Saturday, May 31, 2014

May | We thank God for everything everyday

Bismillah.



Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. May this month of May remains to be one which is peaceful, joyful and fruitful as it has been. We must thank God for every day of May.

Woke up this morning, was getting into my routine and saw that KL tower in the picture, though not as gorgeous as the Eiffel Tower, still it makes for a beautiful day.

'What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?' Ah, this apt tweet by Women of History. We would be short of things, won't we?! So let's take a moment to really offer our thanks to our Creator, our Provider, the Most Compassionate. 

How true this saying of Mr. Positive - Jack Canfield: 'The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract to be grateful for.' Yes, the law of attraction, works. Certainly, Allah has promised to give us more of the things that we are grateful for. Subhan is Allah. Subhanallah.

And folks, after five years of blogging, I realize how true this is.  


People actually write so that they would know better of their own thoughts afterwards, not because they know something and so they write. Strange how simple things in life can be so paradoxical.

Have a good day y'all.  

p/s 
Last posting for May - yaaaay!


Friday, May 30, 2014

Paris dreams

Bismillah.



If an elegant lady like you would be so picky as to who sees your beauty, what reason do you demand from me O Paris? "I love your curves and all your edges" hum a song to serenade you O charmer. Shall go on with love chanting til hope comes knocking saying you would welcome me.

Oh, this is my feeble attempt to send a message out to the Universe. That I deserve to win the competition that would take me there. People flock at your feet for reasons so many. I want to breathe that chic Parisian air and I've a mission of goodwill I'll not yet reveal.

Share my stories with people, I will. Am not a selfish traveller you shall see. Behind my eyes are a hundred eyes. O Paris, don't be a snobbish lady. Surely you are not, for you are sweet and demure, so take me there and show me amor.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Learning from surroundings | Three categories of people

Bismillah.


Quoted from a tausiyah given by Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin al-Hamid in reference to Kitab Bidayatul Hidayah by Imam al-Ghazalli.

Nabi Isa alayhisalam was asked: "from whom did you learn adab?" He replied: "No one, but when I see an ignorant act, I will want to avoid it." 

Habib Ali said we can and should learn from our surroundings, from people around us, if we see a stingy person and we dislike such behavior then we should not be stingy ourselves.

There are three categories of people:
1. One who is like a staple food - who is needed all the time.
2. One who is like medicine - who is needed on occasions but not all the time.
3. One who is like a disease - we do get infected at times though we try to avoid, hence we should be smart in preventing it. 

May Allah guide us all and beautify our characters.
Ameen.

Reference: http://www.darulmurtadza.com/

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Stop saying if | No 'lau' please

Bismillah.

I am guilty of this. Many people are. We all like to say IF, don't we?

If only I had done that...
If you had taken the other route...
If she opted for that instead of this...
If he didn't go, it would not have happened...
If I had married A instead of B, I would not have been so miserable [LOL] 

You know the long list of ifs we all say.

But Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin al-Hamid in his tausiyah at Masjid Muadz bin Jabal on 25th April 2014 said we should stop saying if. That's because the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam says: "Don't say lau (if)."

When we say "if" we open a door of shaytan because that would tantamount to not accepting Allah's decree. Instead, when something bad happen, we should say:
qaddarallah masha'a fa'al
meaning whatever Allah has decreed, will happen.  

Habib Ali quoted an Arabic proverb:
"If you were to plant IF in the land of IF,
what is planted is a seed of IF,
hence you will harvest IF."

So if something bad were to happen, don't think it's our fault because we know not. Many things are beyond our control and we cannot prevent what is decreed from taking place. We are subject to the Sultan of qadar.




Reference: http://www.darulmurtadza.com/

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Enriching arts

Bismillah.

Praise be to God for His ever flowing bounties.

I am pleased to share this product of a talented 18 year old artist whom I commissioned to produce this piece of art. It's 6 by 9 feet, so it's no easy feat for a budding kufi artist like him. As his first paying-customer, I am delighted. I think we should all support young talents.

This posting is meant to encourage my young nieces and nephews to engage in productive craft/activities, to be creative and earn a handsome income, not just do things as favourite past time. By the way, the young man who did this will be leaving for Ireland to enrol in a medical school, mashaAllah.  


This is just a screenshot. If you wish to see it for real, come visit me in Penang during Eid. Just kidding. No gate crashing please. LOL.

We had selected eight "enriching" Names from Asma'ul Husna because we want to be rich and we are not apologetic about it.

Ar Rahman
Ar Razak
Al Mughni
Al Wahab
Al Basith
Al Karim
Al Mujib
An Nafi

Let's see if you can identify them.

May Allah continue to enrich us with inspirations and make us a receptacle of His Beautiful attributes.

Ameen.

p/s
To Amirul, Hanis, Shafiqah & gang - you will enjoy campus life [bi iznillah] am very sure of that :)


Monday, May 26, 2014

In sickness and in health

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. It's always good to be back home. I had been missing my blogging station - that Blogger's Corner.

Doctor says I should rest for many days - many - but we shall see because the vicissitudes of life warrants flexibility and response towards daily demands or rather moments, regardless in sickness or in health.

In sickness, we pray Allah forgives our shortcomings and pardons our flaws. In health we are grateful and thus try to do as much as possible. Some people say action is eloquence. Indeed. Non-action means downright lazy heh...heh. Non-action also means we are holding back. And when we hold back, we lose. I therefore completely agree with this tweet by Women Can Do It All - "You never lose by loving. You only lose by holding back."

You also lose, if you expect people to complete you. Remember that advice given by Dr. Halima Boukerroucha? Yes, Allah completes you. Allah completes me. 

I wanna borrow this from Keep Calm tweets - Be single. Be:
Strong
Independent
Noticeable
Generous
Loving
Enlightened

Heh...heh...just need to psych up myself after having been discharged from hospital. You know there's plenty of negative chi there. Having said that, we must say: God bless our doctors!

Alhamdulillah 'ala kulli hal.
Praise be to God whatever the situation,
in sickness and in health.


p/s 
BP: Pray we won't die with books inside us. Ameen.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spongy beautiful mind

Bismillah.


Oh well, you might have guessed. That's borrowed from John Legend's song All of Me.

Yes, our spongy minds can't help but absorb beautiful words and melodies oh so fine. Make us smile as we unwind.

All of me loves all of you.
-E

p/s 
Hoping no orthodox person takes umbrage at seeing love songs being quoted here :)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Readings from Imam Al-Ghazalli's Ihya Ulum al-Din with Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan & Shaykh Muhammad Allie Khalfe in Cape Town on Sunday 25 May 2014

Bismillah.


To our Cape Town friends, though we are yet to meet InshaAllah, our hearts are already bonded in the name of religion and we pray may Allah facilitate your way to this majlis which is being organized by the learned amongst you.

Here's a quote from the Book of Knowledge
of Ihya Ulum al-Din. 

Sayyidina Ali said:
Learning is the glory of mankind,
The wise are beacons on the road to truth,
Man is worth his knowledge - nothing more,
The fool will be his inveterate foe,
Knowledge is man's hope of life immortal,
Man may die but wisdom lives ever.

Reference: http://www.ghazali.org/books/knowledge.pdf

Friday, May 23, 2014

Re-liga | Trivia

Bismillah.

Here's a little trivia for you. How far is Madinah from Makkah by road? Surely, most of you would get it right. Yes, it's about four hours. 

How far is Yathrib from Bakka in the olden days? We are talking about the same cities here. I bet you didn't know, it's 11 camel-days.

This I learned from this book by Martin Lings whose Muslim name was Abu Bakar Sirajuddin (1909-2005). He read English at the prestigious Oxford University. By the way, the past tense of read is read as in 'red' eye. Of course you know that. Well, at first, I the silly-me thought the blurb of the book contained a typo. Nay.    

It also says, C. S Lewis or Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was a close friend of Martin Lings. C.S Lewis is no stranger to the well-read amongst you. He was a famous novelist. One of his popular books was 'The Chronicles of Narnia' so I learned from Mr. Wiki.

Anyway, I have digressed. I just wanted to share with you the definition of religion as offered by the ever so brilliant Martin Lings.

How would you define religion? Religion according to Martin Lings means: "RE-establishing the bond - the LIGAment between man and God which man lost at the Fall."

Clever! And how true, we all walk and fall every now and then so we have to get up to return to that which we are supposed to do. That is the prescribed acts as ordained in the shariah. The bond with the Lord gets broken every so often, so we have to mend the torn ligament, so to speak.

That's it folks. I need to rest as it's my second night at the hospital and my dearest specialist doctor complained about my brain activity being "too active". I just love my doctor who happens to like Usain Bolt's method of running, how Usain would run straight up and not bend his body to avoid wind resistance like most runners do and despite that, he could run 10 meters in about 1 second (His 100 meter record is 9.58 seconds) that means his metabolic rate must be "some medical jargon I didn't catch", that's why he could sprint because his muscle is "another medical jargon I didn't understand". Wow! Doctors they all know about all the great scientific stuffs, don't they?

Anyway, remember, religion is about re-liga, re-establishing the ligament between man and God. So, religion is no trivia. No.

  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

When the call comes | Go walking on your head

Bismillah.

Am just thinking aloud. How would our response be when the final call comes? Perhaps lukewarm and not so eager like the response we give when there is a call for prayer. Because we are occupied with all kinds of business, we are here and there so we tend to delay until it becomes more convenient to make a prayer. We are not very responsive and excited except maybe when we are in the Haramain where prayers are highlights of the day, day in day out. Over there we are like an ashiq - one who loves Allah - truly. But I suppose, the sacred and pristine environment is a motivating factor.

By contrast when we are at the mall we become an ashiq of all the beautiful and cool stuffs on the shelves. Hopefully we are thinking about how rich the Creator is, and how great a Craftsman He is. A specific example (and a personal one) is the Tiffany's citrine ring. Oh man! I can't get it out of my mind, for God's sake.

Now, how are we supposed to be an ashiq if we are like this?

A page I happened to flip this lovely Thursday morning had this to say. It's from a book by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad called 'Love for Allah' under the heading 'Constant Reflection':
"When the sun rises, the ashiq is reminded of his beloved. When it sets, he is reminded of his Beloved. When an ashiq sits with his friends, he speaks of his Beloved. And were he to receive an invitation to meet His beloved, he would go walking on his head."    

Would you go walking on the head? Would I go walking on my head? Or do I say 'Er...wait...where are you taking me?' But if indeed He is our true beloved, we would go anywhere our beloved wants to take us, aye? And anytime. Yes, anywhere, anytime.

May Allah pardon us for we do not have the capacity to love Him as He ought to be loved.

O Allah, grant us love for You, love for Your Beloved, love for all whom You love and all who love You.
Ameen.
  
  


Credit: Faqir Publications

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What shall we see?

Bismillah.







"We will show them Our signs in the horizons
and within themselves
until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth.
But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord,
that He is, over all things, a Witness?"
- Quran, Fussilat: 53

***

Haiku Deck created by Ezatulhada Ismail.
Inspired by the magical pictures of Machu Picchu captured by great people behind great lenses.
Thank God for Creative Commons.
Thank God for this beautiful world we live in.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Writing love | A many splendored thing

Bismillah.

O dear, will I ever be at fault for writing from the heart? I pray not.

A loving heart is all I want to have, if I had to choose of all the world's splendor.

I want you to know the feelings I have inside. I hope my writing can make you realize, for what good is a feeling if one can't express it as is - real and beautiful. It is indeed a gift of our Lord for you and me. So, how can one ever be sorry for it? I am not. And don't you ever be.

Tonight, as if it were morning, I woke up from my dreams one hour past midnight. I read some of the wonderful words written by loving souls of by-gone times.


Each and every love letter ought to be special. That's simply because love is great. You and I need not be a great woman or man to be writing a priceless intangible commodity as is love. Anyone is free to have love. But I say it has a price. It has a high price given that it's only there if the Owner of Love sprinkles even a spark from the infinite ocean of His Love, His Rahmah.

As I try, this very moment, to look for the right word to choose next, I realize, it is more than enough that there is love between us. Our Prophet says, rich is he/she who is contented with what is at hand. I am sufficed. I know, you are too.

I browsed the two lovely books and saw how some beautiful words had been chosen to end a letter that was written with love. How should I end this then, O dear? I wonder what would become of us if we did not pray so that He lets us have plenty of love in our hearts, forever and a day.

With all the love there is and will ever be.

Yours,

Monday, May 19, 2014

Not everything easy is good

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah, after much procrastination and meditating on the navel [heh..heh..] at 2 a.m. Monday, I finished my work assignment. Thank God and thanks to some beautiful people who sent in a bundle of positive energy and love. Yes, loving hearts are connected, indeed! 

Feel like I'm on steroid and will not sleep until the morning comes. When the morning comes, I know some of you will be checking this space for updates. So this Monday morning, here's another rambling for you, sorry.

Saw this tweet by Epic Women:
"Do not pray for an easy life;
pray for the strength to endure a difficult one."

Yes, that's a good one.

Many of us pray for Allah not to test us with something that's beyond us. But He won't, will He? Because that's the deal He made in the Quran. A test is a gift. So it's not a good idea to not want it. It's better to be tested and ask for His help to overcome it. Then, learn something from it. Ultimately, there's a reward from Him. It's not that we are alone. We are in it together. He is in it with us, to win it. How caring is the Lord. Subhanallah.

On a few occasions my big mouth blurted out the hardships that I had gone through in life. In hindsight, it's not a good thing to do. Because I think before we even enumerate and publicize the tests or hardships that He had sent us, we should be fair to Him by first mentioning His many blessings. And this happens to be one of the Arabic phrases which I am learning right now:
Yar zuqullahu rizqan wasi'a
It basically means, Allah gives us plenty.  
Yes, He gives us plenty.
Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

So when we are presented with a test, let's try to calm down and break up the problem into manageable pieces. That's better than shouting like a mad person and going berserk. Better to calm down and reflect than to be quick at blaming other people. For as long as we keep blaming everything on the external, we are not going to learn and change anything internal.  

That's just throwing in my two cents on manic Monday.
Wish y'all a positive and productive week.

Haza kulluhu rizqun minallah.
Fallah huwar-rahman.
All these are gifts from Allah.
Allah is the Most Beneficent.



Sunday, May 18, 2014

The passing years | High five!

Bismillah.

I've suddenly remembered that April had just passed, which means this blog is now 5 years old. Ya HuAlhamdulillah wa shukrulillah!

Maybe it's timely to consider publishing selected postings into a book, bi-iznillah, become a multi-millionaire and buy a mansion in Bali and Cape Town. LOL.

Thanks for putting up with my merepek-nonsense.

You, my dear, my loyal lovely readers,
you are my rainbow skies!
"The passing years will show
that you will always grow
ever more beautiful
in my eyes..."

May Allah increase us in knowledge and understanding, grant us the tawfiq to practise, accept our little deeds and forgive our shortcomings. Ameen.

"We can laugh about 
how time really flies
We won't say good bye
cos true love never dies..."

High five!










Song credit: Joshua Kadison, again :)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Defogging | Pettifogging



Bismillah.

Pardon me. Just need to let it out. This is another Saturday morning rambling. It's weekend all right but my vision is foggy. Can't see how I could complete a challenging work assignment. Wished I was as bright as the UC Berkeley or Stanford University students. 

When I was studying in California, that bridge in the picture, the San Francisco (SF) bridge - the Bay Area - used to be my playground. I missed the fog in SF; missed being driven around the hilly city; missed the clam chowder in bread-bowls at Fisherman's Wharf.

In case you are not familiar with the Bay Area, UC Berkeley is not too far from the bridge. The Zaytuna Institute headed by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is here too. I might have mentioned before that I went to the same uni as this uber articulate shaykh. Alhamdulillah I'd be happy if I could be a mere 5% like him.

Anyway, my vision is foggy. I need a defogger. I wish a mental-defogger is available OTC (over-the-counter). Can't get on with the task at hand if I can't stop pettifogging the unimportant side issues.

Pettifogging is a bad habit. It means to give undue emphasis on petty things. If you happen to live with someone who is a pettifogger, then that's bad news because it's tiring to be quibbling over trivial matters. It's boring to quarrel over trifles. It would be better to drop it and go make some other kind of trifles - dessert made of layers of sponge cake, fruits, custard and jelly. LOL.

Wish y'all a fun weekend.
If you care, do send some positive energy to me. 

Thanks.
Wassalam.           

p/s
I should recite the first du'a I learned from my late father:



Friday, May 16, 2014

Seeking forgiveness in the way that He loves

Bismillah.

Allahumma salli ala Sayyidina Muhammad
habibirahman 'adadama yakun wama qadkan

It is Friday. So let's recite this salawat we learned albeit remotely from the honorable Habib Umar bin Hafiz. We are very distant from him yet he is near in our thoughts. Thanks to his English speaking mureed and thanks to technology, we are able to tap a bit of his lessons.

In conjunction with the sacred month of Rajab, we would like to benefit from two istighfar of the many which Habib Umar has recommended for practise.

Astaghfirullah lima yaqlamuhullah
Astaghfirullah kama yuhibbuhullah

I seek the forgiveness of Allah, for everything that He knows
I seek the forgiveness of Allah, in the way that He loves

Astaghfirullah zal jalali wal ikram
min jami'il zunubi wal atham

I seek the forgiveness of Allah
the possessor of Majesty and Honor
for ALL my sins and wrongdoings









Reference:
http://seekersguidance.org/blog/2014/04/secrets-of-rajab/



Thursday, May 15, 2014

United in soul

Bismillah.

"You are asking me to stay. But if I was here for 20 years instead of for 20 days and it would end today, it would be the same. No one is together forever. We all go different ways one day. We can continue in our hearts. We are always together in our souls, even if it is not physical."
- Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani (1922 - 7 May 2014)
[Credit: Ubaydullah Rabbani]

Yes, we all go different ways, one day. Sometimes, the one leaving is eager to go. Sometimes, the one that is being left, refuse to let go.

Sometimes people cling to a status quo for convenience sake because the ego cannot detach from familiarity. Some people need to cling on physical terms even if they are not connected in the hearts. Some people may be apart, yet they are united in their souls.

Be of a free spirit. Roam beyond boundaries. Be not a love-beggar of a mortal. Be fed with infinite love of an immortal. Make yourself free and rejoice because your Maker loves you more in a moment than anyone could in a lifetime.

Only when we depart from the finite,
can we arrive at the infinite. 
In the ocean of infinity,
we shall mingle again,
you and I.





Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Forget the complaint bureau

Bismillah.

OMG, a dear sister sent a reminder which made me recount how many times I confided my woes to friends and families - my complaint bureau. And how I had conveniently confided in a band of trusted people, when the truth is, I was back-biting my subjects. 

This is of course a reminder to myself because we are in the business of self-polishing. 

When we confide in others, it always begin with 'so and so did me wrong' implying we are on the right side. Worse still, when we confide in others about our nearest/dearest, we are in reality back-biting these people who are probably our pillar of strength, people who feed us, people who provide us shelter, people whose blessing might even win us a ticket to heaven. Consider yourself a lil lucky if you don't have a spouse or a mother-in-law, who I reckon are on the top five of any Complaint Bureau.  

The reminder is a verse from Surah Yusuf:86
"I do not complain of my anguish and sorrow to anyone but Allah..."

I think it makes perfect sense. If we are not happy about someone and we use our time and energy confiding in people about them, we would only collect bad points for ourselves and eventually we will have to give away our good points, our tahhajud scores etc. to that fortunate person. Our confiding about our 'problematic' subjects really is back-biting. It's neither going to help us nor them and not even the complaint bureau.

But if we were to confide in Allah, we spare ourselves from back-biting and there is a good chance the 'problematic' person will change for the better by the help of Allah through our prayers and beseeching Him. Per chance Allah will also correct the 'holier righteous me' who thinks I am right and he/she is wrong. We are all narcissistic, if we care to admit.

We should add this to our daily affirmations and disband our complaint bureau. I should, because I am a guilty complainant. It's not easy, but let's get into psyching ourself, and ask Allah to help.  



Credit: Dr. P

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hoping hopes

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, just wanted to say thanks for all the generous feedback. I am happy too and humbled that you feel happy coming here. We have one thing in common, we find comfort in good words. And why not, "A good word is a charitable act" says the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam as related by Bukhari. 

Maya Angelou said:
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

It's all about feelings. And it's all about having hopes too. It's about hoping to feel good when we decide to do or choose something.

Speaking of hopes, I just wanted to say this - that I just dislike the phrase 'hope against hope' because it doesn't do justice to the word hope itself. That, to me is an oxymoron, like saying 'cruel kindness'. By the way, Merriam Webster gave that as an example of an oymoronic phrase because it just doesn't make sense even though people sometimes say you have to sometimes be cruel to be kind. I mean if you are cruel you are cruel, why say you have to be cruel to be kind. It's like saying 'I lied because I love you.' Yeah right!

Hope is a positive thing. You hope the outcome will be positive, so why say 'hope against hope' when in reality you don't have positive expectations. 'Hope against hope' is defined as having hope even when the situation appears to be hopeless. Well, I think it's either you have it or you don't. Either you have hopes or you are hopeless. To believe in 'hope against hope' is to put a limit to hope when it's supposed to be an infinite thing. Martin Luther King Jr. said: "We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope."

Having hope at any time is a good time, so I kinda disagree with Francis Bacon's saying: 'hope is a good breakfast but is a bad supper.' That's because hope is there round the clock for us to fetch it. It's always there, because the Giver of hopes, is Infinite and He never sleeps. 

I remembered when I was younger, it was so much fun singing the chorus:
"Gimme hope Joanna 
Gimme hope Joanna
Gimme hope Joanna
Before the morning come..."

But, it would be better to say...




Pic credit: 
My friend AB went to Turkey and all I got was some nice pictures and a purse :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

What to repeat 70 times | What better to love

Bismillah.

This, surely you already knew, is a recommended practice, especially for this month of Rajab. But of course you are not as forgetful and weak as I am. So it's here as a reminder for this ignorant faqir

Our much respected Habib Ali Zainal Abidin al-Hamid reminds us to recite this 70 times a day after Subuh & Isha'.



Because I suffer from good-deed deficiency, it's a pleasure to search for the prettiest picture I have in file. It's captured by a friend in Istanbul by the way. I cherish every step of the process of preparing a posting that hopefully will stay around longer than me. 

It makes us think of a saying of one learned. Indeed, the best lover is the one that follows you inside the grave and keep you company, not the one who cries for a while and then leave. And the next day get on with his/her life, go to Tesco or Starbucks whatever. Then he/she might find another lover to keep him/her company and they might go to Turkey for honeymoon, who knows?! Then he/she will start slacking in sending prayers for you. And you're left alone underground having to face reality. Then you will realize who is a better lover. And what better to love.

What better to love?
Good deeds. 

What better to do? 
Good deeds.

May Allah grant us the tawfiq to do it and accept it even if it be a little flawed.
Ameen.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

What shall I bring?

Bismillah.

If I may be utterly frank, a couple of nights ago, I was overcome by a state in which I was given a reminder of a known fact - that my days are numbered. We are all aware that with each breath we take, we come even closer to our 'appointment'.

Two questions that might pop up in the mind of most people: What shall I bring? What good will I have left behind?

Today's random read brought me to pages of a book by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad about true love and metaphorical love. On page 67 of his book 'Love for Allah' he says: "At the time of death, the true reality of life becomes manifest before everyone. All infatuations end. All illusions fade. This is the final end of metaphorical love..."

In a chapter on the condition of the lovers of Allah in their graves, there is a story about Shaykh Yahya Muadh bin Razi and Abu Yazid Bustami (radhiallahu anh).

It was related that Shaykh Yahya had this to say: "Verily, great is the statement of my master, the blessed Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam: 'The world is a prison for the believer.' Tell me what can a prisoner bring from a prison?"


Allahu a'lam.
Until the day arrives, we are to plant whatever seeds we have at hand.
May Allah pardon our sins and grant us husnul khatimah.
Ameen.

______________
Credit: Faqir Publications     

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Rain on Bussorah

Bismillah.

"We can laugh about
how time really flies..."

Once upon a time
I opened a window
Above Bussorah Street
It's a good feeling to have
sleeping under the same roof as Wardah
the coolness of our eyes
where thirsty souls escape to read

Nazal ma' minas sahhab
Water comes from clouds
Bussorah is drenched so pretty
even in the darkness of fajar 
Awaiting the call of azan
of Masjid Sultan nearby

One serene morning
it rained on Bussorah
a place I would go back to
something magical stays in the mind
"We won't say good bye
cos true love never dies,
You'll always be beautiful
in my eyes."

Rain on Bussorah
A street in Singapore
One morning in 2013

Credit: Lines in quotation marks are borrowed from a song by Joshua Kadison



Wardah Books
58 Bussorah St.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Beautiful is He | Prophet of beauty

Bismillah.


Subhanallah.
That, believe me is actually a slab of marble made of precious stones. Saw this piece of beauty at an exhibition. Beautiful is He. Beautiful is His creation.

The above quote is from a hadith of Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam. I reckon it's one of the often quoted hadith of the Prophet of beauty.

***
"You're my peace of mind in this crazy world
You're everything I've tried to find
Your love is a pearl..."
I sing the words of Joshua

But Taha
You are the Prophet
who will intercede 
when people only care to find faults and hurt
whereas you love me even before I was born
You are THE truthful one
Al Amin on whom I should depend
when people lie and devise a scam
Turn to you, there's no better plan
You already said
Your intercession is for one
who needs it the most
That's me, for certain
O prophet, hear me out
a plea from one needy soul
a cry of one orphaned heart 

Allahumma salli ala Sayyidina Muhammad
   
______________________

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sunset in KL | Design of the Lord

Bismillah.


Alhamdulillah, this is one ayat I know by heart. May Allah gather more ayat in our heart because we are grateful for knowing the few that we knew. Didn't He promise to give us more, if we are grateful?

That is ayat no.38 of Surah Yaseen.
This is one ayat that's been mentioned several times on this space, somehow. You will know if you are a regular reader. Maybe our souls had met in alam mithal that's why we keep on meeting so often here, that's why our hearts are so warm towards one another, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

If you allow me to be majnun for a moment and adapt from a saying attributed to him.
"Majnun would stare at the full moon. When asked why, he said maybe Laila might look too, and our glances meet."

***
O you, my love, look at the sun as I too would,
every so often
though we are so far apart
as distant as the East from the West
when our eyes fall on the bright sun
there our glances shall unite
and our hearts too, 
in the most glorious of light 
designed by the only He
for lovers like you and me
*** 

That is sunset in KL, people.
That is sunset from my bedroom.
All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the world.
That is sunset dated 3rd May 2014.
We won't catch the same sun setting on the same date.
Nay.
Because we can never turn back time.
The day is gone.
Gone is the day.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The passing of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani - 7 May 2014

Bismillah.



Inna lillah wa inna ilaihi raji'un
Rajab the month of Allah welcomes back an extraordinary man of Allah - the honorable Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani - to a lofty abode of return befitting his stature. Only Allah knows the rewards for a man of zikrullah, a man of sacred and secret knowledge, a man of gnosis, a man of piety, a man of humility, a master of hearts - the leader of the Naqshbandi Haqqani Sufi Order.

We cannot begin to imagine how small and deficient we are in relation to this exemplary personality.

We cannot fathom the scenario of the unseen realm with the ruhul quddus (holy spirits) who must be rejoicing in the homecoming of a member of the fraternity.

We are a nobody to eulogize somebody like him. We cannot offer anything better, save the words of Allah - the ummul kitab Al Fatihah.

    


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Overpowered? | Find the remedy in Surah Al Qamar

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah, here's another phrase from the Quran that's worth memorizing:
"I am overpowered, so defend (me)."
When overpowered, say:
Anni maqlubun fan tassir


Learning Arabic is so much fun.
Learning the Quran is like redeeming from the 'Bank of Gifts' where there is no withdrawal limits. Subhanallah.

May Allah increase us in knowledge and understanding.
May Allah accept my sharing.
Ameen.


________________
Credit: Dr. P

Monday, May 5, 2014

Yasmin Mogahed's advice on keeping things in the hand and NOT in the heart

Bismillah.


You may be thinking, "I have heard this before from so many guides." Yes people, we need to have lessons like this hammered in our head often, don't we?

Let's keep the heart free.
And keep the hands full with dunya and such. 

Free your heart.
Free your heart.
And fly to the silence of tranquillity.
For a moment, taste peace, piece by piece.
And rejoice in the gift of detachment.
Savour the quiet times.
O heart, how you have toiled and become weary!
Reclaim your birthright,
you are meant to be free, oh so free.
____________
Quote/Pic credit: Dr. P


Sunday, May 4, 2014

What's the matter?

Bismillah.

I discovered another important phrase from the Quran today. It's the best answer to give if anyone were to ask you: 'What's the matter?' 

We'll get to that later.

Am in the process of learning Arabic and this is a good space to practise. Hopefully it will benefit you too. Alhamdulillah my small achievement this week is knowing what mosquito is in Arabic, among others LOL. Alhamdulillah, I have just finished the first book and now into the second one on the topic of: 
Yarzuqullahu rizqan wasi'a
Allah gives us abundant provision.

Indeed, He does.

Okay, back to the phrase which I think we should all memorize. It's better than giving the boring 'No comment' reply, if people were to ask us something we are not entirely sure how to answer.

So next time if someone ask: 'What's the matter?'
Let's just say:
Innal amra kullahu lillah.
"Indeed, the matter belongs completely to Allah."
(from Al-Imran: 154)

Khallas!
See ya soon.


Pic credit: BDM


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Happy Rajab | Happy weekend

Bismillah.

KL on 1st Rajab 1435 Hijri

I am told they have fireworks in Makkah to welcome the holy month of Ramadhan. I don't know what the occasion is for that fireworks show in KL. But hey it's the night of the first Rajab. It's beautiful.

Kullu syai' kholqullah. Everything is Allah's creations.

May this month of May brings us much peace and the gayest of days. May this month of Rajab be a month of reflection and preparation for the coming sacred months InshaAllah.

They say, always believe something wonderful is going to happen. So, let's have good expectations from Allah, the ever Generous, the ever Loving.

Have an awesome weekend people.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Yasmin Mogahed on using the Quran as a healing

Bismillah.

Yasmin Mogahed began her talk at Malaysia's Putrajaya International Convention Center (PICC) on 26 April 2014 by expounding on the meaning of Surah Al Imran, verse 190-191. She mentioned these verses upon noticing the colorful flowers which decorated the grand stage from where she was speaking. PICC is indeed a grand venue. Yasmin's aura and wisdom filled up the stupendous hall and seeped through hearts and minds.

She brought the audience's attention to the word ulil albab as mentioned in the verse:
'Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are signs for the people of wisdom, who remember Allah standing and sitting, and (lying) on their sides, and ponder on the creation of the heavens and the earth (and say): 'Our Lord, You have not created all this in vain. We proclaim Your purity. So, save us from the punishment of Fire.'   

She said: "The word ulil albab is derived from the word lubb which is a plural. It refers to the innermost of something. It's the heart or understanding that a person has."

"The Quran gives us an alternative worldview. Dunya is like a monopoly. It's like a knock-out competition. It's just a game. It's about acquiring of more - more money, love, praises and approval of people and more likes on facebook. What happens after the game is over?"  

Yasmin then quoted an ayat of the Quran on the day when nothing will be of benefit, not children, not wealth except qalbun salim, a sound healthy heart. When the game is over, some people are going to be rich and some bankrupt. People who slander and backbite other people will have to forego their deeds and might end up with nothing. So we better consider what is true richness and bankruptcy.

The ulil albab are those as mentioned in the Quran remember Allah that is keep their heart alive while standing, sitting and lying down - "in every position of life, when things are easy, when things are not easy, when happy, when sad, when rich and poor." They are people who remember Allah when it's convenient and when it's not convenient to remember Allah e.g. in an American airport, at the mall etc." said Yasmin.

"Zikir is not a ritualistic thing. It's like air for the heart. And solah too is like oxygen for the heart. We cannot say I am not going to breathe now, but breathe later. But later doesn't come. We suffer when we deprive our hearts of remembrance. We don't realize that's the core of the problem."

The young ustaza then related a story of a man who was suffering from toothache. Because he had no medical insurance and had no money to pay so he had to choose between antibiotic or painkillers. As many people would, the man chose painkillers. The man eventually died of infections.

Yasmin said, most people are like that, we opt for things that could numb us. Things like money, status, having fun are examples of the things we choose to numb us from spiritual, emotional and psychological pain. We should realize that the core of the pain is our relationship with Allah. There is this story about a scholar in prison. He asked, "what can my enemies do to me because my paradise is in my heart? If they exile me, I can travel. If they imprison me, that's an opportunity for seclusion with Allah. If they kill me, I might attain martyrdom." This scholar could say paradise is in his heart because of his nearness to Allah. 

Yasmin then quoted a hadith of the Prophet salallah alaihiwasalam in which the prophet says 'the matters of the believers are strange. All of his affairs are good.' If people were to ask us, Have something bad ever happened to you. Majority will say yes. But the Prophet is saying nothing bad ever happens to a believer. 

So then we come to the question, what is good and what is bad. As stated in Surah Baqarah, it may be that we like a thing but it's not good for us whereas a thing which we dislike could be better for us.

The point is that it has nothing to do with the gain and loss of the dunya. It's about the distance between us and Allah. If a believer receives or experiences something he likes, he is grateful, otherwise, he is patient with it. 

Concluding her talk, Yasmin gave these advice:
"What you earn is what you give. Any time you give for Allah, the reward will be saved for you. It is counter intuitive. Anyone you love for the sake of Allah, you'll keep. Anything else, you'll lose. All the tears you give for Allah become a reason for you to earn a shade from Allah on the Day of Judgment. It will elevate you. If you cry for dunya, you'll end up feeling tired and dehydrated. Learn how to use the Quran to heal our mood, heart and relationship. Become of those who reflect and think - the ulil albab. Don't fall into deception thinking things happen without a purpose. It's not an oversight. Allah does not do anything without a purpose. What does that mean? That means I have a purpose. And there's responsibility and retribution. If you are entrusted with a purpose, you are going to be asked. You are going to be held accountable. Allah will ask you about your purpose."
_____________________

Allahu a'lam. May I be forgiven for any errors and omissions.



Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rajabun Shahrullah | Reflecting on Rajab

Bismillah.

Today is the first day of Rajab.
Rajabun shahrullah.
So I learned, it means Rajab is the month of Allah.
Ana saima.
So I learned, it means 'I am fasting' for female.
Ana saim - for male, if any of you male reader is fasting today.
Let us all pray:
"O Allah, bless us in the month of Rajab and Shaaban and let us see the month of Ramadhan."

*****
It's a public holiday in Malaysia today because it's the 1st of May. It's Labor Day. I will admit it's challenging to fast on this day because the mind is thinking about enjoying the holiday, being lazy at home, eating and snacking to my heart's content. But Rajab has arrived. Taming the nafs is quite a feat.  

Reminds me of an ayat I chanced upon when reading seerah-un-nabi this morning. It's words of encouragement indeed: "Inna kazaa lika najzil muhsinin." This is how We reward those who are good in their deeds." - from As Saffat 105

Today, my niyyat is to fill the day with reading seerah, blogging (a posting on Yasmin Mogahed is on the way InshaAllah) and learning/memorizing simple Arabic sentences. If you are like me, you are a late starter as far as learning Arabic is concerned you should get these books published by Darul Andalus of Singapore. It's for kids but why not? For RM117, you will get 30 books and 3 DVDs. That's more than value-for-money' if your niyyat is to learn Arabic and understand the Quran better. 

And may Allah have a lil mercy on this faqir for marketing the language of the Quran :)

Fanahnu kholqullah.
We are Allah's creations.

Wassalamualaikum warahmatullah.
E. Ismail


p/s 
1. Darul Andalus has a booth at the KL International Book Fair at PWTC. The book fair ends this coming Sunday.
2. The seerah book published by YADIM Malaysia is a must buy. It's a Malay translation of Ar-Raheeq al-Makthum by Shaykh Safiiyu al-Rahman al-Mubarakfuri. The book was the first prize winner of a seerah competition organized by Rabitah Alam Islami of Makkah.