Friday, April 29, 2005

Nagging Zen Saying

Some weeks back, there was this saying keeping playing in my head, but I can't recall the whole thing directly. Somehow I remember some words of it but the whole thing evades me. The thing is that it disturbs me like if you can imagine, you are seeing a fairy but somehow, you can't catch it because just at the right moment, she flies away. Would not it be nice if you can put a fairy in a bottle or aquarium and make it like a display thing. One that looks like Julia Roberts will be fine.

Oh the saying was this :

Chuang Tze, a Chinese philosopher, once dreamt that he was a butterfly. On waking, he said to himself, "Now, am I a man dreaming that I am a butterfly, or am I a butterfly that thinks, ‘I am Chuang?’"

May be it's not Zen at all, maybe it's Chinese ... or rojak. I could have a nice plate of mee rojak now. In my real state; not dreams.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Bila Fateh merajuk Posted by Hello

We have only one child, Muhammad Fateh, now 6 years old. I can't remember why the sad face but probably because we are leaving Penang going back to Puchong. Even a day after we got to Penang (my wife is from Bayan Lepas), Fateh said he wanted to stay for 10 days since we pack so many of his clothes, he can stay longer than us. Kids eh! They are truly our reflections. Sometimes they are instruments of our Lord guidance to us. And when that happens, we are hopefully humbled by the experience.

Breakfast at Tun Sardon Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Visit to Jalan Masjid India

A view of Jalan Masjid India from a Minang's restaurant Posted by Hello

Every once in a while, my buddy & I would spend half of Saturday browsing for books etc. in Jalan Masjid India. The picture was from our visit about two weeks ago. The Pak Cik with a red table on the left side of the pic sells rings, stones etc. that normally goes with such vendor. He also sells a Kasturi. People who usually buys attar would know how Kasturi would smell like; not my favorite though, but it's alright. But not a normal occasion that you would find a Kasturi in its natural state. Seeing that I'm big and a bit asthmatic, he jumped to the advantages of Kasturi for asthma, and I asked him how much, he cooly replied RM150 a piece. Wow. You probably could buy the whole deer for that price. Oh, Kasturi I've been told is a sac found around the navel in certain musk deer. O well, give me my Ventolin lah.

But I digress. I wanted to write about this. Whenever I go there, sometimes I would feel a bit down coz I did not take my wife and son with me. I'm sure they would have enjoyed a spree around the area. But to actually make it happen, requires such precision planning that I doubt few men in Malaysia are capable of; unless they are graduates of West Point or such a place. You see, we men are easy. For such a trip to materialize, I would wake up when I normally do and if there's no family thing going on, I would call this buddy for breakfast. While eating, either one could spontaneouly say something like, 'eh, jom gi Jalan Masjid India, nak cari Qasidah Burdah la' or 'eh, jom pi Jusco, nak cari CD la' and we would drive there afterwards.

But before you say more, please visit this Robert Bly guy and see of what he would think.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Shaykh Ubaydullah Al-Ahrar

I recently read about him and there's one saying from him that really strucks my nerves since at the time, I was really down. Talking about Shaykh Alauddin al-Ghujdawani, Shaykh Ubaydullah said:

"He taught me a lesson that one must struggle to keep firm and constant in the dhikr, because whatever you acquire easily, without difficulty, will not stay with you. Whatever you earn by the sweat of your brow, however, will stay with you."

I guess in whatever we do, discipline and respect can't be far away if we were to succedd. And growing up as a laid-back, tv watching, Super Mario Brothers playing kind of kid, those are difficult traits for me to keep.

In Early 2003, I once asked somebody if there's an easy way to wake up and do the tahajjuds and he replied, discipline.

How to get discipline, pray tell, for the only kid, among close to 500 students that were 3rd batch MRSM Beseri, the only kid that got detention.

Surely I must learn to keep my adab.

Monday, April 11, 2005


You may have read these before but enjoy them once again. And much like highly regarded litterature or prose, you can't translate these without losing much of their value. So enjoy them in Malay:

Tahukah Anda perkataan May Day yang diulangsebut ketika berlaku kecemasan, baik di laut atau udara berasal daripada bahasa Perancis M'aidez yang bermaksud ''tolong saya''. Perkataan Mydin yang tertera pada Pasaraya Mydin pula bukan bermaksud ia dimiliki oleh pelawak terkenal Maideen.

Tahukah Anda kedua belah kaki kita tidak sama besar kerana sebelah adalah kaki kanan dan sebelah lagi adalah kaki kiri. Namanya saja sudah tidak sama jadi tentunya besarnya juga tidak sama.

Tahukah Anda magnet ialah sejenis logam yang juga digelar besi berani. Sebagaimana namanya, magnet ialah besi yang berani menarik butir-butir besi lain kearahnya. Bagaimanapun orang yang diupah untuk menarik kereta bukanlah magnet.

Tahukah Anda burung dapat pulang kesarangnya walaupun telah keluar kadangkala hingga beribu kilometer daripada sarangnya tanpa sesat atau silap walaupun tanpa bantuan kompas. Ini kerana setiap sarang burung mempunyai alamatnya yang tersendiri sebenarnya.

Tahukah Anda bunyi perkataan lempeng dan tempeleng adalah hampir sama walaupun ia berbeza dari segi rupa bentuknya. Tapi,walaubagaimanapun orang yang kena tempeleng masih boleh memakan lempeng apabila dia berasa lapar.

Tahukah Anda antara kereta kebal dan tok guru ilmu kebal, ahlak kereta kebal adalah lebih baik kerana kereta kebal walaupun ia kebal tapi tak pernah membanggakan diri dan riak akan kekebalannya.

Tahukah Anda walaupun hidup beribu tahun kalau tak sembahyang tiada gunanya.. Jadi, sembahyanglah sebelum anda disembahyangkan.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Four Man and Interpreter

My interest in reading dimly started in Darjah 3 coz at the time, my school’s library was throwing books out and I took this one book which I can’t remember the title now. But it was about world history and for the first time, I was introduced to names like Madame Curie, Thomas Edison, the Sumerians etc. But coming from a Kampung Pasir Tumboh in Kelantan, we were more interested in how to pay for school fees than extra tuition or books.

Fast forward to 1987, there I was in MRSM Beseri in Perlis and true to our gender, we had a good time. Sometimes proudly I say that among close to 500 students in our 3rd batch at the time, I was the only one who was suspended for 3 days from school. Or maybe I was the stupid one among the naughty boys; stupid enough to get caught. Among my buddies then was this guy Riza who talked about Aristotle, Metaphysics, Einstein etc like he knows what’s going on. I was like, man, this guy is a professor!

Among the books I had enjoy reading were those by Idries Shah. Here’s one story from his book ‘The way of the Sufi’, the story is attributed to our Master Jalaluddin Rumi:

Four people were given a piece of money.
The first was a Persian. He said: 'I will buy with this some angur.'
The second was an Arab. He said: 'No, because I want inab.'
The third was Turk. He said: 'I do not want inab, I want uzum.'
The fourth was a Greek. He said: 'I want stafil.'

Because they did not know what lay behind the names of things, these four started to fight.

They had information but no knowledge.

One man of wisdom present could have reconciled them all, saying: 'I can fulfil the needs of all of you, with one and the same piece of money. If you honestly give me your trust, your one coin will become as four; and four at odds will become as one united.'

Such a man would know that each in his own language wanted the same thing, grapes.

Apart from the surface of the story, I do not know if it means anything else. One thing comes to mind, why four people, why not 3 or 2. May be there’s more to it than a good story.