Sunday, March 26, 2017

Voice of the heart | The story of His gifts


"The message behind the words is the voice of the heart." - Rumi

We all heard it all too often from good authors/writing coach out there, that when we write, we have to find our own voice. And there, finally, I came across that so apt a saying by the incomparable poet and Sufi - Jalaluddin Rumi. So, the "voice" of a person's writing is in fact, the voice of the heart. It looks too obvious in hindsight. 

However, if the heart is cluttered, the voice that comes out from it won't be as clear as it should be. Thoughts and feelings that are harbored in the heart could corrupt the language that comes out as a person's voice. We speak as who we are and we are what we speak after all.

I was fortunate to have spent some quality time with my mentor today. He told a class of would-be artists, it's good to put down one's emotions/thoughts in writing. "When you become a writer, you become a thinker. And as a writer, you are going deeper into yourself." This mentor of mine, from my experience of attending his public talks, would always remind his audience of the importance of "knowing oneself" and he has never been apologetic about touching a bit on sufi-inclined subjects regardless of the audiences' spiritual/religious background.

***'s getting late, to be honest, I am mentally drained after a long session of brainstorming, but it's a thumbs-up day nonetheless. Hope you have had a pleasant, productive Sunday full of gifts, as I did.

"Day and night you keep eagerly seeking stories, 
while every part of you is telling you the story of His gifts."
- Rumi


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Wake up with no regrets | Wake up with greater gratitude


It's 11:59 Saturday 25th of March 2017. It's the 84th day of the year.

Alhamdulillah, of course I am in a happy mood cos it's pay-day. LOL.

Sweet dreams. It helps to think we are sleeping underneath the same big sky ; )

Good night from Kuala Lumpur.

Praise the Almighty
for this ever so inspiring view from my bed.
May Allah grant us more and more
for we are absolutely grateful for His compassion and generosities.
May we wake up with greater gratitude.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Khutbah by Dr Umar Faruq Abdullah - Friday 24th March 2017


We gotta say thanks to people who invest their own pocket money in order to bring us beneficial Islamic English contents LIVE or off-line, without us having to leave home [beneficial for us women especially].

Who among us shall win in the fierce competition of doing good deeds that are pleasing to Allah? Fastabiqul khairat! [Al Baqarah 1:48]

Jumaah Mubarrak!

In this Friday khutbah, Dr Umar Faruq talked about the tongue and speech.

Quote credit: @mindsetdev

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Do more [good] | Launch good


Saw this encouraging tweet by @WomenOfHistory: "Do more for the world than it does for you."

I think generally, we are not doing enough. I personally think I am not doing enough. I definitely think I should do more than what the world does to me. There are lots of good stuffs sent by Allah to our doorstep day in day out, but we are not doing enough to give back as a sign of gratitude and appreciation.

I came across a somewhat relevant point. it's a hadith in which a smart woman asked Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam why there are more women than men who would end up in Hell. This is a hadith narrated by Muslim. The Prophet's reply: "Because you (women) like to condemn your husband and you are ungrateful for the good things they have done to you."

I think if we have a "do more" mentality, we would be more conscious about reciprocating a lot more instead of expecting more and more as if our wants and wishes are insatiable. If we have a "do more" attitude, we would not be too obsessed about asking for more and just wanting to receive a whole lot more. We won't be too selfish or self-centered.

The world has given me plenty of favors, Alhamdulillah, the least I could do is write something positive and send out a positive vibe. 

Allah has given us a good deen/faith, if we can't do more good, at least refrain from doing more harm.

Our prayers go out to the innocent victims of the London Westminster tragedy. "Whoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind..." Quran 5:32   

Support this noble initiative. Donate to support victims and their families:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

P. Ramlee (1929-1973) - Malaysia's Most Popular, Much-Loved, Multi-Talented and Spiritual Artist Of All Time


He would be 88 years old today, 22nd of March 2017.

P. Ramlee is without a doubt, Malaysia's most popular, much-loved, multi-talented and spiritual artist of all time. He was born on 22nd March 1929 in Penang [where all the charming and wonderful people were born, like yours truly. LOL].

He died in 1973 at the age of 44, a mere 25 years after he began his career as an actor. He was 19 years old when he first started acting. He might have started out as an actor, but he died as a popular singer, songwriter, director, and film producer. 

That which he labored for 25 years (from age 19 until his passing at the age of 44) resulted in a handful of evergreen and much-cherished films, jokes and songs. It was as if he knew he would be irreplaceable, he wrote or rather gifted us Malaysians and Singaporeans with a beautiful love song - Di Mana Kan Ku Cari Ganti. [lit: Where would I find a person who could take your place.]  

I didn't regard P. Ramlee as a spiritual person until I heard it from a popular Malaysian dai'e Ustaz Don during a talk at my office. If I recalled correctly, Ustaz Don realized this to be true when he heard it from Dato Dr Afifi Al-Akiti - a highly regarded Malaysian scholar.

I also heard from Yusnor Ef who used to be close to the late P. Ramlee, how spiritual the latter was. I had the privilege of meeting Yusnor and listened to him relate lovingly the experiences he had with P. Ramlee, how he met the big star for the first time and how P. Ramlee agreed to teach him script-writing. When Yusnor narrated the way P. Ramlee spoke and carried himself, it was as if we were watching him in one of his films. It was mesmerizing and funny.

Yusnor Ef began learning script-writing from P. Ramlee in 1962 when the former was a teacher at a school in Tekong Island off Singapore. He would visit P. Ramlee's house at Cedar Avenue in Singapore after school. Yusnor Ef remembered P. Ramlee telling him how he would sometimes get stuck in his creative work, he would refer to God and would almost immediately recover his creative flow.   

Allahu a'lam.

Today, 22nd March 2017, Google honors P. Ramlee with a doodle

Yusnor Ef showed me a book he authored during my meeting with him about a month ago.
He also wrote a book about his experiences with P. Ramlee "P. Ramlee Yang Saya Kenal"
[P. Ramlee Whom I Knew]
"Music is food for the soul and it is a Universal Language. When a person is keen on arts and beauty, he/she should try to feel the presence of Allah in that beauty." -  Hamka (a renowned Sufi of Indonesia)
"Arts is one of Allah's work. Therefore, give your best with much honesty." - P. Ramlee
[As quoted in Yusnor Ef's book]

A cover version of P. Ramlee's (arguably) most popular song
Di Mana Kan Ku Cari Ganti
[Where would I find one who could replace you]

Excerpts of the lyrics:

Where would I find a person who could take your place
one who is similar to you
I dread this separation and broken feeling

Where would I find one who could replace you
Might it be in the Heavens
A friend who would share my pain
and cry together

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Come close | "Transform ritual to spiritual" - Shaykh Dr Muhammad Al-Ninowy


I know you can't spare half an hour or an hour to watch and listen. I know some of us are deaf, so someone needs to write for them to read and benefit. Some of you are like me - one who forgets what I hear easily, thus I have to write it, so that I could read it over and over.

In this video of a tausiyah by Shaykh Dr Muhammad bin Yahya Al-Ninowy as appeared on Umran TV English YouTube channel, the Shaykh said some key points as summarized below. 

Shaykh Ninowy said, if we love Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam, then it's Mawlid every day. The world needs more rahmah (mercy), when we see our surroundings as needing more rahmah that means we are in need of more Muhammadan message or rahmah. When we see people not manifesting rahmah, that means they need more rahmah. When we celebrate mawlidun Nabi we are not just celebrating the birth of a person, we are celebrating the genesis of unconditional rahmatan lil alamin. So we attend majlis mawlid to connect with people with whom we have a relationship with their ruh/souls, because we have a need for the Prophet to be in our hearts. We put in our hearts many things but we don't put in our hearts the nur of Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam. We need sirah of Prophet Muhammad to be in our homes, we need the remembrance of Prophet Muhammad to be with our children. We need the tranquility that comes with sirah of Prophet Muhhamad. The journey of Prophet Muhammad was to transform people from the rituals to spiritual. We don't just do sujud with our body. The point of solah is to have the heart sujud to Allah. Only then it would become a wholesome spiritual. The reason of sujud is to come close to Allah. The more we sujud the closer we get to Allah so that our batin is Rabbani and our zahir is Muhammadi. Our zahir (outer) and our batin (inner) must be aligned. We attend majlis zikir because our souls have a yearning, we need to rekindle our love and longing for Allah and His Rasul because our heart is dead with everything that concerns the dunya. The thing that illuminates the heart and revives the heart is not in the heart. Today, we talk, but we also need to walk the talk.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Equinox | Springboard

Bismillah. March the 20th is the first day of Spring.

Happy Spring Equinox 2017!
It's happening today on the 79th day of 2017.
Alhamdulillah, Allah has blessed us with life up to this day.
He manifests Himself in the changing of seasons.

Let's use this Spring season to welcome a fresher fragrant new beginning. Don't let the burdens of the past season weigh us down.

"Use our past as a springboard instead of an anchor."
- Mark Sanborn  

Don't you think words that begin with the letter "e" sounds clever, like equinox, equilibrium, exquisite, enchanting...?

As ever,

May Allah do to us what Spring does with the cherry trees.