Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Gift of Ramadan

To celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan and the first posting of the year I’d like to recite the most precious surah in the Qur’an, Al Fatihah:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

الرَّحْمـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيمَ

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ

1.    In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

2.    All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the Alamin (the mankind, jinn and all that exists)

3.    The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

4.    The only Owner (and the only Ruling Judge) of the day of Recompense

5.    You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)

6.    Guide us to the straight way

7.    The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray

Al Fatihah as the first surah in the Qur’an is quite different from other surahs. Other verses in Qur’an are about instructions, commands or admonishments from Allah to His servants. Except for Al Fatihah. With Al Fatihah Allah teaches His servants how to talk to Him directly, how to beg His Grace and Guidance in person. He teaches His servants that although He is their Lord they don’t need a mediator to talk to Him or to mediate for them.

Through Al Fatihah He reveals how He actually feels towards His lowly servants. His feelings for them are full of grace, mercy and love. What He wants the most is for all of His servants to be able to successfully passing the trials He has given them.

Abu Hurairah said that Prophet Muhammad explained that when we say:

‘All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the Alamin’, Allah says ‘My servant has praised Me’. When we say ‘The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful’, Allah says ‘My servant has extolled Me’. When we say ‘The only Owner (and the only Ruling Judge) of the day of Recompense’, Allah says ‘My servant has glorified Me’ and on another occasion the Prophet said, ‘My servant has submitted to My power.’ When we say ‘You (alone) we worship and You (alone) we ask for help (for each and everything), Allah says ‘This is between Me and My servant and My servant shall have what he has asked for’. When we say ‘Guide us to the straight way, the way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray’, Allah says ‘This is for My servant and My servant shall have what he has asked for’.

In Al Baqarah 186 Allah says:

‘And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them) I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me, and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright’.

Narrated by Abu Hurairah Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Allah said, ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him. And My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him. Then I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks. And if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My Protection (Refuge), I will protect him and I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death and I hate to disappoint him.’

Narrated by Abu Hurairah, Allah’s Messenger said, “When Allah completed the creation, He wrote in His Book which is with Him on His Throne: ‘Verily, My Mercy has overcome My Anger’.’’

That is how much Allah loves the insignificant us. The problem is most of us don’t seem to want to be loved by Allah. Most of us prefer to love other things or be loved by people that could not do a thing for us. We tirelessly spend all of our energy and love on useless things. We spend our life time chasing and accumulating things, things that we could not even bring to our grave.  Things that will harm us or lead us astray.

Since we all shall die, why don’t we try to be a littler bit smarter. Live our lives like we’re going to live forever but prepare for the possibility that we might die tomorrow. If we want to be on top while we are alive we should even be more determined that we shall not be a loser once we are dead.

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

Allah's Messenger said, "Allah said, 'All the deeds of Adam's sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.' Fasting is a shield or protection from the fire and from committing sins. If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarreling, and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, 'I am fasting.' By Him in Whose Hands my soul is' The unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting."

Ramadan is the best month to accumulate rewards that could determine whether we will become one of those successful people or one of those losers who have nothing to show in the hereafter. The fact that we have been given a chance to meet another Ramadan is a blessing in itself. I’m extremely grateful to Allah for it and pray that He’ll give me many more rewarding Ramadan.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Review: Library of Heaven’s Path

Ideally review should be written only after one has finished reading or watching whatever one wants to review. However, since it becomes harder for me to actually finish any dramas/series I watch I’m going to completely abandon this wisdom.  

And since my reading interest has shifted to translated on line wuxia/xianxia stories which go on and on for hundreds/thousands series it’s more convenient and practical to write a review as I read. (Just for your information, it takes years for a series to be fully translated.)

Currently, I’m reading a number of series but I’m actually addicted to Library of Heaven’s Path by Heng Sao Tian Ya.

If you want to know what is so great about Library of Heaven’s Path, I really don’t know what to say. It’s rather embarrassing to admit that there is really nothing outstanding about this particular series especially if we want to compare it to great series by I Eat Tomatoes like Coiling Dragon, Stellar Transformation, Desolate Era etc.

In fact you might really hate it once you notice the extremely blatant copy paste formula that is being used over and over again throughout the series. It’s plain to see that the writer is only filling in the blanks with different names, locations and times. All the dialogues and the reactions of every supporting character are exactly the same. I mean exactly the same. Verbatim.

But, strangely enough, although I felt like screaming ‘Why are you doing this shameful thing Mr. Writer?’ I kept on reading and not quitting.

If I have to give excuses for my lack of taste then I’ll try to justify my addiction to this shameless series.

First of all there is no harem in Library of Heaven’s Path. If you’re familiar with wuxia/xianxia you would know that in this genre if you want to find a non harem series it is even more difficult than trying to reach the stars. As someone who is allergic to harem story this Library of Heaven’s Path has automatically become a precious gem to me.

Secondly, if you love shameless, thick skin, money grabbing lead, this one is for you.

As a teacher Zhang Xuan has a rather even temper and quite dedicated. Unfortunately, he is a scrooge and he couldn’t let those who intentionally step on his toes to go without paying.

Hence, if you love face slapping, Library of Heaven’s Path is definitely your thing. It has major face slapping scenes to make your day.

In case you love reading about male lead that is equipped with a super cheat tool, you will love this one. Zhang Xuan’s Library of Heaven’s Path gives him a super power. Comparing him to other cultivators is like comparing Superman to ordinary citizen of Earth.

Other people have to work hard to increase their cultivation. It takes them years and decades to advance. But for Zhang Xuan it’s as easy as breathing. The only difficulty that he has to face is paying for things that are needed by his students. And finding books to fill his Library of Heaven’s Path.

What I find most interesting in this series is how coherent the story really is despite all the copy paste things. The build up of Zhang Xuan’s career as a super teacher is quite clever and entertaining.

Despite making slapping people left and right his side career, the highlight of the series is actually Zhang Xuan’s ‘hardship’ in promoting and developing his students right into the top.

I love seeing how every time Zhang Xuan the scrooge finally thinks that he has struck it rich, he ends up realizing that he actually doesn’t even have enough money to buy a mere pill for one of his students.

I love seeing the self proclaimed ‘low profile’ Zhang Xuan works hard to earn money to buy things for his students. Other people work hard to increase their cultivation but Zhang Xuan works hard to be rich.

Later on as his own cultivation increases he realises that not only his students, but he himself needs a lot of money to increase his cultivation and thus he becomes even more obsess with money.

I like seeing how he slowly learns how to be a teacher. A real teacher. I also like seeing how he learns to love his students not because they could bring him some benefits but because they are his students. I like seeing how he unintentionally influences the lives of the people around him for the better.

I also like seeing how he views the ticking bomb inside his body. Yes, he might die, but not now, so he might as well go on living his life like there is nothing wrong for the moment.

At this moment this is my crack, the one that I’m looking forward to reading the most.

Monday, June 12, 2017


I did not know that Wuxiaworld existed until Coiling Dragon. Since then Wuxiaworld has become an important part of my life. In the early days I had no idea what RWX or Ren (Lai Jin Ping) the founder of Wuxiaworld looked like or what he did before Wuxiaworld. He was shrouded in mystery like a reclusive expert on the top of a cloudy mountain.

But he finally decided to end his reclusiveness and come down from his mountain top to mingle with the mortals and did many great stuff for them. He let us know not only himself but also the famous authors like I Eat Tomato, Tang Jia San Shao, and Er Gen. And last but not least the chance to see the legendary Death Blade who is the awesome entity responsible for the translation of I Shall Seal the Heaven!

I was planning to post something else this Ramadan. But I just can’t help myself after seeing the latest announcement from Wuxiaworld. A paid visit (free trip) to China to meet Er Gen! Awesome is not a good enough word to describe it!

Wishing all the best for Wuxiaworld that has grown so much in recent years. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jo Hyun Jae and Jang Nara

I never thought to link them together. But then kdramaland decides to put my beloved man and Jang Nara in the same drama. This time around I really hope that he will get the girl. As much as I love him I couldn’t bring myself to watch him experiencing the plight of second male leads in love.

And with so many news of co-stars turning into lovers I can’t help myself to wonder whether it’s possible for the quiet and shy Jo Hyun Jae and the seemingly innocent and fragile looking Jang Nara to start something in real life.

I have no idea what type of women attract Jo Hyun Jae but somehow I think that Jang Nara might not be his type at all. Nevertheless, since I have a soft spot for her I’m going to continue dreaming.

After reading the characters of Housewife Detective (열혈주부 명탐정) I immediately fall in love with Jo Hyun Jae’s character Cha Jae Hoon. How could one not be dazzled and mesmerized by a hot blooded, top notch martial art expert who doesn’t bother to beautify his beautiful self?

Rugged Jo Hyun Jae instead of a clean shaven and perfectly groomed Jo Hyun Jae might become an irresistible challenge to any women in his vicinity, for it is a huge crime to ruin that beautiful face for work. That face is supposed to be a gift to womanhood therefore one of the female leads had better strived to reveal the hidden treasure.

If I’m not mistaken there are Chinese and Japanese versions of Housewife Detective but I believe the Korean one could easily surpass them with the right story, interesting characters and perfect execution.

This is definitely the best news to start 2017. I’ve missed Jo Hyun Jae like crazy and forced to go back to 49 Days and The King’s Daughter to quell my longing for him.

I’m really looking forward to watching this one. Hopefully this drama could become one of my favourites.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Listen by Shila Amzah (茜拉)

害! 妙不可言! I don’t care about Listen. But after watching Shila Amzah sings that song during 我是歌手 I suddenly realize that Listen is actually quite a good song.But what really blows my mind is Shila Amzah herself. Singing a song that belongs to a famous singer is an extremely difficult task.  It is almost impossible to sing as good as the real owner of the song. But Shila…. 她是真棒! Her crystal clear voice gives me goose bumps and chills. Simply love it!