Meanwhile, in Foshan, China, this happened (viewer discretion advised).
Who's the one with the 'hati binatang' now?
p/s: The toddler has since died from her injuries.
|I admit, the sea cucumber looks weird.|
|"Everyone else is out praying, but here am I, all alone, mending my broken heart,"|
said one of the very rare sad guys during eid.
|The Fat Man, Peter Griffin|
Monday, September 12, 2011
Failing a class in school is one thing. Failing your financial goals as an adult is another. Here's how to earn an A-plus in personal finance.
Last year, my son brought home a midterm progress report that showed he was getting an F in one of his classes. What was infuriating was that the F was in physical education.
"How in the world do you fail phys ed?" I asked my wife, shaking Matthew's midterm report card in my hand for added emphasis.
"Beats me, Len. Why don't you ask him?"
Why didn't I think of that?
Needless to say, Matthew and I had a nice little heart-to-heart talk about his failing grade and, I'm happy to say, he actually ended up finishing the school year with a C in PE.
That little incident got me thinking about what people would have to do to earn an F in personal finance. If you find yourself swimming in debt and living paycheck-to-paycheck, the odds are you're already getting one. Here are the most likely reasons why:
1. You don't have an emergency fund.
In life, you should expect the unexpected, such as the sudden loss of a job. The last thing you want to do is be caught off guard and be forced to rely on credit cards or a loan that could get you into deeper financial trouble.
Extra credit: Establish an emergency fund of at least three to six months of expenses. And don't delay. You should start building your emergency fund as soon as you get your first paycheck.
2. You don't know how much you have in your bank accounts.
Overdrawing a checking account by just a few cents could result in lots of expensive bank fees. To ensure you'll never write a check for more than what you have, you should always know how much money you've got in all your accounts.
Extra credit: Set your overdraft limit to $0 and your debit card won't be allowed to overdraft your account. True, you could bounce a check. But if you're running your household like a business and balancing your checkbook regularly, that shouldn't ever be a problem. Consider using money management software to help manage your finances more closely.
3. You don't understand the difference between a want and a need.
One of the biggest impediments to getting your financial house in order is the inability to properly distinguish discretionary and nondiscretionary expenses (otherwise known as wants and needs).
Extra credit: Understand that when taken down to the most basic level, all of us have only four or five primary needs. Those needs are food/water, clothing, shelter, transportation, and health care. Everything else is a want.
4. You don't know how much money you spend.
It's pretty simple: The amount you save is the difference between how much you make and how much you spend. But it's tough to save anything if you don't know how much you can afford to save. That's why it's important to take a critical look at your expenses so you know exactly how much money you are spending.
Extra credit: Audit your expenses by writing down everything you spend your money on for a couple of months. The trick is to be as detailed as possible. Try to capture even the smallest purchases. Here is a budget worksheet to help get you started.
5. Your tastes exceed your spending capability.
Understand that this is not a problem so much as an excuse. Kind of like my son arguing that he's getting an F in his PE class because the teacher doesn't like him. When your expensive tastes starts impacting your ability to save, you're in for trouble.
Extra credit: If your tastes exceed your budget, ratchet them down a notch or three and stop making lame excuses.
6. You can't say no.
Many people do understand the difference between wants and needs, but they have trouble saying no anyway. Being able to say no is a crucial skill in the world of personal finance. Those who can't will always have the most trouble keeping their personal finances on an even keel.
Extra credit: Master the art of saying no.
7. You're an impulse shopper.
Impulse buying is a nasty habit that can best be cured by careful planning.
Extra credit: Establish a household budget. Before going out to shop, know exactly how much you will be spending at each establishment. Make a shopping list before you go to the supermarket or the mall. In short, think before you buy.
8. You worry about what others think about you.
People who worry about what others think of them suffer from a desire to keep up with the Joneses. There are many reasons why people do this, including: the urge to advertise their success in life (be it real or imagined), the desire to have what others have, and instant gratification. Whatever the reason, once they reach the checkout counter, they tend to ignore this little slice of reality: Unlike the Joneses, they probably can't afford it.
Here's the original article.
Whose this Mat Indera guy people have so been talking about lately, ever since Mat Sabu raised the issue in a ceramah a couple of weeks back?
People have been talking, saying that Mat Indera was responsible for the Bukit Kepong attack. I knew a bit about Bukit Kepong, from the movie by Jin Shamsudin. I knew that in the movie, a police station was attacked by some bad ass communist guerrilla. But that's really all I knew. Honestly, I initially had no clue that Mat Indera ever existed!
Bukit Kepong, the movie
So amid all the issue highlighted by Utusan and KJ, I decided to read some history about this guy. Here's a photo of him.
|Bad ass or hero?|
Mat Indera, or his real name, Muhammad Indera is a descendent of a worrier from Siak. Apparently, he was said to be a religious person, being a Hafiz as well, and his teachers, among others were Kiai Haji Fadzil Bentan and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's father.
He became involved with politics to help drive out the Brits from Malaya and joined Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya (PKMM, lead by Dr. Burhanuddin Helmy- another name that was only mentioned in passing in our textbooks) and Angkatan Pemuda Insaf (API). Probably inspired by the Indonesians in their fight for independence from the Dutch (using primitive weapons like bamboo spears), Mat Indera took his battle into the woods, guerrilla style. That's where he met Bintang Tiga. Even though both parties had different missions, as the saying goes, 'the enemy of your enemy is your friend' Mat Indera soon joined forces with Bintang Tiga.
Aware of the threat posed by Mat Indera, the Brits wanted him, DOA. They set about spreading rumours and propaganda about the man, saying he was a dangerous communist man with no religion and moral values, and they offered $25000 for his capture.
Then came the Bukit Kepong incident. Some say he didn't authorize the killing of the police officers, let alone burning of their dead bodies (he had just wanted to catch some of the officers). Some say that he arrived late at the battle field, and wasn't involved in the fight. Others claimed that he tried to prevent the killings of the police officers, going as far as pointing a rifle at a communist member to stop him from humiliating the dead. And some claimed that he even helped some of the officers escape.
After the incident, his bounty rose to $75000. Finally, the Brits caught some of Mat Indera's men and collaborated with them to capture Mat Indera, promising them land and wealth. Mat Indera was caught and hanged to death in 1953. An end to yet another freedom fighter.
|There lies a hero- Tok Janggut|
If you look closely at the story of Mat Indera and how it was portrayed by the Brits, there's vast similarities with that of Datuk Maharajalela, Mat Kilau, Datuk Bahaman, Abdul Rahman Limbong and Tok Janggut (see above). Tok Janggut also fought and killed Malay police officers and soldiers who sided with the Brits (scumbags), and he was portrayed by the Brits as a rebel and traitor to the Sultan of Kelantan. When Tok Janggut was finally killed, his body was humiliated to the highest degree by being paraded all over town and then hung upside down for all to see. You can read his story here and here. And for all that, what did out text book portray him as? Read below, an extract from Buku Teks Sejarah Tingkatan 5 (KBSM).
|Yet another selfish Malay noble man who didn't want to pay the taxes?|
Was that really all in Tok Janggut's fight? He didn't want to pay taxes? Lost of political powers and influence? Is that really how we want to remember him as?
Are these stories of traitors or freedom fighters? History is written by those in power. Wallahualam.
|Thats a big croc!|
|They should make a movie: Giant Croc vs. Giant Hog. That'll sell|
The du'a was:
"Ya Allah, Satukanlah hati kedua mempelai ini seperti Engkau satukan hati Adam dan Hawa, Yusuf dan Zulaikha dan seperti Engkau satukan hati Muhammad SAW dan Siti Khadijah."
The catch phrase was:
Tidak perlu mencari secantik Balqis, andai diri tak sehebat Sulaiman.
Mengapa mengharap teman setampan Yusuf, jika kasih tak setulus Zulaika
Tak perlu mengharap teman seteguh Ibrahim, andai diri tak sehebat Siti Hajar
Dan mengapa didambakan teman hidup yang sempurna Muhammad, jika ada keburukan pada diri.....
Those phrases were undoubtedly catchy and romantic, and would seem to sit perfectly well in a wedding card. Problem was, in my limited knowledge, I never knew that Yusuf (pbuh) married Zulaika.
And as yesterday I was reading Surah Yusuf, I decided to read the seerah of this prophet a bit more, particularly the part about him and Zulaika. So lets take a brief look into this story.
For starters, there is no mention, what so ever, of the name Zulaika in the Quran, with the only women being mentioned by name is Maryam, mother of Isa (pbuh). In the Quran, what is mentioned is 'the wife of the Al-Aziz (ruler). So where did this name, Zulaika come from? Most say its from isra'iliyyat's traditions but then a quick glance at Wikipedia says that the Bible simply mentions her name as the Potiphar's wife. Allah knows best.
The first part of the story of Yusuf (pbuh) and The Al-Aziz's wife is narrated in the Quran from verse 21 to verse 33. It starts with the Al-Aziz buying Yusuf (pbuh) and introduced him to his wife. He asks his wife to receive Yusuf honorably and that they might find him useful or even adopt him as a son. The story continues with the wife inviting Yusuf unto herself and commit adultery. Yusuf (pbuh) rejects her advances and tries to reason with her, saying that the Al-Aziz had treated him honorably and that wrong doers never prosper.
And Allah said, "She verily desired him and he would have desired her if it had not been that he saw the argument of his Lord." and "...Lo! he was of Our chosen slaves."
When the Al-Aziz discovers his wife's bad intentions (even after she pleads her innocence), he asks that Yusuf (pbuh) forgets about the incident and that his wife ask for forgiveness for her sin.
But alas, in such high society were gossips and rumours tend to spread faster than forest fires (yup, even back then!), the women in the city learned about the incident. And when the wife heard of this, she wanted to make a point and called upon the women to her palace for a feast and gave them fruits and knives to cut the fruits with. Then she called upon Yusuf to enter the room. Stricken by Yusuf's beauty, the women cut their own fingers and went as far as to claim that "...This is not other than some gracious angel." The women made advances towards Yusuf, which lead to Yusuf praying, "O my Lord! Prison is more dear than that unto which they urge me, and if Thou fend not off their wiles from me, I shall incline unto them and become of the foolish."
The second part of the story is narrated from verse 50 to verse 53 of the same surah. When the king of Egypt requested that Yusuf be brought to him, Yusuf asked the king inquire about the incident with the women who cut their hands. So the king summoned the ladies and asked about the incident. The wife of the Al-Aziz then proclaimed, "...Now the truth is out. I asked of him an evil act, and he is surely of the truthful.....I do not exculpate myself. Lo! the (human) soul enjoineth unto evil, save that whereon my Lord hath mercy. Lo! my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful."
That was the end of the mention of Yusuf and the Al-Aziz's wife. No where did the Quran mention about Yusuf (pbuh) later marrying the woman. Nor was it mentioned in any Hadith. So where is this Romeo and Juliet-esque love story coming from? Allah knows best.
With regards to this wife of the Al-Aziz, was she an evil person? Lets put ourselves in her boots. She was wife to a very important person in the Egyptian hierarchy, a very busy man. She was probably most of the times alone in the house, with only the ever so beautiful Yusuf (pbuh). So beautiful was Yusuf that the prophet Muhammad once said, “When I met Yusuf (pbuh), I saw that Allah (swt) has blessed him with half of the beauty of the whole world, while the other half has been spread over the rest of it.” (Sahih Muslim).
And if the two decided to commit that sinful act, they could've easily concealed it from everyone's knowledge. Temptations could bring the worse of mankind. That was what the wife thought. But it was not to be for Yusuf was a prophet.
As narrated in the second part of the story, the wife later acknowledged her sins and asked Allah for forgiveness. And Allah is most forgiving. So that is that. Wallahualam.