Tuesday, December 29, 2009

To My Friend

Advanced Calculus. It was one of the toughest course, to me. And my outstanding marks was not something to be proud of. Worried and sad at the same time. I am graduating soon.
We were getting ready to go to the campus for the final exam. I checked everything, I got everything.. or so I thought.

I was about to walk out to the door when suddenly she said,
"Did you leave something behind?"
"No..." I replied. Still worried.
"Are you sure?" She asked again, looking straight at me.
"No...I don't think so" Honestly, I didn't think so.

We boarded the bus and arrived safely at the creepy hall. It was not haunted of course, but it was the examination hall, hence the precise description of the hall. And, it was my Advanced Calculus final exam! Recalling the triple integration question sent chill down the spine.

I sat somewhere, my mind was blurry. Then, like a thunder it came. I left my calculator!
And she knew that I left it, she must have seen it...she was referring to my calculator.
Panic turned into horror. But I tried to be calm.
My lecturer walked by with his cheerful smile and slowly I raised my hand.
"Sir...do you happen to have a calculator?"
"O..you don't need one.."
"I don't?...."

It was a relief to hear that, I calmed down for a while.
No... you are the lecturer, YOU don't need a calculator, I am the student and not a very brilliant one. I need a calculator.

That was 20 years ago. I passed the paper, without using a calculator.
I graduated, yes.. Alhamdulillah.
But the incident gave me nightmares for a few years. I would wake up in the middle of the night, holding my chest in panic until I realized, Fuhh... I've graduated. And went back to sleep smiling.

That girl was my roommate. My best friend. I was mad and disappointed, why can't she just tell me that I left the calculator? Why? It would've saved me from all those heartbreaking moments.
But, she is my best friend. I forgive her. I forgave her, long time ago.

My friend, if you are reading this, please write to me. We could laugh together about this.

Forgive Me

I have no plan to quit
I have no intention to give up

I have no other dreams to chase

I have loads of reasons to
I have countless excuses to

But still
I have no other dreams to chase
Only one
Pleasing HIM
And, this is the way

This is the road I chose to tread on
Arduous I know
Strenuous I know

I made the promise to HIM
Long before
That HE is my Lord
I bear witness

My patience running thin
My heart sorrowful
My soul weary

One day
When I face HIM kneeling down
I hope that day will be
The day that HE will have mercy on me

Please forgive me
Ya Ghaffar
Ya Arhamar Rahimiin..

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Happy Holiday

The recent long weekend was a happy one for me. Alhamdulillah...

It was my cousin's wedding, in Taiping, on Saturday. Since it was quite a distance to travel there, my brother suggested that we stay overnight in chalets in Taiping the day before the wedding. The plan was actually made few months back.

Thanks to my brother who volunteered to make the bookings for all of us, it was really a nice place with beautiful landscape and clean rooms.

Out of my 9 siblings, only 4 were able to make it, and another one came on the day of the wedding itself.

So, in total there were 21 of us, ranging from 7 months to 50 years old.

The children enjoyed playing in the pool ( no photos though, because my camera went kaput at that time...hmm). The pool is meant only for children, judging from the depth of the water, but still, adult supervision is a must.
The trip was actually meant for attending the wedding, but I forgot to take pictures of the newlyweds. In fact, there's no photos at all at the wedding. So, there's no evidence that we actually went to the wedding..haha..

The photo below was taken on the way back home.

Looking at the speed limit of 110kmh on the highway reminded me of the same number written on the highways in Germany, but the difference is that 110kmh there is not the limit but the recommended speed, because German autobahn(highway) has no speed limit.

As I was admiring the breathtaking scenery along the highways, I concluded that Malaysia, my home, has it's own beauty. And our highways are definitely comparable with the highways in Germany, if not better.

Traveling in Malaysia is always a pleasure, with no worries about halal food, resting area and most importantly comfortable surau to perform prayers, to worship HIM.

All praise and thanks to HIM, the One whom we must never forget at anytime, anywhere, at home or on holidays.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

DIA Sedang Berbicara Dengan Mu

Kau jatuh lagi?
Pedih terasa lukamu?
Bukankah kau ingin belajar tentang sabar?
Bukankah kau ingin belajar tentang ikhlas?
Bukankah kau ingin mencari keyakinan?

DIA Maha Mengetahui lintasan hatimu
DIA Maha Melihat setiap langkahmu
DIA Maha Mendengar rintihan jiwamu

DIA Maha Penyayang
DIA Maha Pengampun
DIA Maha Memelihara
DIA Maha Adil

Kau jatuh kerana tadi langkahmu tersalah,
Kau luka
Luka itu akan menjadi parut,
Yang akan senatiasa tampak oleh matamu,
Yang akan mengingatkanmu,
Bahawa bila kau salah langkah,
Kau pasti akan jatuh.

Kau merasa kepedihannya
Kepedihan itu untuk mengingatkan kau,
Bahawa bila kau salah langkah,
Kau akan merasa akibatnya,
Akibat yang pedih.

Kau tidak sesat di perjalanan,

Itulah tanda KasihNYA padamu
Kau tak dibiarkan
Kau tak ditinggalkan
DIA sentiasa melihatmu
DIA sentiasa memeliharamu

Bila kau sedang dalam kepedihan,
DIA sedang berbicara denganMU
"Berdoalah kepadaKU, nescaya akan KU perkenankan bagi mu"

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Dialogue from the movie, The Blind Side.

Beth: You're changing that boy's life.
Leigh Anne: No, he's changing mine.

Change occur in our life continuously. The only time change are not desirable is when it is a change for the worse. Change for the better is what we always yearn for.
We yearn for a better life, a better world.

My life changes every day. And sometimes when I thought that I had helped someone to change to be a better person, it is actually that person who has changed me.
My profession in education has brought many significant changes in my life. Students come and go, and every time they came back to thank me for changing their life, I am humbled by the fact that it was them who has changed mine.
From them, I learned about patience and perseverance. I learned about discipline, hard work and determination. I learned to be a better person.
I don't get to choose my students. I believe every one of my students who were, are and will be in my class are chosen by Allah The Almighty. I accepted them with no prejudice, I tried my best not to be judgemental.
Sometimes the changes that they brought to me are so tremendous that the memory of them stays permanently in my heart and mind and the relationship with them remained until years after they graduated.

To all my students,
It has been a pleasure having you in my class,
I am privileged to have the opportunity of knowing you,
The honour is always mine.

2nd Muharram, 1431 Hijrah
( In commemoration of the new hijrah year )

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Lesson About Honesty

I remember a true story narrated by my housemate some 20 years ago when we were still undergraduate students in Canada.

She was on the bus on the way home after finishing class.

Along the way, the bus stopped and a very young boy ( at primary school age ) got on the bus. He paid the bus fare through the slot machine beside the driver, using a lot of coins.
After all the coins were in, then only he discovered to his horror that it was 10 cents short.
The bus driver let him sit on the bus anyway.
But the boy was obviously feeling upset. He told the driver that he will pay the remaining amount, sounding very guilty.

Before getting down from the bus the boy again told the driver that he will pay the balance. The driver simply nodded acknowledging his words.
Then the boy went down from the bus, but before the door was shut, he turned again to face the driver and said,

"I will pay, okay? Look.. Look at my face, remember my face.. remember me..I will pay, okay?"

That was really sweet of him. He was very concern that the bus driver would not recognize him or forgot his look and he just had to make sure that the driver had a good look at him.
The heartwarming and touching incidence was being witnessed by the entire bus passengers, including my housemate.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, " Sin makes the heart restless".

Enough said.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lost and Found

They called it TomTom, it's a portable GPS car navigation system. A detail road map complete with voice instruction.

People use it when they are traveling to a place that they are not accustomed to. That's a photo of my brother holding the TomTom that he used when we traveled around Europe. He even used it when we were walking on foot in the streets of Milan, Italy. It was funny that sometimes we had to stop to wait for the device to process the instruction, because once we took the wrong way the device would give a warning, then it will recalculate and reprocess the navigation to give a new direction.

I don't have a TomTom. I don't think I need one here in Malaysia, my home. If I am lost, I can always ask someone, or call someone to help me.

That happened to me a lot today. I was going to IIUM campus in Gombak. My husband told me that it's very easy if I take the new DUKE highway. But I did not pay much attention to the direction he gave because I will be taking the usual route that I am used to. So, when I was on the road this morning, following the road sign on the highway, I made a turn somewhere that says, Kuantan and Gombak. Only then I realized that I was actually on DUKE highway. But I got confused when I reached the Sentul toll plaza. Why am I at Sentul? Where am I now?
So, I pulled over just before the toll, put on my hazard light and started making phone call. My husband did not pick up his phone. Called my nephew at home but he couldn't help. Then I remembered someone. Who could be better in giving me direction other than the person who built the highway? Duh... So I called my schoolmate who was involved in the construction of the highway. Following the direction he gave I arrived safely. It was so easy. Really.

At the IIUM campus, I was lost again when trying to find the office that I am suppose to go to. So I asked one of the security guard for direction. Again it was so easy, the office was just right at the main entrance. On the way, I met one of my students who greeted me with his wide grin and seeing me a bit lost he offered his help to show the way. But I said I am okay.
The office that I went to was closed. I was not in a hurry, so I am prepared to wait for the office to open until I was told that it is closed until Thursday! Today is Tuesday..hmm.. I can't wait that long..

Wandering around with nothing to do, I decided to go to the mosque. I can see the minaret, so I found my way easily.
I was getting bored, I went out and tried to figure out how to go to the library when I met another student of mine. I asked for the direction and he happily said that he is on the way there. So I walked with him to the library while he shared some of his new experience here.
Inside the library. I haven't been there for quite some time, I was wandering again until one student greeted me. " Madam, how are you? I was your student, remember me? " He looked familiar. He introduced himself and after some warm catching up conversations he pointed to me the direction of the place that I was looking for.

After having a discussion with one student at the library, it's time for me to leave. Getting out of the building, I was lost again. I was about to send a message to another student to tell him that I am lost, when suddenly I bumped into him. He was supposed to have a class, but it was canceled. I asked for the direction to CAC building where I parked my car. He was giving me the direction when suddenly another student called. She was looking for me and I was explaining to her where I am with the help of the other student. Within a few minutes she appeared with a bright smile. I said good bye to the other student and walked with her enjoying a friendly cheerful chat. She lead me near to CAC building and upon seeing the parking lot where my car was parked, I said thanks to her and we parted our ways.

Driving back home, I couldn't help smiling. It was interesting what had happened to me today. I was lost so many times and yet I found the way with the help of so many kind people today. My nephew said he found it so amusing when I told him that I actually called one of the engineer who built the highway to ask for direction. Well.. he is my friend, that's what friends are for, isn't it? He sounded surprise to receive my call this morning. I can't blame him considering the fact that this is the first time I called him on the phone since 28 years! We only recently met in our class reunion. Sorry for disturbing you so early in the morning, my friend.

I am right. I don't need a TomTom here. It's so much more enjoyable getting help from people rather than using a device.
Thank you to all my friendly TomToms today. May Allah reward you all for your kindness.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Reality of Marriage

Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji'un....
The photo on the left shows a grief-stricken young bride who lost her husband after just 4 hours of the 'nikah' or solemnization ceremony.
The bridegroom died in a car accident together with his parents and another friend. May Allah's blessing and forgiveness be granted to them.

My heart goes out to her, may Allah give her strength and patient in this difficult and trying time.
The tragedy hit me and made me realize even more that life is short and we could return to our Creator at any time.

It also touched me deeply and it left me pondering and contemplating about the reality of marriage.
Marriage is sacred, it is a bond made in the name of Allah.
A bond that comes with a set of rules and responsibilities where we would be held accountable on the day of judgement.

It is natural that everyone of us dream of a blissful marriage with beautiful children and a comfortable home. But, life is actually a test, where marriage is just one part of the test. Marriage demands a lot of patience and sacrifice.
It is not as simple as two people falling in love, get married and they live happily ever after.
Love alone is insufficient to build a strong and peaceful marriage.
Prophet Muhammad SAW taught us to check on four aspects as a guide in choosing a life partner; wealth, beauty, family background and religion. But, he emphasized on the religious aspect as the main priority as it is the one that can bring the true spiritual contentment. Praying for guidance in the form of solat istikharah and placing our full trust in Allah in making the decision base on the prayer is an obligation.

Having a special boyfriend/girlfriend, going out on a date, spending time together with the excuse of getting to know someone before taking the steps into marriage is prohibited and not recognized in Islam. Many 'couple' has fallen into the trap of syaitan and committed sins in the name of 'love'. Without a sincere repentance, the sins would darken the hearts, and haunt them forever without them realizing it.

It is not just about having a happy family or beautiful children. The purpose of marriage should not be limited to fulfilling the physical and emotional needs. Human are created first as a spiritual creature, hence will always be in pursuit of spiritual happiness. A happiness that can only be achieved when we fulfilled our spiritual needs, that is to worship our Creator and to return to Him with a sound heart ( qalbun saliim ). We need to have the right perspective on our purpose in life, where we came from, why are we here and where are we going.

Some marriage last a life time, or may be just a few hours, or it could end in divorce. A blessed marriage is not judged by any material or social achievement. It is a marriage that will take us to the gate of paradise.

"The day when wealth and sons avail not (any man), except him who comes to Allah with a sound heart (free from evil)" As Syuara':88-89

Friday, December 4, 2009

They Are Special

It's Friday.
They came today.
of them.
I don't even know their names except two of them.
They came straight from the masjid right after the Jumaat prayer, with Qur'an in their hands.

A feeling of peace crept into my heart at their presence.
Before they arrived, I have this odd uneasy feeling inside that's difficult to describe. That feeling somehow gone after seeing them.

After a brief discussion and taking their chosen location, they began reciting the verses from Surah Al-Baqarah. How soothing it sounds. I have always enjoy listening to Qur'anic recitation, especially from among the huffaz. They have this tune which is distinguished to them, a simple but distinct tune and they recited beautifully with such a deep passion.

I decided to sit in a corner at the corridor between the two rooms where four of them were reciting. As I began to open the Qur'an in my hands, suddenly I felt so overwhelmed with the sound of these sacred verses that filled the whole floor. The powerful aura of Surah Al-Baqarah rendered me to tears. For a good two, three minutes I cried. My shaking hands were flipping the pages of the Qur'an, and with a lot of difficulties and trembling voice, I begun reciting. After some 20 verses, a sense of peace and comfort emerged in my heart and my recitation was in harmony with them. Such a delightful feeling. I felt the blessing descended upon my surrounding. Subhaanallah...This is an experience that I wouldn't miss for anything.

The session lasted about one and a half hour. As a few of them gathered, I thank them and gave a small token of appreciation to the one in charge. He politely declined. But I insisted. To me it is an obligation to show gratitude to their willingness to accept my invitation for the occasion today.
My 80 year old father, himself a learned man, always pay special attention to a few of his grandchildren as they have memorized the entire Qur'an.
He always stressed the fact that someone who has the holy Qur'an in his/her heart is indeed special.

As I said my thanks to all of them before they left, I felt so elated.
The surrounding felt different.
Alhamdulillah...All praise and thanks to Allah, The Almighty, the One who sent the Qur'an through the great angel Jibriel, to our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW.

My prayers are for them, the thirteen special guests of the day. Al Qur'an al Kareem, is the book of guidance. The ability to memorize it is bestowed only to an exceptional person, the selected few.
Their parents must be very proud of them and their families are certainly blessed.
May Allah preserves the light that has entered their heart, may Allah give them strength to practice the teachings of the Qur'an.
And most importantly, may Allah keep their heart continuously sincere and humble, for an arrogant heart is not the place for this miraculous gift.

It's a blessed Friday, with my special guests. Thirteen of them.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hujan yang mendamaikan.

Ya Allah
Ya Rahmaan, Ya Rahiim..
Turunkanlah rahmatMu kepada kami
Di sebalik hujan yang turun membasahi bumi

Ya Allah
Ya Ghaffar, Ya 'Afuw..
Ampunkanlah kesalahan kami
Hapuskan dosa-dosa kami

Ya Allah
Ya Quddus, Ya Salam..
Bersihkan hati kami, sejahterakan akal kami

Ya Allah
Sepertimana bersihnya bumi ini seusai hujan turun
Bersihkanlah jiwa kami
Agar mampu melihat
Jalan-jalan yang berliku
Dalam mencari Mu

Amiin Ya Rabbal Aalamiin..