Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ask the Teacher (Tanyalah Ustaz)

Every morning, before i go to work, i would watch this show called 'Tanyalah Ustaz" in channel 9. The show starts at 7 am and end at 8 am. My cut off time to be out from the house and starts heading to my office is 8am. I'm using a motorbike to go to work.  If i starts the journey beyond that time limit, i'm surely would not be able to reach my office in time. When i travel by car to go to work, i need to be out much earlier than that which is before 7.30am.

My office hour starts at 8.45am and i normally reached office around 8.30am or 8.40 am. Just nice!..

The distance from my house in Shah Alam to my office in Jalan Raja Chulan is about 40km. Hence, i travel 80km everyday to and fro. It is hard and painful especially to the butt. Sitting 40 minute on the motorbike travelling to work and back home can be really "pain in the butt'. But as time goes, you will get use to it.

It is very time and cost saving for me to travel to work by motorbike  than other mode of transportation. Furthermore, there is no problem in finding parking spot for a bike.

Anyway, I just want to share some of the info about today's preach. It is about getting rewarded by Allah by only watching.

The ustaz said

" There is 4 things that the action that we did by only watching, shall be rewarded by Allah with 'good deeds" (Pahala). Some ulama said 5 but i want to mention 4 only."

1. Watch the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.                                                                  
        (We cannot do this anymore as the Prophet p.b.u.h, is no longer with us)

2. Watch the Ka'abah.                                                                     
       (Watching a picture of Ka'abah can be accounted too)

3. Watch the Quran.
      (But this does not mean we should stop by watching the Quran only, we should read it and the 
      rewards will be more as each of the arabic characters will be accounted as one good deed and 
      shall be multiplied by 10 good deeds. 

4. Watch your parents. 

As for the item no. 4, i'm telling myself to increase my effort to please my parents further. May Allah give me the strength and resources for me to achieve this. Sometimes, we are to caught up with work, personal problems and our own family affairs, we forget to ask about our parents conditions, their state of health, feeling and current life. 

When we were children, our parents care for us, feed us, love us and cherish us through our up and down. They do it out of love without thinking of any returns.

But when we grow up, we got our own life and set of family, we place them aside from our new life till they feel deserted and far apart from us.

May Allah forgive me of all my ignorant and my weaknesses in caring for my parents. My prayers to all my friends and relative for that too. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Good Quote...

Syed al-Qutub said  

"Oppression even how strong it is, it will not last and;
 Good things even how weak it is, shall achieve victory. "

p/s : My doa goes out to all Muslims in the world who are currently being oppressed, may Allah grant you with patience and strength to face His obstacles and may He reward you with Jannah. Amin   
Kata-kata Syed al-Qutub

Kezaliman itu walaupun ia sekuat mana sekalipun, ia tetap tidak akan berkekalan dan kebaikan walaupun lemah, ia pasti akan meraih kemenangan.

Exam preparation

Its already 1.26am yet I am still up, busily preparing for my tuition students' exam tomorrow. I'm doing some research on the net to find some maths questions for the topics which i have covered for my students. I am done preparing questions for standard 4. Now, i am preparing questions for standard 2,3,5,6 and form 2.

It seems like a lot things to do but with internet it is easy. As a Researcher in Affin Bank, finding information is like a walk in the park for me. I might need another hour or so to complete the task.

This is the good thing about internet, you have the choice to use it in a good way or in a harmful way. It depends on the intention of the user.  I  remembered about what was said by the ustaz during one of the daily sermons that was held at my office surau. 

The  Ustaz (religious teacher) was sharing about his son's doubt as to why the Majlis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) wanted to come out with a Fatwa (religious ruling) to ban the social media, especially Facebook, to the Muslims.

(Later MUI had denied that they wanted to impose the ban ruling. Instead, they only wanted to give advice to people to be careful when using the social media. The statement on the banning was being sensationalised by the press the increase the sale of their newspapers.)Read link here or here (for Malay version)

So the Ustaz was explaining to his son,  that it actually depends on who is using it and their purpose. Take a  a knife for an example. A person who holds the knife, if he is a cook, and his intention is to cut something for his cooking, then the ruling would be HARUS or HALAL (permissible) but if the person who holds it is a crazy man, then the ruling would be HARAM (forbidden) because a crazy person has the potential to cause injury to himself and other people.   

Even if the person is a sane man, but if his intention is to kill somebody, then the hukum (ruling) is also HARAM. So basically, in Islam, the intention of a person determines whether he/she is committing sins or good deed. Social media is only a tool. It all depends on the person who is using it to determine whether they use it for good or evil.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

English writing journey

It seems that writing this blog in English has become a big burden for me. I find out that it is very difficult for me to express my mind by writing in English. The moment i wanted to start writing this blog, i feel like having a big block of rock being placed on top of my head. Pressing it hard until i become stress unnecessarily.

So, if you happen to stumble in this blog and got a time to read in any of the past or future entry, please excuse me for the long-winded sentences used or any grammatical errors mistakes that you might find.

Lucky for me, bloggers got a spell check system that could correct my spelling, if not my learning spirit toward learning the language surely will crushing down like a stock market black Monday.  

Anyway, i'm not trying to make any excuses. I won't stop writing in English either. I will strive writing this blog in English even if i have to take hours of time to complete it. 

In my country, Malaysia, there are some taboo among the people about a person who cannot master English language. They perceive them as stupid. Those who mastered the language sometime feel that they are  superiority over the others who done. Hence, some people like to use it when scolding somebody like "You bloody stupid" ... hahaha... just kidding...that is me saying. 

Some of this people when they speak English, they try to add  British/American  slang into it so that people could recognise he/she as a person who good in English. Like announcing 'hey look, i could speak better English than you all". Hahaha.. what a funny world we live in!  

Through out my working years in the banking arena for almost 12 years, i notice people that could write or communicate English better, could progress faster in their career even thought work wise they are not good with the job. Or maybe, some elements of suck up to somebody add inside which  i do not know of. 

But the fact is, mastering an additional language other than you mother tongue language give some advantages to an individuals. It give confident on oneself in expressing their thoughts in English especially when the need requires it. That is why when the government revert back their decision on teaching science and mathematics in English at school to Bahasa Melayu, I kinda sceptical and wonders why?

I'm a product of Malay educated system. And look what it created to my whole batch. Even thought there are some successfully one who manage to master the language, a majority of our batch do not. It is all due to lack of practises. After learning the language for 14 to 15 years, majority of us still struggle with the language and things back to square one. 

I have the opportunites to observe the Malay communities in Singapore which they are thought in English educated system. Their Malay language does not lost as some of the worries that Malay Language expert shared. They still communicate Malay with their families and friends. What is really interesting is that their ability to communicate English confidently with foreigners. Sometimes they use wrong choice of words and bad grammar but people still say that their English are good. It all just a matter of confident. 
Actually we must not care much about the people perception on us. The most important thing in life is about Allah's perceptions. As a vicegerent of Allah's in this world, we must know that our existent in this world is to submit to His desire and orders. That is to worship Allah as one and only God, to pray to him and to submit to all the do and don't that He have rule out for us to follow.   

Language is just a tools for communication. A person who master more language could preach about Allah's and the Messenger message to a wider crowd.

Learning English is a journey, it is one of Allah's knowledge. Therefore, Learning Allah's knowledge is like journey of doing a Jihad in the name of Allah.

Wallahua'lam...  Amin 

P/S : Its 2 am, and i need to wake up at 6 am tomorrow for morning prayers and work.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Teaching experience...

Since early this year, I have been teaching a group of standard 3, 4, 5, 6 and form 2 students mathematics. The class is held every Saturday and Sunday. It has been a very exciting experience for me since then. I think, the last time i teached was during my college years in UUM Matriculation in Sintok Kedah.

Those days i joined a club that did a lot of motivational camps to school students in Perlis, Langkawi and Kedah. So doing this kinda bring back the memories of teaching those student back then.

My wife also have a group of student of her own. She teaches English. So together, we both operate our small tuition centre together at our living room. Currently, we have about 20 student under us.

Our class is growing despite we do not do any marketing. Our marketing is mainly just based on word of mouth from the parents, aunt and friend which stays near our surrounding areas. Alhamdulillah...

A part from this children, my wife also teaches adult english class every Thursday night which i written in the previous entry.

Now, my wife and i seldom have the free time to spend during our weekends. The things that we enjoyed doing such as travelling, photography, etc, now had to be put on hold.

However, we don't miss much for not doing those things because we find teaching very interesting. Our students are very exciting as they are highly spirit, eager to learn and very competitive toward learning the topics that we covers. Their enjoyment towards learning provide us joy and spirit in our heart to teach our student the best that we can (with Allah's permission, Insya Allah).

My wife is not new in teaching world. She had teaches english since her teen years in Singapore doing tuition as part time job. Having her school years educated in English language makes her having less problem in teaching english to student.

The idea of setting up a tuition class comes from her. She started with teaching english to a bunch of primary students. At that time, she was having a luxury of time to be filled in so she take up part time in teaching english at our home.

When, she set up a training company for oil and gas training, she wanted to stop teaching but she doesn't have the heart to break the news to her students. So she decided to continue teaching until end of the year. How her joy and happiness shown every time she receive news that her student excellent in their english studies.

However, business can be up and down sometimes. Especially during early of the year as company had yet finalise their training budgets. So bad time requires for some sacrifices which i had to step in. As a man of the house, I know i had the obligation to provide for my family needs. I have been bless and thankful that my wife has help with some of the households expenses. Furthermore, i feel pity to see her exhausted every time she finished her class.

As we frequently travel to visit our sons in Kota Bharu, especially during school holidays, our resources can be drained quite fast.

Hence, we decided to expand our home tuition by adding mathematic for primary and secondary school with me as the teacher. After nearly 20 years leaving some of the subject away, a quick revision helped to refresh back the memory on how to solve problems in mathematics.

I got some request to teach form 4 student, but i had to decline as those level need some extra work to be done which i kinda not having the time to do it. Furthermore, form 4 involve not only mathematic subject but also additional mathematic subject. I need to do a lot of revising in order for me to teach both the subject.
Every time after class, my wife and i always discuss about our teaching methods and how our student response in class towards our teaching. We always worries whether our student can cope or not with our style or the most important thing is whether they understand the topic that we teaches or not?

Teaching is truly tiring and if compares with the returns that we get from doing this, it not that much but the experience we gain is beyond words.

We treat our work in this tuition business as our preparation for HereAfter. The is a hadith that says that after once we died, we still gain a reward from Allah if we got 3 things which one of its says teaches people of knowledge that can be useful to mankind.

The whole hadith mention like this :

Hadrat Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) as saying, "Among the actions and good deads for which a believer will continue to receive reward after his death are knowledge which he taught and spread, a good son whom he left behind, or a copy of the Qur'an which he left as a legacy, or a mosque he built, or a house which he built for the traveller, or a stream which he caused to flow, or a sadaqa which he gave from his property when he was alive and well, for which he will continue to receive reward after his death."
(Ibn Majah and Baihaqi)

I hope Allah will accept my wife and I action in teaching this as our 'amal jariah' for our preparation in the HereAfter.

As a human being, we can never run or avoid from making any sins in the past or in coming future. We hope Allah could grand us our prayers to end our life as a muslim with 'takwa' and 'Iman'

Say, "Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah , Lord of the worlds. (Surah Al An'am:162)
Ayat 162 Surah Al-An'am yang bermaksud: "Katakanlah (wahai Muhammad) "Sesungguhnya solatku, ibadatku, hidup dan matiku hanya untuk Allah, Tuhan sekelian alam."

For those who read this, if maybe in the past, my wife and i had any wrong doing that could hurt your feeling, either noticed or unnoticed, kindly forgive us please. Our weaknesses shows that we just a human being. As a vicegerent of Allah, we tried our best to do what was being told by Allah for us to do and what is not. Amin...

Some of our standard 2 & 3 students

Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Year New Mission

It has been a while since i last updated my blog. My interest in writing blog has worn out. It is not because i'm busy with work but maybe the burning desire to write isn't there anymore.

Nevertheless, today, i'm back. The desire to write has started to ignite. And I have to give credit and thanks to the students of my wife's small English adult class.

Since last year, my wife has been teaching a small group of working adults English lessons. 2 men and a lady. They are all working at a factory which is situated near our house. Every Thursday, they will come to our house and learn English in our living room which we have turned into a small classroom.

While my wife is teaching, i will sit at the conner of our living room with my computer, surfing the internet quietly and try not to interrupt the class. I feel like a little boy watching his mommy at work. Just kidding dear! hahaha.

The truth is, i'm there just to show support to my wife as well as learn a few lessons that i could pick along the way.

What i love and kinda admire about the class is the passion that the students show in the class. Learning can be quite difficult for adults due to our responsibilities and hectic lifestyles.

Week after week , i saw them progress and improve in their English language. I feel so envious. I also dream in mastering the language because my work requires me to write a lot. Especially on the economy and the business sector.

After doing some thinking and self-reflection, i decided to start blogging again. Is that all? No this is just a start. The beginning ... other actions will follow. At least for now, i have a purpose to write. This is my journey to mastering English...

Islamic view in seeking knowledge
Our beloved prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 218)

If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham (money), leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion. (Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 3634).


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