Saturday, 24 August 2013

Unity in Diversity

For the past many year, minority Muslims in the same country such as Australia have a different view in establishing the true dates for Ramadan and Eid and indeed the beginning of Hijrah months. Thus, the different opinions create a divided and confusion amongst Muslims to celebrate 1st of Syawal not only in a single country but also of the same city and sadly, often of the same neighborhood as different mosque praying Eid on different day.

I really feel that it is not that complex an issue if we don't make it out to be one. I am amazed how conclusive and absolute solutions to the problem exist and yet, in the Australia in particular, we are still so divided and so badly misled. Before I go any further, let me make it clear that I have no allegiance to any religious group or organization. This writing is not a lecture to offend anyone; it is written in the spirit of unity of Islam.

Back home in Malaysia, I have been reading the recent controversies surrounding aspects of Islam and the interpretation of its laws. Most recently, what has been in the forefront is the debate of are allowed to play in Muslim society, as well as whether a surau can be used for activities other than Muslim prayer.

A google search on “can non-Muslims pray in a masjid?” generates 3.950 million results. There is no shortage of opinion on the Internet. Yet, I feel that although these debates on the Internet have been loud and deafening, there is a lot of shouting and not much listening.

Fatwa are only advisory opinions to guide a Muslim to lead a life according to Islam. The scope and impact of the evolutionary debate seems a far cry from what we observe in debates today about how Islam should be applied in the daily life of Muslims. For anybody to accept or reject everything wholesale smacks of hubris. And when it comes to religion, I find it incredible that people forget how easy and common it is for humans to make mistakes, to misunderstand and misconstrue, as we have done in affairs far more mundane in our history.

Beside, there are much more important issues confronted by Islam today, which demand our energies and collective efforts. The intention here is the unity amongst Muslim communities of a particular region, country or city.I would like to make it clear that the purpose of my campaign is not to belittle those with different point of view.

In Islam we are all brothers, we all need to get together and give in to each other’s reasoning. My aim is not to just blame some and praise some; my dream is to see Muslims united in their individual communities. Brother in faith, it is not about who is right and who is wrong. It is all about our continuous and sustained quest for truth and our burning desire to unite Islam without compromising its very foundations and its true spirit.

Whether we like it or not, we often become prejudiced to our opinions. The way forward is to shed our pride and self-complacency and to be humble in our subjugation to one God and his prophet and his teachings. 

Note:- My prayer goes to all Muslims in Egypt...Amin

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Taj Mahal

Dear HM Queen Nor Azni Binti Abdul Latiff,

On your Birthday today, I realize that I have lived one more year with the prettiest woman in the whole world.

Today reminds me of the only goal and ambition of my life ? to grow old with you and carry along happy memories.

I may not be the best husband ever. But that never stopped you from being the best wife ever.

You have tolerated me and my shortcomings. You have tolerated by limitations and idiosyncrasies. You have tolerated my annoying habits and my mistakes. You are the pillar and support in my life

You are not just a wife to me, you are my best friend. You are my all in one package ? my wife, friend, lover, soul mate and my partner in crime for everything. I count on you for everything because nobody else understands me the way you do.

I wish I could express all my love for you in a few words or sentences. It is impossible because my love for you is never ending

Thanks a ton for all that you have done for me. I love you to death. A very Happy Birthday to you.

I hope all your wishes come true except the one below:-

Your Loving Husband,
Farid Affandi

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Experiment

Ever come across the five monkeys and a ladder thought experiment? If not, stick around. This is going to be an interesting post. If nothing else, it’s a modern-day parable

Does it ring a bell?

Culture is a word for people's 'way of life', meaning the way they do thing. As many cultures throughout history have found, all society develop routines, habits and practices, which we call the "culture”. As I am sure you know, these cultures can be remarkably different, in terms of what sort of behavior they value and what they don’t like to see, and what they punish. Always, these habits and conventions have been developed over the course of many years. Very often, nobody actually remembers why they were started in the first place.

We see this experimented repeated over and over again in society, Cultural pressure to follow what we've always done before, without really understanding the reasons why we follow the actions we do, is quite strong. How many of our structures in society are done in certain ways even though the restrictions on doing them in other ways no longer exist?

As culture is passed on to the next generation by learning. Countless choices in human lives are reinforced, driven by from traditions, whether religious traditions, rituals, cultural taboos, or what people learn from elders and their families. True, some of our culture and traditions give us ways to deal and cope with everyday life situation and can often help enhance rather than undermine sustainable life choices. 

The story that teaches us this concept was just another example that shows how easy it is to just accept things without question. Maybe we should ask ourselves why we continue to do what we are doing if there is a different way out there.

Note:- Perhaps" Biar mati anak, jangan mati adat " need to be question :)

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Human connection

The Internet has brought the world together yet is creating a wider gap of social interaction like never before. That's right, social networking is making us less social in the sense of personable interactions. With the growing number of networks and way to stay 'connected' what is getting lost is the true purpose on communication with others.
For this Eid, It’s important to take yourself away from your technology once in a while, putting away your phone and simply sitting down for coffee with a friend without distractions. Basic communication skills like eye contact and a listening ear are vital in forming bonds with other people and something we should continue to cultivate, despite the changing times with new media replacing what was once commonplace interaction. 
Maybe we should think about what we’re losing – the social skills that help us establish trust and understanding with our fellow human beings, and rediscovering those quality conversations. 
When you “unplug” yourself from the web of technology, even if for a short amount of time, there is much to be learned from simply talking to others and keeping the human aspect of communication alive. Never forget the foundation of human interaction, which involves the bare bones of creating a relationship with the other person. 
In the meantime, spend a little deliberate time connecting with friends and family the old-fashioned way. You know—without the text-lingo, the friend requests, and the inflatable vest
Note:- To all my friend out there "Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir & Batin"

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Evolusi KL Drift

In the final week before Hari Raya, most of the office seem serene, an environment that is usually unimaginable. The court staff seem a lot friendlier, and the giddy feeling of Hari Raya being around the corner is highly contagious.

At this point, everyone seems to be walking like soulless but happy zombies with only one thing in mind – home, This mass exodus of city folk to their respective hometowns is a "ritual" during every festive season.

I personally think driving on the road brings a lot of pressure especially festive season. The need to arrive in a hurry clouds one's rationality and judgment. As a result, people drive dangerously, risking not only their own lives but also their loved ones as well as others traveling on the road.
Patience is indeed a virtue that needs to be observed when driving. On the part of Muslims, having gone through the madrasah of Ramadan, one would think that patience is concretely instilled within the hearts of all Muslims. Yet, when sitting in the driver's seat, more often than not, this is not the case.

It is interesting to note that most foreign tourists have often commented that Malaysians are courteous, polite, pleasant and affable people. Strangely, though, these characteristics seem to evaporate once a Malaysian gets behind the wheel.

Attitude plays an important role in determining how we drive. As such, the values that we hold would be the major driving factor behind our attitude on the road.Islam enjoins its believers to hold dearly to good and positive values such as patience, being considerate, respect for others and vigilance. As stated earlier, Ramadan is regarded as a madrasah to inculcate good and positive values within a Muslim's character.

It is undoubtedly ironic that despite the lessons learn in Ramadan, especially with regard to virtues such as patience, caring and respect, there are still many who drive dangerously, resulting in many traffic accidents during the balik kampung season.

No doubt accidents do happen, but drivers could take extra care to ensure that the journey home is safe and smooth.It is recommended that drivers can change their attitude on the road so that they do not harm anyone. If Malaysian drivers do not change their bad habits, and continue their old attitudes, there will be a rise in fatal accidents, despite all the efforts done by all. Forever think that your vehicle as something that is unsafe and should be driven carefully and with accountability. By this approach, you can facilitate to reduce misfortune or not turn out to be the reason of one.

It is timely perhaps, with the coming of the first day of Syawal, that motorists resolve to have the right attitude.
Note: "Pandu Cermat, Jiwa Selamat. Ingatlah orang tersayang"