Friday, December 31, 2010

Disfigured Soul

It's Friday already. My one week break is almost over.
I've been looking forward for the break, I had so many things planned.
I had planned to work in the garden. The rainy season has made the weeds grow faster.
I also planned to clear up some long abandon clutter in my closet.

Somehow the plan did not materialize.
I've been consulting my teacher in my attempt of figuring out some long unresolved issues.
As usual my teacher maintained the same advice that she had always given me. "Be watchful of your heart, any wrong intention, your heart and your soul suffer the consequence, you need to cleanse your heart".
I know that. I do.

And I've been reading.
One of the books that I read is a memoir. The story of a convict who had to spend a year in prison for bank fraud. Nothing quite unusual, except that the prison shared buildings with a leprosaruim, a hospital that serve as the home for leprosy patients.

Leprosy, a disease considered the most shameful to man, to the extent that patients had to be quarantined for life. Leprosy patients usually would suffer disfigured hands, foot, nose, even blindness, depending on how severe their disease is. Na'uzubillahi midzalik..
Reading the book made me realized that we are always afraid of a physical disease because not only that it is painful, it also bring about some undesired change in our physical look. A disease make us look pale, weak, and in the worst case, disfigured limbs. It is all the opposite of anything attractive. We are so afraid of losing our physical beauty.

We tried to avoid any disease by leading a healthy life style. We keep our body, our homes clean. We shun away from any infectious environment.

But we forgot about our deeds. Because, unlike any disease, our deeds, good or bad, will not have any visible effect on our look. Our physical beauty remain intact even after committing an ugly sinful act.
We always forget about our soul. Our soul suffers with every sin we committed, our soul disfigured.

Upon finishing the book, I felt so ashamed.
The weeds in my garden are not as bad as the weeds in my heart. The clutter in my closet is not as damaging as my cluttered mind. The anger, hatred and pride that continue lurking in my heart and mind had definitely disfigured my soul. My poor soul is suffering.
I don't have any disfigured limbs, Alhamdulillah... but only He knows how disfigured my soul is. And it will be exposed on the day of judgement.
Astaghfirullaah..
I desperately need forgiveness from Him, Al Ghaffar.
And I need to forgive.

Laailaaha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minaz zoolimiin.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

At The Market

Recently at a shopping complex.

"Look at all these Christmas decoration...there must be many Christians in these area..."

"No..lah...not because of that, last time during Hari Raya they had Raya decoration here.."

"Yup, that's right..Deepavali decoration, Chinese New Year.."

"Shopping complex has no religion..."

"Ha..ha..you are right"

"Their religion is money"


The place that Allah likes most is the masjid, and the place that Allah dislikes most is the market.
(Hadith by Muslim)

A reminder to myself to recite a lot of zikr upon entering such places.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

To HIM We Return

I've noticed that his blog had not been updated for quite sometime. Knowing his condition, I thought may be he is just too weak or too sick to write. Or, may be he is busy, because even at his condition he is still actively involved in dakwah activities.

Last night, while blog walking I stumbled upon the news.
Mas Afzal is no longer with us. He has returned to HIM, The Most Merciful.
I never knew him personally, but his writings are so dear to me.
I felt like I've lost a brother.
After my previous posting, I was thinking that I want to write something funny or cheerful in my next post. But no...it was not meant to be.

My deepest condolence to his family and loved ones.
May he rest in peace among the faithful believers.
Al Faatihah.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Sonata

It's December.
The northen hemisphere is now in the midst of winter.
Reading the news about snow storm, blizzard and white Christmas, remind me of my last winter in Canada.
It was my final semester as an undergraduate.

Canadian winter is long and cold. And my last winter there was especially 'long and cold', not because the temperature was colder than usual, but rather it was my heart that was cold.
I had never wanted to go that far away from my family.
I would be happy enough if I could get a place in any of the universities here in my own country.

But, Allah had a better plan for me. I still remember how my father told me that I should accept the offer to go half way around the globe to Canada, to continue my studies, and I accepted the offer because of him. I remembered telling myself, "Canada has snow...."
That's my only motivation. Nothing else.

Alhamdulillah...Praise be to Allah. I had a wonderful time in Canada. I enjoyed the four seasons very much. I enjoyed studying with my friends whom I had considered as my family. With the technology of those days, my communication with families back home was just letters and phone calls, which were very limited. Letters took days to reach the destination and phone calls were expensive. My friends were my family.

My final semester was enjoyable since I only had one course left. Besides attending class, we took time playing in the snow, and took many photos. I was also getting ready to leave the country for good. My flight home had been set and I looked forward to return to my family.

Then it was time for the final exam. It was a small classroom. They were all my classmates, less than twenty of us, all very cheerful. It's our last paper.
But the cheerful mood soon ended and my confidence crushed while answering the questions. I was trying my best to control my nervousness.
When it was over, the whole class were talking in frustration. I was not alone after all, everyone was caught by surprised at how tough the questions were. Even the smart Chinese boy whom we always made reference to for our assignments was complaining.

I walked out of the class with three other good friends of mine. My heart sank at the thought of failing the course. I've done my best, I've scored 92% for my course work (I still remember that). Suddenly the images of my father and my mother came to my mind. What if...what if I failed...I would be leaving without a degree in my hands...how disappointed they would be??
Slowly, tears began to roll from my eyes as the four of us walked out of the building. And as we began walking on the thick snow, it felt very cold and my heart was even colder and I started crying.

My friends were trying their best to console me, but I was inconsolable. The floodgate of tears had opened and I cried and cried all the way until we reached our apartment. It was the saddest and coldest twenty minutes walk that I've ever had in my life.

The days that followed were very hard for me and the cold weather made it worse. Each time I saw the snow falling outside my window, and looking at the surrounding all covered in white, a feeling of deep sadness crept into my heart. And I would silently cry again. The beautiful snow that I love and enjoy was wearing heart. And as the month of January ended the temperature turned even colder. February was the coldest month.

However, I am thankful to Allah, He had blessed me with very good friends. They had been my source of comfort. Together, we made special prayer for me and for my success in the exam, we read the Quran and had discussion. They even helped me made the call to the Malaysian Student Department to delay my flight until my result is out and my graduation is therefore confirmed. They reminded me that I've done my best. We had studied together in a group, spend some sleepless nights doing the assignments. It's time to leave everything to Allah. 

Alhamdulillah...Praise be to Allah...
Of all the lessons that I've learned in my five years in Canada, that was the one I remembered most.
I've learned that our life is a test. All we have to do is to try our best. It's not about achievement or failure, it's all about the struggle and being patient. Whatever the outcomes, if we had tried our best, our heart will be at peace. Whatever the outcomes, it is for the best. We had our plan, but Allah is the best planner.

As my life continued on, days, months, years after that day, I understand that Allah was preparing me for bigger, harder tests ahead.
I have to be strong. True success is not measured by material gain or social gain. But true success is when we are contented with what we have and what we don't have.
I've learned to be thankful with what I have, in the hope that Allah will be pleased with the little that I've done.

One of my teachers said, "Paradise is not for people who 'succeded' in their effort, but for those who have patience and had tried their best"
Yes, how true that is. The Quran says that one of the greetings to the people of paradise upon entering the blissfull abode would be:

"Salaamun alaikum..bima sobartum"
Peace be upon you, for your patience.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Heart - 2


We've never been to IJN before.
This is our first time.
I've always marvel at the fact that we have a special institution for our hearts, which obviously means that it is the most important organ in our body.
We could be lying motionless, unable to respond to any kind of stimulus, but as long as our heart still beating, we are still alive.
Death can only confirmed at the moment when our heart stopped.

We went to visit the twins. The doctors had planned to have the surgery for both of them at the same time. But then, after realizing how so much alike they both looked, the doctors changed their minds. It's just too risky to have a confusion during such a major surgery.

This is Amjad Bahzi(left). He went in first, on Wednesday. The doctors had briefed the parents that normally, such patient would have to stay in the ICU for three days before being transferred to the normal ward.
However, in less than six hours after surgery, while in the ICU, his progress was so tremendous that all the wires and tubes were taken off completely. He was then transferred to the normal ward the very next day.
Subhanallah...Alhamdulillah...

Amjad Ghazi(left) went in on Thursday. It was another successful surgery, and Alhamdulillah... after 24 hours he was out from the ICU. When we visited him today, I thought he was the one who had the surgery first because he looked more cheerful than his brother.
I have to admit, I still can't tell who is who simply by looking at their face.

They had been progressing well, Alhamdulillah.
It was me who felt worried looking at them walking about.
"How does it feel when you walk?" I asked Ghazi.
"It hurts..." He responded slowly but still looking very calm.

Their innocent faces showed the strong faith that they have in their hearts. The mother told me that they had been reciting selawat non-stop before the surgery. They just love the Prophet SAW so much. Seconds before they were put to sleep for the surgery, they were guided by their parents to say a special prayer. After reciting the syahadah they were taught to sincerely accept and surrender to Allah's will.


To my dear Bahzi and Ghazi,
May Allah accept your sincere prayers
May Allah make your hearts stronger
Never forget that Allah is always near
Never forget that Prophet Muhammad SAW loves us very much and that he heard your selawat...

To all the twins
Dear Azri, Bahzi, Fitri and Ghazi
May Allah's blessings and mercy be with you always
May Allah guide you in every step that you take
May Allah fill your hearts with Islam, Imaan and Ihsan
Amiin...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Heart

I had not been able to find anything worthy to write until my husband told me about it this morning. " We'll be having a special prayer for the twins at our masjid tonight..."

They are just eight years old, but they are the darlings of our masjid. You see them all the time at the masjid, so those who frequent the masjid would surely recognize them.
They are not twins actually, but quadruplets. The sons of my dearest friend.
A few months back, two of them had been found to have hole in their hearts.
They will be admitted to the National Heart Institute this monday to undergo heart surgery on wednesday.
The mother told me that the two boys had been quite excited about the surgery, preparing their bags and asking a lot of questions.
"May be they thought that it's like going for a holiday...!" I said to her.
"Yes...I am worried that they have a misconception about the whole thing..." she replied, and then continued. "But I've already made it clear to them, that this is a surgery, the doctor will cut open your chest...and you know what they said?"
I was amazed to hear about their reply.
They said to the mother, " We are a bit scared... but Ummi, didn't our Prophet (SAW) had his chest open too when he was a child? We are following his sunnah then..."
MasyaAllah...
They might have hole in their hearts, the physical heart that is. But their hearts, the spiritual hearts, obviously are in perfect condition.

How does a mother feel when not one, but two of her dear sons had to go through a major surgery at such a tender age, both at the same time?
She had gone through so much in her life with her thirteen children, but she had always been strong. Her faith had been tested many times, and yet she had been able to stand tall, all through out the journey, and I believe her faith had become stronger.

My dear friend, my sister... I might not be able to be there with you. But my prayers will. InsyaAllah, everyone in the masjid had prayed today, we made the du'a especially for them. We all love them, we would miss them, and we would love to see them again at the masjid.

My dear sister, I know you are strong, but when life gets too difficult for you to stand... kneel down on your knees, place your forehead on the ground in front of Allah, The Most Merciful.
He is always there, very close to you.
And when your heart becomes weary, let your tears wash away the burden, in your long sujud...
May the mercy and blessings of Allah be with you and your family.
Amiin.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rindu, Teramat Rindu

It's that time of the year again.

I used to wonder, why do people say that you will miss the place so much.
So much that it could bring tears.
So much that you would want to come again and again.
A kind of longing that can't be truly fulfilled.
A kind of gravitational force. A spiritual one.

But now I understand.

The experience was a very personal one.
I was motionless, speechless, too overwhelmed by the sight.
The first time that I laid my eyes on you, the beautiful Kaabah, I savored the moment with tears.
Subhaanallah...
Alhamdulillah...
Allahu Akbar!
The aura of grandeur that filled the air made me feel so insignificant.
I stood there together with million others, but I felt so alone.

Walking inside the grand masjid, I felt so blessed that it was the very place where our beloved prophet SAW and his companions had once walked upon. Not only him, but also Prophet Ibrahim AS and Prophet Ismail AS. Thousands of years ago, Prophet Ibrahim AS made the call, and there I was. Alhamdulillah... I've made the journey to answer his call.
And when it was time to leave, my heart broke, and my only wish was...that I would be able to come again.

And then, the other masjid.
That lovely green dome, beneath which laid the most honorable man on earth, the best creature.
The man I've never met, never spoken to, never heard his voice... but somehow his pure love and gentleness can be felt in this City of Light.
The masjid that he humbly built greeted me with such tenderness, Rahmatan lil Aalamiin was welcoming me, a mere sinful being.

Allahumma solli 'ala Muhammad.
"Assalamualaika Ya Rasulullah... here I am...my dearly beloved.." I remembered whispering. Stood there at the maqam, where he was laid to rest beside his two best companions, I felt so ashamed of myself.
Again, I felt so blessed and yet so alone.
And the time to bid him farewell was most heart wrenching.
Ya Allah... please allow me to visit him again.

Yes. Now I understand.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why...

You asked me why?
Why do you feel lonely?
We ARE alone in this world. We came here alone.
What about our family? Aren't they a part of us?
No..they are only a part of us in THIS world. This ephemeral world.
When the time come, that we have to leave this world, we will go alone.
Our family, the ones who love us most, they will send us, but we will go alone.

How sad that is...
Yes...this is a temporary world.
Do not attached yourself to something that won't last. You will be disappointed.
HE promised us an eternal happiness later.

Be brave. Be strong.
This is a journey. But not without a guide.
Read the Guide Book.

Find Him.
The Most Merciful, The Most Loving.

Ya Rahmaan
Ya Rahiim
Please hear me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

La Historia De La Esperanza

It was definitely an emotional moment when I watched the live telecast of the Chile mine rescue from Twitterfeed.
I had been following the updates since August about the delicate rescue operation of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped alive more than 2,300 feet below the earth surface.

On Wednesday, October 13,2010, after 69 days of harrowing ordeal they were finally able to breathe the fresh air when all of them were successfully rescued.

Alhamdulillah...
Alhamdulillah...
All praise be to Allah...

Millions around the world watched with teary eyes as one by one, the miners emerged from the rescue capsule. It wasn't just a rescue, many felt that it was a spiritual experience, as admitted by one of the miners' relatives.

And the Chilean president Sebastian Pinera said that, "Chile is not the same country that it was 69 days ago,"

An excerpt from one of the news website graphically describe the situation at the end of the rescue:

01.53am: He's out! Mr Urzua, the last of Los 33, has been brought up into the fresh night air. Jubilant celebrations erupt across Camp Hope and the country as the Phoenix 2 capsule emerges to screams, cheers and euphoria from the waiting crowd. One thousand balloons are released into the night sky as Chile's national anthem plays. Flags are waving furiously, not a dry eye at the San Jose mine.


Allah is Most Merciful. His mercy knows no boundaries.
One of the miners confessed that he has never prayed before in his life, but he learned to pray in the darkness of the mine, as there's no one else he could turn to during those helpless moments. I believe that he had prayed sincerely to the One God.

Life is never the same again for them.
The miners had found the light at the end of the tunnel,literally. They had been liberated.
I hope and pray that one day, they will find the true light that will guide them in the darkness of life.
I pray that after sincerely praying to the One God, one day they will find the one way of life chosen by the One God, Allah, our Merciful Creator. The One who had saved them from the darkness of the mine.
I hope they will find the light of Islam.
Only with Islam would they be truly liberated.
Islam is the truth and only the truth can set them free.
Ameen..


".....This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your way of life ....."

(Al Maidah: 3)



Read here.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Demi Kalam....

Nun. Demi kalam, dan apa yang mereka tuliskan...

Nun. By the pen, and what they inscribe..

( Al-Qalam:1)

Life is short. When I leave this world, not many people would still remember me. And after a few years, those who knew me would have died too and no one alive in this world would have any memory of me.

My concern is not about weather my life would be remembered or forgotten.
My concern is about making my life meaningful.
There are people whose legacy still remain long after they died.
I have always been envious of some people who have been blessed with writing skill. The books they wrote remain in circulation, read by generations. They are still teaching others, through their writing, long after they have gone physically.
These pious scholars continue to reap the reward from their graves.

I decided to write this blog after contemplating for a long time on the pros and cons. I am not a trained writer, neither a skilled one. My English is flawed, my Malay is imperfect. But I believe a good writer do not simply rely on flawless grammar.
Those pious writers were known to seek guidance from Him, Al Hadi, The One who Guide, before they wrote their books. Hence, the books were not just a mere reading material that we read for leisure. The books became sources of strength and motivation, the words became alive guiding the readers to right path in life.
When I decided to write this blog, it wasn't just about sharing my thoughts. It was part of my effort to emulate these exceptional writers albeit in a very small scale.

I met my teacher yesterday and I was reminded yet again about the importance of sincere heart. It all begins from the heart.
Any action should come from sincere heart.
Alhamdulillah... Now I understand that those writers did not write in a confined language, be it Arabic, English or Malay. The books they wrote could have been translated to several other languages, and yet the beauty and appeal remains.
Why?
Their writings came from pure sincere heart, using the universal language.
The language of the heart.

To all my readers,
Thank you for reading. I hope that you have found some small minuscule benefit in my writing. I am fully aware that I am accountable for all the words and sentences that I wrote. I could be rewarded or punished for my writing.
My writing could have given you positive influence. But, may Allah forgive me if it had given you a negative one.
All the good writings were blessed inspiration from Him.
The mistakes and errors are solely mine.

As the month of Syawal nearing the end, I hope it's still not too late for me to wish all of you Eid Mubarak. And most importantly, I hereby seek your forgiveness for all the shortcomings in my writing.
Do correct me when I am wrong.
I might not know some of you out there, but I am sure Allah knows. Please always include me in your prayers.
Thank you every one.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Missing You

Life is just not the same without you.
Just as I thought before. It's been difficult to keep up with the routine. It's challenging, very.
I miss those days. I miss those quiet, peaceful moments at the masjid.
You were indeed a blessing from Him. What if I don't get the chance to meet you again?

It had been only a few weeks, but it's just so different without you.
I am suppose to be a better person after I met you. Am I?

Ramadan, I miss you so dearly.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Going Home

The end of ramadan is the time when most of us would be heading home to celebrate hari raya. A joyous occasion, the time to be home with our family and love ones.
But where is our 'home' exactly? People say, home is where the heart is. If that is the case, then I am blessed to have a few places which I could dearly call home.

We went home to Muar this time. The plan was to stay in Muar until Sunday, then we would be leaving home to Shah Alam before heading home to Ipoh. After a few days in Ipoh, we would be leaving back home to Shah Alam.

That was the plan.
However, Allah is the best planner.

We left to Muar as planned, and on the second day of syawal, we visited an uncle, a younger brother of my father. This uncle had just recently lost his young daughter in law (during ramadan). She left behind a four month old baby, her first child. It was definitely not the usual cheerful mood of hari raya as we listened to my uncle and my cousin describing the condition of the illness that she suffered before her demise.

In the midst of our conversation, my brother received news from a cousin about another uncle in Ipoh. This uncle, who is the eldest brother of my mother had suffered a mild heart attack the night before, and his condition had now turned critical after having a second heart attack this morning.
In my mind I was contemplating on changing our hari raya plan. I must visit this uncle at the earliest time possible. Time could be running out.
But within minutes we received the sad news that our uncle had succumb to his condition. Innalillaahi wa inna ilaihi raaji'uun....

Plan had to change. Our uncle nodded quietly as we informed him of the news. He understood our urgency to leave. As we headed home to my parents' I asked my nieces and nephews in the car to recite Alfatihah. While on the way to visit the uncle before, they were happily singing some patriotic songs and I was surprised to know that they could memorize the wordings so well. And now when I asked them to recite Alfatihah, they were able to recite it better than the song. Alhamdulillah..
The recitation sounded so sincere, coming from the pure souls of children aged between 4 to 8 years old. May Allah accept their prayers.

After some hurried but thoughtful discussion, seven out of my nine siblings decided to visit the departed uncle in Ipoh. It was heart breaking to see my mother cried as we were about to leave. We knew that she would like very much to come along to pay a last visit to her beloved brother, but my father's condition did not permit her to leave him. The journey would be too far for him.

Traveling in a convoy of five cars, we tried to beat the second hari raya traffic on the PLUS highway. The smooth traffic from Muar to Kuala Lumpur slowly became rather congested after that. And sadly we missed the funeral.
We reached the quiet graveyard about one hour after the funeral. My brother lead the prayer for the demise (solat jenazah) and continued on with Yaasin recitation.

As we sat there on the ground, I looked down and watched some insects moving and crawling amidst the dry leaves; ants, bees, millipedes, spiders, caterpillars.... with the sound of birds singing in the background... I suddenly realized, it was my birthday today. I don't really celebrate birthday, but this time it evoked a sobering realization that with each birthday, my days are numbered. One day, I would be lying down, surrounded by these crawling insects, alone, six feet underground. Ya Allah.. am I ready?

We then spent a couple of hours at my auntie's house.
She looked calm while sharing with us her gratitude for our visit. I told her that uncle was very fortunate, Allah had called upon him right after a month of worship in ramadan. Hearing that my auntie smiled and nodded," Yes..Alhamdulillah.. he was able to perform the night prayers, qiamullail, every night until the end... Alhamdulillah.."
Her answer made me envious. I sincerely hope and pray that uncle had gone with all his sins forgiven. Amiin..

Of the five cars that traveled to Ipoh, two went back to Muar, one went to Klang, one went to Kota Damansara, and we stayed in Ipoh. Ipoh is another home for us.

As ramadan ended, we celebrated syawal.
Eidul fitri means a celebration of returning to the state of fitrah and a celebration of the achievement of enhanced piety.

Thank you Allah for the blessing and mercy.
Thank you Allah for honoring me with another ramadan.
Thank you Allah for reminding me, as ramadan ended, that one day my life will end too.
One day I will definitely return to You.
I shall be going home.

Sept 11, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Siapakah Mereka?

Hari ini 28 Ramadhan, 1431 Hijrah.

Bulan suci yang penuh barakah ini akan berakhir tidak lama lagi. Pada bulan ini, Dia Yang Maha Pengasih, Maha Penyayang menurunkan rahmatNya, menutup pintu nerakaNya, membuka pintu syurgaNya.

Rahmat yang tidak terlihat oleh mata kasar manusia, namun bagi orang-orang soleh yang jernih hatinya, mereka pasti mampu melihat keindahan dan merasai kemanisan beramal di setiap detik yang berlalu.

Mereka yang hatinya sentiasa tulus dan jiwanya sentiasa merindukan Penciptanya pasti begitu bahagia ketika rukuk dan sujud di malam-malam hari, menitiskan airmata keinsafan, menadah tangan memohon keampunan dan mengharapkan agar taubat diterima, agar terselamat dari tipuan dunia.

Alangkah bertuahnya mereka itu.
Semakin hari, hatinya semakin tunduk, jiwanya semakin kental.
Dunia sekelilingnya semakin tidak bermakna kerana hatinya sudah terpaut kepada akhirat yang jauh lebih indah, lebih damai dan membahagiakan.

Siapakah mereka itu...di manakah mereka..?
Wajah mereka tentunya bercahaya.
Tuturkatanya pasti menyentuh jiwa.

Namun, sesuatu yang indah dan berharga seringkalinya tersembunyi.
Tidak terlihat oleh manusia, tidak mampu makhluk dunia mengenali mereka, hanya makhluk di langit yang tahu.

Merekalah yang akan meratapi pemergian ramadhan di ambang syawal nanti.
Airmata mereka bercucuran disetiap laungan takbir hari raya, bukan kerana merindukan keluarga dan sanak saudara yang jauh. Bahkan mereka menangisi pemergian ramadhan yang sangat dicintai, ramadhan yang semakin jauh pergi.
Mereka menyambut syawal dengan kebimbangan di hati, khuatir dengan cabaran dan dugaan yang mendatang.

Mereka ini mempunyai gelaran augerah dariNya.
Di hujung ramadhan mereka begitu rindu untuk pulang, ke kampung halaman yang telah disediakan olehNya.

Merekalah para Muttaqiin.

"Sesungguhnya orang-orang yang bertakwa berada di dalam taman-taman syurga dan mata air. Mereka mengambil apa yang diberikan Tuhan kepada mereka. Sesungguhnya mereka sebelum itu ( di dunia) adalah orang-orang yang berbuat baik; mereka sedikit sekali tidur pada waktu malam, dan pada akhir malam mereka memohon ampun....."
( Adz Zaariyaat: 15 - 18 )

Ya Allah
Ya Rahmaan
Ya Rahiim
Ya Quddus
Ya Salaam
Ya Ghaffar
Hanya keampunanMu yang kuharapkan
Hanya keredhaanMu yang kucari
Amiin Ya Arhamarraahimiin.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Gift

"Kakak...where are you?"
"I am home..."
"I thought you are still at the masjid...I have something for you"
"Come to my house then.."
"Right now?"
"Yes..right now"
"Okay! I am coming...but I won't be alone..my kids would surely want to come along"
"Just come...the more the merrier.."

She came that night with four of her thirteen kids. Then, not long afterward another two of her kids arrived, on their own. Their house is just within a walking distance from mine.
I have always enjoyed her company. Especially with the kids. But that day was even more special. She came with a gift.
An elegant gold coloured box with a lovely green card inside.
The first thing that you will notice on the box is the inscription in the middle:

Sallallaahu ala sayyidina Muhammad, wa aalihi wasallam.

" I want people to remember him, each time they eat kurma, I want them to remember the person behind the sunnah of eating kurma.." She said to me while I was opening the beautiful box.

" We usually associate kurma with fasting, with iftar in ramadan, but we tend to forget that it was because of him that we are all blessed with the light of Islam... we owe it to him, his tireless struggle... his love for us.."
" We eat kurma because it was his sunnah..."
She said that with such a passion, with so much love.

My heart sank. How true that is.

Suddenly I remembered a story about him.
Once, he shared one kurma with his wife for iftar because there was nothing else to eat at home that day. Only one.

He is our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

Allaahumma solli 'ala Muhammad. Wa 'ala aali Muhammad.

Thank you my friend, my dear sister, for this special gift.
It was indeed, a gift of love.

Ya Allah persaksikanlah bahawa aku menuruti agama nabi Mu dan sunnah Baginda, sesungguhnya aku..
Menyintai Rasulullah Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Small Effort

Have you ever seen small children walking clumsily because their shoe laces are untied? They could even trip over and hurt themselves.
To the child, the little effort that her father or mother did, which is properly tying the shoe laces, means a lot. It could save him/her from getting hurt.

Alhamdulilah.. I can tie my own shoe laces.
But in my every day life I still depend on others' little efforts in order to make my life easier.

Besides teaching, my job requires me to check and grade the students' work such as their quizzes, assignments, projects and exam papers. I have always reminded my students to check their names, student numbers and group numbers. I had reminded them to write correctly all these details. It was just a simple effort on the part of the students, but it means a lot to me.
After grading the work, the marks have to be recorded correctly by referring to the name, student number and group number. It's quite simple actually.
But when I am in the midst of checking their work, sometimes the piling papers got mixed up.
So, there were times when I have to go over a long student list in order to record the marks because the student did not write his/her group number. It could take a few minutes or a few hours or even a few days!

I still remember a few incidents when lecturers became stressful over a missing examination script. A missing exam script is no small matter. We checked our tables, our drawers, in the office, at home, in our cars... We searched for days. In the end we found it, there, together with the other scripts. It was not missing after all, it was there all the while, but the script had a wrong group number!

What I am trying to say is, sometimes we don't realize how our tiny little effort could affect others. Writing the correct group number seems like effortless to students but it means a lot to us the lecturers. It could spare us the anxiety, agony and the long hours of checking a long class list in order to find their names.
This semester, I have over 100 students in four groups, with quite a number of them having the same name. I really appreciate those who took their time to write those details correctly. It makes my life so much easier. May Allah reward them for their little act of kindness. And there are also those who wrote their work neatly, one step after the other. It is always a pleasure to check these kind of works. Alhamdulillah.

To all my students, including those from the previous years.. I should have said this to you long, long time ago... Thank you very much for your kindness. I hope this gives you some deeper understanding that everything you do IS accounted for.
Jazakumullahu khairan kathira.

We are in the month of Ramadan. The month when the reward for our good deeds will be multiplied. Let's focus on doing good deeds no matter how small they are.

"Indeed, Allah does not do injustice, [even] as much as an atom's weight; while if there is a good deed, He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward"
( An Nisaa': 40)


Ya Allah
Ya Rahmaan Ya Rahiim..
Ampunkan segala perbuatanku yang telah menyusahkan orang lain
Maafkan Ya Allah..
Segala kesilapanku yang mungkin pernah menyebabkan kesusahan kepada orang lain
Ya Allah..Ya Rahman..
Rahmati lah dan berkati lah kehidupan orang-orang yang telah mempermudahkan urusan hidupku
Permudahkanlah hidup mereka sebagaimana mereka telah mempermudahkan hidupku..
Amiin..Ya Rabbal Aalamiin..

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Only With Forgiveness

“I will never forgive the man who harmed my kids. he is not my husband. He is a syaitan (satan). Because of him we aregoing to have a bleak Hari Raya,” said Che Ku Zaimah Ku Awang when Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said visited her yesterday.

Eight-year-old Nurul Dahyatul Fazlina Khalib was so badly disfigured in the acid attack that Ahmad sobbed openly when he saw her. Even medical officers and members of the media who accompanied him could not hold back their tears.

But Ku Zaimah was strong. “This is takdir (fate),” she was heard murmuring.

(Detail news here)


I can understand the deep resentment that a woman, a wife and a mother felt towards the man who was supposed to be the protector of the family. A man, a husband and a father has betrayed his family. The physical injuries will leave a permanent scar, but the wound in the heart of the child might not heal.

" I will never forgive him"

While the crime committed by the man seems unforgivable, the woman is now punishing herself and her child with the declaration. I am not worried about the man, he will receive the punishment he deserved, if not here, in the here after. But I felt really sorry for the woman. The deep anger will keep her imprisoned. She would be carrying a heavy burden in her heart.

I pray that Allah will send His Mercy to this woman and her children. May Allah opens her heart for forgiveness.

Only with forgiveness would she ever find the real peace in her soul.

Only with forgiveness would she be healed.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Pure Heart

It was after iftar at the masjid. I was chatting with a friend when suddenly we heard the sound of a baby crying loudly. I knew the mother of that baby was still inside, performing the maghrib prayer. I could imagine how the mother must have felt upon hearing the cry of her dear baby.
I turned around and saw a very young girl holding her crying baby sister.
I went to her, reaching out to take the baby. A look of relief came on her face.

Holding the baby I tried my best to console her. The poor baby cried even louder. Then I started,"Laa ilaha..illallah.." slowly I recited while checking on her for any sign of injury.
Almost in an instant, the crying stop! Subhaanallah..
It was as if the verse alleviated all her pain and fear.
Her tiny chest was still shaking but the loud cry has now turned into a tiny sobbing.

My dear baby, you love that verse, don't you?
It comforts you, isn't it?....
As I continued reciting "Laa ilaha illallah.." repeatedly, the
sobbing receded.
And now, it was me who felt like crying.
My dear baby, your heart is so pure, your heart recognize that divine verse and it immediately gave you some comfort.
You must have heard it so frequently from your mom that upon hearing it, it took away all your fears.
Subhaanallaah...

I asked the sister what had happened.
" I don't know, I put her down to pick up some drink..I was thirsty..suddenly I heard her cry and saw her lying down at the staircase.."
" It's ok..may be she fell down, but she's not hurt, she was just scared.."
I continued reciting the verse that she loved so much. By now, the baby is quiet.
I couldn't help from being awe stricken when I look at her face, so immensely calm and peaceful, obviously enjoying my recitation. Because, when I stop, she looked as if she's about to cry again.

My dear baby Asma' ( that's her name)..
Remember this verse always..
Laa ilaaha illallah..
It is called 'kalimah toyyibah'..
It is the essence of all our activities in our life
Your dad recited that verse on the day that you were born
To welcome you
To tell you that you were born as a muslim
And that you will be nurtured and raised as a muslim
Alhamdulillah..

The Prophet Muhammad SAW said, "No baby is born but upon Fitra (as a Muslim). It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist." (Sahih Muslim)

The Qur'an

Ya Allah
Send me Your Mercy through the Qur'an
Make it for me as the imam, the light, the guide, the mercy

Ya Allah
Remind me what I have forgotten
Teach me what I am ignorant of
Bestow on me the ability of reciting it
All through the night..
All through the day..

The dua that we recite before and after reciting the Qur'an, is so beautiful.
Qur'an, the book of guidance, must be treated as such. A guide.
Unlike any other books, reading the Qur'an soothes the chaotic mind, heals the ailing heart, rejuvenates the weary soul.
The book of guidance, sent down by The Most Merciful Ar Rahmaan, is full of mercy.
A blessed heart can sense the mercy, can see the light and the guide.

It's been four days. The month of the Qur'an, Ramadan, moves very quickly.
Somehow reading the Qur'an in Ramadan felt different.
Reciting the dua, asking for mercy, light and guide through the Qur'an.. shakes my heart.
Reciting the verses rendered me to tears. It's a love letter from my Creator.
He started by introducing Himself, His Name..
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
How beautiful that is...

Ya Allah
Allow me to feel the mercy
Allow me to see the light
Allow me to understand the guide
That You are sending me
Through this blessed book
In this blessed month
For, this could be my last chance.
For, I might not see another Ramadan.
Amiin..Ya Arhamarraahimiin..

Sunday, August 8, 2010

One Hundred Percent

" And when my servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near, I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way "
(Al Baqarah: 186)

My teacher taught me about the importance of purifying the heart and how crucial it is to keep myself in a state of constantly remembering Allah in my effort of purifying the heart.

I asked my teacher, " How am I going to to do that? It's vey difficult..."
My teacher replied, " Did you ask from Him?.... May be you did. But you were not confident. You must believe in Him, one hundred percent..."

One hundred percent, nothing less.

I must find that faith. One hundred percent faith.

Religion can be inherited. But not faith. I must take my own journey to find it.

"Remember Me - I will remember you. Give thanks to Me and do not be ungrateful. O you who believe, seek help with patience perseverance and prayer; for God is with those who patiently persevere"
( Al Baqarah: 152 - 153 )


May Allah make it easy for me this Ramadan.
May Allah guide me always.
Ameen...


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ahlan Ya Ramadan


What is your objective this ramadan?

Self improvement.

And do you know how to do it?

Yes, sort of..

Can I offer you some suggestions?

Yes, of course...please do.

When Allah intends for someone to be good, He will make the person busy and deeply concern about his own weaknesses.

You mean my weaknesses..my shortcomings?

Yes, get yourself busy in tracking and scrutinizing your own faults. If you want to be someone better, it doesn't help in occupying your time in finding faults in others. You got the wrong target there.

That is quite obvious isn't it.. but it's easier said than done.

And, try to listen to criticism from someone who dislike you, not from someone who loves you.

That would be tough to swallow. They could be very nasty and harsh, their criticism are so unkind.

Of course. But, your enemies are your best critics! They will tell you right on your face how ugly, how bad you are.

How do I get the strength to face that??

Find a teacher. Someone who can guide your mind... your heart. A teacher who can nurture your soul.

Yes.. a teacher would help.

Also a friend. A trustworthy friend who is sincere in giving advice whenever he sees you making mistake. Someone who will not turn a blind eye just because you are his friend.

How do I find a teacher and a friend like that?

Ask from Him. Ask, pray, beg.. from Allah, The Most Merciful. Ramadan is the month of mercy.

Thank you.

Do not thank me, my dear. Thank Him.

Alhamdulillah wa syukurillah...




Sebuah peringatan yang sangat berharga dari seorang teman menjelang Ramadan.

Apabila ALLAH menginginkan seseorang itu menjadi baik maka DIA akan menjadikan seseorang itu sibuk terhadap keburukan pada dirinya sendiri, bukan sibuk mencari keburukan orang lain.
Sesungguhnya untuk menjadikan diri baik bukanlah dengan melihat kebaikan diri sendiri, kerana ianya boleh menjatuhkan diri ke dalam kebinasaan hati, malah untuk menjadi baik kita perlu selalu melihat dan mencari kesalahan diri untuk diperbaiki.

Astaghfirullahal aziim..

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Busy...Take Five.

It's been seven weeks. It is time for mid semester break.
This time we had a unique and special break, two days, Saturday and Sunday.
That's all.

And, am I enjoying it?
Yes...of course.

The photo shows my activity during the semester break.

Sometimes, when we are in the midst of activities, we tend to lose track of our life.
We forget that every single minute is counted.
We forget that everything is recorded. In a book. All the meticulous details.

I am reminding myself.
Everything must begin with the right intention.
Innamal a'malu bin niyaati.


Friday, July 9, 2010

It's Been Quite a While

The past one month had been very hectic. The new semester had started, and having a maximum load of teaching means most of my time at work is filled with classes, while the remaining few hours is for the preparation for class.
I do have a lot to write and to share with my readers, but time simply did not permit me for writing in this blog.
My responsibility as a teacher has always been top priority. It is not just a job for me, it is my means for seeking rewards from Him.
Everyone of us has a role and specific purpose here, in this world.
I am not a fighter in a battle field, I am not a leader of a country. I am an educator.
And this is the path for me to go to Him.
Allah is Most Merciful, He knows our strengths and weaknesses and He will not lay on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear.

May Allah guide us all. Amiin..


Note:
I have recently become a 'convert'. No..it's not about religion..
That is what they call you when you switch from pc (windows) to mac.
This is my first entry using my Macbook. I am still learning my way through this 'new world', but it's been fun.
If any of you out there is a macbook user, I sincerely welcome any helpful tips.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Read!

"How many books have you read this year?"

"Err... I can't remember.."

"More than ten?"

"No!..no.. it's less than that"

"Less than five?"

"I think so..I've been busy.."

"You should read more.."

"I have no time.."

"Really?.... Busy people usually read a lot."

"Uhh..?"

"Yes..only busy people will find time to read."



Read!

Read, in the name of your Lord.

Friday, June 4, 2010

They Return to HIM

Fatih Mosque, Istanbul.
Once again, a history of honour and bravery was made. The mosque built by Sultan Muhammad lovingly embraced the bodies of nine activists who were martyred on board of Mavi Marmara.
Thousands of mourners gathered and prayed for the blessed souls.

I had been following the news about the flotilla very closely, and the news about the attack on the ship filled my heart with rage. And reading the subsequent news always left me teary eyed.

The nine activists were finally sent home, in Turkey.
They are the chosen ones.
While their bodies returned to their families, the souls returned to Him.

Palestine is the land of the prophets, Turkey is the land of Sultan Muhammad and the final khalifah.
May Allah bless these lands and the people.
May Allah bless the souls of the martyrs in Palestine, in Turkey and every where in this world.
Ameen Ya Arhamar rahimiin..

"Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah. And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (martyr's) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve"
(Aali Imraan:169-170)"


Sunday, May 30, 2010

We are Carpenters

There is a story of an elderly carpenter who was ready to retire.
The carpenter told his employer of his plan to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife, enjoying his extended family.
The employer was sorry to see his employee go and asked if he would build just one more house as a personal favour to him. The carpenter reluctantly agreed. He did sloppy work and he used inferior materials.
It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, the employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter.
"This is your house," he said. "It is my retirement gift to you"
The carpenter was shocked. If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.
(Excerpt from: The Power of Giving)

We are all carpenters. We build our life everyday. Whether we do it whole-heartedly with deep passion or not it is our life that we are building.

Life is a journey, in the end we will be held accountable for all the things we did. The day will come when we will be facing Him, alone, to be judged and be rewarded.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

From Turkey to Gaza

As I am writing this, the convoy of eight ships "Freedom Flotilla" are still on the way from Turkey to Gaza. The ships are loaded with humanitarian supplies for Palestinians in Gaza who have been under siege for almost four years.
(The photo on the right shows Ismail Haniya, prime minister of Gaza, inspecting the work at the old naval port of Gaza, where aid ships are expected to dock)

One of the ships, Mavi Marmara has about 560 activists which includes eight Malaysians.
After months of preparation they left for this blessed journey while knowing full well that they might not return.

Let us all pray to Him, The Mighty Al Aziz, The Protector Al Muhaymin, that this honorable mission would be accomplished and all of them would return safely.
However, whatever the outcome is, they have nothing to lose. It's either returning to their family or returning to Him.
They are indeed the chosen ones. How I envy them.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Turkish Craftmanship

We stayed for two days in Cappadocia.
On the second day, after the hot air balloon ride we went to visit three places.
The first one was hand made carpet factory. The carpets were made either from silk, cotton or wool.

The silkworm cocoons(left- the white round thing inside the container) had to be 'processed' in a certain way in order to get the thread ( I can't recall how it was).
Yes, the poor worms were inside that white cocoons.
This lady(right) was showing us how to make the double knots, the method used only by Turkish in hand made carpet making, hence you will have a long lasting high quality carpet. Unlike machine made carpet, a genuine handmade carpet takes a long time to finish. That carpet there(right) should be ready in may be two years time.

Then, in the show room, after being served with apple tea and Turkish coffee, it's time to show the carpets. The carpets were absolutely beautiful!
And the ones made with 100% silk were not just beautiful, but they were very very soft.. and silky..of course.
But, just use your own imagination to estimate the prices.Fully hand made, and it took months to complete. Not cheap I must say.


After the carpets, we were taken to see the jewelry. Precious and semi precious stones wrapped in silver. Blue, red, black, green stones... they were all there.
The special one is turquoise. Now I know that turquoise actually originated from Turkey and the word turquoise means Turkish stone or Turkish blue.

Not only the stones were special, the designs were very unique as some of them were fully imitated from ancient Anatolian jewelries.
I was there just to "cleanse my eyes" (cuci mata, that's what we, Malay called it). And yes.. my eyes were totally cleansed all right...

The last one for the day was ceramics.
Before we arrived at the place, I was just thinking that, it's just ceramics, nothing special.
But, once I saw the finished products, I was so impressed. The intricate designs were simply amazing.

The place that we went to belonged to a family, it was a family business which has been around for many generations (eight, if I am not mistaken). It was located in one of the cave houses.

From the carpet, then jewelry and lastly the ceramics.. what I saw was people who took pride in their work. Their meticulous and delicate work requires deep passion. Without passion, it's just not possible to produce such immaculate work.

I felt honoured to have met these people. They've not only shown me their exquisite works of art, but they have taught me about passion, patience and perseverance.

Alhamdulillah...
All praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cappadocia - 2

Let the pictures speak.
The lady in the photo was our pilot.
Click on any photo to have a better view.



















Alhamdulillah..
All praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.