Thursday, March 3, 2016

Of Reed Beds and Blessings

Assalamualaikum :)

This has been my 6th month residing in Kerteh, finishing my internship journey.  Time really flies without mercy here, it's all up to us to decide on what to fill it in. Khalas
Today I was given an opportunity to visit a reed bed site in a nearby plant.  Well, as an intern, a number of questions spontaneously popped up in my mind.  

What is reed bed?
The answer of this question, given by Mr. Wikipedia is reed beds are aquatic plant based systems which allow bacteria, fungi and algae to digest the sewage and clean the water.  It actually looks almost like our own Malaysian-grown 'lalang' or paddy.

This is how it looks like. 
(Pics from Google, most probably not in Malaysia)

Our expectation of seeing a typically complicated industrial effluent treatment site left us in awe as actually, reed bed looks just like 'sawah padi'.  Apparently, there are certain species of reed equipped with abilities to filter specific contaminants ( to the like of heavy metals and dangerous byproducts of chemical processes).  For now, the site that we've visited in Kerteh is the second plant in Malaysia applying this method to treat industrial effluent.  Nice right?  

For now, this method is commercially applied in UK, but not yet in our country.  In contrary to the current method of wastewater treatment, this method is still under study and just started to be realized in a number of industrial sites.  Reeds actually have very high survival rate, so after the construction of the beds, only minimal care are needed.  

SubhanAllah, the answer to our questions are actually circling around us.  Who knows, one of the easiest way of polishing wastewater is by going back to earth itself, by bioremediation.  Every creations does have its own specific function.  His treasures are surely everywhere, it's up to us to search for it.  

As stated in Surah Al-'Alaq verse 1-5, 

"Recite in the name of your Lord who created. (1)  Created man from a clinging substance. (2)  Recite in the name of your Lord that is most Generous. (3)  Who taught by the pen.  (4) Taught men that which he new not.(5)"

Allah asks us to read (iqra). For there are many things that lies beyond our knowing.  Keep seeking for it, you shall find something.  With regards to verse 4 and 5, I'm quoting in verbatim some explanations written by Buya HAMKA in his famous Tafsir Al-Azhar.

“Dia yang mengajarkan dengan qalam.” (ayat 4). Itulah keistimewaan Tuhan itu lagi. Itulah kemuliaan-Nya yang tertinggi. Yaitu diajarkan-Nya kepada manusia berbagai ilmu, dibuka-Nya berbagai rahasia, diserahkan-Nya berbagai kunci untuk pembuka perbendaharaan Allah, yaitu dengan qalam. Dengan pena! 

Di samping lidah untuk membaca, Tuhan pun mentakdirkan pula bahwa dengan pena ilmu pengetahuan dapat dicatat. Pena adalah beku dan kaku, tidak hidup, namun yang dituliskan oleh pena itu adalah berbagai hal yang dapat difahamkan oleh manusia “Mengajari manusia apa-apa yang dia tidak tahu.” (ayat 5).

It's magical how the tafsir beautifully describes these powerful verses.  Those same verses gives me drive to continuously seek for knowledge.  It gives me hope that if everyone work to find practical solutions like this, the world will be a better place.  The society alive and in peace, the land blessed , the environment remained untouched and the leaders corruption-free.  That's how I imagine 'baldatun thoyyibatun wa rabbun ghafur' which bears the meaning of a peaceful and prosperous country, blessed by Allah (Saba : 15).

Let's continue moving, shall we?
For each of us have our own significant role to play in our conquest of His blessings.  As humans, our lives are intertwined with each other, so we just can't afford to be ignorant and individualistic.  Keep moving, keep fighting and despite the unstability and chaotic atmosphere, we pray for the light at the end of the tunnel. Stay optimistic!

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