A week full of mathematics in Copenhagen

Mathematical Modelling 

For whatever reasons, I am comfortable with mathematics and computing. Perhaps it was the motivation from Miss Lim, when I was in school in Ipoh. But last week in Copenhagen, something caught my interest. It was ontology. It is actually a concept that I use all the time, but without formalizing it, let alone to give it a name. It is how we view a process systems before starting a mathematical modelling.

Prof Preisig explaining ontology and mathematical modeling

Prof Preisig explaining ontology and mathematical modeling

Ontology is the philosophical aspects of whatever that we are examining. Using ontology, a unit is visualised from its function, its nature etc, and depicted in various forms to facilitate representation of complex systems. There are two challenges – first is to have a comprehensive view of the system that we are examining, second, is to develop the engine that runs underneath, connecting objects and all its associated physical, chemical and other phenomena, and simulate them all simultaneously. Nice and neat, of course in principle,  but it is not an easy task.  Haha, a student of mine got stuck in developing the engine of functional models that he developed for fault detection system, and I didn’t have enough time to dig deep into the issue to help him solve the algorithms.  

I spent 2 hours listening to various researchers on ontology, including Prof. Preisig from NTNU, Trondheim, with whom I spend another half an hour on the matter. Interesting. Perhaps I’ll get into it later.

Markazi Mosque Copenhagen

After two long days attending conference at the Bella Center Copenhagen, we, a group of professors in process control  decided to visit a mosque. So, at 6 pm we started our journey by a metro train, followed by a bus ride, and searching for the place on foot. Few minutes later we saw a Muslim girl, who directed us to the place. Once inside, the aura was socially warm. It was the center of activity for Jamaah Tabligh of Denmark in Copenhagen. It was a house converted into a musalla. Brother Zahid told us that in the near future the place will be expanded as they have already purchased a plot nearby. At this small place, groups from various places gather in transits before being sent to various communities within Denmark. The mission is simple, calling people to be closer to the Almighty and reminding them not to be absorbed by daily activities, forgetting the mission of life – the world is a farm for the hereafter.

Markazi Mosque Copenhagen

Markazi Mosque Copenhagen

We were told that there are around 250 thousands Muslims living among the 5 million people in Denmark. So, they make about 5 % of the total population. Interestingly, in the aftermath of the “karikatur Danmark” where the Danish newspaper published 12 editorial cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in September 2005, and creating anger on Muslims around the world, more dialogues between muslim scholars and the Danish communities took place. It brought many positive impacts including the construction of a purposely built mosque in Copenhagen, growth in the number of mosques around the country and the locals became curious and interested in Islam. We left the mosque after a short stay, feeling fully recharged. 


The 5-day event of  PSE 2015 was held in conjunction with ESCAPE25 and chaired by Prof Rafiqul Gani of the Denmark Technical University. The organization was neat and the participation was full. Due to some safety and health procedures, the organizer decided to cap the participation to 600 and about 50 % of papers submitted had to be rejected. It was nice to meet and talk to people highly regarded in the academic field..

Prof. Ventakasubramaniam explaining the difference view on process control by academics and plant operators

Prof. Ventakasubramaniam explaining the difference view on process control by academics and plant operators

I was told that once the early bird registration deadline was up, the organisers made their accounting and realised that they have made the break-even point. So, all additional fees beyond the date would be a profit.  Interestingly, instead of smiling and enjoying the would be profit, they decided that now they can offer free registrations from interested  researchers that were hampered by financial constraints. Such a noble act. They understood the aim of an academic conference. It is for dissemination of knowledge and networking, and not for profit making. They do make a little profit though.

That is why I despise some of the professional institutions that put so much emphasis on profit making in running academic conferences. Knowledge creation, dissemination and sharing are noble acts. I call upon all friends in the academic world to have this in mind.

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There goes my place of retreat…

The color of academic world

Living the academic world is not as easy as it is often thought of. Though we are a government employee, we do not even enjoy the standard perks made available for government officers. University is a poorly funded organization, and we have to survive with what’s given.

The expectation on the academicians is almost without limit, often influenced by politicians and the media. Being pressured by the ministry, the university administration cascaded the expected performance to the academicians by embedding increasingly stringent requirement in annual appraisal and promotion exercise. The pressure is increasingly high.

The life of an academician is also tricky. How much you want to contribute, how many hours you want spend on your work etc,… there is no ceiling. Academicians work from everywhere, day and night, even while on holiday. Some are too engrossed in their works and lost track of time, ended up working late until their energy fully drained, not even enough to do physical exercise needed by the body. And it is not strange to find that many are ailing relatively younger.

A routine personal retreat is definitely needed. His mind need to be cleared. He needs to reflect on himself, to reconcile life activities. Maybe he should meditate in a cave (careful, there might be snakes around). Maybe he prefers to travel (careful, don’t miss your classes). To me, outdoor ventures are always appealing. I find serenity within surrounding natural beauty soothing. It doesn’t need to be long, but it has to be scheduled. 


These three islands have always been my favorite place of retreat.  These are quiet islands visited only by divers and anglers. The sights of dolphin, flying fish, vast blue sea, boats and ships passing through and most importantly patches of small islands in the background are common features. As an activity, we call it fishing trip, but unlike other groups of people, to us, it is the journey that is important, not the outcome. The focus is more on enjoying the moments. Of course, we always caught enough for lunch and dinner plus some extra to take home. Every year we spend some time on these islands – clear water, clean beach, delicious food and great hospitality. Over the years, the islanders have become friends.  

But Taman Negara Johor has confiscated the luxury we had. Not only that we have to pay for fishing fees, we must now stay away from most of the great spots (lubuk) that we used to gather handsome catches. They are are now considered out of bound, as we are no longer allowed to fish within 2 nautical miles off the isles in Johor. For those who enjoyed catching kerapu using bottom drift techniques (I’m included), it is very frustrating indeed.

The policy has a strong impact on the livelihood of the islanders. Some chalets have already closed down. A friend that used to prepare our lunch has now moved with his family to Mersing. The jetty of Pulau Dayang has been dismantled for whatever reasons. One  villager told me that it was rumored that the school in Pulau Aur will be closed, which I doubted. It nevertheless added to the pushing factor for them to migrate to the mainland.

I wonder, … Is this is exactly what the authority wanted to see, less divers and anglers in the area? Perhaps something is coming, that’s what my intuition says. My imagination went wild, but my analyses say that these are plausible. Whatever it maybe, many people are affected, and I don’t like it at all..

Suddenly, South China Sea can no longer promise us a good time, like it used to do in the past.

Endau Rompin National Park

Recently, we went on a recce. In a 15 HP boat, we went upstream from Tanah Abang towards Anak Endau river. The journey took 90 % of the time, and we spent only 3 hours casting lures in the river. Sometimes they ended up on the branches of the tree, sometimes stuck in between rocks. I lost one of my favorite white & red spoon and I failed to catch any Sebarau that I was looking for. It is a different game indeed. When I caught a small Baung (a species of catfish), I can feel the difference.

Jeti Tanah Abang

Jeti Tanah Abang

The aura in this watershed was nice and serene. There were plenty of music from wildlife – I simply didn’t know what they are. Swimming in the cold water was nicer than the salty water of the South China Sea. But the view was different. It was mostly green forest instead of vast blue water.

Relaxing under the shade

Relaxing under the shade

Time was short and we couldn’t do much, but we’ll be back for camping trips. I thing that’s the way to go – 1 night on a raft-house in Tanah Abang, and another night camping. Mmm, whatever happens, we’ll always find something interesting to freshen up our mind and to break boredom and stressful life of modern academics.


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Refleksi Orang Tua

Kuliahku tamat jam 10.30 malam ini, tetapi terus didatangi beberapa orang pelajar yang ingin mendapatkan penjelasan. Setelah beberapa minit berbincang, akupun melangkah ke kereta untuk pulang. Dalam perjalanan, fikiranku melayang jauh, teringat saat manis beberapa tahun yang lalu. Ia manis kerana aku menyaksikan kejayaan anak sulungku yang telah menamatkan pengajian diplomanya dengan cemerlang. Ia manis kerana itulah kali pertama aku merasakan perasaan seorang ayah melihat anaknya berjaya melangkah ke alam dewasa untuk terus ke tahap yang seterusnya.

Kemudian, ketika Tan Sri Arshad Ayub melangkah ke hadapan pentas dan berucap dengan refleksi ITM, hatiku amat tersentuh. Aku yakin, ucapan Pro-canselor UiTM tanpa teks itu membuat ramai ibu bapa yang menitiskan air mata. Mungkin graduan yang merupakan generasi Y tidak dapat menghayatinya.

Dia bercerita kisah bermulanya ITM.  Apa semangat mereka ketika itu. Dia bercerita tentang anak-anak desa dikumpul dan disusun dalam program-program akademik,  kemudian dididik sehingga berjaya memasuki kerjaya. Ianya usaha berasaskan semangat perjuangan. Ingin mengubah sebuah generasi. Itulah semangat yang mendorong usaha ke arah kejayaan.

Dia bercerita tentang penarik beca. Ketika itu aku teringat seorang sahabat,  anak seorang penarik beca. Aku pernah melihat bagaimana ayahnya mengayuh beca meninggalkan rumah dan pulang di petang hari. Ibunya pula membakar kuih yang dihantar ke kedai untuk dijual bagi menampung kehidupan. Ayahnya seharian berpanas di jalan, mengutip hasil walaupun sedikit. Anak penarik beca itu berjaya belajar ke luar negara dan berjaya pula dalam kerjaya.

Dia bercerita tentang seorang penjaja. Terbayang pula seorang sahabat yang dibesarkan oleh bapa saudara yang tinggal di rumah rakit. Rumah itu diikat di tebing sungai. Setiap hari mereka menjual air tebu di tepi jalan bagi mendapatkan rezeki yang halal. Usaha itu juga membuahkan hasil. Sahabatku kini juga berjaya dalam kerjaya.

Dia juga bercerita tentang seorang penoreh getah. Ketika itu aku terbayang penoreh getah yang mengayuh basikal di awal pagi di atas jalan tanah merah menuju ke ladang tempat bekerja. Walaupun matahari belum meninggi, bajunya sudah basah kuyup dengan peluh yang menitis dari kepala, muka dan seluruh tubuh. Dia pulang ketika matahari sudah tegak di langit. Dan di petang hari pula dia memikul jala menuju ke sungai atau memikul lukah ke hutan untuk menangkap ikan bagi menambahkan pendapatan keluarga. Memang jerih. Tapi jerih dan lelah itu jugalah yang membesarkan anak-anaknya yang ramai sehingga berjaya.

Sebab itu aku amat marah apabila melihat anak yang tidak menghormati ibu bapa. Sebab itu hatiku tidak senang apabila anak meninggikan suara kepada ibu ataupun bapa. Ingatlah anak, bukan muda ayah dan ibu membesarkan kamu. Mungkin engkau tidak perasan. Mungkin engkau tidak ingat. Setiap fasa kehidupanmu dari lahir hingga dewasa, banyak sekali pengorbanan ibu bapamu.

Suatu hari seorang bapa bercerita kepadaku. Dengan nada bersyukur dia membuat refleksi ringkas perjalanan hidupnya membesarkan anak-anak. Memang sukar dan perlukan banyak pengorbanan. Tapi didorong keazaman, dia mampu bertahan hingga anak-anaknya berjaya. Dia bercerita, “Hari ini aku rasa puas hati. Hilang penat selama ini.” Apakah, tindakan itu. Aah rupanya dia merasa amat bahagia kerana anak-anaknya sama-sama berkongsi memberikannya rawatan yang terbaik kepadanya dan berkongsi membayar bil hospitalnya yang tinggi. Muafakat adik beradik itu menjadi penghibur kepada bapa tua itu.

Mungkin anak-anak generasi Y dan Z tidak faham. Terutama bagi mereka yang mempunyai ibu bapa dari kelas menengah. Dilihat ayahnya berkereta, ibu juga berkereta. Ada yang berkereta mewah. Dia tidak dapat membayangkan kesusahan ibu bapa membesarkannya.

Dilihat ibu-bapa sentiasa mempunyai wang bila diminta. Walaupun kadang-kadang ibu berleter suruh berjimat, namun akhirnya dia dapat juga apa yang diminta. Dia tidak faham pengorbanan ibu bapanya itu. Dia tidak dapat mengerti bahawa pensyarah yang mengajar 6 jam sehari di hujung minggu selepas memandu selama 4 jam untuk mendapatkan pendapatan tambahan itu memerlukan kegigihan. Dia juga tidak menjiwai kejerihan ibu bapa yang terperangkap oleh kesesakan jalan raya sehingga lewat sampai ke rumah. Dia tidak dapat memahami letihnya ibu bapa yang terpaksa bertugas hingga ke malam dan ditambah pula dengan mesyuarat di hujung minggu.

Ibu bapa hari ini juga letih membesarkan anak-anaknya. Mereka juga terpaksa membuat pelbagai pengorbanan, walaupun tidak sama bentuknya dengan apa yang dilakukan oleh penarik beca, penjaja atau penoreh getah. Cabaran kerjayanya memang jauh berbeza tetapi ia juga meletihkan dan memerlukan pengorbanan, di samping keliru dengan kerenah anak di zaman yang berbeza berbanding ketika mereka masih kecil.

Itulah sebabnya Tan Sri Arshad Ayub berkata, “Anak-anak, ciumlah ibu bapamu. Mungkin dia berpeluh dan baunya tidak enak. Tapi dialah yang telah berjasa sehingga kamu berjaya pada hari ini“. Sebagai ahli akademik aku memang banyak menghadiri konvokesyen, termasuk berdiri di atas pentas menyaksikan graduan beratur mengambil ijazah. Tetapi itulah ucapan konvokesyen yang terbaik yang pernah kudengar. Terima kasih Tan Sri.


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Selamat Menempuh Hidup Baru – Huda Arshad


Kicauan burung di Perdana Terraces memang merupakan kelebihan yang diberikan Allah untuk kami. Alhamdulillah, pelbagai spesis menyanyi riang di awal pagi. Selepas puas tidur dengan nyenyak akibat keletihan, pagi ini fizikalku merasa begitu segar sekali. Mungkin juga kerana telah terangkat satu lagi beban dari bahuku. Anak perempuan yang disayangi telah dinikahkan dan walimahnya juga telah dilangsungkan. Alhamdulillah semuanya berjalan dengan lancar.

Aku masih ingat lagi musim panas 1992 ketika aku sibuk menguruskan perkhemahan musim panas untuk sahabat-sahabat UK & Eire, di Newcastle. Ketika itu aku merupakan pengarah program tahunan itu. Ketika itu juga isteriku sedang sarat mengandung. Sepanjang tempoh dia mengandung, banyak ujian dilalui. Di fasa awal, dia diminta berehat di hospital kerana placenta previa dan pendarahan yang agak banyak.. Setelah 3 minggu di sana, isteri merayu untuk pulang ke rumah. Doktor bersetuju tetapi aku terpaksa mendengar pelbagai amaran dan peringatan darinya dan diminta menandatangani surat mengambil tanggung-jawab dari pihak hospital.

Lebih kurang seminggu sebelum perkhemahan musim panas bermula, isteriku melahirkan seorang anak perempuan. Kami merasa amat bersyukur, Alhamdulillah, mendapat puteri pertama (dia juga satu-satunya puteri dalam keluarga ini)  di samping 3 putera sedia ada. Alhamdulillah, bayi yang pernah dikatakan mempunyai peluang 50% untuk “survive” itu akhirnya lahir dalam keadaan normal dan sihat serta sempurna segalanya. Selepas itu dia sentiasa menjadi penghibur hatiku, dari kecil hinggalah dewasa.

Oleh kerana kami ketika itu sedang sibuk membuat persiapan terakhir untuk perkhemahan yang melibatkan ramai peserta, isteri dan bayi itu ditempatkan di sebuah rumah, bersama seorang sohibah yang juga baru melahirkan anak. Alhamdulillah, semuanya berjalan dengan jayanya dan menjadi kenangan manis dalam kehidupan.

Semoga Allah menjadikan anak itu sebahagian dari kekuatan ummah, bakal meneruskan perjuangan Rasulullah s.a.w., dan sentiasa diredhai Allah s.w.t. Itulah antara bait-bait doa yang bermain di kepalaku dan di lidahku ketika itu. Itu jugalah antara ungkapan-ungkapan doa sahabat-sahabat yang hadir di perkhemahan itu. Itulah juga harapanku pada pagi ini.

Sehari yang lalu, sejurus selepas dia kunikahkan dan apabila pasangannya memperdengarkan lafaz taalik, dadaku berdebar, hatiku menjadi sayu dan di dalam hati aku berdoa, wahai Allah yang Maha Penyayang, berilah petunjuk kepada mereka dan peliharalah pasangan ini agar dapat melaksanakan tanggung-jawab masing-masing dengan baik dan berkekalan dalam membina keluarga keluarga dakwah yang tetap tsabat dalam perjuangan.

Malam itu sukar untukku melelapkan mata walaupun badan terasa letih. Mungkin inilah perasaan yang dilalui oleh ayah yang lain ketika melepaskan anak perempuan masing-masing. Benar tulisan yang pernah kubaca sebelum ini, “my daughter is always my little baby, my little princess, even though she has grown up”.

Selamat jalan anakku sayang, selamat jalan Huda Arshad. Semoga Allah sentiasa memberi kekuatan dan petunjuk kepadamu untuk menjadi isteri yang solehah dan ibu yang penyayang yang bakal mendidik pemimpin umat masa hadapan. Semoga doa yang selalu kubaca ini diterima oleh Allah yang Maha Pengasihani.


“Wahai Tuhan kami, anugerahkan kepada kami dari pasangan kami dan zuriat keturunan kami perkara-perkara penyejuk hati kami, dan jadikan kami pemimpin bagi orang-orang yang bertakwa”. (QS. Al-Furqan: 74).

Dr. AA, 8.00 am Ahad, 22 Mac 2015

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Do locals benefit from industralization?

NNP-jobs I’ve just heard something interesting from the French experiences, yesterday. Whether it was exaggerated or not, it is not important, but the idea is fundamentally correct and the impact has been very positive. They were talking about some policies on getting the locals actively involved in their nuclear energy program.

Well before the project commenced, the communities were actively engaged and the plans were presented transparently so that the public was aware about what was coming. Then as the works started (and even before that), training programs were launched to prepare the locals to be part of the nuclear power plant economy, which was expected to be massive. The lifecycle of a nuclear power plant is about a century. The design and engineering plus construction would take 10 years or so, operation is aimed to be about 60 years, and decommissioning would take another 20 years. So, it is 90 years. If you include the process of decision making and delays, it is a one century business that spans across 2 generations. So, it makes a lot of sense to invest on the locals.

Their definition of locals is as narrow as the people of the vicinity of the plant, the town folks themselves. They have certain policy installed to ensure the contractors, operators etc train and hire the locals.

When I heard their explanations, my mind drifted to the villagers in Paka and Kerteh. My heart is with the people of Pengerang (I visited Pengerang recently). The Kerteh petrochemical complex brought significant development to Trengganu and many people benefited. There are some “locals” working in the plant. The companies have some engagements with the communities such as safety awareness etc as required by the safety guidelines. My question is, how much do they benefit from the industry that has brought hazard to their homes? I recalled seeing an old lady squatting on the beach digging for “remis” or “kepah” (both are shellfish) not far from the ethylene and polyethylene plants. How much benefit has this industrialization provided to the villagers?

The cost of living increased significantly due to the higher purchasing power of the “oil people” working in the areas. Maybe it helped some of the food stall operators, but this is just a handful.

Somehow, I think the French was right in doing what they claimed they were doing. Maybe they had to be that way due to the nature of the population, but I am sure you would agree with me that a local would love the place more than the temporary migrants. I believe it would be nice if we can make the people feel that they are part of the development, and recognize the importance of those installations, and they themselves have some roles in them.

Perhaps we need some of those policies on “localization” of economic activities. Bottom line is, we don’t want to make the locals poorer by bringing developments to them. Teach them how to fish so that they can catch a lot more since there are many new species made available by the new “lubuk”.

Dr. AA (while waiting for a flight at KLIA)

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Does risk really has a meaning ?

We were a bit unlucky today since the lunch buffet @ nasi campur has significantly depleted. It was only 1 o’clock at noon. What was happening?  So, we had to request for additional dishes to be cooked.  It was good in a way good, since it gave us more opportunity to exchange opinions etc. We were having lunch at Senibong, after an interesting discussions on research collaborations.


On our way back, we discussed about the lack of data integration and perhaps sharing of information on certain major decisions. Take for example a housing estate sitting next to an industrial area. Or some activities well into the buffer zones set by the environmental impact assessment (EIA). Consider an incinerator, or a tyre factory built near the perimeter of an industrial area. Few years later, a local authority approved a housing estate or a commercial area adjacent to those facilities. Few months later, the residents start complaining on the bad smell, poor air quality etc. Who is actually at fault? If the plants complied with air emission requirement, should they be blamed? 


Industrial area – along with jobs and economic opportunities, it also introduces hazards to the surrounding


On another perspective, I am sure that many of us have come across arguments given on some controversial projects, saying that the EIA has been carried out and all the measures required have been spelled out clearly in the report, and these have been agreed upon by all parties involved. That includes various mitigating measures to reduce the risks due to hazards introduced by the  project to the community. Then, when the project completed with many or some of these measures forgotten, would the authority be alert enough to ensure that sufficient and timely actions are taken to ensure compliance?

Risk = Severity X Likelihood.

Severity is the level of impacts due to consequences arose from the new activities proposed by the project. Take for example, a chemical plant with hazards of fire and explosion. If the capacity is large, which is normally the case for bulk chemical plants such as refineries, crackers etc, the consequence can be really severe with the zones of 100% fatalities covering a large area. It may be the case that a school is within this 100 % fatal area. This means that if  the explosion at full scale did somehow happen, the whole school and all the innocent school children will end up dead. God forbid, who would want it to happen? Then may be we shouldn’t allow the plant to be built there since the communities have been there earlier !

Then a risk assessment consultant presents to you the other half of the equation, the likelihood. What if he says, the likelihood is 1 in 100 million or 1 x 10E-08. This will make the risk level to be 1 in 100 million fatality per year, which is considered remote. At this level the whole world will accept that it is remote because the universally accepted level of tolerable risk for involuntary exposure to the residential community is 1 in a million fatality per year. Can you accept this? I asked somebody about it and he jokingly said, it is ok if anybody dear to me or I, myself are not among the statistics. See… It is ok, as long that it is not me…

That is why for cases like this, although the risk assessment has been carried out in ethical manner by the consultants and all possible issues have been considered, we still hope that additional mitigating measures are proposed due to the vulnerability level, which is normally further highlighted by societal risks  (societal risk is not strictly required in our previous guideline, 1994, perhaps it has been amended? I forgot to check). But the issue is, will we be caring enough to ensure that these additional measures that costs money be implemented, especially when the green light has been given?

Somebody argued. Well, the consequence of flying is equally high (remember MH370, MH17 and QZ8501 ? – No Survivors!). Well, there is a big difference ! In this case it is a voluntary risk. You decide to fly, and you have the option not to. In the case of the residential area in the above case, they didn’t have any choice. Somebody brought the hazards to them.

It is nice if we can have NIMBY (not in my backyard) policy, but not everybody has that luxury.

So, does risk has a meaning after all???


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Untuk Sahabatku Para Sukarelawan


Perkarangan Masjid Tanah Merah, kelantan

Amal sukarelawan

Sheikh berkata,… permulaannya susah, tetapi penutupnya manis. Itu telah cukup untuk menggambarkan misi kemanusiaan. Memang banyak cabaran perlu dilalui – perjalanan yang jauh dan sukar, belanja dan tenaga yang perlu dicurah – namun di penghujungnya jiwa yang suci pasti dapat merasai kemanisan.

Senyuman yang terukir di wajah mereka telah cukup untuk menghilangkan lelah. Selut dan lumpur yang berjaya dibersihkan cukup memberikan kepuasan. Apatah lagi persaudaraan dan persahabatan yang dibina di sepanjang perjalanan, ianya ganjaran berharga yang sukar dinilai. Kebersamaan di medan amal kebajikan bakal membuahkan persahabatan yang diredha Tuhan.

Allah memerintahkan orang beriman supaya bertolong-tolongan dan bekerjasama dalam melakukan perbuatan baik, iaitu perkara kebajikan (al-birr), dan menegah mereka daripada tolong-menolong dalam perkara kebatilan, dan melarang mereka bantu-membantu dan bekerjama dalam perkara haram dan dosa. Ini dijelaskanNya dalam al-Qur’an yang bermaksud:

“Dan tolong-menolonglah kamu dalam (mengerjakan) kebajikan dan takwa, dan jangan tolong-menolong dalam berbuat dosa dan pelanggaran”. (Al-Maidah:  2)


Wahai sahabat, fokuskan dirimu kepada menabur bakti. Yang sedang ditimpa bencana perlu dibantu dan disantun. Walaupun kecil bantuanmu ianya tetap memberikan pengharapan. Dapat memujuk hati yang lara. Dapat menenang fikiran yang keliru. Berikan sepenuh fokusmu kepada gerak kerja dan jangan biarkan kecerdasan otakmu menjadikanmu terlalu kritis. Di saat menghantar bantuan, usah ditanya kenapa berlaku bencana ini. Usah dinilai sama ada ianya ujian ataupun hukuman. Usah disoal kenapa pihak berwajib tidak cekap melaksanakan tanggung-jawab. Semua itu boleh dikaji kelak bila pulang ke rumah. Gunakan segala kebolehan untuk menabur bakti kepada yang malang. Empati lebih bernilai di saat ini berbanding analisis. Perbanyakkan amalmu dan ambil iktibar dari apa yang berlaku kerana dalam setiap peristiwa, pasti banyak pengajarannya.

Jaga hatimu

Wahai sahabat, Aku mengajakmu merenung sejenak kepada sabda Rasulullah s.a.w.

Dari Jundub bin Abdullah bin Sufyan r.a. katanya: Nabi s.a.w. bersabda, “Barangsiapa yang memperlihatkan amalannya kerana riya’ maka Allah akan memperlihatkan dan barangsiapa yang berbuat ria’, maka Allah akan menampakkan riya’ itu.” (Muttafaq alaih)

Ingatlah, apa saja yang ada dalam hati, semuanya diketahui oleh Allah s.w.t. dan di akhirat kelak, semua itu akan dinilai. Keikhlasan adalah prasyarat bagi amal untuk diterima Allah. Rugilah orang yang tidak menjaga keikhlasan hati.

Namun, ini tidak sepatutnya menghalang seseorang dari beramal di tengah-tengah masyarakat seperti menghulurkan bantuan ketika bencana, yang sememangnya akan dilihat orang, malah ada kalanya memperkenalkan diri itu adalah amat penting bagi memudahkan perlaksanaan. Malah tidak menjadi isu jika anda dipuji kerana ini juga telah dijelaskan oleh Rasulullah s.a.w.

Dari Abu Zar r.a., katanya: “Rasulullah s.a.w. ditanya: Bagaimanakah pendapat Tuan perihal seseorang lelaki yang mengerjakan suatu amalan yang baik dan ia mendapatkan pujian dari orang ramai kerana amalannya itu?” Beliau s.a.w. lalu bersabda: “Yang sedemikian itulah kegembiraan seorang mu’min yang diterima secara segera – yakni ketika masih di dunia sudah dapat merasakan kenikmatannya. (Riwayat Muslim)

Namun, janganlah pula kita berbangga bila dipuji hingga timbul perasaan ujub yang dikeji. May Allah protect us all from the sins of our hearts and purify our soul so that we’ll continue to progress each day as a better Muslim.

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