M’sian cartoonist gets ideas after Subuh (dawn) prayer

LatNur Firdaus Abdul Rahim

CARTOONIST Mohd Nor Khalid, or popularly known as Lat, regards Ramadhan not only as the most blessed month, but also the time of the year when he is able to get ideas and inspiration for his work.

Born on March 5, 1951, in Kota Bharu, Perak, Lat, who is known for his cartoon series the ‘Kampung Boy’, said the best time for him to focus on his cartoon work is after the subuh (morning) prayer.

“I can be said to have retired, as my work no longer appeared in the newspapers, but I do still draw just to pass the time and is working to produce a comic book soon.

“So, the best time for me to get ideas for my work is in the morning, when my mind is still fresh.

“During the fasting month, after the ‘sahur’ (pre-dawn meal) and Subuh prayer as well as doing other religious rituals, I’ll spend time until noon on my cartoon work. That’s the time when I can focus,” he told Bernama.

He was met during an event “Jelajah Potret Penerima Anugerah Merdeka” by Petronas Gallery at the State Museum here recently. Lat is one of the recipients of the award. He received it in 2014.

On how he got himself into becoming a cartoonist, Lat said he had the skill since young and his father was the first person to discover his talent. He said most of his work was influenced by local cartoonists at that time like Raja Hamzah, Alias Kulub, Raja Sulaiman and Saidin Yahya.

“My father was the one who actually encouraged me. I remember during my childhood days, he would take us to the circus and when we got home, asked me to draw the animals which performed at the circus.

“That was how my interest in drawing started and it then progressed into drawing cartoons,” he added. The winner of the 2002 Fukuoka Asian Culture Award has so far published more than 20 cartoon series.

The first when he was 13 years of age. Most of his work depicts the life of the multi-racial society in Malaysia. Referring to “Kampung Boy”, he said it was based on his personal observation, life and experience.

“I don’t know how to create political stories because it is not an element that can last in the cartoon world.

“I prefer elements that are more remembered by the people, like friendship, neighbours and living in a society,” he added. He said the role of a cartoonist was not merely to produce work for people to view.

“At the same time, a cartoonist should be an agent to unite the people, especially in a country with various races, only then there is harmony,” he added.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

lat kb


– See more at: http://www.bt.com.bn/features/2016/07/10/m%E2%80%99sian-cartoonist-gets-ideas-after-dawn#sthash.BTSk9Hih.dpuf

AL-JAZARI (1136-1206): “Father of Modern Mechanical Engineering”



Name: Abu al-‘Iz ibn Isma’il ibn al-Razaz al-Jazari
Title: Muslim polymath: a scholar, inventor, mechanical engineer, craftsman, artist, mathematician and astronomer
Birth: 1136 in Al-Jazira, Mesopotamia
Death: 1206
Ethnicity: Kurdish
Region: Mesopotamia (Iraq-Syria-border)
Main interests: Mathematics, engineering, astronomy, arts
Notable ideas: 1. Invented an early crankshaft, which he incorporated with a crank-connecting rod mechanism in his twin-cylinder pump. Like the modern crankshaft, Al-Jazari’s mechanism consisted of a wheel setting several pins into motion, with the wheel’s motion being circular and the opins moving back-and-forth in a straight line. The crankshaft described by Al-Jazari transforms continuous rotary motion into a linear reciprocating motion, and is central to modern machinery such as the steam engine, internal combustion engine and automatic control. 2. The camshaft, a shaft to which cams are attached, was first introduced in 1206 by Al-Jazari, who employed them in European mechanism from the 14th century; 3. Hand-washing autmotation with flush mechanism Al-Jazari invented a handwashing automation incorporating a flush mechanism now used in modern flush toilets. It features a female humanoid automation standing by basin filled with water. When the user pulls the lever, the water drains and the female automation refills the basin; 4. In the Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices, he gave intructions of his inventions and illustrated them using miniature paintings, a medieval style of Islamic art.
Works: Kitab fi ma’rifat al-hiyal al-handasiya (Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices) (1206), where he described fifty mechanical devices along with intructions on how to construct them, and Al-Jami’ bayn al-‘ilm wa ‘amal, al-nafi’ fi sina’at al-hiyal (A Compendium on the Theory and Practice of the Mechanical Arts)
Wikipedia; http://www.history-science-technology.com


Dr. H. Ali Akbar

Dr. H. Ali Akbar

Dr. H. ALI Akbar, founder of the University of the Yayasan Rumah Sakit Islam (Yarsi – Islamic Hospital Foundation), died after a ten months’ illness in Jakarta on 24 June 1994. Ali Akbar was born in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, on 12 August 1912.

He studied at the Nederlandsch-Indische Artsen School (NIAS – Netherlands Indies Medicine School) in Surabaya, East Java, and continued his study under the Japanese occupation, in 1943, at the Ika Dai Gakku (Medicine College), Jakarta.

He dedicated most of his life to the public interest. As a physician, he was assigned to Painan (1945-1947), and Mecca, Saudi Arabia (1950-1954). He was also nominated rector of the Muhammadiyah University of Jakarta (1957) and the Ibnu Chaldun University of Jakarta (1960) as well as being a lecturer in the School of Medicine of Universitas Indonesia (UI).

In 1967, with Prof. Dr. Asri Rasad and Dr. Jurnalis Uddin, he realized his dream to create an institute for the training of Muslim paramedics and physicians: they established the Islamic Medical College, which was later transformed into the Yarsi University. In order to form paramedical and medical professionals imbued with Islamic values, he included a larger portion of Islamic studies in the study programme than was the case at other medicine schools and obliged all prospective physicians to write a thesis on a particular medical problem studied from the point of view of Islamic law.

Ali Akbar was also the chairman of the Executive Body of the Yarsi, and chairman of the Expert and Fatwa Commission of the Council for Health Development of the Muhammadiyah Central Board.

He wrote several books about hygiene and Islam. One of his books, entitled Merawat Cinta Kasih (Caring Love), has been reprinted 19 times since 1974. Among his other functions were the chairmanship of the Kongres Buruh Islam Merdeka (Free Muslim Labourers Congress), and the Majelis Pertimbangan Kesehatan dan Syara (Consultative Council of Hygiene and Islamic Law). The latter body produced a number of fatwas relating to medical problems such as artificial insemination, transplantation of body organs, mother’s milk banks, etc.

Ali Akbar was active in politics, too. In 1955, he was elected a member of the DPR for the Masyumi party. In 1980, he was dismissed from the Ministry of Health for his action in signing the “Petisi 50”, a public petition of fifty prominent citizens criticizing government policy.

He also wrote several books about hygiene and Islam. One of his books, entitled Merawat Cinta Kasih (Caring Love), has been reprinted 19 times since 1974. (RE, 8 July 1994)

Source: INIS Newsletter Vol. XII 1996, p. 148


“Afro-Asian Slave Who Changed Andalusian Culture Forever”

ziryabName: Abu l-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn Nafi’
Title: Ziryab (Blackbird), polymath: a poet, musician, singer, chemist, cosmetologist, fashion designer, trendsetter, strategist, astronomer, botanist and geographer.
Birth: 789 in Baghdad, Iraq
Death: 857 in Cordoba, Andalusia (Islamic Spain)
Race: Afro-Arab
Education: Studied art of music to Ishaq al-Mawsili (d.850) in Baghdad.
Occupation: Musician, chef, singer, trendsetter, fashion designer.
Activities: Musician in the courts of Harun al-Rashid of the Abbasid Dynasty and of Abd al-Rahman II of the Umayyad Dynasty (822-52).
Interested fields: Music, astronomy, history, geography, chemicals, fashion, botany, cosmetics, culinary, health, poetry.
Notable ideas: Ziryab revolutionised the court at Caacórdoba and made it the stylistic capital of its time, changed Andalusian culture forever. Introducing Middle East fashion styles to Andalusia, including sophisticated styles for different season and time and introducing velvet; styles (short hair style); foods (fruit and vegetables such as asparagus, serving in three separate courses consisting of soup, the main course, and dessert, use of crystal as a container for drinks); hygiene products (deodorant, toothpaste, promoting morning and evening baths); and music (establishing school of music, improving the Oud or Laaacúd by adding a fifth pair of strings, and using an eagle’s beak or quill instead of a wooden pick, and laying the early groundwork for classic Spanish music).

ziryab maqamat

Sources: Wikipedia, muslimheritage, dubsahara.com, Saudi Aramco World (July/August 2003, pp 24-33)


“Mr. Crack”

Prof. Dr. H. BJ Habibie

Prof. Dr. H. BJ Habibie

Name: Prof Dr Hj Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie
Title: ‘Mr. Crack’, Aerospace engineer, technologist, aviation scientist, aviation industrialist, politician, researcher, author
Birth: 25 June 1936 in Pare-Pare, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
Ethnicity: Javanese and Bugisnese
Nationality: Indonesia
Career: Research assistant at the Lehrstuhl und Institut fur Leichtbau RWTH Aachen, Germany; CEO of PT Nurtanio (Changed to PT IPTN, then PT Dirgantara Indonesia); Chairman, Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), 1978-1998); Chairman, Agency for Strategic Industries (BPIS, 1989-1998), State Minister for Research and Technology (1978-1998); The 7th Vice President of Indonesia (March 10, 1998-May 21, 1998), and the 3rd President of Indonesia (May 21, 1998-October 20, 1999), lecturer, reeearcher.
Main interest: Aerospace engineering, aviation and strategic industries, politics, writing
Notable ideas: Producing theories on thermodynamics, construction, and aerodynamics, known as the ‘Habibie Factor’, ‘Habibie Theorem’, and ‘Habibie Method’; inventing the theory of crack on the aircraft’s boday so he later known as ‘”Mr Crack”; indirectly involved in the calculation and design of BO-105 Helicopter, Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) and Several Missile and Satellite Projects; succeeded in flying a ‘N-250’ (dubbed ‘Gatotkoco’) commuter plane; adopting and approach called ‘Begin at the End and End at the Beginning’, a method that things such as basic research became the last things that the workers at IPTN focused on while actual manufacturing of the planes was placed as the first objective and “fly-by-wire”; introducing ‘Habibieonomics’ to overcome the Indonesia’s economic crisis; and involved in establishing the Association of All-Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals (ICMI).
Works: Detik-detik Yang Menentukan: Jalan Panjang Indonesia Menuju Demokrasi (Decisive Moments: Indonesia’s Long Road Towards Democracy) (Memoir 2006); and Habibie & Ainun (Memoir, November 2010 – made a movie with the same title in 2012)
Awards: Honorary Professor on Aircraft Construction, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB, 1977) and Doctor of Science Honoris Cause, Ranfield Institute of Technology, England (1993).

Sources: Wikipedia; engology.com

Islamia/The Brunei Times
Friday, 10 June 2011


“Through reading the Qur’an I became aware of the presence of God”


Ingrid Mattson

Name: Ingrid Mattson
Birth: 1963 in Kitchener, Ontario, USA.
Nationality: Canadian/American
Education: Philosophy and fine arts at the University of Waterloo, Ontario (1987); Ph.D. in Islamic studies from the University of Chicago, USA (1999).
Occupation: Director of the Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations and Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut. She founded the Islamic Chaplaincy program at Hartford Seminary, the first Islamic chaplaincy program in the United States. And, the Chair of the Islamic Studies Program at the Anglican theology department of Huron University College of The University of Western Ontario (2011).
Activities: Canadian Muslim convert professor and activist; Volunteer for Afghan refugees (1987-1988) in Pakistan; An adviser to the Afghan delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (1995); Vice President (2001) and President (2006) of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); Educating Canadian Muslims to become active participants in Canadian society at large; An advisor to the award-winning, PBS-broadcast documentary Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet (2002), produced by Unity Productions Foundation; and Guest lecturer at such institutions as the US Naval Academy.
Works: The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life (2007),
Awards: Recipient of the Dr. Betty Shabazz Award (2007), Chicago Theological Seminary Awards Honorary Degrees for her commitment to interreligious engagement, understanding and collaboration on a range of justice issues (May 2012).
Spouse: Aamer Atek, an Egyptian engineer, with two children.
Previous faith: Roman Catholic
Revert: 1986
Reason: “Islam bringing me back to believe in God. I grew up in a Christian family in Kitchener, Ontario. My father was a criminal lawyer and my mother stayed at home to raise seven children. But I stopped attending church at age 16 when I realised that I just didn’t believe what I was being taught. I left religion entirely and studied philosophy at the university, embracing existentialism… In a way, that philosophy (which emphasis of the individual to make choices in a meaningless world) was good preparation for being a Muslim. What you choose defines what you are, and while people may be limited in the choices they have in life, there is always the opportunity to choose good. So the emphasis in Islam on human responsibility (for choosing right over wrong) made a lot o sense to me – it didn’t absolve people from responsibility for their actions or give them an easy way out. But when they embrace that responsibility, it gives them a sense of peace… Most important, though, it was through reading the Qur’an that I became aware of the presence of God and was convinced of it – that it was what touched my heart.”

Wikipedia; whyislam.com; http://www.irfi.org; Newsweek; womeninislam.org; ctschicago.edu; muslimconverts.com

Islamia/The Brunei Times
Friday, 3 August 2012


“The more I learned about Islam, the more it appeared to conform to what I was after..”

Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe

Name: Michael Wolfe
Birth: 3 April 1945 in Cincinnati, Ohio, US
Nationality: American
Residence: Northern California
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Classics, Cum Laude, Wesleyan University (1968)
Spouse: Dr Raana W Akbar (died in 2009)
Occupation: Poet, author, journalist, columnist, a frequent lecturer on Islamic issues (also writing and literature), founder, President and Executive Producer of Unity Production Foundation, a non-profit organization.
Works: The Hajj: An American Pilgrimage to Mecca (1993), One Thousand Roads to Mecca: Ten Centuries of Travellers Writing about the Muslim Pilgrimage (1997), Taking Back Islam: American Muslim Reclaimm their Faith (2003), Paradise: Reading Notes (2010).
Filmography: Muhammad: Legacy of Prophet (2002), Cities of Light: The Rise and Falls of Islamic Spain (documentary, 2007), On A Wing and A Prayer, Allah Made Me Funny (2008), and Talking through Walls (2009).
Awards: The Wilbur Award in the category of the best religion book (2003), Lowell Thomas Award (1999), Marin County Arts Council Writers Award (1983, 1990), Cine Special Jury Award for Best Professional Documentary in the category of People and Places for Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet (2002).
Revert: 1989
Previous faith: Pluralism
Reason: “I could not have drawn up a list of demands, but I had a fair idea of what I was after. The religion I wanted should be to metaphysics as metaphysics is to science. It would be confined by a narrow rationalism or traffic in mystery to please its priests. There would be no priests, no spearation between nature and things sacred… Finally, i did want a ritual component, daily routine to sharpen the senses and discipline my mind. Above all, I wanted clarity and freedom. I did not want to trade away reason simply to be saddled with a dogma… The more I learned about Islam, the more it appeared to conform to what I was after.”

Sources: http://www.michaelwolfeauthor.com; amazon.com; islamreligion.com, allvoices; reverttoislam.blogspot.com; wikipedia

Islamia/The Brunei Times
Friday, 28 October 2011