very powerful lesson.

Even if you are late, or broke, or suffering any other setback,

If allah says 'you shall have brain power', then you shall have brain power.

And if he says we shall have this amount of rizq, then that is what we'll get. So there is no need to run in the race like everyone else, doing everything to get a pay raise, fanning the bosses, making people's backs bleed and stooping low to chase after this dunya.

"So i dont have to do anything, just sit down and watch raja lawak"

No, thats not right either. We should work and put in effort, but do it with sincerity.

Just like rasulullah advised ibn abbas in the beginning of the hadeeth, 'take care of (your duties with) allah, he will take care of you. Take care of allah, you will find Him in front of you."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

a people ripped apart, part 1.

Overheard on Election Day.

There were two parties on opposite sides of the road.

Party A : (going into song) ini kalilah..ini kalilah..ini kalilah..(one by one) ubah! ubah! ubah! ubah!

Party B : Nak ubah pergi Mekah lah! (If you want to change go to Makkah lah!)

We at RP respect the basic human right of sloganeering.

What intrigues me is the statement : "If you want to change go to Makkah". To paraphrase : "Do whatever you want now, then when you go to Makkah/get old/lose a family member make taubah and become a better person lah".

This mentality, i think, is one of the things that crosses both sides of the political divide.

Inside the masjid : It's not good to gossip in here, its the masjid.

Outside the masjid : You know that artist..bla bla bla..married another wife..blablabla..really gatal..blabla..what? its not good to gossip? ala kejap lagi kat masjid minta ampun lah. (after this at the masjid i'll ask for forgiveness)

Yes, the God that sees you in the masjid cannot see you outside the masjid.

It's sad that secularism of varying degrees is embedded in the mindset of muslims everywhere. Islam only exists in its rituals, in the masjid, in doa selamat, in TVAlHijrah, in 'islamic talkshows' after friday prayers,

while forgetting that Allah has also given guidance on how to rule, how to judge between men, how to conduct military affairs, how to conduct international relations, and so on. And also being conscious that Allah is all-seeing, so what you do outside the mosque counts as much as what you do in it.

"Then We sent following their footsteps Our messengers and followed [them] with Jesus, the son of Mary, and gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and mercy. And monasticism, which they innovated; We did not prescribe it for them except [that they did so] seeking the approval of Allah . But they did not observe it with due observance. So We gave the ones who believed among them their reward, but many of them are defiantly disobedient." (Al Hadid : 27)

Our religion is not a monastic one, meaning it is not just about staying in the masjid and praying and minding your own business. 

But unfortunately, that is how most muslims nowadays conceive islam.

And it didn't come about by accident. There was, about a 100 years ago, an organized effort to separate muslims from full understanding of islam, so they would be like Toddle Tots who could't resist.

"do whatever you want, we'll just smile as long as you let us pray and go to hajj. We have no arms and no tongues"

So tomorrow (or the day after tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow after tomorrow) we'll look into an important part of our forgotten history.

p/s : can't wait to see if tomorrow's post will be written under a dark blue sky or a blue-red-green one.

the 70,000

From Ibnu Abbas, Rasulullah said : "The nations were brought before me. So I saw a prophet and with him was a small group. And a prophet and with him one or two men. And a prophet with no one with him. Then a black mass (of people) was raised before me, and i thought that they were my nation; it was said to me 'This is Musa and his people, but look at the horizon'. I looked and and there was another black mass of people. I was told 'look at another horizon', and there was another black mass of people.

therefore i was told 'This is your nation, and with them are

70,000 people who will enter jannah without hisab (accounting) and punishment.

And then he rose and entered his home. So the people talked about those who will enter jannah without hisab and punishment. Some of them said 'probably they are the companions of Rasulullah', and others said 'probably they are the ones born in islam and do not attribute partners with Allah' and others gave other reasons.

So Rasulullah came out and said 'what is it that you are talking about?' So they told him and he (SAW) said

'They are the ones who do not use incantations (menjampi), do not ask for incantations, do not believe in bad omens, and have tawakkul (trust) on Allah'.

So Ukkasyah bin Mihsan stood up and said 'pray to Allah to make me one of them'. Rasulullah said 'you are one of them'. Then another man stood up and said 'pray to Allah to make me one of them'. Rasulullah said 'Ukkasyah has overtaken you'. (Bukhari & Muslim)

Look at the attitude of Ukkasyah. Most of us would be thinking 'alamak, 70,000 je?' (Oh no, only 70,000?) There are already a billion muslims today. Add all the muslims from the time of rasulullah and there'd be, like, a gazillion muslims.'

But Ukkasyah stood up.

Straight up.

No hesitations on his mind. No doubts. No fears.

"Pray to Allah to make me one of them"

It's like saying 'i want to be one of those 70,000. I don't know how, but i'll put my full trust that Allah is capable of anything'.

Look at his high level of trust in Allah, which was why he deserved to be one of the 70,000.

Reformers and callers today need to have this attitude, to stand up and say 'yes i can do it insyaallah' and give it their best shot. Not to give in to excuses
'i can't write this, i'll be sued.'
'i can't do dakwah, wait until i work and have more money'.
'i can't, i don't have enough knowledge..although i could find time if i divorced with facebook'.

Just do your best and know that Allah will open a way.

Take Zaid bin Thabit. Rasulullah asked him to learn the Hebrew language, and he went straight to work. He was fluent in Hebrew in just 2 weeks.

How awesome is that.

So dream big. Maybe you're thinking 'no one turns up when i call for usrah, and you're saying islam will be dominant all over the world??' or 'i'm stuck in this 9 to 5 job, my blog is updated according to mood swings and you're saying we'll establish truthful media outlets someday??'

Don't worry. Work hard, and have faith.

What is in our heads now will be the reality in 10, 20 or a hundred years to come. Insyaallah.

p/s : to all my voting friends, happy voting :) Exciting isn't it, being part of history.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

when success gets to the head

The businessmen of Quraisy, as we all know, made two business trips every year. To as-Syam (Syria) in the summer and Yemen in the winter. They depended upon this trade for their livelihood. We know that this trade was extremely crucial because when he was in Madinah, Rasulullah engaged in economic warfare and raided the trade caravans of Quraisy to weaken their economic power.

Allah made reference to these trips in surah Quraisy.

"For the accustomed security of the Quraysh. Their accustomed security [in] the caravan of winter and summer. Let them worship the Lord of this House, Who has fed them, [saving them] from hunger and made them safe, [saving them] from fear." (Quraisy: 1-4)

Allah reminded them to worship Him, because He 

"Fed them, (saving them) from hunger".

Makkah is a barren land, yet they benefited from this trade and obtained necessities and luxuries from faraway lands, and could live comfortably in the middle of the scorching desert.

"And made them safe from fear"

The trade routes were not PLUS highways with patrol cars and cameras (even then its not really safe, we still have bedouins driving on malaysian roads). There were highway robbers and thugs and all sorts of nasty stuff. But the Quraisy were guardians of the Kaabah, and we know how Allah sent down birds hurling fiery missiles on Abrahah when he wanted to destroy the Kaabah. In the Arab mind, 'dude you don't want to mess around with them Quraisy. God'll be sending hell on you'.

So the Quraisy enjoyed great prestige and wealth because of this honour of guarding the Kaabah, a blessing given by Allah. It is only appropriate that Allah commands them to 'worship the Lord of this House'.

Let's put those final ayahs in a more, ermm, local context.

"Fed them, (saving them) from hunger."

Malaysia is truly blessed when it comes to natural resources. We have oil, rubber, palm oil, sun, lots of rain (lots and lots of rain if you ask the motorists stranded beneath bridges on the highway), forest produce, wood, fisheries..and the list goes on and on. And we're situated in the middle of a major trade route, a third (1/3) of the world's shipping passes through the south china sea. We could have been born as inuits in the frigid north pole or bushmen in the desert, but allah chose us to live in a land where resources are plenty. 

"And made them safe from fear"

The history of this nation could have been very different. If, say, communists won the guerilla war against the british and the malayan armed forces and established 'the communist republic of malaya', america could have intervened like they intervened in vietnam and full-scale civil war could have broken out. That is just one example of how allah kept the country mostly at peace, with a few riots here and there.

"Let them worship the Lord of this house"

For all this wealth and security, all we have to do is to worship Allah and thank him.

And worship Him in every aspect of life.

In our values, in our system of governance, in our system of law, in our homes, in our jobs, in our mosques or outside our mosques, our way of life only comes from the One, the Provider and the Most-Generous.

Because everything ultimately comes from Allah. Not from the nods of the powerful or the purses of the wealthy. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

peace. stability. progress = ruin?

Umar r.a was asked :

"Can a country be ruined while it is harmonious/peaceful/developed?"

He said

" Yes, when the evil people have power over the good people".

This short statement reveals a lot about the depth of Umar's understanding of islam.

Firaun and his cronies were immensely wealthy and they could afford to undertake huge construction projects like the pyramids which probably had a positive impact on Egypt's GDP at that time. In material terms, egyptian civilisation was more 'transformative' than any modern transformation programme.

The people of Aad had huge and well-built physiques, they were strong and they thought themselves invincible.

But they rejected what Allah sent down, denied the messengers and followed their whims and desires. Firaun enslaved the children of Israel, and was arrogant, thinking that he had control over everything in his land.

" And Firaun called his people, saying ' Isn't the kingdom of Egypt mine, and these rivers flow underneath me? Do you not see?" (43:51)

 The Aad were severe tyrants.

" And when you torment, you torment severely" (26:130)

So in the end, all their material progress was for nothing.

" And we had strengthened their position with what we did not give to you. And we gave them hearing, and sight and heart. But their hearing, sight and heart was useless for them, when they were rejecting the signs of Allah. And they were enveloped by what they used to ridicule". (46:26)

So draw your own conclusions.