Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kalamullah





ALLAH SAW berfirman:
Wahai sekalian manusia, janganlah engkau menjadi orang yang mengetepikan taubat dan jangan memanjangkan angan - angan serta mengharap kebahagiaan akhirat tanpa beramal; jangan menjadi orang yang kata - katanya seperti kata - kata orang 'abid dan amalnya seperti orang munafiq; jika diberikan sesuatu kepadanya, tidak pernah merasa cukup, dan jika tidak memperoleh sesuatu dia tidak pernah sabar. Dia menyuruh orang berbuat baik tetapi dia sendiri tidak membuatnya. Dia melarang berbuat jahat tetapi dia sendiri tidak berhenti melakukannya. Dia mengasihi orang yang soleh tetapi dia tidak mahu bersama mereka. Dia membenci orang munafik tetapi dia sebenarnya termasuk di antara mereka. Dia mengatakan hal yang tidak dia lakukan, dan dia membuat hal yang tidak disuruh. Dia meminta kesetiaan tetapi dia sendiri tidak setia.

Wahai sekalian manusia, setiap hari yang baru, bumi senantiasa menegurmu dengan  katanya: Wahai sekalian manusia, engkau berjalan di permukaanku dan setelah itu engkau akan disimpan di dalam perutku. Engkau memakan segala yang diinginkan ketika berada di permukaanku, kemudian engkau akan di makan ulat di dalam perutku.

Wahai sekalian manusia, aku adalah rumah kesunyian; aku adalah rumah tempat pertanyaan; aku adalah tempat persendirian; aku adalah rumah kegelapan; aku adalah rumah kala jengking dan ulat, maka diamilah aku dan janganlah engkau menghindariku.

High Cost Of Pothole Damage

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By Lee Pang Seng

Potholes have become such a common inconvenience on our roads that many are becoming immune to them, albeit at a higher vehicle maintenance cost.

Tyre balance and wheel alignment have to be done more frequently to check irregular or accelerated tyre wear. This aspect of vehicle maintenance is becoming more important as tyre prices are increasing progressively due to higher material cost, that of rubber in particular.

It has not helped any that tyre sizes have become increasingly bigger over the years, even for small displacement cars such as the 1.0-litre models. And big tyres cost more as they require greater use of materials. Add to that the bigger and wider dimension alloy wheels that are often dented or cracked by hard impacts over potholes.

Or in worse case scenarios, steering assemblies can be damaged by the severe jolts and pounding that they are subjected to when cars are driven quickly over potholes. We certainly felt the financial pinch recently after sending out 1.0-litre car to a recognised service dealer for repairs to the suspension tyres and steering assembly.

You would be surprised how apathetic some car owners have become, including a close relative who would seldom slow down when going over speedbumps or who made no effort to avoid potholes. We’ve also known of peers who would also do likewise with their own vehicles apart from the range of cars that they do impression drives in. Their rationale is that the vehicle suspension system is designed to soak up the harsh impacts or irregular road surfaces.

We beg to differ: visits to the proving grounds of quite a few major car companies has revealed that the uneven road surface tests are done at very sober speeds, of up to 70kph at best. It can be a very jolting experience even at that speed (when we tried this for ourselves) and you can imagine the pounding the suspension system is subjected to.

If that is done often, the tyre balance runs out quickly as well as the wheel alignment. This is because the impacts re-aligns the respective items. Although the movement may be miniscule per impact, many impacts lead to significant movements.

The suspension bushes are also subjectd to these harsh pounding, and combine with the hot and humid weather, they become a hard quicker, losing their resilience to absorb the harshness of the impacts.

You will find the vehicle’s ride being less comfortable and more jolting as the years go by. Similarly, nuts and bolts could loosen or tighten, and either drop off or be very difficult to unsrew when it’s time to change or repair related areas.

To understand the workings of the car suspension system, you look no further than your own legs. They have tendons, muscles, ligaments, and flesh to cushion the impact and jolt of each step against the bones. But a misstep can lead to an ankle or muscle sprain, and stretching it more than necessary can tear a muscle.

You need to wear proper shoes to jog or run, or suffer the consequences. As the suspension system serves as the “legs” of the car, it has shock absorbers, coil springs, linkages, bushes, and anti-roll bars. They do their respective part in a dynamic way to make the vehicle’s ride comfortable and stable. If one were to drive over potholes or speedbumps in a careless manner, these components would wear quicker, along with the tyre/wheel assembly, and steering system.

If you don’t change the damaged part, the car is not likely to handle in the way it is designed to, especially when driving under full loads and in adverse situations. And that could lead to fatal results.

To save on this aspect of vehicle maintenance is playing with fire. Of course, you could inculcate patience by driving gingerly over potholes, if you can’t avoid them, or speedbumps. That would reduce the road shock and impact considerably, dan the suspension and tyres would last longer to provide predictable and safer motoring.

Being patient saves on vehicle maintenance cost, if not lives. Give that a thought!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Persediaan Menyambut Ramadan

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InsyaAllah lusa umat Islam bakal bertemu tetamu mulia yang dinanti-nantikan: Ramadan Al-Mubarak. Rasulullah dan para sahabatnya telah menyiapkan diri sejak bulan Rejab lagi. Di antara doa yang mereka panjatkan adalah:

 اللهم بارك لنا في رجب وشعبان وبلغنا رمضان

Ya Allah, berkahilah kami di bulan Rejab dan Sya’aban, serta pertemukanlah kami dengan bulan Ramadan (HR. At-Thabrani, Al-Baihaqi, dan Ibnu Asakir)

Ada empat persiapan yang diperlukan dalam menyambut bulan Ramadan iaitu:
Persiapan Ruhiyah – Hati perlu dibersihkan daripada penyakit aqidah sehingga melahirkan niat yang ikhlas.
Firman Allah SWT dalam firman-Nya:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا [الشمس/

Sungguh beruntung orang yang menyucikan jiwanya. Asy-Syams: 9.

Kerana itu kita perlu bermuhasabah mengenai penyakit aqidah yang masih melekat pada diri. Selanjutnya kita bermujahadah untuk menghilangkan penyakit itu. Alangkah indahnya bila Ramadan tiba dalam keadaan kita benar-benar penuh ikhlas menapaki hari-hari yang istimewa itu.

Ketika keikhlasan bersenyawa dalam diri kita di sepanjang Ramadan merupakan saat terbaik yang akan menjamin kita memperoleh ampunan Allah SWT.

 من صام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه

Barangsiapa yang berpuasa karena iman dan mengharap perhitungan (pahala) akan diampuni dosa-dosanya yang telah lalu. Muttafaq ‘Alaih.

Persiapan Fikriyah – Bekalkan diri dengan ilmu agama terutama yang berkait secara langsung dengan amaliyah di bulan Ramadhan. Tentang kewajiban puasa, keutamaan puasa, hikmah puasa, syarat dan rukun puasa, hal-hal yang membatalkan puasa, serta sunnah-sunnah puasa. Juga tarawih, I’tikaf, zakat, dan sebagainya.

Kerana itu Imam Bukhari membuat bab khusus dalam shahihnya dengan judul Al-Ilmu Qabla Al-Qaul wa Al-Amal (Ilmu sebelum Ucapan dan Amal). Tanpa ilmu bagaimana kita mampu beramal sebulan Ramadan dengan benar?

Pemahaman ilmu syar’i ini merupakan tanda kebaikan yang dikehendaki Allah daripada hamba-Nya. Kerananya Rasulullah SAW bersabda :

 من يرد الله به خيرا يفقهه في الدين

Barangsiapa yang dikehendaki Allah akan kebaikan maka dia difahamkan tentang ilmu agama (Muttafaq ‘Alaih)

Persiapan Jasadiyah - Ramadan memerlukan persiapan tubuh badan yang sihat. Jika tidak  ibadah kita tidak boleh dilakukan secara normal. Ini kerana Ramadan berbeza daripada bulan-bulan yang lain. Kita diharapkan tetap produktif dengan pekerjaan masing-masing meskipun dalam keadaan berpuasa. Kita juga melakukan ibadah yang lebih lama daripada sebelumnya. Solat Tarawih, misalnya. Oleh itu kita perlu menjaga kesihatan dan kebersihan. Di sini, logikal akal bertemu dengan keutamaan syar’i dalam hadis Nabi SAW. :

المؤمن القوي خير وأحب إلى الله من المؤمن الضعيف

Mukmin yang kuat lebih baik dan lebih dicintai Allah daripada mukmin yang lemah (HR. Muslim, Ibnu Majah, Al-Baihaqi.

Persiapan Maliyah – Ia diperlukan dalam menyambut bulan Ramdan bukan untuk membeli baju baru, menyediakan kuih muih untuk Aidilfitri dan lain-lain. Kita  memerlukan sejumlah dana untuk memperbanyak infaq, memberi ifthar (buka puasa)  dan membantu orang yang memerlukan. Tentu saja bagi yang memiliki harta yang mencapai nishab dan haul wajib dibayar zakatnya. Bahkan jika mampu, umrah di bulan Ramadan merupakan ibadah yang bernilai luar biasa; seperti nilai haji bersama Rasulullah SAW.

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآَنُ هُدًى لِلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ [البقرة/]

Bulan Ramadan adalah bulan yang di dalamnya diturunkan Al-Qur’an, sebagai petunjuk bagi manusia dan penjelasan mengenai petunjuk itu dan pembeza (antara yang benar dan yang batil). Kerana itu, barangsiapa di antara kamu ada di bulan itu, maka berpuasalah. Al-Baqarah:185.

(Sumber: Generasi Robbani)

Fast Food, Can Food Cause Cancer

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Guilt-Free Fast Food

It’s past midnight, you’re stuck at the office and your stomach is rumbling. There are only two options to consider to quell your hunger: Fast food or the good old neighborhood mamak joint. How do you navigate this minefield of calorie -, fat- and salt-laden foods in your quest to eat healthy? The answer: Mindful eating. Here’s how:

Go for grilled, not fried. Deep fried foods contain loads of trans-fats that clog your arteries: Try opting for grilled items (most fast food chains now offer grilled patties instead of fried), which are cooked with an open flame. Just remember to leave the butter and mayonnaise on the side. A good option at the mamak: Tandoori chicken, skin off, served with garlic naan.

Watch the salad dressings. A salad is low calorie until you start adding the cheese, creamy dressings and beef bacon, all of which are also laden with saturated fat. To cut out fat and calories, use as little dressing as possible, and try flavoring with balsamic vinegar, garlic, spices, olive oil or herbs, or a slice of lemon.

Control your portions. If you’re eating on the run, if pays to pay attention to whether you’re eating a regular portion or super-sized meal, which translates to super-sized calories.

Can Food Cause Cancer?

No, say scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health, who found no link between eating fruits and vegetables, and cancer risk. The researchers, who analyzed data from more than 100,000 people, say the study shows that it didn’t matter if the subjects consumed two or ten servings of fruit a day; their risk of developing cancer during the study’s 15 year period was exactly the same.

“We’d all like to believe that a healthy diet can help prevent cancer. Unfortunately, though there appears to be an association between diets high in fruits and vegetables and lower risk of cancer, we have yet to identify exactly which dietary components may be protective, or indeed, whether simply upping produce intake may decrease more potentially risky food choices,” says Alice Lichenstein, a nutrition expert at the USDA Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. 

Still, this is no reason to blow off a healthy diet.”There is still a great deal of evidence from many studies that show diet can help prevent some cancers,” says Richard S. Rivlin, M.D., director of the Anne Fisher Nutrition Center at the Strang Cancer Prevention Laboratory in New York. “We find that for some people, eating fruits and vegetables will make a big difference. In others, it may not play much of a role.”

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Intensity Factor In Fat Burning

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Aerobic intensity refers to how hard you work out when you’re walking, jogging, running, bicycling, swimming, or performing any other type of heart-pumping activity. To burn fat and build cardiovascular health, you must gradually increase the intensity of your exercise effort. Aerobic intensity is generally described in:

VO2 Max
Otherwise know as “aerobic capacity”, this describes the ability of the body to take in, transport, and use oxygen. It is usually expressed as a percentage of “oxygen consumption” during exercise, or put another way, the maximum amount of oxygen you use while working out aerobically. A usage of 40 to 60 percent of VO2 max is considered vigorous or high intensity. If you’ve never exercised much in the past and you start an aerobic exercise program, you can increase your VO2 max by up to 20 percent by working out at a good clip at least three times a week. VO2 max stays higher in people who exercise aerobically.

Is there a way to tell what your VO2 max is while exercising? A good rule of thumb to follow is this:  If you’re breathing hard, yet still able to carry on a conversation, you’re working out in the higher-intensity range of your VO2 max. When you exercise in this range, more oxygen can be “extracted” by your muscles, and more stored fat and carbohdydrate can be used to supply energy.

Heart Rate
This indicates the amount of work your heart does to keep up with the demands of various activities, including exercise. At rest, your heart averages 60 to 80 beats a minute. This is referred to as your “resting heart rate.” In sedentary people, the resting heart rate can be as high as 100 beats per minute or more. By contrast, well-trained endurance athletes may have resting heart rates in the range of 28 to 40 beats a minute. The more fit you become aerobically, the lower your resting heart rate becomes.

During exercise, your heart rate increases in direct proportion to your exercise effort. The rate at which your heart beats during exercise is called “Exercising heart rate.”

For best results, uyou should exercise at a level sufficient enough to raise your heart rate to 70 to 85 percent or higher of your maximum heart rate (MHR). MHR is expressed as 220 minus your age. For example, suppose you’re 35 years old, and you start an aerobic exercise program. Your maximum heart rate is 185 (220-35). You should work out at an intensity such that your heart reaches between 130 and 157 beats a minute (85 percent of 185 beats per minute = 85 x 185 = 157).    

If you are not exercising now, start working out in the lower end of your range for at least 30 minutes. Gradually increase your intensity so that you reach the higher end of your range as your body becomes more aerobically conditioned. Also, the better conditioned you become, the greater ability you have to exceed the 85 percent range. Always strive for higher intensities as safely as you can sustain them.

Use the chart below to identify your target heart training range, based on your age.

Your Target Heart Training Range

Age
Beats Per Minute

20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
60
65
70

140 – 170
137 – 166
133 – 162
130 – 157
126 – 153
123 – 149
119 – 145
116 – 140
112 – 136
109 – 132
105 – 128


How To Obtain Your Heart Rate During Aerobic Exercise
There are four methods to determine your heart rate while exercising:
  • Finger on carotid artery (Don’ t press hard).
  • By placing your hand directly over your heart at the left breast.
  • By placing your finger at the radial artery on your wrist.
  • At the temporal artery at the front of the ear.
So stick to one of the three recommended methods for calculating your heart rate. To find your heart rate per minute, simply count the beats for 10 seconds and multiply by six.

Keep records of both your resting heart rate and your heart rate during exercise. This information will help you evaluate your progress. Your resting heart rate (your heart rate in the morning before you get out of bed) should decrease over time. If not, or if your resting heart rate suddenly jumps up to a higher level, this could signal a medical problem, and you should check it out with your physician.  

Exercise Duration
This refers to the length of time you work out. As the duration of your exercise increases, you start burning more fat for fuel. Gradually build up to exercising aerobically for 30 to 45 minutes or longer each session to maximize your fat-burning potential. At the same time, you should work on increasing your aerobic intensity.

Exercise Frequency
You derive the best aerobic benefits from working out three to five times a week. A word of caution: Newcomers to aerobic exercise should start out by trying to exercise three times a week, then gradually build to five sessions as your aerobic capacity improves or as your personal schedule permits.

The value of  Increasing Duration and Frequency

Mr B had gone up and down in weight for many years, usually due to yo-you dieting and poor nutritional practices. At his highest weight, he tipped the scales at 145 kg. Then he began to eat sensibly and upped the frequency and duration of his aerobic exercise.Where  once he walked, he now started running – as much as three to five kilometers each time. Gradually Mr B increased his workouts from two to three times a week to three to four times a week.Today, Mr B has stripped down to 104 kg, with a body fat percentage o1 17.2. According to his body composition measurements, Mr B has gained 9 pounds of lean muscle and has peeled away 7 kg of pure fat.  

Weight Training Intensity
Intensity in weight training refers primarily to the demand you place on your muscles – that is, how much weight you can lift. Intensity is ever-changing. What felt heavy to you last week feel lighter this week because your muscles are responding to the demands placed on them and growing stronger as a result.

Progressive Overload
“Progresive overload” is a key factor in weight training intensity. For your muscles to respond – that is, get stronger and better developed – you have to “overload” them. That means continually putting more demand on them than they’reused to – in other words, increasing your weight training intensity.

Muscles adapt to greater and greater demands. For example, all you can lift on the arm curl right now is 18 kg. But a few workouts later that same 18 kg feels light. Your muscles have adapted to 18kg. You are now ready to challenge your arm muscles with  21kg. Once the muscles have adapted to that demand, you can bump the weight again. 

You should gradually increase your weight as your muscles get used to certain level of weight. The trick is to keep pushing yourself each workout and gradually crank up the difficulty level. Overloading the muscles in this manner activates muscle fibers so that they get stronger, more toned, and better developed. This all adds up to more fat-burning power.

Another factor that plays a part in weight training intensity is the number of repetitions you do on a given exercise. Sometimes, it’s difficult to increase the weight. Until you can, it’s best to increase the number of times (repetitions) you lift that weight.

Turn Intensity Into Results
When you put into practice the concepts of intensity discussed here, you will begin to see changes in the way you look and feel, at rest and during exercise in just a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Special Petai

Petai contains three natural sugars -sucrose, fructose and glucose. Combined with fiber, petai gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proved that just two servings of petai provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. But energy isn't the only way petai can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet. 

Depression 
According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND among people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating petai. This is because petai contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. 

PMS (premenstrual syndrome) 
Forget the pills - eat petai. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood. 

Anaemia 
High in iron, petai can stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anaemia. 

Blood Pressure 
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the petai industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke. 

Brain Power  
200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating petai at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert. 

Constipation 
High in fiber, including petai in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives. 

Hangovers 
One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a petai milkshake, sweetened with honey. The petai calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system. 

Heartburn 
Petai has a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating petai for soothing relief. 

Morning Sickness
 
Snacking on petai between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness. 

Mosquito bites 
: 
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of the petai skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.. 

Nerves 
Petai is high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system. 

Overweight 
Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady. 

Ulcers

Petai is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
 

Temperature control 
Many other cultures see petai as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Holland , for example, pregnant women eat petai to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) 
Petai can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer, tryptophan. 

Smoking 

Petai can also help people trying to give up smoking.. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal. 

B R Stress 
Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium petai snack. 

Strokes 
According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine" eating petai as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%". 

Warts 
Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of petai and place it on the wart.. Carefully hold the petai in place with a plaster or surgical tape! 

So, as you can see, petai really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A Petai a day keeps the doctor away."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bermusafir di Lebuhraya Ramadan

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DI SEPANJANG lebuhraya Ramadan istimewa yang kita tempuh hanya sebulan dalam setahun ini terdapat pelbagai ganjaran yang disediakan oleh Maha Pencipta untuk hamba-hamba-Nya yang mahu melaksana dan memperkemas amalan-amalan wajib dan sunat yang diperintahkan-Nya. 

Untuk menyusuri lebuhraya penuh rahmat ini memerlukan kekuatan rohani. Salafussoleh zaman silam membuat persediaan menanti kedatangan Ramadan bermula daripada bulan Rejab lagi. Membanyakkan amalan yang mengundang kasih sayang Allah seperti berpuasa sunat, bersedekah, membaca Quran, berzikir, berselawat, berdoa berdakwah sekadar termampu dengan insan di sekeliling.

Sedapat mungkin kita menjauhi semua perkara yang boleh membangkitkan kemurkaan-Nya. Contoh, berpuasa dengan niat hendak makan sedap-sedap ketika berbuka, atau berpuasa tetapi “liat” solat Asar atas alasan letih. Puasa memang dituntut tetapi pahala puasa tidak cukup untuk menebus dosa meninggalkan solat.

Seorang pekerja yang sedang berusaha menarik perhatian dan penilaian yang baik daripada bosnya akan bekerja betul-betul. Dia sangat berhati-hati supaya tidak melakukan kesalahan yang mungkin boleh menjejaskan potensinya untuk mendapat penilaian yang tinggi. Jika bos marah, gajinya tidak akan dinaikkan dan dia gagal mendapatkan sebarang insentif. Atau lebih malang, tindakan disiplin pula yang akan diterimanya.

Begitu juga dengan amal ibadah. Dosa dan kemungkaran boleh menyebabkan amalan yang dikerjakan menjadi sia-sia. Sabda Rasulullah saw, mafhumnya:
Ramai daripada mereka yang berpuasa tidak memperolehi apa-apa melainkan lapar; dan ramai daripada mereka yang berdiri malam (beribadah malam) namun tidak mendapat apa-apa kecuali letih semata-mata. Riwayat Ibnu Majah dan an-Nasa’i daripada Abu Hurairah r.a.

Dalam sebuah hadis qudsi, Allah menyatakan:
Dan sesiapa yang anggota-anggotanya tidak berpuasa daripada perkara-perkara yang Aku haramkan, maka tidaklah Aku berhajat agar dia meninggalkan makan dan minumnya demi kerana-Ku. Riwayat Abu Nuaim daripada Ibnu Mas’ud r.a.

Persediaan fizikal, harta dan persekitaran juga diperlukan pada bulan mulia ini. Tubuh yang sihat mudah merebut pelbagai kelebihan yang disediakan. Harta pula boleh disedekahkan sebanyak mungkin bagi meraih pahala. Persekitaran yang baik mampu memaksimumkan pencapaian kita. Elakkan diri daripada kelompok orang yang mengabaikan kebesaran Allah dan kemuliaan Ramadan.

Bermula Ramadan ini mari kita tingkatkan azam dalam beribadah. Kita bukan sekadar mahu menjadi muslim semata-mata. KITA MAHU JADI MUKMIN!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jangan Ditipu dan Tertipu

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Sekarang ini terlalu banyak penipuan yang berlaku. Penipu datang menemui mangsa dalam  berbagai rupa dan cara. Ada yang berbentuk urusan perniagaan, peluang pekerjaan, hadiah mewah, skim cepat kaya dan sebagainya. Penipu yang bermulut manis berkeliaran di merata tempat dan bijak mengambil kesempatan. Mangsa mereka datang daripada berbagai latar belakang, kaum, jantina, usia, taraf pendidikan dan kedudukan ekonomi.

Contohnya, lepasan universiti yang ingin bekerja sebagai eksekutif pemasaran “syarikat pelaburan,” diminta menyerahkan sejumlah wang sebagai syarat pengambilan. Belum pun menerima gaji pertama mereka dan anggota keluarga masing-masing dipaksa melabur dalam skim-skim yang ditawarkan. Setelah memperolehi wang yang banyak, syarikat itu lesap dari premis tempat ia beroperasi, meninggalkan mangsa yang kerugian akibat simpanan sifar, malah ada juga yang menanggung hutang.  

Ada syarikat menawarkan kadar pulangan tinggi untuk pelaburan yang kecil. Umumnya, wang daripada orang baru disalurkan kepada orang lama sebagai “pulangan”. Disebabkan tiada pulangan sebenar yang dijana, akhirnya syarikat tersebut tidak cukup wang untuk dibayar kepada “pelabur,” lantas pengendali syarikat lesap entah ke mana.   

Juga tergolong dalam penipuan jenis ini ialah Bayaran Pendahuluan Nigeria. Penipu menghantar emel dan mendakwa kononnya mereka bekerja dengan Bank Pusat Nigeria atau kerajaan Nigeria dan menjanjikan sejumlah wang yang besar sebagai pulangan ke atas “pelaburan” yang  diberi. Yang menjadi mangsa bukan calang-calang orang. Ada peguam, doktor, pensyarah malah ahli perniagaan dan pegawai polis.

Dalam kes lain, penipu menghantar SMS atas nama Astro, Petronas, Shell Malaysia dan Power Root, kononnya mangsa telah memenangi hadiah wang tunai. Penipu mengajar mangsa cara mendaftar dan mengaktifkan akaun dalam talian [untuk menerima hadiah] menerusi mesin ATM. Mangsa tidak sedar dia telah menyerahkan maklumat sulitnya kepada penipu.

Kalau panggilan itu benar-benar daripada bank, sepatutnya semua maklumat itu sudah ada pada mereka. Tidak perlu meminta butiran tersebut. Jika hendak menyerahkan wang hadiah, mereka boleh menghantar cek, atau meminta mangsa datang mengambilnya sendiri.

Mangsa sepatutnya tahu bahawa peserta peraduan yang sah perlu mengisi borang penyertaan dan menulis slogan kreatif. Penganjur peraduan tidak akan meminta nombor akaun, nombor PIN atau wang untuk menuntut hadiah. Begitulah jadinya bila dikuasai perasaan tamak. Gara-gara tidak berfikir, sendiri yang terpedaya.

Ada juga mangsa menerima SMS meminta mereka menghadiri taklimat perniagaan. Jurujual syarikat memujuk mereka melabur dalam berbagai bentuk mesin dan barangan seperti kiosk e-POS (mesin yang membolehkan orang ramai menjelaskan bil-bil), mesin pengeluar air minuman, minyak wangi dan sebagainya. Mereka dijanjikan pulangan tinggi dalam sebulan. Namun, pulangan tidak diterima dan mangsa berputih mata.

Penipu “Unit Kad Kredit Palsu” pula menelefon atau menghantar SMS bertanyakan sama ada mangsa baru membuat pembelian menggunakan kad kredit. Penipu memperkenalkan dirinya sebagai ejen bank dan meminta mangsa mengesahkan urusniaga kad kredit itu. Bila mangsa  menafikan urusniaga tersebut, ejen mengesyorkan mangsa membuat laporan kepada “Unit Kad Kredit Palsu” Bank Negara, atau “Jabatan Urusan Kad Kredit” bank komersial dan memberikan satu nombor untuk dihubungi. Kononnya hendak menolong mangsa membuat aduan,  “pegawai Bank Negara” itu meminta maklumat perbankan dan akaun kad kredit mangsa. Penipu kemudian membuat pengeluaran tidak sah daripada akaun tersebut.

Dalam peraduan “Gores dan Menang”, penipu menggalakkan mangsa menggores beberapa tiket. Mereka menjerit “kegembiraan” mengatakan mangsa telah memenangi hadiah besar lalu membawa mangsa ke pejabat mereka. Di sana, mangsa diberitahu dia boleh memenangi hadiah  lebih besar dan hebat jika bersedia membayar “deposit.” Bila mangsa mula curiga dan hendak menarik diri, mereka diugut. Akhirnya “hadiah besar” itu tidak lebih daripada beberapa barangan eletrik murah atau barangan tiruan.

Berhati-hati sebelum terkena

  • Berhati-hati dengan penipuan pelaburan di internet, contohnya Swiss Cash.  
  • Jangan tergesa-gesa dalam urusniaga. Selidik latar belakang syarikat, senarai lembaga pengarah dan jenis perniagaannya, juga bagaimana ia boleh memberi pulangan lebih tinggi daripada bank dan saham amanah.
  • Pastikan syarikat itu berlesen untuk memudahkan tuntutan sekiranya berlaku sesuatu yang tidak menyenangkan. 
  • Jangan percaya gambar-gambar “kejayaan” yang dipaparkan. Juga jangan kagum dengan pejabat berteknologi tinggi serta kakitangan yang ramai. Itu hanya lakonan. Bila terhidu sesuatu yang negatif, mereka cepat menghilang dan muncul kemudian dengan wajah lain dan pekerja baru. Orang ramai malah pihak berkuasa tidak mengetahui siapa dalangnya. 
  • Pastikan pelaburan anda sah dan selamat. Dapatkan nasihat dahulu sebelum melabur.
  • Laporkan SMS mencurigakan kepada pihak berkuasa. Jangan telefon mereka semula sebab dengan cara itu anda mengesahkan nombor telefon anda pada mereka. 
  • Berhati-hati dengan kenyataan palsu yang biasanya dihantar melalui emel. Menggunakan nama-nama bank utama seperti Maybank, CIMB, Public Bank dan sebagainya, emel itu mengarahkan pelanggan bank mengemaskini maklumat akaun atau mengesahkan butiran akaun, kononnya untuk tujuan keselamatan, di sebuah pautan lain yang menyerupai laman web sah bank-bank berkenaan.
Penguatkuasaan undang-undang yang lemah membolehkan penipuan berleluasa, dan kelembapan pihak berkuasa bertindak menyebabkan penipu mengambil kesempatan di atas kelemahan ini. Di Malaysia, mangsa hanya boleh bertindak ke atas syarikat. Jika syarikat lingkup, pengarah mudah berlindung diri dan tidak bertanggungjawab ke atas segala yang dilakukan oleh syarikat, kecuali kesalahan jenayah.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Be Considerate and Thoughtful

It is fatally easy to take people for granted. This applies specially to those close to us. For example, we can forget to notice what they do for us, or not bother to be courteous by saying and doing things we would not dream of saying and doing to outsiders. Lack of appreciation is very hurtful. It is also something we can regret in later years.

Show people, inside and outside your home, that you notice what they do and appreciate it. Be courteous, like not forgetting to say “please” and “thank you”. Show your affection. Don’t hide it as though you are ashamed of it or think that it should be rationed.

Remember birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions, and be as generous as you can afford to be. Visit them when they are sick, give them all the support that they need. 

Like flowers, love, affection, and friendship have to be nourished by giving as well as taking. Otherwise they wither away.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Higher and Haier

 Twenty seven years ago, Yang Mian Mian was first tapped up for the position of deputy director and chief engineer of the Qingdao Refrigerator Factory, a remnant state-owned enterprise, on the brink of bankcruptcy, with losses running at RMB150,000 and debts of RMB1.4.

A graduate from the Shandong Institute of Technology’s internal combustion engine department in 1963 and, armed with 20 years experience in the household electrical appliance industry, she was set the task of realizing the strategic development set by the board.

Yang Mian Mian found the company in disarray. It was a ‘shocked or stunned fish’ – defined as having good tangible assets but poorly managed. The quality of refrigerators made were abysmal; there was barely any structure to the organization; and the output was trudging along at barely 80 refrigerators a month.    

In 1984, Zhang Rui Min, a young assistant city-manager who possessed a keen readership of Western and Japanese business practices was drafted alongside Yang, who would serve as his assistant, as the people responsible of turning around the appliance company.

In 1985, a disgruntled customer, who showed up with a defective refrigerator, forced Zhang to relook at production quality and the subsequent discovery of a 20 percent failure rate incensed him, enough for him to exhort his workers to destroy 76 malfunctioning units with hammers.

The workers were reluctant, simply because the cost of a refrigerator at the time was close to two years’ wages. But Zhang persisted, saying that the mistake of poor quality would cost the company dear and lead to its eventual demise.

The catharsis wrought on that day of wrecking duly shaped the innovation and quality that Haier is now known for, while one of the hammers hangs in the headquarters up to today, to serve as a reminder.

From that day, the main priorities had to be quality and brand. Working on quality, Haier began reducing its error rate, applying a zero defect quality standard, building on its strengths and leveraging in the technology of its partner, Germany’s Liebherr Group, the global leader for premium refrigeration. The Teutonic connection was made all easier as Qingdao had previously been a German colony.

Two years on from seminal 1984, Qingdao-Liebherr was turning in profits with sales growth hitting 83 percent on average per year. Its success also led to the municipal powers-that-be offering it the chance to take over the Qingdao Electroplating Company that produced microwaves in 1988 and, three years later, the Qingdao Air-Conditioner Plant and Qingdao Freezer.

The diversification of ’91 meant the company had to adopt a new name, as a means of consolidating its group of operations. According to Dr Phlip Carmichael, Haier Group’s Asia-Pacific President, the eventual name, Haier, a derivative of the word ‘Hai’ in Chinese, which means ocean, and that ‘er’ was a nod to their German partner.

What was the Qingdao Haier Group became known, a year later, as the Haier Group, and the company continued its upwards trajectory, expanding with acquisitions of washing machine factories, buying out its main competitor, the Qingdao Red Star Electric Appliance Factory, and moving into television during the dangerous Asian financial crisis of 1997 with the purchase of Huanghan Electronics Group.

At the turn of the millennium, manufacturers in China looked outwards, with the foreign exchange largely in favour of export. Haier begun riding out to new frontiers. The company started with domestic and expanded to the international market and, for this, they started with going to developed countries before going to the developing countries.

In Haier’s home base, the brand is a revelation. It is lauded for its legendray after-sales service, with urban center receiving  a guaranteed fix – not visit – within three hours. In the outskirts, it takes a day at the most for Haier’s service people to attend to service calls. The visionary zeal of Yang Mian Mian, now the Group President, and her board in pushing for quality also led to Haier’s incremental warranty offering from one year to two and then to three, with the current standard being a three-year all-risk warranty that covers accidents as flood damage and breakage by children. 

At this stage of globalization, Haier is not just trading and export. It bring it’s goods and brand and make it international, so there is a progressive growth in the business. Yang Mian Mian’s rapier-like acumen has looked into the redress of product value. Not just wading into the red ocean of fulfilling consumer need. This key factor has been the revolutionary seed that has germinated into Haier today, with its forward thinking enabling it to stay ahead of the game, even establishing its own arena.

The Internet era has been a huge boon for the company. Close interactions with clientele enable the company to address shortcomings, and at the same time, enhance its brand.

Corporate culture is most important at Haier. Only when all employees share the same values, can the company move in the same direction. Through years of painstaking coaching and training, Haier has moved towards a model workforce where employees ‘self-manage’ themselves to run the business. Haier wants its staff to understand their role in driving innovation and adopting current trends. 

The level of investment that the group places in research and development speaks of its importance to the overall strategy. A total of five percent of the revenue goes into R&D, the highest in the industry, even when compared to the technology of Japan and Korea. More than 10,000 patent applications haved been filled and the group has participated in the drafts of 51 international standards, of which 27 have been issued and implemented.

The streamlined processes that have evolved within the group also mean that products are built to order between four and seven days, slashing costs of keeping inventory. Performance matrices are applied to staff, with KPIs and PPCs all in, and rewards are tied into results, which spur productivity and quality. And the group’s successes have been recognized, with the brand being studied in educational institutions from California and Japan to Switzerland.

Haier stands on solid footing today because of this philosphy: Do the hard stuff first and the easy stuff comes later.     

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pelaburan Berbentuk Piramid

serenemaklong.blogspot.com

Pada masa ini segala macam bentuk pelaburan wujud di pasaran. Ada yang sah dan ada yang tidak. Yang tidak sah itu memang sah diwujudkan untuk menipu orang ramai. Sifat tamak sangat mudah diperguna dan diperkuda oleh pengusaha pelaburan yang juga tamak.

Terdapat satu pelaburan berbentuk piramid di mana modal yang diperlukan cuma RM30. Caranya ialah bakal pelabur membeli wang pos RM5 sebanyak enam keping. Setiap satu ditulis dengan nama si penerima di barisan atas bakal pelabur itu. Setelah nama bakal pelabur tersenarai, dia dikehendaki mencari ahli-ahli baru dan giliran dia pula yang menerima “sumbangan” RM5 daripada ahli di bawah. Dalam masa sebulan, berbelas-belas keping wang pos akan diterima dan berjumlah beratus-ratus ringgit.

Menurut Ustaz Zaharuddin Abd Rahman, seorang pensyarah di Universiti Islam Antarabangsa dan juga Penasihat Syariah di C&S Consulting & Investment Ltd., OSK Investment (Islamic) Bank Bhd. dan Standard Chartered (Sadiq) Bank (M) Bhd, pelaburan tersebut tidak halal di sisi Islam. Ia juga bukan pelaburan.

Rukun pelaburan Islam di bawah konsep mudarabah dan musyarakah adalah:
  • wang pelaburan dalam jumlah tepat dan diketahui
  • pelabur
  • pengusaha
  • bisnes yang halal
Antara syarat sahnya pula:
  • nisbah pembahagian untung yang dipersetujui bersama
  • tiada jaminan modal selmat
  • tiada jaminan untung tertentu atau tidak tertentu
Salah satu rukun dalam pelaburan Islam atas asas mudarabah dan musyarakah ialah mesti ada suatu perniagaan yang halal serta terdedah kepada untung dan rugi.

Dalam kes ini, duit peserta dalam bentuk wang pos diguna untuk melabur dalam perniagaan. Cuba lontarkan soalan-soalan berikut: Di manakah perniagaannya seperti yang disyaratkan? Apa produk dan perkhidmatan yang ditawarkan? Mana pula “profit sharing ratio”nya? Maka jelas sekali ia tidak menepati rukun pelaburan dalam Islam kerana “duit peserta terkumpul” itu dianggap sebagai sumber mendapatkan untung.

Menjual pusingan ahli yang menyertai dan sistem piramid tidak diterima oleh Islam walaupun cuba berselindung di sebalik nama ta’awun (kerjasama), sedekah, tolong menolong dan sebagainya. 

Proses ini juga mempunyai elemen riba, kerana setiap pihak yang “menderma” memasuki sistem dengan niat, harapan serta janji oleh pengurusan bahawa mereka mendapat derma berbentuk wang dengan nilai lebih banyak daripada yang diberi.

Di dalam fiqah Islam, seseorang yang menderma tidak boleh mensyaratkan kepada penerima atau mana-mana pengurus sistem untuk mengembalikan sejumlah wang semula kepadanya, khususnya dalam jumlah yang lebih besar. Jika ini berlaku, sifat hadiah tadi akan berubah daripada hadiah biasa kepada “hadiah bersyarat pulangan” (hibah bisyarti ‘iwad) dan keadaan ini akan mengubah sifat kontrak asal derma (tabarru’at) kepada sifat jual beli (mu’awadah maliah).

Apabila ia telah berubah menjadi sifat jual beli, Islam mengharamkan pertukaran wang dengan wang yang berbeza nilainya dan bertangguh pula. Sifat jual beli mewajibkan  semua rukun dan syaratnya ditepati dan jelas seperti subject matter, tempoh, nilai, pihak yang berurusniaga dan lain-lain.

Dalam program derma wang pos ini, kebanyakannya tidak diketahui, seperti bila tempoh dapat semula wang, berapa nilainya, siapa pihak di sebelah sana yang sedang berurusan dengannya dan banyak lagi.

Dari sudut rukun jual beli, ia juga mempunyai elemen judi kerana peserta tidak pasti sama ada wang yang telah diderma mampu membawa pulangan wang yang lebih banyak atau tidak kemudian hari, namun harapannya sentiasa berkobar untuk mendapat “derma” yang lebih banyak. Tatkala itu, definisi judi, spekulasi dan gharar, ketiga-tiganya wujud dalam permainan ini.

Semasa Ibn Abbas r.a. menghuraikan ayat 29 surah al-Nisa’ yang bererti,” Wahai orang  beriman, janganlah kamu saling memakan harta sesamamu dengan jalan yang batil, kecuali dengan jalan perniagaan yang berlaku suka sama suka di antara kamu. Dan janganlah kamu membunuh dirimu, sesungguhnya Allah adalah Maha Penyayang kepadamu,” beliau mentafsirkan erti makan harta secara batil, palsu dan tidak sah adalah mengambil harta tanpa sebarang balasan kerja yang setimpal.” (Rujuk Tafsir al-Tabari, al Razi).

Selain itu, terdapat juga athar yang disandarkan kepada Ibn Abbas yang berkata: Riba adalah setiap hadiah yang mensyaratkan pulangan lebih besar daripada pemberian.” (Al-Jami’ fi Usul al-Riba).

Program derma wang pos ini jelas mengambil harta orang lain tanpa kerja yang setimpal. Ciri-cirinya amat sama dengan ciri-ciri riba iaitu wang dipaksa melahirkan wang lain tanpa sebarang perantara aset dan kerja yang menambah nilai kepada ekonomi setempat.

Ringkasnya, sistem derma wang pos atau apa juga nama yang diberikan adalah sama seperti sistem piramid yang mengambil keuntungan di atas bilangan orang yang masuk ke dalam sistem. Pelaburan ini diharamkan atas sebab terdapat unsur syubhah riba, elemen judi, gharar dan juga juga makan harta secara batil.