Archive for November, 2009

29
Nov
09

 

MALAYSIAN MEN

What a whopper of  a front page report in today’s NST! Malaysian men have a lot to be proud of!  Not only do they top the world list in having sex most frequently, they also like doing it with prostitutes!

The reasons proferred for the sexual preferences of Malaysian men is that the Malaysian women are too “career-obsessed” and do not communicate well sexually! Prostitutes treat them “like kings, thus restoring their pride and ego”.

The underlying reason for marital infidelity and men “visiting prostitutes to live out their sexual fantasies” is a basic one viz the lack of  a “solid religious education”. What this really means is that morality is at its ebb among Malaysian men, and visiting prostitutes shows this sorry state of emotional and spiritual depravation! What this shows is an utter disregard for the family values of  responsibility, steadfastness and fidelity!

Yes – blame it on the women rather than look within yourselves!    

What a revelation!

While acknowledging that prostitution is an age-old activity that fulfils the abundant and varied sexual desires of men with women who are willing to sell themselves,  it’s still a shocker to learn that it is rampant in modern Malaysia, in 1 Malaysia!

It is commonsensical to relate the practice of prostitution with the availibility of prostitutes. The corrollary to this argument is that if prostitutes are not so readily availible and cheap, the practice would not be so widespread!

It is also commonsensical to link the inflow and influx of foreign prostitutes of all colours, shapes and sizes with the country’s immigration rules and regulations. With the national tourism drive it has become so easy and so cheap for foreigners to appear at our doorstep with attractive business  and leisure and pleasure packages. We invite foreign workers and students freely into our land of plenty. This of course includes the female sex workers who provide their services to the multitude of “bachelor” foreign workers and students that are flooding the country.

It’s no wonder that the sex trade is so lucrative!

But the real wonder is that the Malaysian men are so spiritually weak that they are ready to succumb to these sexual temptations! The real wonder is that they are blaming it on their wives and partners!

Prostitution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Procuress by Dirck van Baburen (1622)

Prostitute in Tijuana, Mexico.

“Whore” and “Whores” redirect here. For other uses, see Whore (disambiguation).
“Prostitute” redirects here. For other uses, see Prostitute (disambiguation).
This article is semi-protected.

Prostitution is the act or practice of engaging in sex acts for hire.[1]

While prostitution is legal or tolerated in some cultures, it is illegal or socially discouraged in others. Motivations for suppression can vary significantly, from basic moral repugnance to concerns about the effects on society and on those who practice it, as well as whether it is an exploitative practice.[2] In most cultures the prostitutes (the persons who sell sexual servicies) are socially stigmatized; their customers less so.

The word “prostitution” can also be used metaphorically to mean debasement or working towards an unworthy cause.[1]

//

Etymology

Prostitute c.1890

‘To prostitute’ is derived from a composition of two Latin words: (preposition) pro and (verb) statuere. A literal translation therefore would be: ‘to expose’, ‘to place up front’.

Terminology

Synonyms

A variety of terms are used for those who engage in prostitution, some of which distinguish between different kinds, or imply a value judgment about them. Common alternatives for prostitute include escort and whore, although not all professional escorts are prostitutes.

The English word whore derives from the Old English word hōra, from the Indo-European root kā meaning “desire”.

Use of the word whore is widely considered pejorative, especially in its modern slang form of ho’. In Germany most prostitutes’ organizations deliberately use the word Hure (whore) since they feel that prostitute is a bureaucratic term. Those seeking to remove the social stigma associated with prostitution often promote terminology such as sex worker, commercial sex worker (CSW), “tantric engineer” (coined by author Robert Anton Wilson), or sex trade worker. A hooker or streetwalker solicits customers in public places; a call girl makes appointments by phone.

Male prostitution

Main article: Male prostitution

Correctly or not, prostitute without specifying a gender is commonly assumed to be female; compound terms such as male prostitute or male escort are therefore used to identify males. Those offering services to female customers are commonly known as gigolos; those offering services to male customers are hustlers or rent boys.

Economic and social stratification

Organisers of prostitution are typically known as pimps (if male) and madams (if female). More formally, they practice procuring, and are procurers, or procuresses.

The customers of prostitutes are known as johns or tricks in North America and punters in the British Isles. These slang terms are used among both prostitutes and law enforcement for persons who solicit prostitutes[3] . The term john may have originated from the customer practice of giving their name as “John”, a common name in English-speaking countries, in an effort to maintain anonymity. In some places, men who drive around red-light districts for the purpose of soliciting prostitutes are also known as kerb crawlers.

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27
Nov
09

 

MARUAH WANITA

Seringkali rujukan dibuat kepada ayah/ surah  Al Quran yang maha suci:

Dan jika kamu takut tidak akan berlaku adil terhadap (hak-hak) perempuan yatim (bilamana kamu mengahwininya, maka kahwinilah wanita-wanita (lain) yang kamu senangi: dua, tiga atau empat. Kemudian jika kamu takut tidak akan dapat berlaku adil, maka (kahwinilah) seorang saja, atau budak-budak yang kamu miliki. Yang demikian itu adalah lebih dekat kepada tidak berbuat aniaya.

AN NISAA’ (WANITA)  Terjemahan Kerajaan Saudi Arabia

And if you have reason to fear that you might not act equitably towards orphans, then marry from among [other] women such as are lawful to you – [even] two, three, or four: but if you have reason to fear that you might not be able to treat them with equal fairness, then [only] one – or [from among] those whom you rightfully possess. This will make it more likely that you will not deviate from the right course.

AN-NISA Translated and Explained by Muhammad Asad

Seringkali rujukan dibuat bagi menjelas dan mempertahankan amalan poligami dalam agama Islam. Seringkali ia ditafsirkan sebagai peruntukan yang mengizinkan lelaki Islam berkahwin lebih daripada satu (isteri). Seringkali ia dianggap sebagai hak  lelaki Islam yang memberi mereka kelebihan menentukan soal rumah tangga sebagai ketua dan pemimpin keluarga dalam segala aspek hidup dan mati.

Amat besar tanggungjawab dan kewajipan seorang suami dan bapa yang mendidik isteri dan anak-anak mengikut jalan yang benar! Amat besar juga dosanya jika mana mana aspek kewajipan ini diabaikan!

Dalam keluarga berpoligami, yang sering diutamakan ialah nafkah zahir batin. Suami bertanggungjawab menampung gaya dan cara hidup isteri dan anak-anak dari dua atau lebih keluarga dengan seadil-adilnya. Kesaksamaan menjadi prinsip dan pegangan suami yang soleh kepada isteri-isteri soleha yang dikahwininya – kesaksamaan yang mudah dihitung dengan kiraan RM. Dari aspek kasih sayang dan nafkah batin kiraan ini mungkin sukar dibuat!

Malangnya bukan semua  suami Islam soleh dan bukan semua isteri Islam soleha! Yang sering berlaku ialah ketidaksamaan dalam menunaikan tanggungjawab zahir dan ketidakselesaan dalam menunaikan kewajipan batin! 

Rambut sama hitam; hati lain-lain!

Bukan mudah bagi seorang isteri menerima hakikat bahawa suaminya mengahwini satu, dua atau tiga isteri lagi! Sekuat-kuat imannya, setabah-tabah jiwanya, sebijak-bijak mindanya, setinggi-tinggi pendidikannya, seluas-luas pendedahannya, hati manusia amat kecil dan kerdil.

Seringkali berlaku patah hati, putus hati, hati yang hancur berderai disebabkan suami yang memungkarinya, yang tidak setia, tidak adil, tidak bertanggungjawab dan tidak berperasaan belas kasihan!

Terlalu ramai isteri dalam keluarga berpoligami yang dianiaya secara tersirat. Maruah dan keyakinan diri mereka sering dipermain-mainkan oleh suami yang terjerumus dalam kancah kesulitan yang dibina oleh mereka sendiri. Sesuatu (kahwin dua atau tiga atau empat) yang dianggap macho dan mempamirkan kejantanan suami pada satu ketika, menimbulkan masalah hidup yang berterusan, lebih lebih lagi jika mempunyai ramai anak. Karenah isteri-isteri pula macam macam! 

Yang penting isteri dalam keluarga berpoligami mesti berpegang teguh kepada tanggunjawab dan hak mereka sebagai wanita Islam yang bermaruah dan berintegriti. Mereka tidak harus menikus jika hak mereka dan anak-anak mereka dicabuli. Adalah menjadi tanggungjawab isteri soleha menegur dan membaiki sikap buruk suami; adalah menjadi kewajipannya sebagai ibu yang setia membina rumahtangga aman dan saksama; adalah menjadi perjuangan hidupnya untuk menjadi seorang wanita yang dihormati dan dipandang tinggi oleh komuniti dan masyarakat di sekelilingnya.

Maruah wanita mesti dipelihara dengan sebaik-baiknya oleh wanita sendiri dan lelaki yang mendekati mereka!        

 

22
Nov
09

 

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

by

Edward Fitzgerald

Translated into English in 1859 by Edward FitzGerald



I.

AWAKE! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
 Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
 The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light.

II.

Dreaming when Dawn’s Left Hand was in the Sky
 I heard a voice within the Tavern cry,
“Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
 Before Life’s Liquor in its Cup be dry.”

III.

And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
 The Tavern shouted — “Open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
 And, once departed, may return no more.”

IV.

Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
 The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the White Hand of Moses on the Bough
 Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.

V.

Iram indeed is gone with all its Rose,
 And Jamshyd’s Sev’n-ring’d Cup where no one Knows;
But still the Vine her ancient ruby yields,
 And still a Garden by the Water blows.

VI.

And David’s Lips are lock’t; but in divine
    High piping Pehlevi, with “Wine! Wine! Wine!
Red Wine!” — the Nightingale cries to the Rose
 That yellow Cheek of hers to incarnadine.

VII.

Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
 The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
 To fly — and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

VIII.

Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
 Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
 The Leaves of Life kep falling one by one.

IX.

Morning a thousand Roses brings, you say;
 Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?
And this first Summer month that brings the Rose
 Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away.

X.

But come with old Khayyam, and leave the Lot
 Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot:
Let Rustum lay about him as he will,
 Or Hatim Tai cry Supper — heed them not.

XI.

With me along the strip of Herbage strown
 That just divides the desert from the sown,
Where name of Slave and Sultan is forgot —
 And Peace is Mahmud on his Golden Throne!

XII.

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
 A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread, — and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness —
 Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

XIII.

Some for the Glories of This World; and some
 Sigh for the Prophet’s Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Promise go,
 Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!

XIV.

Were it not Folly, Spider-like to spin
 The Thread of present Life away to win —
What? for ourselves, who know not if we shall
 Breathe out the very Breath we now breathe in!

XV.

Look to the Rose that blows about us — “Lo,
    Laughing,” she says, “into the World I blow:
At once the silken Tassel of my Purse
 Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw.”

XVI.

The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
 Turns Ashes — or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert’s dusty Face
 Lighting a little Hour or two — is gone.

XVII.

And those who husbanded the Golden Grain,
 And those who flung it to the Winds like Rain,
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn’d
 As, buried once, Men want dug up again.

XVIII.

Think, in this batter’d Caravanserai
 Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
 Abode his Hour or two and went his way.

XIX.

They say the Lion and the Lizard keep
 The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep:
And Bahram, that great Hunter — the Wild Ass
    Stamps o’er his Head, but cannot break his Sleep.

XX.

I sometimes think that never blows so red
 The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
 Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.

XXI.

And this delightful Herb whose tender Green
 Fledges the River’s Lip on which we lean —
Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows
 From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!

XXII.

Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
 To-day of past Regrets and future Fears —
To-morrow? — Why, To-morrow I may be
    Myself with Yesterday’s Sev’n Thousand Years.

XXIII.

Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and best
 That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
 And one by one crept silently to Rest.

XXIV.

And we, that now make merry in the Room
 They left, and Summer dresses in new Bloom,
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
 Descend, ourselves to make a Couch — for whom?

XXV.

Ah, make the most of what we may yet spend,
 Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie;
    Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and — sans End!

XXVI.

Alike for those who for To-day prepare,
 And those that after some To-morrow stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
    “Fools! Your Reward is neither Here nor There!”

XXVII.

Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss’d
 Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Works to Scorn
    Are scatter’d, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.

XXVIII.

Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
 To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;
 The Flower that once has blown forever dies.

XXIX.

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
 Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about; but evermore
 Came out by the same Door as in I went.

XXX.

With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
 And with my own hand labour’d it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d —
 “I came like Water and like Wind I go.”

XXXI.

Into this Universe, and Why not knowing,
 Nor Whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
 I know not Whither, willy-nilly blowing.

XXXII.

Up from Earth’s Centre through the Seventh Gate
    I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate,
And many Knots unravel’d by the Road;
 But not the Master-Knot of Human Fate.

XXXIII.

There was the Door to which I found no Key:
 There was the Veil through which I could not see:
Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
 There was — and then no more of Thee and Me.

XXXIV.

Then to the rolling Heav’n itself I cried,
 Asking, “What Lamp had Destiny to guide
Her little Children stumbling in the Dark?”
    And — “A blind Understanding!” Heav’n replied.

XXXV.

Then to the Lip of this poor earthen Urn
 I lean’d, the secret Well of Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmur’d — “While you live,
    Drink! — for, once dead, you never shall return.”

XXXVI.

I think the Vessel, that with fugitive
 Articulation answer’d, once did live,
And merry-make, and the cold Lip I kiss’d,
 How many Kisses might it take — and give!

XXXVII.

For in the Market-place, one Dusk of Day,
 I watch’d the Potter thumping his wet Clay:
And with its all obliterated Tongue
    It murmur’d — “Gently, Brother, gently, pray!”

XXXVIII.

And has not such a Story from of Old
 Down Man’s successive generations roll’d
Of such a clod of saturated Earth
 Cast by the Maker into Human mould?

XXXIX.

Ah, fill the Cup: — what boots it to repeat
 How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday,
 Why fret about them if To-day be sweet!

XL.

A Moment’s Halt — a momentary taste
 Of Being from the Well amid the Waste —
And Lo! the phantom Caravan has reach’d
 The Nothing it set out from — Oh, make haste!

XLI.

Oh, plagued no more with Human or Divine,
 To-morrow’s tangle to itself resign,
And lose your fingers in the tresses of
 The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine.

XLII.

Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit
 Of This and That endeavor and dispute;
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
 Than sadden after none, or bitter, fruit.

XLIII.

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
 I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
 And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

XLIV.

And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,
 Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape
Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder; and
    He bid me taste of it; and ’twas — the Grape!

XLV.

The Grape that can with Logic absolute
 The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute:
The subtle Alchemest that in a Trice
 Life’s leaden Metal into Gold transmute.

XLVI.

Why, be this Juice the growth of God, who dare
 Blaspheme the twisted tendril as Snare?
A Blessing, we should use it, should we not?
 And if a Curse — why, then, Who set it there?

XLVII.

But leave the Wise to wrangle, and with me
 The Quarrel of the Universe let be:
And, in some corner of the Hubbub couch’d,
 Make Game of that which makes as much of Thee.

XLVIII.

For in and out, above, about, below,
 ’Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play’d in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
 Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.

XLIX.

Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
 Before us pass’d the door of Darkness through
Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
 Which to discover we must travel too.

L.

The Revelations of Devout and Learn’d
 Who rose before us, and as Prophets burn’d,
Are all but Stories, which, awoke from Sleep,
 They told their fellows, and to Sleep return’d.

LI.

Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside,
 And naked on the Air of Heaven ride,
Is’t not a shame — Is’t not a shame for him
 So long in this Clay suburb to abide?

LII.

But that is but a Tent wherein may rest
 A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest;
The Sultan rises, and the dark Ferrash
 Strikes, and prepares it for another guest.

LIII.

I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
 Some letter of that After-life to spell:
And after many days my Soul return’d
    And said, “Behold, Myself am Heav’n and Hell.”

LIV.

Heav’n but the Vision of fulfill’d Desire,
    And Hell the Shadow of a Soul on fire,
Cast on the Darkness into which Ourselves,
 So late emerg’d from, shall so soon expire.

LV.

While the Rose blows along the River Brink,
 With old Khayyam and ruby vintage drink:
And when the Angel with his darker Draught
    Draws up to Thee — take that, and do not shrink.

LVI.

And fear not lest Existence closing your
 Account, should lose, or know the type no more;
The Eternal Saki from the Bowl has pour’d
 Millions of Bubbls like us, and will pour.

LVII.

When You and I behind the Veil are past,
 Oh but the long long while the World shall last,
Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
 As much as Ocean of a pebble-cast.

LVIII.

’Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
 Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
 And one by one back in the Closet lays.

LIX.

The Ball no Question makes of Ayes and Noes,
 But Right or Left, as strikes the Player goes;
And he that toss’d Thee down into the Field,
    He knows about it all — He knows — HE knows!

LX.

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
 Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
 Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

LXI.

For let Philosopher and Doctor preach
 Of what they will, and what they will not — each
Is but one Link in an eternal Chain
 That none can slip, nor break, nor over-reach.

LXII.

And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
 Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to it for help — for It
 Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

LXIII.

With Earth’s first Clay They did the Last Man knead,
    And then of the Last Harvest sow’d the Seed:
Yea, the first Morning of Creation wrote
 What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.

LXIV.

Yesterday This Day’s Madness did prepare;
 To-morrow’s Silence, Triumph, or Despair:
Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why:
 Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.

LXV.

I tell You this — When, starting from the Goal,
    Over the shoulders of the flaming Foal
Of Heav’n Parwin and Mushtari they flung,
 In my predestin’d Plot of Dust and Soul.

LXVI.

The Vine has struck a fiber: which about
 If clings my Being — let the Dervish flout;
Of my Base metal may be filed a Key,
 That shall unlock the Door he howls without.

LXVII.

And this I know: whether the one True Light,
 Kindle to Love, or Wrath — consume me quite,
One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught
 Better than in the Temple lost outright.

LXVIII.

What! out of senseless Nothing to provoke
 A conscious Something to resent the yoke
Of unpermitted Pleasure, under pain
 Of Everlasting Penalties, if broke!

LXIX.

What! from his helpless Creature be repaid
 Pure Gold for what he lent us dross-allay’d —
Sue for a Debt we never did contract,
 And cannot answer — Oh the sorry trade!

LXX.

Nay, but for terror of his wrathful Face,
 I swear I will not call Injustice Grace;
Not one Good Fellow of the Tavern but
 Would kick so poor a Coward from the place.

LXXI.

Oh Thou, who didst with pitfall and with gin
 Beset the Road I was to wander in,
Thou will not with Predestin’d Evil round
 Enmesh me, and impute my Fall to Sin?

LXXII.

Oh, Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make,
 And who with Eden didst devise the Snake;
For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
    Is blacken’d, Man’s Forgiveness give — and take!

LXXIII.

Listen again. One Evening at the Close
 Of Ramazan, ere the better Moon arose,
In that old Potter’s Shop I stood alone
 With the clay Population round in Rows.

LXXIV.

And, strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
 Some could articulate, while others not:
And suddenly one more impatient cried —
    “Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?”

LXXV.

Then said another — “Surely not in vain
 My Substance from the common Earth was ta’en,
That He who subtly wrought me into Shape
 Should stamp me back to common Earth again.”

LXXVI.

Another said — “Why, ne’er a peevish Boy,
    Would break the Bowl from which he drank in Joy;
Shall He that made the vessel in pure Love
 And Fancy, in an after Rage destroy?”

LXXVII.

None answer’d this; but after Silence spake
  A Vessel of a more ungainly Make:
“They sneer at me for leaning all awry;
     What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?”

LXXVIII:
“Why,” said another, “Some there are who tell
     Of one who threatens he will toss to Hell
The luckless Pots he marred in making — Pish!
     He’s a Good Fellow, and ’twill all be well.”

LXXIX.

Then said another with a long-drawn Sigh,
 “My Clay with long oblivion is gone dry:
But, fill me with the old familiar Juice,
 Methinks I might recover by-and-by!”

LXXX.

So while the Vessels one by one were speaking,
 The Little Moon look’d in that all were seeking:
And then they jogg’d each other, “Brother! Brother!
    Now for the Porter’s shoulder-knot a-creaking!”

LXXXI.

Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,
 And wash my Body whence the Life has died,
And in a Windingsheet of Vine-leaf wrapt,
 So bury me by some sweet Garden-side.

LXXXII.

That ev’n my buried Ashes such a Snare
 Of Perfume shall fling up into the Air,
As not a True Believer passing by
 But shall be overtaken unaware.

LXXXIII.

Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
 Have done my Credit in Men’s Eye much wrong:
Have drown’d my Honour in a shallow Cup,
 And sold my Reputation for a Song.

LXXXIV.

Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before
 I swore — but was I sober when I swore?
And then, and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand
 My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore.

LXXXV.

And much as Wine has play’d the Infidel,
 And robb’d me of my Robe of Honor — well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
 One half so precious as the Goods they sell.

LXXXVI.

Alas, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!
 That Youth’s sweet-scented Manuscript should close!
The Nightingale that in the Branches sang,
 Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows!

LXXXVII.

Would but the Desert of the Fountain yield
 One glimpse — If dimly, yet indeed, reveal’d
To which the fainting Traveller might spring,
 As springs the trampled herbage of the field!

LXXXVIII.

Ah Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
 To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits — and then
 Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire!

LXXXIX.

Ah, Moon of my Delight who know’st no wane,
 The Moon of Heav’n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
 Through this same Garden after me — in vain!

XC.

And when like her, oh Saki, you shall pass
 Among the Guests star-scatter’d on the Grass,
And in your joyous errand reach the spot
 Where I made one — turn down an empty Glass!

TAMAM SHUD


17
Nov
09

 

DIFFERENT WORLDS

Last evening I had a most interesting SMS banter with a Professor of Islam at ISTAC through an intermediary! I was chided for chiding Nik Aziz  and spiritual leaders like him who are considered “men of the cloth”  “who r (are) close to God” and “inheritors of the Prophets”.

I was cautioned not to be “trigger happy” in attacking and preparing them for “the gallows”. Implicit in the warning is that people like you and me who don’t know enough about Islam should not be commenting on matters involving these individuals. The fear is that  we may incur their wrath and indeed the wrath of the Almighty!

My friendly invitation to the learned Professor to rebut my arguments in The Sun or  ninitalk was turned down – the reason being he is committed to an academic endeavour which leaves him little time for other causes.

Well Professor – I can’t say I’m not disappointed! First of all, as a citizen journalist,  to be chided for expressing a point of view, an argument against the alleged bribery and corruption by the head of a state government; and second of all, as a fellow Muslim, to be told  that being close to God is the prerogative of some people!

I’m disappointed that discourses among Muslims about Islam and its teachings, duties and obligations; interpretations and understanding of Islamic concepts and notions especially opposing ones like – heaven/ hell, dosa/ pahala, haram/ halal – have to remain under the robes of the ulama for them to decipher at will. I’m sorry that the ordinary person is not encouraged to reason with his Godgiven akal sharpened no doubt by education, exposure and experience of reading for himself/ herself the holy books.

I’m surprised that people are being cautioned not to question the spiritual leaders and engage them in rational and reasoned argumentations/ discussions about their common everyday rights and responsibilities, especially those involving government and administration.

Are we to accept everything that our spiritual leaders do or say even when they appear dubious and irrational? Is the flock expected to remain within the strict confines of the religion while the shepherds are free to interpret them at will? Or are we to roam the path they tread even when our instincts and good sense tell us  it’s not right?

More and more I realise how accurate the theory of Relevance (Sperber and Wilson, 1986) is in explaining human cognition and communication. In interpreting an utterance (speech or writing), the hearer/ reader brings to bear upon it the relevant linguistic and encyclopeadic knowledge and experiences which he/she has access to.

What this means is no two persons will get the same meaning and implications out of the myriad phenomena  around them because no two persons share exactly the same education, exposure and experience. Add to this the differences in mental, emotional, psychological and intellectual perceptions and cognition between people and the chasm is huge and deep!

In human society there are systems and mechanisms that act as equalisers, that try to create homogeneity in the socio-cultural, educational, economic and political milieus so that the community is better organised and people are easier to handle.

Religious leadership is one. Political leadership is the other. When the two are combined as they are in the person of Nik Abdul Aziz, that’s when confusions arise both for himself and his followers.

As for me, I would like to think although I’m not a man or woman of the cloth I feel close to God and fervently wish to uphold the truth and justice, fairness and equality, honesty and integrity of Islam!

14
Nov
09

doa-nik-aziz

 

BRIBERY REVISITED

I shall persevere!

I would like to think that sharing one’s endowments includes sharing one’s thoughts, knowledge and experiences in the hope that they will indeed contribute to the betterment of society and mankind.

I would like to think that if one has acquired the facility of thinking and reasoning through God’s will and human endeavour, one must have the inclination and the courage to share its processes with one’s fellow men and women, not just at the level of casual chatter and gossip but in more formal settings of speech and writing. Only then can one invite rebuttals and comments that are of some substance! 

This brings me once again to one of my favourite topics – bribery and corruption. And the question of what constitutes bribery and corruption!

Having shared some definitions of corruption in an earlier posting, I’d like to discuss some notions/ types of bribery in the light of the controversy surrounding Nik Abdul Aziz the Kelantan Menteri Besar’s sponsored pilgrimage to Mecca.

The popular spiritual leader has denied that the all-paid RM 65,000 holy trip is at all unholy!

” On Tuesday Nik Aziz was quoted as saying that it was all right to accept sponsorship for the haj as it was not an act of corruption.” ( NST,  November 14)

” Nik Aziz had earlier this week deemed it all right for him to accept the sponsorship by a private individual to go for the two-week long pilgrimage, estimated to cost RM 65,000.” (The Star, 14 November)

Nik_Aziz-lingkup_PAS

The PAS strongman does not consider the haj sponsorship as bribery despite the fact that it comes from a company- Abroad Technology Sdn Bhd – that has been awarded exclusive rights to a government project viz putting up sign posts throughout the state of Kelantan. More intriguing is the fact that the Menteri Besar’s son-in-law who is the CEO of Perbadanan Menteri Besar Kelantan was to be one of the 10 people in Nik Aziz’s entourage.  

If the sponsorship does not constitute a gesture of gratitude, a post-dated inducement, a big terima kasih for the Menteri Besar’s or his son-in-law’s approval of the company’s application/ tender, what does?

The difference is that the gift is beautifully camouflaged in the guise of a religious good deed, tajaan untuk menunaikan ibadat haji which in less dubious circumstances would bring much joy to the sponsored and much pahala to the sponsor to add to the grand total of bonus points that would guarantee him a place in Heaven.

It’s shocking to Nik Aziz and his followers who consider themselves the true “believers and people of faith” that this gesture of goodwill, this generosity of spirit can be misconstrued as something wrong by the media.

“Beliau menyifatkan tindakan media terbabit bertujuan menghalangnya daripada menunaikan ibadat haji dan menyamakan kumpulan tersebut dengan kaum Quraisy yang sering menghalang Nabi Muhammad SAW melakukan ibadah” (Utusan Malaysia, 14 November).

Once again Nik Aziz has turned the tables on the “non-believers” and accused them of committing a sin against him. By quoting from selected religious sources, Islamic leaders and ulama like him again and again justify their arguments and their decisions to the utter confusion of the Malay Muslim ummah especially those who don’t know better and  believe their every word. 

These same people should stop fooling themselves and their followers, and honestly search their minds and hearts. They must stop playing around with Islam for their own selfish political ends! They have a duty to address the relevant sections of the Holy Books which clearly forbid bribery, corruption and the abuse of power.

As I’ve asserted before, Malaysians of all religious denominations must understand and accept that bribery and corruption is a sin before they realise how serious the offence is in the eyes of God. They may not fear the government and anti-corruption agencies; their colleagues and superiors;  their family and friends; the police and the law! But if you instil in them the fear of God’s wrath in this world and the next it may work!

DSCF4959

More frightening is the fact that the givers of bribes have become more creative and ingenious in wooing their victims and hiding their deeds. As the enforcement agencies get more serious, they are employing more camouflages and indirect ways of giving inducements or currying favour. If you can’t bribe the people in authority they have wives, children and other members of the family who may not be strong enough to resist the temptation. The givers and takers are sure they will never get caught!

Holidays, house refurbishments, courses and conferences, attachments and internships, even dental and medical treatments can serve as clever substitutes for hard cash. It’s becoming more and more difficult to find the evidence to book these corruptors of ethics and morality and throw them into the prisons where they belong!

13
Nov
09

maj10

 

LIFE’S BLESSINGS

Looking around me I’m convinced life is unequal and God means it to be this way – in this life and in the next too!

That’s why on this planet earth we have the good, the bad and the ugly among the human species whose final resting place is in Heaven or Hell of the heavens!

That’s why when you look around you there are gaping chasms, gross disparities, great inequalities among your fellow men and women. Differences in their God-given physical, mental, emotional, intellectual capacities! Differences in their Man-driven educational, academic and professional opportunities! Differences in socio-economic mobility! Differences in political affiliations!

Let’s take poverty and wealth – the two predicaments that haunt societies and nations across the globe! There are poor and rich people in every country, the relationship between the two groups being relative – both within the country and between countries. Poverty and wealth are relative to each another! One is only as rich or as poor as one’s neighbour;  richer or poorer than one’s family, friends and colleagues! One group, kampung, district or region is richer or poorer depending on what God has bestowed on them in terms of natural and human resources!

Thus it becomes the unending quest of governments to narrow the chasm and reduce the disparities and inequalities. Because let’s face it – the pursuit of equality and equity will remain the one abiding duty of any government but absolute equality and equity remains God’s prerogative!

At the personal level, the quest must be to reach out and share one’s endowments be they God-given or Man-driven with those who are less fortunate. There’s nothing more awful than not to realise that everything that we have in this world comes from our Maker – even the striving for it! For some of us have the intelligence, courage and strength to persevere and succeed in our endeavours. Some have been denied this facility!

It is Nature’s way of providing the checks and balances, of enabling the cogs in the human wheel to run – sometimes not as smoothly as we’d like them to. But persevere we must, if only to contribute in the ways we know and can to make this world a better place for ourselves and our fellow humans

11
Nov
09

 

 

WOMEN’S SOLIDARITY

When it comes to sharing a heartache or having good, clean fun there’s nothing to beat the empathy that women have with one another. When the grief is deep or the joy overwhelming, the solidarity comes with a mutual understanding of the confines of their existence in a world otherwise dominated by men!

For despite the strides civilisation has made both in the East and West, women’s basic functions and duties as wife and mother have remained the same. Whether by reason of biology and her physiological make-up or by socio-cultural design and engineering, a woman’s domestic obligations remain her main raison d’etre, her main purpose in life.

Even when she’s blessed with God-given talents and Man-driven skills, she is never far from having to fulfil her family obligations, in particular child-rearing and care-giving. Having a career makes her task that much harder, her guilt that much more difficult to bear. For say what you like, more is expected of a woman in the day to day management of the household than the man of the house who by religious decree and tradition, is the breadwinner, the lord of the manor so to speak. Sometimes his behaviour is lording indeed!

Nothing is more equalising than the predicament of women across the universe, traversing religious divides, crossing ethnic boundaries, across socio-economic classes and feudal stratas.

Thus, just as business and professional networking defines the limits of a man’s working life common concerns in household matters define a woman’s social networking. Lately fashion, song, dance and food  provide good get-aways from the demands of household management.

 

Women who make time to bond with one another are better adjusted to undertake their roles and responsibilities as wives, mothers, career women and professionals because they are giving themselves the space to grow as individuals and to be recognised as such. Views and opinions are given more freely and inhibitions break down away from the scrutinising and sometimes judgemental eyes of domineering husbands and possessive children.

It’s wonderful that more and more women are seeking opportunities to develop their interests out of the confines of their home and family. It’s wonderful if out of the social networking, women nurture interests in the arts, art and craft, books and literature, business and entrepreneurship apart from the usual cookery and interior design.

Out of the lunches should ensue dance classes, art and craft workshops, book clubs, speech and writing workshops, charities etc. As women become better educated and exposed their interests will widen and their quest for freedom and equality will manifest itself in more creative forms. They will become the wives and mothers adored and beloved by their husband and children.

More importantly they will become fulfilled individuals – with a dignity and a sense of purpose as they contribute to society as much as their male compatriots and the men in their lives!     

    




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