Thursday, 28 April 2011

Once a Wilsonite : A tip or two for you future IC munchkins.

In the name of Allah.

Assalamualaikum to all!!

It's that time of year when exam is drawing near and you just got Uni offers. Yay! When the thing you should really be doing is to focus on studying, you need to apply for your accommodations. D'ohh..! And when it comes to Imperial College, you have lots to choose from. Which means, you need to do hall hunting on the website with the little time you got. No fear, I'm here to help you avoid the hassle of browsing through the website. And, yeah, I might be a little bit biased. :p

Of course, the criteria we look for are vital. In my case, these were the things I looked for in order of preferences :
1. Single!
2. Price range
3. Halal food!
4. Distance from campus
5. Personal fridge (you'll soon learn why :p)

First, there are the Eastside, Southside and the halls of Prince's Gardens:
Gabor, Linstead, Wilkinson, Tizard, Falmouth, Selkirk, Keogh, Weeks* and Gardens.

All of these are on campus. If your class is at 9am, you can actually wake up 10 minutes before and still be in time for your lectures! All of them are en-suite rooms. The down part is the price. >190 per week. Of course you can opt for twin en-suite but you really don't want to take the risk of having inconsiderate roommates. Trust me, you don't. In any case, twins would cost you about 125 per week.

There's one more on campus: Beit.

Price range is from 105 to 190 per week. Quite a few choices to choose from : single (en-suite or standard) and twin (en-suite or standard). It's the latter that is cheaper. It's next to Royal Albert Hall, Royal College of Music and Student Union. So, it tends to get crowded and noisy, not really a good place to study. Of course, you can always go to the library. =D

Then there are the halls of Evelyn Gardens:
Fisher, Holbein, Willis Jackson, Bernard Sunley and Southwell.

It's one of the safest neighbourhoods in London. About 20 mins walk (London style, Malaysian style would probably take up to 30 mins) to campus. I don't think there's any en-suite available. So, there are only standard single, twins and triple O.O available. Price range 60~120 per week. A good choice but halal food is not that frequent here. So, if you're into cooking even if when you're too tired to do so, knock yourself out.

And then there are the others which I found less interesting (most probably because I have never been to these halls before.) One of them is not in walking distance by which I mean, it takes more than 40 minutes if you want to. And the price hovers around 120~180 per week for standard and en-suite singles. Please be aware that you'll need to spend on transport too. Not really a money-wise choice. But you can check them out: Parson, Pembridge** and Orient.

And last but not least, my hall: Wilson House!=)

Only single standard rooms are available here. 7 per bathroom and 15 per kitchen. Don't worry, they don't use the bathrooms early in the morning. Only Asians do!=p Some kitchens might be more spacious than others. Room sizes are not that bad, the smallest ones are in the basement and the larger ones are on the top floors. Price range is from 100~130 per week. Back then, it was 90~120 pw. You can choose to walk, across Hyde Park - around 30 mins to campus. It's really nice to have a morning stroll everyday. :) But you might want to use the bus/tube during winter. Should take you around 20 mins. We have Imperial Sports Centre at the back of the building too. Lots of halal food and meat around, and even better 5 Malaysian restaurants! Within walking distance. Satay house is just next door, literally! Owh and we're the only Imperial hall of residence with fridge in each room!=D The best part is, there's a mosque in the vicinity! Salahuddin Trust! A total WIN! :D just a block away!

Here's a sneak peek of my room in 2009/2010:
The study desk. The irony : possibly 50% my time in London was spent here doing a lot of other things but studying.
The fridge : don't you just love it when your snacks are just within reach. ;)
Wash basin. Yeap, winter mornings made easy. =p
And the rest of the room when I first arrived here.

So, yeah. I didn't lie about my being a bit biased. :p

After all the time that you have spent to read my rambling here, I think it would be proper to actually give a guide on which halls to choose. Considering all the criteria that I have brought forth earlier, I personally think that these halls should be your top choices :)
1. Wilson House : what more can I say? :p
2. Any single in Evelyn Gardens.
3. Weeks* : The price is actually cheaper than the other halls on campus. A bit tight on budget but still tolerable.
4. Pembridge** : I would consider this as well because it bears the postcode of W2, just like Wilson. So, you will be able to gain access to the things that I have described for Wilson.

That's all about it, I guess. You will need to come up with a list of 5, I think. And try to prioritise the criteria that you want and why you want them. They will come in handy during the application.=)

Here's the Youtube channel for IC accommodations: >Click!<

Best of luck. InshAllah.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Another allegorical note - I don't want to be a virus.

In the name of Allah.

Why O' why don't I want to be a virus?

Firstly, it's not even a living creature as far as Biology concerns. It doesn't have 'the look'. What look? The look la. -.-

OK, I'm rambling, as always.

Anyhow, do you know that a mature virus particle is called a virion?

Urh, apologies for the digression. -.-" I think my quiescent alter ego is finally making its move.

Anyway....! What do you feel when you hear  the word 'virus' itself? If you ask me, I feel that it carries a heck lot of bad and ugly connotations anyone could possibly imagine. Ewwww....... and it brings all those nasty diseases, not forgetting cancer!

So, why virus all of the sudden? It just came to me recently, about a book written by Abu 'Ashim Hisham entitled "Virus-virus Ukhuwah" . I mean, all this while I did not question on his diction on the title. Well, not until recently. And then as I was revising on Virology, I begin to fully comprehend his choice of words.

I'm not going to do a whole analysis on the book though. Just going to highlight a few which I find interesting.

"And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys." Luqman [31:19]

If a virus could talk, I seriously think it would be as hideous as a donkey. The way it dictates the host cell is just like a.. well, a dictator. If cells were able to fight back, they would do another revolution just like those of  the middle East. Exaggerating, I know. But, you get what I mean. Call them viruses pushy because they are.

Viruses have a  few modus operandi . The typical one is called lytic infection - this is the MO where they infect and kill the cells mercilessly. Another alternative is called lysogeny. This is a devious and sinister MO practised by the ever-so-popular HIV and of course, others as well. They will incorporate themselves innocuously with the host cells as a potential infecting agent without actually causing any infection and stays there quietly. Doing nothing till the right trigger comes -.-. Talk about sly. I'm just afraid that I might be one of the viruses in the lysogenic cycle. Nauzubillah.

Then there's another point which is to use others for you own benefit or in Malay which is menunggangi sahabat untuk objek dakwah. That sounds way better in English. If you don't know what it means, it's better to keep it that way. Trust me. This can be closely related to virus and its actions on the host cells - incorporating its viral DNA or RNA in the host and tricking them to replicate and produce their viral proteins. Hence, this strongly supports the title chosen by Abu 'Ashim Hisham.

Why did I choose the title for this post? Because when I read the book, a lot of the things said pinpointed back at me. >.< With no knowledge of the things I have been doing are just inappropriate, I have evolved into a virion.

Hey yo! I'm a, virion! You have a problem with that?!
But, I'm glad that they are people around me who cares to give me a wake up call. Thank you Allah.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A tempo - read this in Italian.

In the name of Allah.

When exam is drawing near, this is how you feel like:

I'm definitely behind my schedule but inshAllah everything will be OK! :D

Thursday, 14 April 2011


In the name of Allah.

This is how optimists think of the future:
 For the pessimists, this is how the future looks like:

When optimists start to think like pessimists, I blame global-warming.

P/s: We have fear of the unknown, and the future is definitely one of them. I pray to Allah to grant us steadfastness in this righteous path. Amiin.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The allegory of molecular cell biology - cell communication.

In the name of Allah.

There's just so much to study for the upcoming exam. But, I'm glad that it's not all about memorising ridiculous terms and abbreviations. That is, if you use the fikrah (way of thinking) of Islam.

Yes, in the lecture, Dr W relates this with the society eg, how we interact with our colleagues and all. To show you a closer outlook on this, we shall examine why cancerous cells become well.. cancerous.

Cells are pre-programmed to commit suicide or apoptosis. However, the signals that they receive; growth factors and etc prevent them from doing so. To put it simply, if you cut off these signals, they'll die. So, how does cancer arise from this? This happens when there's lack of signalling (read: interaction/communication) or even if there is, it's in efficient. It's not a disease but more to an "operational failure". Just like the popular belief, cancerous cells have uncontrolled growth and proliferation rate due to them, failing to give the correct response to the signals that they receive. They do not just stay at one place (in-situ) but goes everywhere in the body, growing within other tissues and disrupting their functions. The result is, fatal.

As I see it, dakwah requires us to work in a team. Even Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. started by recruiting Abu Bakar, Ali and others r.a.. And to work in a team requires a good communication between members and of course, the things we do are based on syura. We don't want to be the cancerous cells in a body, do we?

"Truly Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure." As-Saf [61:4]

I think the description of cancerous cells has already given us a clear picture of what's to come if we don't synchronise ourselves as a team. 

What say you?

More to come inshAllah. :)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Evaluation and filter.

In the name of Allah.

Just a short post before I retire for the night.

I know that I've posted something on 'not to be rigid' with what you read. I think I need to elaborate just a little bit more on that.

We do know that you can't simply believe and accept the things that we read or hear. Yeah, that applies here too. Just don't turn off your filter and shut down your evaluation just because the book looks good on the outside. As the cliche goes, "don't judge a book by its cover". Ask around - your naqib, friends, enemies, foes, frienemies or whatever. It takes time to build a 'good filter' as a Da'ie. But, through experience, you'll learn it sooner or later. On my part, I still have a lot to learn. So, I don't simply recommend a book until I'm done reading it.

On a different context, I'm losing my sensitivity these few days because I have been ignoring the need of evaluating other people's feelings. I didn't know that being rational can be this troublesome. -.- Or maybe I'm taking the wrong side of things.

This is definitely another tarbiyyah from Him. O' Lord, please guide me. Amiin.

Thursday, 7 April 2011


In the name of Allah.

Look at those kids playing. As the saying goes, "ignorance is bliss". They can play all that they want with no problems to think of.

As for me, I'm studying here while waiting for the Asar prayer. With lots to think, I'm coming down with a major headache. That's good I guess. I'm not slacking off.

Well, I'm a worrywart. And I don't complain. It's good to worry about others. So, I shouldn't stop worrying. ;)

P/s: iBlogger is no longer working. So, I changed to BlogPress =)

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The five things.

In the name of Allah.

The five languages of affection are affirmative words, quality time, gifts, physical touch and acts of service. I just find this really helpful as a da'ie. Whether you like it or not, you're dealing with people - some may be emotional, others may be rational and there are those whore are just neither. And yeah, I learnt this when I was in Spain.

Someone asked, "Which type are you?" and I had no idea what to answer.

Another one asked the same question and I thought that I'm a little bit of each. He disagrees and said that I'm more to the quality time kind of guy. In a weird way, I think it's true. Huh, looks like I don't even know myself that well. Come to think of it, I don't think any of us know ourselves any better. That's why Allah did not create us to live alone. There are just people out there who surprisingly know us better.

I was also told about this four colour test which helps you know yourself better - trust me, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses. So, I tried on this :

And the results are reliable. Plus, they actually gave a list of books to read on - most of them can be downloaded for free on the net. Soft skills are definitely important and what I've been doing is to read on these kind of books. Alhamdulillah, they help me a lot. I guess the best tip is not to be rigid. :)

I have a feeling that this is another answer to my prayers. ;)

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

F***r or what??!

In the name of Allah.

The trip to Spain was awesome. And of course there were more to it than just a vacation. An issue that I want to raise here is quite controversial - as if the title is not controversial enough. :p Anyway, some candies for your eyes :

I'm positive that each one of us is pretty amazed with the refined structures and engravings that were brought forth during those times. To actually witness them before my eyes, and knowing the fact that we lost everything are quite overwhelming - anger, frustration, anguish and distress. But, there's no one else to blame but ourselves.

So, the question is now, why did the people Andalusia went to such length with their architecture - flamboyant? Were we not taught to be moderate in our lifestyles just like Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and his Companions? Why the theatrics and extravagance? Is this what we call futur? (I have no idea what's the exact definition of the word - let's just say that it's a bad thing to have as a da'ie)

Definitely not a statement that you hear often, but that's the truth I guess. Although, I, for one does not agree with this statement entirely. If you look closely to the master  pieces presented to us - or at least what are left of them like the Mezquita which gradually turns into a cathedral, the kalimah of Allah were engraved widely and I am pretty sure that it serves a purpose. As if those who were involved in building these great structures had foreseen that a time will come when people will have misconceptions on their works; they will only look at them superficially, mesmerised by their beauties and nothing more. Look at us, we forget that the best of creations are from Allah and only Him! Thus, the kalimah presented in their works serve a significant role - to remind us of Allah.

Then, what about futur? Frankly, architectures played an important role to signify power and glory of a civilisation and at that time Islam was what we call as Ustaziatul Alam, or not quite but something along that line. And that's just that. Nothing more, nothing less. But hey, Islam was standing in the eyes of the world. No wonder we observed the decline of Islamic civilisation later. It was because we were already at the top and people started to slack off in dakwah and do unnecessary things. I'm not saying that this is right but the tendency was there.

Now, let's have a perspective check. It's a shame because we're far from being at the top of the world but yet, we're slacking off. So, if we were to label 'futur' on a civilisation, let's put it on ourselves shall we? The fact that the ummah is no longer as strong as we had back then makes me wonder why are muslims nowadays ignoring their personal tarbiyah, the development of a muslim individual? Why are we using our scarce energy and efforts on ineffective methodology? Where's our jihad?

I leave these questions for us to ponder. :)
"There is no conquerer but Allah."

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


In the name of Allah.

Baggage for Spain.

And this is after the trip.

It's a good thing, trust me. :) Lots to do.
I'll write updates on the trip later, inshAllah.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Una breve actualización.

In the name of Allah.

Yeay! Internet access at Marina del Sol. The place is just superb. I'll definitely write more on this.

I'm having the time of my life here. Not because of the vacation, but of the things that I have learnt here. Life that revolves around dakwah. An experience that gives another wake up call. ;)

Rememeber when I said that I wanted a getaway? Getting away from problems? Nah, it's more like having a head-on collision with my problems. Allah's plan is the Grand Design after all.

Quoting a brother, "Prove to me that this Jaulah to Espana is a success."

Let's make sure that we, or I, especially can sustain this spirit for dakwah. Amiin.

Hasta luego!

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Location:Urbanización Ribera Sol,Mijas,Spain