Saturday, 20 December 2008

Masa..Masa ( Bahagian 2)

There is something precious I found it here, but it is so difficult to share with others. Is it too precious till I refused to share? Let me check.. No.. no.. I don't think so. In fact, it is my big hope to share with other people that so-called friends and family members to me.. and soon my community.

I tried several times to share my knowledge but it was rejected. Some said, this is new. Another said it is against what we have learnt in Malayisa. It is not according to our Imam, Shafie. Some even said, this is difficult, we have a simpler option and some scholars approved it, Islam is easy and why must we troubled ourself when we have easiest option? Emm .. my first reaction, my mouth shut immediately and realized that I have a big weakness lying in myself. I may have good Islamic education background, good scores but still cannot defend my points. Words become so difficult to utter maybe due to less of knowlegde. I have to read more and pray for His guidance.

I asked myself again, am I wrong? If I was, I need to check all my resources. But they were from Hadis sahih and Al-Quran itself. What makes people reject the knowledge? The only thing that I understand is the peoples are so comfortable with their current practises. I don't blame them. May be it is how we have being brought up and taught in our Islamic Education curriculum. It's really demotivated at the beginning, but keep telling myself , "our duty is only to deliver the truth and let Allah decide to whom He guide to the right path and those who He let them astray. Wisdom does not come very easily. It will go to whom He pleased to give.

The most disturbance that lingered in my mind is the issues or being particular in a certain madhab. Is it compulsory for a muslim to follow certain madhab? The same issues also arised to some enlightened Japanese in Tokyo when they conveyed their intention to be Muslim. The first question that popped-out from their mouth after acceptance of Islam, is it necessary for a Muslim to follow any one of the prevalent Imams and their sections? Is it correct to say that we are better than others because we follow certain Imam? I could feel some proud feeling for becoming a certain followers. The feeling of "I am better than you. My madhab is more pious compare to others and promised to heaven and et cetera." Ultimately, without realizing, this opinion and circumstances spoiled the unity and brought downfall and misery. One group is blaming others for a very small and ordinary differences. The issue of disunity among the Muslim Ummah grew so much that various sections always confront to each other. May be I will share this issue in the next entry, because it requires more details.

Lets talk bout ouself as parent and our responsibility to the children. This is from my observation on the community in general in Malaysia. We were blessed with good school curriculum and our government had carefully plan the education system so that it could produce individuals balance with both spiritual and world knowldege (ukhrawi and duniawi). I could see the approach is to balance the number of conventional schools and islamic religous school.

The govermnet has established boarding school like MCKK, STAR and etc and also Islamic based boarding school like KISAS and etc to give better education to the people. Why they need Islamic based school if the conventional boarding school has produced good professional and leaders. The words uttered from my ustazah in one day was the answer "Whoever you are, either you are an engineer, doctor, teacher, housewife or even you are a general labour, you must make sure yourself a mukminah or a mukminin".

Islamic based boarding school became famous to parents nowaday. To the parents, these schools can give both to their children and that is what they looking for. some parents however take it as advantage as an alternative schools for their children to excell and to get a easy getways to the higher education level (university) because the conventional boarding school usually have high competition compared to these schools. Besides, these schools also show high potential for the student to excell due to good resources they have. These was proven and the school alumni record has shown it all. The graduates are securing places in many famous institutions, with good positions. Some of them now are famous intellectual with outstanding contributions in their areas/field.

I also realized some parent took this school as a place for rehabilitation centre. They have a smart children (gifted talent) but unable to control their attitude. Hoping by enrolling them to these schools can change them through the training mode and education approach. There are also parent that unable to model themselves as a good guardian and started to channel the responsibilities to school with hope the children will turn to angel, while they remain on the same path without any effort to changes themself as well. Is it too harsh if I say this school as a place for responsibility escapism?

Similarly, Islamic/Tahfiz based schools blossoming like mushrooms. Parents are now get excited to enjoin the trend to send their kids to these schools, I am not sure what are thier reasons but one thing for sure the cost is not cheap. What is their intention? Is among of the listed here is one of their objectives?

1) Would like to have children in future succesful in this world and the day after?

2) To have a child that can memorize Quran and could pray for his/her parent when they passed away.

3) As an alternative school because it is near to workplace.

4) As an alternative education, since being a huffaz also can promise you good job and income.

5) Felt honoured being a parent of hafiz/hafizah.

6) Felt doing a mistake if not having any child that know and can arrange their funeral in future.

7) Others.
Whatever the reasons were, as a parent and the guardian it is our responsibilities to correct our intention as all deeds are based on your 'niat'/ intention. Our intention is our wish and will become our pray. If Allah wish to full-fill your wish, that is because we asked for it.

Rasulullah (p.b.u.h) said
" The rewards of deeds depends upon the intention and every person will get the reward according he has intended. "
-Sahih Bukhari - 1.1

Malaysian Community

I like to share my opinion about Malaysian community. They are two types of communities as I observed (three actually). One is the pro-religious community and the other is claiming as islamic pro-modernization community. I did not want to discuss the third community which totally reject the truth. The first community described by itself. The second comunity say " We like our future generation balance with religious and academic knowledge". That is a very good intention indeed. How are we going to implement it? Is it as simple as enrolling our children to the morning school session and KAFA (Islamic class) in the afternoon? is KAFA can help to produce such generation? If true, then it will be very good. But unfortunately, the social problem in Malaysia is getting worse. Where is the mistake? Is there something wrong with the curriculum?Or is there any negligence in implementation? Is the institution really play role as an institution to develop children social development or it is only profit-based institution? When the problem arise, we started pointing fingers to others and blaming them without thinking that we are part of them.

Whatever the intentions are, I like to look at this issue from parent point of view. Parent sent their children to school generally for good reasons. Hoping the childrens will grow and be a better person.

However, some parents mixed up their good intentions with contra practical. They intent to have children will become good new generations but in the same time allowed themselves mixed with confused culture. Parent do send kids to learn Islamic Studies in the afternoon and those kids are trying their best to survive their schedules but they are not being explain the reasons. Why? Maybe we as parent also unable to determine the reasons. What was learned in school was not practiced by the parents and now we see that the school is not the place to educate the children but merely a place to train them to memorize words in order to pass an exam.

Here are few examples of our socity today and what their children was thought at school:
Basic Islamic Studies year 1.

1) Islam has 5 pillars - To make the testimony(shahadah), Solat 5 times a day at specified time, Fast, Pilgrimage and charity.
The kids view:

1) Shahadah :
I rarely see my parent say the shahadah- what does it means, what its implication if we break the shahadah and are there any actions in our daily lives can break our shahadah?

2) Pray / Solat:
I usually see my parent going to work as early before fajr being announce to avoid traffic jam, and return after the sunset gone. When did they do their 2 prayers? Or why they pray at the end of the prayer time and why sometimes I saw my parent wait to the end of prayer time to combine with the next prayer just to avoid themselves to perform another ablution? Not yet discussing about how to pray during travelling.

3) Fasting during Ramadhan:
Parent usually emphasized their childrens to fast as early as seven years old. Alhamdulillah this is the good way to train the children. Without realize we also teach them to spend more during this month. More money spent on food for Iftar (breakfast) and normally the food was wasted.
Some parents handsomely reward their children with money for the day they fasted but in other hand the parents finding way to excuse from fast. Clinincs and hospitals will receive more patients with gastric than usual a few days before Ramadhan.

4) Pilgrimage -:
Hajj is obligatory on every Muslim only once during his or her lifetime, provided that he or she
is able to perform it. The order comes from Allaah in the ayah:

Hajj (Pilgrimage) to the House (the Ka'bah) is an obligation that humanity owes to Allaah, for those who can find a way (i.e. for those who can find the means to do it). And whoever disbelieves (i.e. denies the Hajj), then Allaah is beyond any need of all that exists (from His creation).” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 197]

And His order in the ayah:

“"Complete (perform properly) the Hajj and Umrah for Allaah..." [Surah Al-Baqarah: 196]

Many people may be performed Hajj more than once or only once and some are not yet willing to perform Hajj although he is able to do it. Some said they are not prepared and they are still young. Coming back from hajj they wanted to be call Haji or Hajah and proud of that. Is there anything wrong if people did not call you Hj or Hjh? Have we ever read the Sirah nabawiyah the prophet (p.b.u.h) and his companions be called haji Muhammad, haji Abu Bakar or haji Omar? Hajj is to surrender ourself to the Almighty Allah and ask for His forgiveness for our past sin and yet we are creating a new one!

That is only from the first page of the Fiqh book in Year 1 in KAFA. Lets see how we can support our children in other matters. Lets say our children ask us about Sirah Nabawiyah, and we oftenly can hear parent in joking mode will say, I am sorry kid I did not know about that and asked your Ustaz or Ustazah. Is the Sirah Nabawiyyah only for those who has learned Islamic Studies? How bout us who declared ourselves as Muslim where the second 6 pillars of faith is to Believe in Prophet (p.b.u.h) and yet we don't know his story? Why we are not bother to learn as well? I suggest.. check..check.. check.. who are we?

Malaysia is a composition of multi-racial people. The people comes from different culture, background and histories. The government is very concern in retaining these cultures even some of them (politician) darely against Islam in the name of cultures. Claimed as progressive Islamic country but contradict to Islamic practices. If asked why is this happening, the answer is very simple "we live in multi-racial society and we have to respect others sensitivity" The government is very careful when to implement Islamic rules because to respect other people feelings, opinions or may be better to say due to some personal or political interest? Even the actual fact and most people can understand because Malaysian is not illeterate anymore. The Islamic rules apllied for muslim and criminal only. Why do we muslims afraid to the law if we not doing any crime? Are they now making any mistakes? Why people are rejecting these rules? Are these rules recently created by human or any bodies? Even it is an ijtimak of ulama, if it based on sahih resources it is not newly invented. I like to repeat it again , are they (muslim) now keep on making mistakes and become a culture therefore cannot get rid of it. So that makes them worry, may be I will do the mistake without realizing and then being punished? What's wrong with rules if it can help prevent us from doing mistake and hence could survive the real punishment afterwards?

When government as an authorized body is not able to control and gear community responsibility to shape the future of the next generation, therefore on whose shoulder should bear the responsbility? They said " Parent must place an important roles as a model to shape their children".

The duty of a parent become very difficult, when there is no support from the institution(education/schools-curriculum, rules), media (newspaper did not publish the correct news summary/improper conclusion or proposing view on the opposite perspectives). If there is good opinion (usually views that urge to go back to basic rules), the intention is hidden or given a highlight topic but sum-up as against modernization. If lucky enough it will be publish as a small piece of note in almost a spotless area.

Whilst entertainment program (tv program - non-educational program, profit-based real-tv program, a half kid-adult talent program) was promoted and given bombastic coverage. Kids shows so called as natural telent programme which usually the initial objective is said to dig out their talent, But after a while, I found that, this is not natural talent, it is a trained talent performed by kids. Usually to mimic their favourite artists or hot/top artist at certain season. Some parent seemed happy to see this. Enjoyed watching their kids to dress like an adult, talk like an adult, use the adult words (usually harsh words) for communication among of them and make jokes like an adult and yet their age just almost 5-9 years old.

I wonder how is it possible to laugh and to enjoy such program. For us as parent we might say, its nothing, only an entertainment. But for kids, do they know and understand that what they are doing? Will they understand that overdressing and silly harshwords only permissibile on stage but not in community?

(to be continued..)

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Waiting for the new arrival

Preparing and waiting for the new arrival. Either he or she, still unidentified. The baby too shy to show up. Anyway, neither boy nor girl, it did not bother us a lot. Since, we already have one boy and three girls , Masyallah. If asked the brother and sisters, they prefer girls? Why???? For Eiman he likes to be the only boy in house. While for the girls, may be they thought baby is like a doll which they can play with.
Recent news received, maternity leaves are only 40 days. Previously, the administration had announced it to be 60 days. But dunno from where the errors came from, suddenly it was changed to 40 days. And again without official circulation only verbal instruction from college administration office. This is the uniqueness of this place because rules can change in a blink!... May be I should check by myself with the appropriate channel and confirm the actual rules.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Hajj 1429H

Hajj season is coming again and yesterday approximately 50 Malaysian hujjaj were departed from Yanbu. This is the biggest number of Malaysian hujjaj ever since year 2005. Only 6 people performed hajj last year and lesser a year before. With increasingly number of Malaysian coming to Yanbu, InsyaAllah better arrangement can be made in the future.

InsyaAllah, we wish and pray all of you will be granted with Hajj mabrur.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Yasmeen's Birthday

Yasmeen turned 6 years old today. MasyaAllah she's already grown up. There are always grin in our faces when we discussed about her. Even her grandparents also agreed that memories of raising her could not be removed from the lane. Yasmeen is herself, neither inherited me nor my wife. When asked who does she love most between us, cheerily she replied, both of you mom and dad, slowly coming toward us and kiss us.

She's now attending one of Saudi local school nearby our house and Alhamdulillah so far she able to catch up with other kids. Language is a big barrier for her to excel but InsyaAllah with patient, practice and Allah guide, InsyaAllah she will be doing fine.

Happy Birthday Yasmeen

Sunday, 23 November 2008

"Freedom - Are we ?"

When people start questioning the religious matter (law/fatwa), verily the time has come to an end. In the name of freedom and people rights, laws no longer need to be abide. Accepting the laws means left behind.

We are not much different with the peoples of Prophets which constantly denying the messages send to them by Allah. Are we trully blind and deaf? Why we never learnt from histories? Trully the word of Allah is correct and Allah will keep His promises.
More story, follow links below

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Prince or Princess ?

Guess whose on the next list. Prince or Princess? Will he/she be the "khatam"? Leave it as a big ? as our future is in Allah hand .
"Ya Rabb..Anta A'lam wa ma la na'lam. Anta Rabbuna wa ana a'bduka. Rabbi Ighppirlana wa liwalidaina. Anta maulana wa Anta ghappur wa rrahimin".

Monday, 3 November 2008


Salam untuk semua..

Sekian lama tidak menjengah ke ruang ini.. semester baru ni menuntut lebih banyak waktu berbanding semester yang lalu. Pertama, kerana terus memikul beban pengurusan di samping mengajar. Kedua, kekurangan tenaga pengajar, menyebabkan jumlah jam pengajaran bertambah dan ketiga, ambilan pelajar bertambah bermakna more managerial duties ... Alhamdulillah, Allah dah beri 2 tahun kelapangan, ini sahaja masanya mula sibuk semula.

Di rumah, after school at night, memandangkan 3 anak sudah mula bersekolah, bermakna more time to allocate for homework. Kalau dulu seorang sahaja. Sekarang dah bertambah 2. Cuba mencari masa tetap untuk mengajar Quran. Tapi, malu nak cakap.. kadang2 sahaja dapat. Mana taknya, dalam akademik kita boleh plan untuk mengajar dan patuh pada plan pengajaran dan akhirnya kita dapat lihat perubahan pada pelajar daripada individu yang tidak tahu kepada tahu. Anehnya dengan anak2, tidak pula diusahakan kaedah yang sama.. Secara tiba-tiba rasa malu pada diri sendiri apabila memikirkan mengapa perkara ini boleh berlaku. Mungkin ini matlamat tahun ini yakni cuba usaha kalau boleh dapatkan waktu tetap utk Quran lesson. Berazam untuk mengajar anak sendiri Al-Quran.

Selain daripada itu bila diam memikirkan masa depan anak-anak, rupa-rupanya ada banyak perkara lagi yang harus dilakukan buat anak2. Impiannya nak adakan usrah setiap hujung minggu. Mungkin sekadar Sirah Nabawiyah. Mudah2an Allah permudahkan.

Terpanggil dengan jemputan sahabat jiwamerdeka yang sudi memberi komen di ruang blog, mengajak bersama-sama menulis dengan tujuan berdakwah kepada sesiapa yang sudi membaca dan melawat laman ini. Istilah berdakwah begitu berat bagi saya insan yang kurang ilmu(mungkin masih kurang membaca, selalunya begitu), kurang fasih lisannya, dan tidak mahir berbahasa. Hasil tulisan hanyalah rumusan berdasarkan pengamatan, sedikit perbandingan hasil pembacaan dan rumusan-rumusan daripada kuliah-kuliah yang pernah didengar atau dihadiri. Walaubagaimanapun, saya tidak menolak bahawa di atas bahu setiap muslim itu ada tanggungjawab untuk menyampaikan apa yang dia tahu dan pengetahuan itu adalah berdasarkan sumber atau rujukan yang sah dan benar, tidak lain Al-Quran dan Sunnah dan Hadis. Ulama hanyalah menjadi rujukan terakhir kerana pertelingkahan(pertembungan pendapat) antara ulama bagaimanapun memberi kebaikan kepada kita. Tetapi apabila bertembung antara keutamaan Hadis Rasulullah dan pendapat Ulama, yang harus di dahulukan adalah Rasulullah. Kerana Allah telah berpesan dalam Surah Al-Imran, “Katakanlah (wahai Muhammad), “Jika benar engkau mencintai Allah, maka ikutlah aku”.” (Surah Ali Imran, 3: 31)

Hari-hari yang berlalu di bumi KSA ini, membawa saya melihat ilmu yang telah dipelajari dahulu dalam konteks yang lebih luas dan lebih bermakna. Mengajar saya melihat bangsa manusia dari pelbagai kaum dari pelbagai sudut. Membawa saya melihat tanahair dari kacamata luar. Terlalu banyak hikmah penghijrahan ini.

Proses pertama yang memberi banyak erti dan pengajaran ialah akhlak. Sewaktu kecil, di sekolah, akhlak adalah merupakan salah satu sub-topik dalam pengajian agama islam. Oleh kerana, inginkan keputusan peperiksaan yang baik, ciri-ciri akhlak seorang muslim dihafal sebaiknya dengan harapan dapat dipindahkan ke kertas peperiksaan dan mendapat keputusan yang baik. Begitu juga sirah Nabawiyah, kisah Rasulullah menjadi kekal dalam ingatan kerana peperiksaan. Tidak termasuk senarai hadis-hadis dan tafsiran ayat-ayat al-quran yang harus dihafal bersama makna dan falsafahnya. Belajar kerana peperiksaan. Contohnya terdapat di dalam hadis Rasulullah yang melarang makan menggunakan tangan kiri. Larangan ini dihafal kerana salah satu akhlak muslim adalah waktu makan mesti makan dengan tangan kanan. Makanya oleh kerana tahu peraturan itu hanya untuk peperiksaan, maka tidak menjadi amalan.

Apabila tiba di sini, diberi peluang mendengar satu ceramah yang membicarakan tentang hadis dari segi bahasa dan makna keseluruhan mengikut terjemahan bahasa Arab, barulah jelas di pada diri bahawa pesanan itu bukan pesanan biasa (yakni nak buat ..buat.. tak buat ..tak pe.. ) . Bahkan ia adalah satu yang benar-benar tidak disukai oleh Rasulullah, yakni apabila Rasulullah melarang ini bermakna jatuh wajib/jangan sekali2 makan/minum/menyuap sesuatu ke dalam mulut melainkan dengan tangan kanan. Itu hanyalah satu antara perkara asas dlm kehidupan yang dahulunya tiada signifikan, tetapi sekarang memberi satu impak yang besar dlm diri untuk melakukan satu perubahan. Keinginan yang pertama, ialah mempelajari bahasa Arab dari segi lughah dan maknanya. (bersambung)

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Wonders of Ablution

The Preventive and Healing Wonders of Ablution

Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) Desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him” (Chapter 53, Verse 3 & 4).

A Daily Ritual
Fourteen centuries ago, our Prophet, a walking encyclopedia if I may so describe him, gave us a prescription of 26 washing movements to be carried out 5 times a day, a total of 130 daily washing movements, to grant us optimum health.

O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. If ye are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your whole body. But if ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands, Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete his favor to you, that ye may be grateful.” (Chapter 5, Verse 6)

Before a Muslim performs his prayers, he carries out the ablution movements mentioned in the above verse as well as others, which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has added.

Thus, the ablution comprises of washing the hands, arms right up to the elbow, face, mouth, nostrils, and feet up the ankle, all three times each. The inside and behind the ears, as well as the part of the head above the forehead is wiped once.

Done five times a day, it not only cleanses these vital parts of the body from dust and dirt but also "softens" and refreshes them.1

Interestingly enough, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also encouraged doing ablution before going to bed. This same ritual is also encouraged by Yoga experts who say that washing important motor and sensory organs such as the hands, arms, eyes, legs, mouth and genitals before sleep using cool water relaxes the body preparing it for a deep sleep.2

Stimulating the Biological Rhythms
In an article titled “Muslims Rituals and their Effect on the Person’s Health”, Dr. Magomed Magomedov, assistant to the department of the Man’s General Hygiene and Ecology in the Daghestan State Medical Academy, speaks about how ablution stimulates the biological rhythms of the body and specifically Biological Active Spots (BASes), very much like the idea behind Chinese reflexotherapy.

Presently we know that a man is a complex system of electromagnetic fields, meridians, biological rhythms and so on. Man’s internal organs, in their turn, present a no less sophisticated bioenergetical whole; they all have indissoluble multi-channel bilateral connections with the skin, which hosts special spots, whose functions resemble those of buttons on “control” and “ recharge boards” responsible for particular organs. These spots are called biologically active spots (BASes).3

While pointing out to the similarities between ablution and the science of Chinese reflexology in his fascinating article, Dr. Magomedov also states the main different points. To become a doctor in reflexology, he says, one has to take a 15 to 20 year course of study, incomparable with the simple learning techniques of ablution.

In another comparison, reflexotherapy was primarily used to cure diseases and very rarely for prevention, while, as we shall see, ablution has many preventive benefits.

There was also a negative side to reflexotherapy, he says, one that is not found in ablution; a patient was exposed to traumas since doctors used cauterisation.

The majority of the most powerful BASes are being washed during the Muslim ritual. It is not the doctor, who had studied for many years, who does it, but every Muslim by himself. Besides, praying five times a day obliges a Muslim to take the preventive measures against diseases beforehand.”4

According to Dr. Magomedov, Chinese medicine says that there are more than 700 BASes, and sixty-six of them have quick reflex therapy effects and are named the drastic (or aggression or antique or prime-elements) spots.

Out of these sixty-six spots, sixty-one of them are located in zones required for ablution while the other five are located between the ankle and knee (an area which is desirable, according to prophetic traditions, to wash).

Thus, ablution becomes a kind of treatment complex, which includes the hydromassage of the BAS, their thermal and physical stimulation.5

The BASes in the face (which are washed during ablution) “recharge” such organs as the intestines, stomach and bladder, in addition to having a positive effect on the nervous and reproductive systems, says Dr. Magomedov in his findings, adding that the BAS responsible for the osseous system, intestine, nervous system, lumbar area, stomach, pancreas, gall-bladder, thyroid gland, solar plexus and others are situated on the right leg, another area reached by ablution.

The left leg has the BAS responsible for the work of the pituitary gland, the brain organ that regulates the functioning of the endocrine glands and controls growing. In the ear’s cochlea are hundreds of BASes that “harmonize the work of almost all organs, decrease high blood pressure and relieve tooth and throat pain.” Ear ablution is considered Sunna (Prophetic tradition).

Another aspect that Dr. Magomedov stresses on is that Prophetic tradition emphasized the importance of massaging and applying pressure during ablution, which is something that has a scientifically-grounded explanation.

Dr. Magomedov said that his studies were triggered by his solemn belief that the five-time-a-day Muslim prayers were bound to have not only an “indisputable spiritual effect” but were also bound to “have a purely physical healing effect as well.”

Former research carried out in the Soviet Union regarding BAS was regarded unworthy because they believed that “man was not supposed to have either soul or an energy body, because the opposite would contradict the materialistic (atheistic) ideology of those times,” says Dr. Magomedov.

Preventive Cleansing
From a non-alternative medicine perspective, Mukhtar Salem, in his book titled ‘Prayers: a Sport for the Body and Soul’, speaks about the health benefits of every aspect of ablution. He does not speak about the BASes in one’s body, but nevertheless, he describes the preventive benefits of ablution.

Ablution, he says, helps prevent skin cancer. This is his explanation: the areas that are washed during ablution are the parts of the body that are most prone to be exposed to pollution, whether it is pollution from the internal secretions of the body on to the skin surface, such as sweat, or whether it is external. Ablution, removes this ‘pollution’ five times a day, and hence maintains a clean outside layer of skin, which in turn helps the cells underneath to function properly.

Also, washing with water helps invigorate the ends of the blood vessels, as well as the nerves and glands that are near the skin surface, and hence helps them perform their functions efficiently.6
Salem adds that research has proven that one of the main reasons behind skin cancer is that the skin is exposed to chemicals, especially petrochemicals, and that the best way to prevent skin cancer is by constantly removing these chemicals.

The obvious reason behind washing the mouth during ablution, Salem says, is to remove the food particles, which could cause teeth and gum problems. That is also the reason why siwak (brushing one’s teeth) is also encouraged before ablution.

When washing one’s nostrils, (a practice, which I myself find very hard, but will try to work on), one is also performing a preventive health measure as the germs trapped in the nostrils are removed and do not pass on to the respiratory system.

According to a study conducted by a team of doctors in Alexandria University, the Prophetic tradition, which urges the exaggeration of washing the nostrils by introducing the water in the nostril then blowing it out, positively affects the inner coating of the nostrils. Those who carried out the washing in the correct form had clean, shiny nostrils with no dust clinging to the small hair inside.

However, those who did not perform ablution had light colored, greasy nostrils and their nostril hairs fell off easily.

Repeated washing of the face invigorates the facial skin cells and helps prevent early wrinkles as well as having a cleansing effect on the inside of the eyes, which prevents eye infections, says Salem.

Washing the ear helps rid them from wax accumulation, which may cause ear infections as well as affecting the inner ear, which eventually causes body imbalances.

The Prophetic tradition of encouraging one to wash between the toes while washing the feet, is also extremely important, says Salem, as it prevents the foot, which in our modern times is trapped most of the day inside shoes, from acquiring athlete’s foot.

Over all, he adds, ablution also has an exercising effect on all the muscles involved in its movement, which are thus being stimulated five times a day or even more according to repetition.

Extinguishing the Fires of Anger
Prophetic tradition, with regards to ablution, is also ecologically friendly, as the Prophet repeatedly encouraged water conservation, even if abluting from a running river. Ibn Majah related that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “There is a shaytan (devil) for ablution called `walhan', meaning greedy, avoid the waste of water.”7

Muslims are encouraged to ablute not only before praying or going to bed, but also when entering the mosque, making the call to prayer, delivering a sermon, after visiting a graveyard, after touching or carrying a dead person and also before reading the Quran.8

We are also encouraged to ablute while being in a state of anger for the cooling and refreshing effect of the water, as we are told that anger is from the devil who is made out of fire and can therefore be put off by water.

Finally, there is a moral to this article, besides understanding the benefits of ablution. One should never take things at face value, and must have strong faith that everything that Allah prescribes has a wisdom behind it that we may or may not know.

And they say: ‘We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys.’” (Chapter 2, Verse 285)

1- Health and Fitness In Islam,
2- Avadhuta, Vedprajinananda, Yoga Health Secrets
3- Magomedov, Magomed, Muslim Rituals & their effect on the person’s health
4- Ibid
5- Ibid.
6- Salem, Mukhtar, Prayers: A sport for the soul and body, CAIRO, The Arab Modern Center (1990), pg. 52.
7- S. Atallah, M.Z. Ali Khan and M. Malkawi, Water conservation through Islamic public awareness in the Eastern Mediterranean Region
8- Al Khayat, Mohammad, Health Education through Religion, WHO, Alexandria, Egypt: 1997

Open houses

This week open houses were everywhere. Since the day of Eid, almost everynight we were invited to attend our friend's house. Some of them are collegues, some islamic lecture's mate(mostly indonesian) and some of them blogger mates. What a real world Allah made this relationship(blogger-mate). We just relate and know each other through blogs that we had created and shared. Virtual relationship. Alhamdulillah, hope Allah will save this relationship and protect from evil grin.
Thanks to Fadzillah(1st house, new comer a.k.a college-mate), nice nasi briyani and nasi tomato.Also thanks to Suhaimi & Aizal, Yusof & Mahaya and K. Jo for a mouth-watering session.
Not to forget my Indonesian friends, Mbak Faridah and Mbak Yanti for introducing me local delicacies. Emm... sorry to say, this session only for the mother and the kids were invited because it is only for ladies. They are married to Saudi. As earlier entry had said, right here, local people hold separate function for man and woman. And since only us the ladies knew each other so, the event is only for us. What an unlucky time for him....
To Johorian K. Ina(Masrina & Zuraili) and Mas(Masdihana & Leman Mardi) Rendang Unta dan Sayur Goreng Jawa akak bestla. Tahniah Fortuner baru tu pasangan Zuraili. And Congratulate or Mabruk , to pasangan Leman & Mas. Rupanya Alya tunggu adik kat Yanbu. Some of the invitation we couldn't afford to make it, due to time-constraint(husband is working). May be some other time. But we would like again to say thank you to Haji Ghaz.
And..out of all open houses, insya Allah we will have the peak of the gathering session this coming weekend in Dolphin Resort, Thurs,Oct 14 2008. On that day all Malaysian reside in Yanbu are invited to come to meet and get to know each other. Hopefully all Malaysian in Yanbu since the year 2004 if I'm not mistaken Mr. Ganesan also Mr. Ayob and Mr.Suresh(2005) can join us the new comers. I am still like to consider myself as newcomer for not knowing much about this country and still exploring.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Read and Think

Below are few words extract from Quran. Read, think and examine ourself where do we belongs to

For when the trumpet shall sound, (8) Surely that day will be a day of anguish, (9) Not of ease, for disbelievers. (10) Leave Me (to deal) with him whom I created lonely, (11) And then bestowed upon him ample means, (12) And sons abiding in his presence (13) And made (life) smooth for him. (14) Yet he desireth that I should give more. (15) Nay! For lo! he hath been stubborn to Our revelations. (16) On him I shall impose a fearful doom. (17).
Al-Muddathir 8-17

And that He it is who maketh laugh, and maketh weep, (43) And that He it is Who giveth death and giveth life; (44) And that He createth the two spouses, the male and the female, (45) From a drop (of seed) when it is poured forth; (46) And that He hath ordained the second bringing forth; (47) And that He it is Who enricheth and contenteth; (48) And that He it is Who is the Lord of Sirius; (49) And that He destroyed the former (tribe of) A'ad, (50) And (the tribe of) Thamud He spared not; (51) And the folk of Noah aforetime, Lo! they were more unjust and more rebellious; (52) And Al-Mu'tafikah He destroyed (53) So that there covered them that which did cover. (54) Concerning which then, of the bounties of thy Lord, canst thou dispute? (55) This is a warner of the warners of old. (56) The threatened Hour is nigh. (57) None beside Allah can disclose it. (58) Marvel ye then at this statement, (59) And laugh and not weep, (60) While ye amuse yourselves? (61) Rather prostrate yourselves before Allah and serve Him. (62)
Al-Najm 43-62

Kisah di Malaysia(Special Entry #1 1428/29)

Ini adalah selitan kisah-kisah bersama-sama dengan mak-mak dan bapa saudara apabila kami pergi menziarahi mereka dalam tempoh 60 hari cuti di Malaysia.

Along,76 (Kakak Abah)

Sekarang Along sakit kuat. Tak boleh bangun dan tak berupaya nak bercakap. Dulu Along yang jaga aku masa kecil. Dari umur 4-17 tahun(itu yang aku ingat). Maklumlah adik beradik ramai dan rapat-rapat. Mak lahirkan kami adik beradik setahun seorang. Kebetulan Along tak ada anak, cuma ada seorang anak angkat yang sebaya dengan mak, jadi Along menumpang kasih anak saudara. Dijaganya aku macam anak sendiri. Kadang-kadang aku tinggal bersama-sama dengannya. Kenangan yang ada bersama-samanya, pergi menjual kuih-muih di ladang kelapa, sekolah dan kedai2 kopi. Bangun pagi2 jam pukul 4, dah mula bau kuih menusuk hidung. Along selalu bawa pegi jalan-jalan dan juga pergi kebun cari kelapa. Minyak masak ketika itu kami buat sendiri. Jadi merasa le mengupas/salai/mesin/masak santan sampai bertukar menjadi minyak. Mandi air telaga,makan pucuk paku merah, ikan talapia goreng cili katanya adalah kegemaran aku. Kadang2 bila aku tak ada Along cuba bawa adik-adik aku tinggal dengannya. Tapi mereka tak macam aku yang enjoy dengan life di situ. Jadi end up aku yang kerap tinggal bersama Along.

Sampai aku sekolah berasrama penuh dan universiti, separuh cuti aku dengan Along dan separuh lagi dengan mak sendiri. Tak tau lah perasaan mak macam mana. Sama ada dia kecil hati ke tidak. Tapi bila sekarang, aku dah tak boleh bahagikan cuti lagi. Masa bersama dengan mak sendiri pun tidak cukup. Sejak dari umur 12 tahun hingga kini kebanyakan masa berada di luar rumah(sekolah,universiti,berkahwin dan sekarang dah berhijrah).Lagipun Along sudah ada cucunya jugak. Tapi bila melihat Along tersenyum bila aku bersama keluarga menziarahinya hari itu, sebak juga rasa hati. Tidak tahu apa yang tersirat di hatinya bila dia memandang kosong sewaktu kami nak beredar meninggalkannya. Dari jauh aku tetap mendoakan jiwanya tenteram dan anak cucunya menjaga dengan baik sepertimana dia memelihara mereka sewaktu kecil. Aku juga berharap aku diberi peluang untuk menjaga abah dan mak andainya satu hari nanti mereka memerlukan aku.

Tok Su, 80+(Ibu saudara mak yang bongsu)

Kami menziarahi tok su. Tok Su orangnya kuat dan sihat. Cuma baru-baru ini dia diserang strok dan hilang daya ingatan. Keupayaannya untuk mengingati peristiwa yang lama masih kuat, tapi tentang perkara-perkara yang baru berlaku susah untuk dia ingati. Hasilnya, dia asyik mengulangi pertanyaan yang sama walaupun perkara itu baru sahaja diperjelaskan dalam 2 minit yang lalu.Apabila berbual dengannya dia asyik bercerita kisahnya berkisar peristiwa 40-60 tahun yang lampau. Walaupun demikian, alhamdulillah kesemua 8 0rang anaknya sabar melayani karenah ibu mereka. Mungkin kerana didikan yang diberi oleh arwah suaminya dan beliau juga seorang yang indah peribadinya. Anak-anaknya semua terpelajar dan berpangkat tinggi, tetapi tiada seorang pun yang bersifat keakuan malah sering berpakat adik-beradik. Malah, mak selalu menjadikan mereka sebagai inspirasi kepada kami supaya mencontohi muafakat yang diamalkan oleh keluarga tok su ini. Walaupun arwah suaminya merupakan bekas seorang menteri kabinet, tetapi keluarga ini hidup merendah diri dan sering berbuat amal jariah. Kediaman besar beliau sendiri dijadikan sekolah(Sekolah Menengah Al-Ulum, Bagan Datoh) untuk mendidik anak-anak tempatan yang berpotensi untuk pergi jauh dalam bidang pengajian Islam. Hasilnya ramai dari anak-anak lepasan sekolah ini berjaya menempatkan diri di Universiti Al-Azhar Mesir, Yarmouk Jordan, Taiba Madinah dsbnya. Iktibar dari ziarah ini, aku harap aku dapat buat sesuatu sepertinya walaupun tidak sama seperti apa yang beliau lakukan.

Mak Andak(kakak Mak)

Aku akui aku memang rapat dengan semua ibu saudara tak kira sebelah abah atau sebelah mak. Anak saudara macam anak sendiri. Kalau kenduri-kendara aku mesti pergi 2 minggu awal untuk membantu apa yang patut. Hijrah aku ke KSA rupa-rupanya tidak meninggalkan respons positif dari semua.Terutama Mak Andak. Dari awal dia tidak setuju dengan mak kerana membenarkan aku pergi. Katanya Malaysia hilang tenaga mahir. Aku tak hairan, mak Andak memang orangnya patriotik. Tapi, mak orang yang positif, dia tetap menyokong. Cuti kali ini aku pergi menziarahinya lagi. Dia tahu tempoh kontrak 2 tahun sudah tamat. Diujakan pertanyaan ini kepadaku "Seronok ka duduk kat sana? Bila nak habis kontrak" , aku jawab "Seronok, sambil tersenyum. Nak sambung la selagi boleh sambung". Dia menyambung lagi sebab tidak puas hati dengan jawapan tadi." Apa yang seronok sangat? Berapa lama lagi nak duduk? Awat ... depa kat sini tak bagi cukup kat hang ka..?" Tu dia bertubi-tubi soalan dia. Aku terus senyum...lalu berkata " Mak kata boleh." Mak juga menyampuk " Mak dia pun kata boleh.. baguih.."Lantas Mak Andak menarik muka, tanda tidak puas hati " Ish , lantak hangpa la..Kalau lagu tu aku pun tak mau ambik tau la" Kami pun memujuk le supaya tidak terus risau.. kerana menurut mak, Mak Andak orangnya cukup takut dengan dunia luar. Masa waktu dia muda dahulu, apabila siaran berita ke udara dari corong radio, dia mesti cepat-cepat tutup radio tu. Dia enggan dengar berita tentang peperangan, pergaduhan dan suasana kucar-kacir. Rumah tok Wan pernah menjadi saksi sejarah apabila Shamsiah Fakeh ditangkap dan menyerah diri di laman rumah tersebut. Kisah Pak Teh menyorok di dalam parit sewaktu perintah berkurung dan askar Iban yang menjadi peronda sering menjadi bicara dia. Baginya Malaysia mungkin sudah merdeka dan selamat. Tapi dunia luar baginya tidak selamat..Dia lebih selesa di negara sendiri..bak kata pepatah " hujan emas negeri orang ,hujan batu negeri sendiri, lebih baik negeri sendiri". Tapi , bagi kami generasi baru... "kita kutip dulu lah emas baru balik negeri sendiri".

Heheheh... itulah antara secebis kisah sewaktu berada di Malaysia.


Malaysia sekarang dihujani batu-batu yang meruntuh moral anak-anak yang membesar. Ngeri rasanya dalam 2 bulan di Malaysia, telefon pra-bayar kami asyik dihujani sms berbau lucah dan clip video murahan semurah 50-70 sen dan tidak diketahui pengirimnya. Imagine, nombor kami itu kalau dimiliki oleh budak sekolah. Tidak mustahil. Sumber porno merata-rata tanpa kawalan pihak berwajib. Ini tidak termasuk kes kehilangan anak yang makin menjadi-jadi. Sewaktu cuti tempoh-hari, seorang anak guru, jiran dan kenalan abah,berumur 14 tahun, perempuan, hilang dari rumah sewaktu ke sekolah.

Tidak cukup anak-anak. Peribadi individu yang dewasa sekarang juga amat diragui. Bila hidup asyik disogok dengan sumber lucah, media tanpa kawalan penuh hiburan, kedai-kedai buku mamak menjual bahan bacaan ringan tanpa ada rasa tanggungjawab, kedai-kedai ubat merata-rata mempromosi ubat penggalak syahwat, seolah-olah kritikal benar penduduk Malaysia dengan masalah ini sehingga terdapat penyelesainya boleh didapati di mana-mana. Bukan sekadar itu, malah makanan + minuman harian pun turut ditambah nilai.

Satu masa dahulu, pemandu bas sekolah, jaga sekolah, jiran sebelah, guru sekolah, saudara sepupu, kawan sekelas mungkin tidak pernah terlintas di dalam kepala untuk berlaku tidak sopan dengan anak kita. Semua yang diberi tanggungjawab, lazimnya setia dengan tanggungjawab yang diberikan. Tetapi sekarang yang berpakaian seragam sendiri pun belum tentu lagi jujur dalam melaksanakan amanah yang diberikan.

Inilah yang menjadi antara faktor utama penghijrahan kami disini. Mencari persekitaran yang lebih selamat untuk anak-anak yang bakal menjadi generasi akan datang. Lagipun, hidup dan mati di mana-mana sama sahaja. Jika ada pilihan yang lebih baik untuk hidup sementara ini kenapa kita tidak pilih perkara yang baik itu....

"Hope Allah will guide us in this matter. Matilah kami dalam Iman dan Islam. Lead us to Husnul Khatimah and avoid us from Su'ul Khatimah."

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Eid Mubarak 1428

2008 - Much more better..

Year 2006 - Meal

Year 2006 - only us

Kullu Am Wa Antum Bi Khair...

Like we usually say in Malaysia " Selamat Hari Raya AidilFitri, Maaf Zahir Batin" here they will wish people with these phrases when meet each other. This year we celebrate Eid right here in Yanbu. Just like the first year when we arrived in Yanbu. But this time is much more better, because we have it with other Malaysian families. During the first year, we spent our eid at home. There were few Malaysians at that time but mostly single and they opted to fly back and celebrate Eid in Malaysia.

In 2006 about 30 Malaysians in Yanbu but now we have more than 150 with families. Such a big number. When the number was small, we used to have small pot luck gathering and had chit chat and socialized to get to know to each other. But when the number is big, it is difficult to gather all at once. Some due to different timeframe and also space limitation. However the tradition still continues. Except the venue has changed. From individual house to hotels and restaurants which can accomodated more.

Having more Malaysians here it means we are going to see Malaysian traditions and cultures. Though there are many of us right here, but it does not mean we can easily transfer our tradition and practise them right here. Example, music in public is not allowed. If you want to listen music, make sure its within your hearing and in your compound. I usually joined my husband company dinner in Radison or Holiday Inn. Though they are Americans they know how to respect local cultures. They have their gathering but they observe the limitations.Their woman put on decent dress and also abayas on. I wonder it must difficult for them but they still show their respect.

Apart from that, local people did not allow mixed party among them. They have separate sessions male and female. Except if they are family members, then you may see them sit or dine together in public. Therefore big crowd in public, man and woman maybe not to encourage. Likewise in Malaysia, we have all those so fun time Family Gathering where all family members can join and play together, Company Annual Dinner or Family Day. Even in house-gathering we still need to observe if the crowd is too big, we need to ensure space between man and woman.

Yanbu - A new place with different climate and different cultures. Hope everybody can survive and enjoy the city as it is.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Baby at 22 Weeks

Eyelashes and eyebrows.

Your baby weighs about 15 ounces, measures just under 11 inches head to heel, and is growing eyelashes and eyebrows. Little taste buds are forming on his or her tongue, and if your baby is a boy, his testes begin descending from his abdomen. If your baby is a girl, her uterus and ovaries are already formed, as well as all the eggs she will ever produce.

Masya Allah Tabarakallah

Friday, 19 September 2008

Vacation ended

Huh... it had been 3 months I did not update my blog. 2 months in Malaysia seemed like 2 days. So much to catch that made me unwillingly to spent time on computer. I received complaints but I am really sorry for that.

In fact, we did not stay at one place. Moving from one town to another town, so its hard to bring along computer stuffs while visiting family members and relatives. Some of the weeks we spent to settle our personal matters(properties, banks,hospital) which required few weeks to clear.

Apart from that, we had vacation to treat family members. For this time we spent time in Kijal, Trengganu and few water-world resorts. Alhamdulillah the kids were enjoying themselves very much. And of course they did, after a year in Saudi without outside activities.

Now we are back and we will have the same routine to finish till next year. The children have started their schooling session on the next day we arrived in Yanbu.Also my husband has started his work. For me, I am a bit lucky. I started my duties after 3 days from the date of arrival.

We have our first day of Ramadhan in Yanbu this year. Ramadhan is the most welcoming month in KSA. It is not because of the 'bazar ramadhan' like what we are having in Malaysia. It is because the month full of Bless and Rest. Why? First the working hours is shortened to 6 hours. Instead of 40 hours a week, it ends up to 30 hours a week. Clock in time 10.00 am and ends 4.00 p.m. Like me in college, sometimes we even come home at 2 or 3. Seronoknye.... Then it is only for 2 weeks. The other two weeks is eid's break. Usually official break is one week, but towards the end of the month, the King commonly will make announcement for extra holidays to allow people to perform qiyamullail towards 10 days the end of ramadhan.

Ramadhan at night especially towards 10 days to end is so alive. You will hear quran recitation from almost all mosques in the town. I learned to know from my saudi friend that during ramadhan, it has become a custom to them not to sleep at night till sahur time. There was once I need help from her to translate my daughter school's form, she asked whether was it too late for me if she invites me at 11.00 at night. Luckily she changed her mind and ask me to come at 9.00. According to her 9.00 is like 7.30 and 11.00 is like 9.00 during ramadhan. Though, I have been staying in here for 2 years, I am still using the Malaysian clock. So the kids as well. So sleeping late at night definitely is out of my routine. There was one time I was invited to attend a wedding ceremony in Holidany Inn Hotel. It was a total new experience to me. First, it was only antended by women. Next, they have kind of a floor dance and invite close friend to dance together with the bride. Lastly, the dinner was served at 12.00 midnight. Huh...That's really new ....

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Balik Kampung

Looking foward to that date...3rd July 2008....9 more days to go...
Malaysia here we come.

Oooo..balik kampung, hati girang.

For "Balik kampung" song, go to this link

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Four is not Enough ?

Beautified for mankind is love of the joys (that come) from women and offspring; and stored-up heaps of gold and silver, and horses branded (with their mark), and cattle and land. That is comfort of the life of the world. Allah! With Him is a more excellent abode.
(Al-Eimran :13)

O mankind! if ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) that ye attain your full strength. And among you there is he who dieth (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life, so that, after knowledge, he knoweth naught. And thou (Muhammad) seest the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it doth thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth).
(Al-Hajj : 4)

That is because Allah, He is the Truth and Lo! He quickeneth the dead, and Lo! He is Able to do all things
(Al Hajj : 5)

Subhanallah (Glory to Allah)

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Education in Saudi Arabia Part IV

Alhamdulillah, we received a good nwes from Mrs Boney last week. Only 4 out of many Muslim Approval applications were returned by MOE. Form these 4 applications, 3 are Malaysian and 1 Singaporean.

I met Mrs Boney the next day to submit my daughter school admission form. She was very happy to see me and say her appreciation to Malaysian Embassy in helping on this matter. Despite of that good news, YIS will lost their gems when Mrs Boney will leaving them by 25th June.

One thing I like most about YIS is, Nationality is not a border. Your children is free to interact with other nationality, races, colours and religions. The children is given an equal opportunity to develop and polishing their ability and skills.

Looking foward on next school session. Adios

Recent Good News

On Wed, June 11 2008, late afternoon, I received good news for our daughter muslim approval.
I was being informed till the date only 4 muslim approvals are approved by the ministry. 3 Malaysians and 1 Singaporean. May be this will become good a sign or give a new hope for newcomers about education in Yanbu. Alhamdulillah that's means she can go to the same school with his brother next year.
It almost the end of this semester.. another week for exam and after that one week for result compilation. Then Yahooo... going back to Malaysia..
Talking about "balik kampung" since the age of 13, my days is full with counting the days to go back to my hometown. I started my secondary education in a boarding school , 3 years in Ipoh, 2 years in Klang. After that I had my Prep Year in Ipoh and then continue my second year for preparatory + degree in Penang for 5 years.As soon as I had graduated, I got married and moved to KL. Still counting the days to go back to hometown. Again the process repeats. In Saudi Arabia I am counting my days to go back to Malaysia.
Now I am keeping myself alert, to treasure my days with my children because I may probably have only 12 full years with them, after that they will start leaving you to head for their life.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Education in Saudi: Part III

Refer to the previous entry Education in Saudi: Part I and II.

The issues has started several months ago. We were realized when we were bout to register/ to have entry test for our second daughter to Yanbu International School(American Curriculum).

At first we heard as rumours, so we tried to get clarification from the school registrar and then she confirmed the story. We felt very dissapointed with the news. Its not only us. Also for all muslim expatriates that have kids to go to international school. Se told us that is not only affect the YIS but also all international schools in the Kingdom. When we heard that, we were very sure this will take time to solve.

The decision only affects to muslim to enroll to international school, because one of the criteria to get registered we must have muslim approval from Ministry Education. We have been informed by Miss Bonnie(School Registrar), even the submission for approval in January still not approved yet.

For infos, the options of schools that we have right here in Yanbu are very limited.
1) Radwa International School(Indian Curriculum)
2) Al-Tawhid International School(Philiphine Curriculum)
3) Al-Israa International School( Indian Curriculum follows British Syllabus)
4) Yanbu International School(American Syllabus and Curriculum)- Accreditate by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

other than than Local Government Schools(Arabic medium)

If the ministry is trying to implement community schools as per said, where do our children can go ? Not only for us Malaysian, also Indonesian, Australian, Canadian,French,Italian, Singaporean, China etc.

For us kids education is the priority. If Kingdom cannot promise any place for education, why should we stay here?

Education in Saudi: Part II

A Mother’s Plea for Schools

by Tariq A. Al-Maeena,
Saturday, May 24 2008

A letter I received recently highlighted the anguish of a mother as a result of unthinking bureaucratic decisions by some of our ministries. In this case, the culprit was the Ministry of Education. The letter read:

“Dear Mr. Tariq,
“I am writing to you this e-mail requesting a favor. Many Saudi parents including myself are having a dreadful time at the moment. In my case, the problem started two years ago when I tried to enroll my youngest son in the same Saudi school as his elder brother. The school owner refused to accept him claiming that my son is autistic because he failed the entrance exam for KG2. She insisted that we had to have him assessed and so we did.
“We felt that we had to do everything possible to have my son accepted so that he would be in the same school as his brother, but it was all in vain. She just didn’t want my son in the school, and thus we had to consider another option which I had long resisted, and that was to put my children in an international school.

“The process of registering both my sons in an international school was easy and heartwarming. After what we had faced with previous school, it was humanizing. My sons went through the assessments easily, not because they were geniuses or wizards in the English language, but because they were treated as kids who are growing, learning and have potential. My children spent that past year in Jeddah Prep and Grammar School, leaving me to wonder why I had not thought about it before. My kids come home cheerful, happy and enlightened. My seven-year old comes home with a tiny school bag with a few notebooks but with a world of knowledge and learning. The teacher recognized that he needed help with reading, so she had him go a special learning lab at the school. Now my son enjoys reading, swimming and his personality has developed tremendously.

“Now we have come to know that the Ministry of Education will not issue any renewals for permission for Saudi students to attend international schools. Not only that, the British school will have to accept only British pupils, German schools German pupils, Indian schools Indian students, Italian school Italian students, French school French students, and so on.
“Can you even start to imagine the consequences of such an irrational decision? What effect will this have on the expatriate community in the Kingdom? Many foreigners come to this country with the promise of a good salary, good accommodation and good education for their children. If these requirements are not met, they will not continue to hang around here much longer.

“Also, in my son’s class, there are only three British students. Under this new decree, most schools will not be able to operate without Saudi students who make up the bulk of enrollment.

“In countries like Qatar and the UAE, for example, nationals of these countries get a monthly stipend for their kids’ education and get insurance; they get all the help from their government to ensure that citizens live a decent life. Here we don’t have that luxury and we work for what we earn, so we pay for this school from our own pocket and still we are told what to do and what not to do.

“I will not put my sons back again in Saudi schools, I would rather have them home schooled or move to Dubai or Bahrain. There was a meeting on May 14 in Jeddah Prep and Grammar School to discuss this issue. The school sympathized with the parents but there’s little they can do. They are in more trouble than we are, because if things remain like this, they will be forced to close down.

“On Friday, May 16, an article published in Arab News by Fatin Bundagji titled “What Saudi Parents Want” touched only the tip of the iceberg. My request is that you let people know what’s going on. Hopefully, some media pressure will result. Even if my husband and I somehow manage to get a permit for enrollment, most of the other parents won’t, and the school may not be able to operate next year. F.G.”
This letter from a distraught mother who wants the best for her children highlights exactly what is wrong with some of our ministries who issue decrees without studying the destructive effects it would have on the future citizens of this country. This is akin to the Commerce Ministry dictating to me what vehicle to buy next, or the Housing and Rural Affairs Ministry telling me which neighborhood I should settle in.
And where is the rationale behind such a move? If international schools deliver a better quality of education to our children, shouldn’t the Ministry of Education be more concerned about elevating the quality of learning in our government schools, rather than depriving some of our young of the opportunity to shine to the maximum of their potential and among other citizens of the world?
Or is it that some people within this ministry fear that close proximity to foreign teachers and children will erode the “special qualities” of our society? Whatever it may be, I call on the ministry to take a second look at this ruling. Let us allow our children every opportunity to excel, no matter where they acquire that ability.

Current Issues : Education in Saudi Arabia-Part I

To all parents from our District Superintendent:
April 30, 2008
To: The ISG Community
From: Norma Hudson, ISG Superintendent
Subject: Update on the Ministry of Education’s Directive About Student Enrollment


Recently ISG and other Foreign Education schools throughout the Kingdom received a letter from the Ministry of Education, Department of Private and Foreign Education which stated that:“… we hope that students who do not belong to the same community will not be allowed to attend our schools until pre-approval is obtained.”Note that the letter mentions “community” and at this writing that word is translated from Arabic to mean “nationality”. Since it is difficult to find community schools for all nationalities in the Kingdom, the Ministry of Education is clarifying its intent for students who cannot easily find a community school.

It is our understanding that the referenced directive does not affect current students who have received Muslim approval and are attending ISG. Students needing annual Muslim approval may be affected. The directive is currently being focused at new students because there is a desire to have more students attend schools operated under the ownership of local citizens.
We have been an international school district with an international staff and international students since 1962. For almost 50 years, the Ministry and ISG have had a successful relationship. We have worked with and supported each other. The Ministry of Education approved our name as International Schools Group several years ago. ISG has remained a not-for-profit school district and has served the Kingdom as needed to provide education to the children of men and women who have come to the Kingdom to help.

At this point the full implications of the Ministry’s letter and referenced directive are unknown. Our Assistant Superintendent of Government Relations, Rashed Al-Doulab, has diligently been working with the Ministry of Education to seek clarity on this letter.

My letter is for your information and is not to be used as a catalyst for action to the Ministry of Education by parents. My personal goal is to be respectful and considerate to everyone as we work together with the Ministry and other appropriate Government agencies by using suitable protocols.

I thank you for your time and interest. If you get new information, I would appreciate it if you would share it through your school administrators. Your patience and understanding are needed and I will continue to keep you informed.

Norma Hudson
ISG Superintendent

Am I a forgiveful person?

Allah had test me again last two days. He wants to see wether I am still the original "Siti Haryani" who used to forgive and tolerate. Before he had test me with a big "fitnah" to see wether I still have the courage or sabar or not.

I am about to surrender to the bad whispers that kept haunting me not to forgive those who make up the huge stories.

Today, Allah had helped me to lift up those feelings. "Allah hu Ghafurur Rahim". I realized He still love me by made me realize nothing is better for a muslim except always forgive and establish good relationship amongs muslim. With that I said " Astaghfirullah, Please Allah give me courage to face this short life always lead me to the correct path.. Ameen". Again I remind myself, Man perception (how people think , how people see you) is not important. The most important how Allah sees you.

Hopefully.. I can smile better now.. even it is not as cheerful as before.

Monday, 26 May 2008

A Very Touchy Moment..

This time round the entry, is a little bit personal and emotional. I have earlier in my plan to discuss bout the current hottest issue in Saudia Arabia. But I delayed it because I like to frame my gratitude to one of my student, her name is RANA. She made me remember the most dearest friend to me in Malaysia, Arnie Fadzillah and Siti Hanim Mohd Kudus.

Usually its really hard for me to have someone attached to me. I always want to spare my little heart for those who deserved it(My husband, my parent, my brothers and sisters.. bas). I could hardly recall anyone that I can call bestfriend. Since young, I don't really have bestfriends but I have many friends that like to hang around with me. May be I kind of happy go lucky person, so people can easily attached to me. But it works contrary to me. I may look easily to be approached, but it's difficult for me to consider people as special. I can numbered them if I want. Too few too count. Arnie(in Penang now working in - Anti-Drug Department) she is my ex-prep year classmate. We have been together since then till we completed our studies though we were in different program. We have different interest, different opinion but yet we like each other. We are chemistry suited to each other. She was in Pharmacy but I am in Computer Science. Totally different line but yet we still together. Till now, before I left I made an effort to pay a visit to her family. Same to her, if happened she came down to KL for court-case hearing she will pay a visit for me though its only took 20 minutes to be together. Even sometimes, I did smsing her when suddenly I had a thought of her.

Met her and have her as my friend is a fate from Allah.

Another one is my x-collegue-mate. She has the same interest of me, share same thought, have the same inspiration. Even share the same initial name S... H.... Mine Siti Haryani. We use the same initial. Usually I dislike people that have the same characteristics with me, but with her, masyallah she is my sister billah. A very close I can say, I put all my thrust to her. I don't know if she took me the same way or not. If I died, if I have anything left to manage maybe I will put her name to manage the leftover. She is an 'amanah' person. I really pray for her so that Allah will always reward her with the most highest pleasure in this world and world after.

Today.... I felt the same feelings, someone who is a stranger to you.. suddenly shows her concern like she had knew you for many years. She did not do anything to me except looking at me while I am cheerfully talking to her. And ask one shocking question " Are you sad teacher?". It is a shocking question becoz I was laughing and cheerfully talking to her as usual whenenever she drop in to my office. Suddenly I can't hide anymore, my tears running heavily because I did not believe that she realize something from my eyes and she really concerned. Earlier she did not want to leave me till I settled, but I refused and leave her instead of waiting any longer. Her name is RANA.

For her, she had several time saw me cried before, usually due to students problem. The trouble that their makes sometimes not only broke your heart but make you burst to tears. It never happened to me in Malaysia. 6 years teaching, I am crying due to student attitude? Never happened in Malaysia, but not in here, I still remember almost 5 times I cried because too angry with the students. But this time round she knew it is not from the students. She knew almost all the students I taught now know how to behave with me. She ask from me a clarification. But I can't explain why and what the coz. I told her this is very personal to me. And I told to her not even ask or tell anyone that she saw me crying. She agreed. She does not deserve to know. She refused to leave me till she told me to read this doa'.

" Allahuma inni auzubika minnal hammi walhazan wanauzubika ajzi wal kasal, wa nauzubika minal jub ni wal bukhl, wa nauzubika min ghalabatiddai ni wa qahrir rijal"

When she mentioned the verse, I told her I knew that verse, and I pronounced it properly for her to listen, and ask her is that the one and she said yes. And I told her that is my favourite doa actually. I told her don't worry about me. I will always have Allah beside me. Then she felt relief and leaved me alone with my one world.

Why??? Too complicated to describe. But I felt so grateful Allah give me courage and wisdom to think wise so that I will not make stupid decision or reaction. I don't need hablum minannas if things go so difficult with the nas.. I prefer hablum minallah. He knows what I had done. The most important thing later, I will return to HIM and to be questioned everything for what I had done.

"Perception is man-made views, good or bad is only a phenomenon."

Who is RANA to me?

When I first came here, she is a very shy and gloomy(sad, dreamy, always wandering in class) student. She could not even understand a word of English, yet the class here are delivered in English. She faced a very difficult time to master English language. Everytime when she approached any teacher to clarify the subject matters, she will always bring along her travel dictionary(her friend (formerly - Naeemah, now Noora)).

Somehow after one year past, one of the seniour teacher in the department called me when she noticed that RANA like to cling around me without nothing to do or nothing to say, she always come and see me. She said " I realize she is very close to you and like to be with you. Since she looked like comfortable with me I want to tell you something about RANA" . I made to understand during the early semester, a year before I came, she is a very hardworking, bright and talkative person. Something is happened in her family and till then she became so quite, like to dreaming and wandering and loss in her world. When she told me the problem that RANA is facing I started to understand her problem. Nothing much I did to her just to encourage her to study and attend her when she needed me.

Soon after 2 years, she felt I am so closed to her till she did not want anything disturbing me. It was so kind of her. She now dare to meet teachers without her "walking dictionary". I started realize she comes and visits almost all teachers and communicate in English without help. During my relationship with her I taught her to make " nasi goreng ikan bilis" . I gave her some " ikan bilis" from my stock so that she can try. She made it and gave some to me. Not bad for first timer. I didn't realize it made her feel so fond to me, till today when she showed her concerns then I knew what I did, had leave special marks on her .

Thank you RANA anyway.

Saturday, 24 May 2008


It has been a long time for us to find answers on this issue..

We tried to find out advices from the local residents. Some give positives views(meaning can .. no problem) some said no..(not allowed).
Even my cousin Hj Azman the Umrah Tour Operator(staying in Kingdom for 20 years) mentioned the same thing but he could not prove to us from where we can get the information.

Finally we manage to get the answers, source :

Menu: Iqama System Violation and Penalties

Related infos that we are looking for are stated in paragraph 16,17 and 18.

16. Hajj, Umrah guest or the Prophet's Mosque visitor, who travels outside Makkah, Jeddah or Madinah during validity of the visa granted to him or after its expiry. • Fine is 10,000 S.R. or one month imprisonment or both

• He shall be deported at his own expense.
• Investigate the role of the establishment responsible for his entry in the occurrence of the violation before imposing the penalty.

17. Transporting a guest for Hajj, Umrah or the Prophet's Mosque visitor outside the established routes specified for him by the establishment responsible for his arrival and departure during his visa validity • If the carrier is an expatriate resident, the fine is 10,000 S.R. or 1 to 3 months imprisonment or both in addition to deportation.
• If the carrier is a citizen, the first instance fine is 10,000 S.R. or 1 to 3 months imprisonment or both. Second instance fine is 20,000 S.R. or 3 to 6 months imprisonment. Third instance fine is 30,000 S.R. or six months imprisonment.
• Fines are multiplied according to the number of individuals involved.
• Investigate the role of the establishment responsible for his entry in the occurrence of the violation to be punished if the violation was established.

18. Transportation of an Umrah or Hajj guest, or the Prophet's Mosque visitor outside the established routes specified for him by the establishment responsible for his arrival and departure after the expiry of the validity of the visa.
• See penalties in paragraph 17.
• Publish the violator's penalty in the local press with the judgment thereon according to the censure instructions.

The sentence that we were searching for a long time, finally we found at end.
No more puzzle in our head. It is clear now. Hope this reference can help others to make decision as well.

"Rules made not to be broken"

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

My family is fan of cinnamon roll from Cinnabon. But the price is so expensive for us to enjoy the bun so much. I took effort to get recipes from internet. Several try out.. today I got this . I assumed this is the best result of my cinnamon rolls. We like to have it with cheese frosting .. umm so yummy ..

Now we can enjoy to have more than one rolls for everone of us.

If you ask for recipe.. I am sorry.. I always cook without proper measurement. Only with love and tenderness hoping to produce the best. That is the bad side of me. When it turns good.. I could not remember the exact measurement. If I follow proper measurement the dish did not turn good. So what to do....

Yanbu Al-Bahar Fish Market

Here are some picuteres from the Yanbu Al-Bahar Fish Market. You can see the fish ranges from the giant one to the smallest. You can even see the coral fish. Most of us Malaysian don't dare to eat the colourful coral fish e.g , parot fish, angle fish. But I tried once.. so.. chewy.. no more next time. Usually we go the market once in a month. Its quite a distance to go frequently. So we decided to limit one trip and with bulk shopping. See my freezer as well.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Yanbu Made Teh Tarik

This is an experiment to make Yanbu "Teh tarik". Specially made by chef Siti for her regular customer, It's me laaa..

Look at these two young lady. Impatiently want to sip the tea although it still hot (Harr Jiddan).

Congratulation chef Siti, the tea was perfect and "miah-miah" (100% in arabic).

Lots of love from us...zaujuki, ibnatuki wa auladuki....

Nahnu nuhibbu anti.

Mekah Al-Ann (Mecca Now)

Few photos showing Mekah As-Shamiyah area at this time.
Demolishing work is in progress for future expansion of Haram Mosque and Hotels. Pictures spoke a thousand words, nothing was left behind and the only remaining was a memories.

My parents in-law has a good memories about As-Syamiyah. Their first visit to Mekah 36 years ago for hajj and yet the place still fresh in their minds. It was proven when their last visit on February where they still recall the shop selling "Tamis" and others stuff. Ohh My God! It still the same, they said. Although after 36 years the building and road were still the same. But that was on February, now everything has gone. Gone with the memories.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Oppss! We hit a Camel

Last Wednesday we planned to have our last Umrah before we fly back to Malaysia on July 3. The journey was fine though all the way Hannan did not cooperate very well. She cried along the journey. Don't know what really troubling her. We assume maybe she want to free herself from the baby car seat. Together with us, are family of Suhaimi and Sadimin.

It was Maghrib time when we arrived Meqat Juhfah area. As usual, we decided to stop at Meqat Mosque to perform our Maghrib prayer and then continue our journey to Mecca. It was another 200 meters away from the mosque when we saw in the darknest,from the opposite direction a car giving high beam. We thought it was for the car that at that time was using the road(opposite direction). Unfortunately, it was a signal from camel shepherd to tell us there was a flock of camel ahead and want us to slow down. It was too late to slow down when we saw the camel just a few metres in front of us. It was a big size camel and it hit our windscreen and bounce to the side of the road. Sadimin who was leading the convoy safely passed the camel flock. Me and Suhaimi did not realize caused it was dark. Suhaimi a few metres at the back suddenly stopped his car and checked on us. Alhamdulillah, nothing happened to anyone of us. Except I had some small pieces of broken glass got into my mouth. At that time, my main concerned was how was the kids? I turned back and checked all of them and turned to my husband. When I found everyone was ok then I realized there was something in my mouth and started to spit it out.

We decided to continue our journey, since there was no point to go back, we almost in the middle of the journey. In fact,it is dangerous to drive back with shattered windscreen at night. So, we started our niat ihram and continue our journey. It was 12 midnight when we reached Makkah.After settled our kids in the hotel, at 2.30 a.m we performed tawaf and Saei. Then after fajr we returned to hotel. In the same hotel we met my cousin 'Yop Najib' and wife, Azlindawati's in laws and other relatives who happened at the same time came here to perform Umrah.

Friday, Hj Azman(my cousin , Umrah tour operator, who is staying in Makkah for 20 years) sent us home to Yanbu. Surprisingly, he never been to Yanbu. This is the hikmah of what had happened. So, after he had lunch with us, my husband brought him for city site-seeing. He seems enjoyed the city and promised to come again with his parent and family to spent a few days to enjoy the beach in future.
On Saturday, my Saudi neighbours offered us help to make police report. In KSA if you had an accident and need to repair your vehicle, the wokshop will not accept your vehicle unless you have police report. Earlier, we made to understand, the report should be done to the nearest police station of the incident. Its mean we had to go to Rabigh police station to lodge report which is 200+km away. But luckily, Alhamdulilah, we got help from my Saudi neighbour so we manage to get the police report from here. And now she is in the workshop right now.

p/s: We would like to thank to Sadimin and Suhaimi for their help and patience. May Allah will reward you hassanah.