Monday, October 21, 2013

Great company


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, life is good. Life is good not because we are worthy of it but because Allah loves us and is merciful towards us.

The weekend had been good. 

It was a pleasure to experience a bit of Iranian culture during a dinner hosted by a wonderful and I should add, good looking, Iranian couple. Oh, intelligent too, as they are both PhD students of subjects that I would not be able to grapple in a thousand years. I savored and learned for the first time about Iranian rice. The best part of Iranian rice is its crust. In Malay cooking, the rice crust is the least desirable part for most people. But you see we can learn something from the Iranians here. We can easily turnaround something less desirable to become the most-desired thing. We just have to be more creative and be willing to change our normal way of doing things. 

You should not try this recipe without consulting your Iranian friends, because I might have missed out some important bits. But this is what I picked up from the lovely hostess. Firstly, cook rice as you normally would but remove the water when it's about three-quarter cooked. Then in a different pot, pour some oil and place a naan bread or slices of potatoes at the base before pouring in the almost-cooked rice to steam it further. If you were to ask Mr. Google, the yummy crusty part is called tahdig. Let me double check with a real person, Mrs. M, tomorrow. It's now 2.41 a.m for Heaven's sake. By the way, there are three major tribes in Iran: Kurdish, Turkish and Lorish.

From left to right:
That yummy crust - beef stew - salad - rice
(the rice was garnished with berries not raisins)
Bottom left is Iranian pickles.
They too call it acar. It's hot and sour.
SUNDAY afternoon:
Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. We know that when guests come to the house they would take away a sea of our sins. We also learn from our guides the three steps of finding our way to the Truth. That is takhalli, tahalli and tajjali. Meaning to empty oneself from impurities, and then to fill up with good deeds before one can expect the unveiling/manifestation of the Light. Again, do not quote me. Refer to your guide(s). But that is a summation of those three bombastic words.

It was an honor to receive the first group of guests at my new humble home. They're from Singapore. It was an honor because they're a team of people who are driven by love. They're here to create awareness of their program that will take place on 21st and 22nd December InshaAllah. It's called the Sacred Path of Love (SPOL). It will be the 4th SPOL mashaAllah and the theme for this year is: In Pursuit of Happiness.

It was an honor to receive Brother Khalid Ajmain of the Sout Ilaahi, whom together with his talented wife have been organizing this remarkable event since 2010. I will be sharing more about SPOL 2013 soon InshaAllah. The Sacred Path of Love, in my humble opinion is a great blessing of Allah which He has chosen to tajalli (manifest) through Brother Khalid and his wife. We heard Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam al-Maliki saying repeatedly: pray so that Allah make us become a receptacle of His manifestation, that we become an instrument of good deeds. This is what it is. To be able to organize a significant event that could in turn become a medium of hidayah to people, on whom Allah intends to bestow His hidayah. I hope Allah will grant me the tawfiq to assist in promoting this event InshaAllah. Do look out for more postings about the Sacred Path of Love InshaAllah.  

It was also an honor to receive three volunteers for SPOL. You know the invisible word that comes before the word volunteer is selfless. According to Brother Khalid Ajmain, the Sacred Path of Love attracts more and more volunteers each year. When he first started SPOL, it was only him and his wife. Imagine that! And budget was just an imaginary term. This reminds me of an advice by a learned man who said: "when you intend to do something good, just make the niyyat and get on with it. Allah's help will come."

Going back to takhalli, tahalli and tajjali - I can relate that to welcoming guests at home. When they leave your house it is as though they empty your sins. Not just empty it but they also fill it up with barakah. With barakah, we hope Allah will be generous in manifesting more of His bounties.

May Allah in turn, bless my special guests, facilitate their work and fulfill their wishes. Ameen.

SUNDAY evening:
Lessons on Al-Hikam by Shaykh Fahmi Zamzam al-Maliki at Ba'alawi Kuala Lumpur. Two important takeaways:

  • The meaning of asking Allah for a good life in dunya and akhirah - Rabbana atina fidunya hasanah wa fil akhirati hasanah is actually asking the kind of dunya that is mazra'atul akhirah - a means that can bring us victory in the hereafter.
  • Make yourself a muhsin that is good doer and place yourself under circumstances that could qualify you for Allah's mercy. Kullan numidduha - all will be granted madad (help). Kullan means all - everyone included.      
Will try to share more, if God wills. It all depends on mashi'a Allah - Allah's Will.

Allahu a'lam.

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