Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Perspective

Recently I went to Bro Shah Kirit's talk on Comparative Religion and was wowed by his experience and the way he spoke. Am not gonna elaborate what he talked about here but what got me was how much he changed and learned about Islam in the 14 years since he converted.

Having living as a non-Muslim, he has gained something which born-Muslims can never appreciate, the perspective from the other side of the fence. Only by living on two sides was he able to make a comparison between two lives. Actually living it is way better than just observing externally. Being a Muslim now, he, I believe, has come to appreciate the beauty of Islam more than any of born-Muslims have had. And through his experience he is then able to share that perspective with us. The same can be said when I read Muhammad Asad's Road to Mecca.

I believe that as a Muslim, there is a need to be aware of different perspectives that surrounds us. To live within the same society without exploring outside your own comfort zone and learn about the world around us, I believe we will not be able to grow intellectually. I applaud groups like YMP in Malaysia that has attracted Muslims from various backgrounds, race and nations and invited speakers both local and foreign to give that international feel to the group and again share different perspective in things. When I think about this, Islam is indeed powerful in this way as its brother and sisterhood is not bounded by borders of nations but only by a common Belief.

There is a need to incorporate and assimilate what is good as each individual/race/nation has their own certain advantages be it in their culture or way of living, knowledge, technological advancement, way of thinking etc. Only through this cultural exposure and integration can one not only appreciate the purpose of having different races in this world but also build himself in almost every aspect. Even the less likable aspect of a individual/race/nation can be taken as a lesson. Sociology has never been this interesting.

Besides, haven't the Quran in Al-Hujurat 49:13 explained:

"O mankind! We have created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other ..."

So get out! go socialize! travel! join the WoW community! read more books! attend more courses and talks! whatever, learn assimilate grow expand! and then share...

Despite all that, as a Muslim, all that exposure to perspectives should never deviate one from his hold to the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah. And to strengthen ones knowledge of that requires him/her to continuously search for the truth hence the need to explore and search for that truth.

I hope Insyallah, that my continuing experience in life will further help me expand in wisdom for only a single purpose, to fulfill my responsibility as a better Muslim.

Allah knows best. May we all become better Muslims.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why QE, KK?

The moment I sent my form to request for my housemanship my fate now lies in God alone.

I only wrote: Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. No reasons given.

But I have my reasonS:
- I crave the adventure in a far away place.
- I need to learn to become more independent.
- I need to see people from another place (influence from my month trip to Yogjakarta).
- Higher pay doing my HO in the East.
- Hopefully better chance at performing procedures.
- Being a tertiary hospital, it has a nice mixture of cases and in amount and variability.
- I have seniors over there I can count on to show me the way.
- Ammaar's choice teh same with mine - my link to UIA life.
- I wanna see how Likas Hospital is like and see their pediatric surgery facilities over there.
- I hope it'll be easier to come back after undergoing my stint here.
- Hopefully get to go around some of Sabah's tourist areas (not sure yet if its possible under HOship).
- KK hopefully has foodstuff I need.

Why not Kuching?
Hmm... Ta.

The setbacks I see:
- QE looks ugly externally.
- Homesickness.
- Grounded for more than 3 years.
- Magically charmed by locals (Number 1 reason why most people adviced me against going).
- Losing myself in it all, especially spiritually (most important)

My biggest hope is that I'll gain enough experience while having fun over there (not sure if HOship and fun can be together in the same sentence positively) and apply for Pediatric Surgery subspecialty under IIUM after I'm done with HOship and get to come back early for my next step and the other anticipated next step =) (you know what I mean).

I've performed istikarah for my selection, and if Allah doesn’t think KK is best for me, then I’ll be elsewhere. Hopefully I can live wherever I go :p

Meanwhile I need to research more on the place I’ll be going. Any kind of help or advice is welcomed.