Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Life's Principles - How I See It

Tragedy brings out the best and worst out of people. And by the word 'tragedy', various interpretations apply to different category of people. There's no way of generalizing one 'tragedy' with another. So life especially 'online' nowadays somewhat feel filled with dissatisfaction, hatred, idiocy, mistrust, and most times fallacy. At times I don't get it. Where did it all come from? What caused all of this 'problems' that in my view came initially from us - human being, ourselves.

But this is how I always see it and I told myself, my family and my students, in order to move on and make the world a better place, we'll need to apply these principles:

(1) The first and main principle in our lives is our Niyyah, deep down, our intention. Always ask ourselves, why are we doing what we are doing dan ini semua utk siapa??

If you are a Muslim - semuanya hanya untuk Allah. Dan kalau anda berpegang pada niat itu dari awal sehingga ke akhir sesuatu pekerjaan atau perlakuan, In Sha Allah apa yang anda lakukan will be clearly reflected in you and the results of your actions. Ramai yang kadang-kadang terbabas di pertengahan jalan, tidak mengapa, beristighfar dan kembalilah perbetulkan niat kita itu. Allah itu Maha Mengetahui, tiada manusia yang terlepas daripada membuat kesilapan dan kekhilafan. Perbetulkan niat, acapkali boleh memperbaiki keadaan, In Sha Allah.

(2) In our daily lives, we must always hold on to the principles "jangan menyusahkan hidup org lain". Yang terbaiknya, bukan sahaja setakat itu, tetapi pada masa yang sama memudahkan lagi hidup orang lain sekeliling kita. This apply to very basic thing, first and foremost, saling bantu-membantu memudahkan kerja suami, isteri, anak-anak. Yes, at times, others around us don't apply this principle, but that doesn't mean we should do the same to them. Remember "what goes around comes around". Of course, there come a time when menyenangkan hidup orang lain mungkin menyudahkan hidup kita, then we need to carefully buat pertimbangan. Sekiranya kesan negatif ke atas kita itu hanya sementara atau kecil sahaja, adalah lebih baik kita apply this principle. 

Ingatlah Rasulullah SAW bersabda:

خير الناس أنفعهم للناس
Sebaik-baik manusia adalah yang paling bermanfaat bagi orang lain (HR. Ahmad)

Malah, Rasulullah di dalam hadith lain mengatakan:

كُلُّ سُلاَمَى مِنَ النَّاسِ عَلَيْهِ صَدَقَةٌ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ تَطْلُعُ فِيهِ الشَّمْسُ ، يَعْدِلُ بَيْنَ الاِثْنَيْنِ صَدَقَةٌ ، وَيُعِينُ الرَّجُلَ عَلَى دَابَّتِهِ ، فَيَحْمِلُ عَلَيْهَا ، أَوْ يَرْفَعُ عَلَيْهَا مَتَاعَهُ صَدَقَةٌ ، وَالْكَلِمَةُ الطَّيِّبَةُ صَدَقَةٌ ، وَكُلُّ خَطْوَةٍ يَخْطُوهَا إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ صَدَقَةٌ ، وَيُمِيطُ الأَذَى عَنِ الطَّرِيقِ صَدَقَةٌ
Setiap persendian manusia diwajibkan untuk bersedekah setiap harinya mulai matahari terbit. Berbuat adil antara dua orang adalah sedekah. Menolong seseorang naik ke atas kendaraannya atau mengangkat barang-barangnya ke atas kendaraannya adalah sedekah. Berkata yang baik adalah sedekah. Begitu pula setiap langkah berjalan untuk menunaikan shalat adalah sedekah. Serta menyingkirkan suatu rintangan dari jalan adalah sedekah. (HR. Bukhari)

All those deeds mentioned by the Prophet in the hadith refers to good deed, and all good deeds are charity, and making other people's lives easier is definitely a good deed, a charity - as evident in the simple example given by him in the last part of the hadith ~ when you moved away obstacles from a (public) road, i.e. memudahkan orang lain melaluinya selepas itu. Isn't this proof enough to show that one of your main life's principles should be exactly that - menjadikan dirimu seseorang yang bermanfaat kepada orang lain. Sometimes you may feel what you did is small in your eyes, mind and heart, but truthfully you never really know the positive chain reaction you garner from such good deed, no matter how small it is. The best good deeds are to be forgotten, but Allah will always remember them. That is His Promise. So always remember, when given a choice, choose to make people's lives easier, not harder.

(3) The third principle I believed in is this: in our lives, the best of us are people who are always giving, not taking. I always believed that some of the problem we faced nowadays is because some of us tergolong di dalam kategori mereka-mereka yang kekurangan kasih sayang. That's why we are bogged down with fools, idiots and corrupt people online and in reality. They lacked love when they grew up. So in turn and in time they turned into what they are nowadays ~ attention seekers. Some may do it in a positive way, but mostly they are negative. These people are moulded into being takers, not givers. Think back, recall of those people in your lives that you find problematic, did they come from families that give them the right kind of love and attention they crave when they were growing up. And even if they were growing up in the same family, were they given the rightful and appropriate kind of love catered for them as compared to the rest of their family members. Then you'll know that I may have a point here. Remember, even Allah, out of his 99 names - 'opted' to have Ar Rahman and Ar Rahim with Bismillah, which goes to show, ultimately He's a God of Compassion and Mercy and no doubt he wanted that to be reflected in the actions of his creation too. But most times we failed Him. We opted to hate and spread hatred and anger instead. It's time we take a step back and reflect, what kind of a person are we?

I know it may sound doom and gloom - because you can't be givers if you don't feel loved and if you don't feel loved you can't mould givers in the future. But it's not the end of it all. Ironically, you can feel loved and find love, if you try and turned yourself into a giver, and when you are a giver, love finds you. I know this for a fact, because I admit, I used to be a taker, not a giver. Having children, changed me. A lot, I must say. I know that now. Alhamdulillah for that chance. Some may not have that chance, but that doesn't mean you have no chance to change, you still do. Just try it, do it one step at a time. It may be small steps, like giving out small donation or presents to people you loved or even smile to strangers, slowly but surely, love will come to you, In Sha Allah.

And because I am a parent, I'd always remind myself  to focus on raising children who'll end up as a giver, not a taker. It's not easy in this era nowadays. So many new (some invented) challenges need to be dealt with. Focus then should be given on giving lots of love and affection, also appropriate discipline to your children, but they must be tailored to their needs, bukan pukul rata. Lain-lain anak, lain-lain keperluan mereka dan janganlah disama-ratakan atau dibanding-bandingkan mereka. Pada saya itu konsep keibubapaan yang salah. Jagalah hati kecil mereka, kerana hati itu lah yang akan 'membimbing' mereka membuat keputusan di masa depan. Jika hati mereka penuh rasa kasih sayang kepada ibubapa mereka, pasti mereka akan sentiasa mahu berbuat kebaikan, memudahkan kehidupan ibubapa, orang lain di dalam hidup mereka dan menjadi seseorang yang selalu memberi kebaikan dan bukannya sentiasa meminta kebaikan datang kepada mereka - a giver not a taker.

(4) And finally, a life principle that most people seem to take for granted, because in reality most people have already been applying it in their daily lives - to do everything in moderation and well-balanced ~ Al- Wasatiyyah. Allah clearly says: “Thus, have We made of you an Ummah (Community) justly balanced (wasatan), that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves…” (al-Baqarah 143). These revelation, in other words emphasized that as a Muslim we have been 'made' to 'carry' our lives in moderation and impartiality, not of extremism, prejudice and intolerance. Always remember that if we think we have gone overboard with something in our lives, reapply the principle of Wasatiyyah and In Sha Allah we'll be alright and we won't be encroaching on other people's rights and interest.

Semoga tulisan ini memberi manfaat kepada semua, lebih lagi diri saya sendiri yang acapkali terlupa. Wallahu a'lam...

A/T: Keep on praying for the 'signs' of MH370, may Allah shower us with His Mercy as we learn our lessons from this 'tragedy', Ameen.

Calling for Paper for Electronic Journal of Comparative Legal and Social Studies (eclass)

We are calling for paper for our recently launched Electronic Journal of Comparative Legal and Social Studies (eCLASS). The journal aims to contribute to advancing our understanding of law and social studies from a global perspective. The journal adopted an inclusive understanding of comparative legal studies, unlimited in its geographical focus and range of legal topics.

To achieve this aim, the journal welcomes contributions of articles, research commmentaries, case comments and reviews that encourage discussion of the current state of the law, with an emphasis placed on comparative subject matter.

eCLASS is an electronic peer-reviewed journal from Faculty of Law, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. For further information please visit us at http://www.law.uitm.edu.my/eclass/

Monday, March 3, 2014

International Conference on Law, Policy and Social Justice 2014 (ICLAPS 2014) 13 – 14 August 2014, Penang, Malaysia

Mark your calendar and make plans to attend the International Conference on Law, Policy and Social Justice 2014 (ICLAPS 2014) scheduled to be held on the 13 – 14 August 2014 in Penang, Malaysia. This conference is jointly organized by the Faculty of Law, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam and the Law Department, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Kedah. The Conference will carry the theme: “Harmonising Law and Social Norms”. 

Everything you need to know about the conference will be posted on this web site, so book mark this site and visit us frequently for updates. As plans for the conference progress, you will be able to submit your abstract online, register for the conference online and even find out about airline, hotel and other travel arrangements. 

This international conference will provide numerous opportunities for participants to share up-to-date information and research, and to discuss common concerns with colleagues from around the world on current key issues and developments affecting law, policy and social justice. This exchange of information is vital to promote interdisciplinary discussion on the interaction between norms, rules and law and their contribution to the fulfillment of social needs and aspirations. It is hoped that the conference will provide a broad platform for academicians, policy makers, researchers, and practitioners to interact and share their knowledge, experience and expertise. 

The organizers hope you will mark your calendar now and set aside funds in your budget so you can participate in this event and look forward to see you in Penang. Please take note of the important dates in making your plans: 
Submission of abstract                     15th April 2014 
Notification of abstract acceptance   30th April 2014 
Early bird payment                           30th May 2014 
Submission of full paper                    15th July 2014 
Payment due date                             30th July 2014 

Do contact the conference organizers if you have any questions in regards to: 

Abstract and Full Paper and Registration 
Dr. Nuraisyah Chua Abdullah 
+603 55435954 
email: nuraisyah@salam.uitm.edu.my 

Fee Syatirah Abu Bakar 
+604 4562142 
email: syatirah@kedah.uitm.edu.my 

Looking forward to see all of you there. Thank you :-)