Wednesday, September 4, 2013


It's raining...

Just had my lunch. A simple lunch. Rice with fried egg. RM2.

Started reading book after that. A small book criticizing liberal Islam. One of the contributing writers was former Perlis mufti, Dr Asri Zainal Abidin. I've learnt a lot from him, and have a great respect for him. The last time I saw him was when I was trying to catch my flight to Kuching almost three years back.

I love reading right after meals. It gives my mind something to ponder. It's some kind of refreshment. But our culture makes everybody stare at me as a freak. That's why now it's the best time to enjoy books in cafe. Because nobody's here. Nobody's going to bother me...and I'm going to bother anybody. Come next week, this place will be populated by students and I can no longer enjoy a companion of book without those weird lingering looks.

I'm thinking about my past, my present, and my future.

What have I done lately?

Finished "Albert Einstein Lived Here", written by his close associate, Abraham Pais. It chronicles the life of the great man through newspaper articles. Beautifully written and compiled, Pais displays the other side of Einstein that people often overlooked or misconstrued. That famous equation E=MC2 was never the cause of atomic bomb creation, despite popular belief. Even Einstein didn't believe atomic bomb was possible at first, he changed his mind afterwards. He was not even on the team of the Manhattan Project, as he was accused of being a communist sympathizer.

Also finished "Fatwa Yusof Qardhawi". Among numerous Islamic scholars, I think he offers the most plausible explanations to various problems affecting Muslim worldwide. There was this one awkward moment that occurred to me when we were visiting a friend's house for her raya open house last month. Her mother (old woman) offered her hands to two of my friends, but they refused. I was the third in the row...should I refuse her as well? After quick thinking (I remember Yusof Qardhawi permitted (harus) a handshake among older relatives as long as there is no traces of nafsu or fitnah, HAMKA said the same thing as well) and as a gesture of goodwill, I received her offer of hands. What I failed to consider at that particular time was that she's not my relatives...not even distant ones. So that Fatwa is null and void, inapplicable to my situation. It is still forbidden. But it was kind of weird to refuse the host's offer of handshake after all of her hospitality, no? (actually we just wanted a simple nasi goreng, but my friend's mother went as far as to prepare laksa sarawak specially for us. Her laksa sarawak was the best so far). But Islam comes first, after all. We need to abide by the rules.

Got a hold of Thomas L. Friedman's "Hot, Flat, and Crowded" from CAIS. I read (actually bought) his previous book "The World Is Flat" somewhere around 2009, and thoroughly enjoyed every pages of it. Now looking forward to reading this book.

Next week going to be a hectic one. Should brace myself to imminent workload that is lurking on the horizon. Planning, moderation and hard work are keys. And passion too.

Time for my training.