Monday, December 3, 2018

December Twenty Eighteen | Khabar terakhir...mungkin

Bismillah.

Ahhh...I have been busy elsewhere, and I am still busy with my studies...but I was reminded of this space I have been loyal to for the past nine years when I saw someone on Insta posted a very pretty photo of his bike at Maida Vale tube station in London. 'Maida Vale' was like one sharp blade that cuts open one of many memories I had collected from this blog. That's why I am here today, to register my thoughts, recollect my feelings and reflect upon them. But nah...I refrain from elaborating my 'Maida Vale' experiences cos it's not worth it.

Looking back, I feel good cos for every inconvenience and harm, there's a reward from Allah. There have been big rewards from Allah, I am humbled and delighted. I think the best part about winning after having surrendered to the decree of Allah, was when some people thought you were losing. Anyways, I pray Allah converts all our misdeeds and helps us purify our intentions every step of the way.    

Some people have problems with me speaking my mind here. But that's their problem. They going around campaigning against me, that's their problem. They looked down on me as a woman, forgetting they have children under their responsibilities, that's their problem. They were arrogant about their background, image, network, bla bla bla, that's their problem.  

This space is special for the numerous lessons I learned. This space is special for the times that it has witnessed - my journey, both tangible and spiritual journey, for close to 10 years. I can safely say that I am not some new kid on the repentant journey who gets overzealous in wanting to do religious works, thinking he/she is the select few who understood better the meaning of 'amal jariah', sincerity, etc.

When I revisited my old postings on lessons/notes from majlis taalim, it became clearer to me that I knew nothing and that it was a pure gift from the Lord that I became both a receptacle and conveyor to some extent. I have always believed that each one of us will find the lessons we need at the appointed time therefore, it does not matter how many followers this blog has. It will reach its seekers. 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you, you genuine readers who are not here to find faults, you genuine readers who are here to see the good and leave the not so good. Thank you for being part of my nine years' of experiences thus far. May Allah reward you abundantly for your good thoughts and wishes.

***
Ketulusan hati terhadap qada dan qadar Allah; bersangka baik terhadap takdir Allah, itulah senjata kekuatan hati buat saya selama ini bi-iznillah. Hampir 10 tahun berlalu di ruangan sederhana ini, saya bersyukur atas setiap yang disaksi mata hati, atas setiap rasa yang terbit di sanubari, atas setiap renungan pengajaran yang membina jiwa.

Terima kasih diucapkan kepada pembaca yang ikhlas masih setia melanggani blog sehingga ke hari ini walaupun saya sudah jarang-jarang di sini. Saya memohon maaf kepada pembaca-pembaca yang jujur terhadap saya, yang pernah mengenali saya secara pribadi atau menerusi karya di sini, bahawa saya sudah tidak lagi berupaya memberi sesuatu yang mungkin anda hajati. Namun saya yakin anda, pembaca yang bersikap benar terhadap saya, anda sangat matang menilai peredaran waktu dan tuntutan kepada perubahan. Dan hakikat bahawa setiap sesuatu itu ada naik turunnya serta pasti ada pengakhirannya.

Sekali lagi, terima kasih kerana menemani saya di sini selama ini.
Moga Allah memberi anda kurnia yang hebat-hebat atas sangka baik anda terhadap diri saya dengan segala kekurangan yang ada pada diri saya.

Fi amanillah.
WaSalamualaikum warahmatullah.

E.Ismail
Lisan al-Din writer
April 2009 - December 2018


    
   

Monday, September 24, 2018

48

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, to have lived thus far. I will be 48 tomorrow inShaAllah. No, I am not shy about revealing my real age. Some blog readers thought the age I had been disclosing was a fictitious number. I don't belong with those who aren't proud of the time that Allah has given them. If I were God, I would cut five years from their "shelf-life" since they are shy to be on the "shelf", you get what I mean? And since I am open and grateful for my age, I hope the Almighty would add five more years to the pre-determined period. LOL.

What would I/you do if we were given a bonus of five years? I could/might do a Ph.D. and write a book but that sounds like just another "big-ticket" item. The countless good intentions and small deeds that we might/could do within five years would carry a lot more marks than the seemingly major activities, like the prostitute who got to enter the Heaven for the mercy she showed towards a thirsty dog. She gave him/her water. (Refer links below for this 'Whore & Dog' story)

Perhaps, a major lesson in that narration is that no matter what business/life plans we have, what would be more crucial is the degree of mercy/kindness/positivity we show towards others - both man and animals, on the day to day basis. And...frankly speaking, I am worried to be taking more than giving and whilst I "give", it is substandard in the Book of the Lord. At the very least, I hope the messages that I had been posting, were able to touch your heart albeit in the faintest manner.  

Having said that, I cannot promise to be nice to everyone. To be frank I had blocked one reader from communicating with me because he asked me how I handled my nafs and that he talked about being a healthy male and a sapiophile. [Sorry bro, I don't care if you are an avid reader of this blog. I can't entertain chats like that].

So now you know some of the questions people asked me. If I had not stopped the conversation, I would perchance lose two months of my life just replying to messages like that. I am sure you would all agree with me that Whatsapping, FB Messengers, IG messaging etc. eat up a lot of our time. Yeah.. it would get worse for me personally when Semester 2 begins. But I must thank the Lord really that my office workload has been very light this year Alhamdulillah.

By the way, this one thing I heard a couple of days ago truly impressed upon the heart. About Asma binti Abu Bakar who tore her belt into two just so that she could fasten some food supply onto a camel. It was for the sake of Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihiwasalam and her father Sayidina Abu Bakar who were then leaving their secret hideout at Thawr Cave. For her ingenuity, the Prophet named Asma as 'She of the two belts' (Zatun Nithaqhain).

Would you do the same? Would you tear up your belt? Would you be clever when a situation warrants you to be clever in coming up with a quick solution?  

This hijrah story about the closeness of friendship between the Prophet salallah alaihiwasalam and Sayyidina Abu Bakar never failed to make me shed tears, every single time.  

I reckon I have got more than 48 scarves, what good are they for the faith which I believe in? Is it good enough as a symbol for being a Muslim? There must be more to it, there must be a lot more we could do to benefit others, no matter how small the gesture, even half a belt counts! 

Thanks for reading.
Wish you a wonderful month of Muharram and a sweet September - what's left of it.

E.I
24 September 2018














***

Further readings on the 'Whore & Dog' story:
http://seekershub.org/ans-blog/2011/05/04/forgiving-major-sins-and-the-hadith-of-the-prostitute-who-gives-water-to-the-thirsty-dog/

http://www.madeenah.com/if-the-reward-for-giving-water-to-a-dog-is-jannah-then-how-about-teaching-tawheed-to-the-people/

A story about Asma binti Abu Bakar (in Malay though)
http://assalambs.blogspot.com/2012/05/kenali-asma-binti-abu-bakar-as-siddiq.htmlv

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Evolving

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah,

Allahu Hu Allah, I really don't know how to begin addressing the questions and remarks made by a reader of Lisan al-Din who had approached me on another social media platform. I feel obligated to reply because he has been reading this blog for many years, long enough to notice that this space has evolved, that my postings have evolved and that he seemed to respect and understand the evolution. I am obliged to reply because I understand how it feels to be a Muslim who yearns to know more about our raison d'etre vis-a-vis the Lord. I can only write from my own experiences, needless to say. And often times the person who tries to answer, might end up learning more from the questioners.

So it all started with hard rubs LOL. Rumi said, "If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" Initially, I felt like the Lord rubbed me really hard and I felt overwhelmed. The moment I started feeling overwhelmed, I began taking major actions. No, I shouldn't say "I" was the initiator, it was the state itself that moved me as a mere actor. I remembered feeling engulfed by a strong desire to wear hijab, I was overtaken by a strong power that couldn't possibly be me (my own will). I remembered feeling overwhelmed about starting this blog and naming it Lisan al-Din, it was like telling me "Hey you, I am going to make you do it", I was shaking, feverish in fact. It just had to happen, no two ways about it. What I'm trying to say is that we are weak and we can merely respond to a stronger force that controls us. Who is in control of us who holds us by the forelock? Let's say it's He. He made me thirsty for books on Sufism for many years, He sent it to me through a vessel of His choice, He made me read them feverishly, and He imparted some understanding into my heart. All we could do is embrace His actions and motivations on us. La hawla wala quwwata illah billah

Dr. E, (the questioner), if you were able to notice how I have changed over the years, I mean since you're able to observe the changes, the evolution of my soul through my sharing/postings which I had knowingly or unknowingly exposed to the public for the past 10 years, then you have seen Him, for He is Time. It was all a manifestation of His af'al (actions) and attributes (Names/Sifat). We are merely a receptacle. Yet He wants us to know Him. We should not just be a dumb passive receptacle, we should be one who has a discerning heart to notice His gestures, to notice His presence, His omnipresence and subsequently glorifies Him.

I remembered Shaykh Yaqoubi and a few more shuyukh elucidating the real meaning of a Quranic phrase about the obligation to worship Allah. Worship, as I understood from them is wide and beyond the physical acts of worship. One important aspect of it is to know Him through His asma', sifat and af'al (His Names/attributes and actions). Yes, in our search for better understanding or rather better realization of who He is, we walked and we walked, we met so many teachers, some were genuine, some were fake, some were riding the religion, few actually supported the religion, some were attracted to my appearance and keen to marry me, some were interested in collecting funds and support for their ongoing religious projects, some had reps to woo people so we belong with their fraternity and not others, and there are as you know it, so many religious WhatsApp groups out there. We learned from them, we learned about them and about ourselves too. It's easy to get tired along the journey. But let's not be fooled by misunderstandings or the complexities that some religious people try to impose on the religion because He has made the deen easy for us. So don't let anyone complicate it for us. Take it simply as it is.

For the past two years or so, it was clear to me, that it was time to re-prioritize my time, to spend more time reading and reflecting on the Quran, making plenty of selawat and focusing on one route to Jannah through my dear mother, to attend to her as best as I could. 

Dr. E, do not fret, do not worry about knocking on so many doors or finding which path to take, just focus on the opportunity that is before your eyes right now, that is to serve others through your field. I understood the wise words of the mu'aleem, the shortest way to the Lord is through khidma (service). So serve right there where you are. Because He is so near, we tend to not see. 

I think the best antidote when the vision gets fuzzy is to reflect upon a verse of the Quran:   
"We will show them Our signs in the horizons and in their own souls until it becomes clear to them it is the truth. Is it not sufficient that your Lord is witness to all things?"

So let's keep looking out for His signs until it becomes clearer.
On a lighter note, that's why lately, I'd like to take it easy and love going to the beach to enjoy the horizons, laze on a hammock and contemplate on my own soul. 
LOL

But on a serious note, whenever my mother calls on me for a favor I take it as my ticket to Heaven. Likewise, you, whenever someone seeks your medical service, consider it your shortest route to Him. If you happen to have the time to visit some majlis ta'alim, or you don't, so be it. Should we bump into something that doesn't seem right to our heart, we say next! Because it is sufficient that He is our witness to all things.

Allahu a'lam.

E.I
8 September 2018
Remember: On the horizons and in yourselves!



  

Friday, August 31, 2018

31st August 2018 | Malaysia turns 61

Bismillah.


This is a backdated posting, don't be fooled LOL.
I was busy on other social media platforms and busy holidaying in Penang that I overlooked to mark this special occasion here on this blog of mine. But the good thing about the blogosphere is that you have the freedom to backdate or postdate as you wish.

This photo was taken by me of course as I was frolicking on the Batu Ferringhi beach a couple of days before Malaysia turned 61. Alhamdulillah it is Allah who decided and willed on which land we landed at birth, and get to call home, and on which land we shall die. I gotta thank this beautiful country Malaysia, for having me. I ought to thank Allah that He lets me walk on this land peacefully and not let the earth gobble me up due to my sins. Verily, I seek refuge in Allah from Allah. This may sound paradoxical to some people as it did to me before. I understood it as seeking refuge in the mercy of Allah from His wrath.

I must thank one of this blog readers for giving me a sort of wake-up call, he reminded me of my own blog LOL. As I said, I have been busy elsewhere and neglected this old space of mine. I love this space as it has been a loyal receptacle of my thoughts and feelings, a place to document my experiences and memories. I realize that every time I start writing, as I begin knocking on the keypads, it's akin to knocking on the shells of my outer being, breaking it up to expose the kernel. Hence, it is a private thing. Writing is very personal except for the postings in which I regurgitated all that I had heard from the shuyukh from the majalis that I had been privileged to attend. 

So this is it, a little something to mark this special date. In the next posting, I will make an attempt to answer some questions that were posed by one Lisan al-Din long time reader who lives 9000 km away.

Cheers! 

E.I
8.9.2018



Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha | Eid Mubarrak 1439 H

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah,
Hi folks here's wishing you and your family a blissful Eid celebration 😀

Alhamdulillah for the tawfik from Allah that we were able to enliven the eve of Eid, pray Allah would enliven our hearts with His remembrance, that our hearts are always in the state of prostration to Him Al Kabir, hoping for His endless mercy and bounties.


Alhamdulillah for times of ease, to have the freedom of being away from the office for 19 days. YaHuuu...here we go again, another round of long leave.

Allah Kareem!



p/s

It was a pleasant surprise to hear the Imam recite a verse I'm familiar with.
"Wujuhun yau maizin na'emah"
You know what that means?
No? Go read the Quran some more, that would be better for you than spying on me LOL.



Sunday, August 19, 2018

Colorful life

Bismillah.

Hi folks,
Hope you are all enjoying the hot summer days. Well, it depends on where you are. Anyway, either hot or cold, it's all from Allah, so let's refrain ourselves from complaining even in the mildest of remarks. At least to most of us, He does not send a weather that is harmful. 

I am thrilled to be back in my hometown - Penang, yet again. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah to have a decent shelter to call my own. And the currency rate is good ; ) We have to enumerate our blessings clearly and specifically you know. 

It's the auspicious times of ZulHijjah Alhamdulillah. I should start spring-cleaning the house a.s.a.p to prep it for Eid aul-Adha celebrations InShaAllah. And...I am so looking forward to visiting a maqam of a saint in the heart of George Town. 

OK folks, may we belong with those who add colors to a person's monochromatic life. May we belong with those who give hope and put a smile on someone's face.



 ; )

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Selfishly busy

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah
We gotta be selfishly busy loving our lives unless you want to pay someone to live it for you? Lol
My longggg holiday is almost over. Alhamdulillah that Allah continues to bless our time that we have the opportunity to spend it with our loved ones for things that matter most.

I am also grateful that Allah has given me the strength to be fierce about protecting my rights and dignity that I don't hold back when I need to stand up and speak up. If you were to reflect a little deeper you will realize that in regards to our association with Allah, it's always a win-win. Even when it seems like you are losing, He would actually facilitate for you to come out of the 'loss' as a winner. That is why we have to always have husnul zan towards Him, have good expectations of Him. He is indeed fair and All-Knowing, so keep calm, let Him say "Be!" cos it is His prerogative, whereas our task is simply to embrace it as it is.

Keep smiling.
Be grateful and say your thanks to Him a lil extra if He happens to give you a great smile. For there are just so many people around us upon whom Allah has given sufficient provision yet they find it hard to crack a smile. How stingy they are and verily that tightness, their constriction is a reflection of their self-inflicted punishment.

It might also be a punishment from the Lord for the wrongs they did unto others.
So rejoice if you are among those who are blessed with a cheerful countenance.