Friday, November 20, 2009

Do'a

Berbahagialah suatu masyarakat bila anggota-anggotanya sentiasa dapat merasakan dalam suka dan dukanya akan kehadiran Ilahi Yang Maha Pengasih lagi Maha Penyayang, tempat mereka meminta petunjuk bila jalan tidak nampak, sebaik-baiknya tempat berlindung dari segala macam bentuk kepayahan, iaitu masyarakat yang sentiasa memelihara erat hubungannya dengan Allah subhanawataala (swt), di mana zikir dan do'a menjadi salah satu tali penghubung yang kuat, di samping solat, zakat dan haji. Namun ada pula rasanya di mana seruan tidak bersahut, do'a tidak berjawab? Mengapa gerangan permohonan kita tidak makbul, rintihan jiwa kita tidak didengarkan? Seakan-akan Allah swt. telah meninggalkan kita? Di mana gerangan letak sebabnya?...
Untuk jawabnya, marilah kita perhatikan peringatan Rasulullah s.a.w.:
"Wahai manusia! Sesungguhnya Allah swt. berfirman kepadamu: Anjurkanlah olehmu berbuat baik dan laranglah perbuatan yang munkar, agar jangan datang suatu sa'at, di mana kamu berdo'a tetapi Aku tidak menjawab do'amu; kamu meminta tetapi Aku tidak kabulkan; kamu memohon pertolongan tetapi Aku tidak memberimu pertolongan."
Itulah jawabnya! Itulah yang menyebabkan pintu do'a tertutup. Bukan kerana melalaikan hubungan dengan Allah secara konvensional seperti solat, zakat dan sebagainya, akan tetapi kerana meremehkan hubungan sesama manusia, sebagai anggota masyarakat yang turut bertanggungjawab atas keselamatan hidup bermasyarakat itu sendiri. Yakni tugas: "Menegakkan kebajikan, membenteras kemunkaran" ("Amar Ma'ruf & Nahi Munkar"). Inilah identiti bagi keperibadian Umat Islam, iaitu sentiasa menjaga keselarasan hubungan dengan Allah dan hubungan dengan umat sesamanya. Semoga do'a kita sentiasa berjawab. Ameen.
(Petikan daripada penulisan Allahyarham Dr. Mohammad Natsir (1908-1993) (gambar di atas) pada 10 November 1984. Rujukan: Do'a dan dzikir rasulallah saw., Imam Hasan Al-Banna, Penerbit: Media Da'wah, Jakarta, Indonesia, 2006)
Nota: Ketika M. Natsir meninggal dunia, mantan Perdana Menteri Jepun Takeo Fukuda menyatakan, "berita duka tersebut terasa lebih dahsyat daripada jatuhnya bom atom di Hiroshima, kerana kita kehilangan pemimpin dunia dan pemikir besar dunia Islam."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hajj

Above: Al-Haram Mosque and surrounding area at sunset, with every available space filled with Hajj worshippers (Photo © Sacredsites.com).
Hajj is the pilgrimage to the "House of Allah subhanawataala (swt)" (i.e., Ka`abah - picture shown below) that is mandated once in a lifetime to those muslims who can afford it. Performance of the hajj-e-Mabroor (full of goodness) is the second best deed for a believing Muslim. The first is our struggle to live a life in the way of Allah (swt), i.e., exclusively for the sake of pleasing Allah (swt) only. If hajj is done with careful and sincere efforts, as prescribed by Allah (swt) and His prophet, Muhammad (pbh), the past sins are wiped clean, just as a newborn baby. The reward is the closeness to and pleasure of Allah (swt). It is a new beginning for a Muslim after coming back from hajj, i.e., giving up old bad habits and reinvigorating and improving upon the remaining few good habits, the faith and the various beliefs. Since Hajj is a "training workshop", we need to ask ourselves after we come home: Have I become a better Muslim human being? Have I now become kinder, gentler person? If not then what should I do now? Perhaps my visit to the House of the Lord of the Universe is blessed with His mercy and forgiveness and I have returned with His favors and the best of these favors is the TAQWA in me? The TAQWA that I acquired in me will dictate that now I do my solat (prayer) better in quality (khusyu'), with punctuality, at its prescribed time and in manner taught by our prophet? Consequently, it will also improve my other deeds too (additional benefits of hajj), as Allah (swt) says in the Quran, "they should come here for their own benefits!"? I must reevaluate myself... Below: Kaabah is the first House of Worship for Allah (swt). It looks like a cube shaped building. Muslims from all over the world face towards Ka`abah when offering their prayers. The Ka`abah is also called Qibla, a symbol of Muslim unity (Quran 2:149-150). It is the center for guidance, peace and tranquility, security for the mankind and blessings from Allah (swt) (Quran 2:126, 3:97 & 5:97). Allahuakhbar! (Reference: A Manual of Hajj and Umrah by Riaz A. Akhtar, M.D., F.A.C.C., Publisher: Khatoons Inc., USA).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mengapa "Mimie Asieyah" ?

Ramai yang bertanya kepada saya mengapa memberi nama kucing kesayangan kami "Mimie Asieyah"? "Mimie" adalah nama yang diberi oleh tuan terdahulu dan "Asieyah" diberi oleh saya sendiri sempena seorang wanita agong bernama Asieyah binti Muzahim yang hidup di zaman Nabi Musa a.s. ...
Asieyah ialah isteri kepada Firaun, raja Mesir yang amat berkuasa dan kaya raya. Allah swt memberi penghormatan yang amat tinggi kepada Asieyah dengan mengukir namanya dalam Quran untuk menjadi contoh tauladan kepada umat manusia terutamanya kaum wanita. Ini ialah kerana kesabaran beliau yang tetap teguh (istiqamah) mentauhidkan Allah walau pun menghadapi pelbagai tekanan dan kezaliman. Meski pun hidup dalam istana diselubungi kemewahan, beliau tidak sedikit pun tertarik atau lalai dengannya. Malahan beliau menyedari segalanya adalah nikmat sementara, dan kemuliaan hakiki dan kehormatan mutlak hanyalah terletak di sisi Allah swt.
Apabila suaminya membuat pengakuan bahawa beliau adalah tuhan semesta alam, Asieyah telah menolak mentah-mentah. Betapa pun besar kecintaan dan kepatuhannya kepada suami, beliau tetap berpegang teguh bahawa tuhan yang patut disembah hanyalah Allah yang Maha Esa. Sikapnya membuatkan Firaun terus menerus memberi tekanan dan ancaman memaksa beliau meninggalkan keyakinannya itu tetapi beliau tidak gentar walau sedikit pun. Perilaku buruk suaminya dihadapi dengan penuh kesabaran dan hanya berpasrah kepada Allah swt.
Untuk memaksa Asieyah mengakui ketuhanannya, Firaun telah mencampakkan Masyitah (hamba kesayangan Asieyah) dan keluarganya ke dalam minyak panas tanpa belas kasihan. "Aku harap kamu telah menyaksikan apa yang telah terjadi ke atas perempuan yang ingkar kepada aku, tuhannya yang agong", kata Firaun kepada Asieyah. Dengan linangan air mata Asieyah menjawab: "Celakalah engkau wahai Firaun dengan azab Allah". Kata-kata tersebut membuat Firaun marah dan memerentahkan Asieyah disiksa dengan siksaan yang amat berat sehingga beliau meninggalkan pegangannya itu. Dengan hati yang sedih dan pilu terhadap perbuatan suaminya sendiri, beliau telah mengadu kepada Allah swt seperti yang diabadi di dalam Quran: "Ya tuhanku, bangunkanlah untukku sebuah rumah di sisiMu di dalam syurga dan selamatkanlah aku daripada Firaun dan perbuatannya, dan selamatkan aku daripada kaum yang zalim (At-Tahrim: 11). Allah swt yang Maha Pengasih lagi Maha Penyayang telah memakbulkan doa' Asieyah dan memperlihatkan sebuah istana untuk beliau di syurga sebelum beliau terbunuh syahid.
Mimie Asieyah dapat mengingatkan saya kepada Asieyah binti Muzahim, seorang permaisuri yang lemah lembut, cantik, cerdik, tegas, berani dan hidup dengan penuh kenikmatan di dalam istana tetapi sanggup meninggalkan kesemuanya itu semata-mata untuk mencari keredhaan Allah swt. Betapa pun besar kecintaan terhadap suami tetapi ternyata di hati beliau tersemat kecintaan yang lebih agong yang tiada tolok bandingnya terhadap Allah swt sehinggalah beliau menutup mata buat kali terakhir...

Monday, July 27, 2009

TR 3133 (COMPUTER ALGEBRA)

Computer Algebra (CA) is a field of computer science & mathematics that involved in the development & implementation of symbolic algorithms that manipulate and analyze expressions which can be applied in diversified fields in science, engineering, education and many more. One of the important developments in CA is the evolution of Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) or symbolic computer programs such as Mathematica and Maple.

This course introduces a CAS, Mathematica, and is divided into two parts. The first part describes Mathematica's use as a symbolic pocket calculator. The second part introduces five basic aspects of the Mathematica programming language: (i) functional programming, (ii) rule-based programming, (iii) procedural programming, (iv) object-oriented programming and (v) graphics programming and lastly, the final organizing ingredient in the Mathematica programming language: developing a symbolic multimedia package & system.

Prerequisites: Some experience with a computer programming language such as C++ or Java.
Textbook: Mastering Mathematica: Programming Methods and Applications (Second Edition) by John W. Gray. Publisher: Academic Press.

Above: Developed using Mathematica. What is it... guess ???

Friday, July 3, 2009

HARIMAU MALAYA

Namanya kian dilupai generasi masa kini. Keberanian dan ketokohannya amat dikagumi. Beliau adalah bertanggung jawab membawa reformasi pendidikan, peniaga yang berjaya, pengkritik sosial, tokoh tentera dan tokoh politik. Peribadinya yang tangkas, pintar, berani, pemurah, sentiasa tersenyum (walau pun ketika menghadapi kesulitan dan berdukacita) dan bersemangat waja membuatnya tidak gentar untuk berjuang mempertahankan maruah ibu pertiwi yang terjajah, martabat bangsa dan kesucian agama Islam yang tercemar. Meski pun demikian besar jasa baktinya, namun jarang-jarang sekali namanya disebut. Beliau ialah YM Tengku Mahmood Mahyiddeen Tengku Abdul Kadir Kamaruddeen (1908-1954) atau terkenal dengan jolokan "HARIMAU MALAYA".

Kehidupan YM Tengku Mahmood Mahyiddeen dipenuhi dengan perjuangan:
1933-41: Penguasa Pendidikan Negeri Kelantan (membawa reformasi pendidikan di seluruh Tanah Melayu).
1941-45: Pemimpin Force 136 di India (berpangkat "Mejar" dan merupakan pegawai Melayu tertinggi dalam pasukan tersebut).
1945-49: Pemimpin GEMPAR yang memperjuangkan kemerdekaan Patani.
1949-54: Memperjuangkan kemerdekaan Tanah Melayu.
Kesungguhan dan kegigihan beliau seharusnya menjadi teladan generasi masa kini betapa pahit getir serta ranjau berduri yang diharungi oleh beliau dan sahabat-sahabat sebelum negara yang dicintai beroleh kemerdekaan. Mereka merupakan lambang dan simbol kepada perjuangan kemerdekaan - titisan keringat, darah dan air mata...
(Petikan daripada buku "HARIMAU MALAYA", tulisan Mohd. Zamberi A. Malek. Penerbit UKM, 2009 (http://www.ukm.my/penerbit). Buku ini dibaca dalam perjalanan saya ke Montreal, Canada. Walau pun begitu lama (26 jam termasuk "delay"), tetapi seperti tidak terasa...)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 6: Hari Keputeraan DYMM SPB Yang di-Pertuan Agong

Left: Duli Yang Maha Mulia Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah is the 16th Sultan of the state of Terengganu, Malaysia, and the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or King, of Malaysia.

Below: His Royal Highness King Mizan kissing the Quran at a ceremony where he was invested as the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia in Balairung Seri, Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur. With him is the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Queen Nur Zahirah. Daulat Tuanku!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Applications of Computer Algebra (ACA) 2009, Montreal, Canada (June 25-28)

In 1995, at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, was held the 1st International IMACS Conference on Applications of Computer Algebra. IMACS stands for "International Association for Mathematics and Computers in Simulation", see this 1995 text for more details or visit their official website. Since 2001, the conference retains only the title "Applications of Computer Algebra". This conference is an annual meeting, devoted to promoting the applications and development of Computer Algebra and Symbolic Computation. Topics include computer algebra and symbolic computation in engineering, the sciences, medicine, pure and applied mathematics, education, communication and computer science.
Recent Conferences:
ACA'2008 held at RISC, Linz, Hagenberg, Austria (July 27-30)
ACA'2007 held at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, USA (July 19-22)
ACA'2006 held at the International Home of Scientists, Varna, Bulgaria (June 26-29)
ACA'2005 held at Nara Women's University, Nara, Japan (July 31-August 3) For a complete list of past ACA conferences, see the main ACA website.
Prof. Steinberg, Dr. Wester and I will be presenting our papers: http://aca2009.etsmtl.ca/proposal-list.asp. See also http://math.unm.edu/~aca/ACA/2009/nonstandard.html and http://aca2009.etsmtl.ca/Education/ . I will be leaving for Montreal on June 23, inshaallah...

Surau Ar-rashidin, Taman Setiawangsa, KL: Ramadhan 2008 - "Majlis Khatam Quran"


...breaking our fast together.











The boys "khatam" the whole Quran during the Ramadan. This ceremony was specially dedicated to them...



...reciting the Quran along with the boys.








video

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Salam to brother Hamzah...

Bro. Hamzah Salleh received his Phd. from the University of Waterloo, Canada. He is currently working with the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). He collaborates with me on the computer algebra-biotechnology project. His email: hamzah@iiu.edu.my

My wonderful postgraduate students: Hidayah & Saadah

They are currently doing their research on the applications of computer algebra in biotechnology (immunology). This area is also known as algebraic biology, an emerging new research area that uses tools from symbolic computation (computer algebra), algebra, algebraic geometry, and discrete mathematics to formalize and solve biological problems. Their research project is supported by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Malaysia. Keep up the good work, girls! May Allah accepts our work as "amal soleh", inshaallah. Ameen...

My dear friends...

Prof. Steinberg & wife (Prof. Janet Oliver) and Dr. Wester & Prof. Richard Liska (Czech Republic) were having breakfast together during ACA (Applications of Computer Algebra) 2005 in Nara, Japan. I took this picture - not bad, huh?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dr. Michael Wester & Dad


Michael and his beloved daddy (James) at their house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. James loves to tell me "stories"...

Prof. Stanly Steinberg & Dr. Michael Wester


Prof. Steinberg (sitting) & Dr. Wester - my two wonderful supervisors. They were in my apartment at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA (visiting me to make sure I finish up my writing on time)... and alhamdulillah, I did.