Thursday, December 29, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Even though it is true that Qur'an has verses talking about war, those who do not read the whole verse or the chapters that do talk about wars will definitely misinterpret the Qur'an as 'promoting' wars; what is prescribed in the Qur'an about wars is actually the many many rules and etiquettes of war, hence making war as a last resort to solve disputes.
But if you were to really study the Qur'an verses on war and how Prophet Muhammad conducted and led the wars based on the true verses of Qur'an, you will be surprised. Study the history of Islam in their early days, study how Prophet Muhammad started his journey on bringing Islam to the world.
The internet is definitely a great place you can find lots of data from both views of the the war verses in the Qur'an. Hence be prepared to evaluate which sources is the one we will trust and believe to be true.
Friday, November 18, 2011
When I started to hear that JoePa's job was on the line, the first question that popped in my mind was 'Was he the one who did it?' Soon to find out that JoePa wasn't, really left me feeling that the whole news coverage on JoePa much more instead of the real offender, is really absurd and ridiculous. Finding out later that the university board of trustees had fired JoePa and the president of Pennstate really set an uproar across pennstate students.
Being from thinking that this is just another sexual abuse case into thinking that Pennstate's reputation might be tarnished forever and into this is how it feels to be labeled and stereotyped as how muslims and middle eastern students faced day to day, is quite an amazing journey within a short amount of time.
The first thing that I've learn from this is how ridiculously everything is just about politics, well in my opinion that is. I do not see the reason why we need to bring in the higher authorities that actually did try to do something about the matter when they knew about it, while leaving the real culprit being the 'sub-topic' of the matter. Why do I see more people condemning PENNSTATE as a whole, condemning JoePa and the president compared to the culprit if he is indeed guilty of the charges? Very interesting display of politics, I must say.
I was only aware that this scandal could indeed harm Pennstate's reputation and the students when we discussed the issue in class. And also when the media started to ‘attack’ Pennstate. To add to that, class last week also made me aware of another thing: 'American' Pennstate students are actually experiencing what muslims and middle easterns had been experiencing over the years since 9/11. Despite being a muslim myself, I have only been in this country for 3 years for studies, hence I have yet to really experience discrimination if I were to plan to migrate and live in the U.S. for good. Plus, I am indeed studying in State College; thankfully, the community here does not discriminate as much as incidences that I have heard of in different states of the country.
Come to Pennstate, and you will know how friendly and peaceful this community is. Even cars will stop for pedestrians who might not be crossing the road at the right time or right place! Try crossing the road in New York or back at home in Malaysia. You are certainly putting your life on the line if you were to do just that.
Going back to what Sam said in the 2nd class to discuss about the crisis, I could not agree more with what he concluded in class. We should not just ‘Deal with it’, or face the problems that we are facing in life, but GROW from it.
Remember the sweet memories, but don’t forget the bad memories either; learn from them so that we may move on to look for new sweet memories :)
Friday, November 11, 2011
Innocent until proven guilty, or guilty until proven innocent? Does the first only belongs to optimists and the latter to pessimists? Or does the latter practices 'better be safe than sorry' or the first 'don't judge a book by it's cover?'
As Sam has mentioned many times, everything in this world, especially humans, is not simply black and white. We are all grey, and very complex creatures with various and diverse complex matters and problems.
Even though intellectually we all know that 'innocent until proven guilty' is the optimists road, preserving human rights and all, but we still can't avoid passing judgement very quickly on everyone we meet, or on every matter we encounter. This is simply because we are human in nature. We have those natural mechanisms of caution and survival whenever we encounter something, regardless of it being harmful or harmless. Yes, not everyone reacts or pass judgement the same way towards the same matter; we are indeed complex creatures. However when we do pass judgement rather quickly on others, it is simply due to our defensive mechanisms kicking in.
Say for example you meet a new friend through friends at a party. He/She seems to be the attention getter, and just started acting wild because of alcohol, and started bashing you for really embarrassing matters. You would almost immediately take him or her as a jerk and start to defend yourself; especially in front of your group of friends.
For the most of us this judgement might only last until that person is sober. But for the first hour that we have met the drunk-jerk, we made a judgement (of the person being a complete jerk) simply to enable ourselves to defend our dignity and honor.
The same goes for 'judging a book by it's cover'. I could honestly say when I was traveling with in Philly, we will be extra cautious of black men. We are not being racist, but we were only afraid and worried of our safety as a result of hearing rumors of the ghetto area of Philly. I myself have met black men who are the most gentle and intellectual individuals. However when we were in Philly, my friends and I passed judgement for our safety.
They all are still Muslims, and they still have the chance to repent and turn a new leaf, because Allah is the All-Forgiving. In fact, they are facing huge challenges by Allah; where their ignorance of the religion and towards sin is also a sign that Allah still loves them.
Who knows they might have had a bad childhood, or dark horrible stories that caused them to be that way today. I think the main root that we pass judgement very quickly on people is because we assume that they are like us. We assume that they have the same opportunities and chances to know what we know, to learn what we learn and be able to overcome ignorance. Not everyone has the same childhood, the same family, the same house, and even the same friends! Then we start passing judgement when someone else has different values, different believes.
Let us share the knowledge, then maybe the world will be a better place.
Rasulullah(saw) said "The best of charity is a Muslim who learns a knowledge and later teaches it to his Muslim brother."
Friday, October 14, 2011
Being born in a multiracial family could be a blessing, and also a curse. My older brother inherited physical features from both my parents; he could blend in a Chinese or a Malay group of friends without anyone identifying him as a 'black sheep'. My younger sister only inherited my mother's side, hence she has all the physical features of a Chinese. She almost always will experience someone at the cashier or in a shop talking to her in Mandarin, even though she does not understand the language at all; she would simply smile back in return. There was once that my brother and sister went into a Chinese barber shop together, and the Chinese lady spoke to both of them in Mandarin (or other Chinese languages) and even mistaken them to be a couple. :p
Whenever we would go back to my mother's or father's families hometown for holidays, celebrations or even just for a visit, I had always felt different because of my 'race'. Whenever I would go back to my mother's side, everyone there were Chinese, even though they spoke English, Malay (our mother tongue) and Hokkien very very well, and they were all very very warm and friendly people. Even so, I couldn't help but always feel 'left out' sometimes during those family gatherings just because of my physical features.
Another different story happens when we visit my father's family side; none of my cousins were in my age range (they were either my brother's age or my younger sister's age) so I am often left out without anyone to play with haha :p but things do get better once we get older.
It is no doubt that Chinese students often get amazing grades and are even more qualified to get a scholarship compared to others, but Malays have that sort of 'White privilege' that Whites have the U.S. There has been protests and disagreement on this inequality; even my friends and I of different races do not agree with the inequality.
In the end, everyone will definitely benefit; Malays will no longer be lazy and will become more productive individuals and will not take opportunities that they have for granted, and that Chinese and Indians will also prosper in our country without facing discrimination. Then only we may be, proud Malaysians. :)
Friday, October 7, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
*Figaro and my lecturer, Sam :)*
I’ve always heard Sam mentioning about the Haiti Project that he and a bunch of his other friends are working on, but I have never actually get the real details of it.
It surely touched my heart that such inspired and committed people of Haiti are trying to bring Haiti back to it’s own two feet through their business they are working on; creating more job opportunities for the people of Haiti, as well as goods to consume or use. Even though they know they have such limited resources to begin with, such challenges did not let the people of Haiti to give up. Sam and the others who are involved in this project to aid these entrepreneurs are definitely people with warm hearts.
I really see that these small businesses could truly help a damaged country like Haiti recover from her wounds. Even though some might not think that such small businesses are able to help such a LARGE country with poor resources to recover, what more advance into a more modern and developed country. These people should know that small things do matter and they do make a difference. It is only a matter of time that these businesses will become big, creating more job opportunities for the people of Haiti and providing food, clothes, decorations and many more to the people of Haiti without relying on imported goods which might be more expensive. In the long run, everything will be worth it.
*Figaro and her business :)*
Regarding the rice issue that Sam had discussed in class, where the US government subsidizes the local farmers to sell their ‘unwanted’ rice to the Haitians at a lower price, it surely had more negative effects on Haitians that its positives. Even though the people of Haiti do get to buy the cheaper rice from the US than purchasing the local rice, this results in a lower demand in local rice, hence affecting the agriculture industry as a whole! Jobs are lost as local farmers could not produce rice as much as they did before due to the cheaper imported rice from US. This has not only caused the people of Haiti to lose their agriculture and job opportunities in the field, but this has also caused the MONEY of the people of Haiti to go straight to the US, and not to the people of Haiti. The money flowing out of Haiti is damaging Haiti herself, rather than helping the country or the people.
In the end, only the US benefits from this ‘relationship’.
I am very sure that most of my American classmates hearing this issue are either in disbelieve or even disgusted with what have been going on with Haiti, and even with Africa in that matter. The 3 billion dollars that was supposed to be used to aid the people of Africa, 2.5 billion of it ‘returned’ back to the US itself. Who knows, maybe even the 5 billlion left did not even reach the people of Africa.
Hence, I know that not all Americans are responsible for this. But we should not just stand back and say “Even though I did not do it, I apologize for behalf of America.” But rather say “I’m sorry they did that, it is absolutely not right. I WILL FIX THIS.”
This corruption does not only apply to America alone, but other places around the world as well, especially if there are people of power with lots of money who misuse them for their own selfish reasons.
So here we go, youth of the world. Let’s make this Haiti Project a stepping stone for us to change the world. :)
*Figaro and her home*
Link to the main page on Haiti Project : http://www.worldinconversation.org/our-projects/haiti-entrepreneur-initiative/
Thursday, September 8, 2011
I am sure that almost everyone who had one glance at Obama would immediately classify him as Black, even though he is actually multiracial. Even so, his race did not change my opinion of him negatively, but rather positively I must say before and after I learned from class that he is multiracial.
Everyone was indeed talking about how he is the very first Black president of the USA (even though he is not black 100%). Despite not being an American citizen, I could understand how the locals feel proud of their country as they finally took a step further to go against racism, to finally get past that ugly history of slavery. In addition to that, I managed to get a chance to hear one of Obama's speech on television before the election. Honestly speaking, I find Obama to be a very intelligent man, with so many words of wisdom that he had spoken during that speech of his. His skin color did not leave a negative impression in me, but after listening to his speech, I had double the respect for him for being so courageous to walk into the path that I'm sure he knows will not be an easy one.
There was once where Sam (my SOC119 lecturer) asked us vote on what we think Obama's religion is, and Sam got really upset when some of us said he was Muslim, and not Christian. Just because Obama was black, the whole nation questioned his religion even though Obama said that he was Christian. Racism, in America, still strongly exist, even towards the president of America! Sam said that if Obama was white, such a question will never be raised against the president of America.
I must admit that I was one of the person who voted and thought that Obama was a Muslim. I did it not because I questioned Obama's religion of him not being a Christian just because Obama was black, but I did it because I did hear rumors that he was a Muslim, and I was actually very happy about this. This is because if Obama was indeed Muslim, he would be the man who will be able to fight Islamophobia, the stereotypes of Muslims being terrorists and Islam being a violent religion after the horrible incident of 9/11. I believed that he was an intelligent and respectable man that could deny all the false news on a religion of peace. It wasn't, as Sam indicated in class, because I saw Obama as a person of color.
So after learning that Obama is indeed a Christian from class, my opinions of him did not change much (other than letting go of the hope for him to stand up for Islam). But truth be told, the people of knowledge can tell what is right and what is wrong, and take the right path with courage. ;)
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Assalamualaikum my dear brothers and sisters! :)
Here is a great link on advices and tips on how to teach our children (or future children hihi) to pray to Allah and encourage them! :)
I guess the best way is to set a good example to our children by performing the prayers ourselves! :) And give positive encouragement to our children to pray and not always scold them or get angry at them 24/7 if they have yet to perform their prayers appropriately. Patience has its rewards, insya-Allah :)
Good luck dear parents! May all of us be blessed with solehin and solehah children, amin! :)
Saturday, August 13, 2011
But there is this one night during this month of Ramadhan, I had experienced something very special from Allah :)
This year's Ramadhan, I had decided to try to do 8 rakaat terawikh prayers and 20 pages of Qur'an everyday. I know it's a challenge, but I'm willing to give it a shot and try my best :)
So after I have done my 8 rakaat of terawikh prayer, I took my small Qur'an and started reading the 20 pages. Just a few pages later, I felt terribly sleepy and fell asleep on my bed (yes I was reading the Qur'an on my bed, bad strategy but very comfortable ;p)
Then I had a very very terrible dream. It was a nightmare about something I feared for so long. I could remember that right after that 'incident' happened, I was crying in my mother's arms in that dream.
As soon as I woke up from my sleep at around 2am, I realized that it was a dream. Even so, I couldn't help myself from crying my heart out as it all seemed so real. "Is this the truth, oh Allah?" I could remember saying this to myself with tears..
I then remembered that I haven't completed the 20 pages of Qur'an, and I also had work the next day so I can't cry too much or I would have puffy eyes at work the next day XD
So I went to the toilet to take my wudhu', returned to my bed, wore my telekung (or hijab) and took my Qur'an back. However, I was only capable of lying down at that moment, and I fell asleep once again.
I then had another dream.
But this time, it was different.
It was about the very same incident, but it was as if the second dream was the complete opposite of the first.
The first was about something I feared so much, while the second was about something I wished and loved would happen, on the very same matter, with the very same people :)
The feeling of happiness and tranquility that I felt in that dream is indescribable. And as soon as I woke up from my sleep, I felt extremely calm, and I could smile happily. I could not bring myself to tears even though I could clearly recall the first horrible dream.
SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah oh Allah.. :')
Some might say that dreams are indeed the games and play of Syaitan or Setan, but then, I have never had two consequtive dreams, which are the COMPLETE opposite of each other, on the very same matter.
The first might have been Setan's play, but I am sure..
That the second was from Allah, consoling this very weak and tiny servant of His. :') I feel blessed, and embarrassed that Allah would consol such a weak person like me.
Thank you oh Allah.. :)
What was my dream about? Well, I guess that would remain between me and Allah ;) But I can give you an example of how the dreams are the direct opposite from each other.
Perhaps one of your loved ones had recently passed in an accident, and the first dream was about how he or she had died, and it was such a gory and painful death. And when you had your second dream, you met him or her, very happy and healthy, telling you that she or he is doing fine and is happy right now eventhough they may have passed.
Allah is indeed, The Greatest, The Most Merciful :)