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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Contact Lens Solution Pulled After It Is Linked to Infection

By LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN : Published: May 27, 2007

A contact lens solution manufacturer voluntarily withdrew one of its products yesterday after federal health officials said an investigation had linked it to a rare but potentially blinding eye infection.

Customers were advised to immediately stop using the solution, AMO Complete Moisture Plus Multi-Purpose Solution. The solution, used to clean and store soft contact lenses, is made by Advanced Medical Optics of Santa Ana, Calif.

Soft contact lens wearers who have the AMO solution were advised to discard all partially used or unopened bottles and switch to alternative products. They should also throw out their current contact lenses and the lens storage case because they may harbor an infection-causing amoeba, officials of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said.

The agency also advised people who have used the product to call an eye doctor if they have experienced eye pain or redness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, the feeling of something in the eye or excessive tearing. The symptoms, which resemble those of other eye problems, can last weeks to months and vary among patients.


Friday, May 11, 2007

the Art of Non violence

Its virtues and effectiveness,

Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and founder of the M.K.Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, in his June 9 (My birthday) lecture at the University of Puerto Rico, shared the following story:

I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar plantations. We were deep in the country and had no neighbors, so my two sisters and I would always look forward to going to town to visit friends or go the movies.

One day, my father asked me to drive him to town for an all-day conference, and I jumped at the chance. Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she needed and, since I had all day in town, my father asked me to take care of several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced. When I dropped my father off that morning, he said, "I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together."

After hurriedly completing my chores, I went straight to the nearest movie theatre. I got so engrossed in a John Wayne double-feature that I forgot the time. It was 5:30 before I remembered. By the time I ran to the garage and got the car and hurried to where my father was waiting for me, it was almost 6:00. He anxiously asked me, "Why were you late?" I was so ashamed of telling him I was watching a John Wayne western movie that I said, "The car wasn't ready, so I had to wait," not realizing that he had already called the garage.

When he caught me in the lie, he said: "There's something wrong in the way I brought you up that didn't give you the confidence to tell me the truth. In order to figure out where I went wrong with you, I'm going to walk home 18 miles and think about it." So, dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began to walk home in the dark on mostly unpaved, unlit roads.

I couldn't leave him, so for five-and-a-half hours I drove behind him, watching my father go through this agony for a stupid lie that I uttered. I decided then and here that I was never going to lie again. I often think about that episode and wonder, if he had punished me the way we punish our children, whether I would have arned a lesson at all. I don't think so. I would have suffered the punishment and gone on doing the same thing. But this single non-violent action was so powerful that it is still as if it happened yesterday. That is the power of non-violence.

In case you have come across this in the internet, it was circulated numerous time before, let this one, courtesy of St Bull be a reminder to us all.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Marriage (An-Nikah) From Islamic Perspectives

An-Nikah - Mutual Agreement of Bride and Groom

Marriage (nikah) is a solemn and sacred social contract between bride and groom. This contract is a strong covenant (mithaqun Ghalithun) as expressed in Quran 4:21). The marriage contract in Islam is not a sacrament. It is revocable.

Both parties mutually agree and enter into this contract. Both bride and groom have the liberty to define various terms and conditions of their liking and make them a part of this contract.


The marriage-gift (Mahr) is a divine injunction. The giving of mahr to the bride by the groom is an essential part of the contract.

'And give the women (on marriage) their mahr as a (nikah) free gift" (Quran 4:4)

Mahr is a token commitment of the husband's responsibility and may be paid in cash, property or movable objects to the bride herself. The amount of mahr is not legally specified, however, moderation according to the existing social norm is recommended. The mahr may be paid immediately to the bride at the time of marriage, or deferred to a later date, or a combination of both. The deferred mahr however, falls due in case of death or divorce.

One matrimonial party expresses 'ijab" willing consent to enter into marriage and the other party expresses 'qubul" acceptance of the responsibility in the assembly of marriage ceremony. The contract is written and signed by the bride and the groom and their two respective witnesses. This written marriage contract ("Aqd-Nikah) is then announced publicly.


The assembly of nikah is addressed with a marriage sermon (khutba-tun-nikah) by the Muslim officiating the marriage. In marriage societies, customarily, a state appointed Muslim judge (Qadi) officiates the nikah ceremony and keeps the record of the marriage contract. However any trust worthy practicing Muslim can conduct the nikah ceremony, as Islam does not advocate priesthood. The documents of marriage contract/certificate are filed with the mosque (masjid) and local government for record.

Prophet Muhammad (S) made it his tradition (sunnah) to have marriage sermon delivered in the assembly to solemnize the marriage. The sermon invites the bride and the groom, as well as the participating guests in the assembly to a life of piety, mutual love, kindness, and social responsibility.

The Khutbah-tun-Nikah begins with the praise of Allah. His help and guidance is sought. The Muslim confession of faith that 'There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His servant and messenger" is declared. The three Quranic verses (Quran 4:1, 3:102, 33:70-71) and one Prophetic saying (hadith) form the main text of the marriage. This hadith is:

'By Allah! Among all of you I am the most God-fearing, and among you all, I am the supermost to save myself from the wrath of Allah, yet my state is that I observe prayer and sleep too. I observe fast and suspend observing them; I marry woman also. And he who turns away from my Sunnah has no relation with me". (Bukhari)

The Muslim officiating the marriage ceremony concludes the ceremony with prayer (Dua) for bride, groom, their respective families, the local Muslim community, and the Muslim community at large (Ummah)

Marriage (nikah) is considered as an act of worship (ibadah). It is virtuous to conduct it in a Mosque keeping the ceremony simple. The marriage ceremony is a social as well as a religious activity. Islam advocates simplicity in ceremonies and celebrations.

Prophet Muhammad (S) considered simple weddings the best weddings:

'The best wedding is that upon which the least trouble and expense is bestowed". (Mishkat)

Primary Requirements
1) Mutual agreement (Ijab-O-Qubul) by the bride and the groom
2) Two adult and sane witnesses
3) Mahr (marriage-gift) to be paid by the groom to the bride either immediately (muajjal) or deferred (muakhkhar), or a combination of both

Secondary Requirements
1) Legal guardian (wakeel) representing the bride
2) Written marriage contract ("Aqd-Nikah) signed by the bride and the groom and witnesses by two adult and sane witnesses
3) Qadi (State appointed Muslim judge) or Ma'zoon (a responsible person officiating the marriage ceremony)
4) Khutba-tun-Nikah to solemnize the marriage

The Marriage Banquet (Walima)

After the consummation of the marriage, the groom holds a banquet called a walima. The relatives, neighbors, and friends are invited in order to make them aware of the marriage. Both rich and poor of the family and community are invited to the marriage feasts.

Prophet Muhammad (S) said:

'The worst of the feasts are those marriage feasts to which the rich are invited and the poor are left out". (Mishkat)

It is recommended that Muslims attend marriage ceremonies and marriage feasts upon invitation.

Prophet Muhammad (S) said:

"...and he who refuses to accept an invitation to a marriage feast, verily disobeys Allah and His Prophet". (Ahmad & Abu Dawood)

Excerpt from : Marriage and Family in Islam by Mohammad Mazhar Hussaini

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Nulli Secondus – mssion 2010

A thesis for betterment:

Speaking from the podium, the present HM announced his talk with the former HM. The mission is to have the school counted (translated from terbilang) among the best school in the country. Excellent in all fields – education, sports and co curricula, not just the known academic stuff. When we say school we refer to the general interest and will of all concerned parties, the parents, teachers and students. I recalled this tagline Nulli Secondus grilled into me by the then HM Mr.Nik Yusof.

The talk

Clearing the air:

I still have the interest to keep it that way. Hamzah 1 was the best in the district. Though I went to Hamzah 1, now I have 4 kids schooling here. In years 6, 4,3 and 1. I certainly want them all to be an all-rounder as other parents like their kids to be too. Having said all that, I do acknowledge the efforts and sacrifices made by our mostly lady teachers, a major player towards achieving year in and year out, a position of third or so in Machang- Pasir Puteh district. For the last couple of years the school have produced some 30 or so students with straight A’s at UPSR. I am certain that other parents are glad and equally cheerful too.

Take off value ( ToV ) :

There was a lot of talk on ToV at the recent PTA meeting, which attempted to elaborate and designed a scheme for the year 6 students in order to prepare them for the UPSR results and for the school to come up with the maximum numbers of students with straight A’s. These meetings have been like a ritual to the school. According to the PK1 the number of students with all A’s at year 5 entering into year 6 have been constantly around 4 or 5. Thus the ToV have been 4 or 5. I would like to draw this example That’s basically the quality cargo on the plane. As the plane took off into air, more drastic efforts is undertaken to ensure the cargo complies to the required quality. With all that put in place. The end product is normally approximately 30 straight A’s.

Tea after the talk

Comfort Zones :

We are getting similar result over several years. Are not putting efforts to improve? Starting with a ToV of 4 we managed to get around 7 or 8 times that figure at the end of the year. Are we in a comfort zone and very happy with keeping a position of third place in this district. Do we only put on that extra efforts in year 6, year after year? Have the same results with the same efforts. How can we change or improvise to make more straight A’s achiever? The method used so far only succeeded in producing that optimum numbers of straight A’s. If we want more A’s we have to improvised!

Interpreting the ToV database :

From the interpretation the ToV database , we can see that their numbers at the end of the day that make the total numbers of straights. We need to increase by 5 or 6 students per year with 5A’s ToV. This will make their total to 10, if the multiplier is 5, at the end of the day the number of students getting all A’s will be around 50 students. Thus for the UPSR year 2008 there are 50 straight A’s.

Needed a change :

We need to do these by targeting 5 students increment yearly. That may sound easy but certainly not simple. The emphasis will be all teachers at all level from standard 1 to 5 to play the active role. We need some changes by improvising the system to start early and have more ToV at the onset of the students’ UPSR.

Wanting a different result :

If we keep doing the same thing we will not get a different result, we will get the same result. The new HM name all the classes based on the name of planets. Perhaps I may draw his attention here about the man who derived the mathematical formula E=MC2, he said many things on many aspects of life.

This sentence here is particularly relevant to us. “Madness is doing the same thing to get a different result.” We have to review and accordingly improved what have been done in the past.

Target Starting 2007 :

I would proposed that the school start making a target for the annual increment of the number. Some sort for a five year planned. Monitor and fire-fight by early next year.

The way ahead – Parents involvement & monitoring :

After the plans are made. The parents would be informed of the plans during the PTA (PIBG) Meeting. On top of that annually at least once a year say the early third quarter the parent are called to an open day, where they will be presented with their child report card. Here the teacher have the opportunity to highlight about the child like discipline problem, too playful in class and other behavioral traits other than be precise in the child problem like weak in Mathematics particularly fractions and decimals system.

This would allow the parent to take special attention to address those perceived weakness.

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