.

No Announcement

"O Allah! We seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) We seek strength, and We ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and We do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (We are about to take) is better for my religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for us and make it easy for us and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for us. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for us, bad for our religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from us and turn us away from it and whatever is better for us, ordain [destine] that for us and then make us satisfied with it."

NOTE


عَنْ عُمَيْرِ بْنِ هَانِئٍ الْعَنْسِيِّ ، قَالَ : سَمِعْتُ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عُمَرَ ، يَقُولُ : كُنَّا قُعُودًا عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ، فَذَكَرَ الْفِتَنَ فَأَكْثَرَ فِي ذِكْرِهَا حَتَّى ذَكَرَ فِتْنَةَ الْأَحْلَاسِ ، فَقَالَ قَائِلٌ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا فِتْنَةُ الْأَحْلَاسِ ؟ قَالَ : ” هِيَ هَرَبٌ وَحَرْبٌ ، ثُمَّ فِتْنَةُ السَّرَّاءِ ، دَخَنُهَا مِنْ تَحْتِ قَدَمَيْ رَجُلٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتِي يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ مِنِّي ، وَلَيْسَ مِنِّي ، وَإِنَّمَا أَوْلِيَائِي الْمُتَّقُونَ ، ثُمَّ يَصْطَلِحُ النَّاسُ عَلَى رَجُلٍ كَوَرِكٍ عَلَى ضِلَعٍ ، ثُمَّ فِتْنَةُ الدُّهَيْمَاءِ ، لَا تَدَعُ أَحَدًا مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ إِلَّا لَطَمَتْهُ لَطْمَةً ، فَإِذَا قِيلَ : انْقَضَتْ ، تَمَادَتْ يُصْبِحُ الرَّجُلُ فِيهَا مُؤْمِنًا ، وَيُمْسِي كَافِرًا ، حَتَّى يَصِيرَ النَّاسُ إِلَى فُسْطَاطَيْنِ ، فُسْطَاطِ إِيمَانٍ لَا نِفَاقَ فِيهِ ، وَفُسْطَاطِ نِفَاقٍ لَا إِيمَانَ فِيهِ ، فَإِذَا كَانَ ذَاكُمْ فَانْتَظِرُوا الدَّجَّالَ ، مِنْ يَوْمِهِ ، أَوْ مِنْ غَدِهِ ” أبو داود
---------------------------------

The Webmaster (Pok Nik) would like to express his highest gratitude and thanks to (Almarhum) Ustaz Haji Ahmad Junaidin bin Che Din for his permission and greatest support in order to make this Global Abjad Blog as a reality.

Contact Pok Nik at : pgssajkm@gmail.com

----------------------------------
Importance of a good shaykh by Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu

Al Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh Sayyad Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi 'Allahu anhu said: You must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the company of a Shaykh who is learned in the law [hukm] and knowledge ['ilm] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and who will show you the way toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed. If a person does not seek the company of scholars who put their knowledge into practice ['ulama 'ummal], he is a chicken from an egg abandoned by the rooster and the mother hen.

Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). What each of you should do, when the night has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of ritual prayer [yusalli rak'atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and make me familiar with Your path." The instrument [sabab] is necessary. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) was quite capable of guiding [His servants] to Him without the Prophets [anbiya']. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: If someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgement, he will go astray. Try to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your religion [din], just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face, your turban and your hair. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness? You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: The believer is the believer's mirror [al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min].

When the believer's faith is sound, he comes to be a mirror for all creatures. They behold their religious faces [wujuh adyanihim] reflected in the mirror of his speech, every time they see him and get close to him. What is this craziness? Not a moment goes by without your begging Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) to provide you with more than you already have to eat, to drink, and to wear, with more sexual opportunities and more income. These are not things that could increase or decrease, even if you were to be joined in your plea by every supplicant whose prayers are answered [da 'in mujab].

Supplication [da 'wa] will neither increase one's sustenance by so much as an atom, nor reduce it by an atom. This is a foregone conclusion [mafrugh minhu]. You must devote your attention to doing what you have been commanded to do, and to avoiding what you have been forbidden to do. You should not worry about that which is bound to come your way, because He guarantees that it will come to you. Allotted shares [aqsam] arrive at their appointed times, whether they be sweet or bitter, whether you like them or dislike them.

The people [of the Way] attain to a condition in which they no longer have any prayer of supplication [du'a] or request [su'al] to make. They do not beg [in their prayers] to gain advantages, nor to get rid of disadvantages. Their supplication comes to be a matter concerning their hearts, sometimes for their own sake and sometimes for the sake of all creatures, so they utter the prayer of supplication without conscious premeditation [fi ghaiba].
---------------------------------------
"O '' Allah, endow us with good behaviour in Your company under all circumstances!
---------------------------------------
[When the believer's faith is sound], fasting [sawm], prayer [salat], remembrance [dhikr] and all acts of obedience [ta 'at] become second nature to him, mingled with his flesh and blood. Then he receives protection from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) under all circumstances. The restraint of the law [hukm] does not desert him, not for an instant, while he is on this course. The law comes to be like the vessel in which he sits, as he travels over the ocean of the power [qudra] of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). He goes on traveling over it until he arrives at the shore of the hereafter, at the shore of the ocean of grace and the hand of nearness. Thus he is sometimes in the company of creatures and at certain times in the company of the Creator. His work and toil are with creatures, while his relaxation is with the Creator.
--------------------------------------
From Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)," translated by Muhtar Holland (Al-Baz Publishing, Houston, 1992), p. 426-8.
--------------------------------------
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah r.a., who said that Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said: Allah SWT said:

Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. (It was related by al-Bukhari)
------------------------------

“Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.”

Thursday, December 2, 2010

TURN LEAD TO GOLD








Before Chemistry was a science, there was Alchemy. One of the supreme quests of alchemy is to transmute lead into gold. Lead (atomic number 82) and gold (atomic number 79) are defined as elements by the number of protons they possess. Changing the element requires changing the atomic (proton) number. The number of protons cannot be altered by any chemical means.

However, physics may be used to add or remove protons and thereby change one element into another. Because lead is stable, forcing it to release three protons requires a vast input of energy, such that the cost of transmuting it greatly surpasses the value of the resulting gold.

Transmutation of lead into gold isn't just theoretically possible - it has been achieved! There are reports that Glenn Seaborg, 1951 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, succeeded in transmuting a minute quantity of lead (possibly en route from bismuth, in 1980) into gold. There is an earlier report (1972) in which Soviet physicists at a nuclear research facility near Lake Baikal in Siberia accidentally discovered a reaction for turning lead into gold when they found the lead shielding of an experimental reactor had changed to gold.

Today particle accelerators routinely transmute elements. A charged particle is accelerated using electrical and/or magnetic fields. In a linear accelerator, the charged particles drift through a series of charged tubes separated by gaps. Every time the particle emerges between gaps, it is accelerated by the potential difference between adjacent segments. In a circular accelerator, magnetic fields accelerate particles moving in circular paths. In either case, the accelerated particle impacts a target material, potentially knocking free protons or neutrons and making a new element or isotope. Nuclear reactors also may used for creating elements, although the conditions are less controlled.

In nature, new elements are created by adding protons and neutrons to hydrogen atoms within the nuclear reactor of a star, producing increasingly heavier elements, up to iron (atomic number 26). This process is called nucleosynthesis. Elements heavier than iron are formed in the stellar explosion of a supernova. In a supernova gold may be made into lead, but not the other way around.

While it may never be commonplace to transmute lead into gold, it is practical to obtain gold from lead ores. The minerals galena (lead sulfide, PbS), cerussite (lead carbonate, PbCO3), and anglesite (lead sulfate, PbSO4) often contain zinc, gold, silver, and other metals. Once the ore has been pulverized, chemical techniques are sufficient to separate the gold from the lead. The result is almost alchemy...almost.


-----------------------------------------------




Lead into GoldFiction, © Copyright 2000, Jim Loy

The alchemists tried to turn lead into gold. If any of them succeeded, the word never got out. Personally, I do not think that any of them succeeded. It is a nuclear process, after all. Many alchemists probably had a very good intuitive understanding of chemistry. But nuclear reactions remained hidden within the nucleus of the atom. There just were not any clues, until the beginning of the twentieth century.

Uranium, and similar metals like Plutonium, spontaneously "decay" into lead. In essence, they fall downhill, losing energy, and become lead. This is because Uranium has a much higher energy "state" than lead does. Things tend to go downhill. Uranium goes downhill to lead. It is perfectly natural.

Well, lead has more energy than gold. That may surprise you. Here is gold, shiny and special. There is lead, dull and disgusting, when you come right down to it. But it is true. Lead has more energy than gold. So it is natural for lead to go downhill and become gold. Why doesn't it?
None of the non-radioactive elements ever spontaneously changes into an element with less energy. There are barriers. One of these natural atoms must gain energy, before it can finally go downhill to a lower energy. It is said that each of these atoms is stable.

It takes energy to move a lead atom over this barrier, before it can go downhill to gold. But, once it is over the barrier, you should get a lot of energy back. The process should produce more energy than it uses. In other words, it should be self-sustaining. Even though the process should be self-sustaining, it normally requires quite a lot of energy to start the ball rolling, so to speak.
So, I was concerned with supplying the energy to transform lead to gold. But a second problem occurred to me. What if my lead atoms went downhill and turned into something besides gold? It is not so bad to accidentally turn lead into silver. But turning lead into zinc could be quite embarrassing. So I began to form my theory that a lead atom needs an adjacent gold atom to "emulate." To carry the anthropomorphizing further, it seems natural for the lead atom to "want" to become a shiny gold atom. Luckily, this idea not only seems to change lead into gold, but at a much lower temperature than might be expected. The mysterious philospher's stone of the alchemists turns out to be gold itself.

At high temperatures, I thoroughly mix liquid lead and liquid gold. Some of the lead atoms change into gold. The remaining lead evaporates into a gas, which I later condense back into solid lead. I also solidify the liquid gold. In the end, I find that the mass of the gold has increased slightly (0.00037%), while the mass of the lead has decreased (0.00080%), after cleaning the lead coating off the inside of my glass equipment.

Repeating the experiment with the same gold and the same lead unfortunately results in almost no further change in the mass of the resulting gold. We have a state of diminishing returns. For some unknown reason, virgin gold would seem to be required.

I urgently need extensive funding to fine tune these very promising experiments. The government has surprisingly (perhaps not surprisingly) expressed no interest. So I am forced to turn to private investors. I estimate that they will at least double their investment in the next 12 months.

Monday, September 20, 2010

BEBERAPA UNSUR SAINS MELAYU ISLAM YANG TERTUA DAN CABARANNYA

Oleh : SHAHARIR BIN MOHAMAD ZAIN - INSPEM, UPM

Abstrak

Oleh sebab Hikayat Raja Pasai (HRP) dipercayai lebih tua daripada ‘Aqa’id al-Nasafi yang bertarikh 1593 itu maka apa-apa maklumat yang terdapat dalam buku ini bolehlah dianggap maklumat Melayu Islam yang tertua. Dalam kajian ini ditunjukkan adanya dalam HRP itu pokok yang tiada nama sainsnya, iaitu kapur barus, sebasani (tiada dalam kamus pun) dan beberapa jenis kesturi; dan adanya haiwan yang belum ada nama sainsnya, iaitu gelang-gelang, kara, kertang, kesturi, kuda semberani, semut sebesar kucing, ketam berdayung, lembedak mengidam, rama-rama bersil , udang sanggul dan ular lembu (5 terakhir ini tiada dalam kamus pun). Dalam HRP juga ditunjukkan ada bentuk ayat-ayat mantik Melayu Islam yang berbeza daripada sekarang umpamanya tiadanya penafian yang menggunakan “tidak” atau “bukan”, tetapi semuannya “tiada” dan gayanya cukup lembut sehingga bolehlah diistilahkan sebagai “penafian lembut”; pengkuantiti wujud pula hanya “ada” dan “adalah” (bentuk lembut, yang tiada sekarang), dan belum ada perkataan “wujud” atau “ujud”; pengkuantiti semesta yang cukup berbeza daripada sekarang ialah “barang” dan pengulangan kuantiti dan tiadalah perkataan “sebarang”, “setiap” (walaupun ada “tiap-tiap”). Mantik implikasi yang kurang digunakan sekarang ialah berbentuk “Setelah A maka B”, “Jika A nescaya B”, (atau “Jikalau”), “Maka tatkala A maka B” (atau tiada “Maka” itu); dan “Apabila A maka B”. Pengganti “jika” yang tidak digunakan sekarang ialah “dari karna itulah”, “oleh karna” dan “sebab karna” ; dan tiadalah ungkapan “oleh itu” atau “oleh sebab itu”. Penggunaan “Maka” di permulaan ayat amat berleluasa dan maknanya memang “perkara dahulu itu mengimplikasikan”. Orang Melayu pada abad ke-13M dahulu pun sudah tahu bilangan ratus, ribu , ribu-ribu, keti (= seratus ribu), sudah membezakan “tiada tepermanai”, “tiada terhisabkan” dan “tiada terkira-kira”. Mereka menggunakan ungkapan “tiada berbagai” untuk maksud “tiada bandingan”, dan mereka juga sudah biasa dengan matematik bahagi berpemberat atau dividen. Unit-unit sukatan yang mereka pakai agak komprehensif sehingga kepada unit banyaknya lombong emas (makdan, yang sepatutnya mikdarun/makdurun/ mukaddirun) dan banyaknya dakwat (koci); dan oleh itu ada yang tidak dirakamkan dalam kajian Abdul Razak (2000) tentang sukatan Melayu iaitu peti, koci, galang, makdan, sebu, rantau dan tiada berbagai. Terdapat juga istilah-istilah tentang arah atau mata angin atau kompas sekarang iaitu “timur” (atau “bawah angin”, “wetan”), “barat” (atau “atas angin”, “kulon”), utara, selatan, ilir, mudik atau hulu, dan kedudukan bintang dengan kewujudan “ahlul nujum” diraja. Adanya ahli kimia yang digelar “orang seri” yang hebat khususnya termasuklah membuat segala macam racun . Adanya ilmu kepemimpinan di dalam HRP ini juga menunjukkan kepemimpinan Melayu Islam sudah bertapak di kalangan pemimpin Melayu sejak abad ke-13M lagi dan sekaligus menidakkan Taj al-Salatin (TaS), karya Bukhari al-Jauhari 1603, sebagai sumber ilmu kepemimpinan Melayu Islam yang tertua; walaupun ciri-ciri kepemimpinan itu tidak sekomprehensif dalam TaS itu. HRP juga menceritakan tahap Feudalisme Melayu Islam yang cukup tinggi dalam abad ke-13M dan ke-14M dahulu dan adanya pelbagai amalan yang amat bertentangan dengan Islam di samping tahap emansipasi wanita yang agak luar biasa berbanding dengan wanita sekarang pun.

1. Muqaddimah

Kebanyakan sarjana bersetuju bahawa secara rasminya Islam mula bertapak di Pascabima (akronim baru untuk Alam Melayu) ini bermula di Acih, Sumatera Utara yang dahulunya terkenal dengan nama Pasai mulai sekitar 1280 (kerana tiadanya pertikaian tentang Raja Islam pertamanya mangkat 696H atau sekitar 1297M). Pandangan ini berasaskan pada tafsiran kepada cerita-sejarah yang dirakamkan dalam manuskrip Melayu Jawi berjudul “Hikayat Raja Pasai” (selepas ini diringkaskan sebagai HRP sahaja) yang dianggap satu daripada karya agung Melayu dan oleh itu telah pun diterbitkan dalam Siri Karya Agung oleh Yayasaan Karyawan dan Penerbit Fajar Bakti Kuala Lumpur 1999. Manuskrip ini tidak bertarikh tetapi secara ijmaknya disetujui siap ditulis sebaru-barunya pada 1520-an M dan kandungannya penuh dengan drama sejarah raja-raja Pasai sejak sekitar 1280 itu hinggalah ke akhir-akhir abad ke-14M. Oleh itu HRP jauh lebih tua daripada manuskrip yang tidak dipertikaikan lagi tertuanya setakat ini, ‘Aqa’id al-Nasafi (karya terjemahan) yang bertarikh 1590. Besarlah kemungkinannya HRP itulah karya asli tertua dalam bahasa Melayu Jawi. Oleh itu segala maklumat, khususnya maklumat sains, yang terdapat di dalam HRP boleh dianggap sebagai rakaman bahan sains Melayu Islam yang tertua, iaitu sejak akhir-akhir abad ke-13M hingga akhir-akhir abad ke-14M itu. Selama ini belum pernah manuskrip Melayu seperti HRP ini dikaji daripada perspektif sains yang cuba dilakukan sebaliknya di sini, walaupun adalah penonjolan wujudnya unsur-unsur matematik dalam manuskrip tertua Melayu Jawi, ‘Aqa’id al-Nasafi itu yang dilakukan oleh Abdul Razak dalam Kesturi 2002, 11(1&2). Dalam Jawhar 2(3), Okt/Nov 2005, Monique Zaini-Lajoubert membuat sorotan terhadap terjemahan HRP versi terjemahan ke bahasa Perancis (penerbitan kembali 2004 kepada terjemahan asalnya 1849 oleh Aristide Marre), dan beliau menyebut sepintas lalu adanya ilmu pengurusan dalam HRP. Inilah yang mencetuskan keinginan kami membuat kajian kepada HRP ini daripada perspektif sains ini. Sebenarnya, kekurangan sorotan manuskrip Melayu daripada aspek sainslah yang memberi gambaran bahawa tamadun Melayu tiada sains atau miskin sainsnya yang menyumbang sebabnya sejak 2003 mereka menolak bahasanya sendiri sebagai bahasa pembangunan sainsnya, dan mereka sedang menerima bahananya yang besar yang tidak mereka sedari setakat ini. Maka inilah kesempatannya yang difikirkan sesuai untuk menghakiskan lagi citra negatif ketiadaan sains dalam tamadun Melayu, moga-moga terowong panjang Melayu yang terbina itu tidak tertutup langsung di hujungnya yang nampaknya begitu gelap gelemat itu.

2. Status Mantik Melayu Islam yang Tertua (Sebaru-barunya Awal Abad ke-16M)

Penulisan zaman dahulu (manuskrip jawi) khususunya HRP memang tiada tanda bacanya dan oleh itu terserahlah kepada pembaca, penyusun atau pentranskripsinya memasukkan tanda bacanya berasaskan kepada kefahamannya dan gaya penulisan masa kini. Ini menjadikan gaya retorik sesuatu penulisan itu berubah mengikut pembacanya hingga kadang kalanya mengubah maksudnya. Peranan tanda baca dalam retorik mantik amatlah penting.

Bahasa Melayu dalam HRP menunjukkan adanya unsur-unsur mantik yang sepatutnya ada dalam sesuatu bahasa yang tahap retoriknya tinggi, iaitu kata penyambung, penafian, pengkuantitian semesta, pengkuantiti wujud, dan implikasi. Oleh sebab manuskrip ini ditulis sebaru-barunya pada awal abad ke-16M, maka bolehlah dianggap mantik yang diperoleh daripada manuskrip ini berupa mantik Melayu Islam abad tersebut.

2.1. Pernyataan Konjungsi

Dalam HRP pernyataan-pernyataan konjungsi (ayat yang mengandungi kata sendi atau konektif “dan”) dan disjungsi (ayat yang mengandungi kata sendi “atau”) boleh dikatakan sebanyak dalam sesebuah karangan masa kini sahaja. Malah dua ayat pertama HRP sudah pun ada menggunakan “dan”, “….Pasailah yang pertama membawa iman akan Allah dan akan Rasulullah. Maka ada raja dua bersaudara seorang namanya Raja Ahmad dan seorang namanya Raja Muhammad”. Ayat yang mengandungi kata sendi “atau” pula lagi sedap didengarnya/dibacanya seperti pada hlm 5 , dalam sebuah cakap ajuk, “ Hai bapaku, jikalau emas atau manikam ditunjukkan akan hamba atau ada diberi akan hamba tiadalah hamba sukacita behena seperti hamba melihat kanak-kanak ini”.

2.2. Penyataan Penafian dan Kontrapositif

Untuk penafian, HRP mengggunakan perkataan “tiada” sahaja, malah bentuk penafian seperti dalam ayat di atas tadi, “… tiadalah hamba sukacita….” menjadi normanya. Perkataan “tidak” atau “bukan” tidak digunakan dalam HRP, kecuali “tak” dalam ungkapan “tak dapat tiada” (hlm 30); semua bentuk penafian menggunakan “tiada” termasuklah ungkapan “tiada ada” (hlm 9). Contohnya dalam ayat “… hamba hendak minta tempat duduk, karna hamba tiada bertempat” (hlm 11), “ Tiada hamba tahu mengucap akan dia.”, “Adapun raja kita ini keluar katanya itu tiada kita tahu akan barang katanya itu.” (hlm 15), “..tiadalah ia minta ajari lagi.” (hlm 16), “…jikalau tiadaku makan nescaya daruhakalah aku….” (hlm 53; perkataan “daruhaka” lebih tepat drp versi modennya “derhaka”), “…tiadalah lagi dapat hamba berjalan.” (hlm 56), “…sekali-kali Si Beraim Bapa tiada mau daruhaka.” (hlm 56). Ada retorik penafian yang cukup indah lagi, “ …jika hamba mau daruhaka, jika Pasai se-Pasainya, jika Siam se-Siamnya, jika Cina se-Cinanya, jika Jawa se-Jawanya, jika Keling se-Kelingnya tiada dapat melawan aku.” (hlm 50). Perhatikanlah betapa rasa lembutnya setiap penafian ini kerana tidak menggunakan “tidak/bukan” ; oleh itu penafian ini wajar dinamai penafian lembut. Ayat kontrapositif dalam HRP juga cukup cantik seperti “…jikalau Si Beraim Bapa tiada kubunuh, kerajaanku jangan kekal dan bau syurga pun jangan kucium” (hlm 41) dan “Jika tiada aku kerajaan di dunia ini, di akhirat pun aku peroleh jua”. (hlm 48)

2.3. Pengkuantiti wujud dan Semesta

Pengkuantiti wujud dalam HRP ini dapat dikutip di merata-rata tempatnya, iaitu “ada” (hlm 7 dll) dan “adalah” (hlm 21; bentuk lembut: “maka adalah emas itu”.), tetapi tiada perkataan “wujud” atau “ujud”.

Pengkuantiti semesta yang ada dalam HRP ialah “suatu” (9 dll; berbeza drp sekarang kerana dahulu maknanya satu, mula-mula, dan “sesuatu” sekarang), “segala” (hlm 8 dan merata-rata slepas ini), “barang” (hlm 15 dll.), sekalian (hlm 69 dan merata sebelumnya; sepatutnya “sakalian”), tiap-tiap (hlm 62) dan “semua” (hlm 67). Satu cara yang biasa dilakukan dlm HRP apabila menunjukkan adanya

pengkuantiti semesta ialah dengan mengulang kata nama dengan imbuhan se- seperti “seorang seorang” (hlm 69; sepatutnya masa dahulu: “sa-orang sa-orang) dan “sehari hari” (hlm 27; sepatutnya “sa-hari sa-hari”).

Tiada pengkuantiti semesta berbentuk “setiap”. Sementara itu HRP juga ada perkataan “setengah” (hlm 42, 70), “di sana” (hlm 6) dan “di sini” (hlm 60) yang menunjukkan “ada” atau “tiada” itu.

2.4. Pernyataan Berimplikasi

Bentuk ayat implikasi atau sebab-musabab kini biasanya berbentuk jika/jikalau/kalau/andainya/seandainya/andaikan/sekiranya/anggaplah/apabila/tatkala/sela-gi/asalkan/setelah A, maka B; atau tiada “maka” itu; atau ayat berbentuk “B jika/jikalau/sendainya/sekiranya/…(dan sebagainya itu) A. Namun perkataan “maka” dalam HRP lebih banyak digunakan pada permulaan ayat sahaja, malah hampir setiap ayat bermula dengan maka. Umpamnya di halaman (hlm) 1, ada 7 daripada 11 ayat semuanya itu yang bermula dengan “maka”; manakala di hlm 2, ada 15 ayat drp 21 ayat semuanya yang bermula dengan “maka’. Ini pun sebenarnya bermaksud “Oleh itu terimplikasilah” oleh suatu premis yang sudah jelas atau tersirat dalam ayat-ayat sebelumnya. Penggunaan “maka” sebagai penyambung atau sendi juga sering dilakukan, yang juga bertujuan untuk menunjukkan akibat/natijah daripada perkara yang berlaku sebelumnya (suatu premis). Contohnya, “Ini hikayat ceritera raja yang pertama masuk agama Islam ini Pasai; maka ada diceriterakan oleh orang ….”. Contoh keduanya, “Maka dilihat oleh Raja Muhammad pada sama tengah betung itu…. ; maka hendak diparang oleh Raja Muhammad …, maka keluar seorang kanak-kanak…; maka dibuangkanyalah gedubangnya, lalu segera diambilnya kanak-kanak itu, maka didukungnya…. ”. Semua tanda baca dalam ayat-ayat yang dipetik itu asalnya tiada. Tanda baca itu dimasukkan oleh pentranskripsi HRP ini yang difikirkannya paling hampir sesuainya dengan gaya retorik sekarang.

Walau apa pun ayat-ayat berimplikasi dalam HRP yang dapat dikesani dan sama bentuknya dengan sekarang hanya berbentuk “Setelah A maka B”; “Jika A maka B”; “Jika A, B” (tiada maka); “Jika A nescaya B”; “Jikalau A maka B”; “Jikalau A, B” (tiada maka); “Jikalau A necaya B”; “Maka tatkala A maka B” (atau tiada “Maka” itu); dan “Apabila A maka B”. Contoh penggunaan “Setelah” ialah, “Setelah sudah negeri itu diperusaha oleh segala rakyat dengan kota paritnya serta dengan istana balairung, maka baginda pun duduklah dalam negeri itu dengan bersuka-suakan makan minum menjamu segala menteri dan hulubalang rakyat sekalian”. (HRP, hlm. 4 perenggan 2).

Contoh penggunaan “Jika” dan “Jikalau” ialah seperti berikut: “Jika rambut hamba sehelai itu dibantun oleh tuan hamba, alamat perceraian tuan hamba dengan hamba” . (HRP, hlm 7 para akhir). “Jikalau tuan hendak akan anak, baiklah hamba tunjukkan dia akan tuan.” (HRP, hlm. 5, baris ketiga terakhir. (Asalnya “jikakau”, yang hanya berupa ralat tipografi kerana teks Jawinya memang huruf “lam” bukannya “kap”); dan “Jikalau kumakan makanan ini nescaya matilah aku, jikalau tiada ku makan nescaya derhakalah aku,…” (hlm 53, prenggan 2).

Contoh yang bermula dengan “Apabila” ialah “Apabila sudah berhimpun sekaliannya datang mengadap Raja Ahmad, maka diceriterakannya….” (HRP hlm. 6 para 1). Contoh dengan “tatkala” (dipakai selepas “maka” sebagai kata mula sahaja itu) ialah, “Maka tatkala sudah berhimpun segala lasykarnya lengkap dengan segala senjatanyanya, maka pada ketika yang baik, maka berangkatlah Raja Ahmad itu…”.

Ungkapan yang setara dengan “jika” daripada segi menunjukkan premis kepada sesuatu implikasi juga sering menjadi unsur retorik yang popular dalam HRP, iaitu ungkapan “sebab itulah” (hlm 13, 16 dll), “dari karna itulah” (hlm 25); “oleh karna” (hlm 52), “sebab” (hlm 8 dll), “sebab karna” (hlm 8, 39 dll). Namun tiada ungkapan “oleh itu” atau “oleh sebab itu” di dalam HRP.

3. Adanya Pokok di Pascabima dalam Pertengahan Kedua Abad Ke-13M yang Belum Dikenali oleh Ahli Botani Dunia Kini?

HRP juga memberi maklumat beberapa spesies pokok (33 jenis semuanya) di Pascabima ini yang hampir semuanya pernah wujud dahulu hingga kini, dan ini sepatutnya menarik perhatian para ahli sains hayat (khususnya ahli botani) di Pascabima sekarang pun jika mereka ini perihatin kepada etnosainsnya. Oleh sebab pokok-pokok yang disebut dalam HRP itu banyak yang disebut ketika menceritakan zaman-zaman abad sebelum tarikh penulisannya, menjangkau hingga pertengahan kedua abad ke-13 M, maka bolehlah dianggap pokok-pokok ini ada dalam abad tersebut. Pokok-pokok yang disebut dalam HRP ialah, mengikut susunan abjadnya, beluru (hlm 55) , bengkudu (hlm 70), betung (hlm 3), buluh telang (hlm 69), cendana (hlm 66), cengkih (hlm 17), gaharu (hlm 17), jambu (hlm 19), kajang (hlm 66), kara (hlm 42), kapur barus (hlm 17), kayu manis (hlm 66), kejemas (hlm 41), kelambir (hlm 44, kelambir luluh lantak hlm 36), kemenyan (hlm 17), kesturi (hlm 66), khelembak (hlm 17), kulur (hlm 53), limau (hlm 41), mawar (hlm 40), mesui (hlm 66), padi (hlm 10), pala (hlm 17), pauh (hlm 64), pekan (hlm 36, 49), pinang (hlm 43), pisang (hlm 10), rotan (hlm 66), sabak (hlm 52), sebasani (hlm 55), sirih (hlm 67), dan tengkeras (hlm 17).

Yang lebih menarik lagi, apabila disemak pada Kamus Dewan (KD) dan Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia (KBI) yang memang terkenal (selepas ini dirujuk sebagai Kamus Muktabar (KM) sahaja) menyenaraikan nama-nama sains bagi pokok-pokok dan haiwan di Pascabima yang diketahui setakat penerbitan kamus-kamus itu, maka di dapati kapur barus (walaupun begitu terkenal), sebasani (malah tiada dalam KD tetapi dalam KBI ada dalam bentuk “sabasani”) dan beberapa jenis kesturi itu tiada nama sainsnya (Dalam KBI kasturi dibezakan dengan kesturi, iaitu yang pertama itu sejenis pokok khas di Kalimantan yang diketahui nama sainsnya dan yang kedua itu tumbuhan yang berbagai-bagai jenis yang tidak semuanya ada nama sainsnya itu). Dalam Catatan Teks (hlm 76) buku HRP, hanya “buluh telang” sahaja yang dijelaskan maknanya dan diberi nama sainsnya sekali, yang memang ada dalam kamus muktabar itu, sebagai Gigantochloa heterostachya. Perincian ini dilakukan mungkin kerana buluh telang berperanan besar mengalahkan Jawa dan munculnya Minangkabau itu yang diceritakan dengan panjang lebarnya dalam bab terakhir HRP itu. Berkenaan pokok sebasani atau lebih tepat lagi sabasani itu HRP mencatatkan bahawasanya pokok ini berupa seperti ular (seperti akar?), berdarah (mengeluarkan getah, jus atau air berwarna darah?) dan boleh mengeram kesakitan (apabila ditetak) seperti manusia, dan sesiapa yang bertemu dengan pohon ini akan “terkejut terketar-ketar rebah lalu mati” (hlm 55). Isu nama-nama sains bagi pokok-pokok di Pascabima ini pertama kali dibangkitkan oleh Shaharir (2003), dalam makalahnya, “Etnosains Melayu tertua setakat ini: Kajian kasus etnobotani Melayu daripada prasasti Talang Tuwo abad ke-7 Masehi dan peribahasa” yang terbit dalam Malaysian Jour. of Sc. And Technology Studies 1: 78-113. Perbincangan di atas menambahkan lagi senarai pokok yang perlu dikaji oleh ahli botani dan/atau ahli leksikografi kita.

4. Adanya Haiwan di Pascabima dalam Pertengahan Kedua Abad Ke-13M yang Belum Dikenali oleh Ahli Zoologi Dunia Kini?

Sepertilah juga dengan kehadiran pokok-pokok, kehadiran haiwan-haiwan yang disebut dalam HRP boleh dianggap haiwan yang ada pada pertengahan kedua abad ke-13M dahulu. HRP memberi maklumat adanya beberapa (berjumlah 28) spesies haiwan Pascabima yang juga patut diminati oleh ahli zoologi tempatan untuk memastikan yang haiwan itu sudah diketahui atau tidak (sebahagian besarnya memang sudah diketahui). Haiwan tersebut ialah anjing (hlm 13), badak (hlm 60), gajah (hlm 5), gelang-gelang (hlm 9), harimau (hlm 42), hayam (hlm 11), helang (hlm 45), ikan patin (hlm 47), itik (hlm 69), kambing (hlm 69), kara (hlm 42, dalam KM, segi sains hayat, “kara” boleh jadi pokok dan boleh jadi haiwan), kerbau (hlm 10), kertang (hlm 45), kesturi (hlm 66; selain drp sejenis pokok yang disebut di atas, mengikut KM itu, burung kesturi ialah burung seperti burung bayan atau serindit); ketam berdayung (hlm 47), kucing (hlm 13), kuda semberani (hlm 42), lembedak mengidam/ngidam (hlm 47), lembu (hlm 69), merak (hlm 43), naga (hlm 55), pelanduk (hlm 22), rama-rama bersil (hlm 47), saga (hlm 67), semut sebesar kucing (hlm 13), singa (hlm 68), udang sanggul (hlm 47), dan ular lembu (hlm 54).

Yang lebih menariknya, ada 11 jenis haiwan itu (selain daripada “naga” yang terkenal sebagai haiwan mitos itu) yang tiada catatan nama sainsnya dalam KM itu, iaitu gelang-gelang, kara, kertang, kesturi, ketam berdayung (tiada dalam KM pun), kuda semberani, lembedak mengidam (tiada dalam KM), rama-rama bersil (tiada dalam KM pun), semut sebesar kucing, udang sanggul (tiada dalam KM pun) dan ular lembu (tiada dalam KM pun). Berkenaan dengan ular lembu ini HRP memerihalkannya sebagai ular yang diam dalam lubuk yang dalam dan luas (Lubuk Turai namanya yang “terlalu amat dalam” dan luasnya “kira-kira sekunca benih”, hlm 54), boleh mengeluarkan cahaya, “merah seperti api bernyala-nyala” dan dagingnya amat bisa sehingga sesiapa yang menghidu asap daripada panggangan daging ular itu akan mati. Ini menambahkan lagi isu nama-nama sains kepada haiwan di alam Melayu yang pertama kali ditimbulkan oleh Shaharir (2005a).

5. Taraf Sains Kejasmanian (Fizis) Melayu Islam Yang Tertua (Pada Pertengahan Kedua Abad ke-13M)

HRP juga membayangkan ketinggian kebudayaan Melayu pada pertengahan kedua abad ke-13M itu dalam kehidupannya seperti yang terpancar daripada keadaan mereka yang berikut:

5. 1. Bilangan

Orang Melayu sejak pertengahan kedua abad ke-13M itu sudah tahu bilangan termasuk istilah untuk bilangan yang cukup besar yang diistilahkannya sebagai ratus (hlm 65), ribu (hlm 62), ribu-ribu (hlm 69), keti (= seratus ribu, hlm 65), “tiada tepermanai” (hlm 67), dan “tiada terhisabkan” (hlm 63) dan “tiada terkira-kira” (hlm 63). Tiga ungkapan amaun/banyaknya yang disenaraikan terakhir di atas itu nampaknya ada perbezaaan yang halus: “tiada tepermanai” ditujukan kepada perkara umum, “tiada terhisabkan” untuk perkara yang memang sukar ditaksirkan sahaja, dan “tiada terkira-kira” untuk harta benda atau barang bernilai. Ini seanalog dengan perbezaan matematik antara “uncountable” dengan “nondenumerable” dalam bahasa Inggeris itu. Berkenaan dengan unit “keti” itu memanglah bitara dalam kebudayaan Melayu sahaja kerana tiada unit ini di Eropah termasuk Inggeris. Sebenarnya banyak lagi unit-unit bilangan Melayu purba, hingga billion-bilion-an (yang terbesarnya bernama wisyilion), yang tidak sama dengan dalam tamadun-tamadun purba lain yang dipaparkan dalam Warkah Berita PERSAMA 2004. Menarik juga perkataan “hisab” yang bermaksud “hitung’ sudah meluas dipakai sejak abad ke-13M. Perkataan ini memang menjadi istilah “matematik” atau “aritmetik” sehingga tahun 1970-an di Malaysia.

Mereka juga ada ungkapan “tiada berbagai” yang bermaksud “tiada bandingan”. Mereka juga sudah biasa dengan matematik bahagi berpemberat atau dividen sekarang seperti yang diungkapkan dalam HRP itu, “… suruh bahagi tiga segala arta itu sebahagi akan Sang Nata dan sebahagi akan Senapati dengan segala menteri penggawa dan yang sebahagi lagi akan segala rakyat dan segala bala tenteranya.” (hlm 64), “Sang Nata pun memberi persilayan segala hulubalang dan rakyat sekalian masing-masing pada kadarnya”. (Dalm HRP ini, perkataan “persalinan” yang ditranskripsi daripada tulisan Jawi (faksimili hlm 129) yang tidak jelas ejaannya itu, yang kami transkripsikan sebagai “persilayan” (drp per+sila+ layan yang kami kira bermakna “habuan kebendaan” atau “keraian” sekarang) itu kerana kami fakir “persalinan” amat tidak sesuai dalam konteks ini).

5.2. Unit Sukatan

Selain itu, dalam HRP juga terdapat unit-unit untuk menyukat banyaknya atau amaun benda-benda yang umum dan yang khusus yang berikut:

Jarak/Panjang/Lilit: hari perjalanan (hlm 55), rantau (hlm 49, 52), jengkal (hlm 49), depa (hlm 36), hasta (hlm 36), pendakap (hlm 46), jambar (hlm 37)

Luas: kunca (hlm 54; sekunca benih). Unit ini juga digunakan untuk isi padu.

Isi padu (terutamanya makanan): kunca ( hlm 39, 54 ) yang masih dipakai sebagai sukatan padi terutamanya di Kedah hingga sekarang. Mengikut catatan penyusun HRP banyaknya “160 gantang” (satu lagi unit Melayu lama yang tidak memberi makna apa-apa pada generasi sekarang, sungguh dalam kitab-kitab fekah lama masih ada istilah ini dan dalam lagu P.Ramlee pun masih berkumandang di udara terutamanya di musim Raya Puasa. Satu gantang bersamaan dengan kira-kira 4.54 liter (mengikut kamus muktabar).

[Unit yang lebih kecil daripada kunca yang disebut dalam HRP ialah nalih (hlm 39) yang mengikut catatan penyusun HRP bersamaan dengan “16 gantang”.]

[Unit yang lebih umum ialah kampit (hlm 11) dan perkataan “sebu” digunakan untuk apa jua sukatan benda yang penuh dalam sesuatu benda.]

Masa: saat (hlm 5), jam (hlm 33), malam (hlm 58), hari (hlm 63), bulan (hlm 62), musim angin (hlm 66), ketika (ada di merata-rata halaman HRP), ketika selatan (hlm 40), netiasa (=sentiasa, hlm 28), penah (=pernah, hlm 22), datang sekarang (=hingga sekarang, hlm 32), sekali persetua (hlm 13), dan daur kecil yang contohnya dalam HRP ini dicatatkan pada akhir manuskripnya “Tamat hari Isnin, kepada hari dua pulu sa, kepada bulan Muharam, sanat zai Hijratul Nabi 1230.” Mengikut penyusun HRP yg disorot ini, tahun ini sama dgn “tahun Je” (iaitu tentunya maksudnya, huruf Jim), tahun keempat dalam Windu Jawa. Tetapi mengikut fahaman kami (lihat Warkah Berita PERSAMA 2004) tahun 1230H ini jika dibahagi dgn 4 berlebih 2 yang bersamaan dengan tahun kedua Windu Jawa, tahun Jim Awal kerana ada tahun Jim Akhir (tahun 5). Berkenaan dengan sanat zai (=tahun zai ) itu memang tepat dengan sistem penamaan tahun dalam “daur kecil” yang dipaparkan dalam Warkah Berita PERSAMA 2004 yang disebut di atas.

Rotan: galang (hlm 54 )

Emas: makdan ( hlm 21,sepatutnya mikdar/mikdarun atau makdur/ makdurun, dan bahara (hlm 17).

Kertas/Pakaian dsbnya: peti (hlm 57)

Dakwat: koci (hlm 57)

Kalam (Pensil sekarang): berkas (hlm 57)

Adanya unit kertas dan dakwat ini menunjukkan budaya menulis di kalangan orang Melayu pada abad ke-14 dahulu pun sudah agak menyeluruh. Penulis kira ini satu pengetahuan yang belum didedahkan kepada masyarakat sebelum ini. Menarik juga adanya beberapa unit di sini (iaitu peti, koci, galang, makdan, sebu, rantau dan tiada berbagai) yang tidak disenaraikan dalam kajian sukatan Melayu oleh Abdul Razak (2000), “Sukatan dalam Budaya Melayu sebelum Abad ke-20”, Kesturi 10(1&2): 1-40.


5.3.Arah kedudukan dan perjalanan

Orang Melayu sejak pertengahan abad ke-13 M itu sudah pun memerlukan istilah “mata angin” atau kompas sekarang bagi penjelajahannya dan perancangan kegiatan hidupannya sehingga mereka sudah ada istilah “timur” (hlm 66; dan tentunya “barat”?) , selatan (hlm 40; dan tentunya “utara”?) selain daripada istilah Jawa yang setaranya seperti “wetan” (hlm. 66) dan “kulon” (hlm 66) untuk kawasan Jawa dan lebih am lagi “bawah angin” (hlm 3) bagi timur, dan “atas angin” (hlm 36) bagi barat , ilir (52) dan mudik (hlm 49) atau hulu (hlm 48), dan kedudukan bintang dengan kewujudan “ahlul nujum” diraja (hlm 19). Mereka arif dalam penjelajahan dan ilmu bintang kerana Melayu terkenal dengan pengetahuan pelayarannya sehingga Magellan (abad ke-15M, yang sering dikatakan pengeliling dunia pertama itu yang perlu dipertikaikan itu; lihat kisah pelayaran Magellan yang kritis di internet, dengan menaip “henry the black” atau terus ke lubuk http//www. wikipedia.org/wiki./Henry_the_Black) dan ahli sejarah tabii Inggeris yang bernama Wallace (abad ke-18M, dalam catatan pengembaraan di “Kepulauan Melayu” dalam bukunya “The Malay Archipelego: The Land of Orang-Utan and the Bird of Paradise”, terbitan MacMillan 1868 dan diulang cetaknya pada 1970-an) kedua-duanya mengambil orang Melayu sebagai pembantunya. Magellan mengambil seorang Melayu yang diberi nama Sepanyol-nya, Enrique, yang diInggerikan oleh penulis Inggeris menjadi Henry, dan gelarannya Enrique Melaka atau Enrique Hitam (yang diInggeriskan sebagai “Henry the Black” yang menunjukkan nama sebenarnya Hitam), dan yang dijadikan sebuah bahan nobel sejarah oleh Harun Aminurrashid tahun 1960-an dahulu dengan judul “Penglima Hitam”; manakala Wallace mengaambil Ahmad yang gambarnya ada dilukis dalam buku beliau itu masing-masingnya sebagai pembantu utamanya dalam pelayaran dan kerja-kerja penjelajahan mereka. Dalam HRP ada disebut nama bintang yang terkenal iaitu “ketika” (hlm 40) yang juga dikenali “Bintang Tujuh’ seperti yang dicatat oleh penyusun HRP itu. Bintang ini juga dikenali sebagai “Kutika” dan “Kartika”; dan mengikut kamus Winstedt (1957/1972), padanan istilah Inggeris-Latin-nya ialah Pleiades. Jelaslah begitu aslinya istilah bintang ini dalam bahasa Melayu.

5.4. Orang Seri (Kimiawan Khusus)

Orang Melayu sejak abad ke-14M lagi sungguh hebat dalam membuat racun (iaitu hebat dalam kimia amali, kalau pun bukan teori) yang dicontohi oleh ciptaan racun oleh “orang seri” (yang diceritakan dalam HRP) yang dimasukkan ke dalam kuih yang bernama “peniaram” itu (kini namanya “Peneram”, “Memerang” atau “Telinga Keling” ) untuk membunuh seorang hulubalang gagah perkasa yang bernama Tun Beraim Bapa. Bagaimana kuatnya racun itu, bukan sahaja dua orang puteri raja, anjing dan ayam yang mati serta merta setelah makan sedikit sahaja kuih beracun itu tetapi juga dua orang yang menggaru belakang Tun Beraim Bapa, yang sedang menerima bahana racun tersebut, gugur kukunya dan mati; pokok bekas Tun Beraim Bapa menggaru belakangnya setelah beliau makan kuih beracun itu juga mati serta merta. Hanya daging “ular lembu” yang beracun lebih daripada racun buatan “orang seri” itu. Keracunan daging “ular lembu” itu begitu hebat sehingga sesiapa yang menghidu asap drp bakaran ular tersebut pun mati serta-merta. Malah Tun Beraim Bapa tidak mati kerana racun drp kuih “peniaram” tetapi drp racun “ular lembu” yang sengaja dimakannya itu.

5.5. Kedudukan ilmuwan

Pengiktirafan besar kepada perihal ilmu juga dapat dilihat bukan sahaja kepada “orang seri” dan “ahlul nujum” itu tetapi kepada pandangan tinggi masyarakat terhadap seorang putera raja Pasai, Tun Abu Fadil, kerana bertaraf pendeta itu. Ratu Majapahit, Raden Galuh Gemerenceng (RGG), digambarkan begitu berahi kepadanya kerana antara lainnya, kependetaannya itu, sehingga sanggup membunuh diri kerana cita-citanya untuk menjadi isteri Tun Abu Fadil itu tidak kesampaian, dan akibatnya Pasai dilanggar Majapahit.



6. Sains Sosial dan Kemanusiaan Melayu Islam Abad ke-14M

Kedudukan ilmuwan yang tinggi dari kaca mata masyarakat Melayu sekurang-kurang sejak abad ke-14M telah dibicarakan di bahagain akhir 5.3 di atas. HRP juga memberi gambaran tentang feudalisme dan amalan yang bertentangan sangat dengan Islam, status wanita rumpun Melayu pada abad ke-14M dan ilmu kepemimpinan Melayu ketika itu. Ini dihuraikan satu persatu di bawah ini

6.1 Ilmu Kepemimpinan Melayu Islam yang Tertua?

Paling menarik lagi, HRP ini ada unsur ilmu kepemimpinan yang menunjukkan tahap sivil atau madani masyarakat Melayu pada pertengahan kedua abad ke-13 M itu pun sudah agak tinggi. Ini boleh dianggap ilmu kepemimpinan Melayu Islam yang tertua, jauh lebih awal daripada ilmu kepemimpinan Melayu Islam yang dianggap tertua sebelum ini daripada buku Bukhari al-Jauhari, “Taj al-Salatin” 1603 itu, yang telah dikupas oleh Shaharir (2005b). Ilmu kepemimpinan Melayu sebelum Islam memang jauh lebih lama lagi, yang dikenali sebagai Cakravantin yang wujud sekurang-kurangnya sejak abad ke-6M lagi yang dibicarakan dalam makalah Shaharir itu dan lebih terperinci lagi dalam makalah Shaharir (2005c), “Teori kepemimpinan Melayu Campa” yang dibentangkan di Simposium Sehari Campa di UKM pada 30 Nov. 2005.

Ilmu kepemimpinan dalam HRP dapat dicungkil daripada kesah nasihat Sultan Malikul Saleh kepada dua orang Perdana Menterinya (hlm.24) dan nasihat baginda kepada cucundanya (bakal penggantinya), Malikul Mansur dan Malikul Mahmud (hlm.25), serta wasiat Sultan Malikul Mahmud kepada anaknya Sultan Ahmad (hlm. 33). Seperti biasa, kami memadankan Raja/Sultan Melayu dahulu setara dengan Perdana Menteri/Presiden, Pemimpin Politik atau Pemimpin (Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif) sesebuah syarikat/institusi/organisasi dsbnya; manakala Perdana Menteri dahulu dipadankan dengan Pengurus sekarang. Oleh itu mengikut HRP, seseorang Pengurus yang unggul ialah (1) yang setia kepada pemimpinnya, (2) yang tidak melakukan penganiayaan dalam apa bentuk sekalipun, (3) yang melakukan pengurusan mengikut lunas-lunas yang ditetapkan oleh Allah/al-Qur-aan.

HRP juga menggariskan pemimpin yang unggul yang sifatnya ialah (1) pemelihara makruf (amar/suruhan Allah dan Rasullah) dan penghindar mungkar (larangan Allah dan Rasul), (2) yang tidak tamak harta dunia, (3) yang tidak ingin segala yang tidak memberi manfaat kepada hari akhirat, (4) yang cakna/ikram kepada segala titah perintah Allah dan Rasul, (5) yang ikhlas dengan hal kebajikan, (6) yang meninggalkan segala kejahatan, (7) yang menyuruh orang berbuat kebajikan dan melarang segala orang berbuat kejahatan, (8) yang berlaku adil, (9) bermesyuarat, (10) penyabar, dan (11) yang tidak menganiaya. Dengan kaedah aksiom dalam Matematik senarai ini masih boleh disingkatkan hanya kepada tujuh : (1), (2), (3), (5), (8), (9) dan (10) kerana (1) mengimplikasikan (4), (6) dan (7); manakala (8) mengimplikasikan (11).

Teori kepemimpinan dalam HRP ini nampaknya kurang mencakupi dan mendalam (tiada kepentingan “berilmu” umpamanya) daripada yang terdapat dalam Tajus Salatin oleh Bukhari al-Jauhari tetapi kedua-duanya sama falsafahnya, iaitu walaupun tidak jelas berfalsafahkan kpd ‘kepemimpinan ulama’ tetapi jelas bersifat “kepemimpinan Islam”. Islam di sini bermaksud Islam Melayu, iaitu Islam mengikut perspektif Melayu yang tidak semestinya sama dengan Islam Arab, atau Islam Zaman Tamadun Islam dahulu. (Lihat Shaharir 2005c yang telah disebut di atas)

6.2. Feudalisme dan Pelbagai Amalan yang Amat Bertentangan dengan Islam

Amalan feudalisme begitu hebat digambarkan dalam HRP sehingga apa sahaja kehendak dan perintah raja, suka atau tidak, tetap dijunjung walaupun jelas bertentangan dengan Islam sekalipun. Contoh yang paling melampaunya ialah telatah raja Pasai terakhir yang Islam tetapi boleh cinta berahi kepada kedua-dua puterinya dan kemahuan nafsu serakahnya itu tetap disokong oleh pembesar-pembesarnya dengan pelbagai hujah yang menyukakan raja tersebut. Apabila anak lelakinya, Tun Beraim Bapa yang juga terkenal sebagai pahlawan perkasa Pasai melindungi kedua-dua puteri itu maka beliau berdendam kesumat mahu membunuh anaknya itu. Semua pembesar dan rakyat jelata tahu hakikat ini tetapi tetap tidak menegur kejahatan raja itu termasuklah juga anak lelaki yang hendak dibunuhnya Tun Beraim Bapa itu! Akhirnya, Tun Beraim Bapa juga melanggar hukum Islam yang besar dengan membunuh diri sahaja kerana tidak mahu menderhaka. Raja yang sama membunuh anak lelakinya yang satu lagi, Tun Abu Fadil yang telah disebut di atas, kerana tidak mahu anaknya yang terkenal tampan dan bertaraf pendeta serta amat popular di kalangan rakyatnya itu, menjadi suami seorang puteri raja Majapahit, Raden Galuh Gemerenceng yang telah disebut di atas.

6.3. Status Emansipasi Wanita Rumpun Melayu

Cerita RGG ini yang mengarahkan hulubalangnya Tun Perpatih Jena menjelajah seluruh pelusuk Pascabima ini untuk merakamkan paras rupa putera-putera raja “yang bijaksana dan perkasa” bagi dijadikan calon suaminya, dan kemudiannya tidak silu-silu lagi menyatakan cinta berahinya kepada calon yang keseratus, anak raja Pasai yang terkenal dengan rupawan dan bergelar pendeta itu, Tun Abu Fadil, lalu mengetuai belayar ke Pasai bagi mendapatkannya membayangkan taraf emansipasi wanita Jawa (atau Melayu amnya?) pada abad ke-14 itu. Begitu juga bagaimana raja Terakhir Pasai, Raja Ahmad, mempunyai “setiausaha peribadi” atau semacam “pegawai perhubungan awam” istana baginda (berpangkat Penghulu Gundik) bernama Dara Zulaikha Tingkap juga menunjukkan taraf emansipasi wanita yang dimaksudkan ini.


7. Kesimpulan

Sesungguhnya menerusi buku HRP yang dipercayai salinan manuskrip Jawi alam Melayu yang tertua itu memberi banyak juga gambaran dan bukti bentuk-bentuk dan status sains Melayu pada zaman awal Islam menapak di Pascabima (=Alam Melayu, Nusantara) ini, iaitu yang terawal setakat ini. Dalam bidang sains fizis (sukatan, bilangan, pelayaran dan kimia keracunan) pencapaiannya ketara agak kehadapan berbanding dengan tamadun bangsa-bangsa Eropah umpamanya, di sekitara abad yang sama itu. Dalam ilmu kepemimpinan orang Melayu memang terkenal mendahului bangsa-bangsa lain di dunia yang terbukti daripada batu bersurat Campa abad ke-6M tentang Cakravantin (Pemimpin Dunia) tu, dan HRP membuktikan tradisi ini diteruskan dengan penerapan nilai-nilai Islam sejak sekitara abad ke-15M lagi. Dalam perihal mantik, struktur mantik yang tersurat dalam bahasa Melayu sudah agak terkehadapan yang memberi justifikasi kekuatan pentaakulan sains orang-orang Melayu dapat menyaingi bahasa-bahasa sains dunia pada sekitar abad ke-15M itu, iaitu bahasa Latin, Perancis dan Arab. Kewujudan haiwan dan pokok pada abad ke-15 yang masih belum diketahui wujud atau tidaknya sekarang dan oleh belum diketahui nama sainsnya hingga kini menjadi cabaran besar kepada ahli sains hayat kita. Tiga konsep ketakterhinggaan Melayu sekitar abad ke-15M itu (“tiada tepermanai”, “tiada terhisabkan” dan “tiada terkira-kira”) mungkin boleh menjadi asas pembinaan teori ketaktepermanai Melayu yang berlainan daripada teori ketaktepermanai Jerman abad ke-19M yang ada dalam buku-buku teks matematik sekarang (yang diistilahkan sebagai “tak terhinga” atau “tak berhingga” sebagai padanan Inggeris “uncountable” yang dipadankan daripada istilah asalnya Jerman, ueberabzaehlbar).


Rujukan

Abdul Razak b.S. 2000. Sukatan dalam Budaya Melayu sebelum Abad ke-20. Kesturi 10(1&2): 1-40.
‘Aqa’id al-Nasafi 1590/1988. Lihat al-Attas M.N. 1988
al-Attas S.M.N. 1988. The Oldest Known Malay Manuscript: A 16th Century Malay Translation of the ‘Aqa’id of Al-Nasafi” terbitan Universiti Malaya 1998. Asalnya Jawi 1590.
Bukhari al-Jauhari 1603/1996. Taj us-Salatin . Di-Rumi-kan dan diterbitkan oleh DBP 1996 (snt ke-2, snt pertamanya 1966). Asalnya Jawi yang ditulis pada 1603 yang ada disimpan di DBP K.Lumpur, selain di Leiden.
HRP. t.t./1999. Hikayat Raja Pasai. Siri Karya Agung oleh Yayasaan Karyawan dan Penerbit Fajar Bakti Kuala Lumpur 1999. Ada disertakan faksimili salinan HRP Jawi. Asalnya, tanpa tahun (t.t)
Internet: http//www. wikipedia.org/wiki./Henry_the_Black. 12 Januari 2006
KBI. 1995. Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia. Snt ke-2, cet. ke-4. Jakarta: Balai Pustaka
KD. 1994. Kamus Dewan. Snt. ke-3. K.Lumpur: DBP
KM. Kamus Muktabar Melayu. Sama dgn KD dan KBI
Shaharir b.M.Z. 2003. Etnosains Melayu tertua setakat ini: Kajian kasus etnobotani Melayu. Malaysian Jour. of Sc. And Technology Studies 1: 78-113
-------------------. 2005a. Haiwan dalam peribahasa yang tanpa nama sains. Malaysian Jour. of Sc. And Technology Studies 3:
-------------------. 2005b. Sains matematik dan pengurusan. JPuQAM (Jurnal Pengurusan Qualiti dan Analisis Malaysia 1(1): 1-43
--------------------. 2005c. Teori kepemimpinan Melayu Campa. Simposium Antarabangsa Sehari Campa di UKM pada 30 Nov. 2005.
Wallace A. 1868/2004. The Malay Archipelago: The Land of Orang-Utan and the Bird of Paradise. Cetakan semula 2004 terbitan Routledge. Suntingan pertamanya oleh MacMillan 1868 dan diulang cetaknya oleh banyak penerbit (sekurang-kurannya 7 buah penerbit, dan banyak daripada penerbit ini yang membuat ulang cetaknya pula) selain daripada MacMillan yang mengulang cetaknya puluhan kali, umpamanya cetakan ke-10-nya ialah 1906.
Warkah Berita PERSAMA 2004
Winstedt R. O. 1957/1966. An Unabridged English-Malay Dictionary. K. Lumpur & Singapore: Marican & Sons (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. 4th ed. Enlarged. 1966, reprinted 1972, 3rd ed. 1963 , 2nd ed. 1960, dan dianggarkan snt pertamanya 1957.
Zaini-Lajoubert M. 2005. Hikayat Raja Pasai. Diterjemah daripada Bahasa Melayu Ke Bahasa Perancis dengan Judul Histoire de rois de Pasey oleh Aristide Marre. Jawhar 2(3), Okt/Nov 2005: 19-30

Saturday, August 14, 2010

HERBS IN HADITH

By Karima Burns (MH, ND)
http://www.islamonline.net

Black Seed

The Prophet (SAW) said, " If my community had only known what there is in fenugreek they would have paid its weight in gold."

When considering the value of herbs, it is not their cost or exotic quality that matters as much as their versatility. Many herbs have been used historically as "cure-alls" or potent "tonic herbs." Among these herbs are black seed, fenugreek and aloe vera, three of the Prophet's (SAW) favorite herbs.

Bukhari reports that the Prophet (SAW) recommended that we "use black seed regularly because it has a cure for every disease except death." The magazine Food Chemistry found black seed to be high in protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, C and niacin as well as calcium, potassium and iron. These are the very nutrients that modern science has found that we most lack. We are encouraged to drink milk for calcium, to take supplements for EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids), and to consume niacin pills to lower our cholesterol; however, black seed can provide many of these same benefits. It also provides many of the same nutrients that the FDA recommends to help prevent disease and slow down the aging process.

Dr. Michael Tierra, author of Planetary Herbology, also found black seed to be high in the above nutrients. In addition, he found a remarkable number of sterols, especially beta-sitosterol, which is known to have anti-carcinogenic properties. The Journal of American Scientists reports that black seed has a number of useful properties such as antihistamine, antioxidant, antibiotic, antimycotic and broncho-dilating effects.

These findings possibly explain its long history as a lung tonic. Black seed has been used for almost 3,000 years to clear up blockages and phlegm in the lungs, asthma and asthma attacks, and stuffy or runny noses with colds. Allah's Messenger (SAW), in fact, used to soak 20 seeds wrapped in a linen cloth in water overnight, and place drops of this solution into his nostrils to relieve congestion and head colds the following morning (Al-Akili, Medicine of the Prophet).

Another famous use of black seed is for digestive problems - to "dry up" a soggy stomach, ease colic pain, expel intestinal worms, and remove wind and bloating in the intestines caused by eating wheat bread. The warmth of black seed also increases the flow of all fluids in the body including blood, urine, a nursing mother's milk and weak or halted menses.

Black seed ointment is also useful for all kinds of ailments where a topical application is indicated including warts, skin allergies, insect bites, baldness and gray hair. In fact, black seed has been classified by many modern scientists as a "tonic herb" or "cure all."

Dr. Peter Schleicher, an immunologist in Germany, has found that black seed contains the valuable unsaturated fatty acids, Linoleic (which stabilizes the cell membranes) and Gammalinolen. Also, the Prostaglandin in black seeds has the effect of inhibiting inflammation. This combination halts immune reactions and the start of many chronic illnesses like eczema, asthma and even cancer.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek is another herb that was favored by the Prophet (SAW) and herbalists for thousands of years. Qasim bin Abdur-Rahman narrated that the Prophet said, "Mix fenugreek in your medicines." It is also related in the collection of Hadith that the Prophet visited one of his blessed companions, Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqass, who had contracted an illness during his stay in Mecca, and then requested that a physician examine him. After a diagnosis was made, the Prophet (SAW) said, "He will be fine. Give him the soup of a concoction of dates and fenugreek."

Fenugreek seeds have been found by laboratory tests to be very high in a number of nutrients, most notably fixed oils, which are comparable to the beneficial cod liver oil and other therapeutic oils that contain high amounts of vitamin A and choline. For this reason, fenugreek is often used to lower blood cholesterol and provide strength to the body systems, particularly the heart, lungs and digestive system. These same ingredients oxidize to produce the distinctive smell one acquires when drinking fenugreek tea.

The trigonelline in the seeds has been proven to have a hypoglycemic effect on rats, and has long been a favorite for anyone suffering from hypoglycemia and diabetes as well as fatigue. Fenugreek also contains saponins and sapogenins, which are materials essential for the synthesis of steroid hormones and related drugs, giving it the same potential as wild yam has recently become popular for - as a natural estrogen replacement therapy. For this same reason, fenugreek has been used historically for a multitude of female complaints - from halting painful menses to promoting lactation in new mothers.

Fenugreek is also high in minerals and proteins, making it a valuable skin conditioner when the seeds are soaked and applied to the skin. The proteins in fenugreek are also high in lysine, tryptophan, fats, phosphorus and iron. For this reason, fenugreek is often used to combat anemia. The seeds also have a unique ability to bulk up when added to liquid so the tea is often drank unstrained as a remedy against constipation, urine retention and candida albicanas.

Aloe

Aloe vera is another very useful and favorite herb of the Prophet (SAW). Qays bin Rafi al-Qatsi narrates that God's messenger (SAW) said, "Aloes and watercress are a sure cure for illness." In fact, in some areas of the world such as South America, aloe vera is still used as an "all-purpose" cure. In some homes, it is the ONLY herb used - for all illnesses.

One of its unique qualities is that you do not have to cook or prepare it for internal or external applications, because it comes from the leaves as a ready-made gel that can be mixed with water and consumed OR applied directly to the skin from the cut leaves. In this sense, aloe vera is one of the most useful plants to have around the house. Its only drawbacks are that it is usually too strong for children, or pregnant or nursing women to take internally, and the taste is quite offensive. In some cases, people have had skin reactions to the plant as well, indicating that although it is useful, it should be used with caution.

Aloe vera is most famous in the Western world for its external uses, particularly in treating kitchen burns, acne and wounds from injuries or surgery. In fact, documented cases of radiation burn victims in Japan showed that aloe healed the burns more rapidly than any other method. The mucilage in aloe, which contains mucopolysaccharides, is largely responsible for aloe's healing action both on burns and wounds. In fact, these polysaccharides show similar action as hyaluronic acid in lab tests. Aloe works most effectively when it is taken directly from the growing plant as it is sterile and will not contaminate a burn or wound with bacteria.

Aloe also contains varying amounts of anthraquinone glucosides, which have bitter gripping cathartic principles. This explains its long history of internal uses as a colon cleanser and detoxification herb. It has also been used to open obstructions in internal organs, particularly the liver. In fact, aloe's mucilage provides a unique soothing effect to the digestive system along with a cleansing effect from the polysaccharides.

We are wise to use these herbs that Allah has provided, remembering that, "For every malady Allah created, He also created its cure (and he who) acquires such knowledge shall benefit from it and one who ignores it will forgo such benefit" (Sahih Bukhari).
-------------------
Ginger

Allah has provided us with not only many helpful exotic herbs, but also with a number of common cures that we can find in our kitchen cupboards. Ginger, a popular flavoring for most eastern dishes; thyme, a popular ingredient in pizza and spaghetti sauces; as well as basil, the main ingredient in the popular pesto of Italy, have all been used for centuries for a great number of illnesses.

The Qur’an (76:17) mentions ginger as one of the drinks of Jennah: “And in it, their drink is mixed with ginger.” In fact, the modern name, “ginger,” comes from the Arabic root, “zindshebil,” and its wide range of properties certainly qualifies it for the rank of “heavenly herbs.”

A study in the medical journal, The Lancet, showed that two gelatin capsules of ginger are more effective than 100mg of Dramamine, an over-the-counter motion sickness remedy. This is probably because the volatile oils in ginger, oleoresins and proteolytic enzymes, are stimulants that trigger the production of digestive fluids and ease stomach problems such as queasiness and improper digestion. In fact, since ginger was first recorded in history books in 400 B.C., it has been employed against all kinds of nausea experienced while traveling and while pregnant, as well as a digestive aid after dining.

Modern science has also discovered that ginger has hypo-cholesterolemic properties useful for reducing both serum cholesterol and cholesterol stored in the liver. This explains another folk usage of ginger as a blood purifier and a detoxification herb. Its volatile oils have highly stimulating properties and thus aid in circulation, delayed menses, circulation problems and even rheumatism. The phenolic oleoresins in ginger bark are highly anti-micorbial, making them a popular folk remedy for colds, flu and coughs.

Over the centuries, people have found they can benefit from ginger’s warming properties by taking a bath with a cup or two of the tea added to it. This is a popular remedy for soothing arthritis and fibromyalgia pain as well as pain related to bruised or pulled muscles. The fresh juice of ginger has been shown to reduce serum glucose levels in test animals; therefore, it may have use as a hypoglycemic agent for humans some day.

For now, the most popular way to take ginger is as a decoction. A decoction is made by simmering eight ounces of water per one ounce of an herb for twenty minutes. Then, the tea is strained and drank. Another popular way to use ginger is to make ginger syrup, which can then be used to make tea or “ginger ale,” by simmering two cups of fresh sliced and unpeeled ginger root in water for half an hour. The ginger is then strained out, an equal amount of honey is added, and the syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months.

Thyme

Thyme also has a long history of healing. Ibn al-Juzi transmitted the following Hadith: “They fumigated their houses with thyme and frankincense.” Although this refers to an external use for thyme, it adequately sums its antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-viral abilities.

Thyme is used in commercial preparations of many feminine hygiene douches, Vicks Vapo-rub, Listerine mouthwash, eardrops and anti-fungal creams. The antiseptic abilities found in the volatile phenolic compounds, thymol and carvacrol, in thyme make it ideal in combating bad breath, gum disease, gastric problems caused by viruses or bacteria, eczema, burns, ringworm, psoriasis, parasitic infections, fever, sore throats, and body odor. It can even be used as an insect repellent by putting a tea infusion in a bottle and spraying it on the skin or by hanging the dried leaves in an area.

However, although thyme is a strong soldier in the battle against viruses and bacteria, it can also act as a gentle nurse in relieving pain and relaxing an ill person. Its thymol, in this capacity, is effective against headaches, menstrual pain, abdominal cramps and stomachaches. However, thyme should not be used by pregnant women or by children as it can act as a uterine stimulant and is toxic in high doses.

Basil

Sweet Basil, also known as myrtle, holds a special place in the Hadith of the Prophet (SAW) too, and has a long healing tradition. Ibn Abbas narrates that, “When the Prophet Nuh (AS) disembarked from the ark, the first plant that he planted was myrtle.” He also narrated that, according to a Hadith related by Abu Nu’aim, “Adam departed from the garden with three things: myrtle, which is the queen of all sweet smelling shrubs in the world; compressed dates, which are queen of all the dates in the world; and stalk of corn, which is queen of all the food in the world.”

Most likely, basil is referred to as a queen because it combats many of man’s ailments. It is a warming herb, thus working on all problems related to circulation. It also contains estragol, lineol and camphor, which act as lung and stomach tonics. Camphor is a powerful pain reliever so basil is often used for headaches, insect bites and other painful ailments. Since it can stimulate the adrenal cortex, it is often used in anti-depressant formulas.

Basil also contains antibacterial compounds, which make it useful for a variety of ailments such as colds, flu and stomach problems. When combined with cloves, it has been found to leech the body of heavy metal pollutants – probably one reason it is considered among the superior detoxifying and tonic herbs.

According to Sahih Bukhari, Allah has certainly sent us a “cure for every disease except death” and, as a bonus, we do not have to go any further than our kitchens to find many of these “cures.”

-------------------

As Ramadan approaches, we inevitably think about all of the special meals that we will eat during this holy month. After a day of fasting and worship, the Muslim or Muslimah’s reward is not only the sense of peace that he or she has gained, but also the special iftar that waits.

In many areas of the world such as the Middle East, India, and African countries, iftar meals are filled with traditional foods that can be traced to the time of the prophet (SAW). In other countries, the food may take on the flavor of the country one is in, such as a pizza iftar in America or a taco iftar in Mexico.

However, there are traditional gifts from nature that we should remember wherever we live, gifts that were used by Prophet Mohammed (SAW) in his life, and gifts that assist the fasting Muslim during Ramadan. Among these bounties are the hibiscus flower, dates, rosewater essence, and miswak.

Hibiscus

In the Middle East and Africa, hibiscus is readily served to guests, especially during Ramadan. However, for so many Ramadan traditions like the kunafa (a Ramadan sweet) and the musaharati (the man who wakes people for suhur), few look beyond the tradition for its benefit.

Although the sweet richness of kunafa can claim to nourish the spirit of the believer, the hibiscus flower can lay claim to many physical benefits for the fasting body. Hibiscus is, first of all, a pleasant tasting drink with astringent and, thus, thirst-quenching properties that may it quite useful when consumed during Ramadan. Secondly, a cup of hibiscus tea is 17% citric acid, and contains half as much vitamin C as an orange so it helps to strengthen the immune system. Hibiscus also has similar uses as cranberry juice in treating urinary tract infections, and is also useful for the heart and blood flow. Other properties in the herb help maintain the blood sugar balance in the body, another challenge one must overcome during fasting.

The traditional way to prepare hibiscus is to make a cold infusion. Take a quarter-cup of the herb and soak it in a pitcher of cold water in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, strain out the hibiscus flowers and add honey to taste. Many people use sugar to sweeten their hibiscus; however, sugar leeches vitamins B and C from the body, can encourage urinary tract infections and counteracts most of the other benefits of the hibiscus as well. The best choice of sweeteners is to use about a teaspoon or more of the herb stevia, a green leafy herb from Paraguay that is sweet and lacks calories much like Nutra-sweet, but with none of the synthetic dangers. Stevia also has blood-sugar balancing properties and, thus, is the safest herb for diabetics.

Dates

Dates are another traditional item to ingest during the iftar. Muslims around the world, following the example of the Prophet (SAW), usually break their fast with dates. The reason that they are so beneficial is that their natural sugar travels quickly to the liver, and is converted more quickly than any other nutrient into energy that the fasting body soaks up like a sponge. This is the healthiest way of breaking the fast as it eases the body into digesting. Dates contain protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, vitamin A, and natural sodium. They also contain a high amount of dietary fiber, which makes them a good digestive aid. Dates are also said to protect the stomach and the intestines from parasites and bacterial infections, so they are an especially good beginning to a meal when traveling or eating at a restaurant.


Rosewater


After the evening meal is finished, Muslims often go straight to make the Tarawih prayers, to which they often like to wear a pure essence of some sort. Perfume is a food for the soul and the spirit, much like dates and hibiscus are foods for the body. During Ramadan, Muslims need many foods to keep them strong in their religious duties. In one of the best known Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), he was quoted as saying, "There are three things in your world that are made to attract my affection: women, perfume, and then my ultimate fondness is securely fixed on prayers."

Rose essence or rosewater is one of the most popular essences for men and women to wear during this time. Besides the fact that it is one of the most heavenly scents, rose essence has a number of aromatherapy benefits as well. Valerie Worwood, in her book The Complete Book of Aromatherapy, notes that rose essence is a powerful anti-depressant, is uplifting, aids in digestion, and soothes frayed nerves during the stressful days of fasting. These benefits can all be enjoyed just by sprinkling some of the water or essence on your body, adding a few drops to your bathwater, or burning the scent in an incense burner in your home.

Miswak

Rosewater is also the preferred soak for miswak which, taken from the branches of a miswak tree, is an answer to every Muslim who has asked, "Is it okay to brush my teeth while fasting?"

This question often arises in modern times because of western tooth brushing methods that require a mouthful of water and often involve delicious tasting toothpaste. Miswak, on the other hand, is simply soaked until the brushing end is soft, and then gently stroked over the teeth. Imam Al-Bukhari narrated that Abdullah bin Omar brushed his teeth with a miswak morning and evening while fasting.

A fasting person, in fact, is in more need of tooth brushing than the non-fasting person since vapors from the empty stomach tend to bind to the teeth and gums. Miswak helps to keep the breath fresh and pure. Among the other benefits of using miswak are that it clears the brain, generates a sense of well-being, remedies the stomach for the next meal, embraces the prophetic tradition, adds to ones merit, pleases Allah, and delights the angels.

During this Ramadan, remember the gifts of nature for they are really gifts from Allah to us to ease us through our fasts. The verse Al-Asharh (Surah 94:5) that we recite during Tarawih prayers says, " So, verily with every difficulty there is relief."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ISAAC NEWTON – BY ALBERT EINSTEIN



Newton's Dark Secrets (Source)



Editor's note: This article appeared in the Smithsonian Annual Report for 1927, the second centenary of Newton's death. It's somewhat dense, but then, what do you expect from the "greatest scientist who ever lived" talking about the accomplishments of the other "greatest scientist who ever lived?"

The 200th anniversary of the death of Newton falls at this time. One's thoughts cannot but turn to this shining spirit, who pointed out, as none before or after him did, the path of Western thought and research and practical construction. He was not only an inventor of genius in respect of particular guiding methods; he also showed a unique mastery of the empirical material known in his time, and he was marvelously inventive in special mathematical and physical demonstrations. For all these reasons he deserves our deep veneration. He is, however, a yet more significant figure than his own mastery makes him, since he was placed by fate at a turning point in the world's intellectual development. This is brought home vividly to us when we recall that before Newton there was no comprehensive system of physical causality which could in any way render the deeper characters of the world of concrete experience.

The great materialists of ancient Greek civilization had indeed postulated the reference of all material phenomena to a process of atomic movements controlled by rigid laws, without appealing to the will of living creatures as an independent cause. Descartes, in his own fashion, had revived this ultimate conception. But it remained a bold postulate, the problematic ideal of a school of philosophy. In the way of actual justification of our confidence in the existence of an entirely physical causality, virtually nothing had been achieved before Newton.


Newton's aim


Newton's aim was to find an answer to the question: Does there exist a simple rule by which the motion of the heavenly bodies of our planetary system can be completely calculated, if the state of motion of all these bodies at a single moment is known? Kepler's empirical laws of the motion of the planets, based on Tycho Brahe's observations, were already enunciated, and demanded an interpretation.* These laws gave a complete answer to the question of how the planets moved round the sun (elliptical orbit, equal areas described by the radius vector in equal periods, relation between semi-major axis and period of revolution). But these rules do not satisfy the requirement of causality. The three rules are logically independent of one another, and show no sign of any interconnection. The third law cannot be extended numerically as it stands, from the sun to another central body; there is, for instance, no relation between a planet's period of revolution round the sun and the period of revolution of a moon round its planet.

But the principal thing is that these laws have reference to motion as a whole, and not to the question of how there is developed from one condition of motion of a system that which immediately follows it in time. They are, in our phraseology of today, integral laws and not differential laws.

The differential law is the form which alone entirely satisfies the modern physicist's requirement of causality. The clear conception of the differential law is one of the greatest of Newton's intellectual achievements. What was needed was not only the idea but a formal mathematical method which was, indeed, extant in rudiment but had still to gain a systemic shape. This also Newton found in the differential and integral calculus. It is unnecessary to consider whether Leibniz arrived at these same mathematical methods independently of Newton or not; in any case, their development was a necessity for Newton, as they were required in order to give Newton the means of expressing his thought.


From Galileo to Newton


Galileo had already made a significant first step in the recognition of the law of motion. He discovered the law of inertia and the law of free falling in the Earth's field of gravitation: A mass (or, more accurately, a material point) uninfluenced by other masses moves uniformly in a straight line; the vertical velocity of a free body increases in the field of gravity in proportion to the time. It may seem to us today to be only a small step from Galileo's observations to Newton's laws of motion. But it has to be observed that the two propositions above, in the form in which they are given, relate to motion as a whole, while Newton's law of motion gives an answer to the question: How does the condition of motion of a point-mass change in an infinitely small period under the influence of an external force? Only after proceeding to consider the phenomenon during an infinitely short period (differential law) does Newton arrive at a formula which is applicable to all motions. He takes the conception of force from the already highly developed theory of statics. He is only able to connect force with acceleration by introducing the new conception of mass, which, indeed, is supported curiously enough by an apparent definition. Today we are so accustomed to forming conceptions which correspond to differential quotients that we can hardly realize any longer how great a capacity for abstraction was needed to pass across a double barrier to the general differential laws of motion, with the further need to evolve the conception of mass.

But this was still a long way from the causal comprehension of the phenomena of motion. For the motion was only determined by the equation of motion if the force was given. Newton had the idea, to which he was probably led by the laws of the planetary motions, that the force acting on a mass is determined by the position of all masses at a sufficiently small distance from the mass in question. Not until this connection was realized was a completely causal comprehension of the phenomena of motion obtained. How Newton, proceeding from Kepler's laws of the motion of planets, solved this problem for gravitation and so discovered the identity of the nature of gravity with the motive forces acting on the stars is common knowledge. It is only the combination of—

(Law of motion) + (Law of attraction)

through which is constituted that wonderful thought-structure which enables the earlier and later conditions of a system to be calculated from the conditions ruling at one particular time, insofar as the phenomena occur under the sole influence of the forces of gravitation. The logical completeness of Newton's system of ideas lay in the fact that the sole causes of the acceleration of the masses of a system prove to be the masses themselves.

On the basis sketched Newton succeeded in explaining the motions of the planets, moons, comets, down to fine details as well as the ebb and flow of the tides and the precessional movement of the Earth—this last a deductive achievement of particular brilliance. It was, no doubt, especially impressive to learn that the cause of the movements of the heavenly bodies is identical with the force of gravity so familiar to us from everyday experience.


Significance of Newton's achievement


The significance, however, of Newton's achievement lay not only in its provision of a serviceable and logically satisfactory basis for mechanics proper; up to the end of the 19th century it formed the program of all theoretical research. All physical phenomena were to be referred to as masses subject to Newton's law of motion. Only the law of force had to be amplified and adapted to the type of phenomena which were being considered. Newton himself tried to apply the program in optics, on the hypothesis that light consisted of inert corpuscles. The optics of the undulatory theory also made use of Newton's law of motion, the law being applied to continuously diffused masses. The kinetic theory of heat rested solely on Newton's formulae of motion; and this theory not only prepared people's minds for recognition of the law of the conservation of energy, but also supplied a theory of gases confirmed in its smallest details, and a deepened conception of the nature of the second law of thermodynamics. The theory of electricity and magnetism also developed down to modern times entirely under the guidance of Newton's basic ideas (electric and magnetic substance, forces at a distance). Even Faraday and Maxwell's revolution in electrodynamics and optics, which was the first great advance in the fundamental principles of theoretical physics since Newton, was still achieved entirely under the guidance of Newton's ideas. Maxwell, Boltzmann, and Lord Kelvin never tired of trying again and again to reduce electromagnetic fields and their dynamical reciprocal action to mechanical processes occurring in continuously distributed hypothetical masses. But owing to the barrenness, or at least the unfruitfulness, of these efforts there gradually occurred, after the end of the 19th century, a revulsion in fundamental conceptions; theoretical physics outgrew Newton's framework, which had for nearly two centuries provided fixity and intellectual guidance for science.


Newton on its limitations


Newton's basic principles were so satisfying from a logical standpoint that the impulse to fresh departures could only come from the pressure of the facts of experience. Before I enter into this I must emphasize that Newton himself was better aware of the weak sides of his thought-structure than the succeeding generations of students. This fact has always excited my reverent admiration; I should like, therefore, to dwell a little on it.

1. Although everyone has remarked how Newton strove to represent his thought-system as necessarily subject to the confirmation of experience, and to introduce the minimum of conceptions not directly referable to matters of experience, he makes use of the conceptions of absolute space and absolute time. In our own day he has often been criticized for this. But it is in this very point that Newton is particularly consistent. He had recognized that the observable geometrical magnitudes (distances of material points from one another) and their change in process of time do not completely determine movements in a physical sense. He shows this in the famous bucket experiment. There is, therefore, in addition to masses and their distances, varying with time, something else, which determines what happens; this "something" he conceives as the relation to "absolute space." He recognizes that space must possess a sort of physical reality if his laws of motion are to have a meaning, a reality of the same sort as the material points and their distances.

This clear recognition shows both Newton's wisdom and a weak side of his theory. For a logical construction of the theory would certainly be more satisfactory without this shadowy conception; only those objects (point-masses, distances) would then come into the laws whose relation to our perceptions is perfectly clear.

2. The introduction of direct instantaneously acting forces at a distance into the exposition of the effects of gravitation does not correspond to the character of most of the phenomena which are familiar to us in our daily experience. Newton meets this objection by pointing out that his law of reciprocal gravitation is not to be taken as an ultimate explanation, but as a rule induced from experience.

3. Newton's theory offered no explanation of the very remarkable fact that the weight and inertia of a body are determined by the same magnitude (the mass). The remarkable nature of this fact struck Newton also.

None of these three points can rank as a logical objection against the theory. They form, as it were, merely unsatisfied needs of the scientific spirit in its effort to penetrate the processes of nature by a complete and unified set of ideas.

The theory of the electromagnetic field

Newton's theory of motion, considered as a program for the whole field of theoretical physics, suffered its first shock from Maxwell's theory of electricity. It was found that the reciprocal action between bodies through electrical and magnetic bodies does not take place through instantaneously acting forces at a distance, but through processes which are transmitted with finite velocity through space. Alongside the point-mass and its movements there arose, in Faraday's conception, a new sort of physically real thing, the "field." It was first sought to conceive this, with the aid of mechanical modes of thought, as a mechanical condition (of movement or strain) of a hypothetical space-filling medium (the ether). When, however, in spite of the most obstinate efforts, this mechanical interpretation refused to work, students slowly accustomed themselves to the conception of the "electromagnetic field" as the ultimate irreducible foundation stone of physical reality. We owe to [Heinrich] Hertz the deliberate liberation of the conception of the field from all the scaffolding of the conceptions of mechanics, and to [Hendrik Antoon] Lorentz the liberation of the conception of the field from a material bearer; according to Lorentz the physical empty space (or ether) alone figured as bearer of the field; in Newton's mechanics, indeed, space had not been devoid of all physical functions. When this development had been completed, no one any longer believed in directly acting instantaneous forces at a distance, even in connection with gravitation, though a field theory for gravitation, for lack of sufficient known facts, was not unmistakably indicated. The development of the theory of the electromagnetic field also led, after Newton's hypothesis of action at a distance had been abandoned, to the attempt to find an electromagnetic explanation for Newton's law of motion, or to replace that law by a more accurate law based on the field theory. These efforts were not crowned with full success, but the mechanical basic conceptions ceased to be regarded as foundation stones of the physical conception of the universe.

The Maxwell-Lorentz theory led inevitably to the special theory of relativity, which, by destroying the conception of absolute simultaneity, negatived the existence of forces at a distance. Under this theory mass is not an unalterable magnitude, but a magnitude dependent on (and, indeed, identical with) the amount of energy. The theory also showed that Newton's law of motion can only be considered as a limiting law valid only for small velocities, and substituted for it a new law of motion, in which the velocity of light in a vacuum appears as the limiting velocity.


The general theory of relativity


The last step in the development of the program of the field theory was the general theory of relativity. Quantitatively it made little modification in Newton's theory, but qualitatively a deep-seated one. Inertia, gravitation, and the metrical behavior of bodies and clocks were reduced to the single quality of a field, and this field in turn was made dependent on the bodies (generalization of Newton's law of gravitation or of the corresponding field law, as formulated by Siméon Denis Poisson). Space and time were so divested, not of their reality, but of their causal absoluteness (absoluteness-influencing, that is, not -influenced), which Newton was compelled to attribute to them in order to be able to give expression to the laws then known. The generalized law of inertia takes over the role of Newton's law of motion. From this short characterization it will be clear how the elements of Newton's theory passed over into the general theory of relativity, the three defects above mentioned being at the same time overcome. It appears that within the framework of the general theory of relativity the law of motion can be deduced from the law of the field, which corresponds to Newton's law of force.

Newton's mechanics prepared the way for the theory of fields in a yet more formal sense. The application of Newton's mechanics to continuously distributed masses led necessarily to the discovery and application of partial differential equations, which in turn supplied the language in which alone the laws of the theory of fields could be expressed. In this formal connection also Newton's conception of the differential law forms the first decisive step to the subsequent development.

The whole development of our ideas concerning natural phenomena, which has been described above, may be conceived as an organic development of Newton's thought. But while the construction of the theory of fields was still actively in progress, the facts of heat radiation, spectra, radioactivity, and so on revealed a limit to the employment of the whole system of thought, which, in spite of gigantic successes in detail, seems to us today completely insurmountable. Many physicists maintain, not without weighty arguments, that in face of these facts not only the differential law but the law of causality itself—hitherto the ultimate basic postulate of all natural science—fails.

The very possibility of a spatio-temporal construction which can be clearly brought into consonance with physical experience is denied. That a mechanical system should permanently admit only discrete values of energy or discrete states—as experience, so to say, directly shows—seems at first hardly deducible from a theory of fields working with differential equations. The method of [Louis] De Broglie and [Erwin] Schrödinger, which has, in a certain sense, the character of a theory of fields, does deduce, on the basis of differential equations, from a sort of consideration of resonance the existence of purely discrete states and their transition into one another in amazing agreement with the facts of experience; but it has to dispense with a localization of the mass-particles and with strictly causal laws. Who would be so venturesome as to decide today the question whether causal law and differential law, these ultimate premises of Newton's treatment of nature, must definitely be abandoned?

*Everyone knows today what gigantic efforts were needed to discover these laws from the empirically ascertained orbits of the planets. But few reflect on the genius of the method by which Kepler ascertained the true orbits from the apparent ones, i.e., their directions as observed from the Earth.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

MISCONCEPTION AND THE TRUTH ABOUT ISLAMIC BANKING

Source :




Metadata Umbrella for Islamic Banking




Islamic Banking is a subset of the banking business that endorses, promotes and allows entrepreneurship, fairness, equality, risk aversion, risk pooling, service charges, and compensation for inflation. In addition, Islamic Banking prohibits without exception; exorbitant profits (usury), interest (riba) and financing of prohibited goods (haram) such as the production of alcohol, pork, etc.

Data Integrity Institute's Goal

Today, there are two very opposite, very radical and very wrong stereotypes about Islamic Banking.

First, there is widespread belief that Islamic capital is mostly kept outside of the flow of world financial markets and that it represents one of the main sources for financing global terrorism.

Second, it is widely believed by Islamic radicals that conventional banking, because of its reliance of interest income that is prohibited in Islam, is a major instrument for exploitation and depletion of the third world. Radical Islam view conventional banking as major source of global poverty and discrimination established and preserved by United States. Consequently, Radical Islam has reached a conclusion that an Islamic Banking is only possible in a society that is fully Islamic.

Data Integrity Institute Inc.'s research shows that both views are highly misguided:

First, Islamic Banking does not allow the financing of any prohibited goods and activities (haram). Terrorism and terrorist acts are strictly prohibited by Islam, so Islamic Banking, by definition, cannot be source for financing such harmful (haram) activities.

Second, if it is possible to sell halal meat in the many non-Islamic countries, such as Canada and the United States, where halal meat is widely available, there is no reason that Islamic Banking should not be offered to the same Islamic population that purchases that meat.

Lets examine the key conditions established for trading halal meat in mostly western, not fully Islamic countries such as Canada and the United States. Naturally, the essential requrement is the full separation of meat processing from the selection of animal for slaughter according to Islamic custom. Each step involved in the processing, packing and selling must be supervised by Islamic authorities. There is no point along the way where halal meat mixes with conventional meat. The Islamic community trusts that in the end it consumes completely halal meat. In addition, society as a whole is not harmed by the trade of halal meat. Even the non-Islamic population can, if it wants to, consume halal meat without any side effects, knowing that it can expect a product of above average quality.

There are many parallels between the trade of halal meat and Islamic Banking. A large Islamic population in non-Islamic countries, such as Canada and the United States, cannot participate in most financial transactions simply because the money flows are associated with interest (riba) or with investment into, by Islamic standards, prohibited activities (haram), such as financing the production of alcohol. In addition, in western countries a credit card if frequently used as an identification tool. For example, if you want to subscribe to phone or internet service, or make a hotel reservation, you are required to have a major credit card, even if you want to pay with cash. Just for the sake of the contract, you are required to have a credit card. If you want to practice Islam, you do not want to have a credit card, but to carry out everyday transaction you have to get one.

The solution is a banking card that is issued by the Islamic Banking sector. This sector that can be established in any major bank and the card can be recognized as every other major credit card. The same applies for any other banking instrument and transaction. The requirement for establishing Islamic Banking is to fully separate all financial flows, from beginning through to the end of the contract. There must be no mix in portfolio with conventional financing. Islamic Banking must provide full separation and such process (of course not personal banking information) has to by approved and monitored by an Islamic authority.

In order to fully separate financial flows for Islamic Banking, all Islamic Banking data must be separated from conventional banking data. This is where Data Integrity Institute's Metadata Umbrella for Islamic Banking comes into play. The technology behind the Metadata Umbrella was initially developed by Data Integrity Institute for Data Overexposure protection from the Sarbanes – Oxley legislation. This technology is the natural solution for implementing full separation of Islamic Banking data flows from conventional banking data.

Data Integrity Institute's Metadata Umbrella for Islamic Banking allows any major bank in any country to offer Islamic Banking to serve the financial needs of the Islamic population.

Data Integrity Institute's Metadata Umbrella for Islamic Banking is a sophisticated metadata application, built on top of the most advanced ASG Rochade metadata server technology. It enables the full separation of data models for Islamic Banking data transactions, data warehouse, data marts, data reporting and all other information from conventional banking data.

Metadata Umbrella

The Metadata Umbrella is Data Integrity Institute's metadata application that fully protects data allowing only controlled predefined access. By solving very complex business problems in an elegant way, the Metadata Umbrella by itself justifies investment into a metadata system.

Metadata Umbrella for Islamic Banking

The Metadata Umbrella for Islamic Banking is Data Integrity Institute's metadata application that allows the implementation of fair banking, Islamic Banking, according high Islamic standards and expectations, either in a separate banking system, or as a subsystem of conventional banking. With a Data Integrity Institute Metadata Umbrella for Islamic Banking it is possible to integrate fully compliant Islamic banking into a modern conventional banking systems and offer banking products and services to the Islamic population and businesses.

Subjects in Islamic Banking

Abstractly, Islamic Banking is a business between two active sides, a lender (rabul mal) and a borrower (mudarib), with the possible involvement of a third passive party, a safe keeper (al wadiah). The business purpose of Islamic Banking can be mainly commercial, merchant, and development serving public, corporate and individual aggregated sectors. Islamic Banking builds and keeps Reserve and Insurance Funds for loss absorption and loss compensation. Islamic Banking is regulated and monitored by the Treasury and Central Bank (baitul mal) and the Islamic Council.

Contracts in Islamic Banking

Islamic Banking can operate in Profit and Loss Sharing or Non–Profit Sharing mode.

Profit and Loss Sharing contracts could be:

Partnership (mudaraba)
Equity Participation (musharaka)
Farming Partnership (muzar’ah)
Orchard Equity Participation (musaqat)
Mudaraba Certificates
Government Certificates

Non-Profit Sharing contracts could be:

Cost plus Markup Purchase Sale (murabaha)
Deferred Payment (bai - mua’jjal)
Deferred Delivery (bai - salam)
Loan with Service Charges
Benevolent Loan (qard hasan)
Leasing (ijara)
Account Overdraft
Safekeeping (al wadiah)

Contact Data Integrity Institute Inc.

For further information on how Data Integrity Institute Inc. can help you to implement Islamic Banking or to implement, save or maintain a data integrity project, please send a detailed inquiry to: info@DataIntegrityInstitute.com

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Geneva atom smasher sets collision record

:
(SOURCE)



By ALEXANDER G. HIGGINS, Associated Press Writer Alexander G. Higgins, Associated Press Writer - Tue Mar 30, 1:53 pm ET

GENEVA – The world's largest atom smasher conducted its first experiments at conditions nearing those after the Big Bang, breaking its own record for high-energy collisions with proton beams crashing into each other Tuesday at three times more force than ever before.

In a milestone for the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider's ambitious bid to reveal details about theoretical particles and microforces, scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, took high-tech photographs so they could study the disintegrating protons after they collided at a combined energy level of 7 trillion electron volts.

The collisions herald a new era for researchers working on the machine in a 17-mile (27-kilometer) tunnel below the Swiss-French border at Geneva.

"That's it! They've had a collision," said Oliver Buchmueller from Imperial College in London as people closely watched monitors.

In a control room, scientists erupted with applause when the first successful collisions were confirmed. Their colleagues from around the world were tuning in by remote links to witness the new record, which surpasses the 2.36 TeV CERN recorded last year.


An event display shows the activity during a high-energy collision at the CMS control room of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, at their headquarter outside Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 30, 2010. The $10 billion Large Hadron Collider directed two proton beams into each other at three times more force than ever before, Tuesday, as part of its ambitious bid to reveal details about theoretical particles and microforces.

Dubbed the world's largest scientific experiment, researchers hope the machine can approach on a tiny scale what happened in the first split seconds after the Big Bang, which they theorize was the creation of the universe some 14 billion years ago.

The extra energy in Geneva is expected to reveal even more about the unanswered questions of particle physics, such as the existence of antimatter and the search for the Higgs boson, a hypothetical particle that scientists theorize gives mass to other particles and thus to other objects and creatures in the universe.


Tuesday's initial attempts at collisions were unsuccessful because problems developed with the beams, said scientists working on the massive machine. That meant the protons had to be "dumped" from the collider and new beams had to be injected.

The atmosphere at CERN was tense considering the collider's launch with great fanfare on Sept. 10, 2008. Nine days later, the project was sidetracked when a badly soldered electrical splice overheated, causing extensive damage to the massive magnets and other parts of the collider some 300 feet (100 meters) below the ground.

It cost $40 million to repair and improve the machine. Since its restart in November 2009, the collider has performed almost flawlessly and given scientists valuable data. It quickly eclipsed the next largest accelerator — the Tevatron at Fermilab near Chicago.

Two beams of protons began 10 days ago to speed at high energy in opposite directions around the tunnel, the coldest place in the universe, at a couple of degrees above absolute zero. CERN used powerful superconducting magnets to force the two beams to cross, creating collisions and showers of particles.

"Experiments are collecting their first physics data — historic moment here!" a scientist tweeted on CERN's official Twitter account.

"Nature does it all the time with cosmic rays (and with higher energy) but this is the first time this is done in Laboratory!" said another tweet.

When collisions become routine, the beams will be packed with hundreds of billions of protons, but the particles are so tiny that few will collide at each crossing.

The experiments will come over the objections of some people who fear they could eventually imperil Earth by creating micro black holes — subatomic versions of collapsed stars whose gravity is so strong they can suck in planets and other stars.

CERN and many scientists dismiss any threat to Earth or people on it, saying that any such holes would be so weak that they would vanish almost instantly without causing any damage.

Bivek Sharma, a professor at the University of California at San Diego, said the images of the first crashed proton beams were beautiful.

"It's taken us 25 years to build," he said. "This is what it's for. Finally the baby is delivered. Now it has to grow."
___

Associated Press Writer Frank Jordans contributed to this report.
--------------------------------

WHAT WE ARE AFRAID OF?