Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Highway

My office had been relocated again, and today was my second day at the new place. For the past 4 years, driving long distance to work (about 60km - one way) had been my routine and I usually took the opportunity to enjoy the view along the way. It helps in relieving the stress of driving. This new place is a bit closer although it's still a long journey with more traffic.

Somehow today, while driving to work I fell into deep contemplation.
Driving along the DUKE highway was enjoyable as the traffic was really smooth even during peak hours. I tend to agree with many people who said that DUKE highway is by far one of the most 'beneficial and functional' highway ever built in this congested Klang Valley. This highway bypassed so many busy roads and yet it remain constantly smooth. The first time I drove on this highway on my own I was pleasantly surprise at how fast it took me to reach my destination.

Today, as usual I was on DUKE highway for a mere 5 minutes, and I suddenly felt indebted to those who were involved in building this highway. Looking at the road, I imagine the people who laid the asphalt for days, weeks, months under the hot sun, the lorry drivers, the technicians, the engineers, the electricians and the list goes on and on. Together they worked hard, all in different position with different function, but with one mission, building a safe highway for the public.
How many people have used this road, and who are they? They could be doctors working with patients, they could be mothers sending children to school, they could be sons, daughters on the way to visit their parents, or an ustaz on the way to teach people about Islam.
I imagine all the good deeds that the highway users are doing, and the rewards that they will receive, wouldn't that be shared with the people who sincerely toiled in building the highway? I believe so.

May Allah bless them all... Amiin.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Story of Love

I had just finished listening to the sound of azan through my mobile phone. The azan for Maghrib prayer from Masjidil Haram in Makkah. How soothing it was, listening to the call of prayer directly from His house thousands of miles away. My tears is still flowing while I am typing this.
I made the special request to my brother who is now still in Makkah for hajj. He would be coming home soon, and tonight is his last attempt in making the call so I could listen to the azan live from the holy land. The few attempts made before were not quite successful. After the third failed attempt I realized that I've forgotten something. I forgot to ask from Him, the Owner of the holy land, the Owner of the masjid. I forgot to seek His permission. I went to sleep crying that night realizing my mistake. How could I forgot that...And just now, finally I was able to listen clearly..thank you Allah. I miss that sound so much..that soothing sound from Your house.

Every year when the hajj season comes, I would be quite emotional and I could feel a deep sense of longing in my heart.
It was love at first sight. The unforgettable experience of seeing the Kaabah for the first time will remain in my heart forever.
I've travelled to other places in my life, but traveling for hajj is totally a different experience, incomparable.
Hajj, with all it's obligated rituals and challenges, is actually a lesson about love.

Hajj taught me that if I want to love Him, I must free myself from loving others. Because He does not accept any partners in this relationship. I must love Him alone. I must depend on Him alone.
If I want anything, anything at all, big or small, anything... I must ask from Him. I must pray to Him.
If I want to love anyone else, it must be in the way that He allows.
My duty here in this world, a temporary world, is to please Him. To prove my love to Him. In this world it's not about seeking pleasure for myself or anyone else, but seeking for His pleasure.
Because He made a promise, that later, in the hereafter He will reward us with a pleasure beyond our imagination. In the hereafter, He will reward us the pleasure.
The kind of pleasure that will remain forever.
Hajj taught me about eternal love, as shown by Prophet Ibrahim when he slaughtered his own son, because as much as he loves his son, he loves Allah more, his love for Allah is beyond measure.
Because, to love human is natural, but to love Him is eternal.
THAT is true love.

Hajj is a lesson about love, and Makkah is the city of love.
Ya Allah...when I visited Your house, I left my heart there. I hope it will remain close to You.
Amiin.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

So Many

"This Day, We shall seal up their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their legs will bear witness to what they used to earn" ( Ya-Sin: 65) 


So many things on my mind.
So many ideas to write. Yet, the heart refuse.
The heart is heavy.
Every day, the heart worries.
Ya Allah..Ya Haadi..Ya Nuur..
Guide my heart with your light.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Whenever..

"But whosoever turns away from My Reminder, verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him blind on the day of resurrection" (Ta-ha: 124)


" And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out, And He will provide him from(sources) he never could imagine" ( At Talaq: 2-3)


Whenever trouble comes, whenever your life gets difficult, examine your relationship with Allah. 
Scrutinize yourself , how have you 'treated' Him lately. 
Your heart is in pain because you've turned away from Him.
Your soul is lost because you've deviated from His path.
When your body is tired, and your feet can't barely stand, it's time to bend your knees. 
It's time to lower your head to the ground. It's time to prostrate in humbleness and shed the tears of repentance.
Because within your tears and your shattered heart, you will find Him. 
You will find the way.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

To The Graduates

Another year, another group. They graduated recently, my students whom I've taught at the foundation level. I received the thank you message from one of them and I was gleaming with pride to know that she graduated with first-class honours and ranked among the top five in the program. Alhamdulillah...all praise be to Allah.

Learning is a process that is experienced by all without exception, but unversity education is a privilege that not all are blessed with the opportunity.
While having a degree give us an official certificate of higher learning, it does not necessarily make us a learned person. Because, earning knowledge can be achieved by many, but obtaining wisdom is only for the selected few. As mentioned by Sheikh Yawar Baig, it is very unfortunate that nowadays, learning has been reduced to 'make a living' instead of 'for living'. The noble objectives of education of producing excellent leaders has been sidelined in place of producing human capital for the workforce.
With an education system that has lost it's soul, we now live in turmoil because the foundation of our society has been shaken. We see many university graduates whose intelligence are proven by their high academic achievement, but they fail to lead a life within the boundary of sacred moral values. Some even lead a promiscuous life.

When I started my career in IIUM, I came with high hopes that this university would be able to maintain and preserve the tradition of producing better intellectuals by integrating faith, knowledge and good character ( imaan, 'ilm and akhlaq ). Alone, I am not capable of turning the mission into reality, but in this garden of knowledge and virtue, my position at the gate of the garden is crucial.
I certainly hope that I've managed to help the students not only in understanding the subject taught but more importantly in nurturing them to be the future leaders by always reminding them about their purpose in seeking knowledge. Because, according to Sheikh Yawar Baig, our legacy is that, "We will be measured by the quality of those we nurtured".

To my dear students,
Let me remind you that the process of learning has not end, in fact it has intensified. As you completed your studies in the university, another phase of learning had just begun. You must continue searching for the teachers out there, the ones who will guide your heart and your mind. They could be the senior executives who dressed in suits, but they could also be the humble taxi drivers whose advice is loaded with wisdom.
In your hands and on your shoulders, we leave the huge responsibility of leading the society and the nation. You are not just any graduate. You are the graduate of International Islamic University. In whatever career that you choose, you are the role model of muslim youth.

Please accept my heartiest congratulations, and.. welcome to the real world.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I Am Afraid

Sometimes I am afraid to write.
I know that I shall be held accountable for every single word that I write. And I am afraid of the consequence of my writing.

For the many writings that had made their way to the blog page, I still have quite a number that remained under draft category. Even this very posting had stayed for months without being published.

I am afraid, because just like every other things that I do, I want my writings to be worthy of rewards.
And the rewards that I am yearning for is not from my readers but from my Creator.
The Creator has such a lofty standards. A standard that only He can measure.
A standard that placed sincerity as the top most priority.
.
.
.
.
Enough said.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Birthday

We had a small birthday celebration today at our department. It was meant for the 'september babies' as they call us. Three of us including yours truly were born in September, in different years. I am the oldest among the three.

Last year, on my birthday, I sat quietly at a cemetery. My dear uncle had just passed away on the second day of Shawal. And this year, when my brother sent me a birthday message on my phone I replied to him that it's been one year since our uncle died.
Then suddenly within hours after that my brother called to inform me of the demise of another uncle. And just like the year before, again, we rushed back home.

Twice, on my birthday, I was reminded by Allah about death.
It is a reminder for me that with each birthday, I am getting nearer to the inevitable. Death is definite.
We will die. Not because we are old, not because we are ill. It is not about our age, not about our health.
We will die because it is time.
And we should remember death more than remembering birthday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jalan Masih Panjang







My first attempt in uploading my video on youtube.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Flower Girl


When I woke up this morning, I immediately went to check on my window. It was still dark and I couldn't really see them, but I knew there were many, because I could smell them. 
Last night, a friend had asked for the flowers, the one that had grown so tall that it reached my bedroom window. 

It was raining this morning and the plants in garden were all wet but they all looked so fresh.
I took out a ladder and started cutting the flowers.
By the time I was done, I was drenched, all wet.
However, Alhamdulillah....I managed to get enough as requested.

It is a special day today. 
It's the wedding day of a friend's daughter. 
And I am the flower girl.




 
But I won't be dressing up like a princess carrying the flowers for the wedding procession. Just imagine how hilarious it is to see a flower girl my age.
The flowers are meant for the bride's room. These flowers have such a sweet refreshing smell that it never fail to put a joyful smile on anyone's face. When these flowers are taken into a room, the smell would reach you even before you could see it. 
Subhaanallah...
I am delighted to be able to contribute a tiny bit of happiness into this joyous occasion.
May Allah bless the young couple and grant them true happiness the their marriage.
The flowers in the bride's room before being properly placed.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Departure

Shawal : You are not happy to see me...?

Self : Of course I am, Shawal...it's just that..

Shawal : You miss Ramadan.

Self : Yes..very much...

Shawal : It's time.. He has to leave.

Self : Yes... I understand. Life has to go on even without him.

Shawal : Did you spend your time well when he was around?

Self : I tried...Allah knows, I tried Shawal. But now I am worried.

Shawal : About what...

Self : When he was around I was stronger. He came with so much blessings and mercy from Allah. Now that he is gone, I feel so vulnerable... it's hard.. it's different now.

Shawal : Everything is temporary, even Ramadan. But Allah is always there. Ramadan came to give you the motivation and support, and now you must continue your journey without him.

Self : Yes...did he say anything before he leave, Shawal?

Shawal: Actually yes...Ramadan said, whenever you need a friend to comfort you, to support you , there's someone whom you can always rely on.

Self : Who is it, Shawal? Who??



Shawal : Patience.



" Be patient, for your patience is with the help of Allah" 
( An Nahl : 127 )


" Oh you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer, for God is with those who patiently persevere "
( Al Baqarah : 153 )

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Beloved Ramadan

As I looked up to the sky, I saw the beautiful radiant Ramadan moon. It's been 17 blessed days.
If only the eyes could see all the mercy and blessings descending upon us, the angels surrounding us...
If only our eyes could see the door of paradise widely opened, and the door of hell tightly closed...
The eyes can't see, the ears can't hear, but the heart can feel.
Let the eyes shed the tears, so the heart can be cleansed.
Let the tears flow.. to heal the ailing soul, to douse the flame of hell.

Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'annee
O Allah.. You are Oft-Forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive me..


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Midnight Sun Masjid



remarkable story:

Inuvik is an arctic town in Canada s Northwest Territories with a population of about 3,500 people
Its located right at the tip of North America facing the Arctic OceanWith a polar climate and harsh living conditions, one wouldn't expect to find a town there, let alone a town with Muslims. But there is a Muslim community there and a growing one, too. So much so that the trailer that was being used as the mosque ran out of room and this community now needed a new masjid..

Building a masjid in the Arctic , however, is far more complicated than it is anywhere else. The scarcity of skilled labour and material makes the cost of such a project skyrocket and this undertaking is simply impossible for a small community of a 100 people.Their situation is akin to that of the Muslims in Edmonton , who despite all odds managed to erect Canada s first masjid in 1938. With faith in God anything is possible. At a time like this, the Inuvik Muslims could have simply prayed for a masjid to be shipped over. And thats exactly what they were about to get.

Enter, the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation. 
The Zubaidah Tallab Foundation is a charity based out of Manitoba .
The remarkable individuals at this organization decided to give the Inuvikans a hand and took it upon themselves to ensure that the masjid got built. After evaluating the cost of locally building the masjid, they came up with a plan which at first sight would easily be dismissed as insanity. Build the masjid inWinnipeg and ship it 4,000 kilometres away to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories .

As insane as that may sound, this was the most economical way of getting the masjid built. 
Part of the masjids journey was going to be on roads (2400km) and part on water (1800 km). The goal was to get the mosque on to the last barge heading towards Inuvik for the season. Not only was this going to be a logistical nightmare but it was to be a race against time as well. With receding water levels in the Mackenzie River , the shipping company decided to push up thedeparture date by 3 weeks.

The 1,500 square-foot masjid was built in Winnipeg and started its journey on a semi-trailer. 
The over-sized trailer made its way through back roads and country highways, struggling to make it to the barge in time; it was delayed further by Labour Day celebrations and highway regulations. To complicate matters even more, the bridge across Reindeer Creek proved too narrow for the trailer. The driver had to remove the back wheels and a second truck was brought in to balance the back of the flatbed as the masjid was moved carefully across bridge. But this wasn't the biggest scare. All hopes and dreams came close to being shattered when the masjid almost fell off the trailer into a creek near the Alberta border.

The organizers managed to request the shipping company to hold the barge for two extra days and 
perhaps by divine intervention, the barge was delayed further due to poor weather. With lots of prayer and a little bit of luck, the trailer managed to get to the barge just in time. The masjid was loaded on to the barge and set off for its journey towards the North Pole.

The barge arrived in Inuvik , on September 24
th2010. After an excruciating 3-week journey, the little masjid arrived at its destination; all in one piece. The Inuvik Muslims gathered around the port to witness the historical event. They chanted prayers to praise and thank God as they waited. Some jumped around with joy while others were overwhelmed with gratitude and came to tears.

Numerous finishing touches needed to be added and it took about a month to get the mosque ready for use.
Fathallah Fargat, a carpenter from St. Catherines , Ontario was inspired by the story and traveled all the way to Inuvik to help set up the masjid. He even helped build a 10-meter minaret to accompany the newly erected masjid.
The Midnight Sun Masjid, as it is now called, was inaugurated on November 10th 2010 to become North Americas northern most masjid. All in all, the entire project cost about $300,000. The Zaid Tallabah Foundation, which still has outstanding payments to make, is looking to raise another $21,000.

The Inuvik masjid is a stellar example of what can be accomplished by unity, hard work and faith in God.
For those let down by the petty attacks on masjid around the West, this story should rejuvenate your spirit and give you hope. If people can manage to build a masjid in the Arctic , then building one anywhere else should be far from impossible.



http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/story/2010/11/10/arctic-mosque-inuvik-opening.html

The truth has definitely reached all four corners of the world..
Subhaanallah...
Alhamdulillaah...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Detik Waktu

Detik-detik berlalu
Dalam hidup ini
Perlahan tapi pasti
Menuju mati

Kerap datang rasa takut
Menusuk di hati
Takut... hidup ini terisi
Dengan sia-sia

Pada hening dan sepi
Aku bertanya
Dengan apa ku isi
Hidupku ini

Ramadan akan datang lagi...
Ya Allah
Hanya RahmatMu yang kuharapkan

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Penguin Sesat...Kesian Dia...

Poor penguin...lost your way?

WELLINGTON - Wildlife experts said they were astonished Wednesday at the appearance of an Emperor penguin in New Zealand, some 3,000 kilometres from his Antarctic home.
The penguin, a juvenile male, arrived at a beach on the Kapiti Coast, 40 kilometres north of the capital Wellington on Monday afternoon, the Department of Conservation (DOC) said.
It was only the second recorded sighting of an Emperor penguin in New Zealand, DOC spokesman Peter Simpson said, with the species' only previous registered appearance in the country on the South Island in 1967.

Simpson said he did not initially believe reports that the wayward bird was an Emperor penguin, the largest species of the distinctive waddling creatures, which can grow up to 1.15 metres (45 inches) tall.
"At first I though it must have been some sort of seal but we went and checked it out and to our immense surprise it did indeed turn out to be an Emperor penguin," he told AFP.
Simpson said the bird appeared in good health and was taking regular swims to cool down in the relative warmth of the New Zealand climate.

"At this time of year he should be sitting on the sea ice in Antarctica in 24-hour darkness," he said.
"They go out to to sea to feed in the Antarctic summer and this one, he's a juvenile and it's his first time out, so it looks like he's gone a long way out and got lost."
He said wildlife officers were monitoring the penguin and expected it would eventually depart for the long swim home.
"I expect it has some sort of homing instinct," he said.
"This is a species that spends its whole life at sea, either in the water or on the sea ice."

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/science/story.html?id=4983861#ixzz1Q3SGa3Td


May Allah guide your way back home, my dear penguin.
Even if you fail to return safely, and died along the way..

You are very fortunate..
Your life ends at the moment of your last breath...
You  will not be held accountable for anything..
You will not be judge in the hereafter..

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Blessings

In the name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.
All praises and thanks be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.


Alhamdulillah, I am back to work since last week. My doctor said that my recovery would take about four to eight weeks. I am on my 8th week now, after six weeks of medical leave. 
I was not that excited to return to work last week, and I went home feeling totally drained out of energy. So I took two days off, and now, this week I am feeling much better.


The last time I had a check up, my blood pressure was 120/80 and my hemoglobin was 13.5 (it was 7 previously).
Alhamdulillah...I was overjoyed...those were really beautiful numbers...


The doctor 'prescribed' me with a diet that is the envy of many, especially those in my age group. I am suppose to be on high protein, high calorie diet of red meat, chicken, fish, with added salt.
Part of my envious diet.
I must take full cream milk, not the skimmed low fat ones. Beside drinking lots of water, I have to take five meals everyday. A dietician was sent to me when I was at the hospital to educate me about my recovery diet. In short, I was instructed to eat and drink more.


I am feeling much healthier now, Alhamdulillah...It's just that I got tired easily once I started working. A friend who had experienced similar surgery told me that it is the effect of the anesthesia. Even though I have recovered from the surgery, it would take some time for my energy to return to normal. 


The new academic year had started and my department was kind enough to let me have all my classes at the ground floor level, just a few doors away from the office.
I had been blessed with a loving husband and caring siblings who took good care of me, families and friends, students, who came to visit and offering help here and there.  And those who were not able to visit had been sending messages and prayers. Alhamdulillah... 


"Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you deny?" 
This verse from Surah Ar Rahmaan, is repeated 31 times...
and it really hit me.


Thank you Allah...for all the blessings..
Thank you Allah for everything.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thank You Allah

Maka nikmat Tuhanmu yang manakah yang kamu dustakan?
Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you deny?
( Ar Rahmaan:13)


Alhamdulillah
All praise be to Allah


I have a lot to be thankful for. 
I need to remind myself again and again to be thankful.
And I need to remind myself not to forget Him.
Forgive me Ya Allah...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Praying for HIS Endless Mercy 2

The monitor in ICU
It was really cold there in the ICU but I was too weak to bother to look around my surrounding. They had to send me there because the equipment needed for my new treatment was only available in the ICU.

Once I was transferred to the ICU bed, the doctor kindly asked my husband to wait outside the room since she was going to start the procedure immediately.
All the tubes on both of my hands and my spine had been taken off, not because I don't need them anymore but they would be replaced and inserted in one place. In my neck.

The doctor explained to me about my situation and the steps that they are going to take involving new medication, another bag of blood and more fluids. Again, their main concern was my heart. My long term anemia had caused some 'damage' to my heart, as shown in my ECG, and my body was not responding well to the treatment so far. The tumor that had been removed were quite huge, one as big as a baby's head, another one as big as a tennis ball and few small ones. Once removed, they left huge opening and that's how I lost the excessive amount of precious blood.
My BP was still fluctuating, from the amount of fluid that had been transfused, the same amount were sent out by my body as shown in my urine bag. Apparently my body failed to retain the fluid, hence the BP remained way below the normal level.

The new procedure involved inserting an intravenous tube through my jugular vein in my neck that would be directed straight to my heart. Blood, fluid and the new medication will be transfused through this one tube.
As the doctor prepared for the procedure, I tried my best to keep calm and control my anxiety.
It was painful...no anesthetic was used. The nurse who stood beside me looked with sympathy and she held out her hand to me. As the doctor started injecting the needle to my neck I held the nurse's hand tightly and plead to Allah, The Most Merciful...
A verse from the Qur'an kept coming to my mind,
"We verily created man and We know what his soul whispered to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein" (Qaf:16)
Allah..He is near, very near, nearer to me than the vein in my neck. And only He knew how I felt at that time.
May Allah grant me forgiveness through these pain..
May it become a compensation for my sins...
The doctor tried her best to be extra gentle, each time updating me with what she was doing.
Tube inserted to my neck
"I am going to inject you now, it's a bit painful.."
"I am sorry madam.....I am done with that..okay.?."
"I am going to insert the tube to your vein now..."
"...sorry..sorry...I know it's painful.."
And she joined me in calling out to Allah.
"Ok now...Allaahuakbar..Allaahuakbar...", the tube went in slowly.
A painful one for me, but a very delicate and difficult one for her.
"It will be over soon...okay..are you okay?.."
"I am almost done..sorry...just another two minutes.."
But it wasn't two minutes.
By the time it was over, the strain and discomfort remained. Later I realized that the tube had five different openings, one for blood, one for fluid and one for the special medication for my heart. The other two were spared for injecting anti-biotic and painkiller.

That night, I tried my best to sleep but despite being on painkiller, my back was aching. My hands and feet were stiff and it's no fun having a tube in my neck. I was afraid to move my head.
In my mind, I believed that those who knew about my surgery had been praying for me, but at that time I felt that I needed more support.
I gathered all my strength not to cry and requested my husband who was sitting beside me to make a special du'a for me, "Please pray that I'll remain strong...I am so tired right now...."
I was at my lowest moment and on the brink of despair. I closed my eyes, still trying very hard to sleep.
Then I saw my husband raised his hands and prayed quietly. Almost immediately my strength came back... Alhamdulillah...thank you Allah...
I fell in and out of sleep in discomfort until the doctor offered me sleeping medication which I willingly took. I woke up three hours later at 5.30am when the nurses came to clean me up.

Subhaanallah...
Alhamdulillah...
That was two weeks ago. I stayed one day in normal ward preparing for surgery, one day in HDU after the surgery, two days in ICU due to the complications and another two days in HDU before being discharged.
Alhamdulillah now I am home, recuperating.

I am writing this as a remainder for myself.
That, life has it's ups and downs. And for everything that happened, as long as we keep our trust in Allah and keep remembering Him, we can always feel His presence, His mercy.
I felt and saw Allah's mercy everywhere.
I felt it in the gentle hands of the nurses and doctors.
I felt it in the presence of my beloved husband, my siblings, my families, my friends and everyone who came to visit me.

As I pray to Allah to heal me, I know I am praying to The Most Merciful.. Ar Rahiim.
The One who provides comfort and peace, As Salam.
Al Muhaimin, The Giver of Protection, Al Haleem, The Gentle.
But I must remain patient and strong, because He will grant me the recovery in due time. It's like the changing of days and nights, I can't expect to see sunlight when night time had just begun. The night will become darker and darker, then, when it is time, the darkness would lessen and slowly the sun will rise and another beautiful day come to greet us. I must wait patiently.

My darkest moment in the ICU is over and now as I am recovering, the sun is slowly rising.
I must be thankful to Allah for the sunshine, the continuous mercy descended upon me.
I must continue praying for His endless mercy.
And I hope with all sincerity that His mercy would never ceased especially on the day that I finally meet Him, the Judgement Day.
Amiin..Ya Arhamar Raahimiin..

"Who has created me, and it is He who guides me, and it is He who feeds me and gives me to drink. And when I am ill, it is He who cures me. And who will cause me to die, and then will bring me to life (again). And who, I hope will forgive me my faults on the Day of Resurrection" ( As Shu'ara': 78 - 82)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Praying for HIS Endless Mercy 1

"Your ECG is not normal"
......
"Did you have a heart attack before?"
"No....."
"Any chest pain?"
"No....."
"Difficulty breathing?"
"No....."

"We'll do a heart ultra sound tomorrow morning. If you heart is ok, then the surgery can proceed. Otherwise we'll have to change the plan"

The brief conversation I had with the cardiologist the day before my surgery left me bewildered.
Heart attack? How is that possible?
Ya Rahman..Ya Rahiim...

Alhamdulillah..all praise be to Allah.
My ultra sound the next day showed that my heart was functioning normally.

The surgery lasted about two and a half hours. I woke up feeling tired with slight pain.
Instead of the normal ward, I was placed in High Dependency Unit (HDU). There were tubes on both of my hands, my spine and lower abdomen. Wires were attached to my chest, there was a clip on one of my fingers and a device to measure my blood pressure(BP) was attached to my arm. I was given some blood and fluid through the tubes. The wires were to measure my pulse, heart beat, BP, oxygen level, and..something else which I am not sure of.
I was told that my BP and hemoglobin level were extremely low because I had lost too much blood during the surgery.
The nurses and doctors kept asking me, "Any pain anywhere?..."
I didn't feel any pain, just lethargic and sleepy. I don't remember much of what happened that day.
It was at night when I began to feel uncomfortable. I vomited three times in between sleeps.
My abdominal muscle(where the wound was) contracted while I vomited and it was really painful.
Somehow I could sleep relatively well that night. Alhamdulillah...

The next morning I was allowed to take some fluid orally and I chose to take a sip of zam-zam water.
The surgeon came and told me that the surgery was a success, the tumor had been removed. He explained about what had happened during the surgery and upon checking on the wound he said I should be able to be discharged as early as the next day. Alhamdulillah...
But there were four doctors in charge of me, and the cardiologist was still very concern about my BP. He was puzzled why it didn't respond well to the blood and fluid transfusion that was performed since the day before. I had been given two bags of blood and bags (I didn't know how many) of fluid but the BP was still alarmingly low. His concern was about my heart.
I think it was then that my husband started keeping record of my BP reading that was shown in the monitor above my bed. It kept fluctuating with the lowest recorded at 78/53mmHg (normal BP is 120/80)
By late afternoon when the cardiologist came to check on me again he told me of a new plan which he had discussed with the anesthesiologist. I listened quietly as he explained the new procedure.
I was not afraid, neither worried, I just felt really weak and my mind just went blank.
I remembered the prayers that I made in the holy land, and the plenty of tears that I shed. It was in preparation of this day.
Ya Rahmaan...Ya Rahiim..
Give me strength Ya Allah..
I was then wheeled to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Muhasabah Cinta

Wahai pemilik nyawaku
Betapa lemah diriku ini
Berat ujian dari Mu
Kupasrahkan semua pada Mu

Tuhan... baru kusadar
Indah nikmat sehat itu
Tak pandai aku bersyukur
Kini ku harapkan cinta Mu

Kata kata cinta terucap indah
Mengalir berdzikir di kidung do’a ku
Sakit yang kurasa biar
Jadi penawar dosaku

Butir butir cinta air mataku
Terlihat semua yang Kau beri untukku
Ampuni khilaf dan salah selama ini

Ya Illahi 
Muhasabah cintaku

Tuhan.... kuatkan aku
Lindungiku dari putus asa
Jika ku harus mati
Pertemukan aku dengan Mu



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Peaceful Home Stay

Bismillah Ar Rahmaan Ar Rahiim

Enjoying the view from the first floor of the masjid
It has been narrated from Aba Abdillah [Imam Ja'far Ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq] (peace be upon him) that he said, "For Allah, the Noble and Grand, there are 120 parts of Mercy around the Kaabah. From these, sixty are for those performing the Tawaf around the Kaabah; forty are for those performing the prayers; and twenty are for those just looking (at the Kaabah)."


We spent most of our time in Makkah in the masjid. Whether performing the prayers, doing tawaf, or just looking, gazing and admiring the Kaabah. For the congregational prayer I usually would go to the first floor of the masjid where it was slightly less crowded. Afterwards I would walk up to the front and join many others standing by the railing to look at the Kaabah. It was such a sight to behold, one that we don't get tired of looking at. I just stood there quietly, and I could feel the deep contentment that came filling my heart and all my worries disappeared.
Masjidil Haram is the only place where we can perform tawaf, so we tried our best to do as many as we can. Sometimes we were able to walk very close to the Kaabah and the feeling was indescribable.
After the tawaf we would slowly eased our way out from the circling crowd to find a place to pray. Prostrating on the bare floor just a few feet away from the Kaabah, I found it hard not to be overwhelmed by emotion, the feeling of closeness to Him was tremendous. I wish that I could remain there prostrating in front of His house.

Being in the masjid also remind me a lot about death. It was very rare that the five prayers would not be followed by janazah prayer (funeral prayer). There were a few times when upon exiting the masjid we were shoved by the side to make way for the people hurriedly carrying the deceased body. And we would see people rushing to take part in carrying the casket even just for a few seconds, while others would paused to make way and show due respect for the deceased. Once, I saw one deceased body that was covered by ihram attire, which means he was called to return to Allah while in the state of ihram. I was down with envy... how lucky that person was, to die in such a blessed state.

As the days of our stay was nearing the end, I kept trying to push aside my emotion, trying to forget the fact that I would soon be leaving this sacred sanctuary. I just want to enjoy the peace and tranquility as much as I can, savoring each moment by listening to the soothing call for prayer and the beautiful melodious recitation from the imam.

On our last day, fajr prayer was the last prayer that we performed in His house. We went early to the masjid, about two hours before the prayer time and the place was already quite full. When the azan was called, it pierced through my grieving heart. The recitation of the imam in the prayer sounded especially soothing that it made me cry.
After the prayer I walked to the front to view the Kaabah as usual. I wish time could stand still and I don't have to leave this place.

About half hour later, we walked slowly to our hotel. We took our breakfast and finish our packing. After loading our luggages at the hotel lobby, we headed to the masjid again for the farewell tawaf.
Ya Allah...I haven't left the place, but I missed it already.
Stepping into the masjid, suddenly it felt so quiet, and the moment we started the tawaf, I just couldn't hold it any longer. I cried and cried...

Ya Allah..
Thank you for your blessings
Thank you for your mercy
Forgive all my sins and my wrongdoings
Ya Allah.. The Most Merciful...
Please accept my prayers, my tawaf, my umrah...
Send me your guidance and your light
Give me strength, courage and patience to face my days ahead
Help me keep my faith to You until the day I breath my last
Amiin..amiin...amiin...
Ya Arhamar raahimiin

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spiritual Journey 2

In the name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
All praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.

Our flight from Kuala Lumpur was delayed for two hours. All the passengers were already seated when the pilot announced that we are still waiting for clearance from Yaman airspace authority. And when Yaman denied permission, the route had to be rescheduled. It was a longer route through Oman and an extra two hours would be needed in our journey, therefore the aircraft had to be refueled and another pilot had to be called for duty. The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Jeddah was slightly more than eight hours, and after few hours at Jeddah airport we boarded the bus for another seven hours of journey to Madinah.
We reached Madinah early in the morning that day and sadly we missed the Fajr congregational prayer at the masjid and ended up praying in our hotel room. After breakfast and a brief rest we walked to the masjid.

Outside Masjid an Nabawi
Beneath that green dome he was laid to rest. The mere glimpse of the the green dome brought me to tears.
Assalamualaika Ya Rasulullah..
Assalamualaika Ya Habiballaah..
Allaahumma solli 'ala Muhammad.

Three days in Madinah was too short, but I am thankful that Allah had blessed me the opportunity to visit the raudhah near the Prophet's grave.
It was crowded as usual, but everyone was so engrossed in tearful prayers.

On the third day we headed for Makkah in our ihram attire. The bus journey was about four hours. We reached the vicinity of Masjidil Haram around 11.00pm and I saw the minarets from afar.
How do you feel when you finally meet/see someone you had been missing and longing for years? That was my feeling at that time.
Outside Masjidil Haram at night
The bus stopped at our hotel which was just about 10 minutes away from the masjid. We loaded our luggages and were told to rest in our rooms until the briefing time at 12.15am.

It was around 12.40am when we headed for the masjid to perform our umrah.
The breathtaking sight of the masjid and the kaabah filled my heart with happiness, humility and peace, all mixed together.
I felt a lump in my throat as I recited the prayer, and tears rolled down my cheek.
Subhaanallah...
Alhamdulillah...
Allahuakbar...
Thank you Allah, for receiving me as your guest again here, in this place that I had missed so dearly.

The crowd circling the kaabah was quite packed but the cool temperature was comforting. Somehow it felt really cold afterwards when we were doing our saie.
We completed the umrah rituals; the tawaf and saie in about two and a half hours. Only then when we were outside the masjid I saw on the screen that the temperature was actually19 degrees celcius. No wonder we were trembling.
We walked around the masjid slowly and quietly carrying our tired body and feet, but our hearts were so at peace. I felt so at home in His house.
We were looking for the restroom and realized that the place had changed so much since our last visit. We had to ask the policeman for the direction.
The time for Fajr prayer was just another two hours, so we decided to stay on at the masjid for fear that we might miss the prayer all together if we return to rest at our hotel room. After the first call for Fajr prayer we went our separate ways. My husband headed to the man's section and I went to the woman's to wait for Fajr prayer. I tried hard to remain awake while waiting for the second call of prayer, I was really tired and sleepy.

We went straight to our hotel after the prayer, had our breakfast and went to bed.
We slept like logs and only woke up three hours later.
Alhamdulillah...all praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spiritual Journey

Assalamualaikum all,

Today I will be leaving for the holy land Madinah and Makkah for umrah.
I sincerely would like to apologize to all my readers for any shortcomings in my writings.
I need your prayers and I shall be praying for all of you too, InshaAllah.

I hope to come back as a stronger person, a better muslim.
May Allah blessed us all.
Amiin..Ya Arhamar raahimiin.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thank You for Your Kindness

Yesterday, I was in a hospital for blood transfusion.
I had been suffering with severe anemia for a long time, and yesterday my doctor decided that I need to be given two pints of blood. The worst that can happen to an anemic is heart failure because the heart has to pump harder and faster to compensate for the decreased oxygen levels in the body.
O Positive
I never knew that and was kind of shock when the doctor told me.
All these while, besides looking pale most of the time and feeling lethargic on certain days of the month, my condition doesn't really have any undesirable effect on my daily activities.

Alhamdulillah...all praise be to Allah, I was able to function normally even with such a low hemoglobin level.

As I was being prepared for the procedure, my mind wondered. The blood that I would be receiving must have came from a donor. My blood type is usually called as universal donor, because anyone with any blood type can receive it. But I never had a chance to be a blood donor, I am not qualified.

The procedure took almost the whole day and I took the opportunity to read a book while waiting.Once in a while, I looked at the blood dropping slowly into the tube.
I was thinking how I would never had a chance to thank the person who donated this blood.
The donor never knew that his/her act of kindness had help me to become healthier. He/she might not even felt anything much while donating the blood.
But I am now forever indebted to him/her.

I was also thinking how much our life depend on others. Other people's help and kindness. I am so grateful that we still have kind people who are willing to give and never ask for any return, not even a word of thanks.

I was actually preparing for a long journey. I will be traveling again next week and this blood transfusion is part of my preparation for the journey. My doctor was worried that I would not be strong enough to perform the rituals required in my journey, so she prepared me for the procedure. And now I want to repay the kindness of the donor.
I pray to Allah that whoever had donated the blood would be rewarded by Him. May Allah guide him/her, protect him/her and blessed his/her life in this world and the hereafter.
I believe from every single drop of blood that was given to me, for every reward that I hope Allah would bestow on me for my worship, the same reward would also be granted to him/her.
And, when I reach my destination next week, InshaAllah, I shall pray again for him/her.
I would be praying in the two holiest masjid in the world.
I would be praying in His house.
I would be praying as His guest.

Labbaikallah humma labbaik...
Labbaika laasyariika laka labbaik..

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lest We Forget

March 11, 2011.
A massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake has hit the northeast coast of Japan triggering a 30-foot tsunami.

A powerful earthquake not only shakes the earth but it shakes our hearts.
Not only triggers an enormous tsunami, but triggers fear and apprehension even to the most powerful man.

How many times had these happened?
How many lives had been lost?
How many cities had been flatten?

We read the news, we read the stories about disasters not only in the internet, not only in newspapers, but also in history books.
We also read the story in the holy book, a book revealed more than 1400 years ago.
The book tells us about previous civilization, which possibly could be far greater than our current civilization, the people vanished from the surface of the earth, within minutes, within hours.

We are afraid of earthquake, we are terrified by tsunami.
But, we forget the Creator of earthquake, the Creator of tsunami.
The earthquake rocks our lives, the tsunami engulfs our worlds...left people in despair.
But, we forget The Creator of everything, Al Khaliq.

We are afraid of the earthquake and tsunami, why are we not afraid of HIM?
The earthquake is powerful, the tsunami is gigantic,
but He is Al Jabbar, The Compeller
He is Al Qahhar, The Subduer
And we also forget, He is Ar Rahman, Ar Rahim, The Beneficient, The Merciful.

Ya Allah
Ya Rahmaan Ya Rahiim
We beg for your forgiveness Ya Ghaffar
The earthquake is submitting to You,
The tsunami is under Your command,
This is a reminder from You
That You ARE the Greatest of all,
That You make all the plans
That You HAVE all the control..
This is a reminder from You
That ONLY to You we must submit
Only to You we must worship


Ya Allah
Turunkanlah rahmat dan kasih sayangMu
Kepada hamba-hambaMu yang lalai ini
Ampunilah dosa-dosa dan kesalahan kami
Ya Arhamar raahimiin.