Category Archives: new media

Which mazhab is the best? Ours?


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Which mazhab is the best? Ours?
By Zan Azlee

I went for Friday prayers at the main mosque in Bamiyan, a city and province in the mountains of northern Afghanistan. They are mainly from the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, as opposed to the Shafi’i here in Malaysia.

The way the prayers were conducted were slightly different in the arrangements of the sermon and optional prayers which I wasn’t used too. And neither did I understand the sermon.

But it was no big deal. The Hanafi school is one of the four main Sunni schools, or mazhabs, and it’s aqidah (creed) is the same. The only difference is the interpretation of fiqh (jurisprudence) and rituals.

So it is no problem for a Shafi’ifollower like me (being from Malaysia) to pray alongside those from the other mazhabs. Through my travels around the world, I have prayed alongside all of them.
Now back to northern Afghanistan on that Friday afternoon about three years ago. After Friday prayers concluded, I managed to catch up with the Afghan Imam who had led it. He was young and very handsome.

I told him where I came from and told him why I was in his country (I was shooting a documentary). We chatted for a while when he brought up the subject of the different mazhabs between our regions.

“Shafi’i mazhab has beautiful teachings. I admire the strong faith that the Malaysian Muslims have. They are known around the world to be very devout in their faith,” he smiled.

I mentioned to him that I noticed the differences in how they conducted Friday prayers the Hanafi way and I was unfamiliar, so I mainly just followed the crowd in the mosque.

“That’s okay. We are all Muslim and we share the same faith. Our structure may be different but our hearts and intentions are the same. We are brothers,” he said in response.

Being the humorist and comedian that I am (and usually in the most inappropriate times!), I mentioned to him that he is the most good-looking imam I had ever met! He laughed and we hugged goodbye. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

 

 

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Are Muslims smart enough to think?


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Are Muslims smart enough to think?
By Zan Azlee

It is sad when the system has caused the indoctrination of a people to a point where all thinking and rationalisation seems to have been eliminated and destroyed.

As humankind develops, all kinds of fields of study progresses along with it, from the arts and philosophy, to the sciences and economics. It’s only natural.

One thing that seems to have stayed stagnant is the minds of the Muslims particularly in Malaysia. It’s like the society has just stayed in a vacuum time capsule.

Fundamentalism in Islam is actually a good thing because it’s suppose to mean that the religion and its teachings hasn’t been corrupted or negatively influenced.

But fundamentalism which means not moving forward, not progressing in terms of thoughts and interpretations, and not wanting to evolve with humankind, now that is dangerous. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

Take the plunge to self-employment


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Take the plunge to self-employment
By Zan Azlee

Arif Rafhan, a close friend of mine, recently quit his full time job at an IT company where he was also a partner in to concentrate on, of all things, doodling.This is a person who has an extraordinary mutant-like talent for drawing and art but had been fully and gainfully employed for more than ten years in a field totally different. What made the push? I was working on my third book (about my adventures in Afghanistan) and decided that it should be a graphic novel. I called on him to be the illustrator.

Well, I don’t know if that was the whole push that help make his decision. But I would really like to believe that I had some small role in it. Arif (or as we all know him as Apan), is now a full time doodler, illustrator and artist who takes on any project that can make full use of his talents. And I’ve never seen him more excited. Here’s a story that is close to my heart and also one that I feel needs to be shared. More than ten years ago, I made the same decision that Apan did.

I decided to quit my full time job as a TV reporter to indulge in my interests which were (and still are!) writing and video/filmmaking.

Sure, the income and stability was a bit lacking in the beginning, but I couldn’t have been more excited, happy and enthusiastic to be doing what I love and at my own terms. It turned out great for me and those were my most productive and satisfying years of my creative life. Financially, it was rewarding too. Its true what they say about doing what you love. I tried to convince Apan to do the same way back when I took the plunge too. But he was more interested in climbing the corporate ladder and becoming rich (admit it Apan! haha!). Compared to mine, Apan’s journey will probably be a bit more nerve-wrecking (to me at least). He has a whole family with a wife and two kids to take care of now. [Click to read the full article at KopitiamEkonomi.Com]

Pakchic says: Trying to raise a true blue Malaysian daughter


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Pakchic says: Trying to raise a true blue Malaysian daughter
By Zan Azlee

“Apa khabar Athena? Buat apa kat sekolah hari ini?” I would ask.

“Pops!!” she would scream.

“Kenapa Athena? Apa yang Athena buat kat sekolah? Ceritalah kat pops.”

“Pops!!”

And she would immediately run away from me while laughing hysterically.

I find her reaction very amusing whenever I try to speak to her in any other language besides English, like Bahasa Malaysia or Cantonese for example.

It’s amusing to me because that is exactly how I reacted when I was a kid to my parents who would suddenly speak to me in Bahasa Malaysia just to fool around with me.

I speak English at home with my daughter and wife. The reason is because that is the language of communication in my family when I was growing up.

In fact, I consider that my mother tongue since I actually learned to speak English way before I could speak Bahasa Malaysia.

Another language that I can speak is Cantonese because I come from a mixed family. But my pronunciation isn’t really that impressive. More comedic, I think!

So it’s only natural that I also want little Athena to be able to speak all of these languages. And she’s doing quite well (except for the Cantonese… my mother needs to speak more to her).

Jokes aside, she seems to be picking up Bahasa Malaysia quite fast considering that she only speaks Malay when she meets some of her Malay relatives (oh… and the maid at home!). [Click to read the full article at MakChic.Com]

The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 21) – Jadi kau Bajet kau hot lah?


Cost of living went up. What else is new? Ohh… apparently women are important now! Zan and Aizyl talk about the highlights of Budget 2015 and they interview an actual woman who is a doctor nonetheless (featuring Aizyl’s first time talking to a girl)!

Listen to more Fat Bidin Podcasts here.