Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Get stuck on the mud


"Hm I think your points are too weak, you should get the informations about the actually process flow to generate the product, in this case, the cellphone. With this process flow, then only you could audit the process flow, identify the wastes generation and the impacts to environment from each steps." 

"But Prof, they don't give us the actual process flow, they just gave us the general flow, and we're not even allowed to enter the factory to see the process. We just meet the representative officer, talk to him and take some informations from him. Thats it."

"You will not learning forever if this is what happened!"

Yes,this is the common problem faced by students like me, where's my tasks would never been solved if I just sit at library, find the books, search the informations on net and read the journals. No, I have to move to the industry and ministry, communicate with them to get the informations by study the actual event, make analysis, write up the report and submit. But the industrial group is not supportive to student, they won't reveal any informations even for study purpose, and there's no such regulation to force them to give informations whenever needed. 

I've been wondering, why those people in industry were so afraid to be honest and give a small coorporation to student. Are they doing something wrong? Or there's anything they hiding? Or they worried if the students would steal their so called 'green technology'? I don't have any idea of what's they're thinking. They should feel grateful if there's a student would  like to study their company especially from environmental aspect, maybe after the study, some recommendation could be given to them for better environmentally practice management and it was free for sure! 

"Yes, this is XXXXX company, may I help you?"

"Hello, I'm Eliana from UM, I've read about your company, you are producing the XYZ products and my team would like to study about your green technology implementation. So can I ask for appointment to see your officer on this particular issue?"

After 5 minutes.

"Sorry miss, we couldn't help you."

"May I know, why?"

"No specific reason..haha.." Tut...tut..tut..
The phone was hang up immediately..

What???!!!! We are really shocked by such unprofessional answer and unbelievable manner!Mashaallah! We make a phone call for the whole day, and the most expected answer is sounds like this: "Sorry, our company policy do not allow such assessment..". After struggling few days calling here and there, two or three companies at least ready to accept us, so we went to the company and meet with the officers that sometimes are not friendly and make us felt like we are at the wrong place! And you know what, one of the company was surprised when we arrived at their office door and they discussed among each others in Chinese language in front of us. They forget that one of my team is a Chinese and she told us what's they're talking about. 

"They're not expecting us to come for real, they thought we are just kidding when we make a phone called a day before!" Again, WHAT???!!!! Maybe they think like, it just a phone called from the kids that found his   mom's cellphone on sofa, then he just dialed random numbers and accidently  reached the company, OMG! And we went back to campus without any informations except upset to those people.

Some company do accept us and it is the best things if the company give us even the general flow and briefly illustrated to us and we will like, horay!!! we get the informations! I can't believe is was this hard to get the informations. They'll get phobia when they heard 'Environment student' and suddenly like, "Er...why you choose our company?What's the study for? bla..bla..bla...". so many questions but then just give us excuses to avoid. Well, we really psyched up for this situation. 

The point is, why you have to worry if you're doing the right thing like you are running the factory with the good practice and proper management? With this kind of attitude, I certainly thought that the company was hiding something. Now, listen, we are a students, we want to learn, we want to explore and give contributions, we don't have any other intention, we don't have a political interest, we are not to investigate your wrong-doing and subject the complaint to Department of Environment and all the informations is certainly confidential. Your nation will never learn if this situation remain. Please, please change your mindset, accept us as a learner and let us contribute something to you and community! Truly, I'm get stuck on this mud. 

P/S: Am I complaining? Urghh just want to get it off my mind and I'm not able to stop my fingers, lol. Next semester do not promise me to avoid dealing industry as well, but yes it's a challenge that I have to face as one of the learning process, inshaallah! Please make doa for me :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Purify Your Gaze Campaign: Imancipate Porn Addiction

BY: Zeyad Ramadhan : Foundation of Purify Your Gaze

It all started when I was in my final year of elementary school abroad. My siblings and I had rented a movie which was PG in Asia but PG13 in the West. I came to realize later on in life that I was too young to have watched that movie. There was a split second in the movie where a picture of a naked women was shown. I was intrigued to the extent that before returning it I watched and stared at that particular moment alone in our apartment at night while everyone was sleeping. I must have been 12 at the time.
Upon my return home I started high school and my first real experience of porn came during a tournament for our high school volleyball team. We had an overnight stay during one of our out of town trips and I was in a room with 3 other teammates.
At night they all waited till 12am to wait for a show that played soft-core porn every week on regular TV (not cable). I was disgusted and told the guys I don’t watch this stuff, I turned away listening to the movie for the next hour. My eyes ventured a couple of times and I was curious and excited as to what I saw. From then on I would try to catch that same show at home whenever I got the chance, staying up that late was a hurdle as well as making sure everyone was asleep. My usage steadily became more consistent. During this time I would also venture on the Internet to look at pictures of nude women.
This was a reflection from one of the participants who worked with me in the most recent sexual addiction recovery program I lead on how years of secrecy, frustration, loneliness, and depression began for him. The experience that the brother shared above is so common from the hundreds of Muslims addicted to pornography that I’ve interacted with online and through phone conversations.
Before, you jump to conclusions and say something like, “This brother needs to fear Allah more…” or “This brother and others should just practice lowering their gaze and there wouldn’t be a problem anymore,” there’s an important thing you need to know.
Statistics show that 90% of American kids will have come into direct contact with pornography at least once, accidentally, by the age of 11. That’s right – age 11, if not younger. The problem often starts before anyone, including the user, is even aware that it could lead to such a destructive lifestyle.
The majority of these brothers (and yes even some sisters have contacted me asking for help) are practicing Muslims actively participating in the community.
As one brother messaged me saying, “I’m involved in my local youth group, and I feel like such a hypocrite telling these youths what to do while I’m involved in such filth…”
This is not a case of the “evil party animal who can’t stop womanizing” Muslim that needs to return back to Allah.
Clearly, there’s something deeper going on in this situation.
One huge obstacle to the pornography problem and individuals looking to change has to do with us as a Muslim community. Although we have come a long way as a community in addressing social issues, there is still the pervading black and white version of Islam where everything is either halaal (allowed) or haraam (forbidden) in how we solve problems.
Many brothers out there looking for help, or wives who have discovered their husbands’ pornography use, go to the only place they know of for guidance: a fatwa (an Islamic ruling given by a scholarly opinion) website. Unfortunately, the fatwa websites offer little help for both sufferers. The addict knows already that his behavior is haraam, what he needs, however, is a way out.
Maybe at best, there will be a khutbah (sermon) or a lecture topic on the importance of lowering the gaze where the khateeb (person who gives the sermon) will give all the evidences from the Qur’an and Sunnah about the importance of lowering the gaze and that yes it is hard but it needs to be done to solve the problem.
And that’s the end of that conversation; you won’t hear anything else about it again for another year. So the listeners get the same message they are already acquainted with: “You better lower your gaze, and try harder, or else you won’t be a complete Muslim…”
Trying harder is not the solution, it’s the problem itself, because what’s being treated is only the symptoms of a problem and not the root causes of the behavioral pattern appearing in the first place.
In psychology, this is known as only making a “first-order change” and essentially it is like the old French saying, “the more things change, the more they remain the same.” The more you try to change a problem on a surface level by just changing the symptoms, the more of the madness remaining is exactly the same.
One of the great traditions that have been established in this country is the 12 step program which was started by two alcoholics looking to recover in a wholesome way and to stop the idea of: “I’ll man handle this addiction”.
The first step in all 12-step recovery groups is the admission of powerlessness in the situation and the need to let go of “knowing everything”, that life had become unmanageable, and that there was a new way of living and handling life.
As Muslims, we clearly have that same message in the very first revelation that was given to our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him to “Recite by the Name of your Lord”…
There have been volumes written on the letter “baa” in the Arabic language translated as “by” in this verse and the power of seeking aid outside of yourself and by the Power and Might of Allah (God) the Almighty.
As the verses continue, we are told about the transgression of man when he believed himself to be self-sufficient, and that is exactly what happens when the addict keeps on continuing the insanity of trying to solve it alone and figuring things out by himself.
The key for us as a community and for individuals that are affected by pornography addiction and other manifestations of sexual addiction is not to just keep on trying harder.
The key is to come to a place of acceptance of self and acceptance of ourselves as a community that we have a problem here and it’s deeper than just a man needing to lower his gaze, and that there are chemical effects of addiction, the history of addiction running in a family, and the deeper psychological factors at play.
What does acceptance of self look like?
It is all explained in a concept that I teach to my students called Finding Power Through Powerlessness.
The reason why this concept is important for an individual beginning his or her journey to recovery is that it means death of self-sufficiency must take place otherwise the individual will never be able to change. What will happen instead, is that the individual will move in life from one addiction to another addiction, never finding joy or peace of heart.
It’s what Allah (God) describes in Surah Al-Baqarah, (Qur’an, 2:165), “And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah …”
They go through life constantly afraid without a deep foundation to rely on, and because of this they jump from one thing to another trying to find that safety and peace of heart.
It’s being able to move from a place of denial, self-sufficiency, and arrogance to a place of humility, submission, and surrender. There are some things in life that we just cannot do alone, and yes we are broken by them, but they are in fact blessings in disguise from Allah (God) the Almighty.
We have the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ who said, “Allah (God) wonders at those people who will enter Paradise in chains.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
Yes the hadith is referring to those captives of war who by choice surrender their will to Allah (God), but by the same token we are sometimes brought to Allah (God) through the chains of our desires, and when we surrender our will to Allah (God) and admit we can’t do this alone, we have found freedom.
Overcoming an addiction to pornography is one of those things that cannot be done alone, and it does not necessitate that the individual in this journey is bad or evil. In fact being chosen as one of the few to learn this valuable life lesson of admitting powerlessness and fully surrendering your will to Allah (God), is an experience that most people in life will not have.
This is just the beginning of our conversations as a community on the seriousness of pornography addiction and other manifestations of sexual addiction, and its effects on the individual, the spouse, the children, and the community. I am spearheading an initiative called ‘Purify Your Gaze’, based upon the famous Quranic verse addressing the believers to lower their gaze in order to attain purity for themselves, on the realities of pornography addiction in the Muslim community.
Until the launch of this campaign, I am asking for your support in sharing the following link: www.PurifyYourGaze.com/case-study where we hope to gather statistical data on the effects of addiction on the individuals struggling with pornography and also their spouses who are often very ignored in this process, and insha’Allah (God-willed) release the findings of this study to the public.
I ask for the community’s support and encourage those who are interested to visit the website to take part in this awareness campaign and from Allah comes all success.
P/S: Seriously, this is whats happened everywhere and for muslim as well, it's a virus that need an antidote to be cure. So don't hesitate to start improve yourself from now, be brave! inshaallah.. God bless!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Put the blame on me!

Umaira withdrew a heavy sigh and she put the newspaper on the table harshly. Her face is bitter like she was forced to marry a man that she disliked. Zujlah glanced her friend tenderly with her deep eyes. 

"Hey, what with that face? You look so old with that expression!"

"Urgh! I just feel like I'm going to puke everytime I read the newspaper! There's too many immoralities reported, girl who threw the innocent baby or worst, burnt the baby! Man who's rape, then killed and buried or blew up their victims. Bribery in almost everything.  Just name it, what's bad thing left that human never did in history? Immorality had spread like unstoppable virus.I'm sick with this and I can't believe it happened in Malaysia now. Sigh, who should be blame on this?!"

"Calm down, don't blow your cool. Well, it's not just happened in Malaysia,it almost at every edge of the world. I was also bothered with this trendy crime, it such a gross phenomenon but then, to whom shall we put the blame on?"

"The culprit is of course the government! Because they are the one who's setting out how's the country will going on years by years, if they implement Islamic taught in everything, I believe it won't be like this! For example, the law itself, if there is a Hudud, I'm pretty sure that the crime would become lesser. While in education, government should think seriously on how to produce a healthy spiritual community not just a cheap labor"

"Good point, yes I agreed, but don't you think, the real culprit is people who choose them as a leader? And who choose them? We and our community. So we are the real culprit. Yes at the end, the government and the community, me and you, we are all one unit of individual. So don't knock it if you can't do it any better, don't throw the rubbish to others, we are the one who should be responsible to this moral corruption because we are not doing anything to change the situation and we just complaining all the time!"

"But how we as individual could change this situation? It's almost impossible doll!"

"Well, it's quite easy to say but difficult to accomplish, start it with yourself, improve ourself, live a life like what's Islam taught us, implement the Quran in our daily life, be a good daughter to our parents, good member to our community.Spread the goodness, encourage good deeds and try to prevent the bad deeds. Thats it, if all people think the same, then all people will become good, all mean the government, the police, the doctors, me and you, we all! .."

"Hm yeah, and the individual will expand a family and a family will form a community. But I think, it would be a long journey and it's tiring."

"Of course, it's never easy at the beginning, we know how hard to change even ourself, but we must strive for it. Do something to create this mind set to others, start it with people that close to us, our family, classmates and friends. Then, you should get married , with that you could inherit the goodness to your generation and built a family with Islamic taught, what a bless!"

"Married? Again! lol..Ok,I can't agree with you more, so the conclusion is, built Islam within ourself for we become a part of the community. Encourage goodness and prevent bad deeds. Each person will carry their own role, like decision maker, doctors, lawyers, farmer and so forth. Good community with Islamic thought then will built the Islamic state for real.."

"Awesome, neat conclusion, inshaallah. Everyone should take this responsibility. That's what I'm trying to say. Ok, I'm heading out to catch some fresh air, are you down to go with me?"

"Sure, let's go! Ah wait, when you mentioned about married thing, are you already have a potential? haha.."

"Eeeer..Nevermind, scratch that! LOL!"

P/S: Have a blessed day! Assalamualaykum..

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hijab:An awesome pride for ladies

Assalamualaykum all,

Awesome! Yes just like the name of this website, and I love the way they delivered da'wah. We need more creative muslims to present da'wah in various way, inshaallah. May Allah rewards our small efforts with His Bless and Forgiveness. So this is one of their post that I wanna share with you, eagerly, well maybe its an old and neglected issue, but it still relevant to talk about. Here is some fun guides for ladies to wear hijab in a proper way as Allah had commanded.  Have a nice browse! 

Hijab in Islam, is basically a “dress code” for Muslim women in public. Many perceive hijab as “traditional” and a form of oppression; but truth is, hijab protects and safeguards women from harassment! The wisdom behind hijab is to minimize sexual enticement and most importantly, it is a form of obedience to our Lord, Allah.  Take hijab as your pride, and Insyallah, you will become a better Muslimah. 

1. The most basic form of hijab is to cover the whole body, except the hands up to the wrist. Take note that hijab is not only about covering your head with a headscarf, but it’s about covering your body too!  A hijab isn’t complete until both requirements (head and body) are covered:

♦”… that they (the believing women) should draw veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers…” [ An-Noor 24:31 ]

2. A proper hijab requires one to wear loose clothes in order to avoid “showing” those beautiful curves! The Prophet (pbuh) has warned us that women who are dressed yet naked (ie: tight-fitting clothes) will receive harsh punishment in Hell (nauzubillah).

•The Prophet (pbuh) said: “There are two types of people in Hell-fire whom I did not see: People who have with them whips that are like the tails of cow; they strike people with them. And women WHO ARE DRESSED YET NAKED, who are Mumilat (ie: who shake their shoulders when they walk, who draw the attention of those who are looking at them) and Ma’ilat, (ie: they walk in a slanting manner, strutting with a kid on fluidity of motion, so as to attract others)… they will NOT enter Paradise, nor will they smell its fragrance whereas its fragrance would be smelt from such and such distance” [ Sahih Muslim, Book 24, Chapter 26 #5310 ]

3. Ladies, keep your attire or outfit simple and modest! There’s no need to be flashy in order to attract the attention of others! Most importantly, it should be free of anything that may lead to arrogance, self-conceited, pride and riya’. As ladies, we are to display Allah’s blessings upon us in our clothing, but do it without going to the extreme of wastage or extravagance.

•The Prophet (pbuh) said: “He who trailed his garment out of pride, Allah would not look towards him on the Day of Resurrection” [ Sahih Muslim, Book 24, Chapter 8 #5195 ]

4. Think that headscarf or long skirt of yours is solid enough? Look again, it might be transparent and people are able to see the shape of your hair bun or legs! Whatever material or fabric you put on yourself; make sure they are not transparent!

 5. “Are you a girl… or a boy?” Is the type of question other people shouldn’t be asking when it comes to an individual, and we should avoid it at all costs! Dressing up/ looking as the opposite gender is dangerous to self, as it challenges the pride and it brings confusion to others. So ladies, be proud of your girly self! :)

•”The Prophet (pbuh) cursed the man who dresses like a woman and the woman who dresses like a man” [ Abu Dawood, 4/86 ]

6. Why bother dressing up the others (ie: the unbelievers) when you, as a Muslimah, have your own identity to be proud of? By imitating them outwardly, it might lead to imitating them inwardly (beliefs, characteristics). Muslim ladies too, have their own style and fashion to be proud of! :)

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Be different from the Mushrikin” [ Al-Bukhari, # 4/39 ]

P/S: This is so awesome isn't it? Congratulations to this blog that belong to two awesome mothers, they had make da'wah in a more fun way, I really impressive with their creativeness and efforts on this. Have a browse, grab and spread the good things you found there, inshaallah :))

Friday, November 12, 2010

Give me a break

"I'm so tired."
"Tired of what?"

"Of all these people judging me."
"Who judged you?"

"Like that woman, every time I sit with her, she tells me to wear hijab."  
"Oh, hijab and music! The mother of all topics!"

"Yeah! I listen to music without hijab... haha!"
 "Maybe she was just giving you advice."

"I don't need her advice. I know my religion. Can't she mind her own business?"
 "Maybe you misunderstood. She was just being nice."

"Keeping out of my business, that would be nice..."
 "But it's her duty to encourage you do to good."

"Trust me. That was no encouragement. And what do you mean 'good'?"
 "Well, wearing hijab, that would be a good thing to do."

"Says who?"
 "It's in the Quran, isn't it?"

"Yes. She did quote me something."
 "She said Surah Nur, and other places of the Quran."

"Yes, but it's not a big sin anyway. Helping people and praying is more important."
 "True. But big things start with small things."

"That's a good point, but what you wear is not important. What's important is to have a good healthy heart."
 "What you wear is not important?"

"That's what I said."
 "Then why do you spend an hour every morning fixing up?"

"What do you mean?"
 "You spend money on cosmetics, not to mention all the time you spend on fixing your hair and low-carb dieting."

 "So, your appearance IS important."

"No. I said wearing hijab is not an important thing in religion."
 "If it's not an important thing in religion, why is it mentioned in the Noble Quran?"

"You know I can't follow all that's in Quran."
 "You mean God tells you something to do, you disobey and then it's OK?"

"Yes. God is forgiving."
 "God is forgiving to those who repent and do not repeat their mistakes."

"Says who?"
 "Says the same book that tells you to cover."

"But I don't like hijab, it limits my freedom."
 "But the lotions, lipsticks, mascara and other cosmetics set you free?! What's your definition of freedom anyway?"

"Freedom is in doing whatever you like to do."
 "No. Freedom is in doing the right thing, not in doing whatever we wish to do."

"Look! I've seen so many people who don't wear hijab and are nice people, and so many who wear hijab and are bad people."

"So what? There are people who are nice to you but are alcoholic. Should we all be alcoholics? You made a stupid point."

"I don't want to be an extremist or a fanatic. I'm OK the way I am without hijab."
 "Then you are a secular fanatic. An extremist in disobeying God."

"You don't get it, if I wear hijab, who would marry me?!"
 "So all these people with hijab never get married?!"

"Okay! What if I get married and my husband doesn't like it? And wants me to remove it?"
 "What if your husband wants you to go out with him on a bank robbery?!"

"That's irrelevant, bank robbery is a crime."
 "Disobeying your Creator is not a crime?"

"But then who would hire me?"
"A company that respects people for who they are."

"Not after 9-11"
 Yes. After 9-11. Don't you know about Hanan who just got into med school? And the other one, what was her name, the girl who always

wore a white hijab... ummm..."

"Yes. Yasmin. She just finished her MBA and is now interning for GE."
 "Why do you reduce religion to a piece of cloth anyway?"

"Why do you reduce womanhood to high heals and lipstick colors?"
 "You didn't answer my question."

"In fact, I did. Hijab is not just a piece of cloth. It is obeying God in a difficult environment. It is courage, faith in action, and true womanhood. But your short sleeves, tight pants..."

"That's called 'fashion', you live in a cave or something? First of all, hijab was founded by men who wanted to control women."

"Really? I did not know men could control women by hijab."
 "Yes. That's what it is."

"What about the women who fight their husbands to wear hijab? And women in France who are forced to remove their hijab by men? What

do you say about that?"

"Well, that's different."
"What difference? The woman who asked you to wear hijab... she was a woman, right?"

"Right, but..."
"But fashions that are designed and promoted by male-dominated corporations, set you free? Men have no control on exposing women and using them as a commodity?! Give me a break!"

"Wait, let me finish, I was saying..."
 "Saying what? You think that men control women by hijab?"

 "Specifically how?"

"By telling women how and what to wear, dummy!"
 "Doesn't TV, magazines and movies tell you what to wear, and how to be 'attractive'?"

"Of course, it's fashion."
 "Isn't that control? Pressuring you to wear what they want you to wear?"

 "Not just controlling you, but also controlling the market."

"What do you mean?"
 "I mean, you are told to look skinny and anorexic like that woman on the cover of the magazine, by men who design those magazines and sell those products."

"I don't get it. What does hijab have to do with products."

"It has everything to do with that. Don't you see? Hijab is a threat to consumerism, women who spend billions of dollars to look skinny and live by standards of fashion designed by men... and then here is Islam, saying trash all that nonsense and focus on your soul, not on your looks, and do not worry what men think of your looks."

"Like I don't have to buy hijab? Isn't hijab a product?"
"Yes, it is. It is a product that sets you free from male-dominated consumerism."

"Stop lecturing me! I WILL NOT WEAR HIJAB!
It is awkward, outdated, and totally not suitable for this society... Moreover, I am only 20 and too young to wear hijab!"

"Fine. Say that to your Lord, when you face Him on Judgment Day."


"Shut up and I don't want to hear more about hijab niqab schmijab Punjab!"

She stared at the mirror, tired of arguing with herself all this time.
 Successful enough, she managed to shut the voices in her head, with her own opinions triumphant in victory on the matter, and a final modern decision accepted by the society - but rejected by the Faith:

"Yes!" - to curls on the hair - "No!" - to hijab!

Our Long Journey

Daisypath Anniversary tickers


Need He