Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You are Chemical Engineer if...

You have a favorite pump manufacturer

You can size distillation columns in your head, but need a pencil and paper to figure the tip on a $45 restaurant bill... ...and think that spending $45 for dinner is exorbitant

You see a good design and still have to change it

You can remember 7 computer passwords but not your anniversary

The microphone or visual aids at a meeting don't work and you rush up to the front to fix it

You've modified your can-opener to be microprocessor driven

You think "cuddling" is simply an unproductive application of heat exchange

You've actually used every single function on your graphing calculator

You've ever described your spouse in terms of MTBF

You stare at an orange juice container because it says CONCENTRATE

You've ever considered installing a scrubber or catalytic converter on your kitchen's chimney

Your idea of good interpersonal communication means getting the decimal point in the right place

You automatically associate the words "sexy" and "beautiful" with "butterfly valve"

You've used coat hangers and duct tape for something other than hanging coats and taping ducts

Your ideal evening consists of fast-forwarding through the latest sci-fi movie looking for technical inaccuracies

You have any of the following personalized items: Hard hat, Safety goggles, Calculator case, Slide rule

You carry on a one-hour debate over the expected results of a test that actually takes five minutes to run

You know the direction the water swirls when you flush when you think of centrifugal separation technique

You cannot write unless the paper has both horizontal and vertical lines

You think the value of a book is directly proportionate to the amount of tables, charts and graphs it contains

You once burned down the lab with your experiment or project

You think you look rather snappy in a tie and short-sleeve shirt

You'd really like to have a T-shirt that says "Chemical Engineers Do It In Fluidised Beds"

You've ever introduced your kids by the wrong name

You have a habit of destroying things in order to see how they work

You think that when people around you yawn, its because they ddn't absorb enough oxygen. Therefore, pressure should be increased.

Your spouse hasn't the foggiest idea what you do at work

Your three-year-old son asks why the sky is blue and you try to explain atmospheric absorption theory

You have no life - and you can PROVE it mathematically

You've explained your position in the company to a junior engineer as "I am a vast oasis of knowledge in a desert of ignorance".

You lost your wedding ring for six months and found it in a box of brass tubing fittings in your desk

You refer to your wife and children as your "pilot units" and your family as "pilot plant".

Your work clothes are almost as old as you are.... ... and so is your car.

You think of the Carnot cycle everytime you turn on your AC unit.

When you look at objects in the distance and think of mean free path.

You explain surface tension to your 10 year old when they ask why you are adding oil to boiling spaghetti.

You have a clock with inverted numbers that runs counter-clockwise in your office and you prefer it that way.

You pick your girlfriends by their gpa.

You refer to your wife as

You have ever thought about how coffee changes colour in the body.

You try to explain entropy to strangers at your table during casual dinner conversation.


1. MTBF - Mean Time Between Failures
2. Carnot Cycle - Kind of Thermodynamic Cycle (you don't want to know, believe me)
3. Entropy - a measure of the number of random ways in which a system may be arranged (reversible or irreversible system). also a thermodynamic term.

Faris Al-Muhandisu: Edited for General Readers.. hehe

You know you're studying engineering when…

You know you're studying engineering when…

You come out of a lecture and feel that you wouldn’t mind being hit by a bus.

You are doing maths that the maths students don’t cover until the 2nd year.

Using a hyphen (-) instead of a minus (−) loses you 1% of the module.

You know the Greek and Arabic alphabets better than the language students.

A 4 hour day is an easy day.

A 9 hour day is still an easy day.

You are up at 3am in the morning trying to finish yet another piece of coursework asking yourself… why?

Shelf stacking at Tesco looks like an attractive career option.

You come out of tutorials feeling like you have just gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson.

You feel bitter contempt towards anyone complaining of 2 lectures in a row.

Someone complains about ‘take away exams’ you feel a sudden urge to hospitalise them.

A lecture on Control Engineering leaves your ass raw and bleeding.

Even Sunday starts at 9am.

It’s the norm that you can’t fit an equation on 1 line of a page.

Handing in an assignment just means that’s there’s a new one to complete.

Time is measured in submission deadlines.

You could run a marathon in the time it takes to do 1 question.

24 hours in a day doesn’t seem enough.

You find out you have 3x as many exams as practically everyone else.

You frequently ask yourself why on earth are you doing this.

You are used to covering a ridiculously large span of subjects to the same standard as the respective degree students.

You would assume a horse is a sphere to make the maths easier.

Your best friend is your calculator.

Faris Al-Muhandisu: For me, they're undeniable.. haha

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Virtues of Muharram and 'Aashooraa'

Written by

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets and Chief of the Messengers, and upon all his family and companions.

Allah’s sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of the Hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein..." [al-Tawbah 9:36]

Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan." [Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2958]

Muharram is so called because it is a sacred (muharram) month and to confirm its sanctity.

Allaah’s words (interpretation of the meaning): "so wrong not yourselves therein..." mean do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because sin in these months is worse than in other months.

It was reported that Ibn 'Abbaas said that this phrase (so wrong not yourselves therein...) referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.

Qutaadah said concerning this phrase (so wrong not yourselves therein...) that wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and more sinful that wrongdoing at any other time. Wrongdoing at any time is a serious matter, but Allaah gives more weight to whichever of His commands He will. Allaah has chosen certain ones of His creation. He has chosen from among the angels Messengers
and from among mankind Messengers. He chose from among speech the remembrance of Him (dhikr). He chose from among the earth the mosques, from among the months Ramadaan and the sacred months, from among the days Friday and from among the nights Laylat al-Qadr, so venerate that which Allaah has told us to venerate. People of understanding and wisdom venerate the things that Allaah has told us to venerate. [Summarized from the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy on him. Tafseer of Surat al-Tawbah, aayah 36]

The Virtue of observing more naafil fasts during Muharram.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: 'The best of fasting after Ramadaan is fasting Allaah’s month of Muharram.’" [Reported by Muslim, 1982]

The phrase "Allaah’s month", connecting the name of the month to the name of Allaah in a genitive grammatical structure, signifies the importance of the month. Al-Qaari said: "The apparent meaning is all of the month of Muharram." But it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never fasted any whole month apart from Ramadan, so this hadeeth is probably meant to encourage increasing one’s fasting during Muharram, without meaning that one should fast for the entire month.

It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast more in Sha’baan. It is likely that the virtue of Muharram was not revealed to him until the end of his life, before he was able to fast during this month. [Sharh al-Nawawi 'ala Saheeh Muslim]

Allaah chooses whatever times and places He wills

Al-'Izz ibn 'Abd al-Salaam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: "Times and places may be given preferred status in two ways, either temporal or religious/spiritual. With regard to the latter, this is because Allaah bestows His generosity on His slaves at those times or in those places, by giving a greater reward for deeds done, such as giving a greater reward for fasting in Ramadaan than for fasting at all other times, and also on the day of 'Aashooraa’, the virtue of which is due to Allaah’s generosity and kindness towards His slaves on that day..." [Qawaa’id al-Ahkaam, 1/38]

'Aashooraa’ in History

Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of 'Aashooraa’. He said, 'What is this?’ They said, 'This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allaah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Moosa fasted on this day.’ He said, 'We have more right to Moosa than you,’ so he fasted on that day and commanded (the Muslims) to fast on that day." [Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1865]

"This is a righteous day" – in a report narrated by Muslim, (the Jews said:) "This is a great day, on which Allaah saved Moosa and his people, and drowned Pharaoh and his people."

"Moosa fasted on this day" – a report narrated by Muslim adds: "... in thanksgiving to Allaah, so we fast on this day."

According to a report narrated by al-Bukhaari: " we fast on this day to venerate it."

A version narrated by Imaam Ahmad adds: "This is the day on which the Ark settled on Mount Joodi, so Nooh fasted this day in thanksgiving."

"and commanded (the Muslims) to fast on that day" – according to another report also narrated by al-Bukhaari: "He said to his Companions: 'You have more right to Moosa than they do, so fast on that day."

The practice of fasting on 'Aashooraa’ was known even in the days of Jaahiliyyah, before the Prophet’s mission. It was reported that 'Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: "The people of Jaahiliyyah used to fast on that day..."

Al-Qurtubi said: "Perhaps Quraysh used to fast on that day on the basis of some past law, such as that of Ibraaheem, upon whom be peace."

It was also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on 'Aashooraa’ in Makkah, before he migrated to Madeenah. When he migrated to Madeenah, he found the Jews celebrating this day, so he asked them why, and they replied as described in the hadeeth quoted above. He commanded the Muslims to be different from the Jews, who took it as a festival, as was reported in the hadeeth of Abu Moosa (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said:
"The Jews used to take the day of 'Aashooraa’ as a festival. [according to a report narrated by Muslim: the day of 'Aashooraa’ was venerated by the Jews, who took it as a festival. According to another report also narrated by Muslim: the people of Khaybar (the Jews) used to take it as a festival and their women would wear their jewellery and symbols on that day] The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: 'So you (Muslims) should fast on that day.’" [Reported by al-Bukhaari] Apparently the motive for commanding the Muslims to fast on this day was the desire to be different from the Jews, so that the Muslims would fast when the Jews did not, because people do not fast on a day of celebration. [Summarized from the words of al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar – may Allaah have mercy on him – in Fath al-Baari Sharh 'ala Saheeh al-Bukhaari]

Fasting on 'Aashooraa’ was a gradual step in the process of introducing fasting as a prescribed obligation in Islam. Fasting appeared in three forms. When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah, he told the Muslims to fast on three days of every month and on the day of 'Aashooraa’, then Allaah made fasting obligatory when He said (interpretation of the meaning): "... observing the fasting is prescribed for you..." [al-Baqarah 2:183] [Ahkaam al-Qur’aan by al-Jassas, part 1]

The obligation was transferred from the fast of 'Aashooraa’ to the fast of Ramadaan, and this one of the proofs in the field of Usool al-Fiqh that it is possible to abrogate a lighter duty in favour of a heavier duty.

Before the obligation of fasting 'Aashooraa’ was abrogated, fasting on this day was obligatory, as can be seen from the clear command to observe this fast. Then it was further confirmed later on, then reaffirmed by making it a general command addressed to everybody, and once again by instructing mothers not to breastfeed their infants during this fast. It was reported from Ibn Mas’ood that when fasting Ramadaan was made obligatory, the obligation to fast 'Aashooraa’ was lifted, i.e., it was no longer obligatory to fast on this day, but it is still desirable (mustahabb).

The virtues of fasting 'Aashooraa’

Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: "I never saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of 'Aashooraa’, and this month, meaning Ramadaan." [Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1867]

The meaning of his being keen was that he intended to fast on that day in the hope of earning the reward for doing so.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "For fasting the day of 'Aashooraa’, I hope that Allaah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before." [Reported by Muslim, 1976] This is from the bounty of Allaah towards us: for fasting one day He gives us expiation for the sins of a whole year. And Allaah is the Owner of Great Bounty.

Which day is 'Aashooraa’?

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: " 'Aashooraa’ and Taasoo’aa’ are two elongated names (the vowels are elongated) as is stated in books on the Arabic language. Our companions said: 'Aashooraa’ is the tenth day of Muharram and Taasoo’aa’ is the ninth day. This is our opinion, and that of the majority of scholars. This is the apparent meaning of the ahaadeeth and is what we understand from the general wording. It is also what is usually understood by scholars of the language." [al-Majmoo’]

'Aashooraa’ is an Islamic name that was not known at the time of Jaahiliyyah. [Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’, part 2, Sawm Muharram]

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

'Aashooraa’ is the tenth day of Muharram. This is the opinion of Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib and al-Hasan. It was what was reported by Ibn 'Abbaas, who said: 'The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded us to fast 'Aashooraa’, the tenth day of Muharram.’ ]Reported by al-Tirmidhi, who said, a saheeh hasan hadeeth] It was reported that Ibn 'Abbaas said: 'The ninth,’ and reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast the ninth. [Reported by Muslim]. 'Ataa’ reported that he said, 'Fast the ninth and the tenth, and do not be like the Jews.’ If this is understood, we can say on this basis that it is mustahabb (encouraged) to fast on the ninth and the tenth, for that reason. This is what Ahmad said, and it is the opinion of Ishaaq.

It is mustahabb (encouraged) to fast Taasoo’aa’ with 'Aashooraa’

'Abd-Allaah ibn 'Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: "When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted on 'Aashooraa’ and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said, 'O Messenger of Allaah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.’ The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, 'If I live to see the next year, in sha Allaah, we will fast on the ninth day too.’ But it so happened that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed away before the next year came." [Reported by Muslim, 1916]

Al-Shaafa'i and his companions, Ahmad, Ishaaq and others said: "It is mustahabb to fast on both the ninth and tenth days, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted on the tenth, and intended to fast on the ninth."

On this basis it may be said that there are varying degrees of fasting 'Aashooraa’, the least of which is to fast only on the tenth and the best of which is to fast the ninth as well. The more one fasts in Muharram, the better it is.

The reason why it is mustahabb to fast on Taasoo’aa’

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: "The scholars – our companions and others – mentioned several reasons why it is mustahabb to fast on Taasoo’aa’:
•    the intention behind it is to be different from the Jews, who only venerate the tenth day. This opinion was reported from Ibn 'Abbaas...
•    the intention is to add another day’s fast to 'Aashooraa’. This is akin to the prohibition on fasting a Friday by itself, as was mentioned by al-Khattaabi and others.

"To be on the safe side and make sure that one fasts on the tenth, in case there is some error in sighting the crescent moon at the beginning of Muharram and the ninth is in fact the tenth."

The strongest of these reasons is being different from the People of the Book. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade imitating the People of the Book in many ahaadeeth, for example, his words concerning 'Aashooraa’: 'If I live until the next year, I will certainly fast on the ninth day.’" [al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 6, Sadd al-Dharaa’i’ al-Mufdiyah ila’l-Mahaarim]

Ibn Hajar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said in his commentary on the hadeeth "If I live until the next year, I will certainly fast on the ninth day": "What he meant by fasting on the ninth day was probably not that he would limit himself to that day, but would add it to the tenth, either to be on the safe side or to be different from the Jews and Christians, which is more likely. This is also what we can understand from some of the reports narrated by Muslim." [Fath, 4/245]

Ruling on fasting only on the day of 'Aashooraa’

Shaykh al-Islam said: "Fasting on the day of 'Aashoraa’ is an expiation for a year, and it is not makrooh to fast only that day..." [al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 5] In Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj by Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, it says: "There is nothing wrong with fasting only on 'Aashooraa’." [part 3, Baab Sawm al-Tatawwu’]

Fasting on 'Aashooraa’ even if it is a Saturday or a Friday

Al-Tahhaawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) allowed us to fast on 'Aashooraa’ and urged us to do so. He did not say that if it falls on a Saturday we should not fast. This is evidence that all days of the week are included in this. In our view – and Allaah knows best – it could be the case that even if this is true (that it is not allowed to fast on Saturdays), it is so that we do not venerate this day and refrain from food, drink and intercourse, as the Jews do. As for the one who fasts on a Saturday without intending to venerate it, and does not do so because the Jews regard it as blessed, then this is not makrooh..." [Mushkil al-Aathaar, part 2, Baab Sawm Yawm al-Sabt]

The author of al-Minhaaj said: "It is disliked (makrooh) to fast on a Friday alone..." But it is no longer makrooh if you add another day to it, as mentioned in the saheeh report to that effect. A person may fast on a Friday if it coincides with his habitual fast, or he is fasting in fulfilment of a vow, or he is making up an obligatory fast that he has missed, as was stated in a saheeh report.

Al-Shaarih said in Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj:

"If it coincides with his habitual fast" – i.e., such as if he fasts alternate days, and a day that he fasts happens to be a Friday.

"If he is fasting in fulfilment of a vow, etc." – this also applies to fasting on days prescribed in sharee’ah, such as 'Aashooraa’ or 'Arafaah. [Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj, part 3, Baab Sawm al-Tatawwu’]
Al-Bahooti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: "It is makrooh to deliberately single out a Saturday for fasting, because of the hadeeth of 'Abd-Allaah ibn Bishr, who reported from his sister: 'Do not fast on Saturdays except in the case of obligatory fasts’ [Reported by Ahmad with a jayyid isnaad and by al-Haakim, who said: according to the conditions of al-Bukhaari], and because it is a day that is venerated by the Jews, so singling it out for fasting means being like them... except when a Friday or Saturday coincides with a day when Muslims habitually fast, such as when it coincides with the day of 'Arafaah or the day of 'Aashooraa’, and a person has the habit of fasting on these days, in which case it is not makrooh, because a person’s habit carries some weight." [Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’, part 2, Baab Sawm al-Tatawwu’]

What should be done if there is confusion about the beginning of the month?

Ahmad said: "If there is confusion about the beginning of the month, one should fast for three days, to be sure of fasting on the ninth and tenth days." [al-Mughni by Ibn Qudaamah, part 3 – al-Siyaam – Siyaam 'Aashooraa’]

If a person does not know when Muharram began, and he wants to be sure of fasting on the tenth, he should assume that Dhoo’l-Hijjah was thirty days – as is the usual rule – and should fast on the ninth and tenth. Whoever wants to be sure of fasting the ninth as well should fast the eight, ninth and tenth (then if Dhoo’l-Hijjah was twenty-nine days, he can be sure of having fasted Taasoo’aa’ and 'Aashooraa’).

But given that fasting on 'Aashooraa’ is mustahabb rather than waajib, people are not commanded to look for the crescent of the new moon of Muharram as they are to do in the case of Ramadaan and Shawwaal.

Fasting 'Aashooraa’ – for what does it offer expiation?

Imaam al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

"It expiates for all minor sins, i.e., it brings forgiveness of all sins except major sins."

Then he said (may Allaah have mercy on him):

"Fasting the day of 'Arafaah expiates for two years, and the day of 'Aashooraa’ expiates for one year. If when a person says 'Aameen’ it coincides with the 'Aameen’ of the angels, he will be forgiven all his previous sins... Each one of the things that we have mentioned will bring expiation. If there are minor sins for which expiation is needed, expiation for them will be accepted; if there are no minor sins or major sins, good deeds will be added to his account and he will be raised in status... If he had committed major sins but no minor sins, we hope that his major sins will be reduced." [al-Majmoo’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, part 6, Sawm Yawm 'Arafaah]

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: "Tahaarah, salaah, and fasting in Ramadaan, on the day of 'Arafaah and on 'Aashooraa’ expiate for minor sins only." [al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 5]

Not relying too much on the reward for fasting

Some people who are deceived rely too much on things like fasting on 'Aashooraa’ or the day of 'Arafaah, to the extent that some of them say, "Fasting on 'Aashooraa’ will expiate for the sins of the whole year, and fasting on the day of 'Arafaah will bring extra rewards."

Ibn al-Qayyim said: This misguided person does not know that fasting in Ramadaan and praying five times a day are much more important than fasting on the day of 'Arafaah and 'Aashooraa’, and that they expiate for the sins between one Ramadaan and the next, or between one Friday and the next, so long as one avoids major sins. But they cannot expiate for minor sins unless one also avoids major sins; when the two things are put together, they have the strength to expiate for minor sins. Among those deceived people may be one who thinks that his good deeds are more than his sins, because he does not pay attention to his bad deeds or check on his sins, but if he does a good deed he remembers it and relies on it. This is like the one who seeks Allaah’s forgiveness with his tongue (i.e., by words only), and glorifies Allaah by saying "Subhaan Allaah" one hundred times a day, then he backbites about the Muslims and slanders their honour, and speaks all day long about things that are not pleasing to Allaah. This person is always thinking about the virtues of his tasbeehaat (saying "Subhaan Allaah") and tahleelaat (saying "Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah") but he pays no attention to what has been reported concerning those who backbite, tell lies and slander others, or commit other sins of the tongue. They are completely deceived. [al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 31, Ghuroor]

Fasting 'Aashooraa’ when one still has days to make up from Ramadaan

The fuqahaa’ differed concerning the ruling on observing voluntary fasts before a person has made up days that he or she did not fast in Ramadaan. The Hanafis said that it is permissible to observe voluntary fasts before making up days from Ramadaan, and it is not makrooh to do so, because the missed days do not have to be made up straight away. The Maalikis and Shaafa’is said that it is permissible but is makrooh, because it means that one is delaying something obligatory. Al-Dusooqi said: "It is makrooh to observe a voluntary fast when one still has to make up an obligatory fast, such as a fast in fulfilment of a vow, or a missed obligatory fast, or a fast done as an act of expiation (kafaarah), whether the voluntary fast which is being given priority over an obligatory fast is something confirmed in sharee’ah or not, such as 'Aashooraa’ and the ninth of Dhoo’l-Hijjah, according to the most correct opinion." The Hanbalis said that it is haraam to observe a voluntary fast before making up any fasts missed in Ramadaan, and that a voluntary fast in such cases does not count, even if there is plenty of time to make up the obligatory fast. So a person must give priority to the obligatory fasts until he has made them up.. [al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 28, Sawm al-tatawwu’]

Muslims must hasten to make up any missed fasts after Ramadaan, so that they will be able to fast 'Arafaah and 'Aashooraa’ without any problem. If a person fasts 'Arafaah and 'Aashooraa’ with the intention from the night before of making up for a missed fast, this will be good enough to make up what he has missed, for the bounty of Allaah is great.

Bid’ahs common on 'Aashooraa’

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the things that people do on 'Aashooraa’, such as wearing kohl, taking a bath (ghusl), wearing henna, shaking hands with one another, cooking grains (huboob), showing happiness and so on. Was any of this reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in a saheeh hadeeth, or not? If nothing to that effect was reported in a saheeh hadeeth, is doing these things bid’ah, or not? Is there any basis for what the other group do, such as grieving and mourning, going without anything to drink, eulogizing and wailing, reciting in a crazy manner, and rending their garments?

His reply was:

"Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds. Nothing to that effect has been reported in any saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his Companions. None of the imaams of the Muslims encouraged or recommended such things, neither the four imaams, nor any others. No reliable scholars have narrated anything like this, neither from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), nor from the Sahaabah, nor from the Taabi’een; neither in any saheeh report or in a da’eef (weak) report; neither in the books of Saheeh, nor in al-Sunan, nor in the Musnads. No hadeeth of this nature was known during the best centuries, but some of the later narrators reported ahaadeeth like the one which says, 'Whoever puts kohl in his eyes on the day of 'Aashooraa’ will not suffer from eye disease in that year, and whoever takes a bath (does ghusl) on the day of 'Aashooraa’ will not get sick in that year,' and so on. They also reported a fabricated hadeeth that is falsely attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which says, 'Whoever is generous to his family on the day of 'Aashooraa’, Allaah will be generous to him for the rest of the year.' Reporting all of this from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is tantamount to lying."

Then he (Ibn Taymiyah) discussed in brief the tribulations that had occurred in the early days of this ummah and the killing of al-Husayn (may Allaah be pleased with him), and what the various sects had done because of this. Then he said:

"An ignorant, wrongful group – who were either heretics and hypocrites, or misguided and misled – made a show of allegiance to him and the members of his household, so they took the day of 'Aashooraa’ as a day of mourning and wailing, in which they openly displayed the rituals of jaahiliyyah such as slapping their cheeks and rending their garments, grieving in the manner of the jaahiliyyah... The Shaytaan made this attractive to those who are misled, so they took the day of 'Aashooraa’ as an occasion of mourning, when they grieve and wail, recite poems of grief and tell stories filled with lies."

"Whatever truth there may be in these stories serves no purpose other than the renewal of their grief and sectarian feeling, and the stirring up of hatred and hostility among the Muslims, which they do by cursing those who came before them... The evil and harm that they do to the Muslims cannot be enumerated by any man, no matter how eloquent he is. Some others – either Naasibis who oppose and have enmity towards al-Husayn and his family or ignorant people who try to fight evil with evil, corruption with corruption, lies with lies and bid’ah with bid’ah – opposed them by fabricating reports in favour of making the day of 'Aashooraa’ a day of celebration, by wearing kohl and henna, spending money on one's children, cooking special dishes and other things that are done on Eids and special occasions. These people took the day of 'Aashooraa’ as a festival like Eid, whereas the others took it as a day of mourning. Both are wrong, and both go against the Sunnah, even though the other group (those who take it as a day of mourning) are worse in intention and more ignorant and more plainly wrong... Neither the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) nor his successors (the khulafa’ al-raashidoon) did any of these things on the day of 'Aashooraa’, they neither made it a day of mourning nor a day of celebration..."

"As for the other things, such as cooking special dishes with or without grains, or wearing new clothes, or spending money on one’s family, or buying the year’s supplies on that day, or doing special acts of worship such as special prayers or deliberately slaughtering an animal on that day, or saving some of the meat of the sacrifice to cook with grains, or wearing kohl and henna, or taking a bath (ghusl), or shaking hands with one another, or visiting one another, or visiting the mosques and mashhads (shrines) and so on... all of this is reprehensible bid’ah and is wrong. None of it has anything to do with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or the way of the Khulafa’ al-Raashidoon. It was not approved of by any of the imaams of the Muslims, not Maalik, not al-Thawri, not al-Layth ibn Sa’d, not Abu Haneefah, not al-Oozaa’i, not al-Shaafa'i, not Ahmad ibn Hanbal, not Ishaaq ibn Raahwayh, not any of the imaams and scholars of the Muslims." [al-Fataawa al-Kubra by Ibn Taymiyah]

Ibn al-Haaj (may Allaah have mercy on him) mentioned that one of the bid’ahs on 'Aashooraa’ was deliberately paying zakaat on this day, late or early, or slaughtering a chicken just for this occasion, or – in the case of women – using henna. [al-Madkhal, part 1, Yawm 'Aashooraa’]

We ask Allaah to make us followers of the Sunnah of His Noble Prophet, to make us live in Islam and die in a state of faith. May He help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. We ask Him to help us to remember Him and be thankful to Him, to worship Him properly and to accept our good deeds. May He make us of those who are pious and fear Him. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and all his family and companions.


Faris Al-Muhandisu: Salam Maal Hijrah

Thursday, December 24, 2009

TEC X for My Semester Break

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.

Well, so many things happened in my life in the past 1430H. I can taste the sweet and sour in enduring this hard and challenging life. Some of the events mark the significant 360 degree turnaround in my life. Obviously, it is when I was appointed as the Project Manager of TEC X (formerly known as TEC 2010.. spot the difference if you can.. haha). People say it is the second biggest event in UTP, I say it is the biggest because of its huge impact to the society.

Now, I’m stuck mentally and physically to it. Everything that whirl in my mind is about TEC X (At least until the new sem begin.. hehe). I need to sacrifice my semester break for TEC X, while it is actually my last semester to have a nice rest for almost a month at home before my internship starts. It means, no more break until I’m graduated from this lovely UTP on December 2011. Never mind, I’m used to it.

Just to explain a little bit on TEC X. It is an annual event of UTP. One of the most-awaited events that is jointly organized by MPPUTP and Student Support Services Department (SSSD). Generally, it is held to expose the real scenario of working life and the challenges, equip graduates with skills and competencies needed for local and international job market and as a medium to engage graduating students as well as the public to main industry players (you can expect companies like PETRONAS, Schlumberger, ExxonMobil, Baker Hughes, SHELL, Talisman and etc.).

2010 marks its 10th anniversary of celebration and with the theme “Decade of Renascence”, we are planning to make a few significant changes. Apart from our Series of Career Talk, Academic Seminar and Workshops, TEC X will be introducing new events such as Technology Conference (TEchno-Con), Career Seed, Management Skill Games and Towards Campus Life. We have also embarked collaboration with Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) apart from our current collaboration with Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). Thus, from latest collaboration, you can expect a lot of new things and heart-thumping surprise in TEC X in line with its theme “Renascence” which means “Awakening”. Well, can’t tell more. If not then there’s no element of suspense there.. haha. So far, we’ve just introduced our new logo but you can expect more tricks under our sleeve.

MPP have entrusted me this post while I’ve never asked for it. To be honest, I accept the appointment reluctantly. Why? Because I’m aware of the burden and I know my capability very well. I’ve never been a project manager before. My life in UTP revolves around protocol and public relationship or better known as CNP. I was doing the same job 7 times both as committee and head of department. Until I was considered as CNP “Hardcore” and only few students in UTP have been acknowledged as one. You can count them by fingers. I wonder if I can be a good leader to my team. But Allah said:

“Allah will never burden any soul beyond his capacity. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns…..” (Al-Baqarah: 286)

Alhamdulillah, I feel very grateful to be given a very enthusiastic and aggressive team that complements me. We are still at the early stage but already achieved a few milestones. Hopefully we can maintain the momentum that we have built so far for more challenges ahead. Remember, our dream is high and we are still far from that. Keep on climbing to grab the dream.

Quoted from Hannah Montana The Movie, ‘Life is a climb, but the view is great’.

Allah has stated in holy Quran

“Truly Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure.” (As-Saff: 4)

Therefore, please correct our intention sincerely for Allah. May Allah assists us in what we are doing.

Prayer to lessen the burden


"Our Lord! Condemn us not If we forget or fall Into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which Thou Didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! lay not on us A burden greater than we Have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, And grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those Who stand against Faith."  (Al-Baqarah: 286)

Faris Al-Muhandisu: At last! update jugak.. hehe


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Saya Bangga Menjadi Anak Malaysia

Siapa kata Bahasa Melayu tidak boleh pergi jauh?

Raymond Crooke, warganegara Britain telah menyanyikan lagu lagenda terkenal di Malaysia iaitu P.Ramlee dan Sudirman. Ini memang membuktikan bahasa dan lagu kita boleh pergi jauh dan diterima oleh orang luar. Ini suatu yang membanggakan.

Berikut adalah sedikit info tentang hasil kerja beliau yang dipetik daripada laman youtube

For my Malaysian friends.

Tan Sri P. Ramlee (1929-73) was a famous Malaysian actor, film director and songwriter. He wrote over 360 songs, most of which were used in his movies.

This song, one of his most popular, is from the 1960 movie, Antara Dua Darjat (The Two Classes).

I found it quite difficult to learn this song, as it is not my usual style, but it was a request, so here it is at last. I hope I've got it right.

The words mean something like this:

The stirring of my soul
Bathes my heart with emotion,
By the arranged notes
Of rhythm and song.
If it is only modest,
It doesn't matter.
Perhaps it could awaken you.
Realise this, good man.

Never will they vanish,
Rhythm and song.
Like blossoms,
They will linger forever.
If you separate
The song and the rhythm,
They'll be weak and soulless
And empty.
Klik di sini untuk melayari laman web beliau

Video ke 2 ini pula adalah 'cubaan' seorang pemuda Romania bergelar Mr. Avamon menyanyikan lagu 'Cuba' oleh Faizal Tahir. Wah! Tak sangka penyanyi yang cukup popular di Malaysia, Indonesia dan Singapura ini juga mempunyai peminat di Romania. Haha.

Saya bangga menjadi Anak Malaysia. Saya juga bangga dengan Bahasa Ibunda saya. Anda bagaimana?

Faris Al-Muhandisu: Credit to SyokBlog. pssst.... Adik Faizal Tahir pun popular jugak!

Bukan Budak Sekolah Agama

Sekolah Sekular

Saya bukan budak sekolah agama. Saya hanyalah hamba hina dari sekolah sekular. Tak berapa pandai bercakap pasal agama. Tapi sekurang-kurangnya berusaha mendekatiNya. Biar dalam jahil, biar penuh dosa, saya wajib berusaha.

Di sekolah saya, mana ada Syariah, mana ada Bahasa Arab, mana ada baca al-mathurat. Apatah lagi membaca hadis. Solat Dhuha pun tak pernah. Tiada tamrin, tiada tarbiyah. Nak buat usrah dikatakan membuang masa. Baik pergi study. Tapi rupa-rupanya dia pergi bergayut. Pakai kopiah je cikgu marah, pakai songkok boleh pulak. Pakai tudung labuh dipandang enteng, kononnya jumud. Pakai serban pulak nanti ada orang takut mendekati. Apatah lagi memakai serban berwarna hitam yang dikatakan SESAT! Mereka yang melaungkan slogan “Kembalilah kepada Al-Quran dan As-Sunnah” dikatakan EKSTRIM!

Kadang-kadang menyesal tak masuk sekolah agama. Percuma dapat label “Budak Sekolah Agama”. Boleh belajar agama dengan lebih dalam. Ada tamrin, ada usrah, ada solat secara berjemaah. Ada tasmi’ Al-Quran. Sekolah saya tiada benda-benda macam ni. Entah berapa ramai kawan-kawan sekolah saya dulu tak pernah khatam Al-Quran sampai sekarang. Kahwin nak cepat tapi Al-Fatihah pun tak betul bacaannya. Belum kira lagi yang tidak solat.

Rasa bersyukur tengok adik-adik semua jadi ‘budak sekolah agama’. Nampak jelas perbezaan mereka dengan saya. Adik saya khatam Al-Quran sangat awal. Saya? Lewat sedikit. Keluar dengan berserban dan memakai wangian. Bagi muslimat pula, memakai tudung labuh, tutur kata dan tingkah laku yang sopan. Tidak mengada-ngada dan menggoda. Bukankah lebih menenangkan jiwa dan menyejukkan mata memandang? Sekurang-kurangnya tinggi rasa hormat kita terhadap mereka. Ditambah pula dengan prestasi akademik yang hebat, sangat mengagumkan! Bukan niat saya menyalahkan sekolah saya. Ini memang salah saya. Saya hanya kagum dengan kelebihan yang ‘budak sekolah agama’ dapat dan ‘budak biasa’ macam saya tak dapat.

Tinggi Ilmu Agama

Bila masuk UTP, semua orang memandang tinggi ‘budak sekolah agama’. Semasa pemilihan penghulu dan penghuluwati batch pun, ramai ‘budak sekolah agama’ dicalonkan. Biasalah, bila disebut ‘budak sekolah agama’, pastinya timbul di pundak ini satu figura yang alim, warak, zuhud, wajah yang bersih, tegas, kerap ke masjid, berkopiah bagi muslimin dan bertudung labuh bagi muslimat sebab mereka mendapat ilmu yang lebih sedikit daripada kami ‘budak biasa’. Inilah ciri-ciri pemimpin yang kita mahu. Inilah tanggapan saya dari kecil sehinggalah ada yang memusnahkannya setelah beberapa bulan di UTP.

Bila kita tegur mereka bercouple, mereka kata mereka tahu selok-belok hukum jauh dari kita. Yelah, dah berapa banyak ustaz mereka menadah ilmu berbanding kita. Kita yang dikata jumud. Jadi, siapalah kita nak tegur mereka yang dah baca beratus-ratus kitab fiqah. Bila kita tegur dia pakai seluar pendek, dia kata lutut bukan aurat. Bila kita tegur tudung dia mendedahkan dada, dia kata dah pakai baju cukup lah. Bila kita tegur dia asyik ponteng kelas tanpa sebab, dia cakap pergi kelas bukan faham apa-apa pun. Buang masa je. Baik baca Al-Quran kat bilik. Padahal dia enak je lena atas katil.

Mereka kata lagi, kami ‘budak biasa’ ni tak tahu apa yang mereka lalui. Kata mereka Islam itu bukan pada perbualan kita yang menggunakan ‘enta’/’enti’ atau tudung labuh yang menutup bumi. Masih banyak lagi perkara dalam Islam yang perlu dicermati.  Jadi, kenapa hanya perlu memandang kepada tudung atau seluar pendek? Allah memandang pada hati dan hanya Allah yang layak menghakimi. Jadi kami tak perlu peduli. Kata mereka, kami hanya pandai menghakimi tetapi tidak mahu menyelami. Bahasa Arab pun tak tinggi. Jadi, bawak-bawak la mengaji.

Tok Guru

Jadi saya pun sedar dan pergi mencari ‘tempat mengaji’. Tok Guru saya cakap, ‘budak sekolah agama’ bukan dipilih masuk sekolah agama kerana akhlak atau ilmunya. Cara pemilihan mereka sama sahaja dengan kita yang masuk sekolah biasa. Yang berbeza adalah keadaan mereka di sekolah agama tu. Maknanya ada je budak ‘grup setan’ masuk sekolah agama. Maka bila diajar dengan cara ‘mengajar malaikat’, memberontak la jadinya. Paling tidak pun mereka hanya akan berlakon menjadi malaikat sehinggalah sekolah tamat. Usai sahaja tamat zaman persekolahan, maka ‘roh’ itu kembali merasuk. 

Tok Guru saya cakap, “budak sekolah agama ni kalau buat dosa, dosa dia akan berganda 2 kali.”

“Kenapa Tok?” Tanya saya.

Tok Guru jawab, “budak sekolah agama ni kan jadi ikutan ramai orang. so bilamana dia buat dosa satu dosa tu akan terkena dirinya sendiri, satu lagi dia menjadi FITNAH pada Agamanya. cube tengok, bila budak sekolah agama buat dosa apa orang cakap? tengok tu budak sekolah agama pun buat jugak benda tu, so aku ni budak biasa je pun kira boleh buat jugak la"

Kesimpulannya, jadi budak sekolah agama memang susah. Ilmu dan amal itu berbeza. Memang sukar menyatukan kedua-duanya. Kenapa? Sebab mereka juga manusia yang bernafsu. Bila-bila masa sahaja nafsu boleh menundukkan iman, mengetepikan ilmu dan menidakkan amal. Iman kan selalu berbolak-balik. Justeru ‘budak sekolah agama’ juga tidak boleh diharap 100%.

Lalu kepada siapa lagi mahu diletakkan tanggungjawab berdakwah ini? Kitalah! Setiap manusia yang melafazkan syahadah itu WAJIB Berdakwah. Tidak kiralah yang berseluar pendek, tidak bertudung hatta yang minum arak atau berzina sekalipun. Firman Allah:

“Kamu adalah umat yang terbaik yang dilahirkan untuk manusia, menyuruh kepada yang ma'ruf, dan mencegah dari yang munkar, dan beriman kepada Allah. sekiranya ahli Kitab beriman, tentulah itu lebih baik bagi mereka, di antara mereka ada yang beriman, dan kebanyakan mereka adalah orang-orang yang fasik.” (Al-Imran: 110)

Jadi, marilah sama-sama memperbaiki diri. Walau bagaimanapun, autoriti agama hanya ada pada mereka yang ahli. Bukan anda yang tak tahu Bahasa Arab atau tak pernah bukak kitab. Jadi berhati-hatilah dalam berpendapat.

Faris Al-Muhandisu: Sekadar luahan hati yang sedikit dipengaruhi emosi. Tiada autoriti dan tidak perlu diikuti bagi yang tidak memahami. Harap maklum.