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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Exclusive: Doctoring the Black Sheep


Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.
Assalamualaikum wbt.

Black sheep: "What stare stare?"
1. If you understand neither broken English nor the above image caption, let me explain.

2. In Malay language, it is translated as "Apa pandang-pandang?" Or maybe in proper English it is an expression of "So what are you looking at? (Have any problems?)"

3. This entry will be a bit personal and sentimental to me, hence why I put it under personal category (label) on my blog.

4.  But before I begin with the main story, let me ease you towards the next part of this entry by firstly introducing you to the DEFINITION of this post i.e Doctoring the Black Sheep.

5. I'll break it down for you in the shortest manner I could insya Allah.

6. Quite basically the word 'doctor', though almost always understood as a medical profession, is also actually a verb which, according to thefreedictionary.com means 'to alter or modify for a specific end.' Well, basically in layman's term, it means to change something to something else, by appearance, quality etc etc.

7. Hence the gerund that you have there i.e adding -ing to a verb. So such verb like 'doctor' can now appear in another form i.e. doctoring. 

The first part (of definition) is done. Alhamdulillah.

8. Secondly, black sheep may be a relatively more familiar phrase to you as it simply means (and it's an English idiom) 'a person who is regarded as a disgrace or failure by his family or peer group.'

9. Now, I think we are good to go. Before that though, yes you are spot on, I am that 'black sheep' in this story that I want to talk about.

10. And interestingly enough, as we people are sometimes *racists, we tend to categorize people based on their colors (and surprisingly only 2 colors most of the time) which are either black or white.

*I don't really mean the extreme type of racism, I hope I express it in a more subtle way. ;-)

11. So I'm basically black by skin color. Though I always prefer to describe myself like Tiramisu, because it is both brown and sweet. Oh did I just say that I am brown and sweet? *blushing* And is Tiramisu sweet by the way? hmm..
Tiramisu! Nyum nyum...
12. Or at least I can claim that I have some Chinese blood? And yes I think I am serious. Therefore, I am not that black! Or perhaps at least I have small eyes. Still, I am a Chinese-Malay mix, though to be fair with you possibly only 1:9 by ratio ;-)

13. Again, as a 'black' sheep character in this story, I hope the additional explanation above makes more sense to you.

14. Let's get started!

15. Well, to be frank with you, I am still uncertain on where to start. But assuming that you have plenty of time (if not, just pretend that you actually have please please.... *pleading mood*) so I shall recommend that you also read another article of mine related to this one on my personal story here. But you can always read that one later.

16. A wonderful friend (brother) of mine mentioned once that, things are already written on the wall. Let me cut it short for you. After I scored in my SPM with flying colors, I always aimed to do medicine and to do it in UK.

17. When I received an offer by JPA to do a preparatory studies to go to Australia instead, it was sort of disturbing to me at first, which alhamdulillah didn't take long because my family and I eventually settled down and thought that it must not be a bad idea. What mattered to us was really that I do medicine. Full stop.

18. It was Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) and it was at the International Education Center (INTEC) of UiTM Shah Alam when the ocean now started to splash its waves on my boat of life.

19. For about 1 year and a half, I struggled really hard, obviously not common with what it used to be when I was in MCKK. Little did I know, those past years in MCKK was only a stream of water. After SPM, I supposedly have reached an ocean.

20. And many didn't know, it was also during this period that a number of unforgettable things took place, and breaking up being one of them (I told you, this is a personal story but don't get me wrong, this story is merely a retrospection, I may not be who I used to be- so thank you for not being over-judgmental).

21. Warning: Let me not further comment on that love story. But what I can guarantee you is this one thing. If you know how and what it feels to fall in love and then break, you surely won't allow yourselves to be loved by someone of opposite gender unless and until you both are ready for marriage.

22. In other words, it is this wonderful experience that makes me strong enough (alhamdulillah) to keep myself single but unavailable until insya Allah one day when I am ready to meet and speak to the father of my dream princess. Love you my dear ;-)

Note: By Mercy of Allah SWT, that wonderful girl and I never met during that period of relationship (We only met once and fell in love hehe). So, alhamdulillah, I believe it is Allah's plan, to give me the feeling, but not to an extent of experiencing it- I mean, experience like going out for a date etc..)

Who knows that the other half of ours (our spouse) may have met us in a shopping complex when we were still young hehe. Ok, this is a joke (or a superstition). Don't trust me on this =p
No more humor. Here's the serious part

23. Now let me continue to the main part of the story.

24. I am currently in Kolej Damansara Utama (KDU), taking Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) and insya Allah will complete the few remaining papers of it plus *ACCA in UiTM Shah Alam- well at least that's the plan for now.

*ACCA is acronym for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

25. As some people may not know, I therefore have to rewind and recall for you. From February 2010 until around August 2011, I was actually a medical student in the International Medical University, Bukit Jalil.

26. So basically you are reading a story about a guy who did medicine (MBBS) halfway and changed his mind (and course of studies) not to something related to Science, but Maths and finance instead i.e accounting.

27. There are few important reasons behind this crucial decision I have to make in my life.

28. To begin with, let me firstly quote Mark Twain who once said that, "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do.. than the ones you did do.."

29. It was not easy. And I didn't make this decision overnight. I think I have done enough consultation and deep thoughts, which may never be perfect, but good enough to reach a threshold level that pushed me to enter into a point in life where there is no more turning back. And here I am now as an accounting student.

30. You see, I was a naive guy and may still be. IMU (where I studied medicine) was a wonderful place with many wonderful people. In fact, many great doctors may have been produced here- this, I would not deny.

31. But life is life. My mom once reminded me that everybody is not the same. There are always bad apples in any community.

32. I do not prefer to say that I was sabotaged. In fact I would sincerely admit that I was where I am now due to my own weakness and mistake, partly. But I am no more surprised if there is a good proof presentable to us that there has been some evil hands involved in the withdrawal of more and more Malay students from this university, year in year out.

33. I would prefer to describe it as a form of racial preference (if not discrimination) at the very least, though (of course) this may not be in all cases. 

34. My hope and prayer is only one- as Islam has taught me about patience and justice, I will pray hard to stay cool and calm plus with full confidence and belief in Him, that one day if it really is the case in IMU, it will be disclosed and made known to the public, so that justice can be upheld. Ameen ameen ameen..

IMU Muslim Society (MSOC) committee members 2010/11- Many of you may not know how much our friendship means to me ;-)
35. I won't stop here though. It is important therefore (as I have made the above an open secret) that I share with everyone how and what I feel towards the Chinese community here in Malaysia.

36. First and foremost, Chinese ladies are beautiful and cute. Right, that's off topic. I apologize.

37. Sins are not inherited by blood or from whom you are born. The general rule is that, when someone sins, then he is not so because of his race or age or gender but simply because of what he or she does.

38. Chinese people are great people, adorable in attitude and very passionate in things they do- especially in search of wealth and money.

39. After all that happened, my heart has grown fonder for the Chinese people. Looking things from the bright side, I would put the blame on both the Malay racists and Chinese racists who have never failed to throw fire at each other. You see, at the end of the day, innocent people are hurt and may be unintentionally sacrificed.

40. If not for Islam, I may be the most racist Malay I could be- which is the reason why I am firmly convinced that the real solution to racism is Islam (oh please read the story of Malcolm X).

41. What I mean is simple, it is my belief that the trouble inflicting upon the whole humanity in this world these days is simply the absence of Islam in many of us, Muslims or what more in non-Muslims.

42. So when I say that I love them more, it is from my sincere intention and hope that we should present Islam to them. 

43. There has been arguments here and there that we should focus on the Malays first but I with due respect always see some defects in this kind of thinking.

44. My take is simple. The love we have for the Malays should never prevent us from loving the Chinese people. When we are talking about unity, I see more practicality in the unity of Muslims rather than the unity of ALL Malays. Just swallow the facts that not all Malays can be trusted and likewise in any other races.

45. So long as we let people see Islam as a means to unite the Malays, the non-Malays will feel either intimidated or angered by Islam and will always stay away from Islam and then as an after effect, they will continue hating the Malays too, because Malays and Islam are inseparable now.

46. If Malays were to unite, Islam must be represented as something universal, that it accepts all people regardless of race, and when Islam is well understood, insya Allah not only Malays will be united, but they will also be looked up upon- at least this is my theory (please, you may disagree if you will).

47. Alright enough there, I promised to speak of my personal story instead, not my personal thought. 

48. I haven't told you guys about the reasons why I made this decision to do accounting.

49. Well, for one, I think my sifu is right, that considering all that took place within the past 4 years, everything seems to be written on the wall. I see it as a 'sign' from Allah SWT the Most High, that it is possible that maybe I am not meant to become a doctor.

50. But that is not the only reason though and I don't think I will vomit out everything here. What I can say is that I have many reasons which I have carefully taken into account, and it is all of these reasons, taken together, that makes me stick to this decision until now. After all, like I said, once the shot is called, there's basically no turning back.

51. Not to forget, I have studied medicine for 1 year and a half, so I don't think it's worth it to start over and risk another 5 years or more only to end up in a tough workplace with a low pay- and I think I am speaking of reality in Malaysia now.

52. And please don't get me wrong. Our circumstances are absolutely different. Those pursuing medicine now, I am not here to demotivate or annoy you. Remember, doctor is a wonderful and noble job, but that never denies the fact that other profession, whatever it is (so long it's halal) is noble and acknowledged in Islam too.

53. Lastly, (there are lots more but not to mention here) I think financial constraint is the one single biggest factor of my withdrawal from this pursuit of a medical profession.

54. You see, I have come up with one principle in my life, that I want to become successful and success can be achieved in many ways, if not as a doctor, then maybe as an accountant.

55. There's nothing that remains specific in our life, as the plans and dreams can always change, because as far as I can think of, the only one specific aim that will never change is Paradise, as the only other option than that is Hellfire, na'uzubillah.

56. In other words, what I am saying is that, sometimes we push too hard in our life, though actually it is good to take a few steps backward and change the course of actions, to reach a new aim, with a new spirit, with a new hope.

57. As a saying nicely goes, we can not change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust the sail to change the direction of our boat or ship- it means that we should focus on adjusting something that is within our circle of influence, not beyond that.

58. Also, there's a good saying by Albert Einstein who said something beautiful about being a genius. It is represented as a poster below. [Source]


The final part

58. So where's the black sheep? hehe..

59. Yes indeed. The toughest and most disappointing part to me is when I think of my parents. I believe that I am most guilty to them, more than I think I am guilty to myself or anyone else on earth.

60. For some time, I kept thinking if I was the black sheep in the family. But funny enough, talking about sheep always reminds me of the story of Abraham and his son, Ismael. I believe you already know what the story is all about.

61. Yes it's about a true sacrifice. I am no way comparable to these both great Prophets and Messengers of Allah SWT (may peace be upon both of them). And I am in no way comparing Prophet Ismael AS to a sheep.

62. Instead, I am referring to a story of a huge sacrifice where Allah SWT by His great Mercy has replaced Prophet Ismael AS with a sheep when his father Abraham was instructed to slaughter him- which he (ismael AS) accepted for the great taqwa he has for Allah SWT.

63. The way I relate it to my own story is this- I pray to Allah SWT that despite whatever difficulties, disappointment or even shame that my most beloved parents may have to face and endure, I really hope that in return, Allah SWT will reward them Paradise ameen ameen ameen.

64. And on top of that, I hope I have made the right decision, and Allah knows when the time comes, that He allows me to achieve the dream of success I aspire, which hopefully by that time will heal the cut I have made in their hearts. Dear friends and readers, please make sincerest prayers for me. Jazakumullahu khair khairan jaza'.

65. As a complementary to this entry, I have actually composed a poem (in Malay language), recorded it and uploaded it on You Tube. I have alreadly posted about this recently, but as I believe some of you may have not come across it yet, so here it is (below). After all, it is dedicated to myself and my most beloved family.

Note: The title of this poem is 'Pelangi Tak Berwarna' which in English is something like 'The Colorless Rainbow.'


66. In addition to that, let me quote a very short English poem I composed some time ago, that I have posted on my Facebook wall. 

"Sometimes you are blessed with rain,
 Some other times, you are tested with pain,
 But don't you have a brain?
 That you can decide to either complain,
 Or thank Him again and again?"

-Kuala Terengganu, February 2nd, 2012

67.  Now that I reach the final part of this entry, let me therefore reexplain the phrase 'Doctoring the Black Sheep' which I use as the title of this story.

68. I regretted a lot that I have to go through this phase of life. And my regret is because I think I am fully responsible for it. For that, it is fair enough to see myself as a person who has troubled the family a lot for quite some time.

69. And this is the reason why everything has to be doctored. We as Muslims are taught to believe in the predestination of Allah SWT (Qada' and Qadr).

70. And it should be understood with an acknowledgement that Allah SWT knows best. He is the best Planner and He is All Wise.

71. For that, there is no point at all to keep complaining and whining, but to get back on the feet, stronger in spirit, older in experience, and better equipped in knowledge insya Allah.

72. After all, life is like a cycle or a wheel. I always believe that what we do to our parents now, will be what we will have from our children in the future. And I call it the law of reciprocity.



68. Suffice it is to quote a hadith by our most beloved Nabi Muhammad SAW when he SAW says,

"The best of you is the one who is best to his own family, and I am the best of you towards my family."
(At-Tirmidzi)

69. And I have one personal thing to point out here. Many of us out there (especially students) are involved in this wonderful gathering or relationship called 'usrah'. And usrah, if I am not wrong is an Arabic word for family.

70. I have my own usrah too. However, as a reminder to myself and all of you in usrah, please bear this in mind. When we are very committed and excited with our usrah, always remember that at the end of the day, the one that stays and the one that is most important to us is the real usrah- our own family.

71. They are definitely our first and main priority. Never ever abandon them. Let us not be known among our usrah members, but let us be the most famous and the most kind to our own family, whose relationship with us is by blood. Remember that. And please go check in Surah At-Tahrim, verse number 6, it has some profound messages in it, that is worth of our attention.

Doctor + ring= let's marry a doctor =p
72. I never felt that it was a total waste to study medicine. I believe it has some uses later in the future. But let me touch on one more thing from the title of this entry. You can find the word 'ring' (hence the photo above) from the word doctoring. And basically it is a combination of doctor and ring.

73. If I were to 'naughtily' relate it to my personal story as well, I would put it this way. 

74. Yes, it is lovely to have a doctor in a family. But chances are, I may not become one. So the only option now is to marry a doctor! haha that means I also have to collect money to buy a marriage ring huh? But still, family first ;-)

75. On top of everything, I am basically in the second week of my CAT by this Tuesday. I have outlined a number of important things I want to achieve within 3-5 years from now, which I hope you can make prayers for me too.

76. Among all;

a) I want to save money to send my parents to do Hajj in Mecca ameen ameen ameen
b) I also want to save money to do umrah for myself insya Allah
c) I want to get married (and I am serious insya Allah) ;-)
d) I want to succeed in my studies i.e. CAT and ACCA and then secure a fantastic job
e) I want to own a car insya Allah
 f) I want to settle whatever debts that I owe from whomever insya Allah and become debt-free
g) I want to learn Quran and tajwid in full depth and teach my family and people of my place insya Allah

77. Call it whatever you want, a wish list etc etc but I pray to Allah SWT that He will always remind me of all the above and most importantly give me the strength to be steadfast (istiqamah) in things I do to achieve all of them. Most importantly I hope Allah will rain His barakah and blessings upon me, my family and all people around me insya Allah.

78. I really thank you for your time reading this. Please drop your feedback if you will and I'd highly appreciate them all alhamdulillah. Let me end this by quoting my all-time favorite saying which reads as follows,

"When you were born, you were crying and people around you were smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you are smiling while people around you are crying!"

Thanks very much all and take care!

Wallahuaklam, wassalamualaikum wbt..
Won't let them paint me black anymore hehe..
P/S: I hope you understand full well that in the art of writing, it may also involve some elements of humor, simile and many more. Don't always take things literally. Allah SWT, with His great Mercy, has made us mankind, the best of creation alhamdulillah, so let's cherish that fact.

In other words, like they always say, sometimes we have to read between the lines, so please do ;-)

Credits:

1. My most beloved parents, Mr. Mohd Hanaffi bin Hassin and Mdm Noorma bte Mamat
2. My most respected brother Along, Mohd Ridzwan and sister Nurul Shuhada for especially their frequent financial aids
3. My other brothers and sisters who are still young and lovely and cute like me
4. My close relatives, Hamiza Mamat (Mokja) and husband, all from both sides of my grandparents, I love them all
5. My debate sifu, a motivator and a great helper, Mr Rafizi Ramli and wife for the endless support and Allah knows how much they have done for me, may Allah grant them and families Paradise
6. My teachers and friends whoever you are, if you read this, please remember that all of you, your presence does make a difference to my life
7. And everyone else I may not mention due to fallible and weak (dhaif and faqir) nature of the imperfect me.

My prayers is that you will all be in the pink of health and may Allah multiply every good deeds that you have done to me and people around you. Those who are patient and tolerant despite the fact that I may have missed their names above, may Allah grant them an additional reward for their patience and tolerance. And last but not the least;

8. All of you my silent followers or readers who have been praying for me even without me knowing. May Allah have Mercy on you and your family members and may He always guide us all to His only one straight path, Siratul Mustaqim ameen ameen ameen.

-The End

11 comments:

hishamhasan said...

salam

semoga berjaya di bidang baru =)

doakan kami yang masih pelajar perubatan ini...

HISHAM BIN HASAN

Amirul Asyraf said...

hehe doaku mengiringi kalian. Kalian orang hebat! Remember that ;-)

Wassalamualaikum wbt

MOHD AMIRUL ASYRAF BIN MOHD HANAFFI
(err.. nak tiru gak your style hehe =p)

Anonymous said...

tersentuh jugak baca cerita ni.. sangat jujur.. dan ada pengajaran di dalamnya.. kuatkan semangat ye.. kami yg lain ni akan sokong. good luck!

Amirul Asyraf said...

Alhamdulillah, sokongan dan doamu sahabat moga Allah lipat gandakan dengan pahala yang besar ameen..

Terima kasih =)

nafza said...

very determined decision!

insyaAllah, 3:159.

all the best! barakallahufikum.

Amirul Asyraf said...

Alhamdulillah. Jazakillah Amy!

Doakan ana, jaga diri Amy. Wassalam wbt..

najla said...

Now i know :)
u are on d right track mirul, InsyaAllah.
rezeki Allah tu ada di mana2. Be strong :)

p/s: jmpe time nk buat acca nnt :p

Amirul Asyraf said...

hehe Thanks very much Najla. Make doa for me. May Allah return back to you all the prayers.

Feel highly appreciated when you said that I am on the right track. I sure hope it is ameen...

p/s: No, we'll meet earlier, or at least I'll meet your kawan hari tu dulu! haha for Etiqa Takaful ;-)

Anonymous said...

Quite too draggyy..but im proud that u are chasin ur dreams n hav great opinions n can compose those ideas in great english..wanna see more malay getting good command of english!! Im 18 btw

Amirul Asyraf said...

Sorry for the lengthy post. I couldn't help myself not to write long hehe thanks by the way, I think my English is still very weak and I am trying to improve more.

As you are much younger adik, please let me call you adik, and please make prayers for me too.

Thanks for your time reading, and for your feedback ya?

TAKE CARE. Wassalam wbt =)

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The Colours of Life

The Colours of Life
Picture taken on Syawal 1, 2009

THE BELOVED FAMILY-Hey, do the maths!

Dad: Mohd Hanaffi bin Hassin
Mom: Noorma bte Mamat

Siblings:

Mohd Ridzwan
Nurul Shuhada
Mohd Amirul Asyraf (blog owner)
Fatihah Sakinah
Nurul Ain Afifah
Ilyana Nazlin
Nur Amira Mawaddah
Mohd Aizat Aiman
Nur Anis
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