Freedom Or Structure? Or Both?

A lot of things happened in the past few weeks since I last blogged that I could barely keep up. (Neelofa has donned on the niqab; the supermodel Halima Aden has left the runways for the sake of her hijab journey, and Khabib Normagomedov quitted UFC to fulfill his mother’s wishes. And President Macron has insulted the Muslims by saying that Islam is in crisis all over the world. And last but not least, Da’i Syed was accused of raping or molesting some women. Adeh! Like I said so many things happened and I could barely keep up!)

I have just finished one of the busiest psychiatric posting and did not have the time to blog much since mid-October until now. But because today is the 30th of November (which means it is the last day of the month of November) I made myself write a blog post because I want to be able to say “Yup, I did write a blog post this month. I can tick off my monthly agenda now” Hahha.

Having a schedule and having a monthly agenda is how I force myself to do things that I should do (but may not have the mood or the impetus to do it). It is my structure. And INTJs love, love, love structure. Hahha. But we love OUR structure (not other people’s) that we have carefully thought off based on our own personal principles and our preferences and personalities. 

Because having a structure is efficient.

Structure is important!  It provides you guidance to do what you should do regardless of your fickle-mindedness and low motivation. It pushes you up when you are down because you know you have a structure (an agenda, a deadline) to adhere to. And it frees you from being enslaved by your own erroneous emotion when you have a structure (a moral compass) to self-correct your own injudicious thoughts.

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Freedom Within Structure!

“You like freedom so much. I thought you were a liberal Muslim or a free thinker… but some of your opinions are very conservative. People who love freedom don’t usually bind themselves to any religion.”

I was confused.

What does loving freedom have anything to do with liberalism or conservatism or religionism?

Actually, I never really understand what people mean when they say someone is a liberal Muslim or a conservative Muslim or a fundamentalist Muslim….I just don’t understand all these labels. There is only ONE version of Islam… but there are rooms for freedom within the general structure of Islam that allows for certain differences of opinion and practices. But at the same time, the general structure of Islam are the ones in the Quran and the Sunnah. That’s all. Allah commands us NOT to create sects within the religion.

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We are just Muslims and I don’t call myself as liberal or conservative or fundamentalist … I don’t even know what are the real differences between all of them.

In general, when we are confused, we go back and ORIENTATE ourselves according to the Quran and the Sunnah. That’s all. It’s so simple. 

I am not a scholar or anything. But any average Muslim knows that the beauty of Islam is the freedom within structure that we have. You  guys think that Muslims are so oppressed because Islam is too strict. I just want to laugh sometimes. You guys have no idea!

Muslim women can dress however they like, wearing whatever traditional clothes from whichever culture they want to adopt and in whatever colour of the rainbow they desire as long as the clothes are modest and cover all the proper body parts (except the face and the hands) and are not representative of the opposite sex. That is the general structure! But the freedom within this structure is HUGE! I can wear sari, cheongsam, baju kurung, pants and shirts, jubah, tunics, kimono…. Whatever I want to wear, I can wear them as long as I cover the appropriate body parts and I am still recognizable as a woman and don’t purposefully dress myself to look like a man. I don’t feel the lack of freedom at all. (Of course if you want to show your cleavage and expose your thighs or you want to cross-dress, THEN you will feel the lack of freedom. But most women don’t really want to do that anyway. There is now a demand for modest fashion in International Runways because women are now tired of being objectified by the fashion and the entertainment industry (read: industry that are catered for the enjoyment of men). That explains why women like Neelofa, Halima Aden and Sana Khan decided to change the way they dress even though they were at the apex of their career in the industry. They have tasted the so-called ‘freedom of dressing however they like’ … only to find that they don’t like it that much, after all!)

Muslims can eat anything EXCEPT pork, poisonous and carnivorous animals like tigers and lions (which most people don’t want to eat anyway) and cattle that are not slaughtered in the name of God. That’s the structure! But we can eat all sorts of vegetables, various types of seafood, all types of cattle that are slaughtered in the name of God and you can eat Japanese food, Thai food, Indian food, Turkish Food, Mediterranean food and any food from any culture that follow the general structure that has been outlined by Allah. You can even eat a Kangaroo if you want because it falls within the structure of what’s allowed. That’s the freedom! I certainly didn’t  think it was so difficult being a Muslim in Australia. Even Woolsworth sells halal chicken!

(What is so difficult about following this dietary structure? Unless you want to eat dogs, snakes and bats… why would you feel this structure so oppressive when there are so many other things that we can eat within the structure outlined by Islam? Why would you want to eat something that can expose you to new diseases that might later create a pandemic? In fact, this structure is protective! It protects you from being the victim of poor choice secondary to unguided freedom. And therefore having a structure to guide your freedom is a very efficient way of leading your life.)

***

Have A Structure and Orientate Yourself!

In life… choices can be right, wrong or neither right nor wrong. The ‘neither right nor wrong’ is the realm in which we can exercise our freedom as we wish. 

But people often confuse themselves.

They develop rigid opinions in things that are neither right nor wrong, wanting to dictate to others in matters of freedom. But in things with clear cut rightness and wrongness and clear-cut facts-based structure, suddenly they choose to say “oh… it is up to you to be free to do whatever you like.”

Look at the picture below. I have always hated this looseness of structure depicted by the picture. There is no way BOTH can be right in that situation! 

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I tried to search for a picture with a counter-narrative explanation last year, but there was none. So in my blog post last year (the link is https://afizaazmee.wordpress.com/2019/12/17/how-did-you-know-that-who-told-you-that/) , I commented on this picture by writing what I wrote in the screenshot below.

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Imagine my pleasure when THIS YEAR, someone already created a counter-narrative picture (whoever you are, THANK YOU!) which was shared by one of my Facebook acquaintances. And I agree with the picture below wholeheartedly! If you are confused, you must ORIENTATE yourself!

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If you are confused, you ORIENTATE yourself! Don’t insist that “this is my opinion and I can be right too”. Jangan malas berfikir! Carilah jawapan yang mana betul! (Or maybe this is just me as an INTJ. Answers will provide us with a clearer picture and a clearer structure. And INTJs love structures and we want questions to have a clear answer.)

As a doctor, we see a lot of patients with delirium. They become confused with regards to time, place and person. They may think they are at a market place when they are actually in the hospital. They may think that now is night time when it is actually day time. And they may not know who are with them even if it is their own family member. So one of the non-pharmacological management of delirium is to ORIENTATE the patient. Give them the correct structure! We don’t go around telling them “Yes, you can believe that you are at the market even though you are now in the hospital. There is no right or wrong. It’s all based on your own feelings and your own perception!” Hahha! How ridiculous is that?

Please know that your emotion can be wrong and your perception are limited, causing your whole opinion to be really skewed. There will be times when your opinions and your feelings do not stand reality check! Your senses are limited and therefore your knowledge is limited. Our vision is not better than most predatory animals. And there are certain sounds that are beyond the range of our hearing! There are certain things that our sense of smell cannot perceive (like pheromones) but they exist! So whenever we are in doubt about something, we should ORIENTATE ourselves according to the facts of this world as best as we can, knowing that our emotion is not the ONLY factor we should take into account when deciding on what is right or wrong!

So, for example, if people are confused about their gender because they somehow feel more attracted to the same sex or because they have a liking for certain things that are more associated with the other sex, they should orientate themselves. “Okay…. I feel like a woman deep inside even though I am a man? I like a lot of feminine and womanly stuff. So am I a man or a woman?” If you are confused about which gender you should be, you just have to orientate yourself. Look at your genetics. Look at your sex organ. Look at your secondary sex characteristics! Look at science, man! If you are a man who happens to like wearing pink and loves to dance ballet… doesn’t mean you are a woman deep inside. Just go ahead and be the man who loves pink and loves to dance ballet! Simple! Know the structure… you are a man! That’s the structure. But you have the freedom to like or do activities that are usually associated with women… cooking, sewing, nursing, fashion designing, if you want to. Those are still your freedom within the structure of a man. Just because you like those womanly things, doesn’t mean you have to change your gender because you are supposedly, ehem, “a woman deep inside”. What does it even MEAN??

As a woman, I am not always feminine, myself. But it doesn’t mean I am right if I feel like I am a man, deep inside. If ever I feel that way, it means I just have to orientate myself to know that FACTUALLY I am a woman. But maybe I am a woman who enjoys certain activities or pursuits that are generally associated with men. As long as I know my structure, I have the freedom to do whatever I want. Because God doesn’t say that if you are a woman, then you cannot go to university, or wear pants or become a CEO or fight in sports or have a firm and stern demeanour. Allah only asks you not to dress like a man to the point that you are not recognizable as a woman and not to commit homosexuality acts. Within that structure, you are free to adopt any activity or pursue anything you like even if they are usually associated with men!

But if your emotion and your own conflict of interests are the only things you want to follow in deciding what to do, of course you would then demand that people should change the facts to suit you!

“I am a woman deep inside. So you should address me in the female pronoun. I am a woman deep inside. So you should allow me to compete in women sports even if this would create disadvantages to other women competing in  this sports. I am a woman deep inside, so you should allow me to use gender-specific area for women regardless of how other women might feel. I am a woman deep inside but I don’t get monthly menstruation…. So when talking about menstruation, don’t use the word women but use the term ‘people who menstruate’ because there are some women like myself who don’t menstruate. Because if you use other terms, you will hurt my feelings the way J.K Rowling had done.”  *sigh* *penat layan*

So, your feelings now trump facts and truth?? Trump science?

Of course some people would come up with statements like “Sex and gender are two different things. They are not interchangeable.” Really? That’s just your opinion. Other people have other opinions. There are many who believe gender must be based on sex in order for it to be meaningful. And if you are confused, the sensible thing is to derive clarity by orientating yourself to the facts and the sciences of this natural world. Not by creating even further haze and clouds of confusion and insisting that we change the structure for you and follow your artificial structure.

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Even more ridiculous, you want to force us to use DIFFERENT pronouns for you. You want us to abide by a new artificial structure of pronouns that YOU create and simply think that we are going to fall in line to agree with YOUR structure. Give me a break! Who are YOU?? Who are YOU that you can dictate to us to change our structure in using  language just so your feelings won’t be hurt? Why do you want us to change OUR reality so that you get to preserve YOUR artificial reality about yourself? 

There are so many gender identities now… up to 31 gender identities in New York alone… how many different pronouns do we need to create, then?

The truth is usually elegant and simple! Sometimes, it might be complicated when you are in the process of getting to the truth. But when you finally know the truth, you will often realize that it is actually quite obvious, simple and elegant. When your stand or your opinion creates MORE chaos and confusion, that is one of the red flags that your opinion is not the truth! Can you imagine having to accommodate 31 gender identities and then having to create extra pronouns in every language for each and every one of those 31 gender identities? It will be chaotic and confusing!

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Allah says that everything is created in pairs! (Men/Women, Protons/Electron, Matter/Anti-Matter for example) That is the simple and elegant truth! And the fact that everything is created in pairs follows the natural manifestations of science, genetic and simple direct observations! Why should other people sacrifice their structure of their belief system and their freedom of speech just so your  feelings won’t be hurt? How entitled you are! 

Below is a video showing a debate about gender pronouns! Just take a look and see how chaotic things are turning out to be in the Western world. 

Some fellow doctors believe that Muslim doctors are less intellectual than them just because we disagree with the misguided liberalism and “freedom of expression” originating from the Western world.

For the sake of simplicity, I will let you know that when it comes to intellectual discussion, you will find that there are 4 types of Muslims. This is based on my observation alone but I think, Insya Allah, you will find that these are the general types that exist in any group when they are having an intellectual discussion. (And I do categorize the people who I interact with according to where they belong based on these types, so that I will know when I should pursue a certain topic with them and when I should simply abandon this topic in order to not waste my time.)

And depending on our knowledge and the topics that are discussed we ourselves can fall into any of these types. There are times when I am type 1 (because I am not that knowledgeable in  that topic), or type 2, type 3, and type 4.

  • Type 1: Muslims who don’t know the facts and therefore don’t want to argue… and passively let you win. (So you think you are in the right path just because you are talking to a non-knowledgeable Muslim who doesn’t know how to answer you back.) 
  • Type 2: Muslims who know the facts but do not know the art of arguing or not very articulate in getting their point across, so they simply remain silent. (Again, you get to feel like you are so right just because you happen to be conversing with a Muslim who does not have the oratory skills that you have in order to get their points across.)
  • Type 3: Muslims who know the facts, and know how to argue but is a kind and soft-spoken person who doesn’t want to hurt your feelings and may feel like you will slowly understand the matter if they continue to treat you with kindness and engage with you in benign interactions in the future. These are usually very good, very patient Muslims who want you to see the light and don’t want to crush your ego by pointing out the deficiencies in your thought processes. They want to continue to engage with you… and embarrassing you is not efficient or effective for dakwah.  
  • Type 4: Occasionally you will come across a Muslim who knows the facts, knows how to argue and ALSO she/he is willing to firmly and assertively shred your reasoning to pieces even at the risk of hurting your feelings because you are the one who had behaved arrogantly FIRST! (And I can be that 4th Muslim sometimes. Especially when I am ANNOYED enough.)

I try not to get into debate and arguments because I have mentioned before in my previous blog posts that debate RARELY causes people to change their minds. People get defensive and even more stubborn after a debate. So if you want people to see the truth, you should speak nicely and behave in a benign manner to persuade people into agreeing with you. You should be the Type 3 Muslims. 

But sometimes when faced with people who are being so arrogant, I will no longer care about getting them to see the truth and I no longer have the incentive to be nice and patient. I simply want to put them at their proper place. When I am in that mood, well…. You really would wish you haven’t triggered me with your arrogance because I can really hurt your feelings in retaliation. (and I hate to do it but I will do it if you attack my religion.)

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Some Structures Are More Sacred Than The Others.

When it comes to communication with people, my structure is simple. In general, Allah commands us to speak truthfully, nicely, politely and refrain from hurting other people’s feelings. When I was younger, I did not always follow this structure. But everyone grows up eventually… including yours truly. Now, as much as I can, I try to follow this structure. 

But the most important structure here is the truth! You don’t compromise the structure of truth just because you want to follow the structure of being nice.

Because some structures are more sacred than the other and should be prioritized above the other structures! 

So I have used my freedom within the structure that Allah has given me in order to create my own patterns in how I communicate with people depending on how close they are to me and how they behave towards me.

  1. Truthful, honest, open communication with my family and close friends (my inner circle). To them, I will explain myself and my actions and I also want them to explain themselves and their actions so that I can understand them the way I have made myself understood to them. I am very forthright and I expect the same from people who are close to me. We understand each other’s boundaries, habits and quirks! And we tolerate the people in our inner circle because they are WORTHY of our compromise. 
  2. I maintain proper distance and superficial politeness with strangers and superiors and colleagues. I explain myself only as necessary and not more than that. (unless I happen to like them and we make each other comfortable somehow. I might lower down my guard a bit towards those I am comfortable with … but not to the extent that I do with my inner circle.)
  3. To those who don’t matter or who I dislike or who I am not comfortable with, I keep my thoughts to myself or remain silent without explaining myself or arguing with them especially if it is over trivial issues…. because it would be a very inefficient way of spending my time. If you don’t matter to me, you can insist that black is white (and females are actually males and vice versa) and I will just walk away as long as you are not arrogantly targeting my religion or haughtily calling Muslims (or Malays) a dumb race (the way some non-Muslims netizens are saying in the Facebook comments section of Islamic related articles ).
  4. But!! If you mess with my principles and my religion… all bets are off and I WILL answer you and I WILL argue with you and I WILL shred your reasoning to pieces! Because when people are arrogantly saying nonsensical stuff about Islam in front of my face, then it is MY responsibility and MY rights to put you back in your place!

Just because you haven’t met a Muslim who are willing to debate with you and answer you point by point, doesn’t mean that you are right. Refer again to the 4 types of Muslims I have enumerated above. You haven’t met the 4th type yet… so you think your reasoning is “oh, so logical” and that you are so clever. After all, most Malays are not so assertive and mostly soft-spoken and not willing to get into arguments, in general. So it is easy for you to  feel like all of us are dumb and cannot think for ourselves just because we try not to argue as much with you.

Well, you are wrong! The more you try to impose your worldview in a Muslim-majority country, the more you will cause the 4th type of Muslims to suddenly materialize and take a stand. Because every action has a reaction, my dear. The 4th types are getting bigger in numbers because they feel like their values are challenged (especially after PH became the government for a short while). I suggest, you focus on championing issues that you can win when you reside in Muslim-majority countries.

Just like when I was in Australia, I observed how the Australian-born Muslims focus on issues that they can win. They don’t try to oppose the Gay Parade or try to propagate for the implementation of the shariah law in Australia because they know it is very unlikely to happen. They don’t insist to have some Arabic syllabus in the Australian public schools because they know it is unlikely to become a reality. And furthermore, our practical religion taught us to follow the law of the land. So we focus our attention on things that we can get and issues that we can win. For example, as Muslim students in the University of Newcastle, we just wanted a prayer room in the library, and we requested for it. After some time, the university admin accommodated our request when they noticed how some of the Muslims (including myself) were regularly ‘caught’ making various prayer movements in between bookshelves at various times throughout the day, which when I think about it, might appear quite funny (or alarming) to them. Haha. Instead of having to pray in between bookshelves as we had to do initially, we were finally given a room in the Auchmuty library just for us. How cool was that!

And then at the Hunter library, we were given a cabin that we used as a prayer room too. Do you think it is easy to get the admin to turn cabins and rooms into a space for exclusive use of the Muslim students in this age of Islamophobia? Not easy, ok! But the University of Newcastle Islamic Society (of which I was a treasurer for a year) was able to fight for it, Alhamdulillah.  This is the importance of choosing your fight wisely. We choose our battles according to the structure (i.e the law) of the country. The law of any country will follow the culture of the majority! The Muslim community in Australia didn’t try to change the pro-LGBTQ policy in Australia and we didn’t criticize their Friday night drunken party on campus even though their disruptive behavior sometimes disturbed my sleep and my concentration while studying. Because I know that those are the values and the structure of THEIR culture as the majority. I am so sorry to those who may feel upset about this… but this is the fact of this world! This is the fact of democracy! And Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country and our law reflects that!

I strongly suggest that you focus on issues that you can win. Maybe focus on abolishing Malay quotas…that is more likely to happen and a lot of Malays are supportive of that too, including myself. But you have to anticipate that the Malays will then insist to abolish vernacular schools in return! This is called political quid pro quo! Focus on issues that will make a difference. Because trust me…the more you try to test our resolve in championing our religious values, the more the non-typical 4th type of Muslims will materialize. Our peribahasa of “biar mati anak, jangan mati adat” exists for a reason and this is one aspect of the Malay Muslim psyche that you should try to understand if you want to become part of a government that won’t get toppled at half-term! Because when we perceive (rightly or wrongly) that our religious values are threatened, you will not last long. You will NOT last long.

Again! Some Structures Are More Sacred And Should Be Prioritized Over The Others!

I cannot emphasize this point enough! Again and again! You MUST know which structure to prioritize.

For example, the structure at work (i.e the system) is that we must follow the direction of our bosses. Because this structure makes sense in general! Our bosses are more experienced than us and they have more knowledge than us. Of course we have to respect them. But if your bosses molest HOs and you happen to know about it, should you hush it up because you want to follow the structure of respecting your superiors at your work place?! Of course not! Because there is a more sacred structure that you must prioritize, which is the structure of upholding justice and protecting vulnerable people as has been outlined in Islam.

In general, Allah instructed us to be kind to our parents and obey them. Khabib Normagomedov quitted UFC to obey the wish of his mother, because THAT is the structure that has been outlined by Allah in how you must treat your parents. However, if you are a new convert to Islam and your parents disapprove of your conversion, you shouldn’t obey their wish to come back to “agama nenek moyang” because believing in the ONE God is the more sacred structure in this case. But at the same time, you should still obey everything else that your parents ask of you that are not in violation of the commands of Allah. There are times when you can prioritize the more sacred structure but at the same time try to accommodate the other lesser structures as much as you can. But whatever it is, you MUST prioritize regarding what structure to uphold FIRST!

Even in my daily life, I have a structure and I plan my daily activities based on that structure. I pray 5 times a day. And my general activities are arranged based on my prayer time. I will decide what time I want to start on my journey towards a certain place based on when I can reach there just in time to pray my next prayer. I am sure this is something that most Muslims can relate. We plan our activities around the structure of our five daily prayers!

In my relationships with others, punctuality is one of the most important structure that I build my personal relationships on. If you are not punctual, there is NO WAY I will ever want to be your close friend. Because you are going to disrupt my life! For example, let’s say now is 8.00 am…. And I know we plan to see each other at 11.00 am. That means I have three hours of free time to complete certain stuff! That three hours – that  deadline-  is the structure! But I can choose to fill up the three hours either by reading a journal article, reading a novel or doing some text-book studying or watching Netflix. That is the freedom! I might decide to watch a Netflix movie instead of studying… because in just 3 hours I might not be able to get the amount of continuous study that I am used to. I might decide that when I have a longer stretch of free time, maybe after meeting you, only then I will read a textbook. But if you are two hours late and arrive at 1 instead of at 11… then of course I will feel upset. Because if I had known that I had a 5 hours structure to begin with instead of 3 hours, I would have decided to study my textbook rather than watching Netflix. You have messed up with my time, my schedule and my plan when you are late. And if this is your consistent behavior, you are going to be disruptive to my life. I value orderliness and structure in people and I get a headache with people who don’t plan their lives and don’t plan their activities and are disorganized. I don’t like to deal with people like that. It drives me crazy, quite frankly. 

So… my life is structured. And I like it that way.

You must find out the structure first whenever you embark on a new journey or a new workplace, so that you will be able to know how much freedom you can have within that structure and then plan your own activities accordingly. Your freedom – and that is your superpower, really – will serve your life better once you know your structure. A structured freedom is more conducive to your well-being than a disorganized non-structured freedom.

In completing your tasks, your deadline and your end goal is your structure! In writing a novel, the plot is the structure but the words you use and the dialogues you create to fill up the plots are the freedom! (Similar plots may give different levels of enjoyment depending on how creatively you use your freedom to fill up the general plots! And this is why even though structure is the important basis in anything we do, freedom will make all the difference in how great the end result of your effort will be!) And a good artist will know that a beautiful art will need BOTH structure and freedom! A wonderful teacher will follow the structure of the school syllabus but will have the freedom to teach those syllabus in his/her own creative way (and that’s why we like certain teachers and are bored by others even if they teach  the same syllabus). An amazing parent will neither be too controlling nor would they be too neglectful of their children’s daily activities! Because an amazing parent will know that children need certain structure and routine to feel secure, but at the same time they also need enough freedom to explore their world! Failing to balance structure and freedom in ANYTHING is a recipe for disaster. 

I reiterate, an organized and structured freedom is always more beautiful, more efficient and more conducive to your well being than a disorganized confusing mess that some people like to call “liberalism”.

And this is why I can be very structured while at the same time I place great importance in having freedom! 

We need BOTH for a good life!

***

Books of The Month!

I have read four books this month; one non-fiction and 3 fictions, I am going to keep this section short because this post is too long already (Have I ever written a short blog post, anyway? Haha)

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I read Homo-Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow and found it as interesting as the previous book that was written by Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens. Some of the ideas in the previous book are repeated in this book, but in general, it is still interesting. Based on ANFRS (Afiza’s Non-Fiction Rating Scales), I give this book 4.25 stars out of 5 (1 star  for content, 1 star for clarity of thoughts, 1 star for language, 0.5 star for credibility of author and 0.75 star for subjective enjoyment)

 

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I also had read The Girl Who Lived Twice (By David Lagercrantz) which is the 6th instalment to the Millennium series originally created by Stieg Larsson. I don’t want to spoil the novel for you guys but let me just say I really enjoyed it and this novel deserves 4 solid stars based on AFBRS (Afiza’s Fiction & Biography Rating Scales). I give 1 star for plot, 1 star for characters and characterization, 0.5 star for language. 0.5 star for facts weaved into the plot and 1 star for subjective enjoyment.

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I have also started to read Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot novels these days. Before this, I was loyal to Sherlock Holmes but it’s been 7 years since I last finished all the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories. I was loyal to Sherlock Holmes for 7 years already; I’d felt like there would never be any other great detective than Sherlock Holmes, so why bother exploring other books, I  thought. But then lately I feel like it is not that much of a big deal if I move on to the next great detective, Hercule Poirot, seeing that it’s been 7 years already, guys! A girl gotta move on hahah. I started with The Mysterious Affair At Styles (the first Hercule Poirot novel by Agatha Christie) and then moved on to The Murder On the Links (the second Hercule Poirot novel). As you can predict, I am going to read according to the chronological order written by Agatha Christie (because I love order and structure hahha). And I must tell you, I regret that I did not read them sooner. They are just as great and entertaining as Sherlock Holmes! And I read both of them online for free using the Aldiko app (because after some time, the copyrights of a book will expire and you can read it online for free. A lot of classic literatures are free online or via app). I wanted to continue to read the 3rd one, Poirot Investigates, but unfortunately that one requires payment because the copyrights still exist. Hmm… so I decided to stop my Poirot obsession for awhile and read other books that I have already bought in my TBR pile. I give BOTH books, 3.5 stars out 5 based on AFBRS. Really enjoyable, guys! I have finally moved on from Sherlock Holmes LOL.

Until next time, my dear readers. Much love and may Allah guide us to use our freedom in a manner that will best serve our purpose in life. See you in the next post, Insya Allah.

I leave you guys with a video from Mohammed Hijab (who is a Type 3 Muslim… but yes, he could be Type 4 too) talking about the regret of transgender children once they grew up into adulthood. Think and enjoy!

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