Blue & White Photos

As promised, I update some photos on the event yesterday. I went in & around the stadium! Scavenging places that I've never been before. I can say that things look different from every angle.

Well, enjoy the photos guys! Rest of them are on FB.

Beaver Stadium with Carnival outside

Points to ponder
Suddenly it strucks me, everything in life is about perspective. Whether you see it from your POV or others. But when you become the big "decision-maker", you must try to look it from different angle of the problem, solution & REPERCUSSIONS! Some people throw the last thing out and yet feels good about the decision that they make. Doesn' that construed being Zalim?

Like what happen to South Park this past week. The creator of South Park (Matt & Trey) got death notes from an extremist so-called Islamic group. They portray the prophet Muhammad SAW as a God of Muslim and trying to show his figure.
  1. The issue is totally wrong! (Muhammad is just a prophet, normal human being like everyone but is appointed as a Prophet by Allah) 
  2. I know that Free Speech is a right, but DO NOT misuse it to make fun of sensitive issues.
  3. Those so-called Islamic radical group, please don't misuse the name of Allah for your own political game. Plus, don't use JIHAD as the platform to spread your crooked lust. Held a dialogue or press conference or anything to EDUCATE people, not threatening them.
Just a plain case of not seeing things from all angles.

Final game in Beaver Stadium!

Today is the Blue & White game; an annual event which Penn State Football team showcase its ability for next season. They play each other (1st team vs. 2nd team), somewhat like watching Penn State team training on the pitch. But, it is going to be fun! Last year Penn State fans flock the FREE event to amount 76500 fans..That's crazy! Because it is not a real game, just watching the team training on the field. To be able to pull out the number shows how big pool of fan that Penn State really has.

And this is why I'm going to miss Penn State Football..

This will surely be my very last attendance at Beaver Stadium as an undergraduate student. I may be coming back here in the future (as an Alumni) to watch a game, I may be not. Who knows..It's sad to think about it but life must go on..right guys? Funny to realize that at the same time last year, I was telling Daju' that she's going to miss this type of atmosphere. Now, I am the one who will actually step in her shoes. I will going to have fun and try not to be sad. Enjoying my last time here at Penn State.

We are...PENN STATE, forever!

**LIVE telecast on ESPN2..Not bad for a "training session"..haha

Riba': The untold story

I've always been sceptical on what have I learned in class so far. In my course, the essence of Financial/Insurance system is breeding money through interests (ie: compound interest = interest over interest). But I never know to what extend is Riba' in our daily lives.

After I've attended an online discussion with few of my MCOBs, now I understand why I felt a bit sceptical from the start. It IS definitely Riba'.

"Riba equals to interest of any size. Riba = “gain accompanies gain”. No lose situation for the owner of money." - Zahid Aziz, Muamalah Financial Consulting

The definition of interest of any size is including receiving the interest from banks on your savings account. Why is that? Because you've never agree upon investing in that bank to gain your money! The word investment means that you will definitely know there are 2 outcomes from it, gain money or losing money. Having only to gain the money by interests payment is not in line with Shariah law.

While having to gain money, without losing is good (better yet, logically superior because who want to lose their money?), it is not what had been underlined by the Shariah in Al-Quran & As-Sunnah. As a devout Muslim, we have already agreed that everything sets in Al-Quran is the word of God and HIS messengers which been given to us to live according to HIS wishes. Therefore, we have to obey HIS rule (Shariah Law) and learn how to apply it in our daily lives.
So, what should we do? I'll take on these suggestions from this website:

1) Avoid Riba' altogether by switching to Islamic Finance system. (Kuala Lumpur is currently THE Islamic Finance capital of the world!)
2) If you can't avoid them, try to minimize as little as possible in the transaction.
3) Lessen your debt, pay more upfront (deposits) to reduce the amount of interest paid.

Do your best and your life will be blessed by Allah, InsyaAllah..Allah knows best.

**Please download this FILE for better understanding of the issue.
I've always wanted to write about this book in a while. I picked up this book at Walmart last 2 winter. Haha, I know, it has been years ago & not a place that you will go to find a good book at the first place! At that time I was broke and staying up at State College while all my roommates went to West Coast. It was sad but I kill my time at home with XBox & this book.

Three Cups of a Tea - A true story

Well, this book is about Greg Mortenson, an avid American mountaineer who lost his way at K2 (the second highest peak in the world & the most dangerous of all!) and being saved by villagers high up in the Pakistan Karakoram region. Korphe (the village name) was a peaceful-islamic village but desperately poor. Even with their poor status, they treat Mr. Mortenson the best they could with clothing and foods. One day, after his condition improves, he walked around the village to see what he can do to pay them back. He stumbled upon group of kids, sitting on pile of stones, holding sticks in their hands and scribbling on the dirt. When he approached them, he was brought down to tears as the kids was actually revising what they had learned a day before and the place they were seating on is actually their classroom. The teacher didn't come that day because it wasn't the teacher's turn to come and teach in Korphe. Korphe shares the teacher with other villages nearby as they don't have enough money to pay the teacher. From that moment on, Mr. Mortenson vow to built a formal school for them.

His first hurdled was; Greg Mortenson was only a male nurse! He wasn't rich man. He didn't even have an apartment because he usually bunked at the hospital's locker room. However, he had made a promise to people in Korphe that he will come back and built a school for them. He stick to it. He wrote hundreds of letters (with typewriter because he was computer illiterate!) to raise funds for the school. No one trust him. But he never give up. He saved his own money and keep on reaching people in America to help him built a school in Pakistan. One day, he managed to convince a fellow mountaineer to fund his project. Since then, he never look back and to-date his Central Asia Institute had built 130 schools in Pakistan & Afghanistan higher regions!

There were many conflicts involve in his quest. But he never backed down. He determine to help those poor people even though he didn't have anything on his own! He built the school totally free of charge and change the community's life forever. Now they could have regular school days, physicians to take care of their health, more vibrant economic activities and the best of all, spread education to lessen extremism views in that region! His school is independently govern by the community and it teaches local syllabus (including Islamic subjects; Quran recitations, Islamic Laws/Values & such!)

Greg Mortenson hasn't embrace Islam yet. However, his values & effort does portray positive signs. He respects Islam. He even perform the 5 a-day prayer with the community (once in while though). His intention never wanting to spread bad influence or converting people to any religion. His goal is clear; to educate and improves people's life through education. What a noble individual!

He is the living example that with correct mind-set, anything is possible. He has the motivation to make it happen. He built a very powerful organization from scratch (literally! because he himself has no money/assets to start with) which now has more than 130 schools in the region. I wish I have that determination.

Browse on to learn more about his story.
Central Asia Institute
Greg Mortenson Biography

**He has a new book! "Stones Into Schools" Will review once I've finish reading it. Just ordered through today! Haha :-P

Food Revolution!

Assalamualaikum & Hello to everyone!

I know that it has been almost a year (11 months to be exact) after my last post! But hey, nobody wants to hear my ramblings anyway :-P haha..Thanks to everyone that has been pressuring me to start writing in my blog again. So from here on forwards, I'll at least try and keep this thing up & going.

I wanted to share with everyone about Jamie's Oliver: Food Revolution TV show. For everyone who has not hear about this AMAZING reality show, it is about Jamie Oliver (the British celebrity chef a.k.a the "Naked Chef") coming to America and try to change the way people views & consuming food. He has astonishingly succeed in Britain where he managed to get the school system over there to eat healthily and trying to bring that success to a small town in West Virginia. Apparently, Huntington,WV (that's the town's name) was voted as the most unhealthy city in the world in 2008! Can you imagine that his effort is trying to change the worst town in the world to get into his eating-healthy-scheme. Good luck on that!!

There were so much resistance that I reckon he would not succeed. However, giving that this is a reality TV show, almost all problems were solved. But it is not how the problems being solved, but his motivation, care-ness and desire to help all the people to eat-healthily is a feat of its own. If his effort doesn't move the people that he's trying to help, at least I can proudly say that he moves me.

Go on, check it out!

For full episodes of his shows, follow this link. Remember to check it out on every week.

I am so into healthy eating, but I know that my body doesn't portray my motivation. I'm a bit overweight. I've been avoiding process-food all around (fast foods, nuggets, soft drinks etc.) and have been succeeding in doing it all. However, I believe that my body needs more than healthy food to stay healthy. That's why I'm hitting the gym, playing more soccer, walking to class & just drink lots of water. It's getting there. So far I've lost 4 kg in 1 month. Give & take..haha!

Well, this posting is not about me, it is about Jamie Oliver and change. If you put your mind to it, you can succeed. Seeing what Jamie has done has inspired me to help other people eating properly. I may not be the best role-model out there but I know I can make a difference, if I want to.

So, pick up a salad once in a while. Eat more veggies. And remember, drink lots of WATER. Not process/carbonated/energy/caffeine more than you drink water. Have a bottle of 500ml mineral water at your desk all the time. It doesn't have to be strictly mineral, filtered tap water would do.

There you go. Make a difference in your life, eat healthy foods.