1. Rasullah s.a.w bersabda: “Aku minta dibukakan pintu syurga, maka bertanyalah penjaganya, “Siapa anda?” Jawabku, “Muhammad”’ lalu dia berkata, “Sesungguhnya aku diamanahkan supaya tidak membukakan (pintu syurga) untuk seseorang pun sebelum anda”. (sahih R.Ahmad & Muslim) 2. Rasullah s.a.w bersabda: “Tanda iman adalah mencintai (para sahabat) Ansar dan tanda kemunafikan adalah membenci (para sahabat) Ansar”. (Sahih R.Ahmad, Bukhari & Muslim) 3. Rasullah s.a.w bersabda: “Ada tiga tanda orang munafik: (a) apabila berbicara ia dusta, (b) apabila ia berjanji ia mungkar, (c) apabila dipercayai ia berkhianat”. (shaih R.Bukhari,Muslim & Tirmidzi) 4. Rasullah s.a.w bersabda: “Datanglah ladangmu (isterimu) sebagaimana engkau suka, berilah dia makan apabila engkau makan, berilah pakaian apabila engkau berpakaian, jangan engkau menghinanya atau memukulnya”. (Hasan, R.Abu Dawud) 5. Rasullah s.a.w bersabda: “Datangilah undangan apabila kamu diundang”. (Sahih R.Muslim) 6. Rasullah s.a.w bersabda: “Sentiasalah kamu menggunakan minyak zaitun, sesungguhnya ia keluar dari kayu yang diberkati”. (Sahih R.Ibnu Majah,Hakim & Baihaqi)



The Japanese love fish. The fish must be very fresh to please the Japanese palate. For several decades, the fish stock in Japanese waters was steadily decreasing. So, fishing boats had to go further out to sea to fish. Naturally, it took longer to bring the fish back. The fishermen had to use bigger fishing boats to store more fish in order to make the trips worthwhile. If the return trip took more than a few days, the fish would not be as fresh. So freezers were installed in the fishing boats to enable fishermen to freeze the fish at sea. But the Japanese consumers were picky; they could taste the difference between fresh fish and frozen fish. As a result the market price for frozen fish was lower than that for fresh fish. Fishing companies made less profit from selling frozen fish, and therefore they could not pay fishermen good prices for their catch. Instead of accepting the situation as it was, the fishermen thought of a way to solve the problem. They installed fish tanks in their boats so they could stall freshly-caught fish. To make their trips worthwhile, the fishermen stayed longer at sea to get as many fish as possible into the tanks before they went back to shore. The tanks were so full that there was little room for the fish to swim. So the fish stopped moving during the return trip. They were alive but dull and tired by the time they reached the markets. However the Japanese consumers could still taste the difference between fresh, lively fish and dull fish, resulting in the dull fish fetching a lower price than fresh, lively fish. Again, instead of surrendering to the negative situation, the Japanese fishing companies thought of another way to keep the fish fresh. They told the Japanese fishermen to put a small shark in each tank. The shark would eat a few fish whenever it was hungry. The other fish in the tank would swim hard to escape from the shark. So in the end, the fish would arrive at the markets fresh.

Ahad, 11 Mei 2008

Bawang Putih Bawang Merah - Final Part

“Mak Sungai, Mother of the River Spirits, did you see a basket floating down the river?” Bawang Merah asked politely.

“Is it the basket over there?” asked Mak Sungai, pointing to a basket beside a clump of bushes. She had pulled it out from the river only a few minutes ago.

Bawang Merah gasped. It was indeed her basket for clothes.

“Oh, Mak Sungai! How can I thank you for finding my basket of clothes?”

“Well, I have been so busy that I’ve not had time to do my own housework. You can help me if you like!”

“Oh, I would love to, Mak Sungai. It’s the least I can do to show you how grateful I am!”

Mak Sungai smiled as she opened a secret door in the river and led Bawang Merah down to her house.

Bawang Merah rolled up her sleeves and set to work scrubbing the floor until it shone. She cleaned the windows and dusted the tables until not a speck of dust remained. She cleaned the kitchen and polished the posts and pans until they sparkled.

After three days, Mak Sungai said, “It is time for you to go home, Bawang Merah. I am very pleased with your work. Before you go, you must choose a present for yourself!”

She took Bawang Merah to a room filled with parcels of all shapes, sizes and colours. Some of the parcels were wrapped in rich, fine batik, some in gaily-coloured paper while others were wrapped in banana leaves.

“Choose any parcel you like, my dear!” urged Mak Sungai.

Bawang Merah looked at all the parcels in the room. She did not know which present to choose for herself. She had never had a present before in all her life.

At first, she hesitated and then, because she was not greedy by nature, she chose a small parcel wrapped in banana leaves.

“This present will be enough for me, Mak Sungai. Thank you very much!” she said breathlessly as she hugged her gift.

Mak Sungai smiled. “You have made a wise choice, Bawang Merah,” she commented as she led her back to the river bank.

When Bawang Merah reached home, her stepmother and stepsister were astonished to see her. They thought she had drowned in the swift-flowing river!

They had to do their own housework for three days and they had not enjoyed a minute of it! How glad they were to have Bawang Merah back!

Now they could dress in their beautiful clothes and visit their neighbours or just around the house again while Bawang Merah washed and cooked and cleaned for them.

But although her stepmother and stepsister were glad to have Bawang Merah back at home, they did not show it. Instead, they scolded her and shrieked at her all over again.

“You lazy girl! How dare you stay away for so long!”

“You ungrateful girl! How dare you leave us to do your housework!

“Who do you think you are?”

They only stopped screaming when Bawang Merah told them everything that happened to her during the past three days.

Then she showed them the present she had chosen for herself.

“What a fool you are to choose such a small present!” snapped her mother.

“Well, don’t stand there like an idiot! Open it! I’m sure there’s nothing in that box except a handful of gold rice!” sneered Bawang Putih.

Bawang Merah unwrapped her present. She lifted the lid of the box and then gasped with surprise.

The box was filled with precious stone that sparkled and glittered in the sunlight!

Bawang Putih stared at the sparkling jewels in envy. They would look lovely against her lily-white hands and her pale soft throat.

“I’m going to Mak Sungai’s house tomorrow morning,” resolved Bawang Putih. “I’m sure I can get an even bigger box of jewels for myself!”

So, the next morning, Bawang Putih set off for the river with the basket of clothes. She threw the basket into the swift-flowing river and watched it drift out of sight.

Then she set off downstream, pretending to look for it.

At last, she came upon Mak Sungai, Mother of the River Spirits.

“Have you seen my basket of clothes?” she asked boldly.

“Mak Sungai looked at her sharply. “Is that your basket?” she asked.

“Yes, of course it is!”

“Take it, then.”

“But I would like to work for you first!”

“All right! Come along!” agreed Mak Sungai reluctantly as she led Bawang Putih down to her house.

Now, Bawang Putih had no intention of doing any work for Mak Sungai. She was much too lazy and she did not like the idea of soiling her soft, lily-white hands.

She pretended to dust the table and sweep the floor but after a while, she threw down the broom and went in the search of Mak Sungai.

“I’ve finished my work!” she lied. “I want to go home now. I’m tired! Where’s my present?” she asked rudely.

“Come with me,” answered Mak Sungai grimly as she led Bawang Putih to a room filled with parcels of all shapes, sizes and colours.

Some of the parcels were wrapped in rich, fine batik, some in gaily-coloured paper, while others were wrapped in banana leaves.

“Choose any parcels you like,” Mak Sungai told Bawang Putih.

Bawang Putih’s eyes gleamed with greed as she entered the room. She examined the parcels carefully and lifted them to find out how heavy there were.

At long last, she chose the largest and heaviest parcel that she could find in the room. She even made sure it was wrapped in the finest batik she could find!

Then, without a single word of thanks, she followed Mak Sungai back to the river bank and hurried home as fast as she could.

“Let’s open it! Let’s open it!” she urged impatiently.

Both mother and daughter trembled with excitement as they tore at the batik wrapping. But what a shock they both had when they lifted the lid of the box!

Instead of precious stone, the box was filled with poisonous toads and fearsome scorpions!

Bawang Putih and her mother screamed as the toads hopped out of the box. They screamed as the scorpions crawled out with their tails quivering in the air. They screamed even louder as the toads and scorpions came after them.

Both mother and daughter ran out of the hut, down the road and out of the village with the toads and the scorpions at their heels. They ran and ran unitl they were tiny little specks on the horizon.

The people in the village never saw them again. Neither did Bawang Merah.

She lived by herself and was very happy for there was no one to scold her or beat her or pinch her. She told sold a few of her precious stones to buy herself shoes and beautiful clothes.

Not long after, Bawang Merah married a good, kind and hardworking young man from the village and they both lived happily ever after.

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