Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I have already bought the Kindle version, but I found the printed book in the IIUM library. Seemed in pristine condition, probably have never been read. Only at 20% of the kindle ebook, but noted that it is a great book. A book which you want to finish it fast, because it is so good.

The book is written based on a short course in introduction to Islam for undergraduates in an American university, which was held since 1980s. The students include both muslims and non muslims. They got a lot of feedback from their students.

The author based the book on the Gabriel Hadith, about Islam (submission), Iman (faith) and Ihsan (doing what is beautiful). The chapters explained the differences between these 3. It is like a stage of ascendancy. You submit first, then have faith and then have Ihsan, which is the highest rank.

The exact difference between Islam and Iman is explained in the Quran 49:14. A story about the bedouins saying to the Prophet PBUH that he have faith.

The dwellers of the desert say: We believe. Say: You do not believe but say, We submit; and faith has not yet entered into your hearts; and if you obey Allah and His Apostle, He will not diminish aught of your deeds; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Quran 49:14)

In the Islam chapter, after explaining the 5 pillars of Islam, they touched on the 6th pillar, jihad. Jihad is a term which was always misinterpreted by the westerners. It's basic meaning is struggle. Struggling in doing all the 5 pillars of Islam and having Iman, is also a jihad.

A quote from the hadith when the muslims had just returned from a battle. Prophet PBUH said "We have returned from a lesser jihad to a greater jihad." The people said, "O Messenger of God, what jihad could be greater than struggling against the unbelievers with the sword?" He replied, "Struggling against the enemy in your own breast."  This Hadith clearly explained the exact meaning of jihad.

I am still at the Iman chapter. The authors exquisitely explained tawhid in a very simple explanation. They used the ayat, which can be defined as the verses of the quran. Also ayat which is defined as proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc by Mohsin Khan; are things around us and within us. How to relate all this with God. The relation between Tanzih and Tashbih. The Mercy of God is above His Wrath. Many examples were taken from the Quran itself.  Also, they used many examples from the 99 names of Allah, mentioned in the Quran.

In my opinion, this book should should be translated to Bahasa Malaysia, in view  to reach a wider readership. Most of us muslims, never understood why we become muslims in the first place. Even though the book is intended for non muslims, I think muslims will benefit a lot from it too.

As of today, at this time of writing, I have finished the book.  But I need to reread it soon, to get a better understanding of it.


This a very comprehensive book about ulum hadith, which is a branch of study or sciences of hadith.  The author discusses almost every branch of this topic. It starts from the delivery, isnad, sahihayn, biographies of muhaddithuns, problems and defects in hadith collection, conflicts, abrogated hadith, 3 classifications of hadith and end with a conclusion. A very good book for one who are interested to delve in the proper study of hadith. 

However, for a lay person like me, with no shariah background, the information is overwhelming. I only browsed through about 40% of the book. For those who wanted to read this book, I would highly recommend to really read chapter 1 to 4. Then just do a superfast reading of chapter 5 to 14. You can reread those chapters, if you decided to further venture into ulum hadith, later on.  Then read slowly chapter 15 to 20.

The first 4 chapters give us an eye opener about the hadith compilations. The meaning of isnad, matn and methods and the effort of the muhaddithuns used to compile the sahihayns. Chapter 4 gives the background stories of the 6 sahihayns ie Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, An Nasai, Ibn Majah and At Tirmidhi.

Chapter 5 to 14, discussed all the other branches of ulum hadith.  Too much and too detailed for me.

Chapter 15 to 17, discussed the 3 types of classifications of hadith. What are the differences between sahih, hassan and daif. What are the differences between marfu, mawquf, muttasil, maqtu, muannin, muannan and muallaq. What are the differences between fard, gharib, aziz, mashhur, mutawatir and ahad. It is great to read, especially on the first and third classifications.

The second last chapter discussed the actual prerequisite of a sahih hadith. It discussed some of the hadith with improper matn. Especially in the ahad hadith. Particular discussion on the hadith about the 73 fractions of muslims, which is an ahad hadith. Also problem is some hadith which is not in sync with the Quran.

The conclusion is a must read. It gives some overview and hope for a better compilation of hadith. A discussion on Qaradawi's suggestions on recompiling the hadith into one proper encyclopedia which only include sahih and hassan hadiths. Qaradawi suggested for the ummah to prepare a 3 volume encyclopedia. The first is the compilation of the list of all the hadith narrators. The second is a compilation of the list of isnads of the hadith, whether one or more than one. The last volume a the exclusive compilation of sahih and hassan hadith.

I don't give good justice in writing this small review. You need to read this textbook, to really enjoy the knowledge.


Mecca, the Sacred City by Ziauddin Sardar. Mecca, the most sacred city revered by more than a billion Muslims in the world. It has it's own share of history and secrets. Packed by Muslims during the hajj seasons and throughout the years for lesser pilgrimage, it has been through a lot since the days of Prophet Abraham PBUH. Sardar went to hajj for 5 times, during his attachment in the Hajj research centre in the 1970s to 1980s. In this book, he brought us through history of Mecca and the Hijaz from the days of Prophet Muhammad PBUH through the days of the Khulafa Ar Rashidin, Umayyads, Abbasids, Ottomans and Wahabbis. Shocking events throughout its history, especially for me who knew only about good things in Mecca. Mecca was ruled by sharifs, countless of them, who benefited from taxes from pilgrims and beneficiaries from most of the Muslim Caliphs of few different empires. Tragedy upon tragedy and massacre upon massacre happened for multiple reasons. Mainly fighting for power and money. Wars between siblings of sharifs, fighting for power. War between tribes for money and power. War between Turks and Meccans fighting for power. Thousands died during these wars. And many pilgrims also died and murdered during the hajj travels by the warring bedouins. Finally, in 1930s, it was the last of sharif of Mecca who was forced to leave Mecca by the armies of Wahabbis, who came from Riyadh, supported by the British empire. Even before that, many wars occurred between the Meccan aided by Ottomans and Turks with the Wahabbis. However, it is not all bad. Mecca enjoyed peace for quite a long period, with many development and expansion of the sacred mosque, mainly by the Ottomans Caliphs. Railways were built to carry pilgrims and supplies from Egypt. All along these period, Mecca totally depended on money and beneficiaries from pilgrim taxes and Egypt. During these period, slavery still thrived for the Hijaz aristocrats. Slaves from Africa were brought in and traded in the markets. They were made to work for the aristocrats, doing trivial works and serving the pilgrims.  After being captured by the Wahabbis in 1935, Mecca undergoes massive development and restructuring, especially after the oil money came. Historical places and many buildings built during the prophet days and the Ottomans were demolished. For these puritans, these need to be done to prevent the Muslims from venerating these places. Mecca was further developed to be a cosmopolitan city just like Houston or any other cosmopolitan city in the world. However, whether it changed Mecca from it's days during the jahilli period, we don't really know. Whether slavery, prejudices, Arab aristocracy had been removed from the hearts of Meccans, only God knows. Whatever has or had happened, Mecca or Makkah will still be very special in the hearts of Muslims.

Monday, November 16, 2009


The idea of leaving had never came into my mind until the day I had a chat and discussion with my former teacher from my masters days. There are many reasons people leave the government and join the private sector. It can be due to the money, working condition, colleagues or children's health. You cannot prevent people leaving, it is your destiny.

My teacher told me about his daughter who had just recently finished her study in Pharmacy from Indonesia. He had to spend about RM160k in school fees alone. This doesn't include other expenses such as rental, foods and traveling. Studying medicine in private is much more costly. Recently my uncle send his son to study Medicine in Eqypt at a cost of RM250k in school fees alone. I am sure he can afford that, since he is a financial consultant with PNB (Permodalan Nasional Berhad), who pays him a lot.

I have four daughters, in which the eldest is in Standard 4. That would give me 7 full years of time to find some amount of money to prepare myself to finance her tertiary education. What if she told me that she wanted to do medicine, but she doesn't get any place in any of the public university. That is what happened to my uncle. His son didn't perform very well in the matriculation, but at the end of the day, he told his father that he wanted to do medicine. You can never say no to your child. You can say no when she ask to buy expensive things. But you would have the guts to say no, when she wanted to study. If you say no, the guilty feeling will haunt you for the rest of your life.

The cost of doing Medicine at that point of time may reach RM500k. I can never afford that. Having said that, I can never afford the RM250k now, with the salary that I am currently obtaining. That would be the cost for one daughter. What if all four of them wanted to do medicine? For that, I may need about RM2 million.

Lets do some basic calculation. Since my youngest daughter is only 2, and by the time she reach 17, which is about 15 years from now, in which I will be 54, if god allows me to live until then. So, I only have 15 years of my life to get RM2 million. For this you need to save about RM130,000 per year, which is about RM10,000 per month. That is an awful lot of money!!!! If I save RM10,000 per month for the next 7 years, that would give me about RM840,000, which is enough for me to send both my eldest and second daughter to study medicine. I can still save some more money for the next two years, to supplement for the second daughter since she is younger by 2 years from her sister.

Studying medicine is the most expensive option. But studying dentistry, pharmacy, engineering or law are also expensive. What I am calculating might be the most expensive option. But the moral of the story is that, you need money for your children and you can't wait for the money to come to you.

So, the amount of money that you need will rise proportionately with the number of children that you have. If you have only one child, you only need about RM500,000 which you need to save about RM2500 per month for the next 15 years.

So, having more than 2 child, gives you a big reason to leave! Is this true? But can anyone tell me of any other way to get RM10,000 per month for the next 15 years, without leaving?

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Dopod D810 was at its prime when it was launched about 3 years ago. If I can remember, the selling price is about RM2700 when it was launched. It was launched with WM5.0, with non functioning GPS. An official update for WM6.0 was launched about 1 year later, activating its GPS function.

However, due to the availability of new crops of WM smartphones, Dopod D810 was passed and not updated to WM 6.1 or WM6.5. This doesn’t prevent hackers especially from xdadevelopers forum to make their own updates, unofficially.

I bought this smartphone due to its GPS function, about 2 years after its launching, for about a half price of its official price. Quite a good price for a GPS unit, since the price of Garmin Nuvi at that time is around RM1k. You get a 3.5G phone besides the GPS, for another few hundred, quite a good bargain. I immediately updated the ROM to WM6.0 after buying it, since it came with WM5.0 ROM. It served perfectly as a GPS unit for my car. But it can never fight the newer A GPS units such as Nokia E71, in terms of GPS satellite locking time. WM6.0 is quite good and stable, better than WM5.0. However for WM devices, it is usually slow and lagging even though the processor is already 400MHz.

I did a search in the xdadevelopers forums and found a few stable WM6.5 ROMS for Dopod D810. Also did a search for WM 6.5 Treo 750v stable ROMS, but couldn’t find any. After downloading and reading the forums, I did a ROM upgrade for my Dopod D810. The procedure took less than 20 minutes.

First impression, WM6.5 seems to be much faster than WM6.0. The interface is also better than WM6.0. Most of the programmes seems to run faster on WM6.5 compared to WM6.0. Since using this new ROM for about 1 week, I haven’t got any autoreset or hanging on the smartphone.

SPB MobileShell was also updated to version 3.5 probably last year. The last version of SPB MobileShell, that I have used is version 2.0. Much has changed since then. The new version 3.5 has a much better interface as compared to the old version.

So, with the new WM6.5 ROM and SPB MobileShell 3.5, I have upgraded my old Dopod D810 as my secondary phone, replacing the old Treo 750v, which will kept lock in my drawer until the day the hackers from xdadeveloper can develop a stable WM6.5 ROM.

Can’t wait for WM7.0 to be launched early 2010, which for sure will be better than WM6.5..

Friday, September 11, 2009


I have given up on using my Dell D420, courtesy of the university. It is because of the slow hard disk, which is a 1.8 inch 4200rpm model. But I am sure, most of you are still using it as your primary computer. I have been opening up the compartments in the D420 since I found a SIM card slot under the battery. After reading and searching a few forums, I found out that the available WWAN slot in Dell D420 is actually active and you can just put a mini PCI WWAN card in it and then put a 3G SIM card in the SIM card slot under the battery to make it work. Dell has also provided two antennaes within it.

With this knowledge, I proceed to look for a cheap 3G WWAN card in ebay. You couldn't find any in lelong. The cheapest 3G WWAN card I could find is the Sierra MC8775 model. Most sellers are from Hong Kong, with a price of less than RM150. Much cheaper than a USB 3G modem sold by Celcom sellers, which are usually priced at RM199. A seller is selling at around RM130 in ebay malaysia.

I bought from another seller. The card is just another mini PCI type card. To install, you can read or follow the manual from Dell.

Just unscrew the three screws under the laptop. But before that, make sure you remove the battery first. Then plug in the antennae into the WWAN card. There are two antennae available. One is grey/white and the other is black/white. Plug in the grey/white antennae into the available port in the card marked as MAIN. Leave the black/white antennae alone. Then plug in the Sierra MC8775 card into the available WWAN PCI slot next to the PCI WLAN card. Then put in your unlimited package 3G SIM card in the slot under the battery. Put in the battery back in the slot.

Switch on the laptop. For sure, your laptop won't be recognising the WWAN card due to the nonavailabilty of drivers. Just download the driver and installer from sierrawireless. Install the software and wait for the laptop to recognise the WWAN card. Then start the Sierra Watcher program. I am getting a full bar Celcom 3G signal with HSDPA in my room at 3rd floor JHC. The software supports SMS. I also found a dialer, which supposed to enable voice call from your laptop. But I have yet to try it now. This blog is typed from the Dell D420 running Windows 7 Ultimate RC, with an internal Sierra MC8785 3G WWAN on Celcom HSDPA.

Even though I am doing this on a Dell D420, I am sure it will also work perfectly with a Dell D430, which most of you are using too. This is because of a similar internal architecture and motherboard of these two Latitude laptops. There is another newer Sierra card available which is the MC8781 model. This model do support GPS, in which it support 3G and GPS in one PCI card. The added advantage of using this card, is that you can use your laptop as a GPS machine with without having to have another bluetooth or USB GPS unit. However you still need to have a GPS software installed, which I would recommend Garmin Mobile PC. This card is slightly more expensive, and since I already have a bluetooth GPS available, I don't find the need to buy a more expensive card.

This modification is so easy since you don't have to do any soldering to the motherboard. But since my primary laptop is a nearly perfect MSI McWindtosh running Leopard OSX 10.5.8, I need to find a way to have an internal 3G in it, which for sure will need a soldering of SIM slot into the motherboard.


Thursday, August 27, 2009


Being in the eduction line, has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let's not talk or discuss on that, it would be too boring. Getting a promotion in any job or service is a dream of everyone. Being in the education line, your promotion heavily depends on your research and publications. The teaching part comes along with it, since you must teach to get paid. So, how do you get a fast track on your promotion? The key is to get along the correct colleague or people. Teamwork is the key to success.

Is it quite easy. You only need to have another two colleague in the same profession, be it in a different specialty or a different institution. However all three of you must work hard, or extra hard to do research and publish. If all three work very hard, it would be very simple. You only need to do two research per year and publish three papers per year. In all the research and publications, all three of the members of the team will contribute in ideas and have their names in all the research and publications. The key person will always be the principal researcher or authors. Within a year, each of the members will have 6 researches completed and 9 papers published. In 3 years time, each of the members will have 18 researches completed and 27 papers published either locally or internationally. With all these in your resume, you can get promoted anytime and anywhere...

Now, where can I get that two person..........

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


As you know doing locum forced you to work fast and finishes all the reporting urgently, or at the latest 1 hour after the examination is completed. This is a very good practise to your alertness and diagnostic sharpness. You must or forced to make a diagnosis within minutes. If you don't know, you have to find the answer in a very short period either via the internet or books. By doing frequent locums, your sharpness in making a diagnosis and rapidity in producing report increases. Getting back your current practise in government hospital, with this behavioural change, you tend to finish your report as urgently as possible. This would be good for the patients in your current hospital.

So by doing frequent locums, you don't only get more money, you will have behavioural change, control your anger, talk more courteously to patients and other doctors and also increase the productivity of your current hospital. Go ahead, do more locums..... Hehe!!


Patient population in both private and government hospitals are slightly different. In private hospitals, they are more demanding and sometimes complaint a lot. Most of the private physicians tends to be more accepting to the behaviour of their patients. By doing locums, you will learn to change your approach to these patients. You also tend to control your anger even when your are in a tense position. You also tend to talk more or explain more to the patients about the procedures and findings of an examination. Even though, sometimes these behavioural changes may be a false change, it can be beneficial to you. By doing frequent locums, these behavioural changes can be a second nature to you. Going back to your service in the government hospital, these behavioural changes ie controlling your anger to patient's behaviour and explaining in detail about procedures and findings to patient, will be good to the patients in the hospital that you are currently practising.

Besides that, in receiving request for examinations in the department, in private hospital you tend to accept any request from the physician without any question. By doing frequent locums, the behaviour to reject a request for an examination can be diluted because of this. Going back to your service in the government hospital, the behavioural changes of not wanting to reject an examination would be good to the patients there. You will try not to reject requests for examination from housemans by using petty reasons.

So, doing frequent locums is actually good especially in changing your behaviour to patients and also housemans/physician. So, please do more locums. For those who have never done any locum, please do it. It is good for your health. Haha!!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


A simple answer is for the money of course. But apart from that, there is another reason. After all the hardwork to become a subspecialist, you tend to do or see more cases in your subspecialty field. You tend to neglect other work or modalities. As for me, I don't see any mammography images anymores, since I practically hate it. However, you need to keep abreast in all the advances in all the modalities. You also need to update and maintain your expertise in all the modalities. You can say that you will never resign from the government service, but time will tell. For this you have the need to maintain your knowledge and expertise in all modalities, besides improving your expertise in your subspecialty field.

To get all this, you need to do locum. During locum as you all know, you will see all types of cases in all modalities. To further maintain this, you need to do locum frequently, or at least once in two months. Would be better if you can get a daily part time locum after office hours or during weekends in your local private hospital...... This would be a better justification apart from the money..