Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Case for God


"Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing. What can account for it? Can every one of those many parameters have been perfect by accident? At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces? Doesn’t assuming that an intelligence created these perfect conditions require far less faith than believing that a life-sustaining Earth just happened to beat the inconceivable odds to come into being?"




"We shall show them Our portents on the horizons and within themselves until it will be manifest unto them that it is the Truth. Doth not thy Lord suffice, since He is Witness over all things?"
- Translation of the Quran by Pickthall - 41:53

Friday, December 26, 2014

What does it mean, to read?

Just finished a book called ' The Lost Art of Reading' by David L Ulin.   It discusses about what we achieve from reading and also the ability to read and sustain our attention to a book - quite challenging in our times - these times of endless distractions.   Distractions that come in many forms, mostly the Internet and the TV.   So it got me thinking about this whole idea of reading.

I have written before that the way we read now,  is also shaping our minds into shortening our attention span.  Most of the time, when we read online, we don't read a story and let our thoughts and feelings dwell on it.  We read, feel a bit and jump on to the next topic.  Just like that.   

I think this shaping started with the newspapers and the news on the screen media.   It's in these news, that we are trained to read or hear about stories and move on to the next.  The newscaster on TV may be delivering news about a disaster in a town, and then 'on a brighter note, at home' she delivers news of the great sale.

Then, there is also the case for information overload.  Let's not even talk about social media, loaded with trivia, mostly of no importance and irrelevant. 

Let's just talk about books. In the old days, there are some important and good books to read and even memorised by the learned.  But now the number of 'good books' are so numerous and so I question - Is it necessary to read all of those 'good books' to be in the know?

'Be in the know' - about what?  Do we even know what we want to know? - what we need to know - what is relevant to know?

What is relevance?  For me, relevant knowledge is a knowledge that will benefit me.   Benefiting me means it allows me to use the information to create or do something useful, be it for me or for my community.  If a knowledge does not do that for me - then it is irrelevant and just noise.

Then it brings me to this : what does it mean to read, as one who submits their will to God - in short, as a Muslim.


To be continued, insyaa Allaah.

Friday, December 19, 2014

7 types of people God loves

7 types of people God loves - as mentioned in the Qur'an.

1) At Tawwabiin (One who turn to Allah / repent constantly)
Excerpt from Al-Baqara [2:222]
إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ
For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.

2) Al Muttaqiin ( One who constantly tries to be taqwa - God conscious, acts aright, wards off evil)
Excerpt from Ali Imran [3:76]
فَإِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَّقِينَ
verily Allah loves those who act aright.

3) Al Muhsiniin (One who constantly does good)
Excerpt from Ali Imran [3:134]
وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
for Allah loves those who do good;-

4) As Sobiriin (One who is always patient, firm and steadfast)
Excerpt from Ali Imran [3:146]
وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الصَّابِرِينَ
And Allah Loves those who are firm and steadfast.

5) Al Muttawakkiliin (One who always puts their trust in God)
Excerpt from Ali Imran [3:159]
إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ
For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).

6) Al MuqsiTiin (One who is always just)
Excerpt from Al-Ma'idah [5:42]
إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ
For Allah loveth those who judge in equity.

7) Al Muttohhiriin (One who always keep themselves clean, physically and spiritually)
Excerpt from At-Tauba [9:108]
وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُطَّهِّرِينَ
and Allah loveth those who make themselves pure (keep themselves clean)

** Note, these are not the only ayats where God's love for a type of people is mentioned.
It can also be found in other ayats, but as a whole, it's these 7 types of people.
And of course, all of the above traits are found in the most beloved man, our Prophet S.A.W.
So, if we want to be loved by God, and to be safe, let's try our best to strictly follow the sunnah of the Prophet SAW.

Ali Imran (3:31)
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Say: "If ye do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."


As shared by Ustaz Hidayat in Quranication class 16th Dec 2014.
These list of 7 types of people has been mentioned in numerous books/articles written on the subject. The one Ustaz referred to was from an article written by Dr Muhammad Rateb An-Nablusi, which he quoted from Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawjiyyah (751H) in his books 'Madarij As Salikin' (The Understanding of the Seekers) and Raudhatul Muhibbin (Garden of the lovers).  

Ustaz also shared a beautiful Arabic proverb that was used by Ibn Qayyim to explain the love of Allah SWT. 

ليس الشأن أن تُـحِبَّ ، إنما الشأن أن تُحَبَّ

Roughly translated as : It is not something amazing that you love someone, it is amazing the one you love, loves you back. 

The arabic phrase is cool because it has wordplay n interesting transition from kasrah in the first
 تحب to fathah in the second. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

23:50 - Reflection


وَجَعَلْنَا ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَأُمَّهُ آيَةً وَآوَيْنَاهُمَا إِلَىٰ رَبْوَةٍ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ وَمَعِينٍ

And We made the son of Mary and his mother as a Sign: We gave them both shelter on high ground, affording rest and security and furnished with springs.
Surah Al-Mu'minuun, 23:50
(English translation Yusuf Ali via iQuran


Reflections :
Isa (Jesus) A.S. was created not as a form of divinity, but as a proof of God's divinity.
Jesus was born to a mother, without a father. This is as possible as God creating Adam A.S. without a father or mother.

And then this ayat relates a good home with availability of good provisions around it and it's surrounding.
Security and stability enables one to focus more on worshipping God.
If there is no stability, security or provision, people have to busy themselves with these needs rather than worship better.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

To you be your way, and to me, mine

If we know for certain that our mother is a chaste woman, and somebody accuses her of having a child with another man, would we, without any feelings at all, agree to celebrate the birthday of the other 'child' ? 

"Let's not be petty, it's just a celebration." 

Would we accept this and celebrate?  I'm sure we would feel strongly about it and stay away from it, since we totally don't acknowledge the claim.

Then how is it, when other people accuse/claim of God, something we Muslims don't accept ( e.g. having a son, having partners or wives or children and family, or looking like something lesser than even the lowly human), we can ignore it and blindly celebrate or acknowledge the religious festivals?  This is a much much bigger claim!

Religion seems to be a sensitive issue to discuss for some people.  However when it comes to celebrating other religious celebrations, many people become blind followers.

Religion is not something trivial.  It's about our life on earth and life after death.  It's about our faith about our purpose in life and exactly to Who and how we worship.   This is more important than even our family or work.  So rightfully people should be firm about it. 

We can be nice to each other as human beings, but we shouldn't be expected or forced to celebrate something that we don't believe in.    It's good to discuss beliefs and question each other respectfully to learn and know better.  But let us respect each other's beliefs and let there be no compulsion in religion - not in forcing people to believe what we believe, and not in forcing people to celebrate religious festivals.

There are SO MANY other occasions we can celebrate together, National Day, Bonus day etc.  
Leave the religious festivals and ways for it's own followers.


"Say, O ye that reject Faith,
I worship not, that which ye worship.
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship.
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
"To you be your way, and to me, mine"

(Al Kafiruun 109:1-6)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mixing with people

As I grow old, I have a problem being around people for too long a time. I prefer to stay away from the different strokes or from having to explain why I don't want to join or do some things that they might do.   I want to avoid having to face such tough situations.

As I grow old. I prefer to have a lot of alone time, although I do wish to be able to do some good deed or teach the Quran or do dakwah  to the people.

I've mentioned before also, why I'm reluctant to do videos or dramas - because I feel I am different, but I'm also quite adaptable and I'm afraid if I'll be weak in controlling myself or in standing my ground for the principles I believe in.

These various issues (or excuses?)...

Anyhow, this hadith sheds some motivation for me to go out and mix with people.   May Allah guide me, grant me patience and give me strength and let me see and abide to my priorities clearly.


It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.”


Grade    : Sahih
Reference     : Sunan Ibn Majah 4032
In-book reference     : Book 36, Hadith 107
English translation     : Vol. 5, Book 36, Hadith 4032
Source : Sunnah.com



I like this detailed discussion about mixing with people also.
http://islamqa.info/en/13835

Monday, November 03, 2014

You have to be really stubborn to be an atheist.



Subhanallaah.

Surah Al-Araf, 7:172:

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِن بَنِي آدَمَ مِن ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ قَالُوا بَلَىٰ شَهِدْنَا أَن تَقُولُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَٰذَا غَافِلِينَ

When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): "Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?"- They said: "Yea! We do testify!" (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: "Of this we were never mindful":
(English translation Yusuf Ali via iQuran)


The belief in a Higher Being, in a God is ingrained in us, that it would take lot of effort, stubbornness and arrogance to convince themselves that there is none.

Monday, October 27, 2014

One Morning - Una Mattina

My mood now, I guess can be translated into this piece.





Reflective. Finding my place. Finding strength. Encouraging myself. Reflective. Pushing myself to go forward. Melancholic but positive.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Oft-Forgiving

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ

Blessed be He in Whose hands is Dominion; and He over all things hath Power;-
He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving;-

Al-Mulk 67:1-2



As I prayed, and thought about my weakness, how I often go back to forgetfulness and my lack of determination and discipline - I was worried.  And I prayed that God guide me and make me more firm and disciplined.

And then I read the ayat shown above, and it brought me solace.   Allah created us, put us on earth to test us and see which of us in best in deed.  Yet at the end of it, Allah says He is Oft Forgiving.  

God knows we are weak and God assures us, He is Oft Forgiving, if we just keep trying our best to improve and keep our good deeds.

God is Oft-Forgiving.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Between big battles and small battles

Everyone chooses their own battle to fight, based on their capabilities and interests.
If we are fighting big and important battles, alhamdulillaah - but that does not mean that the small battles don't matter.
It does not mean that small efforts by common people like us, don't mean a thing.
How wonderful if we can just support each other's efforts, and always find excuses for others.


And then again, who says small efforts are not necessary. A lot of times, it's the little things, the subtle feelings, thoughts and reactions towards others that reflects a person as a whole. And if this subtle issues are being addressed , then perhaps, that could be the turning point, enabling a person to make a bigger change.

Aaaah.. what much do we know? Ya Allaah, please remove the littlest bit of arrogance in our hearts.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Magical powers in my hands and in my feet!

"I've got magical powers in my hands and in my feet!"

I recalled that line this morning, as I sat waiting for my passport to be done at the Customs. That was from one of my favourite Star Wars remake from Bored Shorts TV.

And then I remembered Norfasarie's daughter - and I love and appreciate the fact that her mother is raising her as a normal kid, accepting our little flaws. And I feel so full of gratitude, that we have been given these hands and feet - and they really HAVE magical powers. We can do with our hands and feet, what other creatures cannot do with their paws. If you just lose a thumb, you'll find that there are many things that you cannot do, that we now take for granted.

And we also have magical powers in our feet - I believe that as I recall the documentary of the guy with totally no hands - and he does everything with his feet. Even designed his own car, where he can drive with his feet. Subhanallaah amazing.

We REALLY do have magical powers in our hands and in our feet. And we can do this and this!

Masyaa Allaah. Alhamdulillaah.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

To be more human

** Wrote this about a year back! and found it while I was going through old emails.  I hope it's beneficial.


In this age and time, when most orders and rules are set and implemented with no explanation thereafter (as such people just follow obediently and don't know why they do what they do.  Most of us don't question anymore), and to add on to that, we are exposed to the media in which we only receive, and we are not required to give immediate feedback. So long after this kind of conditioning, I believe most of us have become a little bit more robotic, and less human.

For most people, when they see other people fighting in the MRT or having an accident, their first instinct is not to help the person involved, but to take pictures or videos of them, to post of FB.  Because, this is what everyone else is doing.

We need to increase the human side of us, by increasing our compassion and our empathy towards others.  And I believe in this age and time, it'll take a much more effort to be able to do that.  These acts of being more human is sometimes very rare, that you'd be like the odd one out, and therefore you feel shy about doing it.  But we shouldn't care about what others think, if we want to do something good.

One way to train ourselves to be more human or to have more compassion and sincere, is through hunger and charity.

Hunger, meaning - experience hunger - do not eat ALL the time, even when you're not hungry.  It's good to be hungry - that is when you body actually needs food.   You can eat when you're hungry or really hungry.  It also let's you have a slight slight glimpse of what people who cannot afford food feel, the whole day.  When we could have our food just a while later.  Thus this will hopefully build up your compassion and empathy.  This is also a good eating habit for your health.

As for charity, train yourself to be quick to help those people who asks from you to fulfill their needs, be it your family or the man on the street, no matter how small the amount, with sincerity and without smirking.  And if possible, without the knowledge of others - so that you know you're doing it sincerely.

It may be difficult in the beginning, but if you keep at it, God willing you may find yourself becoming more human, having a better heart for others.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Expressing myself to me

Sometimes I type out my thoughts and my feelings freely.
But you're not reading most of them because I'd delete it before I can post it on any social media.
It's a way of putting some of my strong feelings and opinions into words without actually telling or revealing them to anyone (except God, of course).
Then analysing it while reading it back.
And then decide if it's beneficial for anyone else to know.
Or if it's more beneficial for me to change my thoughts or opinions about it.
By God's Will, most of the time, it worked.

p.s. There are times it escapes me. So please forgive me.  Insyaa Allaah will work on improving myself.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

One of my numerous favourite ayahs

I've been asked to state my favourite ayat or surah before and I find it very difficult to state one or even a few. Because truly, there are NUMEROUS favourite verses and surahs, some are too long to put here.

The Quran is truly a miraculous book, a book of eloquence. So eloquent that sometimes a simple sentence can carry so much meaning and generate so much thought in my mind. The subtlety.. Subhanallaah.

So I'd like to share one such ayat - one of my many many favourites - which had me pondering for quite a bit. I thought about the things we do in our daily lives, the things we earnestly fight for and spend so much time on in our lives. Are we learning and doing the relevant? If we are turning away from God and from His Words, Allah asks in Surah At Takwir 81:26


فَأَيْنَ تَذْهَبُونَ

"Whither, then, will you go?"
(Then where are you going?)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Simple Mac and Cheese

With the maid gone for her holidays, I'm left to think, especially on weekends, what to feed the kids.
On Sunday, I was in Singapore and I had wanted to get them nasi ayam or maybe pasta from spice.. and then I saw that the price was like SGD12 - this is for a single meal.
So I thought.. for that price, I can go get the ingredients and cook for 5-6 person at home, something simple.

So I looked up for a 'simple mac and cheese recipe'. And alhamdulillaah I found one..
Simple to me means, not too many ingredients, especially ones that I don't recognise.

This is again, my version of the recipe I got, because of several factors. Things like, I don't have enough of the ingredient.

They asked for 220gm shredded cheddar cheese. I remembered I have it (un-grated) in the fridge. I was happy to see the box indicate that it's 220gm, but when I took the cheese out, I saw that some of it was already cut.. I weighed the cheese, I only had 170gm left and the one end of that cheese was hardened. I grated what I could and threw away the hardened part.

Then they asked for '220gm all American cheese' - what is that? I saw that we have some sandwich cheese, 3 of them weighed about 60gm, so I used 11 of them. About 220gms

Mustard - dry mustard? I couldn't find 'dry mustard' at the supermarket. So I just got a small bottle of mustard. As for the pepper, I didn't realise the recipe asked for black pepper, I just grabbed normal pepper powder and put a heavy dash or two.

In conclusion, the final product turned out OK - just nice. Not too cheesy, Masyaa Allaah.
So I'm sticking with this recipe, insyaa Allaah.



Ingredients:

1/2 medium size onion
30 gm butter.
220 gm macaroni (like half the usual packet)
2 tablespoon flour
3/4 teaspoon mustard
A dash or 2 - of pepper
450 ml milk
150 gm shredded cheddar cheese (actually the recipe calls for 220gms.. but I only had 170gm, and 10-15 gms was hardened.. I just used what I can get and it was cheesy enough!
10-12 pieces of the sandwich cheese cut into stripes or just koyak2 kan - we're going to melt it anyway.

Method :

1. Bismillaah.
2. Preheat oven at 175 dec C.
3. Boil the macaroni with a bit of salt and a tsp of olive oil until soft - like usual.
* (this is optional, I put it in so that the macaroni don't stick to each other).
4. Cut onions into small cubes or chop.
5. Heat butter in pan until melt, then put in onions.
6. Saute onions until soft.
7. Put in the flour and mix well. (1-2 mins)
8. Pour in the milk and mix well again.
9. Put in the mustard and pepper.
10. Keep on stirring and mixing all until the whole mixture thickens and boils.
11. Put in all the cheese and mix well until all cheese have melted and is well mixed.
12. Drain macaroni and put into the pan for baking. Pour in the milk mixture and mix with macaroni well.
13. Put into oven and bake until it's hot and bubbly (about 10-15 mins)
14. Let it cool a bit (about 10 mins) before serving.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

I like lemons!

http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/12501-45-cool-uses-for-lemons.html

Good husband, bad wife. Bad husband, good wife. Good woman.


ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا امْرَأَتَ نُوحٍ وَامْرَأَتَ لُوطٍ كَانَتَا تَحْتَ عَبْدَيْنِ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا صَالِحَيْنِ فَخَانَتَاهُمَا فَلَمْ يُغْنِيَا عَنْهُمَا مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا وَقِيلَ ادْخُلَا النَّارَ مَعَ الدَّاخِلِينَ

وَضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا امْرَأَتَ فِرْعَوْنَ إِذْ قَالَتْ رَبِّ ابْنِ لِي عِندَكَ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَنَجِّنِي مِن فِرْعَوْنَ وَعَمَلِهِ وَنَجِّنِي مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ

وَمَرْيَمَ ابْنَتَ عِمْرَانَ الَّتِي أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِنَا وَصَدَّقَتْ بِكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّهَا وَكُتُبِهِ وَكَانَتْ مِنَ الْقَانِتِينَ

Allah sets forth, for an example to the Unbelievers, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lut: they were (respectively) under two of our righteous servants, but they were false to their (husbands), and they profited nothing before Allah on their account, but were told: "Enter ye the Fire along with (others) that enter!"

And Allah sets forth, as an example to those who believe the wife of Pharaoh: Behold she said: "O my Lord! Build for me, in nearness to Thee, a mansion in the Garden, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings, and save me from those that do wrong";

And Mary the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants).

Surah At-Tahrim, 66:10-12
(English translation by Yusuf Ali via iQuran)

Monday, September 01, 2014

Going back to JB by public transport


Left office at 645pm.
Walked about 8mins to bus interchange and queued for beancurd maybe about 3 mins. Walked to the end of the bus queue which was about a hundred metres long. Boarded the bus at 716pm.
730 we reached Tuas chexkppint. But there were buses queuing to alight passengers. Got down about 740pm. Short queue at immigration passed immigration 745pm boarded the bus 748pm
754pm reached JB custom. Cleared custom and start queuing for bus 758pm.
Boarded bus 809pm.
836pm alighted opposite Giant Bukit Indah. Crossed the road and took my parked bike home and reached 845pm.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A beautiful lie

What I like about the video.

The title.
The concept.
The location.
The sunset.
The edit.
The colour.
The song.
The beat.
The MESSAGE.


Will we continue to ignore?
Will we continue to deny an lie?


- Innallaahu a'la kulli syai-in qadir.



Friday, August 22, 2014

God's Signs

Few ayats in the Qur'an came to mind as I watched this video.
God says it best. Do ponder.

** I'd rather it be called God's Signs. These are indeed Signs for men who ponder. May Allah guide us.

"Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones?  
Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers." (Al Qiyamah 75:3-4)

"Glorify the name of thy Guardian-Lord Most High,
Who hath created, and further, given order and proportion; " (Al A'la 87:1-2)

"Verily, all things have We created in proportion and measure." (Al Qamar 54:49)

"Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day,- there are indeed Signs for men of understanding," (Ali Imran 3:190)



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Shhh.

Shhh.
Jangan "comment". Jangan melatah. Jangan melenting. Jangan menuduh tanpa bukti.
Mengata orang sesuka hati.
Jangan membuka atau menyebar aib orang.
Bawa bertenang.
Diam-diam.

Ambin Usang

Source : Mufti Singapura Fatris Bakaram FB post 13 August 2014
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10203215386559189&id=1044253873&ref=bookmark

Di redup teduh pohon sukun itu
si ambin usang setia menunggu
rayuan nyaring ayam jantan sahut menyahut
mengusap iman tuannya mengajaknya bertasbih
menghampar tekad sebelum mentari menyapa
assolatu khairun minannaum
assolatu khairun minannaum

Di redup teduh pohon sukun itu
si ambin usang tersenyum berpangku
meriba manja hilai tawa anak-anak
yang menabur langkah kelilingnya
saling kejar-mengejar
setelah penat duduk berhenti
disambung lagi dengan sembunyi-sembunyi
ada tikanya khusyu melontar guli
membingit suasana hingga mentari meninggi

Di redup teduh pohon sukun itu
si ambin usang menadah syahdu
kelembutan suara dan sentuhan ibu-ibu
nasi hangat berkuah bening
bercecah kicap ikan selar goreng
disuap bukan hanya ke mulut anak masing-masing
kerana anak dia anak kita juga
anak kita juga anak semua

Di redup teduh pohon sukun itu
si ambin usang bersapa bayu
mentari petang menanti saat berundur di hujung ufuk
berlabuh pula kaum lelaki melepas lelah
menceritakan gerak dunia
yang usianya tua tapi mimpinya remaja
tentang manusia dengan esoknya
tentang kampung ini bila akhirnya
sehingga tenggelam mentari
si ambin usang ditinggal lagi
menanti berulangnya pagi

Di redup teduh pohon sukun itu
si ambin usang adalah warga dan keluarga
yang telah pergi mengisi ruang sejarah
namun mungkin di kota batu kita hari ini
yang sekian lama kita buntu mencari
azimat dan jampi penyatu hati
mungkin ambin usang itu perlu dijemput kembali
menyemai kuntum
menghampar hambal bersulam harum
menghembus nafas kampung
pada tembok-tembok batu yang kaku

Si ambin usang masih menunggu

- Fatris Bakaram (Mufti Singapura)
13 Ogos 2014

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The price of time

You need to be rich to have more time.
You need to be rich to reach on time.
Or you could just grow old in journeys
To faraway schools and workplaces.

Modern times.
Cosmopolitan areas.
No real families.
Just individuals.

I digressed.
Short term concentration.
Trained.
By FB and twitter.

I digressed again.
Modern times.
No time.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Doors



For reference.
http://www.boredpanda.com/most-beautiful-doors-around-the-world/

Maybe I want to paint my kitchen door, like that Moroccan door.
Insyaa allaah.. if there is no violent objection. :P


In the words of Mufti Ismail Menk, "may Allah open our doors [to goodness]"

p.s. keep gaza in your prayers. And all the other oppressed people in the world. May God give them strength and guidance and tranquility in their hearts.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sementara sahaja

Dunia ini sementara.
Hanya sehari atau kurang sedikit.
Kadang terasa seperti dalam penjara
Kematian insyaa Allah, menjadi penglipur lara
Jika kita mu'min.

Tugas di dunia hanya untuk menyembahNya
Membina kekuatan rohani,
Meningkatkan kesabaran dan usaha,
Mengumpul pahala.

Allah Maha Mengasihani.
Senang sungguh untuk berpahala,
Senang sungguh menghapus dosa,
Tapi kita manusia leka.
Membiarkan masa berjalan begitu saja.

Tulisan ini hanya untuk memujuk diri
Setelah menyaksikan kejahatan yang merata
Mengingatkan diri tentang Akhirat nanti
Setiap kekejaman tak akan dilupa.

- Madame Blossom, July 2014 -

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

If I was paranoid...

"The fact that you have the ability to think is all the more reason that you SHOULD. And yet we live in a society that is absolutely bent on preventing people from thinking…..

And if I was paranoid, I would tend to think that this is really a conspiracy against the human race… if I was of a paranoid personality, I would definitely think that there are actually people that don't want the human beings to think. They want to keep them dumb like animals. They want to keep them chained in their own minds, like chickens in a coop.

This is what one would SUSPECT.. If one look objectively at the media, at the education system…. it indoctrinates you into the logic of the system."

…if I was paranoid.



Sheikh Hamza Yusuf - "...don't want you to think."


The Romans control the people with bread and circus.

4 levels of voices

There are 4 levels of voices in us.
1. From our mouths (verbal)
2. From our heads.
3. From our hearts
4. From our inner hearts.

What we say with our mouths would mostly be a reflection of what our head says, and sometimes what our hearts say. We may say with our mouths, what is not in our hearts.

What our head says, can very much be affected by how we are nurtured, what our situation is. We say in our heads things we think, is the right thing. However what we say in our heads, can still differ from what we utter with our mouths. I think this should be familiar to most.

And then there is what we say in our hearts. Heart is where conscious intention lies. When we intend to do something, it's in our hearts. Sometimes, we intend in our hearts to do an action - e.g. to do sunnah solat before isya - but our head may erroneously think to ourselves, 'I'm going to do my solat before maghrib'. - yet we immediately know in our hearts, that it's the wrong. Our hearts knew better.

For me, this is where the niyyah is. So even if you think wrongly with your head, it's your intention that is in your heart that matters. Purpose for an action comes from the heart.

Now the voices from the inner heart. The voices in the inner heart may be elusive, depending on the soul. The inner heart holds the truest part of us. It may lie hidden if we are not honest with ourselves. You can get to the real voices of this inner heart by digging in through self reflections. Ask the real reason, behind the 'real' reason, behind the reason for doing something or for 'believing' in something.

The hearts may still be forced by pride and greed to feel or think a certain way, even when our inner hearts are thinking the opposite. An example of this would be the case of Fira'un. He knows in his inner heart, that there is a God worthy of worship, but pride forces his heart to deny this.

From the above analysis, I find that the two most important voices are the inner hearts and the heart. In order to train ourselves to listen to our inner hearts, which contains the truth - is to apply humility to the heart, to purify the heart.

On that subject, I would recommend that we treat our hearts with God's words regularly, daily. Read the Quran and understand it's meaning. Make doa to Ar-Rahman (God- and Ar-Rahman is one of God's beautiful names) to guide us to the truest path.

Purification of the Heart - Translation and Commentary of Imam al-Mawlud's "Matharat al-Qulub" by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, might also be helpful. Insyaa Allaah.

These words, are from my heart. :)

*update 17 Oct 2014.
Masyaa Allaah today, we covered tbis following ayat in tafsir class today.
As I read it literally, Allaah says the hearts really CAN learn wisdom!  I truly believe that. Subhanallaah.
:) Allahua'lam.


أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَا أَوْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَعْمَى الْأَبْصَارُ وَلَٰكِن تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِي الصُّدُورِ

"Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear? Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts."

Surah Al-Hajj, 22:46
(English translation by Yusuf Ali via iQuran)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Our eyes



Don't our eyes show how aged we feel?
It reveals if we are looking at the world with anticipation and wonder;
Or with reservation and passive submission to fate.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Eyesight

A conjectured theory about our eyesight, by Madame Blossom.

Basically our bodies adapt to what we do daily. So that includes the eyes and our eyesight.

In Singapore, I believe most golfers would have better eyesight than the average Singaporean. This is because their eyes are trained to look far at their target hole, everyday, for hours. ( I'm comparing to golfers because I can relate to them, my son being one. But of course it should relate to any occupation which requires a person to always look far ahead.)

However, for the average Singaporean, there is almost no chance to look that far in their daily lives. We live in blocks of flat, surrounded by much more walls than windows. Most of the time, we are indoors. Then when we travel on the road, buildings all around, block our view of the horizon. So everyday, our eyesight are only 'trained' to look a certain distance.

For those who don't even look out the window when traveling home - or who mostly travel by underground train, or worse, they are engrossed in their devices which is always only about 30cm from them - surely the health of their eyesight is more affected.

That would explain why more and more people need glasses or contact lens in Singapore.

To improve our eyesight, I believe we need to observe Nature more - the greeneries and the horizon. And praise Allah. :D

Monday, July 14, 2014

Migraine

Have I overworked my brains? By reading postings on FB?
Snippets of this and that, good and bad, happy and sad, being worried and being glad.
It feels like brain hopping, non stop.
I think I'll rest.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ash-Shuara - The Poets



This may seem trivial, but Allah is subtle.

These are my personal thoughts, as I went through the end of Surah Ash-Shuara (The Poets).

Surah Ash-Shuara 26:224-226

"And the Poets - it is those straying in Evil, who follow them,
Seest thou not that they wander distracted in every valley?
And that they say what they practise not?"

English translation of the Quran by Yusuf Ali.



I'm reminded of singers and their songs. Distraction? You know they are - you can easily lose focus or control over your time.

But the ayat that got me thinking is the last one - 'that they say what they practise not'. Most singers sing and utter words in their songs, words that they don't mean, or maybe some don't even know what they are singing about.

Words are meant to speak the truth. Even in songs.

Most of the time, if a person recites a poem - it's because they believe or agree with the poem. Not for a lot of songs and their singers. People sing along to songs, mostly because of the melody. They blindly repeat things, saying things they don't mean at all, much less practise it.


That was the thought that crossed my mind. Just my personal reflection.



The truth behind Israel war on Palestine

Yes, I don't want to use the word 'conflict' cause that sounds like 2 equally ables parties having a disagreement. But seriously it's not. It's one powerful nation, treating unfairly and brutally a weak nation.

This is a good honest talk by the son of an Israeli General who was directly involved in the war by the Israelis on Palestinians. What are the true motives of the Zionist Israel government?





Some points that I noted :
"The truth lays in the personal stories, not the national narratives."

This is what a Israeli mother of a 13 year old girl (his sister) who was killed in suicide bombing by 2 Palestinian boys in Israel had to say :
"My government is responsible. My government brought these two young men to such a level of despair, that they would take their own life, and take the life of other innocent people. The brutal oppression under which the Palestinians have to live because of us, is the cause of this."

"The Israeli army - one of the best trained, best equipped, best fed, terrorist organization in the world. Yes, they have generals and have nice uniforms, but their entire purpose is terrorism."
- Miko Peled.



p.s. In any matter concerning humanity and our rights, when our national media, is biased in reporting, we have to take on the role of trying to spread the truth and educate through these humble means of sharing credible information. Spread the truth.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Because God says so

'Why cannot eat pork?'
'Why must we guard our modesty?'
'Why is pre-marital sex not allowed?'
'Why is the act of homosexuality an abomination?'

There could be scientific explanations, numerous studies and discussions about it's ill-effects.
Most of the time I don't feel comfortable discussing the reasons why - because these are our conjectures, these are men's studies and men's conclusion which may be right or may be wrong.

Enough for me to say, BECAUSE GOD SAYS SO.
God created us and God knows us best.
Do you know any better than God?

Do we aim to be one who submits to God?

Friday, June 27, 2014

If I leave you now

If I leave you now and you face hardship, please know that these hardships are only temporary.
Hardships give you a chance to earn more reward through patience and perserverance.
Soon, you too will leave the world for something even better.
So live and die not, except in Islam.
Then we'll meet again - aamiin.
Do good, and guard your solah.
Believe and be wary of Judgement Day.
Believe and submit to God.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

The mountain

Awesome, breathtaking.
Be quiet, watch in full screen and contemplate.


('full screen' and 'contemplate' - it's like, they don't look good together in one sentence. But...better than nothing)


رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا بَاطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ


The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Arrogance affects the brand

The image of a brand can be affected by the action of the employees in their capacity of work, when dealing with external service providers, even if they have no relation to marketing or promotion.

Sincerity,humility and respecting others, is not only applicable to marketing executives or promoters - but from everyone in the company.

E.g. if a staff representing the company, treats a vendor badly by disrespecting him and making unreasonable demands, the vendor who may also be potential consumers of the brand's product, may not want to even see the brand in shops, because he doesn't want to be reminded of the bad experience with the employee(s) from that brand company. He may even tell his friends and family about it.

However, it should not just be about the brand. It should be about branding ourselves, with sincerity, humility and respecting others. Even if you cannot expect any returns from others.
For a Muslim, it's simpler.. we know (or at least most.. or some of us know) that God sees our every act and word. God consciousness should be enough to lead the person to being humble.

The opposite of humility is arrogance. It's never good.

And no, confidence does not equal arrogance.

Friday, May 23, 2014

"Alien message"


This is the image of crop circle found on Crabwood Farm House in the UK in 2002. The images on the disk looking formation were decoded using binary codes, and were translated to the following message :

Beware the bearers of FALSE gifts and BROKEN PROMISES.
Much PAIN but still time.
BELIEVE.
There is GOOD out there.
We OPpose DECEPTION.
Conduit CLOSING.


I don't know the truth behind who actually did that message with crop circles. But one thing for sure, there is truth in that message and it is totally in line with what God has revealed through His Messenger S.A.W.

When I read that message - I immediately found it familiar.
This message to Believe (in God and God's message to us, to beware of the evil one who always deceives, making empty promises (Satan), to face life's tests, to do good deeds, and reminding us that the End is near. You can find all these in The Quran - the latest, updated message to mankind from God, after Gospel, Torah and the others.

Subhanallaah.

Sometimes we focus on God Knowing what we think, Seeing what we do - us, as single individuals, and how God made the flowers in our garden bloom, and how God grants us good health and sustenance - that when news of a grand science discovery come we don't immediately relate it to our knowledge of God.

In our daily thoughts and reactions, we keep forgetting that God created everything and controls EVERYTHING in this universe that we know, or will come to know, or will never know.

Even if you talk about aliens and alien messages - anything that is happening on this earth and in this whole Universe- God controls them and God knows all the mysteries of the universe.
That is how God is GREAT.

This is also where the wonder of Latifun Khabirun, have me in awe. God's grasp over the grand universe, and over the tiny thoughts in our hearts.

Our God. One God.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Night of the Northern Lights



Subhanallaah.  Amazing, amazing sight.. I'd love to see it in person, in this lifetime.. but if I don't get to... I'm looking forward to something unimaginably better in Heaven.  Aamiin.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Being nice is not being stupid

I very seldom watch any dramas on TV but sometimes when I do, I get reminded AGAIN why I don't like most of the dramas.

Seriously, just because the character is nice and God-conscious, it does not mean that she has to be stupid. A woman gets beaten, slapped, bullied and she doesn't do anything at all?!?  

The wrong message is being given when TV keeps on showing that all nice people are stupid people who cannot defend themselves at all, and just wait for fate to somehow change. The good God-fearing characters in Malay stories are most of the time portrayed as such.  My God! Enough! Learn already.. so narrow-minded.. so ignorant.

Muslims, are God-fearing people who also defend themeselves if they have been obviously wronged. 
 




فَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَمَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
وَالَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ وَإِذَا مَا غَضِبُوا هُمْ يَغْفِرُونَ
وَالَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِرَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورَى بَيْنَهُمْ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْبَغْيُ هُمْ يَنتَصِرُونَ  

Whatever ye are given (here) is (but) a convenience of this life: but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting: (it is) for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord:
Those who avoid the greater crimes and shameful deeds, and, when they are angry even then forgive;
Those who hearken to their Lord, and establish regular Prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation; who spend out of what We bestow on them for Sustenance;
And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) help and defend themselves.

Al Quran, Ash-Shura' 42:36-39


فَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَمَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى لِلَّذِينَ
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا وَانتَصَرُوا مِن بَعْدِ مَا ظُلِمُوا وَسَيَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا أَيَّ مُنقَلَبٍ يَنقَلِبُونَ

Except those who believe, work righteousness, engage much in the remembrance of Allah, and defend themselves only after they are unjustly attacked. And soon will the unjust assailants know what vicissitudes their affairs will take!

Al Quran, Ash-Shua'ra 26:227

(Both translations by Yusuf Ali)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Description of the universe in 2 sentences

.. in the scientific perspective.

"The world is made up of atoms."
"Symmetry underlies the laws of the universe."

(From Fabric of the Cosmos, Brian Greene)









إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَرٍ


BEHOLD, everything have We created in due measure and proportion;


Al Quran, Al Qamar 54:49 (translation by Asad)

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Lessons from the Buddhist's article


"No possessions can be brought along to the next existence; the only thing that follows one is his deeds"

Most Muslims would think that I got that from some Islamic article. However, this is taken from an article from Nalanda Buddhist Society, said to be a Chinese saying.

Interesting! This is exactly what we are taught.

Another point to ponder from this article : when rituals are passed down by word of mouth or just see and follow, without reference to a clear and authentic book of guidance, this is how it can turn out.



Dear Muslims, always have a reference to The Quran and the Sunnah.




***********************




From Nalanda Buddhist Society website :


“What burning ‘paper money’ really meant those days.”


Excerpt from Bro. Tan’s teachings on 30 March.


During a funeral ceremony in ancient China, paper-made models of houses, sedan chairs, treasure chests, clothes, daily utensils, and even effigies of servants, were burnt as the cortege was leaving home for burial in the cemetery.

The ORIGINAL meaning of such an act is to show everyone present that all former possessions of the deceased cannot be brought along to the next life.  At one’s death, everything one had ever owned has to be left behind. The burning only emphasizes this message, as it is the most graphical, symbolic, and dramatic way of showing total loss!


There is a Chinese saying that ‘no possessions can be brought along to the next existence; the only thing that follows one is his deeds, or ‘karma’ ‘ ( 万般带不去,唯有业随身 ).  Furthermore, his relatives and friends only follow the deceased up to the grave, but soon turn to go home, leaving the dead alone in his tomb!

Thus, the burning of cheaply-produced paper models and effigies served as an effective educational tool.  Witnessing how fire consumes every ‘former possession’ of the deceased, even an illiterate peasant or young child was able to understand this sense of total relinquishment at death.

A seller holds up a 'paper car' meant as offerings to the dead.
Today, this practice is completely misunderstood by the majority of Chinese.  Instead of the original meaning, paper-made models have been turned into “paper offerings” – with the mistaken thought that whatever one burns, his departed relatives will obtain in the netherworld!

Hence people nowadays burn paper models of the latest i-Pads, smartphones, LED screens, and “paper money” in inflated sums in order to please the dead.  All these will not help the departed ones at all.  In fact, this misunderstanding will only harm the living by maintaining their ignorance and delusions.


Instead of burning “paper offerings”, one can perform ‘Dedication of Merits’ (Pāli, ‘Pattidāna ’) to help their departed relatives.  The explanation on this Buddhist practice was posted on this website on 31 March.  Scroll down and have a good read!

antibiotics in the fly


Sahih Bukhari : Volume 7, Book 71, Number 673:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "If a fly falls in the vessel of any of you, let him dip all of it (into the vessel) and then throw it away, for in one of its wings there is a disease and in the other there is healing (antidote for it) i e. the treatment for that disease."


Scientific findings in relation to the fly.
The new buzz on antibiotics (ABC Science)


Monday, March 31, 2014

kalau tak bermakna

Perkara kalau tak bermakna, tak payah buat.
Objective, objective, objective.  What is the objective?

Why upon why upon why.  The final answer should always lead to.. 'lillah' For God, i.e. to please God.

But there are too many people and companies and organisations who do things without knowing why and without knowing the most basic objectives - some don't even know the objectives.  Most don't measure if the objectives are actually being met.

Me. I need to ask myself that, over and over again too.   Sometimes we start off with the correct intention, and then we forget our basic intention along the way, while in the midst of excitement of carrying them out.
So I need to constantly ask myself, what my truest objective is.

If I lose the objective, or have no final objective that is lillah - then there is no point to doing it.

It's not easy to determine between sincerity and ulterior motives of the nafs. 

Fight.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Quoting hadith sources

I believe we have to assume positively that everyone or at least someone in the audience will want to check our sources. 

Quoting the sources is a good practise.  Never mind if they actually check it or don't check it - we don't need to deprive them of the information.

This will help to train people to identify and be alert about hearing hadith without sources .  It assures people that what they hear is from somewhere legitimate - not just from hearsay.  This is a problem now. Because people are so used to hearing hadiths without the source being quoted, they easily believe and forward or relate what they hear or read to others without any concern for the validity of the hadith.

Quoting the source also helps us greatly in ensuring that we quote hadith from which the source is known to us, and/or trusted.

And Allah knows our intentions best.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

being cursed

While I was stuck in the loooooong queue at the SG customs, it occured to me, a hadith I read before :

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fear the two things that bring curses.” They asked, “What are the two things that bring curses, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said: “When a person relieves himself in the road where people walk or in the place where they seek shade.” 
(Reported by Abu Dawud, 23; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 110)

I WONDER if it also applies to other situations where you create the anger or frustration of other people which causes them to curse you.  Such as this - inconsiderately cutting queues and then being arrogant about it.

Being cursed....
I can think of another person who is always being cursed.  A leader of a country.  So many citizens 'under' him - and when the welfare of the country and the people is not his first priority - but greed, wealth and status - then every single day he is being cursed by people who feel that they have been abused- financially, mentally and basically in the way they live.  I can't imagine how the leader can ever feel any peace and tranquility.

Ya Allah, make me patient and save us and our children from the disasters of this world and the Hereafter.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

let it flow

Subhanallah this life.  Push and pull.

You can let yourself be.. or.. I'm really talking about myself here.. maybe not the others.. just me.  I can let myself be dragged into my own world, as in, away from the issues of the day - especially when I see endless debates, each wanting to only win.. not to learn.  issues of the ummah.

And then I went to watch a Korean movie. Ya, I did.  And masyaa Allah.. what a GOOD movie! It's been quite a while since I thought that way about a movie.  Maybe it's because I've never been at this age before, in this situation before, wiser(?) as of now than before - anyhow it moved my emotions a lot and reminded me that while we think about problems of the ummah, and you worry so much about wanting to change the mindset of these people to what WE THINK is right.. not necessarily right - still these are individuals have their very own issues.  And their issues and their situations are real.  Maybe a big challenge. Their very own situation - and no posting or comment is going to change the ummah as a whole.  I think that's what we're expecting when we voice out our concerns to a group.

It may change a person though - only if the whole situation fits.  Only if Allah permits.

Maybe I'm just taking a break.  Group debates are so far, seriously pointless.  Makes me tired. Mentally tired.

What I can do now is make my own individual effort.  Starting with trying to make myself a better person, in all sense. :P  hah..easy to say.  Start somewhere.  Start with a doa.

Allah guides whom He wills.  Ya Allah, guide me.




Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Singapore as of now.

Singapore... is a big working place.
A place where you can compete.
A place for glitter and entertainment. A place where people boast of momentary achievements.
If you go with it's flow, you'll basically...
Work work work.
Play play play.
Die.

Lose.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

To have time

To have time to worry and be sad,
To have time to be happy and be glad.

Is it a luxury now?

Friday, January 03, 2014

The race

There are people who are very sensitive about race.  They defend their race with their might...y words.

I am a Malay in Singapore and I believe we have people here who have a major identity crisis about being Malay & Muslim.
They become confused as to which is what, and which is more important or if they are equally important.
They argue that to be Malay is to be Muslim.  Some of them argue that to be Muslim is to be Malay.

All these arguments are very selfish.  We forgot that there are Muslims who are of Indian descent, Chinese descent, Caucasian descent etc.  Where do these people fit in your definition of being a Muslim in Singapore?  How can we push aside the brotherhood of Islam which is more important, to fight for a race? - ignoring and hurting others along the way.

Race is not as important as religion. In fact race is something that can get diluted (through mixed marriages etc) and may even disappear and this does not make a person less human.  To fight for a race would be an endless but wasteful effort.   What do you want to achieve by arguing for a race?  What can a race do?

Races should not be fought for, but should be learnt from.  Learn and take the good cultures and habits of a race or nation to help us improve ourselves.  That is the real role of races and nations, as mentioned in the Quran :

"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)."
The Quran, Al Hujurat 49:13 (translation of the Quran by Yusuf Ali)


Strive for Islam instead. Unite as Muslims. If this is the focus, insyaa Allah there is more hope in attaining unity and success as a group of people.