2010年4月8日 星期四

Seeking Happiness

Dr. Muhammad al-`Abduh

Everyone on Earth is looking to be happy.
However, few ask the question: What is happiness?
Is it wealth after poverty? Health after illness?
Strength after wretchedness?
Or is it to possess wisdom and sagacity?
To indulge in carnal pleasures?
To live a life of absolute freedom, not even confined by the dictates of morality and faith?

Questions like these come easily to mind, since happiness is something real. It is not an illusion. A person of knowledge finds happiness in knowledge. A generous person finds happiness in giving. An industrious person finds happiness in productive work. The pleasure that they feel is far greater than the simple pleasures of eating, drinking, and acquiring wealth. Yet, the question still remains: Is this is the utmost degree of human aspirations?

Is happiness nothing more? By nature, a human being is never content. There is always a drive to seek after something more, something better. A wealthy person seeks after further acquisitions. A scientist who makes a discovery goes on to another, more ambitious topic of research. This restless discontent goes on until a person aspires to the Lord, and finds peace in worshipping Him and in knowing that He is protecting and guiding us every step of the way.

When `Umar b. `Abd al-`Azîz became Caliph, he wanted to aspire to an even greater triumph. He said: "Nothing remains to achieve except Paradise." No matter how much we strive and how much we attain in this world, there will always be pain and discomfort. There will always be sorrows that we are unable to bear on our own.

However, if we set our sights on the Hereafter and work righteousness, we will find relief and a balm for our worries. There is, in fact, no other way to attain such peace. This is because true happiness requires us to aspire to a higher purpose, to have a noble meaning that we carry forward throughout our lives. When our sights are set upon such a purpose and we have full confidence in our Lord, then we can be reconciled to whatever befalls us. Then we experience true peace and contentment. We neither feel excessive joy at the good things that come our way nor excessive grief at the losses that we suffer. If we take the time to look at those around us – really look at them – we will see the worry and concern written in their faces. Their nice clothes and their smiling expressions may not indicate their worries, but those worries will be visible nonetheless. This is because they are engaged in the relentless competition for material gain, and this preoccupies their hearts and prevents them from attaining real happiness.

The Qur'ân expresses this truth most eloquently, as if it is speaking about our own day and time. Allah says: "Rivalry in worldly increase distracts you until you come to the graves." [Sûrah al-Takâthur: 1-2] Those who are obsessed with worldly pursuits, their weary, worry-filled days on Earth come to an all of the sudden, while they are unprepared. All the same, happiness is not to be found in leisure and relaxation, like many people suppose. Happiness is found in surmounting difficulties, in solving problems, in overcoming one's weaknesses.

An indolent person never experiences the pleasure of achievement. Happiness is found in the pain that is followed by triumph, in the sorrow that is followed by joy. It is found in bringing good to people through our endeavors to develop the Earth. It is found in the noblest expressions of our very humanity.

2010年4月3日 星期六

7 tips for improving your relationship with the Qur'an

Are you one of those people who rarely touches the Qur'an? Or do you read daily, but don't find it is having the impact on you that it should? Whatever the case may be, these are some simple tips that can help you connect with the Qur'an.
你是不是ㄧ個很少碰古蘭經的人?或你每天也在唸只是你發現對你沒有一點的影響,無論是怎麼樣的情形以下是幾個簡單可以幫助你更能進一步親近古蘭經 :

1. Before you touch it, check your heart. The key to really benefiting from the Qur'an is to check your heart first, before you even touch Allah's book. Ask yourself, honestly, why you are reading it. Is it to just get some information and to let it drift away from you later? Remember that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was described by his wife as a "walking Qur'an": in other words, he didn't just read and recite the Qur'an, he lived it.
最好的關鍵在於先檢視自己的心態或在你觸碰古蘭經或唸誦真主的經典前 誠實的問自己為何要唸古蘭經 是為了得到一些資訊還是只是唸了之後就這樣帶過了呢? 要記住! 我們的聖人穆罕默德的妻子曾經這樣的形容聖人是活在古蘭經中 他不只是會唸古蘭經而已 而是真正的把古蘭經放入生活裡實行

2. Do your ablution (wodoo2). Doing your ablushion is good physical and mental preparation to remind you you're not reading just another book. You are about to interact with God, so being clean should be a priority when communicating with Him.
先做好小淨 作小淨對身心的事先準備是重要的 他可以作為提醒我們的作用 讓我們可以了解到我們要唸的不只是一般普通的書 而你將要透過這本書和真主對話 所以在要跟主對話之前先作好小淨的準備是必要的

3. Read only 5 minutes everyday. Too often, we think we should read Qur'an for at least one whole hour. If you aren't in the habit of reading regularly, this is too much. Start off with just five minutes daily. If you took care of step one, God willing(insha2 allah), you will notice that those five minutes will become ten, then half an hour, then an hour, and maybe even more!
每天至少要唸5分鐘 有時我們以為可以一天花一個小時在唸古蘭經 但是如果你沒有這樣每天唸這麼多的習慣 可以先從五分鐘開始做起 如果你都保持在每天花五分鐘唸古蘭經的話 如果真主云欲 將會發先你會慢慢的從5分鐘變成了10分鐘 之後是半個小時 再來就是一個小時 甚至更多的時間在唸古蘭經

4. Make sure you understand what you've read. Five minutes of reading the Qur'an in Arabic is good, but you need to understand what you're reading. Make sure you have a good translation of the Qur'an in the language you understand best. Always try to read the translation of what you've read that day.
把你今天所唸的古蘭經弄清楚明白 每天花5分鐘的時間在唸阿拉伯文的古蘭經是好的 但是你必須弄懂你在唸什麼 也確定你擁有一本可信任的古蘭經翻譯本那是最好的 也把你所唸的東西弄清楚明白

5. Don't just read, listen too. There are now many audio cassettes and CDs of the Qur'an, a number of them with translations as well. This is great to put on your mp3 or your car's CD or stereo as you drive to and from work. Use this in addition to your daily Qur'an reading, not as a replacement for it.
不要只是唸 有時你也可以準備附有古蘭經和翻譯的錄音帶或 CD 你可以把它放在你的 mp3或車上方便在你外出或開車的時候可以聆聽 除了要每天唸以外也試著去聽古蘭經 不要把它當作替代而是把它增加到日常生活裡

6. Make supplication(do3a2) . Ask Allah to guide you when you read the Qur'an. Your aim is to sincerely, for the love of Allah, interact with Him by reading, understanding and applying His blessed words. Making Dua to Allah for help and guidance will be your best tool for doing this.
乞求和作都阿 當我們在唸古蘭經的時候乞求真主的引道 我們要表現的是真誠 對真主的愛 透過真主的語言和真主對話 也請求得到真主的援助 在我們使用這本經典作為指南以前 向真主祈禱庇護和指引我們從中得到智慧


一、日語學習者應有的特質  在學習日語之前你是否評估過自己呢?在這裡舉出12項做為你學習前的參考:




日本人很重視打招呼及禮節,你若不重視,就無法進入日本人的世界。 面帶微笑,才容易與人溝通,順利與日本人做生意。 日本人不喜歡在別人面前說人不是,他們覺得這樣不禮貌,容易傷感情,他們只會在背後偷偷地說,不採取『正面攻擊』。 不管是插花、茶道、甚至於莊嚴的場合,只要有和室的地方,一定要跪坐,從現在起,趕快練習怎麼「坐」吧! 當被邀約而不能履行時,一般日本人會以比較委婉的語氣拒絕對方。

舉個例子,A:「一起去逛百貨吧!」(一緒にデパートヘ行きませんか)B:「如果我沒有事的話,我會很樂意去。」(もし何もなければ喜んで行きますか........)而中國人說話比較直接是優點也是缺點,有時不要給太否定的答案比較好。 日本人喜歡三個朋友在一起,在電視、電影中都可看到三個男主角或女主角。

日本人喜歡團體活動,一起做事,說他們依賴性太重也行,也可說他們不敢負太大責任,所以很少有人自己創業當老闆,寧願進入大公司當高級主管或職員。有人說一個中國人和一個日本人比較時,一定是中國人贏,而二人時是平手,但三人以上一定是日本人贏,可見日本人比較團結。 櫻桃小丸子是非常傳統的日本卡通,日本的風俗民情,日本人文化、思想等,可以從動畫卡通得之。 日本人比較注重穿著,哈日族的你一定會覺得日本人男的俊、女的美,其實是服裝帶給你的幻覺! 日本人生活簡單,很少有變化,新新人類除外。 日本人爭取一分一秒,「時間就是金錢」,走路當然也要快。


A、找出學習的動機  如果你問一個日語學習者,「你為什麼要學日語?」一般回答一定是「我對日語有興趣、我是哈日族」,問題是你的興趣能持續多久?你能哈日哈多久?除了原本強烈的學習動機之外,應該還有一個原因來推動,使你學習的慾望更強烈。  


B、訂定自己的學習目標  你要花費多少時間才能達到自己想要的程度呢?一開始你便要清楚地了解,學會簡單的生活用語及與人溝通的能力,大約需要二、三年以上的時間,而在短期內可用日本語能力測驗為目標,設定一年達四級程度,二年達三級程度。而要能與人溝通大約是二、三級的程度,先把目標訂出,確實去實行,很快地就可以把日語學好。(需注意日本語能力測驗不考「說」)

C、找出適合自己的有效學習法1.錄音帶學習法  這是學語言最基本的配備,不須花費太多金錢的學習法。優點是隨時隨地可放帶子聽,跟著練習。缺點是被動的學習,一般人常有「三分鐘熱度」,聽完第一捲帶子後就很少再繼續下去,因此購買的書籍和錄音帶,就成為家中的裝飾品。

2.電視學習法  如果你學日語已有一段時間,建議你可從日語的電視節目中訓練聽力並學習日本人的生活、習慣、民情、文化等。藉著電視測驗自己的能力,遇有不懂的字句,馬上抄起來再查字典。較為難懂的應是「方言」的日劇,以「關西腔」居多,因為我們學的標準語是「關東腔」,要聽得懂關西腔,除非你住過關西。若你是初學者,建議你從看動畫卡通著手,例如:櫻桃小丸子、多啦A夢……等,從日本卡通中也可反映出日本人說話的習慣、日常生活的情形等。由於動畫卡通是給小孩看的,比較不會有「專有名詞」,恰好你懂得的日語有限,利用動畫卡通做練習,既有趣又有成就感。

3.交朋友學習法  比較快的學習法當然是找日本朋友,每天跟他對話,不久就會發現自己進步神速,但不是每個人都能找到日本朋友,建議你找目前正在進修日語的朋友,最好程度在你之上,有問題請教朋友,朋友不會的也可請教別人,總會得到答案的。另外和朋友約定好一星期中給自己一天「日語日」,這一天你只能說日語,用日語思考,和朋友用日語聊天等,不久將會發現自己的日語進步很多。

4.家中環境學習法  有人說學習外語只要到那個國家就一定能學得很好,問題是到國外去學習需要很多金錢,而又有多少人能有機會到國外去學語言呢?雖然我們沒有「大環境」,但可以製造「小環境」。因此最基本的便是從家裡著手,把自己的家佈置得像「置身於日本」,當自己是一名「哈日族」,身為哈日族的你如果不懂日語就會落伍,自己眼前看到的一切都是跟日語、跟日本有關係的,例如:在電視上貼著テレビ,隔一段時間就換テレビを見る,每隔一段時間換個詞句,背誦後記起來。每項物品都寫日語,從大東西到小東西都貼著日語的標籤,不久之後便會發現別人不會的單字,你竟然會了。

5.上課學習法  找補習班或找老師固定每週上二次課,持之以恆,通常二、三年便可與人溝通,但要注意你學的是「日文」或「日語」,兩者之間差異很大,日文是無聲的語言,日語則是有聲的文字,絕對不能劃上等號。我常問日語諮詢者,你學了多久的日語?どのくらい日本語を勉強しましたか。平均的回答是一年或二年,我覺得既然學了一、二年那就應該有三級的能力,因此我會用一般日常生活會話的形態繼續問,但得到的答案往往是:我會「聽」一點點,「說」不行,「讀」教材沒問題。奇怪了,大家都知道學習的步驟是:聽、說、讀、寫循序漸進的,為什麼大家把學英語錯誤的例子,又套在日語上?因此建議大家在詢問課程時,一定要選擇文法與會話並重的教學法,不要學了二、三年才發現自己根本不會聽與說,只會做文法的題目,浪費金錢與時間。 D、教材的選擇   



學習語言可分成短期、長期兩種,所謂的短期學習法是在短時間內投入精力,讓自己的日語達3級以上程度。可於一星期內安排二至三次的日語課程,養成每天使用日語交談的習慣。  在短期學習法成功之後就可改為長期學習法,這時候雖然比剛學習時好,但不能鬆懈。課程可安排一星期一至二天的學習法,固定看NHK或日劇,參加日語的活動認識日本朋友或交筆友或上網或看簡單的雜誌、安排日本旅遊,儘量使用日語,讓自己的日語更上一層樓。學習語言時間參考表


7:00AM打開NHK頻道,一邊吃早餐一邊看或整理自己的東西或用聽的。 7:30AM出門在車上聽日語教學錄音帶,歌曲也可以,一邊哼著一邊開車。




11:00PM就寢前請播放日語歌曲或日語教學帶。 四、如何有效地學習單字1.相關詞  用聯想的方式,找出相關或相反的單字,從單字中再造句,記住基本原則是名詞+動詞,不要用屬性相同的字而無法變化成句子,例如:ご飯を食べる→何で食べますか→お箸で食べる→ナイフとフォークで食べる。




A candle loses nothing if it is used to light another one

A long time ago in China , a girl named Li-Li got married and went to live
with her husband and mother-in-law. In a very short time, Li-Li found
that she couldn’t get along with mother-in-law at all. Their personalities
were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her mother-in-law’ s
habits. In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly.

Days passed, and weeks passed. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never stopped
arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that,
according to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law
and obey her every wish. All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing
Li-Li’s poor husband great distress.

Finally, Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-law’ s bad temper and dictatorship
any longer, and she decided to do something about it! Li-Li went to see her father’s
good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him the situation and asked
if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for
all.. Mr. Huang thought for a while, and finally said, ‘Li-Li, I will help you solve your
problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you.

Li-Li said, ‘Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do.Mr. Huang went into
the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs. He told Li-Li,
You can’t use a quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that
would cause people to become suspicious.

Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison
in her body. Every other day prepare some delicious meal and put a little of these
herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspect you,
when she dies, you must be very careful to be actively friendly towards her.
Don’t argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen.
Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start
her plot of murdering her mother-in-law.

Weeks went by, and months went by, and every other day, Li-Li served the specially
treated food to her mother-in-law. . She remembered what Mr. Huang had said
about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law,
and treated her like her own mother.

After six months had passed, the whole household had changed. Li-Li had practiced
controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset.
She hadn’t had an argument with her mother-in-law in six months because she now
seemed much kinder and easier to get along with.

The mother-in-law’ s attitude toward Li-Li changed, and she began to love Li-Li like
her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best
daughter-in- law one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now
treating each other like a real mother and daughter. Li-Li’s husband was very
happy to see what was happening.

One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again She said,
Dear Mr. Huang, please help me to keep the poison from killing my mother-in-law.
She’s changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother.
I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her.’

Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head.. ‘Li-Li, there’s nothing to worry about.
I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve
her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her,
but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her.’

There is a wise Chinese saying: ‘The person who loves others will also
be loved in return.’ God might be trying to work in another person’s life through you.
A candle loses nothing if it is used to light another one.

And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow
weary - Paul The Apostle LIVE well …. LAUGH often … LOVE much.