Monday, May 6, 2013

My new laptop

After many months of planning, several months of consultations with friends, a few months of savings, and almost one month of dealing with the online seller, I finally received my much awaited laptop last week. And then the question came up: how to inaugurate?
Imäm Tirmizï had the answer for me:

My new Laptop: Lenovo G580 59-324058

عَنْ أَبِي أُمَامَةَ، قَالَ: لَبِسَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الخَطَّابِ، ثَوْبًا جَدِيدًا فَقَالَ: الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي كَسَانِي مَا أُوَارِي بِهِ عَوْرَتِي، وَأَتَجَمَّلُ بِهِ فِي حَيَاتِي، ثُمَّ عَمَدَ إِلَى الثَّوْبِ الَّذِي أَخْلَقَ فَتَصَدَّقَ بِهِ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: مَنْ لَبِسَ ثَوْبًا جَدِيدًا فَقَالَ: الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي كَسَانِي مَا أُوَارِي بِهِ عَوْرَتِي، وَأَتَجَمَّلُ بِهِ فِي حَيَاتِي ثُمَّ عَمَدَ إِلَى الثَّوْبِ الَّذِي أَخْلَقَ فَتَصَدَّقَ بِهِ كَانَ فِي كَنَفِ اللهِ وَفِي حِفْظِ اللهِ، وَفِي سَتْرِ اللهِ حَيًّا وَمَيِّتًا. (الترمذي ٣٥٦٠)
Once Hazrat 'Umar put on a new garment. He thanked Alläh saying: “Thanks to Alläh who clothed me with the garment that covers my concealable body-parts and adorns me and my life.” Then he gave the old garment away in charity. Explaining the wisdom behind his actions, he said: I heard Alläh’s Prophet saying:
If a person wears a new garment and says the above thanksgiving formula, then gives away his old garment in charity, he will remain in Alläh’s care, protection and cover as long as he lives and also after his death. (Tirmizï 3560)
So I thank Alläh who gave me the Lenovo laptop with which I do my works quickly and efficiently and which is pleasing to the eyes, and gladdening to the heart.
عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ قَالَ: كَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا اسْتَجَدَّ ثَوْبًا سَمَّاهُ بِاسْمِهِ، عِمَامَةً، أَوْ قَمِيصًا، أَوْ رِدَاءً، ثُمَّ يَقُولُ: اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الحَمْدُ أَنْتَ كَسَوْتَنِيهِ، أَسْأَلُكَ خَيْرَهُ وَخَيْرَ مَا صُنِعَ لَهُ، وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّهِ وَشَرِّ مَا صُنِعَ لَهُ. (الترمذي ١٧٦٧)
 The holy Prophet’s usual custom when wearing a new turban, kurta, cloak, or any other garment was to express gratitude to Alläh in these words: I thank You, Alläh, for giving me this cloth to wear. I also ask You to give me its benefits and the good things its makers have intended with it. And I seek your protection from its harms and the evils that its makers may have intended with it.
If I use my laptop to learn the holy Qurän, Hadïth and related books, or to write upon them; if I use it to learn some computer technology that may benefit Alläh’s servants, believing or unbelieving, then I get the benefits. If I use it to watch, read or write haräm texts, view filthy pictures, listen to Satanic music, or watch movies and videos which are indulging and gratifying to the senses for a short while, but disastrous to the body and soul alike in the long run, then my d'ä has been rejected. May Alläh save each one of us from such a calamity! Without His mercy and bounty, we have no chance, no hope, no happiness!


As usual I went through the elaborate process that usually precedes such a mega-event. And certainly it was for me who had never ever made such a big purchase. Never before in my life had I carried such a large sum of money in my pocket.
There was internet. The online retailers had all the detailed descriptions, specifications and pictures of, fortunately or unfortunately, hundreds of laptops. On the day of writing, Flipkart has 539, Snapdeal has 414. While the details were extremely helpful, the huge number of choices was daunting, to say the least. Then there were user comments. Alas! It two had both faces. Some were outright unconvincing, some were nitpicking, and some too obsequious to the comment-hosting website to be credible. And I knew that if I sought a friend’s help, he would ask questions first, suggestions would come later. What’s your budget, what use you are going to put it to, and the like.

Price Range

Which one should I go for: the top of heap MacBook Pro costing as high as Rs 181,320 at Snapdeal, or the good-for-nothing Ambrane LP-7 with Android and 1 GB RAM worth Rs. 5699?
مَا أَكَلَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ خُبْزًا مُرَقَّقًا، وَلاَ شَاةً مَسْمُوطَةً حَتَّى لَقِيَ اللَّهَ. (البخاري ٥٣٨٥)
As a Muslim, a servant of Alläh and follower of His last prophet Muhammad , what was I supposed to do? No doubt the best path is the one followed by the holy Prophet and the worst is the one taught by Satan and his followers, the proponents and promoters of materialism. What would have been his approach in this matter?
Hazrat Anas who served Alläh’s Prophet from the age of 10 till 20 tells us that the Prophet never tasted fine bread nor roasted mutton. These were the dishes which were considered high profile worthy of middle and rich class in his days, though later these things had become common among the general public too. To his wife, the Mother of Believers, Hazrat 'Äishah رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا, he counseled: “If you wish to be with me in the hereafter, then let as much of material comfort be enough for you as it is for a traveler. Also, avoid too much closeness with rich people, and never discard a cloth until you have applied patches to it.”
The three advices are so well-connected and so logical! If you think you have to live here for a long time, you will wish to acquire the best of every brand. A traveler usually will not like to keep a diamond-studded mobile phone in his pocket. The persistent concern of middle class people – which in our days is a euphemism for rich class – is normally the latest and the priciest models of smart phones, laptops, cameras, cars, villas, and the list goes on. If you spend most of your time in their company looking at advertisements on their televisions or on websites that interest them, if you engage in discussions about the latest Nokias and iphones, you will soon start liking them, then desiring them, then dreaming about them, and finally “Oh, my salary is so less.” How ungrateful we can get! As for the frail man begging at the Masjid-gate, the starving madrasah boy asking for goat-skins on Ïdul Azhä days; well, they deserve it. An entirely different breed, another species. We cannot expend our valuable sympathies for such cheap paupers!
Sorry, I digress too much. True, nobody can prohibit what Alläh has permitted. But a wise Muslim will keep far away from the boundaries lest he should ever slip into the forbidden territory. What the boundary is? Hazrat Ibne Abbäs رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا explains: “You may eat what you like, you may wear what you like, but – and it’s a big BUT – keep away from extravagance and show off.” So, beware when you buy the sleek and cutting-edge latest model of a gadget you will be proudly displaying to your friends and enumerating its awesome features to anyone willing to lend you an ear, but using all those features for yourself – well, where’s the time?
Granted, you have your hard-earned and lawful money. You can spend it to buy what you wish. But you read this and made the sacrifice. You purchased a non-premium product that has the best value for money but doesn’t boast of the catchiest of advertisements. What do you get, in return, as reward? The Prophet informs us that Alläh will award a robe of honor to a person who refrains from beautiful garments even though he can afford it. His intention is to demonstrate his humility and to keep the company of common Muslims.
All of the above are related to things where a cheaper substitute does not affect our job, harm our profession, or reduce our efficiency at work. Nevertheless, when it comes to the tool of trade, something which you need, will actively use, and will not be a mere source of pride for you, your children and your parents, and object of display to your friends and guests; then you can go for the best. The holy Prophet did this. He had a she-camel, the primary means of transport in those days and how was it?
Hazrat Anas reports that the Prophet had a she-camel called 'Azbä' which no other could surpass in a race. Then a Bedouin came riding on a camel less than six years of age. And it surpassed the Prophet’s 'Azbä' in the race. The Muslims wont to seeing their Prophet’s camel always beating others did not feel happy. The Prophet consoled them: “It is Alläh’s law that He brings down in this world whatever rises too high.” (Bukhärï 2872)
From the Hadïth we know that the Prophet did not make an elaborate search for the best camel in the world, or at least in the Arabian Peninsula. He settled for the best of what was easily available and affordable.

The choice, at last

As a software engineer who can also write articles and books in three languages, I knew a not-so-good laptop will affect my output and hamper my work. The priciest were certainly out of question. There was no need for me to spend my money so that Hollywood stars promoting the product may be well-paid out of it. Nor did I need the i7 processor which doesn’t surpass its smaller brother i5 in performance by as much as it surpasses it in price. Intel i3 would of course be too slow. Did I need a 1 TB internal hard disk when I already had a 2TB external one? Not much thought needed.
Considering all these, I thought 35-40 thousand would be a suitable range. And then one of my noble well-wishers spent lots of his time to help me narrow down the choice. Some other brothers helped too. Finally, I selected Lenovo Essential G580 59-348965 and ordered it at snapdeal for 32,399. It had already gone out of stock on By the time, the retailer went to procure it, it was out of market, so … order cancelled. Another product with similar features but costing 100 rupees less was Lenovo Essential G580 59-324058 (refer the picture above). The only difference was that the former’s 4GB RAM was on a single slot, allowing the other slot to be free for future memory upgrade. The latter had 4GB RAM evenly divided on the two slots.

Description of new Laptop



The old one



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