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Category: Guest Post

Quranic Pictures of the Universe

Qur'anic Pictures of the Universe Book Cover Qur'anic Pictures of the Universe
Osman Bakar
Islamic Book Trust and UBD Press

by Siddiq Husainy Hasbullah

This book is a part of a bigger project from Prof Osman Bakar on the said topic. This book takes five Quranic views of the Universe from the bigger project, namely:

  1. Astronomical
  2. As a World of Lights and Darkness
  3. Architectural
  4. Divine Creation
  5. Human microcosm (small Universe)

Quoting from the author:

“.. this book may be viewed as a work on scientific exegesis (tafsir ‘ilmi) of the Qur’an.”

Hence, there is no surprise that the bulk of the discussions pertains to the nitty gritty of the Arabic language and its wide range of meanings. The first four views of the Qur’an is okay, I believe. Am not really that enthusiastic despite some interesting views here and there. I feel it is due to my lack of prior readings about the universe as a fact that i fail to appreciate deeply enough because the first four views are really based on the physical appearance of the universe.

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Naratif Ogonshoto: Sebuah teks realisme magis

Naratif Ogonshoto
Anwar Ridhwan

Oleh Iman Danial Hakim

Naratif Ogonshoto: Rangkuman Cerpen Dalam Sebuah Novel

Perkara pertama yang saya lakukan sesudah menamatkan Naratif Ogonshonto adalah dengan membuka Google Map! Saya benar-benar penasaran untuk mengetahui adakah negara kepulauan yang terletak di lautan Pasifik ini wujud?

Ternyata Ogonshoto, negara kepulauan yang terdiri daripada Pulau Gora-Gora, Futu-Ata dan Rai-Rapa hanyalah sebuah kawasan geografi fiksyen. Dikatakan Ogonshoto merupakan sebuah republik enam buah pulau kurang lebih 1500 batu di barat laut Pulau Easter milik Chile. Ini kehebatan Anwar Ridhwan yang pertama. Penglipur lara yang pakar menghikayatkan cerita sehingga kita tersihir untuk mempercayai yang fiksyen sebagai realiti. Yang tiada sebagai ada.

Naratif Ogonshoto berdiri sebagai karya yang unik sekaligus kompleks. Pembaca dipaksa mengikut rentak penceritaan yang samar-samar supaya yang tersirat di sebalik yang tersurat ditafsirkan. Ia bersifat ala cerita rakyat. Pada bab Prolog: Kawai Maru kita dibawa menerusi sudat pandangan seorang kelasi dari kapal Kawai Maru untuk mengenali Ogonshoto. Di sana kita mendapat isyarat awal bahawa karya ini bakal bergerak dalam bab-bab yang mengandungi pelbagai kisah. Ini dikuatkan lagi dengan rangkap, ”Kisah yang kami kutip berkali-kali; kami susun-susun hingga setiap kisah – seperti seekor ikan – lengkap dari ekor hingga kepalanya”. Prolog diakhiri dengan babak seorang ibu sedang memperdengarkan naratif-naratif Ogoshonto, sebuah hikyat lisan yang epik.

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Beberapa Rumusan How To Read A Book

Rumusan ini ditulis oleh Yusra Hulaimi, pembicara siri How To Read A Book anjuran PKPIM Gombak.


Siri 1: Mengapa kita membaca?

Sebelum pergi kepada kaedah-kaedah membaca yang dimahukan, kami terlebih dahulu cuba menjawab persoalan “apakah bentuk kemajuan yang mahu kita capai sehinggakan kita tidak ada cara lain melainkan dengan membaca?” dan “apakah masalah yang kita ingin tangani sehinggakan kita tidak ada cara lain melainkan dengan membaca?”

Saya kongsikan pendapat saya bahawa sekurang-kurangnya kita ada tiga sebab yang paling mendasar mengapa perlu kepada membaca.

Pertamanya, kita mempunyai masalah dalam perkara-perkara usul. Ramai orang ingin terus terjun untuk menyelesaikan perkara-perkara furū’ (isu), akan tetapi menggunakan tapak yang selalu berubah-ubah. Kadang kala isu yang sama, tapi justifikasi yang berlainan. Ini selalunya paling jelas terjadi dalam politik. Jadi, untuk mengkejapkan akar pemikiran, seseorang perlu membaca dengan cergas.

Kedua, kita hidup dalam zaman di mana teknologi mengambil alih banyak aktiviti manusia seperti yang terlihat dalam bidang industri. Sehinggakan, kapasiti berfikir kian diambil alih sedikit demi sedikit oleh teknologi maklumat. Maka, selain mengekalkan kemahiran berfikir, membaca juga mampu menjadi alat saringan untuk menerima maklumat yang perlu dan membuang yang selainnya.

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Some Thoughts on Reading Anthony Milner’s Kerajaan

Kerajaan: Malay Political Culture on the Eve of Colonial Rule Book Cover Kerajaan: Malay Political Culture on the Eve of Colonial Rule
Anthony Milner
Remove term: Strategic Information and Research Development Centre SIRD Strategic Information and Research Development Centre SIRD

This is a guest post written by one of my friend, Kaif who also attended the book launching at GerakBudaya.

The only force that brought me to the book launch for Prof. Milner’s second edition of Kerajaan nearly three weeks ago was sheer curiosity. And as always, it didn’t disappoint: the panel discussion which included the author himself was absolutely eye-opening, at least to a complete neophyte of Malaysian politics, history and anthropology. Two weeks and a little more later, I’ve finally finished it and cannot recommend it enough to anyone (Malay or otherwise) even remotely interested in the questions of nation-building and unity in Malaysia. Why? Because, to our advantage or not, we are not building a nation in vacuo, and thus to make headway sustainably beyond the superficial level of economy and government, we first need to really understand the cultural and psychological matrix in which we are all embedded. This then implies, at least to my mind, learning about the history of our worldviews and mentalities, and how they might have turned out as they are now.

Anyway, reading it has been no less than a journey of self-discovery. I think I have understood myself a lot better both as a (half) Malay as well as a rakyat under a uniquely Malay royal umbrella. The following then is a short summary as well as a collection of some highlights of ideas, some the author’s and others my own, gleaned from this little journey, and I hope that they will be of some use to the reader, if only to whet his or her appetite to get hold of a copy (Christmas is around the corner?) and enjoy it as much as I have. Before going further, I’d just like to point out that it is quite dangerous to read too much into such works as history, which are themselves ultimately speculative, and that I’ve had my own share of qualms and apprehensions. Nevertheless, seeing that they are most probably either too naïve, too uninformed or just plain wrong, I won’t bore you with them here.

First, a short summary to orientate those who have yet to read it. It has been noted before by scholars such as Clifford Geertz that the Malay political culture is disproportionately preoccupied with the formal and the ceremonial, hence his coining of the appellation ‘theatre state’. And even without such works, it is not difficult to observe this in today’s Malaysia where the king appears to be nothing more than a ceremonial puppet conferring too many titles that make our preprandial speeches too long. With this in mind, Kerajaan then is basically Prof. Milner’s take on explaining all these at the level of the ancient worldview and value system of the Malay realm; he attempts to achieve this by studying malay manuscripts in the form of two hikayats alongside the colonial documents.

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