Monday, March 30, 2009

Mehndi / Inai vs. Tattoo

Tattoo is a permanent marking made by inserting ink into the layers of skin to change the pigment for decorative or other reasons (Wikipedia).

Mehndi on the other hand is an art of skin decoration using henna as the colouring agent and commonly practice by the South Asian communities during weddings, local festivals and other celebrations. The artwork is called inai by Malay speaking people in Malay archipelago and has been a long time practice by the traditional Arabs. Unlike tattoo, Mehndi is temporary and can last for 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the quality of henna and method of preparation.

South Asian style Mehndi

I am always wondering why people go for tattoos and piercing, since I couldn't find any true beauty articulated from it. In fact it only turns them into ugly duckling, especially when tattoo is applied on their faces.

Now he looks nothing less than a devil

Will this make you happy?

Or happier?

I HATE tattoo, I really do. Tattoo lovers definitely hate me for saying this. It won't change my perception no matter how good the pro-tattoo media say about tattoo arts and freedom of expression. To me, crafting something permanently on our body parts will never make us a better person, rather we will look like either criminals or morons. I'm sorry (but I accept mehndi or inai).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stinky Pig Farms stink the world

Pigs also known as hogs or swine have been domesticated for its meat (more popularly called pork or ham) by many, except Muslim communities. As the world population increases, the demand for ham increases, which results in increasing number of pig farms across the globe.

Smelly, stinky, slimy, disgusting, all these terms are always associated with pig farming. The fact is that animal farms are always smelly but pig farm is more than worse.

It is now a world wide issue, as far as odour and environment are concern. However, the popularity of ham as a major food source for some communities in the world has offset the stinking issue, therefore has not been well addressed internationally. In predominantly Muslim countries, in which the non-Muslim population is huge and noticeable, the issue has been kept to a minimum in order to avoid tension between religions, although unfair to the Muslims.

It is quite surprising to note that the issue was taken quite seriously by a small country like Singapore, when the government began phasing out pig farming in 1984 because of odour and environmental pollution (link). When it came to their source of import, the answer is Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. As a Malaysian Muslim of course I feel very disappointed. I was not aware that Malaysia has so much swine until Japanese Encephalitis (pig associated disease) erupted in 1999.

Revolutionary deodorization piping system

Deodourizing column turns slimy after certain period

Recently, I realized a revolutionary deodorization piping system has been introduced in pig farms in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. To my opinion, such system will not be introduced unless pig farm odour is no longer tolerable to the public. From my perspective as a civilized people, to have such a system, it is an effort, which I can appreciate.

But from my perspective as a Muslim, I more appreciate if pig farming can be phased out totally. This is because pork is forbidden in Islam according to the text of the Qur’aan, where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“He has forbidden you only the Maytah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine…”
[al-Baqarah 2:173]

Therefore swine and its byproducts are strictly prohibited, in which such contact will require physical purification as prescribed by the religion. The stinky smell coming from pig farms is definitely offensive to Muslims due to the possible "impure" airborne produced by the swine and its surrounding.

Scientific and medical research has also proven that the pig, among all other animals, is regarded as a carrier of germs that are harmful to the human body. Do search the net, there are abundance of information available.

I know I cannot stop non-Muslims from eating pork as much as I cannot stop pig farming. Who am I to do that? But being in a society where pork is prohibited is something I highly treasure. Alhamdulellah, I'm a Muslim.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

All England 2009: Only 50% meet my prediction

Well, not much great moment for me. The quarterfinal matches started at 1AM last night (Malaysian time), the time when I turned off my brain in bed.

After performing Fajr prayer at 6.30 AM, I immediately checked the results.

Very disappointing, that is the only thing I can say right now. Many of my favourites were shown an exit by the underdogs. With the early withdrawal of Anthony Clark/Nathan Robertson and recently Lee Jung Hyo/Lee Kyung Won, my prediction already turned up side down.

My previously predicted semifinalists:

Women's single:
Tine Rasmussen (DEN) [1] .................... IN
Zhou Mi (HK) [2] ................................. OUT
Zhu Lin (CHI) [6] ................................. OUT
Saina Nehwal (IND) unseeded .............. OUT

Men's single:
Lee Chong Wei (MAS) [1] ...................... IN
Peter Gade (DEN) [4] ........................... OUT
Chen Jin (CHI) [3] ................................ IN
Lin Dan (CHI) [2] ................................. IN

Women's double:
Cheng Wen Hsing/Chen Yu Chin (TPE) [1] ......... OUT
Lee Jung Hyo/Lee Kyung Won (KOR) [3] ........... OUT (withdrawn)
Du Jing/Yu Yang (CHI) [4] ................................ IN
Zhang Yawen/Zhao Tingting (CHI) [7] ............... IN

Men's double:
Lee Yong Dae/Shin Baek Choel (KOR) [6] .......... IN
Anthony Clark/Nathan Robertson (ENG) [8] ..... OUT (withdrawn)
Mathias Boe/Carten Morgensen (DEN) [5] ......... IN
Fu Haifeng/Cai Yun (CHI) [7] ........................... IN

Mix Double:
Nova Widianto/Lilyana Natsir (INA) [1] .......... OUT
Lee Yong Dae/Lee Hyo Jung (KOR) [2] ........... OUT
Anthony Clark/Donna Kellog (ENG) [4] .......... OUT
He Hanbin/Yu Yang (CHI) [3] ......................... IN

Check the results at:

Well, as a fan, I have nothing to lose. It's only a prediction after all. But I do hope Lee Chong Wei and Tine Rasmussen can become the champions.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Gantikan Azan di TV3 !

Bila azan berkumandang... sayu hati mendengar, maka terpanggillah kita untuk menunaikan solat. Yang lelaki digalakkan untuk bersembahyang jemaah di masjid. InshaAllah kita cuba sebaiknya.

Pelbagai gaya penyampaian azan telah kita dengari, ada yang begitu, ada yang begini. Tak mengapalah sekiranya ia mengikut kaedah yang betul. Yang menjadi masalah apabila azan itu dijadikan azan stylo, canggih lagi bergaya.

Paling ketara di TV3, entah siapa muadzinnya, lafaz kalimah Allahu akbar (الله اكبر) dilagukan Allahu ekbar / aekbar. Saya biasa juga dengar sebutan seperti ini di beberapa masjid yang lain di negara ini. Tak tahu siapa tiru siapa. Sama ada muadzin TV3 tiru gaya azan di masjid-masjid rakyat atau muadzin-muadzin di masjid rakyat yang tiru style azan TV3.

Hakikatnya sebutannya seperti itu adalah salah. Perkara seperti ini ada disentuh oleh Dato' Shamsuri Ahmad di dalam kuliah bulanan beliau (rujukan: Siri Ceramah USA Azan Stylo).

Tidak kurang yang menyebut Haiya 'alasSolaaH (حي على الصلاح) yang sepatutnya (حي على الصلاة).

Kesalahan lain seperti memanjangkan lafaz Allahu akbaaaar (الله اكبار) yang sepatutnya Allahu akbar (الله اكبر).

Bersama-samalah kita semak sebutan kita.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Badminton All England 2009 - My predicted semifinalists

Yonex All England is starting today. I'm so excited to watch the oldest and the most prestigious badminton tournament in the world. It's very difficult to predict who are going to be the winners of this tournament since many top players are almost at the same level.

It is such a huge disappointment for badminton fans (like me) to see two top double players out of All England. World number two, Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia withdraw due to knee injury involving Kido, while world number one and defending champion, Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung of South Korea are also out due to compulsory military service Jae Sung currently attends. However Lee Yong Dae has been granted a short term partner Shin Baek Choel. They are a pair to watch after they emerged winner of German Open last week.

My predicted semifinalists:

Women's single:
Tine Rasmussen (DEN) [1]
Zhou Mi (HK) [2]
Zhu Lin (CHI) [6]
Saina Nehwal (IND) unseeded

Men's single:
Lee Chong Wei (MAS) [1]
Peter Gade (DEN) [4]
Chen Jin (CHI) [3]
Lin Dan (CHI) [2]

Women's double:
Cheng Wen Hsing/Chen Yu Chin (TPE) [1]
Lee Jung Hyo/Lee Kyung Won (KOR) [3]
Du Jing/Yu Yang (CHI) [4]
Zhang Yawen/Zhao Tingting (CHI) [7]

Men's double:
Lee Yong Dae/Shin Baek Choel (KOR) [6]
Anthony Clark/Nathan Robertson (ENG) [8]
Mathias Boe/Carten Morgensen (DEN) [5]
Fu Haifeng/Cai Yun (CHI) [7]

Mix Double:
Nova Widianto/Lilyana Natsir (INA) [1]
Lee Yong Dae/Lee Hyo Jung (KOR) [2]
Anthony Clark/Donna Kellog (ENG) [4]
He Hanbin/Yu Yang (CHI) [3]

I don't put any hope in the second seed Wong Pei Tty/Chin Eei Hui. The Malaysian regained their world number one status last week. Their chance to shine is slim since they have to face Zhang Yawen/Zhao Tingting in the quarterfinal. Whoever the winner, Du Jing/Yu Yang will be waiting in the semifinal. Still, nothing is impossible. Stop the Chinese from dominating the world badminton! What say you?

2008 Singaporean and Indonesian Open Champion, Fairuzizuan & Zakry of Malaysia still have the chance to make their first All England final if they can surpass Clark & Robertson in the quarterfinal

Follow the tournament online at