Thursday, March 31, 2011


Upon seeing one of his students reading a difficult book, a teacher said,

“Don’t read that book yet.”

The student replied, 

“I promise only to take from it what I understand from it.”

“It is not what you understand that concerns me,”

 responded the teacher, 

“but what you think you understand.”

– Shaykhna b. Mahfudh

Reference: Yusuf, H. (2011, March 26). The Sin Tax of Ignoring Syntax. Sandala Productions. Retrieved March 30, 2011, from http://www.sandalaproductions.com/Blog/26-the-sin-tax-of-ignorning-syntax.aspx

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

His Malaysian students

I began to have students from Southeast Asia, specially from Malaysia, and some of my best students belonged to this group, including Osman Bakar, who is today one of the greatest scholars in Malaysia and the Malay world. Like Haddad Adel, he also studied mostly the Islamic philosophy of science along with Sufism with me. Along with Chittick, Pourjavadi, A‘vani, and Haddad Adel, I consider him among my best students in the field of Islamic thought. Anyway, Osman Bakar has done even more work in the field of Islamic science than Haddad Adel, because after the advent of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 Haddad Adel became deputy minister of the ministry of Irshad and then head of The Academy of Letters (Fahangestan-e Adab), followed by speakership of the parliament, and has not done as much work until now in the field of the Islamic philosophy of science as well as philosophy in general as I had hoped he would, although he has made important contributions in other fields. Like myself, he began in physics and then shifted to philosophy. He was a physics student at Pahlavi University in Shiraz when I gave a lecture on Mulla Sadra there. That event changed his life, and he decided to devote himself completely to the study of philosophy, especially Islamic philosophy. Along with him, there was also a friend of his, Ahmad Jalali, who was the Iranian Ambassador to UNESCO until recently. He also became my student for many years and then went from Iran to Oxford. These men belonged to that period of my training of students.

To come back to my Malay students, I must mention Zailan Moris, who did her Ph.D. thesis on Mulla Sadra with me here in Washington. She is, as far as I know, the only distinguished woman philosopher of the Malaysian world in the field of Islamic philosophy and also comparative philosophy. There is also Baharuddin Ahmad, now a well-known scholar of comparative mysticism in Kuala Lumpur, and Saleh Yaapar, who later became dean of humanities at the University of Penang and who is one of the leading literary figures of the Malay world, and his wife Fatimah. Both of them did their Ph.D. work with me. I also wish to mention Ali Abd al-Aziz, who did his thesis on Islamic law under me and Faruqı. There are many other Malay and Indonesian students whom I shall not mention here. But I need to refer to two students, Sulayman and Khadijah, who studied with me but did not do their Ph.D. under my care. They were both interested in Islamic art and both are today among the leading figures in the art world of Malaysia. So after 1979, I had for the first time a whole group of students from that part of the world, whom I had not had in Iran. Now they have become distinguished scholars and leaders in their countries.

Reference:  Nasr, S. H. (2010). In Search of the Sacred : A Conversation with Seyyed Hossein Nasr on His Life and Thought/Seyyed Hossein Nasr with Ramin Jahanbegloo; Introduction by Terry Moore. California: Praeger. p. 71-72

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Zero Degrees of Empathy

Zero degrees of empathy means you have no awareness of how you come across to others, how to interact with others, or how to anticipate their feelings or reactions. It leaves you feeling mystified by why relationships don't work out, and it creates a deep-seated self-centredness. Other people's thoughts and feelings are just off your radar. It leaves you doomed to do your own thing, in your own little bubble, not just oblivious of other people's feelings and thoughts but oblivious to the idea that there might even be other points of view. The consequence is that you believe 100% in the rightness of your own ideas and beliefs, and judge anyone who does not hold your beliefs as wrong, or stupid.

Reference: Baron-Cohen, S. (2011, March 27). The science of empathy. The Observer. Retrieved March 29, 2011, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/mar/27/the-science-of-empathy

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Amy Graham

After flying all night from Washington, D.C., I was tired as I arrived at the Mile High Church in Denver to conduct three services and hold a workshop on prosperity consciousness. As I entered the church, Dr. Fred Vogt asked me, "Do you know about the Make-A-Wish Foundation?" 

"Yes," I replied. 

"Well, Amy Graham has been diagnosed as having terminal leukemia. They gave her three days. Her dying wish was to attend your services." 

I was shocked. I felt a combination of elation, awe and doubt. I couldn't believe it. I thought kids who were dying would want to go see Disneyland, meet Sylvester Stallone, Mr. "T" or Arnold Schwarzenegger. Surely they wouldn't want to spend their final days listening to Mark Victor Hansen. Why would a kid with only a few days to live want to come hear a motivational speaker? Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted.... 

"Here's Amy," Vogt said as he put her frail hand in mine. Before me stood a 17-year-old girl wearing a bright red and orange turban to cover her head, which was bald from all of the chemotherapy treatments. Her frail body was bent and weak. She said, "My two goals were to graduate from high school and to attend your sermon. My doctors didn't believe I could do either. They didn't think I'd have enough energy. I got discharged into my parents' care… This is my mom and dad."

Tears welled in my eyes; I was choked up. My equilibrium was being shaken. I was totally moved. I cleared my throat, smiled and said, "You and your folks are our guests. Thanks for wanting to come." We hugged, dabbed our eyes and separated.

I've attended many healing seminars in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia. I've watched the best healers at work and I've studied, researched, listened, pondered and questioned what worked, why and how. 

That Sunday afternoon I held a seminar that Amy and her parents attended. The audience was packed to overflowing with over a thousand attendees eager to learn, grow and become more fully human. 

I humbly asked the audience if they wanted to learn a healing process that might serve them for life. From the stage it appeared that everyone's hand was raised high in the air. They unanimously wanted to learn.

I taught the audience how to vigorously rub their hands together, separate them by two inches and feel the healing energy. Then I paired them off with a partner to feel the healing energy emanating from themselves to another. I said, "If you need a healing, accept one here and now." 

The audience was in alignment and it was an ecstatic feeling. I explained that everyone has healing energy and healing potential. Five percent of us have it so dramatically pouring forth from our hands that we could make it our profession. I said, "This morning I was introduced to Amy Graham, a 17-year-old, whose final wish was to be at this seminar. I want to bring her up here and let you all send healing life-force energy toward her. Perhaps we can help. She did not request it. I am just doing this spontaneously because it feels right." 

The audience chanted, "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!"

Amy's dad led her up onto the stage. She looked frail from all of the chemotherapy, too much bed rest and an absolute lack of exercise. (The doctors hadn't let her walk for the two weeks prior to this seminar.)

I had the group warm up their hands and send her healing energy, after which they gave her a tearful standing ovation.

Two weeks later she called to say that her doctor had discharged her after a total remission. Two years later she called to say she was married.

I have learned never to underestimate the healing power we all have. It is always there to be used for the highest good. We just have to remember to use it.

Mark V. Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul)

Friday, March 11, 2011


Jualan durian runtuh kedai buku Popular datang lagi. Jika di Kuantan, bolehlah berkunjung ke ruang legar Berjaya Megamall bermula tarikh 11-20 Mac (sama dengan jualan di Ipoh Parade).

Ayuh semaikan budaya Iqra'!


AlhamduliLlah, selesai sudah sesi penggambaran IIUMRx6th. Merakam memori di lensa kamera walau korum tidak mencukupi menerbitkan rasa penat dalam diriku namun membahagiakan. Tetapi tertanya-tanya juga, kenapa merah jambu? Mungkinkah terkesan dengan Hari Wanita Sedunia yang disambut pada 8 Mac setiap tahun sehingga tercipta ilham kepada penyelaras program untuk menetapkan warna merah jambu sebagai salah satu tema pakaian 'abang-abang' ini. Rasa lain macam pula bila terpaksa mengenakan pakaian berwarna feminin ini, hehe. Apa pun, dalam banyak-banyak gambar yang dirakam tiga gambar dalam entri inilah yang paling suka. Sekalung penghargaan buat Shamel, Amin, Din dan teman-teman yang lain untuk momen-momen berharga ini.

Melakar kenangan sebelum hujan turun

Susah betul bila mahu mengambil gambar bertiga ini!

ALlah telah berfirman: Pasti mendapat kecintaanKu bagi dua orang yang saling sayang-menyayangi keranaKu, dua orang yang duduk bersama-sama keranaKu, dua orang yang kunjung-mengunjungi keranaKu dan dua orang yang tolong-menolong keranaKu. (Hadis Qudsi)
 Demi sebuah persahabatan!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Model Kübler-Ross merupakan suatu teori yang diusulkan untuk menerangkan mengenai fasa-fasa yang dialami manusia ketika berhadapan dengan kesedihan. Terdiri daripada lima fasa iaitu:

  1. Denial (penafian)
  2. Anger (kemarahan)
  3. Bargain (tawar-menawar)
  4. Depression (tekanan)
  5. Acceptance (penerimaan)

Aku teringat kembali teori psikologi manusia ini apabila cuba memikirkan bagaimana manusia boleh berada dalam keadaan penafian (denial).

Rupa-rupanya, seperti yang dinyatakan dalam Wikipedia, dalam teori psikoanalsis Sigmund Freud, penafian adalah salah satu mekanisme pertahanan manusia untuk berhadapan dengan realiti dan mengekalkan kendiri (self-image).

In Freudian psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms are unconscious psychological strategies brought into play by various entities to cope with reality and to maintain self-image. 

 Penafian juga mempunyai keragaman dan jenis-jenis yang tersendiri:

  1. Penafian fakta
  2. Penafian tanggungjawab
  3. Penafian kesan
  4. Penafian kesedaran
  5. Penafian kitaran
  6. Penafian dalam penafian
  7. DARVO

Begitulah serba sedikit mengenai penafian seperti yang terkandung dalam Wikipedia. Menarik sebenarnya apabila membaca deskripsi berkenaan dan mengaitkannya dengan pengalaman-pengalaman yang kita ada. WALlahu a'lam.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And the Winner is...

The King's Speech sebuah filem yang digarap berdasarkan kehidupan sebenar Raja George VI yang memerintah England sekitar dekad 30-an dahulu akhirnya dinobatkan sebagai filem terbaik Anugerah Akademi ke-83.

Menariknya tentang filem ini ialah kerana mengangkat penyakit sebagai temanya. Dan ini bukan kali pertama Hollywood menjadikan penyakit sebagai asas pengkaryaan. Sebelum munculnya The King's Speech yang mengkisahkan kegagapan Raja George VI sudah ada filem-filem lain yang mendahuluinya. Ini termasuklah filem The Beautiful Mind yang aku minati. Dibintangi Russell Crowe, filem ini merupakan paparan kisah benar seorang genius ekonomi yang juga penerima Hadiah Nobel, John Forbes Nash Jr yang menghidap skizofrenia.

Selain kedua-dua buah filem yang dinyatakan di atas, filem-filem yang disenaraikan di bawah ini juga mengangkat penyakit sebagai mauduk utama. Filem-filem tersebut ialah:

1. The Three Faces of Eve (1957) - Keceleruan jati diri (dissociative identity disorder)

2. Rain Man (1988) - Autisme

3. My Left Foot (1989) - Palsi serebrum (cerebral palsy)

4. Awakenings (1990) - Encephalitis letharga

5. Lorenzo's Oil (1992) - Adrenoleukotrophy  

6. Philadelphia (1993) - AIDS

Tentunya apabila menonton filem-filem berkenaan, audiens pasti akan diusik perasaan mereka. Citra kehidupan yang dizahirkan oleh para pelakon boleh sahaja menenggelamkan untuk turut sama merasai seribu satu duka, pengharapan dan perasaan-perasaan lain yang melingkari mereka yang berjuang menentang kesakitan yang dihadapi. Sejauh mana kita mampu untuk mengambil pengajaran dan 'ibrah, terserah kepada diri masing-masing menentukannya.

Sekonyong-konyong, teringatlah aku kepada Risalah untuk Pesakit tulisan Badiuzzaman Said Nursi.

Rujukan: The Star 27 Februari