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.