Thursday, December 22, 2011

KL and Melaka-ing Around

"Detik itu lalu meninggalkanku," Oh My Love by Awan Band.

So I just got back from Malaysia a couple of days back, so instead of wasting my time looking for stuff to write stupid comments on Facebook, I will update this blog with some of the stuffs that I did the whole 5 days that I was there. So if you guys actually wanted to read something interesting, go read Cinta SMS instead. Here goes..

Day 1 - 16 December

Touched down in KLIA at about 9.30pm (if I remember correctly). Took the ERL to Sentral to meet up with my family. Had dinner with them near Pudu and at about 11.30pm, AG (Hujan) picked us (my little brother, Boi and me) up to go play a weekly futsal league called Liga Ulama' (The Ulama League) at Subang.

Ai is not in dis pikcher.

We played until 2.30am, with me scoring 3 goals in 5 games (two of them against AG's team). My teammates were Boi, another Boy, Zul and Alif (all three I just met there). They were great. Then AG sent us back to our hotel and we slept like logs.

Day 2 - 17 December

Alhamdulillah, I got up that day and went down for breakfast at about 9am. Mat Luthfi and his father came and joined us for breakfast as well as a little chat.


After breakfast, we chilled in our hotel room for a bit before proceeding to have lunch. My father organized a little feast for friends and family at the Chicken Hut at The Mall. There I got to meet up with some cousins, aunts, uncles, friends as well as make some new friends. 

Some of the sights at Chicken Hut.

The little kenduri ended at about 6.30pm. Then my entourage of friends and cousins took off to Morning Rocket which was situated in Cheras, KL for a little shopping as well as a visit to Kamar Seni (AG's recording studio) which was situated just above Morning Rocket. Got myself a pair of shoes as well as a shirt (woots!). Unfortunately, no pictures were taken there.

Then I went to meet up with the family back at Midvalley Megamall. Then, off to rehearsals for tomorrow's event at Dewan Tun Razak 2, PWTC. Got to shake hands with Dato' Affendy (the creator of 1MalaysiaTV), Ahmad Idham and Cat Farish. Again, no pictures. The rehearsals ended at 2am.

Day 3 - 18 December

The day of the launch of 1 Malaysia TV. After breakfast, we went down to the hall and shook hands with a few people. Took some pictures and signed a few autographs.

Then I went up on stage to fail at speaking for 30 seconds in front of a few hundred people, not to mention the Prime Minister of Malaysia. *facepalm

Me (sort of) speaking.

Yeah, he was there.

Then we continued taking pictures and signing autographs until Mat had to leave at about 5pm. Had a good time with him as company. Crazy, he is.

 Mat & me.

 Ully, Awan Band's guitarist.

 Najwa Latif performing.

Me with Awan Band and Awi Rafael.

After dinner, we set off for Melaka. Checked into a hotel there and slept in anticipation for the next day.

Day 4 - 19th December

After breakfast, we went to my aunt's house for a visit and stayed for lunch. Then we headed to Dataran Pahlawan to join Cat Farish and crew for some 1 Malaysia TV promotional efforts.

 Me wearing my new Morning Rocket shirt with Aunts, Uncle and cousins.

Me with Cat merapu apa taktaw.

The turnout wasn't that high. The people that came were mostly people who happened to be shopping nearby. But some did come up to me and ask for a picture, so that was nice. 

Alang-alang you guys are reading this, if you have a mobile device (Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Galaxy tab, etc.), try browsing "" and download the application. If that's too much of a hassle, go straight to your app store and search "1 Malaysia TV". It's free (hooray!). It's an app that allows you to stream Malaysian TV channels like RTM1, TV3, TV al-Hijrah, etc. wherever you are in the world for no extra charge. It'll only use up internet, so watching using wifi is highly recommended. Support the Malaysian mobile TV industry!

Okay, iklan habis.

After wrapping that up, we went for dinner and then went back to the hotel to sleep. Early day tomorrow.

Day 5 - 20 December

On the road by 5.30am for KLIA. Nothing to highlight on this day. Just getting on a plane back to Sydney.


So that wraps it up for the whole 5 days. It was exhausting, but definitely a lot of fun getting to make so many new friends as well as meeting up with old friends. Experiencing something totally new. All in the process of growing up. I ask Allah for guidance towards the straight path.

I wasn't kidding about asking you guys to support the Malaysian mobile TV industry. Please do. Plus, it's free, so it's not as if you lose anything from supporting. Orang Melayu kata, bukan rugi apa pun. It's really convenient, especially for an overseas student like myself who wants to catch up on what's happening back home. Paihni bleh la layan Tentang Dhia sniri daripada dok baca tweet ja. Eh? Dah habih dah ka? Alaa..

A big thank you goes out to everyone that made all that you have read possible. My family (especially Bapak), Cat Farish and crew, AG, Mat, friends that came to meet me and hang out, the people at erama, and everyone else that I may have left out. THANK YOU! May Allah bless you all.

May peace and blessings be upon you.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

1 Malaysia Youth TV

"I've never done this before," Promises, Promises by Incubus.

Everyone is invited to attend:

All kinds of cool stuff will be there. Oh, but I'll be there too, on both days. So inshaAllah, just one uncool thing on schedule. It would be awesome if you guys could come.

Oh yeah, and a secret: Mat Luthfi is also scheduled to make a special appearance. So a BIG BIG reason to go right there. But you didn't hear that from me, yeah? 

But I wouldn't mind if you want to tell all your friends on Facebook or Twitter or even at your local kedai mamak. I wouldn't mind at all.

May peace and blessings be upon you.

p/s- Free food might just be given out, if you come early enough. Again, this stays between you and me, kay? :P


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Goodbye Cohort 1

"I wish nothing but the best for you," Someone Like You by Adele.

With the end of the exams also comes the end of the semester, marking the end of a schooling term. We say goodbye (for a while) to lectures, classes, assignments, weekly readings and all the things that makes university what it is.

However, the end of this semester in particular is of exceptional significance to me because it also marks the end of my seniors' (Cohort 1) 2-year stint here in Macquarie University, meaning that they have to go back to Malaysia and complete their remaining 1 year of teacher training, and that makes me very sad.

You see, they were not just my seniors. They were also my friends, football teammates, guiders, and some of them my housemates. They were a big part of my life here in Australia, as I imagine they were for most (if not all) of the people in my cohort (Cohort 2).

 Sending Amir off. (From left: Azlan, Amir, Shariman & me.)

It's very saddening to have the people who have taught you how to cook, people who you watch movies with, people who guide you in your studies, people who have taken you around a foreign land, people who have invited you into their family as if you were part of theirs, people who you joke around with, people who you share stories with, people who you go out for a late night snack with go far away from you without the prospect of you ever seeing them again after this. When we get back to Malaysia, they would have already finished their studies and should be waiting to be placed in schools already, so seeing them again as students, not looking very likely. 

Goodbye Faiz, Farid, Pidi. (The rest are the sendoff team)

Last meal with Hilmi in Sydney.

Our friendships have come to teach me a deeper understanding of brotherhood in Islam. They have taught me to always respect others and that I am not alone in this world. I will always have people who I can turn to for help and advice. Always willing to help, they are. They will always have a special place in my heart.



I praise Allah for bringing them into my life. I honestly would not know how I would have survived without them. And I can only hope that the almost-one-year experience with them was as sweet to them as it was to me. I pray them the best in this world and the next. May they bring goodness to wherever they may go.

May peace and blessings be upon you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Done Did Dud

"Been gone a long time, I kinda lost my way," Wishing Well by Blink 182.

So much for one post a week. Sigh.

That was more than two months ago. Of all the things listed on the to-do list, only three were really done, the weekly reading, daily assignment-doing and one edited video. 

Since then, I have turned in all my assignments, moved house, said goodbye to two of my housemates/seniors and finished my exams. Two months? MashaAllah, how time flies. 

So I guess this post will be a semester wrap-up. Oh yeah, I haven't mentioned that the semester is over. Last paper was a few hours ago. Here's a brief summary of the subjects I took this second semester in 2011:

EDUC267 - Introduction to Curriculum and Pedagogy
Awesome, funny lecturer, made the lectures and tutorials enjoyable. Learned extensively about approaches to teaching and learning, theories and all that good stuff. Learned quite a lot about Australian education too, how they do things around here. Lecturer was a fellow amateur video-maker too, so that was cool.

EDUC265 - Educational Assessment
Again, great fun in lectures and tutorials thanks to the lecturer. Learned about the importance of alignment in education and its importance (so important that redundancy may be interpreted as stress). Made me feel like wanting to change the system in Malaysia (wow, bold statement there). Learned that Australia does not have a National Curriculum, making me feel proud that they're following Malaysia's footsteps (since Malaysia does, just in case you didn't know).

LING219 - Introduction to Sociolinguistics
Even though I'm a big fan of linguistics (especially of the socio-kind), I was not as satisfied as I thought I would be being in this course. I know I have to reflect on myself to find why exactly this course didn't match up to my expectations, and I'm doing that, trust me. But externally, the course was just too wide in my humble opinion. We were asked to learn too many things in too short a time. It would have been fantastic if the content was lessened so that deep knowledge could have been conveyed. That would have been brilliant. But overall, it was an okay course.

ANTH205 - Anthropology of Islam
I didn't expect to take this elective at the beginning of the semester. I had already enrolled in Dance, particularly because the classes of ANTH205 went on until night time, and the beginning of the semester coincided with the beginning of Ramadhan, so I thought it would be tough to buka puasa in class, and prayers would be tougher to execute due to the time constraints. But then, as the start of the semester drew nearer, I decided to enroll into it anyway, since Ramadhan was only a month-long and I am really into these kinds of things. The course was taught by a non-Muslim lecturer and I was the only Malaysian enrolled into it, with more than half the class being non-Muslims too. But the lecturer was awesome, really critical of the biases of Western scholars and media who put Islam in a bad light, as well as the scholars of the Orient who were bias as well. The classmates were cool too, and they seemed to be very interested in Islam, asking questions and being attentive the whole semester. I got to present my first presentation in Macquarie University in this course, and it was on Islamophobia. It was the course which I read the most in (I credit my inability to make videos to this subject), spending most if not all of my spare hours berkurung in the library reading the weekly articles and writing up responses. It was exhausting lemmetellya, but at the end of the day, very much worth it. I gained an insight into the practices of Muslims around the world, gained new friends, got to talk about Islam in the Malaysian context and learned about Islam outside it, just a whole lot of good stuff. I'm very happy that I made that switch before the start of the semester. Alhamdulillah.

And so concludes my first year of studies here in Macquarie University. My second semester here has made me feel like an out and out university student, spending most of my time in the library and overnight reading rooms, stressing over the possibility of not submitting assignments on time and all that jazz.

And now with the exams over, I may be able to catch up on my non-academic reading. For the holidays, I have Ustaz Pahrol, Ms Armstrong, Ms Piccoult, Mr Stossel and Ustaz Syaari to keep me company, at least for a little while. And inshaAllah I'll get back to making weekly videos, whenever time and space allows it. 

That's all for now, I think. Until next time, inshaAllah.

May peace be upon you.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Steve Jobs' 2005 Speech

"I'm not the kind of fool who's gonna sit and sing to you about stars," Stuck on The Puzzle by Alex Turner.

So while watching the Phillip De Franco show, he recommended a video of Steve Jobs. It's his commencement address for Stamford University's graduation ceremony of 2005. It's truly inspiring, and I recommend you to spend 15 minutes listening to it. I just wanted to share some quotes and a few thoughts of mine about the three stories that he shared:

1. Connecting the dots.
"You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something ... because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path. And that will make all the difference."

To me, he just said "believe in Qadha and Qadr", you know, the sixth pillar of Iman? That's why Islam is the only religion to turn to, because Islam encompasses everything. A Muslim should never feel despair, because we trust in Allah. We trust that things will work out for us in the end, that as long as we're holding on to the rope of Allah [3:103], we'll never lose. It also serves as a reminder to me that I should remain steadfast on the road that I believe that will bring the most benefit to the most people. I hope this feeling remains within myself, as well as in everyone out there.

2. Love and loss.
"You've got to find what you love... The only way to do great work is to love what you do."

True love is based on the love towards Allah, and if you're doing something that, in the end, you know will bring you closer to Him, you know you've hit the jackpot. Steve also added "as with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it". So don't settle for something you're not in (true) love with. Keep on looking for that something that will ultimately bring you closer to your Creator, because ultimately, that's where you're headed.

3. Death.
"..I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, 'if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' and whenever the answer has been 'no' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something... because almost everything... just falls away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking (that) you have something to lose."

I think this quote is true for all world-changers. They do what they ultimately want to do, make the world a better place. To have this world-changer-mentality, death needs to be in your thoughts, because it is definitely, without a question, thinking about you. What are you going to do in your life that's going to make you special? Don't tell me you don't want to be special. You need to. 

Rasulullah (may peace be upon him) was many things, but he was nothing if not a world-changer. He brought light to a world filled with darkness. That was his ultimate mission. So we as Muslims should carry on that mission. Sure we won't be able to shine as bright as he (may peace be upon him) did, but we still need to shine in some capacity, and that is to our fullest. All of us have potential. We just need to realise it, unleash it. Bring light to the world in our own way, the way that most suits us.

Of course, these are just my own thoughts on his words. As the Malay saying goes, lain padang, lain belalang. Lain orang, lain fikirang. (Okay, that second part was made up. But it's true, ain't it?)

It's not wrong to acknowledge wisdom. We may learn from anyone and everyone, even a crazy person, apatah lagi a person by the name of Steve Jobs.

May peace and blessings be upon you (the reader).


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rendang Tak Jadi

"Terkenang daku kepada si dia," Dendang Perantau by P. Ramlee.

Because this video wasn't posted on my channel, I thought I might as well post it on my blog, for keepsake. And here it is:

So we shot this about a week ago, at a friend's apartment (which friend, I'm not entitled to disclose). This video was a tough one to make. For starters, we had to push back shooting it for a couple of weeks because of the tightness of everyone's schedule. And did I mention that we drafted a different idea first, only to  come to the conclusion that it was very impractical 5 days later, thus coming up with this one? And I wasn't one of the ones responsible for thinking up this video. The producers are the ones who deserve that praise. Me, I just edited. And directed. A little bit. The less-than-five-minute video took hours to shoot (5, maybe? I don't remember). That's the thing when you're an amateur video-maker. You aren't very efficient. At least, I wasn't. I didn't know how to shoot the shots, what to include, what to exclude, at which angles I should approach the shots, what was good, what wasn't, what to shoot first and last. 

Even though it was a tough video to make, it was a fun one to make too. Making videos on your own and with friends is just different. You get to bounce ideas off of each other, ask for help and have a good laugh. The hours passed by swiftly. That you can be sure of. Great, great fun. Plus, it was an awesome learning experience for me, and I'm sure it was for all of my friends too. Any upcoming videos from us will definitely reflect all the things that we've learned. (Now that I've thought about it, a post-mortem session wouldn't be a bad idea at all)

So it was hard, but fun. Time-consuming, but laughter-filled. Tough, but memorable. We hope that viewers of the video gained as much of a lesson as we learned through making it. 

May peace and blessings be upon you.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Me Schedule-ing

"Oh, it seems that you know me better than I know myself," Animal by The Answering Machine.

So this semester has been as busy as ever. I have found myself behind on my studies constantly throughout this semester, and we're already halfway. Explains why I haven't been able to make any videos or update my blog. But I'm not feeling too bad about that. My studies have and should always come before my hobbies. Especially when you're sponsored by your nation to do exactly that (study), ay?

Right now it's spring break, so I have 2 weeks to get back up to speed on everything. And maybe some rest, deserved or nay. 

Thinking about future videos, I don't think they'll be as elaborate as some of my recent ones. There'll be more just-me-talking-in-front-of-the-camera-about-current-stuff-type videos, me thinks. A more Phillip De Franco approach, if you will. Having said that, I still have two videos that have been on my "to-edit" list since a long time, so they'll be given priority. Then after that, I think it'll be a more laid back IniAnwarHadi. More speaking exercises (the initial reason for me talking in front of the camera) than PSAs.

Regarding the blog, I think I really should be writing more often. I don't want to forget all these things that are happening in my life in this foreign land right now, and a way for me to remind myself of all the stuff that are happening in my life in this foreign land right now is by writing it all down. I think I should make a bigger deal of that from now on. I'll put "update blog" in the schedule that I'll be drawing up soon to avoid me from going astray.

Living over here, we experience a new kind of freedom. No one tells us what to do. The general attitude of the lecturers over here is "I recommend that you do that mate, but if you don't want to, then no worries mate." Our friends lagila, they can't force us to do anything. And they don't. So self-discipline is of the utmost importance. In an effort to manage myself, I will draw up a schedule. I should try to be as hard on myself as I can, so that I don't waste any time, but we'll just have to see how I balance between work and play.

So the very next things that are in my "to-do" list are:
- edit/publish those videos.
- draw up a schedule that will include, but are not limited to:
     - updating blog (weekly)
     - reading all the weekly readings
     - 15-minute guitar-ing (daily)
     - specific times to address assignments (almost daily)
     - half an hour to read the online newspapers (daily)
- I've run out of things to say.

So hopefully these won't be just omong kosong. I really want to put all these things in action. See y'all at a later day.

May peace and blessings be upon you.


p/s- there's something about this post that is unique/peculiar/interesting/not really. Let's see who can spot it. The first comment-er to provide the right answer will get a shout-out in Twitter (some reward, huh? So lame..)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Raya 2011 (A Pictures-with-some-uninspired-captions Post)

"Even though I'm on my own, I know I'm not alone," Someone, Somewhere by Asking Alexandria.

So my first Eid overseas. Hooray? Hooray.

The Food.
Raya and food are synonymous. Fo shizzle.

 So food was a non-issue.
 We got to eat good food.
 We got to eat Malaysian food.
We got to eat not-so-Malaysian food too. Yum-yum. Alhamdulillah.

The Company.
Raya is also about the people you spend it with. At least it is for me.

I spent it with plenty of good company.

 Some Malaysian families were kind enough to invite us to their houses for Raya.

The atmosphere was great. Everyone knew (almost) everyone else. 

 Hanging out while enjoying good food.

Here's one at the Sydney Malaysian Hall with cohort-mates.
With the Patricianz (house-mates) after Eid prayers.

And going to class straight after.

A very late Selamat Hari Raya to everyone. Maaf zahir dan batin. May all of your Rayas be blessed and filled with happiness. Remember all the lessons learned from Ramadhan and may the good habits fostered during the previous month carry on to the rest of your days.

May peace be upon all of you.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Bagaimana Menerbitkan Video? Entah.

"Fill in a circular hole with a peg that's square," Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair by Arctic Monkeys.

Saya diberitahu oleh bapak saya tentang

Pertandingan Mencipta Video Merdeka bagi Pelajar-pelajar Sekolah Seluruh Malaysia

anjuran Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia.

( )

Pertandingan ini terbuka untuk semua pelajar SEKOLAH MENENGAH seluruh Malaysia. Walaupun saya bukanlah orang yang paling layak untuk bercakap tentang ini, saya tetap ingin berkongsi idea, pengalaman dan pendapat tentang

“Bagaimana Menerbitkan Video”

kerana saya percaya ramai yang mampu mencipta sesuatu yang berkualiti tinggi dengan hanya sedikit galakan dan panduan. Saya tahu apa yang saya kongsi ini bukanlah seratus peratus tepat dan boleh diterima untuk semua keadaan, namun saya harap perkongsian ini dapat membantu rakan-rakan disekolah sekurang-kurangnya buat permulaan. Tentunya adik-adik terperasan yang artikel ini ditulis dalam Bahasa Malaysia. Ini dibuat agar dapat membantu menarik minat lebih ramai pelajar untuk mengambil bahagian.

Seperti menulis resipi memasak, mula-mula kita senaraikan ramuannya dahulu. Keperluan-keperluan asas bagi penerbitan sebuah video ialah kamera video dan komputer. Kamera ini boleh saja samada jenis HD atau SD, SLR atau automatic. Yang penting memory card yang besar (atau cukup besar bagi jumlah rakaman yang di rancang). Komputer yang digunakan juga boleh saja samada desktop atau laptop asalkan ada program mengedit seperti MovieMaker, Dreamweaver, iMovie atau Sony Vegas (yang saya gunakan). Kemudian kita perlukan model atau pelakon (kalau hampa nak buat sketsa) atau gambar/dokumen dan suara latar dan/atau muzik sekiranya ia jenis kolaj dokumentari. Dan ramuan yang paling penting dalam penerbitan video (pada pendapat saya) ialah skrip yang baik.

Langkah-langkah mudah:

1. Bincang nak buat apa. Bincang elok-elok. Lantik seorang untuk catat apa yang penting, atau semua pakat catat apa yang di rasa penting. Boleh saja kalau nak buat video ‘narative’ (bercerita) atau sketsa. Atau boleh jugak kalau nak buat montage atau kolaj beberapa ratus gambar yang membawa makna diselang seli dengan ‘naration’. Kalau berbentuk sketsa pendek, boleh dibuat secara komedi, slapstick, sarcasm, polemic, dramatic, sedih, surprise ending, misteri atau spoof. Fikirkan tentang video-video atau movie yang hampa suka. Lepas tu, fikirkan “apa yang saya suka tentangnya?” baik dari sudut dialog, penceritaan, camera angle, directing, tempo dan sebagainya. Berusaha untuk buat apa yang kamu suka tu. Fikirkan juga tentang video-video atau movie yang hampa tak suka dan fikirkan juga “apa yang saya tak suka tentangnya?” dan berusaha untuk tidak membuat apa yang kamu tak suka tu. Simple pimple tak?

2. Membuat story board untuk video. Story board ialah rangka kasar tentang cerita beserta kaedah penceritaan mengikut rangka masa dan sumber yang ada. Story board biar tak cantik asalkan senang di fahami dan menyeluruh. Kalau dalam penceritaan itu perlukan skrip maka hendaklah dibuat skrip. Tak perlu dibuat terlalu detail. Berikan ruang untuk improvisasi (dialog spontan). Contoh storyboard yang saya cari dari laman web ialah seperti di bawah:

Diambil dari sini.

Kalau dah diisi ia akan kelihatan seperti ini:

Diambil dari sini.

3. Kemudian sampailah ke peringkat pengambaran. Ambil beberapa “take” atau “shot” bagi setiap adegan kerana kadang-kadang kita akan sukai apa yang kita ingat rosak (bloopers) sebelum ini. Sekiranya tidak mempunyai memory card yang besar, pindahkan ke hard disk setiap sesi pengambaran dan di label dengan baik dan mudah diingat dan disusun. Semasa pengambaran, ingatlah supaya buat di masa cahaya semulajadi sedang baik (kalau nak guna cahaya semulajadi). Kalau tidak, perlu difikirkan macam mana menggunakan artificial lighting. Cari la torchlight ka table lamp ka apa ka supaya terang “shot” hampa tu. Begitu juga dengan latar bunyi. Elakkan juga gangguan dari segi suara, adegan dan kadang-kadang tetamu yang tidak diundang masuk ke dalam scene. Contohnya semasa berlakun adegan tahu 1957 kelihatan iPhone4 di atas meja Tunku Abdul Rahman (unless hampa memang nak buat lawak had stai camtu la kan?)

4. Kemudian masuklah ke peringkat editing. Berbagai program video editor yang berada di pasaran. Pilihlah yang bersesuaian. Antara teknik teknik editing yang boleh digunakan ialah menggunakan efek hitam-putih, filem klasik, cloning dan lain-lain. Jangan masukkan teknik teknik ini semata mata untuk menambah efek, tetapi mestilah kerana penggunaannya membantu kaedah penceritaan. Kemudian, masukkan teks dan credit di mana bersesuaian dan bila diperlukan.

5. Langkah terakhir sebelum menghantar video itu untuk pertandingan ialah membuat pra-tonton kepada rakan-rakan atau anggota keluarga untuk pendapat dan pandangan yang jujur. Sesudah itu buat perbincangan terakhir samada masih perlu membuat apa apa pertukaran atau suntingan kepada video tersebut. Sesudah itu, bolehlah dihantar ke alamat yang diberikan di sini dengan format yang telah ditetapkan.

6. Isi borang ini

7. Semak sekali lagi samada kumpulan anda mengikut setiap peraturan yang dinyatakan di sini:

8. Menang atau kalah penyertaan anda tidaklah sepenting mengambil bahagian. Pengalaman ini akan menjadi kenangan anda sepanjang hayat.


May peace be upon all of you!


Sunday, August 14, 2011


"Terkubur hasrat ibu ke sorga," Jerayawara Orang Berjaur by The Venopian Solitude.

I've been meaning to share this with you guys sooner, but you know how it goes with procrastination and other work. They're always there. But alhamdulillah, I'm writing this now.

Taken from here.

In this life, we have all sorts of relationships. For instance, our relationship with God, with His Messenger SAW, with our parents, with our siblings, our relatives, our friends, even our girlfriends/boyfriends (ai, plural nampak? hehe), etc. Some we care about more than others. Some we spend more time with compared to others. Some we are reminded of while we visit certain places.

Those are some examples of the usual names that we have when we hear the word relationship.

But most (if not all) of us also have relationships with objects too. We have relationships with our phone(s), laptop, mp3 player, wallet, bed, camera, the list goes on. Each of these objects receive our attention in one way or another. Some we give more attention to, some less. Some we care about more than others. Each person has their own list, and the hierarchy in that list also differs from one person to another. Some spend more time with their phones than with their laptops. Some spend more time on their bed than on their books.

But let me ask you this. In that hierarchy of valuable objects, where do we put the Quran in our lives?

Miracles (mukjizat, as we call it) were given to all of Allah's Prophets (may Allah be pleased with them), but all of them could only be witnessed by the people who were around the Prophet at the time. Only people who attended that magic duel against Musa a.s. and the Pharoah's wizards were able to witness his staff turn into a huge snake (through Allah's will). Only those who were around Isa a.s. were able to see him make food appear out of nowhere (through Allah's will).

Taken from here.

But one miracle stands out from all of them, and that is the Quran. It is the only miracle that is still with us today, even after more than a thousand years after the passing of our Prophet Muhammad SAW. It is the only miracle that the people of a Prophet may be able to witness so that they may feel the magic no matter where they're from or when they were born (as long as it's after the time of the Prophet SAW). Such is the privilege given to Muhammad's SAW people by Allah SWT.

So it's a miracle. So it's the only miracle still in existence. So yeah, it's a big deal.

Going back to my question earlier. Where in that hierarchy of worldly objects do we put the Quran? How's our relationship with it? Do we spend any time trying to develop our relationship with it? If we do, how much? Is that enough? Is our relationship with it just superficial? Or do we make the effort to have a deep relationship with it, where we don't just read it, we understand it? Where we don't just understand it, we apply it in our daily lives?

I ask myself these questions before I ask anyone else. Let us take this opportunity while we have the syaitan in chains during this month of Ramadhan to develop that relationship with the Quran. If we don't have one yet, go buy one, preferably one with translations and read those translations too.

It's too much of a loss to miss out on this miracle. Just too much.

May peace be upon all of you.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Ramadhan A Period of Reassessment?

"O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous," al-Baqarah [2:183]

Alhamdulillah, we are again blessed with the Holy month of Ramadhan.

As suggested in my previous video with brother Aiman Azlan, I am pretty stoked about getting another crack at Ramadhan. It's my favourite time of the year, really.

Imagine, a month every year that is reserved for us to reassess ourselves as Muslims, gauge our sincerity and demands us to be honest to ourselves more than any other month.

Why is this month of self-reassessment? I'm guessing that if 10 people answered this questions, we'd have 10 different answers, so I'll give mine.

In the month of Ramadhan, besides the "not being able to eat and drink during the daytime" part, we're urged to (among other things) do charity (monetary or otherwise), hold our anger and read the Quran.

But then, as Muslims, shouldn't we already be doing charity regularly? Shouldn't we be the most charitable people in the world all the time and not just during that one month of the year?

"Indeed, the men who practice charity and the women who practice charity and [they who] have loaned Allah a goodly loan - it will be multiplied for them, and they will have a noble reward." al-Hadid [57:18]

Isn't the promise of a "noble reward" (Paradise) a good enough motivator for us to do charity whenever the chance presents itself? "

But I DO give charity often!" I hear you cry. Well, that's great! Just super! Just make sure to keep it up (and maybe increase in your giving ways) during this holy month, yeah?

Holding our anger is another thing that we're urged to do. But again, Muslims should be the calmest people on the Earth, in my humble opinion. Why? Because we believe in Allah SWT. We believe in Qada' and Qadr. And also because Allah SWT loves those who control their anger, as said in the al-Quran:

“…those who control their anger and are forgiving toward mankind; Allah loves those who do good.” ali-'Imran [3:134]

Even our Prophet Muhammad SAW told us not to get angry, as recorded by Bukhari in his Sahih as saying:

"Don't get angry," and he repeated this several times. [Bukhari]

That's some advice from the very best of mankind, so we should probably heed it. But then I hear you shout the inquiry "But how can we jihad if we're not angry?" And to that I say, go ahead. Be angry. But only if it's for the sake of Allah SWT. If not, don't.

Next, we're urged to read the Quran during this holy month. A lot of people blow the dust off their household Qurans and read it during Ramadhan. Some would start tadarrus groups and strive to complete reading the Quran from cover to cover in 30 days or less.

But then, aren't we supposed to read it as regularly as possible?

"And recite what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord. There is no changer of His words, and never will you find in other than Him a refuge." al-Kahf [18:27]

After all, isn't it the ultimate truth?

Ah, but you pout and mumble to the floor "But I already read it every single day!" If so, that's great! Awesome! Keep it up!

As I said earlier, to me, the month of Ramadhan is a month of self-reassessment. Are we really the best Muslims we can be? Or can some parts be improved? I know I definitely can do with a bit of self-fixing. How about you?

May this Ramadhan bring us plenty of rewards and make us better Muslims in the future, insyaAllah.

May peace be upon you.