Saturday, April 21, 2018

ma'arij as salikin.......ranks of the divine seekers

in this series of discourse prof ovamir anjum,who holds the chair of imam al khattab  study at toledo university, usa, discusses on ibnu qayyim al jauzi's  long treatise , his magnum opus,  madarij as salikin, ranks of the seekers'.

ibnu qayyim al jauzi was a reformer and mujaddid of the 14th century.

madarij as salikin, was written as a lenghty commentary, a simplification and amplification of a short  but terribly difficult treatise to understand in it's original arabic, written 3 centuries earlier by an afghan scholar, a great scholar,, abu ismail al harawi al ansari, manazil as sairin.

prof anjum ovanir has further simplified  ibnu's jauzi's book and 
now he has made it available in the web by  a series of  discourse.
enjoy him:


episode 2:

Thursday, October 26, 2017

a day in malaysian history............20th september 1998

20th september 1998 was  for all  malaysians, a day of infamy.
2 top leaders at loggerhead with each other for months on issues of how to tackle the east asian economic crisis came  to a head.

i came to know from a pdrm mounted 'police kaki' much later,that on that fateful night, numero uno, dr m was riding his favourite mount, going round and round the field in bukit kiara equestrian club, right smack around half kilometres away from anwar ibrahim's house, whom had to contend with a visit by armed special branch police, and arrested for corruption on account of him using his influence to disrupt police investigation on the  alledged homosexuality charge.

dr m could not have done better. he should know. horse riding is a panacea for great stress. it is a great de-stressor. i know this as well, just fresh from a rigorous endurance ride win at upm 2 months earlier and readying myself and my mount, boss, an ex-race thoroughbred on the same venue dr m was riding, for the world endurance championship scheduled to be in dubai that coming december.

it is akin to riding a superbike but with a brain of it's own. you think you are in control but you only remain on top as long as 'ms gedebe' think you are her guest and master....that is the endorphin high in horse riding. the life itself.

but even riding could not contain my personal anger as an ordinary raayat then. anwar in jail was no love lost for me. i never liked him as an upstart finance minister, given  the cushy job on a silver plate by the senior politician and mentor, i found him too cocky. even then i have a soft spot for people like hadi and nik aziz and anwar was rather rude to both these chaps who were in politics not for 'the money' nor 'the  fame'.

i have  a chronic sensitivity to people with excessive power  and  and excessive wealth obtained rather unfairly via being umnoputra nominess.
and love the underdogs, always whatever their persuasions.
it become almost a character fault  in my life.
i can say on record i have never  voted the incumbent government in my life.

in my university days, and that  was in mid 70's ,and my  first voting in a general election, it was obvious the general election was just going to be an 'erection' of some sort. hussien onn then just created  the newly energised 'barisan national' after closing down 'parti perikatan' and all thinking citizen knew there was not going to be any creditable opposition apart from dap in the next parliement.
all politicians wanted to wanted to be ministers in the next government.
admittedly this was going to be the 1st general election after the national operation council governance post 1969 May 13th. 
so everyone were tip toeing very carefully.

i never like kit siang and his politics either. he was very disruptive then and even now.
asri  and hasan adli brought pas into the fold of the new 'bn'.
in kelantan there were an assortment of  independent candidate, coming under the banner of '.parti bas'.
some of them akin to the character of 'lord suuch' of the 'loony party' of britain.
elsewhere nation wide there were only dato bagindo kampo rajos' parti socialist raayat and lim kit siang's dap wanting to form the opposition. the young kassim ahmad was also there.

the idealist in me voted for for 'parti bas' in kelantan.
there was no creditable opposition.
almost all lost their deposits.!

'bn' won across the country hands down.
asri and hasan adli became ministers, a first and probably last time for 'pas'.
[  'pas' now is more a chicken without a head. 
'pan' its derivative are all 'heads' without a body.  ]
...and that was 1975/6 political history........

dr m, i never like his brand of politics as well. up to a point i thought he was doing well but in the mid 90's when his children were turning from being teenagers to becoming young adults, dr m's politics changed significantly. i may be wrong but that was how most people felt on the ground.

that was the beginning of his fall......

across the pacific, you have ronald reagan and nancy. their only son was a dancer and he remained a dancer. here back in malaysia, dr m's eldest son, in his 20's became genius in business all of a sudden.
abdul daim zainuddin and his boys became filthy rich!....and for most  of them filthy poor [ woth still millions of rm secreted in foreighn banks ...the likes of ahmad sebi, amin apakahnamadiadah etc etc and etc ]suddenly as well thanks to the bursting of the bubble during the east asian economic crisis!

from corporate wizards right to being corporate lizards, all disappearing in to the 'wood work', in their overseas homes
so many of them with private jets  and homes in london and new york etc and etc
that was also history.
some struggled back and make it . 
the rest disappeared into the sunset to enjoy their ill gotten cash deposit in foreign banks.
but this is another story worth writing another blog on.

i did the unthinkable the next day in my consultant suite at subang jaya medical. 
on an official sjmc letterhead with my own name screaming on it, i wrote direct in my usual ineligible, scribbled hand writing a short nasty letter to datin sri dr siti hasmah:

" marm.....i am very disapointed with your husband and with anwar. why can't both of them settle their issues in the proper correct manner!?....blah blah blah....blah blah blah

your husband is already well into his seventies now and about to meet his maker any day now. i hope your husband is right about anwar, because if he is wrong, how is he going to answer to his god?

and truly marm if anwar did what he did, i do not care what the rule of law in this country is, he deserved to be hanged by his balls!...."

i swear that my house phone sounded muffled for a good week. i was not using a hand set yet at that time, so any changes to my house phone i could perceptibly feel.

then out of the blue, i reserved a registered mail on the 6th day, coming from seri perdana.
a legibly handwritten letter from datin sri siti hasmah!

" dear dr nik,

my husband and i are very sorry and can understand that you and many of your friends felt that way.
we are also very disappointed to say the least. to say we are disappointed is actually a gross understatement. we are heart broken.

it is not economic, dr nik.
if it is economic it would be easy for my husband to handle.
it is related to anwar's behaviour. my husband got feedback from special branch and he has to do what he did...."

datin sri dr siti hasmah graciuosly ended her letter with , " only god knows, dr nik.."

yes , on the issue of dato anwar ibrahim, only the principal players know : dato anwar himself, probably datin sri azizah, dato zulkiflee the special branch boss of that time that went to see dr m along with his boss,  tun haniph omar....may be a couple of junior police officers on the round.

dato zul is a long time patient of mine.
a perfect gentleman.
a decade later i asked him, 'did you see it dato..'.
" no, doc, just a report from my boys! "....

in the now famous words of tun dr siti hasmah, " ..only god knows doc nik...".

if only the east asia economic meltdown did not occur.
if only anwar did not ruffled his boss that badly..
if only....
so many many 'iblis' if's:
if all those did not happened, then we would not have a clown running the country now...

all said and done, tun dr siti hasmah, in my humble estimation, is the best first lady malaysia had ever have.

i continued to write to her, oftentimes in anger, complaining of dr m's occasional excesses.
she never replied thereafter but i knew i was not exactly in her 'bad book' because i was invited to sri perdana a couple of years later, just sitting next to the maintable. if i recall correctly during one of days when the 1st couple invited some gpms members for dinner in their house.
i was not a member. all these peole , cari makan type of characters , and amenu youth type  as well.

at magrib, i prayed next to dr m, but my anger was still simmering. i could not bring myself to say hello or shake his hands! we remained silent.

but with dr siti hasmah it ws different.
later  in 2002, when i ran out of sponsorship for another world cup endurance championship in herez , spain she arm wrestled stingy  hasan merican to come up with 100k rm as a petronas sponsorship deal.
i was representing the nation anyway. i cannot be using my own money riding the likes of shyakh maktoum on his million euro horses at a world championsghip.
stingy hasan could not refuse her even though he told me he was already up to his nose with formula one.

malaysia is currently in its dying throes in this current sand of time.
anwar ibrahim and dr m have both buried their many years of differences, political and personal, to overcome  that monumental inertia to change for the better.
otheriwse we all will 'rot' forever.
that is the choice on the other side.
it is a great shame on all of us malaysians  to burden this only on the frail shoulders of a 90 plus year old!
...and a decrepit old man nearing his seventies surviving on nasi kawah in sungai buluh for years .

shame on all you guys!!

Friday, October 13, 2017

dr kassim ahmad in memorium......

the late dr kassim ahmad is a  black blot in my world view of things. his politics does not interest me , much less his position on hadith and islam. i always thought a chap who claimed, and been acclaimed to be a scholar, could have done much  much better than  being  'anti hadith' man. with all the scholarship and the hardship he had gone through his entire political life, i would expect him, of all people, to get not lost of the light at the end of the tunnel.

islam is, in the final analysis, about closeness and mahabatullah.
and one cannot get close to allah without knowing and loving his messenger, muhammad [pbuh].
just because there is a wide spectrum in the practice of islam due to the varying ways people perceive and accept the sunnan of muhammad [pbuh], does not mean one , in order to simplify and unify things, one can do away with sunnah rasullallah.
differences are mercy and rahmah from allah , not a scourge.
just look at the rainbow! how pristinely beautiful it is........

'anti hadith' and a specie belonging to the same genus, liberal islam , to me is just the preserve for prematurely retired arrogant young cardiothoracic surgeon, still wet in between the ears young journalists, retired ambassadors who should know better, daughters of ex ministers, generally angry middle aged ladies etc etc and what not, who wished to bath in  glamour and at the same time revel in their  utter ignorance of their ugama for public viewing . 

i always put dr kassim ahmad  much higher on the pedestal  than these such lowly vocation.

but alas! life is always like that . when you least expect, the best that you thought of a person somehow turns out the other way round. 
it is a disappointment really.

'anda bukan saja sesat ......bahkan anda menyesatkan!', this harsh sentence still ring loudly in my ears, coming from one ex brigedier general  cum dg of ugama, brig general [rtd] datuk zainal abidin, many years back during the very public inquisation of the shaykhul al arqam.

so one fine day some two years back i was surprised when this fine elderly gentleman, very frail looking, was pushed into my consultation room.

i was elated actually. for years i was trying to get to see him personally to give him some advice on the 'hadth' thing. many young professionals with mainly secular education and little else , have been misled  on a wrong path.

and there he was, being wheeled into my consultation suite.
it is as if the 'mountain has come to muhammad!'.

'anda bukan saja sesat..bahkan anda menyesatkan!', i pushed that aside.

after a brief examination and an echocardiogram and xrays, i came to term with his condition:
'this 82 year old veteran politician is a candidate for sudden cardiac death, any time. he has a large failing heart, hardly moving, with severe aortic stenosis probably of rheumatic origin  in childhood [ probably his difficult  'marhein' childhood had contributed to that since repeated streptococcal throat was endemic during his time with his poor childhood back ground ], and most probably compounded by additional ischaemic cardiomyopathy as well..
surgical risk is plus plus...medical treatment is just symptomatic at best. a candidate for sudden cardiac death!' 

that was my 'internal conversation' and 'executive summary' on him.
at my hospital, and in my practice, it did not take long to arrive to such summary.
one visit, at the most two.

'doctor kassim. the outlook is grim. you have a big failing heart with you main valve needing to be replaced as well. additionally before a surgeon can do anything operative  on you, they would need a road LV angiogram and coronary angiogram.....and even that itself , in your present state, constitute high risk'

'doc i just need  two years to complete my work,  after two years i can close my eyes'

in my mind i wished i could tell him that even that two years is a tall order, but i kept my mouth shut.
too much bad news and awe for the old man already. 40 years in the practice tells me that shock in small doses over time can be taken more easily.

in his very frail condition i will be lucky if i can find a very senior brave surgeon to replace his valve and do bypass grafts as well. the possibility of 'dying on the table' is just too high!
no surgeon worth his salt would want that to happen!

we spend the next ten minutes discussing his new book plan he was writing.

'frankly dr kassim, if you were to ask me, and i am a fan of hamka and tafsir like you as well.....your position on hadith is islamically not defensible. i do not think at this juncture in your life you should concentrate on that......there is not much time left, frankly.'

' but doc, you are wrong! those people  from jakim dont have ilm. they are cocooned in their own ignorance..'

' well, dr kassim you are more well read than me,but the little i know about islam tells me that you are on the wrong should come back to the right path. you are not only lost. many young people got lost as well following you. some of them i know personally'

that was my parting remark.

the week after, dr kassin ahmad did not turn up for his scheduled follow up visit.
i assumed he went for a better second opinion.
see some young cardiologists elsewhere who know how to keep their mouths shut!

may his taubat, insyaallah, be accepted by allah rabbul jalil. 
may his soul be placed amongst the blessed!

inna lillah hiwainna ilai hirojiun.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

of over glorified water carriers and all that jazz.....

friends , dato and tansri,

on the day when all and sundry were waiting for numero uno to announce the   date for the 14th   general election, when the many substantive raayat's grouses will be once and for all addressed, instead we have the 'not at all  great  and surprising 'news that an old 'fart' is returning to his old lousy and foul smelling den.

this same old 'fart' who some 15 years ago was proclaimed world wide to have carried a couple of million rm in a brief case in australia but relieved of his guilt of money laundering in a foreign land on the premise  that he can be excused he did not understand proper english and thus was free to rob and launder money as much as he like and to where.

what he was going to do with that bagful of ringgit did not fire any imagination with our local attorney general of that time.
let alone from where he got it.
that was the depravity we as a nation already were wallowing even 15 years ago.
dr m was numero uno at that time!

malaysia, was known as  'boleh land', translated as 'everything can do one' with the proviso one is well connected politically. 

not, 15 years later not  much has changed.
in fact things has gone from worse to worst.
the degree of depravity in 'boleh land' seemed to be a bottomless pit .

and why not?
from top to bottom , the machineries of ' boleh land ' are inundated by over glorified water carriers and sycophants bidding each and everyone to be the best of  the worst.

from time expired and function expired cabinet ministers, to attorney generals, other 'generals', editors and general of editors ,right down to the lowly ' clerks'   and 'general chief clerks ' manning  the counters at the various ministries.

most , except for a few have lost their raison de' tre and meaning of their functions and existence.

from my humble opinion and perspective, many have even lost even their 'ugama', in favour of 'cari makan'.

the raayat are now itching for the next general election so that 'justice and the order of law'  and some degree of dignity can be  restored to 'boleh land'. 

some idealists, like me, even  are nursing a dream that we can put a few on the top behind bars permanently for the rest of the meaningless lives.

but i am a pragmatist.
i doubt this can happen.
the malays are nature's gentlemen, according to old winstedt, and thus even in the event that ge14 go on to the required result, the new power that be would string up some form of 'save waterface' manuerve.

we are famous for that.
in fact we are world champion at that.

this being the case, i pray to allah that,
 ' ya allah ya rabbi, letak kan lah mereka2 ini di maqam yang setimpal dengan kerja2 mereka didunia ini.
dan jika didalam ilmu mu yang menjangkau penilikan hamba2 yang serba berkurangan dan lemah ini adalah, mereka2 ini hanyalah  sebagai satu bala kepada saya bangsa yang telah lemah dari segi ugama dan sa'siah, bagikan lah kepada kami , sabr dan riddha menempuh dugaan mu....amin, ya rabbi alamin! "

dr nik howk


 From: hamzah
Sent: Monday, September 18, 2017 3:01 PM
To: Nik Isahak Abdullah
Subject: Re: Fw: surah ash shuura.......epilogue

More convincing if it happens in this world!


On 18 Sep 2017 16:51, "Nik Isahak Wan Abdullah" <> wrote:
if it does not happen in this world it is because our muslim -malay world has for centuries become corrupted and irreligious.
part of which is due to our very feudal character.

partly also due to our pseudoreligiousity....being malay means we accept carbuncles warts and all readily......that is in our genetic makeup.

dont blame that on islam
belum apa2 lagi a malay will start with ;

sembah patik harap di ampun......blah blah blah, when
'your excellency' would have sufficed.

in a time when  all ' his excellencies' were all upright in characters, things would have been better but when they are also feeding in the same trough as patik2, a new class of patik2 would share power and status.

perhaps dato, you and me , we would not live long enough to see any movement towards the better in our lifetime.
there seemed to be a ganging up of the selected patik2 and the excellencies todate to maintain the status quo.

dr nik isahak


Tue 9/19/2017 7:42 AM


You replied on 9/19/2017 8:59 AM.

To view it seriously, doc:  It is because our society has remained feudal in outlook, and greedy in character.
The combination of these two traits results in superstition and low public ethics. 

There is no 21st Century concern here for high ethics in public life, no drive for modern education (we still go for non-rational Tafiz schools and madrassas; we are reminded of them from time to time by tragic fires and loss of young lives), no passion for rational, scientific, and technological excellece...  

The real reason is this: we are caught in an old mind-warp. Not because of no religion. 

If it is "because of no religion" how is that 25 secular societies (including Japan, Taiwan, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Singapore) have such honest and efficient governance, excellent schools (no madrassas where children die in fires from time to time), very low drugs, crime, and sex abuse?

I have made these points many times in the past, but you ignored them. Don't you think educated Malays like you have a role in analysing the problem with modern pragmatism in your blog?
But l don't think you can. Your mind is cast in an old mould, that of a dakwah, a proselytiser. Not that of a reformer.

A real pity. There are so many smart Malays from Kelantan and Kedah.


Tue 9/19/2017 8:59 AM


we have roles to play dato, specialize roles.

what are you doing?
you and your very quiet generations of ex ksn, ksu, a whole load of ts and datuk sris warming are you guys soooo silent and so comfortable.......guys who meet over lunch in lake club, with fine wine to follow and lament about the good old days in britain and your foreign adventures and misadventures under the guise of foreign service.

what is tsming doing apart from minting money?

what is my good friends, che heng  and the maurauding oil baron, nadzru azahari,doing?

what is everyone doing?

i have two prof in my family who are 100 % behind ntr......that speaks a lot about the volumes of what remained to be done.

i am just an observer of life on this planet, albeit a 'noisy' one,

i know my limitation and skill.

what are you more talented, more 'collected'  and more connected individuals doing!!!???

apart from lamenting in limited private circles in muted voices lest numero uno knows!


Tue 9/19/2017 11:47 AM


replied on 9/20/2017 12:50 AM.nikhowk,
nik howk,

quote: "what is tsming doing apart from minting money ”

is that a question or is it an accusation?

well, if you must know, i do plenty of some, none of others. i try to leverage on the gifts that Allah has granted me, making the best of them, and try to touch as many who can benefit from those gifts or are in need to be touched. I do not do things I am not equipped to do, and leave those to others who feel they can. we shall leave at that, for the good the right hand does, the left does not need to know.

from time to time, i still read your posts. but too often find your ranting and railing tiresome. it reminded me of the slightly loopy or seriously unhinged street characters of our youth in kota bharu. particularly one who used to walk the streets and shout at school buses ‘medeko, apo medeko?’. you remember the fellow - who went by the name 'tok awae'?  there may have been something profoundly wise and deeply insightful in his observation and message about the false promise of independence and nationhood. (with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and current evidence, you could make the argument that he was a man ahead of his time - prescient and prophetic).  but going about the way he did, nobody could have taken him seriously, and none did. 

nikhowk, i fear unless you start responding to legitimate arguments (such as posed by dato hamzah) and construct the foundation of your message with clarity as opposed to resorting to broad generalisations and broadsides, you may be risk not being taken seriously. and that would be a shame.

salam and regards,  azmi.

From: Nik Isahak Wan Abdullah
Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 12:50 AM
To: Azmi Wan Hamzah
Cc: hamza
Subject: Re: surah ash shuura.......prologue


before your bp hits the roof and you get a sub arachnoid bleed up there in your brain, do cool down my dear ts!

at least we know our beloved tsming is still very much alive and kicking!

if i have to invoke some 'generalization bordering accusation' to get to hear some 'pearls and gem' from tsming i will do so, even if, he deemed it as an uncalled for and unkind remark.
that ts ming is not is a matter of perspective.

apart from lamenting in limited private circles in muted voices, lest numero uno knows!

yes i mean it,
i am not apologising.
what are you guys doing apart from some,lamenting in a few private circles, in lake club for example, in between lunch and in between heavy doses of dom perignon!
what is g25 doing?
what are the rest of us doing?
our national press is next to nothing
[  ]
our judiciary is nothing to shout about and yet one ex cj recently  came out with his memoir.

i have the displeasure of meeting his publisher just yesterday in my clinic, she lamented that 'doc, it is not selling, i rugi banyak!! '
'what to sell madam...the memoirs of the last 3 to 4 cj's ...there is nothing to read about...they are no salleh abbas.....they are just over glorified water least i cried after reading salleh abbas, 'mayday for justice' , not that we have great cj's as far as i can recollect'  "

we cannot depend on the press, our justice system has been so so and tainted etc etc and etc....

the minimum our 'bijak and pandai ' can make is at least a lot of animal noise rather than keeping mump! 

numero uno is a politician....he and his close coterie of friends look out for all these 'noises', then act.
in any civilise soceity apart from malaysia, this kind of excessess would see them behind bars for life 

in japan, it is straight two ways about it.

shame on all of us!
we are not doing enough!!
sorry ts, we are all not doing enough
otherwise the carbuncle and wart in the room would have long disappeared

......and by the way , i take your 'tok awae' thing in this soo soo quiet 21 st century in malaysia, coming from  you  ts, as a compliment!
after that f.u  in 2011 from nothing less than the supremo of malaysian mega media apparatus, 'tok awae' from tsming is a  superb compliment!

one need to be in a state of  a ' tok awae 'nowadays to be above this 'madding crowd' and maintain one's sanity, rather  than quietly accepting substandard, corrupt  and self serving governance as a norm !

dr nik