Monday, June 11, 2018

Salam Hari Raya - Selasa di Sinar Harian

Jadikan Malaysia Negara Cemerlang: Ubah… Marilah Menangani Fasa Peralihan!*

Perubahan adalah sesuatu yang tentunya pasti. Namun sesetengah perubahan mempunyai impak yang lebih. Hari ini, negara kita sedang mengharungi perubahan yang mampu mewujudkan satu anjakan yang penting untuk masa depan kita. Kita sebagai rakyat Malaysia mesti tahu cara terbaik untuk mencapai matlamat perubahan terutamanya bagaimana untuk menangani dan menguruskan fasa peralihan.

1. Apakah yang dimaksudkan dengan fasa peralihan?
Perubahan mempunyai tiga fasa - masa kini, fasa peralihan dan masa depan yang diingini. Kita perlu bersedia untuk melepaskan keselesaan masa kini, untuk mencapai matlamat perubahan. Walau bagaimanapun, kita tidak boleh mengelak daripada fasa peralihan - tempoh perubahan yang tidak selesa. Sebagai contoh, jika kita memutuskan untuk bersenam selepas tempoh tidak aktif, kita akan melalui fasa peralihan dengan kesakitan otot. Tetapi jika kita beristiqamah dan bersenam secara konsisten, sakit tersebut kian hilang. Dengan itu, matlamat perubahan tercapai.

2. Bagaimana untuk menangani fasa peralihan?
Jangan sesekali melawannya. Semakin dilawan, semakin bertambah susah. Fasa peralihan tidak mempunyai tempoh tamat kerana ia adalah satu ilusi. Ia hanya wujud dalam minda kita, sebagai beban mental – satu sempadan palsu. Sebaik sahaja kita menerima fasa peralihan dengan hati yang terbuka, kesakitan yang dirasa akan hilang. Di pejabat, anda mungkin perlu berurusan dengan bos baru. Di rumah, ahli keluarga baru. Sebagai seorang anak muda Malaysia, berubah dari seorang pelajar kepada menjadi orang dewasa yang bekerja. Sebagai sebuah negara, bergerak politik yang berasaskan kaum dan agama kepada politik yang lebih inklusif dan muhibbah. Semakin cepat kita menerima fasa peralihan, semakin pantas kita melonjak ke hadapan.

3. Bilakah kita harus menangani fasa peralihan?
Hakikat bahawa perubahan itu pasti kini adalah sesuatu klise. Oleh kerana perubahan adalah berterusan, kita akan sentiasa berada dalam fasa peralihan. Untuk berjaya, kita perlu mencari keseimbangan dan keselesaan dalam fasa peralihan setiap masa. Sebagai contoh, matlamat perpaduan akan sentiasa berterusan. Pencapaian ekonomi tiada titik akhirnya. Cara mana kita mempersiapkan generasi akan datang juga akan mengharungi cubaan yang berterusan. Kita mesti bersedia untuk berubah berkali-kali supaya kita tidak sama sekali mundur dan menjadi tidak relevan. Oleh itu, keupayaan dan kesediaan kita untuk menangani fasa peralihan harus dijadikan kemahiran yang kita mesti ada.
Di zubedy, sumber kekuatan program latihan kami ialah nilai-nilai murni dan tradisi yang dikongsi bersama. Kami percaya dalam hati rakyat Malaysia, kita mahukan yang terbaik untuk setiap anak-anak Malaysia kerana negara kita tidak akan berjaya jika ada yang tertinggal.

Kita haruslah belajar untuk berubah dan menangani fasa peralihan untuk menjadikan Malaysia Negara CEMERLANG.

Usahakan yang terbaik,
Hayatilah Hari Raya.

*Idea dalam mesej ini adalah sebahagian daripada konsep teras program “Making A Difference through P3“ (Laksana Perubahan melalui P3) kami.

Have a Meaningful Hari Raya - Tuesday in The Star

Make Malaysia GREAT: Change… Let’s Manage the Transition Phase!*

Change is constant yet some changes have more impact than others. Today, our nation is going through a change that will create a significant shift to our future. We as a nation must know how best to achieve our change goals. To do that, it is crucial that we know how to manage the transition phase.

1. What is the transition phase?
In a simple equation, change has three phases – the present, the transition and the desired future. We need to be willing to let go the comfort and security of the present, in order to achieve change goals. However, we cannot skip the transition phase – the uncomfortable period of change. For example, if we decide to exercise after a long period of inactiveness, we will go through a transition phase of muscle pain. But if we are willing to stay the course and persist, the pain will go away. Only then, we will achieve the desired change. 

2. How to manage the transition phase?
Do not fight it. The more you fight, the longer it stays. The transition phase has no expiry as it is not real. It exists only in our minds, a mental burden – an artificial boundary. Once we accept the transition phase with an open heart, the pain will simply slip away. In the office, you may have to deal with a new boss. At home, a new family member. As a young Malaysian, changing from being a student to a working adult. As a nation, moving from race or religious based politics to one that is more inclusive and muhibbah. The sooner we let go and embrace the transition phase, the faster we leap forward.

3. When to manage the transition phase?
That change is constant is now a cliché. Since change is constant, we will always be in the transition phase. To succeed, we need to be able to find balance and comfort in transition all the time. Unity is a work in progress. Our economy too. How we prepare the future generations will also need constant making and remaking. We must be willing to change and change and change again, or become obsolete. This makes the ability and willingness to manage the transition phase a skill and attitude that we all must have.
At zubedy, our programs and activities draw strength from our shared values and traditions. We believe that at heart, all Malaysians want good things for themselves and for their brother and sister Malaysians, simply because our nation cannot prosper as a whole if some of us are left behind.

You and I, we need to learn and be willing to manage the transition phase and Make Malaysia Great!

Let us add value,
Have a meaningful Hari Raya.

*The idea presented in this message is part of our Making A Difference through P3 program’s core concept.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


Siti Kasim is a friend.

Yes, she is loud. Very loud. She does not need any loud speakers. If we disagree about something even about the taste of the food served, be sure that the entire restaurant will hear her opinion. She may even give me ‘the finger’ followed with a four-lettered word but always accompanied immediately with her roaring signature laughter that will ring all over the room. No, she is not yelling. And no, she is not angry. That is her voice. She meant well. That is her style. She is who she is. She does not pretend. She is not a hypocrite. If you cannot handle that, just don’t join in. Just turn away lah…

But anyone who knows Siti will vouched that she is a wonderful and caring person. She is hard in the outside, but very soft in the inside. She has a very good heart. She is a friend that you can rely on anytime. She is fun to be with, a little unconventional perhaps but definitely a sunshine.

If you are in trouble, if someone bullies you, if you are poor and can’t afford a representation, if you are a marginalized group whose voice needs to be heard – you want Siti Kasim to be on your side. Siti at heart is a kind and good Muslim. The Prophet too fights for the poor, the marginalized and those in need. Siti represents that part of Islam in her colored hair and flamboyant style. Look at the substance and not the form … please.

As such, with all due respect to the good Perlis Mufti, Dr Asri, may I suggest you change your approach and target group. Instead of having an open dialogue, perhaps you can do the following.

Your Target Group

Firstly, change your target group. May I humbly suggest that instead of dealing with Siti, you should aim your focus towards the Muslims who are too weak in faith and easily shaken, overly judgmental and some, outrightly dangerous.

Let me explain.

Siti Kasim is a Muslim. She may disagree with the way mainstream Islam interprets the Quran, but she still uses the Quran as her guidance, her hidayah. In other words, the disagreement is about the interpretations. For example, the hair as aurat. Siti disagrees with the idea that the tudung is an important part of being a Muslim as she sees that there is no requirement to wear the tudung in the Quran. Her conviction is from her own understanding of the Quran. The Quran is still her hidayah! Whether she is right or wrong, I believe it is secondary to the fact that she found her guidance from the Quran. Even grand ulamas disagrees in many interpretations of the Quran – they too follow their own convictions. They too, use the Quran as their hidayah. Just like Siti Kasim.

Yet scores of Muslim due to Siti’s stand on some interpretation of the Quran and Islam have demanded that she is a murtad, anti-Islam, and many want her to be prosecuted and some has gone as far as wanting her dead!

May I suggest the good Perlis Mufti and all other Muftis and religious teachers help make Muslims less judgmental, kinder and more importantly fortify their faith so that they won’t be too easily shaken. Perhaps the good Perlis Mufti and other religious leaders can use the Quran’s story about Abu Lahab and his wife, Umm Jameel as a basic guide.

For the benefit of those who are not familiar with Abu Lahab, let me provide some background.

Unlike Siti who is a Muslim, a lover of the Quran and the Prophet and not a foe of Islam, Abu Lahab is the only person from the enemies of Islam who has been cursed by name in the Holy Qur’an. Thus, he is the number one reference for all Muslims as far as an individual who can be considered a true enemy of Islam. How the Quran and the Prophet dealt with him should form the standard operating procedure on how to deal with individual enemies of Islam.

Although he was an uncle of the Prophet he staunchly opposed Islam from the very beginning till his death. A whole short chapter (Chapter 111 – Al Masad) of the Quran is about him and his wife.

“The power of Abu Lahab will perish, and he will perish.
His wealth and gains will not exempt him.
He will be plunged in flaming Fire,
And his wife, the wood-carrier,
Will have upon her neck a halter of palm-fibre.”
Quran 111: 1-5

The Quran predicted they will die a non-believer. In other words, they will be enemies of Islam till death. They will not change. Their hearts are locked. Yet, there were no prosecution, no shariah call to put them in jail. Instead, the Quran said that their punishment will come only during the hereafter. These two enemies of Islam who insulted the Prophet at every chance and yet there was no call for indictment!

According to historians, Abu Lahab and Umm Jameel brought excrements and offensive materials in the middle of the night to leave them in front of the Prophet’s home. All the Prophet did was announcing that it was a bad neighborly behavior and he simply threw the rubbish away. Umm Jameel is known to throw thorny bushes in the path of the Prophet to hurt him!!!

Abu Lahab made it his job to follow the Prophet wherever he goes when the Prophet share the message of Islam. He forcefully encourages people to not listen to the Prophet, to ignore him. At times Abu Lahab will chase and throw stones at the Prophet to stop him from spreading the message. Yet again, there was no calls to prosecute him. No shariah law thrown at him, no sedition and no death threats. Just Allah, promising he and his wife will suffer in the afterlife.

Today, a simple cartoon depicting The Prophet in a wrong way can make thousands of Muslims go out of control rioting and running amok. Some died during the madness - wasteful unnecessary deaths! It is obvious that we have failed to deliver and explain the Quran to the average Muslims.

In Malaysia, Siti Kasim’s non-tudung colored hair or a celebrity’s tight clothing can make many Muslims go into conniptions. A tudung clad female politician like Nurul Izzah is not spared either! A touched a dog campaign causes unnecessary fear to a kind-hearted Muslim like Syed Azmi who oozes with love and compassion. Have our religious leaders failed to explain the Quran and stress on the core examples and values of the Prophet? Have we failed to advise one another patience and compassion?

How did the Prophet behave? How did he deal with Abu Lahab? How did he deal with Muslims and Non-Muslims during his time? Let us let the Quran explain.

“So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].”.
Quran 3:159

“There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.”
Quran 9:128

“And then being among those who believed and advised one another to patience and advised one another to compassion.”
Quran 90:17

To understand how kind and compassionate The Prophet was, history showed that Abu Lahab’s own children who survived him later converted to Islam and became fervent proponents of Islam. Would that have happened if the Prophet behaved otherwised?

I pray the good Perlis Mufti and all other religious leaders share and stress the Prophet’s way of compassion, kindness and sure faith in Allah and the Quran when dealing with challenges. Leave Siti Kasim alone, build each own’s Iman. Siti is just a Muslim who say outright what she feels and think about Islam. Many others feel and think the same but do so less loudly. You don’t have to impose your interpretation of the Quran at her. That is her choice. If you worry your children or others terikut-ikut  with her understanding, spend more time strengthening their faith not picking on Siti and the likes.

She is no Abu Lahab. Even individuals like Abu Lahab and his wife, the Quran ask us to leave them to God’s discretion. Stop persecuting and hounding people because of their ideas and interpretation of the Quran. Stop forcing your thoughts onto others. Practice Quran 2:256. Believe with all out hearts that there should not be any compulsion in religion. Between Muslims and Muslims and between Muslims and Non-Muslims.

Have a closed dialogue instead.

Secondly, instead of having an open dialogue, have a closed one. Get to know Siti Kasim, since you are interested. See through the form, look for the substance and discover her heart. Spend time with her when she goes into the jungle to care for the Orang Asli and fight for the poor. Chat with her about how and why she sees Islam the way she knows it today. The good Perlis Mufti must remember, when Siti talks about Islam she is not paid. She earns money by being a Muslim, not preaching Islam. She earns her income through her work as a lawyer.

And as I suggested at the beginning of this article, she is a friend and I know her. Even when she struggles with money, she helps the poor. I know that for certain. Siti works hard pleading here and there for funds to do good for those without power, without representation. She is not in it for the money! That is a sign of a true Muslim. The good Mufti must remember, when he speaks about Islam, he is paid a wage. Siti is not. We need to give due recognition to those who spend their own money spreading their conviction about Islam.

Last but not least, when you dialogue about Islam and the Quran with Siti Kasim or anyone for that matter, I plead you enter the dialogue as an equal. That is the basis of any dialogue. As the Quran says,

“And do not walk upon the earth exultantly. Indeed, you will never tear the earth [apart], and you will never reach the mountains in height.”
Quran 17:37

And if whatever trees upon the earth were pens and the sea [was ink], replenished thereafter by seven [more] seas, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
Quran 31:27

Anas Zubedy
Kuala Lumpur

Thursday, May 31, 2018


In conjunction with the World Quran Hour, Zubedy is organizing a topical approach towards getting to know the Quran. We propose specific topics and provide references to the Quran so that your friends, family and you can get to know the Quran better.

By getting to know the Quran topic by topic we can appreciate the Quran better and have a deeper conversation about the subjects. We want to create a catalyst where Muslims and Non-Muslims alike, whenever they have a question about Islam and Muslim practices, the immediate respond is to check the Quran. What does the Quran say about being just and fair? What does the Quran say about managing time? What does the Quran say about men’s best friend? What does the Quran say about love? What does the Quran say about food, etc.?  Google these topics, identify the Quranic surah and ayat, discuss and share.

1. Choose an hour from 7th June to 14th June 2018
2. Form group of friends, gather family members or work alone
3. Pick one topic from zubedy’s list or choose your own topics
3. Google and research on the topic
4. Discuss with your group, family and friends
4. Summarize key ideas from your discussions or discovery
5. Upload your picture or video of you and the verses discuss / summary / key ideas
    in your Social Media page (FB & Insta) and hashtag us at #LetsReadTheQuran and  

7th June – 14th June 2018

What does the Quran say about...?*

1. The Quran
2. The Creation of Time
3. Good Behavior
4. Pluralism
5. Critical Thinking
6. Consciousness (TAQWA)
7. Justice and Equity
9. Fighting
10. Losers
11. Prophet Muhammad
12. The Purpose of Life
13. Wealth and Money
14. GOD’S Sign/Wonder (Does GOD Exist?)
15. Being Grateful
16. Commitment
17. Hope
18. Communication and Interaction
19. Universalism – Unity in Diversity
20. Moderation – The Middle Path

*There are short references to the majority of the above topics at:

anas zubedy

Monday, May 28, 2018


It’s not a crime to be religious.
It’s not a crime to be irreligious.
Who are you to question me?

It’s not a crime to be Sunni, Syiah or Ibadhi.
It’s not a crime to be Sufi, Salafi or Ash’ari.
It’s not a crime to not follow any sect and believe in Allah and His prophets directly.
Did not the Quran say at 6:159 that the Prophet has nothing to do with those who divided the religion into sects?
Are we not brothers and must make peace with each other (Quran 49:10)?

It’s not a crime to pray, fast and abstain from alcohol.
It’s not a crime to not pray, skip fasting and consume alcohol.
Why do we make them a crime?

It’s not a crime to be Muslim, Christian and Buddhist.
It’s not a crime to be a Sikh, a Taoist or Hindu.
It’s not a crime to be Atheist, Agnostic or Pagan.
It’s not a crime to be religious.
It’s not a crime to be irreligious.
Who are you to question me?

Do you not trust God?
Did he not declare outrightly that there should be no compulsion in religion at Quran 2:256?
Have you no faith in His Words?

Anas Zubedy
Kuala Lumpur

Friday, May 25, 2018

Have a Meaningful Wesak - Friday in The Star

Among the life skills required to be effective, efficient and successful, the ability to compartmentalize is likely the most crucial. However, it is one of the most difficult to accomplish and practice.

1. What is compartmentalization?

Compartmentalization is knowing what to carry or not to carry at any given time – not just in your hands, but also in your minds and hearts. It is the ability to stay focus at a task isolating and focusing on difficult yet important matters separately. We do not allow the worry cycle to distract us. We deal with the present. When it’s time to work we work. Time to play we play, time to read we read. Family time is family time and when it’s time to exercise, we exercise. We do not allow one compartment to overcome the other. We take action. We achieve.

2. Why is it important to compartmentalize?

It is a tool to achieve balance at work and home. You become mindful both at work and home and does not allow one to overstep the other. Compartmentalization helps getting things done by not allowing a competing thought or emotion derail you. Disliking your boss is one compartment, doing a good job is another. Bonus is one compartment, giving your best is another. Difficult in-laws, and being a filial son or daughter in law. Partisanship and doing what is right as a rakyat. Ultimately, compartmentalization helps you avoid a systemic breakdown. When one part of your life goes wrong, you do not become helpless. You compartmentalize and focus on your other strengths and march forward.

3. How do we compartmentalize?

Imagine that you have compartments that at specific times you can open, focus on, close and reopen again. Be careful, compartmentalization is not avoidance. It is the act of applying extreme focus compartment by compartment for a period of time prioritizing the present. Budget how much emotion, thoughts and action needed for each compartment and apportion time and energy accordingly. No more, no less! Appreciate small progress within each compartments. Belief that the incremental growth in each will in the long run, bit by bit, slowly but surely, be rewarded with huge success.

At zubedy, our programs and activities draw strength from our shared values and traditions. We believe that at heart, all Malaysians want good things for themselves and for their brother and sister Malaysians, simply because our nation cannot prosper as a whole if some of us are left behind.

You and I, we need to learn to compartmentalize and Make Malaysia Great!

Let us add value,
Have a meaningful Wesak.

*The idea presented in this message is part of our Making A Difference through P3 program’s core concept.

Salam Wesak - Jumaat Di Sinar Harian

Di antara kemahiran hidup yang harus kita ada untuk menjadi efektif, efisyen dan berjaya, kemahiran pemetakan mungkin yang terpenting. Walaubagaimanapun, pemetakan adalah salah satu kemahiran yang amat sukar diperolehi dan diamal.

1. Apakah yang dimaksudkan dengan pemetakan?

Pemetakan adalah kebolehan membuat keputusan dalaman yang matang dimana kita sedar apa yang harus kita bawa atau kita tinggalkan bukan hanya di atas tangan tetapi juga di minda dan hati kita. Ia adalah kebolehan untuk memberi fokus secara mendalam kepada sesuatu pekerjaan, walaupun ia adalah susah. Kita tidak harus membenarkan kitaran kebimbangan mencuri tumpuan kita. Kita hanya memberi tumpuan pada masa kini. Masa berkerja, kita berkerja. Masa membaca, kita membaca. Masa bergembira, kita ceria. Masa untuk keluarga, kita tumpu kepada keluarga dan apabila tiba masanya untuk bersenam, kita bersenam. Kita tidak membenarkan mana-mana petak mengambil tempat petak yang lain. Jadi kita dapat bertindak dan boleh mencapai setiap matlamat.

2. Mengapakah pemetakan amat penting?

Pemetakan adalah satu cara untuk mencapai keseimbangan kerja dan hal rumah tangga. Kita bertambah sedar terhadap kepentingan kerja dan hal rumah tangga tanpa memberi peluang mana-mana satu mengambil tempat antaranya. Pemetakan menolong kita mencapai kerjaya dengan mengenetepikan gangguan emosi dan fikiran kita. Oleh itu, walaupun kita tidak serasi dengan majikan kita, kita masih boleh membuat kerja yang baik. Bonus jatuh dalam satu petak, prestasi terbaik kita berada dalam petak yang lain. Mertua yang cerewet adalah dalam satu petak, dan perangai kita yang baik petak yang lain. Kepentingan politik satu petak, jadi rakyat yang berhemah dalam petak yang lain. Secara keseluruhannya, pemetakan boleh menghindarkan kita dari terperosok dalam gangguan jiwa yang sistemik. Apabila kita dilanda satu musibah, kita tidak terus hilang hala tuju dan kebolehan kita. Kita amalkan pemetakan dan beri tumpuan pada kekuatan kita yang lain dan cari jalan untuk maju kehadapan.

3. Bagaimanakah cara pemetakan?

Bayangkan kita mempunyai kotak-kotak di dalam hidup kita  dimana kita boleh membuka, memberi fokus, menutup dan kemudiannya membuka kembali bila diperlukan. Tetapi berwaspadalah, pemetakan tidak bermaksud mengelak. Ia adalah satu aksi yang memberi fokus yang terperinci pada satu petak dalam hidup kita yang diberi tumpuan jitu pada masa kini. Kita mesti pandai merancang dan membahagikan emosi, pemikiran dan kadar tindakan yang secukupnya pada setiap petak. Tidak lebih dan tidak kurang! Pada akhirnya, kita menghargai setiap perkembangan yang kecil. Kita percaya dengan memberi tumpuan pada setiap petak yang kena pada tempatnya, kita akan sedikit demi sedikit, perlahan-lahan pasti akan mendapat ganjaran yang besar.

Di zubedy, sumber kekuatan program latihan kami ialah nilai-nilai murni dan tradisi yang dikongsi bersama. Kami percaya dalam hati rakyat Malaysia, kita mahukan yang terbaik untuk setiap anak-anak Malaysia kerana negara kita tidak akan berjaya jika ada yang tertinggal.

Kita haruslah belajar untuk memetak dan jadikan Malaysia Negara CEMERLANG.

Usahakan yang terbaik,
Selamat Hari Wesak.

*Idea dalam mesej ini adalah sebahagian daripada konsep teras program “Making A Difference through P3“ (Laksana Perubahan melalui P3) kami.