These are just plain opinions; they can be rejected, refuted, argued against or accepted. These words are not meant to impose my ideals upon anybody , and they are not going against the law of the diversity of thoughts~~

Friday, 30 December 2011

Music to the soul~

                            Entertainment should entertain. That is the basis of entertainment. If something does not entertain, then it shall not be considered entertainment, although some sort of entertainment might excite someone, and irritate others. Well said , huh? If that is it, then what is the reason that people keep making fuss about entertainment?

                       I love music, and the lyrics that I heard and remembered does not turn me into some sort of criminal. So why ban it?

              Some people said that we should not get involved with western entertainment. Their songs, movies, rock n roll? You decide. Some said that their music contains zionist agenda, leads to blasphemy, and turns people into gays. The so-called western movies  make you kill your neighbours, rape your children and bomb supermarkets. We shall listen to Islamic music only, only, yes, only. Whoa, whoa relax...there's a reason and truth for everything being said.

                  If they said that we people shall indulge with Islamic form of entertainment, they should prepare perfect substitutes. Songs that can match the catchy tone of the western music. Movies that make you happy ,and make the heart grow sober.  What happened? We failed to make perfect substitutes, we just copy and paste their own form of entertainment.

                 We complained that their movies contained too much violence, but then, starting this millenia, we muslims produced a long list of movies of people killing each other, or teenagers trying suicide on their bikes. So much with the violence. We   often said their entertainment contained just overloaded sexual inclination, well, look at our artists! Sooo proud.

               To make things worse, the Home Ministry decided to cancel off the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia, which means, filmmakers can now produce movies without any limits and censorship. Such a wonderful life. Say hello to violent, racist and porn productions. Hurray!

        What? I'm a deadly pessimist, remember?

      We decided earlier, that entertainment shall entertain. So we make programs solely based on fun. Make jokes, so people can laugh out their stress. Be clowns on stage, entertain us, the hungry people, so we can procrastinate perfectly with family and friends. Are we really happy with that?

              Our music,is it really entertaining? Remember, one that does not entertain shall not be considered entertainment. Most of our music is about love, and 80 percent of that love songs, they are just telling about heart breaks, ~I left you, you left me, I hate you, you hate me, you shall die!~, where is the fun part of entertainment?

           So serious, huh?

        Faisal Tehrani wrote in his book that we should stop building  masjids, and start making Islamic movies with the money. Seriously people, he never meant that we should stop bulding masjids, but we have to sponsor the right amount so that Islamic entertainment can be made as perfect substitutes to the western ones. His book then got banned for those critics. So proud~

          Bruno Mars' Count On Me contains these lyrics;

"You can count on me like 1 2 3
I'll be there
And I know when I need it I can count on you like 4 3 2
And you'll be there
Cause that's what friends are supposed to do"

              So simple a lyric, but instead so fine and catchy. Can we consider that as the fun part of entertainment? You decide.

         If we insist that all the clowns and singers are fine entertainment to us, the people, why aren't they, themselves happy? They tried so hard to make us happy, they are gems in the entertainment world, so why aren't they happy? Isn't that entertainment perfect enough for them?  Countless entertainers indulged themselves with night clubs, liquor and women. Perfect example. Many of our performers made themselves happy with drugs and stuff. The country's sifu of clowns, for example, he made everyone happy, but he can't make himself calm. He choose drugs ,instead of his own powerful jokes and  funny faces. Why can't his entertainment make himself happy? What is wrong? Our celebrities shot to stardom, then get caught with drugs or some girls. Uh, scandals. Bruno Mars himself took cocaine. What a happy life.

"Those    who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah . Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured." (Surah ArRa'd ;28)

              Entertainment shall not be considered as something that solely entertains. Entertainment shall be considered as something that make our hearts calm. Let it be hard rock or just old books, it will do. Western or eastern, that does not matter, but Allah taught us that only by remembering him, we can be calm. Serenity is what we need most, not endless laughter to kill time. 

             I often meet a man,a very religious man in my place. He's a millionaire, but he never bought a Bugatti, or a ten million condominium in Singapore. He built a house in a village far from civilization, and a school for huffaz infront of his house. He always wear the same clothing, the same car, a white turban, for everyday in his life. The same thing, everyday!  He is a millionaire, but he doesn't have a Macbook, or a smart phone, or a facebook account, or beautiful girls all around. At first I thought, what an idle , a boring life? Seriously? But everytime I meet him, he always smiled, and that smile of his proved to be such a happy life which seemed to dawn over all my self-made happiness, my short life. I have everything, yet he seems so much happier, his face glows to everyone .

            When he speaks, he sounds so down to earth, although he is the man with the most knowledge , and well, money, in this village. And he is always happy, and I thought, what kind of entertainment he had? Guess what? The people who reached the highest level of living doesn't have to entertain himself with crappy music or men who dress like girls on stage. His prayers, zikr and and a simple life are enough. So much with the entertainment.

             "Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children - like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion." (Surah Al-Hadid ;20)


Monday, 19 December 2011

To The Death~

                    I can't write a thing. Nothing. My brain's empty. Nothing meaningful. I have lots and lots of ideas, too much, that I'm going to explode out of it . They all seemed useless, non-productive ideas. I will sit infront of the laptop every night, staring blankly at the idle screen ,like a sort of a moron. This feeling kills me from the inside. Yeah, you really want to do something, but you just can't, and without any reason. That causes some form of manic depression, a tension ripping you apart, an addiction. God, help me.

Please. Let me write, and I'll sleep like a brick. No, not a chance, no way.

Politics sucks. Politics are like lies; continuous lies, that some people succeeded to believe without a bit of uncertainty. I don't want to write about those lies. They are an enormous hate which is rooted deep inside our hearts, sometimes without a reason.

Economics? Oh, I don't know a thing.

Love? I had had enough.

I can't find a single thing that will not spark a heated argument, those which will not end in peace. Seriously.

            Once, a sifu, a sifu of sifus of writers told young men about being a writer;
"Read,then read, then read, then read, then read....." If you want to write, then read, then read again, continue reading, and yes, just read. If you didn't, don't even try. You will fail. Disagree? Just search every single writer you know (the famous ones obviously),they certainly are avid readers. Bookworms, not necessarily nerdy, although that might be.

         If you didn't read, you will write based on your opinions alone, your views of your cramped world. To you, yes, your view is wide, but to the others, you are just another attention seeking dude, rhetorics of unspoken normality,views that can be put aside. In the other hand , you're the cliche-still not out of the box. Get out. Sorry, not you, but the other billions who did not read.

             I started reading heavily since Form One. The objective was simple, read the  most number of books, and you will be rewarded by the school, perhaps the state, perhaps the nation herself. A certificate I will be proud to show off to everyone, including my future in-laws. Oh relax, I was just twelve at that time.My logic was illogical. The objective was clear, read MORE books than anyone else, get the presents. The school library gave a lot of stuff, seriously,haha, and that made the competition hard. They gave a big replica made of plastic-is it?- and written on it " The Reader of The Month" , sometimes a hamper of snacks, sometimes a certificate from the state, and perhaps some cash.  I got a friend who got addicted with reading, and so my life started as a bookworm.  

             We borrowed two books each day, because that is the limit for non-librarians, and return them the next day, read or not. We made records for the books we read in a log given by the school. You have to write the authors' name, the titles, the summary of contents, number of pages, yes, everything. Sometimes we read books with a hundred pages, sometimes three, sometimes just a leaflet. Still readable. True story. We always make it more than a hundred records for a month. Yeeha.

           I read so much that I was long-sighted, byopia by the age of thirteen. Seriously, I wear glasses until now. I read almost everything, from encyclopaedias to novels and magazines. I was thrilled by the pictures, anemones in the sea, turtles, islands, people of different sorts of colours. My friend even remembered the names of the nations and their capitals, reciting them without failure. In the early days I was dumbfounded by the diversity of nature, I was fascinated by everything I read. Do I sound like an old , old man telling stories? No, I'm just eighteen and happy.

           Our mission succeeded, my friend and I took turns in receiving the rewards. I got so many certificates, I finally stopped doing reports for the books I read. Why? I don't think the awards are motivational enough. The books alone are too precious for us to read, they were hidden gems.Well, we found the real treasures, who would want those cheap certificates? Hah. We spent a lot of time in the library searching for every kind of books. I got adddicted with Enid Blyton and her short stories,and I took to reading all her books. Yes. All.

         Enid Blyton's books in the school's library were plenty, I thought there were a whole rack just for her. The books were old, and although they were so many, I seldom see any student taking interest in her books, not even considering to look at them. Well, she was a Briton, we Javarians don't use her language much . Her writings were alien to them,  most of my friends. Well, elves, fairy tales, dwarfs, angels and talking toys, who oughta read that kind of stuff? But I did. Her books taught me about ethics as a child, heck, I learnt most of the ways to behave from her! The simplest things-saying thanks, helping a friend, being polite- the simplest things most books forgot to imply. Nay, students still find her books childish, nonsense and rubbish.

         I moved on to the classics, Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers,Little Women, Robinson Crusoe, they were just awesome. Alexander Dumas, Frances Anne Hodgson, Jules Verne. They are great writers, but the books remained old, the pages turn yellow, the books remained untouched. I kept wondering, until now, they are like; the best books ever, but nobody seems to have any interest. What the hell is wrong with the people?

         Let them be. As my friend and I grew, we can reach the higher shelves of the small library. That is an analogy, seriously. We started to read books for the form fives, for the teachers. You can choose not to believe, but we read the collections of Malay  stories by the Malaysia's prominent literary figures when a new box containing those books arrived at the library. A. Samad Said, Keris Mas, Shahnon Ahmad, Usman Awang, although their writings were sometimes so hard to understand, sometimes I failed to swallow the plot at all. Their books were a legacy of the only kind, the messages so softly delivered, stories you won't be able to think of. Most of the stories revolved around the hardships of the war at their time, they pictured life to be so mean and hard, but sometimes the stories were just political satires. A book I read just contains shit, and nothing else. Seriously, and literally, a book  about shit. Check this out; Shahnon Ahmad; the title is 'Shit'. I just can't stop laughing.

              Then, as hormones surge in, we moved to the teenage novels. My friend opted for the Malay novels, I went the other way. The Malay novels are full of puppy love, they made  the girls laugh alone while reading. They are the most predictable, annoying never-ending love stories, non-beneficial, a waste of money, encourages illegal love among teenagers. Sorry . Haha. But, they really are cliches, I can tell the ending just by looking at the cover. I can vomit at the third page, I can't take them all. Certain Malay writers are the exception, they are legendary, they wrote different things; ideology, principles, the law of nature, all in a story. Sometimes a writer wrote a better story in a single chapter than any other writers. Some of them even got banned by the non-bookworm government. I understand why the authorities banned them  , they themselves never read a thing other than fully biased newspapers, so why bother banning a book or an author? You decide.                                                                                                                           

                         I was enchanted-no- cursed by J.K Rowling, her books took my soul away. I read her books like a drug addict, they can't  be put away, the attractions too strong. Stayed with her story to the end, I felt helpless when it ended. I read her books again and again, still enthusiastic as the first time I bought the book, as the first time I hold the hard  cover, like a gold bar; no, much better.

          The adventure continued, oh, I even read Narnia. Then, to every novel that made its way to the cinema, both the book and the movie bought. I Am Number Four, To Kill A Mocking Bird, name it. When I found Dan Brown's and Jeffrey Archer's books, my life flipped over. Theirs are a new kind. Thrillers. Intelligent writings-all time bestsellers in the world,and I chose to read them rather than study. Bad, bad choice.  

           Later on, when my father passed away, he left me with so many books I never read, or never bothered to look. He had his own small library, which I never cared to open. Books, from his college times. They were old- the print on the covers shows three decades ago. My father always read his books, everyday, yet I didn't even try to take a peek at the contents. Then , one day, I tried.

            I opened the covers dumbfounded, startled. I felt so small, stupid and , small. I read so many books, but, what are these? His books aren't story books. His books aren't fantasies. Mine are teenage romance , dragon slayers, magic, tales of ancient wars. Mine are complete imagination. Mine are just stories. They start, and they end. That's it. But his books..

         The authors of his books were the people from now, to a thousand years ago, and older. How legendary, and they seemed to write better. Old guides and advices from them , encrypted in modern printing , and new-age papers. His aren't stories of the past, his books are living legends, guide for the future.Family raising, leadership, jihad, society, economics, and yes, I am not kidding you, this is the real stuff.

                The books contain rules and guides, explanations of how to live a life. The books had been translated to hundreds of languages since the early years, brought to sail by the Muslim traders throughout the world. They spread the books , spread the belief, spread the light. The books started from inks and papers in languages alien to us, but now they are present in bookstores nationwide. And until now, the books are being read, used and read again. You know what, these are the number one bestseller in the world for 8 centuries. Mind blown. Try one. Riyadhus Solihin.

         All those  years with the books seemed to be in vain. But, so be it.    

         There is no use writing when you don't read. There is no use reading, when you read only fantasies, lies and utter imagination. There is no use to read, if the books brought no good to anyone but you. There is no use to read when you don't have a reason other than to procrastinate.
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ

"Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-"