Monday, April 14, 2014

On a tragedy

and to Him we shall return.

A van transporting kids ended up in waters when the driver went out to send some of the kids to their daycare. She forgot to engage the handbrake and the van slide into a water sanitation pool. Two men managed to save 5 of the children but it was too late for a 4 year old boy.

Such a good boy he must be.

So I share this poem which has that feel of wondering comfort. Of two sharing a common love would speak to each other: "don't you think he is in heaven? Maybe walking that garden, having that feast and talking to the best of people. I wonder if they got milk there?"

That in Paradise

Surely, in paradise, is a river of milk For Ali, and Hussain, and Hassan
Whosoever loves them 

Whosoever goes forth upon their path 
Enters paradise without experiencing any sadness 
Love of the People of the Prophetic Household is incumbent upon us 
And because of this love, we do not fear tribulations.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pick Hair

In  Yemen, beggar syndicate is pretty common. They have a network of their own identifying possible gullible persons. You give to one, expect a whole army to come by. They'd tag along the marked man like he is Midas.

Except Midas is giving out paper money instead of gold coins.

One fine day we were at the market just not really minding our business when we came upon a 5 or 6 year old girl eating off from scraps left by some of the shoppers there (they eat at the ground and leave whatever there and later clean it up when they want to go back)

Come to think of it, I wonder if I've told this before... oh nevermind. Let's continue.

My good friend looked at her and remarked... oh pity this girl! (in Malay of course, but English has that dramatic effect we all love in movies). "Oh pity this girl" and that's about it. No handout or anything. He just continues walking.

Drama kan.

And then came Friday and like the usual, we went to the mosque at noon for Friday prayers and there's like a whole bunch of beggars there too. There's this particular beggar, which we can see despite the purdah she wears, a very verrryyy pretty one. She brought her daughter(?) along too and from her daughter's looks, we assumed her hair was light brown. Memang cantik lah.

She came to us for a handout and without a word this colleague of mine (looking rather sheepishly) handed her a nice amount. Nice enough for her to sound so very happy about it. (nice voice too).

I rolled my eyes but I am grateful for this. I now have a laughing stick to poke at him once in  awhile.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Keep on planting

I try to avoid depressing news. You know... earth shattering event news. Yes this could be a very depressing post.

I try to avoid but I couldn't ignore warnings about one of man's greatest trial: the Dajjal.

A Yemeni scholar has sent warning to start preparing. The wordings he used (at least from the translation) had that sense of urgency in it. I used to read similar warnings from other scholars as well. Their words were usually, 'its close'. This one gave me such dread and fear. I fear for my 2 boys. They're just kids. Why must it be this soon?

So I did the only thing I could. I talked about what's coming. At least of what I remembered about him.

There would be a worldwide famine, massive deaths of plant and animal life, and time would slow down to a crawl. The week which he walks the earth would seem like years. As people go hungry and desperate, he would walk the earth with his version of heaven and hell on his shoulders. He would walk with a river of fire on one side and a river of water on the other. A mountain of bread would follow him as a bait so that the starved people acknowledge him as god.

I told my kids... deny him that.

Say no to the bread. Dip your head into that river of fire and drink from it. For truthfully, it is water. Deny him. Be thrown into his hell because after that God's mercy will be on you, the deceiver's hell will be made to feel like heaven.

Let your body be split in two. You skin be flayed off. Deny him what he wants.

"Tak sakit ke?", the firstborn asked when I told him to dip his head into a river of fire (and then drink from it). I don't know. Hopefully no.

When I talked to them, it didn't feel like you just gave the answer to some important exam. "Oh he'll be fine. He knows all the answers now!". Not like that at all. What I told them was probably something of the climax of the story. In movies, the climax are usually short and dramatic but what takes time is those stuffs that build the storyline. I am guessing many wouldn't get to see the climax.

A great trial for us indeed.

Of course, there is never a huge test without mercy in it. So here's the preparation...

The Prophet (pbuh) told us that reading the first and last 10 verses of al-Kahfi in Friday will help us get through if he comes out that week. The Yemeni scholar, in his warning told us to read it every night in preparation.

Haih, macam mana la anak2 daddy ni nanti. (sighing in your mother tongue does give it a bit more umph no?).

If you were in the middle of planting a date seed and you saw the end of the world coming... don't stop, plant that seed. - roughly the saying of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h).

Friday, February 28, 2014

Fast And Furious

During the familiarization program, I met this really cool prof. He's basically a multimedia dude (which means he does the things you see or hear) and stuff and at the core, as a colleague of mine noted, a geek. I'm not that kinda geek. He is. He even acts like one.

So during the familiarization program he wanted to tag along with me to a study center since he doesn't know the place and I do. No problem I said.

Off we go. My usual speed is 100km/h . In the morning it could go up to 140km/h on the MEX highway.

That day, we were going at 70km/h on the sungai besi highway.

I don't mind people tagging along, but usually when u tag along you try match the speed of the person you're following. It's fine if you're slower, the person you're following would try to get at a speed both is comfortable with. 70km/h is the speed we are both comfortable with because if I go any faster than that he wont follow.


So reaching the place ahead of the group bus and behind expected arrival time in my head, we sat down with some of the other persons who decided to go by themselves. We were talking about when the bus and arrive and guessing how fast they would go and stuff.. u know, just to fill in the time... then the geeky Prof said... "Usually I drive slow and relax, but today since I'm following someone, I had to drive really fast".


I angguk je la. but my head was buzzing with activity trying to figure out... if 70kmph is fast... how fast is 'slow and relax'?


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lost In Google Translation

Another Yemen trip story here. Rather short one. ;)

I think I mentioned that the team to Yemen is made out of 2 gals, me and a guy colleague. It was the first time for me and my dude colleague to go to Yemen but these 2 gals had a few more trips in their book. This helped a lot when shopping for stuffs (they know arabic numbers and haggle like a ninja. women and shopping).

So back to the story. None of us brought any travel clothes iron and while I wanted to bring mine, I forgot about it and left it back home. None of us knew what that thing is in arabic so as usual the gals went to google translate and tried that. They got the word, called the receptionist and asked for whatever written on the google translate site.

The Receptionist probably said something like 'OOh? OOooOOooo ok ok. we'll send soon' or the like.

A moment later one of the hotel dudes knocked on the door and gave them those wire cloth hangers.

Clothes Iron->Besi Baju->Hangers. totally makes sense.

We finally got the right one after including body language into the translation.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Familiarizing Me

No time? Skip to the fun part.

The company have this familiarization program for all new staff which is compulsory for them to take. If you missed the program for any reason, such as your boss says you're too busy, they'd put your name into the next session.

This is also true for the company retreat which they use to introduce the culture of the company and some team building activities.

I just had my familiarization this last weekend and it was a mix of fun and total alien environment thingy. Being a programmer do mean you're something of an oddball when your placed with a group of marketing execs and lecturers. Oh we do have a security guard in the group as well but she seems to have no trouble mingling.

So here's the fun part.

The Dean who gave the welcoming speech throws a crumpled paper randomly and asks the person to introduce himself and then he has to throw the paper to someone else and the other person will have to introduce himself. Repeat.

The first problem was the first person who got the crumpled paper didn't have hands.

The second problem was that I find it funny. I imagined myself in her shoes and felt how awkward it would have been that my practiced execution of an ice breaker falling apart for the very first time. You're not sure that saying sorry might actually offend the nice gentleman who might want to prove he can throw a curve even without hands or you should ask him to just try throw the paper to someone else and risk a 'dont you see I dont have hands?!' situation.

Oh the dilema.

Other part of the program was the usual talks, tours and some more talks. From what they say, it is a highlight that people here are given a lot of weight on their shoulders. I do wonder if familiarisation means they're making sure we become good familiars (kinda kebetulan sama cam good pets).

The End.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

At Least In A Dream

If you've been with me for awhile, you might remember me more than  just mentioning my religious guide, the Sayed. I haven't talked about my religious journey because lately it has become more of detours.

and you know what happens when someone meets a bad apple, they'd think the whole tree is bad. So being a rather humbled bad apple, I somewhat decided to keep most of the religious stuff to FB and keep the rather casual stuff here.

I took my baiah with the Sayed... fealty of a seeker to someone who'll show him the way. When I took that baiah, I was the best I could ever be. Wasn't perfect... bloody huge gaping holes in my faith here and there, but the attitude, the drive, the desperation I felt of wanting to be saved... it was there.

After the baiah, I had his counsel for a year or so. I could see him every working day and he'd teach me this and that. It's not just the how in religion but those things that connect the heart to your faith.

He became, in a way, a father to me despite his younger age (I think a good 4 years younger). I love him like a father. Include him in my prayers. Often reminded of him when his great great great grandad's name is mentioned or when his brother's talk on ikimfm.

Anyways... I am guessing it's close to 3 or 4 years since I've last seen him. The last time he was in Malaysia he called me telling him he was there if I wanted to see him. He never calls or text me unless it was to reply (and even those are rare). His phone is like always buzzing... people from around the world wants to stay connected to him. Plus his job is already taking the huge chunk of his time.

But I get to have him, an hour a day after zuhur prayer for a one to one counsel. Never thought how precious that was then.

So yes I missed him dearly, and as much as I wanted to see him when he told me he's in town... I didn't take that 20 minute drive to his house. I was worried when he sees me, he'd see the mess I'm in and all those counsels he gave was for vain. You see, the counsels he gave all pointed out to the dangerous things in my life. Every single thing. Don't repeat the same mistake (i did that), be patient (I wasn't) and a lot more of 'be careful of that! and I rammed recklessly into it" stuffs.

I remember seeing him once, busy with his dad's burial. Looking at me smiling at first and then that face turned to confusion and then seemingly troubled. Tak sanggup la nak get that look.

So I saw him in my dreams, just this last weekend. It was at a dinner outside. I remember I was seated at a table with a few more guests. I looked to my left and there he was. All I could remember was I hugged him and told him it's been too long and I missed him.

But of course waking up I wondered... if he called again and told me he was in town, would I go see him?