Al-Fatihah to Prof Mohd. Kamal bin Hassan

It took me a while to compose myself after hearing the news on Thursday morning, 23 February 2023.  Hours turn into days and days turn into weeks for me to recollect my memories about him.  I learn the phrase “Paradigm shift” back in 1998 during the orientation week.  Paradigm shift is a big word for me.  What is that?  In Malay, it is translated as Anjakan Paradigma.

As I took several classes related to philosophy, I understand more about the meaning of paradigm shift.  But being me when I first heard the word, I was mesmerised with the guy who uttered it, Prof Kamal.  A tall, lanky guy in his 50s, he looked so regal and scholarly.  Coming from a non-academic family, for me to meet someone like him is almost a miracle (with the Blessing of Allah).   Learning something from him in one hour seems so brief.  I started to search more about his work.  Reading a short article by him that I found in the IIUM library left me speechless.  I started to ask myself, “Can I be like him aka as a thinker?”, “How can I be like him who seems to be wise in philosophical way?”, “Can I write like him?”.   

Reflecting on myself who is not him and not having a brain like him makes me think further by asking myself “What can I do for the benefits of the ummah?” Ironically, the question was among the things that he mentioned in his talk.  If John F Kennedy once said ““Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.””, Prof Kamal once posed the question (might not be his exact word, but just the gist), “What can we do for the sake of Allah to contribute for benefits of the ummah?“.  The concept of ‘Abd, being a Muslim might seem alien to a younger me but it is not easy to be internalized and actualized by the older me.

I had a few more opportunities to learn from him while studying at undergraduate level during talks (not a formal course).  One of the last moments was during an Ibadah camp at Templar Park in 2002.   It was a long day and his talk was at night.  He smiled warmly as he stepped into the hall where we had been waiting, seeing our exhausted faces. He wore a batik shirt with white pants. I was seated a little further back from the front of the stage, where he was standing. But even from a distance, I could see him clearly. His aura glowed brightly than the dimly lit hall.  

As far as I could remember, he exudes the aura of cool, calm and collected. On the basis of our initial encounter, no one has ever struck me as a scholar. In my opinion, he embodied the scholarly spirit as of the late Prof. Malik Badri and Cikgu Sidek Baba, and Prof Kamal’s behaviour reflected that.  

Prof Kamal, it is an honor to meet you in person when I worked as an Assistant Director of a newly established unit at IIUM back in 2004.  Even though our time together was brief, you provided me with models of scholarly behaviour that I find difficult to imitate.   Al-Fatihah to you.  May Allah grant you Jannah. 


Teacher, I want to be like you

Cringe. That is the word to describe my feeling when I heard someone said “Teacher, I want to be like you” to me. I looked at her in (half) disbelief. “Kenapa Teacher tengok saya macam tu? [Translation: Why are you looking at me like that? ” I was speechless. To be honest, I do not want anyone to be like me. I know that perhaps this student perceives me as a role model. I am not a good role model. I am completely aware of this.

Being a teenager can be challenging, especially you are in a transition period between childhood and adulthood. I was a teenager in late 90s. So you can guess I am not young anymore. In a few years, I will be 50. The big five zero.

In my twenties and thirties, I had experienced more downs than ups. But, I had no regret. It is difficult to accept failures than successes. I am a human being. I have feelings but I learn from my mentors especially those who taught me psychology courses (you know who you are), that understanding oneself does not makes life easier. Learning psychology does not mean that I understand myself better than other people. It is far from that. But there are theories that I can refer to and reflect on when “things” happen. So, it is up to me to make sense of things that happen in myself. Nothing else matters.

Last tuition for SPM takers. 17 February 2023 (Friday)

Role confusion?

The news that I received last Friday makes me think about values that perhaps I overlook while teaching. I taught him when he was in form 4 in 2018. A soft spoken guy with high regards and respect towards the teachers. I had a one-to-one moment with him in 2019 when he just needed someone to discuss some issues. Being an outsider who happened to be his teacher, he feels that I am the right person to discuss those issues.

Ita told me that he has changed. Well, people change, right? But it is not the change that any teacher would ever wish for.  He changes his “physical appearance”.  Looking at his current appearance, people might have difficulty to guess that he was from a religious school.  Well, in this case, I could resonate with his stance.  I was in the same phase before.  I tried to discard any traces as being a former student of a religious school.  Learning Arabic language and literature, memorising certain Surahs from the Quran and taking two examinations (SMU and Syahadah) while I was in form 4 are a part of my learning journey but there was a point in my life that I do not want people to know that.  Well, somehow people know sooner or later when can I fairly score well on Arabic courses.  Things cannot be hidden forever, I guess.  When some of my university friends knew about it and said “I can never guess you come from a religious school because you do not look like one“, I felt proud because I had successfully change my identity.  But the reality is far from what I have thought and planned.  I should feel ashamed that I do not practice what I have learned, right?  But I did not feel that way that time.  All those hadith and surahs that I learn and memorise should not be gone to the drain, right?.   

Now, I am older (and hopefully wiser than my younger self), and with some psychology theories that I learn, I know that it is just a phase.  According to Erik Erikson, teenagers will experience crisis as they explore their independence and develop a sense of self and each individual is different.  Some might resolve the crisis earlier, whereas some even struggle to resolve in late adolescence.  

But the question that I failed to realise when I was around his age was, “Do I have time to change before it is too late?”  Time is subjective.  Since we do not know when we will die, we should be extra careful with the things that we do, right?  The older me can see that but the younger me saw it differently.  The younger me was bold, daring and rebellious with the thinking that I have all the time in the world if I wish to change.  

As his teacher, at this point, I just pray that he will be guided towards the right direction. This is just a phase. Perhaps a phase that will lead him to be a better person. I just hope that Allah Grants the best blessing and time for him to change for the better.

Program Kerohanian FSSH Siri 136 (12 Januari 2023)

Hakikat Rezeki Dalam Kekayaan ~ Surah Al-Qasas, Ayat 76-84

  • Qarun ialah sepupu kepada Nabi Musa A.S.  Bukan sesuatu yang mudah untuk berdakwah dengan kaum kerabat (yang mempunyai pertalian keluarga) yang tidak mempercayai kewujudan Allah SWT.
  • Qarun juga merupakan seorang yang pintar tentang bidang kimia dan juga kitab Taurat dalam kalangan bani Israel.  Tetapi, dia masih lagi menjadi seorang yang tidak mempercayai ajaran Islam yang dibawa oleh Nabi Musa AS.
  • Kemewahan dan kemiskinan adalah menurut ketetapan Allah.  Tetapi kemewahan bukan alamat seseorang itu diredhai oleh Allah SWT.  Keberkatan seseorang hidup tidak boleh diukur oleh kemewahan atau kemiskinan yang ditetapkan oleh Allah SWT.
  • Rezeki adalah apa jua yang memberi manfaat bagi kita.  Akan tetapi tidak semestinya kemewahan itu adalah rezeki sekiranya ianya mendatangkan mudarat kepada kita.  Contoh:  Kenaikan pangkat adalah manfaat kepada seseorang, dan selalu dilihat sebagai rezeki.  Tetapi dengan kenaikan pangkat, ianya mendatangkan mudarat kepada kita, ianya tidak lagi menjadi rezeki kepada kita.  Oleh yang demikian, rezeki boleh dilihat dari bentuk yang lebih meluas dan tidak semestinya dihubungkan dengan kemewahan dan kesenangan dalam hidup.  
  • Setiap dari kita dilahirkan dengan jaminan rezeki.  Tetapi kita mesti berusaha untuk bekerja dan sebagainya.  
  • Kita tidak perlu bersikap terlalu bimbang soal rezeki kerana
  • 1) ianya boleh menjadi sebab seseorang terputus hubungan dengan Allah SWT
  • 2) ianya boleh menjadi punca kita tidak mempedulikan halal haram dan mengabaikan hak Allah SWT dan hak sesama manusia
  • 3) ianya boleh menjadi salah satu faktor seseorang terhalang dari melakukan banyak kebaikan kerana terlalu bimbang tentang rezeki.
  • Sekiranya kita telah berazam untuk mendapatkan sesuatu dan berusaha dengan bersungguh-sungguh, kita perlu bertawakkal kepada Allah SWT.  
  • Rezeki merupakan pemberian dan kehendak daripada Allah SWT bukan sesuatu yang ditentukan oleh seberapa banyak usaha manusia.
  • Sifat rezeki adalah mendatangi siapa yang dikehendaki oleh Allah SWT dalam bentuk kesihatan, ilmu yang bermanfaat, anak yang soleh dan ketenangan hati.
  • Rezeki adalah pemberian dari Allah SWT.  Mereka yang memperolehi rezeki mestilah selalu bersyukur dan tidak mengingkari ajaran Allah SWT.
  • Cara mendatangkan rezeki
  • 1) Bertaqwa:  Merasa dirinya sentiasa diawasi oleh Allah SWT.  
  • 2) Bertawakkal:  Menyerahkan segala sesuatu kepada Allah SWT, yakin akan kuasaNya dan hanya bergantung kepadaNya.
  • 3) Bersyukur: Menerima dan redha atas rezeki yang diberikan oleh Allah SWT. 
  • Kejayaan sejati adalah kekayaan jiwa.  Harta yang dimiliki sebaiknya digunakan untuk meningkatkan amal dan ibadah (dengan niat untuk berkhidmat dan memperkuat agama – jihad ekonomi)
  • Jika kita diuji dengan kesempitan hidup, hanya Allah SWT yang berkuasa meleraikan kesempitan yang kita hadapi.  Oleh yang demikian, kita perlu mempunyai keyakinan tinggi terhadap Allah SWT.  Bantuan dari insan adalah merupakan perantara dengan izin Allah SWT.  Jangan sesekali bergantung kepada insan untuk memberikan bantuan kepada kita.  

Dr, ada minyak angin tak?

Selama mengajar di UTM lebih dari 10 tahun, tidak pernah ada pelajar yang bertanya saya tentang minyak angin.   Ada pelajar lain bertanya “Dr kalau sakit perut sebab datang bulan tak guna minyak angin ke?” Soalan ini sedikit peribadi.  “Saya jarang pakai minyak angin kalau sakit perut.  Tahan je la”  

Alhamdulillah ada pelajar yang ada minyak angin (ciri seorang guru yang sentiasa bersedia dengan keadaan semasa).  “Minyak angin ni kenapa bau wangi.  Berangin tapi bau wangi” Ujar seorang pelajar yang duduk berhampiran dengan pelajar yang sedang menyapu perutnya dengan minyak tersebut.

Ini minyak angin pokok bidara.  Memang berbau wangi walaupun berangin ” Ujar tuan punya minyak angin sambil menjeling ke arah rakannya yang memberi komen tentang bau minyak bidara kepunyaannya itu.  “Murah je, Dr.  RM15.  Kalau Dr nak, saya ada jual” Ujarnya lagi.  Saya tergelak  kecil melihat ketangkasan beliau menggunakan peluang yang ada untuk mempromosi barang yang dijualnya.  Mungkin dia menjadi pembekal minyak angin tersebut sebagai mencari duit poket tambahan.  

Awak nak pergi PKU tak?  Saya boleh hantar.  Kunci kereta saya ada ni.  Saya tak perlu balik ke bilik untuk ambil kunci kereta” Saya menawarkan diri untuk menghantarnya ke Pusat Kesihatan Universiti.  “Tak apa la.  Saya tersalah makan rasanya” Ujarnya kembali.  

Nota:  Bila tengok apa kit kecemasan yang ada di bilik, memang tiada.  Perlukah kena ada kit kecemasan selepas ini?


Teacher Dr, what should we do?

I had a tuition class last Friday (28 October 2022).  We had a revision of two essays since the students would start their trial on Sunday (30 October 2022).   Some of them requested that I explained more about the written comments that I wrote in their exercise books.  The last essay that they wrote was about bullying.  Some wrote about the effects of bullying yada yada yada but out of the blue, one student asked me about self-esteem and bullying.  I shared with them about research findings about bullying, self-esteem etc.

I explained to them that while it was always believed that bullies have low self-esteem, recent research by a large number of researchers revealed that this was not always the case.  Some of them have high self-esteem.  In this case, we should look at bullies as cases in which not all of them necessarily have similar level of self-esteem.  We cannot generalize and regard bullies as one category. 

Going back to our discussion about the essay, I used Socratic questions to prompt them to think more about themselves.  The questions were: “What do you think about your own self-esteem?”, “How do you perceive or define your self?”, “Why do you define your self as smart or stupid (I just gave few examples)?”.  The students just looked at me when I asked them those questions.  One of them asked me “Kenapa Teacher tanya soalan macam ni kat kita?” (Translation: Why do you ask us these questions?”)

I informed them that I wanted them to ponder the questions and their answers. They do not need to give me the answers but I want them to think those questions.  Those questions have never or very rarely been asked to them by others. One student, a male, made some notes in his notebook.  After writing the questions in his notebook, he just remained silent, staring at the page.  I asked him “What are you thinking?” He replied “Susah juga nak jawab soalan ni, Teacher” [Translation:  It is difficult to answer these questions”]  

One of the girls whispered to her friend who was sitting besides her while giggling “Teacher ni psycho“.  I caught her red handed and I gave her the stare.  She quickly apologized.  It is inappropriate to refer to someone as a psycho, I informed her.  The word psycho might be perceived as derogatory.  When someone is referred to be a psycho with malice, it signifies that we believe they have a psychological disorder.

Another student inquired as to whether cutting one’s arms indicates the presence of a psychological condition. Why did she ask that, I questioned. She informed me that some students engage in such behaviour. When she questioned them about it, they said that they were stressed out.  Cutting one’s arms is no longer suicide ideation. It is already an act.  

I was speechless.  It is alarming.  There is a red flag that I could not ignore.  I told the teachers who were there.  We had a quick meeting after that.  I realise that I am just an outsider.  My hands are tight.  But we can work things out, In sha Allah.  



No more you, Kak Dila.

Though it has been over five years after the incident, I can still vividly recall every detail. It is like you were holding me in your arms and comforting me only yesterday. I know you kept the incident to yourself and never told anyone about it.  There will be no one like you.  I will miss every single thing about you.

The last message that we had was in July 2022.  You asked me about e content.  You had learned EdPuzzle from Norah.  You had used it in your class.  But you wanted to know more about other platforms.  You asked me what are other platforms that I use that you can learn. 

You asked me to remind you about e content in September 2022.  You said “Terlalu awal kan kalau nak isi bulan Julai ni?”  The day that I supposed to remind you never came.  By September, I heard that you were not feeling well.  I did not want to bug you with e content.  

I went to your home yesterday (6 November 2022, Sunday) with Kak Narina after her 1pm class.  Honestly, we were unprepared for your passing.  But, we know that Allah Loves you more.   “Dijah, akak minta maaf kalau ada salah silap ya?”  That was among the last messages that I received from you.    There will be no more you who would always be there for me.  I miss you already, Kak Dila.  May Allah Grant you jannah.  

Menggapai rahmat Ilahi

KEROHANIAN FSSH 2022, SIRI 120: Menggapai rahmat Ilahi ~ Surah Ar Rahman, Ayat 1-13

Rahmat Allah SWT adalah sebab seseorang masuk ke syurga, bukan disebabkan oleh amalan yang dilakukan oleh orang tersebut ketika hayatnya. Dalam konteks ini, bukan bermaksud seseorang itu tidak perlu melakukan amalan baik tetapi seseorang itu perlu berntung harap terhadap rahmat Allah untuk dikurniakan syurga kerana amalan yang dilakukan di dunia ini tidak mampu untuk melayakkan seseorang itu syurga Allah. Setiap yang berlaku di dunia ini seperti keupayaan untuk melakukan ibadah seharian adalah dengan rahmat Allah.

Akan tetapi, meskipun kita menghadapi dugaan di dunia dan melakukan dosa, kita perlu sentiasa memohon ampun dan bertaubat kepada Allah kerana mendapat taubat dari Allah adalah merupakan rahmat Allah. Rahmat Allah jauh lebih besar dari segala dosa yang kita lakukan tetapi kita perlulah tidak berputus asa dengan hidup kita (dugaan, cabaran dan ujian di dunia ini) dan juga sentiasa berusaha untuk melakukan amalan baik dan berhenti dari melakukan dosa.

Daripada Abu Hurairah radiallahu ‘anhu, Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda: جَعَلَ اللَّهُ الرَّحْمَةَ مِائَةَ جُزْءٍ فَأَمْسَكَ عِنْدَهُ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ وَأَنْزَلَ فِي الأَرْضِ جُزْءًا وَاحِدًا فَمِنْ ذَلِكَ الْجُزْءِ تَتَرَاحَمُ الْخَلاَئِقُ حَتَّى تَرْفَعَ الدَّابَّةُ حَافِرَهَا عَنْ وَلَدِهَا خَشْيَةَ أَنْ تُصِيبَهُAllah telah menjadikan rahmat sebanyak 100 bahagian. Dia menyimpan di sisiNya sebanyak 99 rahmat dan menurunkan ke muka bumi 1 bahagian daripada rahmat itu. Disebabkan 1 bahagian daripada rahmat itu, makhluk-makhluk saling berkasih sayang sehinggakan haiwan mengangkat kakinya daripada anaknya kerana takut akan terpijaknya. [Sahih Muslim, Kitab at-Taubah, hadis no: 2752]


  • Allah memberikan satu rahmat dari 100 rahmat di muka bumi ini.

Cara mendapat rahmat Allah

  • Berbuat ihsan dalam ibadah (Ihsan ialah merasakan seseolah kita melakukan sesuatu perkara, Allah SWT memerhatikan kita)
  • Bertaqwa kepada Allah
  • Banyak berdoa untuk mendapatkan rahmat
  • Mendidik anak dengan penuh kasih sayang
  • Mengasihi semasa makhluk

Kesan tidak mendapat rahmat Allah

Kesan tidak mendapat rahmat Allah bukan sahaja di dunia ini akan tetapi juga di akhirat di mana seseorang itu boleh dikategorikan kepada tiga. Seorang lelaki yang berzina itu bukan sekadar merujuk kepada orang yang berzina, tetapi juga orang yang masih bergelumang dengan maksiat dan perbuatan yang dikira sebagai dosa besar. Pemimpin yang berdusta itu juga merangkumi kepada aspek tidak amanah dan tidak menjalankan tanggungjawab dengan adil (atau berlaku zalim dalam melaksanakan amanah). Seorang miskin yang sombong merujuk bukan kepada individu yang miskin harta tetapi juga kepada individu yang kekurangan dari sudut lain yang lupa dan angkuh dalam meminta dan mengharapkan bantuan dari Allah SWT. Setiap insan adalah miskin di sisi Allah SWT yang maha kaya. Oleh yang demikian, kekayaan dan kurniaan bersifat keduniaan bukan bermaksud seseorang itu kaya di sisi Allah SWT.

Dari Abu Hurairah RA bahawa beliau mendengar Rasulullah SAW bersabda: “Ada tiga golongan manusia yang kelak di Hari Kiamat, Allah tidak akan berbicara kepada mereka, tidak akan melihat mereka dan tidak akan menyucikan mereka, dan bagi mereka azab yang sangat pedih. (Mereka adalah); lelaki lanjut usia yang berzina, pemimpin pendusta, dan orang miskin yang sombong.” (HR Muslim).

Larangan mempersendakan agama

PROGRAM KEROHANIAN FSSH 2022, SIRI 118: Larangan mempersendakan agama ~ Surah Al anám, Ayat 68-70.

Dan apabila engkau melihat orang-orang yang memperkatakan dengan cara mencaci atau mengejek-ejek ayat-ayat Kami, maka tinggalkanlah mereka sehingga mereka memperkatakan soal yang lain; dan jika engkau dilupakan oleh Syaitan (lalu engkau duduk bersama mereka), maka janganlah engkau duduk lagi bersama-sama kaum yang zalim itu, sesudah engkau mengingati (akan larangan itu). Dan tidak ada tanggungjawab sedikit pun atas orang yang bertakwa terhadap dosa mereka akan tetapi (kewajipan mereka ialah) mengingatkan agar mereka bertakwa. Dan jauhkanlah diri daripada orang-orang yang menjadikan agama mereka sebagai permainan dan hiburan, dan mereka pula telah diperdayakan oleh kehidupan dunia dan ingatkanlah (mereka) dengan Al-Qur’an itu supaya tiap-tiap diri (di akhirat kelak) tidak terjerumus (ke dalam azab neraka) dengan sebab apa yang dia telah usahakan (dari perbuatan yang buruk dan keji). Tidak ada baginya pelindung dan tidak juga pemberi syafaat yang lain dari Allah. Dan jika dia hendak menebus (dirinya) dengan segala jenis tebusan, (nescaya tebusan itu) tidak akan diterima daripadanya. Mereka itulah orang-orang yang dijerumuskan (ke dalam azab neraka) dengan sebab apa yang telah mereka usahakan. Bagi mereka disediakan minuman dari air panas yang menggelegak, dan azab seksa yang tidak terperi sakitnya, disebabkan mereka kufur ingkar (semasa hidupnya).

Intisari sesi hari ini:

  1. Jangan mempersendakan agama
  2. Jauhi orang yang mempersendakan agama (buat agama sebagai permainan). Jangan berkawan, jangan sokong, jangan “layan” pemikiran yang salah dalam mempersendakan agama. Jangan bergaul rapat dengan mereka kerana sedikit sebanyak, corak atau gaya pemikiran mereka boleh mempengaruhi kita sekiranya kita tidak meletakkan batasan pergaulan dengan mereka.
  3. Sekiranya ada majlis yang mempunyai elemen menpersendakan agama, kita perlu jauhkan diri dari menghadirinya dan sekiranya tidak dapat mengelakkan diri, kita perlu mencuba untuk beredar dengan segera dari majlis tersebut. Contoh: Majlis keramaian tetapi ada aktiviti menari dan pergaulan bebas (ini adalah majlis yang mempersendakan agama kerana ada unsur maksiat di dalam majlis tersebut)

Perkara yang termasuk dalam kategori mempersendakan agama:

  1. Makan di khalayak ramai bagi wanita di bulan Ramadhan meskipun mempunyai kebenaran untuk tidak berpuasa kerana uzur yang dibenarkan. Ini adalah ianya boleh mendatangkan fitnah kepada agama Islam secara langsung atau tidak langsung.
  2. Menyambut hari raya dengan makanan dan minuman yang tidak halal kerana ingin menjamu tetamu yang bukan beragama Islam. Seorang Muslim dilarang dalam sepuluh perkara berkaitan dengan arak (hadis yang diriwayatkan daripada Anas RA bahawa Rasulallah SAW telah melaknat sepuluh golongan yang terlibat dengan arak: orang yang memerah (memproses) arak, orang yang diminta arak diperah (diproses) untuknya ,orang yang meminumnya , orang yang membawanya, orang yang meminta dibawa arak kepadanya , orang yang memberi (menjamu) minum arak kepada orang lain, orang yang menjual arak, orang yang mendapat hasil daripada arak, orang yang membeli arak ,orang yang meminta dibelikan arak untuknya)
  3. Berpakaian menyerupai lelaki bagi wanita dan sebaliknya. Isu tentang seorang yang menunaikan umrah sebagai seorang lelaki, meskipun dirinya adalah wanita adalah salah satu contoh mempersendakan agama.

Teacher Dr.

Ita messaged me to inform me that the students were asking her if I would come this weekend. “Teacher Ita, Teacher Dr datang ke minggu ni?” Knowing that, I know that I could not say No to them. They are excited to meet me. It is not easy to have students who are as excited as them. Right?

I do not know why they are excited to meet me. It could be because of the junk food that I brought last time (chocolates from UK that my cousin gave me which I do not able to finish). It could be because I pay attention to all their rants and worries. Being an outsider, I could be perceived as someone who they can confide in and someone who is older as their parents, minus the nagging (tongue in cheek remark!).

Even though they usually would say “Teacher, jangan cakap tau dengan cikgu lain” before pouring out their hearts, I would keep some parts to myself (which is personal) but if it is matters related serious issues (such as, creative examples how they bully the juniors without being caught), of course, there is no such thing as teacher-student confidentiality. I would definitely let the school counselor knows about it. The school counselor was shocked that I could get first hand information from the unidentified perpetrators. Well, bullying is serious offense and it can be escalated into criminal acts. So, something needs to be done.

Making a difference in someone’s life is a rare occasion. Most of the time, we might overlook certain parts and thus, miss the chance to make a difference.

I know that my involvement in this little project can be rated as community project and I might be able to contribute to whatever rating and ranking to the faculty, but I think, let’s make this thing as a personal endeavor without any additional agenda. 2in1? Nay. Let’s make it as one on one thingy. Nothing else matters.